Blog Archives

C’mon People Now! (or: siblings cleaning their shared bedrooms)

Ay yi yi.  It’s that time again. Every day, around 4 or 5 o’clock (depending on how the day has gone), I call out “redd up time!”

This is the signal for the children to clean their room as well as their “zone”  for the week. I have divided the house up into seven “zones”, one for each child still living at home. They are responsible for their zone for one week at a time. When I say “redd up”, they need to put away anything that is out of place in that zone,  dust or wipe down or clean certain things that apply to that zone (there is actually a list of instructions posted surreptitiously in each zone), and then vacuum that zone.

This brings next to zero problems. They know the drill quite well, they know the benefits we all reap from having a tidy house, and they know that I will tolerate no nonsense about not doing your job well.

Their bedrooms, however, are, for some reason, a different matter. I think it’s because they consider their bedrooms “their space”, and to an extent, they are correct. I try to give them as much ownership as possible (even if we disagree about what looks good 😉). But I require certain things that we still need daily reminders and practice on. One of the biggest problems we have in the shared work spaces is the division of labor. Who is responsible for what?

At first glance, it seems simple: each of you clean your own things and whatever mess you are responsible for. That leaves the pile of dirt, trash, and odds and ends that no one wants to claim responsibility for. AND the arguments about “yes, that is actually mine, but I’m not the one that got it out/left it out”. If any of you have the answers to this, feel free to let me know! For today, I chose to play this song. LOUDLY.  😝

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Essential Oils for Moms (& $50 in oils FREE!)

If you’ve been sort of interested in oils, maybe wanting to try them out, now is an excellent time to do it! There is a special going on until the end of May that can get you up to $50 in free oils!

Summertime fun is ramping up, lots to go and do and lots to see. If you have little ones, that can also mean lots of “owies” on the playgrounds. My kids are too big for me to carry a diaper bag anymore, but I do keep a bag that’s more than a purse with odds and ends in it that I need for the kids. I like to have a comb and extra hair ties, and a box of tictacs as a small reward or distraction when a trip to the grocery store is extra long. One of the things I also keep in there is a bottle of lavender essential oil. It was one of my “gateway oils” and it’s still one of my top 5 favorites because it has SO. MANY. USES. I drip some on cuts and scrapes, on bee stings and mosquito bites, on sunburns, and on the backs of the kids’ necks when they’re tired, grumpy, or overstimulated. You can learn more about lavender here.

Another one I always keep in my bag is peppermint essential oil.  Another powerhouse oil with many uses to a mom and her children. Our chief use for the kids is for carsickness. We have a big, 12-passenger van and the ones in the back get a bit queasy sometimes if the road is extra curvy or if they’re working on “one more chapter before we get there!” Some like the beadlets (it’s a small, biteable capsule with diluted oil inside), others like the Touch bottle (it has a rollerball so they can put some diluted oil behind their ears and on their tummies), and others like to just have a drop of oil on their palms to rub together and inhale (being careful of their eyes!) You can learn more about peppermint here.

When friends ask me what supplies I recommend for new moms, those two oils come on my list way higher than things like strollers, high chairs, or baby swings!

If you’re interested in trying them out, May is the month for you. The most frugal option that will get you the most “bang for your buck” is to purchase one of these kits: A Family Essentials Kit which has SO many great oils in nice, compact, purse/diaper bag sized bottles OR a Home Essentials Kit, which has the same oils in full size bottles AND a diffuser! When you purchase either one of these kits through these links, you automatically receive 50 points in your account (points are roughly 1 point = 1 dollar), which you can use toward your next order of oils! There is no minimum purchase for that next order, you can just get the free oils and that’s it!

I will be more than happy to go through your kit once you receive it (within days- they ship quickly!) and teach you all about those amazing, powerful oils that you’ve go your hands on! You can email me, text me, give me a call, or Skype/Facetime- whatever works best for you 🙂

Bawling and Remembering What’s Important

Yesterday was rough.

I was cranky, the kiddos were still off-kilter from the lack of schedule over Yule and Christmas, the house was a mess…

Last night I was able to “gear down” and plan today and remind myself to respond not react.

This morning was a little bit of a challenge, as I woke up with a very distracting headache, but one of my kids helped me SO much by playing this song for me. It’s one I really like to listen to when I need to remember my priorities; I like to listen in the mornings, or when things get rowdy.

From what I understand, “Ronan” was a little boy who died of cancer and Taylor Swift wrote this song after reading his mom’s blog. I cry every. single. time I hear it, but it’s so good for me. I really cannot imagine going through watching your child die, and I want to see the precious in every minute I get with mine – even the hard ones!

Literally?!

People.
THIS.
This is the treasure and joy of parenting and home schooling.
Her assignment was “Draw and name two kinds of winter buds”.
So she drew two buds.
And SHE NAMED THEM.
And I got stars in my eyes and fell in love all over again.

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What Will They Remember? and Am I Responsible?

I've heard it both ways:

"They (children, when grown) will remember the good."

"They will remember the bad."

So which is it?
Read the rest of this entry

Being the Oddball Isn’t *Always* Fun

I’m finding out that it’s one thing to know theoretically  that something is a controversial topic, when you are surrounded by either like-minded people or those who are respectful of decisions and opinions differing from their own.
It’s another entirely to find out concretely that it is indeed dear to the heart of someone who has made their career choice based on a position opposite yours, and to find yourself asking that person for assistance. Read the rest of this entry

My Daughter is: Learning to be Fearless

And I’m SO proud of her.
We put her in Public School for the first time this year, as a high school freshman, with many hopes and some trepidation. You can visualize how you want something to happen, and how you really think it will happen, but there are absolutely no guarantees, especially when you’re dealing with other people and their responses. So there was the “other person” of my daughter herself, and the 3000 some “other people” there at the school.
This is a post on her blog about her experiences and what she’s learning.
And I’m just HAPPY. And PROUD. 

Becoming Fearless in my World

Free online tools that make homeschooling easier (for us)

For me, actually.
These are record-keeping, lesson-planning, sanity-saving free downloads that I use every school day. I’ve used them for several years now, and they’ve served me well. I thought I’d share them for anyone that might be interested. Read the rest of this entry

Motherhood’s Near-Horrifying Responsibility

Goethe wasn’t a mother, but he nailed the essence of it in this quote. I haven’t researched what it’s from, or what his larger point was, and frankly, I’m not going to make time to do so, because of what the quote itself has taught me! If anyone knows and wants to share that knowledge with me, add it in the comments! 

“I have come to the frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element. It is my personal approach that creates the climate. It is my daily mood that makes the weather. I possess tremendous power to make life miserable or joyous. 

I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration, I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal. In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis is escalated or de-escalated, and a person is humanized or de-humanized. 

If we treat people as they are, we make them worse. If we treat people as they ought to be, we help them become what they are capable of becoming.”

How Did He Know??

How in the world did he know?

He was at work.
Busy.
With big things.
Costly things.
Dangerous things. Electricity is a powerful thing, not to be toyed with on the back burner.
He wasn’t here.
He didn’t hear the near incessant wail, from one then the other, of needy little ones,
tired of their Mama being tired.
Empty, needing their (empty) Mama to fill them with what she didn’t have. Read the rest of this entry