Where Am I Hiding?

Most days, when I finally see that glimmer of hope, I slowly quickly make my way to my bathroom.  That is my hiding spot in my house.   That is where no one expect for toddling babies may enter.  That is my zone.  A place where I can regain a moment of getting me back and enter back into the trenches of being a mom.  Some days it is easy and other days it is down right hard.

Where else can you find me these days?  You can find me at our church, Ascension Lutheran church.  I am a DCE by degree (Director of Christian Education) and ministry flows through my blood as much as being a mom does.  You can also find me at the DHR building with various appointments and meetings. And soon I will be teaching my second round of GPS classes for prospective adoptive and foster parents.  You can also find me at various other places with 6 kids in tow.  6 kids.  And every now and then you will find me in Target with those six kids.  Most of the time you will find me alone.

But lets face it, with 6 kids, most of the time I am at home, teaching, cooking, cleaning, and keeping our lives organized.  In trying to keep our lives organized, in keeping my life organized I am using Passion Planner this year. I just got mine a week and a half ago and love it!  I still keep our iCalendar up to date, but Passion Planner is more.  I am still working on how to tweak it just for me and my needs…I still have a few more ideas.

Where else am I hiding? I am online quite a bit.  You can find me on Facebook or Twitter .  I have a small addiction to Pinterest. I love my Instagram account.   I tried Snapchat-yeah no.  I also wander over to Google+ also-still learning about the great hangout features!

But the place I am hiding the most, is in the presence of God. In Him I can just be.


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Giving God the Glory Glory

I have been up since about 3ish.  Wasn’t because of the baby.  Although the baby did wake up.  The reason is really not all that important to blog about.  But I was unable to go back to sleep.

So I wandered out to the kitchen.  Made myself a cup of coffee and enjoyed the stillness of the morning quietness till I started hearing whispers from the bedrooms.

I have been reading.  A little bit of this.  A little bit of that.  I have been reading a lot lately.  Tucked into the spare time I have between balancing my kids, their schooling and my other commitments.  I have given up playing my iPhone games to read extra.  I can get lost in my readings.  Some stories, some learning books, some life lessons.

My favorite to read though are scripture verses.  I have a new habit of just randomly picking someplace of my bible app and reading from there.  I discover so much from the bible that way that I had never seen before.  It is kinda of fun and addicting.  I been pondering writing a devotional series titled: Random lessons and stories from the Bible. Ha like that one I am sure has been done before.

I have been all about reading.  Not much about writing.  My words have failed to find me lately.  Maybe I have not been listening to them.  Maybe when I put words down on paper, they become to real, to raw and I don’t want to deal with them.  Words are powerful and many read them.  Words written can make life seem perfect, and I am far from perfect.  A sinner more like it.

But every morning I try to give God the Glory Glory.  That is my goal.  My focus.  Even if only for a few minutes.

I have started new Accountability Binders and Chore list with my kids. I got the idea from over at thirty handmade days. And I got my chore list idea from my friend.  We have always had morning and evening routines.  The first thing on their morning routine is give God the Glory Glory.  I want them to learn how to start their day out focused on God.  Because some mornings are not so Glory Glory.  And we have to work through them.

So have you given God the Glory Glory this morning?


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The Unexpected Family Storm

Three years ago-our family was hit with the worst unexpected family storm.  

Actually Storms.

Began with a week-long snow/ice storm.  Then a very close family friend had their 13-year-old son get sick and within 3 months die.  Then the tornadoes hit.  One after another.

What I learned from that year was we were not prepared.  At all.  We struggled to make it through all the different circumstances that were thrown in front of us.  But some how we did, but we said, we will be better prepared.

April 3-4 marked the 40th anniversary of a super outbreak of Tornadoes.  All that talk and memory made me realize-we are not prepared.   It is time to be prepared.  We have some preparation in place-like our tornado safe room.  But three years ago-when we had the last super out break we were without power for almost a week.

So for 10 days (plus) I want to dedicate on my blog resources and ideas to help us all get prepared.  Simple things to do.  Ah Ha things we can do.  If I had been prepared for the week-long snow storm that stranded me in my house I would have had more food and batteries incase we lost power.  Speaking of batteries-I never got them when the tornadoes came, only a few months later.

A family storm can come in way of a natural disaster.  Red Cross is always a great place to go to be prepared.

A family storm can also come in a way of illness or death.  They can swoop over us leaving us and our family paralyzed.  Having a simple plan can help during those times.

So areas that I plan to get in order in our family and give you ideas and resources on are:

  • What to do when the lights go out
  • Fire Safety
  • First Aid Kits
  • Emergency Kits
  • Evacuation plans
  • Babies, Kids, and Pets
  • Food and Water storage
  • Car Kits
  • Our Safety area
  • 10 of the Ah Ha Survival Ideas on Pinterest
  • Sickness and Death

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Kitchen Redo: The Pantry Part 2

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Well I have been working at it.  OVERWHELMED at how much stuff was in our pantry.  How much duplicate stuff I had.  Knowing I had to change-we had to change.  I have kids in my pantry ALL DAY LONG.  So I worked on zoning it.  I threw away old food (wow there was a lot!  That was like throwing away money!!) And here is were I am now.  I am not done. I still have work to do.  It will never be picture perfect, but there has to be a better way to have a health ongoing functioning pantry.

So here is my first YouTube Video that I have done-on me showing you something!  Figured it was better than pictures!  But I will throw in some pictures at the end too!

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Kitchen Redo: The Pantry Part 1

I got an awesome Christmas gift from my husband. To remodel our kitchen. How and what we are going to do I don’t know yet. But in looking at 100’s of pictures I saw many pantries I like and so last weekend my amazing hubby redid my pantry for me. Now I have done my pantry before. Back when I was stranded in a blizzard in Alabama.

Now I learned some things from this weekend project. It was only a weekend project for my husband. You know the clown car that the clowns keep coming out?  That was my pantry. Which lead me to some more things I learned.  I had too much.  And I didn’t know what I had.  And I had a lot of old stuff. It hit me that all this was effecting so much more.  Like our food budget and menu planning.  It is time to change.

So the first thing that I had to do to get ready was empty out the pantry. And let me tell you it was bad.  Everything was falling/thrown on the floor.  It was sooo frustrating!

part 1I took everything and put it in our dinning room.

Mail Attachment-2And then my hubby went to work.  He tore out the old selves.  And painted it grey.  So the selves will POP.   The he put in the track selves so the selves are adjustable. And with those I gained 4 more selves! And just like that his weekend job was over. (Sorry I have did not get a good picture )

Mail Attachment-3So now I am zoning it and slowly put everything back in.  The finished Pantry will come next week (hopefully I will be done!) in Part 2!

 

 

 


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10 Things I Am Not Going To Do This New Year

Things I am NOT

 

1- Exercise more.  Let’s face it January we get all excited of what we “can” do more of. The stores even sell it to us. But I don’t want that this year. I’m just going to move more with my family.

2-Have an organized and clean house. Yes if I had everything in it’s place and my kids were frozen in time then maybe this could happen. But again why stress about it. I’m going for an organized drawer every week this year instead.

3-Have the Laundry folded and put away as soon as it is clean. Yea….nope. Let’s face it we create dirty laundry faster than I put it away. So my goal is just to have clean clothes. And to give clothes away that don’t fit.

4. A clean van everyday. Hmmm I really don’t understand why we can’t?  But it doesn’t.   I’m not going to stress about it, so maybe once every two weeks give the kids a Target bag to collect garbage.

5. Make the homeschooling room look grand again. Yeah let’s face it I’m lucky to make it to the end of the week with all the work in hand. My vision of the first day of what the homeschool room should look liked has changed. In fact-my whole vision for that area has changed- it’s a right we women have.

6. To keep my bedroom clean and looking like a model room. Ok how about bed made 4 days a week-with extra pillows! That’s about as model room as it gets! Really my goal is that every Monday I tidy up the room-then not to worry about it the rest of the week.

7. Eat less.  Instead we will just eat heathy and balance it. Planning is the key to this.

8. Spend too much time on Facebook. (Do we hear crickets?)

9. No…. ok back to 8……. Media in general. I need to just define our family time (my time) on media better. As parents we model this for our kids. With babies I am making a goal not to be on my phone till after they fall asleep in my arms.  That eye contact is so important and I don’t want to miss that!

9. Making too many list. (Checking it twice. Going to find out who is….) No not that list. :) Making list are good, I tend to have too many, they get lost-I forget.  I need to find a better way to keep track of all my list.

10. Procrastinate. Oh I had to say it. I’m not going to do it all. I’ll wait for 2015.

 

What are you NOT going to do in 2014?


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Household Habits: Kid’s Chores

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Every mother struggles with what chores should my child do.  Every child dreads having to do chores. Heck I hate having to “do chores”  But chores are needed.  Chores are what teach kids time management, cleaning skills, and good old fashion cleanliness.

Yeah we are not there yet.  I am trying.  Believe me we are trying.  I have tried every different trick with chores.  Paid, list, stars.  I started Morning Chores and Afternoon chores last December, and those kinda, kinda stuck.  So I decided to stop focusing on the word “chore” and more on the word “habit.”

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What on the chore list needed to be a habit and not a chore.  Like I have make your bed, get dressed, eat breakfast and brush your teeth as some of the morning chores.  Those really are not chores, but more of personally ha  Every morning this is what I expect my kids to do.  So this school year, those types of items are not on the chore list.  Our chore list are actual cleaning chores to help keep the main living area clean.  They each picked three for morning time and four for afternoon time.  They include things like picking up, sweeping, washing windows, wiping down sinks, emptying out the dish washer.  The kids picked out their morning and afternoon chores.  Then I add other habits they need for life, like learning laundry.

As for paid chores, I give them a few every now and then.  I paid the boys to clean out the van-big cleaning.  As Christmas gets closer I will make a list for them.  I also use chores as punishments.  Mostly weed picking. Since they grow a lot in my yard.

Our Chore System  isn’t perfect. I would like to think I am creating more household and life habits than them just doing chores.   It is still work in progress.  But certain areas are staying a little cleaner.  They ask me how to earn money instead of saying “I will pick up my bedroom if you pay me.”  We will keep working on ironing out the wrinkles….


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Household Habits: Kid’s Clothing

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Darn those kids.

They keep growing!

And the weather keeps changing.

Which means there are always mounds of kid’s clothing’s.

And boxes of them.  And dirty clothes.  And laundry baskets full of them.  Sports uniforms.  Dance outfits.

Oh and lets not forget shoes, socks, undies, coats, and bathing suits.

Right now I feel as though I am drowning in kids clothing.  No matter how much I am keeping up with it- they still appear.

Paint on clothing?  Just saying as a thought…..Ok I know not really!!

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Here are some ways I am trying to say afloat with kids clothing’s.  When I get done I will then share pictures.

  1. I am purging.  Yes that is right.  I have 4 piles.  Keep.  Give Away.  Good Will.  Throw Away.  Folks I have come to realized that if I kept EVERY CUTE OUTFIT I WILL HAVE NO ROOM FOR THE CUTE KIDS THAT GO IN THE OUTFITS!  Yes I know I yells that.  But I have to say that OVER AND OVER- for my benefit you know:)
  2. Because we do foster care I use to keep a lot of extra clothing.  Now I do not.  I keep a basic starter kit-a small box to get us up and running till I can get to the store.
  3. Organize and label.  I love to buy things on clearance for the next season.  BUT I have forgotten where I have put those wonderful items till they are two small.  This year I have bought NOTHING-it has been hard-till I get my act together again.
  4. Use uniform boxes.  It just makes life easier.  And neater.  You may have to  spend a little extra money, but in the long run it will be worth it.
  5. Throw the un-matching socks away.  They are single.  The others have left the planet.   Just toss the box out and fell good about it.  I did-two tubs I kept thinking “they will find their way back to each other.  Finally one day I just did it.  It felt SO GOOD!  I know money, being wise-but you not stressed is worth more.  TRUST ME!
  6. Freeze the kids to not grow anymore so you don’t have to buy anymore clothes.  Just kidding……
  7. Wait can we freeze the kids?  They are growing way to fast!
  8. I LOVE hand me downs and thrift stores.  But I do buy 1 good pair of shoes for my kids.  Since my kids have wide feet, hand me down shoes are a little harder.
  9. I use to fold clean laundry and have my kids put it away.  But some how I end up rewashing that “same folded” laundry.  So for my sanity I now put my kids clothing away.  I have to get better at this cause most of the time I just keep it in the laundry basket in my room!
  10. Teach your kids to put dirty clothes in a laundry basket.  Somehow my kids don’t understand this….EVERYDAY I remind them and I get this “huh” look, like you want me to do what?  But I am scaling down on how many kids clothes they will have out at once, and if it is not in the hamper on wash day I am not washing it!!

 

So in my spare time this is what I am doing.  When I am done I will show you how our system works.  And no, I don’t mean how to freeze the kids, although I am still investigating that!:)


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Creating Household Habits

Habits. We know if we do something enough times it should become a habit. With summer winding down and schooling beginning, now is the time to create better household habits. Last May our family grew when my 18-year-old daughter in law moved in and soon after my grand baby girl was born.

Having another young family within our family creates new challenges and lots of joy. While we attempted to sell the house and move into what we thought would better fit us, after a while, we decided to make our house work. A key to making it work is creating household habits for everyone.

This isn’t going to happen over night. And the first step -it starts with me. So I am tackling a few areas the next week.

  • Making sure we have a weekly menu and I have shopped for that menu.
  • Planning for cooking for a month and filling the freezer with lunch foods.
  • Keeping the kitchen cleaned.
  • Giving the children morning and afternoon chores.
  • Keeping my closet floor picked up.
  • 15 minutes of organizing an area.

So come with me as I start to create household habits for our family. My friend Sarah is also blogging about Kicking Habits over at Living Gracefully.

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Our New Weekly Schedule

Today we start school back! Wahoo!!! Feel the excitement!! It’s there!:). I wanted a new schedule. So I came up with a more relaxed, but organized weekly one. I have an idea for the School day part, put that will be in our other area. So here is the command station!!

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