The Lent season is fast approaching and if your family celebrates Lent like ours, you are probably trying to think of ideas of things you could sacrifice. It is especially challenging to come up with good ideas for the kids to give up! I took some time and put together a great list of Lenten ideas and sacrifices for kids!
Even if you don’t celebrate Lent, these ideas are a great conversation starter to have with your kids. You could work together and learn more about gratitude and sacrifice in everyday life. Below is a list of 7 different ideas your children could consider!
It has been a busy couple of weeks! Sometimes everything can go by so fast and its all a blur! As I sit here tonight alone, Erik is gone and the kids are all in bed, I am running a recap of the last week in my mind. Before I know it another weekend will be in the books and the little moments will be forgotten! Here is a quick recap of some of the moments of the last week!
Man alive this was another busy weekend! We have been busting our butts getting ready for this home appraisal and this weekend was no different! My weekends have been one big blur lately. The kids’ rooms have been easily neglected because they are upstairs and people rarely see them. We keep them clean and organized but they are a mish mash of unmatched bedding, hand-me-down furniture and worn out paint. To get the best results from our appraisal, it was important to finish up a few eyesores and give them a fresh coat of paint!
The kids were super excited by this (which made me a little guilty for not taking the time to make it more ‘their’ space!) but they had no idea the work that it would take! We did Marlee’s room first. Both bedrooms have paneling on the walls (with slats and plaster behind, which is why they are still paneling!) but Marlee’s paneling has this wallpaper type covering. That was peeling off on two of her walls so it needed fixed. After scraping, sanding and priming, she got a pretty coat of light purple! Her walls were still painted the nursery colors! (Yes, she is almost 10…no judgement!) Her room is more her own space now and she loves it! Here are some before (or during) and after pictures!
This weekend I tackled the boys’ room. They have paneling on the walls too but its just typical paneling so it was ready for paint. The ‘fix’ in their room is the chimney ran up through it. We had that taken out and duct work ran up and we never finished covering it up with paneling so we finished that up! For them, I chose a really light gray to lighten and brighten up the space! After vacuuming up about a million Legos (because I am super OCD and have to deep clean while the furniture is moved, oh and #boymom), we put everything back in order and the boys are loving it! Here are some before (during) and after pictures!
Obviously these two rooms need totally redone and they are for sure on the list. Drywall, better closets, new carpet, etc. but with other, more used rooms needing done, they are low on the list. Our home is a work in progress! I really love that we are making it our own though. And hopefully our hard work these past few weeks will pay off with a great appraisal and a BIG addition this spring!
Do any of you live in a fixer upper?! If so I would love to hear all about it!
Things have been crazy around here lately! But who am I kidding…things are always crazy! Well, they have been a little crazier than normal because we have officially started planning our next BIG home renovation. A garage addition! And you know, since it is a garage, the ‘man’s’ thing, it has to be the biggest and best!
I will admit that I am excited for it too. We have never had a garage…or a useful one anyways. The house we bought had a very small, one car garage that isn’t attached. I am not even sure a normal vehicle would fit in it! We use it for storage and that’s about it. We do have a carport attached to our covered porch and it’s nice to atleast have that to park under! It’s a life saver in the rain or when it is icy. Unfortunately, it’s only big enough for one vehicle so Erik has to park on the street. This will be a big step up because it will be ATTACHED!!
Motherhood is a combination of love and messiness. That is the perfect title for my blog because that is what my day to day life entails. Being a mother is the best thing that has ever happened to me and with each child, my heart has grown even bigger. With that being said, that doesn’t mean its always the best thing. In fact, there are many days where I feel like everything is going wrong and I have no idea what I am doing. Lately I have learned that on days like this, the best place to turn is upward!
One of my goals for 2017 (along with being more organized, among a million other things!) is to actively become closer to God. I have turned more toward faith these lasts few years but I want to really become more active in it. Read the Bible, attend church more regularly, pray more with my husband. Those kind of things. One day I opened Facebook and there it was! The perfect opportunity! Some local girls were putting on a bible study. Normally I wouldn’t have thought twice but something called me to it and on a whim, I signed up!
Happy New Year! I am back! It’s been a few weeks since I’ve gotten behind the keyboard! The last few weeks were just as crazy as everyone else’s…all of the Christmas things happening! But it is 2017 now! Christmas is a magical haze and we are on to bigger better things, and better yet, back to routine! To start the year off fresh, I wanted fill you all in on our last few weeks and how I want to start off the new year!
Christmas was nothing less than magical. Celebrating the holidays with children makes everything that much better! I wrote previously about how we limit our Christmas gifts and this year was no different. I always have last minute hesitations though…because I hear what others are giving and I get nervous they will be disappointed! But they were no where near disappointed. They loved everything they received and never questioned anything! They were so grateful and happy…and that is all I ever wanted!
One of my favorite family holiday traditions is our Advent calendar! A couple of years ago I decided that this would be so fun for the kids! After looking around on Pinterest, I put together some ideas and got to it!
The easy part was making the calendar. I went and purchased some material and ribbon. Then I laid it all out and measured and cut all of the pieces and then pinned it the way I wanted it. Next I took it to the expert…aka my Mother in Law…to be sewn together! I sewed on the ribbon tabs and Erik cut down the dowel rod. Finally I finished it with some long red ribbon to hang it. I LOVED how it turned out…but the hard part wasn’t finished.
A few years ago Erik and I seriously downsized Christmas. We never really went overboard but the kids always got plenty of gifts! One night, as we were walking through what was then our toy room, we looked around in awe of all of the toys the kids had! We had two entire closet shelving units on one wall, full wall to ceiling of toys!
We stood there and tried to remember the last time the kids had played with all of them. Some of them we knew they had outgrown and others we hadn’t seen them play with in ages. The next step was obvious…sort and clean!
As we were going through all of the toys, I kept feeling guilt. I was worried they would miss them, or that they played with them sometimes. Finally, it got late, and Erik told me to just head on to bed and he would finish. Although a little concerned…haha…I went on ahead anyways.
When I got up the next morning I was mortified! He had literally cleared out over half of the shelves. The top half was empty! I was beside myself! I went to him explaining how upset the kids would be and how would we explain this?! Then, I got an even bigger surprise…
We got some quick, new family pictures taken and I am so excited! I wish I had the chance to take these more often because our family changes so much! But unfortunately time is not on our side and our crazy life gets away from us!
And let me tell you…as many of you other mama’s know…taking a decent photo of a moody toddler is not an easy task! I usually take the kids pictures each year and at every milestone. I love that I am able to do this and I love the photos so much more than those standard school pictures!
This year I had big dreams of how they would turn out but I was rushed trying to keep Vayda’s attention. This means we came away with one good picture of each of the bigger three, a much of pictures of the four of them where the lighting was even too bad for Photoshop and a few snaps of a blurry toddler.
After this attempt, I contacted an ‘expert’…a great friend and family member who has some experience under her belt! I was hoping with me dancing like a fool behind her, we could get one shot of Vayda with a smile! Plus it’s hard to take a photo of the six of us and be behind the camera! Ha!
So we went out and tried again! We were still rushed, with the sun setting so soon any more and Vayda’s short attention span, but we came away with some good ones! Between my shots and hers, we came away with a good family photo, a good shot of the kids and a good picture of each of the kids separate! Here they are!
I am always trying to find different ways to show the kids how important it is to be grateful. There are so many children in the world today who don’t think to be thankful for the things in their lives. I feel that as parents, it is our job to help them understand this concept.
We always incorporate thank you’s into our prayers and every once in a while I will bring the topic up at dinner or during a car ride. It is kind of fun to see their minds work at the concept!
Each year, when November comes around I think it is really important to teach the reason for the Thanksgiving holiday. There are so many reasons for every one of us to be grateful for our lives and the people and things in them!