How’s it going?

So have you been working on lightening up your life?  Each day we are thoughtfully working towards simplicity and without all that clutter in life, imagine the lack of clutter in our brain!!

Today I am reminded that it’s not just our homes that fall into the areas that need simplicity…I tackled my purse and boy it felt GOOD!  I found 3 gift cards, 1 full rewards card waiting to be used, too many receipts to count, a cork?? and two chocolate bars from last valentine’s day, along with some broken things and old lists…GOOD RIDDANCE.   Seriously, this thing is so much lighter and easier to tote around with me now 🙂   AHHHHHH

Check out this great post for some of the inspiration for today’s clean out!

What have you been up to with simplifying your surrounding?

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Now what?

It’s February and we are starting off our #simplifyfeb, but what does that really mean?  What did I sign up for?

I am hoping to be reminded that the most important things in life are not things at all!  Why are you simplifying?

But now, how do we get started?  What if we don’t have time to overhaul a whole room?  What do I do with the item I remove each day?

All good questions and all have a few answers!  So let’s tackle them (yes, pun intended as we prep for Super Bowl around here 🙂 )

Start small is always a good policy to stick with something!  How about taking on something little today and feel some sense of accomplishment?  Or tackle something big and get really jazzed for the rest of the month!  (see, multiple right answers!)  Each day take on only a project that you can finish!  Some days you will have to find 5 minutes, others you may have 3 hours, pick accordingly!

I’m not sure I would suggest ever taking on a whole room at a time.  What about the bookshelves in the living room? Or the linen closet?  The junk drawer?  You know you have one 😉  Smaller jobs can be found in many places.  Do you have a utensil jar/bucket/container on your counter by the stove?   Sort through that!  Only keep the tools you use each week, and rid yourself of the ones you have duplicates of or use once a year!

Now, what to do with the items you realize aren’t providing you use, memories, or joy?  If you have something of value, consider selling (but keep it outside the house in the garage or basement) it!  Just because you no longer are using it doesn’t mean you can’t use it to make you a buck 🙂  Ebay, craig’s list, a Facebook group are great places to list your item.  Make sure you add images, dimensions, and a price!  Another option for items eliminated  would be to donate!  In my neck of the woods, we take all clothing items to EcoSmith Recyclers!  Find a local one to you and do good for others while doing good for your sanity 🙂  Now, the reality is, you will find somethings on this journey, that you MUST just throw out!!  Be honest and ditch it.

Stay tuned for more tips and ideas and see what gets the boot from our house!  Share on Instagram #simplifyfeb and follow along on Facebook for some extra stuff!!

 

Getting ready…

Did you read my post about cleaning out? I’ll wait… come on, click the link, read and come back…I have something very important to ask you.

 Are you going to join in this February?  

I wanted to share my plans for the month with you.  Each and every day I will post, via my Instagram (go follow me!) an item I am taking out of our house.  I will use the hashtag #simplifyfeb.  Each week, I will post here on the blog some tips, ideas, suggestions on specific areas in our homes.  Getting organized is also a component with this project, but it should only involve items we already own!  Also during the month, I will be posting exclusive tips and/or links over at my Facebook page.

Comment if you will be joining me!  Comment some things you might like to see!  Comment that you can’t commit to everyday, but you’ll do one a week!  Comment that you think I am crazy, but you are going to stick around to see what happens 😉

 

So tell me why?

If you don’t know, around here we run a one room school house.  Yup, homeschoolers!  And to add to it, this is the second generation (mind blown).

Over the 12 years we have been on this journey, as parents/teachers, we have heard a lot of questions.  Honestly some of them have been the same ones I heard as a student, making them decades old 😉  We have also asked quite a few questions of ourselves.  Can you even imagine some of them?  “What about socializing?”  “Do you have credentials?”  “Where do you get the patience?” “What about science?” but not many people ask us “Why?”  To be honest, if it was asked that simply I would be somewhat put off 😉  But the basic premise of it is reasonable and when we have been asked this core question it brings us back to some very good questions we have asked ourselves.

What is at the root of our decision?  Why do we choose this as a lifestyle?  What is our goal?  Over the years, the answers to these have changed and developed.  You see, in the beginning, The Man wasn’t really sure about this whole idea.  He had many questions and concerns, so we started out with a simple plan to test it out on Champ for his kindergarten year.  After that, it has rolled along a little more easily from year to year.  There have been some years we re-evaluate each child and the options open to them, in the end we have kept them all home (so far).

Back to the question of why?  As an all encompassing answer, because we want to be the biggest influence on the lives of our children!  Now, don’t get me wrong, this one statement has many things that can be said about it, in addition to it, and totally separate from it (more posts someday, stay tuned), but it is really the heart of the matter.  God has called us (me and the man) to raise up these children, in this time and this is the way He has chosen for our family to carry it out, for now. Some days, I am so thankful and feel blessed beyond words!  Some days, I would like to run out and flag down our bus driver (who also happens to be my lovely neighbor) and beg her to take them on her route!

Not all our moments are perfect…PA-LEASE.  We have struggled with reading, hated algebra, yelled about missed assignments, and failed miserably at explaining some scientific concepts.  Despite me, Champ is looking into a career in the science field, and we couldn’t be more excited for the possibilities God has for him there and in the sports arena!  My Girl is an avid reader with a head for strategy and love of history…which may come in handy if she runs a dance studio one day!  Big Game has a real head for numbers and a heart of gold…no telling yet what he will use this for, but it’s going to be big!

The older our children get the more we see time speed up, and we are beyond thankful for getting the opportunity to spend so much of their “kid years” with them!

Stuff

Thanks for waiting around for me!  Really enjoyed the break from our “normal” around here!  The couple of weeks around the holidays was a wonderful treat and totally enjoyed by us all!!  Renewed now and back at it 🙂  you?  So on to regularly schedule posts, ha…

Stuff, it is on almost everyone’s list of resolutions…”get more organized”, “clean out the ___room”, “live more simply”, do you have one like this on your New Year’s list?  Well, I chose not to make a list this year.  I took the time we had as a break from our routine to really look at our surroundings and think about how they work (or not) for our lives!  We took out bags of broken and ripped pieces of things from the girl’s room, took a HUGH box of outgrown items to share.  My room yielded two bags of clothes that don’t fit my body or my style.  How did we end up this way?

Well, it seems it was a slow progression, perhaps it happens in time.  Thankfully we began to notice that the “stuff” wasn’t really making us enjoy, help, or enhance our lives any longer (did it every, really?).  So this New Year, instead of resolution I have gifted my family with space, freedom, and less yelling to “clean it up”!!

This wasn’t conscious.  You see, as the girl and I cleaned out her room to move the furniture, in hopes of accommodating a new lighting fixture she was given for Christmas, we stumbled onto something.  We both felt better!  More in control and even wonderful to share those things we had simply outgrown a use for.  For me, it kicked my butt and I became a mad woman!  The girl got a wonderful clean room and a sweet new set up, best yet, she is keeping it clean and organized 😉

As I was working through other areas of our home and also enjoying the down time, that is so precious around here, I kept disconnected and that too felt great (although, not part of this post…stay tuned)  Funny thing is, when I came back around to some social media catch up, I noticed a post...7-tips-to-simplify-your-life-in-2015…hmmm, must read.  So I wondered over there and boy was I loving what she was writing!  (i normally do, seriously check out other stuff while you are there!) So reading the links, still high from my cleanse, I have decided I can do more!

Going to try out a challenge from one of the posts…join me?  All of February (yes, i know i picked the shortest month, no dummy here!) I will get rid of one item from our house, EACH and EVERY day!  I will be posting it over on Instagram with the hastag #simplifyfeb.  Swing by and take a peek at what I release from our place, make suggestions, or join the challenge yourself!

In all the busy-ness….

It’s been two weeks since a post, my friends, I am sorry!  Thank you for being disappointed that a post hasn’t come up in your feed (yes, reaching here, i bet you are just as busy!)

Around here it’s the “normal” crazy and then add in Christmas planning and enjoying, well, a little overload.  I must admit, selfishly I am thrilled to be getting a WHOLE week off of school starting Monday!  I guess it’s good to be sleeping with the principle 😉

This year more then every I think we are focused more on the important parts of this season.  Perhaps it’s being so busy there isn’t room for the perfectionist in me to have much say this year?!  Cards did NOT get made, therefore none sent.  I love to keep in touch with many around the world this time of year, but I let it go this time around.  The house is cozy, but not perfect (the kids did the ornaments and i didn’t re-position any!)  Gifts are being thoughtfully picked out and wrapped by the purchaser (no perfectly lined up seams or tight corners).  No matching outfits bought (oh wait, pjs are in the mail…you will want to stay tuned for that!).  This year there is only time to enjoy.  The light in the kids eyes as they imagine a sibling opening the gift they so carefully picked out and bought with their own money, the lack of stress over using the “right” wording for the card, a bit of rest from a strict timeline for buying (always have it done by thanksgiving), a chance to see our friends and share in the joy of a season that points to the greatest gift of all, Jesus!  My imperfect Christmas is shaping up that way this year, so very interesting what you can learn when you are too busy for the stuff of life and you focus on just life!!

Merry Christmas to you all, I pray your season is less about the things and more about the relationships!

 

And just like that, he’s 9!

On Thursday Big Game turns 9! (if you read last week’s post, you know God’s timing is not lost on me)

The countdown has been on for the last two weeks, he made a calendar and is dutifully X-ing off each day.  If you know him, this is no surprise.  You see, my youngest is just one of those kids…the sweetest kind, a mix of pure child excitement about almost everything and also, the oldest of souls.  I am not sure I can really put a finger on a word or phrase that could totally describe him…he is a blessing to each of us in a different way!  Big Game is a thinker, a cuddler, man of few words, and a man of many words.  He is an athlete, a true sportsman, a fan, he is a reader, and imaginer, lego builder, rule follower.  He gives the best compliments, will try any food, and remembers everyone’s jersey number.   Most importantly he is passionate about his faith!! We are thankful to the Lord for allowing us to be responsible for raising him.

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY BIG GAME!!  xoxo, Mom and Dad