Friday, September 28, 2012


Oh Happy Happy Friday Friends!!!!!
I just wanted to leave you with a little truth wrapped up in humor for your weekend!
thank you Pinterest
This totally sums up who I am!!!  I am at the end of three/four weeks of this new routine and I'm definitely passed the "I Love Routine" mark, I've been hanging out quite a bit in the "Until I'm bored" mark and I definitely feel the "Until I'm Overwhelmed" mark looming ever so closely!!
This is a challenge for me, I know for a lot of you, this is a cake walk - but for me? Not so much.
Anyway, thanks to the strength of God, I am daily leaning into Him to keep me moving forward and He is actively participating in the battle that rages in my mind!!!  I will not ponder a negative thought for more than a minute and I'm looking forward to the day (and I pray it's soon) that the thought will be defeated before it even gets to my mind!!
Well, I pray that you have a blessed weekend!!! Remember that each and every day is truly a gift from God, no matter what the wrapping paper may look like!!  So do your best to accept the gift and look for ways to enjoy it!!
Love <3 Lorraine

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

School Room Tour - Part One: My Space

Let me preface this tour by telling you that we have been homeschooling for 8 years and have probably had as many "school rooms" in that time!!!  We have schooled in the living room, dining room and we have even turned our attached garage into a classroom.....we've used the family room for storage as well! Jessica has used her bedroom, Joe has only a few times during the week that he does school here at home, and that happens at the dining room table.  Other times it's on the road or with Jessica where she works.  Life shifted and so did our rooms and furniture (surprise surprise) and now we have a fully functional school room!!  Now, I have to say that I believe any space can be fully functional, you just have to be creative with what you need, how you use it and what space you have!  There is no right or wrong space....it's all what you make it!!

Let's get started. 

Won't you step into.........

This monster is my desk/office and it was a steal, along with a credenza, two bookcases and a chair for $150!!!!!  It was a craig's list find....I highly reccomend craig's list....we've gotten some amazing deals from there!!  As with anything on line, you have to be smart and safe, but we've never ran into any problems!! 

It has a huuuge work space!!!  I had to get up high just to try to fit it all in the same shot and still was unable!!

In addition to this awesome desktop, it has three drawers on the left side and two on the right, with one being a file drawer!!  My drawers are somewhat of a mess, but I tend to keep some stationary supplies in a few of them, things I don't have a place for in others, computer wires in another and of course, files in the file drawer!!!  Those files contain homeschooling ideas for history, science, math worksheets, files for Jessica's college and Honduras information and personal files as well.
What do I keep on my desk??  Well, I came across these sweet cups at Target!!  The first time it was just a drive by....they were on clearance for under $5.00.  The next time I went to Target, I knew I had to have them!!
I knew as soon as I saw them, that they'd be perfect on my desk holding paper clips, alligator clips and other small desk items!!

I also keep a spot for schedules and an in/out bin for turning in work.

And some extra supplies, just in case.......

Behind me is what I like to call.......
It's a work in progress!!  I'd like to paint some of those frames so that they pop off the wall and of course add some fun and color to the otherwise gray corner!!
I downloaded and printed the tape measure, I'm sorry that I don't remember where I found it!!  If I ever do remember, I'll be sure to give credit where credit is due!!
My son, Joe made me the Ninja Star wreath!!  The square chalkboard I picked up at FiveBelow and the crate looking box is actually a blueberry box that I found on Craig's List at DiMeo's Farms!!  I love these boxes, I have several and have found many different uses for them!!

This is where I keep a mix of things....both personal and school related!  We'll start with the bulletin board.  Here I keep a small mothly calendar that I printed off of the computer for free, a piece of 12 x 12 scrapbook paper covered in clear contact paper to make it a message board (which I don't really use), a list for daily chores (which I don't really use either) or things to do and any pictures or notes from my kids.
Here's a closer view of the bookcase.

On the top I have a sorting box that holds devotional books and notebooks - I have a lot of both!  Also on the top shelf are my Math Teacher's Guide and two of my bibles.  On the next row down I have some of my reading books, a stack of which are gifts for some friends of mine (ssshhhh), a small box of knock-off washi tape, a picture frame with scrapbook paper in it and a post it-note on it, the black metal box holds more books.  I've got some reading to do!!
Next row down is a basket of printed printer paper, say that five times quickly.  There's a random roll of packing tape (ya just never know) and a paper cutter.  Under that is a large grouping of colored file folders, printer and photo paper in the boxes, a desktop organizer that I made out of a cereal box and a large stack of tissue paper that I promised Julia I'd make these out of!!
It's cozy back here, I have a super view out of the double window next to my desk.  I can look out at the trees in my backyard and I have a super view of the rest of the room!!

I love watching the leaves on the birch tree dance in the breeze, listen to the roosters crowing and the birds singing.  I think it helps keep me grounded and mindful of God's gifts throughout the day.  Out the other window, to the right, I can see a windmill in the distance.  It's a very peaceful scene.
Well, that concludes this portion of our tour!!  Here's a quick peek of the other piece of my view:

We'll get into this side of the room in my next post - School Room Tour - Part Two:  Their Space!!
I hope you have enjoyed this portion of the tour, come back again to see the rest!!



Tuesday, September 25, 2012


I was just 'inspired'. I know, I know, if you talk to my mom being 'inspired' it's nowhere out of the ordinary. But I'm not one much for inspiration. I'd rather stick with just doing it.

I don't read many blogs. I have a few that I read, a few that my friends write, but not tons. Maybe five. I was surfing the internet (when I should be working on school stuff) and I decided to look through my moms blog list. I came upon this gorgeous picture and had to read whatever was attached to it.

Go ahead, go read the post. Exactly 1 week and 3 days away from going to Honduras and I have to say, this was the little push I needed. I couldn't tell you the bloggers name, I could only tell you that I think she's the one who has really cute parties. I have no idea. This is my mom's thing. But today this was what I needed and today it was given to me.

Monday, September 24, 2012

behind the scenes

So as most of you (my friends, that is) know, on Thursday evening I was feeling a bit unsettled and in a strong need of change!  I was exhausted and was advised to rest and let things be!  Well I went to bed at 8:00 that night and apparently that extra rest gave me the umph that I needed to tackle the change on Friday night!!

After several partial conversations with my hubby, we busted a move around 8:00 (i think)!!  I am forever thinking about how things could be better, whether it's form or function, I can't help it, it's just in me!!!  I wasn't looking to just move furniture around the living room, I was ready to move furniture out of the living room, and the dining room AND the family room!!!

We are not finished with the spaces yet but I thought I'd give you a little glimpse behind the scenes, rather behind the cabinets.  They, too, got an overhaul!!  It's not ideal and my dishes aren't exactly what I want, but hey!!  I sure am glad that I have them!!

So here it is!!

This is the pantry closet that resides in the original dining room.  It's been a pantry and a china closet.....now it houses all of our baking supplies; pans, carriers, sprinkles, etc.   The large white plastic basket on the bottom holds cookie cutters and there's another on the bottom shelf that holds confectioners sugar, brown sugar and chocolate chips.  I like to keep things together whenever possible.  That way we all know where something is, there's never a question....well, until I decide to change it up again!!

These two are pretty self explanatory!!  One holds our matching set of dishes and mugs and yes, random bowls on top and the other is our glasses and random mugs.  I think it's time to go through and thin out this random collection of dishware!!  I would absolutely LOVE a set of nice white dishes, but that's not happenin' any time soon!!  You can still group things together and have it look decent, even if it doesn't all match.

We moved our pots and pans up from the space under our stove (we have a cooktop).  These deep corner cabinets are hard to use for smaller things and if you're short they're even harder!!

This was a random medicine and odd bowl space, sorely underused!!  Now it's home to our mixing bowls and strainers!

This is one of my favorite pieces of furniture!!!  It's been our china closet and pantry as well and it even housed our schoolbooks!!
Now it's our media cabinet!!  There's plenty of space for our gaming systems (three of them, which I think is a bit much), video games, equipment and movies!!
This is another great cabinet that I picked up at a phenomenal yard sale!!  It was orignially in the girls room and held anything from craft supplies to bins of clothing and shoes!!  As of about a month ago, it was a media cabinet in our living room turned dining room!
Can you tell I love things that are multi-functional??!!

Now it holds our tupperware and random pantry items....these were previously housed in our big hutch, that got moved into the new dining room!! 
Tupperware always seems to be a problem!!  So we group like items together and stack them and I've used these smaller white plastic baskets to hold the lids....all round together, all square and all rectangular lids together!!  No guessing, no tossing them anywhere!!!  Baskets are the answer to pretty much every storage issue you have!!!  You can't ever have too many!!
So there ya have it!  A quick look behind the cabinets!!!  There are a few more that need attention, but that will come another day!!
What's in your closets???

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Power & Presence

My two classes on campus at college consist of World Regional Geography and Intro to Sociology. As I continue to study the description of the Earth and the way humans react in social situations I'm becoming more and more aware that the world doesn't revolve around me, or any humans for that matter. We don't know everything, we're not in charge. As much as we like to think that we can effect the world and as much as we like to worry about who's "in charge" there's not really anything to worry about. God's in charge. God's the one that uses US to change the world. We can't use GOD to change the world.

The mere presence of God in creation is becoming more and more real to me. Not only his creations and his art, but also his power. If the Earth, in all it's sinfulness, can construct hurricanes, tornadoes, and blizzards that are powerful enough to rip whole villages out of the ground and turn beauty into a wreck, how much more powerful is God? He can turn a wreck into beauty. Not only can God take an emptiness and turn it into the beautiful Earth we have, but The Holy Spirit can take the emptiness in a heart, or the gross stuff in our lives and turn it into something that will glorify him.

- Jessica

Monday, September 17, 2012

What's in my bag? (School Edition)

Hey guys - as you may know I started college a week or two ago and thought it was a GREAT reason to buy a new bag!! Also, I had a gift card from my birthday, so I justified it. I thought I would post a little "What's in my bag?" post today! I always love to look at things like this and get good ideas about what kinds of bags hold the most, how to organize my bag, and just to be nosey! So, without further ado, here it goes!

This is the bag that I bought off of Amazon.com for my school stuff! It's made by Roxy and comes in 2 different patterns! Go see the bag here. I really like this bag and it holds everything I need really well. It has three pockets in the front and then one big pocket, tote style. You'll see all that later, though.
Here's a picture of the front three pockets, you can see that they're really big and deep pockets, which is nice.
The first picture here shows the first front pocket and then the second picture shows everything, yes it's a lot, that I keep in there. I keep some post-it-notes, tabs, binderclips & paperclips, and tons of pens. I keep so many pens with me because I color code my planner, but in actuality I only use black, blue, and sometimes purple when I'm at college. Next, you can see the middle pocket, which is slightly wider than the other two. In there I keep my glasses case & wipe, my umbrella (I do have to walk from one building to the next), tissues, white out, and more post-it-notes that don't belong in that pocket! haha My phone typically resides in this pocket as well.
The last pocket I keep a water bottle. The first day of college I didn't bring a water bottle and I was sorry! I like to bring this little guy from Target, I believe, it holds 10 oz. of water I think... don't quote me on that. It's the perfect amount of water and it slips right into the pocket!
Inside of my bag I keep all of my books plus my wallet. A lot of times I feel like the bags going to break from all of my books, but so far it hasn't. My only complaint about the bag is the fact that there isn't a base on the bottom of it. It's all cloth and therefore doesn't provide any stability for your books. Anyway, you can see in the top right picture that I have The Help (for a report), my planner, notebook, sociology book, geography book, and a folder.
The planner I use is also from target and it's from bluesky. Now, I haven't been able to find the planner on Target's website and when we bought it it was the only one there. This one is similar, just a different color! So, I don't know whether or not they still sell it. The planner, is a really nice list-like-format. I'm really enjoying it. I keep a notebook that I got from target in my bag as well (can you tell where we went shopping?) and a folder. My notebook has three different sections that I take notes in and in my folder I keep all of my handouts and extra blank paper.
Thanks for 'tuning in'! It's not too fancy but I found a system that works for me! If you have any questions let me know and I'll attempt to answer them!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Week one and done!!

Our first week of school found us at the park, TWICE!!!  I haven't been to the park in years and now I'm there two times in one week!!!  The weather was perfect and my heart was ripe for blessing!!

Jon met us there on Tuesday afternoon and along the way we ran into a dear friend, Evan, or Skippy as well like to call him.  Jon and Skippy ran cross country for their high school a few years back and due to certain circumstances, Skippy came to live with us for a while!  He's another brother to the kids and another son to Bill and I.  It was a pleasant surprise to say the least!!

Thursday we went back to the park, this time was for more "serious" reasons, haha!!  We have half of a day at home to school and half of a day out to school.  With Jessica being in college two afternoons a week, we have some open time to get creative with.
This day we made the park our classroom and set to work!! 

I am tempted to wonder why I haven't packed up school and hit the road long before now, but I wont.  I understand that God has a reason and a time for everything and I'm so glad that this is our time for schooling at the park!!
It's been a busy, crazy week but I couldn't ask for anything more!  We've accomplished all of our work, really taken our time and dug deeper.  We're finally incorporating devo's into our school routine and the kids are filling out prayer journals.
I'm balancing homeschooling, taxi cabbing, soccer practices and youth group and though I'm really exhausted and on the verge of melting down, I'm proud of myself for making it through the week.  The enemy is really trying to drag me down and that certainly doesn't make it any easier.
how I love an empty board at the end of the day!!
I'm not giving up though!  Week one is here and done and we are heading full steam toward week two!!  I can't wait to see what amazing things God has in store for us then!!
God Bless,
Lorraine <3

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Happy Birthday Jessica!!!

I could go on and on about all of the wonderful qualities that you have, how you bless your family each and every day, how amazed we are at what God is doing in and through you - in fact, I mention those things quite often....so I'll spare everyone the Hallmark commercial and just say;

You hate to be hugged, though you will give a hug if the moment is right.

You don't only wear shirts that say "Mission" you actually go on mission trips, each and every day as you serve your family and friends and ultimately God.

You have an amazing mother!! 
 Oh sorry.....I mean we have an amazing friendship that I cherish deeply.

You know how to be goofy, typically whenever Shelby is around!!

You know when to be quiet and serious

and you certainly know how to fun!!!
I know that God is going to bless you and do great things through you!!  I am honored to have a front row seat!!  I love you so much!!!!
Happy Birthday!!!!
<3 mom

Monday, September 10, 2012

Oh Happy Day!!!

It's the end of the day and I'm pooped!!!!!  We've had a full weekend and I've been consistently getting up at 6:30 each morning!!  My hope is to get myself to a 6 a.m. wake up call....I'm not there yet!! In fact, I'm still in the beginning stages of talking myself out of bed in the first place!!!

I started school with Jaysen and Julia today and Joe and Jessica went off to their "day job"!!  Well it's Jessica's day job but since she has decided to take on leading Joe in school this year, she has arranged for him to accompany her to work, where thankfully, he can do his school and call on her when he needs her!  They said it was a long day, but a good one!!  Joe came home with only one thing left to do!!

We had planned on an 8:00 start but due to driving them to work, we started at 9 instead and finished around 4 with a decent lunch and clean up break!  We have a few kinks in our schedule to work out but all in all it was a good day!  I successfully led two children through their studies, had good conversation about God, started with prayer and discussion on keeping prayer and gift journals AND cleaned up the kitchen, had Jaysen clean up the living room, took out the recycling (which takes up around 4 trash cans), got something out for dinner and entered my youth ministry responsibilities into my day planner!  Plus the other two kids made it home from work safely!!

We are at the half-way point in our September Birthday Madness with today being Jon's birthday and Wednesday being Jessicas!!! 

We all went out last night and enjoyed a tasty meal at Buffalo Wild Wings!!

Heck Yeah I had them sing!!!!!!!  They loved it!!!!!!  Don't let them tell you any different!!!!
 Cali, Jon and Jaysen

Jessica and Joe
Jaysen, Jon and Jessica!!! 
We ate sooooooooo much!!!!!!  It was incredible!!!! Check out that dessert!!!  You had to just about roll us out of there and on down the road!!!  We were full and tired!!!  It was a good night!!!
Here's a quick shot from the weekend - it was gorgeous and we spent a bit of outside at soccer games!!!
Well I heard the hubby come in, time to get some dinner and move on with the rest of our evening!! I pray that you had a beautiful Monday and are full of hope for the rest of your week!!!
God Bless!!

<3 Lorraine