Thursday, September 29, 2011

Heart For Home Thursday~ My Favorite........ Way To Pack!

 Well, since today is full of packing up and getting ready to head all over the place, I though I would share my favorite way to pack for a "large" family.  Our family still doesn't strike me as large, but when I realize I'm packing for six girls for four nights, it can be a little daunting. 

After too many trips of realizing that I packed seven shirts for Bethany and only two for Havilah, I knew I had to come up with a better system.  Now I use the "Bag For a Day" system  (as I call it!).

For this upcoming trip, the older girls and Esther are coming with us, while the middle girls are going to spend a fun weekend with their grandparents.  So in one plastic grocery bag (I know!  I'm so "un-green"!) I put one day's clothes for Lydia, Bethany and Esther, including socks, underwear, onesies etc..

I tie it up and label what day it is for......

Then I repeat the process for each day, making a separate bag for pajamas and one bag for "extra" clothes.  With two headed for the beach and one potty training, there were a few more extra clothes than usual.

Here they all are, ready to be packed!

All three girl's clothes fit nicely into one back pack, ready to be pulled out each day, complete with every thing needed.  The other two will have their own bag.  This makes dressing for the day on a trip sooooooo much easier.  It eliminates the last minute decision making because everyone knows what they are going to wear for the day.  I also feel better for those I'm leaving my children with as their sizes are so close to each other it can be confusing what clothes go to each girl.

Have fun packing!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

King Family Update~ Ella

Well if Esther is sugar and spice and everything nice, Ella Joy is wiggles and squiggles and a whole bunch of giggles.  At 20 months she is more full of mischief then any bitty 22 lb. girl I've ever seen. 

Our "Joy Bug" keeps us smiling and laughing all day long.  She also provides us with our daily dose of exercise as we keep running all day to try and keep her out of trouble.

Ella knows no strangers, and loves her family deeply.  She's simply fun, fun, fun and our lives are so rich with her in our family.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

King Family Update~ Esther

Heading into a new school year always feels like an actual new year, so I thought it was time for a good 'ole family update.  I decided to start with the youngest this time!

Miss Esther is growing up faster than I can believe. She will be four months next week and I just can't figure out where the time is going.  While it feels like she was just born, it also is so hard to imagine what life was like before she was a part of our family.

These days she is full of smiles, giggles and wondrous fascination for the world around her.

She loves Mommy and her sisters but like all true King girls in this family, Daddy is the absolute favorite.   Everything he does is amazing, hilarious and magnificent to Esther.  He can do no wrong in her book (except maybe sneeze loudly while holding her!).

She is the definition of "Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice".  We are all just completely smitten by her!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Heart for Home Thursday~ One of those weeks!

Yep. It's been one of "Those" weeks.  We stay relatively healthy around here, which is a tremendous blessing, but every year or so we are hit.  Hard.  And germs don't like to stay to themselves in this family.  We just love each other too much for that!

Sooooo, since today has been full of caring for my extremely sick husband and making sure my girls are quiet enough to not disturb him, I thought I would simply direct your attention to some of my past recipes that are still some of my favorites ever.  Enjoy!!!

Scones and Lemon Curd
Olive and Artichoke Bread
Homemade Bagels

P.S.  Let me know how they turned out, how you liked them, your own additions etc..  Don't forget, everyone who comments on each Heart For Home Thursday posts are entered into a monthly drawing!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Happy FALL!!!

Remember back when I said I had favorites?  Well I wasn't kidding!  And my favorite, FAVORITE, FAVORITE season of all is Fall.  Call it "Autumn" if you will.  It makes no difference to me.  Not many things thrill me to my toes like the thought of Fall.

Here are my favorite things about Fall~

Wood stoves with fires
Home schooling
Crisp air
Brown, green and orange all together
Long sleeves
Smells like cinnamon, cloves, pumpkin etc.

I could go on, but I won't.  Pretty much anything that has to do with Fall,  I love.  Thank you, Thank you Lord for Fall!!!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Heart For Home Thursday~ My Favorite.... Way to Clean Glass

(Whew!  I barely made this one.  I thought about it all last night and then as I was applying my "husband's about ready to come home" makeup it hit me that I had forgotten to write!!! Thank you for your patience!)

Window washing was always my most dreaded chore.  Give me a vacuum or a pile of laundry but please, please don't make me wash the windows!  I tried every window cleaner ever made and used everything from squeegees to newspaper.  -S-T-R-E-A-K-S-  There was no way to avoid them!  So, of course, as every good cleaning story ends, I asked my mother.  She gave me the simplest, streak free solution that I've used ever since.

Here is our fingerprinted TV. 

Here is our miracle cast of characters.  Two rags, one bowl of warm water and a squirt of dish soap.  Mix just a dash of soap in a little warm water.  With one rag, dip it in the water (just a little) and wipe off the dirty surface.

Then take your second rag and dry it off squeaky clean, wiping away any smudges as you go.  Just rub, rub, rub and before you know it it will be sparkling!  If any smears remain, just wipe it good with your dry cloth.

Ahhh, much better!

I use this for ALL my glass cleaning, including mirrors

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Heart for Home Thursday~ Reaping Smiles

Last night after I put the big girls to bed, I crashed for just a moment on my bed with Esther.  After just a moment she did something that broke my heart.  She smiled.  A beautiful, sweet, loving smile.  What hit me like a ton of bricks was the fact that I hadn't seen that smile all day.  And as I thought back over my day, I couldn't really remember many smiles at all, from me or my girls.

You see yesterday was a canning day.  I felt pressure to finish up our peaches before we go pick blackberries this morning and have to do more jam.  Our TOWERING laundry pile glared at me all day.  And Ella.  Ella is going through a  very trying stage.  She has taken "Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might" verse and applied it diligently to her life.  Unfortunately her hands seem to find the sugar bag, the glitter, the snacks on the microwave or substances that have caused me to call poison control twice in one week.

With all this pressure of everything I "had" to get done, combined with little ones seeming to undo everything I accomplished, I was one flustered mama.  I was short tempered.  I was busy.  It was just kind of a grumpy day all around.  That's why Esther's sweet little smile revealed how ugly things had got. 

While praying desperately for the Lord's grace and wisdom, this is my plan of attack for the day.

1. Meditating on the "I'm Stressed" Psalm.

"My heart is not proud, O Lord, my eyes are not haughty;  I do not concern my heart with great matters or things too wonderful for me. But I have stilled and quieted my soul; like a weaned child with it's mother, like a weaned child is my soul within me.  O Israel, put your hope in the Lord both now and forevermore."

Resting in the arms of Jesus is right where I want to be.  Nothing going on around me is worth stressing out or forgetting that my gracious Father has me right where He wants me.

2.  Identifying my "pressures".

There's pressure to get the peaches done, the laundry done, dishes washed, shelves to organize, meals to plan AND execute, socks to sort, a bedroom to shovel out, plus be out the door on time with five little girls with sparkling faces, combed hair and shoes.  Let's not forget shoes like last time. 

This is my immediate, top priority list for just today (not including jam making and clean up).  The ingredient I have to throw out of this mix is the all consuming perfection

Perfection turns these tasks into overwhelming weights.  They are so heavy that my body literally feels like it's being squashed by them.  Throw perfection out of the mix and suddenly the fog is lifted.  The tasks remain to be handled and completed in a diligent manner, but the heaviness is removed.  Today I will probably get the dishes done, make dinner, make jam, do a couple of loads of laundry, and hopefully remember shoes.  And I will feel at peace.  Tomorrow maybe we will tackle the shelves or the bedroom.  If I am remembering Colossians 3:23 "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart as working for the Lord, not for men." , then I will know I am doing what needs to be done in a manner that honors the Lord.

3.  Surrender the anger.

I think most people who know me would not think of me as an angry person.  But I assure you, I struggle with it with the best of you.  I hate it.  I realize how destructive and fruitless it is.  But still it returns.  So when I say "surrender the anger" it is a daily thing, not a one time thing.  My goal this fall is to memorize and meditate on these crucial verses that paint such an accurate picture of anger.

" A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control"~ Proverbs 29:11

"The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat it's fruit"~ Proverbs 18:21

"A man of knowledge uses words with restraint, and a man of understanding is even-tempered."~ Proverbs 17:27

"A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger."~ Proverbs 15:1

"Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing."~ Proverbs 12:18

I can not tell you how many times I have reprimanded my daughters for how they speak to their sisters while knowing in my heart that they sound just like me.  Please pray for me in this battle!

4.  Smile, Sing, Speak words of joy and truth.

When things get frazzled here, the first thing to go is my smile.  Today I'm going to SMILE!!! 

 And I'm going to SING!!!  Singing with your children is a great cure-all.  Just simple songs like "He's got the Whole World in His Hands", "My God is so Great", or "I've got the Joy, Joy, Joy". 

And I'm going to speak words of joy and truth.  No child gets tired of hearing "I love you" if it is spoken from the heart.  My girls thrive on praise like sunshine, and everyone likes to hear how much they mean to someone. 

I really didn't intend for this to be a confessional, but I also couldn't find it in my heart to write some great recipe, when I knew I had some growing to do!  May we all seek to rest in the Lord and to make our hearts right so that we can better serve our families and our homes!


Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Glad to be left out!

Today's the day!!!  This morning my facebook erupted with joyful proclamations of how much this long awaited day means to so many mothers out there.  Now their lives can begin.  Freedom has arrived!

I tried to think for a moment what it would be like if I was sending my oldest two away on a school bus this morning.  I didn't try very long.

Today, I'm glad to be "missing out".  While others may be having their "day of days" I'm perfectly happy right where I am!

Sunday, September 4, 2011


Do you get as excited as I do when you hear that word?  There's just something so irresistible about it.  Well there is definitely something to get excited about now!  We are discontinuing our "Oh Sew Lovely" line at so it is all on clearance!

 All of our adorable skirts are for sale for $9.50 each.

 Our jumpers range from $10.00 to $11.50

 Clutches and bags from $4.75 to $11.75

Spread the word!!!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Three Months Old!!!

Days are flying by.......

and with every passing day I'm amazed to find....

I only love her more!!!

Friday, September 2, 2011

August's Winner!

Thanks for your encouragement with my Heart For Home Thursdays.  As promised, I've drawn a winner from all of your who posted on my August posts and the winner is......... RachelKD!!!  This month's prize is a $5 gift card to Amazon.  Please e-mail me at

Oh, and to answer your question about the baking soda in the iced tea.  I was told that it cuts back the bitter taste that is common with black tea.  It seems to help so I do it!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Heart For Home Thursday~ Little Helpers

I know we've all heard it before, but I'm going to say it again.  Teach you children to help around the house!  There are many negative views when it comes to training your children to work.  It's not about getting a free ride as a mom or turning our children into our slaves.  It's about training our children in diligence, perseverance, responsibility and hard work. 

Two years ago we made the "great switch".  We moved all of our eat on dishes to the bottom cupboard and put our pans and mixing bowls in the top cupboards.  It seemed so strange to me, but it has worked fabulously for our family.  The girls are now completely responsible for emptying the dishwasher and setting the table.  They thrive on the responsibility and receive much deserved praise for their service to their family.

What are some of your favorite ways to get your little ones involved in your daily chores?