Tuesday, May 26, 2009

I Heart IKEA!

***Disclaimer:  I really planned to take great before and after pictures but before I got out of bed my husband was busy dismantling everything so he could fix and paint the wall. ***

My goal since I have been home is to simplify and unclutter our home.  I soon came to realize that there were too many thing unnecessary things in our home.  Being here all day and homeschooling has made me want to pare down and keep only those things that are most important to us and those that we need.

I was never satisfied with the look of our dining/living room.  This is one large room, it is half of the first floor.  It had become too cluttered when we had moved the computer armoire in here from the basement and then we had added an additional desk for our school things.  Our tv sits atop the fireplace mantle~not what I envisioned but you have to give in to somethings~we did not have a good place to hold the electronics and dvds, cds, etc.  This area became a hodge podge of furniture that was never really functional and looked sloppy. 
Sorry about the Christmas pictures.  They're the only ones I had because I really did not like this look.  This is a set of shelves my brother installed when we moved in.  It held our electronics and a variety of other things.  I was never too happy with these.
Right below these shelves there was a cabinet my mom had given me.  We tried to use this to store dvd, cds, etc.
It was never the ideal way to store these things and it always looked sloppy to me.  I have always wanted a floor to ceiling unit in this area.  I didn't think I would be able to ever find one. On the wall opposite this is our couch. Right up against the arm of the couch was a small desk to hold our school books, and across from that is our computer armoire.  It was all so crowded and made this area look like a cubicle.  It also pushed the couch closer to the dining room side of this large room.

Well, along comes the IKEA catalog which I immediately begin to flip through.  Out comes the tape measure and I begin to wonder how well could some new things fit in this room.  I find the perfect bookcase and love it.  It is floor to ceiling, simple but yet wonderful.  I left the catalog and tape measure sitting on the coffee table and dear hubby notices it and asks what I was looking for.  I show him the wonderful little piece that I have my heart set on and he loves it, too.  This was Sunday and we couldn't make it to IKEA that day~his sister was coming to visit so early the next morning, really early (6:30 am) he began working on taking down the old shelves and filling in the holes so he can paint the walls and we headed to IKEA.  We found the perfect little bookcase and fell in love but at a little over 91" it was too tall for this room.  He decided he could cut a bit off the top and it would fit perfectly.  I was thrilled.  We head off to find the shelf and load it up.  Once we got downstairs to the self serve furniture, we find the bookcase and it is marked down from $179 to $79.  It just couldn't get any better than.  

We loaded it up brought it home and anxiously put it together.  I was able to set it up with all of our school books stored away, the dvds and cds stored away and it looks so much better.  We purchased these wonderful storage boxes at IKEA and stored all our school things in them.

Here is what it looks like.  Now we just need to cover those wires and it will be perfect.  I am so happy with this unit.
This is why I heart IKEA!!!  Of course, I have a whole day planned to go and visit again and peruse through all their wonderful things.  They have such great storage ideas and I really need to work on the storage in this home.  It was built in the  1950's and is severely lacking in good storage.  I didn't have much time to look through the store.  When my husband shops, he is a man on a mission.  He goes in only for what was intended and he will not, I repeat, will not get sidetracked.  There were so many pretty things calling to me and I couldn't only glance at them as I walked quickly by to keep up with him. SIGH~~~~~~~

IKEA is about an hour away and I already told the kids that it would be one of our summer day trips.  I can't wait.  My kids love the food in their cafeteria.  My dd loves to look at all the stylish rooms they have set up and dream of someday having her own place.  I can't believe that's coming so soon. 

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

No one Visits When Your House Is Clean!!

Isn't this the truth?  Your home can be just cleaned, everything in it's place and no one comes to visit.  Let your regular day to day life, that resembles a hurricane, take over and be sure there will be a knock on the door.  

Monday morning I get a phone call.  It happens to be the gas company~they need to come back and test the work they did here on Saturday.  Ok~I thought I would have a few minutes to get things organized and moved before he came.  Nope~he's right outside the door.  He happened to be working in the neighborhood.   With no time to spare I had to let him in. We are working hard on finishing our school work for the year here.  Things were chaotic at best but it only got worse. There were all kinds of things jammed back where he had to work.  His way was completely blocked and he was none to happy about that.  There were the usual "thank you, mam" and "it's alright, mam" while I apologize profusely for this messy clutter, but his eyes told a different story.  I really believe he was thinking~Please get me out of here!!   Got that all out of the way and came upstairs. The dog decides she wants to play with the nice gas man and goes downstairs.  I have to drag her back upstairs.  Finally, back upstairs I try to get the kids back on track with school work.  I can handle this small distraction.  We'll be fine~or so I thought.  While reaching for my daughter's book at the same time she does, my whole extra large, just filled coffee mug tips over. Coffee everywhere~dripping off books, papers, onto chairs, the floor, splattering the curtain. Won't you guess it~while the melee of trying to contain it and clean it up is happening~the gas guy has to walk right through that area. He tries to make it to the front door and leave but somehow through all of this the coat rack got moved~I'm thinking it was gremlins~and his big bag of tools gets caught on it.  It's tipping over and almost hitting him on the head.   I think he left heaving a great sigh of relief.  I think we need a bigger house with a school room.  

AAAAHHHHHHHHHHH! just another one of those happy homeschool days. LOL~This maybe why some people think homeschoolers are weird.  I am sorry to all my fellow homeschoolers out there.  I never meant to add to the "homeschooers are weird " value permeating everyday society.  

Why is it that no one visits when the house is clean and we are having a good day?!

I would love to read more stories of those who have been in this same predicament. Please do share~I don't want to think I am all alone in this.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Gone FIshing

One of the homeschool moms in our group set up a wonderful field trip with the local Department of Environmental Management.  We were able to go fishing as a group at the Carolina Trout Hatchery.  It was fun.  Our son says he would like to go fishing and hubby is not a fishing man.  This was ideal because they provided everything.  When we started out early in the morning it was cloudy and beginning to rain.  During the ride it was pouring~it didn't look to promising. Once we got there the rain did hold off.  

Ds standing with the totem pole at the entrance to the hatchery.  You can see the trout raceways behind him.

Ds did enjoy fishing but dad had to do all the dirty work~baiting the hook with slimy worms and taking the fish off were not his thing.  I guess he didn't want to get those little artists hands tarnished.

Here are the boys after they cast out the first line~patiently waiting.

The first catch.

After the first one they were all jumping on that hook.  He caught three more.  No sooner did he think he was on a roll when the fish got wise and started stealing the bait.  It didn't matter how well my husband hooked that worm the fish were stealing them left and right.
After about six or seven times of losing their bait with no catch, the novelty wore off.  It was quite cold so we headed to the car to eat our lunch and head for home.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Mother's Day Gifts

I was brave this Mother's day and decided I would make my mom's gifts.  I love to sew but am new at it.  I was nervous that I would end up making a mistake and not being able to correct and figured I would get a gift card if that happened.  I found the most fabulous book~ Bend the Rules Sewing at the library and was thrilled to see the pattern for this bag in it.  My mom loves bags and I thought this was one she would like to have.  I got busy sewing and carefully reading and rereading the pattern.  The instructions were great and the pattern pictures were so helpful.  I was so happy with how it came out.

I love the pleats and the topstitching.  It gives the bag such a nice finishing look.

I divided the pocket and made two.  I know my mom likes alot of pockets. 

This is the card I made for her.

I saw this adorable apron pattern on My Byrd House and gave it a try.  I think this is a great idea.  I did not follow the tutorial completely but loved the idea of adding the ruffle and waistband in a contrasting colorful fabric.

My mom was very happy with her gift.

My mother in law is in a nursing home and we usually just buy her things as the need comes up.  I didn't want to go visit her empty handed on Mother's day.  There isn't alot of space in the room she shares so I wanted to bring her just a small vase of flowers and a card to let her know we are thinking of her.  I made her the card above and found this great idea at One Pretty Thing.  (I absolutely love this site!!)  Once the bottle was covered with jute I went to my backyard and cut some lilacs from my bushes.  Filled the bottle and it looked great.

I loved all these ideas and had so much fun making each one.  The moms loved them and it made me even happier.  All of these ideas were frugal, too.  I didn't have to buy anything, actually I bought thread.  I just went digging through my stash until I found something that would work.  

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Wishing all the mom's a Happy Mother's Day!!


Thursday, May 7, 2009

Missed a Week

It's seems like I've missed a week somewhere.  Things have been so busy here that I can hardly catch my breath.  The homeschool convention was absolutely wonderful.  I was so blessed to attend some sessions with Linda Kane.  I had not heard of her before the convention and just happened to choose a session she had on unlocking your child's potential.  It was amazing because she seem to be describing my son exactly.  She is a neurodevelopmentalist and was explaining how we sometimes miss some of the most basic building blocks in our brains and they effect us forever.  My son is legally bling in one eye and struggles with some areas of schooling. She shared great ideas and techniques to try to restore some of the sight in his eye and also build the most basic functions.  I was thrilled to learn ways that I can help my son and bring some vision back to his eye.

It has been a busy time after the convention.  We are working on hard on school work~trying to get everything done by the end of this month.  We do have some great field trips lined up.  We were able to go fishing at a trout hatchery with our homeschool group last Friday.  

I have finished crocheting more mesh bags.  I have two completed and a third one started.  I am going to line that one and give it different handles so it can be used as a purse.  I'll post pictures when they are done.  I finished an apron for a clothespin apron swap.  I was so pleased with how it came out.  It was a little late and in my haste to get it in the mail I forgot to take a picture.  I hope my partner Carrie has a chance to post a picture of it when she gets it.  Mother's day is coming so quickly.  I found a great purse in Bend the Rules Sewing and I just had to try and make it for my mom.  I have never sewn anything like this but it's coming along well and I hope to finish it tonight.   My mom loves purses and I figured this would make a great gift.  I need to finish it and start working on an apron for her.  Those will be her gifts and I think she will love both.  

The garden enclosure is now complete.  I have lettuce, kale, spinach and beans in the ground already.  It took a couple of hours one day but I was able to finally get them all planted.  I need to get more compost and garden soil.  I have corn, tomatoes, peppers, squash, cucumbers, melons, and gourds still in the green house waiting until the nights are a bit warmer and then I can plant them.
I can't wait until things slow down a bit.  I miss visiting everyone in blog land.  Time has been flying by.  I hope you are all enjoying spring. 

I promise to have some pictures of what I've made in my next post.