Thursday, February 21, 2013

Belted Floral Dresses

Monday, January 28, 2013

If it bothers you...get rid of it!

I learned an important lesson this weekend. It was one of those "ah-ha!" moments where you think, "Why did it take me so long to figure this out?"
I was cleaning the little boy's room. We clean it every. single. day. And every single day I have do certain things that drive me batty.
1. Their dust ruffles on their beds are ALWAYS messed up. They get bunched up under the mattress, they get pulled to one side more than the other, they make it difficult for the boys to tuck their sheets when they make their beds. I hate messing with and fixing those dust ruffles!
2. They have a rug in their room, one of those rugs with roads and signs and buildings that they can drive their Hot Wheels all over. They love that thing. But it will NOT stay put! It is always pushed up against the wall or folded over or pushed under the bed. If my baby girl gets a hold of it, it can even end up in the hallway. I am forever fixing that thing!
3. The baby loves to go into the boys' room, open their lower drawers and pull out every single piece of clothing inside. Seriously...almost every day I have to fold and re-organize their drawers. Then she proceeds into the toy closet (with their help, I'm sure) and gets out every single toy in there...just to see the pieces all mingling together like a chaotic little toy party...ugh.
Any other moms feel my pain here?
Now, I know kids will make messes. I actually revel in their creative play. But doing the same thing over and over and over...don't they say that's the definition of insanity? I get the same results every time...nothing stays in place or clean for very long and then it just has to be done again.
My "ah-ha" moment came when I was fixing the dust ruffles for the second time in one day.
Why do little boys need dust ruffles? It's not like they're made of steel to keep them from pushing toys under the bed? Can't I just take these things off?
Lightbulb moment!!!
Just because the stupid dust ruffles came with the bedding set, doesn't mean this mama has to mess them with every. single. day.
Bye-bye dust ruffles. Boy, that feels good! Their beds look so much better and they can make them by themselves because I don't have to hold the ruffle in place while they tuck their sheets.
By the way, I found solutions for the rug and the mess, too. My hubby brought his nail gun in and permanently stuck that rug into the floor. (Don't worry, the nails are in so snug, they won't hurt little feet...we made sure!) It's not going anywhere now! And we put baby proof door knob covers on the bedroom the baby can't get in unless we want her to.
Lesson learned: There is always a solution. If it doesn't work for you or causes you stress, don't continue to live with it! Get rid of it or figure out a solution to make it work!
I've decided to do this in every one of the rooms in my house; take stock of what is not working and find a solution. I just know that my days will be go so much smoother once I get my whole house "annoyance-free". And then I'll start to look in other areas of my life where I can apply this lesson...
Life is too short to spend so much time doing the same annoying things over and over. Fix it!
So...what annoying thing will you find a solution for today?

Thursday, January 17, 2013

My Perfect Day?

When a new year begins, I start to go over my days with a little more thought, trying to figure out how I could best spend my time.  What has worked over the last year?  What needs to be changed?  How can I live my life better?  Take care of my kids and husband and home better?  Can I squeeze in some time for me?  Or maybe not spend so much time on the computer? 

Yesterday, while soaking in a bubble bath during naptime, I decided to daydream a little about what my perfect day would be like.  Here's what I came up with: 

Keep in mind, this is the perfect "normal" day for real "perfect" day would involve the beach, a Mocha Latte, and Matthew McConaughy!  (hee hee)

6:00 am:  Wake up just before hubby, make coffee and breakfast, make his lunch, sit down with the Bible before he comes downstairs.

6:30:  Drink coffee and visit with hubby while he eats his breakfast, see him off to work

6:50:  Spend a little more time in the Bible and pray for the day

7:15:  Put a loaf of banana bread in the oven

7:30:  Make my bed, get dressed, brush my hair, put a little makeup on; kids wake up and make their beds, get dressed, and straighten their rooms

7:45:  Check kids' chores, change/dress babies, morning Bible time with kids

8:15:  Make scrambled eggs and fruit salad

8:30:  Slice that delicious freshly baked banana bread and eat breakfast with the kids

9:00:  Clean up breakfast and unload dishwasher from last night, re-load dishwasher, wipe down table and counters; kid's brush teeth, wash faces, and do their one special morning chore

9:30:  My 7th grader has started his independent schoolwork; Guided educational activities with the little ones

10:00:  Morning nap for the babies; continue schooling

11:00:  Snack time/short educational video; clean up morning school mess

11:30:  Play time for little ones, free time for 7th grader, computer time for Mom

12:30:  Change babies, prepare lunch, set table, dinner prep

1:00:  Eat/clean up lunch

1:30:  Read aloud (whatever book we are currently reading)

2:00:  Naptime for kids; 7th grader works on family newsletter or art project; I delve into a creative project (knitting, sewing, organizing, scrapbooking, etc.)

And then this is where my daydream ended because the kids were literally trying to climb under the door to interrupt my quiet bubble bath...sigh...

It's fun to think about what the "perfect" homeschool day would look like with 5 kids...but in reality, most days are "fly by the wind". And I don't think that's so bad most of the time...

I saw a quote on Facebook today that said this: "Being a mother means knowing that regardless of whatever else you did or didn't do, you gave the world something beautiful."

So, my dream for this new year is to relish the not worry about creating the perfect day, but to focus on creating perfect relationships with my husband, my kids and other special people in my life.

So, what are your goals and dreams for 2013?

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Looking For Fun St. Patrick's Day Ideas?

We are planning some fun St. Patrick's Day activities for this week.  Here are some fun pages I've created over at Squidoo for St. Patrick's Day food and crafts!

Image: Leprechaun

Image: Pot of Gold

Happy St. Patrick's Day!


Tuesday, January 31, 2012

January 31st is Backwards Day!

!yaD sdrawkcaB yppaH

Photo courtesy of GoodNCrazy

January 31st is National Backwards Day!  Do you know what that means in a house full of kids?  Chaotic fun!

Some of the things we are doing today:

1.  We put our clothes on inside out (the tags are annoying if you put them on backwards!)

2.  When we made our beds, we put our pillows on the wrong end!

3.  For breakfast, we had macaroni and cheese with tuna and green beans!  (I have to admit, eating tuna at 9:00 am is NOT pleasant!  And I still had to have my coffee...)

4.  We learned to spell our names backwards...surprisingly easy for the kids...surprisingly NOT easy for me!

5.  We did backwards exercising!  Backrolls, backward crab walk, walking backward through the house, backward stair climbing, jumping backwards, upside-down handstands, etc.  FUN!

6.  We played backwards Chutes and Ladders!  We started at the finish, finished at the start, went up the chutes and down the ladders!

7.  We learned about palindromes!  (mom, dad, toot, peep, Hannah)  Google it for some really amazing palindrome phrases and sentences!

9.  For dinner we are making waffles, fruit salad, and oatmeal crisp! 

10.  Tonight we will do our bedtime routine backwards...pray, read, brush teeth, wash faces, put on PJ's, lights out...not such a big deal for me, but "mixing it up" is very exciting for them!

Are you celebrating Backwards Day in your home today?

Photo courtesy of RBerteig

Thursday, September 29, 2011

New Home, New Town, Fresh Start

I'm not sure I even mentioned on this blog that my husband was looking for a new job.  The one he had was sort of a dead end without much chance for promotion.  The one promotion possibility that he had fell through, so it was back to the drawing board and applications were submitted.  Little did we know that things would change so fast! 

He decided to apply to positions in several different areas, but one of those areas was very near our "home" in PA.  We thought the chances of getting the one position he wanted the most would be slim to none, but God works in mysterious ways and he had a job interview one week after PA!

To make a long story short, 4 weeks after his initial application, we were loading a moving truck and heading out of WV where we've lived the past 4 years to our home state of PA.  Before that, we lived in UT, FL, and finally moving back to PA has been very exciting. 

We haven't lived near family since we got married in 1998, but we now live 12 minutes from my sister and about 20 minutes from my brother...good stuff!  Plus, our new home is right around the corner from CVS, Walgreen's, Rite Aid, McDonald's and a huge convenience store...and only 5 minutes from a huge, gorgeous grocery store, Lowe's, Kohl's, TJ Maxx, Target, Wal-Mart, and restaurants.  We can even get pizza delivery!

I know this sounds odd to some of you reading this right now, but for the past 7 years it has taken me an hour to get to a grocery store and Wal-Mart!  If we wanted to go out to eat, there was a McDonald's about 30 minutes from us and a little gas station that sold pizza...if you could even legally classify it as pizza.

The homeschool group in our new town is 400+ families and chock-full of fun activities, sports, clubs and events for the kids.  There's even a mom's group that meets once a month.  A night out with other moms without the kids?  Music to my ears! 

Plus, as an added bonus, my dear sister said she would babysit the kids so hubby and I can have regular date nights.  I'm not sure I know how to go on a date anymore...and I'm sure I'm going to have to go shopping so I have something other than hole-y yoga pants and t-shirts to wear.  Now I have an excuse to get some nice clothes!

Things can change so's really mind-blowing.  I can't believe I'm sitting in our gorgeous new home this morning.  It's full of boxes and we've eaten out every night since Friday, but we're here.  There's so much space in this house that we don't know what to do with it.  And although I am counting my blessings and thanking God every day for the wonderful things He has given us, there are also a few downsides to moving from a 1200 sq. ft. house to a 2700 sq. ft. house.

**We don't have enough furniture to fill this place!

**Sometimes I can't find the kids...there are too many places for them to go!

**With 3 bathrooms, sometimes I have to run up a flight of stairs to "help" my toddlers on the potty.

**I have 3 floors and more than double the space to clean...ugh...

**Higher bills because there is more to heat and cool...and did I mention that the house I left in WV had free gas?

What I've found is that a bigger house doesn't solve all the "problems".  It might fix some of them, but more are created.

I've also learned that no matter where you are, as long as your family is there, you can make it work and be happy.  We were just as happy crammed into our 1200 sq. ft. house as we are here.  Sure, things might be more convenient and we have more places to spread out and store our stuff, but happiness doesn't come from a big, fancy house. 

Happiness ultimately comes from taking each day as it comes and enjoying this adventure called LIFE.  Changes happen around every corner and I'm determined to embrace them and remember that life is not going to happen "someday" when all we get all our ducks in a's happening right now, every second of every day!


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Squidoo Lenses by Me

I would say that I haven't been blogging much because we just made a giant move to another state (new, home, new job, new homeschool laws to figure out...).  More about that in another post...

But, to be perfectly honest, the main reason I've been absent is my recent discovery (and subsequent obsession) with Squidoo

Graphic courtesy of Greekgeek

Do you know about Squidoo?  It's kind of like blogging, but you create a single page on a topic and you can continue to build it over time.  You can also create several detailed pages about a broader topic and link them together.

It's fun and totally addicting!  Check out some of my lenses if you have time!

If you love blogging, give Squidoo a try!  It's a great way to promote your blog, your business, and to create backlinks to improve your Google ranking.