Tree Training {with Lots of Littles}

Tips for Tree Training with Lots of Littles

Fourth baby. Learning this stage all over again. Having a tree without a cage around it takes a bit of "Tree Training". I'm talking about some of the things we do with our little(s) over at Successful Homemakers today. :D

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My kids have already gone nuts and it's only December 1st.


We've been told {all summer long} that it's going be a terrible winter here in Arkansas, meaning it will be colder than normal with lots of ice. Great. I've actually been a little nervous about it. Normally we have an amazing backyard for shaking the wiggles out but with fridged winds, that's not an easy option. Like every normal mom {Ha Ha} I've been on Pinterest searching for indoor winter activities to help with the winter blues, lack of sunlight, and long days stuck inside {with one another} but I really didn't expect to have to use any of that stuff until maybe after Christmas.

Today it hit. The last two days were typical menopausal Arkansas. Friday it was chilly, Saturday and Sunday were beautiful {in the 70s}, and today, nasty rain, gray, and C.O.L.D. all of a sudden. and we wonder why we're always sick... Not only was the weather awful but everything landed on the same day. You know the day: absolutely nothing in the fridge/pantry which means menu planning and major grocery shopping, it's the first of the month so you need to do a budget {and if you're like us, have to get cash out for envelopes}, first of the week and I have No lesson plans for homeschool ready, AND then on top of that, it's December when I wanted to start our advent calendar and finish decorating.

For us that means we had to scavenge around for scraps to eat for breakfast, rush grouchy {visiting-family-hang-over} kids to finish chores and get dressed while making a budget, menu, and grocery list synonymously. Needless to say, by the time we were loaded, 1/2 buckled, and heading to the bank and store, I had used up all my good by 9:20 am.

I'm sure the kids were just being kids but they we on my every nerve. I tried to redeem the day multiples times but everything seemed to fall short. Morning Sonic happy hour drink. Fun laughs in the Christmas section with the kids {out of the norm to go into this zone}. Candy cane treats to up the morals of the troops 1/2 way through shopping. Hubs fixing lunch since we were late for lunch. All kids napping at the same time. Ice cream for our afternoon snack while watching a Christmas movie. Decorating the tree. Family wrestle time. Junie B. Jones Christmas book reading. NOTHING. It all fell short.

Maybe I'm just PMSing. Maybe my kids need more vitamin D and running. Or maybe this is all yet another reminder that Jesus is the only True light at the end of the tunnel and "in the morning, behold [everything else the world offers is] Leah." {Genesis 29:25} Dissatisfying.

Don't get your panties all in a bunch just yet. All I'm saying is motherhood has it's ups and downs even for the Pinterest-perfect moms on Facebook, though they make me wanna cry about my 'failures' on a regular basis and should possibly be shot based on the false-advertising. Anything can become an idol in our world. No matter how skilled we become at something even as harrowing as motherhood, if we dedicate our entire life, all of our being and energy, and tie up all our hopes, dreams, and joy in it- it's going to be Leah {with dissatisfying world} not Rachel {Christ, the only one in whom all our world can be banked on} when it comes to our wedding day.


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Missional Living Room Layout with Lots of Littles

We finally took on the challenge of "rotating" our living room.

 Missional Living Room Layout with Lots of Littles

Have you ever viewed your home's layout as intentional for furthering the Kingdom? Call me crazy, but I'm starting to see everything in my life as a possibility to share Christ...even down to how I decorate or arrange my home. Let me explain, I'm sharing over on Successful Homemakers, how and why my family recently rotated our living room.

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Boom. Parenting like Jesus 101.

During those oh so rare times I am driving alone and get to complete a thought, my mind seems to wonder. Maybe it's more like circling. Yeah, circling a point to complete itself... Any who. See what I mean.


Anyways, today I was heading home from delivering my 802K items {hyperbole for dramatic effect} to the consignment event in town and was whining to myself about the back muscle I pulled while trying to hulk through my procrastination-induced tagging frenzy yesterday. Not sure if its pulled, pinches or what but it's one of those that you're constantly aware of and if you make any sudden, unskillful, rash moves if feels like someone stabs you in the shoulder blade. {ouch}

During this little pout/rant inside my head, I was lecturing myself for not taking more tylonal before going into town. Then I was making a methodical map of how, in what order, which items first, what path into the house to take, etc in order to not have to return to the car for things but more importantly how to create the fastest route to the pain meds.

Then I remembered I had expired pain pills from after my c-section. I kinda smirked to myself. "Oooo, I bet that'll knock out this pain fast!" I thought to myself. "Where did I put that?"

Then my detailed plan started vividly laying out the possible consequences of taking such strong meds for just this back pain. I found myself in Dr. House's doctor's office having to explain all the minute history of my "health" to get an accurate description even though we all know I'm dying because of that one expired oxycodone I took for my back. It all seemed so innocent. Find a pill. Swallow it with my amazing Dr. Pepper from the hour of happy at Sonic {my reward for successfully delivering my 802K items before said hour was over}. Laugh, play, be amazing with my hubs and kids. But NO. That's not how it's gonna end.

Then Dr. House then begins to drill me on where I acquired my poor education on medication consumption. He shames me for having expired medicines in my home and for taking them!

Then, if you're me, the obvious thing that comes to mind next is the amazingly bold, snarky, wish-you-would-really-have-the-guts-to-say-it-to-someone retort you'd deliver to that Dr. House. "Well, Mister House. {see what I did there- demeaning title change} If you didn't shame your patients for making less than wise choices, maybe they'd be more honest with you right off the bat and you wouldn't have to spend 1/2 of every episode trying to find out what's really causing their health issues because as you always say, "Everyone lies about something."

That's when it hit me. What the smack to I do to my children every time they are caught in a lie, admit fault, have their poor choices laid out in front of the both of us? I shame. I lecture. With good intention I think this will modify their behavior. But that's not Christ-like parenting. Our heavenly father does not shame us. We already know the outcome of our sin. He loves us. Snuggles us. Gives us lil smoochies. Fixes us up and sends us on our way all the while teaching us His ways and looking forward to the day(s) we follow Him in them and don't show up at the doctor's office.

Boom. Parenting like Jesus 101. to implement that?

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Practical Fun Fall Decor {with Lots of Littles}

I'm a practical kinda girl; sometimes to a fault. That even oozes over into how I decorate my home, imagine that. I like a minimally clutter house so my incessantly wondering mind is calmed but I do love fun seasonal decorations! I'm sharing 3 questions that help me determine if I have practical decor, and if you're like me and you'll want some fun fall decor that work well with lots of littles! Just a few of the countless ideas out there of course. All of which is over on the Successful Homemaker's TODAY!

Fun Fall Decor with Lots of Littles

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