Friday, December 14, 2007

Making Your Home A Haven Challenge

Here is the report on our fourth day participating in the challenge! Personally, I have found this extremely beneficial. It has refreshed my perspective about my home and how I care for it and plan my day. I thought I was organized - but, now I'm seeing there is room for improvement. Also, my focus has been more geared toward what I gleaned from my quiet time and I've noticed I've thought of it more during the day than usual.

Anyway, thanks for all of the positive feedback - this has been a great exercise for us around here and I hope I will carry on the habits I've started forming this week.

1. Refresh your spirit.

Here is the verse from my quiet time:

Acts 17:27-28, "To seek God, and, it might be, to touch and find him; though indeed he is not far from each one of us, for in him we live and move, in him we exist."
2. Do your morning routine.

We completed our normal morning tasks a little before 9 so we could get started on our day.

3. Take time to plan.

Thursday's usual chores are:
* Clean entry way window.
* Clean second bathroom.
* Dust.

I nearly always give the girls a bath on the morning that I plan to clean the bathroom. They are happy and occupied and I'm right there with them, but also cleaning! Works great!

I had dusted thoroughly last week - so skipped that for today since it didn't really need it.

4. What's on the menu for dinner?

David had to work again and we had lots of leftovers - so we just pulled out all of this and fixed our plates. Worked out great!

5. Project of the day.

The project Crystal listed was the bedrooms. However, I revised this and made my project to clean out the refrigerator and both freezers. I also wanted to do some baking and cooking. Here are the pix - you all seem to be enjoying my before and afters - boy is it humbling!

Emily helped me clean out the refrigerator and freezers:

Refrigerator Before:
Refrigerator After:

My little helper:
Freezer Before:
Freezer After:
Big Freezer Before:
Big Freezer After:
I wanted to cook one of these pumpkins (the one I had inside was too soft and I had to throw it out a couple of weeks ago) that my Mom grew in her garden, here is the beautiful puree. Note: I was pleasantly surprised at how easy this was to do! I cut the pumpkin in half and removed the seeds. Then, I placed it cut side down on a baking sheet and put in the oven at 350 for an hour. I scooped out the soft flesh and put in the food processor for just a few minutes.
I made white icing for our evening craft and snack - see below for details:
Our dog was out of dog biscuits - so I got those restocked:
Winter Spice Scones made and put in the refrigerator for our breakfast this morning. I'll post the recipe and a photo after they have been baked and tasted!
I had also wanted to make roll/cinnamon roll dough and try my hand at making marshmallows. But, these things simply did not get done. I'll add them to my list for today!

After dinner, we pulled out the supplies to make these cute snowmen
(idea from a past Real Simple):

Emily giggled and had fun making this - unfortunately, I would not suggest trying it unless you know a secret I don't! When you pierce the orange to put the arms and nose in, the juice runs out and dilutes the icing so it doesn't harden. Therefore the cutie falls over. I put a wooden skewer through the whole thing, but it kept tipping over. Alas, we probably won't do this again.

Then, we had a little snack that I loved from childhood ~ leftover icing from our above project and graham cracker sandwiches! Yummy!


carrie said...


I've enjoyed seeing the fruits of your labors!

Bummer on the orange snowmen--I had clipped that idea, too.

wyndesnow said...

The snowman is adorable. What if you did not pierce the orange but used royal icing instead. It works like glue on gingerbread houses. Thank you for sharing your day with us, I truly enjoy my daily visit.

Gena said...

You have gotten so much accomplished! Your home is looking beautiful and very well organized.

Can't wait to see your new

Anonymous said...

Love the photos and stories of your days -- it reminds me of an old Victoria magazine cover title that said "The Pure Joy of Being Home." Love you, Mom

MyHeartIsAlwaysHome said...


You always have such productive days! I still stuggle with my daily cleaning schedule. It is always nice to see how others spend their day. It gives me ideas on how to organize my time better.

The snowman is really cute, too bad he won't keep standing. I would still call it a success since Emily had fun!

Katy said...

What a great day!!!! :)

Angela said...

You have done scuh a great job getting your home in order, I have loved reading them. Thanks so much for stopping by my blog, it made my day to see the comment from you. Thanks so much for all your inspiration. God has given you such a gift!


jen said...

Love it! These pictures reminded me of the last page in Rachel Ray's Everyday magazine--when you get to peek into a celebrity's fridge and read about what's in there. Thanks for sharing!

Cheyenne said...

Great blog, very enjoyable. I linked you on my blog
Merry Christmas

Kelly said...

Yum, looks both tidy and delicious, Monica! :o) (I guess that could apply to both your fridge AND baking? LOL!)

Crystal Paine said...

Just a quick note to tell you how much I enjoyed and was inspired by your posts with this challenge. Thanks for participating!

Your blog is a blessing!