Friday, January 29, 2010

Jackpot !!!

One of the things I have challenged myself to this year was to not buy anything at the craft store (primarily yarn & pattern books), but use up what I already have. The idea was to save money and de-stash my stash. I did give myself a small budget in case I needed something to finish a project, but other than that I'm going to see if I can make this work. My weakness is yarn, especially if it's on sale. I have an 18 gallon tote in my closet, plus a draw organizer full, so I have plenty to start with. But in the back of my mind I wondered if any of it would work with the projects I have planned.

I'm going to change topics for a minute but stay with me. It will come together.

Many of you know this, but some may not. I am due with baby #6 in the next few weeks. The other day I decided to go down in the basement to pull out the baby clothes and wash them. Because this is girl #5 I have plenty of clothes. I've learned over the years to label bins by size & season to make things easier. Plus, I also have all the bins in size order to make it easier to find the sizes I am looking for. (I'm not quite this organized with other areas of my home :). So, I get down in the basement, go over to the kids clothes and on the very top of the infant stuff there is a bin with no label. My thought was......"Hmmm??? There's nothing smaller than 0-3 months. Why would I not have put a size label on this?" I opened it up and I was like a kid in a candy store.

It was an 18 gallon tote of yarn, plus I found at least one crochet hook in there! As you can see by the picture I have tons of pink (don't forget I have 4 girls), but I didn't even remember putting it there. This has made my de-stashing much more fun. I thought I was going to find baby clothes. Now I have something to look forward to. I wonder what other bins of yarn I've forgotten about. This year may not be half bad after all......

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Learning to be Organized.....Again

First let me give you some background. When I was growing up, even into my late teens, I was a 'neat freak'. My sister & I shared a room and I can remember drawing an imaginary line down the center of the room so her 'stuff' was on her side & mine could be nice and clean. At some point after that things changed for me and it became more of a struggle. Maybe because I always wanted to keep things for that 'just in case' time/moment when I might need them. But, as you know, the older you get...the more you accumulate. But it wasn't always about the stuff. It just wasn't coming natural to me anymore.

So.....I'll jump forward to married life. Now you add 30 years of 'stuff' for both of us and what do you get? Double stuff :). We weaned out tons and gave away what we could. We actually did really well. We also had a homegroup that met every Friday at our home, so I had a reason to have the house spotless by Friday afternoon, every single week.

Then our 4th child was born. It all fell apart from that point on. Whatever glue that was left holding my organization together disintigrated. For those that don't know our story....let's just say she was a difficult baby (that's an understatement). She would cry 12-18 hours a day. Every night she would scream from 10:30pm-3:30am. The doctors couldn't find anything wrong with her. Just about every night when my husband would come home I would be in tears (I could still cry, the memories are that strong). I would wake up every morning and tell God...."I know you won't give me more than I can handle, but I don't think you're paying attention. I can't handle this!!!" I couldn't just take a nap during the day because I also had a 1 year old daughter & a 2 year old daughter. Friends and family became reluctant to call my house because they would have to compete with her screaming. Because this went on for 15 months, I had nothing left to give my house. I don't mean my family, I mean my physical dwelling. I was lucky to be able to keep up with the laundry and have a meal on the table at dinnertime. I resorted to casseroles because I could throw all the ingredients into one dish and bake it. I had no energy for anything else. Nothing left to give.

Around the time she turned 2 1/2 or so I remember thinking..."Ok, things are semi back to normal around here. I need to get my house back in order now." It was a long process. After all, I now had almost 3 years of habits that had formed (if you want to call them that). So, I began the process. Slowly. It seemed like I just couldn't get caught up. But, to cut myself a little bit of slack, I did have 4 children (3 of them under the age of 4), plus 3 years worth of catching up to do.

And then...I found out I was pregnant again. I was determined that things weren't going to happen the same way with this one. But, as it turns out, she was another difficult baby. At 15 months old we found out she had food allergies, which were causing her issues. Once we pulled her off of the foods she was allergic to & things settled with her I started getting things back in order...again.

Now here I am again. 8 months pregnant and wondering how I'm ever going to get back to where I was 5 years ago. I want my house back! I know it will never be perfect, but I want to be able to have someone knock on the door and not have to look around to see if I can let them it :). I'm determined to make it work. That was one of my new year's resolutions (that I wasn't going to make - for fear of breaking it).

Today will be Day 1. I'm going to pick myself up and try again. I have the knowledge, now I just need to apply it. I have to realize this isn't going to be an overnight miracle, but a slow process. Hopefully, by blogging about the tips I've learned over the years, it will be that constant reminder to hold myself accountable to what I have learned and what I want to accomplish.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Going Rouge: An American Life ~ by Sarah Palin

I am currently reading Going Rouge by Sarah Palin. First, I have a disclaimer. I am not a political person! I am not reading this because I was 'into' the presidential campaign either. The only reason I picked up this book was because of everything I've heard from her regarding her take on her children & family. I wanted to see for myself what she had to say.

I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised. She's funny and down to earth. She writes in a way, as if to say, she has nothing to hide. She gives her side of the accusations thrown around during the presidential campaign, but never comes after her accusers. Because I am not into politics I have a very hard time following them. Her style of writing makes it bearable to read and easier to understand.

The downfall.....If you're expecting to pick this up and read it in a weekend you might want to think again. It's not a short book. But then again, have you ever read an autobiography that was? I haven't. There is an upside to it though. The chapters are broken down so you can read for 15 minutes a day and not be lost when you pick it back up (which I like).

Whether you're a fan of Sarah Palin or just a fan of someone who would drop everything to put their family first you might want to put this on your 'things I want to read' list. If you're not a fan of hers, but willing to listen to what she has to say, you might be open to learning more about her and actually enjoy the book too.

All in all, I would recommend this book. If you don't want to spend the money on a hardcover book you can always rent it from the library (that's what I did). There's always eBay too. And when you're done you can resell it and get your money back :)

Friday, January 15, 2010

Random Dozen

I haven't done this in a while, so I thought it would be fun. Here goes.....

1. When was the last time you craved a food--what was it, and did you cave?


2. M & M's or Skittles?


3. Have you ever read the Bible completely through?


4. How long does it take you to really wake up in the morning?


5. Have you ever been on a cruise? If not, would you like to?


6. Who is your favorite actress?


7. ______ is something that I will just never understand.


8. How much of a technology junkie are you?


9. Do you enjoy selecting greeting cards for people, or is it more of a cultural "have to" for you?


10. When was the last time you got a new style/haircut?


11. What do you enjoy shopping for most?


12. What's the last thing you think of before you leave the house?


Thursday, January 14, 2010

At the End of the Day

This is a year full of excitement for my family.  But it has also brought some challenges and struggles, and we're only 2 weeks into the new year.  I have recently been struggling over things that are being said about me - most recently on facebook.  I want so bad to defend myself, defend my family.  There are two sides to every story (always remember this).  But, that's not what God has in mind.  He told me to be silent.  Ugh...not really what I wanted to hear :).  For me that's easier said than done.  As I type this I could cry over this whole situation.  But, it's at times like these (when I'm on the verge of tears) that I'm reminded of Jesus, and all those who betrayed Him, all at the same time.  I can't even imagine.  

So, I prayed some more.  I over and over heard God tell me to be the silent one.  And then, I heard Him tell me that, I had to defend my actions to noone other than HIM.  We are not perfect - after all, we are human - but we are forgiven.  If my actions and motives are right, in the sight of God, then what else really matters.  At the end of the day, at the end of my life, He will judge me, and the ONLY one I am accountable to is HIM.

If you are struggling with judgement, like I am, take heart. Jesus knows what it feels like and He did it for us. As much as I believe what God has spoken to me, and know it will be ok, it stills brings so much pain. So, I'll keep praying he replaces my tears with joy.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Princess Smiles turns 8

My baby girl (well, she's not so baby anymore) turns 8 today. I was remembering a conversation I had with her when she was about 4 or 5 years old. She was telling me how her favorite princess was Princess Jasmine (from Aladdin). At the time I cringed. "Great" I thought. "She has to pick the half dressed, rebellious one, to be her favorite". I tried to stay calm, after all she was only about 4, right!?!? I wanted to try to convince her that there were better princesses she could have as her 'role model'. But instead, I asked her, "Why is Jasmine your favorite?" She very plainly exclaimed, "Because she's always smiling!" I hope I never forget that conversation. Her beauty wasn't important, her smile was. It showed me that my little girl saw what was truly important.

As I reflect back on that conversation it makes me think. Can I be like my daughter? Or, can I not see the beauty on the inside because I'm too busy seeing what's on the outside? I have learned a lot from my children. Maybe there was more to this lesson than I first realized all those year ago.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY (1/6/10)...

Outside my window...tons of turkeys, eating our birdfood.
I am thinking...I would like to get a lot accomplished today.
I am thankful for...the woodstove that heats our home.
From the kitchen...baking a birthday cake for my little girl who will be 8 tomorrow.
I am wearing...jeans & a t-shirt.
I am afghan for my brothers baby (due in Feb.)
I am the grocery store.
I am reading...Going Rouge by Sarah Palin.
I am stick with my goals for this year.
I am girls laughing.
Around the house...I still see my Christmas tree & decorations.
One of my favorite things...going out to breakfast.
A few plans for the rest of the week... my daughters birthday, start my taxes, & more.
Here is picture for thought I am sharing...(add your picture here)

Original post from:

Monday, January 4, 2010

New Year's Resolutions

I've always believed New Year's resolutions were a waste. Most people don't follow through with them (in my opinion), and therefore, why bother. I always just thought, "If you want to do it now, today, don't wait for a new year". But I've recently begun to think differently. A new year can mean a fresh start, especially if the previous year was a difficult one. For some, the new year can be a time to refresh your thoughts, your mind, and your determination.

Websters defines resolution as the following.....a resolve or determination: to make a firm resolution to do something. The keywords in that definition are "determination" & "firm". Without the determination we are almost guaranteed to fail (I said almost....some may not).

Last year was a year of listening for me. I knew God was telling me change was coming. Change in friendships, change in home life, change in myself, & more. I know God is faithful, but I struggled. The loss of a couple key friendships, that I thought of as blessings, broke my heart more than those friends will ever know. But I knew I was on the path God wanted me on, and for that reason alone I continued on.

Then, as new years came upon us, my husband and I were talking about 'resolutions' and what the new year would bring for us. When I told him what I wanted to change about myself (I want to be a better wife, a better mother, have more patience), he told me not to 'beat myself up'. But I had to reassure him. These are the areas God wants me to work on.

So, as I begin this new year, I do have resolutions. But those resolutions are more about my determination to follow God's lead and do the best I can. If I stumble along the way. that doesn't necessarily mean I have failed. It means I need to stand firm and have the determination to try again.

I encourage you to have the determination to follow through with whatever your resolutions may be. Don't consider yourself a failure if you stumble or fall. Just pick yourself up & try again.


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Since April 2010