Cleaning/Organization, Other, Parenting

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!

hair cut

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

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Faith, Marriage, Other, Parenting

Day 10: Bedtime Please

Day 10 of 31 Days of Consistency & Children

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What does your nighttime routine look like?

Do you have one?

Do you even know what that means?

I would like to say that we have one and it is amazing and it goes ever so smoothly BUT that would be a lie.

Mine can be pretty chaotic which is why we are trying to get a good evening/bedtime schedule down.  We had done good for awhile but then I took on a part time job outside of the home.  This job required me to only be gone a few nights a week but my hours are from about 6 pm-9 pm so as you can imagine this tends to put a damper on the routine.

My husband and I have an idea of what we want that to look like.  Let me lay out our goal for each evening.

~6:00 pm~ Supper

~6:30-7:00 pm~ Clear table, dishes (each person helps), clean kitchen

~7:00-7:30 pm~ Pick out clothes, gather PJ’s, bath time

~7:30-8:30 pm~ Quiet time, read books, finish homework (if not done already)

~8:30 pm~ BEDTIME!!!!

I don’t understand why this is so hard for us to stick to!!  It feels so good to follow through and the next morning seems to go smoother.  Why is that not enough to continue the next night and the night after that??

Part of the problem is that my husband has to take over all of the above when I am working.  The other part of the problem is that we are selfish and want to do our own thing.  I know this is terrible but it is the truth and it is easy to fall into our own things that all of a sudden it is 8:30 and the only thing done is supper:(

Our goal is to forgot our own agenda and concentrate on the kids until they go to bed at 8:30 then we can do our stuff!!  Lets see how that goes:)

What does your evening look like? With or without kids, do you have a routine for the evening/bedtime?  Any advice would be welcomed as well!!

Faith, Other, Parenting

Day 1: My Consistent Plan

Day 1 of the 31 Days of Consistency & Children is here!

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My goal for this challenge is to become consistent with my children.  My husband and I have four children and we are very busy.  I work two part time jobs outside of the home, I have a home based craft business, I am working on building my blog so I can work from home full time, I have little ones to take care of and run all over and I try to keep the house in order.  My husband works full time outside of the home and is self employed with a scrap metal business that he runs from our home.  We also have an outdoor wood burner which means we cut a LOT of wood to keep us warm in the winter.  We live in Iowa so the winters can be pretty chilly!  We seem to stay very busy and at times that is not good when one is trying to create consistency or routines.

I am not, nor have I ever been, good with setting routines. I can picture in my mind they way a morning or evening routine should go but then I get home to the chaos and out the window that thought goes!!

From everything I have read, heard and been told you must have a plan first and foremost.  Lets get a plan in place!

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I love books even though I don’t get a lot of time to read.  One of my current favorite books (I am not finished with it yet, but almost) is Say Goodbye to Survival Mode by Crystal Pain.  I am a very huge fan of hers and I have been following her blog for about a year now.  She is all about living intentional, saving money and building a business from home.  You can check her out at Money Saving Mom.  This is truly one of the most amazing blogs I have seen!!

I don’t want to give away what’s in her book because I really believe you should just go out an get your own copy, but I will lay out a few things I have learned and started to implement along with other things I have done.

The best place to start is to figure out what your priorities are.  What are the most important things to you?  What do you want out of your day or routine?  How do you envision your day going?  What part of the day is the most chaotic?  Lay it all out on paper and then put them in order from the most important to the least important.  Now this might be hard (as it was for me) but it is a crucial step.

Once you have that all laid out it will give you an idea of what to concentrate on.  I would suggest that you just add one small change to your day at first which is where I am going to start.  I always say “I don’t have time to do that!” or “when will I find the time to do that?”  Once I laid my priorities out and could see what I actually spend my time doing I realized that I do have time.  Which brings me to the next step.

What do you want to add or change to your daily routine?  I want to add a morning routine!  After listing my priorities and figuring out what I want to see added this is what I cam up with for a morning routine.

1.Get Up/Pray/Bible Time

2. Exercise/Shower/Get Dressed

3.Check Email/Blog

4.  Get Kids Up and Dressed

5. Get Kids on Bus!

Now I know that most of that list is about me but in order to become consistent with my kids and set routines for them I have to start with me first.  I am going to continue to read Crystal Paine’s book for more great ideas and help on getting things in order!

Stay tuned for tomorrows post.

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I want to hear about your plans and how you get your priorities and routines lined up!!!

Other

Unique Gifts

Because I don’t have enough to do why not add a home based business to my list!!

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Okay!!! Done!!! Check that off my list!

My dad and I have been business partners since January of 2012.

For as long as I can remember my dad has been a carpenter which is what he studied in college but has mostly just done it as a side job.  His passion in life is woodworking!!  He is extremely talented and very much a perfectionist when it comes to his projects which can be awesome for the one getting the item but not so good for those working around him!  Just kidding dad:)

Scrapbooking has been a favorite pastime of mine for many years and a few years back I added crafts and DIY projects to my list of hobbies.  Even though I don’t have a lot of time to scrapbook anymore I have fallen in love crafting.  My favorite craft is sign making!  I LOVE to give gifts to others and I feel that a homemade gift is the best.  You can’t get any better than a nice handmade item!

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To see more of our items, check us out on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/thecraftywoodshop or shop our Etsy page at https://www.etsy.com/shop/TheCraftyWoodShop

Faith, Health & Wellness, Other, Parenting

End of a Season

This season has come to an end.

Seasons

That statement means a lot of things for my life at the moment.  Many things are changing and as I am very excited, the butterflies in my stomach are going wild!

What am I talking about…

1. I work in a law office and we do income taxes.  A few weeks ago we finished another successful tax SEASON:)

2. I think the winter SEASON is over but up here in northeast Iowa I wonder if that is really the case as it has been cold and rainy.   The Spring season needs to hurry up and get here.

3. I had talked in previous posts about quitting my job and staying home with my kids.  That plan has changed a little.  With much prayer and many conversations with my husband, we have decided that I will keep working but only part time (two days a week  or so) for now and see how it goes.  So a new SEASON in my career and parenting has arrived!

4. This goes along with spring (if it ever comes).  Since I will be home much more I will be working in our large family garden, freezing, canning, etc. to go along with our goal of living a healthier, more “green” lifestyle!  We have also talked about possibly raising chickens so if anyone has any advice in that are, I would appreciate any tips for beginners.  I haven’t a clue how to tackle that SEASON!!

Many things are ending and many new exciting things are beginning.  My growing faith has had a huge role in the changes and I can’t wait to see what God has in store for us!

My goal for my blog is to post more regularly so stick around for more!!

Other, Parenting

To Stay Home or Not

Stay at home mom

To stay at home or not?

That is the million dollar question.

I know what my heart says and I think I know what God is telling me.  Signs just keep pointing in the same direction.

To stay at home it is…right?  Why is that easier said than done?

So let me fill you in on my issue. My husband and I have been trying to figure out for the past 2 years how to get me home with the kids full time versus working outside of the home. We have kind of chatted about it and we have thought about it but we have not really “talked” about it.  The biggest hurdle is going from a two person income to a one person income.

I will have to supplement at least some of the income that I will lose.  So I have been doing my research and crunching numbers and I must say that is not a fun job.  Anyone want to do it for me?  But for free of course because I can’t afford to pay you!!  Fine, I guess I will do the dirty work:(

There are more work at home jobs than I thought. I guess in this day and age with all the technology the opportunities are endless!

Just to give you a little background on my career path.  I graduated from high school in May of 1999.  We had our first daughter in August of 1999.  Since I was a mother, a young one at that, I couldn’t go to college. Well that was what my silly 18 year old brain told me anyway! So I worked a few dead end jobs until I realized I really could go to school and make a better life for us. My husband worked a lot and was gone all week so my idea was going to be an interesting journey.

In 2002 I signed up to become a college student!! That was exciting but not exactly the college experience I had dreamed about. Not many other students my age had a three year old and a husband at home.

I ended up graduating with a Bachelors Degree in Social Work in 2007. I had always longed to help people. This was the perfect field for me!

My first job in the social work field became mine right after graduation. The sad news about this field of study in a rural midwest state is that the travel is profound. I found myself working 14 hours a day in which half of that time was traveling. With a family of little ones this was getting very hard to manage. I loved my job and the foster families I worked with but I was drowning so I ended up taking a job for a small law office which is only 3 miles from my house. I work 30-40 hours a week and it is flexible. I enjoy working there and I have made some amazing friends.

BUT…with four children ranging in age from 14 to 2, I am needed at home much more than I am there.

Now that you know my story have a good evening!

Just kidding! We decided that We will try it and see how it goes. The law firm I work at does Income Tax preparation which goes until mid April so I will work until taxes are over. I actually talked to my boss yesterday and my co-worker today about my decision.

Now the transition begins:) Stay tuned to hear more as the stories developes!!