Wednesday, March 15, 2017

A Boy and His Dad


Jaxson is working on an "invention" for his Inventions class at our homeschool co-op! The amount of boxes (that he "might" need) and cardboard in my home drives me crazy...but I remind myself this is only for a small time and that it's *ok*!

The one day, Jax asked for his dad's advice on some things...it was so enjoyable seeing them work together. I love how Chris will make Jaxson think. He doesn't just give him answers or tell him how to do something...he will help him to figure out the answers on his own! They were measuring and thinking and coming up with ideas...


I love this pic below...they were figuring things out on paper and I love how they're both crouched down...


We are in Western PA and although we braced for a ton of snow, we only got some. Nothing unmanageable...although the wind is quite bitter out there! I am optimistic though as I know spring is right around the corner! I have seeds ordered (and some have already come in) and a greenhouse to put together to grow them. I will be sure to post about that when the time comes! :)

Along with trying to keep warm (keep the outside wood stove chugging along) we have been doing the same things around here...schooling and housework, spending time together, cooking meals (trying new recipes) and for me ~ working out at the Y, planning and keeping up with my shop's orders. Madelyn has been fighting a bit of a cold virus but thankfully, no one else has gotten it (yet).

My aunt got Jaxson a fish. Oh dear! He named it Dexter. It's the last thing we need...but he is quite happy about it...so that brings joy to me! :)



I did go bowling last week with some sisters in Christ. One woman we love was moving back to NC and it was a "going away" time together for us all! I bowled terribly...but we all had a lot of fun and that's what matters most. I am not sure that any of us broke 100! haha!

We've been playing church volleyball every Friday evening. We don't win much....but we laugh and truly have a ton of fun! This Friday will be our last time playing for the year.

So...that is a little of what has been happening around here (in a nutshell). I need to be better about picture taking. I want to better document our days as I used to. We all love looking back at the yearly blog books I have had made.

I need to get going. I have a few more chores to get done...then need to start supper. Then I am off to teach a spin class at the Y followed by a hot shower and then relaxing with my family! :) I hope you are having a lovely week! Thanks so much for dropping by!

Warmly,
Katy

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Making Cleaning Easier with my Favorite Products!

Before I start...I want to quickly say that this post is not sponsored or affiliated with anyone officially...I am earning no products or money for this! I am truly just sharing with you some of my favorite products because I find them wonderful and really useful!:o) 

OK...so, I'm not sure if you have heard of Norwex products before or not. Let me tell you...they are the real deal and just fantastic! I don't really host "parties" at my house...I have done a few over the years but I'm not really into them. I never want people to come and feel pressured to buy things. That being said, I *have* gone to a couple Norwex parties in the not too far past. They are microfiber cloths that only need water! No sprays, no chemicals! 

Now at first I thought, Oh great ~ over-priced cleaning products. But oh my...these are *so* much better than I had anticipated! :) For something to be considered "microfiber" it has to be at least 1/6th of a strand of hair. Norwex microfiber cloths are 1/200th of a strand of hair!! They pick up everything....bacteria, germs, etc. The consultants at the parties even did a demonstration with chicken juices (and using protein swab indicator tests). Not only did the Envirocloth  pick up the juice and leave the surface clean but when it was rubbed on another surface...it didn't transfer any bacteria!! To clean it all you have to do is rinse it under warm water, squeeze it out and hang it to dry. It has silver in it which gets rid of any of the bacteria that was left in the cloth! You only need to launder it every blue moon (aka: once in while) because it is self-cleaning!

Now, some of the products seem quite pricey. The prices kinda scared me off at first....however, you have to take a few things into consideration. First ~ you don't have to purchase sprays, cleaners etc. All you need is the cloth and water! Second ~ you are getting rid of nasty chemicals in your home! *And* here is how I got over $300 of products for free....I hosted a party! It was easy...we had a lot of fun laughing, talking and seeing these awesome products! If you have a consultant near you...I encourage you to look her up and see if you can host a party! They are *very* generous to their hostesses! I couldn't believe how much I got! :) 

If someone sees me in person and we start talking about Norwex products I get all excited and share with them all the stuff I said above! And I don't even sell the stuff! I just truly love it and want others to know how they can clean their homes safely and save money in the long run! :) 

Here are just some of things I received (I forgot to photograph some of the other items!): 

Pictured below is a netted dish cloth. I thought it was a super-strange dish cloth and wasn't going to get one...but I had free hostess money to spend so I got one! I am so glad I did! I *love* doing dishes now. I am not sure exactly *why* I love it so much now but this thing is amazing! It's like a cleaner and scrubbie in one and because it is netted it doesn't hold on to bacteria etc. You can hand wash it out a bit and let it dry and don't have to launder it between every single use! It gets my dishes super clean (without the extra work!). 


Below is the Envirocloth. It is a sort of multi-purpose cloth. You wet it, wring it out, and wash everything! Then you rinse it out under warm water and hang it to dry until you need it the next time! You can wash windows/mirrors with it as well and then use the window cloth (the pink one hanging behind it) to dry them to a beatiful streak-free shine! :) The ones I have pictured here are for bathroom cleaning. I use it do wash cupboards, the sink, walls, mirrors etc. (Although I could use it on the outside of the toilet...as it would be perfectly fine to do so...I can't wrap my mind around that and then still use it on other surfaces. So I would like to get another envirocloth specifically for the toilet)...


Next I have a bathroom scrub mitt. I like to use it on washing our claw foot bathtub...


These things are for the body. A scrub mitt and a back scrubber/washer. I haven't used them yet...as I still love using my nicely scented soaps and shower gels. With these Norwex mitts, you don't use soap and I haven't been ready to give them up yet...


The next two pictures are of cloths for the body...specifically for make up removal! It works perfectly and is self-cleaning! I love them!



Below I am showing my kitchen cloths. Oh how I love these things too! I am an avid counter washer! I like my counters to be clean. I use these self-cleaning cloths to pick up all the germs and bacteria on my counters and cupboards...then rinse them out and hang them to dry! Easy peasy!


I keep some of my other Norwex cloths hanging in my cleaning closet...


This is the duster mitt that works beautifully...


Below is a polishing cloth. I haven't used this yet...but am glad to have it for when I need it!


They even sell wonderfully safe laundry detergent! I already use eco-friendly stuff but I earned this stuff from my party and plan on putting it to good use as well. They say this stuff is the best to use when you launder any of your Norwex cloths from time to time....


They sell dryer balls (I already have some from a different brand that I use), toothbrushes, crystal deodorant (which I got and am trying!), mops, toilet brushes, dish soap and so much more!

Seriously...I don't sell Norwex and am not earning anything from telling you about it. I just love their products and get excited to share it with others! I love things that are safe for our families, the environment and save money! Don't you?

If you have any questions, please feel free to ask! I will try to answer in the comments in case others want to read about it too! :)

A clean home makes me happy! If you have tried any Norwex stuff and want to share about it, I would love to hear about it! Is there something else I should try!?

Happy cleaning friends!
Warmly,
Katy

Linked up at: Strangers and Pilgrims (link in right sidebar) and The Modest Mom Blog

Saturday, March 4, 2017

"With mirth & laughter...

...let old wrinkles come."
~William Shakespeare

Today, my Christopher gets another year closer to 40! That's not a bad thing...at all! I have been blessed to be joined to him for almost 17 years and I love growing old with him! It *is* quite hard to fathom though. I feel as though I was just in my 20s and 40 seemed so far away for both of us. Now, here we are....inching towards "middle age" and we have teenagers! It's just difficult to really wrap my mind around. If you have been following me on my blog since the beginning...it's been a decade of words and memories already! My teenagers were wee ones when I started this blog! Isn't it just crazy how the time goes by so quickly!? I am *definitely* not complaining though. I praise the Lord for the gift of Chris! Let the wrinkles and gray hair come (as it already has begun)! We are growing older together and I love it! :o) 

As per usual, when someone who works at my dad's garage has a birthday...they get a wee party after lunch time with the family and some of the guys! Chris was no exception! My sister and her girls (plus the bun in the oven) came to celebrate with us! The children all had fun trying out the new crane machine...





 The girls' uncle Chris joins the fun...


Jaxson and Eloise were having fun in on a computer...video taping themselves...haha!



Audra wasn't too happy here (it was definitely approaching naptime!)...


Eloise got the red ball (her favorite color!)...



 I don't know *why* but there is this silly little skeleton that hangs around the waiting room at my dad's garage. I don't know where it came from or anything about it except that Chris named it "Tommy" and the children all think it is funny! Audra had fun chasing Madelyn with it...


Then Audra found out that the head can come off (teehee)...




 Xavier...who used to fit perfectly on the trikes at the garage is now much too big but that didn't stop him from giving El a fun ride around...



Then Eloise took Dinah for a ride (aren't those smiles just the *sweetest*?)...


Then it was time to sing to Chris and for him to blow out his candles (X couldn't resist helping). He knew I would snap a photo so he put these funny skiing goggles on for added fun effect (he always makes me smile)...


Father and son...


Time to open some gifts! I didn't take many pictures at this time...but this was just so cute. Dinah used to be afraid of Chris (not sure if it was the beard or what!?) and that day...she ran right up and gave him birthday hugs and helped him open his gifts...


She layed her hand on his knee and left it there for a bit. It was just too precious! :o)


Today is Chris's *actual* birthday. I have some fun planned for this afternoon and evening! :o) He and I are both battling headaches but I am determined to make it an enjoyable day either way!

I hope you are having a lovely weekend! If you get a chance, check out my shop! I have some new listings up! :o) Thank you for coming by for a visit!

Warmly,
Katy

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

"Christians are made...

...to glorify God. We are never in our element 
until we are praising Him." 
~Charles Spurgeon

Although our weather lately has been a bit wacky....spring-like one day, cold the next...we are definitely not complaining! We are praising the Lord for what He gives. When praying with our family aloud, my husband thanks the Lord for His beautiful creation (rain or shine...or snow!). 

Our hens are loving the sunshine. Even when it is a bit chilly out, they love getting to free-range for a few hours in the afternoon/evening...




We have spent some time outside...cleaning up leaves, scrubbing the siding, and tidying outside. I ordered seeds and look forward to the time when all the flowers are in bloom and the dead earth comes alive!


If the wood stove were alive, it would probably be confused. We have it fervently going one day and then not the next! Most days though, it has been gently burning...at least to keep the chill out of the house. Even when it isn't *cold* outside, there can still be a bit of a chill in the house. Especially when it is damp out or a cool breeze is blowing...


Playing games indoors...


Our homeschool co-op has an Academic Fair coming up this Friday. It's a time where students can choose projects on Art, History or Science and have them on display for all the parents/friends to see. The displays are judged and some of the students win awards! This year, Madelyn wanted to do a project on John Wayne (Last year she did one on Johnny Cash). She is working on her display board...



After a long break from my knitting (just because of busyness and not getting *into* it again)...I have been working on knitting some dish cloths for a friend. She requested some for her new home that she will be moving into soon. It was a good motivation for me to get yarn back on the needles! Madelyn has been happy to oblige as well! 


Xavier has to get a few teeth pulled today. They are stubborn baby teeth that just won't come out on their own. The adult teeth are coming in wonky and aren't helping to push the baby teeth out. He's quite nervous about it...but it is necessary. Unfortunately, we don't have dental insurance so it's going to be pricey. I'm sure you understand though. None of us is immune to the high costs of living. Thankfully, we have money put away in savings for just this sort of thing. :o)

Thank you for stopping by for a quick visit! I truly always enjoy your comments and emails! I need to get going....things to do! :o)
I hope your week is going well!
I hope you will visit me again here soon!

Warmly,
Katy

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

"Be like Jesus...

... very valiant for your God. Imitate him in your loving spirit; think kindly, speak kindly, and do kindly, that men may say of you, "He has been with Jesus." Imitate Jesus in his holiness. Was he zealous for his Master? So be you; ever go about doing good. Let not time be wasted: it is too precious. Was he self-denying, never looking to his own interest? Be the same. Was he devout? Be you fervent in your prayers. Had he deference to his Father's will? So submit yourselves to him. Was he patient? So learn to endure."

~Charles Spurgeon


Oh how I want to be like Jesus....and how very short I fall...each. and. every. day. I am so thankful that His strength is shown through my weakness. The only way to be more like Christ is to spend time in His Word and to *know* Him. Reading about Him, studying Him, talking to Him...these are the ways to know Christ more. It is the only way to be more like Him. Of course, we cannot do it all in our own strength either...but thankfully He gave us the Holy Spirit to work in and through us to do His will. I am so grateful! I encourage you to not only study the Scriptures but to also spend a little time reading words of great men of old who imitated Christ...who loved Him and wanted to make Him known! Men like Spurgeon, J.C. Ryle, Matthew Henry, William Wilberforce and more! :) 

I am praising the Lord for the beautiful weather He has given us lately! It's February and usually in Western Pennsylvania we have snow and freezing temperatures! Instead it is in the 50's and spring-like! Oh it is absolutely glorious friends! Yesterday before heading off to our homeschool co-op day I hung out a load of freshly laundered towels! Line-dried towels are my favorite and how glorious it was to use one after a shower! :)  

My sister and her children are coming to town today (YIPPEEEE!) and actually coming *here* to my house! Our aunt's birthday is coming up so a few of us are getting together to celebrate! We're getting pizza and cake and celebrating another year of life for her (good thing I exercised hard last night! haha!). They should be arriving soon....but I wanted to share a few photos of what has been happening lately! :) 

Madelyn got a small *job* at our YMCA doing childcare a couple of hours one day a week. On her first "work" day the boys and I went in too. I exercised while they played basketball and cards...





 Egg salad sandwiches for lunch on Valentine's Day...




A Valentine's Day game at lunch...


I don't usually do disposable plates and napkins. I prefer reusable ones....however, I found these cute Valentine's Day ones at JoAnn's for 70% off! I couldn't beat that awesome price! :) It made the day a little more festive! Chris took me out for supper that evening too! We *never* go out together so it was nice!


Jaxson working on some of his drawings...



X working on some schoolwork...


 It's that time of year again....seed time!


 Madelyn practices on the piano every chance she gets!


Home...




This week is a busier one for me...but that's a good thing because it is all enjoyable things going on! I hope your week is enjoyable as well! Remember to be like Jesus...always! And the *only* way to truly be like Him is to *know* Him. The only way to *know* Him is to be reading His Word! :)

Thank you for stopping by friends!
Cheerfully,
Katy

Linked up at: Strangers & Pilgrims