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

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

My Home This Christmas

Hi, friends!

I hope you are enjoying this holiday season!

As promised, I will be showing you my home decorated for Christmas.

(This is my view early every morning. The lighting is dim, and I sit with my coffee and read my bible.)

As I was taking the photos for this post, I wondered if I should even bother... 

I decorated very simply this year.

"They will not be impressed." I thought to myself.

But, nevertheless, this is my home and I am thankful for it.

The reason I decided not to be elaborate or detailed this year is because I have a painting and wallpaper project that I intend to start in January. So, I am hoping for a quick takedown of everything so I can begin as quickly as possible.

Also, no one can ever really know just how time and thought consuming homeschooling is unless they've done it. 

I don't want to use my kids as an excuse, but realistically, they are a factor! Haha...

A wiser, older mom friend of mine told me recently, "You will always have your creativity and heart for decorating, but you won't always have your kids."

Her words impacted me!

"YES!" I thought. "I will make Christmas crafts and decorate the bedrooms when I'm an empty-nester!"

But for now, my home looks like this...

~ Welcome! ~

This is my foyer and staircase, and what you'd see upon entering the front door...

This is my front room...

As always, my goal is to decorate in ways that are appropriate for an old farmhouse...

That is why you don't see me jumping on board with the latest trends.
(As darling as they are, my old home is very much set in her ways, and finds comfort in being filled with authentic decor. I've never minded catering to her wishes. *wink)

I love it when the sparkle of the lights reflect off of surrounding glass...

My dining room...

I know you know that Micah and I host Christmas Eve in our home each year. I look forward to sharing with you the photos of our farm table set and ready for the event!

It'll be here before we know it!!!

The heart of our home ~ the kitchen...

Have you picked up on a pattern yet, friends?

I love to use red roses in my Christmas decor!

I feel they are unique in a way, but also quite classic.

I have kicked the toys out of the way for the moment to show you the family room...

This is mainly where the kids hang out, but it does spread to other areas of the home, as well...

Roman and Nola played for hours up in the front room today. I'll throw in a messy pic for good measure...

Grab a coat, I'll show you the outside!...

We like to hang a small wreath on the kids' cabin...

Like I said, nothing fancy. Just simple this year...

Micah hangs lights and garland on the bushes and front porch banister each year.

I love that I see it from the couch...

"I'll be home for Christmas.
You can plan on me.
Please have snow
and mistletoe
and presents by the tree..."
~ Bing Crosby 

I hope you enjoyed the tour, friends!

And I hope you can be home this Christmas!

Until next time...


~ Courtney ~

Monday, December 4, 2017

Some Encouragement

Hi, friends!

I hope you are enjoying a cozy evening at home.

I'm just popping in with a quick post tonight because I got an idea of something I want to share with you...

Once in a while I come across a quote in a book, or paragraph in a blog that really inspires and encourages me.

Other times I may read something that convicts me and causes me to want to strive to do better.

(I believe this is good for us. We should have a desire to learn more and do better.)

I do not read books or follow blogs by young women who preach the, "I'm awesome. You're awesome. Anything you do is awesome" message while boasting about the piles of dirty dishes in their sinks and bragging about their rambunctious children and greasy hair.

You know the type. 

"Just keepin' it real!"

*eye roll...

Yes, I know the overall goal of these women is to be humorous, and I like to laugh just like everyone else, but I try not to let their message take root in my heart.

I do not need to hear from some stranger on the internet that I'm beautiful and anything I do is more than good enough.

When you know who you are in Christ, you don't need validation from anyone else.

"In Christ you have been brought to fullness."
~ Colossians 2:10a

"See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!"
~ 1 John 3:1

"You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's special possession, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light."
~ 1 Peter 2:9

But anyway, (I may be getting off track) I prefer to follow the blogs of older women who can teach me valuable things about being at home, because then I'm encouraged to do better!!!

And that's what gave me the idea for this post!

I thought I'd share just a few lines that I've read recently from books and blogs that have inspired and convicted me.

Does that sound interesting to you?

Ok! Let's begin...

"As godly women, our goal in life should be going around doing good and the most important people we should be doing good for is our own family. Learn to be a servant and do what you can to make their lives as happy as you can. Be in the Word so you can be a cheerful presence in your home. Don't be ruled by your emotions but be ruled by truth."
~ Lori Alexander, The Transformed Wife

"Today women worry so much about whether they are considered to be beautiful according to some narrow standard. They are so focused on appearance they neglect the unique beauty they already possess and that never ages. It is the beauty we have in our feminine smile, mannerisms, and the way we treat others.

If you work on these qualities and do the best with what you have physically, you will be adored and thought charming, even beautiful. Others will want to be around you and when you're not there, they will remember you fondly and speak well of you. They may not say you had the prettiest face or the best legs but they will think of you as a beautiful person.

We should all take care of ourselves and not neglect our hair, clothing or makeup, but don't worry if you don't look like a movie star. Even movie stars have to work at it and as you no doubt know, their looks don't promise them happiness, or even lasting love."
~ fascinatingwomanhood.com 

(This was our backyard last year on Christmas Eve. I really hope we have snow again for Christmas this year!!!)

"The home is powerful. If it were not an important institution, the enemies of God and man would leave it alone. The people who control the home control the future. Parents are the first representatives of God on earth, within the home is the hope of morality."
~ Dr. Daniel A. Lord

"A mother should not only have no favorites among her children, but she should be the earliest confidante of all their thoughts and hopes... Early feelings and experiences are the most enduring with all of us, and in proportion to the child's sensitiveness will be the depth of scars which the sorrows of childhood leave behind them. Too many parents, alas, imagine that so long as the child is fed and clad all is going well with it."
~ An excerpt from Mothers of Great Men and Women, published in 1892

"In order for a mother to have children that respect her, she must train them from an early age to respect the authority in their lives. If a mother fails to teach her children this important discipline, the child will suffer their entire lives since children don't naturally obey, respect, and reverence authority, as we see among many children today.

Children need to be disciplined and trained from a young age to obey their mother's first request to them - immediate obedience! But, the mother must also show her children a lot of love, warmth, affection, and cheerfulness so obedience isn't burdensome. She should want them to grow up to obey the Lord willingly and joyfully. Mothers are the training ground where children either learn to do this or not."
~ Lori Alexander, The Transformed Wife 

Just today I was driving home from the grocery store with my children in the backseat, and as I was coming through a round-about, a truck barreled through in front of me and I had to slam on my breaks in order not to hit him. 

He never saw me.

He never looked.

He just bullied his way on in at my expense.

As irritating as that is, it actually sparked a great discussion between me and the children. (So for that I was thankful for Mr. Daredevil.) 

It began as me telling them that even if you're in the right, and another person is in the wrong, do everything you can to avoid an accident. (I slammed on the breaks so hard, several grocery items came sailing out of their bags and onto the floor. Haha...) I explained to them how important it is to keep a clear driving record, and to follow traffic rules at all times.

From there the conversation evolved to me explaining that rules and laws are put in place to protect us and keep us safe! I said, "Sometimes you may be tempted to think that dad and I are trying to ruin your fun with rules, but that is not true. Dad and I love you and want you to be successful someday.  That's why we're teaching you now how to obey, so that when you're older you'll know how to obey the laws, and how to obey a manager or boss."

To that, one of my children replied, "Yes, mom, you've told us this before."


So, maybe I'm a broken record, but they'll get the point... won't they?

Well friends, weren't those quotes and excerpts encouraging?!

I hope you feel uplifted! (And reminded to yield to the left in round-abouts!!! Sheesh!)

Until next time...


~ Courtney ~

Monday, November 27, 2017

A Busy November

It's finally the holiday season!

Are you excited?!

I've been finishing up on some decorating tonight, and thought I'd take a break to sit down and chat with you...

(Micah found this monster antler the morning after Thanksgiving on his nature walk. It's been sitting here on our table ever since, even though it may be a bit too much. Do you think it's too big?  Haha...)

How was your Thanksgiving, friends?

I sure hope it was warm and full of love!

Two of my kiddos have November birthdays! So, before I can even think about Thanksgiving, everything has to stop so that I can focus on giving them happy and successful birthdays!

Yes, November in our house is a busy month!

Roman's was first. 

He turned nine this year!

It's our tradition to begin birthday mornings with cinnamon rolls and presents from mom and dad...

Nola's birthday comes next. Just two weeks after Roman's.

She turned seven!

They both wanted home parties this year...

We kept the food simple, and enjoyed our family and friends.

(I can't believe my firstborn is NINE! *big fat sniff*)

Nola was a little more specific about her party, however.

She told me she wanted to dress up as Belle, (from Beauty and the Beast) and have a Belle cake!

I decorated the table...

And Micah and I made this cake for her...

One thing I've always loved about Nola is that she is very easy to please. 

I had never made a cake like this before and could really see all its imperfections. But when we presented it to her the night of her party, she was so appreciative and exclaimed that it was exactly what she wanted!

Oh, that was music to my ears!

She was happy, so I was happy!

(Nola dressed as Belle with her Belle cake...)

She had a great party with her friends...

The very next morning was Thanksgiving! 

We've finally reached a point in our family where we have our own special traditions and the kids are old enough to remember them from previous years.

This is a season of life that I couldn't wait to get to when Micah and I were first married and our family was really young.

Micah makes monkey bread with the kids on Thanksgiving morning... The kids talk about it all year! 

It is very sticky and messy, but the kids love it!

And, it's a very sweet thing for me to watch.

We're all in our pajamas and there's usually fun music in the background. I'm cutting up fruit or setting the breakfast table at this time...

Here it is, all set to sit and enjoy...

Oh, how I love our peaceful Thanksgiving mornings!

The kitchen is warm and smells like coffee, sausage and cinnamon sugar... Bing Crosby's on the stereo, and the children are bouncing around, laughing...

It's a wonderful life!!!

I have much to be thankful for!

"I will enter His gates with Thanksgiving in my heart. I will enter His courts with praise."
~ Psalm 100:4

"The Love in your heart wasn't put there to stay. Love isn't love till it's given away!"
~ Unknown 

"We accept and thank God for what is given, not allowing what is not given to spoil it."
~ Elizabeth Elliot

After breakfast I got to work on preparing the food for our thanksgiving feast. This year we spent the holiday at Micah's parents' with his family.

(Elsa with one of her cousins...)

One of my favorite traditions that I look forward to each year is waking up early the morning after Thanksgiving, bundling up the kids, and heading out to our favorite little tree farm to cut down our Christmas trees.

We need two full-size trees for this old farmhouse!

I was motivated to hunt down the perfect trees, but the kids were more interested in rolling down hills..

And exploring the land...

And once I did get them interested in looking at trees, they were trying to talk me into the baby ones! Haha...

We had a great time!

The family who runs this tree farm names all their trees! So it's a lot of fun to look at the names of the trees we like.

We found a Courtney tree...

But didn't get her because she was a little crooked and discolored.

(Of course she was. *eye roll*)

 I wasn't surprised, but Micah said, "Huh. I was expecting her to be tall, straight, and beautiful." 

(Just the thing for a husband to say. Haha...)

We ended up deciding on Fredrick...

And Walt...

They're brothers, from the Balsam family.

Walt is just a touch smaller and thinner than his brother, so I thought he'd be happiest up in our front room...

And Fredrick, being the sturdiest, will hopefully be able to handle the roughhousing that goes on in our family room...

And as you can see, I am not burdened with the decorating of two trees alone. I have everyone's help! 

It's a family affair!

I'd love to show you my home all dressed up for Christmas, but duty is calling me...

Dinner for tonight is in the oven and will be done in a few minutes, so I must start on the cornbread to go with it!

Blogging is sort of a luxury that I just try to squeeze in here and there, but my home responsibilities always come first! 

(Which is why you don't see daily posts from me. *sad face* As much I love writing and sharing pictures of my life with you, I make sure my home is tended to first! You all are so sweet, I know you understand! *smile*)

BUT! Check back with me soon! I'll post a Christmas tour of my home before the season gets away from us!

Cross my heart!

Enjoy this time of year, friends!

Love to you all...


~ Courtney ~