Category Archives: Mr. Muscles

101Reasons I Love My Husband

There is nothing quite as romantic as spending  a portion  of your weekend taking apart and deep cleaning your kitchen with your husband.   A little goofy sounding, I know, but it was a lot of fun and yet another reason I love my husband.

While pulling out the stove and giving everything a good scrubbing,  we laughed as we shared the antics of our little children and their adventures over the week.

While cleaning out and disinfecting the fridge, we marveled that seemingly out of nowhere our oldest daughter’s upcoming graduation from high school has snuck up on us.

While cleaning out and reorganizing the kitchen cabinets, we put great thought into plans for our upcoming 20th anniversary and enjoying the honeymoon we never had.

There were sly looks and grins while scrubbing the vent hood and degreasing underneath it.

There was a little pinch on the tush here and little pinch there while whitening the porcelain sink.

There were jokes and hilarious comments zinging that had us laughing so hard we were leaning on the counters to keep from falling over.
All of this and more while deep cleaning the kitchen!

My favorite moments come in our every day life enjoying the husband that God has blessed me with and the children that He has given us to raise.


All for God’s glory,


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101 Reasons I Love My Husband

I love adding to my 101 Reasons I Love My Husband posts.

Each time I go back and read my previous posts, I am reminded of just how blessed I am.

Today’s blessing:  God has given my strong, sweet man the ability to know when I need a hug.

I don’t mean one of those quick squeezes.  I am talking about one of those long, tight hugs that makes the rest of the world and it’s troubles fade away. The kind where you disappear into his chest and feel safe.

There are times when I am feeling beaten down by my day or times when I am a little overwhelmed, and he will stop everything we are working on and grab hold of me.  In that hug God speaks to me and I feel loved and safe and re-energized.  I can once again take on the world.

Have you hugged your sweetie today?

All for God’s glory,


Don’t forget to enter in my latest giveaway- Baltic Amber jewelry from Spark of Amber!

The Almost Overwhelming Urge to Purge and Organize

Recently, I have been overcome with an almost overwhelming urge to purge. I am not talking about that moment when you are stepping over the toys in your living room and you think to yourself, I have got to get rid of a few of these trip hazards.
I am referring to that feeling where you have to control yourself so that you do not end up tossing everything from the house into the back of the truck to go donate.
It is not that the kids have huge amounts of toys or that every room in our house is filled with toys. This desire to purge isn’t even about the toys. It is about everything. It is about boxes of home decor I will never use. It is about books I have no interest in reading (we are not taking about my favorites!). It is about the clothes I know full well I cannot stand and will never wear. It is about kitchen items that do not get used even once a year.

While I would love to simplify the cleaning process and make maintaining that organized kind of clean even easier, there are certain aspects to my life that hinder my ability to purge to that degree.  *wink*

We have chosen to educate our brood at home. There is no way I am getting rid of curriculum with a line of children who will be moving up and using it. In the past year I have donated about half of the curriculum that once filled boxes and tubs. I had to make some hard decisions about what I do or will really use.

We have a large family that ranges from toddlers to teens. Having toys, games, art supplies, and activities for that variety of people does not take up a small amount of space!

We are a homesteading family. There are things that we need and use on a daily basis that are necessary for taking care of our animals, managing our property, and planting and growing large gardens of fruits and vegetables.

I am a soaper.  Specifically, I am a handcrafted goat milk soaper!  I buy my supplies in bulk quantities and I make large batches of soap.  There is always soap in some part of the creating/ drying/ labeling process.

So, what is a girl to do?  Purge AND organize with a plan and a very helpful Hubs!!   Hubs and I have broken each one of these areas (and more) down into a list of “needs”, “wants”, and “donates”.  As we tackle,  we look at the items in front of us and decide which category it goes in.   Once the purge has been completed, it is then time to organize.

That is where I am at now.  Organizing.  It is my favorite part, but it also seems to be the most expensive.  Going to the store to check out their organizing section when you have a huge list of organizing ideas is like going to the grocery store hungry.  It is so hard to control myself!!   To make matters worse, I have been searching Pinterest.  That place feeds my project and organizing addictions!  Good gracious.

So, that is where I am.  Trying to make decisions, come up with ingenious ways to organize materials, and make everything streamlined and hidden.  This would be so much easier with three or four more of me to tackle this list, oh, and winning a shopping spree to a container store would be nice, too!

How about you?  What area would you like to be able to purge and organize to perfection?

All for the glory of God,


Shhhh, don’t tell the kids

Let’s say you and Hubs took a little break and enjoyed a nice evening out on a date.  While on that date, you went to see a movie.  Not just any movie, but one that the kids have been whining bugging gently pleading to see.  Would you tell them?


Nope!  Well, at least we have not yet.

After some absolutely yummy Chinese food, we headed over to check out Monsters University.  Oh.  My.  Word.  It was great!  That is a movie we will be purchasing and creating a family movie night with once it comes out on DVD.

Even Mark enjoyed it.  The man doesn’t get all warm and fuzzy about animated movies, but this one actually got a smile and a few laughs!  That is huge, people!

I loved the story line.  They surprised me with the direction of Mike and Sully’s characters and relationship when they were younger.  They included hints and bits of many of the characters from Monster’s, Inc., while a couple of them had pretty major roles.  Stay tuned at the end of the movie for the photos  during the credits.  They are hilarious!

I am not going to tell you any more just in case you haven’t seen it.  I don’t want to give too much away.

Overall, two thumbs up and very funny!  I am looking forward to watching the kids enjoy the movie when we get to create our own movie night.

So, am I going to tell them?  They haven’t asked, and I probably won’t open that can of worms if I don’t have to!  I would much rather surprise them with the movie.

Have you seen it yet?

All for the glory of God,


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Progress in the Upper Garden- It’s Getting There!

It’s not easy building gardens from scratch or rebuilding ones that are in complete disrepair, but it’s well worth the time and effort!   One of our three raised beds is just to the side of the house and named The Upper Garden.

It started out with giant gardenia bushes taking up most of the front of the bed.  I trimmed those back pretty drastically, but it will help with the shock of transplant and make them healthier as they grow back.  It took a good bit of digging to get them out of the ground.  They are now planted along the side of the driveway and will help to create a living screen between our closest neighbors and ourselves.  They are wonderful people, but I am sure they will appreciate the addition of privacy as much as we will.

  Most of the landscaping timbers were rotten and in desperate need of replacing. The railing on the back of the bed is attached to a cinderblock wall.  There is a about a 12 foot drop to the patio that our basement opens up to.  This railing was a top priority to keep the kids safe!

Once the bushes were removed, the rotten wood torn away, and the railing completed, Mark and I began rebuilding the terraced garden with 2×6’s and 4×4 posts.

We worked compost, shredded leaves, soil, and other amendments into both tiers of the garden to give a healthy and living base for our plants.

An afternoon of companion planting research and I have decided that this bed is for tomatoes, cucumbers, summer squash, lavender, multiple herbs, carrots, and a few marigolds.

The bottom left of the bed has cucumber and squash seeds that I am eagerly awaiting the sprouting of.

I have lavender, basil, oregano, thyme, sage, and cilantro is planted around my fountain on the right of the bed.  The top tier is full of tomato plants, and is awaiting the carrots and marigolds I have yet to sow.

I have planted lavender to use in my soaps and around the house.  After many years of being stored in tubs, I am finally able to unpack my collection of frogs to decorate my gardens.  This fat toad is one of my favorites.

I am also working on a little pathway to access the water spigot as well as harvest the herbs that are now in this area.

I am short just a few bricks to finish this path.  I am thinking of planting something in the spaces.  Any recommendations?

Next up, getting my fountain flowing!  I find the splashing sounds of the water trickling over the sides to be very relaxing.   A seating area just to the right of this garden (up on the porch) is where you will find me most mornings.

Once the plants have started filling out, I will update with a picture.

How are your garden plans going?  If you have written about it, share the link in the comments!

God bless,


View From My Porch (Link Up)

Welcome to this week’s edition of View From My Porch!

This week’s post has been provided courtesy of our five-year old tornado, Susannah.

Beautiful glass, isn’t it?

Can you guess what it is?

Here is a little bit of a wider shot.

It is the fifth gazing ball that has been smashed into tiny beautiful shards that are so incredibly difficult to find and clean up.

While the untimely demise of my gorgeous glass ball lies firmly on the shoulders of Susannah and her bike, she did not break all five of them.  No, no, no, the whole family has joined in on the attacks against the lovelies I like to adorn my gardens with.  Mark (hubs), Noah (14), Emily Grace (12), and the roughness of moving have all done their part.

It is a conspiracy, I tell you!

As is so apparent, I cannot have glass or anything breakable in my gardens, but I love the look of a colorful orb.  So, that brings me to my next question.  Can you help me?  What can I repurpose, make, and/ or create to take the place of my far too delicate glass gazing ball?  We are talking a need for Superman durability here!


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So, what are you going to share from the view from your porch?

To God be the glory,


You Capture! ~Shoes~

My boys!
I will often find Israel (21months) tromping through the house wearing Noah’s (14) shoes. He can barely make it 3 steps before he is picking himself up from the floor…again.
Yet, it seems as though it wasn’t that long ago that I was watching Noah do the same thing with his Dad’s shoes.
I didn’t think Noah would ever grow in to those shoes that squeaked and clumped across the floor as his baby feet tried so hard to walk just like Daddy.

Now, my oldest boy is no longer a boy, rather he is grown enough to wear the same size shoe as his Dad. When did he grow so much? When did he mature from a little blonde haired, adventurous whirlwind into a young man?

As watch Israel’s toddler legs struggle to keep up with his older brother, I see a little man who is just as determined to take on this world, even if it means doing it with just one shoe!

This post is linked up with Beth’s You Capture! photo challenge.