Monday, September 30, 2013

Making your home a haven

I want my home to be a haven for our family.  A place where my children feel safe and can be themselves.  A place where our minds can rest and our hearts feel joy.  A place where laughter and noise are abundant.  I stress about our home being clean and organized.  I like for Jason to come home to peace and order.  It doesn't always happen.  In fact, that only happens about once a week. But that's my desire.  In reality, our home is made up of a lot of littles.  A lot more people making messes than cleaning them up.  But this is a season.  A season that will pass all too quickly.  For how, toys are strewn.  Clothes are dirty.  A lot of clothes.  Crumbs stick to our feet and everything's sticky.  The pillows are never just right.  The blankets are rarely folded.  The table isn't set for a dinner party, but rather covered with art.  There are closets that should require a hard hat to enter and don't even think about under the beds.  But, our home is full of laughter.  It's full of joy and love and peace.   Not peace and quiet, but peace.  We are happy.  We are healthy.  We are together.  We are thankful.

I'm linking up with Women Living Well this month to take a challenge to make my home a haven.  They are sharing tips every week this month to make our homes more peaceful and welcoming for our families.  I'm always up for a challenge, and I'm excited to see how this one works.

Now, the first week includes buying a new candle and placing it where it can be seen. Every time the flame catches your eye, you're supposed to say a prayer for peace in your home. Everyone that knows me knows that I don't do candles.  At least not candles with wicks.  I like this idea, though, and I'm trying to decide if I'm going to stick with the candle idea or try something else.  Also, the drawing this week is for a year's supply of yankee candles.  How ironic would that be if I won?!?  I believe I'd be using them as an example of what NOT to buy. :)

Anyway, I'm praying for my home this week.  That it will always be full of laughter, peace and joy.  One day, if the Lord wills, when my children are grown, Jason and I will come home to a place that is quiet.  A home that is neat and clean just like we left it.  I pray that we enjoy those days even though they are very hard to wrap my mind around now.  For now, I pray for peace.  A haven for my family.  A place full of mercy to make mistakes.  Grace to see us through.  Love that surpasses any challenge we face elsewhere.  A place where my family reconnects and stands strong against our fears.  A place where we pray and sing and play jokes on each other.  A place where we know, without any doubt, that we are accepted and loved.  Do you want to join me on our challenge this month to make your home a haven??

Monday, September 16, 2013

Hola, Maebry.

Lucy has been asking what language Maebry will speak when she learns to talk.  Will it be English, Spanish, French?  This began a discussion about language acquisition.  I told her that Maebry will learn to speak the language we speak because that's what she will hear and therefore repeat.  I wasn't sure where she was going with these questions, but I could see the wheels turning in her head.
A little while later, I found Lucy, nose to nose with Maebry, saying loudly, "Maebry, UNO, DOS, TRES, QUATRO...."  
She's bound and determined that Maebry is going to speak Spanish. :)

Friday, September 6, 2013

Organizing School Papers

I was asked this morning how I organize school papers.  And I laughed.  Because I wouldn't even get near calling my system "organized" but it does work for us.  Mostly.
My girls bring home a boat-load of papers from school.  And for the longest time, they just piled up because I didn't know what to do with them.  Well, here's the system.
First, when I unload backpacks, I sort the papers depending on whether they need to go back to school or if they stay home.  The ones that go back need to be dealt with immediately or they WILL be lost in my bowl of shame.
The papers that we are to keep at home go in a paper sorter in my laundry room.  This one came from Home Goods.... like 3 years ago.  It fit all of my children then.  I'll need to upgrade to a system with four sections soon, but for now, Maebry's worksheets and art work are limited. :)

If it's a calendar, reminder, short term sort of thing, I hang it in the command center.  Jason thinks that name is lame.  He's never actually said that out loud, but I know him.  I'm right, aren't I, honey? :)
He still loves me.  
I do keep the calendars when they are no longer relevant because it helps me look back and see what the kids were doing at a certain time. :)  If it's something that I might need for ready reference (class room list, future dates, etc. it goes on the bulletin board in my laundry room.  I also have a file in my MomAgenda binder for things that I need for Room Mom responsibilities, like the email list of parents, special information about the teachers and other things like that.

The final resting place for the kids' papers is in a binder... to keep forever more.  Actually, some of them find their final resting place in my recycling bin.  Because how many math worksheets do we really need to hold on to forever more?
No, really, I sort through their papers and decide what to keep and what to "file" in my trash can.
We make a binder for every year. You can find the cover sheet here. And when I say we make one, I mean I made one once.... like 3 years ago.  But we ARE going to make one for every year.  I'm only one year behind, actually.
The girls LOVE to look back on their work and see their art. :)  This is also helpful, because we can look back on their achievements... like the Big Hand award or the MVP in P.E.

 That's it.  How do you sort YOUR papers!?