Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Wonder-FULL Wednesday: When Mom is Feelin' Poorly

This will be a short posting...basically because I feel funky.

So...the question for today is:




I am terrible at asking for/accepting help when I need it.  I can alway rationalize that I am ok & that it's probably not as bad as I think (read: I'm probably being a drama queen).

As mothers, we carry a huge load. 

Seriously, our homes kinda just run to the ground when we are gone or otherwise out of commission.  It's not that the family doesn't KNOW what to do or SEE what needs to be done.

They.  Just.  Don't. Do. It. 

Sometimes I alternate between being aggrivated about having to tell my peeps everything & just telling them, and getting over it.

Ok, so when I'm not feeling up to par...

1.  I ignore the idea as long as possible, hoping that it's a figment of my imagination.

2.  I pass out hints that I'm not feeling great, hoping for some divine (or otherwise) intervention.

3.  I finally accept that I can't do it all, crawl to my bed & hope for the best.

Sometimes I get help from outside the home & sometimes I just dump it on my older girls, feel guilty, try to assuage my guilt by throwing privileges or gifts at them when I feel better.

When all is well & the sun is shining in my part of the world, I just clean up the mess...and thank the good Lord that I rarely don't feel good.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Wonder-FULL Wednesday: Organization Part 1

One question that has been asked of me pertains to organization

About 5 or 6 years into being a mommy, I began to realize that I needed to get a handle on the clutter. 

No, it didn't come naturally.  I had to research, try, research some more, ask questions & try more.  Slowly, I have morphed our home into sort of an organized chaos.  It's not ready to be featured in one of those organizing & storage magazines that I can never seem to pass up at the checkout, but it works.


Today, I'll talk about one area of our home that requires some organization: the Laundry Room.

I don't know about you, but next to the kitchen, my laundry room is where I spend the bulk of my time.
When we first married, my poor hubby was always running out of clothes of sort.  My garage was my laundry room.  UGH!  I had to share it with the spiders & bugs, all sorts of important "stuff" my hubby & I felt we had to keep, and, oh yeah, THE CAR!!!  On top of all that pleasantry, it was either stifling hot, bitterly cold or damp & dirty....always dirty. 

In short: I HATED IT!

I'm not sure that it was the chore that I disliked as much as the location.  However, after dealing with that for about 12 years....we were finally able to make some dreams come true.  We had drawn out plans to include our garage as part of our house, creating three new rooms: a homeschool/play room, an office, and a laundry/craft room (I guess that's kinda like 5 rooms).  One year later, we sold it & moved. 

*sigh*  Just when I had it perfect.

Fast forward a bunch of years to now. 

I currently have a 'sufficient' laundry room.  I would prefer it to be a tad roomier, but we make due.

As with pretty much every area of my life, the way I have organized my laundry room has been adjusted numerous times.  Don't feel that you have to do something the same way forever unless it happens to work forever (which it rarely does).  Life changes require minor touch ups to your organization and sometimes even some major overhauls.

As the kiddos have gotten older, I have them sort their own clothes into these baskets (these 3 support 6 kids).
No, they don't always do it right, but the largest part of my job is done for me.  I just go through them quickly as I am loading the washer, tossing what is in the wrong place into the right one. 
These three baskets are 'Lights', 'Brights', & 'Darks.

In order to help them with sorting colors, I tied ribbons to the handles which coordinated with what I wanted in them.  These ribbons are from the 'Lights' basket.  When we first implemented this plan, we grabbed some clothes & compared them to the ribbons, deciding where they would go.
More often than not, the baskets are done right....except the boys have real issues with taking their underwear out of their pants...WHAT'S UP WITH THAT???

This basket is almost ALWAYS overflowing.
It is the "Outgrowns" basket.
Out of season clothing also gets tossed here until it can be packed away.
It never ceases to amaze me that we can go for months & add nothing to this bin, then BAM every kid
is adding to it!!!  It's crazy!!  If they could just grow at different times, it would sure be cheaper.

Directly over my dirty clothes baskets, I had a clothing rack installed.
It has a free-motion bar because I HATE those little divided hanging bars.
Really.  Who wants to take the time to divide their clothing?  Dumb.
This was laundry day, so everything is empty, but more often than not,
the baskets are all like that last one & the rack is bulging with clothes waiting to be put away.

Love the extra storage over the hanging rack.
Hate how it all shows.
Cabinets are a dream.

My most excellent hubby built me this little closet right next to the washer & dryer (which is stacked).
It is a hard-workin little closet.
I store my laundry soap, hangers, tool bag (no, the pink tools do NOT stop him from using them!), the mop, broom, a stool,  & extra paper towels (can't see those). 
The drawers house: extra covers for the Shark mop (worth putting on your Christmas list), dusting/cleaning rags, all sorts of batteries, light bulbs & dog-related stuff.
I love my closet (is that wierd?)

One other thing I forgot to take a photo of is what I actually put the kid's clothes into when they are ready to put away.  I don't like baskets.  They are bulky.  I use clear, flat under-the-bed storage boxes.  They are fairly cheap & you can stack a bunch & not take up too much room.  When the clothes are folded, I can put them in piles according to where they go...pj's, socks/underwear...etc.  Then the kid can just transfer the pile from the box to the drawer
 (yes, I said KID!).  Each kid gets their own box.

That's it, I guess.  Next week, I'll discuss another area of organization...any thoughts on which area???

 Leave me some comments!

Monday, October 10, 2011

A Calgon Moment


Cooking dinner @ about 6.

Kids are all outside playing.

Backdoor flies open.

In runs Ella Grace (age 3) hair a-flying.  She makes a *mad dash for the bathroom.*

Meanwhile, my dad knocks on the patio door...he is delivering the 18 or so eggs he just robbed our hens of so that we might have fresh scrambled eggs for breakfast.

As we admit him, we hear screams coming from the bathroom.  I send daughter #1 to assess the situation (although I'm fairly certain what has happened).

I return to my conversation with dad...

Back door flies open as #1 sticks her head out & screams at  #4 to come pick up her clothes & shoes off of the bathroom floor (this is pure, unmitigated hypocrosy in it's finest form, to say the very least).  As #4 comes in...#1 is rubbing her oversight in (loud enough for me to hear) by telling her that E.G. didn't quite make it to the bathroom in time, & lost it.....on her clothing & (yes) her school shoes.

In the meantime...the rice is burning.

My dad is laughing.

Daughter #1 informs me that the dog ran through the bathroom....right through....yeah.'s all ok, cause she just put her in her kennel.

Are you needing *Calgon* to take you away just reading all of this???

Seriously, this is rather normal around here, if complete & utter chaos can be considered normal in any way. 

You might wonder, "How does she handle all of that?"

Well, today....fine.  I just instructed #4 to clean her stuff & the rug up...put it in a basket & put it by the washer.  Then to mop.

But, wait....before you think I have nerves of steel & a halo to match...let me tell you that by Wednesday or Thursday....this scene may very well make me want to curl up into the fetal position in the back corner of my closet.


It is times like these, though, that I think....

I really should blog this stuff...
people will get a real kick out of it.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Wonder-FULL Wednesday: How We Roll (down the road)

For those of you who missed last week's "Wonder-FULL Wednesday" post...I apologize for not letting you know that we were going to be out of town.  However, on second thought, it's probably not a good idea to announce to the whole world that we will be leaving the homestead unattended!
*Not that I don't trust you guys, of course.*

I have pretty much run out of questions to answer, so until someone asks more...well, I'll just keep giving up some fascinating little tidbits of info on our family's comings & goings.  Hold on to your's riveting stuff! :o)

So---where did we go?


Shepherdsville, Kentucky.

To many folks this town means absolutely nothing, but to our family (as well as many of our friends), it is a place of heritage & roots.  It is where we gather twice a year with like-minded people to learn more about God & how to more successfully become like Him.  It is a wonderful place on a hilltop that never fails to bring a tingle to my skin as we come 'round that last turn & see the campus sitting there.  I wonder how many thousands of people travel that road & never even glance at the grounds that mean so much to so many.

Anyway, I digress.

So, we packed up (5 suitcases, 4 garment bags, 1 snack bag....oh, forget it...we were stuffed to the gills!!!), and headed down the road.  It only takes until the 12th of forever to get there from here.  That is fairly managable in 2 stages, but, we drove it all. the. way. through.  We finally arrived somewhere around dawn the day after we left.  It was painful.  I won't lie.

The first full day of being in Kentucky was our 5th child's (aka our 2nd son) BIRTHDAY!!!!
  Whoop-whoop!!!  We love birthdays around here. :0) 
Barrett Paul is now 7, & so stinkin' handsome & pretty much smarter than any other kid alive.  Really.

The Birthday Boy just a few weeks before he turned 7

This is our group of sweeties partially rested up & ready for the fun to start.

You may wonder why we load up 8 kids & tons of luggage, drive 13+ hours just to attend church.  Well, it's our life!  Our whole purpose in this life is to serve God, so we try our best to mingle with other folks from all over the country (world, even) when we get the chance. 

Relax ladies...he is VERY taken!
(Envy is a sin...better go pray)  LOL

I can imagine that some of you moms may be asking,

"Isn't it hard to take all of those kids on a long trip,
and then sit through several hours of church at a time?"


Of course it is!!!!

I won't lie to you, I get very stressed out. 
I have been found in the restroom crying.
I have chewed out the amazing man I'm married to for not helping more.
I have offered my offspring to the lowest bidder.

However, I cannot stress enough the importance of doing the hard stuff when it comes to doing what is right for your family.  In doing so, you are letting your children see what is the most important to you: their well-being.  Yes, it would be MUCH easier to stay home most of the time, but to what benefit?  I admit that I usually do not take the little ones to both camp meetings...usually only the fall one.  However, I really felt that I made a wrong decision this past June when half of my family headed down the road without us, so, we may be there everytime we have the money.

You know, we have teenagers & 'tweens' as well as little kids, and I love that we have an opportunity to introduce them to other godly young people.  They usually come home talking about the new friends they have met...some of which have even made the trip to Texas to visit!  COOL!

"Can you see all of our faces?"
"Yeah, mom!" 

Triple Trouble!!!
I love that my boy (in the middle) is growing up with good young men!

Time spent under the pews can create lasting memories!

I used to think that little kids didn't get much from the services, but, many times over I have been proven wrong by the questions of a little one.  They do hear, they do think. 
Especially if their name is in the Bible (HA!)

 One other wonderful thing about going to camp meeting is the opportunity to serve others.  My family loves to work.  The older girls wait tables during meals, clean restrooms & play music during services.  My younger crowd loves to work at the snack bar at night, carrying trays, washing them & doing trash detail (of course, that free ice cream is a great incentive).  My hubby usually has something to do with driving folks around the huge property on golf carts. kids. 

This year, I told the will work too.  Our dear friends make pizzas for the snack bar & I volunteered to help.  I am almost embarrassed at how excited I was!  Seriously.  I haven't been able to work in years!  I was just thrilled! 

I never tossed the dough into the air, but I did a pretty good job, I think!

Isn't she a beauty? :)'s the aftermath of 10 people going out of town for 6 days:

Mt. Laundrimous

It takes 2 days to pack & 4-5 days (if steadily working)
 to get it all unpacked, sorted, washed, dried, folded/hung/ironed & put away.

It's tough, but we love the experience -and- it only gets easier as the kiddos get older.

At least that's my theory.....