Monday, August 11, 2014

A New Perspective

I’m sure this topic has been blogged about a number of times. I’ve seen many video’s about the habit of smart phone usage. How many of us like and share those video’s on Facebook but don’t live it? You know, the ones were one person is quietly sitting while her friends are sitting around the lunch table checking their phones, ignoring her. Very sad. Very sad and yet very true.

My dad hates it. He’ll walk in the room and one of my sisters is on the computer, the other on her phone and mom is on her tablet. He, like many others, misses the face-to-face interaction.

Over the years there have been a few time I have thrown a party and close to no one (or no one at all) shows up. I “sent out” Facebook invites and would invite 40 plus friends and only about 8 or less would show up. I do my best to make the best of things but there has been a couple occasions I felt like no one cared enough to come over. Some may consider me easily offended, and they would be right. I am. But I’m also kind-hearted and sensitive…  In today’s day sensitivity is a sign of weakness and viewed in a negative way. But I don’t look at it like that.

When I was planning my son’s 2nd birthday party I made everything! The cupcakes, the decorations, I even sent out invitations in the mail. Our little house was so full of family and friends we had to start telling people to step outside. It was so much fun!

Now, when I was planning 3 and 4 year old coming up birthday I didn’t go as elaborated but I still had fun planning it. This time I did NOT send out invitations in the mail. I just invited friends and family through Facebook and text messaging. Other than a handful of people, no one came. Don’t get me wrong. It was nice to talk to everyone… My parents and my sister-in-law and her family… But I tried so hard to get people to come. Almost 30 people came to Sam’s 2nd birthday party but only 7 came to Michael and Emily’s birthday. At that moment of feeling like no one liked my family, I realized that people like the “face-to-face” of getting an invitation in the mail. Makes sense, I like it too. So many people, so many of our friends are involved in some form of social networking but we would rather get in invitation in the mail then online. Why? It’s more convenient to just click the mouse a few times and ta-da! You just invited 200 of your closest friends. Whereas mailing invites takes time, energy and money. Could that be why more people would come if they reserved an invite in the mail VS a Facebook invite? Because we take the time to “say” you are important enough to me, come to my party?

Sometimes I think people don’t come to events they’ve been invited to because they see your life online. Maybe they think that conversation would be boring or repetitive? We are taking the “mystery” out of life with posting everything about our life online. People know everything about us yet we want them to come over to talk. Talk about what exactly? That sexy selfie you took that got 100 likes? Your cute new kitty that’s been filling up your timeline? That embarrassing thing your kid said at the store that you just had to share on Facebook? We share all the highlights (and sometime the garbage) of our lives with friends, family and even complete strangers online. Maybe it’s time to take a step (or two) back and look at what you’re doing from a different perspective.


My 17 year old sister is like me in the way I want to be loved. We care about our friends and family and want to spent time with them. Like me, she also gets hurt when no one shows up to a planned party. The other night she planned a fun clothing exchange. She made dinner and everything. No one came. Not even the friends who RSVP’d yes. It saddened my heart to see her hurt by her friends. I’m sure some quickly said yes without thinking or asking mom and dad who ended up saying “no”. Maybe some who said yes, forgot or something “better” came up. I was 17 once and I remember saying yes to things before asking my parents. But I always let my friends know I couldn’t come.

We all get so wrapped up in Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest we didn't even realized 2 hours (or 1 hour or 30 minutes) have gone by. Now my question is; what did you accomplish within those 2 hours? Your butt was on the couch or in a computer chair for 2 hours. Let that sink in. I’m sure you spoke your mind to a complete stranger with a different opinion then yours. I’m sure you now have the perfect wedding planned or the perfect way to decorate or organize your home. I’m sure you laughed at all the funny memes from your favorite TV shows or movies. What about all those fitness pins? Tried any yet? Or do you just keep adding to the board?

Just so you know I am NOT pointing fingers. I do it to. But I’m tired of it. Aren’t you? Sitting around wasting your summer by sitting on your butt pinning pins or watching funny videos… Will this social networking craze calm down? I understand doing it occasionally but all day? No one needs to be on their phone for hours and hours just because their bored. Do something! Try that recipe that made your mouth water when you saw the picture of it. Do a Pinterest craft. How about some organizing? Or a new workout routine! It’s time to get some blood flowing in your body and get that brain a thinkin’! Maybe then we would be more willing to talk to our friends face-to-face. Once we start making an effort perhaps our friends will start to do the same.

I’d say it’s worth a shot! How about you?


Thursday, February 13, 2014

Our Snow-Pocolypes

This has been a crazy winter for us north westerns. Not crazy like the east coast crazy... Like not normal for north west Oregon crazy. It normally rains non-stop. Yuck! We always hope for snow but that wish only comes true once every 3 or 4 years. About every other year we might get a light dusting of snow that melts once it hits the ground. But for the most part it rains, A LOT! This year was different. The rain hardly showed up. When it did come it was nothing like we normally see this time of year. This winter has been very dry.

And cold.

Very dry and very cold.

As February came along our hopes of snow seemed to fade away. The air seemed warmer and no rain was falling. Until a very quick drop in temperature and clouds swiftly came to our rescue. Snow began to fall! My kids jumped for joy!

Friday morning (Feb, 7th)

"SNOOOWWWW!!! Mommy! Snow is coming!" said Michael.

"Snow is falling! Snow is falling!" sang Emily.

Sam just sat in wonder, staring out the window. Even our dog was watching.

Thursday, Feb. 6th

The snow started falling on a Thursday and was all gone by Tuesday. We had 4 great days of snow. It reached over 10 inches at our house!

"Here it comes!"
The kids couldn't wait to play in it!

Thursday evening
 Unfortunately, due to lack of snow around here we had to make due with lack of snow clothes. Sam was lucky we kept Michael's old snow pants and boots! All the gloves we had were too small for Michael and Emily and poor Sam had no gloves... So we improvised by putting warm socks on his hands. Sam also hates hats... So it was impossible to keep a hat on him. We were blessed with warm coats for all three kids at Christmas time! Thank the Lord! As for Michael and Emily, they had two layers of pants on and wore their rain boots with two pairs of socks on.

Our little pond Thursday night

Friday late morning was the perfect time to make a snowman!

And play in the snow.

Daddy even pulled them on a sled!

And they pulled Daddy!

My princess insisted on wearing her tutu skirt.

Saturday we braved the snow and went to my parents house to play.

The snow melted quicker then it fell. Once the temperature went from 30 degrees to above 40 degrees it took a short 18 hours for the snow to go from 10 inches to 2 inches. And 48 hours for all the snow to disappear

As fun as the snow was for my kids, hubby and our dog, I on the other hand don't really like snow. The way I like it, is watching it from the window inside my warm house. But I did enjoy seeing the joy on my kids faces when they woke up to winter wonderland. Watching them watch the snow fall was amazing to me. They loved the snow but did not cry when they woke up to it melting. I think they might have be tired of it.

Our snow-pocolypes lasted less then a week. But the joy and memories will last a lifetime! Thank you for reading and God bless!

Monday, February 3, 2014

How a family of 5 can live in a 2 bedroom home: Part Two

As I said in Part One, we have 5 people, plus a dog, living in 800 square feet... And again I'll say, I guess home builders in the 1940's didn't think of master bedrooms or spacious bathrooms. 
Speaking of bathrooms, that is what part two is about... bathrooms!

I actually had a few requests for my bathroom space saving ideas. Yay! It's so nice to know people are reading and liking my posts! THANKS READERS!

So here we go!

Part Two: the bathroom!

Bath tub & shower:
 We got the frog at Target

I have plenty of storage in the shower! A corner shelf, a shower catty and a cute FROG for the kids toys.

The corner self has shaving creams, body wash, kids shampoos and soaps, hubbies shampoo and dog shampoo (on the highest shelf so kids cant reach it). The catty has my shampoo and conditioner, soap bar and razors. The frog holds the kids bath toys.

Before moving into this house I had a nice shelf set. Because we down-sized I had to get rid of it... So I had to replace it with something. Being a Pinterest lover I found a few ways to help with our lack of bathroom storage situation.
With my husbands help, we made this easy (and cheap) mason jar wall decor/storage. Sense the bathroom is so small and has no counter space this was perfect for daily use items.

We also bought a cheap wine rack from a secondhand store to keep bath towels that were not in use. Also, hooks on the back of the door to hang the kids hooded towels. And of course a towel rack for handing damp towels in use.
Under the sink:
This is where I keep extra toilet paper, feminine products, a few bathroom only cleaners, mouth wash, my hair drier and curling iron and a basket of my hair/face products. Pretty much the norm for under the sink... If its big, it goes under the sink.

The mirror:
Luckily the bathroom mirror opens for more storage. This is the place for pain relievers, allergy pills, tooth brushes and paste and daily pills and medications.
Tip: Buy tooth paste that can stand up. It takes up less space. We use Crest Pro Health.

A few other tips:
Keep only what you use in the bathroom. If its seasonal like cold or allergy medicine (my husband has year around allergies, that's why we keep it in the mirror) keep it elsewhere, in a safe place. Same with bathroom cleaners. The only cleaner that needs to be under the sink is toilet cleaner and disinfecting wipes. I clean the toilet at least once a week (I have a 4 year old boy who likes to wait until the last minute to pee...), and the disinfecting wipes for a quick wipe down. As for shower cleaner, that's up to the individual. If you clean your shower once a week or more then you might want to keep the cleaner under the bathroom sink. I do clean ours about every 10 days (or as needed) but I keep the cleaner under the kitchen sink (we have more space under the kitchen sink).

Well, I'd say that's about it for the bathroom. I hope this was helpful! And be keeping an eye out for part three: the kitchen!

Have a blessed day and thank you for reading!

Monday, January 27, 2014

How a family of 5 can live in a 2 bedroom home: Part One

I think there are too many posts out there with pictures of large, beautiful kids rooms. Magazine, quality clean with expensive decor of the parents choice.

Well, here in the real world it's not like that...

My husband and I bought this house a couple months after our daughter was born. Our son was just over a year old and the house was "perfect" for our pocket book. A small, 800 square foot (living space), 2 bedroom and 1 bathroom home with a nice, fenced back yard; perfect for the kids to play and the dogs bathroom breaks. The house was built in the 1940's and apparently back then there was no such thing as a master bedroom or a spacious bathroom. We had to get rid of a lot because there was no room.

This is how I have adjusted for our tight living conditions through the years.

Sense we've moved in we had an addition to our family, my baby Sam (he'll be 2 soon...*screams*). So that is a family of 5, plus a dog, living in 800 square feet. How do I do it.... Most of the time, I don't even know. But over time I have developed some tips and tricks to my living in such tight surroundings.


Part One: Kids room

I'll start with the dresser.
Their dresser has 6 drawers! So each kid gets 3 drawers: one for socks and underwear, one for bottoms (pants and skirts) and one for pajamas. This was a great find for my family! If your kids share a room and they each have a dresser, save some space and donate (or sell) the multiple dressers and buy a big one they can share! Keep an eye out at secondhand stores for older, larger dressers! That is a great place to start or online yard sales!

Next, we do not have a toy chest.
The main reason we don't have one is because we've never bought one. Instead we have a small "dresser" and storage bins. If you notice the books in bins on top of the dresser, so we have no need for a book shelf. All the favorite, smaller and go-to toys are in the bins. Where as the bigger, "in the way" toys are in the dresser.

I love hooks!

Hooks are a great way for things to have a "place". I put a hook up just for my daughters dress-up dresses and another coat rack for jackets and backpacks.

Another great place for storing "in the way" items are on the clothes dresser. This last Christmas we got the kids foam chairs, the dresser is the perfect place for storing them sense they can grab them when they want them.


Sam is still young and using a crib. The other 2 are sleeping in the bottom 2 beds of a triple bunk bed. We found the bunk bed on Craigslist. GREAT FIND! And something we needed!

One more tip I've done is when they get a new toy, old ones go in the donate box. That is the that fastest way to loose your space! Having too many toys! So get rid of toys! Some say have your kid help you but in my opinion that's not very wise... Your kid will just fight to keep everything. And that is not the point of down sizing. So to avoid a fight with your kids, when they are  gone, go through their toys! You know their favorites and the ones they haven't played with in months, or the ones that are no longer age appropriate. Donate!

So that's it! That's how I have survived 3 kids sharing the same room. When the time does come to selling our home and buying a bigger one I'm not sure how easy it will be to separate them...

Until then, this is what works for us.

Blessings and thanks for reading!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Counting Beans!

This is a great activity for preschool age kids! It introduces a new, fun, hands-on way to count. It gets the brain going and helps with fine motor skills!

What you'll need:
Empty, clean egg carton
Dry Beans

First, cut off the lid and side of the egg carton.
Now, write numbers 1-12 so your child can easily read it
Next, put about 2 handfuls of beans into a bowl.

Last, show your curious preschooler the numbers, the beans and how to put one bean in the carton at a time, counting them, and to do their best to put the correct amount of beans under the number. Then let them have fun!

Michael very carefully counts out every bean.

Emily has fun using every last bean to fill up the carton to the top
If your child is anything like my kids, be prepared for a bean mess. Beans all over the floor?! NNNNOOOOOO!!! Don't let that frighten you. Have them help with the clean up, make a game out of it. My kids love to help and also love to have a bean fight while picking them up. When it's all said and done the beans are back in the bag safe from the baby.

I hope you enjoy this fun, learning activity! My kids sure do!

Until next time,

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Don't Say Nothing...

Every mother has had that moment in the grocery store when your toddler melts down in a pile of tears and fit throwing.

Oh how quickly some of us forget…

We get rude looks and mean comments from complete strangers. Most of which are women… More than likely a mother herself. Like I said, how quickly some of us forget. (Parents with a “perfect” kid(s) are almost the meanest)

In this post are a few real stories that happened to me with my kids, or should I say with my Emily. (If you have not read my post about Emily, click here to get to know her better)

If you know Emily you know she is dramatic, passionate, loud and a little on the wild side. To clarify – This is her personality and I love it! She will do great things. She is just young and needs guidance. My husband and I are doing our best to guide and raise her to be the best she can be. People don’t understand this. All they see is an “out of control” child. They don’t stop to think ‘maybe they are having a bad day’ or ‘maybe they have a disability’ or even ‘kids will be kids’… Instead they make rude side comments like “man, she’s difficult” or “Glad she’s not my kid” or “You sure do have your hands full” or “I can’t believe you let your kid scream like that” Yes someone confronted me in the store about my daughter screaming. Emily was crying because I wouldn’t give her what she wanted (crackers), so she threw a fit. That women who said to my face that I was a bad mother for letting my kid scream like that, made me cry. I know what I was doing was right (not giving in) but I didn’t understand how someone could be so mean to a complete stranger. As I was checking out the cashier saw my tears and asked what was wrong. I said a lady just yelled at me because my daughter was crying. She was shocked and gave me a tissue. She told me I was a good mom. This girl couldn’t have been more than 18 years old and more than likely not a mother, but she was my savior that day.

Another time we were checking out and a cashier rudely raised her voice at Emily to get off the cart. Emily was hanging on the side of the cart. This shocked me. My jaw dropped and I had no words. Luckily I did not have to check out. My husband did not hear her over the craziness of the store. I should have complained to a manager but I was still in shock and didn’t think of it until the next day.

Unfortunately I have even had family make rude comments about my daughter. Even they don’t fully understand her... That is the hardest on me. When people I love and care about say something not only about my mothering ability but my daughter as well, it hurts. I am not made of stone. I have emotions and I know how to use them and I use them well (too well sometimes). Most of the time I bite my tongue but my face will tell you everything you need to know. I don’t believe in hiding my emotions but on the other hand I don’t like to be mean, so I keep silent. This has causes others to walk on me.

I can honestly say I am doing the best I can at being a mom. I love my kids, I don’t spoil them, I play with them, I teach them things, I sacrifice extra money (and my sanity) and stay home to be with them, I let them be kids (before I know it they will be grown up), I encourage imagination, I let them help in the kitchen and I read to them. I do lose my temper at times and raise my voice, but I don’t let my anger control me or my actions. I don’t party, I don’t beg for a babysitter to go have drinks with friends, I don’t give them soda or coffee, I don’t spend hours on my phone/computer ignoring them, the TV is not on all day and I set a timer for video games. So when my parenting style gets looked down upon, it hurts. It hurts a lot. And I’m sure I’m not the only mom out there that feels this way.

I know very well that I am not (nor are my children) perfect. In fact I am far from it. Sometimes the TV gets left on for hours… I am not a healthy eating mom and I occasionally feel like locking myself the bathroom just to escape from the madness. My house is NEVER clean and most of the time the clean clothes stay in baskets for over a week… My kids are loud and do a lot of running around. I can’t even tell you how many people (even other moms) hate this about my kids. Forgive me for letting my kids be kids! At least I’m teaching them when it’s ok to be loud and when we need to be quiet.

Sorry… I had a mom-rage moment… Ha!

Ok, where was I.

Oh yeah! I’m not perfect.

I’ll end with this:
It’s hard being a mom. We have enough guilt with feeding them greasy fish sticks for lunch, scrabbling out the door and forgetting one kids coat and another kids shoes and the other kid just ate an old chicken nugget they found under the car seat, and you realize you forgot to put a bra on once you pull into the parking spot… The last thing we need is a stranger giving us a hard time. So before you send off judgmental looks or rude ‘keep it to yourself’ comments maybe you could instead shoot a smile their way or give a look of empathy. Words can hurt. Even words with good intentions, like “she sure is a little firecracker” can come across as hurtful. So be careful.

Like a cute little bunny once said “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say nothing at all.”

Blessings to you and thanks for reading!