Tuesday, January 25, 2011

A Work In Progress

I missed Kim's party last week because we were on a family vacation to Disney World!  We had the best time with our 2 daughters and son-in-laws, and our 4 grandchildren.  I plan to do a few posts about our trip once I organize my photos a bit.  

But now, on to my current Boring to Better!  {or as you will see, working towards better}

In our house, things don't change around too much.  I'm not one to rearrange furniture, or even move my accessories around too much.  And it's funny, because when I was growing up, my favorite thing to do was to rearrange my bedroom.
I think I have changed because my married life is the exact opposite of the life I had growing up.

I lived in 3 houses as a child.  2 in the same town, and the other a big traumatic move for me in the 8th grade.  That's it.  My grandparents lived in the same house their whole lives.  So I think moving things around was a lot of fun when everything in my life pretty much stayed the same.

Well, I married a corporate guy, and we have moved A LOT.  In fact, this is our 9th house in 33 years of marriage.  And that doesn't count a few apartments along the way or the fact that we lived in one house for 11 years.  {our previous home}  Just about the time  I would get the last room wallpapered and the last accessory in place we would get the call to be on the move again.

Now the only reason I told you {or bored you} with that story is to explain where I am going week by week with my before and afters.  As I have said before, we have been in our current home for 3 years, and I am basically taking you room by room to see the changes we have made.  The changes are usually the biggies ~ paint, new flooring, new window coverings.  I don't do a lot of explaining about the "stuff" in the room.  I hope once I work my way through the house I can go back and do a little tweaking of the little things and have a few more "before and afters."

  Once I get the room "done", I don't usually do much to it.  But every now and then there is a room that just bugs me, and I can't get it to look the way I want, or I don't even know WHAT I want and that is what is going on in our library.

The previous owners used this room as an office, and that's about all it is good for because it is small.

This is the room after we moved in ~ we called it our basement, because we had the movers put the exercise equipment in there until we figured out what we were going to do with it.  You can see the faux painting and the awful tile on the fireplace in this picture.  {and my moving mess:-) }

You can see the wall color better if you click on the picture to enlarge it.  The windows had 2"blinds and you can just make out the bottom of the ceiling fan.

 So, the first thing we tried was painting it red, which I like OK.  We put new stone on the fireplace and replaced the carpet.
 Added plantation shutters and my Ballard black desk.  This picture below shows you how small the room is ~ that's it ~ wall to wall.  Cozy I guess.  And with the desk, it was kind of an office.  But we don't need an office, we need a library.  I love books and have a lot of them.
 The boxes are stacked up to hide the computer stuff on that wall.  I am sorry the pictures are so dark, when I took them I didn't know I would be sharing them on my blog someday:-)
 So, we gave the desk to our daughter and when our new kitchen table arrived we put the old one in here.  I thought I would skirt it to the floor  {picture a beautiful yellow and red toile :-) }and have romantic dinners by the fire and play games with the grandchildren and so on.  Yeah, right.  {I seldom cook !}

 I had to buy a little table to put the computer junk on and I hate the way it looks.  So that has to change....

SO, this post really is moving on toward the better I hope.  I am in the process of changing it yet again and I am hoping that it will at least function for me the way it should.  I really do think you have to use the room the way it works for your life and not just how it would "look" the best.  Probably the best look for this room is the first way I had it with a small desk and a little reading chair.  But it just doesn't suit our lives.

 I bought a bookcase, and am going to bring my old loveseat out of the garage and turn this room into a library.  In my perfect house all of the books would be in the same room in the house, and in this house I have to store them in at least 4 other rooms, but I think I will be able to get all of my fiction in this room and have a little space to grow and that thrills me.

So stay tuned for even a little better!

Linking to Kim's Boring to Better Party.
And, as I am working on being inspired to get this room right, I am linking to Vanessa's Inspiration Fridays.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Scripture Memory ~ Verse 3

This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.

Psalm 118:24

Friday, January 14, 2011

For Emma

Kelle Hampton has a wonderful blog.  I discovered it last year at this time, just after the birth of her daughter, Nella.  Her post struck a chord within our family, because 5 years ago our family faced the very same ..... I don't know the word, it isn't shock, really, it was just unexpected.

It is our Emma, my niece
and she is beautiful
and funny
and loud
and wild 
and very sweet.

And we love her very much.

She, like Nella, is a rock star.
They all are.

Please go to Kelle's blog to see the whole video.  We are leaving in the morning on vacation and I don't have time to figure out how to make this video fit the screen.  It is so worth your time.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

A Great Start To The New Year

Bob  had to present at a conference last week and I decided to tag along.  {He didn't have to twist my arm!}  It does make it difficult to start all of the healthy living habits and exercise I'd like to start when you begin your year with vacation, but I'll take it!

We had a lovely suite, and I was loving it even though we arrived late at night.
 Our bedroom is through the door next to the TV.
 Everything was just lovely.
 We could even see the pool from our 9th floor balcony.
 But look at what awaited us in the morning!  I had opened all of the drapes before I went to bed in anticipation of this view and it didn't disappoint me!
 Sorry this one is so dark, but this is the view as you open the door, long hallway and the ocean at the end.
 You feel as though you are on a ship, with this view out every window.
 Bob worked in the morning and golfed in the afternoon and I did this...in the morning I sat on this balcony with my coffee and book.
 In the afternoon I took a nap here on another balcony.

 This is a view of our hotel, we were on the left end, we had 3 balconies, the one angled one you can see and then there is one to the left and to the right.   They were all very large.

 This is the other thing I did in the afternoon, after I visited the spa, I brought my book out to the beach and read.
 On our last morning we were up early to catch our flight home.  I thought I would catch the sunrise.

Absolutely beautiful!!  I could so get used to this!!!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Not Boring!

Today I am going to share a project that we had done the first year we lived in our house.

Under our front staircase we had a coat closet.  I don't have any before pictures, but I think you can picture a small closet underneath the stairs.  In this picture below you can see the doorway ~ right around the corner from our little entry chest.  Of course, the is the "after" door.

 It is a small wine cellar!  Really, not a cellar at all, just a small wine closet, but cellar sounds better, doesn't it?

We left the door trim, and had an iron gate made for the opening.  It swings in or out.   {the grandchildren think it is a jail!  I promise we don't put them in there :-) }
 We had a slate floor and countertop put in and a small wine rack.
 I hung my plates from the wine country on the side curving wall.  There were a few different plugs and things on the wall and the plates hide them nicely.
 I hung some sconces on the other wall for a little candle glow.

 And this last picture is a "today" shot.  The only change we have made is to paint the baseboards the same red as the walls.  In the above pictures, you might notice the baseboards sticking out like a sore thumb.  Bob took care of that, and it looks much better.
I am linking to Kim's Boring to Better party.  Go on over and see all of the fun projects.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Scripture Memory ~ Verse 2

Let your steadfast love come to me, O Lord, your salvation according to your promise.

Psalm 119:41

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

A Little Change Goes A Long Way

I didn't want to miss Kim's Boring to Better Party, and since my house is half way between Christmas and clean, I thought I would post a picture of last year's project.

The picture below is of our house, as it looked when we purchased it.  Beige walls, and darker beige trim.  This is the looong hallway leading from our living room to the library {on your right}, guest bath, and at the end of the hall, guest room.

 The hall received the same butter yellow walls and white trim, and I added the drapes from my old house.  They were my inspiration fabric for my living area a few years ago, and I still love them.  They have  all my favorite colors and are very English country to me.  {if I remember correctly the fabric is a Ralph Lauren one}  My house is definitely a mix of English and French country.
 One problem remained ~ 2 plain builder ceiling fixtures.  I wanted a mini chandelier or lantern, but had no luck finding a "bargain."
But I saw this cutie at my sister's, copied her, and blogged about it here.
I like it ~ 
I want to thank Kim for featuring my backyard kitchen from last week's party!
Thanks Kim!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Scripture Memory ~ Verse 1

O send out your light and your truth; let them lead me.

Psalm 43:3

Saturday, January 1, 2011

The New Year

“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” ~Albert Einstein

I don't even know if there is anything else to say about resolutions than this.  I tend to make the same ones, year in, year out, and I do see some progress but obviously not enough.

So, this year I changed things up a bit.  I did a post here, about my goals and expectations for my New Year which began on September 1, 2010.  I thought by starting in the fall, and just working a bit at a time I might do a little better.   I have made some progress in the 4 areas I targeted, but lots of room for more.  But I guess that is how it is with life ~ it won't be perfect until we get to heaven! 

 So I decided to take my 4 goals for the first 4 days of the New Year and see how I could continue to improve.

Here was my first and most important goal.

1. Spiritual ~ I will be beginning my bible study for fall on Isaiah and I want to remain faithful and complete each lesson each week and even a little early if possible.

~get back into the groove of my morning quiet time.

~be more faithful in my church attendance, a little slack this summer.

I am in the BSF study of Isaiah, and I have done all of my lessons.  It has been a challenging study for me and if you are familiar with BSF at all, these lessons are a little different in the style of questions.  We have been on a little holiday break but will begin again in a week or so.  I need to continue to be faithful until May.

I have gotten back into my morning quiet time ~ not every day, but most.  Spending time with the Lord first thing in the morning is really important to me, and it blesses me in so many ways.  There are many ways and materials to use, and these are the ones that I have found to help me start my day on the right foot.  I took a picture of my basket, mostly because I don't want a post without a picture!

The pictures aren't in any particular order, but I do read them in a particular order.  First I begin with the Bible, and I like the NRSV version for my morning time.  I use the NIV for Bible Study and have a few other versions I refer to, but those are my main 2.  The little green booklet is my readings, it has a small devotional and lists an old testament reading, a new testament reading, a few psalms, and a gospel reading for every day of the year.  {it doesn't contain the bible readings, just the addresses, and I read the scriptures from my bible}  The readings follow the schedule of my church and take you pretty much through the Bible in a year.  I always have a devotional book, and a book of prayers too.  I just read a page or 2 out of each.

The other 2 things my basket contains are a current classic book and my little tablet of scripture memory verses.  I never memorized scripture as a child, or young adult, and have just recently begun this discipline.  I keep the verses on this little tablet, although I am looking for a better system. 

As for the classic book, I am reading through a list found in the book The Well - Educated Mind by Susan Wise Bauer.  I love to read, and have neglected many of the classics.  She suggests to read just a short time each day, and it really works.  I have read many books that I wouldn't have read otherwise.  At the time I took these pictures, I was reading Uncle Tom's Cabin, and you can see in my basket below the paperback on top is Moby Dick.  {which I had attempted to read many times, and I am so proud that I finished it, and it wasn't too bad!}  I am currently reading Madame Bovary, and then next up is Crime and Punishment!  I may never get through that one!!
My little basket lives on my nightstand, but I do my reading at the kitchen table in cold weather, {nearer to the coffee pot:-) } or in nice weather I go outside in my robe and do my reading outside.

So I think the biggest change for me here is just to get up at a more consistent time in the morning.  I have been lazy ~ and then sometimes that rushes me and I don't get to spend the time I want.  I really need to get up at 6 ~ for so many reasons, which means earlier to bed, which means less time on the computer.....and so on. Today, the first day of the year, was a late morning, because we were out late last night!  But I am setting the alarm a little earlier tomorrow!

The last part of my goal, getting back to church, has been easy...we go!

I think I have learned, after MANY New Year's, that it's all about improving!  Baby steps, and I think I can do that!  

I have a few house projects that I want to accomplish this year, that'll be fodder for some future posts!  We really didn't do anything to the inside of the house last year, so I am anxious to tweak a little:-)

I pray that all of us that set some goals for the new year, will find success!