Odds and Ends Storage

Well the garage project is creeping along like a snail.  But, I am surprisingly ok with that.  Not sure my hubby appreciates the huge mess that is sitting in the garage during the project, but I think he sees the big picture (maybe).  Anyway, as I am waiting for paint to dry I decided to search out some things that might need some better storage.  Things that we don’t use very often tend to get covered in Oklahoma dirt, or cat hair from our 13 year old kitty.  So….I tend to cover things in black trash bags – which means I have several black bags with who knows what in them.  Not.  Good.  So, I started with a couple of things and measured and went to walmart for some storage tubs.  First up, the camping stuff – we have camped once outside the backyard but hey, we have this huge tent and a couple of air mattresses the kids need from time to time.  But, again, they just collect dust and hair.  So, they went in this nice sized tub.

I bought this long (longest I could find) flat under-the-bed tub for our boogie boards.  

Which, since we live in a land-locked state, we hardly ever use, but still, we have them.  

However they wouldn’t fit – tub not long enough – 🙁 bummer, I was hopeful.  So I moved on to the life jackets.  

We go to the lake more often then we camp or boogie board, but still not often enough for us to need these super accessible.  And they were a perfect fit with room for at least one more, which is good because we need one more – silly kids keep growing.  

Now they will stack and with the CLEAR TUBS I can see what is in them!!
This in my #1 recommendation – always CLEAR TUBS.  No point if you can’t see what’s in the tub.  Yes you can label it, but for me, the label always seems to be un-visible (is that a word??), and I am a very visual person, so I like to be able to find things at first glance.  Donate all your non-clear tubs. 🙂

Today I am working on going through my collection of paint.  Paring down and possibly finding a better storage solution.  Thinking of something like what I found here from Jen at iheart organizing, and here from Cassie at Hi Sugarplum.  Hoping to get at least a little bit done this weekend and report back on Monday 🙂
Have a blessing-filled weekend friends!!

Linking up with Aimee here
It's Overflowing
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Garage of Doom

Okay weird title I know, but seriously.  My garage….

I have organized, piled things, stacked, things, and stashed things for so long that the walls are beginning to close in.  Also, our garage is peach….that’s how we inherited it and to be honest I’ve just been too lazy to care.  But, man does it show dirt easily!!

Okay so Friday I got a crazy notion to work on the space again – much to my husband’s excitement.  This is where it began:

Not bad I know – you can see the floor, you can get one car in there.  But do you see how tall all the piles are and how many piles there are.  There is not one empty corner.

So, here is what happened next….

Then, we decided to take it a step further….

See, there were a couple of particle board shelved that were done for.  They had gotten wet once and had rotted from the inside out.  So, those needed to come out and be replaced.  Which led to – well, then we are going to have to paint (bye-bye peach), and so then we will need to unload ALL the shelves.

Since I have no desire to spend a lot of (or any) money on a garage re-do, we searched through some paint we already had and settled on this color for the shelves, and handed the kids paint brushes :).  They did a pretty good job, so I said go ahead and paint the wall.  Well….since then mama has decided that might be a little too much blue.

So, I am working on plan B for the rest of the walls, but I am rather liking the brightness of the shelves.  This project is going to take a while, and this time I am taking my time so maybe I can get it right (whatever that means).  Wish me luck.  I have a whole board on my pinterest page dedicated to garage organization.  Check it out – there are some great ideas out there!!

Working on some regular household stuff today.  Hope to be back in a couple of days with another progress report.

Linking up here with Ruth at Living Well Spending Less
Thrifty Thursday Linky Party at LivingWellSpendingLess.com!

and with Jen at tatertots&jello

{On another note – after many hours – this non-computer-savvy blogger added some cute new buttons to her side-bar – some new ways to keep up with what’s going on in our world :)}

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Home Blessed Home

I am home from my 13 day trip in a bus with 41 teenagers and 9 other sponsors.  Can I just say that I have 50 new best friends!!  I knew several of these people before we embarked on this journey, but some I did not.  I fell in love with each and everyone of them over these 13 days!!

We had lots of fun amidst watching God move through us in the hearts of so many young people.  All along our journey to and from New York City we stopped in various juvenile detention center to share the message of the gospel through song.  (And when I say “we” I mean our amazingly talented kids.)  Then the simple truth of the gospel was shared by our fearless leader, and we watched time after time as God changed lives.

Let me just say that it is amazing to FEEL the Holy Spirit come down in these places of darkness and despair.

We were not able to take pictures in the detention centers, so the photos I have are of the fun things 🙂

I have A. Lot. Of. Photos.  So, rather than make this a super long post of too many pictures, I have decided to just share those I posted on Instagram (plus a couple extra of me and my biggens :)).

Enjoy!!  I am hoping that my head will clear up and the cloud of exhaustion will lift soon.  I’m getting old, and that many days of busyness can really wear on a girl.
First site of Lady Liberty.
This is as close as we could get to Carlo’s Bake Shop – wait too long, schedule to keep.
Nighttime in New York – picture from the Staten Island Ferry.
Times Square!!
My first New York hot dog – YUM!!
Grand Central Station (aren’t they cute:) – my heart)
Rockefeller Plaza.
Phantom of The Opera on BROADWAY!!
Central Park – it’s impossible to take a bad picture in this place.
Coney Island!  I LOVE the beach – it is my happy place!!  (I dislike selfies very much.)
Niagara Falls – again, impossible to take a bad picture.
Me and my big boy – we got a little wet near The Falls 🙂
The road home was long….this was just the end of the journey – the light at the end of the tunnel. 
 So blessed to share this journey with these two!!

The travel fog is starting to lift, hoping to see some sort of routine next week.
Blessings to you!!
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Party Time – Baby Shower Style

This last weekend I was blessed to hold a double shower for a couple of friends.  The best part was that one is having a boy and one had a girl!!  So I got to play around with decorating with pink and blue.  Once again, I headed to pinterest for inspiration and this is what I came up with.  

Again, simple decor – paper goods from dollar tree.  Home made tissue-paper flowers are kind of my go-to decor when it needs to be pretty and soft (see my Valentine’s decor here).

The popcorn buckets I made by using a die-cut.  I added just a little strip of paper to give it a little something.  

In the popcorn buckets is a yummy treat.  

Pastel m&ms
Coated in White Chocolate

Really just play around with the amounts.  I popped the popcorn first and just added the peanuts and m&ms until I thought there was enough – no wrong in this.  Then I melted a bag of white chocolate baking chips and poured it over the mixture – toss well and then spread onto a baking sheet covered with parchment paper.  The parchment paper is key, and one of my new favorite things.  (I can’t believe I haven’t discovered it before this year.)  It makes it super easy to break up the coated popcorn when the chocolate has cooled and everything has hardened. Yummy goodness.


I was going back and forth between doing this cute cake (pinterest inspired), or making a strawberry trifle.  I was really wanting some strawberries, but the cake was so cute.  So I opted for the cake, and strawberries dipped in white chocolate!!

For the strawberries, I also used a bag of white chocolate baking chips.  Half colored with blue candy melts, and half colored with pink (left over from decorating the cake – yes that is what those dots are :)).  Again, cover your plate/baking sheet with parchment paper to make it easy to remove the strawberries when the chocolate has hardened.  

Then for my final tip today.  The punch.  Several years ago I went to a wedding shower hosted by some ladies at church and there was the most delicious punch I had ever tasted.  I was curious and asked how she made it.  I could not remember the recipe months later when I needed it of course, but what I did remember is that there was NO ICE CREAM in it!!  I do not like making punch with ice cream – soooo messy.  So, I asked again for the recipe and have been using it ever since with rave reviews!!

So…here it is – fill your punch bowl with ice, pour in a 2liter bottle of ginger ale.  In a small pitcher or bowl dilute a package of crystal lite drink mix (any flavor works – a couple of my favorites is peach tea, and raspberry ice) in hot water – just about two cups (no need to measure).  Then add this to your punch bowl mixture and stir.  Easy peasy and sooo yummy!!  (And no ice cream:)).

I had so much fun putting this together.  It has been a few years since I’ve hosted a baby shower!!

This may be my final post for a couple of weeks (unless I squeeze one in the next few days).  I’m getting ready to head out on a mission trip to New York with our church’s high school choir.  I’m sooo excited – I have never been to New York, and I haven’t been on a mission trip in several years.  The kids will be singing at several different locations in New York and on the way (we are taking a bus…), including several juvenile detention centers.  Please pray for hearts and lives to be changed for Jesus.  Pray also for our kids hearts to be changed as they learn to minister and share Christ.

Blessings to you and yours!!
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Party Time-Camping Birthday

I’m playing a little catch-up today.  I really wanted to share with you some of the fun we had a month ago with my son Gavin’s birthday party, and also some fun I had this weekend at a baby shower I hosted.  So, first I will share the birthday party today and the baby shower tomorrow.  As I shared here my baby turned 10.  Since we only do friend parties on “big birthdays” (10, 13, 16, 18) he was super excited and had all kinds of ideas but then chose a sleep-over.  The original plan included pitching a tent in the back yard for sleeping but it was a little too chilly for that.  But, I went with the camping theme anyway.  Here are a few photos – all pinterest inspired – because I don’t have any original ideas anymore 😉

Simple basic decorations.
A combination of a couple of cakes I found on pinterest.  I love the blaze that the candles made when they were lit – looked like a real campfire!!  The trees were made by covering upside-down sugar cones with icing (star tip), the tent was graham crackers covered with icing, and the rocks were pretzels.  My little photo bomber down there helped with the writing – she has a much steadier hand than I do.
  Then, on to the fun – have you seen this game – shower cap+shaving cream+puff cheetos.  Perfect for 9 and 10yr old boys.  If I did it again I would probably use canned whipped cream instead of shaving cream.  A couple of boys had the shaving cream falling off their head into their face.  
My attempt at glow-in-the-dark bowling.  Fun, but the only problem was you really need a glowing ball too 🙂
We got creative and used the gas grill to make smores (don’t have a fire pit).

Even Dad got in on the fun 🙂

Then there was movie watching and attempted sleeping – although after all the sugar I fed them they had a little bit of a hard time with that.  

Everyone had tons of – most important the birthday boy thought it was great!!

Come back tomorrow and see the fun from the baby shower 🙂

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