Sunday, January 23, 2011

Plan: revised

I have been thinking and praying a lot about this blog. Not just blogging, but time on the Internet, f.acebook, surfing. All things computer related. It has taken me a long time to transition into having four little ones. I have asked several friends, countless times, for tips and any glimmer of guidance they might have. I recently purchased "Organized Simplicity" and "Large Family Logistics." After reading a portion of both of them I have felt convicted over killing time on the computer. I mean, I need to be able to mentally check out a little each day, but why not do something profitable rather than hide in my bathroom with my phone and check the status of all these people I never talk to? If I were truly concerned about them, I would write them an e-mail or call them. I am just wasting time and being nosey. For me, this is sinful and I must change. I first felt convicted to get off of I have been tossing it around, hoping that was not what I really heard, but I think it is. If I don't respond to the small acts of obedience the Lord calls me to, will I hear Him on the big ones?

I have also felt challenged with this blog. I have a lot that I'd really like to write and I would love to have all of these followers and comments, but it just isn't me. At M.OPS this month we made a journal. I am the girl who started probably 20 journals as a young girl and never wrote much. I am now using the back for a prayer journal and slowly filling up all of those mostly empty journals. But this journal, I feel led to write the happenings of my children. The things I would blog about, but I don't want the negative feedback. I can be completely honest and write whatever I want. And, when my children are older, they will have a journal (hopefully several) documenting their childhood, written by their mother's hand. It's a noble ambition and I hope I follow through.

So, my new plan is to post pictures of the children around the third week each month, that's when all of their birthdays are; 18, 19, 22, 22. And an undetailed update on the happenings of the Ducks. We have a large amount of family who live far from us, and I want to be better about sharing pictures with them. I hope the three of you who read this understand and still love us. It isn't you, it's me! I just can't manage my time with the computer zapping it all away!

In Christ,

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Book List

Here is my book list for 2011 so far:
Finish: Ginger Plowman's Don't Make Me Count to Three
Voddie Baucham's Family Driven Faith
Julie Ann Barnhill's She's Gonna Blow! I'm not actually sure yet if this one is on the list or not. I have started it, but I might put it away without finishing it.
Wendy Horger Alsup's Practical Theology for Women

I am sure more books will be added throughout the year, and hopefully I can check some off! My goal is one chapter a day. So far so good!

What are you reading this year?

On Order

After that last post I promptly scrubbed the kitchen floor, some of it with a toothbrush and some with a rag, cooked dinner and folded and put away that mountain of laundry! The floor is dirty again, but it was clean for a couple of hours!

I just ordered two books. I can hardly wait for them to get here! One is Large Family Logistics. It is sort of a text book on how to operate a large family. Just the title has me thinking. Are we a large family? How many children makes a large family. I've come to decide this:
1-2 children = small family
3-5 children = medium family
6+ children = large family
This is my own personal breakdown, so please please do not take offense if you do not agree. Having four children has opened the door to me finding several other families who have four children. It is much more common then I once thought. At first I thought our shock factor was having four children, but now I think it is the time span. I never have been the sort of person who likes to do something for shock value, but it can be fun to see people's reaction to my littles if my perspective is right.

This has been a VERY full week for us. Monday we did school, went to Jo.Ann's and I made a floor quilt for CJ. Just doing school and going to the store is HUGE! for us. Tuesday we went to M.OPS and the commissary. I packed a lunch and we ate it in the mini before we left M.OPS. Then I gave the older three a lollipop to suck on while we walked around. It went really well. We had several people comment on us, but one lady stuck out in my mind and I hope I never forget her. As we were coming down the peanut butter aisle, near the end of the trip, she clapped quietly a couple of times and said "you're doing good". She just warmed my heart and was an encouragement to me.

The second book I ordered is Organized Simplicity. I wish I could just look at these books and have all of the knowledge soak into my brain! I just don't think I can read them fast enough! With the beginning of the year, I have been cleaning out like a mad woman. Clothes are the main target. We have VERY loving and generous grandparents and all of the children walked away with a mound of new clothes. After washing everything, buying more hangers, and hanging it all up, I felt completely overwhelmed. It was just too much. The boy's closet was full wall to wall and O's closet was 3/4 full for one very small person. I called my dear friend, K, and asked her to give me some numbers. She also has four small children and does an excellent job of pursuing simplicity. (She's the one who told me about this book.) Her suggestion was 2 options for church, one outfit for each day of the week and one extra. I decided I would break it into seasons. I haven't gotten them completely down to 10 summer shirts and 10 winter shirts, but I have cut their clothing down by almost half. It is embarrassing the bags of clothes we have to give away and I think for us, it came to the point of being sinful. I feel so much freer having cleaned out so much! I know cleaning out our clothing is a continual process, but one big purge feels so good! The children weren't the only ones to shed a few pounds of cloth, I went through my closet too. Wow, I think I could clothe another woman with what I pulled out. Albert and I are hoping to get our clothes down to one dresser and our closet and we have an entire shelf in our closet that is empty. I'm sure we still have a ways to go in simplifying, but this is a start!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Rest of The Story......

After my sweet friend L's comment on my last post and K's response this morning at M.OPS, I feel obligated to confess the rest of the story.

In order for me to accomplish a single craft, all other activities must stop. I have hardly cooked dinner for the last three weeks. A couple of times we ate with my parents, (Christmas and New Years). We ate out a few times (way more than normal) and I stretched what we already had for as long as possible. We ordered pizza for B's birthday and I think we ate it for about 4 days! I have touched a broom maybe once in the last three weeks. The bathrooms, let's not even go there! I have kept the laundry washed, but have been terrible about folding it and putting it away. In fact, a nice huge stack is waiting for me right now.

So please do not feel anything about yourself because of my last post. I am just so excited to have something accomplished along with feeding my children and brushing my teeth, that I had to share it with you.

I have had a terrible time adjusting to four little ones. Two felt hard, but was still manageable. O came in without a hitch. CJ has been a wonderful baby, but it just has taken me four months to feel like I can buy groceries when I need to without activating the entire fleet! I am still trying to figure out when to clean our house. (Don't look at my floors!!!!) And when to make important phone calls without sitting my big littles in front of the television. I just hate doing that. There is always something to be working on and I am thankful for these little tokens of accomplishment. It may be another six months before I have any other crafts to share! I hope not though since O's birthday is just around the corner!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Spare Time

Also known as: Time when I should do something productive, but choose to do something creative instead. After snapping pics of all the things I've made recently, I realized that I've squeezed in more craftiness than I realized. And I just remembered that I forgot one item. Maybe it will come later.

So, here's what I've been up to:
I made the hat on the left using the one on the right as a pattern. It's a little big, but it works and was a pretty quick sew!
B Turned 3 in December. Once I found the pattern for this cape, I could not resist making it for him! The boys play "Narnia" daily and he needed a King Edmond cape for his adventures.
All of my littles will have these pants by spring, but B received them for his birthday. They are really big and roomy. Perfect for wild boy play and another super easy sew!
^I saw the birthday banner, above, on Made by Rae and thought it would be a fun way to celebrate B and make our home a little birthdayish along with all of the Christmas decor. I sewed the felt together, but I think Rae hot glued hers. I am hoping this banner will last for several birthdays!

v I just thought this picture was really cute and had to share it with you!
^ I don't have a picture of the finished product, but these are crayons that I melted down, let harden and turned into heart shaped crayons. I first saw this here. They are going to be a gift for O for her second birthday.
O received her stick horse, Strawberry, for Christmas. She is the only one who was given a toy from us this year. I make each of them a horse for the Christmas they are closest to two years old. I had Albert make the stick shorter for her and she loves it! The littles were galloping around the house this afternoon. A very inexpensive and quick sew and so much fun!
My mom taught my how to knit and this is my first project. Please do not look too closely as I think there is an error on every row, but I did enjoy it and hope to get better with time and practice.
My second knit is a snowball. It is not as round as it looks in this picture, but it is very soft and perfect for throwing at each other. I think I will make a few more so we can have "real" snowball fights. This is as good as it gets in the south!
This is my latest project. I started and finished it today. That is amazing these days!
It's a floor quilt for CJ. This is half of it.
I saw the fabric on the back (the stripes) at JoAnn's and really wanted to use it on something. CJ loves to be with people, but he really likes to be on the floor these days. We have M.OPS tomorrow and I usually keep him with me. I thought a nice big, colorful blanket would be a great thing for him to hang out on. And here it is! This is the first quilt that I have been creative with and quilted entirely on my own. I am really excited about it and hope it holds up through it's first wash. That is the true test of it's usefulness!
Last, but not least, I've been growing these littles. They sure are getting big!

So, what have you been up to?