Thursday, February 28, 2013

Helping Home: A Fun Way to Schedule Helping Into Our Lives

In efforts to create a helping atmosphere in my home, I've decided to set forth to do something good for someone else, each month.  After creating this, I realized it is similar to the Studers 12 Months of Kindness.  Great minds, I guess.

Initially, I wanted to do this with a planned good deed every week.  But, I will be honest...I would not be able to follow through on that.  So I decided to go with 1 a month.

So, I created
Helping Home

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

A Fish Birthday

I wanted to write an elaborate post on Baby's first birthday party.  It was A LOT of work, and I am really proud of how it turned out.   But, to be honest...I'm just too tired.  So, instead, I'm just going to share some pictures and have that be that.  Hope that's OK.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Motherhood Monday-Hello Limit

It happens sometimes.  We don't always live up to our own expectations.  We don't always do things right.  Sometimes, we are just plain selfish and tired and grumpy.  We raise our voices, ignore our baby's whines, or roll our eyes when our children fuss (and fuss and fuss and fuss) about nothing in particular.  WE do that right?  It's not just me?

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Pretend Minimalism: Rotating Toys

Have you ever watched your child as she sits in the middle of a toy pile, bewildered, not knowing what to play with?  She may pick at a few things, but eventually gives up and goes to play with the door stop.  But... give your child a choice between a few things and he will happily play with them for a while.

Kids don't need, or even want, 432 toys to choose from during play time.  Plus, if they see all of their toys on a daily basis, they will get sick of them (whether they play with them or not).  This is why I rotate toys.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The Perfect Life

I'm feeling pretty overwhelmed, today.  It happens sometimes.  OK...It happens a lot.  I live constantly striving for the "amazing" life that I know I should have.

I browse through photos of people I know.  People living the dream.  They are surfing or traveling or working in the mission field.  They are loving life because life is perfect for them. 

I follow my favorite blogs and find mothers who put their children's needs above their own with the greatest of ease.  They make clothes and deliciously healthy home cooked meals.  The keep a perfectly tidy home and spend their spare time breathing in the joy of their perfect families.  They are loving life because life is perfect for them.
And then I let my eyes wander from my computer screen.  I see my to do list that never ends.  I see the clutter crowding my desk and the dishes piling in the sink.  I see the material items that are supposed to make us happier, and they just make me feel claustrophobic.  I look at my finances and sink into a slight depression.

I make a mental list for what I need to do that day.  It doesn't give room for mistakes.  It doesn't give time to enjoy my family.  The baby wakes up before I expect him to, and I stuff my frustration down inside so that I can greet him with a smile.  My husband comes home late from a hard day at work, and I raise my voice at him for leaving his shoes in the middle of the floor.

And instead of stopping...instead of putting an end to the journey to perfect...I keep going.  I add more to my plate and I buy more things.  I add more good intentions to my well intentioned life.  But it doesn't work.  This isn't how I achieve the "amazing" life that I know I should have.  I need to stop.  I need to say no.  I need to put down the credit card.  I need to turn off the computer and make time to surf and cook and breathe in the joy of my family.  I need to just be.  I need to realize that I should love life.  Not because life is perfect, but because life is good.

God tells me to be still in him.  To let him take care of it and stop worrying about perfection.  He's got this.

 Be still and know that I am God-Psalm 46:10

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Motherhood Can Not be Scheduled

So, I missed you for Motherhood Monday, yesterday.  Because...well...I was dealing with motherhood.  My sweet boy is suffering through double ear infections and a cold.  Aside from sleep (which is not achieved easily), I must hold him or he clings to my leg crying and bouncing.  We used up our acetaminophen, and I had to send Daddy to the store twice because he accidentally bought "Children's" instead of "Infant."  Baby screams at the top of his lungs for seemingly no reason.  Our house is a disaster.  We are miserable, and we are exhausted.  But, this is motherhood and it can't be scheduled.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Kindness as Demonstrated By a Baby and a Toddler

I'm so excited to have Tabitha from Team Studer visiting, today.  She has incorporated kindness into her home the lives of her children.  It's hard enough to get through the day and do the simple things (like feed and bathe our children), but teaching them to love others is truly important.  I love Tabitha's story for us, today.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Valentine Gifts for Baby

If you are looking  for a quick gift for your baby for Valentine's Day, tomorrow, I have just the thing.  I like themed gifts, so Valentine's Day is super fun!

I made Baby 2 heart toys.  One is crinkly and one is jingly.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Motherhood Monday-Turning 1

Yes, I know.  I have missed you for the last zillion Motherhood Mondays.  But, I've been preparing my sweet boy's birthday party (more on this later).  I cannot believe he is one.

Man, I love him!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Empathy for a Giving Heart

In my opinion, empathy is the first step to developing a giving heart.  If I care about you, I am more likely to help you.

Unfortunately for me, this isn't always why I give.  Sometimes I just give.  I give to the random charity at the checkout.  I know nothing about it.  I barely even listen to the clerk to hear the name of what I am giving to.  "Would you like to give a dollar to the Teach a Tree to Read Foundation?"  Sure.

Sometimes it's guilt.  Sometimes it's just because I SHOULD give to others and help out.  Sometimes it's simply because I don't want to be the jerk that says "no," and keeps my dollar for myself.

But, the first step to developing a true, genuine, giving empathy.  

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Minimalism: January Wrap Up and February Goals

January Wrap Up

Focus Area: Office/Guest Room/Craft Room 

I wasn't able to go through any office stuff, but did go through all of my craft supplies.  I have several grocery bags of craft items that I am getting rid of.  Hooray for me!

I reorganized the room.
I know that this might not look like much to you, but believe me...this is a HUGE improvement.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Healthy Home-Spiritual Health

This month's Healthy Home post is about spiritual health.  This can be a touchy subject, but take a few minutes to check out what my friend Jeff has to say.  He is very passionate about the Lord, and loves talking to people about Jesus (he also happens to be married to my dear dear friend and soul sister).

Here are Jeff's thoughts:

Friday, February 1, 2013

Do Unto Others

I want to foster an atmosphere of empathy and generosity in my home.  This is largely accomplished by learning some selflessness and doing good for other people.