Family Vacations, Cleaning, Miracles and more…

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We recently went on a short, two day family vacation for Spring Break.

We got a big room that accommodated all of us that had a kitchenette. With 7 people, five of which are children-That can be difficult. Plus, they had an awesome pool with a swirl slide and water park feel. Also, there was a hot breakfast included with waffles, sausages and everything! The area surrounding our hotel was beautiful. We planned our couple of days with ease in mind.

However, those eased minds became rattled shortly into our drive. The kids fought. All the way there: They screamed. They cried. They whined. And we checked in. Exhausted.

We thought the kids were just excited, it will be okay. It will get better. Once they see where we are staying, everything will be fine!

We desperately tried to encourage ourselves in the Lord.

It didn’t work.

They continued and so did we. My husband and I began arguing and I wanted to go back home.

But, would it change, I thought?

Probably not!

We were trapped. Nothing surrounding us to take our attention away or kept us busy and separate from each other. I was facing how our family functioned together. And, it was shocking!

That night, laying in our uncomfortable hotel bed, my husband and I had a heart-to-heart discussion. This had to change.

When life is busy at home, we can be clueless at the how well we are functioning as a family..or not functioning. We needed the peace of God in our family and we had to put some things into action.

During our conversation we realized a lot. Since starting public school, me getting a new job, his accident and now doctor appointments/physio, we have been too busy and don’t spend a lot of time together…as a family.

Many of these changes can’t be stopped. So, we planned to start implementing some crucial components to our daily lives. Some of these things were pushed aside due to our commitments and just couldn’t be ignored anymore.

We started sitting together as a family at dinner time…even if that meant more chores and cleaning for me…even if that meant only one meal! We were going to do it.

We took away all entertainment. No computer, no iPad for any of us–unless for research! We have kids in school, I am a writer and my husband is a Pastor–we need to research! But, no games or anything, etc. Even for parents! We are all effected by the rules…hence, accountability on all of us. They will have no excuses!

We got back home and started the new plan immediately.

It was like we were a new family. Peace finally started to come. Yes, they had their squabbles…but, not all day fighting, hitting, screaming, tattling, whining! Ahhhh!

Now, it feels like we are a family again. Even our prayers at the dinner table are more focused and participated in.

That is worth fighting for!

That is worth the extra inconveniences!

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My Cleaning Challenge has been pretty much, just a challenge all together.

My goals this year were to organize something each month. And though I got off to a great start, I have wavered due to new responsibilities. But, not all is lost and I have had a chance to do some things 😀

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I am trying to follow along with Sarah Mae’s challenge to 31 days of clean. Periodically, I will post what I have done to keep you updated as well. However, I have been terrible at it lol! I like to whip everything up in one day and have it look like a perfect house–even for a half an hour! Then, the kids can have at it. It doesn’t take long before it is a mess again, so I savour any second with my show room feel…even for a split second! Just saying!

Anywho, here is a before picture of one of my areas that desperately needed attending to. Like I mentioned before, I rearranged my work space. So, this unit I wanted for my office and not the kids area.

Here is the after pic:

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As a mother, I have seen my fair share of miracles.

Many of my children came from miracles. I will share some of these stories in the future. What I am gobsmacked with everyday though, is the fact that these mini miracles miraculously attract dirt wherever they go!

I mean seriously….How does this happen in one day??

In one section of the house only.

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Actually…in less than one day!!

It has to be a miracle haha..but, it is not.

However, I am so thankful for the mini miracles that make that mess 😀

Romans 12:18 

“If it be possible, as much as lies in you, live peaceably with all men.” KJV


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Spring Cleaning Challenge & Goal Accomplishments!

Spring Cleaning is underway here and as some of you know, last month I set up my goals for the year. One of them is to Organize a room each month.

Last month I got to organizing a whole room…well, re-organizing. I eneded up switching the entire room around. It worked better that way and I will have before/after pictures in another post coming soon. But, I also was cleaning and tidying up things that definitely needed it while re-doing the room. The one area that desperately needed organizing was my kids’ book shelf!

Before Picture

Before Picture

Yes…this really needs help! So I took everything out… IMG_0738 And set aside piles of books and what order I would like them in. (Eg. Easy Readers, Chapter Books, Homeschooling Books, etc.) There was also a pile for purging all the ripped, damaged books!

Garbage :D

Garbage 😀

Then, I wiped it clean…it was very dusty 😦 I use my home made counter cleaner. I don’t like using anything to harsh for areas that kids will be playing. Here is the recipe to my cleaner.

Gotta get clean!

Gotta get clean!

There was a picture frame I had just got and the kids broke it by throwing a ball in the house, when they knew they shouldn’t. I think it was hanging up for less than 24hours…hence why I don’t normally buy anything nice for a house full of mainly boys! I glued the back back together and added it to the bookshelf when I moved around the room. That way it can’t fall too far down and I think it works perfect 😀 Here is the After Picture!

All Finished!

All Finished!

Organizing does not come naturally to me, you can read about that here. However, I LOVE how I feel when I do it! My kids love it too and my husband. It makes the home feel so much better and breathes an air of comfortable, easy and manageable…instead of stressed, cluttered and unmanaged! I thought this post was perfect along side of Sarah Mae’s Cleaning Challenge right now. She also cleaned her book shelf which seemed fitting that I did mine too. Find out more about her Challenge here!


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Goal Update…

FINANCIAL

  • Keep better records of personal banking
  • Work on better credit (due to a new roof addition of over 10 thousand dollars this kinda ruined it last year)  Got a new budget and that will start the process
  • Put $ aside for dental expenses and budget that into the main Budget. (With 7 mouths and 5 of them being children…this is a good idea) Started in the new budget
  • Maintain and keep better records for Business plans/Ads/Book Promotion/Book Development Processes and separate these better from personal accounts. Started separate accounts

BUSINESS

  • Continue to develop In the World but, not of it Blog Continuing
  • Write 24-30 Substantial Blog Posts 5 so far and new series coming 😀
  • Acquire 3-5 valid, true to the blog, things/products that I use/recommend personally, and qualifying Affiliates Got them and working on more
RealityWriter.Wordpress.com Blog & Author:
  • 15-20 Substantial Blog Posts 1 so far, but working on a new book series for email subscribers
  • Do research for 2 other Books in Que..
  • Begin writing for the two other books
  • Finish small finalizing ends for Facing The Grey half way there
  • Work with Editor in May
  • Get Ideas together for the Type-setting on Facing The Grey

MARRIAGE

  • Make compliments and notice husbands accomplishments (speak his love-language) Attempting this and trying to maintain this on a daily basis
  • Leave Love notes for him 2 or 3 times per month
  • Spend more quality time with him weekly, alone! We have been spending so much time together lately and it has been wonderful! …just wish it was the alone part too. Need more date-nights.

MOTHERING

  • Do fun things as a family 2-3 times per month Started lessons in music!
  • Help with homework/Bartons System at least 2 times per week This has been a serious challenge…
  • Go for regular walks 2 times per week with my youngest son Started running instead with him once per week
  • Read aloud the Bible 4 nights a week have done only 1x per week…
  • Read aloud 1 Chapter Book a month  Reading The Mouse With The Question Mark Tail!

EXECERICE

  • Go to a class Once per week Started Ballet lessons with my work
  • Go for walks 2 times per week with my youngest son 1x per week
  • Do more Gardening outside

HOUSE

  • Organize one room completely per month This month I did it 😀
  • Attempt to have dinners earlier by prepping food earlier and being more organized Thanks to Confident mom…will blog about this in a future post!

Now last but not least and almost forgot to add it in:

PERSONAL

  • Try to quit coffee (my health has really gone done hill and I think this may help) Down to one full cup per day!
  • Bake something once per week to learn and get better at it for kids’ lunches
  • Spend 1 hour per week to do nails, or have a bath
  • Schedule time everyday to do book writing Needs improvement in this area but got a lot of writing done!
  • Schedule time in to visit with a friend from church twice per month
  • Read 1 Fiction book a month
  • Start to read 1 non-fiction book a month The Dress Maker of Khair Khana. See my Book Review here!
  • Read and memorize scripture on motherhood This blog has really helped me in this area as each post has a scripture verse that pertains to our everyday life as a mom!
  • Spend 30 minutes in prayer/bible reading a day Needs Improvements!

How have you done on your goals so far this year? Are you taking up the Cleaning Challenge too? Don’t forget to sign up & not miss a post! Want to read more about these goals in my blog post…go here! 1 Corinthians 14:40 “Let all things be done decently and in order.” KJV


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