Tag Archives: Parenting

April 9, 2017

Hello everyone! I hope you are all doing well and have been safe through the crazy storms last week.

Our house is crazy, us usual, and full of excitement with the somewhat warmer weather. The kids love being outdoors and the weather had been nice enough to go outside almost every day for a bit. Then we had some nasty storms and the temperature dropped a bit for the past couple of days. Combine all of that with some pretty breezy days and the kids are a bit anxious to get out and burn off some energy soon.

Momma has been busy, like normal, and working on several projects at once while attempting to keep up with normal schedules and routines. I have been working on this monstrous grocery list as I have the month’s menu planned out but I still haven’t made it to do our monthly grocery shop. That is planned for one day this week. Which day has not been determined but it is going to happen this week.

I also have a To-Do list of things to work on for my blog, the Silver Fox Squares page, and some other club tasks. (Our April Fool’s Dangle Dance was a huge success and I should be posting pics soon on the page.) Not to mention I need to catch up on some school planning and related paperwork. I should also make a list of school supplies we need to restock on as well as some items we will be needing for upcoming projects. Sigh, the ‘To-Dos’ and ‘should dos’ never seem to end but I just do the best I can each and every day.

The past couple of days I’ve been a little more tired than usual and hadn’t been taking my vitamins and such. Yesterday the effects of not taking care of myself were evident and I felt the beginnings of a cold coming on. Today is a sick day and as much as I hate to admit it, I am sick! Blahhh, I hate being sick but I’m trying not to complain and just keeping up with the basics around the house so I can get over this as quickly as possible.

Of course, the kids know that I am sick and seem to take advantage of it. Isn’t that how it usually works? Anyway I am trying to keep everything as normal and on routine as I can. I’ve taken some cold medicine and feel a bit better for now but I think I will take a little nap while the kids lay down for their naps. Big sister will be up and about to listen and enforce the ‘no feet on the floor’ rule we have for nap/quiet time.

Sick days happen and we just need to be prepared for them. I do have some quick and easy snacks/meals that I can use when we have one of these days. I made some Chicken and Dumplings last night with some pre-cooked chicken that I had in the freezer, a bag of frozen mixed veggies, and some dumplings that I had frozen from the last batch I made a while back. It didn’t take long at all and it was so good!

We also have our routines down pretty well so everyone knows what to do and that goes a long way to helping keep us on track when Momma is sick.  I encourage everyone to try to establish some routines to help keep your family and household running smoothly in the event that you were down and out for a day or two.

The kids just finished up lunch so I think I am gonna try to sneak to my room for a bit… I wish you all a blessed week!

 

 

 

Advertisements

March 21, 2017

Good morning everyone! We are up and somewhat ‘at it’ this morning. I was so lazy yesterday! I did the basics like feeding the kids and washing up the dishes but not much else. I did finish up a load of laundry last night because it was sitting on my bed but the clothes are still sitting in a basket waiting to be put away.

Yesterday was just one of those ‘off days’ for me. I had been pushing myself a lot the past couple of weeks and it finally caught up with me. Well put that with the time change and dealing with kids who are exceptionally tired and cranky too and I was due for a lazy day.

I didn’t even make it to my closet yesterday morning. I did take a few moments here and there to talk with God but it wasn’t the same as my usual devoted time and I really needed that. So last night I stopped in the middle of folding laundry and headed to my closet for a bit. It was just what I needed. Each of the devotions and verses I happened to read last night were talking about the importance of rest. This really helped me not to feel so guilty about being so ‘lazy’.

Mark 6:31 (KJV)

And he said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat.

One of the verses I read was Mark 6:31, it helped me to see that rest is just as important as work. It is also important for us to remember to take some quiet time to be with the Lord. He will refresh us and give us the strength to keep going, even on the toughest days.

Psalm 119:44 (KJV)

So shall I keep thy law continually for ever and ever.

This was another verse I read from ‘Starting Your Day Right‘ by Joyce Meyer. She reminds us that we don’t have to go into a private room to have time with God. We can talk to Him anytime, anywhere, about anything! Take every opportunity to spend time with Him and I guarantee you will see changes in your life.

I know how hard it is to be a parent, a single parent at that, and I know how busy life can get. I know how tough things can get and just when you’ve about reached the end of your rope the 3 year pulls the cereal out of the cabinet and pours it all over the kitchen floor. Or you decide to mop the floor instead of taking a nap only to have someone walk in with chicken poop on their shoes. I could go on and on but I won’t.

No matter what you are going through right now. God can help! He is there, waiting, just talk to Him. It doesn’t have to be fancy, it doesn’t have to be out loud, just talk. Tell Him about your troubles and ask Him for His help. He is there and He will help. All you need to do is ask.

Matthew 11:28 (KJV)

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

I want each and every one of you to know that I do pray for you and for whatever your circumstances are, I pray that God will supply your needs and bring you rest when you need it.

Have a blessed day!

The Right Way vs The Wrong Way

I think everyone knows by now that I have a special needs child. He is 14 years old. Where has time gone? He can be the sweetest most loving child on most days. On other days he can be the most irritating and annoying child on the planet. He will test your patience to the limits and then some. So life can be a little crazy here especially when it comes to the toilet paper!

We quickly learned that routines were a must! He thrives on routines and schedules. He likes to know what is to be expected and when to expect it. He does not, I repeat DOES NOT, like changes. As we all know there are many changes in life and especially with this many people in our house things are constantly changing.

So what do we do? How do we handle the changes? How do we keep our sanity?

Well, we have our basic routines. We have routines for mornings, for afternoons, and for bedtimes. We also have our school routines and certain routines that we follow for extra activities. We try our best to stick to these as much as possible and give him something ‘constant’ that he can count on. By trying to keep things as normal as possible, even when we are away from the house, it helps him to stay balanced.

When there are changes we know to keep an extra eye out for him and they way he acts. He will usually give some kind of warning behaviors before he hits complete melt down stage. His older siblings have learned some of these signs are able to help me intercept when needed. We can redirect his attention and focus onto something that doesn’t upset him or we can try to explain what is going on to him depending on the situation.

There are times, like the holidays, when meltdowns are almost inevitable. We try to watch and listen for clues that one is approaching but sometimes a melt down will come out of nowhere. Once we get him through it then all is well again until the next time. The younger kids have learned that this just part of life. They know to give him space and to give him some quiet time so he can calm down and unwind. They have developed and understanding and show a lot of empathy towards him when he is struggling.

Some of the warning signs are in the picture above. I had not made it into the bathroom to do my morning Swish & Swipe and apparently the toilet paper was on the ‘wrong way’ and which was enough to send him over the edge a couple of days ago. He then proceeded to shred the toilet paper all over the bathroom, unfold all of the towels, and turn everything around backwards. Why? I don’t really understand why but I’m sure it made sense to him in some way.

After spending a few minutes in the bathroom he came out and went to his room and shut the door. This wasn’t normal and when I opened the door he was folding his socks and lining them up. He just kept saying something about ‘the wrong way’. It wasn’t long before someone found the mess in the bathroom.

After this event his older sister had me show her how to ‘properly’ fold the towels so that she can help to put them away right. She also had me show her a couple of other ‘tricks’ to cleaning and tidying up the bathroom to help keep it the ‘right way’. She is also displaying empathy towards him and towards me by trying to help with this.

 

Being a Momma of many can be tough. There are some days that are tougher than others. This day was no exception but I also know it could’ve been worse if we didn’t have our routines in place to help him. By helping him we are also helping each other. When one family member is struggling it causes the rest of us to struggle as well.

Something as little as the toilet paper roll can trigger a meltdown which can lead to a ‘bad day’. I know there are so many people who argue about what the right way is for the toilet paper. In our house it is the picture on the left, no exceptions!

I encourage you to look for things that you can do to help others in your house, no arguing about what is the right way or the wrong way, just do it.

Momma, come sit with me.

‘Momma, come sit with me.’ That’s what my 3 year old said today at lunchtime. He had been picking at his sandwich and sticking around the table after everyone else had went to their rooms for lunch. He gave me that sweet smile with those little blue eyes just a sparkling. Who could resist that smile?

Not me! The neverending To-Do list can wait. The basket of unfolded laundry can wait. The dirty dishes in the sink can wait. The chores that need finished can wait. The millions of other things running through my mind,at any given moment, can wait.

Right now he needs me and he is asking me for my time. I admit that sometimes I feel like I am spread pretty thin. I feel like I just can’t do anything more than what I am doing right now. It’s hard being a Momma.It’s hard being a single Momma. It’s hard being a special needs Momma. It’s hard being a single special needs Momma! Yes, I said it’s hard. It’s almost downright impossible on some days. But then there are the good days or the little moments like this.

The house is quiet-ish as everyone is settling down for naps and/or quiet time. The school work has been finished and put away. He continues to nibble at his sandwich while I grab my glass of watered down iced tea. I sit in the chair next to him and he smiles. A genuinely lit up ear to ear kind of smile. Those little eyes are just dancing with ideas that he wants to tell me.

So he begins by informing me that my feet are in the water. I laugh and pull my feet up and sit cross legged in the chair.

‘Is that better?’, I ask.

‘Yes, Momma, now the sharks can’t get you.’

‘Well that’s a good thing! Thank you so much for warning me.’, I say.

He laughs and then he proceeds to explain to me how a T-Rex would catch a fish. He imitates the T-Rex while eating his fish (peanut butter sandwich) and he laughs a lot. He tells me what he wants for snack later, a dinosaur cupcake from yesterday, and he asks if he and ‘all my friends’ can go outside after naps. He always refers to his brothers and sisters as ‘all my friends’ and he draws a big circle in the air when he says it. It is so cute!

He eats a few more bites and declares he is full. Then he grabs his napkin and attempts to wipe the peanut butter off his face. I help him and he takes off running back to his room before I can finish. He jumps into his bed and curls up with a stuffed toy and his favorite dinosaur toy. Then he closes his eyes and pretends to be asleep. I lean over and give him a quick kiss on the cheek and he giggles.

These are the moments that make my day and give me the momentum I need to get through the tough days. I get a little sad as I know they are all growing up so fast. I know that before long he won’t be asking me to come sit with him anymore. I want to take the time to cherish these little moments and enjoy them while I can.

I walked back to the kitchen to jot down this post so I will have it to look back on in the future. I think about how blessed I am and how precious life is. I am so thankful that God has put me where I am right now. He has given me more than I ever deserved and I know He has so many plans in store for me and my family.

He always knows what we need and when we need it. This morning I read Proverbs 13:4:

It reminds me that I need to keep pressing on towards my goals. I can’t give up and let myself get lazy. I can have hope in knowing that if I stay diligent there will be a reward for all of the hard work I put in here on earth. This little moment with my son was just a taste of that and it was so beautiful! I can’t even begin to imagine what the future may hold for us.

Thank you Lord for your blessings on me and my family!

Life in 2016

Reflections of 2016

December 30, 2016

December 27, 2016

December 21,2016

December 6, 2016

December 5, 2016

December 3, 2016

December 1, 2016

November 28, 2016

November 27, 2016

November 26, 2016

November 20, 2016

November 18, 2016

November 8, 2016

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. 

Making Childhood Memories Count

I came across this while reading the other day. This really is something that we need to think about. Our children are only little once and the time we have with them is so precious. They grow up so very quick.

I know how hard it is to juggle all the responsibilities of being a single parent. Some days it’s really hard to get to everything that we feel needs to get done. Sometimes we just feel so overwhelmed and maybe we get a little grouchy. Our kids can feel more like an annoyance or distraction at times.

We must remember that they should always be a priority. It is such an awesome gift and responsibility to be a Momma. It can also be so demanding at times, I know. Just take a minute and read this poem to get a little insight on life through a child’s eyes.

Only One Childhood

I stopped to watch my little girl busy playing in her room. In one hand was a plastic phone; in the other a toy broom. I listened as she was speaking to her make believe little friend And I’ll never forget the words she said, even though it was pretend.

She said, “Suzie’s in the corner cuz she’s not been very good. She didn’t listen to a word I said or do the things she should.” In the corner I saw her baby doll all dressed in lace and pink. It was obvious she’d been put there to sit alone and think.

My daughter continued her “conversation,” as I sat down on the floor. She said, “I’m all fed up, I just don’t know what to do with her anymore? She whines whenever I have to work and wants to play games, too. She never lets me do the things that I just have to do?

She tries to help me with the dishes, but her arms just cannot reach… And she doesn’t know how to fold towels. I don’t have the time to teach. I have a lot of work to do and a big house to keep clean. I don’t have the time to sit and play — don’t you know what I mean?”

And that day I thought a lot about making some changes in my life; As I listened to her innocent words that cut me like a knife. I hadn’t been paying enough attention to what I hold most dear. I’d been caught up in responsibilities that increased throughout the year.

But now my attitude has changed, because, in my heart, I realize… I’ve seen the world in a different light through my little darling’s eyes. So, let the cobwebs have the corners and the dustbunnies rule the floor, I’m not going to worry about keeping up with them anymore.

I’m going to fill the house with memories of a child and her mother… For we are granted only one childhood, and we will never get another.

Everything we do is being taken in by our little ones. Do we want them to have memories of us cleaning and running around like a mad woman all the time? Do we want them to remember all the times we got upset about spilt milk or chocolate handprints on the wall? Or do we want them to remember when we took the day off to go to the park and have a picnic lunch. Maybe they will remember the time we spent showing them how to make a proper mud pie.

So please remember to take some time to create memories with your children. Find ways to spend time with them and take time to spend with them. Try to find a balance between the housework and the fun times. You will all appreciate and cherish these memories later on in the years.

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!

December 6, 2016

What you did see…

Today was St. Nicholas Day and it was the first time we have celebrated this at our home. My kids were so excited as I had let them put their stockings out last night. They have also been anxiously waiting to put up the Christmas tree which was something I had promised we would do today. I posted some pictures of our St. Nicholas day so everyone could see how much fun we had. We did have fun and we made some memories that are sure to last.

What you didn’t see though was the chaos behind the scene.

You didn’t see me trying to stay calm while dealing with several issues  like a bad case of vertigo for the second or third day in a row.

You didn’t see how I spent several minutes trying to calm down a temperamental child who was upset because I had not come into the kitchen by 7:00.

You didn’t see how I dripped cool whip all over the floor while making the special Santa Pancakes for breakfast.

You didn’t see the drain that overflowed all over the carpeted bathroom floor.

You didn’t see when I spilled tea all over the freshly mopped floor and all over the fridge I had just wiped out.

You didn’t see when I dropped my lunch in the floor as well.

You didn’t see when my second attempt at lunch was a chocolate Santa.

You didn’t see when the chicken scraps got dumped before I even reached the chicken pen because the handle came off the pail I was carrying.

You didn’t see how close I came to just calling it a day, giving up, and going back to bed.

You didn’t see how DD17 and I worked hard to set up the train set under the tree only to find that the train was missing. (The kids didn’t mind as toy trucks work well on train tracks too.)

You didn’t see how frustrated and aggravated I got because of the slow internet when I had an important matter to take care of.

You didn’t see how I confided in one of my friends about how frustrated and aggravated I was feeling.

You didn’t see how I had to rush to finish dinner because I had an emergency errand to run.

You didn’t see me rush to the hardware store for some plumbing supplies 5 minutes before they closed only to find that they didn’t have what I needed.

You didn’t see me have to drive 30 minutes in the opposite direction to the next nearest hardware store.

You didn’t see how my dinner consisted of a leftover cookie and a Coca-Cola. (I hadn’t had a soda in over a month.)

You didn’t see how long it took to clean up the mess from the backed up drain, the piles of dirty towels I had from cleaning up the mess, or the overflowing sink of dirty dishes because we couldn’t wash anything until the drain was fixed.

What’s important is that my kids didn’t see me frustrated, aggravated, or upset either. They didn’t see me lose my temper over things that happened.

They did see me keep promises even though unexpected disruptions kept occurring. They did see me staying calm and taking care of said disruptions as they came along.

I am human, I make mistakes, I get upset, and things happen that I have no control over. I can’t always control what happens to me but I can control how I react to them. I am not perfect and I don’t ever want anyone to think that I am or that I try to portray my life as being perfect.

When you look at the pictures on social media and you think about how perfect things look just remind yourself that you aren’t seeing the whole picture. You are just seeing one small moment of time. Don’t compare yourself, your family, your house or anything else with what you think you see in someone else’s picture.

Enjoy each moment and make the best of every situation good or bad. Life is so much easier if you do.

St. Nicholas Day 2016

This was our first year celebrating St. Nicholas Day here at our house. I am hoping to keep this new tradition and continue to build on it as we go through the years. Below are some of the ways that we celebrated today:

The night before, after our Advent Study, we set out our stockings. Many traditions involve setting out shoes, but we chose to use our stockings because Momma didn’t want to put the shoes on the table. The kids also made some chocolate chip cookies with DD17. Then they left a glass of milk and a plate of cookies for St. Nick to snack on.

st-nick-day

Sometime after the kids went to bed St. Nick made a visit by our house.

stnick.jpg

They each received a book, a coloring book, a small toy, and a few candies. (Santa picked all of these up at the Dollar Tree.) The kids were eager to check their stockings first thing. He even left a few items for Grandpa, DD17, DS21, and Momma.

stnicktoys.jpg

After everyone’s curiosity was satisfied we had a special breakfast…. Santa Pancakes!

santa-pancake

We happened to be having some really heavy rains today so Momma cancelled school due to the internet being really slow. Good thing Momma had some other activities planned out.

We read the Santa Who? book. We also had some coloring sheets and activities that I had printed from my St. Nicholas board on Pinterest. We also watched a few videos about Christmas.

work.jpg

We also put up our Christmas tree! This was probably one of the most exciting things about the day for the kids. (We also watched a video about how the Christmas tree became to be a symbol of Christmas.)

tree

All in all it was a really good day. I think this will help us to keep the focus that Jesus is the reason for Christmas while also answering the numerous questions that arise about Santa Claus. It also honors the work that St. Nicholas did.

I would have loved to invite Santa for dinner but I didn’t know anyone who would be available on such short notice. (I do have a Santa outfit in the building that we use for our Polar Express parties.) If you decide to start this tradition in your own house then do whatever you want to make it special to your family.

Merry Christmas!