Reviving Motherhood

Learning on the Journey


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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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10 on Tuesday

I’m copying Payton again.  Go read her great blog.  She’s hilarious and I love it!

1.  Today my son was supposed to start memorizing a poem for English. It was the Mother Goose rhyme “Once I Saw a Little Bird.”  He was completely unimpressed.  Apparently this poem was not nearly cool enough for him.  One of the great things about homeschooling is the ability to tweak curriculum if it doesn’t fit the need.  Now I could make him memorize the little bird poem, but why not choose something more inspiring?  Like this…More challenging, but definitely a little grittier than Little Bird.

Stick to It (by Edgar Guest)

Stick to it, boy,

Through the thick and the thin of it!

Work for the joy

That is born in the din of it.

Failures beset you,

But don’t let them fret you;

Dangers are lurking,

But just keep on working.

If it’s worth while and you’re sure of the right of it,

Stick to it, boy, and make a real fight of it!

Stick to it, lad,

Be not frail and afraid of it;

Stand to the gad

For the man to be made of it.

Deaf to the sneering

And blind to the jeering,

Willing to master

The present disaster,

Stick to it, lad, through the trial and test of it,

Patience and courage will give you the best of it.

Stick to it, youth,

Be not sudden to fly from it’

This is the truth,

Triumph may not lie far from it.

Dark is the morning

Before the sun’s dawning,

Battered and sore of it

Bear a bit more of it,

Stick to it, even though blacker than ink it is,

Victory’s nearer, perhaps, than you think it is!

Old fashioned?  Yep, but true.

2.  Speaking of little boys and learning, I was completely encouraged by a couple of Anna’s posts.  I know, I linked to her last week too.  Here she mentions a proud mom moment as her son is a National Merit Finalist.  She also mentions that he was a late bloomer academically, reading at 8 and writing at 13.  In response to all the questions she received, she wrote this follow-up post. Because Anna is highly educated (a lawyer, practicing until recently) and she’s raising well-educated children to are excelling in their fields of interest and gifting, I sit up and take notice when she gives advice about homeschooling.

3.  My sister posts about home birth. I’ve had 5 hospital births with experiences that have ranged from decent to really good, but I’m still a bit jealous.  My dream birth would be in the hospital attended by a midwife.  The best of both worlds, IMO.  Since I’m probably done having kids I don’t have to worry about it any more, but it’s a nice thought.

4.  I made Darby’s chewy oatmeal bar recipe this weekend. They turned out pretty well.  I used almond butter, and they set up nicely.  A little too sweet, probably because I didn’t have all the extra nuts that would have boosted the protein.  I may try to cut back on the honey a little next time.  But overall, they were the best granola bars I’ve tried to date.  Insta-breakfast.  These days I’ll take all the help I can get.  Here’s another granola bar recipe I’m going to try soon.

5.  I love vintage art and illustrations, obviously.  I wonder if other people find these pictures annoying.  I can never remember which ones I have used, though, so the same ones might pop up over and over.

6.  Sweet baby is falling into a newborn routine of sorts. It’s something like, be happy and sleep all morning.  Be grumpy all afternoon.  At night, don’t cry, just grunt, squeak, and wiggle enough that no one else can sleep.  And get as many hugs and snuggles as possible.  Precious, precious.  At number 5 I just remind myself that the newborn stage only lasts for a few weeks.  And I remind myself to go to bed early.  Hitting the hay at 9 last night made all the difference in my state today.  I don’t know how most moms are, but if I don’t get something that resembles enough rest I cry and get headaches.  Not good for anyone.

7.  Right now I don’t have enough time to clean or do laundry adequately.  I’m thankful for my sweet helpers who keep it from getting too terribly out of hand.  I certainly don’t have time to decorate.  But I still love to peek at decorating blogs.  Lately I’ve been starting here, at Buckets of Burlap, and going through her blog roll.  I’ll open a few windows and take a quick look when I sit down with little one, or when I need a rest break.

8.  I’m not very good at commenting on other blogs. I have good intentions, but most of the blogs I read are on my feed reader, which I read on my iTouch, and I don’ t manage to hop over to the blog proper and leave a comment.  So consequently, I suppose I’m mostly talking into a void.  I should do better about this, because  it would be good to tell other writers how they have encouraged me.  I know I appreciate it when people leave kind comments.  That said, if you are a busy mom, feed readers are great.  I have used Bloglines and Google Reader, and I like GR best by far.  Their tagline is ” keeping up with your favorite websites is as easy as checking your email.” and it’s true.  It’s all in one place instead of hopping all over the internet.  I can read the things I want to keep up with in just a few minutes a day.

9.  Today my daughter got several missionary biographies from YWAM publishing. Highly recommend.  I read the story of Rachel Saint awhile back and couldn’t put it down.  As our children learn to enjoy reading, I think it’s important to give them reading material that’s going to encourage them spiritually.  Of course, my kids read “candy” books too.  But missionary biographies are great adventure stories that can get our kids thinking about important things.

10.  I guess I’m easily impressed, but I am just blown away by all the creativity the world of blogs has put at our fingertips.  As I read through decorating and craft blogs, sometimes I just think how amazing it is that God has made us in his image, reflecting his creativity as maker of the universe.  You can look at the work of 5,000 different people and not one is exactly the same, whether it’s in photography, wordcraft, ideas, decorating, or making things.  So inspiring.  I guess that’s kind of cheesy, but I think about it all the time.


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Bargain Shopping: Holiday Clearance Edition

One of my favorite times to get bargains is post-holiday clearance sales!  Holiday items quickly go down to 75-90% off and you can get amazing deals.  Sometimes I buy holiday items to use the following year.  But truthfully, my favorite post-holiday shopping is when I find items that can be re-purposed to use all year long.

A few recent examples:

A fuzzy white throw for the living room–$5.  It came with a snowman pillow which I didn’t like, but I’ve been on the hunt for a white throw for awhile.  I recovered the pillow and used it in another room.

Bedroom curtains. They weren’t really curtains.  They were cranberry-colored Christmas tablecloths.  But with ring clips and tie-backs, they are now curtains.  $2.99 a panel.

Gift bags and wrapping paper. Valentine’s Day sales are great for these, especially if you have little girls who get invited to birthday parties.  Hearts are just for Valentine’s Day, seriously?  I got some adorable pink heart bags with pink polka dots for 50 cents at Target.  (I would post a pic but I don’t know how to load pictures from my new camera yet.)  Actually, anything hearts is on clearance after Valentine’s Day–so cute with so many uses!

 

The applications are truly endless!  What are your favorite post-holiday bargains?


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How to Get a Shower With a New Baby

One of the most common complaints from new moms is that they can’t seem to find a way to get a shower with a new baby.  (Truthfully, I find it a lot harder to get a shower with a mischievous toddler!)  I think it is so important to find little minutes to take care of ourselves, even when we are busy with little ones.  With a new baby, here’s what works for me.  I just put baby in his car seat or bouncy seat and take him in the bathroom with me.  I can keep an eye on him (and save him from over-loving siblings), and my babies have all loved the sound of running water.  Usually they are quiet.  But if they do cry…I am a huge proponent of responsive mothering and I don’ t let my little babies cry.  I pick them up and snuggle them.  But really and truly, it won’t kill your baby to cry for the few minutes it takes to get a super quick shower.  Then throw on some clothes and pick him up!  Mama is clean and baby is happy.  Later, you can take another 5 minutes to throw on some makeup and simple accessories or do your hair.  You’ll feel so much better!


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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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Healthy-ish Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

 

I was looking for a cookie to make in quantity and freeze that I didn’t feel too terrible about feeding my kids.  Something with some whole grain and protein, without any/much refined white sugar.

 

These are a modified version of a recipe I used years ago, which I have always loved.  Although they have a healthy-ish taste (think breakfast cookie type taste), they have a good texture and they are easy to whip up.  And they have no eggs, which is great for those with egg allergies or those who like to eat cookie dough but won’t eat cookie dough with raw eggs (er, me).  And they are dairy free, for my dairy allergic kid.

 

They aren’t the healthiest cookies in the world.  My nutritionist friends would be concerned that they have too much fat, and my nourishing food friends would contend that they grains and almonds should be properly soaked, but for now they are fine, a lot better than regular cookies, especially ones that come in a package.  And they don’t send my kids into a sugar tailspin.

 

This is a really big recipe, since I wanted to freeze them, but it can be divided.  And the ingredients are pricey…But I dole them out, since I’m also trying to limit snacks to reasonable amounts.

 

With that lengthy introduction, here ya go…

 

***************

 

Cream:

 

2 c. coconut oil

2 c. almond butter (or peanut butter)

1 qt. honey

1/2 c. cane syrup or molasses

4 T vanilla

 

Add:

12 c. whole wheat flour

4 t baking soda

 

Stir in:

2 12-oz packages chocolate chips (I use Ghirardelli semi-sweet because they are dairy free, yay!!!)

Chopped nuts, if desired

 

Drop by teaspoonfulls onto greased cookie sheet.  Bake 8-10 minutes at 375.  Don’t overbake.

 

 

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