Creativity Station

If you follow me on instagram or if you follow along here.  You might remember that I had an impromptu coloring session with my little boys last week.  They enjoyed it so much that I didn’t want to put away our supplies.  But….I also didn’t want all that spread out all over my kitchen table everyday.  

I left it out but I had my eye out for something different to store supplies in. While cleaning out my dreaded craft closet I came across this.

It was originally meant for a utensil holder.  I had used it in my kitchen for years to hold note pads and pens by the phone.  I am gradually changing the color scheme in the kitchen (and I never really need to take messages by the phone), so out it went.  

As I looked at it I decided it would be perfect to hold creative supplies and it would be small and cute. But…not in the red.  So, I found some spray paint in my newly organized garage, along with my favorite spray paint nozzle, and I went to work.

I have to confess – I stink at spray painting.  I don’t have a ton of experience, and I am not patient.  I want to be done – I want to see the finished project, so I generally end up with some drips and runs here and there.  Lucky for me, this time they aren’t too visible (if you don’t look too close).  

After it was dry (barely – again, very impatient) I grabbed my handy dandy chalkboard vinyl and added a label to the front.

Then I began to fill it up with the necessities – crayons, markers, and newly sharpened colored pencils in all the colors of the rainbow and then some.  I also printed off some more coloring sheets from here.  Really neat site with free printable coloring sheets in lots of different themes. The boys surprised me by liking the word art. 
I had printed those for myself and some abstract stuff I thought the boys would like, but they went straight for the words.  What do you know?!?  So, I printed several more word art pics.

I can’t wait to see if they are attracted to color again soon :).  I think things like art and music are very important for children of all ages – they use their left brain the majority of the day, it’s good to exercise the right side as well!!

Blessings to you and yours!!  I hope you have a second to do something creative today 🙂

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Insta-Friday {Aug 23rd}

Happy to have you here!!  
Have I told you how much I like pictures??
I am thankful for my camera on my phone, because unlike my big bulky camera, my phone is always with me to catch the lovely things of daily life.  
Do you instagram??  If you don’t, you should 🙂  Want to follow along??  I am denisegwood

Here is a view of my week in pictures via instagram 🙂

I have been a crazy person about decluttering and organizing all summer.  And, finally my kids are catching the bug…even my teenage daughter

an idea she found on pinterest…we’ll see how long it lasts ;).

I have been whining struggling with the thought of my first-born baby starting his senior year.

This is the picture that I couldn’t get out of my head the night before school started.  It was his first day of kindergarten.  He was so excited, so ready.  Just like now – but, I wasn’t, just like now.
The first day of school 🙂  I love these signs that Jen at Tatertots and Jello created – aren’t they cute??

One more then and now.  Walking down memory lane is fun, and I am embracing the change.  Going to enjoy every last second!!

While I was cleaning out my craft closet I discovered a tub of crayons and markers and got the itch to color.

Do you ever get the urge to color?  I love the look and smell 🙂 of new crayons!!  I was surprised (well maybe not) at how many of my adult friends said YES they loved to color!!  Fun times!  Maybe I need to have some girlfriends over for a coloring party :).

Lucky for me the boys wanted to join me 🙂
The completed (almost) projects!!  

Oh, and an update on the closet – I did get it cleaned up and straightened up.  This was a $0 project – meaning I used storage I already had.  I still want to label everything and I have an idea to add another shelf with some scrap wood we have, but that requires hubby help.  Here’s an after of the cleaned up closet.  Mission accomplished!!  Let me just tell there was a moment in the process that I thought this wasn’t possible…
I hope you had a blessed week and hoping you have a great weekend as well!!

life rearranged
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What To Do Next? {Making a Plan}

So yesterday…kids all went back to school, hubby went to work, and I was left alone with my thoughts.  Let me tell you folks, that’s not a good place for me. My thoughts take me to scary places.  I think I was more anxious for my kids first days then they were!!  Lunch with hubby helped a lot.  He gets me.  He knows how to redirect my thoughts and calm my crazies.  I love that man.  Anywho, everyone had a great day!!  

6th grade, Sophomore, 5th grade, Senior – crazy

I’m so thankful and God is so good.  Sweet friends called and texted and facebooked me to check on me and it was wonderful – if that was you – thanks, it helped this momma’s aching heart.  I have been pushing back against time and life as it marches right past me, and I’m done.  I don’t want to miss a second because I’m whining about how fast it is passing me by.  (Don’t get me wrong – I will have a moment (or a day) here and there when I’m whining again;)).  My kids are growing up and things are fun and exciting right now, so I’m jumping on board!  
So, now that the kids are back at school, and I’m not working outside the home anymore I have to make a plan (for those days when I can’t decide what to do).  I decided to revisit my goal list for the year and see how things were coming.  

#1 on my list is De-cluttering – everything!! – working on it and getting there, really only two closets left (oh and the attic…)!!  See progress garage, laundry room, more garage, more

#2 Organizing – everything – working on it and getting there, as I said above only two closets left (and the attic…)!!  See progress kitchen, garage, laundry room, more garage

#3 Kitchen redo – including decluttering, organizing and updating (hopefully)

#4 Redo Craft closet

#5 Finish doors in hall – painting and molding – painting done

#6 Garage redo – clean out, organize, blah, blah, blah – Done!!  – see the completed project here

#7 Kids bathroom update

#8 Backyard landscaping – making it a more usable space – not good – puppy – progress here, and here

#9 Fireplace update

#10 Finish Master bath update

#11 Master closet update

So, there ya go.  Some progress made on the smaller, less costly stuff.  I am working with my budget manager (hubby) to see what big project we can tackle this year.  It’s between the kitchen or a bathroom.  I really want to do the kitchen, but the countertops are really holding me back – that will be the biggest expense and I don’t know if we can swing that amongst the senior year expenses :).

Today I am tackling the craft closet – the decluttering part that is.  I’ve told you that as I have been organizing I have been piling in other areas.  This closet is scary folks – I instructed my husband to NOT open the door.  But, I have to open the door to get started so….here it is

I KNOW RIGHT!!  That’s a little embarrassing, but the best thing about a before picture this bad is that it makes the after picture look phenomenal!!  The worst part is, and my biggest motivator, all of my craft stuff is in there somewhere, which means I can’t do any fun projects until it gets cleared out.  Better get to work!!  
Blessings and love to you all!!  Thanks for reading along 🙂
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Making Back to School a Little Easier

My kiddos start back to school tomorrow!!  (There may or may not be some happy dancing going on up in here around 8:30 am tomorrow – and that would be me and my hubby dancin’ :)).  Maybe your kids have already started back to school, or maybe you’re still on the countdown.  Either way I thought I would share with you today some of the things we have been doing the past few days in preparation for the new school year.  
The number one thing I dislike most about school starting (well, maybe #2 next to getting up early) is making lunches.  We pack lunches for our kids because there are four of them and we do not have a money tree in the back yard.  Last spring I started making bags of snacks up a week ahead of time.  I did this for two reasons – 1) an attempt to make lunch preparation easier in the morning – which it did and 2) if I didn’t bag the snacks up the kids would eat them at other times and there would be nothing left for lunch the last few days, and our grocery budget would be spent!!

So, I pulled out these containers to store the bags in.  When I labeled my baking supplies I also labeled these.

One for crunchy and one for sweet.  No, these aren’t the healthiest options for lunch and I am working on that, but for now this is what we got.
I also took a couple of minutes to clean the landing area – our entryway/mudroom.  Now it is ready for backpacks and such!!

When I was de-cluttering my entryway closet, I showed you my tower o’ drawers, and my school/office supply storage – easy access and quick put-away is the goal here. There is so much paper that comes in this house it is ridiculous, so it is good for me to have a system.  When those weekly folders come in I sort through and pick out the good stuff which goes in their drawer, and all the other stuff goes in the recycling bin.  And, of course when the bigger kids decide to share with me something important from school…it goes in their drawer as well.  {sigh}

I also re-organized our desk, and cleared out old calendars and out-dated papers. I also found ways to make the things my kids are always asking me for easily visible and accessible, so maybe they will stop asking me. {ha}  

So, backpacks are packed, outfits are picked out, lunch supplies are ready, and alarm clocks are set.  Here’s to a great school year!! 
What have you done to make the transition from summer to school a little easier? I would love to hear your ideas!!  🙂

Blessings all around!!

Linking up with Jen at I Heart Organizing

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Insta-Friday {Aug 16th}

Sorry for being MIA for the past week or so.  I don’t have a glamorous excuse really.  Getting kids ready for back to school, and spending a lot of time doing nothing.  I have to admit I’ve been in a weird funk for several days.  I’m over summer and ready for school to start so there will be some sort of order in this house – a schedule, a routine, a purpose.  However, I have mixed feelings – cuz truly I enjoy sleeping in as much as my kids do, (and honestly I just got my little boys to understand what it means to sleep in) and because I know as soon as school starts, I will blink and it will be over and I will be faced with graduation and college move in and so on….

But, whether I like it or not, time marches on.  So, I’m getting of the couch and getting things in order and ready to go.  (School starts Tuesday!)  

I’m sharing about three weeks of insta-photos to catch-up 🙂

All the other kiddos were off doing other activities on this day – and I found myself with some very hard to find one-on-one time with my youngest.  So, we went to his favorite place – the zoo!!
We have a cool new exhibit at our zoo where you can touch stingrays!!  Really awesome – there are also small sharks swimming around in here :).

Giraffes are his favorite animal, and we have missed feeding them every time we have come since they started this.  So, we made certain we got to feed them!!  He was beaming!!  It was truly a GREAT day!!

Our third kiddo off to his first youth activity at church.  Seems strange that I am more ready for him to start middle school than I am for him to start in the youth group.  He’s ready, but I’m not quite.

Ya, the other thing I’m sooo not ready for – my girlie got her permit.  Ugh!!

I have been organizing the house all summer.  The other day my oldest said “is my room next?”  When a 17 year old asks you to help him clean and organize his room you say “yes”.  So, we did.  Man, he is crafty at hiding junk!!

Then, there was this.  Walking the halls of middle school with this kiddo.  He’s just still a little guy – how is this possible??  Dad tried to help him feel better about opening the lock on his locker – you know this is a big deal.  We walked his schedule and assured him that he would get lost, and that it would be ok ;).

I have been cooking a lot this summer!!  Yay me!!  This is one of family favorites, passed on from a friend – Poppy Seed Chicken – easy and super yummy!!

Sibling love y’all, it rarely happens, especially this far into the summer, so I had to snap a pic.

My little man decided he wanted to help me cook.  Yes!!  Love it!!

You can follow along daily on Instagram here.

I will be spending the weekend getting the last few things ready for school and sucking the last few fun, relaxing moments out of summer.

Hope your weekend is blessed!!

life rearranged
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