Saturday, April 5, 2014

Spring Break

We are just ending two weeks of spring break. Truly these weeks were a break from our normal and I am grateful to be emotionally rested and ready to head into the final weeks of our school year.

My biggest goals for the break were to get some needed housekeeping done and to rest (via reading). I began with the boys' room, which I don't have a before picture of except for this glimpse inside the door -- so you have to imagine it about 4 or 5 times worse/bigger than what you can see. The problem we had was that when I reminded the kids to clean their room everyday it was a daunting task because they had too much and no place to properly keep it. Everyone was frustrated.

So Monday morning I sat down at my computer just to look on Craigslist to see what sort of piece of furniture I might be able to find that could possibly help. But looking at everything I remembered that I really had nothing in the budget for this sort of purchase. So, on a whim, I checked the free section. Lo and behold, not 19 minutes earlier someone had posted a listing for two free bookshelves and a large dresser. Believe me, I lost no time in emailing and before six hours was up that furniture was installed in the boys' room! For two weeks I have been praising God and giving thanks for answering my prayers in such a big way.

Because of the furniture, we were able to get all the model/craft/toys off the floor and into drawers and shelves. Now James' desk looks like this:

And David has this great big beautiful dresser! And the drawers slide out so nicely and there is plenty of room for his clothing!!!!!

And check out these shelves!!!! Look how perfectly they fit into the alcove!!! Laura got one cupboard for her dolls and toys and the boys are sharing the other. There is even space to spare!!! Providence!!!!

I got over to my mom's by myself for another art lesson. It's always a treat to visit the place where she lives -- a bit like stepping into an English country house.

Lots of music happening each day with all the practice that goes on around here. Andrew enjoys helping kids and it is fun to see him organize younger ones to make music.

After the boys' room and closet (many days) I worked on the loft which had become overgrown with piles and stacks of books. I was kind of waiting for more bookshelves. But between the problem of where to actually put more shelves, and the other issue of where to get them, I finally decided it was time to make what we had work for us. (Special thanks for encouragement to Small Things blog and her posts about their own decisions to make do with their tiny space and many children.)

That meant going through all the books and removing "twaddle" -- over-worn books, duplicates, things we have never read and probably won't, and paperbacks that are in no way special. I managed to cull 6 boxes of books!!! (And turn that into a nice little gift card at Half Price books for Michael's birthday!) Now our shelves look beautiful again! (And there are two more large shelves in this room not pictured.)

Michael had a birthday last week. My mom invented a centerpiece for him while preparing our Sunday lunch.

And we were gifted with some extremely amazing venison steaks (aged to perfection) which I marinated overnight and cooked on the grill. Awesome Sunday/birthday lunch!!!!

And there was cheesecake with cherries for dessert:

One goal for spring break was to treat myself to an hour or so at Goodwill Pay by the Pound since I hadn't been in probably 7 or 8 months.

For $8 I managed to bring home a plaid picnic blanket, a top, a sweater to felt, some crocheted lace, a vintage rose tablecloth, a large piece of brand-new fabric, a vintage sheet to put on the back of a quilt, a linen tablecloth and a lovely summer sunhat, as well as a plastic tablecloth for a friend.

One afternoon a friend came over to learn about my wool felt crafts. Few things are more relaxing than chatting, sipping tea, and using your hands to make beautiful things!

We were pleased with the results!!!!

One day a package arrived in the mail from the Outer Hebrides. Surprise! A friend had sent me a bundle of Harris Tweed -- oh so exciting! I've added it to my little stash that I received while we were in Scotland and now I need to let a few ideas steep to see what I make next!

It's a little sad to see the break coming to an end. Of course there is a whole list of housework I didn't get to, and the extra time for rest was really nice. But I suppose summer break is just around the corner.

I did get the chance to hop out for coffee and a treat this morning with a friend. I have more to report on this in my next tea trolley post (which will be brimming over with a backlog of photos...).

But for now, it's back to normal life.....


Pom Pom said...

You are so resourceful! Way to go! I'm glad you had such a productive break!

Brenda@CoffeeTeaBooks said...

It all looks wonderful! We started working on the garage before it became cold and damp again.

Right now all the garden things are out in the middle waiting to decide what is kept, what can be put back on shelves, and what goes to charity.

Your two books are still on my desk waiting to be wrapped up and sent. But they will be hopefully soon.

elizabeth said...

YAY! Wow! I love it! What wonderful shelves!! God DOES provide! So glad for you!!

All of God's blessings as we enter the last week of Lent!!

elizabeth said...

oh, forgot to say, I loved Ginny's post on small spaces/big families too; blogs are such a blessing to us! :)

Unknown said...

WOW! Those shelves and dresser for FREE. They are so nice!!! I've never heard of a Pay By the Pound and I love your finds!

Stephanie said...

Looks like a enjoyable and productive spring break. My parents came to visit Sat - Wed when my mom was off from Edinburgh schools. Unfortunately, I had to work those days, but they got to spend time with Emma.