A Spoonful of Sugar

Making every day life as a mom just a little bit sweeter.

Scooby Snack~Tip of the Day~Tidbit of Money Saving 411… May 26, 2010


I actually had a few minutes hours this morning to catch up on some of my blog reading and came across this post from

Balancing Beauty and Bedlam. (Yes that means I’m 99.9% done packing and I got up at the crack of dawn!)

Anyway, It’s great ‘how-to’ 411 about Drug Store shopping and savings.

I know, I know…who has time for that? Well, honey, time is money!

I’m willing to invest some time if I know I can save some sweet moolah!

It’s like anything else, once you know how it works, it ain’t nothin’ but a thang to put it into action!

I signed up for Rite Aid’s Wellness + card today online and got a $5 off $25 coupon, plus more coupons sent to me via e-mail.

It literally took me four minutes.

Click the link below if you want in:

Click on the link below for the ‘rest of the money-saving story’!

Advertisement
 

May Moving Madness~No Time For Tired May 23, 2010


Last night, as I packed up box #100, I started feeling extremely sleepy. It was only 10:30, but felt like 2 a.m. My head was hurting, and then I realized it’s because I still had my sunglasses on top of my head from hours earlier. Nice. Staying up every night packing, organizing, finishing school with the girls, making phone calls closing up shop here, and opening up shop there, etc…etc…while still trying to get in some down time has taken up most of my days lately. It’s hard to stay motivated, especially when ‘home’ no longer feels like ‘home’ because it is inundated with boxes and smells like packing tape instead of my favorite candle.

Waaa!

I was losing motivation.

Wanting to take a break…okay, more like a ‘spring’ break.

I was about to quit when it hit me and I just knew…

it is time

Time to take out the big guns.

To unleash the beast.

Time to bust out the one thing that keeps me motivated every time I look in the mirror…

*********************************************************

********************************************************

That’s right, baby…it’s Old Faithful

my Wonder Woman shirt!!!

It’s faded, bleach-stained, the bottom in unraveling and I just don’t care.

No matter how tired I am, when I put on ‘the shirt’, I have a rep to protect.

An image to uphold!

I can’t, and won’t let my girl down!!

Let’s do this thing.


***********************************************************

(My bloggy friend Heidi over at wonderwomanwannabe.com would be proud!)

This post was appropriately linked to:



 

May Moving Madness~Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy! May 12, 2010


You remember that, don’t you?  C’mon….admit it!  Whether you were a fan or not, everyone remembers the Wren and Stimpy Happy Happy Joy Joy song!  I hear you!!!  You’re singing it now, aren’t you?  Hee hee!  Well, I was never a huge fan, but I certainly remember that song.  That was it!  The WHOLE song!  Just Happy Happy, Joy Joy!  Simple, huh?  Here is a list of my simple Happy Happy Joy Joy thoughts:

Happy – Having a God who knows and loves me enough to put up with me..forever.

If I thought it would help, I’d pray for Him.

Happy – Having a husband who has loved me enough over the past 14 years to really find out what makes me smile, and doing it…with a smile.

Joy – Watching my three daughters laugh and joke around like the best of friends…

even after a full day of home-schooling together, doing chores, packing boxes, and going to the dentist.

Joy – Knowing that no matter what, we can live with the glass full, not just half-full.  That’s something to celebrate…that’s living a life of total happiness…total Grace.

 

This is the particular glass that I have full this morning.

Well, paper cup, anyway…

Life is good…life is happy. 

What’s your Happy Happy Joy Joy this morning?

This post is part of the Five for Ten blog carnival at:

and

Wordless Wednesday with:

seniledomentia.com,

Five Minutes For Mom.com

Baby Making Machine.com

and Wordful Wednesday with:

 

 

Me!? The Die-Hard SAHM!? No Way! April 30, 2010

Filed under: SAHM Alert!,The Happy Wives Club — Janine Chance @ 4:00 am

HI THERE PEEPS!

Long time no talk, or read, I should say!

Since I started my blog at the end of January, I have posted at least once a day.

This week I blogged Monday morning, thinking I was going to be able to blog Monday night for Tuesday, and so on and so forth.

No problem, right?

Not so much. “Ugh,”

({said my task-oriented mind})

Anyway… here’s my story, not to be mistaken for a short one:

We all have our strengths and weaknesses.

My weaknesses are….well…let’s just save that for another day… or week, ok…month…Oh, never mind!

I would be arthritic by the time I finished that post!

({obnoxiously blowing the hair out of my eyes here})

One of my strengths, however, is organization…you know, how to make life easier, more convenient… and definitely more enjoyable.

So I thought, how can I turn this into a career of some sort?

Something to supplement our income? Hmmm…My girls are getting bigger… I have a little more freedom with my time…

Then one day a friend came over and went to put something away in my Tupperware cabinet.

She opened it and said, “This is sick! Look how organized you are!

I wish someone would come to my house and show me how to get this organized!”

Ding, Ding, Ding! Oh yeah! The light went on! This was the A-HA moment for me!

THAT I could do…and would LOVE to do…so the wheels began to turn…

You see, I have an absolute passion for the moms of this world. Working moms, SAH moms, single moms, whatever! I love walking through Wal-Mart and seeing that new mommy with a screaming baby. You know, the one whose hair is haphazardly thrown into a bun, juggling the can of powdered formula, frantically trying to make a bottle and keep her newborns screams at bay with a pacifier while using her knee to push the stroller back and forth like a mad woman?

You’ve all seen her. If you were being completely honest,

you’d say that you WERE that woman at some point in time,in some similar scenario!

I know I was!

Yeah, yeah, I’m getting to the WHY part…I certainly don’t enjoy it because

‘I’m glad I wasn’t the only one’, or because ‘I’m just a big ole meanie who delights in watching other moms struggle.’

And it’s certainly not because ‘I am just so wonderful and think that I’m perfect and have it all together.’

Not even remotely.

It’s because I love being able (especially now that my girls are older) to offer my services to make the bottle for that frantic mom, while she picks up the now-purple screaming newborn baby. Hopefully, I’ll lighten her load, even if it’s for just a brief moment.

Or being able to run a shopping cart over to the mom who is picking up the contents of her purse from the middle of the parking lot, which spilled because she had to bend over to pick up a dropped toy while juggling twin toddlers on her hips!

Or how about even just being an ear to the new mommy who is exhausted, and standing in line just dying to brag, yet once again, about her two month old who turned over sixteen times yesterday, which makes every lost hour of sleep worth it.

Let’s face it Moms…WE NEED EACH OTHER!

No, I’m not a saint, but I do believe it was God Himself who put this passion, and compassion in my heart. But my passion goes way beyond the walls of Wal-Mart. How can I help moms to cope with the day-in, day-out life of being a Mom? How can I help these weary women love their jobs, and make their home environment one that they are at peace with? How do I market myself like that? What is that even called?!

I know there’s definitely a need for it!

Yeah, I hear ya’…blogging is definitely one of those ways. I know I have absolutely loved the awesome relationships and encouragement I have experienced since joining with other cyber-mommies.

However, I am a people person. As much as I love this,

I want to be able to hand a tissue over, or make a real cup of coffee…not just offer a coupon…ya’ know?!

But how?!

I know, you’re probably thinking to yourself, ‘Get with it, woman! People have been doing jobs just like that for like, forever!’

Well, I have never claimed to be ‘with it’ when it comes to the business world and where it has been for the last 12 years. My ‘business’ has been wrapped around diapers, sippee cups, spelling tests, play dates, potty chairs, time-out benches, kissing boo-boo’s, barbies down the toilet, bath time, soccer schedules, dance recitals, now turned stay-up-until-she-gets-home-from-youth-group junkie, etc…etc…etc….oh, of course not excluding my role as pastor’s wife, family secretary, home economics teacher, beautician, gardener, and honorary Geek Squad wannabe!!*

I’M JUST A STAY-AT-HOME-MOM FOR PETE’S SAKE**!!!

*breath taken here*

*hair flicked out of face here*

**Disclaimer – NO – I do not know who Pete is and I’m not sorry he got dragged into all of this.

Look, I certainly don’t claim to know it all, or to be the best at any of it.

What I do know, is that if your home is not put together so that you can function,

any amount of stress beyond that can, and most likely, will put you over the edge.

So, that friend who wanted her cabinets organized?

She called me and asked me if she could be my very first client!

It couldn’t have been more perfect! I know her family really well, and it would be a great test run. I knew I could help her, and that I could gain experience about the business end of it. So, I said yes. I packed up the kids, the schoolbooks, and went.

(It does help that we’re at the end of our school year and in ‘finish up’ mode!)

Well, after working a near 45 hours in a three-day period of time putting together a home office (they run a business out of their home), re-organizing their kitchen, and re-vamping every inch of the basic living space in the home, I was exhausted, but elated.

Don’t get me wrong…it was the biggest organization job I’ve ever done on any home including my own, but the look on her face when she walked in after I was completely finished, filled my tank of satisfaction to overflowing. There was finally a place for everything…a place that made sense.

I think I even saw her breathe and smile at the same time!

Now, I do have to say, I definitely worked the first day for the pay, but the other two days were personal. I love her and her family, and wanted to go above and beyond for them, so the first day, I was an employee. The other two, I was just a friend. I love being my own boss!

This was it! I really can do this…and LOVE it! You know, the whole “The perfect job* is the one where you come home after a full days work and feel like you didn’t work a minute?” Well, it’s true!

* Disclaimer – No job will ever provide the satisfaction, or joy we experience as a mom.

Working moms, SAH Moms, Single Moms, and the like. Never!

Okay, having said that, let me correct myself. The perfect ‘paid’ job is the one where you come home after a full days work and feel like you didn’t work a minute, but you have a bona fide paycheck in hand that proves that you did!

So my friends, this is the excuse for my silence this week. I hope I haven’t bored you to tears…but if you’re still reading, you either enjoyed it, you’re just really patient…or you’re just a really faithful friend! In any case, thanks.

I took some before and after pics…not a bunch, and they were with my cell phone, but you’ll get the idea.

We’ll see what happens from here. What I do know, is that I’m very sleepy, but I’ll definitely fall asleep with a smile on my face because I made a difference this week…and for that, I am way thankful. That just makes me happy.

*Smile*

These pictures were taken as an afterthought…use your imagination…and give your imagination about 45 hours to kick in…

Before

Before the home office was an office...

After…

Office bliss...

Could this really be the answer to staying home with your kids AND getting monthly pedicures?

This post was linked to:

 

The School Monkey’s Ride is Comin’ to an End! April 15, 2010


Kaitlyn bustin' out the Daily Grams!

One of the beautiful things about home-schooling is that we can operate a lot like Burger King. For the most part, you can ‘Have it your way’. Some families school all year, some don’t. Some un-school. You can home-school on a shoestring budget if you have to (in which I’ve been blessed with plenty of experience), or you can go for it and get all of the really cool stuff that’s out there (which I’ve also been blessed with). How you go about it is based mostly on your personality type, I think, anyway.

Me? I’m the home-schooler who likes to finish each book to the end. I know, some of you are thinking…’what a psycho!’…or that maybe I just suffer with OCD. Neither of those thoughts are completely accurate. I just think if you can finish, why not? I mean, we do pay for the books, right? We are on our own schedule, right? We do still pay taxes even though our kids don’t attend public school, RIGHT? So why would we leave the last 7 pages of knowledge building, personally chosen, educational nuggets of wisdom BLANK if we don’t have to?!?! *Breath taken here*

Disclaimer: NO, I’m not saying if you leave pages blank you’re a terrible home-schooler. I, myself, have done it. I can let go, when necessary.

On average, our school year usually starts in mid to late August and goes through until the end of May/beginning of June. We continue through the summer with a light math and reading schedule, just so our brains don’t go to mush. I take advantage of rainy days where the beach isn’t really an option and we’re needing a break from the sun anyway.

We do fun projects and student chosen book studies just to stay in the ‘learning groove’. This is a time where

Madelyn carefully reading her instructions for Language Arts!

the only ‘required reading’ is what they choose to read!

We will be officially moved on June 5th, so I scoured all of the girls’ books last week to see where we were at in each subject, and when we would be done. All three of the girls will be completely finished with all curriculum by May 21st! Yay us! They are finishing different subjects at various times over the next month, but after May 21st, I get to put the ‘monkey’ in it’s cage! That will give us a week to finish packing without having to feed the primate! Oh, I can just smell it! (I’m so glad it’s a virtual monkey cage)

McKenna taking one of her last practice Spelling tests for the year!

I know, I know, you’re never ‘behind’ when you’re home-schooling, but for me, knowing I can pack away the 2009/2010 school books, send in my final report cards to the state, and move without that ‘school monkey’ on my back is an amazing feeling! We can take the time we need to unpack, set up at our new house, (which by the way, we found out JUST YESTERDAY that we secured…YIPEEE!) and start our summer stuff when we’re rested and ready! We can take our reading poolside!

I am SO thankful to be a home-schooling mama!

What are your questions about home-schooling? I’m not perfect, but I may be able to help!

Leave your question in the comment section. I’d love to share what I know with you!

This post is linked to :

and  Gratituesday

 

‘Us’ – Part One – Lions, Beavers and Otters, OH MY! April 12, 2010

Filed under: Juicy Little Mommy Tidbits,The Happy Wives Club — Janine Chance @ 8:17 am

No, I’m not blogging about the Wizard of Oz, and yes, I meant to say Lions, Beavers, and Otters. Oh, and let’s not forget Golden Retrievers. I’m talking about my family. Yes, you heard me right. My family is being referred to as animals. No, I’m not a verbally abusive wife and mother. Let me explain, if you don’t already catch my drift. This week, I’m taking you back. How ‘we’ became ‘us’. I think it’s important to share with you, and it’s just good stuff. I hope you get something out of it. Here’s the story…

When my husband and I were married one whole week, we attended a marriage seminar. It was a wedding gift to one another. It wouldn’t be fair to share this story without giving you the funniest part of the weekend… well, it’s funny now, anyway. We started out, week-old newlyweds, in a huge fight. Yup, leave it to us to attend a marriage seminar barely speaking to one another. Here’s a brief history…my husband and I met in December 1995, were engaged by March 1996 and were married October 1996. Needless to say, we had a lot of fighting to get in early on so we could move on to the ‘happily ever after’ part. We were very much in love, knew that God had brought us together, knew we were both called into the ministry, and that we wanted a family. So, things moved very quickly for us in the beginning. Ok, who am I kidding, we haven’t stopped since!

Ok, back to the juicy part. We’re in this huge fight, I was sitting in the hotel room, arms crossed and with a lovely scowl on my face, I announced to my husband, “I am not going.” Completely unmoved by my attitude, he continued to get ready and calmly said, “You have to go, it’s a marriage seminar, and we already paid for it.” Boy, he knew just how to get me! He knew there was no way I was going to pay for something and not get something out of it. “Fine,” I said. Nice, Janine. I look back on myself sometimes and cringe! What a brat I was at times!

So, we go. Did I mention that it was a Gary Smalley seminar? Right away, he starts making us laugh. He’s funny, charming, witty, and tells these hysterical stories about his marriage. My scowl quickly turned to a smile, then to a laugh, and I could swear I actually grabbed my husband’s hand. See, I wasn’t all that bad! I had no idea that I was in for a major eye-opening, ‘A-Ha’ experience that would rock my world.

Gary Smalley began to discuss personality types. He used four animals to describe them, a Lion, a Beaver, an Otter, and a Golden Retriever. Here’s a brief description of each category:

Lion – (Choleric) Strengths are: Great leaders, good at delegating. Visionary, practical, productive and independent.

Weaknesses are: Domineering, cold, stubborn, self-sufficient, and sometimes cruel.

Otter – (Sanguine) Strengths are: Fun loving, life of the party. Spontaneous and outgoing. Warm and friendly. Talkative.

Weaknesses are: undisciplined, unproductive, lazy, forgetful, has a tendency to exaggerate.

Beaver – (Melancholy) Strengths are: Self-disciplined, organized, efficient, industrious, willing to sacrifice.

Weaknesses are: negative, moody, unsociable, easily stressed, critical.

Golden Retriever – (Phlegmatic) Strengths are: Faithful, calm, easy-going, dependable, objective, kind.

Weaknesses are: Have a tendency to be worriers, procrastinators, easily taken advantage of, unmotivated, indecisive.

He had us take a personality test to see what categories we all fell into. The highest you could score in any one category was 40. I scored a 39 in the Lion category, and my husband scored a 38 in the Golden Retriever category. Wow. My next highest score was in Beaver, then some Otter, and the lowest score was in Golden Retriever. Then he had us group together with other couples to discuss our findings. For the first time in my life, I was speechless. 39? Lion?! I knew that I was a take charge kind of person. I always viewed it as a good thing. Hard-working, diligent…it always served me well. So I thought…until that day.

When it came to my turn to talk about what I learned about myself, and my husband, all I could say is, “Well, today I learned that I could devour my husband in one bite.” They all just sat there and looked at me, with smiles on uncertainty on their faces. Well, I was supposed to be honest, right? At that very moment, I learned just how unbalanced I was, and how it was not only affecting my life, but my marriage. Sure, being a go-getter was great and all, as long as you didn’t have your husband for lunch while you were doing it. It always bothered me that my husband wasn’t more of a leader, well, duh! I didn’t give him much room in that category, now did I? How could I expect him to take the reins when I was holding onto them so tight my knuckles were white?

From that day on, I promised God, myself and my husband that my new goal in life was balance. I began to search inside myself for the Otter, the Beaver, and most of all, the Golden Retriever. I had the Lion thing down, but learning to utilize the strengths of that part of my personality, without operating in the weaknesses was going to be the challenge. I had to learn to let go of things. Stop being so critical of my husband when he didn’t do things the way I thought they should be done. Being patient enough to allow him time to think through things I wanted an immediate answer on. It was amazing to watch the transformation of our relationship. The more I let go, the more Lion he became. Did I learn it all in one weekend? No way. Did my marriage immediately become a Fairy Tale? Not quite. But it certainly was the beginning of the shaping and molding process that God desired for my life.

Slowly but surely, I began to see the benefit of balance. The first five years of our marriage were good, but definitely the hardest years of all. Do I have regrets about some of my behavior? Heck yes I do. But, I wouldn’t trade those years for anything. It was like character boot camp. My personality was just fine, it was my character that needed molding. I will forever be thankful for that Gary Smalley seminar, for the opportunity to begin a life of balance, and to myself, for being willing to change. It changed my daily thought process, how I handle my marriage, and the kind of mom I became.

I encourage you today to look at yourself. I mean REALLY look at yourself. Do our spouses have faults? Sure. But that’s not our concern. We’re only responsible for ourselves. How balanced are you? Yes, we will always have one category that is most natural for us to operate in. That’s our personality. That’s who God made us to be. But character is a whole different ball game. Character can be shaped, changed, and improved. It should be our personality’s best friend and closest confidant. Our character is what allows our personality to shine.

This post was originally going to be about my girls. About their personalities and who they are as people, and how my husband and I are striving to raise them accordingly, but I couldn’t do that without giving you the 411. The only reason I am able to teach my girls about balance of character is because God allowed me the incredible opportunity of learning it myself. I certainly have not ‘arrived’, but I am so glad I started the journey!

Take the Gary Smalley personality test free by clicking here. Print it off, take the test, and get the instructions and interpretation here. What personality type are you? The results may surprise you!

Stay tuned tomorrow for ‘Us’ Part two!

This post was linked to:

 

It’s official! Now, for my Top 5 Moving Tips! March 25, 2010

Filed under: Juicy Little Mommy Tidbits,Movin' on up!,The Happy Wives Club — Janine Chance @ 4:00 am

We’re moving.

There, I said it. My husband and I have always prayed together, and separately about every decision we have ever made, and God has been good to us. He has always confirmed every decision first with one another, and with people we know, love, and trust, and have our best interest in mind. So, we’re going. Because God said so. I’ll talk more about the ‘why’ and details of our upcoming adventure in future posts!

Only 297 more to go...or something like that.

We have moved around quite a bit being that my husband is a pastor. My oldest daughter is 12, and this is her 10th home! Yikes, I know. However, this next move will be into a rental, which won’t be permanent, but the location will be. We’re done. Ready to settle in, and ready for my girls to be able to say that this is where they grew up.

Moving on….literally. I have some really great moving tips and ideas to ‘lighten the load’ so to speak, pun intended.

Tip #1. Don’t pack your coffee pot, unless you don’t drink coffee. My beautiful, source of wonderful caffeinated beverages goes right on the front seat of the car and carefully strapped in. (You wouldn’t want to stop short and hurt it) As soon as I get to our new destination, it comes out of the car with me and is given its rightful place on the kitchen counter, where it is ready for service…ahhhhhh! (Those wonderful caffeinated beverages aid in the unpacking process, you know!)

Tip #2. A detailed packing list is a must! I have used one on every move we made after our first. It keeps you organized, and sane. It’s simple, but informative. When you are surrounded by boxes in your new location and get a wild hair and decide to make your kids waffles because the thought of cold cereal for breakfast again just makes you cringe, you can look for box #8, because your detailed packing list said that that’s where your waffle maker is! I won’t move without it.

The packing list...and so it begins....

Tip #3. When packing home decor, I have decided for this move to photograph the contents of each box (of decorative items) and make a separate file of pictures with box #’s on them. I know, you’re thinking ‘That’s an awful lot of work!’…trust me. After moving 10 times in 13 years there is a method to my madness. When you are getting ready to put up pictures and decorate your new home, you aren’t going to do it all in one day. You’re going to want to pick and choose rooms/areas to decorate, and knowing exactly where each piece of decor is really helps. It’s worth the extra step.

Tip #4. Designate an area in each of the rooms in your home for the boxes you pack. If you have a garage, bonus. If not, make a plan. If you start packing and have boxes EVERYWHERE it can get overwhelming and frustrating. Even if you are not an organized person by nature, make this an exception.

Tip #5. Let your kids help. Let them be a part of the whole process. There is always something they can do, age appropriate, of course. It’s important for them to see everything go into the boxes, and then come out again when you make the move into the new house. Also, when they are looking for that ‘one Barbie you packed because you didn’t think she’d miss it’, you can remind them which box they put it in, and they can unpack that box as soon as it gets to their new room. Keeping them in the loop will keep them more at peace, at least it always has for our girls.

So, there it is. My top 5 tips. Hope they helped, if you’re moving, or ever intend on moving again. After this next adventure, I hope I never have to use these tips again! Whew!

 

Home Alone March 19, 2010


Well, I actually had a full 24 hours by myself yesterday without my kids. *Ahem* …let me try that again.

I ACTUALLY HAD A FULL 24 HOURS BY MYSELF YESTERDAY WITHOUT MY KIDS!!!!!

There…that’s better. What did it take to get 24 to myself?

It took my yearly (even though I haven’t been in 7 years) women’s doctor appointment.

Yippy Skippy.

Yup, I had to do it. It was just time. Way overdue, but now it’s over. Yay me. So, because my doctor is an hour and a half away from my house and my hubby’s fam lives in the same town, I had dinner with an amazing friend, went to church with her and spent the night at a friend-of-the-family’s vacation home…all by myself. Very strange. Very quiet.

I enjoyed the evening I had all to myself, besides texting my 12-yr.-old and keeping up with what was going on at home through her. (We weren’t going to get her a phone until she was 13, but I got tired of relying on everyone else’s cell phone every time I wanted to get up with her when she wasn’t with me… getting her the phone was really a gift for me! = ) Sneaky Mommy!)

I got up this morning, in my silent surroundings, went to breakfast with my sis-in-law, did a little grocery shopping and drove home. I came home to a quiet, empty house, which was good because it allowed me to put all of my groceries away and clean out the fridge, pantry, etc…you know the routine.

Within a moment, my day went from ridiculously quiet and calm, to feeling like I had just walked into the best party in town. They crashed through the front door laughing and playing around so hard that they immediately started sprinting for the bathrooms. It was then that I remembered what they had been doing with Dad all day…painting the new shed behind the church. (It makes me laugh now thinking about it because he literally dropped the girls off at home, and took off again like a shot to go finish some work without saying a word…I guess he was ready for his quiet time! Hee hee!)

The girls after a day painting with Dad!

They were covered! This picture doesn’t do it justice, but it gives you an idea. They had so much white paint in their hair it looked like they were ready for a hamburger and a cup of coffee at McDonalds…if you catch my drift!

They had a blast painting with their Dad, and they missed me, which they don’t often get the opportunity to do, so all-around, it was a good day.

And now my home was immediately filled with all of the wonderfully familiar sounds of chaotic motherhood. Quiet is good …but only for a little while.

 

Mommy Magic!~Re-post! March 12, 2010


It’s retro week here on A Spoonful of Sugar!  Just kidding….anyway, this is another goody…thought you’d appreciate it.  The hubby is going out this morning…8 ft. waves predicted!  Go honey!

 

“Mom! Have you seen my other flip flop?” “Hey, Mom! I can’t find my jeans!” “Where’s the peanut butter? It’s not in there!” “Mommy, where’s my blankie?”…..If these questions seem familiar to you, and you can inevitably locate the items in question, then you have it. Yes, IT. Mommy Magic. My girls seem amazed when I can walk past them, go directly to the pantry, and find the item they have searched high and low for, in a matter of seconds. They say, “Wow! How do you do it!?” It even amazes me at times. I tell my girls that it’s a God thing. God gives all mommies Mommy Magic the moment our children are born. The magic is even extended for spouses ‘ lost items, because let’s face it ladies, our husbands, as great as they are, are not very good at finding things. That internal, instinctive guide which enables us to find those missing items, and allows us the right to say ‘I said so, that’s why’…because we can’t always explain why or how, we just KNOW. So, moms, stick to your guns. Don’t give in. That gnawing in your belly when your kids ask you to spend the night somewhere and you’re just not diggin’ it…stand firm…that same Mommy Magic that found their special blanket tucked under the couch cushion is the one that is telling you not to let them go. Trust your instincts. God in you is the best decision maker there is. Don’t feel guilty. There is no one else in this world that is going to have their best interest in mind more than you. It’s okay to say ‘no’ with a smile and really be okay with it because you are confident in your decision. So, get your magic on, moms….it’s time to find those teddy bears, those pacifiers, those MP3 players….and say no even when it’s hard and we want to please our kids. Someday, they will call you a hero because of it.

 

Extra Extra! Read all about it! March 9, 2010


Kaitlyn and Madelyn tearin' it up on their ripsticks!

A lot of people think that when you home-school you have to miss out on extra-curricular activities for your kids. So not true! Since I have been a home-school mom, I have always felt it was extremely important to make sure my kids got P.E., music, art, and other courses that they would have gotten in a public school setting. These are just some of the ways we’ve made it possible for our family:

Physical Education:

McKenna getting in her 30 minutes on the treadmill...

Now, this is what we’ve been doing recently, because we live in a small town without a lot of options for sports teams, etc.

When it was possible, they participated in soccer, and took dance, which gave them great opportunities to work well with other kids their age.

Different times in life call for different activities. We just roll with it!

When the weather is permitting, I kick them out of the house and require a certain amount of time be spent on their bikes, scooters, ripsticks, or other cardio activities of their choice. Getting time in the sun is extremely important, too, since schooling around the table doesn’t supply much vitamin D!

Home Economics:

Madelyn cleaning onions from the garden...

Kaitlyn bustin' out the laundry!

I’ve said it before, cooking is a lost art in today’s society, for the most part. I have always tried to instill in my girls the importance of knowing how to grow, pick, prepare, and cook food. I just think it’s important. We started a garden last year, and the girls were a big part of it. It was great! Whenever possible, I involve them in the dinner-making process, besides having times when I teach them individually how to use different kitchen tools, or cooking methods.

I teach a home-economics class on Tuesdays in my home for 9th-12th grade kids, and allow my girls to help and be a part of

Madelyn took this picture with her mad photography skills...also extra-curricular!

that as well. They are the ‘junior sous chefs’!

I tell them all the time…”You don’t have to love it, you just have to learn how to do it. If you and your husband someday choose to eat out every night, that’s your prerogative, but it won’t be because I didn’t teach you how to cook!”

McKenna making her fave...chocolate chip cookies!

I also think it’s important for them to learn how to run a household and keep up with every day chores. Allowing them to realize how gross it is to find bunched up, dirty socks in the hamper, or letting them see that cleaning up their room and throwing clean clothes in the hamper only makes for MORE LAUNDRY! Ugh!

It gives them a feeling of ownership in the home and allows them to take a little more pride in their surroundings.

(more…)