Category Archives: Reflections

Happy New Year

I am feeling very optimistic about 2017 for our family. I feel so grateful for the blessings of 2016 and I can truly say that I feel more at peace than I have in a long time about attacking this coming year.

If I had really been on the ball with blogging, I would have a series of posts lined up to greet the new year. A minimalist challenge, a meal planning calendar, a homeschooler’s guide to getting through winter.

If I were on the ball, I would be hosting a giveaway, sharing DIY essential oil projects, and working on my Instant Pot Recipe ebook (this book does not exist, except in my imagination).

Instead, I am catching up on sleep. I am cuddling my kiddos. I am putting away holiday decor with more excitement and glee than I have ever had in opening a gift. I am staring at my new planner with stars in my eyes, imagining what the next year could be. I’m making lists and I’m taking my time. I’m thinking about a theme word to guide my year. (I’m considering the word savor. Kind of weird but it jumped out at me. Any thoughts?).

A dear friend asked me what happened to push me towards minimalism. I can’t exactly put my finger on when the change happened. As I rebranded my blog in the spring, I renewed my passion for writing, shifted my efforts away from looking for deals and began searching for my niche as a writer. But the significant change happened somewhere in between my Target boycott and when I started researching ethical shopping practices. In the midst of the busy everyday of parenting and life, I was crying out to God, asking Him for direction. I was so tired of being so overwhelmed and feeling like such a failure as a wife and mother. I begged God to show me another way.

God answered me very clearly by saying, “Stop valuing stuff”.

Soon after that moment, I read the article “How Getting Rid of Stuff Saved My Motherhood” by Allie Casazza and I knew that this was my answer. My answer was minimalism, and next I had to find out how to become it myself. I then began reading furiously everything I could find on the topic and spending every spare moment emptying our home and studying minimalism as if my sanity and survival depended on it.

In this process, we have filled and emptied both cars many many times. Boxes of donations, from furniture, clothing, gadgets. Tons of papers have been recycled or shredded. We’ve pared down, and pared again, and realized we still aren’t done. We’ve parted ways with items both sentimental and senseless. We’ve worked hard, we’ve had a few moments of panic and we’ve seen the holidays come and go with less chaos than usual.

So that brings me to today, January 4th 2017. I’m still tired and overwhelmed. We haven’t finished the process, there is so much more to do. But I am so hopeful and can’t wait to see what this year brings. Here’s to 2017!

Lessons as a New Minimalist

I’m tentatively thinking of myself as a minimalist now. It feels very strange, as if I am wearing someone else’s shoes. But I feel like I have spent enough time to warrant the title at this point. And I remind myself that minimalism is a choice I have made, not something that requires years of education, special equipment or a particular skill set.

Don’t worry, I’m not going around introducing myself to new people as a “minimalist” or ordering business cards or anything. I’m just telling myself, “it’s different now. I’m going in a new direction.” And I know this change is for real.

Here are some of the lessons I’ve learned a few months into my minimalism journey, in no particular order. (By the way, I used to roll my eyes at the term “journey” but now I sheepishly admit, a journey I am on and there isn’t really a better way to describe it). If it sounds snobby, please forgive me. There are times when the best words sound obnoxious, and this is one of those times.

  1. Yes, I really am materialistic. I had no idea the hold my stuff had on me, until I started to let it go. I’m still materialistic but admitting it is helping me to make better choices for the future.
  2. Our house isn’t small. I had spent so much time trying to squeeze “stuff” into my little house, I had forgotten how much space there actually is here. 1400 sq. ft. is really not that shabby for five people and one beagle.
  3. Working towards a positive goal is so much easier than giving yourself restrictions. All the times I have told myself to “stop shopping” have been difficult because the bad habit wasn’t replaced with something positive. Now that I am working toward a specific goal, I don’t miss shopping (yet). “Stop wasting money and filling the house with more and more stuff” just wasn’t working for me as a goal. “Focus on the important things and eliminate the things that get in the way” is a motto I can stick with. Maybe semantics, or maybe the secret elixir of life?less-to-clean
  4. Organizational tips can become traps. I was constantly trying to organize and constantly struggling. I had believed so much false logic in regard to organizing and I didn’t even realize it. One of my main mistakes was storing things in multiple spots. Since we had “limited space” I thought I should utilize every nook and cranny even if it meant spreading out the junk so that nothing was easy to find and I had no idea how much we actually owned.

    Then I proceeded to spend time every day searching for items that I wasn’t sure were even there to begin with. Making my life constantly frustrated.

  5. Allowing clutter is just another kind of procrastination. I am not sure where I originally read this statement but it has really stuck with me. For multiple reasons, we tend to let clutter build up even knowing we will eventually deal with it (or at worst others will deal with it). Whether it’s from guilt (“I never should have bought this”) or dread (“I’ll never really be able to get this taken care of”), we can be paralyzed. But I want to enjoy my home NOW. So no more waiting and no more putting it off for later. Seizing the day and acting can be very empowering and I love that I’m finally DEALING with issues rather than burying my head in the sand.
  6. Just because I love it, doesn’t mean I have to re-create it at home. This is something I never realized I was doing but it has been another light-bulb moment. I made choices of purchases and preferences rather randomly, based on a vague notion of re-creating things I enjoyed outside of my home. If I like eye-catching colors, I wanted them all over. If I enjoyed visiting a home with tons of tiny details, I thought maybe that’s what my house needed too. What I ended up with was a busy, eclectic combination of unrelated styles with no common thread. I have finally realized that I can go outside to enjoy nature, go to a museum to enjoy art; I could go to Cracker Barrel to peruse random collections of dusty collectibles, for Pete’s sake. I do not have to have each of these aesthetics in my home! My home is about creating a restful space for my family to re-charge so that we can go out into the world again. That takes a lot of pressure off me and helps me make decisions with clarity. 

I also have one item I would like to recommend for Friday Favorites. This is one of the cheapest diffusers I have found and we have been very pleased with it at only $12.99! Check it out here via my affiliate link!

That’s it for now! Keep simplifying, friends!

A season of change: minimalism/simplicity thoughts & resources

Happy Labor Day  to you all!

I am still struggling to spend the time blogging that I’d like to, but I have been taking a brief time out to read, watch and think about simplicity/minimalism and what changes we want to make towards that end. I’m feeling super conspired (yep: convicted + inspired = conspired).

The last month has probably been our smoothest month of chores and household duties ever. The house has stayed neater and the girls have really done a great job stepping up with our new chore system (blog post to come). It’s been a lot of ground work (planning, list-making, reminders, etc) but we have been enjoying the benefits. Also, this has been our smoothest school transition ever and we have fallen into homework assignments, schedules and new curriculum with much more ease than in years past. (There have been a few tears, but MUCH less turmoil than anticipated. We are still human, and three of us are female).

In addition to that, we have joined a family group with our church that has been a true answer to prayer (especially for me). The truth is, parenting really put us in survival mode….a decade ago. I believe that’s a normal family phase but for various reasons we are just now pulling out of it. You heard me: ten years later. I could go on about this, but by God’s grace I do not live in the past. I am right now so grateful that God has helped us find the resources we needed to plug back in to the body of Christ, and it has been incredibly refreshing. We are also going through a wonderful series at church that I am honestly on the edge of my seat listening to; I mean, can’t wait to get to church, taking furious notes, thinking about it all week kind of sucked in. Like, praying to God to help me soak it all in kind of good stuff. I feel like I have been thirsty for way too long. I’m so so grateful!

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Finally, I feel like I am ready to work harder at being the best mom and wife I can be (rather than just managing to survive the rat-race of life). It’s very overwhelming, but I also know it’s the right thing! (note to self: the right thing doesn’t mean the easy thing). Deep breaths, this won’t be easy.

I have danced with the idea of minimalism for years. It appealed to me for it’s educational benefits, it’s mental benefits, it’s hygienic benefits; but I’m just starting to seek what the spiritual benefits could be for us. And I don’t mean becoming a yogi with a candle in the middle of a stark-white room, seeking enlightenment.

What I mean is, could shedding excess STUFF in my life equip me to better seek and serve God with all of my heart???? For me the answer is  undeniable, obvious, and crystal clear:

Yes.

I know that many of you are on the same page. If you are interested in this idea of having LESS for God, here are some of the resources I have been studying over the last few weeks.

Please read this article, it is so very thought provoking for me. (How Getting Rid of Stuff Saved my Motherhood by Allie Casazza). This isn’t a faith-based article, but as a Christian mama I’m still mega conspired by this. (Note: I do realize I am mis-using this word, but I would like to point out that my definition is much better than the common use, so I will continue).

Simplicity Parenting by Kim John Payne. To my memory this is also a secular book, but very inspirational and something I constantly reference mentally. I need to read it again in light of a new phase of parenting tweens.

Christian Faith & Minimalism from Nourishing Minimalism. Short and too the point. This article helps us ask ourselves, “what if?”

I have recently joined a minimalist/motherhood facebook group and I am loving the food for thought that is constantly tossed around. I was completely captivated by one mama’s statement about what minimalism had done for her family. Her statement was very simple, but so impactful to me: (paraphrasing) “minimalism allowed our family to adopt.” Period.

I don’t know what my family’s whole story will be. I don’t know if we will live all our days in this tiny house. I don’t know if we will continue to homeschool. At this time, it seems our family is complete and will not include any more children. Nothing is set it stone, we do not know what the future holds. BUT I know that God is not finished with us. I know that we have more glory to bring to Him yet. I know that we have more to give. I know that we have more worship, more love, and more to learn of His amazing grace. 

If having less stuff enables me to give MORE, then what is stopping me?

What if God wants LESS from me?

I would love to hear from you on this topic.

Simplify Your Life Challenge

As I approach Fall 2016 with the goal of “Simplicity”, I’m not going to lie: I’m scared. I know that I’m getting in over my head. Homeschooling is a huge responsibility and parenting doesn’t get any easier as the kids get older. So this year requires quite a bit of prayer, committing my efforts to the Lord, and surrendering the outcome. I am reminded that these children aren’t mine, they belong to our Heavenly Father! I’m very grateful for friends who have helped me to see this truth more clearly with their faithful, open-handed approach to parenthood.

(I am so, so slow at learning this truth: yes, He entrusted them to me, but they are HIS treasures, not mine).

In light of the “Fall Fear Factor”, I am working every single day at improving our routine and getting things set up for the School Year. The girls will be in 4th grade (I can hardly believe it), I’m writing on a daily basis, I will be working two days a week, my youngest demands constant attention and money is tight so we can’t afford to pay for convenience. I am also trying to work on diet and exercise for myself and cutting WAY down on shopping as a “hobby”. Here’s a post for BargainBabe that talks about my shift from Shopaholic to more of a minimalist (these are baby steps, for sure).

I’m tired of being pushed around by my responsibilities. I’m ready to push back.

Through this process, I’m seeking a more harmonious schedule that works for us, rather than the schedule working me to death (or just leaving me incredibly defeated).

I have gone through each room carefully and thoughtfully with the long-term goal in mind of cutting down on chaos and complications and smoothing out the day to day. I want to share with you some of my ideas and some resources that I found helpful.

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I want to mention right from the get-go that I am not an expert on organization, simplicity, home management, or discipline. Quite the opposite: these are areas that I really struggle with. Because these are weak points for me, I am working hard to improve them. In the past, I have realized blogging about my goals has really helped me to stick with the plan. So the “Simplify Your Life Challenge” is mostly for me as I work on improving our daily routine and seek simplicity! I hope some of you will be inspired to do the same, or at least encouraged that you are not alone if you struggle with this! In the next few posts, I’ll be getting down to the nitty-gritty of simplifying and challenging myself to commit.

Please SUBSCRIBE to my blog (top right corner) to join this challenge and get all of the Simplify Challenge emails right in your inbox!

Resources:

This is one of my favorite books about parenting and just life pursuits in general! It’s one that has really stuck with me nearly a decade after first reading it. Wherever you are in your parenting journey, I think you could benefit from reading Simplicity Parenting by Kim John Payne and Lisa M. Ross

My Pinterest Board! If you would like to be added as a contributor to this board, please email me at leahprescott@gmail.com. I’d love your feedback on Simplicity and what your goals are as well!

 

 

Happy Father’s Day!

Happy Father’s Day to my daddy Alan who led me to Jesus as we sat together in an orange recliner over twenty-five years ago. No gift could ever be as precious as that, but he has loved me every day of my life and showed it through actions and words. And sometimes by making fun of me.  Despite the loss of his own father as a young child he has been the ultimate example of a supportive and committed parent to his four children. He also loves his four grandchildren with the blinding light of a thousand suns.

Happy Father’s Day to the strong and godly men that have been a light in my life: Mr. Gerald who gave me a deeper understanding of God’s character than I ever had before and has always encouraged me. Mark, my father-in-law, who has shown me kindness since Day One and takes advantage of time with his grandchildren to really get to know them.

Happy Father’s Day to the amazing man who is father to my children: Craig Prescott I love you and praise God for your love for your family!
And here is the kids’ poem to their Daddy:

On this very special day

We have a lot to say

We’re thankful for you

And all that you do

You go to work before the sun

We know your office ain’t that fun

Some days you’re the only one

To stay till all the work is done

At home you press on without rest

Helping us to do our best

Mowing, cleaning, cooking too

Sometimes it seems that’s all you do

Clayton loves the star wars play

You do it almost every day!

You often win at Monopoly deal

But you still care about how we feel

You read to us and make us laugh

You give the dog a bubble bath

You teach us lots and lots of facts

You pay the bills and all the tax

Daddy, we love you and we pray

You have a Happy Father’s Day

Love,

Your family

Liebster Award Winner

Liebster Award:

If you haven’t heard of the Liebster Award, it’s pretty much a way that bloggers help connect their readers with other great blogs. It is really more of an online blogging chain letter than anything else, but I’m excited to participate, and look forward to following the chain that continues from my nominees!

liebsteraward2

Thank you so much EatMyScience for passing the nomination to me! (and my apologies for taking so long to respond; I admit I was a little overwhelmed)! I appreciate you taking the time to give me a shout-out! I am blogging my little heart out and really appreciate when anyone notices my efforts. Jadie, I am so amazed that your blog is so new, it is really beautifully done. I look forward to reading more of your posts!

Here are my answers to your  questions:

Questions:

  • What was the moment of inspiration that motivated you to start your blog?

I guess it was a long time coming. I had blogged casually and sporadically but my mother always told me I should write professionally. Then a few of my friends really encouraged me to work on my own brand rather than just contributing to other blogs. Finally I reached the tipping point of motivation and confidence and took the leap.

  • What is your favorite post that you have written so far? Give us a link!

This is one of my favorite posts because it really takes me back to the chaos and craziness that was the first few years of parenting twins. It also reminds me of how much better things are now and that my current challenges will one day be funny memories (hopefully).

  • List a few of your favorite blogs.

www.franishtheblog.com/
http://sheaffertoldmeto.com/
www.unfancy.com

  • What is your favorite thing about writing/blogging?

I love how writing clears my head and it just feels like what I am supposed to be doing. Also, I love knowing other folks are reading my thoughts! That’s a good feeling.

  • What goals do you have for your blog in the next year?

So many goals! I would like to figure out more about design and improve the flow of my blog. I really, really want to work on my photography and photo editing skills. I need to figure out my niche a little better.

  • If you could start another blog, what would the topic be?

Maybe a blog exclusively about twin stories and twin parenting tips! My problem is that my memory is so foggy about that exhausting time that I may not be able to remember any of my own tips!

  • What advice would you give other new bloggers?

I am not sure I should be giving advice yet, but one of the most important tips I have is to proofread your blog! Spelling mistakes can ruin a good post!

  • What are your hobbies other than blogging?

Do you count being woken up ridiculously early by the same kid every day and drinking way too much coffee to make it to sunrise? I also love crafts when I have the time and shopping whether I have time or not.

  • What is your favorite food?

Coffee is my favorite thing to consume, but if I have to pick food I would probably say cheesecake. With a cup of coffee.

  • And finally, what is one random thing about your life that you think your readers would like to know?

I have GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder). Rather than saying I have Anxiety, I like to call myself a worse-case-scenario enthusiast. If you would like me to provide you with a worse case scenario for any given situation, just email me. It’s a natural gift.

I am always early. I feel like folks may think this is because I am super uptight (and hey, I kind of am, see above). But I really just hate being stressed, and running late makes me stressed. I have found that I can avoid stress by always leaving early so that’s what I do. Since I leave early, I always arrive early.

I am not athletic at all. But I was a green belt in karate and I did once break a concrete block with my hand. I don’t really care about goals or baskets or points or teams, but kicking a guy in the crotch is very liberating.

Sorry. I see that I gave you three facts instead of ten. Over-sharer.

 

Nominees:

Finally, I get to pick my own Nominees. Here they are!

1. Caroline Ganahl

2. Grace Enough

3. Creed of Man

4. Refurbish360

Now, here’s what ya’ll have to do. That is, if you want to. I totally understand if you aren’t up for spending a couple hours of time on this post!

  1. Thank the blog that nominated you on a post and in your blog.
  2. Answer the questions asked by the blog that nominated you.
  3. Nominate 4-11 other new bloggers.
  4. Create 10 new questions for the nominees to answer.
  5. Notify all nominees via social media.

Here are the Official Rules of the Liebster Award, along with lots of graphics. 

My questions for my nominees are:

If you could pick one person in the world to read your blog, who would it be?

What is your favorite book of all time?

What’s your favorite post of all you have written (have to copy this one from Jadie!)?

What is the hardest thing about blogging?

What’s a topic you’ve wanted to blog about, but haven’t yet?

I guess that’s it! Thanks again for reading, thank you Jadie for nominating me, and thank you nominees for letting me pick you even if I didn’t ask ahead of time.

praise of his glorious grace

 

Dear Target,

Dear Target,

Yep, it’s me, your old friend Leah. I remember shopping at your store when I was a little girl, before you got your makeover and became the trendy discount alternative that you are today. When I got married, I registered at Target. When I had babies, I registered at Target. My Target card is the only store credit card I own. The cartwheel App is on my IPhone and I share Target deals on Facebook frequently. When I was a bleary-eyed mama to baby twins and could barely put one foot in front of the other, I clicked their Graco carseats (from Target) into their stroller (from Target) and I went to Target. My fussy babies seemed distracted by the bright colors and friendly voices. Somehow I felt like my life would go back to normal, as I did something normal with all the other normal folks pushing their red carts from aisle to aisle.

Target

It became a joke on the weekends that my husband just knew he would end up having to go with me there for one thing or the other. I have reviewed and raved about your store brands (your baby wipes are the only ones I will use), I have blogged about my love for your company and I’ve snapped selfies of myself as I enjoy a blissful child-free trip to your store. Your store associates know me, my house is full of white and red handled bags, and my children can navigate your toy department better than some of the employees. And all that was before you added a Starbucks.

I am not alone. Target has become the retail home away from home for many enthusiastic shoppers, and a particular favorite for moms. I constantly run into friends at Target. I have always felt catered to, appreciated, and included at your store. I love you, Target!

When I saw your announcement about the bathroom policy this week, I felt like I had been slapped in the face. Slapped in the face by a friend, no less. A place I had felt welcomed, a place beloved and familiar had just made a change that would alienate thousands of their loyal customers. This has nothing to do with politics or even religion. It is just about common decency, common sense, and public safety. I have no problem sharing a bathroom with a transgender woman. I’ll pass her the paper towels just like I will for any other woman. But opening the bathroom door to male or female regardless of biological sex based on their claim of identity is dangerous.

I had just started letting my nine year old girls go together into some bathrooms, but I am still nervous. Strangers are strangers after all, male or female. With the protected opportunity of entering a female public restroom you are giving a gift to the community; the predator community, which is sadly much larger than the transgender community. Now every customer is vulnerable. Any crime that is committed in a Target dressing room or bathroom will be clouded with confusion because the space is now virtually unisex. There is no way of gauging a person’s motives or thoughts and now it will be harder to prove the guilt of any man because he has been invited to a space where women and children are most vulnerable.  The countless women who have been sexually assaulted and abused by men will now feel like they are being victimized all over again during a simple shopping trip. In effort to show compassion and inclusion to a few, you have alienated a huge group of parents and women. I hope it’s worth it.

I have never participated in a boycott and I didn’t expect to, but this issue is too big, too dangerous to ignore. I will be going to Target today. I will be returning the merchandise that I have at home brand new and unused. I will be deleting my cartwheel app. I will be cutting up my RedCard. I will have to explain to my children why we may be shopping at Walmart, which none of us will enjoy.

Dear Target, I love you. I will even forgive you. But I can’t be around you when you are making such dangerous life choices. Please write if you change your mind.

Sincerely,

Leah Prescott

Homeschool Uniforms

I remember when I was a child hearing that a homeschool family we knew was using uniforms and I was gobsmacked (to be fair: I was easily gobsmacked back in the day). I couldn’t fathom why someone who chose homeschooling would choose uniforms to promote conformity and rigidity. Homeschooling to me was a choice of flexibility, creativity, and opening up a world of options; whereas uniforms communicated the exact opposite to my young mind. In fact, I pictured a crowd of storm troopers.

Uniforms took away individual choice. Uniforms made the wearers look like mindless drones. Uniforms were ugly.

Fast-forward to my current mindset: homeschooling is all about access to the best materials, methods, and resources and having the flexibility of embracing any and all roads to a quality education.

Homeschooling means that what I use this year may be in next year’s curriculum sale crate. Homeschooling means if today isn’t working, then we re-assess and re-map. Homeschooling means being open-minded and innovative.

Last week, my husband and I were having a HHH (Homeschool Heart to Heart) with the girls. We were addressing the fact that their behavior at school (our hybrid program) was virtually above reproach. I’m very proud of how respectful, focused and hard-working they are in the classroom. Unfortunately, that behavior doesn’t always translate to our “class time” at home. Of course, I don’t expect them to behave exactly as they do in public when we are at home. However, I do want them to give their best effort as much as possible and that hasn’t been the case recently.

During this HHH, I blurted out: “Do we need to have homeschool uniforms to remind you that this is school time?” Suddenly, I realized, this wasn’t an altogether horrible idea. Simply doing something to differentiate our free time from work time could be a way to “shake things up”. I started mulling things over and doing some reading online about the pros and cons of uniforms. I was surprised how many homeschoolers consider this idea.

school uniformLess than I week after I started exploring this idea, I was flipping through the racks at my favorite thrift store and what did I find? Two size 10 girls navy school jumpers. For $1.20 a piece. It was a homeschool bargain miracle. Clearly, the uniform experiment was being set into motion despite any reservations on the part of my children. Fortunately for me, they pretty much roll with the punches when it comes to my brilliant ideas for life improvement. So let our experiment commence!

Be sure to follow Chasing Santee to read the riveting conclusion to this controversial topic. Or to hear how I wasted over two dollars and failed miserably at improving the educational process.

Return of the Lazy Blogger

So this is what happens when I get distracted….two years and no blog entries at all! I’m rather dismayed but I have been busy with life. This is my second year blogging regularly at EveryWomanBlog; you can check out some of my posts here. I have just joined the ranks of creative ladies at Columbia City Moms Blog. Since I love reading what these women have to say; I can’t wait to start writing on this new platform.

As a brief update, we are still homeschooling my identical twin girls, age 9 and in 3rd Grade. I can’t say raising twins hasn’t been a challenge, but it is a daily joy. My little guy is getting close to his 4th birthday and is just as wild as he is cute. He hasn’t exactly been the “easy third” child that I planned on, but we all adore every crazy minute of life with him. I can’t record every hilarious quote, but I’ll try to share a few here soon. Laughter helps to soothe the exhaustion of keeping him safe from constant catastrophe.

We are still loving our half-homeschool life through our university model hybrid program. For us that means two full days of classes with our friends and dedicated teachers and three days at home that combine heavy homework (facilitated by me), lots of reading, field trips, writing, art and a healthy dose of life-skills. This has been a huge blessing and a great way to “ease” into a homeschool lifestyle with the support of a fantastic teaching staff and community of families.

Thanks for popping in and I promise to update more frequently! I am ready to make writing more of a priority, as it’s always been a great passion of mine.

Flashback Friday

Once in awhile, it’s productive to remind yourself of your own past. In my case, it’s encouraging to remember that however chaotic today is, I’ve gotten through worse. Here’s a description I wrote of a normal day in our lives about four years ago; back before my son came on the scene….back when diapers were double…..back when I still thought I could win the battle against clutter in our home…..and before I surrendered to the inevitability of takeout on the weekly menu. It still makes me laugh, and cringe a little. It also makes me miss those two little curly heads that have grown into big girls with even more curls.

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There isn’t enough Prozac or Febreze to fix this terrible, awful, horrible, no-good, very bad day.

Why, oh WHY is it times when I have my sights set SO high on getting SO much done that the entire world seems against me? Let’s go chronologically, shall we…

6:00 AM Psychotic beagle wakes me up, running around the room for no apparent reason. Take off her collar so it will stop jingling, then put her on my bed, which is typically off limits. She proceeds to jump up and down and run around the house so that I cannot fall asleep.

6:35 AM I fall back asleep finally, right before the girls wake up, grumpy as usual.

6:50 AM Try to entice the girls with TV, but wind up having to fix breakfast and spinelessly give in to feeding them in the living room. I feel like I have already compromised my values and I haven’t even had my coffee yet.

7:30 AM Since things are already on a downward spiral, it seems like the appropriate time to prepare for the inevitable Walmart trip.

9:30 AM We’re finally ready to go. Leave front door.

9:45 AM Leave drive-way. Yes, it does take that long, I swear. Have you ever tried to carry two toddlers to the car along with their accompanying accessories while simultaneously blocking a headstrong beagle from escaping the front porch? It’s no wonder I have tendonitis. In both wrists.

10:00 AM I have a love/hate relationship with Walmart, I really do. I mean, I even worked there for awhile and I have found some great deals. Besides, where else can you find lawn furniture, pizza crust and diapers all under the same roof in the middle of the night?  However, in the huge, vast Super Walmart there are only two, count them, TWO double carts. Thought I was lucky to find one then realized it was soaking wet. Get cart dried off, then realize straps are broken. Too late to back out now. The girls ride standing in the front of the double cart. Do NOT try this at home.

10:15 AM Tell the girls 27 thousand times to not stand on the seat. Stand on the floor of the little front cart car thingy. DO NOT STAND ON SEAT.

10:45 AM Criss-cross ginormous store finding about half of the items I actually needed, forgetting the other half. Remind twins DO NOT STAND ON SEAT.

11:00 AM Spend 15 minutes locating a manager to politely suggest, ask, then desperately beg, that the store “invest” in at least 2 working double carts. At this point, I’ve clearly abandoned all self-respect, not to mention publicly admitting I’m a frequent Walmart customer. Manager looks at me as if I am a little OCD and then asks how old they are. “UMmmmm. Old enough to need to be buckled into a cart, and not old enough to walk along side it.” Old enough to realize that a store this size NEEDS more double carts!

11:15 AM Unload groceries, get kids into house, take incessantly barking dog outside, try to start chopping veggies to put in crock pot for soup. Turn around and the twins have sprinkled flour on roughly half of the contents of our pantry, and generously dusted themselves as well. Close door on pantry and try to forget that. Wasn’t that door supposed to have a child lock?

12:00 PM Give girls lunch, realize (once it is too late) that all ingredients will not fit into the crock pot. Recipe is probably now ruined as I haphazardly scoop out “half” of the ingredients.

12:10 PM Naively decide it is a good time to clean out fridge, so pull out most of fridge stuff all over the kitchen which is already covered in groceries, half chopped soup ingredients removed from pot and flour. Decide I should either clean out fridge much more often, or never.

12:25 PM Girls have taken applesauce and milk and made a paste that is now coating chairs and table, and their flour-dredged dresses, which, might I add, were new until today. Scarlet cries because I refuse to replace milk she has deliberately poured all over kitchen.

12:30 PM Clean girls off, strip dirty clothes. Sophia wails because I will not let her continue living in filthy dress. Trash can is starting to smell from fridge which is still open and half scrubbed out. Counter is now covered in empty cans, choppings, half of ruined soup and the contents of fridge.

12:40 PM Something SMELLS. BEAGLE HAS POOPED IN LIVING ROOM. The girls are screaming and gagging in horror, still naked. Fridge remains open, food is all over kitchen. Applesauce/Milk paste is covering furniture. It gets worse.

12:45 PM Realize too late that BEAGLE HAS stepped in poop and tracked it on rug and floor. Capture beagle and cage her, while telling her of all the places she could live that would make me quite happy, realizing all the while that I will now have to bathe beagle and clean cage. DD1 starts crying because apparently, she has wet her diaper and that just CANNOT WAIT. Clean poop off of floor, apply carpet cleaner to rug and search in trepidation for more.

1:00 PM Take girls to bedroom, change them, dress them and put them in bed for nap. Sigh in relief, start to leave bedroom. See poop-covered Croc (Croc Mammoth OF COURSE) in corner and realize the poop has now been theoretically spread from living room, down hall, and into girls’ room, covering throw rugs, laminate floor, and carpeting in its journey.

1:15 PM Cook chicken pot pie, fattiest food item I could find in freezer and eat it with a taboo Mt. Dew. Slowly come to accept reality that we must now move to get away from the omnipresent poop.

It’s crystal clear that getting off Prozac was a huge mistake.

Back to (home) School

It’s very hard for me to wrap my head around the fact that school is BACK in session. This summer has been so rainy in our area that I feel very cheated in the laying-by-the-pool and playing-in-the-sprinkler arenas. I’m trying to keep my attitude in check though, and face the year with courage! My sweet girls are excited to be FIRST graders and they are definitely ready to meet the challenge. I was able to spend about a half an hour praying in the quiet of my car this weekend (a very unusual opportunity for me) and I can say that I am now feeling better prepared mentally and spiritually! I’m still a bit overwhelmed, but I know we can do it!

This year will be fun as we return to our homeschool “school” that meets two days a week at our church. It’s a wonderful set-up and we are so thankful for the opportunity. They will study core subjects as well as chapel, electives, and PE. I couldn’t be happier with this “best of both worlds” approach to homeschooling. I know that my family would have loved this scenario as homeschoolers in the 90’s! Things really have changed, in a wonderful way. This gives me some time at home alone with the baby, and gives my kids some much enjoyed time with friends and fantastic teachers; what could be better?

For our study at home, we will be using a brand spankin’ new curriculum that I am very excited to explore. This week we will start Dew Learning*, which is the first Christian homeschool curriculum designed for use on the Ipad! My girls are pretty impressed that they will be able to use the Ipad every day for learning! I’m excited that the curriculum is portable, interactive and that all progress is stored online. We can’t wait to get going with it and I am happy to share our experiences each week. Look for more on our Dew Learning Adventures very soon.

Now, what you have all been waiting for: photos of my children in their backpacks and first day of First Grade outfits! I would like to mention, in frank bargain-boast form, that these outfits were each $1 at our local thrift store, and came in the girls’ favorite colors, with lots of lace and ruffles!  I’m definitely addicted to thrifting!

Sophiab2s Scarletb2s

*Disclaimer: I received free products for evaluation purposes in return for my reviews and feedback. You can trust that I will be 100% honest in my discussion of said product and seek to help other consumers make the right purchases for their own families.

 

 

 

Summer failures…..and successes

The fact that it is now August is really blowing my mind! I have so many things to do to get ready for school….it isn’t even a little funny. Fortunately for me, my girls are really excited to get back to work and are always pretty motivated (easy to say as they are still only 6). Over the summer, I had some grandiose plans of projects, crafts, and educational adventures. In fact, here is a sampling of what I intended to accomplish:

  1.  Finish up all the little homeschooling odds and ends: workbooks, lists, lesson plans, projects.
  2. Completely clean my house and purge a ton of stuff in preparation of the new school year.
  3. Travel and and make great memories.
  4. Start a blog about homeschooling.
  5. Teach my youngest to sleep through the night. Or even halfway through.
  6. Organize all my to-do lists.

Things I have actually done this summer:

  1. Decided that most teachers do NOT finish all of their books, workbooks, lesson plans and projects.
  2. Purged a few things and bought a whole bunch more, mostly unneeded. Barely kept the mess at bay all summer long.
  3. Made it about 30 minutes down the road on a day long road trip and turned around due to multiple factors which need not be discussed. Memories, yes. Fun, not really.
  4. Started a blog about homeschooling. At the same time, realized that starting said blog is certainly the easy part and continuing will most likely be the actual challenge.
  5. Allowed my youngest to slide into the laziest, most ill-advised sleep schedule in the history of toddlers.
  6. Discovered website that might possibly allow a new career in the making of to-do lists but as yet have not actually fully utilized said website. For your consideration: Wunderlist.

In addition to these worthy accomplishments I have: NOT purchased needed school supplies, NOT set up several appointments I’ve been putting off, NOT put the van into the shop for pesky issues just barely still covered by warranty, NOT read any of the book for my Sunday School class, NOT started elimination to diet to get to the root of allergy issues, NOT finally had that yard sale and NOT totally made-over my grocery buying system.

On the other hand I have: played outside with the kids, read to the girls some of my favorite childhood books, spent some time with extended family, made some cash by selling unneeded items, kept the kids fed, clothed, and relatively clean, and lost all the baby weight. So there’s that.

Oh and I taught the baby to feed himself. Actually, he just picked up the fork the one time but as you can see, I was clever enough to capture it on camera so I think I deserve some credit.

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