Saturday, November 29, 2008

Feng Shui

I thought I would let you in on a little of my weird-ness. I am a believer in Feng Shui. I don't practice all the rules, but I do think there is something to be said for the "flow" of a home. I do not burn sage to cleanse the rooms, nor do I place mirrors in strategic places, though I do not see anything wrong with that if it makes you feel better. Can a Christian practice aspects of Feng Shui? I am a Christian. I practice areas of Feng Shui. Do I place it as an idol...oh no.One of the first things you can do to help your home be a more peaceful, creative, harmonious place to live, is to get rid of clutter. Clutter will stop the flow of a room instantly. The feeling of comfort is gone, and chaos is all around. Am I sounding weird yet??? That's ok. Clutter is just the first step. A clean clutter free room is not the only thing....take my sewing room/office for example. Here is a picture of it "before" I moved things around to make the room a better place to be. It is clean and tidy. Everything in it's place. Still, the flow was not great. While at my desk, my back was to the door, making me feel inaccessible to anyone coming in. Also, the creative part of the room was broken up. I moved things around and, even though the desk is sticking out into the room, it flows much nicer. The creative area is all contained, and the desks allows me to face the door where any man, woman, or child can be greeted with a smile (not that that always happens!)Also, this room has a wall that juts out at the entrance. This creates a sharpness to the entryway of the room. To soften that, I hung chimes in that area. Really, it works....Another thing I do is to surround myself with those things that make me feel good. God's Word has always been an extreme comfort to me. I have pictures, plaques, and even rocks around my home that "speak" to me. Here are a few....
One of the most important aspects of Feng Shui is the "center" of your home. What room is in the exact center of your home??? Mine is the powder bathroom. Now in Feng Shui this is the WORST thing that can happen to you. In my mind, it is not the end of the world. I do, however, believe that bathrooms should be kept CLEAN, smelling fresh, and toilet seats DOWN at all times.Fountains are an important element in Feng Shui. Sweetheart LOVES a fountain. I tend to let them dry up, get dirty and forget to turn them on and off. This is worse than not having one at all. I will be trying again to keep several fountains going. The sound and sight of them are very calming to the room and the person.Live plants are another source of practicing Feng Shui. Artificial plants are a no-no, though I have several artificial plants. I keep them clean (for the most part) and do have some live plants around. They must be cared for though. Placing a LIVE green plant between the stove and the frig (a source of fire vs a source of water) is a Feng Shui practice. I personally like the look of it. The placement of bedroom furniture is key. Here are a couple of examples. These pictures are taken from the doorway of the room.This is the guest bedroom at my Mom's house. The room is fresh and clean and even has chimes (yes, I hung them myself) hanging in the entryway as it has that same sharp edge as my sewing room. The placement of the furniture is not great for the room, however. No offense, Mom. The room is small and she can not easily move it around. Beds should not be placed across the entry of the doorway.
Here is a picture of Charlotte's room from the door way.Having the foot of the bed face the doorway creates a positive flow of the room. Are you still here??? Really!! I am certain I have hit a new level of weird for you.
Ok, let's move on. Adding a new piece of furniture to a room can create a positive, or negative. Go with your gut feeling. I just added this antique sewing machine cabinet (it has an awesome sewing machine inside) to my formal living room. I like it. It fits and the feel of the room is a good one with it in place.Be careful for traps. Our library is a wonderful addition to our family room. I love the design and style of the custom made shelves, but it can be a trap. The books can become "cluttered" looking very easily and even though there is no actual clutter, it can appear that way.My newest Feng Shui discovery happened just yesterday. My formal dining room is one of my favorites. The room is very small though the furniture fits like it was made for the room.When adding 2 leaves to this table for Thanksgiving dinner, I turned it the other way. It was a tight fit, but gave access to the kitchen better with this set up. After the day was done, I took the leaves out ready to put the table back. I was shocked at how much nicer the room looked and felt with this placement (minus the 2 leaves).The area feels twice as large and the flow is much better! After years of the other placement, who da thought it???
So, I am by FAR no expert in Feng Shui, nor do I desire to be. I do know that the placement of furniture and the addition (or elimination) of certain things can create an environment of peace. And you all know I am about getting any kind of peace!!!! Let me know if you have had any Feng Shui experiences!!! Please don't leave a comment telling me I am weird, or not a good Christian. It is not good for my chi!!!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Thanksgiving Day In Pictures

Another successful Thanksgiving Day has come and gone. With it, many wonderful memories were made. I thought I would share some pictures of the day. Before I start, I will warn you, it has been agreed on that I need a better camera. Most of the pictures turned out fuzzy. It really is not is the camera!! (Ask Rachel!)
The kids were a big help. Here, they are making the fruit salad...Charlotte especially was a HUGE help to me in the day before and the day of Thanksgiving.
She had her apron on and was ready and willing to do whatever was needed. Once done with a job, she would say, "What else would you like me to do?"
Rachel helped with the food prep which was much appreciated.Everyone arrived around 2pm.
The house was filled with children.....Charlotte, Casey, Zach, Dominic, and TJ all had a great time. Emerson had her Thanksgiving dinner of Organic Rice cereal.Emerson helped Grandma play hostess, though she fell asleep on the job.Andrew came and we were just thrilled to see him. He is recovering nicely from his fall off the cliff. Still on a crutch and wearing a immobilizer cast, he is getting around well.TJ loved his crutch and wants one of his own.Here is Meghan, my Dad, and Andrew enjoying each other. Meghan is on a full scholarship to a law school in Chicago. They even pay her housing....we are all so proud of her.Her mother, my Aunt Robin, loved her new apron."Kunkle Kyle" and TJ read a book together.Mom supervised the food set up.Zach and Robby spent time playing video games.Sweetheart spent some time smoochin up that granddaughter!Emerson met some of her family for the first time. Here she is with her Great Aunt Debbie.My sister and her husband Mike brought Mike's mom, Thelma. She was recovering from knee surgery and was a joy to visit with.Here they are with the grand kids, Casey and Dominic.My Aunt Robin with her family, Meghan, Robby, Matt (Sarah's husband), and Sarah. She lost her husband, my Uncle Bob, in a car accident in 2001. Her fiance, Ted, is a wonderful man. My son and his family. It is difficult to get a nice picture of TJ, who moves all the time. Again, my camera is not great.My Mom and her, Debbie and Robin, who my mom raised.My family, the ones left at home, anyway.We tried to get a picture of Sweetheart and I with our grand kids, but TJ was DONE with picture taking!!! It looks like I was too!It was a wonderful day, and like always, I was wiped out at the end of it. I don't know who took this, but I found it on my camera while loading the days photos on my computer.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

May your day be blessed as you offer up Thanksgiving for all He has done!!!
" That I may publish with the voice of thanksgiving, and tell of all thy wondrous works."
Psalm 26:7

"The Offering Of Thanksgiving" where I am on a journey to Thank Him for 1000 gifts.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Let The Holiday's Begin

Thanksgiving is just a couple of days away and the preparations are well underway. The shopping is done and the menu is planned. More fresh fruits and veggies along with a nice garden salad are being added. Cute little poster but so UNTRUE. I am getting rid of as many preservatives as I can. A new ranch dressing recipe has become a big favorite here.1 c mayo
1/2 c sour cream
1 teaspoon minced onion
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon chopped chives
2 teaspoons dried or fresh parsley
buttermilk til desired consistency
Makes 1 pint

The kids and I enjoyed a nice workout this morning. We walked a mile with Leslie Sansone. Zach had taken his jammie shirt off and tied it around himself "Rambo" style. Too cute.That only took 20 minutes, even though it made me sweat and got my heart rate up there. The kids worked on their math while I continued with a Pilate's circle workout and my daily 100 crunches.
With only a 3 pound weight loss in the last 2 weeks, I need to step things up a bit.
I spent some time in my sewing room over the weekend.This mess will need to be cleaned up today. The entire upstairs is getting cleaned. I did get some good progress. The apron is finished and wrapped, ready to be given for a birthday gift on Thanksgiving day.This bag was created...I really like this one. It is a Galena I bought on my trip last spring.These squares got cut and are ready to be stitched into a special gift for Christmas.
The Amish table runner is basted and in the hoop, ready to be hand quilted. A set of Christmas coasters are made up and another set ready to stitch. Things are moving right along in the sewing department. Until Thanksgiving is over, only hand quilting will take place.
Well, this upstairs area is not going to clean itself. I love my home, but it can get messy very easily. How does that happen? It must be the kids, cause it can't be ME!!!

Praying your Thanksgiving is blessed!!!!