Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The Great Minimizer

Hello all!! I have been busy with our four children, but now that summer is over I am determined to take each day and use it to my advantage. Today is rainy and humid - not a good pool day. Over the last few weeks I have been reading and inspired by simplemom's new book Organized Simplicity. I also found a terrific blog (by accident - isn't it always like that?) Its called Rethinking the Dream. Its about a husband and wife (+ child) who decided that the American dream of home ownership wasn't cracking up to be The Dream. So they downsized, sold their home, purged their stuff and moved to a two-bedroom rental apartment. As I wrestle emotionally with a possible move (again!) this summer (= our 10th move in 10 years of marriage and military), my desires are truly moving towards less is more. Less to clean (my cleaning regimen is so distracted with the clutter of our possessions.) and more time to embrace my precious children, my wonderful husband and my amazing life that Christ has given to me in Abundance!! I am going to take it with Day 1. I will post pictures of the spaces that I purge before and after shots. I already feel better. Something I am realizing about myself is that I carry stuff-guilt. I have bought things - that end up in "organizational boxes" (you know the rubbermaid clutter) and then I feel guilty if I don't repurpose it, gift it, goodwill-it or sell it. The problem is there isn't time in my life to do this -- so I am just going to get it OUT!! I am giving myself the gift of Peace and Order this summer. This gift will trickle down to the kids and to my husband -- who is out of country right now. When he returns I want to have this place full of peace. So not only does that mean that I purge but that I purge ingratitude from my heart. I want to be a mother who has a cheerful heart (resist the sin to get frustrated with the little people!) and purposeful days. No longer will I shirk my duty to create a home of order (yes life is messy but can't it be an easy clean up too!!) So here it goes folks!!!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Simple Mom #2 Challenge

I thought I would share what I have been working on this past week or so. I got really inspired by Tsh over at Simple Mom and got my declutter on!! First of all I worked on the kitchen. (Her week #2 challenge was refrigerator and pantry, I took care of the frig and most of the pantry foodstuffs over the weekend and forgot to take pictures!) I focused on the "baking cabinet" which includes all of the spices and baking ingredients. I had been holding on to a bunch of glass tomato sauce Mason jars, thinking I could use them for crafts. But seeing their efficient size, I decided to use them in another way! I labeled each jar with the super cute and functional Martha Stewart Avery labels from Staples. One with chocolate chips, one with raisins, one with salt, one with almond flour, etc. The cabinet looks ten times better and is so much easier to use!! I figure if I am going to be making things from scratch around here, its going to look cute!!

Week #1 challenge was to declutter the kids' rooms and stuff. We were able to start the dreaded clothes switch out last week, during our quarantined spring break (we all had the stomach bug)! We are not completely finished but most of the winter clothes have been binned, properly labeled and moved to the attic. I have pulled out clothes to donate or give to friends and whittled my boys' spring clothes down to what they like (did you know 3 year old boys can be picky?) and what they need. It seemed we had over 20 pairs of shorts between the two of the boys - way too many in my book. That equals more loads of laundry to be done. As a consequence of the switch (in which the hubs is the great man of the hour - helping, folding, and lugging bins up and down the attic latter - thank you baby!) we have decluttered underneath our bed (as it is a storage area for lots of our things that don't fit in our teeny closet). The next spot is to go through the toys once again and the "homeless" toys. I am inspired by Rachel's recent post from Small Notebook.

The third challenge: closets, countertops and drawers & #4 the basement (choose your own adventure). Along with that I will be planting some of our early spring seeds and looking for some nice plants and flowers for the front and back yards. Hopefully we can have some of that nice warm spring weather we had last week.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

some thoughtful changes

Some of the things that I have started over here are:

1. making my own bread rather then buying the store bought (even if it is ezekiel bread) & made homemade buttermilk bisquits from scratch too!

2. eating out of our freezer and frig - I am inspired by Kristen who has a weekly post called "Food Waste Friday" where she logs what she didn't end up using that has gone off

3. using homemade cleaning products during my spring cleaning - i love that fresh smell

4. picking up the recycling and composting that had gone to the least important task list

5. trading my homemade bread for lovely fresh organic eggs with a friend at church

6. clearing the clutter from our home feels so good!

7. staying strictly to my menu plan as best as possible and not making individual trips to the grocery for missing/used up items - this takes discipline but I remind myself that I have a plan and that I can make it to Thursday to buy my half and half and for now I can use the 2% milk in my coffee.

8. researching CSA's and farmer's markets that truly are "local" to me

how are you bringing thoughtful and purposeful stewardship in to your home this spring?

Friday, March 16, 2012

Hello Spring!

Aloha to all of you in the bloggie world! I am hoping to be writing more here each day. The hubs is going to help me post pictures. I have so much to share and show you!! A lot has been happening here:

Source: etsy.com via Stacey on Pinterest

1. I am getting my body back! Four kids in five years plus all of the stress of being a military family -- moving 9 times in almost 10 years of marriage -- is not kind to one's body. So ... I have been going to the gym and watching my caloric intake (thank you to my fabulous trainer Kendra and the awesome iPhone app Lose It!). I have lost about 12 lbs. since the first of the year. I am loving my energy, being able to fit back in to my clothes (although I am not at all to my goal weight), my time at the gym, my small successes and the motivation that I have for other areas in my life to improve. All in all, I desire to live a healthy lifestyle, to take on habits for my LIFETIME. I do not want to yo-yo anymore. The old has gone, the new has come!

2. The hubs and I started Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University classes at a local church. Its SO challenging but so good for us. We have fallen in to bad habits and really desire to be stewards of the resources the Lord has given us. We want to set up a lifestyle of peace in our marriage and we want to teach our children how to have this peace in their lives, even as children.

3. Along with the financial peace, I am also seeking to run my home more sustainably, more frugally and more wholly then I have ever before. Last Friday, our MOPS, group heard two of our own members speak on stewardship in the home through using coupons and through cooking from scratch. Both methods are excellent ways to run a home with less waste, more healthy and more peacefully. We all agree to that living prices are soaring -- so what is our role as wives and makers-of-the-home within this context? That is my desire and my challenge these days.

Tomorrow I will post about the ways I am going about sustainable stewardship in our home. I am excited to share and learn.