The writings of an imperfect military wife and mom to six about the chaos and adventure of everyday life.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Live Intentionally - Day 8 - personal growth

I have been thinking of this definition a lot today. Intentional, what exactly does it mean? What does it look like in my daily life? For me its little things like taking that all of 10 minutes the night before and making my husbands lunch, as apposed o rushing around trying to get it done first thing in the morning. Or,  slowing down just a little bit in the day and listen to my kids tell me about thee day.

As mom's we are so busy trying to tackle the endless to do list that sometimes w loose sight of what is really important. Its about being intentional in our days focused on what God wants. After all He wants what's best for us.

But, how do we slow down? If we don't do it who will? Here is the beauty of living intentionally, those things don't matter. If we live intentionally focused and keep our eyes focused on God and what he wants for our lives, those little things that we "had " to do will quickly disappear.  That may mean saying no to someone when they ask you to bake those cookies, or volunteer in the classroom and that's ok. It just means you will be available to say Yes to the things God wants you to do, and that  is living intentionally just as God has intended.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Live Intentionally - Day 7

Live Intentionally Focus: Home

As part of my focus on getting my home more organized I am always looking for resources. What better way to learn then from others who have been there and tried that. This morning after I took the kids to school I came home and got to work. Here is what I started with...

  1. Orange Rhino: http://theorangerhino.com/ The is an awesome website for those of us who tend to "yell" when things get a little crazy. More about this soon.
  2. Organized in 20 Days! : http://www.organizedmom.net/ There is a cost of $6.99 involved in this E-Book however it is well worth it. The simple straight forward plan makes it easy to use. Plus, it covers areas like "contacts" I would have never thought to include in getting organized.
  3. The 2015 Confident Mom Weekly Household Planner: http://www.theconfidentmom.com/ Ok so the amazing thing is this is free. There is additional add-ons you can purchase but the planner it self is free. You also have the option of the blank or printed versions depending on your preference.
So, the wonderful thing when I sat down to figure out the game plan was the Household Planner doesn't start until the 28th and it was the 8th so I had 20 days to tackle getting my home organized.
My plan was simple, continue my routines and cleaning schedule {hint hint upcoming post} and add each day into my daily life. The key is to make whatever you are using work for you.
Day 1 - Routines
This was actually more of an easy task for me. I have routines established so it was more of a tweaking areas that may need change. Basically I have three routines, morning, afternoon, and evening.  I keep everything on my phone using my Cozi  App. I am not a huge technology person but I love having everything right there in one place. My routines are adapted from Fly Lady and again adjusted to fit my life.
Morning Routine :
Feed Dog
Empty Dishwasher
Bathroom Pick up/Wipe Down {We have 5 boys}
Sweep Downstairs
Quick Pick Up
Trash Cans Dumped
Check Calendar/Plan Day
Pull out meat etc for dinner.
Afternoon Routine:
Start Dinner
Quick Pick Up
Evening Routine:
Wipe down sink [In Flylady terms its called shining your sink]
Lays out clothes for morning
Check Calendar
Run Dishwasher
Quick Pick Up
Laundry put away
The key is make routines work for you and make them simple. If you try to do to much or do something because it says so  but it is not how you work the plan will fail. You will get frustrated and give up.
Do you have routines?
What tips or tricks do you have?

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Live Intentionally - Day 6 - Menu Planning {Snacks}

All my kids are in school now, and most of them eat lunch really early. Like 11:10 am early, which means by the time they walk in the door at 3:00pm they are starving. Typically we allow them to get a healthy afternoon snack before homework starts and  to tied them over to dinner. However, what I was finding the "snack" was not filling enough and we were going thru a lot more food [ like bag of popcorn per child  = 6 bags  2-3 times per week]. I realized we needed a changed.

I started googling Healthy Kid Snacks and came across with some great resources....

Then I came up with a weeks worth of snacks to give it a trial run. I also purchased some storage for the snacks from a dollar  store near our home.  My thought process was if having snacks didn't work out I only spent about $6.

I also made a menu for the week for snacks:

Snack 1: Turkey and cheese rollups, cherry tomatoes, jello
Snack 2: Crackers, ham and cheese, baby carrots, pudding
Snack 3: Nachos and salsa/cheese, apples, rice crispy treats
Snack 4: Tuna or PB&J, grapes, trail mix
Snack 5: Quesadillas, hard boiled eggs, granola bars
Snack 6: Pizza bagels, orangs, chips
Snack 7: Meat and cheese kabobs, cucumbers, pretzels
Snack 8: Chicken Wraps, applesauce, cheese sticks
Snack 9: Rice and beans, fruit cocktail, pita chips w/hummus

* I need to make a run to get some more storage bins for snacks so I used what was in the house. I prefer the divided ones because it makes it easier for me and the kids.

The result was the kids love it, snack time is easy.
Plus they are less hungry at dinner time! Definitely something worth continuing!!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Live Intentionally Day 5 - The beauty in the dishes - marriage

My husband and I have been married almost 13 years. We have had our share of ups and downs, Every marriage has and does. This past weekend we found ourselves kid free for three whole hours!!!
It was a rare occurrence and we took advantage of it by going back to his office, eating take out and wrapping Christmas gifts we had hidden for our kids. It also gave us time to talk about some issues we had been putting off for awhile, again completely uninterrupted. It was wonderful.

Fast forward to Monday night and its back to the "Organized Chaos" of our daily life. Oldest boys had basketball practice, homework was spread all over the table and I was doing the mad dash of school pickups and rushing to get our 9 year old to gymnastics on time and start dinner. In the middle of all of this the dishwasher started acting up. It was washing, just not cleaning the dishes.  My husband suggested running it with out dishes in it to clean it out. I reluctantly agreed and started the dishwasher thru the cycle as my husband did the basketball run. We had just finished dinner and the dishes were piled up because not only were there dinner dishes, there was also a full load that needed to be rewashed. I decided to tackle the mountain of dishes and while I did it gave me perspective on a few things....

  1. Marriage is about growth and compromise. A few weeks back my husband and I had a conversation about the dishes constantly being on the counter waiting to be loaded in the dishwasher. He suggested we may need to wash some dishes along with running the dishwasher to get ahead of the game, I flat out said I don't have time to wash dishes, basically telling him to get over it. Yet here I was washing dishes on this Monday night. The funny thing was it took me about an hour tops to wash, dry, and put away. All done before he got back from practice. I know not seeing the piles on the counter was a huge relief for my husband when he walked in, and honestly it was kind of relaxing.
  2. Marriage is all about balance. One thing we are working on is being more clear when things are irritating. We call them triggers and they can be large or small. Having that balance of saying to the other person "Hey when you leave your dishes on the table it frustrates me because it adds to the mess" as opposed to cleaning up the dishes and being crabby the rest of the night is huge.
  3. Marriage is messy and not perfect, You take two adults with strong personalities and you will from time to time have messes. In no way are my husband and I perfect, nor is our marriage. But were in for the long hall. Thru the mess and chaos, along with the beauty and fun a marriage can bring it is a commitment for a lifetime.
So, next time you find yourself doing some mundane task such as watching dishes, enjoy it. Take the time to reflect on your life, your marriage, your kids and you may just gain a new perspective.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

What I am working on this week - Living Intentionally 2015- Day4

Day 4 - Live Intentionally

This week is the first full week of January. It means back to school, work, and normal routines. For me it means the start of a few things you may want to join me in. When I started this goal to Live Intentionally in 2015 I planned on covering all aspects of my life. The following are two of the areas, home and personal growth:

Live Intentionally - Home
   One of my goals is to become more organized this year and make better use of the space in our home. I am so excited to start this 14 week challenge. Head over to A bowl full of lemons for all the details. I will be updating each week my progress. Wish me luck or better yet join me!

Live Intentionally - Personal Growth
   I attend a weekly ladies bible study that I absolutely love. However this is separate from my personal quiet time I have typically in the mornings [before the chaos starts]. I wanted something that was challenging but simple and come across this, January book study -Exodus from Women Living Well. Its perfect for me, as it is just the book of exodus broken up within the month. Check out the resources section for more information.

So, there you have it. Two areas of my life I am hoping to improve. Here's to a great month!

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Live Intentionally - Day 2

Intentionally Focused on : Home

During this focus I intend to coverall all aspects of life. Today I am focusing on the home. More specifically the linen closet.
Just looking at this closet makes me cringe!
My goal with this challenge is to make intentional changes each day. Some small, some large all intentional for the better. Today is a small change, but huge in terms of striving towards getting my home more organized.
I searched Pintrest for some ideas and solutions. I love how Pintrest makes it so easy to type in what your looking for and the result is so many ideas I would have never thought of.
Here is what I came up with...

First I folded the flat sheet in half and placed  it on my bed. Then I took the fitted sheet matched the opposite corners and layed it on top of the flat sheet. This makes folding the fitted sheet easy because it will be tucked into the flat sheet as you fold.
Next take the flat sheet and fold it over making a large rectangle. he fitted sheet inside will fold over as well. Smooth out the sheet, and release any "air" that is in between the sheets.
Continue to fold and flatten until you have a long rectangle small enough to fit inside a pillow case.
Place the folded set inside the pillow case. If you have multiple pillow cases you can fold and place with the sheets tucking them all into the pillow case.

End Result!

Extra pillow cases I folded and placed in a basket I had. The other pillow case is a one for a body pillow. Too large for the basket so I just folded it separately.


Here is the final result of organizing my linen closet. Top shelf has the sheets that fit our bed, second shelf is twin sets and pillow cases. Is it picture perfect? Nope, not at all but its organized and simple enough my kids can find what they need. One tip I do have is DE clutter the amount of sheets you have. We have 7 sets that are on the beds all the time and then 2 back up sets for the queen bed and all the twin beds, a total of 4 sets. I have 1 body pillow back up and 5 pillowcases. That's it for 8 people. This works for us !
Live Intentionally!

Friday, January 2, 2015

Creating a "quiet space" - Day 1 - Kids

Live Intentionally 365: Day 1 -Kids

When my family and I moved from Georgia to Texas this summer we went from about a 2300 square foot house to about 1600 square foot house with the same amount of people and stuff.

I do love the convenience of living in on-post housing however trying to find enough space for everyone has been challenging. Our 7 year old has had the hardest time with the move and the transition that comes with it. New school, new friends, new house its been hard on him. He is constantly begging us for his own room which is not even possible. I decided to come up with the next best thing.... a quiet space just for him.

In the upstairs of our house we have three very large closets. This one is a walk in and quiet honestly a small child could sleep in it. I simple took everything out of the closet [there is shelving I am using to store blankets up top} put a blanket, a bean bag chair, and storage in it for his toys etc and here it is...a quiet space just for him.  He loved it, and actually did his homework in it yesterday. We do have the rule he can't sleep in it but he can be in there when he needs quiet or play in there as well. The point is it gave him a space [he shares a room with two brothers] just for him.
Do you have a small house and a lot of kids or even a few kids?
How do you create spaces just for them?