Photo Books + Wasteful Living Update

I’m going to cover creating photo books in today’s post.  As I’ve mentioned in past blog posts, I am a resolution maker.  For years one of my top resolutions was to organize my photos.  Early on in my marriage (and even before), I’d been pretty faithful in placing all my pictures in albums.  Then we had children.  That meant more pictures and less time.  In rare good moments, I labeled the backs of the pictures and placed them in albums.  More often than not, I just crammed the envelope of newly processed photos into an already overstuffed shoe box.  Eventually we moved into the digital age.  Our photography life still mainly consisted of vacation pictures (day to day life isn’t all that exciting), but we had an abundance of other pictures too.  Having a camera on my phone at the ready made spontaneous pictures more possible.  Hence, more to organize.

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army boots

Survival Training for Your Children

If you dropped dead tomorrow, would you children/grandchildren have any idea how to take care of regular duties?

This is a sobering question and one that many of us may think is unnecessary.  “I’m in good health”, you might say.  “Let my children be children while they’re young.  They don’t need to be saddled with adult concerns.  Isn’t schoolwork enough?”  That was at least my mode of thinking while my children were growing up.  They had a few chores, but most of the housework was done by me.  Like magic their laundry would appear washed and folded, the bathrooms they used would be cleaned, and the food that they consumed would be purchased, cooked, and on the table.

Then one day we received a call – a call I will never forget.  My brother-in-law called to say that his wife (my husband’s beloved sister) had collapsed in a restaurant and was taken to a hospital.  It was the last day of school and my daughter was on a field trip to Cedar Pointe, but my husband and I hurried to the hospital.  There we learned that his sister was in a coma.  She had suffered either a brain aneurysm or a cerebral stroke.  We were all in shock.  Sixteen years earlier the doctors had found an aneurysm near her optic nerve and she’d had surgery by a highly qualified neurosurgeon.  She had a long recovery, but with time she was able to return to her normal routine.  It was all a thing of the past.  Or so we thought.

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Cleaning Helps my Family AND my Neighbors


Hello friends and co-cleaners,

Our cleaning challenge is officially over (Woo-Hoo!) and I think we should each give ourselves a pat on the back.  I admit that I don’t like to clean any more than the average person does.  Believe me, leaving the traditional work force hasn’t caused me to become so bored that I look forward to socializing with my duster and iron.  Send for the men in the white coats when that starts to happen because it’s a pretty good sign that I’ve gone right over the edge!  However, I am so proud of myself (and you too!) for tackling this big task and not just laying down until the motivation passes.  As a reminder as to why it was good that we generated some elbow grease, here were some benefits that I saw as I went along these last 5 weeks:

  • My allergies have less to sneeze about
  • I have found things that I thought I lost for good
  • My appliances are in better working order and are safer now
  • I don’t have to run and hide when someone rings the doorbell
  • I have discovered many things that may help others

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Are you having an identity crisis too?


Do you remember the struggles of your teen years?  I do.  Leaving the carefree times of childhood and advancing toward adult life left me in this in-between state of uncertainty.  Probably one of the most dreaded questions I could be asked was “What are you going to do when you grow up?”  My answer changed by the day, sometimes by the hour.  The truth is that I didn’t have the foggiest idea and that was scary!

The good news is that I ended up in an occupation I love.  How?  I can only say that it must have been whispered into my subconscious by God because I certainly wasn’t heading toward the dental field – even when I walked onto campus my first year of college.  However, once I started down this path, I never looked back.  More often than not, when talking to people about what they do, I think to myself, ‘Wow, I’m sure glad I’m doing what I’m doing!’  There is a serenity about knowing you are in the right place at the right time.  All is well in the world. Continue reading

A View from Above

As you may recall, last week we were continuing our Fall Cleaning Challenge by deep cleaning our living room (or maybe you picked your family room or media room).  It wasn’t an easy task for me, but I found that it was important to do.  There was the uck! moment of the wrapped, gray package of Smarties that had found a hiding place I didn’t know existed under our couch cushions.  On the other hand, I was excited to find a pair of reading glasses that had also slipped into an unknown area.  Believe me, reading glasses are more valuable than finding coins these days!  Continue reading

Celebrate Autumn

Happy Autumn!  Last week we continued our Fall Cleaning Challenge by deep cleaning our bathrooms.  Since it hadn’t been that long since I’d done some bathroom reorganization, I didn’t think it would be too hard a task.  Since there are a lot less cupboards than in my kitchen to pull things out of, wipe down, and then replace, it definitely was easier for me than last week’s focus.  However, I was caught a little off-guard by the bathroom fan.  You see, we’d never actually dismantled it before.  The cover came off easily enough, but then we decided we’d better shut off power to the fan (recommended when using wet cloths!).  My husband had to go through most of the electric panel before he found the correct switch.  When we saw all the dust up in the fan, it just made us feel better to know it was cleaner when we were done with it.  Continue reading

The Sparkle Has Started

As you recall, last week I started a fall cleaning challenge with the end result in mind that we will have a wonderfully clean house by the end of October.    I know spring is the traditional time of year for this sort of cleaning project, but here are a few reasons why I think autumn may be an even better time of year to do our deep cleaning:

  • Our houses will soon be shut up for the cooler months, so it would be good to go into this closed-in time with a fresh start.
  • Many people (including me) have hay fever.  Although we may not be able to rid the world of goldenrod or leaf mold, we can do our best to reduce the number of allergens we harbor inside our homes.
  • The holidays will be here before we know it.  By getting the deep cleaning done now, we can welcome visitors into our homes, knowing that what we used to “sweep under the rug” isn’t there anymore.

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Fall Cleaning Challenge

The great preacher, John Wesley, once commented in a sermon, “Cleanliness is indeed next to godliness”.  As I look around my house, I am glad that I can be sure Mr. Wesley won’t be stopping by today.  The truth is, whether we’re talking about our spiritual lives or our earthly lives, it is easy to get used to coasting along.  We fill our days with superficial things, all the while becoming blind to the mounting rubbish that we’re accumulating.  If we can just keep the dirt out of focus, we can put off dealing with it for another day. Continue reading