Category Archives: special needs

Winnie The Pooh Day

**This post contains affiliate links with which I may earn a tiny kickback if a purchase is made.

This is the day set to celebrate the birthday of  A.A. Milne who was the creator of the beloved Winnie the Pooh. This could be such a fun day full of cute activities for the kids. Below are some links to some resources that I have found:

Things To Do

Winnie the Pooh Activities on Pinterest

Eight Lesson Ideas for Winnie-the-Pooh Day

Winnie the Pooh on YouTube

Winnie the Pooh Printable Craft

WINNIE-THE-POOH DAY

Homeschool: January on Pinterest

25-winnie-pooh-ideas (some really cute party ideas and crafts)

Winnie the Pooh (coloring pages and other activities)

Winnie-the-Pooh: A Unit Study

Images for winnie the pooh crafts to make

REAL BEAR BEHIND WINNIE THE POOH REVEALED TO BE A GIRL

Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World’s Most Famous Bear

Books to Read:

Pooh’s Library: Winnie-The-Pooh, The House At Pooh Corner, When We Were Very Young, Now We Are Six (Pooh Original Edition)

Winnie-the-Pooh Board Book Collection

Party Supplies and Gifts:

Winnie the Pooh on Amazon

Winnie the Pooh on Zazzle

Winnie the Pooh at Precious Moments

Winnie the Pooh on Oriental Trading

 

Friday The 13th

Friday the 13th is always deemed to be an unlucky day for many reasons. There are so many superstitions about this day. Below are links for activities and resources to use with your kids to make this day a little less unlucky.

13 Things To Do With Your Kids On Friday 13th

Who’s afraid of Friday the 13th?

It’s Friday the 13th, Charlie Brown!

New Year’s Day

**This post contains affiliate links with which I may earn a tiny kickback if a purchase is made.

Below are some links to fun activities for New Year’s Day:

(Use at your own discretion.)

Things To Do:

Pinterest

New Year’s activities at Kids Activities Blog

New Year Traditions-A Day of Family Fun

NEW YEAR’S Arts, Crafts & Activities

You could also make a time capsule, set off a few fireworks, or let the kids help you plan and prepare the New Year’s meal.

Lucky New Year’s Meal

Explore the meanings and origins here at the Old Farmer’s Almanac page:

NEW YEAR’S DAY

Here is another fun looking project:

FAMILY TIME CAPSULE

Party Supplies and Gifts:

Amazon: https://bit.ly/2AZcyOy

Precious Moments: http://shrsl.com/qg2r

Zazzle: http://shrsl.com/qg2s

Oriental Trading

 

January Holidays

I will try to update this list with some fun activities as well. Feel free to click the links to find out more about the origins and meanings behind these special days. I plan to incorporate a few of these into our normal homeschool routine to add a little fun and excitement to our days. Have fun and maybe make up your own personal family holiday or tradition for the month!

This month is also known as:

  • National Bath Safety Month
  • National Blood Donor Month
  • National Braille Literacy Month
  • National Hobby Month
  • Hot Tea Month
  • National Oatmeal Month
  • National Soup Month

The weeks can be celebrated as:

  • 2nd Week Letter Writing Week

I found this list and more here:

New Year’s Day (1st)

** See New Year’s Day for crafts and activities.

National Spaghetti Day (4th)

Trivia Day (4th)

Friday the 13th (not every January but in 2017 we have one)

**See Friday The 13th for crafts and activities.

Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday (3rd Monday in January)

**See Martin Luther King Jr. Day for crafts and activities.

Winnie the Pooh Day (18th)  Winnie The Pooh Day

**See Winnie The Pooh Day for crafts and activities.

National Popcorn Day  (19th)

Inauguration Day (20th or 21st)

**See Inauguration Day for crafts and activities.

National Blonde Brownie Day (22nd)

National Pie Day (23rd)

National Peanut Butter Day (24th)

Compliment Day (24th)

Chinese New Years – date varies

**See Chinese New Years for crafts and activities.

National Puzzle Day (29th)

Backward Day (31st)

**See Backwards Day for crafts and activities.

Homeschool: January on Pinterest for crafts/activities related to the month of January.

Reflections of 2016

Can you believe that this year is almost gone? I can’t but I am ready to start 2017 with a fresh, positive, and energized outlook. I know in my heart that this new year will be better than last year. I also know that God has some truly amazing things in store for me and my family. I can’t wait to see what He has planned for us in the upcoming months!

We have been through alot this past year. The year started off really rocky. There had been some nasty rumors and gossip that caused us to leave our church and lose contact with some people. It was also filled with some nasty messages, hateful comments, and posts from people who chose to believe the rumors.

I’ve learned to forgive even if you don’t feel that they deserve forgiveness. Forgiveness lets you move on and heal from the pain.

My oldest daughter finished up boot camp and then DD17 and DS21 took a road trip to Missouri to bring her back home. Then we had a lot planning to do for DD19’s wedding. It was really hard to stay strong for my kids and my family but I refused to let the chaos and nastiness get me down.

I filed for divorce after being separated for nearly 2 years. It was a painful and difficult decision that I prayed a lot over. It was not the outcome I wanted but it was what needed to be done at the time to protect my family and myself from his behaviors and actions. We have come a long way since then and are working to be the best parents we can be to our children.

I am learning to be content in whatever situation I am in and wherever I may be. I will change the things I can change, focus my attention on God, and let Him handle the things I have no control over.

Our family got larger with the additions of a niece and a nephew, both of which I absolutely adore. There was a camping trip where I got to go salt water fishing for the first time and I loved every minute of it. This was a welcome relief prior to the stresses of the wedding where we had last minute changes that threatened to ruin the whole thing. I am pleased to say that it was a success and it is now a beautiful memory for us to cherish.

During those stressful times I found out who my true friends were and became closer to my best friend. She really came through for me when I needed her. I had another friend who also came through and was a lifesaver, quite literally, and he was the calm in my storm on a few occasions.

There was a brief romance where my already tender heart was shredded and ripped apart. This was harder on me than my divorce as it came at me unexpectedly and then it was over without any warning or explanation. I lost someone who I considered to be one of my best friends with the end of that relationship. I know that my questions will continue to go unanswered and I know that there would never be anyway to get back what it was that we had. It still brings tears to my eyes but I do treasure the moments we had.

I am learning that it is much easier not to question God when something happens but rather to embrace it and trust that He knows best. 

Then I attempted online dating which I quickly learned wasn’t for me. I did meet a couple of really nice people and I went on a couple of dates but we didn’t really click. I quickly found that dating by text is not for me either. I need to be able to see the person and hear their voice. I want to know that they are not a figment of my imagination. I did make a friend through the dating site and we still text on a semi-regular basis.

We had another camping trip where I took the five kids and myself. It was an adventure that we all enjoyed and thankfully survived. There was moment that I wasn’t sure if I would make it as I had fallen in the river. Luckily I had a life vest on and I was able to stay calm until someone was able to reach me. The crazy thing was that he was able to walk out to me but I was just a little bit too short to reach the bottom.I think I swallowed my yearly quota of river water that day.

I’ve had many more episodes of the gossip mill. There were days and weeks that I felt I should just write a soap opera about my life. I finally realized that the problem wasn’t really with me but with the ones who were starting and spreading the rumors. This was a big turning point for me and the way I handled the stress and drama from those situations. I also had some painful revelations about family and friends.

Then there was the flu bug that hit us around Thanksgiving. I was upset that we were not able to visit with family but fortunately God did give me the strength and supplies to make our own impromptu dinner. I wasn’t able to eat but I made up for that at Christmas dinner with my daughter and son-in-law. That was definitely a dinner to remember as the police showed up twice!

I have learned to be ready to receive a blessing at any moment and any time.

These are just some of the ups and downs of my past year. There have been a lot of firsts like the salt water fishing, a low country boil (I actually had twice this year), and online dating. I can say that I have lived, loved, been loved, and have been truly blessed. Life has taught me a lot about myself, relationships, and God’s will for my life. There have been many surprises, good and bad, but all in all it was a wonderful year.

I hope you can also look back on the past year and see what has happened. Take a moment to reflect on what you’ve experienced and then think about what you want to experience in the 2017. I pray that each and every one of you will be blessed abundantly in the upcoming year. I pray that God will touch your lives and supply your needs, whatever they may be.

 

 

 

Keeper of The Home

By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures.-  Proverbs 24: 3-4

I know there have been many arguments about what a woman’s role should be in regards to home, work, and other areas of life. I feel that God’s plan for my life is to be a keeper of the home, to be the best mother and homemaker I can be, and to trust in His plan for my life. I know some of you may be rolling your eyes at this but I firmly believe that a lot of life’s problems would cease to exist if more people felt as strongly as I do. I pray that my blog and the tips I share can help each and every person to be a better person and help you to establish routines that allow you to also be a better keeper of the home.

What does this really mean? It means that we are responsible for our homes and that our homes and families should be a priority for us. It means that we are each responsible for setting the tone of our homes. We are to guard our homes and we are ultimately responsible for what comes in and what goes out. We are responsible for making sure that everyone in our home feels cared for and loved. We are responsible for making sure that our homes can be a refuge of safety for our loved ones and friends, a place where they can find rest and comfort, whenever needed.

Now I know that not everyone can stay at home and that sometimes it is necessary, especially for single mothers, to have a job. I know this because I’ve been there. I’ve been a young single mom of four young children, working 3-4 part time jobs just to make ends meet. Even then I knew my first priority was making sure that my home, wherever it was at the time, was a peaceful, nurturing, and loving environment for my children. I know how overwhelming this can be but it doesn’t have to be. I wish I had someone to show me how to manage my time and resources when I was younger.

There are so many aspects of being a keeper of the home that I will try to cover them in various posts throughout the year. One area is cooking, as our families need to be fed and nourished so they can thrive and grow. You can check the Recipes tab for ideas that I will continue to update and add onto through the year. I also have a Meal Planning section under the Home Organization tab.

Another area is cleaning and I know how hard this can be to keep up with at times. This can be an all consuming task if you let it. There are various tips and posts on this as well in the Home Organization section. You can also find schedules to help with time management and other areas of your life.

Another important role as a keeper of the home is to be a good steward of everything that God has blessed you with. This is an area that I am truly working on now and I will pass along any tips or resources that I find. One big thing is to set a budget. I don’t have any examples of mine up but there are many resources available online to help you with this.

Now is the time of year that many of us make New Year’s resolutions. So why not make a couple that will help you to regain your focus and motivation to be a better keeper of your home? We all need to take our roles as mothers, wives, sisters, daughters, aunts, and friends so very seriously. God has entrusted us to help others along their journey in life. By helping them we will also be helping ourselves. When we turn our hearts and minds to what God has planned for us we will be able to strengthen our families which will set the tone for generations to come. This is an awesome responsibility to undertake.

I don’t know what your home is like but you do so just start wherever you are. Jot down a few ideas or changes that you would like to see happen in your home, with your family. Maybe you can set a goal to learn some new recipes this year? Maybe one of your goals can be to establish a cleaning routine or schedule? Maybe you just want to find ways to make your home environment more peaceful? Maybe you need to learn to manage your time more wisely?

There are various resources available to help you with ideas for just about anything. You can always ask Google. Then Pinterest always has loads of wonderful ideas and you can start your own boards to pin ideas to. I am always needing inspiration and ideas. You can check out some of my boards here. You can also join groups on Facebook for ideas and encouragement. The most important thing is to be intentional with what you want your home to look like, to feel like, and what experiences you want your family, friends, and guests to have.

Before making any drastic changes be sure to go to the Lord in prayer. Ask Him for His guidance and wisdom as you embark on this task. He will direct you along the path that He has chosen. You just need to have faith in wherever or whatever He leads you to do. You must first make the decision that you desire to be a keeper of the home, this is not just something that happens, it is somethings that we must do intentionally.

I pray that you will join me as I set my goals to be a better keeper of the home in 2017. I want to be the best role model and example, not only to my children, but to everyone who comes into our home. I want to pass along my experiences to my children so they can pass them down their children. By doing this we will be helping to build stronger families and stronger communities for generations to come.

Please note: During one of my marriages there were many issues that arose between my spouse and I as to what being submissive actually meant. I know the Bible teaches us women to be submissive to our husbands and there are many debates over what this actually means. I feel that our husbands are to be the leaders of the home but that does not mean women should be treated like doormats. I just want you to know that I do not condone domestic violence or abuse. I encourage anyone in a situation such as that to get help immediately.

You can also read the following that I found by doing a quick Google search:

LEAD HER

The Titus 2 Woman: The Keeper of her Home

YOUR ROLE AS “KEEPER OF THE HOME”

“KEEPERS AT HOME”

Keeper of the Home 101

 

 

December 27, 2016

It’s been a long day, a very long day. Actually it’s been a couple of long days, one right after another. I’m exhausted, I’m worn out, I’ve been pushed to my limits time and time again. But somehow I keep finding the strength to keep going to keep putting one foot in front of another and just to keep doing what needs to be done. 

The holidays are a fun and exciting time for everyone. So many different things going on but sometimes it can get overwhelming for everyone. Especially when you have young kids or kids with special needs. They can get so easily overstimulated or hyped up on sugar. Then when they come crashing down that’s the not so fun part. 

So yesterday was pretty hard, it’s been pretty wild and crazy here and today wasn’t a whole lot better. Plus we’ve had some other issues going on that I’ve been trying to deal with and haven’t had much success at all. I really feel like I’m just spinning my wheels. 

To top it all off I’m not feeling very well, not sure if it’s just stress or maybe I’m coming down with something. 

But I know that when  I lay down that I’ll wake refreshed and ready to make a fresh start in the morning. He will give me the strength and the courage to face another day. He will give me the patience and the wisdom I will need to handle whatever situation comes my way. I thank him so much for that. 

So for now I’m going to say good night and pray that sleep comes quickly. 

Remember that if you are weary or heavy laden you too can find rest if you only take your worries and cares to your Heavenly Father. 

So Much More Than A Basketball

Wow! Well, I had written this article last December after we had the surprise pleasure of meeting with the ‘Basketball Cop’. I came to revisit this post only to find out that is GONE! I’m not entirely sure how this happens but I have had some comments from others that this has happened with some other posts on my blog as well. I do apologize and will try to find out what is causing this.

This picture was taken December 25, 2016 in Gainesville, FL. We had went to my oldest daughter’s place for Christmas dinner. There were a lot of people, mostly kids, crammed into a small apartment so it was a bit noisy. We were in the middle of exchanging gifts when we heard a loud rap on the door.

Immediately we all stopped what we were doing and my son-in-law went to open the door and found a police officer standing at the door. Our first thought was that someone had called in a noise complaint but that wasn’t the case at all. She explained to us that she had some gifts she would like to pass out.

We brought all of the kids outside and she began passing out gifts only to realize that she didn’t have enough girl gifts. Well, the kids were not that concerned as she let them choose a boy gift. She promised to return with some girl gifts later on.

Later on she did return with more gifts and more people. It was then that I found out who was responsible for the gifts and this prompted me to investigate further. I had seen the ‘Basketball Cop’ on the news, after his YouTube video went viral, and I had told people about how wonderful he was but I never imagined how much he and the Basketball Cop Foundation did for the community.

If you have never heard of him or his foundation I encourage you to take a moment and check out the link I posted above. He is also on Facebook and Twitter too!

I really hate the fact that my original post was deleted and I am looking for an original that may have been posted elsewhere. I can’t go back and recreate that post or recapture the excitement I felt when I was writing it. I do pray that you will feel a bit of excitement yourself if you happen to check out the links and see what an amazing thing has started.

Remember The Reason For The Season

First, I just want to wish each and every one of you a Merry Christmas and I pray that God has blessed each of you and your families today.

I know a lot of us are on social media and we are being bombarded with the pictures of the beautifully decorated trees that are surrounded by heaps and heaps of beautifully wrapped gifts waiting to be opened. You may be feeling defeated or maybe guilty because you feel as though didn’t buy enough or that you didn’t find that ‘perfect gift’. I want to let you know that it’s not the amount of gifts or the amount of money spent on gifts that is important but rather the amount of love that was put into making your Christmas special.

Don’t beat yourself up or feel upset, don’t let that monster called jealousy creep into your heart today. Remember that the best Christmas present ever given was given a long time ago in a manger, in Bethlehem. Jesus is truly the reason for the season.

You know this year in our house we tried to focus more on the fact that Jesus is indeed the reason for the season. We did an Advent study which has been so much fun. This helped to bring the kids to a better understanding about Christmas not being just about the gifts and the toys that they would hopefully receive. Even though they are young and didn’t understand the whole picture they did get little pieces that they will eventually fit together as they age.

For the past several years I have really cut back on the gifts. I always had a little guilt, no matter how many gifts I bought, no matter how much I spent or didn’t spend, that nagging little thought that I never did enough.  Then I realized that anything I could give would never be enough nor would I ever be able to give a perfect gift.

How can we ever give enough? How can we ever give the perfect gift? We can’t. So this year I felt the best gift for my family would be to focus on the fact of that first gift, the only perfect gift. I wanted to give my children that understanding and help them to realize the true meaning of what Christmas is truly about. That’s a gift in itself.

This year we did have what may seem to be a lot of presents under our tree. (There was a total of 21?, I believe. And there was a dinosaur guarding the gifts so I guess that would be 22. Each child had one gift with their name on it to open. There are three little boys so there were three gifts marked as ‘boys’. There are two little girls which meant two gifts marked as ‘girls’. Then there were five gifts marked as ‘kids’, which were games and such that they could play together as a group or we could use as a family. So, in total, each child got to open three different gifts. Each of those gifts was something that I knew would be very special to them and that they would enjoy.

Then there was also one gift for each of the older children, two gifts for Momma (some aroma therapy oils and Baklava that I had ordered before), and grandpa had two gifts under the tree as well. Seeing the smiles on the kids’ faces was gift enough for me. Seeing the excitement in their eyes as they opened the gifts and the happiness they shared with their siblings when seeing what each one had received is something that money cannot buy.

As for friends and family, everyone help to make candies and cookies to pass out. We did this as a family and the kids were all super excited to hand out the goodies we had made. This was lots of fun and it helped the kids to appreciate the time, effort, and love that goes into gift giving.

I know that there is always someone who tries to put a damper on the happiness and joy you feel. Someone who is never happy with what they have received. Someone who just can’t help but try to outdo everyone else. I want you to know that this is not anything you did and you have nothing to prove to that person.

All in all I feel blessed to have been with my family today. To see the smiles on their faces and the pure excitement as they open the gifts it didn’t matter if they had 3 gifts or 300 gifts they enjoyed each and every one of them that they received.

I feel that the best gift of all was the fact that we were able to prepare for this Christmas season, as a family, with our Advent study. We were able bring the focus back to the real reason of the season. This is a tradition that I plan on continuing with over the years to come, probably adding to it, and elaborating more on it as they get older. As they mature I plan on giving them more things to do like acts of kindness or maybe even throwing in some old-fashioned Christmas caroling as well.

I hope and pray that my kids will look back on this and be able to incorporate this into their own families when they get married, move away, and have children of their own. I want to create fond memories for them that they will cherish long after I’m gone. So please don’t let guilt or despair get you down. Remember what the real reason for the season is. Be merry, share your love, and enjoy your family and friends today.

Merry Christmas and God Bless!

 

Note: After I wrote this post we were blessed again. To read more about this please read:

So much more than a basketball

Pray In Secret

But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. – Matthew 6:6

I’m sure we have all heard or read this verse at some point in our lives. It has been my desire to have a ‘secret place’ to pray. After reading ‘The War Room’ this desire became more intense. While I do feel it is important for my kids to see me praying, sometimes I just need my own little space.

Yesterday morning was one of those times. It was a bit cold in the house so I decided to turn on a heater in the bathroom before my shower. My plan was to have some quiet time while the bathroom warmed up a bit. I was sitting on the ottoman beside my bed trying to read my devotional when DS3 popped in. He had a million and one questions, maybe more than that, and he was super excited about Christmas.

Well DS14 heard little brother’s excitement and decided to make some noise of his own. His room is right next to mine so it just added to the disruptions. I was able to settle down the little one and send him back to his room for a few minutes. However DS14 was up and at it.I had to take a few minutes to get him calmed down and settled back into his bed.

I checked the bathroom and it was still a bit chilly for my liking so I attempted my quiet time again. I prayed about a few things that had happened the night before and asked God to show me what to do. I also went through my prayer journal and reviewed some of my previous requests. One of them was to be able to create a little space for myself, a prayer closet of sorts, where I can find some peace and relaxation.

I don’t know for sure if it was the Holy Spirit or just my imagination, which would have had to have been influenced by the Holy Spirit, but an idea popped into my head. I know it sounds crazy but I kept hearing the words, ‘pray in secret’, and some visions flashed in my head. I saw what needed to be done. Every obstacle was no longer an obstacle as I had seen the solution to fixing several issues, even the issue from the night before.

My faith and energy was renewed as I finished up my prayers and quiet time. I hummed a little tune as I showered and got ready for the day. I worked with a purpose to finish our morning tasks so I could set about making the vision become a reality.

Well, at nap time, it happened. I was able to rearrange some furniture in the laundry room to make room for our pantry cabinets. The pantry cabinets had been in my closet as we had no other place to put them. They had previously lined a wall in my bedroom when I had one of the smaller rooms. When we switched rooms a month or so ago I had planned on making a portion of my closet into a quiet area but the cabinets had taken up more space than expected.

Once the cabinets were out of the closet I had more space but some more things needed to be rearranged. I wasn’t sure how to do it but I had faith that it was going to happen. My dad helped me to carry in a desk from the porch. My brother had brought me the desk when we had switched rooms as I had all intentions of using it at that time. This poor desk had gotten wet and didn’t look as nice as it did before but I intended to use it anyway. We brought the desk in and left it near the closet door.

Then came the measuring and trying to decide where to put it and what would need moved. My closet is kind of a catch all for many other areas of the house. I have a filing cabinet that holds cleaning supplies, some paper supplies, and some files. There are a couple of shelves that hold other various items like my crafting tote, my sewing box, and my sewing machine. And another that holds the surplus of items that are bought at Sam’s club.

Not too mention that I have totes upon totes overhead that hold our party supplies, party decorations,camping/overnight supplies, extra bags, etc. And of course my clothes and shoes have a place in there as well. It is not really a huge space, even though I had once thought of converting it to a small bedroom, but it holds a lot of stuff. Last week I had went to my closet to hide for a bit as I was feeling a bit overwhelmed and needed a place to clear my head. Well, that wasn’t the place but after spending a few minutes in there I was motivated to declutter and organize it. This was a good thing as it made this project so much easier.

It took about another hour to finish the rearranging and moving stuff around. After taking a stroll through the house and shed to ‘shop’ for things I was able to pull it together. There are still a few more things I may add but I don’t want to clutter it up as I want to be able to relax and just ‘be still’.

I will be writing another post in the next day or so to show you my ‘war room’ and what I’ve put in there. So until then I pray that you may be able to find your own little ‘private space’.

See My War Room for how it came together.

December 21, 2016

Well today did not go as planned or as expected. I have been waiting for a melt down from DS14 as he had a doctor appointment last week, a lab appointment this week, and all the excitement from the upcoming holiday. Today was the day.

I did get up and have my morning quiet time with little noise from anyone. As soon as he heard me enter the kitchen it started. There was no warning, no signs, no gradual warm up as we sometimes have. It was full blown yelling at me through his bedroom door. I greeted him as usual and instructed him to go to the bathroom, trying to keep on our normal routine and praying that this would be it.

Unfortunately it was not, it was just the beginning and we went through a mega meltdown, much bigger than I had anticipated. Everyone did the best they could to stay focused on their school work and to continue on with the day as normal. Once he was calmed down he decided to be extra sweet but wanted to stay in his room.

I have learned that these moments,when things are so trying and exhausting, are when we realize the awesome power of love. By not over reacting to his outbursts he is able to feel the love that we all have for him. It helps him to calm down whereas if we reacted by screaming or yelling it would only fuel his frustration and push him further over the edge.

I don’t blame anyone for the way they react because prior to having him in my life I may have reacted in a similar fashion. I may have thought he was just a spoiled brat trying to get his way. Knowing him as I know him I can usually tell when we are building up to a melt down. I also know a lot of the things that can trigger a melt down. I do my best to help him avoid these things or prepare for them in advance but there are times that things pop up and can not be avoided or prepared for.

I know that he does not enjoy them nor does he fully understand them. I can only imagine how it must feel to completely lose control and not understand what is happening. The only way he knows to respond is to yell, scream, hit, kick, or act out in other various manners. So we will just continue to work on learning ways to calm down and more positive ways to express our feelings.

I am extremely thankful that his melt down occurred at home instead of at the doctor’s office, the lab, or anywhere else. It is so much easier to help him through these if he is in familiar surroundings. Not too mention that the tension and comments from strangers do not always help very much in those situations.

When naptime finally arrived I was exhausted and all I could think of was a nap for myself. I knew that there were some things that really needed to get finished though. I enlisted the help of one of Santa’s elves, aka DD17, and started to wrap gifts. Then my friend came by for a visit. Just talking to her helped to reenergize me and lift my spirits. We exchanged gifts and one of the ones she had given me will definitely be one that will give me encouragement in the future.

After wrapping I finished up a couple more things on my To-Do list and began to make dinner. DS3 & DS4 were extremely interested in learning about all the herbs and seasonings that I was using. We also learned about kitchen safety around the hot stove and how it important it is for them not to play with the stove or the oven. I have found that including them in the dinner prep and trying to answer the questions they have makes them more interested in trying new foods and dishes.

The kids also learned how to make your own bread crumbs as Momma could not locate the container of Italian bread crumbs in the cabinet. They asked for mashed potatoes instead of salad too. I did not have the energy to peel the potatoes so we made some instant potatoes to go with dinner. (By adding a little sour cream it makes them almost as good as from scratch.)

While preparing dinner we were serenaded by DS14 who was singing his versions of his favorite Christmas carols. He also made me aware that he was hungry every five minutes or so. At one point he also started an argument with his little brothers about reindeer genealogy… lol… they have been researching reindeer a lot this week. I’m sure someone will need me to ask my friend, Google, for the answer to settle the argument.

The boys had a lot of fun playing with all of the empty shipping boxes from the gifts we had wrapped. They rearranged them again and again to make houses, castles, and a variety of other structures. Not too mention that DS8 helped the little boys hide in the boxes so they could scare Momma a few times. (Did I mention that the empty wrapping paper rolls make great pretend light sabers, too?)

My older two went to town to run a few errands and just came back with some ice cream and chicken gizzards. I love how thoughtful they are! I’m gonna get out some hot sauce, eat a few gizzards, maybe a bit of ice cream, and then snuggle in my warm cozy bed.

So all in all, it was a pretty good day. The melt down was definitely not the highlight of the day but I have to take the good with the bad. I’ll take a melt down at home over a melt down in public any day.

Kids’ Morning Routine 

I have posted several ideas about routines that help keep our home running smoothly. Most of those ideas were meant for me to follow but there are a few for the kids.

Below is a picture of the morning routines that are posted in each of the kids’ bedrooms. We really struggled with mornings for a while. I would have several half dressed kids stumbling to the kitchen to eat. Their hair would be a mess and so would their attitudes!

They were in public school at the time too. Every morning was a hectic rush to make sure that they had gotten dressed and fixed their hair. It also never failed that someone would need to pee when we got to the bus stop which was right out our gate. Not too mention that their rooms would be a mess when I went through to do my normal checks in the morning. Something had to change!

I had come across a post, I tried to find the original post but haven’t yet, and there was a ‘Morning 5′ routine. It was so simple and easy. I decided to give it a quick try and it worked! My first list was just hand written. I then printed out some clip art and added to it for the little boys and for my special needs son. This picture is from one that is still posted in the little boys’ closet. This was in our ‘pre-laminator ‘ days and it really needs to be redone to look a little neater.

Just a very simple checklist of things for them to do before coming to the kitchen for breakfast:

  1. Go potty. When you have kids who are potty training this is such an important reminder for them. My special needs son also needs reminding of this as well as food is usually his top priority in the morning!
  2. Make your bed. Yes, this is a must in our house. I also make sure that my bed is made in the mornings as well.
  3. Get dressed. I usually lay out the little boys clothes the night before so they just have to go to the closet and grab an outfit. They can also pick something out of the dresser if Momma forgot or if they don’t like the outfit I set out. DD8 & DD9 can pick out their own outfits and DS14 will pick out his outfit and show to me before getting dressed. His wardrobe has pretty much been set up so that almost everything will coordinate but sometimes he will bring out a pair of shorts when it is really cold or a long sleeve shirt when it is really hot.
  4. Brush your hair. For the boys this is not really a big deal as they usually have short hair cuts. For the girls though this is a must as they have long hair and it is usually a mess when they get up.
  5. Hug Mommy! This one is more for fun and it kinda helps set the mood for a good day. (Watch for a post about the Attitude of Gratitude.) Plus DS14 really likes hugs!

This has made the world of difference in our house. It has also helped to promote independence and responsibility in my kids. These are all simple tasks that can be done without much supervision and my kids know that they are expected to complete them each and every morning. It has also helped them to develop a sense of accountability as well.

Not too mention that it gives Momma a chance to get breakfast fixed and on the table while they are busy getting ready for the day. It takes a lot of stress out of the mornings as Momma doesn’t have to constantly remind them to do these things. I really enjoy getting those hugs first thing in the morning too!