Monday, October 31, 2011


I Corinthians 13 for Mothers (by Jim Fowler)

If I live in a house of spotless beauty with everything in its place,
but have not love,
I am a housekeeper, not a homemaker.

If I have time for waxing, polishing, and decorative achievements,
but have not love,
my children learn cleanliness, not godliness.

If I scream at my children for every infraction,
and fault them for every mess they make,
but have not love,
my children become people-pleasers, not obedient children.

Love leaves the dust in search of a child’s laugh.

Love smiles at the tiny fingerprints on a newly cleaned window.

Love wipes away the tears before it wipes up the spilled milk.

Love picks up the child before it picks up the toys.

Love accepts the fact that I am the ever-present “mommy,”
the taxi-driver to every childhood event,
the counsellor when my children fail or are hurt.

Love crawls with the baby, walks with the toddler, and runs with the child,
then stands aside to let the youth walk into adulthood.

Before I became a mother I took glory in my house of perfection.
Now I glory in God’s perfection of my child.

All the projections I had for my house and my children
have faded away into insignificance,
And what remain are the memories of my kids.

Now there abides in my home scratches on most of the furniture,
dishes with missing place settings,
and bedroom walls full of stickers, posters and markings,
But the greatest of all is the Love
that permeates my relationships with my children.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

A Few Good Reads

I read some extra good blog posts this week.  Thought I would share them with you.

Have you ever wondered if there was something you could do with all those old wooden pallets.  This post is FULL of ideas.  Some practical, and some just pretty--all of them inspiring!

If you have more than one child you are always looking for creative ideas for one-on-one time with them.  This post gives a simple/free/quick idea for special time with each child.

I needed this reminder that as a mom I set the mood for my home.

A yummy recipe for left over mashed potatoes!

Did you read anything interesting this week?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

What Kind of Mom Are You

I've been thinking lately--about how I parent. It's so easy for me to get busy, and focus constantly on the next load of laundry or the next pile of dishes.  I forget to take time to have fun.

Permit me a run down memory lane?

 When I was young my dad was a school teacher, and several times a year he had parent/teacher conferences.  This meant that he didn't get home until about 7 or 8 o'clock at night.

I LOVED parent/teacher conference nights--because my mom made them into something fun.  We would have a supper that included foods that were very untypical in our diet.  "Fun food" was what I called them--in reality it was just things like frozen dinners from the grocery store, or hot dogs. 

These were meals that my mom knew my dad was not fond of, and she purposely chose them for us because we thought they were "fun."  It made the whole evening seem like an adventure.

Now that I have a family of my own I do something similar.  My husband drives truck, and he often works long hours during the summer.  I often try to have my house-work done by about 5 o'clock and plan a "fun" evening with the children.  We have our own version of "fun" food and we play games.

Sometimes we get take out food, drive out to the lake, and eat supper while watching  the seagulls.  It makes the long evenings pass quickly, and before we know it daddy is home.

My children act like I've handed them the world when we do these simple things.  Which is my point--it really doesn't take much effort or money to be a fun mom.  A child's definition of fun mostly just involves doing something together.

What are some ways that you have fun with your children?

Monday, October 24, 2011

I'm Just Sayin'

This post is not for the weak of heart.......or stomach.

I think as mothers we should help one another.  When we discover something that works with parenting we should pass it on. 

On the other hand when we fail or our plans fail--sometimes it's good to share that information too.

It helps other moms too see that we're human too, and sometimes it gives them a good chuckle.

Having said that..............

We have some trouble with constipation at our house--especially with the two youngest children.

I combat this with--what else--prune juice.

The two year old likes it ok, but the baby LOVES it.

This morning I fixed a bottle for the baby, and a sippy cup for the two year old.

Both of them had about an inch of prune juice and the rest was water.

The baby somehow inhaled his bottle, and when I wasn't looking got ahold of his brother's sippy cup.

May I just say-----------when a baby drinks two cups of watered down prune juice.

He will no longer have constipation.

The results were disastrous!!!!!!!!

I gave him a bath...........and there is quite a bit of extra laundry.

I'm just sayin'

Our Adoption Story Part 2

You really should read Part One of this story if you didn't already.

 I got off of the phone with disappointment in my heart because I was sure that we couldn't handle foster parenting. 

Foster parents are these really special people that are strong and can protect their hearts so that when a child has to leave they don't struggle..........right?

The odd thing was that when we started praying about it both my husband and I started feeling this overwhelming peace.

I kept thinking "What if that was my child that needed a safe place to live while I straightened my life out?"

I would want them to stay somewhere like our home.

With people that--although they aren't perfect--would love them and care for them like they are there to stay, and would cry and miss them when they leave.

Isn't that what family does?

So we took a huge leap of faith, and started filling out paperwork, and attending training classes.

Eight months later we received our foster license.

We assumed that we would have several months to adjust to the idea of being foster parents before we would have children placed with us.

Silly us!

Exactly two weeks later we had two little boys--almost one, and almost two years old placed in our home.

Four months, and one week later they are still here.

So, what is the rest of our adoption story?

Is there a part 3?

Why of course!!'ll have to wait for it.

Because--you see--I'm not really the one writing this story.

God is, and only He knows for sure what part 3 will be about.

I have a pretty good idea..........

but you will just have to wait and see.  : )

Monday, October 17, 2011

Our Adoption Story Part 1

If someone were to ask me to name one thing that I am passionate about--I would say "adoption!"

Adoption is woven through our family in several different ways.

First of all, we are adopted by God.

We were born with sinful natures, and that separated us from Him, and yet He reached out with loving arms and pulled us back, and redeemed us.

Secondly, my husband comes from a family of seven children who are ALL ADOPTED!!

His parents adopted before it was "popular"--before there were adoption support groups--back when a lot of Christian people thought adoption was "too risky."

God gave them a heart for the fatherless, and they have poured themselves into their family selflessly.

When I first met my husbands family I was amazed at how connected they were--if you made one mad at you--they were all mad at you--one of them loved you--they all loved you.

When my husband and I were dating we talked about adoption--how we thought we might do it someday.

That brings me to the third way that adoption is woven into our family.

After we were married several years we found out with the help of several doctors that we would be unable to have biological children.

There were a lot of emotions that went through our minds at that time, but I remember thinking "so we will adopt after all"  and feeling a measure of excitement about it.

Several years later, we adopted two little boys through a domestic infant adoption program.

We thought our family was perfect, but once in a while I would get the feeling that there was a missing piece.

About a year ago we decided we were ready to adopt again.

By now our youngest was almost six--so we thought it would be perfect to adopt a waiting sibling group.

We started the mound of paperwork, and almost immediately we began running into snags.

The age of children we were interested in was uncommon in a waiting sibling group.

I received a phone call from a case worker we knew from our previous adoptions.

She asked me if we had considered being foster parents.

Now, adoption seems pretty easy to me, but foster parenting seemed scary.

There are too many unknowns--too many risks--too little control on my part. 

So, I told her that we would pray about it, and hung up feeling rather sure what God's answer would be.

To be continued..........

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

What Brings Me To My Knees

Just in case you wondered what's going on with foster parenting--

--two year old stinker is making me knock on heaven's gate and plead for patience. (maybe I should just pray for unconsciousness)

--one year old cutie learned how to walk, and pull ALL the books off of the bookshelves on the same day.

--allergies are awful around here in the ENTIRE family.

--court date coming up in a couple weeks--please pray!

--unannounced case worker visit sometime in the next week. (It's just what it sounds like, and it stresses me out.)

--as I write the baby is on the table pouring salt all over our home school books. :(

--I'm trying to decide which is more work changing diapers or potty training.

In case you aren't sure--I'm still loving being a foster mommy.  I haven't been bored for several months.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Why Save All The Fun For Friday

I have this habit of planning all the "fun" in my week for either Friday, or the week-end.  Let me explain.

  On Friday we often do something special for lunch.  I often skip some of the more time consuming parts of our home-schooling like flash cards.  Sometimes we eat out as a family for supper, and I used to get groceries on Friday, or Saturday.  As a result everyone--including me--looked forward to Friday's.

In contrast we all dreaded Monday.  It's hard to get back in the "school mindset".  We are tired from the week-end, and the day stretches out in a grey haze that even coffee can't cut.

So today I wracked my brain to think of something to break this yucky Monday cycle. 

I decided why not do some fun things on Monday? Why save all the fun for Friday?

 I told the children that we would get lunch in town if they worked willingly. You should have seen the pencils fly. I even felt excited over the fact that I didn't have to think about lunch.

I've also started doing my grocery shopping on Monday. It's a rather nice way to start the week with a fridge full of food.

I guess some of the tradition behind doing all the shopping etc. on Friday has to do with Friday being the typical paycheck day.  However, my husband is self-employed and he gets "paid" most of the time on Tuesday.

What about you--what day of the week do you grocery shop or eat out or do extra "fun" things?

Monday, October 10, 2011

Happy Monday To You

Toddler’s Creed

If I want it, it’s mine.

If I give it to you and change my
mind later, it’s mine.

If I can take it away from you,
it’s mine.

If I had it a little while ago,
it’s mine.

If it’s mine, it will never belong to
anyone else, no matter what.

If we are building something together,
all the pieces are mine.

If it looks just like mine,
it is mine.

~Author Unknown

Friday, October 7, 2011

Day Five

The things I am going to write in this post apply to me, and you may not share the same feelings or convictions about possessions. 

When my possessions make me tired.

When my possessions get in the way of me helping others.

When my possessions and the care of them fills all my time.

When my possessions or stuff makes me feel crabby because it's never where it belongs etc....


"Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,"  Hebrews 12:1b

My greatest desire is to serve the Lord and be ready to do what He asks.  I've noticed that possessions can hinder my ability to serve.  I guess you would say that is my underlying motivation for decluttering.

 You might ask why not just not accumulate the "stuff" in the first place.  We tend to accumulate from other sources besides ourselves.  Family and friends give us gifts or items they no longer need, and somehow the "stuff" just grows. 

Some of the things are possessions we have had for years, and simply outgrown our need or desire for them. 

I feel more ready to give of my time and energy when I do some decluttering.  This past week is just one of many such sessions.

Now I'd like to hear from you.  What is your motivation for getting rid of stuff or decluttering?

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Day Four

I think I'm starting to feel clutter fatigue. 

 Today I collected more craft books, a few toys, some pajamas that I never wear, and a few other assorted things.

I thought rather deeply about the reasons why I am decluttering.

It goes deeper than just wanting a tidy home.

And desiring less things in my life.

I think it has to do with a heart issue--for me at least.

I'll share more about that tomorrow on my last clutter collecting day.

My husband tried to put something in the back of our van today, and several things fell out.  He looked at me without a word and rolled his eyes. :)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Day Three

My search for clutter took me to a difficult place today--the bookshelf.  I LOVE to read, and I LOVE books, and thus it is painful for me to get rid of books--even books that I don't like.  Isn't that silly?

  For some inexplicable reason I value books almost higher than any other possession in my home, and I can easily become overrun with the written word.

I mostly hit the children's bookshelf, but I also purged some of my books.  I tried to especially target the books that are an enjoyable light read, but have no real value.  Many of these books I buy second-hand, and so there is no great monetary value.

I also hit my medicine cabinets, and my laundry cupboard.  I found some wax for wood floors--our current home has only carpet and linoleum.

I found a can of air freshener--we can't use this because of allergies in our home.

I found some cradle cap conditioner--it was badly outdated, and currently no one has cradle cap.

I found some craft books for cross stitch--much as it pains me to admit it I don't have the patience for counted cross stitch.

Once again I easily met my goal for ten or more things.  The back of my van is filling up fast.

What did you declutter today?

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Day Two

Today's decluttering was a little more difficult.

  Mostly because a certain two year old was a little difficult, and I had trouble finding time to find clutter. 

 In spite of the distractions I still easily garnered over ten things from my home.

  The question that keeps coming to my mind is why do I keep some of these things? 

I added a poll to the top right hand corner of my blog just to make this week a little more interesting. 

 Please vote--it will make the drudgery of going thru stuff a little lighter.

I'll post more pictures of "stuff that won't be cluttlering my house anymore" tomorrow.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Day One

The first day went well. My decluttering quest for ten items only took about ten minutes.

  Actually I have more than ten items in this somewhat harried looking pile.

 I probably won't itemize my pile every day, but since this is the first day--here goes.

I have.......

3 window blinds

1 shower curtain rod

2 CD holders

1 wall plaque in a language I can't read (don't ask)

1 plant hanger

2 over the shower organizers

4 books

1 stack of old paper dolls

and a partridge in a pear tree (not really)
Not bad for just a few minutes of work.  Surprisingly enough it was a painless process.  Almost all of these items came from the same closet--which is now much tidier. 

So, what did you get rid of today?
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A New Week A Fresh Challenge

I love this time of year, but one of the down sides to autumn is the neglect my house suffers during canning season.  When I am preoccupied with jar washing and peach peeling I tend to ignore the overall appearance of my closets and cupboards. 

So I am going to challenge myself this week, and anyone who wants to join me is welcome.

In one week I am going to get rid of/donate 50 items.  I will try to post pictures of some of the many things that will no longer be cluttering my home.

 I've warned my children that I am on a mission, and they are currently pondering what junk toys they are willing to part with.  As added incentive I have reminded them that they have birthdays and Christmas coming--so they need to make room for the new loot gifts they may receive.

To accomplish this goal I will need to have ten items per day to reach 50 by Friday.

Come along with me on this adventure to clutter-free living!

Saturday, October 1, 2011


I recently inherited a cedar chest from my aunt.

 It's truly a very nice piece of furniture with a lot of practical uses.

This made me think of some other not so tangible things that I've inherited.

I grew up in a safe and happy family.

We always had plenty to eat, and I had more love lavished on me than you can imagine.

I was never left alone and no one ever hurt me or yelled unkind things at me.

This may seem rather simple, but for many children this isn't the case.

"Safe" is not a word that describes their homes.

Many of them aren't even safe before they are born.

Our inheritance or heritage of safe happy homes shouldn't be taken lightly.

I'm planning to take very good care of my "new" cedar chest.

I'll use it to store blankets, and sheets, and I won't leave it outside.

In the same way our inheritance should be used well too.

That's one of the reason's that we decided to become foster parents.

To give back a little--when we've been given SO MUCH.

I've been inspired by different ways that others give back.

Some go on short term mission trips.

Some give their entire lives on the mission field.

Some are powerful prayer warriors here at home.

Some are simply available--if you want help you only need call them.

How are you giving back?