Friday, November 30, 2007

30 Day Organization Challenge Finale!!!

Well, it's been 30 days since I revealed my shame to the world.

It was pretty embarrassing, I tell you.

But they say you can't really deal with your problems until you admit them. Hello. My name is Lori and I'm a secret slob.

I'm here today to report on how it went. I didn't accomplish all my goals. Preparing to put our house on the market and move to the Middle East kind of has a way of throwing a kink into all the plans. I just had to set priorities. So, the painting didn't get done, nor did the closet door get fixed (Home Depot was missing the piece when I went). And, in the end, I decided to move the computer out completely to give it more of a "bedroom" feel, rather than a "let's throw this computer in here" feel.

So now, on to the pictures. Drum roll, please!


The view from the door looking in.

The view of the full-length of the bed.
The view of the bookshelves (sort of). You can't really tell, but there were 3 completely packed full bookshelves here. Now we have reduced it down to 1. It's a little over-packed, but c'mon, that's a huge reduction! I have a gigantic box of books to list on eBay and another to donate to Goodwill.


The view of the bed from the other side of the room. All the toy boxes have been removed!!! Yippee!!
Laura had posted some questions for us to answer in review of what we have done. Here we go with that.

1. What was the hardest part of the challenge for you and were you able to overcome it?

The hardest part for me was definitely trying to get my husband to go through his things that were in the room. He's someone who likes to keep EVERYTHING!! He always envisions a use for everything at some point in the futures. Fortunately, he's a little more motivated than usual with our upcoming move. I pointed out to him that once he leaves the US (2-3 months before me) all of this things are fair game and if he didn't go through them, I would get to make the call as to what he gets to keep. That got him going!!

2. Tell us what kind of changes/habits you have put into place in order for your area/room to maintain its new order?

Umm...No one is allowed in this room ever again.


3. What did you do with the “stuff” you were able to purge out of your newly organized space?

Well, unfortunately I forgot about the "bonus prize" for the biggest pile of stuff removed. Cuz, ladies, I would have won it, hands down. About half the books are in a box to be listed on eBay (mostly curriculum). The other half either were thrown away or taken to Goodwill. Daniel's toys were sorted through and we made room in his room for them. The computer and utility desk I decided were not really necessary in the home, so they have gone out to the garage sale pile for Hubby to sell while I'm gone. All the extra stuff in the closet (boxes of paper that had been given to us, a big Rubbermaid of purses, MORE books, wrapping paper, etc.) is gone!! What was sell-able was sold at one of our 2 garage sales this month and what wasn't was disposed of. In fact, I had to take some of our garbage to our empty rental property to put out because we had so much!!


4. Now that you have completed the challenge, do you think having and keeping your space organized will make a difference in your life?

Oh, yes. I mean, I joke about it being my shame. But it's really not a joke. It's mortifying to have an unexpected guest and know they will walk by that door and see how awful it is. Now I can relax and just enjoy people who come for a visit. Much better!!


6. Why do you think you should win the challenge?

Well, I hate to promote myself. But to be able to get this room into shape with all that we've been dealing with here is really a miracle. The stress level around here has been incredibly high. I don't know that I should win, but I know that I've already won in my own mind just by getting this done!!

Thanks to Laura at the Organizing Junkie for hosting the 30 Day Organizational Challenge and helping me to reclaim a bit of my home and my life!!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Thankful Thursday

"And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful." Colossians 3:15


I have been missing from Thankful Thursday lately. Not because I don't have much to be thankful for. I've just been overwhelmed by all the stuff happening in my life that I've neglected to really take the time to stop and be thankful. Unfortunately, that's often the way it is. Moving through life without thought of who it is who gave us this life.

Things have been going well, but have been overwhelming. And the sad part is that had I taken the time to spend giving God thanks, it probably wouldn't have been. It's when we get all wrapped up in ourselves and our little lives that we lose sight of what we should be doing - having relationship with God - and instead focus on all the small "stuff" of life.

So here's my list. It's incomplete, of course, but these are the big things on my mind today.

  • I'm thankful that we finally have a set plan. Hubby will be leaving the US the first week of January. He begins work in Qatar in mid-January.
  • I'm thankful that we'll be able to spend Christmas together.
  • I'm thankful that Hubby will be able to attend his brother's wedding (at the age of 50!! We thought it would never happen!!) in Jordan before moving on to Qatar.
  • I'm thankful that the kids and I are leaving this weekend to go to Grandma's house. We are all looking forward to spending time with grandparents, aunt and uncles, and cousins. We are also looking forward to cool weather!!
  • I'm thankful that Mike Huckabee is moving up in the polls. Let me tell you, he's the real deal Christian conservative. He's what I always hoped a politician could be - someone who balances conservative ideals with compassion. He would make a great president!
  • I'm thankful that Hubby's new company has offered to pay for shipping all of our belongings to Qatar. It will make things so much easier. We are still weeding out probably 40% of our belongings, but it's nice to know we'll have familiar and comfortable things around us and that all our special, personal things won't have to be sold off or put into storage.
  • I'm thankful that it's Christmas. This is one of the most wonderful times of the year (I love Easter as well) and it forces us to focus on Christ and on others. We just have to make sure we don't let our selves get overwhelmed by all the nonsense that comes with it.

To be inspired by other women's lists of what they are thankful for, visit Laurel Wreath.

Oh, my goodness!! Can you even read this?

UPDATED: After reading Amanda's comment, I changed the text from green to silver. I think it still looks pretty festive! Thanks for the help!


At home my blog looks all pretty and Christmas-y, red and green, happy and bright.

But I just checked in while I'm here at the church bookstore and it's so dark I can hardly see the words even!!

If anyone is having this same problem and can't see the words, please let me know and I'll change it. Otherwise I'll assume it's the horrible old computer I'm stuck with here at church.
Wednesday, November 28, 2007

And the insanity ends...

Well, it's over. I've come to realize that good enough is good enough. If you haven't been following my crazy attempt to make my home into a Better Homes and Garden palace in less than one week, you've missed out. I mean, there's nothing like a woman possessed by the spirit of perfectionism to make you want to slap someone.

But I give up. It's just not going to happen. I've done as much as I can do, but we all have to know when to accept defeat. I'm going to keep working on the list, but at a reasonable pace. And if things don't get done, they don't get done. Life will go on.

Yesterday, on our way home from having spent the entire day running errands - from 11 in the morning until 6 at night - Hubby called and asked me to do a simple task for him. I honestly started crying in the car and told him I was going to lose it if I had to add one more thing to my plate. He very gently comforted me and told me to just do what I can do and not worry about the rest of it.

When I got home, the best thing I could muster up for dinner was Tuna Helper. Now, no disrespect to those of you who use Tuna Helper (or any other Helper for that matter), but this is something that Hubby hates. Personally I don't mind it, but her prefers his food less...preservative-laden, let's say. I only keep it in the house as part of our hurricane supply closet. After I got it made, I felt bad about not responding more graciously when he asked for my help earlier. I worked on what he asked me to do and got it done in the time frame he needed.

And I felt much better for it. It helped me to take my eyes off myself and my goals. It put things into perspective. I felt much calmer and steadier. And I realized that I was being crazy.

Crazy to think that I could do that much (and there is much I have done that didn't even make the list (new toilet seats, for instance!!??). Crazy to think that the insane woman screaming at her kids because she is so stressed out is what God wanted from me.

So today we have just me. And that's good enough.

WFMW - Most Excellent Cake Ever!


Ok. You need a cake. It has to be quick and easy. It has to be fairly cheap. And it has to be amazing!

You need Hawaiian Wedding Cake.

This is one of the most delicious desserts I've ever had in my life and it never fails to get rave reviews. While it is quick and easy to make, it's better if it sits in your fridge for several hours, so try to budget that in to your planning. Here's the recipe:

  • 1 box yellow cake mix (and whatever ingredients are called for to make it)
  • 1 can crushed pineapple (15 oz.)
  • 1 3 oz. package of vanilla instant pudding mix
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 8 oz. tub of Cool Whip

(Are you drooling just from looking at the ingredients yet?)

Bake the cake as directed on box. While still hot, poke holes all over the cake and pour the entire contents of the pineapple, including the juice over the cake, spreading the pineapple evenly. Set aside and allow to cool slightly.

While the cake is cooling, mix the pudding mix and milk, beating well for 2 minutes. Fold into the Cool Whip. This is your frosting. Spread onto the cake. Refrigerate for several hours, even overnight. The longer the better.

Sit back and wait for the thanks of the grateful people.

Even though I'm not personally a dessert person (although this is definitely one that I really enjoy!), I love knowing that I've made something that other people enjoy so much. This always accomplishes that for sure! And that works for me!

For more great tips, be sure to head on over to visit Shannon at Rocks in My Dryer.

Please don't go away...

I have to admit that I am worried about whether many of you regular readers will keep hanging around when I've been so bad about writing lately and the fact that it will probably only get worse.

We are due to leave to visit my family for almost 3 weeks this weekend. My folks only have dial-up (S-L-O-W!!!!!), so I don't know how much I'll be able to get online and post and check in with all of you at your sites.

Then once we get back it seems I will only have about 10 days with my Hubby before he leaves for his new job - wherever that may be. Believe it or not, there is still a possibility we could be going to Dubai, something that just came up yesterday. Either way he'll be leaving around New Year's. I imagine that time will be a whirlwind of Christmas celebrations and preparations for his departure and trying to squeeze in as much family time before we are separated for the next three months. :(

After that it will be time for the kids and I to make our preparations for our own departure.

I can't take a break from blogging by any stretch of the imagination. This blog has become my place to come and sort my thoughts and share my feelings - kind of like my diary that I open up to the world. I think I might lose touch with any sanity I have if I didn't come here and share.

I just hope that those of you who are regular readers won't become discouraged with me. If you haven't yet, perhaps you might want to add me to your Bloglines or Google reader account so you can just check in whenever something new gets posted here.

Thanks in advance for not giving up on me. I'm counting on all your encouragement and wisdom as our family goes through this time of immense upheaval!
Monday, November 26, 2007

Menu Plan Monday!!


Back to Monday again already? It's hard to believe that Thanksgiving has come and gone and now we are just weeks away from Christmas. I haven't done any shopping yet. Yikes!!
On to the menus. With this being such a busy week for us, and the kids and I leaving town on Saturday, the keyword this week is EASY!! I've got a couple of crock-pot meals planned so that I can just buzz through my day and know dinner is already done.
Monday - Roast with carrots, onions and potatoes, salad
Tuesday - Baked Fish, dirty rice, steamed vegetable medley
Wednesday - Frozen Bertolli pasta meal, salad
Friday - Spaghetti with meat sauce, garlic bread, caesar salad
For more great menu ideas, visit The Organizing Junkie. You'll find lots of great ideas and tons fo recipes.
Sunday, November 25, 2007

Work is Holy

Wow!! As you can see here, we have been busy this weekend. It has been hard, physical labor. I've probably gotten more accomplished in the past week than I have done in the past six months. And it feels good to be this sore, tired and achy.

I mean I ache to the bone. But I have this deep sense of satisfaction and accomplishment, not to mention a feeling that what I have done this week is pleasing to God.

Now, I am not by any means saying that God loves us based on what we do - I am a grace lovin' girl if there ever was one. But I believe that God does want His people to be hard workers. Let's look at what the Scriptures say:


"The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it." Gen. 2:15

"Six days you shall do your work, but on the seventh day you shall rest;" Exodus 23: 12

"Whoever works his land will have plenty of bread, but he who follows worthless pursuits lacks sense. " Prov. 12:11

"The hand of the diligent will rule, while the slothful will be put to forced labor." Prov. 12:24

"Whoever is slack in his work is a brother to him who destroys." Prov. 18:9

"The desire of the sluggard kills him, for his hands refuse to labor." Prov. 21:25

"Do you see a man skillful in his work? He will stand before kings; he will not stand before obscure men. " Prov. 22:29

"Whoever works his land will have plenty of bread, but he who follows worthless pursuits will have plenty of poverty. " Prov. 28:19

"She seeks wool and flax, and works with willing hands." Prov. 31:13

"Sweet is the sleep of a laborer..." Eccl. 5:12

"Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need." Eph. 4:28

"Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men..." Col. 3:23

"But we urge you, brothers, to do this more and more, and to aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you, so that you may walk properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one." 1 Thess. 4: 10b-12

"Now we command you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from any brother who is walking in idleness and not in accord with the tradition that you received from us. For you yourselves know how you ought to imitate us, because we were not idle when we were with you, nor did we eat anyone's bread without paying for it, but with toil and labor we worked night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you. It was not because we do not have that right, but to give you in ourselves an example to imitate. For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat. For we hear that some among you walk in idleness, not busy at work, but busybodies. Now such persons we command and encourage in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work quietly and to earn their own living." 2 Thess. 3: 6-12

"Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled." Titus 2: 3-5

It's clear from these verses that God desires His people to be diligent workers. I can especially relate to Ephesians 5:12 - "Sweet is the sleep of a laborer..." As I lay down last night, I thought to myself this is how I should feel every night when I go to bed. I went to sleep at 10:30 (as opposed to my normal 1:00 bedtime), completely exhausted and grateful for a warm, soft bed. I slept like a baby.
If you, like me, struggle with laziness, I would urge you to consider these verses listed here. Pray over them. Meditate on them. Commit them to memory.
Then I would also recommend that you visit The Joy Box and read her series on "Overcoming Laziness." It's a nuts and bolts approach to really confronting the sin of slothfulness in our lives.
As for me, I've got a few more chores to do before I head off to bed. Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!!
Saturday, November 24, 2007

Ok, Here's The List

UPDATED: My mom laughed at me when she read this post, saying I wouldn't get half of this done. Well - phooey to her!!! As you can see below, I've gotten a good amount of it done already. I'm sore and achy, but feeling very accomplished!!

I just spent about 15 minutes walking through my house, noting down everything that I believe needs to be done before we start showing it. Here we go:

Exterior
Pressure wash sidewalks and pool deck - DONE
Pressure wash brick wall of bedding area - DONE
Paint light post white -DONE
Replace light post cover - Had to special order it; will come in 3 weeks, but I've handled it, so - DONE
Plant new things in bedding area - DONE
Trim foliage - DONE
Weed the walkway and driveway - DONE
Repot the oleander bush - DONE
Clean windows (75 ft. of French doors - ugh!!) - DONE
Rearrange the garage - DONE
Call contractor to fix patio where cement is damaged

Master Bath and Bedroom
Finish filing
Replace closet doors (missing since we moved in 3 years ago!) - DONE
Repair door frames
Relocate photo albums that I don't know where to put
Move treadmill to garage
Clean off dresser - DONE
Sort my clothes - get rid of non-needed things - DONE
Re-fold Hubby's clothes in the walk-in closet organizer - Yeah...Decided this isn't that important.
Clean out bathroom cabinets - DONE
Straighten and organize bathroom shelving unit - DONE
Scrub shower door to remove film - DONE
Scrub tub caulking - DONE
Buy new bath mat for shower - DONE

Living Areas
Touch up baseboard paint in dining room - DONE
Dust chandelier - DONE
Clean tray table - DONE

Kitchen
Scrub down all cabinets and countertops
Scrub glass stovetop
Clean oven - DONE
Clean out cabinets and re-organize - DONE
Clean out pantry and re-organize - DONE
Clean out refrigerator and freezer - DONE

Playroom
Finish pulling out books to sell on eBay - DONE
Rehang closet door - Arrgh! Home Depot was out of the needed piece. Will have to wait.
Box up remaining books and put in storage - DONE
Get rid of bookshelves - DONE
Take down computer desk - DONE
Wipe hard drives and dispose of old computers - DONE
Move bed to center of room - Tried it, didn't like it, but I'm counting it as DONE

Miscellaneous
Clean and organize kids' rooms (this would be another whole post!!) - Emily's Room DONE
Decorate for Christmas - DONE

I'm thinking what I want to do is assign each section a day or two (or three!). This week I'm going to work on the playroom Monday and Tuesday, and complete the living room tasks on Wednesday. We always do our Christmas decorating on Thanksgiving Day, so that will be a no-brainer for us. Over the weekend, Hubby and I will work on all the exterior tasks. That leaves me all next week to work on the bedrooms. Then on Friday, I'll do all the cleaning stuff - mop the floors, clean the bathrooms, etc. And we'll be all set!!
Thursday, November 22, 2007

MySpace Comments - Happy Thanksgiving


MySpace Layouts - Happy Thanksgiving
Free Comments & Graphics Codes
Wednesday, November 21, 2007

WFMW - Be a Professional Homemaker!


As a wife and mother, for many years I considered myself, "just a stay at home mom." I dressed in sloppy clothes, didn't bother with makeup unless I had somewhere special to go, and generally just tried to make it through each day.

That all changed when I realized that homemaking is a career. It is the career that I have chosen - willingly, happily. I don't regret it for a second. But I did realize that I needed to make some changes. That I needed to take pride in myself and in the job that I was doing. And that my "career" was just as valid as any other career choice. Here are a few epiphanies that I had which helped me turn things around:
  1. I needed to be willing to invest in the right tool for the job. In the early years of homeschooling my children, I couldn't justify to myself spending the money for an electric pencil sharpener. Consequently, there was never a sharp pencil in the house! Similarly, Swiffer brand products have made keeping my home sparkling much, much easier. Switching to their bagless vacuum from my big bulky one alone has made caring for my tile floors a breeze. Recently I invested in laundry hampers that have three separate sections. Each bedroom got one and now sorting laundry is a breeze. My point is that we would never expect a lawyer to practice law without the right set of books, or a firefighter to fight fires without the proper equipment. Your career as a homemaker is just as valid and you shouldn't feel guilty about setting aside funds to help you do your job.
  2. Get up each morning and do your hair and makeup and dress nicely. I'm not saying you need to wear heels and pearls a la Mrs. Cleaver, but look presentable enough that if you have to make a quick trip out or if the doorbell unexpectedly rings, you aren't mortified. I personally like to be ready before my Hubby leaves the house so the last image he sees of me as he heads off to work isn't my just-rolled-out-of-bed look. Remember, our husbands are often surrounded by women who are primped and prettied up - we need to not look like slobs next to them.
  3. Actually DO your work. One day my husband said to me (back in my slobby days when the house was always a wreck) that he felt it was only fair that I worked, honestly WORKED at least as many hours a day as he did. Now, he didn't mean in a legalistic sense of keeping track of hours and minutes, but the point is that he's out working hard all day to provide for our family. My role as a homemaker is to spend my time at home investing it in "making our home." Making it a beautiful place. Making it a sanctuary for my husband and children. Making it look nice and smell nice. Making it a place where God is glorified. And all that takes work and effort. I shouldn't try to skate by on just the bare minimum. If he is working 8-9 hours a day, I ought to be putting in a similar effort (I do include my time spent homeschooling in this time as I review my days).

The point is to see your role as a wife and mother as a something that is worthy of your best effort. This shift in my view point has made a world of difference in our home. And that works for me! For more great ideas, visit Rocks in My Dryer!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Menu Plan Monday - Thanksgiving Week!!


Hi everyone!

Can you believe Thanksgiving is here already? It's come up so quickly this year. As a kid, time just dragged by, but since becoming a parent myself, it seems as though there has been some kind of cosmic shift where the earth is spinning faster and faster. But, I have to admit that I love the holidays, so that's ok with me that it gets here faster!

This week and next are crunch weeks for me (as I mentioned here and here). The kids and I will be leaving for the bulk of December, returning less than a week for Christmas. Hubby would like to get the house on the market and actually hold an open house the day we leave, so I've got less than two weeks to whip this place into shape. Later today, I'll try to post a list of my goals so I can hold myself somewhat accountable.

Anyhoo, on to the purpose of this post. Here is what we will be enjoying this week (** indicates recipe below):

Monday - Beef Shish Kebabs**, rice, chopped salad

Tuesday - Slow Cooked Pot Roast with Carrots, Potatoes and Onions

Wednesday - Mezze (a selection of small things - hummous, tabouli, deli meats and cheeses, hardboiled eggs, pita bread, pickles, olives, etc.)

Thursday - Roasted Turkey with Apple & Sausage stuffing, Carmelized Onion Mashed Potatoes, Corn, Turkey Gravy, Broccoli Salad**, Tossed Salad, Deviled Eggs and Pecan Pie

Friday - Turkey Noodle Soup with whole wheat rolls


Shish Kebabs
2 1/2 lbs. beef cubes
cherry tomatoes
onions, cut into bite size chunks
green peppers, cut bite size
Any other veggies you'd like to add

Marinade Ingredients:
1/3 cup soy sauce
3/4 cup salad oil
1/8 cup Worcestershire sauce
1 T. dry mustard
2 t. salt
1 t. parsley
1 1/2 t. ground pepper
1/4 cup wine vinegar
1 crushed garlic clove
1/4 cup lemon juice

Blend marinade ingredients in a jar. Pour over meat and marinate for several hours. Thread beef and veggies onto skewers and grill or broil until done. I serve them over rice.

Broccoli Salad
10 slices bacon (or use store bought bacon pieces)
1 head fresh broccoli, cut into bite size pieces
1/4 cup red onion, chopped
1/2 cup dried cranberries
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup sunflower seeds


Fry bacon until crisp. Drain, crumble and set aside. To broccoli, add red onion and cranberries. Mix up vinegar, sugar and mayonnaise. Mix well into broccoli mixture and refrigerate at least two hours. When ready to serve, toss with bacon bits and sunflower seeds.

For more great menu ideas, head on over to The Organizing Junkie!!

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving everyone!!!!
Saturday, November 17, 2007

What a fun way to spend a day!!!

That was sarcastic.

Last night I heard some mysterious crashing noise. I assumed that a box of toys had fallen in one of the kids' rooms - nothing unusual since they don't seem to understand the principle of putting things on a flat surface that is actually a) big enough to hold it, and b) isn't already filled up by myriads of other toys, books, trophies, rocks, rubber bands, and whatever else works its way into their rooms.

When I went to bed later that night, I stepped on a hanger next to our closets. I silently rebuked Hubby (who was already asleep) for dropping a hanger and not picking it up.

This morning, I found that the wire shelving in my closet had collapsed. Clothes, hangers, drywall dust, and wire shelving were in a huge jumble at the bottom of my closet. Mixed in, of course, with all my shoes and the clan of dust bunnies who have found a home in my closet.

I have spent approximately 6 hours today cleaning up the mess. Not really cleaning up just what happened, but trying to make the master bedroom closets "ready to sell." Strangely enough, this was actually what I planned on doing today. As you may remember, I'm working my way up to the big stuff. (So far I've gotten all the linen closets done, most of the kitchen cabinets, the laundry room, and a big portion of the guest room - which actually is kind of a mess again now that I've been emptying my room and closets.) So I've switched our closets, rearranged the furniture, moved some furniture out and some in, sorted out approximately 593 hangers that had no clothes on them, and massacred the poor dust bunnies.

We are planning on having a big old garage sale tomorrow - hopefully that will help clear out quite a few things. Mostly things that are in the garage already, but it will help. My goal is to have the entire house "showcase" ready by the end of the month. The kids and I will be going out of town for most of December, returning just before Christmas. Hubby will be here though and hopes to have some showings and an open house.

So, if I'm a little quiet over the next couple of weeks, you'll know why. I'm busy making my home sparkle and shine!!!
Thursday, November 15, 2007

Trust

Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.
Proverbs 3:5-6

This is the very first Bible verse I learned as a new Christian. It has stuck with me all these years and has always served me well in times of questioning myself, times of confusion and times of doubt.

But it's truth has hit home to me in new ways over the past few months as we've made a life-altering decision. And it has me thinking about to what degree I actually do trust God. I mean, it's one thing to say it. It's another whole thing to actually take that leap and jump off the cliff.

Many of us have gone through things that have been devastating. Cancer. The death of a child or husband. Financial ruin. Things that cause us to fall to our knees and make us realize that our only comfort can be found in God.

That's not the kind of trust I'm talking about. I'm talking about when you have a choice and choose to do what you never thought you would do, what doesn't make sense, what seems crazy. I'm talking about feeling as though God has called you to do something that seems absolutely impossible - and yet you KNOW it is of God.

It doesn't have to be as dramatic as moving to the other side of the world. It might be something as simple as choosing to submit to your husband. Or beginning a ministry that you feel God has laid upon your heart. I'd like to share with you the story of a woman who has done just that.

Carmen Morris is a member our my church. Several years ago she saw a news report on child trafficking and child slavery in West Africa. She was deeply burdened, as most of us would have been. But most of us would have offered up a quick prayer and gone on about our lives.

Carmen isn't most people.

She earnestly prayed that God would show her what she could do. And you know what? God answered her. (Why does that surprise us? Why do we forget that prayer is meant to be a conversation, not a monologue?) God told her to build a school for children who are at risk of child slavery. In Benin. West Africa.

Now, mind you, Carmen's a single mom, formerly on welfare. She had no contacts there. No funds for this huge project. And yet, she pursued it. She didn't allow that still, small voice of God to be pushed to the side as many of us do. How often do you feel that you are supposed to do something, but don't do it? I do it all the time.

Not Carmen. She travelled to Benin, managed to meet with government officials, and was given by the government land to build the school on. Sanctuary of Moses was born. I don't know the whole story. But I know that hundreds of children have found sanctuary in its truest sense at the school and sanctuary village that Carmen has founded. And her faith and action have been truly blessed. I'm sure there are many stories of God's blessings on Sanctuary of Moses, but I am privy to one of them and I'd like to share it with you.

Each year during our church's VBS, we select a ministry to receive the children's donations. In the past we have chosen a local after-school ministry in an impoverished area and a camp for disabled children in Nicaragua, among others. One year, we raised over $11,000. This past year Sanctuary of Moses was chosen to be our recipient.

We set a high goal. Carmen was in the midst of building a village that would offer a safety net of protection for up to 200 children who would otherwise be in danger of being sold, often by their own family, into slavery. The goal of trying to raise enough to dig a well for part of the village was set. Cost: $20,000. And this would only be one of 4 that were needed for the village.

Throughout the week, it wasn't looking good. We were raising an incredible amount of money, but nowhere near what we hoped. After the last offering was taken, the total came up to $16,000 - an amazing number, but not quite enough. Following the end-of-the-week party, an anonymous individual approached Carmen and donated the balance necessary to reach our goal. Additional donations came in over the weekend and raised the total to approximately $22,000. A miracle in and of itself.

But that's not all.

Remember that I said the plans called for 4 wells to service the village? Well, upon digging the well that the VBS money provided for, there was found to be enough water that it could service the entire village on its own, a staggering savings of $60,000!!!

I guess the point I'm trying to make is that when we step out in faith, even against amazing odds, God will honor that and make things happen we can't even imagine.

A DJ from our local Christian radio station had a saying that I love.

"God doesn't call the qualified. He qualifies the called."

If you think that God is calling you to do something, step out in faith. Trust Him. He will bless your efforts.

(If you would like to donate to Sanctuary of Moses, I can vouch for their sincerity and the amazing ministry there. You can follow the link here to find more information.)
Monday, November 12, 2007

Menu Plan Monday


Thankfully, this week is shaping up to be much less busy than last week. Man, there was something every night last week! I hate weeks like that.

This week is more of our normal routine - church on Wednesday and our small group meets on Friday. Every other evening we can just chill at home. And chilling is SOOO what I need right now!

Oh, and I'm happy to report that the slumber party went FABULOUSLY!! I used several of the ideas people posted during last week's WFMW Backwards Edition. I honestly feel like it was the most successful slumber party my daughter has ever had. They all got along, no drama, and they actually spent a good deal of the evening outside so it was fairly quiet for me. Thanks for all the tips! And now, on to the point of this post - the menus!

Monday -
Chicken Stir Fry

Tuesday - Zesty Macaroni and Cheese, salad

Wednesday - Lentils & Rice with a nice lemony salad

Thursday - Chili and cornbread

Friday -
Blackened Chicken Salad (to share with our Small Group)

Saturday - Beef Shish Kebabs, rice and grilled veggies
Yummy!!
Sunday, November 11, 2007

How to Make a Billion Dollars

I have an idea. If only I could make it work I'd be a rich, rich woman. What is this grand plan, you ask?

If I could find a way to bottle discipline, I'd be set for life.

If only.

If you've been reading my blog for a while, you know that
this is an issue I struggle with. Oh, I'm great with making all the plans. My family takes great joy in mocking my list-making tendencies. It seems to be following the plans that gives me the trouble.

Imagine that.

Yes, I can make all the lists I like. I can plan to be an organized homemaker, a devoted exerciser, a healthy eater, a more structured homeschooler, etc. But I actually have to WORK to make it happen.
And therein lies the problem.


I was thinking about this today and a thought occurred to me. There have been times when I have counseled friends with regards to their marriages that even if they don't feel loving towards their husbands, that they should ACT loving towards them. That often feelings follow actions. That if we "fake it" for awhile, eventually it becomes real.



Maybe that's what I need to do. I need to "fake" being a disciplined woman of God. I just need to buckle down and do the thing I know I need to do. Because let me tell you, I'm a pretty selfish creature at heart. I want things my way. I don't want to go to bed early and get up early. I want to be able to enjoy all the food I want. I want to spend all the time I like browsing through all the blogs I enjoy, regardless of the condition of my house. I want my kids to just do their schoolwork without bothering me so I can do what I want to do without interruption.



"Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men."
Phillipians 2: 3-7 (ESV)

When I opt to satisfy my selfishness, I am sinning. I am depriving myself of the opportunity to develop discipline. You know that old saying, "Give me patience, Lord, and I want it now!"? That's what it's like - I want discipline, but I don't want to put any of the necessary work into it. It doesn't work that way.

So what if I don't feel like it. There's another old saying that applies here.

Fake it 'till you make it.

(Unless someone comes up with that bottled version.)
Friday, November 9, 2007

Favorite Ingredient Friday - Blackened Chicken Salad


Today I'm going to share with you one of my favorite recipes of all time. I love salad! I love vegetables in general (I will make up a big pot of my special recipe Brussels sprouts for lunch sometimes - sick, huh?), but salads are one of my favorite all time meals.

The recipe I'm posting today is from Applebee's. They no longer have it on the menu, which is a travesty, because it is so delicious. It is a little bit of work, but well worth the effort!

Blackened Chicken Salad
Marinade:

1 cup water
3 T. lime juice
2 T. soy sauce
1/2 t. Worcestershire sauce

Marinate 2 chicken breast overnight or all day.

Spice Mix:

1/2 T. salt
1 t. sugar
1 t. paprika
1 t. onion powder
1/2 t. garlic powder
1/2 t. cayenne pepper
1 t. black pepper
1/2 t. white pepper

Sprinkle on both sides of marinated chicken. In a preheated pan, melt a couple tablespoons of butter and sear chicken breasts 2-3 minutes on each side. Finish of on grill or under broiler, until chicken is no longer pink inside.

Salad:

Lettuce
1/2 cup shredded red cabbage
1/2 cup shredded carrots
1 large diced tomatoes
1 sliced boiled egg
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Mix salad ingredients and set aside.

Dressing:

1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1/4 cup honey
1 T. yellow mustard
1 T. white vinegar
1/8 t. paprika

Toss dressing into salad mixture. Top with chicken and serve. Enjoy!!

For more delicious recipes, be sure to visit Overwhelmed With Joy, the host of Favorite Ingredient Fridays. You'll find lots of great things to put on your table for your family!
Thursday, November 8, 2007

It's Official!



Ok, it's a done deal. We are officially going to be moving to Doha, Qatar. Here's a lovely picture of the Doha skyline.

Hubby sent his letter of acceptance last night, so now we are just waiting to hear when they want him to actually be there. We are thinking it will be sometime in December, but aren't sure exactly when.

It's kind of throwing a kink in things. If he's here for Christmas, we of course want to be with him. But if not, then the kids and I will be travelling to visit my family over Christmas. But we wouldn't want to leave until he's already left so we don't know what to do. We'll just have to wait (again!) until we get a definite time frame from them.

So I have begun the process of weeding through our belongings. The other day I cleaned out a linen closet and got it to bare minimum. Right now, half of the contents of my under sink cabinet are scattered on the floor. I have 6, count 'em SIX, cans of bug spray. Think I've got a problem with bugs? Well, it is Miami, after all.

I know these are such minor little areas to be focusing on - a closet, a cabinet. But it's helping me have a little control, knowing that these things are done. There is so much more to do that it's overwhelming. I kind of feel paralyzed by it. So I compensate by doing small things that I can do in half an hour. The bigger things kind of make it too...real.

There have been lots of tears - mostly from the female side of the family. Emily is really struggling at the thought of leaving. All I can do is hold her and tell her that I know it's hard but that we'll do everything we can to make it easier for her. Daniel is stressing about it, but excited that he'll be getting a new game system - the one we have won't work there. Boys are so much simpler, don't you think? LOL! Hubby, ever practical, refuses to be swayed by any thoughts of looking back. It is a good decision for our family, so why cry about it.

I can't be so stoic.

I find myself at times in tears thinking of all the good friends we are leaving here in Miami. It bothers me that I will have to figure out a new grocery store, when the one I go to I know like the back of my hand. The employees there know my kids so well and always ask about them, about their schooling, etc. I'm nervous about learning to drive in a place where the only rule is that there are no rules. The thought of trying to find a new church is very distressing to me. Of course, there are only 3 to choose from, so that's not really going to be so difficult! But what if we don't fit at any of them?

There are a million little details that. Lots of "what if's." But the overwhelming thing holding me together is that I know that above it all is God. He is always with me. And not just in a "yeah, that's a nice sentiment" kind of way. I've been here before, people. The times when I have moved to a new place - far away from every other support system - are the times that I've grown deeply in the Lord. It's utter dependence on God.

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart,and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him,and he will make
straight your paths." Proverbs 3:5, 6

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Another Works for Me Wednesday Question!


Ok, I forgot that I had another really important thing I can use help with, so here is my second post for today's WFMW Backward's Edition.
I'm hosting a slumber party for 8-10 middle school/high school girls this Friday and need some fun ideas of things to do with them. I've got a few ideas, but I want to make it really fun. The purpose of the party is to get our girls from our homeschool group to bond a little bit and get to know each other better, so things oriented towards that would be especially appreciated.

Thanks for dropping by! If you have any tips on keeping make-up on, please visit my previous WFMW post below!
For more great ideas and problem-solving skills, visit Rocks In My Dryer to see other participants in today's Backwards Edition of Works for Me Wednesday!

Works for me Wednesday - Backwards Edition!!


Oh, this has been tough this week. I have so many things I could ask. What one thing is most pressing to me that I could seek help from the wonderful world of bloggers about?
I've decided on this - how do you keep your face looking pretty once you've left the house? I spend time slaving away on my make-up, only to have it vanish as soon as I step out into the humidity of South Florida.
Foundation, blush, eyeshadow, eyeliner - all of it slips and slides around and I end up looking like a never bothered, or worse, like a raccoon with mascara (yes, even waterproof!), eyeliner and various shades of eyeshadow down settling nicely in my already dark under eye circles.
Can any of you help me? Any tips on how to keep things in place?
To see more ideas of how everyday women are helping each other solve similarly life-altering problems, visit Rocks In My Dryer for more Works for me Wednesday!
Monday, November 5, 2007

Marriage Monday - Submission

1st Monday Every Month at Chrysalis
Want this button?
Wow! Three posts in one day. Y'all might get sick of me!

But when I saw the topic for this month's Marriage Monday, I just couldn't stay quiet. It's that word that stirs up lots of emotion for most women - SUBMISSION.

For some it conjures up images of women being repressed, being oppressed and being depressed. For others, it brings to mind a simplicity and a beauty that comes from trust and love. I'm one of the latter women.

Though I struggle with submission I know, to the very core of me, that it is a beautiful thing. It can be freeing - which almost seems like an oxymoron. But hear me out...Submission to your husband, regardless of who or what he is, is a blessing, not a curse.

I know that many women are convinced that if they left things to their husbands, it would always be a disaster - that their husband isn't trustworthy, that he is a drunk, that he's not a Christian, that he's foolish. That may well all be true in your life. But submission isn't really about him - it's about you and God. It's about you, as a woman of God, placing your trust in God. It's about allowing Him to be in complete control.

Precious sister, God knows who you are married to. It's no surprise to Him. And yet he calls us to submit. Think of Sarah, Abraham's wife. Now, she had it rough! Her husband, not once, but twice, asked her to portray herself as his sister, allowing her to almost be taken into the bed of another man. And when God told Abraham to leave Ur, she went along for the ride, not knowing what lay in their future. Perhaps she thought he was crazy for leaving home to listen to some foreign god. I doubt there are many of us who can claim to have been married to a man such as Abraham.

But by allowing ourselves to truly submit (and I'm talking with a right spirit here) we can allow God to work - not only in our lives, but in our very spirits. Submission brings about true change in your heart. It increases your faith in God. It builds your trust in Him. It allows you to have peace, knowing that God, who works all things together for good for those who love Him, is in charge and holding your future in His hands.

Perhaps you believe your husband, for whatever reason, is not worthy of your submission. Trust me when I say that if you will submit anyway, you will see changes in him. Often, we women just jump in and usurp the leadership role. But if we sit back and allow him to struggle and adapt, they will often step up to the challenge. Yes, it may be painful for a while. He may make mistakes - mistakes that may hurt you and your family. But in the end, it will be worth the temporary pain. That is, if you can still support and encourage your husband in the midst of any failures. That is key. If you criticize and complain, you'll only push him away, but if you are supportive, he'll be willing to try again and possibly succeed this time.

I know it's hard. In fact, I struggle with this all the time. For some strange reason, it seems as if I have a harder time submitting to my husband in the little things. Move to the Middle East? Sure, honey!! Keep the desk cleaned off? Um, well that's a little harder for me to do.

I think it's because I've learned that I can trust him. I know that he's never made a decision that has proved bad for us, though I haven't always agreed with him. But the small requests? Well, they impact me more on a day to day basis. His opinion on something in the house (which I may feel territorial about - it's "my domain" after all!), or on the children's schooling are areas where I really struggle. The requests he makes aren't troublesome at all. It's just my rebelliousness rising up inside of me that makes me want to have my own way. I'm working on it.

The bottom line? Submission is God's plan. Not because your husband is any better than you. It's just like a corporate flow chart - someone has to be on the top, right? The buck has to stop somewhere. The way I see it, Hubby is the President and I'm the Vice-President of our own little organization. It doesn't make me less valuable - it's just a different role.

For a wonderful book that outlines the many blessings your marriage will see from submission, pick up a copy of
Fascinating Womanhood, by Helen Andelin. It will revolutionize your marriage if you embrace its teachings.

For more Marriage Monday thoughts, visit
Chrysallis, the host of Marriage Monday.

This is the day that the Lord has made

It really is a glorious day! Despite all my crabbiness lately, I am so thankful that the Lord is in His place in Heaven. So I've decided to make a list of things to be thankful about, even though it's not Thursday! LOL!! I'm calling it "Thankful Monday."

  • The weather has been magnificent the past couple of days! When we have woken up it's been in the 60's!!! That's a cold front for us, y'all! I throw open all the doors and windows and revel in the cool, dry air.
  • I love my church. I really do. I love our new pastor. I love his wife. I love the people there. As word has spread about our possible move, several people lately have said some very kind things to me that have really built me up. (Note to self: don't wait until someone may be leaving the country before expressing your appreciation and love for them. LOL!)
  • Yesterday I got to visit with an old friend who I haven't seen or spoken with in ages. The wife of one of our former pastors, who moved to Illinois to do a church plant, Susan was always one of the wisest women I know. She was in town to help her parents (another extremely wise woman) pack for their impending move. It was so nice just to see her smiling face and to see her daughter, Christina.
  • I'm so excited that I won a drawing in the "Fall Y'all" bloggy extravaganza! And not just any drawing - one for Christian music cds. Now, this is a huge thing for me. I LOVE contemporary Christian music. This set includes BarlowGirl (huge fan!), Jeremy Camp, Mercy Me, and even a Johnny Cash cd. Huge thanks to Amy at In Pursuit of of Proverbs 31.

I guess the point is to make an intentional decision about how I look at the day. Instead of seeing all the negatives (which are all still there) I'm choosing to focus on all the blessings of God and to acknowledge Him for His goodness.

In the midst of all the chaos, I choose God.

Menu Plan Monday



Welcome back to another Menu Plan Monday - time to post this week's menus. I know this type of post may seem kind of mundane and it's not really so spiritually inspiring, but it really has helped me to become more accountable and responsible for making healthy meals for my family.

This is going to be quite a chaotic week. I will be out of the house every night but Thursday, so planning meals is going to be a little tricky.

Sunday - Tuna Casserole

Monday - Tostadas

Tuesday - Lasagna, roasted broccoli

Wednesday - Leftovers

Thursday - Scallops, rice, steamed green beans

Friday - Pizza (we are having a slumber party for the girls in our homeschool group)

Saturday - Spaghetti, garlic bread, caesar salad

Sunday - Hamburgers, cole slaw, baked beans

So that's our plan for this week. Due to some financial stuff going on, I spent the bare minimum at the store this week for this menu. I already had the scallops in the freezer, and I'll still have to buy the pizzas (but the partygoers are all chipping in for that), but I managed to spend only $47 at the grocery store. Hopefully that can get us through the bulk of the week. I tried to think of creative ways to use up whatever I had left in the pantry.

We are still waiting to hear from the company in Qatar. It's been back and forth with offer and counter-offer for three weeks now. They are very slow in replying and it's maddening. I'm hoping that Hubby will finally reach an agreement with them this week so that we can have a firm plan of what we are doing.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Link Love to Share

Well, it's been a pretty yucky couple of days around here - nothing major, but enough to dampen my blog-writing enthusiasm.

We have a rental property that's available. I had someone wanting to take it, but Hubby wanted to rent it to someone else. This person promised to sign the lease and was supposed to meet Hubby at the bank first thing in the morning to get the funds. Of course, he never showed up and wouldn't pick up his phone. Then, of course, the other person (who I had told we were going with someone else) wanted nothing to do with us. So we went from having two interested parties to having none. This is on top of our original tenant breaking her lease after just 3 months! Trust me - don't get into the rental property business unless you have tons of money to spend!

On top of that, the a/c broke at the rental property. After paying to replace the entire outside unit - guess what? - it still didn't work. So we had to replace the inside unit too. That cost quite a pretty penny.

But, undeterred, I still want to post. Although I have nothing of my own to say (unless you want to listen to more whining - NOT!), I do have some jewels that I have found on the blogsphere lately to share. I hope you enjoy them as well.
  • Sara at Walk Slowly, Live Wildly wrote this amazing post, taking a fresh look at Proverbs 31. I'm still digesting it all there's so much good stuff in there to think and pray over. (Bonnet tip to Lizzie for this one!)
  • I found this list of questions for wives. It holds the mirror of Scripture up and makes us look at how we reflect upon it. Warning: Don't go here unless you are really willing to be convicted and make a change in your marriage relationship!
  • This comprehensive list of the characteristics of a fool in Scripture brought me to my knees in repentance this week. I was mad at Hubby when I first read it, but was horrified to read that most of the things on the list not only didn't apply to him, they applied to me!
  • Camilla at Growing in Truth wrote another deep, meaty and convicting post that really applies to women who, like me, struggle with managing our homes and families because of misplaced priorities. It, too, is something I'm taking my time to mull over because there is so much to be learned.

I guess that's all for now. Trust me, if you read through all of these, you'll be kept plenty busy!

Friday, November 2, 2007

Favorite Ingredient Friday - Cookie Edition!


Today's edition of Favorite Ingredient Friday over at Overwhelmed With Joy focuses on cookies. Now, surely the intention of this was to share about Christmas cookies, what with it now officially being the holiday season. It is official, right? I think it has been since, oh, say September 5 when the stores started putting out their Christmas stuff!! But that's another discussion.

Anyhoo, when I read that this week we were supposed to share a cookie recipe, I knew which one it would be for me. And it's not Christmas-y. But it is a treasured family recipe, created by my Great Aunt Nonie. Nonie is short for Leona and was this woman a pip!! Aunt Nonie had narcolepsy, so she could literally fall asleep at the drop of a hat. While driving, while babysitting, while bathing, any time. She was a very strong willed woman, who didn't do much in the domestic arena, but somehow she struck gold with this recipe. It was always an exciting day for all the grandkids when Aunt Nonie made her Orange Cookies.

Aunt Nonie's Orange Cookies
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • Rind of one orange
  • 1/2 cup milk, with 1/2 tsp. vinegar added to it
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 3/4 cup flour
  • Frosting Ingredients as listed below

Cream shortening and sugar. Add eggs and mix well. Add remaining ingredients. Mix well and drop by rounded teaspoons onto baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes. The cookies should still be pale in color.

Citrus Frosting

  • 1 box powdered sugar
  • 1/2 stick butter, softened
  • Grapefruit juice

Cream together the powdered sugar and butter. Beat in grapefruit juice until it's a nice consistency for frosting - sorry, this is subjective. Aunt Nonie didn't ever measure, but I can tell you that it was thinner than most frostings, but not too thin.

I hope you enjoy the cookies should you try to make them. We always did!!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

30-Day Organizational Challenge

Ok, for those of you that harbor any ideas that I am Suzy Homemaker, let me shatter those illusions today. Laura, The Organizing Junkie, is hosting a 30-Day Organizational Challenge and I'm taking part.

Now, the worst part of this is that I have to bare my soul, or rather, my messiest room, to the blogosphere.

And it's bad.

Really bad.

Bad as in...I close the door whenever we have company (or whenever my OCD husband is around!). Bad as in I can't walk through the room without stepping on something and hurting my foot. Bad as in...well, see for yourself.






My shame is complete. I promise you, for those of you who haven't had the pleasure of visiting my home, that the rest of my house doesn't look like this. It is slightly cluttered, but still very nice. I've managed to contain all of my, well, uncontainable-ness to this one small room.
So, (sigh), this is our playroom/library/guestroom/junk room. Basically everything goes in here that we don't know what else to do with. As you can see, there are books everywhere. School things such as globes, maps, manipulatives, etc. are everywhere. And toys. Oh, the toys. Most of them are Imaginext toys that my son has kinda, sorta outgrown, but every once in a while wants to play with.
Ok, now here are my goals for making this a beautiful, livable, workable space:
  1. I need to remove all the books from the room. First off, I need to identify those books which I can list on eBay and get that done. Then, whatever isn't worth listing on eBay and I don't want to keep, I just need to donate to Goodwill. I'd like to cut the number of bookshelves down from 4 to 2.
  2. I need to either convince my son (not likely) to get rid of the Imaginext toys or move them to the garage, or find a better system for storing them. Currently they are filling 3 under-the-bed boxes (which don't even fit under the bed) and are always in the way.
  3. I need to make a system which will encourage my kids to put away cds and cd-roms when they are finished with them - right now they get left out and are all over the place, not good when you are talking about $175 curriculum cds!!
  4. I'd like to paint the room. It's right now a shade of salmon (what was I thinking?!?!?) and I want to paint it a nice neutral sand color, matching the main living areas of the house.
  5. I need to get the closet door to stay on. It keeps coming off every time we put it back up. Any tips on how those things work?
  6. I need to figure out a better place to store the large green ottoman until we are ready to have a garage sale and sell that set. It doesn't fit in any other room and it would get ruined in the garage, but this just isn't working.
  7. I need to make a shelf or two to be dedicated to the school equipment (microscope, globe, etc.).
  8. I'd like to put a pretty tablecloth or table skirt on this ugly utility table that we are using for a computer desk right now. Ugh!!
  9. And finally, I need to devise a way to get it to stay nice when I'm done. It seems like every time I get this room straightened up it ends up like this again.

So there you have it. I have allowed you to see what no other humans outside my family have seen. Don't you feel special? Now I'm off to get to work!!

To see what other bloggers are working on, head on over to The Organizing Junkie to see more 30-Day Organizational Challenge participants!

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