This is the year it is going to happen! No big projects that I know of happening in my life or ministry and so I am declaring that nothing will stop me this year! I've already gotten a good start in the laundry room and upstairs linen closet so you get to see my handiwork! I've made two trips so far to donate. Win-win! Every time we get bad weather it's good for me because it makes me stay home for extended periods of time to get these jobs done.
One way I am staying motivated is to watch a youtube video on decluttering (there are many) right before I get to work. Do you have any tricks to get psyched up for chores you need to do?
We've had some issues with clogged toilets and backup into our bathtub the last few months. The Hubs worked on it some and was finally tired of it - so we called Roto-Rooter. They couldn't find any problems but told us we needed to put in a sewer cleanout in the yard...
So we had thought we had just had some minor clog that had been resolved, but the week of Christmas it all started again. I joined Angie's List and found a reputable plumber who turned out to be great. Their business name - Plumb Crazy! They were great - punctual and hardworking! Four or five trips to the house later, it was discovered via camera that an addition onto our house (before we owned it) had been placed over the sewer cleanout, which is a big no-no. I think the addition was in the 1990s so apparently it was fine for a long time, but no more!
We ended up with this in our master bathroom:
This is another break in the line in the yard that was discovered
BUT the best news in this whole mess is that I was able to get a new bathroom floor! We had actually given this bathroom a facelift in 2015 by painting the woodwork, the walls, and the ceiling, and also getting a frameless shower door. The only thing we did not do was put in a new floor or light fixtures. So I was thrilled to get a new floor!
We just finished up all of our Christmas on January 1! How about you? Lots of family is a blessing, and sometimes a challenge to see when you can all get together. We did some ordinary things and some not-so-ordinary things for the holidays:
TIME WITH THE KIDS
Christmas breakfast, church, and presents
A night in Bricktown at Legacy Grill and Mini-golf
"OLYMPIC CHRISTMAS" FAMILY PARTY AT MY AUNT'S GYM
My cousin and me partnering on this one - I'm underneath!
HOMEMADE GIFTS WITH THE HUB'S FAMILY
Special t-shirts, ornaments, reindeer chow and wood blocks
I made these - they said joy on the back,
then I also made a few others with sticker words on them.
Recently during a cold spell, The Hubs and I went through a shoebox of playing cards from my Mom's house, then we also went through our decks. We counted and matched and threw out incomplete decks. Our married kids had both told us they needed some playing cards so we were able to give them some of the numerous ones we had. The rest of the incomplete decks I saved to make all kinds of things with the help of Pinterest!
Ornaments, little boxes and photo mats
It was a fun Christmas Eve afternoon activity after all the presents were done!
I hope you have some time to think about the blessings of your year and enjoy some down time the next couple of weeks! I've been reminiscing over 2016 and all its big projects and emotions. Couldn't have done it without the Hubs! He's a keeper! Enjoy your friends and family this season.
I haven't shared a link in a long time, but I love this new song:
Lauren Daigle has such a beautiful voice and I love the message of the song, Christ coming to dwell with us and suffer for us. Whether you celebrate Christmas as the birth of Christ or a time of family togetherness and giving, I hope you have a good holiday!
I would normally NEVER take a pleasure trip in December, but I'm growing up! No kiddos to get to school or wake up or look after at all, means I'm going out of town with The Hubs more. We went to Austin area recently and what I enjoyed most (besides not cooking and cleaning) was seeing the Christmas lights! I had to restrain myself and just take a few pictures but here's an idea of just a few we saw. Thank goodness this was a drive-through attraction - the cold hit down south, too!
This was the coolest thing at the end! The lights are set up to blink also, so I felt like I was going through a wormhole (sci-fi language) some of the time!
I know Cake Balls are old news. But I just recently made some and figured out the secret of making pretty ones! Another thing I just figured out. With all the desserts at holiday parties, cake balls are really a great way to get a little bite of cake and not have to eat a whole piece. In other words, they are MUCH BETTER FOR YOU!
My experiment was new flavors - I got some cake from the sale rack at my local grocery store - one small Pumpkin Creme Cake and one small Gingerbread Creme Cake with a tub of Butter Cream frosting to make what I called Pumpkin Spice Cake Balls! I dipped them in white almond bark. Reminded me of Pumpkin Roll, which I also enjoy making. They were delicious!
As far as the secret of making pretty ones, I found out after making a large amount for a shower and not dipping all of them, that it's great to have some un-dipped balls in the freezer. They keep for a long time and then when you dip them, they do better than those that have just been in the freezer a short time. Also, I've been making them smaller, about the size of a pecan. They still are a good bite and then they are easier to manage when dipping. I use 2 toothpicks when dipping, one in the bottom of the cake ball, and one to push it onto the wax paper from underneath. It works for me! You can probably find your own method, it sometimes just takes practice! Also I found that using a glass one cup measuring cup and melting 4 pieces of almond bark in the microwave at a time works best for me. The small cup is just right for dipping. Lastly, you must have something to sprinkle on the top! It draws your attention away from the other imperfections.
So those are my tips! I got some rave reviews on the chocolate ones I made recently, too. Not sure what made them so good but maybe it was because they were CHOCOLATE. Actually, I did combine one regular chocolate cake mix and one dark fudge cake mix, along with two different kinds of chocolate frosting in the tub. So try your own combination for a little different flavor.
I decided to post all this more for me to remember than for you. Have you ever practiced on something like this and finally found your own best way to do it? It's exciting!