Monday, February 25, 2013

Top 3 Pick-me-Ups 2/25/13


Why "pick-me-ups"? As a Mom, I find that I need a word of encouragement, a new way of looking at a problem, or a new idea to try every once in a while. I'm glad to share with you 3 of the websites or blog posts that have helped me in some way---I hope it will be a blessing for you, too!  
 Keep an eye out for these each Monday  :-)

1. Ever feel intimidated by "those other women" who can seemingly handle every thing perfectly, all the time? (We all feel that way sometimes!) This inspired me:

"But I didn’t start out “built for it”. Nobody does. Kids require things of us—selflessness, hard work, physical and mental endurance—that none of us is fully equipped to provide for them. There’s no special mommy gene that I’ve got. If I can do this, anybody can."

Read more at Get Along Home. Great reminder that we are all dealing with stuff and doing the best we reasonably can. 

2. How to Keep a Beautiful Home @ Nursery of the Nation

(hint: this post is a little different than you may think at first glance)

3. Hair caddy!

This little tip of mine came about because I like to be able to find hairbrushes, spray bottles, elastics, mini bobbie pins and other clippies, etc. when its time to fix my daughter's hair. This way it's all in one place and can go any where. It also comes in handy when on Sunday morning the boys' hair needs some work and we are about to go out the door to church....yes, often we only care about their hairstyles, or lack or, once a week ;-)

I am thinking of putting another one together so we have one for each level of the house.


IMAG4216.jpg



Enjoy your week!


 



Other Top 3 Pick-me-Ups in this series: 
3/11/13: Cub scouts
3/04/13: Relationships
2/25/13: Encouragement for Mom's & Hair Caddy
2/18/13: Emergency Preparedness
2/11/13: A little humor goes a long way
2/04/13: Valentine's Day
1/28/13: Astronomy for Kids
1/21/13: Motherhood isn't for Wimps & One in a Million kids
1/14/13: Human body for Kids
1/07/13: A New Year

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Homeschool Mom Interview


If you are like me and jump at the chance to learn from other mothers who homeschool or are in the middle of raising children, then you won't want to miss this nice little video interview at Gwen Tolliver's blog, Tollivers to Texas.

I love how she mentioned that if you help your children to develop a love for learning, you don't have to worry about teaching them everything because they'll be able to fill in their own gaps as they seek learning. That's what I am banking on! Her example of combining learning subjects with her children was also refreshing to hear about.



Monday, February 18, 2013

Top 3 Pick-me-Ups 2/18/13



Why "pick-me-ups"? As a Mom, I find that I need a word of encouragement, a new way of looking at a problem, or a new idea to try every once in a while. I'm glad to share with you 3 of the websites or blog posts that have helped me in some way---I hope it will be a blessing for you, too!  
 Keep an eye out for these each Monday  :-)


Preparedness: it's on my mind. Personally, I make an effort to maintain a supply of clean water and food my family likes for our short term needs because the leaders of the church that I belong to have counseled us to do this. I also have things prepared in the case of an emergency and some medicines and herbs for healing on hand.

Guess what? Anyone can do this! Be encouraged that with time, careful planning and budgeting, it is possible to build up reserves for a rainy day.


Having these things assembled and updated really puts my mind at ease. I know that if we had a loss of employment or other problems, some things we would be able to take care of for ourselves because we have taken time to collect them before the difficulty hits, at least until we could receive any other needed help. I really appreciate how the Relief Society in my ward (congregation) is offering classes on these topics this year. It's been a big help in expanding my knowledge as well as a good kick in the pants to restock and evaluate what needs improvement for my home storage.  :-)

1. Why do we prepare? Because, just like in the days of Joseph in Egypt and the years of plenty and the years of famine they experienced, calamities will happen to us, at some point, in some way. It just makes sense to prepare ourselves with a short term supply of the necessities of life and also prepare our minds and hearts to be strong during times of stress.

2. Okay, okay, yeah, yeah, but why do Mormons prepare? (Hint: not a doomsday thing)
 Go see more at Mormon Moms Who Blog
And the All About Preparedness blog Heidi Garvin maintains. Such a good resource!
The 100 Items to Disappear First in case of natural disaster is enlightening.

3. I've found that if I look at our family storage like an extended pantry, or like a small store that I can go walk in and get a jar of peanut butter if we run out in the kitchen (and just restock later), it makes a big difference in how my storage is used. I learned this from a dear sister-in-law :-)
It also helps if you learn how to make things with what you store!
Click to see recipes and meals we like to make here.

These are my all-time favorite homemade bread recipes below. (For the gluten tolerant among us)
Try them out, they are very easy and practically fail-proof.

The Food Nanny's Honey Wheat Bread
Crystal @ Everyday Food Storage Best Wheat Bread Ever !
(and she is the Queen of cooking from scratch videos)
Crystal is awesome. She puts together these step-by-step videos, so helpful.

4. One more, for kicks. Water is on the top of my list, as it is vital for hygiene and survival. Can you imagine what you would do if for some reason you were without water for your whole family for days?? I have been thinking about this. I usually store enough water for a few days in the case of emergency, but my family is growing and rotating this amount of water every 6 months is not easy with multiples containers of water. I found Sure Water Tanks online and it looks like a great solution. What do you think? If you organize a bulk order (10+), they offer free shipping to some states in the U.S.

Hope this inspires someone and maybe you'll even have a new recipe to try! 

Have a great week :-)

 

Other Top 3 Pick-me-Ups in this series: 
3/11/13: Cub scouts
3/04/13: Relationships
2/25/13: Encouragement for Mom's & Hair Caddy
2/18/13: Emergency Preparedness
2/11/13: A little humor goes a long way
2/04/13: Valentine's Day
1/28/13: Astronomy for Kids
1/21/13: Motherhood isn't for Wimps & One in a Million kids
1/14/13: Human body for Kids
1/07/13: A New Year

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Awesome? Think again!



A d e q u a t e  IS  A w e s o m e ! 

 {How's that for fancy-schmancy? That's my attempt at graphic design :-D }


When I told my Mother, who raised 8 kids, my new little motto, 

she added: 


Barely adequate but still functioning is also awesome!


I think mothers are pretty amazing people. 

Keep up the Good work, ladies, whatever stage of life you are in!



 

Friday, February 15, 2013

A few thoughts lately...

Just some things on my mind...

Boy, do we go through our fair share of toilet paper...and then some! With 2 adults and 4 potty trained children, that adds up to...I don't know how many rolls a week. A lot. I now have one of these fancy thing-a-ma-jigs in each bathroom and they are wonderful. (Less walking to the storage room to get more paper to put in the bathrooms.) Note to self...invite a child to help stock TP in the near future.

(photo credit)

Funny enough (and I wish I took a photo of this for 'proof'), I saw that the roll was empty on the holder-thingy, but there was a new roll of TP sitting on the back of the toilet, on top of the tank. Of course, my thought was, so, they can get a new roll out but actually putting it on the holder is just TOO much to ask. Sheesh!  :-D  (I don't get too worked up about these minor annoyances... at least we have access to clean water and TP) But it's still fun to whine a little every once in a while   ;-)


Okay, can I get an AMEN here?
Driving in a vehicle with 5 kids can be a very loud experience. You know its loud when the person in the seat next to you is shouting to be heard and you. just. can't. hear. them!! And you instruct everyone to BE QUIET (of course, I never yell), and then it's quiet for 1.5 seconds and as soon as that other person you are trying to listen to opens their mouth, BEHOLD, the backseat choir unleashes their hallelujah chorus of cacophony! Aaaaaaaahhhhhh!

My suggestion for automakers: add limo glass as an interior option in all vehicles that might be purchased by parents (you know, the special noise-proof kind that you can open and shut). I still have mirrors, so I can SEE that my sweet cherubs are safe. But SOMETIMES, I just don't want to hear it, if you know what I mean! (include free squeegee for cleaning off food splatters, just a thought)

Lastly, and this is just plain good news...
 I now have two sons who have been baptized as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints! Which is just wonderful. It also means I get to teach two young people how to fill out tithing slips and learn to pay their tithing each month. Very cool mom moment...and also another brand new thing I get to learn to do.

And now, dear readers, I must "away" to one of my dear children's special play places in the house, as I have been invited to a picpic ("picnic") and sleep over in the walk-in closet by my 3 year old. She likes to think her new "house" is a wicker laundry hamper underneath the "tree" of hanging clothing and the "sun" of a glowing lightbulb. Hope your day is just as fun and rewarding! (Yes, I am being sincere about this part :-)

Life is getting interesting over here!

 What's new with you lately??


 

Monday, February 11, 2013

Top 3 Pick-me-Ups 2/11/13


Why "pick-me-ups"?  I find that I need a word of encouragement, a new way of looking at a problem, or a new idea to try every once in a while. I'm glad to share with you 3 of the websites or blog posts that have helped me in some way---I hope it will be a blessing for you, too!  
 Keep an eye out for these each Monday  :-)


1. A little humor goes a long way: Catalog Living.
If you haven't checked that one out yet, you are missing out! Always good for a giggle.

2. Scriptures on the topic of Love within the family
For the little boost of spirit and peace :-)

3. In honor of Valentine's Day this week and my undying love of all things chocolate:
Yes, I'll take an entire room made out of chocolate, thank you very much!


 

Other Top 3 Pick-me-Ups in this series: 
3/11/13: Cub scouts
3/04/13: Relationships
2/25/13: Encouragement for Mom's & Hair Caddy
2/18/13: Emergency Preparedness
2/11/13: A little humor goes a long way
2/04/13: Valentine's Day
1/28/13: Astronomy for Kids
1/21/13: Motherhood isn't for Wimps & One in a Million kids
1/14/13: Human body for Kids
1/07/13: A New Year

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Dealing with Difficulty

This week, the great times we've had as a family and the many happy memories we've made have been on my mind. I also think about the challenges we've had in our family over the past 6 months.

Since the summer, we've moved about 1,000 miles away from our families to a new state, we added a new baby to our family of 6 just 4 short months prior to that move, our oldest son had some concerning health issues where he needed medical testing and we were very concerned for about 2 months (ended well with a diagnosis and medication that is helping him, what a blessing!), I broke my toe around Christmas and basically was unable to get around for 2 weeks, and my husband sprained his ankle right before that! I've had sadnesses to overcome that could be described: "in the quiet heart is hidden sorrow that the eye can’t see."

The list goes on: separations due to my dear husband's work trips, trying to get the house set up alone while caring for 5 children, illnesses that went through the whole family, getting the two oldest boys set up in their new cub scout troop, figuring out homeschooling in a new area, making new friends, etc, etc.



Whew! There really have been some trying times! Emotional roller coasters and late nights ensued. I know many people could claim harder trials (which helps me not feel sorry for myself! I don't have it so bad)....but it leads me to want to talk with others about life's journey of ups and downs and how to deal with them all.

I've been thinking about when life is not easy and when challenges come. How do I deal with them? How do you deal with them?

Give Said the Little Stream :-)

This sweet video cheered my heart today--and my little 9 month daughter was so happy and "talking" as she sat near the screen and watched the people singing. May your day be sweet!



Monday, February 4, 2013

Top 3 Pick-me-Ups 2/4/13


Why "pick-me-ups"? As a Mom, I find that I need a word of encouragement, a new way of looking at a problem, or a new idea to try every once in a while. I'm glad to share with you 3 of the websites or blog posts that have helped me in some way---I hope it will be a blessing for you, too!  
 Keep an eye out for these each Monday  :-)


Let's get ready for Valentine's Day!

{photo credit}

1.  I love receiving the ideas from Little Blots lapbooks in my email box. Here are some ideas to help any little ones enjoy creating and playing and learning through a Love themed lapbook.  This video from Valerie at Lapbook Lessons shows how the lapbook is arranged. Some ideas here, here, and here for games and coloring items to put into the lapbook.

2.  Here are a few more Valentine's Day crafts from DTLK-Kids. I printed off some angry bird and hearts and flowers ones for the family to color during our family home evening.

3. These treats from Spoonful for the holiday look so yummy. I've made the red jello hearts before and the kids really liked it (it was easy!).

This year, I noticed at a local discount grocery they had some good prices on a variety of bulk sweets. (Actually, while shopping, my boys ran over to the aisle and then flagged me down! haha) My oldest boys helped pick out a few different chocolates, gummies and gumdrops in pink and red colors when we went shopping. They are going to help me put them in homemade decorated "mailboxes" (empty tissue boxes) on February 14th for a fun surprise for the rest of the family!

What are some of the fun ways you like to enjoy this holiday?


 


Other Top 3 Pick-me-Ups in this series: 
3/11/13: Cub scouts
3/04/13: Relationships
2/25/13: Encouragement for Mom's & Hair Caddy
2/18/13: Emergency Preparedness
2/11/13: A little humor goes a long way
2/04/13: Valentine's Day
1/28/13: Astronomy for Kids
1/21/13: Motherhood isn't for Wimps & One in a Million kids
1/14/13: Human body for Kids
1/07/13: A New Year