Tuesday, May 26, 2015

It's the Little Things that Matter {26 Expectations Around the House and Yard}

Chris and I grew up in very different environments. When we bought our first house, we both expected things to happen a certain way. We agreed on some of them while others we did not. Through the early years, we perfected our list of expectations that we required for ourselves and our boys. 

This past weekend we realized that some of our boys had a better understanding than others of what we expect of them. We decided it was time to re-evaluate the list and write it down so that we had a reference point.

Our expectations are not lofty, impossible goals. They are small acts, easily attainable. Though they are small, when the tasks are regularly completed they make a huge impact on maintaining peace and happiness in our daily lives. 

1. Make your bed when you wake up. 

2. Keep the area under your bed free of clutter and toys. 

3. Clean laundry must be put away immediately. 

4. Dirty clothes go in their designated areas. 

5. Put items back in the closet/cabinet/drawer you got them from as soon as you are finished using it. 

6. Keep the bathroom counters mess free by putting your toiletry items in their proper places and wiping out the sink and countertop after each use. 

7. When you use the last of the toilet paper, throw away the empty cardboard roll and replace it with a new roll of toilet paper.

8. Always flush the toilet, put the lid down, and wash your hands. Always hang the hand towel back up. 

9. Always put trash into the trashcan. 

10. Take your dirty dishes to the sink. 

11. Food does not leave the kitchen area. 

12. All chores must be completed after schoolwork and before playtime. 

13. You must ask permission to use an item that belongs to someone else. 

14. Be polite. Say "Please," "Thank you," and "I am sorry" when necessary. 

15. Open and close doors and drawers gently - no slamming. 

16. Walk when you are inside the main part of the house. Running is only allowed in the basement and outside. 

17. Do not bounce or jump up and down the stairs. 

18. If you see a family member struggling with something, offer to help them. 

19. All personal items are brought in from the car after every trip. 

20. Coats are hung in the closet and shoes are put neatly away as soon as you enter the house. 

21. Do not leave sports equipment and yard toys in the grass. Put them away when you are finished using them. 

22. Bring in the mail and the paper if you see that they have been delivered.  

23. Trash that has blown into the yard should be picked up and thrown away. 

24. Pull any weeds that you notice in the landscaping and put them in the yard waste pile. 

25. Stay within the boundary of our yard. 

26. When a neighbor is in his yard, you should smile, wave, and say "Hello." 

As you can see, our list of expectations is achievable. Although some days we fall short and completing everything perfectly does not happen. However having a list helps us stay on track. The list is not meant to be used as a checklist, but rather as a guide. Performing these small tasks and acts of kindness keep us from feeling overwhelmed and helps us feel appreciation for each other and our surroundings.

Do you have a list of expectations or standards that you teach your children? What are a few of the non-negotiables for your family? 

Today I am linking-up at the Sweet Little Ones blog for Tuesday Talk

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Summer Stitching Stash Blast {link-up}

Welcome to a new link-up: Summer Stitching Stash Blast! It is a link-up for needlework and sewing projects.

I am not a craft blogger, but I do like to make things with my hands. I opened one of my craft cabinets several weeks ago and found four unfinished cross stitch projects and the materials for two embroidery projects. I want to finish all of them sooner rather than later, but I knew I would need a reason to sit and finish them, so I decided to host a link-up through the summer.

I love seeing other people's projects, so please consider joining the link-up. And tell your stitching friends!

The rules:

- Write a blog post showcasing your current and recently completed needlework and sewing projects. If you would like to combine your stitching post with another topic, such as a daybook, weekend happenings, book review or what your wore to church, that is cool with me.

- Any post that is not about needlework, sewing, or stitching in some form will be removed from the link-up, as will any post that is offensive. (I do not see that happening, but I need to say it.)

- Please place a link to the most current Summer Stitching Stash Blast in your post so other stitchers can find the link-up.

- Show the other bloggers some love by visiting them and leaving a comment. We all know how hard it is sometimes to finish a project. A little encouragement may be just what she needs to complete her project.

In case you are still feeling unsure if your current project qualifies for this link-up, here is a picture of the cover of my old Reader's Digest Complete Guide to Needlework: 

Even though it isn't technically handwork, I think sewing with a machine totally counts for this link-up because it uses a needle. And I want to learn how to use my machine. Seeing your sewing projects may just give me the kick in the pants I need to figure it out.

Every Sunday I will post a new link-up. The Summer Stitching Stash Blast will run for sixteen weeks. The final link-up will post on September 6th. 

Time to show you my project! 

Here is what I found when I opened my cabinet:

I started three of these projects within the last sixteen months, but the one with the fall leaves is about fifteen years old. I am determined to finish it, but it will probably be the last one I get to this summer. I decided to complete the Dainty Spring Pillow project first because the colors make me happy, and there are a few weeks of Spring left. 

I found this pattern in the March 2014 issue of Cross-Stitch & Needlework magazine. It gave suggestions for color variations, but the project called for 32-count Belfast Linen by Zweigart and DMC Color Variations floss. I decided to use a 16-count white Aida that I had in my stash. When I went shopping to select my DMC Color Variations floss, none of them felt quite right so I picked two: #4040 Water Lilies and #4050 Roaming Pastures. 

The cross-stitch is worked in two strands, so I use one strand of each color variation. I am not sure if I will make it into a pillow, as I mentioned above, I am not very handy with a sewing machine. But maybe this summer will be the perfect time to learn. 

So that is what I am working on this week and probably the next several weeks. 

What are you working on? Link-up below! 

Thursday, May 21, 2015

9 Hours of Prayer to St. Rita (because some things feel impossible)

We all have situations in our lives that feel impossible to overcome. We pray daily to for deliverance from what is plaguing us. But sometimes we need help from a powerful prayer warrior, an advocate and intercessor. 

Enter St. Rita of Cascia.

Tomorrow, May 22nd, is the feast day of Saint Rita. She is the Saint of the Impossible and Helper of the Hopeless. She was a wife, mother, widow and nun. Her incorrupt body is on display at the Basilica of Saint Rita in Cascia, Italy. I have a special devotion to her, and I picked her as my Confirmation Saint. 

Tomorrow I will pray a nine-hour novena to St. Rita. At the start of every hour for nine hours I will pray the prayer below. 

Holy Patroness of those in need, St. Rita, you were humble, pure and patient. Your pleadings with your divine Spouse are irresistible, so please obtain for me from our risen Jesus the request I make of you (mention it here). Be kind to me for the greater glory of God, and I shall honor you and sing your praises forever.Glorious St. Rita, you miraculously participated in the sorrowful passion of our Lord Jesus Christ. Obtain for me now the grace to suffer with resignation the troubles of this life, and protect me in all my needs. Amen.

If you have an impossible situation, I hope you will join me on this powerful day of prayer. If you would like me to pray for your intention, please leave a comment below or email me. 

St. Rita, pray for us! 

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

From Me to You #2 {Giveaway Series}

How the series started: 

A couple months ago I won three giveaways in ten days! I can not tell you how shocked and happy I was to win and winning the giveaways gave me an idea. My birthday was coming up, and I thought it would be a lot of fun to offer a giveaway to celebrate my birthday with all of you. But life kept me busy, my birthday came and went, and I never got to do the giveaway. 

Boy, am I happy it happened that way because one giveaway has now turned into a series. Over the next few months, I will be giving away items that I love and enjoy using, or that have made my life easier, or that I have handmade. 

Now on to the second giveaway in the series!

I hope you are already familiar with the Blessed Is She community. I hope that you receive the daily devotions in your inbox. If you do not already know about Blessed Is She by some chance you should take a minute read all about this wonderful ministry

This week I am giving away one Blessed Is She journal. If you are a regular reader here, I am sure you already know that I love to journal. The Blessed is She Daily Reflection Journal is great because it inspires me to think about the daily reflections in a deeper way. Plus the fact that it is lovely to look at makes me extra happy. I know that you will love it, too! Please use the Rafflecopter widget to enter the giveaway. Click the link below to go to it. Thank you!

This giveaway is for US residents only, please. Thank you! This giveaway closes on Tuesday, May 26, 2015 at 12:00 am.
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