Reviving Motherhood

Learning on the Journey


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Housekeeping as Art

 

Yesterday, Virginia Knowles of Come Weary Moms shared an excerpt from her ebook.  This bit was about keeping the house clean.  Virginia is an older mom with 10 children, so I imagine she knows what she is talking about.  I started reading her blog just because of the title, which I stumbled across on a day when I truly did feel very weary in my mothering.  I’m thankful for Titus 2 women who share their insights with us newbies graciously and without legalism. (BTW, her ebook is available free–I will be downloading it so I can read more from this wise lady!)

Here’s a snippet from the post that I loved:

“View cleaning up as a form of art.  Imagine how beautiful your home will be if you stay on top of it all.  Picture clear counters, glistening appliances, neatly folded laundry in the drawers, smooth carpets, and shiny tile.”

Happy cleaning, ladies!


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Ten on Tuesday 3-29-11

 

Copying Payton again!

 

1.  Yesterday got off to a stellar start.  I was up at the crack of dawn and had half my work done by the time the kids got up.  Today, not so much.  But it wasn’t too bad.  I got up at 6:30, which is not terrible considering that 3 of our 5 kids woke up several times during the night.  I’m glad I went to bed on time.  Getting up at a decent time (even better, on time) makes a million per cent difference in how our day goes.

 

2.  I got Kevin Lehman’s book Have a New Kid by Friday.  The most important thing I got out of it was to tell your kids something just once.  I confess that I have been a nagging mom.  It’s miserable for everyone!  If you don’t have a problem constantly nagging and reminding your kids, then good for you.  I used to think I would never be THAT mom.  I had a lot of experience with children (younger siblings, kids I babysat, siblings of friends from large families) but still, God gave me a kid(s) that blew all my parenting ideas, theories, and yes, “convictions” out of the water.  The best part about not nagging is the extra hours (yes, HOURS) that I have since I’m not spending that time reminding, scolding, and lecturing.  Gosh, that sounds terrible doesn’t it?  No Mother of the Year here.  There is so much I could say about this, but maybe I’ll give it its own post when I feel like I have more experience.  I’ll just add: Old habits die hard.  I open my mouth and then close it a lot.  Sometimes a reminder slips out.  But overall our house is a whole lot more peaceful.

 

3.  I took a few minutes over the past few days to make new covers for some throw pillows.  I don’t have time to craft or decorate, really.  But I decided to try a couple quicky creations.  I started with pre-made items (cloth napkins are my new favorite crafting medium) so I could take advantage of hems and selvages that were already there.  To me, the most tedious and time consuming parts of sewing are measuring and hemming.  I’m all about straight lines, winging it, raw edges, and pre-hemmed pieces.  Gone are the days where I painstakingly sewed long ties and spent hours turning them right-side-out.  Give me some ribbon!

 

4.  I ran out of dark chocolate over the weekend.  It was terrible.  I realized just how addicted I am to chocolate.

 

5.  I prefer silence to music.  I love music, but with all the racket we have in our house, adding music drives me insane.  Surely I’m not the only one?

 

6.  I think I finally know how to upload photos from my new camera.  Hopefully real pictures will be coming soon.  Not to mention that I can now email photos to grandparents.

 

7.  I grew up with a 1930’s lifestyle in the 90’s.  It’s a long story.  I’m so far behind technologically that I’ll never catch up.  It’s frustrating that it’s such a big deal to just learn to upload pictures!  Gaaaaah!!!!!

 

8.  If you are interested in missions, check out the Livesay Haiti blog.  I love that Tara and Troy are so real.  My 10-year-old is their biggest fan.

 

9.  Speaking of, I made my girl her own Google Reader so she can subscribe to blogs that are fun and encouraging for her.  I keep close tabs on what she is reading, and we use Net Nanny for added protection, but this has been a great way for her to read good blogs.

 

10.  I loved loved loved this post: Order and Routine: Making Straight Paths for Peace.  The writer has a child with FAS, but I’m thinking this would be encouraging for any parent with a child who tends to throw the family into chaos.  (Isn’t that all of us at one time or another?)  Wisdom.  Check it out.


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Large Family Laundry Roundup

God must be inspiring mom bloggers to address the laundry topic these days just for me, since I’m absolutely drowning in it.

Start here:

Mount Washmore by Virginia of Come, Weary Moms

Mega Laundry Solutions by Debbie of Cheaper by the Baker’s Dozen (with her own roundup of laundry posts written by others)

How We Do Laundry by Hannah of Cultivating Home

Great, great ideas!


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Cheap, Easy, Creative

I kind of cringe whenever I hear someone say that they can’t have a cute/decorated house or dress themselves or their children nicely because “I can’t afford it.”  I’ll add, don’t look at my house or clothes as an example, I’m in decorating and fashion preschool.  But I’m learning.  Between frugal decorating and clothing blogs, and my creative friends, I’m getting lots of good ideas.  Here are a couple I ran across yesterday.

Creative Juices Decor. Wow, this chick has made some amazing Pottery Barn knock-offs!  She guest posted here about how to make an adorable vintagey clock face. I love it!

One of my favorite crafty/housey blogs ever, Pleasant View Schoolhouse, posts an idea for the most frugal, cute, fast and easy little girl skirt.  With nothing more than a few thrifted t-shirtsand the most rudimentary sewing skills, your little girl can have a whole rainbow of soft, adorable skirts.  I’ll definitely be trying this one.


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10 on Tuesday, or I Don’t Have an Original Bone in my Body

 

I have always said I’m not creative, I just copy what other people do.  Lately I have been in love with Life in The Bird House blog.  I can identify with  Payton (what an adorable name…) in so many ways.  I love her transparency.  And I love her “10 on Tuesday” posts.  So, since her idea doesn’t seem to be any kind of meme, I thought I’d borrow it.  And then I worry that that’s bad blogger etiquette.  Is it?  Some kind of blog plagiarism?  If so, tell me.  Maybe I should do “13 on Thursday” instead?  But today I’m going to follow Payton’s lead and jot down 10 random stream of consciousness thoughts.

1.  I’m an insecure blogger.  The reason I don’t blog more often is for 2 reasons.  1, time.  I often open the wordpress window with every intention of posting and find it still open the next day with no post, because time just gets away from me and there is some urgent interruption like a potty training 2 year old with “I do it myself” syndrome.  The other reason is that I’m so scared of appearing arrogant, like this young pup who thinks I have something so profound to say that I must share it with the world.  I remind myself that I try not to come across that way, and that most of my favorite blogs that minister to me the most are written by people in their 30’s and 40’s, but it doesn’t seem to do any good.  Every few months I promise to do better, but clearly it hasn’t worked yet.  I love writing and I love to blog, but my insecurities get in the way, I guess.

2.  A sweet new little person joined our family recently.  For the 1 or 2 of you who don’t know me IRL, this is our 5th precious baby.  Lots of snuggling going on around here these days.  No wonder I don’t have time to blog.

3.  I’m very private, probably another reason I’m not a “successful” blogger.  I don’t share many personal details of my life online with people I don’t know.  I love to read the blogs of people who tell all the personal details of their lives and share beautiful pictures of their families, but that will never be me.  Oh well.

4.  I love winter.  Everyone around me is looking forward to spring and I’m wishing winter would stay around awhile longer.  Almost every day my kids ask, “How many more weeks till summer?”  I’m raising such warm-weather kids.  Make that hot weather, since it’s scorching where I live about 9 months out of the year.  It’s one of the few drawbacks to my location.

5.  A couple blogs I have been loving lately, besides Life in the Bird House.

Humble Pie

Keep it Simple, Keep it Fresh is her tagline.  Love it!  And she has a great story of a restored marriage.

Resolved2Worship

Encouragement…And a beautiful family.

6.  It’s harder than I thought to come up with 10 things.

7.  My kids pooled their Christmas money and got a Wii on sale.  Great investment.  It puts the toddler to sleep.  We also got 2 beagle puppies at Christmas, really not as a gift, we had been thinking about getting them and they became available at that time.  Such a joy!  God knew exactly the right dogs for our family.  The 2 year old is especially completely in love.

8.  I have been thinking a lot about raising a large family successfully, since we are now officially a large family.  I have been listening quietly to a lot of young people who grew up in large families and were very hurt by some of the dynamics of those families.  How can I avoid those pitfalls?  My husband is so wonderful about striving to parent intentionally.  One of the mistakes made most often by large families is to fall into the trap of just surviving, rather than parenting with intentionality, I think.  At least that is what I see, and that is what I am tempted to do sometimes.  Of course there are wonderful large families too, who manage to nurture all their children well.  That’s the kind of family I want us to be.

9.  Sugar is getting the boot at our house, now that Valentine’s Day is over.  I have a sick one today, which just reaffirms my commitment to better eating habits.  Besides, it’s time to think about losing baby weight.

10.  We have several potted citrus trees in our yard waiting to be put in the ground.  I can hardly wait.  They are such pretty trees, and it will be awesome to have our own fruit all winter.  I can almost taste them now!

Yay, I came up with 10!


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Red Raspberry Leaf Tea for Mamas!

I was sipping my red raspberry leaf tea today and thinking how much I love it–or more accurately, love what it seems to do for me.  I hear that it’s good for women any time, but I especially try to drink it in the later months of pregnancy.  This eHow article quotes the American Pregnancy Association’s website:

“Medical studies have shown that red raspberry leaf can be consumed safely during pregnancy and can decrease the length of labor and decrease the number of interventions used such as artificial rupture of membranes, assisted delivery, and cesarean delivery…”

All I know is that my first birth was a textbook first labor–18 hours–and my second was about half that time, but nearly unbearable (partly, I think, because I was induced due to a membrane tear…I’d do things differently if it happened again, but that’s another story).
My last 2 births have been 2 and 4 hours of active labor respectively, and much, MUCH easier than the previous 2 in terms of pain and intensity, as well as length.  I didn’t drink RRL during my first 2 pregnancies, but I’ve made sure to consume it during the last 2.  (To be completely honest it tastes kind of like leaves and sticks, but I find that when I sweeten it with a small amount of honey, it has grown on me to the point that I crave it.)  I’m convinced there’s a connection between RRL and faster, easier births.  Just passing on my experience in case it might be helpful to other moms!
In case any of you mamas are interested, here’s where I usually buy it.  A half pound goes a LONG way!
***Sorry about the goofy paragraph non-breaks.  WordPress won’t let me edit them and it’s driving me crazy!***


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Helpful and Lovely Links

Check out Ann Voskamp’s beautiful and profound post, Why It’s Really Worth it to Tell Your Secrets.  Sometimes I think most of us are the walking wounded, carrying around deep hurts we’ve never shared with anyone.  Don’t miss the wise comments following the post, which discuss how to share in an appropriate way, using wisdom when our story might hurt others, and finding a safe person to talk to.

At Frugal Girl, Kristen has started a great series about contentment.  I so appreciate honest bloggers who are willing to share the parts of their life that are less than perfect.  But Kristen assures us that contentment is not out of reach!

On the topic of honesty, Jen at Balancing Beauty and Bedlam talks honestly about driving an uncool car for a greater purpose. Don’t miss her current series, 31 Days to More with Less!

Another 31-day poster (and one of my favorite home bloggers), The Nester is sharing how to have a less messy nest.  I can definitely use these posts!

I really loved this post at Amongst Lovely Things on keeping house.  She posted a follow-up here.   Since I’ve mentioned honesty a few times today, I’ll say that this has always been my greatest area of struggle.  It’s not that I don’t want a clean/tidy house, but it has always felt out of reach.  I’m working toward implementing some of the tips found here.  Great practical wisdom!

I greatly appreciate Karen Campbell’s Tenets of Relationship Homeschooling.  In a movement where many parents (often inadvertently, and with good intentions) seek to shape their children into their own image, this is refreshing encouragement to guide our children to discern what God wants them to be.  It’s a helpful reminder to not fall into the presumptuous mindset that we parents already know God’s will for our children’s future, but to remember that He leads them for His glory.  There’s sweet rest in giving up control to the One who cares about our kids so much more than we can!

And finally, here Sally Clarkson encourages us to unplug our kids!

DISCLAIMER:  Just because I link to a specific post isn’t necessarily an endorsement of all the views of a particular writer.  Read with discernment!