The Great Christmas Clean Up-Reorganizing My Home

I’ve decided to challenge myself. Sometimes that works and sometimes it doesn’t lol but I think this time will work! I decided to start a Youtube channel for the Mom Venture blog and first off document a deep clean in preparation for Christmas. We got some cleaning and decluttering done the day before Thanksgiving in the main areas of the house, but there’s still so much to do. So if you want to see follow along, head on over to my youtube channel. I’ll post the introduction video below as well.

I’ve always had a horrible time keeping up with keeping my home neat and tidy, or even somewhat neat and tidy. Deep cleaning pretty much never happens aside from vacuuming and mopping when things get too bad… so I thought, let’s see if I can challenge myself to record my progress in each room. I want to get all the areas that I’ll be decorating cleaned first so we can get Christmas decorations up asap. Then I’ll move to doing more thorough cleaning like wiping walls, cleaning mopboards, decluttering drawers and cupboards, washing windows inside and out, dusting hard to reach places, etc…

After Christmas, I plan to tackle the master bedroom and make it more cozy for the hubby and I. I also want to tackle all my cupboards in the kitchen and laundry room. I’ll pull everything out, get rid of things I don’t need and completely reorganize things into spots that are more useful. I haven’t done that since we moved here 6 years ago!

We live on a farm and have 3 dogs, 3 teenage boys and a couple cats that are in and out of the house, so things get dirty and dusty fast! There are places that I haven’t dusted in a long time so I’d like to do a thorough cleaning of dust. I’m sure it would help the air quality in the house greatly as well, especially in the winter when we don’t have doors and windows open as often.

So I hope you’ll follow along! I’m starting my Youtube channel with this Great Christmas Clean Up but I am also wanting to post more farm house recipes and just farm house living, homeschoooling stuff and the like. If you’d like to see more about the actual farm, you can hop over to my Ankeny Hill Farm website and Youtube channel as well!

Home Organization Services?

Not my kitchen, but I wish!!

It’s almost Thanksgiving and my home, of course, is a mess. Who do you think is hosting Thanksgiving? You got it… Yours Truly. So I have exactly 2 days to get things cleaned up. Thankfully my mom helps a ton since my parents live on the property with us, but still, I like to try and do most the cleaning and preparing my home myself. I love and appreciate the help, but she does so much already with helping keep my kitchen clean and laundry done. I don’t like feeling like I can’t do it myself either. It’s hard though when you feel like there’s so many different things going on and you get easily overwhelmed by the house work. It’s always been a huge struggle for me. I’m sure some of you know what I’m talking about!

I see these farm house bloggers that always have their homes so clean and perfect and I definitely get a bit envious. And don’t tell me they only show the perfect parts on social media! lol Maybe some of them do, but I know plenty of people that keep their homes nearly spotless pretty much all the time. I hate that I struggle with it so much.

So, I decided to write this post because I was looking for ideas to write about and typed in some keywords in the Google Keyword tool to see what was popular for home organization. It seems a lot, and I mean a lot of people search for home organization services! lol I totally get it! My problem is that I would have a home organizer come in, get everything organized and looking awesome, and think that I’m going to keep it that way. Ha!! funny joke! But seriously, after looking up these home organization services and browsing their websites, it’s something I would consider!

I probably just need to put more focus on cleaning the house every day. It’s just so hard! My brain is just not wired like that. I know I can make myself do it. I just wonder how in the world some are able to just more naturally keep things in order in their home. Ugh!

I guess this is just a venting post but I will post some links to home organization services below in case any of you are interested lol

Home Organization Services (Near me…Jefferson, Oregon)

Elizabeth Regalado, Pro Home Organizer

“I help busy women by creating beautifully functional, organized spaces, so they can feel at peace at home and get on with their lives.” Elizabeth Rgalado


Simple Organization, Realized Techniques!

Master Your Disaster

“Assisting others in creating harmonious living and office situations is something I was born to do.” Karen Brooks

Bright Space Organizing

Bright Space Organizing delights in creating spaces filled with beauty, function, and joy!

Tailored Organizing

Professional organizer near Portland, Oregon specializing in decluttering, organizing and space-planning for busy people who have other things to do.

Thea’s Organizing Services

We help individuals, families and businesses reduce the amount of stress in their life by creating room for success through ORGANIZING. 

Who Directs Your Steps?

It’s interesting… I wrote the paragraphs below on my instagram story back on October 14th 2019 just 5 days before I ended up slipping outside and breaking my ankle! And a few months before the Covid pandemic began. It just goes to show you that it’s true. We have no idea what’s up ahead in this path of life so we better hang on to God’s hand!

“Oh Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself: It is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.”

Jeremiah 10:23 KJV

I read this the other day and realized there is a lot to this verse. The way of man is not in himself. Jeremiah knew this. So many today want to “find themselves” , “be yourself”, “you do you”, “look inside yourself for the answers”. There is something about being yourself as far as using the uniqueness that God gave you and not trying to act like someone else. However, when we take “being yourself” to the point of following what “feels” right instead of following the Lord, then it’s all wrong. You’re then trying to follow your way within yourself.

It is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.

We have no idea where our life is going to lead because we can’t see the future. How then can we direct our own steps in this life? We don’t know the path. We don’t know what lies ahead! I talked to my btc class Sunday evening about this. God is the only one that knows the future and can see what’s ahead in this path of life. We HAVE to trust him to direct our steps. We HAVE to follow his steps or we WILL get lost.

I explained to them that when they go hunting or go on a hike with their parents, their parents might know the trail well, so what do the kids do? They stick right with their parents so they don’t get lost. If you stop, get distracted, or try to go off on a different trail, you’re going to get lost and possibly fall prey to a dangerous animal or even a dangerous human, or fall and get hurt or killed.

That’s what it’s like with God. We just can’t get through this life without him because he knows the best paths and he knows what’s up ahead. He knows the dangers coming and can prepare us for it. If we get tired, he will carry us. We do not know all this. I can have ideas of what I want to do with my life but I have no idea what’s ahead. I have no idea if I’m going to end up with cancer or get in a car accident, or lose my job at some point, or the economy tanks and I don’t have enough money to “follow my dreams”. What then?

How about we just follow the Lord and if he allows us to have some of the things we’ve dreamed here on this earth then awesome. If not, then who cares? This life is short and we have much better promises in eternity that will happen for sure if we just follow to the end!

For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps

1 Peter 2:21

Living Life On The Line

Life on the line article.mountain climbing photo

What do you do when your life is on the line? When everything is do or die? When it’s either give up, give in or keep pushing?

These are things that I, we, are constantly faced with every day whether we think about it or not. Our life is on the line. One day we all will die, but what do we do in the mean time? Do I just throw my hands up and say what’s the point? Some days I do. But then I get a glimmer of hope and a renewed sense of purpose and begin to push on. What else can I do? It doesn’t do much good to just give up does it? Although some days I do give up a bit. But there are always things that need to be done, so I pull myself together just enough to do those necessary things like make sure my family is fed, and my boys are doing their homeschooling. I make sure the animals are taken care of. Some days that’s it. I may not even take care of myself except to just rest.

But every day we live a life on the line. Every day we each make a decision whether to give up or keep going, keep pushing, keep grinding, keep moving. It’s something we’re trying to instill in our children. Our oldest boy just turned 19. He has a job where he has to start work at 6am. He is not a morning person and has trouble getting to sleep at night. The first couple weeks he’s done great getting up at 5am but now the newness is wearing off and he’s had trouble this past week wanting to get to bed early enough and thereby not wanting to get up in the morning. We are trying to teach him that it’s a grind. You either do it or you lose your job. There’s not much choice. Stick with it for awhile and you can find a job that doesn’t start so early, but for now your job is on the line. You have to keep pushing even when you don’t feel like it. It’s especially important when you one day have a family to take care of. People that are relying on you.

A Spiritual Life on the Line…

This goes for my spiritual life as well. Probably even more so. Life on the line…. I know I am saved. I am a child of God…Born again when I accepted Jesus Christ as my saviour. There are others in this world that are not, however. Many, many others. I don’t always know who is and who isn’t, but I need to live my life as though their lives are on the line. If I’m not walking with the Lord and living like Christ. If I’m not being that example…that light, then I become a stumbling block for those that don’t know Jesus. They ultimately make their own choice, but I’m responsible for how my actions, words, way of life might help or hinder. I need to keep pushing every day. Just as in my physical life, even more so in my spiritual walk with God. And if I’m walking close to the Lord, then the things of my physical life will be easier to deal with. It’ll be easier to keep grinding away at this life until I reach the ultimate rest and peace once I’m dead and in heaven with my Lord.

“Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the Lord”

Psalm 31:24

“But I will hope continually, and will yet praise thee more and more”

Psalm 71:14

“But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”

Isaiah 40:31

Best Lunch Box for Hubby?

(Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. If you click the link and purchase something, I make a very small commission. This does not affect my thoughts on the product and all products that I recommend on my site are ones that I use or have used personally)

Ok, so I’ve always had a hard time thinking of things to pack for my husbands lunches but also, finding something to pack them in. It’s especially difficult if I want to make him a salad, attempting to push more veggies on him. And many times he ends up not eating his lunch because he didn’t feel like it or he ended up going out to eat or someone at work bought everyone lunch. Then we end up with a wasted lunch because it inevitably gets soggy, or gets left in the care or something and then it has to get thrown out. So then I end up feeling like it’s pointless for me to make a lunch for him at all.

That’s where we’ve been the past year or so. Pretty much just him buying lunches at work instead of me making him one. That gets expensive… And he’s decided that he wants to get serious about taking a lunch from home every day. Awesome! Let’s save some money!

So I started with looking up good lunches for husbands/men. Of course there are a lot of foofoo ones that I’m like “really? My man won’t eat that lol!” Then somehow I got onto searching for lunch boxes and found the bento boxes on Amazon.

I ordered a couple different types since I wasn’t sure which one would work best. The cool thing is that they both are great for different things! One is better for fitting a sandwich into plus some other items like veggies with a little cup for putting a dip or salad dressing in. The other bento box is better for salads or other more compact things than a sandwich. It’s nice to have 2 so that I can use the clean one the next day while the other one is getting washed, although they are very easy to wash by hand. It’s also nice if he accidentally leaves one at work, at least I still have the other one.

I’ve found that so far he is eating more of the veggies I’ve included than he used to. I guess using a bento box with all the compartments and stacking, helps give me a few new ideas for lunch items as well!

Here’s the main bento box that I really love so far. The other one is great too and I will post a link to it, but this one has a removable cup with it’s own lid for the dressing or dip, and it has a thin ice pack. You can either put everything on a sandwich and put it in the bottom compartment (It will squish down a bit if you put everything on it), or you can keep the lettuce, tomatoes, etc.. in the top compartment to be assembled later.

Freshmage Salad Container for Lunch with Ice Pack

The buy now button will take you to the Amazon product listing where you can purchase from there.

Life Keeps Moving

My name is Melissa and it’s been 4 years since my last blog post….

I don’t know if you can relate, but I have several websites that I still keep hanging on to even though I haven’t updated them in a long time. I always have this idea that one of these days I’m going to get motivated and organized and start schedule of regularly updating each of them. Even just once a month, I mean, how hard is that? Apparently too hard for me…. but I keep them, thinking one day I will. Some of the websites like this one, have a decent amount of content that I don’t really want to just do away with. But there are a couple at least that I haven’t even set back up again after having to move web hosts a couple times. Afraid of letting go? Maybe.

So, alot can happen in 4 years. Lots of changes, kids getting older, yet some things haven’t moved forward nearly as much as I’d like. We’ve been on the farm going on 6 years now. 6 years! Hard to believe how quickly time flies. I’ll give you a little run down of what we’ve been doing in that time….

The Stuff We’ve Been Up To…

So, we came here in 2016 with one horse and I had planned to use the property eventually as a riding facility and give lessons full time. That same year we purchased another horse. Cool, 2 horses, time to get this party started! Kinda of hard without a covered arena and really not much of an outdoor arena. But I got to do more riding than I had in a long time.

Then we got some chickens, built a coop and people started asking to buy eggs. So, ching ching, I thought, cool this might be a good side business to make a little extra money, so I gradually started getting more chickens to lay more eggs.

In the mean time, I also had always wanted a dairy goat because I love goat milk and fresh goat milk is the best!! So 2018 I bought a doe and her kid and thoroughly enjoyed the milk. Then a month or 2 later I bought another doe that I would breed later that year. Sadly, later that year right after Christmas, the neighbor dogs attacked my goats (I had a buck also by then) and killed both my does and wounded the kid and buck. Both the kid and buck survived just fine and I found a couple more does.

Meanwhile the chickens were multiplying. I probably had close to 100 by mid 2019 with plenty of customers. We built an egg stand with a fridge for people to get their eggs. Late 2019 we stopped at Coastal Farm store and they were trying to get rid of a ton of layer chicks. So we got a crazy deal and bought, I think 150 or so.

Then October 2019 about 2 months after we bought all those chicks (and our dog had just had puppies as well) I broke my ankle walking in the mud with my flip flops on….Don’t do that…. So, my husband, boys and my parents all took care of the chickens and other animals. I started physical therapy in December and ended physical therapy right when the Covid pandemic hit. In fact I was supposed to go in for one more xray but they called the day before and said they were closing all non emergency stuff, so no xray. But the ankle was pretty well healed by that time.

Spring 2020 we started our meat bird venture. We built chicken tractors to move them around the field in and we did 3 batches of cornish cross chickens, 60 in the first batch and 120 in the each of the next 2 batches, and pretty much sold all of them except what we kept for ourselves.

Oh, I should back up a little bit, I did start giving horse riding lessons to a friends girls in 2019 during the summer and fall. We skipped 2020 because of my ankle, the pandemic and the bad wildfires we had that September when it was too smokey to ride. I took on a couple more students in 2021 and thoroughly enjoyed spending more time giving lessons and riding.

Last year (2021) I was able to get a horse trailer, though very old and needing repair, and we had an area excavated out for an arena, plus filling it with sand. It was so nice being able to ride on a sanded arena!

My plan this year is to hopefully build a roof over that arena. We found that we can refinance the house and get enough cash for the materials. We’ll still need some to pay for help getting it built, although my dad and a close family friend know how to build pole buildings (they built the covered arena that my parents had when I was just graduating high school). They are getting up there in years though so they will mainly just be directing.

Phew, that’s alot! There’s a lot that’s gone on in family life too. The boys are almost all teenagers at 12,15 and 18. We’ve had our challenges with 18 for sure (really the whole high school years with that one)…It’s a tough age though, I realize that. That may be a discussion for another post. Our 15 year old is not homeschooling anymore, but he is doing very well in public and keeping up his grades so far. Our youngest is still homeschooling and probably will continue through high school with the way our schools are heading. Our oldest who is 18, is finishing up his senior year at home and studying for his GED and has a job. I think I started this blog when he was 9 years old! Wow.

So there’s a recap for anyone that might be interested lol (if anyone is even visiting this website anymore!). I’m hoping to get back in to posting on here a bit more. I’ll be sure to do posts that have a specific topic though and not just going every which way ;)