Friday Fave Five: Spring Break

1. Easy access to the nation’s capital

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The Cherry Blossoms are coming out in full bloom this week

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We love to visit DC. Our original plan had been to go to the National Zoo but all the parking was full by the time we got there 30 minutes after opening so we tossed out those plans and went to the International Spy Museum and had lunch along the National Mall before exploring around some of the memorials.

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Taking a rest at the WWII Memorial fountain

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We take every oppurtunity we have of climbing trees ūüôā

I definitely recommend the International Spy Museum! ¬†The kids had so much fun crawling through air ducts, learning about disguises and gadgets, and seeing¬†James Bond’s original Aston Martin. They even got to practice decoding messages with simulated Enigma software. ¬†Super cool.

2. Wonderful friends to share our adventures with

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Resting at the Reflecting Pool 

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Exploring around a lake near our house earlier this week

3. Good behavior… Little Warrior has been struggling a lot lately. ¬†He’s an extreme introvert and being at school all day really exhausts him. That, and he’s bored stiff in Kindergarten since he’s quite a poppy. ¬†So the week off for Spring Break has been amazing for his choices and attitude. ‚̧ Such a huge blessing!

4. Bible study ¬†I am privileged to study the Word of God and walk through this difficult season with an amazing group of women. We each give and take according to our season, and support one another in immeasurable ways. I can’t imagine going through life without these wonderful ladies.

5. Productivity I’ve finished a bunch of projects and been working a lot on decluttering. There’s a big consignment sale coming up so I’m purging clothes the kids have out grown to sell there. ¬†I’ve also been making sure to go to bed with my kitchen clean every night and it’s made a world of difference in my attitude when I come downstairs to start my day in the morning.

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Every week Susanne hosts Friday Fave Five to share what blessings we’ve found in our weeks. ¬†Hop on over and join the gratitude fest. ūüôā

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March Works in Progress

I have the problem of being interested in waaaaay too many creative endeavors. ¬†It can get expensive quickly and I’m always working on a dozen things so nothing gets finished up.

I have a number of works in progress that need to be finished by the end of the month, most of which use a different creative process- all of which are requiring some form of learning curve.

Here’s the list of things that MUST be done by the end of March…

1. Present for a sweet friend

For this one I’m learning how to hand letter different things. ¬†I’ve never had good handwriting and this has been a challenge. But a lot of fun. My go-to for learning this has been YouTube tutorials like this one by MadeByMarzipan.¬† The SakuraColorProductions channel also had a lot of great tips. This isn’t an art form I’ll probably ever excel at, but it’s fun to learn and I do use the skills a little for our bible verse chalk board.

2. Speaking of the Chalk Board…

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Every month our church has the children and adults learn the same scripture passage. ¬†I like to put portions of it up on the chalkboard in our dining room. ¬†Unfortunately, I haven’t gotten around to updating it recently so I’m excited to add part of Psalm 119 to it this month.

Forever, O Lord, you word is firmly fixed in the heavens

3. Hand Quilting

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I’m working on a quilt for one of my dearest friends. ¬†This particular one I am hand quilting for the first time and I’ve fallen in love with it. ¬†Hand quilting will definitely be a life long craft. ¬†I LOVE it. ¬†I liked the fabrics so much that I got some more, with a few extra¬†ones to add more blue, to make a quilt (NOT hand quilted due to time constraints) for a friend whose baby is due in March. ¬†I probably won’t finish the hand quilting one, but will definitely hope to mail¬†the other one by the end of the month.

4. The bunnies…

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Still finishing up the clothes for the bunnies from last week’s Make it Monday, but I’m nearly done. ¬†I am taking dinner to the family on Friday and hope to have the bunnies wrapped and ready for the girls then.

5. A Springtime Wreath

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I love to decorate my house, which means always having a seasonal wreath on the door. ¬†The only season I didn’t have something for was spring, so I’m in the process of making a yarn-wrapped wreath with burlap flowers. It’s easy and fun… and mindless so I can do it when I’m exhausted.

That’s what’s on the docket for this week’s Make It Monday… a long line of projects to finish up! ¬†ūüôā

 What projects do you have lurking in the basket, waiting to be finished?

Fave Five

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Friday Fave Five is hosted by Susanne each week and offers a place for us to come together and share favorites moments and blessings of the week. ¬†It’s a great exercise in gratitude!

1. Grandpa is here! Grandpa comes out to the East Coast a few times a year for business and always extends his travel so we can spend the weekend together.

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A picture from Grandpa’s visit last January, when Grandma got to come along! ‚̧

We wish Grandma could be here as well, but are grateful for all the family time we can get out here. ¬†Never take for granted being close to family. ¬†It’s a joy and a treasure that we miss dearly. (Close, for us, means four hours driving or less. ¬†That’s the closest we’ve ever lived to family. Oh for the day we could live in the same city!! ‚̧ )

2. Fun times at the Maryland Renaissance Festival.

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3. A warm home as weather gets cold and wet. We’re praying for people affected by Hurricane Joaquin in the Bahamas and for people already experiencing flooding along the East Coast.

4. Happy hearts and funny words. ¬†Little Warrior had a rough week last week (he was growing and oh-so-cranky) but this week has been delightful and filled with so much laughter. He’s been on a role with hilarious little one-liners that get me giggling.

At the Renn Faire,¬†as this¬†knight rode out, he enthusiastically exclaimed , “Mom! He’s the stuff legends are made of!”

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And while on the phone with my Mum after karate yesterday, he started chocking on his oatmeal because, you know, you’re supposed to swallow before shoving 4 more bites in your mouth (did I mention he’s been growing like a bean sprout..?? Eat ravenously. Sleep. Repeat.). After dealing with the lack of oral space issue, he worried aloud, “I think my digestive track is broken”, sending us into fresh peals of laughter. ¬†As his sweet Mema assured him we were laughing WITH him, not AT him, he replied matter-of-factly, “I know. ¬†It happens all the time.” ¬†These weeks of hilarity keep me pushing on through the tough ones. ¬† ūüôā

5. Sweaters, scarves & boots- oh my!  While I may detest the cold and dreary winters out here, I sure do love getting to pull out my wellies (most comfortable shoes I own!) and snuggle up in cozy, knitted goods.

My favorite season is ALMOST. HERE.

You guys, it’s only ONE MORE DAY UNTIL FALL. ¬†Orange and yellow and scarves and boots and pumpkin everything– what’s not to love??

While we’re at it, let’s check in on my Autumn Bucket list…

Blogging twice a week… well, clearly not.

Painting– the dining room and living room are finished and lovely!

After being disheveled¬†for nearly a month,¬†I’m happy to have everything put back together

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I also¬†rearranged furniture to create more floor space. ¬†We have this beautiful square, leather ottoman that just didn’t fit next to either couch, so I moved it to the corner, put a few throw pillows on it and voila! ¬†Extra seating, plus board game storage.

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I am working¬†on picking the color for the entry and have narrowed it down to 2 greys. ¬†Hubby likes the lighter one- he’d rather the entire house be all beige, but I talked him into an accent wall. ¬†Of course, I picked the 2-story one that connects the entry, living room, and playroom downstairs. ¬†ūüėČ ¬†I think the darker one goes better with the furniture and has a more dramatic effect, but don’t want to overwhelm the space. ¬†Which do you prefer?

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Dog training- yup! I’m always shocked at how much easier it is to train Ape- he’s so much more interested in treats¬†than Shep! ¬†Added bonus- my sister and nephew came out for the weekend and brought their dog, Molly. We had tons of fun just relaxing, taking the dogs to the dog beach and watching while the cousins climbed all over boulders by the bay (didn’t get any pictures- we were having too much fun!).

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Spend time in the Lord’s Word ¬†I haven’t consistently been up every morning, but most mornings. It’s been perfect, really, that¬†Ape wakes me up early (hooray, house breaking) so¬†I can sit and drink coffee & have devotions before Little Warrior wakes up and careens¬†down the stairs, starting the day at break-neck speed. ¬†I’ve been reading Tim Keller’s book Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God¬†and just ordered a study¬†from She Reads Truth.

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I also ordered this print from She Reads Truth and am SO EXCITED.

Doxology Print

We sing the Doxology to both¬†kids after¬†turning out the light each¬†evening at bedtime. We’ve done this every night since they came home. ¬†When I saw this print, I immediately knew I wanted to put it by their bedroom doors.

That’s about all I’ve accomplished on my list so far, though I have researched and selected a compost bin¬†to help reduce our waste output and found a few places to apply for part-time work.

Now I’m off to pull out my Autumn decorations and go crazy on the house!! ¬†ūüėČ

Hot Spot Saturday

Today I’m focusing on some pockets of clutter that popped up while unpacking. ¬†The kitchen counter, in particular, became a catch-all for things I didn’t know how¬†to deal with yet as I pulled them out of the box. ¬†Now that all but a few boxes are unpacked, I need to go through my little hot spots of (surprise, surprise) mostly paper clutter and shred, file or otherwise put away everything in them.

I hate dealing with paper clutter. ¬†It’s the bane of my¬†beautiful¬†home.

Today’s goals:

The out of control kitchen counter

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This pile of filing on my desk

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Taking all of the empty boxes to the garage. ¬†We recycle them each week, but there are so many it will probably take another 3 weeks or so to get all the boxes properly disposed of. ¬†And that’s¬†after sharing a large portion of the¬†of boxes and packing paper with some friends that were moving locally.

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We’ve got another round of the sniffles so we’re laying low and tackling jobs that can be done sipping coffee in slippers. ūüôā ¬†How¬†do¬†we keep getting sick?? ¬†I suppose it’s all the moving… each time we move we get exposed to a whole new set of germs.

Happy Saturday!