Finally – A Home to Call Our Own!

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I have dreamed of this day for years now. I’ve thought through how I would share this news with you. I’m just going to come out and say it.

We bought a house!

I can still hardly believe it!

If you are a long time reader, you know that we sold our house 4 years ago so Sean could go back to college and finish his graphic design degree. We moved into a small rental house, and even though we were maxed out moving in here, we had another baby at this house.

We have made businesses, homeschooling, and life with six children work in our small house (the main level is around 900 square feet, and the downstairs is for business). But it’s not been easy.

I’ll admit, I’ve been obsessed with looking on the realtor app. Every day. Every night. First thing in the morning. For several years now. We have driven by so many houses and never felt peace about any of them.

I had about given up hope, and then we found one in a part of town that we really were not looking in. The quiet neighborhood won us over though, and the large yard with over a half an acre.

But get this.

Our new house has 5100 square feet (including garages).

Seriously.

I never dreamed we would get a house this big! It’s all because we waited on God to send us the right house for our family.

So here are some more fun details. Because Sean doesn’t want me to share a picture of the front of the house for privacy reasons, you will have to use your imagination. 🙂 It’s a huge ranch home though. It’s an older house, from the 1970’s. We said we were not going to buy a fixer upper, because we didn’t have time to fix it up with running businesses. However we changed our minds. Ha!

We love watching the Fixer Upper show together on Amazon Prime, but after our offer was accepted the children and I started watching it every day at lunch time for new inspiration!

The house has 4 bedrooms on the main level, and get this, 3 bathrooms! After just writing the post on how we have survived with 1 bathroom for 4 years now, it’s going to be lovely to have 3 bathrooms. Sean and I are especially excited to have a master bathroom again!

It also has a large formal dining room, when you walk into the house. Sean is planning on building us a table, and we will buy chairs from IKEA to go with that. We will also split that room up and finally get my grand piano back from my mother in law’s house! So part of the room will be a music room, for piano, cello and violin practice each day!

The kitchen is huge! It felt like every house we looked at that was good size, had a tiny kitchen! I was giving up hope of getting the large kitchen that I dreamed of, until we saw this house. You can see pictures of my current small kitchen in this post.

The kitchen was a huge job to take down the wallpaper, but we are almost done!

I also have main floor laundry, right off the kitchen which is nice.

Plus, we have a large screened in porch off the living room that the children already love to play in!

Downstairs is huge and a little overwhelming as it needs work. We will have plenty of space for our businesses and much more!

We closed on the house this past Monday, but we will not be moving in until the end of July. We are currently taking off lots and lots of wallpaper, we have to paint the whole main level, and then pull up the carpet because we have unfinished hardwood floors under the whole main level!

I will be sharing lots and lots of before and after pictures inside the house, which will be so exciting! I’ve been getting paint samples and I can’t wait to narrow down my selection.

One other thing I have to tell you. This house backs up to some really good friends of ours, and some other really good friends live about 3 blocks away! You can’t get much better than that! Our children will grow up surrounded by their friends!

You know what is really exciting about all of this? We have you dear reader to thank. Every single Flexi Clip you have purchased, every person who has joined my Lilla Rose team, and every person who has been a loyal customer to Deborah & Co.

And it doesn’t stop there (because we are crazy enough to have more businesses!). Every family who has felt the desire to work on their children’s character, and purchased a Character Badges set.

Finally, all of you who have purchased our digital products, like our Well Ordered Kitchen planner, and our Homeschool Planner!

We just have to stop and say a huge Thank You for helping us grow our businesses to where we could finally purchase a home! When you support small businesses you really have no clue the blessing it is for that family!

To show our appreciation, we wanted to offer some great sales for you!

Save 20% off your purchase at Deborah & Co. through Friday, June 23 with the code: NEWHOME at the checkout!

Save 20% off any Character Badge order of Complete Sets through this Friday with the code: BLESSHOME at the checkout!

Finally, grab our amazing Premium version of The Well Ordered Kitchen planner for just $14.99 normally $29.99 through this Friday!

Again, I have to say thank you, thank you! I can’t wait to welcome you into my new home through pictures!

Praise God for His blessings!

 

Establing 4th Of July Traditions

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Do you want to create memorable 4th of July traditions that your children will never forget? Then read on, for I’m here to tell you what we have done for the past 13 years. Our children enjoy the 4th of July almost if not as much as they enjoy Christmas!

I will warn you, creating traditions sometimes requires hard work and time. This is one of those times. But the lessons your children will learn and the memories they will keep from this are timeless.

13 years ago we called together a small group of friends and invited them to my in-law’s house for a 4th of July gathering. My husband and brother in law are very patriotic and love history, and they thought it would be nice to actually remember our forefathers and the history of our nation on the 4th, instead of it just being a day for a cookout and fireworks.

Never fear. We do the cookout and fireworks, we just add a lot more to it!

We started small that first year, but now we have grown to around 100 people that come each year, friends invite friends, and it’s a super fun day!

Here is the outline of the day, in detail of what we do.

Opening Ceremony

We normally open the day with a flag raising ceremony. My Mother in law has a flag pole that we all gather around, and it’s pretty official looking. Two young men open the flag up, trying to follow proper protocol, and raise the flag. One year we had a mom play taps on her trumpet, other times a patriotic song is being sung.

Then we have the cannons shooting off. Yes, we have a real live cannon that a dad made and brings each year! Don’t worry if you don’t have a cannon. We started small without visions of cannons and flag raisings. 🙂

Historical Skit 

After that everyone takes their seat and it’s time for the skit that has been prepared! Some years there is a lot of preparation and practice that goes into the skit, other years it’s thrown together last minute but still always turns out!

My mother in law is amazing at putting costumes together from thrift store finds, and she has dressed solders, presidents, reporters…the list goes on!

Little Israel years ago! I have this outfit saved for him, he wore it constantly!

Landmark Lecture 

Then we listen to a man that has been carefully selected to give a speech, called The Landmark Lecture. This is a very important part of the day. It’s where we remember our past, and where we came from. We honor the brave men and women who endured so much for our freedom.

The lecture is focused around the topic that has been picked for that year.

Some of our themes have been:

“Who Will Follow Washington?” Taken from a speech by Jonathon Trumbull, we asked the question as to whether or not we were the sort of Americans who would have fought alongside George Washington and whether or not that same spirit burned within us today.

“The Last Full Measure” where we remembered the turning point of the Civil War in the battle of Gettysburg and used this famous line from President Lincoln’s speech to consider our devotion to the cause of freedom.

“Building the Constitution” where we reflected on some of the most prominent figures responsible for crafting this most amazing of documents.

“Awake!” where we remembered the famous ride of Paul Revere and asked if we had eyes to see and ears to hear the many signs of opposition facing our country today.

Sean normally makes some pretty awesome signs for the event!

These lectures are amazing but we have found it’s best to keep them shorter. It’s easy for the guys to talk for quite awhile because the history is just so amazing, but the children get restless, especially if it’s hot. 20-30 minutes has been pretty succesful for us.

Music 

After the lecture we have music! It might be singing, or instrumental (we have several young people that play violin and cello, as well as adults), and we all sing patriotic hymns together as a group as well. I love this part of the day!

Time To Eat! 

By now everyone is hungry and ready to eat! We have tables and tables of food that everyone brings. The guys will BBQ hotdogs and hamburgers, and the ladies bring side dishes of baked beans, corn casserole, salads, fruit, chips, and so many yummy desserts.

Time To Play!

We bring volleyball nets for the adults and teenagers to play (I’m scared to death of balls so I never play), and those who don’t want to play sit under the shade trees and visit. The children play on bunker hill (just a small mound of dirt that they have called bunker hill for years now) and you wouldn’t believe the collection of toy guns and swords that they have! Last year a train was made for the event! Yes, you read that right! The same man that made the cannons welded together a train that fits on a riding mower. Oh the younger children had SO much fun with that!

Some years we have water balloon fights and more organized activities.

Fireworks!

We never do fireworks at the event, normally people start to pack up and leave around 5:00 and go to a local event that puts on a great display.

Our children look forward to this day all year long! This year we are doing a World War 1 theme, and it’s been fun finding music to fit that theme! We are all humming Over There, Over There and It’s a Long Way to Tipperary over here these days. 🙂 I’m trying to forget hearing the song Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition. Oh my!

What to Wear to the 4th of July gathering?

Of course I’m going to mention clothing. 🙂 I love seeing all the red, white, and blue that everyone shows up in! Many years I’ll wear my Rainbow Denim Skirt and a red or blue top.

Last year I found some of the shirts on ThredUP, and my mother in law always helps put outfits together as well.

I’ve seen some cute patriotic shirts out in the stores right now! Here are a few resources.

For Men

City Streets Short Sleeve Graphic Tee – I bought my husband the red shirt to wear this year! You can’t beat the price.

Comfort Stretch Poplin Shirt – If your guy wants to be a little more dressed up, there is a red plaid option!

St. John’s Bay Americana Short Sleeve Tee – Some more options for patriotic tees!

For Women

Stars Shirt – This looks like a cute shirt!

St. John’s Bay V-Neck Shirts – Red Stripes, Starts, and more!

If you want to be fancy on the 4th, this Navy maxi dress with white polka dots is super cute!

Here is a nice flag shirt for Junior sizes.

For Children

Okie Dokie Boys Shirt – I like the stars shirt!

Americana Peplum Tank Top – I just saw these last night in the store and loved them! If I didn’t already have a shirt for Carrianna I would have gotten her this, and she could have worn a short sleeve Halftee under it!

Americana Raglan Tee– Another good option for size 7-16!

And of course I always wear a patriotic flexi clip in my hair!

This was a hairstyle I did a few years ago, using one of my favorite patriotic clips that have been released so far.

But I have exciting news! 

Lilla Rose is releasing the July Flexi of the Month clip today, so you have time to get it for your own 4th of July gathering. And they are offering some great sales to go along with the release! All the previous patriotic styles have been brought back, so you have a large selection to choose from!

 

I hope this inspired you with some new ideas for how to celebrate the 4th of July! I’d love to hear what traditions you have already established for this day!

 

 

 

 

 

 

How Our Family Of Eight Lives With One Bathroom!

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For the past 4 years our family has been living in a house with just one bathroom. When we moved here there were seven of us, now we have eight. One of my big hesitations of moving here was thinking about our large family surviving with just one bathroom.

Was it going to drive us crazy?

How was Sunday mornings going to work with the craziness of getting ready for church?

Potty training a toddler with just one bathroom???

These were all questions I had in my mind.

Honestly, after doing this for four years now, I can truly say it’s not been quite as difficult as I thought. Living with a small kitchen has been more of a challenge than the one bathroom.

There are a few different things we have learned along the way that helps us survive with just one bathroom, and I wanted to share them with you!

The biggest thing I’ve had had to learn is to think outside of the box.

Meaning, what can I do out of the bathroom that is normally done in a bathroom?

These are real life pictures. I didn’t make the bathroom look nicer than it normally does, you see what it really looks like! 

Getting ready for church on Sunday mornings has been a challenge, so we have had to be creative in who uses the bathroom. We have a mirror hanging over our kitchen sink (there  is not a window there), and then we have a full length mirror hanging up in our master bedroom. I frequently use those mirrors to fix hair, and sometimes to put makeup on.

I use hot rollers to curl my hair several times a week, and especially on Sunday mornings. Sometimes I bring them to the kitchen counter to heat up, and then put them in my hair using the mirror in the kitchen, just to save space in the bathroom on a busy morning.

I like fixing my girls hair in the bathroom, but there are many times we just don’t have the space if Sean is shaving, boys fixing hair, etc. That can easily be accomplished outside of the bathroom. Use a spray bottle for water, so you don’t have to be near a sink.

The wall was patched before we moved in, but it needs to be painted or something. Since we rent, we just haven’t worried about it. 🙂 

Now I know you all are wondering, how does it work with just one toilet?

It’s not perfect. We have all had to learn patience, and the children have had to form lines at times and wait their turn!

With just one shower/bathtub and one toilet, it’s nearly impossible to take a shower without someone needing to come in to go the bathroom. Before we moved here I wouldn’t have dreamed of letting my boys in the bathroom when I was taking a shower, but I’ve learned to just let it go and we still manage to stay very modest. 🙂

I have a floral shower curtain hanging up (Shabby Chic brand from Target years ago) and then a plastic shower liner behind the floral curtain. Since it’s double lined you can’t see through it, which allows children to come in and use the restroom as needed.

The top of the shelf is where I store my flexi clips (normally the container is full but I had taken them all off for the vendor show I recently did), and the makeup I use. For the past few months I’ve been using Younique makeup and really like it. 

We have a white shelf that I found at a garage sale years ago that holds our towels. I don’t have an overabundance of towels, but I also don’t have some neat system where everyone has a color coded towel to keep track of them. Sean and I hang towels up to dry and reuse them, the children tend to just throw them in the dirty clothes right away. 😉

For three years we had an over the toilet organizer that really helped. We went through two of them and when the last one broke I just have made do without it. The bathroom is not as organized now without it, so even though they take up space it’s really helpful to have in a small bathroom.

Potty Training with one bathroom…is it possible?

We are just starting to think about potty training Sophia, but we had to potty train Deborah at this house and we made it through! It’s definitely not easy and our older children learn that a young child gets top priority in going to the bathroom first!

I found it easier to use an actual little potty chair and bring it out into our dining room for awhile, instead of keeping the bathroom constantly in use with the young child that is learning. Once we had things a little more under control, I transitioned them to the little seat that you put on top of a toilet. It has the little handles and comes on and off easily, we would just store it by the toilet.

What about keeping one bathroom clean?

With just one bathroom it obviously gets used quite often! We can’t really skip days on cleaning the bathroom or it starts looking really dirty! Every morning our 11 year old son cleans the bathroom. He wipes down the sink, scrubs the toilet, sweeps the floor and tries to make it look clean. I normally scrub the shower myself (a quick tip I learned from my mom, if you scrub the shower while you are in there taking a shower it’s SO much easier to clean! The steam of the hot water really makes it easy to scrub the walls).

Since I have children involved in cleaning the bathroom it’s very important to me that I give them natural cleaners to use. Mrs. Meyers is the cleaner we all prefer to use here and it works well. They have a scrub that is excellent for hard to clean sinks and showers!

It might sound silly, but I just love how pretty the containers look! The hand soaps make a bathroom look nice, and all the scents are natural and they trigger a chemical headache for me. I hold my breath when I walk down the cleaning aisles at Walmart, it’s all so strong!

I get all of my Mrs. Meyers cleaning products from Grove online. It’s so nice to have them arrive in the mail and it’s one less thing I have to think about when I’m out grocery shopping. Believe me, we have run out of toilet paper more times than I would like, so if I can just remember to keep the toilet paper in stock when I go to Costco I’m doing good!

Right now Grove is having an awesome deal for new customers, and I wanted to share it with you!

You can receive all these Mrs. Meyer’s cleaning products,  as well as the bubble up brush set for free when you place a $20 order with them! 

Here is all you receive in the summer chef set FREE with your first order of $20 or more!

~Free Mrs. Meyer’s Hand Soap

~Free Mrs. Meyer’s Dish Soap

~Free Mrs. Meyer’s Multi-Surface Spray

~Free Grove Collaborate Bubble Up Scrub Brush

~Free Shipping and 60 Day VIP Trial

The Bubble Up container is really neat! It has a spring loaded perforated bottom that you fill up with soap and water. When you are ready to scrub a dish, you just bounce the Bubble Up in the container a few times and you are ready to go!

By ordering your cleaning products online, you probably will save more money than you think! I know when I go to the store for just a few items then I end up buying other items!

This offer is only available until Sunday, May 14th!

Some of my other favorite items from Grove is their lip balm. It’s my all time favorite, because it’s so creamy and moisturizing. I also love their candles, the Seventh Generation diapers, the scrub that Mrs. Meyer’s sells, and lots more!

Grab your free summer cleaning set here.

I’d love to hear how many bathrooms your family has! Do you manage with just one bathroom? 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Ultimate Homemaking Bundle Is Here!!

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It’s here! The Ultimate Homemaking Bundle is my absolute favorite bundle to promote each year, and it’s the only bundle I actually feel is worth the effort to promote. Why? Because every year I fall in love with all of the amazing content in the bundle and can’t wait to share it with you!

This year the value is amazing, and the highest it’s ever been! You get almost $2,000 worth of products for the same low price of $29.97! It’s really astounding and yes it’s true. This isn’t a sham deal. That’s why it only comes once a year!

 

If you bought each one of these 106 items separately it would cost you $1,983.80. There is NO WAY that anyone is going to spend that much buying all these items, but more importantly, you won’t want every single item! But if you were to buy these items separately, it would cost you around $19 for each item! I know there are at least 10-20 items in here that you would love to have, and I’m guessing way more than that.

For just a few days only you can get it all for the $29.97 price!

I want to share with you some of my favorite products. As an author in the bundle I always get a sneak peak and I love getting to preview some of the courses and ebooks first. Yes you read that right! The Basic version of The Well Ordered Kitchen is included in this bundle, plus a huge coupon code to save on the Deluxe or Premium version if you want to upgrade! 

First, some basic information about the Bundle.

  • There are 105 items included (ebooks courses, videos, printables, membership sites, and workbooks!). Plus there are 10 bonus offers, with 8 of them being physical items! There is a combination of super practical items for mothering and homemaking, and then some fun items for moms, like the doodle and coloring books included!

 

  • The ebooks come in PDF or Kindle format. Starting Friday you will pay an extra $10 to upgrade to the Kindle Format. If you want the Kindle format hurry and order today or tomorrow to get it free!

 

  • As a fun bonus you have 10 bonus offers to redeem, 8 of them being physical items! From scripture journals to dryer balls, a glass straw for your cup or beautiful art prints. It’s so much fun to get all of the bonus offers in the mail!! These are worth $293 together!

And with that, here is a list of a few things that I really like from the Bundle!

Temper Toolkit – This is a video series from Lisa Jo Baker. Even the introduction video pulled me in right away. Let’s just all stop right here and admit that we struggle with our temper with our children. It definitely varies in how it manifests itself, but I’m sure every mother could use an encouraging boost with lots of practical tips on how to be more patient and loving with their children. Find practical strategies, honest stories, and Biblical resources from one mom to another to help you take control of your temper BEFORE you lose it!

The SAHM Wardrobe Basics Builder – This is a 20 piece capsule wardrobe guide to help you build a capsule wardrobe of your own. If you are skirts only, swap the jeans out for a denim skirt. 🙂

What’s 4 Dinner Challenge Meal Planning e-course – I love Erin from Humbled Homemaker, so I really enjoyed watching these videos and hearing her stories!

Foundational Five Plus – I’ve been working on healing my Diastasis before we have another baby.  I’ve been using the Foundational Five workouts from Fit2B and I love that these are included.

Cozy Minimalism Decorating Class by The Nester – Anyone who reads The Nester’s blog knows that she is amazing at decorating! I am looking forward to going through this video course and learning all her tips and secrets!

The Busy Mom’s Make Ahead Breakfast Cookbook – I struggle with breakfast time, but this cookbook gave me tons of ideas!! I already used a recipe for breakfast this week and we all loved it!

Those are just a few things I wanted to share, I have a lot more on the list of things I love!!

You can’t forget to go check all the wonderful bonus offers! Head over to the website and see what bonus offers you get that equal almost $300!

And now for my exciting news. I have my very own bonus offer for those of you who purchase through me! And it’s pretty amazing! 

For six days, anyone who orders the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle through me will get to pick between receiving a free mini flexi clip (you pay $3.00 in shipping and I choose the style), OR receiving a $10 gift certificate to spend at Deborah & Co. 

Wahoo!! I think that is so fun!

To redeem your bonus offer from me, purchase the bundle here and then fill out this google form. All bonuses will be sent next week after the bundle ends.

Disclaimer – As an author I earn a percentage of each sale made through my link. We appreciate every single one of you who orders through our link, because it’s not going towards groceries or music lessons. This year it’s going towards a down payment on a house, which we are super excited about. So thank you in advance! The day I get to share with you that we have finally moved will be an amazing day! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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