Friday, July 29, 2011

Going Crazy Here

It's that time again.
The time of summer when everyone starts to go crazy.

The kids fight non-stop but cry when they are apart from each other.
The mommy starts pulling her hair out because said children are fighting/crying.

The heat is unbearable.  No one can stay outside for long.
It's too hot to cook, too hot to do laundry and too hot to play.

So what's the solution??????


Yes, in this house, we (especially me) are ready for school to start!
Ready to give these bored kids something to do, ready to stop our brains from turning into mush, ready to let someone else tell our kids what to do all day.

Now, normally, our county would be starting school a week from Monday, but the schedule was changed this year and we don't start until August 15. 

That's over 2 whole weeks away!!

2 weeks to whine, complain, fight and drive each other crazy.

This could be a long 2 weeks.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Holiday Project

Remember when I was too busy to write a Fourth of July post.  Well, here's why.

Well ... there are the pictures to prove I was the one to do ALL the painting.  I'm still on my mission to paint over all the antique white contractor's paint that has been in our house for the 8 years we have lived here. 

Another room down, only 1/2 the house left to go.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Making life easier while on the go

Ever think your life is too complicated?  You're driving your kids here and there, fixing food on the fly, driving back home to get things you've forgotten...generally just feeling like you are being pulled in 10 different directions at the same time!!

Um, then just stop reading now, because this post is for those of us who DON'T have it all together.

So there's my confession, I don't have it all together.  But, you know what?  I'd like to.
And because of that, there are a few things I've learned over the years that have made our lives just a little bit easier.

In no particular order, here are my top 10 tips for making life easier while on the go:

1) Always bring snacks and drinks.
It never fails.  You are out running errands with your kids and one of them says "Mom, I'm staaaarrrvvving!"  After wearing you down by whining for minutes on end, you finally decide to pull into the closest fast food place to MAKE THEM BE QUIET!!!

But the better solution is to have snacks prepared in the car in anticipation of those hungry moments.  It is healthier, cheaper and more efficient.  CapriSuns are my go to drink for the kids.  (Of course, us adults would rather prefer something like a Seattle's Best iced latte.)  I actually keep 2 insulated bags in the car, the snack bag and the drink bag.

2)  Let kids pay for things with their own money.
You might not agree with this, but in our family, our kids get paid for doing chores.  Then when we go out to Walmart or Target and they, inevitably, want something, our answer is always the same.  "If you have the money to get it, you can get it."  This does several things.  It allows them to learn to be responsible with their money, to budget their money and it keeps us from having to say NO to everything all the time.

3)  Check out books on CD from the library.
Our car does not have a built-in DVD player.  But instead of hooking up our non-installed DVD player and popping in a movie every time we go out, we choose to listen to books on CD.  Better yet, we check these CD's out from our local library, which means they are F-R-E-E!!!!  The kids stay quiet because they want to hear the story and it is more educational then a movie would be.

Our family has listened to the entire Narnia series, several Ramona books and various other stories on CD.  Don't tell, but usually I enjoy them too!

4)  Go over the day's agenda with the family.
Like most people, we are a very busy family.  So it helps if we are all on the same page.  I tell the kids at breakfast what our plans are for the day.  Of course, I have to remind them of those plans several times throughout the day, but we feel like if everyone knows what is coming next, there will be less complaining.  The kids won't ask, "Can I watch a movie?", if they know we have to leave in 10 minutes to go to story time at the library.  It also helps them realize how much of our schedule revolves around them.

5)  Keep a master calendar of events.
I'm a huge fan of the "Mom's Plan-it Calendar."  It keeps me sane!!  That calendar has a line for each family member's name. So for each day, you can have a separate event planned for each person.  Clear as mud?  Anyway, EVERYTHING goes on that calendar and without it I would never know what happens on what day in our house.  We keep our calendar on the kitchen refrigerator.  

6)  Keep reusable shopping bags in the car.
Besides being a very "green" tip, this is a very useful tip.  Yes, I take those bags into stores to shop with, but they are also super-handy for holding all your kid's stuff.  Need to take toys to Grandma's house?  Stick it in the bag.  Got muddy shoes after soccer?  Here's a washable bag to put them in.  Bags = handy.  Get some!

7)  Assigned seats in the car.
This may go without saying, but everyone has their assigned spot in our car.  If there is no fighting over who sits where, then you leave your house faster.  If you leave your house faster, then you may get where you are going on time.  End of story.

8)  Always make shopping lists.
If you try to shop by memory or by the seat of your pants, not only will you have more frustration at the store, but your trip will take a LOT longer.  Call me anal, but not only do I have a list, but I have my list marked with which items have coupons and which don't.  I also organize my list but aisle order.  Then you are not always going back for something you missed.

By the way this is very easy to do.  On one trip to your usual store, write down the aisle number of each thing you buy.  On the next trip, organize your list by those numbers.  Ta-da, that's all you have to do.  You can make a master list of what you normally buy by aisle and just circle what you need or you can just look at the aisle list you made and get an idea of the order of your list.

9)  Keep a basket or bag of "car-appropriate" toys in the car.
If you have room in your car, throw some Happy Meal toys, some stickers and markers or maybe even a DSi or two into a bag and stick it between your kids' car seats.  It should keep them occupied and quiet for at least 10 minutes :).

10)  Be flexible!!!
So maybe your well-planned outing didn't go like you planned.  It OK.  Laugh.  Cry.  Just remember the sun will still rise tomorrow and as Scarlett says, "Tomorrow is another day."

Well, there you have it, my attempt to make my life easier.  Does it always work?  Nope.  But the times it does, I'm glad.

What about you?  What would you add to my list?

“I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Seattle’s Best Coffee blogging program for a gift card worth $30. For more information on how you can participate, click here.”

More Summer Fun

 VBS - Big Apple Adventure
 Fun summer programs at the library every week.
Our favorite so far is Safari Greg and his cayman.
Watching the white-tail deer eat at our local state park.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Fun summer 'do's

Twinner braid hair

Saw this 'do in a magazine and I just had to try it.  It wasn't too hard and I thought it looked great!  If you know how to french braid, it's super easy.  Make two french braids on the side, then sweep all the hair over into a side bun.  Add a cut flower and you're done.

Braided Piggies
Part your girlie's hair right in the middle.
Do a little one-sided french braid right in the front.  If you've never done a one-sided braid before, it's just like a regular french braid except you only pull hair from one side, in the case the right side.
Make another little braid on the other side and secure them with little rubber bands.
Pull the hair back into pigtails with the braids.  
You could stop there, but we decided to go on.
Take the pigtail and divide it into 3 parts.  
Make little 2-strand twist braids from each section.
All done and ready for church.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Summer Fun

 Brand-new treehouse built by Grandpa.  Thanks a million, Grandpa!!
It's awesome!
 Pink bats always make T-ball better.
My boy can hit!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Waiting, Always Waiting

Does it seem like your kids are always waiting for the next big thing?  I remember doing that as a kid.  I always wanted to be bigger.  I wanted to always be in the next grade, to be able to drive, to graduate, to go to college, to have a family.  If only I knew then what I know now, I would have slowed down and enjoyed being a kid.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Happy 5th of July

I figured everyone would send out Fourth of July wishes, so I thought I'd be different and send out Fifth of July wishes.

Yeah, I'm sure it has nothing to do with me being busy on the 4th and forgetting to write a post.

Anyway, I hope you had a wonderful holiday and got to spend some quality time with your family.
Here's some glimpses of our day.
 Star Hairstyle - found here
 Snap Pops, always fun to throw, even for the little cousins.
First time with sparklers.

Friday, July 1, 2011

I Look Like My Daddy

This article is used with permission by Kathy Carlton Willis Communications.

I Look Like My Daddy
by Anita Agers-Brooks

I am illegitimate, but I am not an accident. And no matter how you came to exist, neither are you. 

I was forty-six years old, when through a dramatic series of events, I found out Dad, the man who raised me, isn’t my biological father. My identity is surrounded by mystery, but I know exactly who I am.

In the grief-drenched days, after I received DNA results confirming Dad isn’t my birth-father, I went to the Bible for comfort. My tears stained the pages when I read, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart” (Jeremiah 1:5). I sobbed over God’s promise to be, “A father to the fatherless” (Psalm 68:5).

A dear friend said in response to my story. “God sure must have wanted you. He went to a lot of trouble to create you especially who you are.”

I’ve learned she is right. I am not an accident.

There are six powerful things I discovered while the mystery unraveled: 
  1. I belong to God, no matter how I was conceived.
  2. I exist to glorify Him by becoming the person I was meant to be.
  3. I can go to His Word, and His people, to get more information.
  4. I found my life’s purpose by asking Him to reveal my unique destiny.
  5. I decided in a single moment never to give up.
  6. I started by taking one step. Then one more. And another, and then another.

God knitted me together on purpose, with purpose, to fulfill a purpose. My unique DNA combination makes me especially qualified to do the work He planned for me before I was even born. I am wanted, because my Daddy-God adopted me. I am beautiful, because I look like my Daddy-God. I am the daughter of the King of Kings, which makes me a princess. I am secure in my identity, which is found in Christ alone.

But my story isn’t all about me. My story is also about you.

No matter how you started, or where you are today, you are meant for abundant life. You can live the dream God planted in your heart when He set you in the soil of your mother’s womb. You are not an accident. You know who you are. You look like your Daddy.

Author Bio
Anita Agers-Brooks is on a mission to find her biological father. On her journey, she shares God’s message as a Communications Specialist, Certified Personality Trainer, public speaker, and writer. Anita lives in Missouri with her husband Ricky. Contact her via website or email