Monday, September 26, 2011

Organizing Goals

Once again, I need to keep working on getting life/home organized.  I've made up a short list of things I want to do this week.

First up is our garage.  My goal is to get two cars in the garage this winter and we need two new garage doors as well.  My friend owns a garage door company so he will take care of that but until then, I need to work on getting the garage cleaned out.  Our freezer died when Lauren was in the hospital in April and, unfortunately, we put stuff where the freezer was so I have to go through those bins and get rid of the things there to make room for a new freezer that we will hopefully get in the next couple of weeks.  So #1 job is to begin organizing the garage and at least making it that there is a space for the new freezer.

#2 is our game closet.  We have a hall closet full of games and "stuff" (costumes, Easter stuff, etc.) and I want to go through that and consolidate.  I know we don't need some of the games so I will pass the on to other families.

#3 is my utensil drawer in the kitchen next to my silverware.  It's a mishmosh of stuff and I can't find anything without removing a bunch of things so I'd really like to get this taken care of.

#4 is a table of baskets in our den.  I think this has become a trash repository so it's time to clean it up!

#5 is the desk in our den.  It's a mess, plain and simple.

These are this week's organizational goals.  I really want to get them all done!!  Next week maybe I'll get to the basement a bit because I'd love for that to be cleaned up as well.  :)

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Happy Anniversary!!

Today was our anniversary celebration of our church campus!  One year ago this week, we started this new little church and God has done great things and also challenged us a lot.  It's neat because we came with a launch team who committed one year to this work and about 85% of the people will be staying on with us!!  Praise God!!  We have 7 new believers who were not saved this time last year and I trust that God will use us to bring more to Him.  Here's a picture of our launch team from last year.  What a great group of friends and co-horts!  LOL

I pray that God will use us to bring His Name to the community of Holtsville and that there will be a great heritage left from this humble beginning.  God is so good!!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Reuseable Grocery Bags

I've gone through a change with my reuseable grocery bags.  I had been using those tote bags that you can get at the store for 99 cents that are kind of a fabric but I always stored them in the way back of my minivan because they were so bulky to store and then I'd always forget to take them with me.  But then I found something awesome and I will never go back.

Introducing Baggu.  These are lightweight, nylon bags that hold a ton, hold up perfectly well and store in a small drawstring bag.  I bought the set of 5 of them in blue and they are amazing!!  The drawstring bag is pretty small - small enough for me to store in the front of my van next to my tissues and I will never have to forget them now!!  I just tossed them all in the washing machine and they came out as perfect as when I first got them.  I've been using them for about 9 months now and I can't see them wearing out anytime soon whereas my old bags would fall apart the first time I'd wash them.  Oh - and you NEED to wash your reuseable bags because they hold a lot of icky germs and we need to keep them clean.

I've used these bags for the groceries (I can easily put $100 worth of groceries in these 5 bags) and for so many other things!  Beach trips, laundry, work, etc.  I love them and while they are not cheap, they are WELL worth the money if you actually remember to use them and NOT have your groceries fall through a worn out bag.  :)

Monday, September 5, 2011

Organizing Update and It's Our Anniversary! (well, almost)

Well, I'm doing pretty well with getting organized but life keeps stepping in and side-tracking me!  But today I cleaned up the bookshelf at the top of our staircase where I keep school supplies.  It's outside the girls' room and they are the only ones upstairs so that hallway is a mess but I got the shelves cleaned and a lot of stuff tossed out.  Now to get the girls to clean the hall and we're in good shape up there!!!

Yesterday we celebrated with our launch team our one year anniversary and it was fantastic.  I have to say that this is the best team of people ever and we are greatly blessed to be working alongside of them.  The kids all had a great time swimming and we just enjoyed each others' company.  We look forward to the new year and what God has in store for us.  Our team has changed it's name from the "launch team" to the "ministry team" because we consider ourselves launched.  LOL  We've had lots of ups and downs but God is faithful and is leading us in where to go next.

Speaking of our launch team, could you please pray for a family on our team?  Jack and Nancy have been faithful workers and an integral part of the team.  They have two children, John who is 18 and has Aspergers and Jennifer who is best friends with my daughter and she is 9.  Nancy has battled many health problems and fell just over a month ago.  She broke her leg and had to have surgery to put in pins and she was in a wheelchair to get around while she recovered.  Well, just a couple of weeks ago, she had a seizure and died suddenly - most likely from a blood clot from her injury.  The poor family has had to deal with the sudden loss of a beloved wife and mother and just yesterday on the way to church, they had a serious automobile accident!  Fortunately, everyone is OK but their car is most likely totaled and since John was driving and it was his fault, their insurance rates are going to go through the roof and they are not well-off financially.  Please pray for peace, comfort and strength to all of the family.  They are great believers and have that assurance that they will see Nancy again but it is still so hard.

Thursday, September 1, 2011


So my life is a mess.  I admit it.  To some, I seem very organized but I'm far from it.  We have too much stuff - stuff we really don't need.  So I'm embarking on a project.  I am going to commit to doing something to organize my life each day of the week, taking Sunday off.  It doesn't matter if it's just straightening a drawer or cleaning a whole garage - SOMETHING must be done each day.

Today was my bedroom.  Well, a corner of the bedroom.  I am cleaning from my bed, over through my nightstand, through a giant pile of things (that I've since cleaned out and moved the bookshelf to this area), around the bend, to the bookshelf (moved), and then to my dresser.  As I said, I moved the bookshelf and I got one of those plastic drawer things to hold my bras since they wouldn't fit in my dresser so they just ended up - everywhere.  Now they are stored away.  I also cleaned off the bookshelf and took off books that I don't want to keep and will bring them to church to give away.  I sorted through a bunch of paperwork and have a pile to shred and another pile that went into the trash.  I was able to vacuum this side of my room and I feel good.  I still need to finish the stuff in front of the dresser but now it's my time to go ride.  :D

But I promise myself that I will do this daily so that I can have some semblance of order in my life.  Oh PLEASE God - let me stick to this!

Happy September!

Yes, it's been the whole summer since I last posted.  Oh my!!  So much happened this summer with church activities, the death of dear ones, vacation, etc.   I started out the summer going to Camp Cedarbrook in the Adirondacks to help work with their horses and had a fantastic time there.  It's so beautiful there and the horses were wonderful - plus it's fun just being "Ann" for a while.  After the week I was there, we flowed right into the Mother/Daughter weekend with Nicole (19) and Joanna (8) coming up and my friend Lisa and her daughter spoke.  It was a wonderful weekend.

Joanna at archery

After camp, we got home on Sunday and went away overnight on the boat Monday, July 4th.  We saw some great fireworks and had a wonderful time but came home to the terrible news that our friend's son fell while skateboarding and had a critical head injury.  The next week found us doing a lot of hospital time, encouraging, praying, crying and working with our dear friends as they decided to let their handsome 19 year old son go home to be with the Lord.  It breaks my heart and I have kept them in my prayers constantly.  Even yesterday, I went to Pep Boys for a new battery for my van and I prayed for Nelson and Charlotte because that's where Vince worked.  :(  Please keep them in prayer as they adjust to having lost their only child.  They are strong in the Lord which helps but it's still devastating to lose your baby boy!

This pic is my daughter's friend Juliana on the left, Vince in the center and my daughter Nicole on the right

Right after Vince passed away, we had our basketball camp and dance camp at church.  That kept us hopping each evening but thank heavens my daughters could drive and all of the kids were involved so it kept hubby and I from having to run all over the place.  We had a number of nice date nights that week!

Nicole leading the girls in the tambourine worship

After camps, we had a week off to "rest" and get ready for the next event at church which was our biggest thing we do - VBS!!  It was a great week with 500 kids registered, 200+ workers and a ton of parents all being fed by me!  It was so much fun and we really made an impact with these kids.  Many heard about Jesus for the first time and there were many who were saved that week.  Praise God - He is so good!!

Ooops!  No pics of VBS!!  Sorry!

So after VBS, we had one week to get ready for our vacation - and clean up from VBS.  We had a wonderful vacation of almost three weeks on our sailboat where we went to Newport, RI, Block Island, RI, Martha's Vineyard and places in between.  We had a bit of a time getting home because of some bad weather and we HAD to be home because Hurricane Irene was coming!  But we did it, got home, got ready for the storm and weathered it well.  :)

Sunset in Cuttyhunk, MA

Now we are home, it's the other side of the hurricane/tropical storm and we are doing great.  School started for Lauren (21) and the rest will go back next Wednesday (the 7th).  I'm trying to get my life organized and catch up on things that have been put by the wayside.   Life is always running and sometimes I need to stop and get things cleaned up before the next thing comes!

So that's us in a nutshell this summer.  :)