Decluttering Kids’ Books with a Win Win Win

One of the places I've delaying in the Decluttering-My-Home-thing has been the kid's bookshelves.

Decluttering Kids' Books with a Win Win Win

Sadly, this isn't because I'm a book-lover. I was a little sentimental about who/where they came from but it is mainly because I'm not a reader. I didn't read a lot as a child but I want my kids' to love reading. I know you can learn anything if you're a good reader. I was scared that since I don't really like reading, I'd just chunk everything and be THAT terrible homeschool mom who had no books for her children to read. I mean really, what would people think if they came over and I had no books?! lol but really!

I finally hit it hard last night. As soon as the kids were in bed, I finished picking up and then had my hubs drag ALL their books into the living room from the play/school room where I strung them everywhere while we/he watched a TV show.

I was nervous.

I made piles. Then I reorganized the piles. Then I doubted my piles. Books from HIPPY {that must mean they're good, right?}. Books that damaged. Books I recognized from seeing in the school library as a child. Random. Donate. Trash. I'm not sure.

Ya see what I'm saying, I'm okay at organized but reluctant to declutter. Everything has a purpose, someone one would use it, I might be able to make $2 off of it. Ugg

I finally confessed my fear of getting rid of books to my hubs and then dumped my pile of random books next to him to help me make finally decisions about.

We cleared out a giant tub-full of books. Some I could have possibly sold at the Duck Duck Goose Consignment Event but I just decided that if they made it into the tub from whatever reason, I wasn't going to look at them again.  I'm not sure how shaddy this was but I just left the 'donate' and 'trash' pile all together in the tub. I ask my hubs to take the tub to the garage for now so 'the kids' would dig stuff back out of it.

Today we picked back up our attempt at weekly library trips. As I walked out I grabbed that tub. The stupid thing is clear. That's Not Helpful.

I didn't look. I just put it in the front seat and after double checking with the librarian, I brought in the tub and left it with her. Tub and All. I couldn't take the chance of watching her sort through them. Guilt. Regret. Embarrassment.

When I got home, I was hoping the kids didn't really notice me running back into the library with their books. But apparently that's hard to miss. They announced at lunch, "Daddy, we took our books to the library! Now we can rent them any time we want."

Hmm That had never occurred to me. I mean. I'm a genius. I convinced my children it was okay to declutter/get rid of books by taking them to the local library because now someone Else has to store them, we can check them out any time we want, AND other can use them as well! :D

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Happy New Year {2015}!!!

So weird to be writing again. I've read about things like this on real-actual blogs. Writers saying they feel out-of-place, lost in their own space, awkward in unfamiliar territory that used to be so cozy, comfy, and personal.

2015

I've been gone so long that I don't remember what its like to write. Write for fun. Write because I feel like I have something to say. Something that's inside me needing to eek out.I want that again. I've spent some time doing some virtual assistant work, writing for a couple other contributor sites, and ya know...life with lots of littles.

I've also seen tons of people walk away from said space when they got in a funk. Some people have created a new space to try to find a new groove. Don't get me wrong, it's going to be hard to find myself here again and I do have new interests in the realm of blogging but I stick I'm gonna stick it out.

I have a habit of not trying to hard. I don't like the idea of work super hard for something that I may fail at. I don't like doing things half-way but I am also learning that what I consider half-way and what God thinks is exactly what He's looking for are totally different sometimes.

This year, I'm not doing the resolution thing. I'm not doing the one-word thing. I'm going to do the try-chase-Jesus-in-a-healthy-rhythm thing.  lol I just mean I want to find some normalcy. Routine. Schedule but with flexibility. Discipline and Grace.

I'm really hoping that writing is part of that rhythm a little more often than it has been this past year. I'd love to reorganize here. Start a new site {already bought the domain name}. Finish the book {idea} I've started.

So what's been up with you? ;) How has your year been? Are you doing resolutions, one-word, or the just-keep-truck'n?

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Ministering Outside the Wall of “the church”

If you've been here for any time at all, you have heard me share about both The Church not being a building but the people chasing after Christ as well as The Valley {church} we have been blessed by helping plant here in central AR a little over a year ago.

worship on the slab

The Valley came to this community looking for where God was at working and join Him there. Along with this, we are contentiously choosing to work where others aren't already hard at work. We are here to "build the heard not steel sheep." Because of this, it has been fun finding ways to minister in original and sometimes random ways.

Being the new kids in town, for a year now, we have been fighting to find ways to love on the people her but sometimes shut out because it "wasn't needed". Well, H.E.L.L.O. God is bigger than practicality and also a bigger redeemer than natural disasters.

The most recent storms that hit our town wiped out close to 150 homes and took the lives of at least 9 here in Vtown. We can't believe the doors God is opening through this. Oh, did I mention, God busted out of our "box" via this storm? Yeah, our meeting space was kaboshed giving us an acceptable excuse to love this community in unconventional, non-church-y ways.

Enter childcare and Mom's Night Out stage left:

The Playplace

The morning after the storm, it was evident to me that I wouldn't be able to serve like the rest of the valley church in the way of clean-up or collecting donations and felt useless. THEN another mom suggested maybe we could take turns watching one another children and working in town. YES! I can do that. So the next day I opened my home for childcare to those in our valley families who needed somewhere for their littles to go.

Little did I know that God was birthing this same service opportunity in the heart of an individual at a sister church in Conway. I was contacted about the idea and God birthed it into a huge community blessing. We were allowed to use the local Primary School's "big room" and outdoor playgrounds, restaurants catered for free, and tons of others including Target, Dick's Sporting Goods Store, and out-of-town friends contributed to hundreds of "summer buckets" full of simple toys that were sent home with the children attending the "Playplace".

When school started back the next week and most of our community went back to work, there was no immediate need for this ministry and again I felt helpless as I tried to "get back to normal".

organized school room

Monday I has glanced at my calendar at once coveted plans and realized Mother's Day weekend was coming up and a girl's night where we were all supposed to be going to see the new movie "Mom's Night Out". That seemed to pale in compassion to the current dismal state of Vtown life.

THEN, I realized maybe I could score some tickets for "needy" women from the movie theater. I mean, Target had stepped up and even though this is way outside my comfort zone, I could try.

They could give me 4...

I decided to compose an email to the Allume team contacting a short briefing on who I/the valley was, what had happened to our town, and how I'd learned about the Mom's Night Out movie via their conference back in October.

Tuesday, I sat and cried as I tried to declutter and reorganize our play/school room. All I could think was "we have Too Much Crap!" I wanted to give it away but all those who needed it had no home to put it in. We were created to bring glory to God and sitting sifting through my stuff, I felt like I was doing the furthest thing from glorifying my God.

Taking a break from it all after my poor hubs tried to comfort my inevitable meltdown, I decided to check out during nap by gracing social media and my email. I was never so shocked to find an email from Elizabeth, of Provident Films saying among other things, "Will you please call me at your earliest convenience and we'll discuss next steps." Call? Next Steps!?

Ahhhh!!!!

I am terrible on the phone {AWEkward} but I snatched up my phone and ran outside. Never had a I been more excited to make a fool of myself if it meant I could be of use to this community in its time of trouble. My world was a world-wind from Wednesday until Saturday night but well worth it!

Mom's Night Out

The night turned out to be a huge success! We ended up having a banquet room in a Chinese restaurant with comped buffet, pre-movie pampering, and a therapy room movie theater FULL of healing women. {That will be a post in itself.} Later, I was told by a guy from the valley that he was bragging on me to someone who expressed her gratitude for the much-needed MNO. I was excited to tell him that,

God had it all planned before me so I just had to find where he was working and connect the dots.

I really do believe it is that easy. Find where He is already at work, grab your pen, and get to work on the pieces that He has already given you the tools to connect to accomplish the ultimate goal. I have been so energized by what God has freed up the valley to do here and am loving watching our lil valley family grow closer together all while reaching out to a hurting world!

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Mom’s Night Out {{Win a Trip to the Hollywood Premiere}}

Moms' Night Out
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Sarah Drew plays Allyson, the mom of three young children, in MOMS' NIGHT OUT. In real life, Sarah is the mom of one young child. In an interview with eMeals, Sarah has some encouraging advice for all moms:

"I've spent a lot of my life trying to wear all kinds of different impressive hats, and I've come to the realization that I've never actually worn those hats for myself. I've always tried to wear them to impress someone else, or to prove my value or worth. Here's the thing: I'm already valuable. I already have worth. I'm already loved, so why pretend to be something I'm not? It's all so exhausting."

Be sure to read the full interview and register for your chance to win a trip to the MOMS' NIGHT OUT Hollywood Premiere from eMeals.

Enter The Contest

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How to Get 101 FREE Prints from Shutterfly

Every time I find out about awesome deals I love, I try to share them over on Facebook because I know many of you are just like me. I Love Free Stuff! I also LOVE Photos!

1112092_president_headGet 101 Free Prints with code SNOWDAY. Valid 2/18-2/19

Today, Shutterfly has their amazing 101 FREE Prints. They usually do this at least twice a year but this is like the second time I've seen it in the past couple months.

Many of you may want to take advantage but aren't sure how to...I'm here to and explain the easy way to claim your FREE Prints!!!

  1. Click THIS link or the image below.
  2. Click "Get Started"
  3. Sign Up or Sign In if you already have an account
  4. Select an Album that already exists or start a new one by clicking Upload
  5. After you have the Album you'd like to select pictures from, you may choose just a few by clicking the box in the corner of each desired picture or click Select: All
  6. If you're like me, you won't have 101 pictures to print but you Have To Have 101 to get them FREE. I print multiples of certain pictures and use them as part of thank you cards or gifts for friends and family. Remember, the FREE prints are the 4x6 size.
  7. When you have 101, go to check out. This is where you will put in the coupon code {current code: SNOWDAY}. You will have to pay shipping.
  8. Proceed by putting in your payment method and shipping info!
  9. Enjoy your prints!!!

Pictorial:

How to Claim your 101 FREE Prints

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