4 Moms Open House: Living Areas

Savannah our 5 year old is having surgery this morning in order to repair a genetic problem. The doctors will be reconstructing her bladder and moving one of her ureters in an effort to protect her kidneys.  All prayers for safety, a successful surgery  and a comfortable recovery are appreciated.

Update on Savannah’s Surgery

Welcome back! This week the 4 Moms get down to the nitty-gritty, the living area of our homes. You’ve seen our yard and entryway as well as our kitchen and dining room, but here is where we really live. (I included our living room in the entryway post because our house has a lot of living areas.) This week you’ll see our family/school room as well as our play room.

Be sure to link up your living area post and then visit the other 4 moms KimC, Connie and the Headmistress.

Our family/school room is where the kids and I spend most of our time. It It also allows someone to work in the kitchen while we’re reading aloud or working on other group school work.

See Raising Olives headquarters? Yep, that’s where I am right now. I sit on the end of the couch or in ‘Mom’s school chair’ and work on that wonderful, little HP Mini that I won with this post.

Family/school room from kitchen

This is our read aloud and discussion area of our school room. This is also where we often have family worship, spend Sunday afternoons reading or listening to CDs, family meetings, etc.

Art and desk area

The large table ($25 at a bookstore going out of business sale) is where the children work on Greek, handwriting, math and copy work as well as art or craft projects. It’s larger than it appears and accommodates up to 10 easily. The shelves under the table store toys, blocks, song books, items for science experiments and of course some trucks.

Want to see what is back in the corner behind the large table?

Little kid area

We have an additional table for the younger children to use for their seat work or art.  The black shelves are used to display any 3-D artwork that the children have created and of course this is where our guinea pig, Rose, lives when she’s not being held. We also have an art closet for all of our art supplies. I posted about cleaning out and organizing the art closet last year.

Desk and bookshelves

Our rain gutter book shelves store books that we are currently reading and using for school in addition to a collection of picture books for the younger kids. I also have a small basket of board books (it’s behind my school chair).

I appreciate having our laundry area in our family/school room. I can’t imagine how far behind I’d be on laundry if it wasn’t right here.

Inside the laundry closet

This desk was another Freecycle find. I LOVE getting things for free.


I’m happy to have space to store much of the school stuff and the desk top provides space for our printer, laminator, stapler and other office type supplies. It’s also useful for drying paintings and keeping science projects.

Read aloud area and school books

Here you can see our other indoor pets, fish or at least you can see their home. We have a tank full (really full) of live bearers and yes, there is a funny story behind that.

Now come on downstairs to the play room. This is where the kids wrestle and get their energy out when it’s just too cold or wet outside.

Play room

It’s where we have family fun nights as there is plenty of room for all of us to sleep.

Toy shelves in play room

The play room is where we snuggle up in front of a fire, read books, watch movies and have indoor picnics. We also keep most of our toys down here.

Music area of the play room

Look, cute baby on the couch.

See the Rubbermaid tote that doubles as my end table beside the couch? That stores our set of large wood blocks.

Play room

Don’t even think that you’re going to see behind Mark’s office door, that is off limits. I don’t even look in there unless it’s absolutely necessary.

Bar in play room

This bar provides additional eating space when we host larger groups. There is a sink behind it and we often eat downstairs for family fun night, using the bar as a buffet and a place for the younger children to eat.

Toy closet in play room

In the closet behind the bar we store our toys and games.

Our home has ample living area and Mark and I often pray that we will use it for God’s glory.

Raising Olives open house:

Be sure to visit the other ‘4 Moms’ and visit their living areas:


Your turn to share your living area. Please link directly to your post (not to your homepage) and be sure to link back to one of the 4 Moms so that your readers can join in.

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48 Responses to 4 Moms Open House: Living Areas
  1. Kimarie
    August 19, 2010 | 6:59 am

    So beautiful, Kimberly! I love how organized and thought-out your things are for school and the children’s toys. And I never saw that section of the rain gutter shelves before! I have an area in my living room where that just might work…

    Praying for Savannah, and especially for the rest of you. May you experience God’s peace that passes understanding!


  2. […] Raising Olives […]

  3. Jama
    August 19, 2010 | 7:31 am

    Praying for Savannah (and the rest of you)today. BTW I didn’t know you got new couches. They look great!


  4. chantelle
    August 19, 2010 | 7:54 am

    Prayers for Savannah. Hope all goes well. 🙂


  5. Sarah
    August 19, 2010 | 8:33 am

    Praying for Savannah.
    It all looks so orderly. Can I ask how you store toddler puzzles? We struggle with disappearing pieces.


    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Hi Sarah. For toddler puzzles that don’t come in a box I use a ziploc bag to store all the pieces. The backs or bases of the puzzles are stored on their sides in one of those baskets under the desk and then all the ziploc bags with the pieces are stored beside them.

    Does that make sense or should I just post a picture?


  6. Kathi
    August 19, 2010 | 8:51 am

    You are blessed with so much space. Your Home is like the Energizer Bunny…it just keeps going and going…

    Prayers for your Sweet Savannah (and her Momma).


  7. Shannon
    August 19, 2010 | 9:11 am

    Wow… I’m amazed that you have so much in your rooms, but it doesn’t look cluttered or cramped. It all looks so fun and inviting. 😉 And changing table on the dryer – what a great idea!

    Praying for you little one today.


  8. Jenny
    August 19, 2010 | 9:16 am

    Prayers for Savannah today- no surgery is ever easy!!!

    Your homeschool area is fabulous- well organized and fun 😉 I especially love the homemade book shelves and can’t wait to get my husband started on some for our little school room!! I have looked online for some sort of way to display our books, but nothing comes close to your clever idea!

    VERY cute baby on the couch 😉


  9. Leslie Blair
    August 19, 2010 | 9:30 am

    Um, props to you for having it so clean!!!


  10. Savvy Little Women - Kate
    August 19, 2010 | 9:42 am

    Love those rain gutter book shelves – we might have to put up some of those! Praying that all goes well with your little one :)…


  11. Nicki
    August 19, 2010 | 10:03 am

    Thanks for sharing! If I had a school room, I envision it looking something like yours!

    Praying for Savannah.


  12. Katena D
    August 19, 2010 | 10:19 am

    Great pics and I am a vey organized person too and love your ideas. From the pictures you can see a lot of love in your home. Sending prayers for Savannah surgery. thanks for sharing


  13. Hilary
    August 19, 2010 | 11:00 am

    Hello! I love getting all these peeks into people’s living rooms, and I think yours looks so comfortable and wonderfully organized! I just have one suggestion. As a fellow guinea pig owner, I’d like to suggest that you build Rose a bigger cage. It’s SUPER-easily done, using closet cubes or shelving and sign board, and commercial cages really are too small. It would make a wonderful homeschool project, and Rose would be very grateful! I’m a member of the http://www.guineapigcages.com forum, which is where I learned this, and how I built my boys’ enormous cage. Please check it out!


  14. Gen
    August 19, 2010 | 11:30 am

    Got my post up! yay!


  15. […] to subscribe to the RSS feed for updates on this topic.Well I almost didn’t link up with the raising olives and the other 4 moms 35 kids this week. First I hadn’t picked up and didn’t want to […]

  16. Kim
    August 19, 2010 | 11:48 am

    wow, you are so organized and I love all your space. Beautiful


  17. Renee
    August 19, 2010 | 2:04 pm

    Pray for your little girl. You have a beautiful home. Love the cute baby on the couch.
    God bless


  18. jeanine
    August 19, 2010 | 2:12 pm

    thanks for sharing!
    two points:
    1- i use rubbermaid bins as stands too 😉
    2- i love the baby on the couch 🙂 cute!


  19. mary beth
    August 19, 2010 | 2:26 pm

    Luv the house pics. But one thing that stood out above all else, is the baby on the couch. =- ) Is that bar that big at it goes from where the chair is all the way over to the end of the couch, or are there 2?
    Thanks for sharing


    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Hi Mary Beth. The bar is that big. LOL! It’s 20 feet long. When we first walked into that downstairs room when we were house hunting, I just sat down on the stairs with my mouth open and stared at it. The ceilings are extra high in that room to, so in person it’s even more commanding.


  20. Lisa~
    August 19, 2010 | 2:33 pm

    Wow! You have a TON of living space! It looks very welcoming and warm. Lisa~


  21. KimC
    August 19, 2010 | 2:38 pm

    …and yet another of the 4 moms has leather sofa. Are they great for kids, or what?!


    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    LOVE our leather sofa. We just got it this winter and we didn’t even consider anything that wasn’t leather.


  22. Marla
    August 19, 2010 | 2:58 pm

    Your daughter,and your whole family are in my prayers!I will pray for her complete recovery!God bless you all!Marla Grace


  23. Kelli
    August 19, 2010 | 3:41 pm

    Love your house!!!! It’s so organized, beautiful and uncluttered. Especially considering all of your blessings. 🙂 Thanks for the great tour. I’ve enjoyed reading your blog for the past few months. You seem like such a sweet girl and you have a beautiful family.
    ~God Bless!


  24. Arlene
    August 19, 2010 | 9:24 pm

    Wow, you are my organization hero! I love the school book shelves – what a great way to neatly display the books currently being read. Thanks for letting me into your home – it’s very inviting. God bless.


  25. Joy
    August 19, 2010 | 10:14 pm

    I miss reading your blog so much! Now that Zoë is sleeping in her crib (and not in bed with us) I have more time to catch up on blogs at the end of the day. Praying for your sweet daughter!

    And your house is SUPER clean for being such a large family. But I supposed that is because there are more helping hands to clean up. Your home is BEAUTIFUL!


  26. Sara Greco
    August 20, 2010 | 12:11 am

    My favorite part of the tour? I LOVE the diaper changing area on the dryer! Out of sight and probably warm, too!


  27. Laurie
    August 20, 2010 | 12:13 am

    I love your organization! 🙂
    And will be praying for Savannah.


  28. Tracy
    August 20, 2010 | 9:11 am

    Your rooms are absolutely beautiful! I don’t think I would change anything. Thanks for sharing pictures. I have loved seeing other’s homes.


  29. Cristal
    August 20, 2010 | 12:50 pm

    Praying for your family. Love your home!


  30. Lillian
    August 20, 2010 | 4:47 pm

    God is the Master Physician and Surgeon. Through him all things are possible. Your baby will come through surgery healed in Jesus name.


  31. .ambre.
    August 20, 2010 | 7:31 pm

    Wow! Thanks for sharing! You really are blessed with space. 🙂
    I know how much you love winning stuff (you seem to be good at it too!) so I thought I would mention I’m doing a giveaway on my blog this week for Pearly White Teeth- a tooth soap!
    May the Lord bless your day!


  32. Grateful for Grace
    August 21, 2010 | 6:52 pm

    You home looks very welcoming! I love the school book shelves, the baskets for the Littles, and the baby on the sofa. 😉


  33. Dawn @ Two-Handed Mommy
    August 21, 2010 | 8:41 pm

    What a wonderful tour – love the labelled pictures! I love seeing how different moms make the most of the space they have. Glad to hear Savannah’s surgery went well.


  34. […] Last week we explored our yard and entry way, this week you’re invited into what many call the heart of the home, the kitchen and dining room.  Although honestly for us the ‘heart of our home’ is the family/school room.  You’ll have to come back next week for that tour. […]

  35. Gabe
    August 24, 2010 | 12:52 pm

    I’ve been loving the open house, seeing how you all have your homes set up. It is so nice to see how other families with many children make their homes work for them.


  36. […] @ Smockity Frocks, Kimberly @ Rasing Olives, Kim C @ Life in a Shoe, and the Headmistress @ The Common […]

  37. Jennifer Dewing
    August 26, 2010 | 9:52 pm

    I think I need to pick your brain about organizing my “whatever” room! I just can’t seem to get it right!

    And I really love those gutter shelves!


  38. […] open house tour.  We’ve toured the yard and entryway, the kitchen and dining room and the school/living areas.  This week we’ll peak into some of our bedrooms (more bedrooms next week) and you’ll […]

  39. […] Living areas/ school room […]

  40. […] Living areas […]

  41. […] this is all there is to our laundry area and you’ve seen it before.  I thought I’d share some  laundry management tips and ideas and a few links from my […]

  42. Moms of Many Manage Toys | Raising Olives
    December 9, 2010 | 8:18 am

    […] This prevents some of the toy trail that happens otherwise.  We keep ‘quiet’ toys in our school room and ‘louder’ more active toys downstairs in the playroom and we keep very few toys in  […]

  43. Tiffany
    January 8, 2013 | 10:59 pm

    I saw that you guys have Omagles! We found a whole box hardly used at all and bought the large set for $1.00 at a thrift store!! We are only missing two of the wheels! If you know of any place I can find the wheels let me know! Thanks


  44. Laura
    August 19, 2013 | 10:02 pm

    I am the oldest of eleven. The youngest is now 18 and few are left at home now. This certainly reminds me a lot of my growing up homes. We home-schooled also and had 9 boys and two girls. I now have three of my own four and under and part of me wants a big family but I know the sacrifices. 🙂 We’ll see.


  45. Tisha Friesen
    May 8, 2016 | 11:03 pm

    Where do your older kids work? I see in your living room some shorter tables/preschool tables but nothing of the height a teen would use. We are homeschooling 10-newborn to 17.Thanks.


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