living life, choosing joy

Category Archives: Benjamin

So I’ve been on an unintentional extended break from blogging…and wow! So much has been happening, I can’t believe it’s already August. What happened to this year? But I’m excited to get back into writing. This is my “main reason” for such a long break.




And then every time I started thinking about blogging again, life just kept on happening.

So I’ll fill you in a little bit on that life that just kept happening for these past 10 months (yikes – has it really been that long??!)

Our sweet little girl, Indiana, was born last December, 8 days earlier than expected for my *planned* c-section (this type-A mama was slightly perturbed. Humph.) We had a happy Christmas as a new family of four (of which I am sure I have a picture but cannot not locate right now).


Such a happy big brother!


Benjamin took a while to learn how to share mom and dad. And adjusting from one child to two was a lot harder for me than I thought it would be. My sweet girl took a bit longer to get on a schedule, but overall she’s been pretty easy going. She has such a sweet smile.


Indiana, about 5 weeks old

Indiana, about 5 weeks old


And loves her brother so much! All he has to do is give her his attention and she smiles and laughs!

Then,  in June we had a great opportunity to move to a new house. This time a duplex about 6 miles away from where we were living. God opened the door – wide! We had been passively looking for a new place with 2 bedrooms, preferably closer to Nathans job, but only found a few good ones in our price range, and unfortunately none had any openings. So we ended up taking the duplex with the 2 bedrooms, and can I just say that God is good? We moved in on 4th of July weekend and have been unpacking and refining our stuff since. It’s been about 6 weeks, and I’ve been excitedly getting into some DIY projects in the kids room. I hope to do a home tour on here soon, but I know better than to make any promises about future posts! I just hope to get back in to sharing what we have been doing around here and more cute pictures of the kids. So until next time…


I’m participating in the Clutter-Busting Challenge  over at Money Saving Mom. The challenge: Donate, Trash or otherwise get rid if 7 things in your home each week day in May. Wanna join in? Check out the challenge on the Money Saving Mom site, or post a comment below with what you got rid of today!

Well, I’ve been bad this month – not participating in the challenge like I wanted to…

BUT, I think I have a really good excuse!

We are pregnant!! YAY!!!!! We are all very excited 🙂


This is how we “announced” it to our families on Mother’s Day {my sister took the photos of Benjamin — and made sure to sneak in one of them too!}

I have been having mostly bad days of nausea, etc., and just haven’t felt up for clutter-busting or blogging. But I have really missed it! I’m still not feeling great, but I’ve been better at managing it for the past few days.

So here is what I got rid of today:

IMG_13682 shirts that Benjamin has outgrown

2 bottles of lotion

1 tube chapstick

1 necklace

1 pile of papers to shred

Benjamin was being so cute today. He brought me his shoes which usually means he wants to go out. So I helped him put them on {even though he wasn’t dressed} and let him run around the house. I just couldn’t resist snapping a picture!


Oh, to be a baby again!

What did you get rid of today?

I’m participating in the Clutter-Busting Challenge  over at Money Saving Mom. The challenge: Donate, Trash or otherwise get rid if 7 things in your home each week day in May. Wanna join in? Check out the challenge on the Money Saving Mom site, or post a comment below with what you got rid of today!

I got a rare opportunity today to get some stuff done today. My sweet angel of a child took a THREE HOUR NAP!!! Hallelujah! I took the opportunity to get A LOT done around the house and clean through a box of papers.

Here’s what I am getting rid of today:


1 stack of papers to shred

4 sets of earrings (actually 3 1/2, but I’m counting them as 4)

1 earring card

1 empty rubber stamp package

Not as impressive as yesterday, but I’m happy to have found at least 7 things to purge.

And after I was done, here’s what else I found…


my sweet little guy waiting patiently in his crib after taking a 3 hour snooze 🙂

Did you purge anything today?

I’m participating in the Clutter-Busting Challenge  over at Money Saving Mom. The challenge: Donate, Trash or otherwise get rid if 7 things in your home each week day in May. Wanna join in? Check out the challenge on the Money Saving Mom site, or post a comment below with what you got rid of today!


I’m a day late getting in on the game, but I decided better late than never :).

I didn’t think I had much to get rid of…I really thought that even SEVEN items would be a challenge. Little did I know, EIGHTY items were lurking in my home!!

Here’s what I’m getting rid of today:


I am counting the cardboard boxes because they have been lurking for a while. I also purged magazines and a bunch of buttons (of the pin variety), some old makeup and a few toys, etc. Far to much to detail in a list here…you would be very bored reading it if I did!

I thought seriously about saving some to purge tomorrow, but is that cheating?? I wasn’t sure so I decided to count it all for today and try for 7 again tomorrow :).

And here is what Benjamin was doing while I was busy clutter-busting:

photo(12)A true boy, playing a game on the kindle. 🙂

Did you purge anything today?

msm cleaning

Challenge #29: Clean one thing (such as a dresser drawer, microwave, oven, etc).

Today I chose to clean out my craft cupboard. You have already seen the craft suitcases, but there is more (oh so much more!) craft stuff. It’s not really that the cupboard is so large or so badly disorganized. It’s actually the opposite problem. It’s quite small and it doesn’t take much to get it looking bad!

The cupboard does double duty as the changing table in Benjamin’s room.


In case you are wondering, that’s a monkey pillow pet for him to rest his head. He seems to do much better when it’s there. (Thanks Aunt Lynn!!).

I have the doors secured, but so far he hasn’t seemed interested in getting in to the drawers.


Inside the cupboard: BEFORE


Inside the top left drawer: BEFORE


Inside the top right drawer: BEFORE

The drawers’ “unofficial” main function is basically to hold anything that I’m too lazy to put away in to the proper bin, or something that likely has no home. As such, they are generally a mess.

I didn’t clean through every bin in the cupboard. They are pretty well labeled and organized inside. Instead I tried to stay focused on putting away stray items and cutting out some stuff that either can go back to the suitcases (larger paper scraps and cutouts) or to the bin in the garage (contact paper, old books to be used for a yet-to-be-determined project, and a few empty (but useful) boxes). And I did throw out/put in the donate box a handful of things that I have not used or needed to use in a long time.

So here’s the after (about 30 minutes of sorting):


AFTER: Labeled bins, photo albums and paper – that’s it!


AFTER: Top left drawer. I think I might make this my “project in-process” drawer

I put the paper cutter in the drawer because I use it often and wanted to make it easier to grab.  The two packages of felt are (supposed) to be used for busy bags, and the heart picture frame will eventually have a photo (or similar) in it and be hung on the wall in Benjamin’s room because it color-coordinated well.

And those things in the back left….


A small collection of “lids” from baby wipe packages. I have been saving (some) of them with the intention of doing something. I think maybe a busy bag? All I know is that they are good for something because Benjamin LOVES to open and close them. But for now, they stay in the drawer.


AFTER: Top Right Drawer – just a glue gun, extra glue stick and a large package of popsicle/craft sticks from Dollar Tree

I am happy with the fruit of my labor. Now the real test will be to see how long I can keep it that way…

In other news, Benjamin got some “new” hand-me-down blocks from a very kind friend, and he LOVES them! If he isn’t dumping and throwing them, he is dragging around the wagon full of them.


Doesn’t he look happy?? 😉

What did you clean out today? Any ideas on what to use baby wipe lids for??

msm cleaning

Challenge #25: surface clean or deep clean your kitchen and/or living room

OK, so I should have looked a head to today, and then I could have saved cleaning out under the kitchen sink for today instead of doing it yesterday!

Oh well. I guess now I get to be creative.

I made a plan to set the timer for 20 minutes and do the following:

  • Clean kitchen windows inside & outside
  • Clean dining room sliding glass doors inside & outside
  • Sweep Tile (again!)
  • Spot clean anything dirty or sticky on the tile
  • Clean stove top (as best as I can in the allotted time – it’s pretty bad, so who knows??)
  • Move everything and wipe down counter tops
  • Straighten up utensil drawer

Stove Top – BEFORE


Utensil Drawer – BEFORE

And here is after a bit of work…


Stove Top – AFTER

The stove top is not as good as it could be. I mainly just got the “gunk” off the drip pans. I don’t know how to get the baked on stuff off…any suggestions?? I have tried many, MANY different things, and still…nothing. Maybe I should just get some new drip pans??


Utensil Drawer – AFTER

I finished everything else on the list too, and had a clean kitchen once again.

And then Benjamin…


his after-nap smile 🙂


…what happens when mommy asks “where’s your belly button?” and he’s wearing a onesie 🙂


his favourite seat in the house – right by the (clean!) dining room doors.

Did you spend any time in the kitchen today? Any tips on cleaning the stove top drip pans??(I seriously need some help!!).

msm cleaning

Challenge #17: wipe down your doorknobs and light switch plates

Today’s challenge was a quick one – yay!

I started out with two nice bright white rags and a bottle of homemade cleaner.


And then cleaned all the door knobs first before moving on to the switch plates. My Dining Room switch plate is part of the large mirror that takes up most of one wall. When looking at it critically, it seemed to be the worst of them all.


Ignore the junk on the table in the reflection!

I took off the cover. It was pretty dusty and yucky behind it. I don’t think that I have ever taken the cover off once in the five years we have lived here.


I used the vacuum cleaner hose, a dry toothbrush, and some toothpicks to get all the junk off the switches and the dust behind the switches too.

And then…

IMG_0784 IMG_0785

All clean 🙂


Proof I actually cleaned! note: most of the really dirty stuff was on the outside door knobs!

After the quick(ish) task of cleaning the doorknobs and switch plates was complete, Benjamin and I spent some time playing before afternoon nap.

We played with Thomas…


…And then of course we had to taste Thomas…


we read a few books…

IMG_0847 IMG_0831

…and we were very happy taking pictures…


…until it was nap time {Poor little guy is teething now and just won’t stop drooling, hence the drool on his romper today}.


sweet dreams little guy 🙂

Happy to have another spring cleaning item crossed of my list :).

How did you do on this challenge today??

My Sweet Benjamin at 16 months

My Sweet Benjamin at 16 months

I just wanted to share a sweet photo that Aunt Kat took of my little guy, Benjamin. Too cute!