Giving Thanks…

What are you thankful for? I’ve seen lots of people doing the 30 days of thankful on Facebook. I, personally, have not. I did last year. And it was a real eye opener. There was something that happened last year that really changed my life & my outlook on life. My 5 year old drew a house. He actually drew houses every day. He is not real artistic and sometimes I thought he drew them because it was the only thing he could draw & you could recognize what it was. Anyways, I had asked him what he was thankful for and he drew a house. Surprise. I asked why he drew that house. He said, ” You asked what I’m thankful for, and this is it, my home. I love my bed. I love my bedroom. All my toys are here. You and daddy & my brothers are here. It’s warm. You make good food here. Why do you think I draw houses all the time?” And he walked away. Silly me. I looked at my house and saw holes in the wall where the people who lived here before us must have hung every.single.picture/wall hanging/whatever they had into the wall. I saw cabinets that needed replacing, carpet that should have been pulled up years ago. Then I thought about it more. Our house is big enough for us all, all of our stuff, it is warm when it needs to be a cool when it should be…so what if it needs a little work? Unless your house is brand new, it probably could use some work. 

I quit thinking about what I “needed”. And I use quotes because it wasn’t really what I needed at all. I made a promise to myself to look for the good. Focus on what we HAVE. It really is ENOUGH. And to do it DAILY. I made amends with some relationships in my life that needed work. I started spending QUALITY time with my kids. We are together 24/7. I have to beg them to stay with their grandmother for a night. And always feel bad after I do it. Sometimes though, our time wasn’t being spent like it could have been. I started making myself aware of my blessings daily, not just at Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving is next week. Next. Week. As a child, it seemed like forever in between holidays. As an adult…days fly by, months start over in the blink of an eye, and it seems you can’t get through one holiday before the next rolls in. Being a homeschooling family, I feel like we get to enjoy our holidays. We can make crafts, do holiday themed work, watch holiday movies.

I really do feel bad for people who don’t get to enjoy their holidays, for whatever the reason may be. My wish for you this holiday season is that you spend time with the ones you love & ENJOY each other’s company. Be HAPPY!  

And if at all possible…do something good for someone who needs the help. This year our family has “adopted” an angel off of our county’s Angel Tree. A little boy…just 4 years old. I have one of those. So we sat the kids down and explained to them that we were going to buy this little guy some Christmas presents because his family was not able to do it for him. I expected a lot of whys.

Why can’t his family? Why don’t they have money? Why does he not have any toys?

But you know what I got? “He can have my ninja turtle, I can earn money for more. He can have the money I earn each month. Can we go buy him something? What does he need?”

From a 6 and a 4 year old. A child can be so willing to give…and if you nurture that as a child, they will want to help as an adult. {I hope!} I’ve turned into the queen of online shopping and deals. There are very few things I buy in store for holidays & birthdays. There are AWESOME coupon bloggers out there who post all kinds of great shopping deals. I hit some sales, done some online shopping…and spent a total of $15.35 shipped to my front door, on toys for this little boy that was regularly priced $69.99. Socks on clearance, nice clothes that was on sale and shipped for free. These little things are going to make this little boy’s Christmas. A child who wasn’t going to get anything! Looking around at your children, do you fully grasp that?!  I pray that you, reader, are never in that situation. I hope your kids have never gone without on Christmas, I hope that your family has never had to go hungry, or been cold at night. If you have been, I hope that someone extended a hand and helped you. No one person can help everybody, no one expects you to. But, if you can help, please do. Go in with another family & take an angel together if you want! Anything you could do to help, you have no idea how much it will mean to someone.

 

If you are local to me and would like more information on adopting an Angel, please contact me. 

 

“Never look down on anybody unless you’re helping them up.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Chore Charts For Young Children

Never ever underestimate a child’s ability to help out around the house! {The younger you start, the easier it is!!}

We do not have a paid chore chart in our home right now. We do have an understanding that it takes us all to make things run smooth around here and therefore, we all help out. Every night before bed, the boys make sure all toys are picked up and put where they go. In ALL rooms! This is when I make sure my area {the KITCHEN} is cleaned. All dishes are done and put away, everything wiped down & in order. It makes a HUGE difference in your day if your house is in order the night before! Sorting laundry, loading the washer and emptying the dryer can all be done by even the youngest of kids. {2-4 years old} I’ve even worked out a new system for my laundry and I don’t hate it NEAR as much anymore!

What do you to “keep up”? What kinds of things do your children do?

Today’s freebie comes from Jolanthe at Homeschool Creations. It is a chore chart with instructions on how to make it work for your child!

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I think these look pretty awesome and should be able to be used in any family. Let me know what you think! If you choose to download, as always, leave her a comment and let her know you like her work!

If you use a different chart, send me a link to it!

If I could ask for anything…

I can’t even BEGIN to express how full of love my heart is tonight. Our day could not have been any better. If you have kids, you know there is always a 50/50 chance your day can go sour reallllll quick. Am I right?! My youngest is definitely the hardest to get along with sometimes. If we never left our home, he would happy as can be. He is always content on being here. Which is a good thing…but it is nice to get out and it not be a big deal.

Our weather forecast has not been looking real desirable for the next few days. (and we were actually prepared for the rain to start today) So we decided to take the boys bowling. Of course the first thing out of Toad’s mouth is “I don’t want to go.” Really? We’ve been home ALL week with the exception of a park trip, and you’re telling me you don’t want to leave? My options are to stay home, (no fun) or go & take the chance of a meltdown (also no fun). We decided it was worth the risk, and I’m so glad! We told Toad to take along his DS and if he didn’t want to bowl he didn’t have to. He did, however, have to be good, no whining and act like he had some sense. We also said today we were just going bowling…no putt putting, no large amounts of candy, no video games, etc. and when we finished we would find some food.

Off we go towards the bowling alley…which is about 30 minutes away. Nice car ride, no fussing, no arguing. Bowling went great. Everyone had fun, cheered each other on…a real honest good time with my boys. {Also during the summer months, this particular bowling alley has “Bowl Free” cards at local businesses…not only was this trip fun, it was free! *except for shoe rental*} The boys asked for a drink so we did get us all a drink. All 3 boys at the concession stand waiting on slushies and I hear the dreaded question: “MOM! They have M&Ms! Can we get some?” I gathered myself and braced for what was to come…and I responded, “Remember what I said? We’re going to get us some dinner afterwards so you don’t need candy.” And to which my 4 year old responded with….”Yes ma’am. I remember.” The look on the man’s face behind the counter is something that I won’t soon forget. He has seen my child before. He KNOWS how things go and he’s a parent too.

Things are now going almost too good to be true. As we were loading up the van, I felt something that I don’t always feel when we try to do something like this…I was having FUN. I was enjoying the fact that nobody was arguing, whining, begging or crying! And it felt SO good! {I don’t want you to think that I have horrible children either. It’s really quite the opposite. Sometimes though 12, 6 and 4 year old personalities clash and it usually happens when all 3 want to do different things.} We get to the pizza place (definitely something everyone agrees on and also pretty reasonably priced) & order food. I asked what the kids wanted to drink. Mario speaks right up and says “I just had a Cheerwine slushie, I’ll just have water.” The other 2 are ok with this also. So by now I’m wondering where my real children are. (joking…sort of.) We’ve really cut down most sodas in our house and eating at a restaurant is when my kids take advantage of having one.

Dinner went so well that we took them across the street for fro-yo. I’m the queen of not carrying a pocket book. If I just grab my wallet, that’s usually a win in my favor. I had about 6 different cards with punches out to add up for free cups of fro-yo. Turns out I had enough for 3 free cups! Score one for me! (actually I think i’m way ahead by now) So lets just recap real quick. We, as a family of 5, went bowling, had pizza and ice cream and it costed us a grand total of: $30. Yes, 30 bucks. PLUS my kids acted like…PEOPLE! That’s about worth their weight in gold! The car ride home went off just as easily.

At home the clouds were gone and we spent a gorgeous evening outside playing together. Complete with the dog, cat and chicken that likes to follow us around now. I realize this is a real long post…and if you’re still with me, I really appreciate it. I write this because I’m a mom, and I know sometimes as a mom you can feel like you are on the verge of going completely insane. I write this because I’m a wife to a husband who sometimes doesn’t have a CLUE. I write this because I want you to know that no matter what is going on in your life, how tired you are or how run down you feel, there is a silver lining. That day will come when the stars just seem to line up & you will feel in perfect harmony with your surroundings. Tomorrow…well it may be a total disaster. The kids may fight, the husband may sleep too late…but today…today was perfect.

 

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