#mommied Monday: Pulling Weeds

In honor of Mother's Day coming up, I'm going to be sharing stories {possibly weekly} that makes ya wanna say, "BOOM! You just got Mommied!" because it is a super power ;) 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!

#mommied Monday Pulling Weeds

We have these awesome flowerbeds all around our house! The women who lived her for the 5 years before us was the sweetest, retired, green-thumb with an eye for the adorable. One of the biggest attractions was the curb appeal. I quickly apologized to all the neighbors we met and confessed that the gorgeous front lawn would quickly fade because "I had a lot of humans in our house to feed, water, and keep alive" so the plants wouldn't be a priority, sadly.

Sure enough, last summer, lots of plants were scorched and I chose to dig up 1/2 of the awesomeness to extend our front porch for more seating and hopefully lots more missional living. I hacked down trimmed things back appropriately as the kids have gotten a bit bigger but failed to purchase the vast amount of mulch we need to replenish the beds and keep more of the weeds at bay.

All that leads to the flourishing, weedy, front flower bed. Yeah, it's been oozing with grass and plants that weren't there when we moved here so I'm assuming they're not supposed to be. I announced to the kids they could go in the FRONT YARD and play one afternoon with their neighbor friends {always a win} but only after they each produced 5 bucket-fulls of weeks.

To sweeten the deal, I encouraged them to use their new gardening gloves each of them got in their unEaster Baskets along with their new buckets. THEN I added that they would be earning an entire QUARTER for their hard work {a nickle a bucket} and if they wanted to earn more nickles when they'd finished their 5-manditory ones, they could. Izzie knocked hers out and was knocking on neighbor-friends' doors in no time. Mags was a little more particular about which weeds she wanted to stuff into her bucket. And Jamin...Jamin loathes manual labor and suffered through 2 buckets until I started chopping away at things and told him he was allowed to stuff his bucket with my clippings {saving him the "pulling" part of the job}.

#boom #mommied Happy Monday All. Winning...one morning at a time.

I would LUUUUUUVE if you would share your #mommied stories with us on the as Jules is going facebook page or find me on Instagram to share awesome documentation of your #mommied moment! Don't forget to use the hashtag so we can all find it. Maybe by the time Mother's Day gets here we will all feel the true power God has given us as mommies to train up His lil blessings.

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YOU Can Help KaBoom! Vilonia

Thank you so much for loving us! I know many of you feel we've forgotten about your humble offerings to help but We Have Not! It takes time to pull a community back together after something like this or to even assess needs so  thank you to those still waiting in the wings to jump right in when called upon!

I will remember our CovenantA need has arisen and we need Your Help!

Vilonia Is Getting a PUBLIC PARK/PLAYGROUND on April 18th, 2015!
We're talking "Extreme Park Makeover Show" is going down in our town and you can be a part of it!

This is something I've been passionate about since we moved her and I'm so excited to see how God has chosen to let that happen. The local schools have awesome playgrounds that are open to the public but that's only when the schools themselves aren't using them. Totally understandable but as a homeschool mom with lots of littles, I'd love a place to get my kids out of the house for some great educational outdoor playing, meet friends for a picnic, or just get the wiggles out. And now its happening and I didn't do any footwork. hehe

A group called KaBOOM!​ will be assisting our community in building an amazing playground, funded by Kimberly-Clark, in the same space that last years tornado destroyed the former baseball fields and tiny playground equipment.

Thus far, the professionalism of this group is top notch! Maggie was selected as on of 35 out of 300+ students to be a part of the Design Day and therefore I get to be a part of the adult planning team. eeek!

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The night of the Design Day meeting, the kids sat around and dreamed up their ideas for the perfect park. They chatted with news reporters and colored inspirational drawings. Maggie, in preparation for the meeting, drew no fewer than 30 ideas in a notebook to share with the group {she didn't really know how this was going down} so she copied as many of those down onto her giant paper as she could. She ask friends prior to the day what ideas they has so she could share them as well. <3 That child!
After the kids finished up, the parents compiled their ideas, looked through the gazillion options KaBoom! had for equipment and even down to the colors tried to plan a park of our kids dreams.

Design C{just an example of the possibilities}

Right now, we are currently in the 6 weeks of planning between Design Day and BUILD DAY. There are tons of details for our town to work through and figure out. There are many things I'm attempting to help but with but the main ones I'm focusing on right now that I need YOUR help with are:

How YOU Can Help!

  1. We are collecting toilet paper cardboard rolls! You know, the inside thing you throw away or make pretend binoculars out of and then throw away. Yeah, we are collecting those for a fun project since our playground is being funded by the Kimberly-Clark's "Tube-Free" Scott toilet paper campaign. Don't toss'm. Bring them to ME 😀
  2. We need tools! THIS is the list of tools needs and if you have 1 or 5 of those items, we would LOVE to borrow them for 3 days {prep day 1 and 2, and some of them for build day} but better yet, if you have connections with a hardware store that could donate or loan a giant number of them at once, that would be Even better!
  3. We need YOU! There are so many ways we need you but we definitely need committed hands to show up on BUILD DAY, April 18th, from 8am until about 3pm right here in Vilonia {I'll get ya directions 😉 } We need help ranging from helping play with small children, moving mulch, drilling equipment together, serving food, registering the volunteers as they come in, and to I'm sure I missed something else. This would be great for a short mission trip or youth event. Signing up your Group to help would be a guaranteed fun day they'd remember forever. The Valley will use heading up a Serve Here day with our crew!
    Here is the Link to sign up online or you can print this Reigstration Form for Vilonia KaBoom! Park Build Day for large groups and then input them each. 😀

If you have any questions or have another possible way you'd like to help, hit me up! Thanks in advance!!! This is going to be so fun.

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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! 😀

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My Kids are Getting Dumber

I wanna quit. My kids are getting dumber.

My Kids are Getting Dumber

I've had this urge this entire school year. I keep looking for all the reasons my kids don't need me as their teacher. Missional living seems to be the one satan is using most often but God's not letting this go. "It would be so much easier to love on people if we were in public school" doesn't seem to be a good excuse for Him.

Today I banished my children to the backyard for "recess" after blowing up multiple times for Not. Following. Directions.

My insides hurt. Do  any of your insides just hurt so bad they bust out of your body in the form of tears after temper tantrums haven't done the trick? I'm using their time of banishment to try to figure out why I'm supposed to be doing this homeschool thing. They aren't learning anything. If they are, it's seemingly counterproductive. I've even pointed myself back to- my intention for homeschooling is not to make them geniuses or scholars but to more fully I can fulfill my purpose as their mother, teach them that God loves them and we should follow Him to find life. But am I? Am I really  teaching them to see God in the true light of HIS character as their awful teacher?

What letter are we learning about this week?

{blank stares}

What letter have we been talking about?

G!

No. What comes after G?

{blank stares}

A. B. C. D. E. F. G..........H!

{murmur} H

We are working on the next page in your H book. We are going to color the letter Hh, then cut it into a puzzle, then we are going to put the capital letter H puzzle together in this box and the lower case one in this box, and then glue them down.

I turn my back to help Mags start work.

Scribbled boxes everywhere, glued pieced in random places, blacked out box with no sign of the letter H behind the brown.

I tried to pull the pieces off to help her try again but there was no turning back. The same goes for the giant brown square. I give them a different sheet to work on and go to print new pages...which of course takes forever because my computer and printer hate me.

I return and decide to walk them through the page on step at a time. Color only the Hh. Trace them to show me where the Hh is. What letter? H. Where is it? Yes! You just traced it. Good. Color only inside the lines of the Hh.

Jamin is utterly confused and continues to freak out because he doesn't know where the Hh is that he is supposed to color.

I turn my back to work on the sticker chart because obviously we're going to need some reinforcement today. When I turn back around I find Izzie is cutting. Not only cutting even though she wasn't instructed to but cutting the Hh out rather than on the lines to create the puzzle pieces.

I correct Izzie and tell her she looses a sticker for not following directions.

She cries.

Jamin finishes coloring and start making fringe along the edge of the paper while I'm dealing with Izzie. Sticker lost.

I want to pop off little heads because I have taught them nothing. Nothing other than my pleasure in them is dictated by their behavior and therefor is a portraying Jesus as a behavior based god. Why am I doing this? The thing I'm trying to target, spiritual growth, biblical knowledge, correct portrait of God, I'm jacking it up.

My kids are running a tyranny in the backyard as I type. Who did they learn that from? me.

All I keep thinking is, "If they were in school, someone else would be teaching them to follow only the directions given, color instead of scribble, SIT, not talk, wait their turn to be helped with work, understand that they can't have someone's undivided attention, and to Follow Directions." Yeah, all those things public school parents think or even say aloud to be off-handed, "Yeah, if they were in school they'd get in trouble for or learn to do _____."

Then, I write those words I realize, someone else would be teaching them those things. And the thing about that sentence that's worse than the someone else is the those things. I often forget that my actions teach them what to expect from others but more importantly teach them how to life.

I don't want my kids to only follow the directions given. I want them to learn initiative, anticipate what's next, see what needs to be done and try it even if that means you might fail.

I don't want my kids to color instead of scribble. I want them to always think outside the box because my God is bigger than any form we could ever imagine.

I don't want my kids to sit ad not talk. I want them to burst with energy and talk through things.

I don't want my kids to wait on help. I want them to beg for help unhindered; with no fear that God will shoot them down the moment they need help.

I don't want my kids to believe they can't have undivided attention. I want them to know God has the ability to give them His undivided attention and is always waiting for them to come to him.

I DO want them to follow directions. God will always be at work in their lives. Sometimes it will be easy 1. 2. 3. steps that make us feel accomplished and smart. Other times the directions will be hurry up and wait. Complete 1. and anticipate 2. Listening clearly and following directions first time is a vital part of spiritual growth. It involves patient listening and immediate action.

I guess letter Hh week stands for humility. Now that I've stopped blubbering and God's redirected me, I guess I'm going to listen to His gentle directions and act with humbleness as I go apologize to my kids, do a fun Hh craft, and start lunch.

My kids don't need me as their teacher. They will become dumber. They will follow the ways of the world...if I'm not life-long-learning from my teacher and teaching them to look to Him rather than me for their learning as well.

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Organizing You Home for Homeschooling with Lots of Littles

Having a set routine and knowing what do expect can help you feel at ease when the time comes to organize things like curriculum, supplies, and other clutter like toys.

Organizing You HOME for SCHOOL with Lots of Littles

I am so new at this homeschooling thing that I'm pretty sure I've come up with a new system every year. I'm sharing this years plan for organizing curriculum, supplies, and toys over at the Homemaker's Challenge. Head on over and see if I've lost my mind and will be changing to a new system yet again next year or if it's an okay idea that might help you get started. 😀

Soon, I'll be talking about organizing our lives for homeschooling.

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