Thursday, March 28, 2013

UPDATED! Why Do I Struggle So Much with Decluttering?

Oh myyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!!!!!  Aggghhhhh!  It kills me out much I constantly have to declutter.  Sniff... Just because I'm not a perfectionist doesn't mean I'm okay with clutter.  I HATE clutter.  Let me put it this way, I love going into a hotel and only having to do basic straightening up.  I don't leave anything for the maids unless it's deep cleaning.  It EASY to straighten up.  THAT'S exactly how I want my house.  That's how it was when I was single.  I have two forks, two spoons, two plates.  You get what I mean.  I don't mind more but I don't need everything multiplied by 10.  I'm not a shopaholic and I only go shopping for what I need.  I avoid stores actually and prefer nature.  So HOW in the world do I keep getting more?  Can you tell I'm frustrated?  I think it's because I don't declutter as things come in for Christmas, birthdays, random gifts, a bag someone gives me.  I just forget and don't think about it.  Before I know it I have a big project on my hands.  :(  My husband says he thanks God I'm not a perfectionist and says he would never have wanted to marry a woman that puts house before kids.  That's nice and all but I would like a nice balance.

Last night I did it again where I had everyone empty EVERYTHING onto the living room red rug.  We call it the Red Carpet Treatment.  Everything comes out of their room except furniture.  We put back what we want and donate the rest. I have to have some compassion and let them keep some toys.  Duh.  It's just not an excess of it.  Also, the girls have been finding spots to hide garbage in rather than walk over to the kitchen and throw it away.  One day I went to put some clean clothes away but I couldn't because it was full of hidden random stuff that should be thrown out.  Not food but like paper scraps and wrappers.  Argh.

I see these pics of blogging mamas and wish my house could look like that.  I work hard every day to train the kids.  I was a little bit encouraged recently after watching some kids because I couldn't get those kids to clean for nothing.  My kids will clean as asked and even without complaining.  It's just that they are very messy.  Bless my wonderful, awesome, compassionate, sweet, amazing husband.  The other day I told him my frustrations.  I told him I want a cleaner house. I was practically in tears because I had worked all day.  He looked around and said, "It looks great to me."  Ummmm....what? He asked if I homeschooled and took care of kids.  I replied with an emphatic yes.  He said that was most important to him.  I told him that it was so sweet but I feel happy in a decluttered and somewhat of a neat home.  It makes me feel at peace.  Amazing man.  Seriously.  He always, always reminds me that God is first, homeschooling second, and house cleaning third. 

I know lots of kids come with more messes.  I know laundry piles are much more than people with smaller families.  I know that cleanup is multiplied and I guess I'm not the best one for the job.  I did fantastic at taking care of myself or when my family was small.  I just have to come up with a better plan, work even harder, and pray that God will give me the strength.  It's not he energy level because I have a TON and I can go from morning to late night in whatever I am doing.  I won't even sit down to read one of my books till everything is done for the day and kids are laid down.  I guess I would just like to be a bit more successful. 

I do TONS of stuff with my kids.  I put a LOT of time into them.  I could tell you each and every kids favorite color, their dreams, their likes/dislikes, their favorite foods and what they hate.  I love taking them on fieldtrips.  I will never replace any of that for a perfect house.  I guess I'm just the type of person that has to have less stuff to keep up on.  How these moms do it on a consistent basis without the ups and downs I have is beyond me.  If you are like that, pray for me!  I would like some of it to rub off.  I was the baby of the family and I read the book Birth Order by Dr. Kevin Leman.  VERY good book and it has me down to the "T" with my personality type.  Oh well, here is to keep on keepin' on!  I won't give up.  I'm heading back over to my decluttering pile now....

Don't get me wrong, if having a lot of kids means I have a much bigger mess to clean up then it's worth it.  I love these kids so much and yes I have to work so much harder because of it.  I'm one blessed lady when it comes to that.  Just would like to know how some of those other large family mamas do it.  :D

*** UPDATED! ***
So a frustrating day turned GREAT!  My husband came home from work.  I talked to him about all this.  He immediately took charge and directed all the kids to help me move things to donation boxes and put things away.  He gave a couple of them new chores that he wanted to get covered.  Within one hour I was amazed and was smiling all night.  Then he lit some vanilla candles around the house.  My mouth just dropped open watching everyone work so fast together.   I was so happy!  It's so nice having a man around here FO SHO!  I had to show this picture because that is the red carpet we put everything on when we are decluttering. I'll have them empty everything in their room onto that carpet, put back what they want to keep and donate the rest.  I emptied 3 rooms on that carpet the other day so you can imagine how this space looked just prior to this picture.  EEK!  Much, much went into donation bins.  :D

Monday, March 25, 2013

Missing Revival Services Again and a Very loud Baby

I went to revival tonight because it seems that every time there is a special event like this my babies get sick.  I figured I'd have little Juliet on my lap and we'd just enjoy the service together.

Ha.. Ha.. Ha..

That is sooooo not happening again. I tried standing in the back of the church but she kept letting out VERY loud but happy squeals. Then I went out in the foyer where they have a speaker so I could at least let her be loud but still hear the sermon. Nope.  I felt bad bringing her in there because no one else could hear over her.  I think my husband and I will just take turns going like before.  :)  Juliet is like a loud speaker. 

I feel for these moms that are always having to be out in the foyer because it really is a lot of work to get everyone ready to get there.  Most of the time you can't hear.  There is one mom who has a son in a wheelchair and her or her husband is always out in the foyer because their son can be really loud. Yet, they come. They are always there.  It's amazing and we love them! I wish just for them it could be a bit easier.  Like a room just for that reason.

Pictures: looking through the window into the church from the foyer, Sleeping Juliet, and choir.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Tithing Kids and Sick Kids during Revival

What a wild weekend!  I really don't know why. What did I do?  I'll have to get back to that.

It's revival week and guess how many sick kids I got?  Two and it's the two youngest!  Whyyyyyyy?  After church Juliet lost her dinner but I'm not sure if it's flu like or just from coughing up stuff and dinner followed.  Lord help me. I'm so going up for healing this week during revival.

This morning at church the pastor told us to bow our heads to pray. I look down and saw Chaz's shoes. I was horrified!  They were completely falling apart and he couldn't even lace up his shoes anymore.  I whispered to him and asked "Chaz, why didn't you say something to me about needing shoes?   I would've bought you some!" He said he just hadn't thought about it.  Immediately after service,  before we even ate,  we got him some new shoes.  Poor guy. He didn't even complain. After he put his new shoes on he said,  "God must be blessing me for tithing this morning."  So sweet.

We got our new family sticker for our 12 passenger van!  It has the same saying on it but there is a new kid added. We had to order it so we could match each kid on it to their personality. Love it!

Ohhhh!  I remember now what was wild.  I went to a birthday party this weekend and met some GREAT people.  We even played Christian karaoke!  That was fun!  I love karaoke but the song selections aren't so great when it's all secular. Just prefer singin' the praise songs.  :) There are some good secular songs if you are careful but it's nice to have choices. Anyway,  had a great time and love to meet new people. :)

(Sorry if an pics are out of order.  I post blogs from my phone.)

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Consistency and Kids Testing the Limits

Today was a rough,  rough day. It's always hard for my kids when they get a week off to go back into a routine. It's like pulling teeth (that's an idiom I learned) every time we must get the wheels turning. My kids have it really good.  I focus really hard on the reading and math for their level but we have much more fun with all the other subjects. We get those more hands on at science centers and museum. Who wants to read about the insides of a frog when you can dissect one?  How about a squid? That was pretty neat. Now when the boys help me cook I have them multiply the fractions on the back of a box if we need to multiply serving size. Good practice it is (said Yoda).

Today I kept checking up on the boys to see if they were staying on task with their assignments. Kyle was really quiet so I went to check up on him. I didn't see him anywhere till I took a peek in the crib.  Juliet was just put in the crib after her bath.  I heard Juliet crying but eventually stop a few minutes prior. Kyle had climbed in to put her to sleep.  Sooooooo sweet. I love those sweet moments.

So today got me thinking a lot about the importance of CONSISTENCY with kids. I used to waver on what I expected from the kids each day because I didn't want the fight. I read over and over in the James Dobson books how if you aren't,  the kids will always aim for those weak spots.  So true. I finally learned that unless I'm truly sick, like maybe BARFING or I gave birth, each day stays the same. They sure do test me on some days but I push right back because I know it's a test.  I was wondering if I was getting anywhere until I had some different guest kids at my house. These kids aren't used to our own household routine because they don't live here.  They tried hiding, saying they had headaches, starting puberty, blaming others, arguing, crying. I knew it was because the rules had to be established with them since it's not routine. I gave them grace because of it. Grace meaning,  the job still had to be done whether it took six hours. My kids have to do the chores within one hour or they get extra chores. I'm sure the kids I watched are great within the routines they are used to in their own home. It brought back memories of my kids when I was first trying to get them in routine. Now it's somewhat of a battle but NOTHING like the beginning. The experience last week was so reassuring for me.  I am getting somewhere with my kids!  AAAAAGH!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Mommy's Little Breaks

I have so much fun on my phone with those tiny breaks every now and then.  I've been doing the photo a day journals where they tell you what to take a photo of and you interpret it your own way.  So fun.  So today was day 19 and A Sign. So I posted this photo I had taken at the mall awhile back with the forever lemonade that's for a limited time.  Haha. I hash tagged it with #dumbsigns on Instagram and had fun clicking on the link to see all the funny signs! Oh man,  I'm so tired.   Charles was sleeping next to me as I was looking at the pictures and I was trying so hard not to laugh out loud! I included. Some that I saw here.

My husband knooooows I don't like to waste my time in Facebook or phone games but there is one I discovered that I will play!  Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?  It's great because it's completely refreshing me on some old stuff from school!  LOL. I love it.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

The Kinda Girl I Really Am

Now that we are down from 12 kids to seven it is pretty quiet around here.  Well,  technically we have eight since a friend is here.  Instead of musical chairs we seem to play musical kids.  Tee hee...  I always want kids to know they are welcome here and not a burden. Do you remember being a kid how much other families had an influence on you?  I want to be the family that is encouraging to them other than their own. Family is SO important, of course, but friends play in the factor also.  Grandparents play a HUGE roll but I think sometimes some might not realize it. 

My boys just got back from a California trip to the Navy Seals base. They got to see battleships and stuff.  They even got to go through training that the other soldiers go through.  I'm such a proud mama because I found out my boys totally kicked butt in the training and had compliments from the instructors.  I can relax a bit.  Here I was worried since my kids are homeschooled and people have this idea they're lazy.  They totally kicked butt!  YEAH!!!!!  I was a tad bit jealous because I wish it was me going thru that training. I miss my summer teen trips to boot camp.

I'm not a foofoo girl that likes babyshowers and stuff.  I'm NOT into scrapbooking and I only shop for what's needed, not just to look. My favorite store is Home Depot and the mall is sorta a drag. I go sometimes but mostly for the exercise. Crafts are cool if they serve a purpose and are not just for decoration. I have kids to have fun and explore life with, they are not my trophies. I don't put them in events just so I can look good.  I don't homeschool  just because I think public school has issues (they do) but because I can't imagine spending so long a day without them. Most of my dating with Charles was by playing volleyball together and other sports. I thought Barbies were okay but jumping bikes with my ramp and playing video games was so much cooler as a kid. I stink at keeping a perfect house but I sure as heck have a blast running one the best I can. The world might try to say something weird about all this but I'M JUST A TOMBOY!!! I'm sooo blessed to have found Charles, or rather he found me.  Life is such an adventure with him. I can be myself with him.  :)

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Extra Kids to the Zoo

Yesterday I took the small army to the zoo.  The reason I did it on the most crowded day was only because it was the last day I was taking care of Adrianna.  She hardly remembers the zoo and they've built a lot more new stuff since. It was sooooo crowded.  I went ahead and just bought a zoo membership again since I go there so often and added on extra guest members.  We usually try to pick up extra kids when we do stuff like that.

The water caves was a relief from the heat despite how crowded it was. We ended up just riding the train rather than walk around since the train is shaded. The amazing thing was my mom packed us all a lunch!  What a huge blessing that was! 

It a Wednesday so we needed to be able to make it to church.  I completely underestimated how much time I needed for 11 people to shower.  2 hours later I finally got everyone dressed.  I mean,  I was out of breath because that is NOT enough time.  We loaded up and was barely gonna make it on time.  I do my normal head count and realize Ivy is missing.  I called for her in the house and found her still in a towel!  Oh my.  I threw a dress over her and gave her shoes to take in the van.  By that time we were gonna be late. Someone walks up to me in the parking lot just as I pulled in and hands me FOUR cases of formula for Juliet.  Wow!  What a blessing!  I said goodbye to Adrianna as she went and sat by her grandma.  We had to sit in the back since we were so late but I was happy we make it!  I look over and realize that the dress I threw on Ivy was TOO short.  Agh! :D Amazingly enough, as much as I thought the kids would be super tired it took forever it seemed for the girls to fall asleep.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Solution to Feeling Overwhelmed

Are there times that although you love your quiverfull you just have "those moments?"  Those moments where you look around and see the huge responsibility you have?  Well,  if you are having one of those OH MY GOSH moments I have a way to make you feel it's nothin'.  Babysit some extra kids for a week!  Ha ha!  Everything is suddenly magnified. How many dishes you wash,  the noise level,  dirty clothes, and it's tougher to go places.  When they leave at the end of the week you will be shocked at how little your family feels.  I only have seven kids.  Man,  it's so quiet in here!  LOL

Seriously though, we are having fun with extra kids but it's also a lot of work.  My kids are used to the routine around here but it's more work to teach the others.  It can be a bit of a battle but in the end it gets things flowing more smoothly.  This week I bought plastic cups and they keep one cup a day with their name on it.  If they lose that cup or break it they have to drink water by scooping it with their hands till they get a new cup in the morning.

When we got out I had put together buddies so they could watch out for each other. While going in to the community center I had given them some rules.   We walk in a single file and we talk with our inside voices.  After I pay and get us into the pool area then they could let loose and have some fun.  If they didn't listen then we would walk back to the van and start all over.  It took three times but they finally got it. :)