Monday, January 30, 2012

{Operation Simplicity: Enthusiasm}

I had planned on saving the kids' rooms until later when I could really focus on tackling the big project. But when the girls saw how much I enjoyed working in my newly arranged and simplified kitchen, they decided that we really shouldn't wait.

They wanted to tackle their room ASAP.

(I may have also casually mentioned that we'd have a garage sale. I may have also hinted that they could keep any money they earned from selling their stuff. This was extremely motivating because I may have also suggested that they could use the money toward the dolls they are saving up for.)

I've noticed that the children use this coloring area in the school room so much more
now that it's tidy and there's an easy to use space for everything.

So we took all day Saturday and whipped that room into shape. We went through every single silly band, book and bracelet, every doll, feather boa and shoe. We simplified the furniture arrangement so that the only large pieces are their daybed and dresser. The doll cradle and laundry hamper are the only other items taking up floor space.

It was a huge project, but so worth it. The boys are green with envy. I bet we'll be getting to their room much sooner than anticipated.

Already I've witnessed a number of benefits to having a simplified living space:

1. It's much easier to tidy up. There's a place for everything with everything in its place. The girls know where to put their feather boas and tea cups. They each have a small basket for the extra little pieces that don't seem to belong to any other collection. Everything has a place. There's no guess work, they can easily reach the storage spaces, and the room can be cleaned in a flash.

2. The space is inviting. The girls couldn't wait to use their "new" room. The open space left plenty of room for dancing and exercising, both of which took place all Sunday afternoon. (The downside: they were very noisy.)

3. They find more enjoyment in the toys they decided to keep. The girls essentially kept a dress up box, a bin of stuffed animals, their dolls and a few doll accessories along with a few other trinkets such as their tea set and meaningful figurines. We eliminated the toys that they never played with or had outgrown. This means that when they enter their room, they see only the things they enjoy and value.

4. Anticipation of a little extra cash. I'm looking forward to all of their hard work paying off. We'll label their toys separately and keep track during our spring garage sale. Their earnings will be stashed away with their savings until they've saved enough to purchase their dolls.

The girls are loving their room, and so am I. It's no longer scary to walk in there or impossible for a six-year-old to manage. It's downright pleasant.

So you'll forgive me if I show up some Sunday morning in a feather boa. I'm not taking a walk on the wild side. I'm simply enjoying my girls' room.
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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

{Maximize Your Mornings . . . Join Us!}

For a few months now, I've taken part in the Maximize Your Mornings challenge through Kat's blog, Inspired to Action. I meet with a lovely group of ladies on our little facebook page throughout the week where we encourage one another in our efforts to "maximize our mornings."

This includes "waking up for our children, not to our children." We share Scripture, pray for one another and give each other virtual high-fives as we seek to begin our mornings with time in God's Word, some sort of physical exercise, and in planning for the day that lies ahead.

Sometimes we'll "check in" and say things like, "Well, I kinda hit the sleep button again . . . ." And other times it's a bit more personal. "Will you pray for me today? You see . . . ." And sometimes it's a specific note such as, "What kind of workout program do you enjoy using?" or "Do you have a prayer system that you've found to be helpful?"

It's a community of encouragement and accountability that I've found to be very helpful in my efforts to start each morning focused on the Lord and the people that He has placed in my life.

Our group is rather small at this time, and we'd love to welcome some new members. We happen to all be West-Coasters so that when we check in (at 8:00-ish) it's around the same time in the morning.

So. If you live on the West Coast and would like to take part in this challenge, I'd love to add your name to the group. Visit Kat's blog if you have any questions about the challenge itself (she's written a great, free e-book), and of course you can ask me about it, too.

Happy mornings, my friends!
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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

{Simple is Beautiful}

This morning when I woke up, I had a feeling of excitement about me. I tried to think through the day's events to determine what was worthy of this anticipation. I finally realized that it wasn't an event I was looking forward to. It was a lifestyle.

The more I read Organized Simplicity, the more eager I am to live intentionally, deliberately, fully.

Yesterday the afternoon sun began to dip toward the west, spilling light over the kitchen table. Bethie had placed her book next to the centerpiece, and my eyes couldn't get enough of the beauty. Light and shadow danced through the crystal. The flowers and greenery took on new shades and heightened vibrancy. I kept smiling and glancing back at the display, praising the Lord for that moment.

It was so simple, so perfectly beautiful.

I've been keenly aware of the way I use my time lately. I want to live simply and beautifully in this area, too. Last night I chose to avoid the computer in favor of spending time with my little Miss Kate. I told her it was her night. We played a silly game and laughed and giggled until the others begged to join us.

So simple. So beautiful.

Yes. This is what I want.
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Monday, January 23, 2012

{Operation Simplicity: Almost There!}

I'm nearing the end of January, and, barring unforeseen obstacles, I should be able to finish my kitchen organization in time. Yippee! Let me tell you, this has been a revolutionary experience. Even the children have noticed a difference. ("Mom! I can reach the plates!")

I'm also thoroughly enjoying Organized Simplicity. If you have a chance to read it, please do. Tsh draws our hearts to the importance of determining what our family's purpose is. From that frame of mind, we choose the events, activities and purchases to which it is appropriate to say "yes." If it doesn't support the goals we have for our family, we say "no." It's that simple.

On Saturday afternoon, Jamie and I visited with the girls over hot chocolate and coffee. I asked them what some of their favorite family activities are. They listed things like hiking, camping . . . and going to JJ Jump. (Guess which one was Avery's.)

Our goal is to simplify the clutter so that we can enjoy more of this family and people time. Although we haven't yet sat down to determine our "official" family purpose, I know it will center on serving the Lord and His people. I want room in our lives for people. Not things.

In my de-cluttering efforts this weekend, I tackled the pantry and baking "center." (It's not so much a center as it is a corner. Here's the "before" version to the left.) It was helpful to take everything out and view my spaces with new eyes. I could rearrange the shelves! I could lower them or raise them to serve a new purpose! I could put the canned goods in an entirely different cupboard! And I did.

I transferred the baking goods I use most frequently into one cupboard. I can stand in one spot and easily reach my flour, oil, sugar, etc. My oil used to be above the microwave and therefore a bit hard for me to reach. Since I use it daily, that seemed rather inefficient.

I adjusted the shelves in the other cupboard to accommodate the height of the oil bottles. I can now reach them with ease. Funny how such a little thing can make a difference. I whipped up our Sunday scones without leaving that one little corner of the kitchen. It was lovely.

I also decided to try out a little turntable for my most frequently used baking items. I love it! It's cleared up and simplified the space significantly. I transferred my baking soda to a jar since it fit a bit better in there than the box did, and I like the nice, clean look it creates. Ta-da!

We took a load to Goodwill this weekend and ran a few errands. Although we are trying to purge rather than accumulate, I did find something at TJ Maxx that I just had to buy. A step stool! It's a lovely, compact little folding thing that fits right next to the fridge.

Avery can easily use it to wash at the sink, and I can grab it when I need to reach the up-high stuff. I can even reach that crazy cupboard above the fridge! I really love it. Ask my family. I've been raving about it non-stop.

I'm always motivated on Mondays to kick it into high gear. Today I was a whirlwind of activity, especially since my January goal is within reach. I listed out the few spaces I have yet to conquer and will take this final week to finish them up. Which, unfortunately, includes going through forty-one place mats. I'm not kidding.
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Saturday, January 21, 2012

{Week's End: Feet, Fondu, and Filing}

About the feet:
Yesterday morning, as I was curled up in an unusual Pilates position, I had ample time to observe my feet. Specifically, my heels. (I probably should have been focusing on my core, but that might have been the moment when the dog attacked my face and I got a bit side-tracked.)

So anyway, as I was foot-gazing, I was amazed that my little heels were handling this winter weather so well. They aren't dry and cracked as they frequently can be during this time of year. How is this possible? I'll tell you.

With regular pedicures being quite out of the question, I started my own simple little foot regimen a few years ago that has proved to be quite successful. And it only requires two things of me:

1. I keep a pumice stone in the shower and regularly give my heels a little scrub.

2. Before hopping into bed, I lather 'em up with a nice, thick coat of Neutrogena hand or foot cream.

That's it! It's so very simple, and it really makes a difference. Just a little recommendation for you, should you find yourself twisted into a position in which your feet meet your face and it proves to be rather discouraging.

About the fondu:
My parents are hosting the boys this weekend for a little cousins "retreat." I know they're having a blast. (And I know they're in great hands. My mom opened the front door to receive them with a whistle around her neck and the camp schedule posted on the door.)

Naturally, we decided to have our own little party at home last night. With cheese. Lots and lots of cheese. (Aidan is allergic to dairy, so we don't typically serve a large pot of cheese to the family.)

While I was dropping the boys off at Camp Into the Vortex, Jamie and the girls whipped up a delicious fondu spread. We had a delightful dinner, stabbing breads and meats and veggies and dunking them into the cheesy deliciousness. We watched Meet Me in St. Louis, and for the most part the girls were able to stab and watch simultaneously.

Things took an unexpected turn when Avery tried to dance to "The Boy Next Door." Her foot somehow landed in her sparkling marionberry drink, dumping its contents all over the table. Thankfully she wasn't wielding a fondu fork. We hastily mopped it up and resumed stabbing.

About the filing:
I found an idea that I think might work well for the stack of papers that is looming on my kitchen counter. As I continue to sort through my kitchen cabinets and drawers this month, I'm very aware that there's still a pile in the corner, just waiting for me. It's like a little imp mischievously whispering, "I'm still here! Ha! Thought you could ignore me, huh?"

I really didn't know how I was going to handle the mess, but this system over at Simple Mom just might be the ticket. April Perry writes about "Clearing the 'Counter Pile' with a Tickler File." It took me a minute to figure out the flow of the system, but I think I just might get me some cute little folders and give it a try.

So that's what I'm thinking about today. Feet, fondu and filing. Which is very convenient. I've always been fond of alliteration.

Do you have a filing system that works well for you? Any thoughts or recommendations?
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Thursday, January 19, 2012


The snow was beautiful while it lasted.

And now it's raining. With a vengeance. The yard is slowly filling with water. It's becoming clear that I might need to toss a corked bottle out the window containing an SOS message: "Help! Piglet! (Me)."

Or perhaps I'll join Pooh and Christopher Robin for a little sail in an upside-down umbrella. My kids have tried it. I'm sure it will work.

On second thought, I might just curl up and wait it out. Yeah. That's probably what I'll do.
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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

{The Problem With Gum . . .}

Is that I don't know what to do about it. Maybe I'm weird, but here's the deal. My kids love gum, as most children do. They ask for gum on a regular basis. They like to buy gum with their allowance. Because gum is fun.

But chewing gum isn't something I desire for them to do all day. So do I treat it like screen time and say, "You may only chew gum from 3:00 to 3:30?" Should I give my gum blessing on every second Tuesday? Do I save it for special occasions?


When they were younger and I was in charge of more of their decision making, the gum was kept in my purse. I was Sole Keeper of the Gum. And I only bought the "healthy" kind, so I didn't feel like I was ruining them so very much.

It was a special treat to chew gum back in those days, and I usually only allowed them to do so when we were out running errands. Because gum is helpful when four kids are crammed into a van, winding around town from piano lessons to Trader Joe's to Target.

But now my kids are older and making their own gum decisions. (Bethie has even become adept at using peanut butter to remove it from her sister's hair.) And the Bible isn't very clear on when and where and how much gum a child should consume. (Although I do recall quite vividly that my siblings and I were not allowed to chew gum in church. This was probably a wise decision on my parents' part.)

So when do I say yes? When do I say no? Am I totally weird for thinking about gum rules? Am I wasting an entire blog post on a trivial matter? (You don't have to answer that.)

Most importantly, do you have a gum solution for me? 'Cause I'm in a pretty sticky situation here. Ha.
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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

{Free Kindle Edition: Organized Simplicity}

Just wanted to pop in here for a minute and mention that Tsh Oxenrider's book, Organized Simplicity, is now available as a free Kindle edition over at Amazon. I'm eager to get started! (Thanks for letting me know, Anna!)

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Monday, January 16, 2012

{Operation Simplicity: The Kitchen}

You can tell a lot about a person by going through their kitchen. When Jamie and I moved into his grandparents' home as newlyweds, it was an honor to sort through his grandmother's kitchen and learn more about her.

It was clear that she had grown up with a bit of the Depression Era mentality along with the 50s concept of plenty. As a result, she had put up jars and jars of beautiful peaches, and her pantry was well stocked with anything and everything a coupon could get. Like Jell-O. Lots and lots of Jell-O.

This month, as I'm going through my kitchen in an effort to purge and simplify, I'm wondering what a person might think about my own life. Based on the unusual hoarding patterns I've developed, I've compiled a list of assumptions that one might make:

1. She must be planning to open a daycare or have several more children. For some reason I never parted with the bibs and baby washcloths and sippy cups. I even found an old pacifier. My youngest is six. So clearly, I must be hoping for just one more baby or anticipating a new business venture in which dozens of toddlers suddenly arrive on my door step.

Now, it's true that I still have young nieces and nephews, and it has been convenient to entertain family and whip out a bib. But four bibs? Not necessary. Needless to say, I've significantly pared down my baby provisions.

2. She's a very crafty and resourceful person. This is not true. I don't like to sew and, as I've mentioned before, I only like projects that can be quickly and easily completed in an afternoon. With glue. But, based on the number of cracked china pieces that I've set aside, it looks as though I have great plans for transforming them into shabby chic mosaic flower pots or quaint little garden stones. I have yet to do such a thing. I probably never will. It was very liberating to toss those puppies.

3. She has an affinity for jars. Okay so this one is true. My sister and I discovered that the Trader Joe's peach and pear jars make perfect water bottles and storage containers. Raw sugar looks so pretty in a jar, and I love opening my baking cupboard to see the chocolate chips, sea salt and popcorn all lined up in a row.

And then there were the jam jars. Jam jars are perfect for mixing dressings and sauces. They also make great drinking glasses for kiddos.

The problem is that I just kept on saving jars. And lids. Because aside from sealing the jars, lids also come in handy for holding dip-dip. You know, ranch dressing or maple syrup for small little people who are dining with us. Which brings me back to #1.

I tossed a whole bunch of jars and lids. Goodbye, dip-dip.

4. She's planning on storing lots and lots of bread. It never occurs to me to throw away bread clips. I just toss the little clip in a container with the others, and before I know it my drawer is overflowing with bread clips and twist ties. This is ridiculous. I found a much smaller container than the one pictured here in order to keep just a small handful. Because it is nice to seal up a bag of frozen peas every now and then.

* * * * *

So now that I've successfully purged and rearranged several areas, a person might come into my kitchen and come up with a new set of assumptions. Such as:

1. She must really like to cook. Well, this isn't actually true. (Shocking.) But I do like to eat. I also find great pleasure in serving my family. The beauty of working in my newly-arranged kitchen is that my pieces are much more accessible.

I've thought through the appliances and dishes and gadgets I am most likely to reach for and have made sure that they're easy to grab. As a result, I enjoy working in there. Which means I'm more likely to cook and bake and whip up a little smackerel of something. Which in turn blesses my family. Which is the whole point.

2. She must be short. This is true. I'm just over 5' 2", so I can't reach the back of the top shelf without dragging over a chair (or my husband). So the things that I don't use very often are way up in the nose bleed section of the kitchen.

3. Yikes. Her food pantry needs a lot of help. Another truth. Hence this week's goal: tackle that pantry and make it a thing of beauty. (Or at least a thing of efficiency.)

Since I've managed to free up a bunch of cupboard space (adding shelves has really helped), I'm re-thinking the way I store the ol' provisions.

One thought that keeps coming to mind is how to deal with the flour and sugar containers. Should I store them neatly away in the cupboard in their current plastic containers or display them on the counter in pretty glass jars? I have the space on my counter, but will they look sad when they're not full?

Where do you keep your flour and sugar canisters? What would you recommend?

Thanks for following along, my friends. With love,

Petunia June (aka The Non-Crafty, Jar-Loving Short Girl with a Really Messy Pantry)
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Sunday, January 15, 2012

{She Sparkles}

I call her my sparkly girl. She's eleven today.

We enjoyed our traditional Sunday afternoon tea followed by glimpses of her childhood in the form of journal entries. I've kept a notebook or journal of some sort on the counter ever since Drew started talking. As my kids do or say the things kids do and say, I jot it down, knowing that we will one day enjoy reading through them again.

Today was one of those days. It was delightful to remember the time that she, as a toddler, got stuck in her car seat and quoted from The Tale of Peter Rabbit, "I'm caught by the large brass buttons on my jacket!"

We laughed as we relived the time when she came sauntering into the kitchen and shrugged, "I guess John wanted all of his food . . . ." A red flag went up. We ran to the goldfish bowl. Yep. She had dumped the entire container in.

My heart soared as I read to the family an entry from 2004: "I told Anniebeth that everything she did was for God. She ran into the hallway and said, 'Mommy! I'm doing arabesque for God!'"

She still dances and sparkles and shines. My prayer for this girl is that she will continue to grown and shine in the light of her Savior, doing everything for Him.
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Saturday, January 14, 2012

{Today's Project}

My kitchen is coming along, one drawer at a time. I'm realizing, however, that a kitchen is a tricky thing. Because when I clear out one drawer, I quickly see the wisdom in rearranging and mingling other drawers and cupboards with each other to make the spaces work more efficiently. It's almost like I'm moving in again. So it's a (sometimes messy) work in progress.

Even so, my kitchen already feels much more user friendly. I actually like working in it. Which is the goal. (And I kind of get a kick out of watching Jamie open cupboard after cupboard to find a bowl which is no longer in it's original spot.)

I'll share more about my kitchen endeavors next week. But for today, I decided to attack the creepy Tupperware drawer (and even allow you to see a picture of it). Why is this always the one to cause so much trouble? It must be those lids and mis-matched pieces. It took longer than the 15 minutes I allotted, but since it's a quiet Saturday that's okay.

Do you have a terrifying Tupperware success story? How have you solved the problem?

I don't have cute or spiffy organizing bins, but this already feels so much better. I moved the plastic kid cups to this drawer (they had previously been in a cupboard) since Miss Kate was prone to ascend the counter tops to reach for a glass when thirsty. I think this is a much better option. I also paired off the lids and containers to see how many superfluous lids I'd accumulated. Quite a few. They got tossed. Operation Simplicity . . . success!

A number of you have updated me with your various clutter-clearing efforts. A drawer cleaned out, a closet spiffed up, a bag filled and dropped off. Hooray! It's so fun and encouraging to work on our homes together.

What have you been working on today?
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Thursday, January 12, 2012

{Why I Always Check the Oven Before Pre-Heating}

I've been in the habit of opening my oven door before pre-heating for about eight years now. Just to make sure. Because you never know.

Why do I do this, you ask? See if you can figure it out. I'll give you a few clues:

1. Bethie was about three when I started.

2. She liked to play "kitchen."

3. With her cousin.

4. This often involved using the (cold) oven to bake pretend muffins.

5. Using real muffin tins.

5. Filled with small plastic shapes.

Are you in the habit of checking your oven? If you have a small child, maybe you should be.
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Monday, January 9, 2012

{Operation Simplicity: Making a Plan}

A friend of mine recently commented that she had organized her entire home. She actually touched every single thing that she owned. Needless to say, I was very impressed.

And then I thought of my closet. And my kids' closets. And the garage. I swooned.

When I came to, I gave myself a little pep-talk. I can do this! This is a great time to make a plan! A plan to simplify and clear out the clutter! The start of a new year is good for things like that! Yippee!

As I was thinking these uplifting thoughts (with my eyebrows raised, of course), I came across the book Organized Simplicity via Small Notebook. It looks like a great resource. Another friend recommended it, saying that it has some very helpful ideas. She shared with me the plan for simplicity that she is adopting this year for her family, and I love it. The goal?

Get rid of excess.

This doesn't only apply to the tangible clutter like the silly bands, hangers and band-aid wrappers that mysteriously accumulate throughout the home. We're talking about excess in everything. Time wasted in front of a screen. Too many outside commitments. Unhealthy eating habits. The things that distract. The things that consume. Everything.

Blaise Pascal wrote, “Distraction is the only thing that consoles us for our miseries, and yet it is itself the greatest of our miseries.”* I find myself too often surrounded by this type of "misery," and it's discouraging. There are far too many distractions, and I believe they often prevent me from growing into the woman that God wants me to be.

So I'm making a plan. It's still a work in progress. In fact, it will take all year. That sounds rather daunting, doesn't it? But the plan is to first tackle the physical clutter that so insidiously accumulates. Here's what I'm gonna do:

1. Divide the house into 12 areas.
2. Tackle one area each month.
3. Divide each area into smaller sections.
4. Work on one section each day (except Sunday) for 10-15 min.

When that breaks down to just 10 or 15 minutes a day, it seems much more manageable, doesn't it? (Continuing to give myself pep-talks with eyebrows raised . . . .)

As I go through the items we've accumulated over the decades, I'll keep in mind the helpful words of William Morris:

Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.

Since we're already a week into January, I'm starting with my kitchen. I had already organized and rearranged some appliances after Christmas, so I'll use the rest of the month to continue tackling my kitchen: one drawer, one cupboard, one appliance at a time.

I'm also thinking ahead toward the busy vs. not-so-busy months. For example, I know that the kids' rooms will take quite a bit of effort. I'll probably save these for summer, yet start now in helping the kids eliminate things here and there so it won't be such a monstrous task. (I just shuddered when I typed that.)

If I keep a Goodwill box nearby to be filled and delivered regularly, by the end of the year I will have touched everything in my home. (I hope!) And we'll be living with a lot less clutter and a lot more us.

I want to remove the unnecessary distractions. I want to breathe deeply and feel content in my surroundings. If anything distracts me, I want it to be the laughter of my children, a wink from my husband or the beauty of a winter sunset. Because I'm pretty sure that I don't really need a dozen blenders.

As always, you're warmly invited to join me in my efforts. Operation Simplicity, here we come! Maybe you've already got this thing figured out. Any organizational tips you can send my way?

*As quoted by Pico Iyer in "The Joy of Quiet."
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Thursday, January 5, 2012

{Everything I Needed to Know I Learned From a Six-Year-Old}

She says what she thinks. Sometimes it's embarrassing. Sometimes it causes me to immediately turn around and seek a different aisle in the grocery store, lest we pass someone who might bear the brunt of her candor.

And sometimes she speaks wisdom. Like a perfectly outlined sermon, my six-year-old has recently set before me three points that I just can't get out of my mind. Perhaps the Lord is speaking to me? You know how it goes, "Out of the mouths of babes . . . ."

So if you'll allow me, here's a bit of gospel preachin'. From a first grader.

1. Contentment
The other day, Miss Kate was perched on the bathroom counter as I rolled up her hair in sponge curlers. She loves this ritual and would probably sit through it daily if I had the patience for it. As we rolled and she gabbed, she gazed at herself in the mirror and in a very matter-of-fact manner declared, "I like being me."

It was cute and sweet and earth shattering at the same time. Not everyone can say this about themselves. But when we acknowledge that we've been created in His image and when we seek to live in that perfect design for our lives, we can truly begin to say that we like who we are. This is the key to contentment.

2. Dependence
She really wanted to pour her own milk. From the completely full gallon jug. I said okay. It sloshed and spilled and she very quickly realized that help was in order. She wasn't discouraged or frustrated. She simply set down that jug and asked for help with the admission, "I'm still not quite capable." How easy was that? And again, very eye-opening as I completed the milk-pouring mission.

3. Trust

We were walking through the park when she announced that she really needed to use the restroom. Now. Thankfully, there were a number of public restrooms nearby. It was quite discouraging, however, to find that they were locked. She danced and wiggled. I knew that there was another restroom across the park, behind a large cluster of trees. I promised my fidgety girl that I'd get her to the next stop, although it was a bit of a walk. She peered ahead then looked up with complete trust in her sparkly blue eyes. "I don't see it, but I believe you." She grabbed my hand and stepped forward.


In review.

* The key to contentment? Be thankful for you.

* The cure for pride? (Lest we get too carried away with point one . . .) Admit that you're not capable on your own.

* The best way to walk? In complete trust. He sees beyond the trees. (Aren't you glad?)

And now if you'll please stand for the benediction: "May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen."

You are dismissed.
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Monday, January 2, 2012

{How to Make Monday Mornings Successful}

I can still remember that Sunday night sinking feeling I used to get when I was growing up. You probably know what I’m talking about. That drastic drop from the excitement of the weekend to that low point where there was absolutely nothing to look forward to but a bleak Monday morning.

When I started teaching my own children, it didn’t take long for me to realize that homeschool families aren’t immune to the Sunday night blues.

Join me over at The Homeschool Classroom for seven tips on how to make Monday mornings successful!
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