Sunday, January 10, 2016

this was supposed to be a 10 on 10

Well, this was supposed to be a 10 on 10 post. But, I took too many photos and I want to post them all. Plus, I took a nap and stopped taking them eight hours in. Not ten. Oh, well :)

It was a very good day. We woke up to our first snow (finally!). We all got up early enough to have a hot breakfast. My people were in good moods. There was a baptism at church. Playing in snow. Two batches of cocoa (always after playing in the snow). Just all around good. And restful. One short day after moving in, Sam had to travel to San Antonio for 5 days. That was not fun timing. It was very weird to be trying to get used to a new house, but not have him here. It felt entirely different today with him with us. Finally right. Happy to be gettin' on with the business of making this house home.

Cathead Biscuits

Preheat cast iron round pan in 400 degree oven.
2 and 1/2 cps White Lily self-rising flour
1/2 tsp. salt
5-6 T. very cold salted butter cut in pieces
Cut butter into flour and salt until course crumbs (handle quickly and keep butter cold).
Mix in just enough *cold* buttermilk to form slightly wet dough. Handle lightly.
Divide dough into 8ths.
Take pan out of over and melt 2 T. butter in bottom of it
Gently and quickly form each 8th into a ball and press gently into pan making sure sides touch each other
Turn each ball over so buttered side is on top. Make sure sides still touch.
Bake for 20ish minutes or until tops are lightly golden. Serve split with jam or gravy :)

Scratch Hot Cocoa

1/2 C. white sugar
1/4 C. Hershey's unsweetened cocoa
big dash salt
1/3 C. really hot water
Mix all together in medium pan on stovetop. Low boil until sugar dissolves.
While waiting for cocoa mixture to boil, heat 5-6 C. milk in microwave or in separate pot.
After sugar dissolves and milk is warm/hot, slowly pour and stir milk into chocolate.
Heat through to desired temp.
Stir in 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract. YUM.

Then these two had rest time, our oldest girls went to a movie with friends, and I konked out. It was lovely :)

We start back to school tomorrow. I can't put it off any longer. I think there's just barely enough order to make it reasonably possible. But there's still one math book I haven't found yet.

"Hi" to visitors from Rebekah's link up. Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, January 7, 2016


It's silly how many things you seem to need to buy when moving. Little, necessary things like extra trashcans, doormats, hooks, organizers. But it's also nice if you can budget a little for some extra things that just help the new house feel more like home. I did a little online shopping this morning, and thought I'd share some of my favorite purchases from the last two weeks.

I bought one of these sweet pillows years ago, and absolutely loved it. But, then we got a puppy. And he ate it. He's almost 14 months now, and I think (hope?) old enough now to not eat a new one. From Olive Handmade on Etsy.

These were a re-order of sorts, too. For the past four years, I've ordered these 11x14 calendar prints from Linnea Design. It took me a few days to figure out where to hang them in the new house, but I think I have a spot now. I like to hang 3 at a time. Jan-Mar, Apr-Jun, July-Sep, and Oct-Dec. It's kind of a seasonal change that way, instead of having to remember to change the print every month. I'm not so good at keeping up with stuff like that.

I use three of the black-edge glass front frames. Available here. The Fall months are some of my favorites from the 2016 set.

This Target door mat is in the new laundry room off the garage.

I love the Signature Soy candles from Target. They don't give me headaches like non-soy options do. Right after we closed on the new house, I went to Target to get some things for cleaning that night. It was the week before Christmas, so I chose this scent. I've still been burning it even though the holidays are over. It's such a pleasant, not-overpowering, evergreen mix. And the mint color with the copper lid is a win :) I turn it backward so the label doesn't show.

These are the Target dishcloths I've used for a while now. I needed new ones. Somehow we lost about half of ours in the move. I have a sneaking suspicion they accidentally found there way into a bag destined for Goodwill. These are the only type and color of kitchen dishcloths I have.

I'm not big on strongly scented hand soap. I especially don't like hand soaps that smell too girly. Like men don't have to wash their hands? What guy wants to walk around smelling like plumeria? This Watkins soap is my favorite for bathrooms. The scent is very subtle and not too perfumey or fake smelling. It's a little pricey, but large refill bottles are available online, and those really help keep the cost reasonable.

Lastly, I picked up a few of these fun cereal bowls yesterday at our local grocery store (they were cheaper than on the Corelle website, so you might want to shop around). I noticed there is a gray version, too, which I probably would've liked even better. There's just the right amount of color detail. Kind of reminds me of old enamelware. When I gave Hope her cereal in one this morning, she squealed, "What a cute little bowl!" Maybe that's just because she's four, but it could be that they're just that cute.

That's all. Just some little things to cozy up a new space!

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

We're Moved In!

This house is our fifth house. We'll celebrate our 16th wedding anniversary next month, and in that time we've moved four times. That seems like a lot to me! I think our third move was our hardest. We were moving 30-35 minutes away and thought we could make little trips with the van for a lot of our stuff... ahem...(don't do that unless you're moving really close). We didn't have much time to prepare, we had 4 children ages six and under, and it was Christmastime. Hard. This move was also at Christmastime, but although it probably wasn't our easiest (we have a LOT of stuff between the seven of us), it really was on the easy end of the spectrum. I would say it was well paced. We had time to stretch it out a bit and even get the kids' rooms painted before moving in. The gradual pace meant we also had time to unpack as we went and get things feeling fairly settled quickly. I'm so, so thankful for that! Historically, I haven't done well with moving. The limbo of not feeling like the new house is home yet, but the old house isn't home anymore... I'm kind of a baby about that part. I hate feeling so unsettled. So, being able to have a good bit of the house set up already is a huge deal for me. I don't take it for granted.

Our friends have helped so much, too. And my sister and her family. Oh my. What would I do without them? Seriously. Friends to help clean, to help unpack, to help remove the basement handrail and force a full-size freezer down the steps, friends to bring meals. I am so thankful for all of them and the ways they've shown love to us.

I picked up my camera this afternoon. I wanted to remember they way things looked this first week here. We first slept in the new house on Saturday night. This is our fourth full day. It feels... homey (?) but still kind of surreal. Like it's ours and familiar but it isn't and it's not. Moving is so weird, isn't it?

Here is the house around 3:30pm today. I didn't move much around. Some things are just as I want them and some I'm really antsy to change. Kinda crazy that this is our home now.

Now, time to feed everybody and get out the door for AWANA!

(I just had to mention that I shot all these in jpeg and didn't edit them at all. The white balance is making me crazy, but I'm making myself deal with it. Kind of.)

Monday, December 21, 2015

the new house

I really thought we'd be living in our current house for another ten years or so. It wasn't our plan to move this soon. But, we can't see what will come, and our best laid plans are just plans. Here we are. Moving. Again.

This new house is very different. It's much more like the house we lived in two houses ago. It's 15 years old and BIG. It's in very good condition, just needing some cracks fixed up, holes patched, and walls painted. The couple we purchased it from were the original owners (I think) and they never had children. As far as we can tell, the paint on the walls is the original builder's white. They've kept white paint in good condition for 15 years. There are some things about the house that make me wonder if they were here much at all or ever had guests over. At any rate, I'm afraid with 5 kids, a big dog, a cat, and plenty of gatherings, this poor house won't know what hit it :)

The main reason for getting such a big house is that part of it is going to be converted into an apartment for my parents. They live an hour away and everyone agreed it was just the best decision all around for them to move up to where my family and my sister's family lived. Having their own private space in this house will, we all hope, be a great situation. Mom and Dad are excited about the change and happy to be able to see their grandchildren so much.

My favorite thing about the house is the windows. And the high ceilings. And the floor plan. And the huge kitchen island. There's a back staircase, too! Cosmetically, it's pretty vanilla right now, but I know the power of paint from experience, right? :) But with all the transition in store for us as we get Mom and Dad's space ready and we all adjust to a new normal, I know the painting projects are going to need to be at a fairly slow pace. First things first... and that means getting 9 people safe, comfortable, cozy, and cared for.

Here's the main floor of the house :)

That's it. I wonder how long it will take for it to feel like home. Friends help. We've had 17 people in it within the first day and a half of receiving the keys. Three of the older girls best friends were here to help us clean on Friday night. Church friends old and new were here. My sister has been out of town, but she gets home tonight and I'm sure she and I will get over there tomorrow. The more happy times with sweet, familiar faces in this new house the better. It's a great house for big groups. Which is good, because when Mom, Dad, the seven of us, and my sister's family are all together there are 14 of us. And I think we'll be together a lot :)