The Boys Room’s

If you read my previous post from yesterday. You will know where this post is coming from. I talked about how I am not a huge fan of a lot of toys kept in the house. We have some… but I have dramatically cut down the amount by at least 50% over the last year. My boys had way to much… and I found it caused more problems than anything… so to keep that much, made no sense to me what so ever.

My boys rooms are not elaborate IMO. When we moved into our home, we did nothing to the rooms. We did no painting. We didn’t by window treatments. We left everything basically exactly the same as the former home owners left the house. While I would love to pour some money into the boys bedrooms to make them a bit more personal and more eye appealing :) – right now, its not high on the importance list of ways to spend money. They don’t seem to mind thankfully ;-) – and their bedrooms function just fine.

So lets get to it….

First up, Taite & Owen’s bedroom. They share.

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Each child has a dresser. The dressers we did label at one point when they had to learn where to put certain items of clothing away at… but now that they are a little older we really don’t need the labels. I sadly haven’t been able to get the sticky stuff off of Owen’s dresser yet. One day ill get some goo-gone and get to that. ;-) Both dressers we got for free from my parents. They no longer needed them. On each boys dresser we allow them to keep some favorite toy items to play with.

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Taite’s hamster is also in his bedroom. You may or may not have seen Taite’s old hamster Pip go Viral on youtube. You can watch that HERE if you want. Pip has since passed… and with his passing, Taite got a new hamster Daisy. She is a Syrian Hamster though so a lot larger than Pip was… which created more hamster pee. Gross huh? Hamster pee a lot btw. Pip’s old cage (the smaller one under the big cage in these photos) was to tiny for Daisy. So I created a BIN cage for Daisy recently and we love it. Its light weight… was inexpensive to make… and easy to clean. Taite take’s care of feeding Daisy… playing with her and so forth. I do however have to help him clean the cage since Taite is still so young. Eventually though he will tend to his pet completely. Thats the goal any way ;-)

The small table Daisy’s cage is on, we got thrifted for $9.00. Its solid wood but moves easily thanks to the wheels it had already on it.

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Taite’s smaller closet is full of a few favorite books. Misc. Toys. Bags. Belts. Etc. Not much really :)

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We do allow the boys to kind of do their own thing with their bunks. These bunk beds we got in exchange for doing someone’s portraits. The family had to move to Costa Rica… so the beds could not go with them. It was a win win. Thankful for the beds they gave us. They are made in the USA and solid wood. Im a fan of solid wood btw ;)

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As you can see. Those bunks are far from neat as far as bed making goes. Owen sleeps on the top and he is 4 years old. So you can imagine his ability to make a bed that high up is just not going to happen. On occasion ill make it for him, but it is not high up on my things to do. He doesnt mind it messy ;-) – Taite also has a habit of hanging blankets and stuff toys all around his bed. It drives me nuts but its part of being a kid. So I let him have fun and do it.

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They also have a larger closet in the room. It holds some clothing items – extra blankets and shoes. Thats it.

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Now onto Reed’s room….

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When you walk into Reed’s room, this is what you see. :) Nothing fancy. A crib given to us years ago by a former church member in NC. The crib is old and has the dreaded drop down side… but it has given us years of use ever since Owen was a baby. Works great and our boys have loved it.

The bedding in Reed’s bed is so old. The sheets are Caleb’s old crib sheets. So going on 10 years old! They sport Classic POOH hah… I am so not into that any more… but those sheets are so soft because they are old, I just cant part with them. The green blanket was Taite’s, so its 7 years old… almost everything in that crib was passed down. Besides Reed’s knitted blankets (made special just for him by his Nana). The Fox he loves because it sings. It is from IKEA… and he has a few other stuff animals in the crib he likes to play with during nap time.

Reed’s room has nothing else in it besides a dresser (which was my old dresser growing up, so another hand me down furniture item). The mobile hanging up was given to us by Aliesha when baby Owen was born. :) The room has no decor other than that… Its pretty plain. One day ill decorate ;-) – I hope.


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Now, Caleb’s room!
:)

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When you walk into Caleb’s room this is what you see. Desk and cages :) – between his bearded dragon… snake and crickets. It is a room full of boy-ness without a doubt. He loves his critters and I am all for it, as long as he tends to the animal care. Caleb takes care of cleaning all his animal cages. Feeding the crickets, dragon and snake. He also takes care of maintaining a clean room in order to properly organize the items needed to care for his animals. His one closet in his room (which I didn’t get a photo of has care items in it and a few shirts/blankets). Caleb does so well with this, if he didn’t, the animals would be gone. ;-)

The Desk Caleb uses to the left we got used at a yard sale for $3.00? – the red table we got for free from a neighbor (its solid!) – from IKEA. The Tank his lizard is in was also thrifted for around $6.00.

The Cricket Tank was also thrifted for $10 (new those types of tanks cost $50+). The dresser in his room (sorry didn’t get a full length one) Was also from my childhood, so given to us. The large red book shelf was given to us by the same lady who gave us the red table. It is also IKEA. We took out one shelf so it has room for Caleb’s snake lamps… the snakes tank was also thrifted for around $6.00.


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Caleb’s bed we did buy back when he was 3 years old or so. Was under $200.00 though.. so nothing expensive. Its held up great to many moves. His bedding I got from ALDI’s one grocery run day for $20.00 (included 2 sets!). They’ve held up well too and look fairly nice I think. Caleb does a bit better at keeping his bed decent since he is older.

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That concludes the dudes room tours. Again, nothing fancy. It functions for its purpose and we are so thankful for what God has provided for us. One day, when my kids are older, it will be fun to pour more into decorating and making it more my style. For now, this suites us perfectly.

To those curious btw, the little lamps clipped to the boys bed are also from IKEA. They love them!

DIY Sofa Cleaner

We have some beautiful Micro Suede Sofa’s. A friend gave us them when we moved into our current home. (I think thats the material it is but im honestly not 100% sure…) We love them… however with 4 boys, the color choice is not the most ideal. Our kids forget to take their shoes off… or sit down with messy clothes… baby drops his bottle upside down… etc. Couches, Sofas, Chairs, Beds :) – it all gets dirty with little boys… so you can imagine with my busy schedule keeping a sofa immaculate does not happen. As each passing day went by though I could not ignore the nastiness any longer. I clean the cushions often – they are washable… but the arms of the sofa you obviously cant unzip and throw into a machine. So I went online and found a few options for suede cleaner… and found one that I had ingredients for… so I had at it!

Here is a before and after shot of one arm on our sofa:

This is one of or sofa arms. So gross! The left side was pre cleaning. Man... Just evidence you do not want nice stuff with kids ;) - any how I used a vodka mixture to clean it and the right side is the result! Took me less than five min to do all the sof

Now…

Here is what you need:

1 Spray bottle (I had a very small 4 ounce glass spray bottle – but you could use any spray bottle from dollar tree)
Vodka
Warm Water
Soft Towel to rub with


Directions:

Take the spray bottle and fill it half way with warm water. Then fill the rest of with Vodka. You can obviously measure this to your liking. If you have a gigantic spray bottle you can maybe put in a 1/4 cup water, 1/4 cup vodka. It works fine either way.

Shake it up.

Then spray it to the spots you need to clean. Once wet/damp take your towel and rub stain until it goes away. May take a few applications if the stain is bad.

Then let it air dry.

Thats it!

Some one had mentioned you could use rubbing alcohol… I cant vouch on this though since I did not use rubbing alcohol. I had a cheap small bottle of Vodka from Walmart I used… its inexpensive enough.

Let me know if you use it! Our couches have never looked so good.

Colors – It works so far

You all will think I am nuts when I tell you this. I seriously contemplated selling everything and living in an RV. No, forreal. I kinda sorta want too. We however probably will not :) – but there is a part of me that would love to try. While on my RV “search of information” spell, I found a blog called Inspiration Station. A family of 8, yes 6 kids… live in an RV. Full time. They are such a cute family too and seem totally normal :) – at least to me they do… but by our world aka social standards they are nuts. Lots of kids and no real house. To them though it is home. There is also a site called the Kellogg Show. This family has 12 kids! They also live in an RV. I am not sure I could do it with 12… this family inparticular seems a little to rough around the edges for my sanity too. Im all for big families. Trust me :) – but im also for structure… I watched a handful of the youtube videos they had on their channel and I was a bit disappointed if im honest… but I don’t know them personally so I wont say much more. Do not think I could live in an RV with 12 kids regardless of how they behaved ;-) but with 4, I bet we could. Don’t worry dad, we aren’t. It is just a random thought I had – that I was “actually” considering. Strange.

One thing I learned though while on Inspiration Station’s blog was how they keep clutter down – for obvious reasons. One thing she talked about was their color coding dish system. With such limited space she had to come up with a way to limit the amount of dishes used. So she gave each person in the family (or child) a color. Each child got ONE cup in their color, one plate in their color, one bowl and so on. Make sense? So if that child came to the kitchen and wanted a drink but could not find their cup in the “normal cup spot” – they would not be allowed to get a drink unless they found their cup.

I cannot even begin to tell you the frustration I have dealt with over cups. By the end of the day I had 15 cups to wash. No lie. Was down right crazy to wash that many cups or use that many.

So! I got color coded cups, plates & bowls for all the boys! I btw pre-color coding was big on ALL GLASS. I had no plastic cups really, only glass. I love glass… not a fan of plastics… but I am giving way to my OCD and anti-plastic desires and choosing plastic for this particular thing, in order to gain sanity with the cup situation. :) I don’t really think plastic is bad unless you microwave with it or put something hot in it. Since we don’t intend to drink hot drinks in these, I am ok with it.

These tumblers came from Dollar Tree. So pleased with their selection these days.
*The Purple cup looks slightly darker. That was my cup and it had tea… it really is a very pretty purple otherwise.*

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Caleb is Green. Taite Blue. Owen Red. Travis Orange and myself Purple. Reed because he is still small and needs bottles/sippy cups… we don’t really have a special cup for him. I did however get him yellow plates. So when he is older he will be the color yellow… or possibly white. I haven’t decided ;-) – so far this system is working great! I have not had an endless supply of dirty cups to wash and instead of washing dishes twice a day, I only had to do them but once.

I did btw put all the other cups up high. This way the kids are not tempted to use them. They would have to get a step stool to even reach the normal cups now… We will still use them when guest come…

To end, a few random photos from a picnic we had on our back deck yesterday. Love this spring weather!

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“Cheers”

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A Bedroom

This morning I was checking e-mails and with that task comes checking my facebook messages. I try not to stream facebook often. It sucks me in and I waste time… however since I run a business I do have to check my messages there as well…

While on there this morning I saw in my feeds a link to a write up about Children’s bedrooms around the globe. It caught my eye and so I clicked it.

As I scrolled through the images on this page… looking at all these children around the globe and the bedrooms they slept in. I was humbled. So often I get caught up in perfection. While I know it will never happen, ever. Even once my kids are gone and out of my home, a house almost never is perfect. Yet I strive so hard for that perfect home. Our home is 3 stories. Yes, 3. It is not elaborate but it is on the large side IMO. We are thankful for it.

Our drive way enters a double garage and from that you enter our basement. The basement consist of a study (my husbands) as well as a guestroom/playroom w/ Queen bed and a full bathroom. That room opens up onto a back deck that gives access to our backyard. It is a great set up. We love having that space since my family visits often. Gives them their own space to be when visiting.

On the main floor (technically our 2nd floor) we have our kitchen, living room, laundry room, den & school room. Typical I suppose for a main floor. I love how our home has large windows and an open floor plan. It really is a great layout even though at times I complain it is to loud, since it is so open.

Upstairs (the 3rd floor) we have 4 bedrooms… master/master bath, small nursery and then two normal sized bedrooms and another full bath. This floor in our home I must admit gets neglected. It is out of sight most of the day and therefore I don’t mess with it much. Majority of those who enter our home never see it. So it isn’t high on the priority list. Yet, I beat myself up so often about its imperfection.

How the kids leave closet doors open CONSTANTLY (drives me nuts), how they cant seem to keep clothes off the floor or beds made neatly. The bed making thing I do encourage but I have never been very firm on it because I don’t make my bed most days. So I feel a bit hypocritical asking them to do it, if I don’t. My kids do a lot of other chores and I guess because of that this has never seemed “super” important… That is just me. I would much rather them help do dishes, take out trash, etc…

I am trying very hard to weed out clutter in our home. We have very few TOYS upstairs. The boys are allowed a few toys to play with in their bed… but that is about it. Their closets are NOT packed full of toys. Less is essential here. I am finding the more TOYS we have, the more bickering we have. There really is no need to have a ton of nick knacks laying around.

Right now my goal is to scale down clothing. A TON. I think once I figure this out the messes will be much less and I am ok with the imperfections and organization my kids have with their things. As you can tell we have some critters in our home. Taite has a Hamster named Daisy (she’s new, his last hamster died recently). Caleb has a bearded dragon named August, a garter snake named Lief and LOTS of supplies to tend to them. Some of those supplies are live feed – so he requires lots of “stuff” to do what he does. I am just thankful he does it so I don’t have to.

With this post though of these children, it was just a reminder of how a bedroom really does not need to be perfection. It is a reminder of how blessed we are, messy bed and all. A reminder of what should be valued, that child. Not the mess. Being thankful for FOUR walls… without cracks in them or gaping holes. For soft carpet and mattresses… clean linen’s and light. We have so much and yet we can’t see how blessed we are.

So for personal therapy… I decided I would take photos of 2 of my children’s bedrooms to share their messes :) – I was going to photograph Reed’s but he was napping at the time. His room is bare though. Consist of an old crib and 1 dresser, that is it. He has no toys in his room and typically the only mess found there are his blankets or stuff toys he likes in his crib thrown on the floor. Or baskets of clothing I have yet to put away. Nothing to interesting… ;-)

I do not like that their room’s look sloppy in these photos… but I want to share with those reading that I am not perfect. We do not live in a perfected magazine home… and messes do occur in a house hold with 4 boys :)


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Taite & Owen’s bed’s do bunk. They wanted them unbunked though.
Also they are way easier to make up and wash unbunked.

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To View the Original Source of the Photos of Children’s bedrooms above CLICK HERE (its a great article, seriously click it)

Weight of Motherhood

We were on the church trolly this am headed to worship and reed begins to pucker up and cry.. He knew what was coming. Nursery. By the time we got to the actual building he was in hysterics. I've never had one cry this bad before and get so emotional to lWeight. Its a funny word.
You associate it with gain. Loss. Measures. Strength.

Ive had a rough time lately with that weight.
I guess you could say in both physical and emotionally/mentally/spiritually.

Weight obviously sticks around after 4 babies and those who don’t have that problem are blessed or don’t eat :) – My body despite my fight, seems to enjoy the 5-7 pounds of post baby weight. It doesnt seem to want to let that go :) – learning to be content with it… but I do have my days it depresses me. Wont lie about that.

The weight of motherhood though for me right now is in regards to what it puts on you year after year… after year.

I remember when I first began this journey of motherhood. It was something I actually never really “wanted” – although once I got married I did… but as a teen/young adult, I did not want kids for a while. Funny how God can place us in a path that we never see coming HAH.

When I first had my children the weight was not as heavy. I remember thinking often about the safety of my children more than anything.

About SIDS.

About all the possible childhood illnesses they could contract.

About them falling and breaking their neck.

About vaccinating or not to vaccinate.

About which carseat and which direction would be best.

About using a crib with bumpers or not bumpers… this use to consume like crazy!

These two and my #iPad … yet now as my children grow older… I find myself less concerned or I guess more adapted to those thoughts… I don’t let the vaccine thing consume like it did years back. I did my homework, stand firm and carry on. I use to worry myself sick about what others thought about my choices, as well as the medical world…. doctor after doctor belittling me and our choices… it weighed heavy on me.

The weight of it was so hard. Being a young mother, made it even harder.

The weight of not being able to nurse my children, baby… after baby… after baby… as hard as I tried it would not work and it broke my heart each and every single time.

The weight of to educate at home or to send them to public school.

The weight of what to feed them. Because apparently everything on the shelf is bad for us. I mean subway bread will kill us right?

The weight of discipline…. WOW.

Motherhood is changing constantly for me. I have learned a lot the last few years especially. I do not at all feel I have “gotten there” as far as “knowing what I have done” is the best choice… I don’t think any of us will ever get there… nor will we ever always make the right choice.

… but you better believe I will try my best.

Even if my best is imperfect and filled with mistakes.

The weight of motherhood today is heavy on me.

Caleb reading the hobbit while #beardeddragon August relaxes as well :) - so sweet. #homeschooler #homeschool #badweatherhermit Love my boys dearly but after days that are less than easy, you become weary.

Wondering if you are doing things right.

Wondering if it matters.

Wondering if they will grow up to be amazing adults, or broken from all the mistakes you made along the way.

My prayers for safety are there… but even more so I pray the Lord saves me boys young… and that they desire to honor Christ…

That is what ultimately matters….

I want so much for these dudes.

Truly.

Happiness.

Success.

Marriages that are strong.

Children.

and most of all Salvation.

The weight of a mother…. if you are new at this journey, hang tight :) – if you are in the phase I am in, lets be real together…. I am tired of being fake.. although for some time I feel I have been pretty transparent with most. I still have a tendency to put my guard up… but im learning to let it down. I want other moms to know they are not alone in this journey and that it is ok to feel broken some days.