Archives for March 2014

This Season of Worship

I was nervous going in. I mean, I was the only crazy bringing in 6 kids ranging from 3.5 months all the way to 10-years-old.

THIS season of worship will be full of your child learning true worship on her mother's lap.

I'd prepped everyone. Laid out clothes. Brushed hair. Pouted when the matching clothes wear changed out of because they had food on them and replaced with a terrible combination of yuck. I wanted to feel like we weren't falling apart before we even arrived. We mingled the few minutes before finding a row large enough to seat us all but then decided it was possibly a better idea to divide if I was gonna conquer this. Even with my hubs planning to assist, I knew this night would be a test of the harder exam coming in two days. The music began. I counted heads. Took a deep breath and released it slowly. We began to sing. With the baby in a car seat next to me trying to drift into dreamland for a short evening nap, one little sitting with her daddy behind me, one big in front of me, one gently dancing loops around the pole in the aisle, and the boys filed in to the row with me trying to figure out what they were supposed to be doing, I felt scattered. I thought through lyrics and really did mean them as I sang them, broken, between whispers of explanation to those boys. I tried to focus on the words as they poured out of my mouth but then my dancer would get a little wild drawing attention away from the one we were singing praises to. I tried not to worry that my hubs needed me to take his little thinking he may need to be doing something else. Comforting the big in front of me, letting her know that the rhythm may be foreign but the heart is the same. Singing worship to my God while pulling a blanket to cover that baby to deter her from watching those around us. A community worship night is just what the community needed and possibly exactly what I needed. What I needed to be reminded of what true worship looks like in this season of life. This kind of worship was illogical. Attempting to train appropriate behavior in specific environments to my lots of littles takes so much effort, thought, and action. As they shuffled from row to row with reminders of volume and discreetness as to not distract those worshiping our Jesus, I had two options:

  • cry out of pure frustration at my lack-of-ability to worship in the same manner as everyone and feel cheated
  • OR I smile.

I chose to smile. Smile through the crazy. Smile through aching back because it meant I was blessed to be holding a giant, heavy child. Smile because as I held her and sang I could pause and ask, "Do you know who the 'you' is we are singing about?" I could gently answer, "What's a palm?" only to have the privilege to watch her eyes light up as I showed her and then explained how tight God holds us. This season of worship doesn't always look like the emotional high that comes with the brochure picture of hands raised in complete release. Some times it looks like a lap full of loving correction. It may not include a public bend knees in surrender but only a single knelt knee to spark the love of our savior. This season doesn't always allow for energy to shout praise. THIS season of worship will likely be full of your child learning true worship on her mother's lap. Sunday is coming. A celebration of a year in the books for The Valley. A celebration of those who have come to Christ and are following through with baptism. A celebration of the great God has done in this season. I will worship in this season. I won't pout about it, begrudge those not here, or wish it away. THIS season of worship is vital to their next season of worship. THIS season isn't about me and how I want to give praise. It's about guiding my children through meaningful utterances to our maker. It's about showing them God's peace amidst the chaos. It's about sorting through their confusion of new spaces. Worship is a lifestyle but corporate worship times are a time for showing my littles the wide array worship is given: posture, emotion, actions. They will learning how to give their gifts as offerings to thank the one who sewed those into them. They will learn their form may look different from those around them and thus proving the vastness of God's creativity. In this season of worship, the days are long but the years are short. I will wait with expectancy to see how my littles will begin to worship my their Creator.

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Up-Cycled Wipe Containers {Thoughtful Thursday}

Drier Sheets Case

keep your drier sheets fresher in an up-cycled wipe box AND its cutera large box of drier sheets fits in this container, keeps them fresher, and is cuter than those lil cardboard ones

A large box of drier sheets fits in this container, keeps them fresher, and is cuter than those lil cardboard ones.

Keep Drier Sheets Fresher in an Up-Cycled Wipe Container

Travel Tissue Box

Travel Case of Kleenex made from an Up-Cycled Wipe Container

A small wipe case is the perfect size for a travel case of tissue and keeps it dry and clean.

Holds "Missing Pieces" for Board Games

Store Random Game Pieces in an Up-Cycled Wipe CaseStore random missing game pieces in an up-cycled wipe box

Its is nearly inevitable that kids will misplace a piece {or 8 aHem} to some board game. Rather than have them grouch and tear apart the game storage trying to return that piece when its finally found. This random game piece container allows them to store the piece by stuffing it in through the top or easy-open lid so the pieces are found quickly when playing a game with that missing piece.

Travel Crayon Case

You can fit a 24 package of crayons into 1 up-cycled wipe case for your traveling artist

You can fit a 24 package of crayons into 1 up-cycled wipe case for your traveling artist

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NEVER Fold You’re Littles Laundry Again

I have has some friends ask how I get certain things done while having 4 kids. One of those is laundry. I never cringe when I think about laundry and I think that is completely because of the system we have in place. It has kind of evolved over the years.

Littles Help with Shuffling the Laundry move to the drier or sort into clean baskets

Our Basic "System"

  • I start 1 load every night {unless there are random circumstances, night time wet sheets, sickness, extra guest, "washing day"- clean sheets or carseat covers} and some times move it to the drier.
  • The little on laundry that day "shuffles" the laundry- movies it to the drier and or sorts the laundry into the appropriate baskets.
  • Once {some times twice} a week, usually Saturday, we all put clothes away. Adults do their own {folding if necessary}, Jamin (3), Izzie (4), and Maggie (almost 6) all put away their own clothes.

At first I was a little embarrassed to confess my biggest secret in our system. I think my mom and mother-in-love are possibly discussed by this buuuut, it work for this season of life::

We NEVER fold laundry.

  1. Littles can Help
    I spend less than 7 minutes a day on laundry because I have my 3 oldest on a chore chart that includes laundry. They're current job is to shuffle the laundry. The awesome basket shelf my hubs made me is a vital part of our system but this could easily be done with baskets on the floor.
  2. Tiny Clothes Don't Stay Folded
    When my oldest girls were little, I loved organizing their clothes. {Attempting} to fold all those tiny items and get them to stack neatly in their drawers. I'm sure it would have been pretty comical for anyone watching. Since those days, I've designated drawers for specific items but never fold them.
  3. Littles clothes don't really wrinkle
    I have never observed someone snarling their nose up at the state of my kids clothes so why waste the time. They are so tiny, they don't look gross. {I also refuse to buy high-maintenance clothes for my kids and my husband and I for that mater}
  4. 1/2 our clothes are hung
    Since we have limited space in each bedroom {and I like to}, we hang all shirts, jackets, and skirts/dresses. This leaves very little to go into dressers and underwear, socks, leggings, PJs, and pants don't really matter if a little ruffled. Making sure it all fits also keeps us from having too much of something. If it doesn't fit it needs to get.
  5. Laundry Gets Done
    I have tons of friends who HATE laundry. It gets overwhelming and everyone in the house dreads it. This is no glamorous laundry life but it does get done!
  6. Sanity
    In this season of our family, we need as much sanity as possible. High-maintenance laundry is just not a priority. If it is to you, that's fine. But if you are overloaded, snapping at your family over clothing battles, and pressing preschool pants, you might need to try something else. Does laundry really matter in an eternal perspective? There's always time to teach folding before they leave the house {it is a good life skill to learn}.
kids closetsNote: they rarely look This clean 😉
girls' dresser boy's dresserbaby's dresser
While researching before I made my big confession, I found this awesome ladies laundry system and she too confessed to not folding kids laundry. I could hug this stranger for making me feel less skanky 😉
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Organizing LITTLE Chores

Does the idea of spring cleaning excite you all while making your bones ache with exhaustion? YES! Me too! So, how are we going to get those normal chores done and the “spring cleaning” items we rarely get to handle? Child Labor!

How to Organize Little Chores

Having four kids, 5-years-old and under, we had to recruit their help early. Here are some of the ways we helped our kids get in on helping keep-up the house with daily little chores that are easy for littles to accomplish. Organization helps you and your child keep on top of the daily so once they’re in the swing of helping with those things on your list, you’ll be free to do those rare spring cleaning items on your bigger list!

Today on the Homemaker's Challenge, I am sharing how we organize our version of "Child Labor" so we can get to the spring cleaning. I'm covering our chore chart, how we rotate and train the littles, as well as our "allowance".

On a side note, look for the upcoming post where I give you some very convincing arguments for why you should never fold your little's laundry again.

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Reupholstering Bar Stools for Newbies (like ME) {Thoughtful Thursday}

Thoughtful Thursdays on as Jules is going

I have always admired my friends who could reupholster things. I'm talking full couches and stuff. I've never been brave enough to try it, ya know, 'cause it would cost big money if I messed it up...

Reupholstering Bar Stools

So when my hubs came home with some bar stools out of the blue that a friend gave him for free I thought I'd give it a try on these for a few reasons: they were free, the seats were so small it would only take a tiny bit of fabric, AND we can only fit 3 stools across our bar leaving 1 to be my guinea pig!


  • bar stools
  • screw driver
  • fabric
  • staple gun {and staples}


  1. Started with the most beat-up one {mine had splattered paint on it & was missing a screw} so you can test your skills.
  2. Take out screws on the bottom. I removed them all because I was also considering painting them so I wanted to see if it could be done but if you're not, just remove the ones hold the cushion on.
  3. Cleaned the cushion off really well.
  4. Cut fabric to the right size. I had 1 yard and cut it into 4 pieces leaving them close to 1x1 foot each.
  5. Remove decorative cover that is hiding the manufacture's staples so you can reuse it when you're done. {but you could make your own if needed}
  6. Place fabric print side down.
  7. Put your cushion face down directly in the middle of the fabric.
  8. Pull the 4 corners up and staple tight into place.
  9. Begin gathering tightly and stapling the rest of the fabric in a circular manner until you've gone all the way around the cushion.
  10. Cut off excess fabric.
  11. Reattach the decorate fabric to cover raw fabric edges and staples.
  12. Reattach the cushion to bar stool legs.

Reupholstering Bar Stools for Newbies remove cushion screws Reupholstering Bar Stools for Newbies take apart stoolReupholstering Bar Stools for NewbiesReupholstering Bar Stools for Newbies (before and after)

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