Tuesday, April 15, 2014

If Only My Husband Read My Mind

Ahhhhhh. It's been forever since I've posted. Oh well.

So. I have a funny story.

About a month ago, we had Robin from Neat Nest Organizing (and also our awesome mentor mom) do a presentation at MOPS on how to "Clear the Clutter." Ok- so I was super inspired and went home and cleaned up my spice cabinet. Hey, that's a small area, but it was a big mess. I bought some cute containers Robin had suggested and put my spices in them- voilĂ , lovely. (See picture)

Ok....so, skip forward to MOPS last week- I was presenting on ideas for containing your messes with kids, while crafting. I needed an empty spice container to put glitter in (my theory is that if you put glitter into a smaller container, with smaller holes, it makes less mess- this is true, IF your child doesn't find the bigger container of glitter and dump it anyways.)

Well, I grabbed the cayenne pepper- and quickly poured it into the empty "Parsley" container. What I was thinking at the time was this- there is no way my husband will confuse cayenne pepper for parsley.....I mean completely different, right?!?

Don't worry, it's not what you think....just kidding. Here's what happened. (If you're a Monk fan, that's a funny line.)

Travis was making dinner- curry. I come in the kitchen and see the "Parsley" sitting on the counter. I freak out and say "oh my gosh, what did you DO!?! That's cayenne pepper, NOT parsley!" His reply-

"I thought it was PAPRIKA!"

Oh my goodness......needless to say, the curry was very spicy.

And I really need to label the spices- particularly ones that are detrimental to the health of your dinner (or your kids ability to eat it, or anyone eating it for that matter). My husband said it's like putting gasoline in a cup and being like- don't worry, it's not milk.

Ohhhh well. It says "Cayenne" now.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Paper Towel Roll Puppets

I really like to save paper towel rolls. And toilet paper rolls. It just seems nice, like one day we'll really need these, or the kids can do something fun with them, etc.

Well, now you have it! Puppets. The kids had made a puppet show stand out of a giant cardboard box. It also doubles as a spaceship, but that's neither here nor there. It's nothing fancy, but the kids have had a good time with it.

So, the other day my daughter asked for puppets and the idea for using the paper towel rolls popped into my head. We printed out themed coloring pages by googling them, cut them out, and glued them onto the rolls.

We did two sets- a nativity set and a birthday set. Clara did a nativity puppet show for us and it was the cutest thing! I can't find Mary, Joseph and Baby Jesus at the moment, so they are not included in the picture….but they exist somewhere in this house. Clara colored the birthday ones.

Good times for recycled items and rainy days!




Wednesday, January 1, 2014

New Year's Resolution and a Prayer

Keeping in the spirit of New Years, or maybe just because it's what's floating around in the air- I've been examining my life and wondering if I need to make some changes.

I've started reading Brooke McGlothlin's "Praying for Boys" and it's just really inspiring me to pick praying back up. I say it so nonchalantly, but what I really mean is, I REALLY want and need to start praying for my kids again.

Brook McGlothlin is the co-founder of the MOB Society- mothers of boys, and I found myself over on their site today. Their challenge for today was to pick a scripture to pray over our kids for the 2014 year. Actually, pick a word and then a scripture to go with it. I love this idea and it's not overwhelming!

I've been thinking about this today- what word do I want to use for our year?

PEACE.

I think that's it. I want peace for my family. Not peace at any cost. But the peace that passes all understanding. Peace that remains, even in the face of adversity. Peace that can look at any situation and say "I know God is in control and He's got this." I want to experience the kind of peace that comes when I'm in the will of God. And the discernment to understand when I'm not and the peace is gone.

So, in looking at the scriptures- I've decided on this one, actually 2-

"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7

I am really excited to have a goal in mind. And a plan to follow. I know myself and I can't have too much a plan or I won't follow through with it!

Oooh. One thing that just stuck out to me. I saw another verse about peace-

"Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful." Colossians 3:15

I'm thinking we need to be thankful in order to experience the peace. I know how I get when I'm super worked up about something. Or when I think about what we don't have, I lose the peace so fast. So….maybe in thinking about PEACE for our family…we need to be purposeful about being thankful. Looking at what we do have and what God HAS provided for us so far.

Well. Cool. I am encouraged, ready to start the year off fresh, and excited to see what God will do!


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

A Feel Good Story

Last week sometime, I was tucking my 9 yr old into bed. We started talking and he began unloading some cares…weeks worth of pent up frustration and all around upset-ness. He was having different troubles with this or that, the main thing being he hadn't scored a goal in hockey. He plays hockey and he totally loves it, but this year has been challenging. He's one of the younger kids and it's more work than last year. He's really a great player, but these last few weeks he just hasn't been able to see it. He was more worried that he was the only one on his team that hadn't scored a goal.

So anyways, we were talking about it, and I said did he ask God to help him, and he said yes, he had multiple times. In that moment, I was like, geez Lord I don't know what to say to him? We had recently been talking a lot about Saul and David and what it meant that David had a heart after God. So, I reminded him of that. And suggested that he ask God to maybe change his heart about scoring a goal, ask God why he wanted to score so badly and change him if he needed changing. So he did that. Ahhh, sweet boy.

Well….that weekend he had a game on Saturday. His team lost 5-1…but, HE SCORED THE 1 GOAL!!! My husband text me about it and I was just so exited for him. My husband said you never saw a bigger smile on his face.

When he got home, I said wow buddy, God totally met you! And he said, yea mom, it was totally God because the goalie should have been able to stop it. (He also said it was easy enough for his brother to stop it…geez, I had to be like, buddy, don't put your brother down.) But the point is….God answered him!! And wow, it was just so great.

Happy Wednesday!!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Simplifying Christmas

Ahhhh. Simplify. Sometimes I love that word and other times I hate it. Usually it means change and I don't always love that. But….for years now, I have had this deep desire to simplify Christmas…gifts wise I mean. I had this inside feeling that was really bugging me.

I'm not really going to go into the importance of teaching the kids to give instead of wanting to get…or about the importance of keeping our eyes on the reason we celebrate Christmas. Those are amazing and essential things about this season and I absolutely want to do many things to help the kids get both of these things. But…I really needed to set up some good boundaries for the presents department.

There were a couple things that led up to this decision. First off, it wasn't really a hard one, this year has been a bit different for us financially. My husband has been let go from two different jobs. God has totally provided…but it's not the same amount we were used to last year. This last time, he was laid off at the end of November. Thankfully, God has provided for us, but for a little bit, I was like, oh geez, what will do for Christmas?? It was in these moments that I came up with a few cheap-to-free ideas for presents (see no. 3- coupon book :)).

The next thing that made it an easy choice was us moving. We only moved up the road, so we didn't really have to pack a lot. I made the decision to de-clutter as we were moving and I told the kids they could only bring nerf guns, hockey equipment and of course….LEGOS, and oh, Clara was allowed to bring two of her gazillion tubs filled with her "treasures" aka, lots of little toys that are totally random. But everything else got left behind in storage.

And an amazing thing has happened. We've been about three weeks now without all those toys- the ones I was hollering at the kids every day to pick up….and we're doing JUST fine. So, this got me REALLY thinking about Christmas. I don't want to get the kids toys that they love for one day and then sit in a tub only to be dumped out and then put back in. I want to get them things they LOVE and will use a lot.

Here are a few of things I am implementing this year-

1. The kids can ask for two toys. One will be coming from Santa and from us (mom and dad). I explained that Santa discusses with mom and dad and agrees to a Christmas plan. LOL. (and I know the boys- they will all ask for at least 1 LEGO thing, and I'm fine with that. They still play with Legos everyday.)
2. I would like to get the kids each a CD to listen to. They love these and will definitely use them more than once. (Anne of Green Gables, Squire and the Scroll with CD, and a Jonathan Park set are my current choices). (on a side note, if you have any CD's your kids love…PLEASE leave me a comment!)
3. Coupon book…..these are the ideas I came up with that are very inexpensive or free-


The kids have been asking to go get their own library cards :). 


Come on, what kid doesn't love ANY candy you want! (within reason of course)


So…I hope they like this.  And, I hope they don't become instantly addicted, like me. 

4. Giving an experience. I saw this in a magazine article and thought it was brilliant. A family started the tradition of giving an experience. They suggested lessons, trips, shows, plays, concerts, museum tickets, etc. I thought this was awesome. (I don't actually know if we'll do this one or not, but I have some ideas and I just thought it was a great idea for something that wouldn't take up space.)
5. Something to read- books are timeless and you can usually find dirt cheap ones at bargain stores or used book stores. 
6. Something to wear. I gave the kids an opportunity to ask for something that they've been wanting clothes wise, but maybe isn't an essential. My oldest son asked for a raincoat and the other two boys wanted a item from their hockey club. 

So that's it. That's my plan for this year. I wanted to give a quick shout out to my friend Robin at Neat Nest organizing. She has great articles on ideas for a clutter-free Christmas and they've been a help to me! You can find her here- http://www.neatnestorganizing.com/reduce-christmas-clutter-with-this-gift-giving-guide/. She also, along with this article, has a few more about clutter-free ideas to give teachers, so check those out too! 

If you have any ideas for simplifying Christmas- LET ME KNOW! Haha. This is a work in progress and I'm really looking for ideas.

Happy Christmas! 


Friday, November 29, 2013

Forever and a day

It's been a long time since I've posted anything!! Our sweet Isabella was born in September and things have been a bit of a blur. Between a newborn, hockey and moving….things have gotten away from me :). So, I thought I would post some fun things from the past couple months, and then get on with some posts that's I've been thinking about :). I just love this time of year.

Isabella was born on Sept 12th, after my easiest labor and delivery yet! I'm sooo thankful for that. 
She is a huge blessing. We love her. 


Enjoying some fall fun. 


Ok…we are doing lots and lots of hockey this year! We underestimated how much we'd be doing with three kids in two different divisions of hockey. The boys love it though. And Travis gets to coach them. 


We had some family pics done in the fall. Thanks to http://blog.abbyhartphoto.com for yet again, another fabulous photo session. 



The other day we were outside and we found these pod thingys. They were so cool. They're almost like a dandelion when the things fly away, but these pods had a lot more of them. 


I was determined to do at least one craft for Thanksgiving (could have quite possibly been the only craft we've done in months!) It was supposed to have sails and all kind of things, but we settled for this. I think it turned out kind of cute.)



We had a lovely Thanksgiving. Having two girls is fun. Dressing them is still one of my favorite things. 


And last but not least, our elf James showed up this morning. The story behind the chex is that he left us a message made out of chex cereal.


I hope you and your family had a wonderful Thanksgiving!! I am so excited to head in the Christmas season.

Happy Friday,

Annie

Thursday, August 15, 2013

God Totally Hears

So, we've been having this problem with our kids lately. They always want stuff. Ok, so this isn't just a "lately" problem, it's just that recently it's become obsessive. It comes mostly in the form of lego sets.

For the past month, they ask for sets just non-stop. Sometimes they want me to buy them, sometimes they want to save up for them. Or they want to make their Christmas or birthday list now (the nearest birthday we have for one of the boys isn't for a while....) It's driving me nuts. My son came in to my room this morning with a lego book and I'm serious, I was still partly asleep....and he starts in on "mom, I just want to know how much this...."

"Ahhhh, I'm not even awake yet!! Go out of my room!"

Ok, so I wished I would have said it a little nicer..but this morning, I was just like, we NEED some help here.

We had thought of making the kids do a chore every time they ask, or having them write a scripture, or something like that. I think those are both good ideas, but we hadn't really implemented anything. And I was bothered by the attitudes...and seriously, how can we make it stop.

So, I asked God to help us. I should have done that a long time ago....but I'm still learning.

Then last night we did family devotions. The chapter that we happened to be on was about contentment. It was the story of the rich man in the bible who hoarded all his grain and when he had an abundant crop, instead of sharing it, he wanted to tear down his small barns and build bigger ones. But then God tells him that that night he would die and what good did all that wealth do him now??

Wow! This totally hit what we are going through! I was thinking it during the reading and I wanted to be like "See!!! This is what you guys are like!" But I thought better of that, I kept my mouth shut. My husband wisely said to them, can you guys see any area of your life where you might be like the rich man? And they did say, yes, they could see it with the lego sets....wow. It was so timely and so what we needed and totally unplanned by us as parents. God totally came through for us. And He said it in a way that the kids could understand and see.

It was neat for me too, to be able to see that this whole thing hasn't been about having stuff, it's about their hearts, my heart, when we do have stuff and how to we react to it. We were able to talk to them about how God likes to give us things, but He's very interested in what we do with it and what kind of attitude we have.

Then my husband was able to pray with each child, specifically for contentment.

On a side note- we've been applying what we've been learning from Project Blessing, by Kay and Julie Hiramine of Generations of Virtue. It's about the power of blessing your children, specifically and individually. It's been a huge blessing to our family and the kids really look forward to when my husband sits down to pray for each of them. You can check that out here.

I am looking forward to some awesome results from last night. I am so thankful that God totally answered my prayers for help.

Update: I wrote this post for Monday, but had't published it yet....Monday was actually kind of hard. Things didn't seem better and for a second I was tempted to get discouraged. God does finish what He starts though!

In the last couple days God has been showing me some things in my attitude that needed to change and I think that was also contributing to what's been going on.

I am so excited though, I was just realizing this morning that the past 3 days have been totally different! No one has asked for anything. One boy did ask for a price check, but it didn't feel the same way. And that's it! God hears us when we pray and when ask Him for help. He is ready to help us be better parents and He's more interested in how our kids turn out than we are I think!