"By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it's established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures." Proverbs 24:3-4

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Happy Valentine's Day!

"Oh, if it be to choose and call thee mine, love, thou art every day my Valentine!"
~ Thomas Hood


I'm just popping in quickly today to say, "Happy Valentine's Day!" to my dear, sweet readers... my friends... that's YOU!

I hope you are lavished with love today!

This bouquet of roses was waiting for me in the kitchen, with a love letter... my favorite!!!

And Roman, who's nine, brought me breakfast in bed...


I know YOU will be spoiled today, too! 

"I'd rather have roses on my table than diamonds on my neck."
~ Emma Goldman

(I must say, I agree!)

I am sure your day will be filled with all sorts of special and lovely things...

We have made our cards...


And baked our treats...


(The kids love to help frost and decorate...)




And had our "Red Dinner" (a family tradition) on Valentine's Eve...

(The kids hung the hearts themselves!)



But what about YOU?...

What will you do?

Whatever it is I'm sure you'll make it wonderful and those closest to you will feel loved!

Remember to read today from the greatest love letter ever written... God's Word!



"How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we may be called children of God; and that is what we are!"
~ 1 John 3:1



"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life."
~ John 3:16

We are so loved!!!

Make it an extraordinary Valentine's day, friends!


"The greatest thing you'll ever learn, is just to love and be loved in return."
~ Eden Ahbez


xo,


~ Courtney ~




Tuesday, February 6, 2018

A New Year and a New Blog Title!

Yes, I realize it's been a new year for over a month now, haha...

But I haven't written a post since late December!

I have missed you!!!


Do you like my new blog title?

It's actually been on my mind to rename for many months!

I have had this humble little blog for two years now, and I've taken note as to the overall theme and topics I enjoy writing about the most...

I've noticed that this blog has mainly been about (1.) My home: the renovation projects we work on, as well as my decorating and thoughts on home living; and (2.) My experiences and beliefs as a wife and homeschool mother.

Hence the name; Rooms and Reflections.

I'm excited about the change!

I have recently made another big change, too!...

I deactivated my Facebook account a couple of weeks ago.

The reason I am mentioning it here is because every time I would publish a blog post I would post the link to it on Facebook. My thinking in doing that was to broaden my audience and make getting to my blog easier for people. 

Unfortunately, I began getting really negative comments.

(*sad face)

Because it was on Facebook, women were finding it who shouldn't have been, and leaving foolish comments meant to tear down me and my message.

Someone close to me finally said, "Stop casting your pearls before swine." And I realized it was time for me to leave that site.

It has been a huge blessing!

I have so much more time on my hands! I go to bed earlier and feel more rested! Plus it just feels so good to not be exposed to the cattiness anymore!

I realize that my blog readers will decrease as a result of this decision, but going from quantity to quality will be worth it I think!

(*wink)

SO... What have I been up to this winter?...


Enjoying the beautiful, snowy weather...

"He says to the snow, 'Fall upon the earth...'" Job 37:6


And warm, comforting meals...


We took the kids on an overnight family trip to help break up the winter and make precious memories...


And had some fun on our muddy trails on an unusually mild day...

(Haha! Oh, my Nola... She's a country girl alright!)

I also rearranged the furniture in the girls' room...

(Micah was away on a business trip and this helped distract me and pass the time.)

This was the girls' room before...


It's an old picture that shows Elsa's crib behind the door.

When we moved her to a big girl bed, we just put the bed in the place of the crib.

Well, one night I got ants in my pants and decided to play around.

I came up with this arrangement instead...


I like it so much better!!!


Another project we've been working on this winter is in our family room...

Micah's been refinishing the ceilings' beams and installing crown moulding...


I hope I can show you 'progress' pictures in the somewhat near future!

In the meantime however, this is how our kids have been watching TV due to the renovation, haha...


Well friends, there is more I'd love to write about! I keep a log in my home management binder of blog topic ideas! So, I will absolutely be back here soon!

Thank you so much for stopping by my blog today! 

What have YOU been up to this winter?

I hope it's been a wonderful season of rest for you!


"Wash me and I will be whiter than snow." Psalm 51:7b


xo,

~ Courtney ~















Thursday, December 28, 2017

A Perfect Christmas

Friends!!!

How was your Christmas?!


Tell me...

What did you do?

Where did you go?

What did you eat?

I truly hope it was sheer perfection!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I was working toward a perfect Christmas...

My tree was decorated beautifully...


My presents were wrapped carefully...


My table was set with my best dishes...




We even had snow!



Yes, I was well on my way to my Currier and Ives, 'Over the River and Through the Woods' Christmas!

I decided that I would be organized and in complete control!

What a great feeling!

I planned ahead for our Christmas Eve morning church service - I picked out, ironed, and laid out everyone's outfits... packed our church bag... and hung up everything I would need for myself...


I prepared in advance the food for our Christmas feast - I washed, chopped, measured, and stocked my fridge with all my hard work...


I set my alarm for 6:00am, and crawled into bed the night before Christmas Eve with thoughts like, I'm going to look great, I'm going to feel great, I'm going to have a perfect Christmas! And I drifted off to dreamland....

Somewhere between being snug in my bed, and visions of sugarplums dancing in my head, I awoke to my bedroom door flinging open by a frantic and wheezing 5-year old.

My Soren had gone to bed with a raspy cough, and by 2:00am it had reached its full, scary potential.

He couldn't breathe!

I woke Micah up and we hurried Soren to the kitchen to try a few remedies, but nothing worked until we finally just put him in a hot shower.

While Micah and I stood around waiting for the effects of the steam to calm Soren down, we talked about how we can't take a coughing, wheezing child to church in the morning. Micah said, "Who knows who'll be the next to get sick! I think we all should stay home!"

I was so disappointed! But I knew he was right.

By the time Soren was breathing adequately, and I had dug around in our cupboards for the humidifier and Vicks, it was an hour past the time he initially woke us up. I went back to bed but tossed and turned the rest of the night. 

I knew I'd start Christmas Eve exhausted and worried about many things - My Soren, my other children who might catch it, my extended family that was due to have Christmas dinner with us that night, and my own health!

SO.... How do you have a perfect Christmas?...


You Don't!

It doesn't exist!

I realized that not one person in my life had asked me to run around like headless chicken in an attempt to make things perfect.

I also realized that even our best efforts and intentions still fall short in an imperfect world.

Was I so busy making everything perfect that I failed to remember what God did for us on that very first Christmas 2,017 years ago?

Yes, I had forgotten what was better.

"'Martha, Martha,' the Lord answered, 'you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken from her.'"
- Luke 10:41-42

What is "better"?...

Slowing down, calming down, and being still at Jesus' feet.

"She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet listening to what He said."
- Luke 10:39


I had decided Christmas Eve morning that I would accept my derailed plans, and have a cheerful heart about everything!

Yes, I was exhausted and worried, but I enjoyed my family...


and was thankful to God for each moment...


And in doing so I realized, once it was all over, that I indeed had had a perfect Christmas after all! 



"May your heart be light...

From now on our troubles will be out of sight...

And may all your Christmases be bright..."



xo,

~ Courtney ~










Saturday, December 16, 2017

Whole Wheat Pancakes

Hi friends!


Elsa is napping, Micah is working with the big kids on a large puzzle, and I just sat down with a cup of hot cocoa to write to you because I wondered if perhaps you'd like my whole wheat pancake recipe...

I made these for my kids this morning and thought I'd share it with you!

I know you all are wonderful home chefs and homemakers, and could teach me a thing or two... but why not? Why not inspire and learn from each other?



I do not remember where this recipe originally came from. I've been making these pancakes for my kids ever since they were babies.

It's a very simple recipe!

Anybody can do it.

Come on in to my kitchen!


I'll show you what I do...

I could probably go by memory, but I pull out my little homemade recipe book just in case...


Here's a close-up, if you decide to try it...


This morning I decided to half the recipe, because I was cutting up fruit and making eggs as well.

Start with dry ingredients first...



Measure everything out, and plop it all into a large mixing bowl...


I should mention that the only tweak I do in this recipe is add a pinch of nutmeg. I don't bother with the nutmeg if I'm making this in warm weather months, but for some reason I find myself always looking for excuses to use nutmeg in the fall and winter, haha... It's such a comforting spice...


The wet ingredients go in last...

I was a bit messy as you can see... And I don't even have kids to blame for this one! Haha... They were all in the living room watching Saturday morning cartoons as I was doing this...


But they all trickled in one by one as I cooked the batter on the skillet... They could smell it from the living room!


"Mama's making pancakes!!!" I heard one squeal.

That does my heart such good!

"When I was a little girl I always wanted to be in the kitchen. It was warm, and that's where my mama was." 
~ Dolly Parton

I am sure you know that once the pancakes start to bubble, it is time to flip them!

"Well I got me a fine wife I got me an ole fiddle
When the sun's comin' up I got cakes on the griddle
Life ain't nothin' but a funny funny riddle
Thank God I'm a country boy..."
~ John Denver

I like to warm my oven to about 200 degrees, and once the entire batter is cooked and buttered, I cover them with foil and place them in the oven to keep warm while I finish breakfast.


Then, I line up my children's plates on my kitchen island like an assembly line, and dish everyone up...


I even made a plate for myself...

Like my mug? *wink


Those closest to me know that I am careful to feed my children well, but I am not good at feeding myself. I want to try to get better! Maybe that can be my New Year's resolution!!!

When breakfast was over my kitchen looked like a bomb had gone off...


Recently I was watching a Flylady Youtube video, and she taught me to think about the three "F's" when faced with a housecleaning task ~

Do it First!

Do it Fast!

And Finish the job!

That advice is perfect for me!

So immediately I began tossing dishes in the dishwasher and filling up my skillet with hot, soapy water...


Wasn't that good advice, friends? Look! I'm done already...


As long as I'm in the groove, and the three "F's" are fresh on my mind, I might as well whoop up on a few other jobs...

I cleaned one of my bathrooms, completed three loads of laundry, dusted and swept the main rooms of the house, and put some chicken breasts in the dutch oven to get a head start on dinner.

Now I feel I have earned a little blogging time, and a little bird watching time...

What a luxury...


I noticed there was a blue jay AND a cardinal together at our backyard feeder...


What a fun treat this is! If only I could get a decent picture!

Here the cardinal is in the bush, and the blue jay is still at the feeder...


The poor cardinal is patiently waiting his turn. Blue jay's are bossy, so little cardinal is keeping his distance!



Well friends, that's all the time I have today.

I wish we could visit longer!

Hope you all are shopped, wrapped, and ready to go for Christmas!

Check back with me soon!

And let me know if you make my whole wheat pancakes!!!


xo,

~ Courtney ~