Live OUTSIDE Your Home

A major key to missional living for our homeschooling family of lots of littles is living OUTSIDE our home.

Living OUTSIDE Your Home #missionalliving True LOVE! is messy -1 Peter 48

It could be super easy for our family to isolate ourselves by only attending the valley {our church plant} surrounding ourselves with Christians and then stay within the shelter of our home for the rest of the week, schooling, taking turns grocery shopping alone, pull in the garage and shut the door behind ourselves. BUT what fun would that be? We wouldn't be participating in the amazing adventure God has called us to be a part of. For us, being a visible presence in our neighborhood is a natural part of that adventure. But lets be honest...with four littles, if I don't set myself up for success, I'll never do it. Although spontaneous fun is usually best, sometimes just a few things could make the spontaneous a little more convenient. Here are some of the simple ways we've chosen to live missionally in our neighborhood:

Living OUTSIDE You Home #missionalliving {front porch}Front Porch
We inherited a beautifully manicured lawn when we moved in 2 years ago. I immediately apologized to all the neighbor, explaining that I had a large family to feed and water and the plants wouldn't survive the neglect. As a result, I got friends to dig up nearly 1/2 of the front flowerbed and we extended our front porch for more optimal porch sitting {WITH neighbors}.

Living OUTSIDE Your Home {furniture} #missionallivingFurniture
As an addition to our amazing front porch, we've been slowly adding quality furniture as we found it wicked cheap. We would love to have optimal seating for who ever pops over.

Living OUSIDE Your Home on your driveway #missionallivingDriveway
We want to keep everyone safe while they're playing outside so we always move our vehicles onto the road {sometimes blocking the driveway entrance} and that lets the kids have the entire driveway for chalk, riding toys, or just running. We keeps keys in a bowl so they're fast to find, kids know the routine so they stay near the house while we move them, and they know the boundaries.

Living OUTSIDE You Home with toys #missionallivingToys
We keep inexpensive toys specifically for outside readily available for the kids and their friends so hanging out with friends is quick and easy. We also have have multiple sizes of riding toys so we can share with friends.

Living OUTSIDE You Home #missionalliving {walks}Walks
Although we don't have a sidewalk on our side of the road, we do have an awesome sidewalk all the way up our road! Being out and about our neighborhood allows us to get to know neighbors even as simple as waving hi, getting to see who lives where, and letting them see and get to know us.

Living OUTSIDE Your Home #missionalliving {garage}Cookouts
Having a spot set up with all the basics of a great cookout helps us be ready at the drop of the hat for a cook out with friends. We keep extra food in the deep freeze, cheap drinks in the mini fridge, picnic blanket ready, lawn chairs stacked in the corner, ice chest ready, and snacks in our hospitality desk.

Living OUTSIDE Your Home {block parties} #missionallivingBlock Parties
Block parties are coming about a lot more natural these days. It was fun to hear that so many neighbors have been dreaming of doing "something Just like this for years" and God allowed us to start that for them. There are a thousand different themes you could do but just offering a potluck type dinner and a designated space is really all you need.

I hope this helps you think through living outside your home with a #missionalliving mentality! God has called us to love our neighbors and it doesn't have to be unnaturally hard.

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#mommied Monday: Parking Lot

In honor of Mother's Day, I have been sharing stories that makes me wanna say, "BOOM! You just got Mommied!" because it is a super empower ;) Often we feel like we just got owned by our children in the small battles so we need some encouragement when we don't lose! Sorry this one's late.

#mommied Monday Parking Lot

Our garage feels like it is constantly being “cleaned out”. No joke, I’m sure my neighbors are laughing every other week as I drag all my junk out onto the drive way to sort through, trash, rearrange, and stuff back inside. One of the areas in our garage that has saved me a few headaches is the “parking lot” for all our riding toys. Even Ellie {16 months} knows where to find things and the general idea of “parking” them when we are done.

Supplies you’ll need:

  • cleared floor space next to a wall in the garage
  • tape- I used frog tape {brand of painters tape} but masking or duck tape would work
  • riding toys

Simple Parking Lot Concept:

  • swept, dusted, mopped {if you have to} floor, so the tape will stick- I learned the hard way the 1st time around
  • lay out riding toys in a row {I spaced mine smallest near the door to largest further into the garage}
  • eye-ball the length you’ll need my stretching it out next to each vehicle
  • tear it off
  • stick it down
  • stand back in awe of yourself 😉

*for light-weight toys that roll on a slightly declining surface*
create a parking block behind the vehicle to keep it from rolling into the garage: I used a thin strip of cardboard cut off a box in the trash but used a flat twig or scrap sliver of wood the first time and taped it to the floor under the tape

My kids LOVE that they have their own space in the garage for their vehicles! It’s very clear for them to see where their riding toys fit and can easily put them away {when I don’t pile things behind their parking spaces :/ }

BOOM! #mommied

I hope you all had a GREAT Mother’s Day! I find that, we as mommies, push ourselves to extremes where we either live fake lives because we are constantly feeling less-than in comparison to other moms or announce our failures as if they’re metals we’ve won without an attempt to always improve. May we all recognize our victories and be encouraged to press on in our struggles.

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Outdoor Toy Storage {Thoughtful Thursday}

We've tried lots of different things to hold the kids toys. Laundry baskets. Shelf made from old drawers. And the most recent attempt, an old bakers rack that was left in our shed by the former owner we were using for tools.

Baker's Rack to Outdoor Toy Storage BEFORE and AFTER

After wiping it down I used my favorite kind of paint for furniture {or just about anything}: Spray Paint. After getting the entire thing coated with the blue, I used some cardboard and tape to block off the wooden top and sprayed it with black chalkboard paint then added simple white knobs I had in my pile of "leftover" parts from projects.

I pulled it up on the deck and added toys. We'll see how long this lasts and if it makes the kids wanna put their things away any more than the other tries.

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Hospitality Set {Making Hospitality THAT Much Easier}

Some of us LOVE having people into our home and others...not so much.

Whether you do or don't like it, many of us just don't do it. I think most of the time we aren't hospitable for one or more of the following reasons.

  1. We don't feel like our house is big, clean, nice, host-able {for whatever reason} enough.
  2. We are too busy and aren't home enough to have others over.
  3. We feel like its going to be a lot of work that we don't have the energy for.

Ready-Made Hospitality Set makes being hospitable easy, fast, and natural

I can't solve all these issues but I have found something that helps with a little of all of them. Creating a hospitality set will allow you to

  1. have a set of dishes clean for just the occasion
  2. to grab fast when last-minute hospitality opportunities arise
  3. and it's ready with little to no effort.

This is how I created my hospitality set {based on my most common hospitality needs}:

  • purchased 16 bowls and 16 plates at the Dollar tree for $1 for a set of 4,
  • silverware from a local open-to-the-public restaurant store
  • used containers also from the Dollar tree to store them in. hospitable

This set stays under the counter in these containers and are ONLY used for sudden {and main large} hospitality. This keeps me from freaking out about not having enough dishes clean to feed everyone, it's so easy to get ready, my kids can snatch these items and lay them out, and I don't feel overwhelmed cleaning up afterwards because these are dishwasher save but the kids also think its fun to hand-wash them and I'm not scared to let them.

Using the Dollar Tree to create your own Hospitality Set is cheap and Dry-Erasable

***Another really cool thing about this set that I just realized, they're Dry-Erasable! Marking friends and family's drinks/plates/bowls are easily marked. Very important right now during flu season! ***

 We also have a mini-fridge to set up a drink/snack station this summer for neighborhood friends! What common hospitality needs do you have that might need to be considered for a set you're building?

 

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Homemade Hibachi-like Fried Rice/Scrambled Eggs and Chicken

I went on a date-night with my hubs to Fugis Hibachi Gill and Steakhouse. I'd never been there before and it was num num nummy! I don't usually like to pay for food unless I know I'm going to love it. I'm just frugal like that and don't want to waste money. But I went out on a ledge and ordered something I'd never tried before.Homemade Hibachi-like Fried RiceScrambled Eggs and Chicken

If you've ever been to one of those places you probably know they give you HUGE portions. I didn't know that or I would have shared with hubs. Since I didn't I ended up with an amazing box of leftovers I couldn't stop eating on until my tummy hurt.

When it was gone I wanted so badly to try and make it but just like I don't like ordering things unless I know I'd like it, I don't like to try new recipes unless I know it won't be a terrible waste. This week. I finally attempted it.

It was oh so yummy and I'm totally gonna be making it for our entire family to try. 😀 Here's what I did in case you wanna try it too::

Homemade Hibachi-like Fried RiceScrambled Eggs and Chicken Recipe

Ingredients {based on the 1 portion I made}:

  • eggs 2 large
  • green peppers ~3 Tbs diced small
  • carrots ~3 Tbs diced small
  • white rice 1.5 cups cooked
  • margarine ~1/8 cup
  • onion powder ~ 1/4 tsp
  • chicken 1/4 cup cooked
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • soy sauce to taste

Directions:

  1. scramble eggs {I've learned I really like using a Tbs of butter rather than milk}
  2. mix in white rice, peppers, carrots, onion powder, and salt and pepper until well mixed
  3. add butter and "fry" everything together until heated to your liking
  4. serve hot and add soy sauce to your liking

 

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