Tag Archives: Parenting

You’re Invited To Join Our New Tribe!

Cover Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

**This post may contain affiliate links which help to support our blog and our family.

Hey y’all! I am excited to announce that we’ve just created our very own Tribe on Tailwinds. What is a Tribe? Well, it is a new Pinterest tool that allows people like you and me to meet others with similar interests. We can use this tool to share our experiences and grow our blogs/businesses.

‘Tribes is Free for anyone to get started, even if they aren’t using Tailwind already!’

I’m so excited to start our Kirby’s Kids Homeschool Tribe and would like other homeschoolers to join us as we help each other on this journey. I know I don’t have a lot of homeschool support close to me and I am always looking for ideas and solutions to problems we encounter. If I am looking for these things I know others are too and I just wanted to make a place where everyone is welcome to post ideas, tricks, and tips to that they have found which may help others.

As a member you can share up to 3 posts per day with the request that you will repin/reshare 3 posts (or more) from other members. Feel free to share anything related to homeschool, parenting, or anything else that might help a busy mom keep it all together. I look forward to seeing all the great tips and advice as well as watching each member help another to grow and learn on our journey.

If you join our Tribe right now you can get a very special surprise when you join with this invitation link right here.

Continue reading You’re Invited To Join Our New Tribe!

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Preventing The Back To HomeSchool Meal Planning Madness

**This post does contain some affiliate links which could possibly earn me a small commission if a purchase was made through them. These links help to support our blog and our family.

Hmmm… have you thought about what you’ll be feeding those hungry learners? If your kids were in public school you may not have had to think much about it before. If you plan to homeschool then you will be feeding them at least three meals a day and maybe a few snacks in between.

This can turn into a chaotic juggling act if you aren’t prepared. How do we prevent meal time chaos in our home? By meal planning. I even plan out snacks sometimes so I don’t forget to include them on my grocery list. Check out this link for some Healthy Snacks to Go.

10 snacks your kids can make star (1)

It might seem like a lot of trouble but when you find a system that works for then it is so easy. It will actually save you time and money in the long run. This is also a helpful thing even if you don’t homeschool.

Check out this post for some quick and easy breakfast ideas to help you beat that morning chaos and fill those tummies with a nutritious breakfast to start their day off right. Here is another link for even more ideas: The Healthy Breakfast Book. Continue reading Preventing The Back To HomeSchool Meal Planning Madness

13 Fun First Day Back To HomeSchool Ideas

**This post does contain some affiliate links which could possibly earn me a small commission if a purchase was made through them. These links help to support our blog and our family.

I can remember how excited I always was on my first day back to school. I loved school as a kid and I was always so eager to learn. My best memories were of the teachers who let us play games or gave us special treats on that first day. Maybe they were just trying to bribe us but it was something I remember.

As a homeschooling Momma I can find ways to bring that excitement into our homeschool. I try to keep things fun and interesting and sometimes do something a little crazy. Check out my new Pinterest board, Homeschool: First Day Activities. Continue reading 13 Fun First Day Back To HomeSchool Ideas

Have You Bought Your School Supplies Yet?

**This post does contain some affiliate links which could possibly earn me a small commission if a purchase was made through them. These links help to support our blog and our family.

We’ve bought the majority of our school supplies for the upcoming year. I know from experience that this is something best done sooner rather than waiting to the last minute.

Not sure what to buy? Check out my post here with our Free Printable Back to school list. I’ll try to start planning for our next year’s school choices about midyear. This gives me plenty of time to research and make lists for supplies that we’ll need.

Not homeschooling? Check with your child’s school and/or teacher for supply list. Many times the local Walmart will have a handy checklist available when you walk in. Continue reading Have You Bought Your School Supplies Yet?

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!

 

 

 

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.