Thursday, April 28, 2011

Nothing to Wear

I finally finished the big switch over to the kids' summer clothes.  Even after I simplified how I organized it, it is still a big project!  We just have too many clothes!

When I was packing up our stuff for the big move here, I emptied the closets and dressers except for 3 complete outfits each and a pair of pajamas.  I kept these folded in a laundry hamper and we lived with just that for about 2 weeks.

We had a set of clothes to wear, one to wash, and one just in case. (I think I did have a couple extra for the baby because, you know...babies are cute, but messy.)

I only did one load of laundry a day and finding something to wear was much less stressful in the morning.  Yes, we got a little sick of wearing the same things all the time, but it really made me think, how much clothes do we really need?

I would much rather that we had a few things that fit well and we love to wear, than a closet full of "nothing to wear".  Less clothes to wash, less to let pile up, and less to try and shove into a drawer.

What is it about clothes that we hold onto them like a security blanket?

I know that women's bodies go through a lot of changes.  I've had 5 babies in 7 years.  I've gained and lost in total more than I weigh now.  I have boxes of "someday it will fit again" clothes...but really, they probably won't...and that's ok.  But, keeping them because I'm scared to let go, is not.

"And why do you worry about clothes?  See how the lilies of the field grow.  They do not labor or spin.  Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.  If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?
...but seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well."  ~Matthew 6:28-33

When we can let go, we can bless someone else...and God has never left me lacking.
So many times just as I have given something away, God brings into my life the very thing I really needed.

So this week as the kids start wearing their "new to them" clothes, I am going to pick out their favorites and pass on the rest.  Lightening our closets will make my life easier and may just bring blessings to someone else.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Resurrection Eggs

This week as we are preparing for Easter, I am trying to keep the children's focus on Jesus.  Every morning we start our day going through our Resurrection Eggs.

I have seen them sold in Christian book stores, catalogs and even Walmart, but I made this set out of things I had around the house and a few supplies picked up at the craft store.



Resurrection Eggs are a set of plastic eggs with little items in each one to represent a part of the Easter story.  We crack open each egg and read and discuss the corresponding Bible verses.  There are a few different versions out there, but if you are making your own, you can choose what parts of the story are most important to your family.




This is what we use:
I numbered the eggs 1-12 and store them in an egg carton with the verses listed inside.

#1. Palm Branches (Matt. 21:1-9)
I found these little wooded ones at the craft store for a few cents each.

#2. 30 Pieces of Silver (Matt. 26:14-16)
We used 3 dimes.

#3. The Lord's Supper (Matt. 26:17-19, 26-28)
I painted the wooded pieces to look like bread and a cup of wine.

#4.  Rooster, Peter's Denial (Matt. 26:33-35)

#5. Tree, Garden of Gethsemane  (Mark 14:32-46)

#6.   Leather Whip (Mark 15:1-15)

#7.  Crown of Thorns  (Matt. 27:28-31)
I made this out of a vine and some wire.

#8.  Cross  (John 19:16-22)

#9.  Casting Lots for Jesus' Robe (John 19:23-24)
I used a small piece of purple felt for his robe.  I had a pair of dice in there, but I don't know where they went to.  Now we are using these little playing card buttons.

#10.  Linen Cloth for Jesus' Burial (Matt. 27:57-60)

#11.  A Stone Was Placed in Front of the Tomb  (Matt. 28:1-4)

#12. Empty!  He Has Risen!!! (Matt. 28:5-10)


HAPPY EASTER!!!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

I went grocery shopping last night...

And like most times, I forgot my reusable shopping bags...and after my groceries were put away, I was left with a crumpled pile of plastic bags.

I reuse these all the time.  They line my bathroom trashcans, I keep a few in my car for trash or messy baby outfits.  And I always have one full of stuff to return or hand me downs to pass on.

These bags are really handy...but they are ugly!  I never knew how to store them.

Then today, I found yet another use for an empty baby wipes containerA pop-up bag dispenser!

I shoved a plastic bag in through the top of the container, leaving the handles sticking out. 



Then take another bag, hold it buy the handles and straighten it out.  Loop the bottom of the bag through the handles of the first one and shove it all in the box.



 Repeat until it is full (you can fit a lot!)

And that's it!  When you pull one out, another will pop out of the top.  I keep this box by my changing table.  I don't use a stinky diaper pail.  Just toss the mess in the bag, tie it up and throw it in the outside trash can.

This would also work well under a bathroom sink since it condenses the bags so neatly.

Genius, right? :)

Monday, April 11, 2011

"When I grow up I want to be a farmer."

I remember as a little girl declaring this because I wanted to wear overalls every day. 

As we were making plans to live here, we always dreamed of having a little hobby farm.  But, it took 7 years to build this house and the "Someday...." seemed like it would never come to be.  It's easy to make grand plans when the end is no where in sight.  But as we have settled in, and the weather is warming up, we have started preparing.

I started a compost pile.  In theory, you just dump in your kitchen scraps, cover it with dry leaves, let it rot, and are blessed with rich nutrition for your garden.  Only time will tell how this experiment will work out.

Then I received an email from a friend: "The chicks are hatching!"

I found myself walking the aisles of the farm supply store.  As I exchanged polite smiles with the other customers, I wondered if they knew I didn't belong.  Could they see through this suburban-girl-turned-farmer-wannabe?  I have no idea what I am doing, but I am determined to learn.

Yesterday the chicks arrived.

Ten, 3 week old little balls of fluff with a few new feathers poking through.  Cutest.things.ever.

This morning as I sat with my coffee, I could hear a sweet chirping coming from my laundry room.  Something in my soul just felt like home.  This is our life now and it just feels right.

So...I forgot that I'm allergic to feathers...but that's ok.  I can live with the itchy eyes and stuffy nose in exchange for the freshest eggs, and there is nothing cuter than chubby, little toddler hands trying to hold a baby chick.

I know it's just the beginning but I feel like our lives are forever changed.  I wouldn't trade this simple life for anything.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Learning to Rest

We just survived the mother of all stomach bugs...
It was a week long event, but I will spare you the details!  Fortunately, it only affected half the family.  Unfortunately, it was the 3 little destructive ones who were full of energy.
I have never been so wiped out in all my life.  

When the stomach flu runs through your house, you learn to just let some things go.  There are emergency messes to clean and a laundry mountain to conquer...and everything else just has to wait. 

At the moment I was not loving the illness...but now that I am on the mend, I can see a little blessing in it all.

I learned to rest.

There was one day when I was too weak to do anything, and I found myself just curled up on the couch with the two sick kids.  We finished reading On the Banks of Plum Creek.  We talked.  We whined.  We laughed.  And we were just family.  No agenda, no homeschool lessons, no chores...I was forced to sit still and in that I truly enjoyed my kids.

It's sad for me to admit that I am home with my kids 24/7 and yet this doesn't happen that often.  I am so busy parenting that sometimes I forget to be the parent.

How much have I missed because I was so concerned with having a clean house or making sure my to-do list was all checked off.

Yesterday, I was in the kitchen and my 9 month old crawled in after me.  She sat up and gave me the biggest smile and the most joyful squeal.  As I stared into her bright eyes and that 3 toothed smile, my heart just melted.  My mind flashed to the day when she would be grown...and gone. 

These busy days seem endless...but they will be gone too soon.  I already see it happening with my older ones.  How did it go by so fast?  I don't want to miss these moments.  Nothing in life is more important than cuddling my babies, hugging my children and thanking God for the time we have. 

And with that, I swooped her up and couldn't let go.  I just held her and kissed those chubby little cheeks.  I want my children to remember these moments.  The times when I choose to stop what I am doing just to give them my full attention.  I want them to feel how important they are.  I want them to know they are loved so deeply.
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