Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Clutter isn't always a bad thing

I am the Mom who throws away all of her children's papers, artwork, cards, junk, etc. I don't scrapbook. I rarely print photos or compile albums. I have no pictures or artwork hanging on my walls. I am the Mom who wanted to destroy clutter. I didn't think I was very sentimental until I went into a mad dash just to find a card, a letter, a note or anything in my mother's handwriting...just to try t...o connect to her for one moment of time. I didn't find anything.
But, I did find that I am the Mom who saved ALL of her own cards, valentines, report cards, letters from people that I can't even remember who they are anymore! I feel a bit guilty for throwing out all of my kid's tangible memories. So maybe I will save a few for them. It really only took up one box in the basement. But it was so sweet reading some of them. 

And one note of advice I would give to any parent...stop what you are doing and hand-write a note to each of your children. Tell them you love them and are proud of them. Tell them some words of wisdom or anything. Then tuck it away so that maybe one day when you are gone, they can find it and feel better.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Healthy Living

I have witnessed something shocking to me...a few months ago my husband made a decision to start reading from the Bible to the kids almost every night. Logically, he started at the very beginning in Genesis. And realistically the kids wouldn't sit still, pay attention or even want him to read this. Those first few weeks when they would see him coming into one of their bedrooms with the Bible they would cringe or complain.

I was ashamed of their behavior. I hated that they reacted this way to God's word. I tried to think of why their behavior was like this. So I blamed my husband for not reading more interesting passages to them. He never elaborated on the verses, never asked them questions about what they learned from it. He would just read.

The shocking moment came when he wasn't home to read to them one night and they asked me to read from the Bible to them. Wait. They asked me to read the Bible to them?? So when I sat down to read they showed me just where dad had left off. So they were paying some attention! They didn't sit completely still and they would still butt in with some random question or thought, but I would gently bring them back to the task at hand.

And after I read to them, I felt something change in me with my own perception of the Bible. After reading to them here and there, I actually wanted to read more myself. I had grown up revering God's word, memorizing Scripture, being taught Bible stories day in and day out, and even leading Children's Church myself. But in almost every circumstance it was using a Biblical guide or textbook. Some form of book that would usually take one verse or theme and then give an interesting briefing about it. I never fully realized God's Holy words.

Looking at the change in my kids' attitudes & my own regarding the Bible, it seems analogous to healthy eating and exercise. I knew it was the best option for me, but intimidated by it. It takes will power to just start.

I want to raise our kids up right. So I search for the right devotional. Just like I know I want to eat healthy, so I search for the right diet. I made it way harder than it really is. Just cut out the bad and replace with the good. I don't have to keep searching for the right book when I already have the Perfect book. At first it's difficult work to eat right and exercise, but the more you do it, the better you feel. Same with reading the Bible.

While reading the daily devotionals, Bible study books, and other material are all fine, it's kind of like eating a multi-vitamin in place of meals. Yeah they can be healthy and you get your daily dose of vitamins, but you're still hungry and not necessarily in good shape. Reading the Bible takes work. You feel conviction and many times confusion or just a sense of being overwhelmed. But keep at it. Along with prayer and fellowship with other believers, soon you'll grow. Discernment and wisdom will come and understanding will set in.

Reading those words in red type that Jesus spoke is so much more powerful than reading some scholar's interpretation of them. Just like eating a meal is more filling than drinking an ensure.

Monday, December 3, 2012


I really feel sorry for my husband right now...I'm currently obsessed my creating a guest room/office. It's not costing much money at all, so I don't feel that guilty. But it is creating a lot of work and probaby annoyance for him.

I'm sure I've mentioned it before, I just get these compulsions or obsessions and I can't shake them until I get it out of my system. I've been this way for as long as I can remember. I would play for hours alone with my barbies in some imaginative playworld. All the time. Every day. Until I was way too old to still be playing with barbies. I was obsessed with certain movies (ahem, Indiana Jones, still obsessed with it!). I was obsessed with the Reds (oh yeah, still am!). Though some of the guys I used to crush on may have changed, goodbye Tom Cruise, hello Chris Evans, very few of my mannerisms have changed.

And I feel I am unfortunately passing this trait on to my kids. I wish I was obsessed over good things, like cleaning really well, exercising, cooking, reading, knitting, etc. Too bad I don't. I try to calm myself down, but I just think about it all the time! At least I can multi-task with my obsessions...I'm able to try to plan a summer trip to Cleveland all based around when they're filming Captain America there so my darling daughter and I might get a glimpse of our super hero, at the same time attending an Indians game of choice that the boys want to see. And plan our spring break trip visiting my dear friend, seeing the capital to appease the husband and fitting in a Nationals game to quench my thirst for more baseball (wouldn't you know they are playing in Cincy the week before...maybe we can go then too!). And we can't forget all things Disney! Planning that big family trip for the summer too...at least I don't have to coordinate those dates around other things...at least not that I know of!

So, I feel sorry for my husband for having to move furniture and watch the same movies over and over. I feel sorry for my friends who have to hear me talk about the same things over and over. And my poor facebook friends that put up with my endless posts about the Reds...but at least that's only for a few months out of the year...be thankful I don't like hockey!!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

It's the most scary time of the year

It's the most scary time of the year and I'm not talking about the elections!!

I used to dread this time of year...it would always put my convictions to the test. I always loved the weather and autumn itself, but as a mother I dreaded what the majority celebrated this season.
For starters, I battle every day of my life trying to defeat fear. Fear of a lot of things. But mostly fear of all things scary, especially supernatural. I've always had a problem with fear. I never had any negative supernatural experiences myself, but I feared having them! Just hearing people in my family or church talk about it or seeing scary things on tv did me in. I had such a paralyzing fear of all things devilish, that my mom wrote down "Perfect love casts out all fear" and would have me carry it with me and make me repeat it whenever I started to panic. I know that God is greater, but I have to remind myself of that every day.
The other issue is growing up my mom always wanted to educate us to make the right decisions. I have watched so many films, had to read so many books & articles about how pagan and non-Christian so many of our holidays really were. She constantly lectured about them ALL of the time. And it wasn't just to me and my brother, it was to everyone. It was squashed inside of me and I had no choice but to follow.
So when my first child was born, I felt this enormous pressure from not only myself but from my mom on how we would celebrate holidays. I was intimidated and so the easiest thing for me to do was to do nothing. I would only decorate for Christmas and be careful about that. She always had her opinion of what I did or she made sure to say it before I even had the chance to do something or not.

So now she's gone and I still find myself dreading this month. But I've learned to be accountable for my own beliefs and convictions. I love the color of the changing leaves and pumpkins. There is nothing sinister in that. The kids love to dress up and play pretend, but I let them do it all year long so they don't feel odd or strange not going out at the end of the month like every other kid they know. And as for the candy, that's a treat any time of the year!

We read the Bible and Bible stories to our kids, pray every day and teach them to love God. But I don't want to bully them into it. I know this will have affect every area of their life where they will have to make decisions and I want them to be accountable for what they chose, not just because it's what their mom told them.

So, I still don't promote anything scary or wicked (would that make God be glorified??) and I don't cram it down other people's throats if they choose to do things differently. I don't totally keep the kids away from all things associated with this time of year either. But above all, I am still searching for the right way to live and raise my kids and if God wants things done a different way, I'm all for change! Happy Fall :)

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Things Happen When you Try

Now I appreciate having a small house and not so much furniture, namely bedroom furniture for the kids. I thought it would be a good idea to give my daughter her own room and put the two boys in the bigger room together. The kids were sold on this idea and so was I, but there is never any time to do it.

twin's room before
I took advantage of the husband taking one of kids to an out of town wedding where they would be staying the night. And the twins spent the day and night with my dad. So I was determined to get this room switch done. But I also wanted to scratch my itch of eliminating the white walls by painting the boys room. As soon as the door left behind the twins, I was on the clock.

Dissassemble the room and clean it.
twin's room before

Then I finally painted it. Here is where the appreciation of a small house comes in...I can't imagine having big or lots of rooms to paint. Or numerous or large windows to treat either. But the project wasn't too bad. I did have an Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade moment when I was cleaning the walls and thought I could just stretch a little bit more to reach a spot without having to move my stepstool (you know the part at the end of the movie when Indy falls down the crevice reaching for the girl and then can barely touch the cup?). Of course I fell off.
these 3 pics are the boys' room now (the "after")
daughter's new room (new bedding)
To my surprise it was a little fun challenging myself to inexpensively spruce up their new bedrooms. I've decided to keep things simple. Not blow our hard-earned money of useless decor the just collects dust (one more chore). I'm not an interior decorator, but I sure appreciate seeing my friends' ornately decorated homes...I gain more & more respect for them each day! I'm sure my daughter will be disappointed that I didn't make her room pink. I just couldn't bring myself to do it. Her walls are still white and she has denim drapes that I like because they block out a lot of excess light. I really wanted something lite and classical for her. So I went with navy & red floral with paisley sheets.

After cleaning things up, I admit I was pretty pleased with things. Until I went downstairs and saw my hallway light fixtures that look like they came right out of the Haunted Mansion in Disney World...not the look I'm going for!

Oh and I've decided, I'm not going to continue to call my house small, I thing I will call it cozy. And my back and legs are kind of telling me to put up with the white walls in the rest of the house for a little while!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Craft

Well I've finally done it. After being a mother for over 9 years, going to multiple "crafty" parties in my life, and spending many hours on Pinterest...I have finally completed my first, non-kid-assisted craft. It is mostly for the kids' stuff, but to save my sanity.

I have kept all of the craft magnets that the kids have made for me and display them proudly. In fact, I have put some to good use.

The little "butterfly" clothespin magnet from the oldest child has been used the most (and for those who know me, it is painful for me to touch it since it is a butterfly, but nevertheless, useful).

I have used it for a couple of years now to hold their homework that is due in the coming days or things that I need to hang on to for a while. I also use it to clip upcoming tickets to Reds games, invitations to the countless events we have to attend and so on. It is vital to our survival!

But the trouble with it is that it would get heavy at times and fall off the cabinet or fridge. Or when someone wanted to clip something to it, often times the other papers would fall out and create a mess. So it wasn't getting the job done as efficiently as I wanted.

I wanted to solve my little dilemna without spending much money or wasting more time. That is when my Pinteresting came through. I thought of a magazine holder or some kind of file folder. But I didn't have any counter space anywhere. I wanted to make some 3-dimensional and keep it on the fridge near the calendar. The I thought of it! An old cereal box.

I would cut it a little, cover it and attach magnets to it!

And there I have it! My first craft that I thought of on my own and did all by myself! My daughter is so proud!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Good Advice

You've probably been to a few showers where the hostess asks you to write down advice for the guest of honor. I know I've been to quite a few and have also been the recipient. There have been times lately where I'm in the middle of this huge problem (you know, the kid's homework!) and needed some advice. Where are those little slips of paper then? Probably in a box with one of the invitations, the confetti, the special little trinkets that I kept, fully intending to scrapbook...Of course now I don't even know where that box is!

So I was thinking, now that I've been married a while and had the kids, what advice would I give myself?

  • Never  run out of milk...and hot dogs.
  • Pick out school clothes the night before, that goes for lunches & snacks too.
  • At least every season go through the toys and box up more than half of them, then switch the toys so they are "fresh" again.
  • Remember that kids outgrow underwear & socks too.
  • What good is it to have gloves, hats, coats & snow pants if I forgot to buy snow boots?
  • They don't need birthday parties every year.
  • Go on a vacation that the husband likes too, then Disney every time after that.
  • Adjust to eating dinner by yourself during family meals, by the time you sit down to eat everyone is done.
  • Wear the nice pajamas every once in a while. And jewelry too.
  • Try to declutter the house before bed, even if that means putting everything in a laundry basket and putting it in the closet until the next day.
  • Stop at one.
If you have any to add, I'd love to hear them!!