Greeting Cards and Our Loved Ones

I am so terrible at sending greeting cards but I really long to send them to my loved ones because I do think about them often especially on their special days.

I wish I had a better method for doing so.

Wouldn’t you know it I found a great way to make sure all my loved ones know I AM thinking about them on those special days!!!

Crystal Paine from Money Saving Mom (my very favorite blog to follow and I am pretty sure her name has nothing to do with it:)) shared a great post from Rachel of Ordinary Homemaker a few days ago!

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Check out this great way to be organized with greeting cards here!

God Bless,

Crystal

Thanksgiving Every Day

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Thanksgiving is quickly approaching!

Cleaning.

Baking.

Friends and Family.

Turkey, mashed potatoes and stuffing.

These are the main things on everyone’s mind currently.

Don’t get me wrong I love all the above also except maybe the cleaning part.

Then comes Thanksgiving day and everyone says what they are thankful for and they eat and laugh and have a grand ol’ time.  Then the day is over and we all go about our business.

But what about being thankful each and every day!  We can’t forget to praise God for ALL the things he provides us weather big or small.

Each day is a blessing and we can’t forget that.  One of my favorite moms to follow is Money Saving Mom.  Crystal Paine has some amazing tips! Check her out here. One of the new things she has been busy creating is a Gratitude Journal.  Now there is a special place to keep track of  those big and little things we are thankful for each day.

As mentioned above, time with family and friends is very important.  Adding a delicious meal to the mix is just one added bonus.  Where do we get all the goodies for the big day.  Click here to find out!

God Bless, Crystal

Day 21: Designated Areas

Day 21 of 31 Days of Consistency & Children

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Since doing the 31 days challenge I have really been thinking about how my children need a lot of direction.

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They need to be given very strict boundaries and very clear directions in all their daily activities. When too many tasks are left for them to interpret things can go haywire very quickly!

My kids have a toy room and a bedroom and then I thought it would be nice if they had a spot in the living room for some of their toys but I have quickly changed my mind. It is funny how ideas change rapidly when a person is thinking about the issues that can arise from such ideas.

My living room turns into a disaster.

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The toy room has been hit by a massive tornado.

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Their rooms were demolished by a tidal wave in a matter of minutes!!

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Too many areas for them to “play” turns into more work for mom. I have changed my mind!!!

I completely revamped my living room.  NO more toys!  NO more books!  Not in my living room!

I have decided to get their toy room under control as well.  That room will be the only room for their toys and books.  They can have books in their rooms and maybe a few toys but the majority of the stuff will stay in the toy room.   My kids spend most of their time in the toy room anyway so why not keep that the designated room for toys!!

So the consistent part of this is that each and every night they will have to pick up the toy room and any other things that they have gotten out and put it back in its place.  I am sooooooo tired of picking up then turning around to pick up again.  This momma is not going to keep stressing about picking up because I am not going to pick up their stuff anymore.  My kids range from 3 to 15 which is more than old enough to be responsible for their own items.  If they are left out of place I will take it and they may not get it back.  I don’t want to sound mean but I have plenty of other tasks to do each day.

What do you all think?  Please tell me you have similar problems.  What have you done to create less stress for yourself?  Comment with your thoughts, ideas or suggestions!!

God Bless, Crystal

Day 14: Consistency Update

Day 14 of 31 Days of Consistency & Children

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I just want to update ya all on how our routines are going.

My morning routine that I talked about in Day 1 is not going well at all!  I am being honest and telling you that I is HARD to get up early especially when I am TIRED!!!  Now part of that is my fault and I know that.  I have a hard time going to bed early but last night I was in bed with the lights out at 9:30 and my goal is 10:00!!!!

Finally I can go to sleep and get a goods night rest, right??

NOT!!!

At 10:30 I woke up and I can’t even remember why!

11:30 the dog was barking like crazy!

At around midnight my youngest was coughing so hard I thought he was going to throw up!!

Needless to say I almost slept through my alarm which I changed in the middle of the night to 7am instead of 6am:(

On a happy note, the morning routine for the kids is going well in part because we have been picking their clothes out the night before like I talked about in Day 2!

I get them up at 7am and they get dressed.

Then they eat breakfast.

Teeth and hair come next.

Last they get their shoes on and watch for the bus!!!

This works pretty well most mornings except when they have poor listening ears which is mentioned in Day 4!

So they last thing I want to talk about today is the bedtime routine.  Day 10 lays out the plan for that.  It is going okay!  We had a very busy weekend so that was a challenge but we are working.  Each night gets a little easier!

I just told my dad a few minutes ago that he needs to give it all to God so I am going to take my own advice and give all the worries and issues over to God because I know he has this.

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AMEN!!!

God Bless, Crystal

Day 11: Keep Them Busy

Day 11 of 31 Days of Consistency & Children

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Children like to stay busy! They will always find something to do even if you don’t give them something to do and when that happens you may not like what they pick!

They will find entertainment like when my 3 year old was cutting paper which was a wonderful learning time to work on fine motor skills until he decided it would be cool to cut his own hair!

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What I forgot to mention is that they should be supervised while doing these things. I know! I know! That is a good time to do a quick load of laundry or some dishes or jump online quick but they should at least be in your sight!

I have learned a lot since going from full-time to part-time! My kids love doing crafts, art work, reading or really any activity. They like doing things that are monitored with direction which surprised me a bit. It is funny how much I didn’t know about my children! That breaks my heart because my husba n d and I had these little people with no intention of having someone else raise them. I am enjoying what I am learning about each one of them!

So I have been online looking for simple, cheap ideas to do with them. I figure the key to this is to pick a few times each day to work on such things. Consistency! See how I threw that in. Sneaky, right??!!!

Another good resource is the Family Fun magazine. I had subscribed to it years ago and cut out the ideas I liked and created a binder for the such ideas. I put them in categories so I can easily find a holiday or season project to work on. I can finally use these cool ideas because I am with my kiddos much more often which makes this momma happy!

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God Bless, Crystal

Day 9: Momma is sick

Day 9 of 31 Days of Consistency & Children

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In all the talk about consistency with our children we know that we have to do things over and over again, day in and day out so that things will become a habit, a routine or a consistent thing!

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But what happens we momma doesn’t fell well?? How do we keep things going smoothly in our homes? I ask this because I have been suffering with severe allergy issues the past two days which has made me very sick:(

I have been trying to keep up with things in my home and keep the kids on a routine (which is very hard since my kids have not had one prior to a few months ago) but all I want to do is curl up in a warm blanket by the fireplace and sleep!

God will give me the strength I need but of course the boys are going to push the limits as much as possible. I need help!! What do I do?

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God Bless, Crystal

Day 6: Compassion

Day 6 of 31 Days of Consistency & Children

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If you read yesterday’s post I mentioned that our son was having surgery today. Just to update everyone, it went well and he is in recovery now. Once he is moving around and able to eat something we will head back home!!

Today will be a cuddly day of rest at home. My plan will be just to keep him comfortable and enjoy the precious little guy.

Part of being a parent is to comfort our children and let them know that we love them. We must show compassion as God does with us. We hope our kids will be compassionate towards others but we need to model that for them.

My husband and I will be doing just that in the next days to come. The challenge will be keeping him less active for the next few weeks. He has lifting restrictions and limited rough play. Our son is the roughest, toughest 5 year old boy out there! We will rely on patience and prayer to get through!

Today’s message is to love your little ones they way you want them to love others everyday!!

Day 3: Dinner Time

Day 3 of the 31 Days of Consistency & Children!

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Today is our schools homecoming so everyone is full of school spirit and all decked out in our best blue and white!! Go Cadets!!!!!

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Okay sorry back to consistency and children.

I picked clothes out last night and that felt good.  I am trying to get as much ready the night before as possible so the morning can go smoothly.  So far so good but we are only on day 3.  I better not jump ahead of myself!

I would like to share a routine that we have already established. Yay me!!  This 31 day challenge has gotten me thinking and I realized last night that we do have one routine that we have done consistently for the past 5 years.

Let me tell you a little back story.  About 15 years ago my husband and I bought a VERY small house.  This place was tiny!  We did not have enough room for a table in our kitchen and we not have a dining room.  At that time our oldest daughter was a baby and my husband worked a job that required him to be gone all week.  I would feed my daughter in her high chair and I usually ate in the living when watching TV.  We lived there for 5 years.

We moved to a house that was a little bigger but still not much room. We had a kitchen but no dining room again and the kitchen was small. We had a tiny table but my husband was still gone all week it was just my daughter and I.  Then I became pregnant with our second daughter.  I was very sick though this pregnancy so I just let my daughter eat in the living room which continued even after the birth of our second baby.

I really wanted meal time to be different but bad habits are hard to break.  We lived in that house for 5 years.  So 5 years ago we moved into our current house which is much bigger than our first two homes.

We have a dining room!!!!!!!

We have a big table!!!!!!!!

And yes, you guessed it, we eat meals together at the table!!!!!!

We eat almost all of our meals together as a family.  My husband no longer works a job that requires him to be gone all week, thank goodness.  That would be a nightmare with four little people!

Not only do we eat together but we have also incorporated prayer into our routine.  We hold hands and pray asking Jesus to join us and to bless our food.  The kids will even remind us if we start to eat without praying.  I love this tradition we have started and instilled in our children!  I pray this will be carried with them into their adult lives!

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Even if you don’t realize it you may already have small habits or routines that you are doing with your kids. What routine are you already doing??

Day 2: Be Prepared

Day 2 of the 31 days with Consistency & Children

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Yesterday I listed my morning routine and today I did not follow it completely!  But you know what?   It is okay because this is new and I tried and I have completed part of it.

One of my issues is getting upset with the kids in the morning because none of my children are morning people.  They don’t like getting up no matter what time they went to bed.  They can be very winy and stubborn and I tend to have a short fuse in the morning because I am not a morning person either and I am tired.

I am happy to announce that we had a good morning!!

The key to not losing my temper is to think all actions through before letting them take control.  Prayer is very helpful.  God wants us to talk to him, which I do often throughout the day.  He not only wants us to pray for others but also for ourselves.  God knows before hand what we are thinking and going to do.  We don’t have to tell him because he already knows BUT in order to build a relationship with him, we must talk to him.  This helps me get through the tough times.  Since mornings can be rough that is when I talk to God a lot.  This morning went well and know it is because I gave it all to God!!

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Back to the consistency with Children.  One thing I am learning is that we need to pick clothes out the night before.  On occasion we do this but not a regular basis.  That is part of the struggle we have in my house each day.  Why not eliminate that issue all together and just plan ahead and be prepared for morning.

So I am going to get their clothes picked out and placed neatly on the table so they can just get dressed.

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Now don’t get me wrong, I know there will be days that I will hear such things as, “I don’t want to wear that today!” or “It is cold today, I am not wearing that!”  I know that will happen but for the most part this should help the mornings go more smoothly.

Does anyone do this already or plan to adopt this idea?  Let me know your thoughts in the comments!!

Check back tomorrow to see how my routine is going!

God Bless each and every one of you.

Crystal~

What…Organization??

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Organization?

What is that?

What language are you speaking?

Organization is something I strive for but rarely get. I have some really great ideas in my head but when it comes down to actually being organized those are just dreams!

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Since having my own home based business and since I started blogging from home I have learned a few things:

  • Being organized is a lot of work!!
  • Being organized takes a lot of time!!
  • Being organized is exhausting!!!
  • Being organized is just not for me!!!

Wait, what?

Okay I am not a huge fan of being organized or should I say becoming organized!  I am working on this daunting task little by little.  My cousin, Jessi would laugh at me right now because this is an area in which we are complete opposites!!  She loves lists and I make them and lose them.  She can go through her day on schedule and I forgot where I put my schedule.  She has a nice neat home with everything in its place and I have a home that has stuff in it somewhere!!

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All joking aside I know that being organized is very important especially if working from home.

So since I mentioned that I have learned a few things I would like to share with you what I have really learned and what I am in the process of changing as we speak.

First and probably the most important step is to be prepared.  I know what areas of my home I need to get organized and into place so I need to prioritize these areas into what I want to work on first.  Then I need to have a plan and create steps.  Then (for me) I need to break each step into smaller steps so I can have a plan for what I need to do each day and even what I need to do during the day to accomplish my goals.

Now that sounds really complicated but I can tell you from personal experience that it is much easier than you think even if you get easily distracted like I do!

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One of my favorite apps on my phone is a planning/organizing/cleaning tool.  It is called Cozi from Fly Lady  which you can check out here http://www.flylady.net!

It also has a web version but I need to take it with my so I prefer the app.  The features it has are:

Calendar Cozi calendar

Shopping  Cozi shopping

To Do Cozi to do

Journal Cozi journal

and if you purchase the Gold package: Contacts and Birthdays.

I use it to put  in all of my appointments, keep track of my grocery list and know what my to do items are!

One of my favorite features of the calendar is what the Fly Lady adds to it each and every day.  In just 15-30 minutes each day can really get a lot accomplished!  She has each week set aside to clean  one section of your home.  Then each day she breaks down the section into small tasks in order to get that area done in a weeks time.  See below so you can understand my mumbling!!

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This is the weeks section which she breaks down into Zones-Master Bedroom

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Today is Mission #1 of Zone 4 (Master Bedroom)

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This section I couldn’t get in one screenshot but it explains exactly what to do.

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I am one who needs someone to just break it down and tell me what to do.  It can’t get any clearer than that.

Now I can know what I need to do each day, what groceries I need to buy when I go to the store, where I need to be and when, and exactly what I need to clean today to keep my house in tip top shape!!!

I hope you all find something useful in this post but I also LOVE ideas or tips on how to stay (or become) organized so please share with me your thoughts, ideas and tips!!!