Friday, May 29, 2015

Homeschool Highlight - Summer Baseball Our Way

   Last week we started up yet again what has become a Summer tradition for us. This is our 6th year of organizing baseball get-togethers for the homeschool community in this area.

 It all started the year that Aaron was 5 and Jonathan 7 and they were interested in baseball. So Ken thought we should sign them up to play. That was what most people did - wasn't it?  So we signed them up. The schedule ended up being so that I needed to take them 4 mornings a week for 6 or so weeks. It took a large chunk of my morning (as I was not inclined to just drop them off - I had seen one poor boy get dropped off and then it started raining hard and they cancelled and he didn't know what to do - that was not going to happen to my boys.) and it was cold pretty much the whole time - we do live in Northern MN after all and it was fairly early mornings in June and July. Also it was gardening time - this was taking valuable gardening time. The other thing - it was during the day so Ken was at work. He did take off time some to take Jonathan to some games but mostly it was me going out with all the kids.

   I know that all sounds pretty complaining of me - and it is. I could have totally made it work if I felt it was really important, but I didn't. So I decided there must be a better way - at least a better way for my family - obviously the normal method works for many people. So I thought about it and thought why not have a once a week (more manageable for us) baseball time that would be done in the evening so those dads that are really interested can come. We could invite others from our homeschool community and the parents could be the coaches/pitchers. We would have it all summer so there would still be a lot of opportunities for playing but it wouldn't be so overwhelming.
A picture of kids in the dug-out a few years back.
We tried it and it worked! We reserved a field at our local high school (that is free) and invited others to come every Thursday evening unless it is raining (though we have been known to play in a little rain).  Kids from 5 and up (originally we stopped at 13 and teenagers could play in another field if desired but now we allow the older kids too but do often split it up according to age) can play. We divide into teams each time and don't require that people come every week - but many do for the most part. We get together a little before 6:30 and allow the kids some batting practice and then usually get a game or so going around 6:45 pm. We usually play until after 8 pm. At that point we have a snack time - everybody brings something to share.

  We have once in a while had a very small crowd and the kids really get to bat a lot, but generally we have good sized gatherings and have enough kids to split into two different age groups on two different fields. The most we have had was around 60 kids. This year so far we are running between 30 and 40 kids playing (and lots of little ones running around outside) - as the summer goes on it will probably get bigger. For the smaller kids we use a soft baseball so that nobody gets hurt (at least not to badly).

  Besides the fun that the kids have playing baseball it has also been a very fun way to build friendships in our homeschool community. Many people (probably especially the moms) seem to like that aspect of it most. It has been a big blessing in our life and others have told us it has been for them as well. I am so grateful that we were able to figure out something that would work for us.

  That is one of the things that homeschooling can help you to realize - just because it seems like everybody is doing something doesn't mean it is right for you too. It is important to truly consider what is best for your family. Don't be afraid to step outside the norm and do what works best for you - you might find that others will really appreciate your leadership in that way.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

New Life for an Old Broom

 If you have been hanging out around here very long you probably have started to realize that I am not to fond of throwing things away. I don't like buying new either. My preference is to make things last just as long as possible. I love this saying....
This week we (Jonathan that is - at my direction) were able to give new life to an old broom and that made me pretty happy so I thought I would share it with you. At our house now with all sweepable flowers we have decided it works best to have a broom available upstairs and downstairs. So we did buy a new broom so that we would have two. Shortly after doing that the handle on our old broom broke.

Our broom was truly pretty old but it was still working so I was sad that the handle had broken. Jonathan thought that he could make a new handle though. So that is what he did. He got a small tree/piece of brush from outside and carved it down and made it the right size and then attached it to the brush part. It works just great.

Maybe we can get a few more years out of this broom. I was using recently and thought about how much more I enjoy using this broom that has been fixed up and has a handmade handle than I do using one that I went out and just purchased. I truly love handmade things and I also truly love getting the full use out of something and not being wasteful. I find this sort of activity very satisfying.

  Do you like to fix things up or repurpose things?

Monday, May 25, 2015

Chivalry Isn't Dead

  Our day yesterday went a little differently than expected but left me feeling grateful for the community that we live in and grateful that chivalry is not dead - at least not around here. I thought it would be fun to share the story with you....

  After church the girls and I along with my niece Heidi headed to Menards to pick up some things we needed. (Ken had gone to his office and the boys were spending the afternoon with my brother.) In the store we quickly found the gloves that I needed and then headed back to get the mortar that I needed to finish up my rock project. When we were back at the mortar the younger girls noticed a man from our church a little ways off and went over to say "Hi", meanwhile Mara and I started to team lift the 80 lb bags of mortar into the cart. I can lift them by myself but going down into something or up from something can be challenging and it just seemed safer to work on it together. Darrell saw what we were doing and quickly came over to finish loading them for us. So nice. Then when he was done with that an elderly man came by and wondered if he could help him put something heavy into his cart too.

  We then went and checked out and headed to the van. Mara and I figured that we would do the team lifting again but Darrell happened to be parked near us and spotted us again and came over to help unload the cart too. Then he headed back to his car.

  After unloading everything I noticed that the back of the van was really sinking especially on the side where the mortar was. Well that kind of made sense but it seemed a little extreme as I had only gotten a few bags and I have had far more in there before. But I decided I should probably rearrange things anyway. So I did that but it still didn't help the situation. Then I thought I should probably check out the tire. Oh dear! The tire was flat. Not just low but really flat. I could see a gas station (with air) from where we were parked but it didn't seem like a good idea to drive on that flat of a tire even that far.

  So changing a tire seemed like the next course of action after we unloaded all the weight in the back of the van which Mara and I did. I have changed tires before (not that often, but Jonathan and I had worked together last summer to do one on the van so I kind of knew how the van situation worked) and so I wasn't that worried about getting the job done. So I proceeded to get everything out and figured out. At first I wasn't sure I knew how to work the jack but I got that figured out but then wasn't quite sure where to actually put the jack. I was studying on that when the guy parked next to me asked if I would like some help. I said that I would probably be fine but if he would be willing to point out where the jack should go I would appreciate it. He did that (he wasn't so sure at first either as newer vehicles seem to have a lot more plastic) but then he was like "Are you sure you don't want more help?". I said - "Well if you really want to...."

  So this young guy who I didn't know plopped down on the ground and got to work at jacking up the van and changing my tire.

   Meanwhile another guy came over to check on us but when he saw that we were being assisted went on his way. Then 2 different families that we knew came by - one of them stopping to make sure everything was going fine. And then Darrell and family came driving by again too. Though we already had help it was so nice to live in a community of this size where if I really needed assistance I could have had it in abundance.

  When the guy was done jacking it up (that was the part that took the most time) and was actually changing the tire another guy drove up nearby and saw that we were using one of those little wrenches that come with the van and offered the loan of his nice X shaped wrench instead. So we graciously accepted.

  Anyway the young guy finished up the job and I thanked him and I did offer him some money (I debated on doing that - not that I didn't appreciate it but somehow offering money somehow seems to cheapen the good deed that he did - does that make sense? I am very torn on what is the right thing to do in that case) anyway - he declined my offer of money but accepted my thanks and gave me advice to go make sure the spare had plenty of air in it before going much farther.

   Anyway what could have been an unpleasant experience was instead one that left me with a very grateful feeling of how kind most people are and how blessed I am to live in a place where that is so. Chivalry is indeed not dead - I was reminded of that several times that day. I imagine seeing four females dressed in skirts may have made them more aware of us possibly needing help but I think that they would have been gentlemen even if we would have been in work clothes.

  Have you had experiences that have reminded you that chivalry isn't dead?

 That evening when Jonathan got home his comment was - "Why did you have to have a flat tire when I wasn't there to help you!?" He would have enjoyed the whole process and I would have appreciated having him like I did last summer. I do hope that we can train our sons to be ready and willing to help others too.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Why I Believe The Church is Important

There are some who want to follow Christ but don't think that the church is important. I would disagree with that concept and here is why.....

Christ thinks it is important - He is the head of it.
"He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything." Colossians 1:18

"For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body." Ephesians 5:23

We need the other parts of the body - we aren't complete without them.
"For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another." Romans 12:4 & 5

"For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ. For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit. For the body is not one member, but many. If the foot says, "Because I am not a hand, I am not a part of the body," it is not for this reason any the less a part of the body. And if the ear says, "Because I am not an eye, I am not a part of the body," it is not for this reason any the less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole were hearing, where would the sense of smell be? But now God has placed the members, each one of them, in the body, just as He desired. If they were all one member, where would the body be? But now there are many members, but one body. And the eye cannot say to the hand, "I have no need of you"; or again the head to the feet, "I have no need of you." On the contrary, it is much truer that the members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary; and those members of the body which we deem less honorable, on these we bestow more abundant honor, and our less presentable members become much more presentable, whereas our more presentable members have no need of it. But God has so composed the body, giving more abundant honor to that member which lacked, so that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it. Now you are Christ's body, and individually members of it. And God has appointed in the church, first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, various kinds of tongues. All are not apostles, are they? All are not prophets, are they? All are not teachers, are they? All are not workers of miracles, are they? All do not have gifts of healings, do they? All do not speak with tongues, do they? All do not interpret, do they? But earnestly desire the greater gifts. And I show you a still more excellent way." 1 Corinthians12:12-31

We are to have unity (Be one) in the church.

"For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ. For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit." 1 Corinthians 12:12 & 13

"So that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it." 1 Corinthians 12:25-26

"Therefore, laying aside falsehood speak truth each one of you with his neighbor, for we are members of one another." Ephesians 4:25

When we read about the church - Christ's body everything seems to point at people getting together, working together being a part of one another. Not just Christians randomly - disjointedly doing God's work but rather Christians working together. I think that biblical teaching truly points toward not only being a part of the body of Christ made up of all Christians world wide through the ages but also a local congregation where we can work together and do God's work better than we could have be ourselves.

 I would love to hear your thoughts on the church.

Today's Progress on the House

  We are still busily working on the exterior of the house. We dreamed of getting the whole lower front of the house done today but that didn't happen. But we made progress so that was good. And we did have some excuses for lack of speed. Ken has the bug that I had earlier and so was working a little slower and I had to go deliver flowers for a wedding too.

   The picture above was taken this morning before we really got much work done.
 This was the state of the front entry way. Friday night I had put the rock up above the door but had not put mortar between the rock yet.
 I got the mortar in and more rock put up on the sides and also down right above the door. That section was pretty tricky because I had to hang some rock upside down with mortar with it. The rock actually stuck all right but I am still struggling to get all the mortar that I need up there. Thank-fully progress was made.

  We had lovely weather today. I actually was out in just a t-shirt and it has to be pretty warm for me to do that.
  Ken busily worked at siding (I did help him some with it before lunch too) and I worked on the rock.
 The look of our front entry is really changing. It will be fun when we get our steps done too.
 Does that entry look welcoming? I hope so!

10 pm and Ken was still hard at work. He did get that section done before he came in. Siding looks so much nicer than house wrap I think!


Tuesday, May 19, 2015

We Have Ducklings!

 We have 15 little ducklings at our place and they are super cute. Chicks are pretty cute too (and we have 60 plus of them here too) but Ducklings are just a bit more adorable than chicks. Especially with how they will follow the kids around. And their love for playing in puddles.
  We have a Mama duck named Gwendolyn which Megan got last Spring along with another duck but that duck was taken by some wild animal. Gwendolyn is an Indian Runner duck and was a yellow duckling.
 Some friends from church gave the boys a male Khaki Camel duck who they named Sir Francis Drake. He and Gwendolyn have gotten along wonderfully and follow each other around all the time. They do not like to be separated in the world of chickens that they are a part of. The kids love taking them for swims in the river which they seem to enjoy somewhat but quickly head home again after just a little time in the water.
 Daddy Drake is brown and every one of the 15 ducklings seems have taken after him. We are curious though if they will stand tall like their Indian runner Mama or stand more like their dad. So far it looks like they are going to be more like their Dad.
Gwendolyn has proven to be an excellent egg layer and Khaki Camels are supposed to be even better so we have high expectations for these ducklings.

   We are trying to be really careful and wash our hands carefully after handling them as we don't want to get any salmonella this year! (Megan seemed to have had a bought with it last year).

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Delight Yourself in the Lord

  I didn't manage to get a long post written today but I did want to share one of my favorite verses with you....

  "Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart." Psalm 37:4

What an encouragement that is!
A "fairy" circle of Mayflowers that I found at my parents.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Steadily Moving Along at Getting the Siding Up

 I don't think we will win any races at putting siding up but steadily we are getting the job done. We started on the East side of the house and have been working our way around, going as high as we feel comfortable and today we made it around to the North side (having hit the South and West already). Yeah! After we get everything done that we can easily and safely reach with ladders then we hope to rent some scaffolding and do the high areas. I was hoping that maybe we could do that this next weekend when we would have Memorial Day available for working too but we shall see.

   Ken has been diligently working even during rain as we have been having a lot of that lately. I am not complaining about rain though - we needed it and fire danger is much lower now!
 I have been dealing with sickness lately and so haven't been as big of help this weekend as I would have liked but I did get out there for a while today. The sunshine felt wonderful but I did not last so very long once the rain started.
I hope to have both energy and good weather to get the rocks finished soon too. It will come I know. I just need to be patient. We are enjoying seeing the house with siding. Getting that close to done has set us to dreaming about landscaping. There is always something to keep us busy!

  What did you do this weekend? Where you inside or out? What sort of weather have you been having lately?

Friday, May 15, 2015

Being Part of a Drama Production

      Renee Connell's photo.
        This past week our lives have been kind of taken over by a play that the kids were a part of at our homeschool co-op.  The production was last night. It went very well and we are so thankful to God for helping us through it. The play kind of took over our homeschool co-op this year but that was okay as we had decided to have a theme this year of fine arts. There was much time spent in rehearsing and then we spent time working on props and decorations and costumes as well.
        Ken Cobb's photo.
        Mara as the Evil Queen Morinda
        The play we did was called " The Tale of Two Kingdoms". It had a medieval setting and spoke of the battle between good and evil. 
         It was a great learning experience for our children. Mara loves drama and tried out for the part of the evil queen and she was able to get that part. She worked very hard at getting her lines memorized and really getting into her character. She also tried to encourage others in their roles. She also altered a dress that she had been loaned to make it work for the play, made herself a crown and sewed herself a cape. She also took it upon herself to write up character bios about each of the actors (she asked them for any ideas they had and then had fun adding to them) which we hung up for the audience to read along with pictures of them that she took at the dress rehearsals. She also made up a program and illustrated it (the pictures of the kingdoms). This play was a great way for Mara to use some of her creativity.

        Jonathan requested the role of being the sound man and he took that job very seriously. He enjoyed working together with another young man from our co-op. My brother has been training him to run the sound at church and he really enjoyed doing it for the play as well. He put a lot of effort into making sure everybody could be heard and that everything went smoothly. I was pretty proud of him. He also was a great help in putting the backdrop together for the play.  

        Aaron was the least interested in the play of our children but he did sing in the choir and was a knight in training and got to help with various prop work.

        Megan had 4 small parts which she very much enjoyed. She sang in the choir, was a town crier, picked flowers and was a messenger. She had 3 outfit changes and though that was pretty fun.

        This was a fun opportunity for our children to use some of the gifts that God has 
        given to them. It was fun seeing our whole homeschool co-op work together to put on a fairly big production.

        Here are some more photos from the play:
         The town criers
         The princes and the maid.
         Getting the castle tour.
         Aaron in his little time of sword fighting.
         The Princes having a meal brought to them by Ida the Matron.
         Greeting the people that came.
         Megan my cute town crier.
        Some of the actors and actresses.

    Thursday, May 14, 2015

    "Ethical" a Book Review and Giveaway


    We are faced with situations all the time where we need to make the decision whether we are going to be ethical or not. Being ethical is not just something we should think about when running a big business and deal with others. Stay-at-home moms, teens working at McDonalds, a retired person volunteering, those in full-time ministry -whoever you are - we face situations that involve ethics.

      I admit when I requested the book "Ethical" by Dr. Daniel Morris, I wanted to read it because I own a small business and I just thought it would be a good thing to think more about. But as I was reading through it I was reminded that ethics does not just have to do with business dealings but rather it is something that affects our whole life. In the book Dr. Morris defines ethics as: "The principles and regulations based on divine laws related to the practices, manners, and conduct of mankind in their relationships with each other, with reference to what is good and bad, and what affects the rights and well-being of others." 

     The book "Ethical" is very easy to read, only 75 pages long and has a lot of things to think about in it. He talks about the four fundamental principles of ethics: Humility, Responsibility, Respect and Protecting what is Important to God. He also uses many everyday examples to help us think about what the ethical response would have been. He also uses many scriptures to explain why he believes something is ethical or not. He shares some really good thoughts on how we treat things that we don't own, dealing with other Christians, finances, hospitality and proper behavior between people of the opposite sex. I think nearly everyone would find this book helpful in one way or another.

       I know some of the things I became convicted on were making sure that I make it to appointments on time (when we went to the dentist last week we were around 4 minutes late and they were waiting on us- that wasn't right for me to say yes to a 8 am time slot and then not be there on time), to make sure that we are super careful whenever we use something that belongs to somebody else and to make sure we leave any public places (such as a park or a church building) as good or better than we found them.

      I was convicted that I need to teach these things to my children more carefully as well. People are observing our actions each and every day and as an ambassador of Jesus Christ we need to live in a way that is ethical even it the very little things.

       There was only one little thing which I noticed to disagree with a bit and that was the elevation that he seemed to give to Pastors (and his use of the word pastor would be one that I would question as well as he seemed to be speaking of their being one pastor per church when the Bible gives us the example of having pastors/elders in plural) a little more authority than I think maybe the Bible does. I am referring to the time when Dr. Morris suggests that a Pastor would ask permission from the local pastor before visiting people in the congregation. I do agree with his thoughts that out of town people should be careful to encourage the congregation in submitting to their leaders (unless they are truly straying from the truth) rather than listening to and sympathizing with their complaints about a new pastor. But I think asking permission to visit is going a little far - just my thoughts.

      Beyond that one issue - and it is a very small one - I highly recommend this book. I think this subject is one that so many of us could do well to pay attention to. If you would like to buy a copy of this book it is available on Amazon.

     I am excited to be able to offer a giveaway of this book. They sent me a second copy of the book in order for me to give it away to one of you. As I said before this book is short and pretty easy to read and I think you will find it encouraging in your christian walk.

    If you would like to try to win.....

    • Leave a comment below.
    • Be sure to leave an e-mail address so that I can contact you should you be the winner.
    • I would love to hear in your comment about your thoughts on ethics. Have you faced any ethical situations lately? Have you considered teaching your children about ethics? Did you ever consider that leaving a mess in a church building bathroom to be an ethical situation before?
    This giveaway will end on May 21st at 10:00 pm. At that point a winner will be chosen randomly and notified so that I can get their mailing information to mail them the book.


    Sunday, May 10, 2015

    Tour of My Dream Kitchen

     Our kitchen is done, (though I do still have some things I would like to make to decorate it) and I feel super blessed! The kitchen is used very often in our house as we like to make pretty much all our meals from scratch plus we can and bake, make cheese and lots of other sorts of food prep that aren't considered normal anymore. We also make things such as deodorant, laundry soap and various craft projects which we like to do in the kitchen. So basically the kitchen is our main living area.

      I really was very happy in our last house but one thing that I did dream about occasionally was a bigger kitchen. Our kitchen was on the small side and not all that pretty (though it wasn't bad) but we made it work however occasionally I would dream about something nicer. Now I have that something nicer. I have truly been blessed with a dream kitchen.

    Here is the tour.....
     The North wall of the kitchen has the fridge, the cupboards with glass doors where we can keep some pretty dishes and a counter top area that we like to use for baking. We choose stainless steel appliances because we think they look nice but I do find that they do get fingerprint on them very easily. Oh well.
    view from the dining room
     One of the things that I had dreamed about, stemming from way back when I cleaned house for others when I was a teen, was having a kitchen with two sinks. We are finding this to be very handy and think we will find it even more so when we are bringing in large amounts of harvest to process. The island sink has just one bowl and the other one has two.

      An island was another item on my dream kitchen list. I had an island in one of our past homes and I really liked the way that kitchen worked.  I really love how spacious this is and how a bunch of people can be in it but yet we don't get in each other's way.
      A sink with a drainboard was an item on my dream kitchen list which many people found funny. "You want what?" This is in place of having a dishwasher which a lot of other people don't understand. We have had several dishwashers in the last couple of houses - one of them was a nice stainless steel one that we bought brand new - but none of them have worked very well. I don't want to use normal dishwasher soap because of the bad things in it so that may have led to the problem. But truly most people I know either fully rinse all their dishes ahead of time (which takes basically as much time as washing dishes) or they have issues with their dishwasher - with having to rewash a lot or with cloudy glasses or whatever. I just got tired of dealing with that and have found our new hand washing system to work MUCH better for us anyway.

       A sink with a drainboard was not such a simple item to find. In fact it was pretty hard. I talked to our plumber about it and he didn't even know what I was talking about so he had me talk to his wholesaler who he said could find anything. She acted like she hadn't heard of sinks with drainboards either but then did finally find one but it was super expensive (like $2000) and was really industrial looking. If we hadn't wanted an undermount sink it would have been easier but we did want an undermount. I finally found this sink on Amazon. It was more industrial than I had originally wanted but it would work. It still cost a bit at around $500 but much better than the other price we were quoted.

      A kitchen definitely is the most expensive room in the home with the cabinets, sinks, counters, appliances and such. Thankfully we will use it a lot and hopefully use it to help us save money.
     When I was looking at home pictures on Pinterest and various other sites I found myself drawn over and over again to rooms with lanterns. I decided I would like a lantern light fixture over the island. I found that when I went to shop for them that they weren't so very easy to find. Then I started looking at outdoor lighting and there were more lanterns there but still not a lot of hanging ones. Also the ones that I liked tended to be several hundred dollars. I did finally find this one for less than a hundred and though it wasn't what I had first envisioned I liked it. We were able to get a matching light fixture for over the sink. They have little metal leaves on them that I think are pretty.

     One of the things I wanted for my dream kitchen was cabinets that went all the way to the ceiling. I think it is kind of senseless to waste all the good storage space by having just open space above the cabinets. You can of course use that space for decorating but I have found that things can get really dusty and gross pretty fast and I don't like cleaning up there all the much so high cabinets made more sense to me. I do have to use a step stool for the top shelves but I just put things that I don't use all that often up there. It works fine.
    View from the entry from the garage.
     We choose Maple cabinets with a Brandywine finish. I liked the really simple style of doors (and found out that simple cabinet doors tend to cost more that the ones cut with all sorts of groves and such). We choose to have all solid wood cabinets (No pressed board that can put out bad fumes and fall apart in a few years) that did cost more but I think it was worth it for how much better it will last. Our cabinets have soft close doors which I think it pretty standard now (and pretty nice) but we didn't get many other bells or whistles. We did get a tray divider in one cupboard and a drawer divider for one drawer.
     I had seen a picture in a magazine (back when we were designing our house) of a kitchen with a long counter-top with three windows like these above them. I showed it to Ken and he really liked it. We did find out that the round windows end up (when you count in trim and all) quite a lot more but Ken thought it was worth it. In the picture above Ken was working outside getting the siding on around those windows.

     Because the windows are in a bump-out we have an extra big window ledge. I bought a piece of knotty alder ( to match the window trim - we had a hard time decided whether we should have put counter top there, maple to match the cabinets, oak to match the floor or knotty alder to match the window frames) and Ken installed it and I varnished it with a bunch of coats of Spar varnish. I love the way it looks and love being able to have a bunch of plants in my kitchen.

    We did decide to have a pull out trash area in one of the cabinets. I do like having the trash and a recycling bin very handy but yet out of sight.
    We have two appliance garages and I am quite fond of them. I don't care for the looks of the little appliances very much but like it that they can be easily accessible but stay out of sight in the appliance garages.
     This is our silverware tray divider. I debated on spending extra for this but am glad we did. I like they way I can fit so much more in this than I could using the plastic trays.
     I do love the view that I can enjoy while I wash dishes. It is especially beautiful now that everything is greening up.

      I have always thought it would be fun to have a kitchen decorated with cobalt blue and white. I love those colors. In the kitchens I have had so far that color scheme didn't work so well (the last two houses have had green counters) so I am pretty excited to be able to use it here.

    We have a couple of these bowls that were wedding gifts. We did get a few things in this color scheme for our wedding but most have broken (a cake pan and a couple more bowls like this) or worn out (hot pads and towels) but we are still enjoying these bowls.
     The little planted on the window sill was a gift from many years ago from my friend Becky. The box was made by one of the kids and painted by me.
     I recently got some blue checked fabric from a friend and had fun adding some little touches of blue and white with that.
     Our last cod liver oil came in a lovely blue bottle. A Juneberry blossom is looking lovely in it. The little doily I made a long time ago.
      These bowls are a fairly recent find at an antique store. We actually needed some more bowls and I was so delighted to find these. I think they are so pretty (I love the color!) and they also have fun patriotic pictures on them. The one is of George Washington at Mt Vernon and the other is Betsy Ross and the flag.

     Last summer the kids and I had fun make some pottery and I painted several pieces blue. My friend Emily gave my the pretty white bowl with blue flowers on it - something she had picked up in India. On the lower shelf the little blue bowl was one we bought while in the Florida Keys at a potter's place. The big bowl was made locally. The next pot I picked up second hand. I really like hand made pottery.

      The little blue and white handle-less tea cup in the picture below was a gift from Aaron - he purchased it when visiting the Como zoo a while back.
     I think it would be fun to make a blue and white rag rug to stand on by the sink. I would also like to trim some of my towels in blue and white and fix up some of my hotpads to go with the blue and white theme. I think I want to write out some verses to hang on the walls with blue flowers drawn around them as well but for the most part my kitchen is done and I do feel super blessed. 


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