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simple things

One Day, One Step, One Moment at a Time

It has been a bit of a whirl wind of a week. In fact since school has been back in things have gotten a bit crazier. Do you feel it too?

We all know that getting back into a routine can be difficult. Just remember that it can be tough on us as well as the kiddos. By day 3 of school last week Facebook seemed to be a buzz with parents discussing how tired their children were; we felt that here as well. It seems one minute we are basking in the sunshine of summer, kids are playing outside, and meals are whatever, whenever. The next moment kids and us are having to get up early and we are back to work/routines as per regular hours. Add to that a bombardment of school papers coming home, fundraisers (already!), volunteer work, as well as extracurricular activities (for us and the children) starting up.

I used to get very overwhelmed by it all. Yes I do enjoy a bit of structure but boy how I miss my bare feet on the grass. I enjoy being able to jump in the car with the kids to go exploring, sleeping in that little bit longer – well you get the point. But alas seasons change, times change, schedules change and we are back at it.

change

I just want to let you know dear souls that you do not have to do it all. Do only what speaks to your heart. I know, I know easier said than done. Simplifying our lives means that we need to take a step back and re-evaluate. I encourage each of you to think about what brings you joy and fulfills what you need at this time. For me it is to feel connected and nourish those relationships close to me. If you are involved with several committees and having trouble having any energy left to bring back to your home (the place that should be the most comfortable, stable, loving place) then step away from the ones that you can no longer give your time to. If you are running out the door every evening, all evening and every person is out of sorts despite your best efforts of taxiing them there and funding their activity then realize that maybe someone or some activity needs to give.

small step

It is perfectly fine to not do it all. You do not have to feel guilty (I know – easier said than done). But really you don’t. Unless an activity brings you happiness; why are you doing it? I recently read this (Adapted from Michael Hyatt – Intrinsic Motivation). “Author and researcher Marcus Buckingham was surprised with research he did at Gallup that showed that women’s happiness had plummeted over the last forty years—the exact opposite of men” (See Find Your Strongest Life).He devoted himself to figuring out what made the happiest women happy. He found that the happiest women tended to focus on the few areas where they excelled. If a woman loved marathons, she didn’t waste her time on home decorating. If she enjoyed studying rocket-science, she didn’t focus on entertaining friends. You get the idea.”

Yesterday I had this great plan to work my day, go to book club, have the kiddos try out a class with a friend, work out put kiddos to bed. There was also the school BBQ and Meet the Teacher Night which I had already decided would not work for us (not a big deal) as I have already met the teacher as my other two kids also had her for a teacher and I am more than familiar with the school. Fairly standard day right? Yeah…so work went late, which meant I missed book club, a buddy stopped over which meant  we missed workout. Kids to bed on time? Well…not quite. But I didn’t stress about it because by taking each moment and realizing that I can only do what I can do I was able to roll with it and do the things that I could do to the best of my abilities.

Quite simply even if you were 100% organized, life has a funny way of throwing curve balls at you. Just roll with it sistah! Do the best that you can. With the time that you have. Every day.

I just wanted to send you a virtual hug; or if you aren’t so much a hugger let’s pound it. If you are feeling overwhelmed right now with decisions, papers, work, classes, tired kids, you are not alone. Hang in there. Words of advice from the SLC Gals Simplify Life’s Celebrations, Celebrate the Simple Life. In other words don’t make your life so complicated that you cannot enjoy life’s every day pleasures – the simple things. 🙂

simple things

 

Enjoy your day and all of the simple things that go with it!

k

Twas the Night Before School

This is a poem I wrote three years ago on the eve before the first day of school. I was feeling especially nostalgic as my youngest was starting preschool and oldest was going to high school. This year I have kids in three different schools. I always get a little teary thinking of them all growing up. 

Written September 1, 2010 
 

Precious Moments
Precious Moments

Twas the Night Before School

Twas the night before school and all through our house,

ALL the creatures were stirring – even my spouse.

The backpacks we lined up by the front door with care, 

in hopes that we would be organized and not in despair!

 

The children were all clean and tucked in their beds,

coughing and sniffling with colds in their heads.

And me in my apron making homemade snacks;

and Hubs on the computer shooting ‘things’ to the max!

 

When out from their rooms I hear all this chatter,

I checked from the kitchen to see what was the matter.

When what to my tired eyes should appear,

my youngest all wide eyed; sneaking if the coast is clear.

 

The dark falls upon us early it seems,

I miss the summer already but back to regimes!

From school, to work, football, gymnastics and such…

Big bills for the month – it is a bit much!

 

Excited for school but sad another year’s gone.

Thinking back to my babies and stifling a yawn.

The oldsest going to High School; the youngest in Preschool

And one in grade two who will follow the rules.

 

Now Noah, now Megan, now Drew listen here;

I only want the best so let’s make that clear.

I may be mean and shout and go crazy at times;

but it’s all out of love, let’s stay away from the crime!

 

In hopes of a good year we will see,

I pray every night for my sanity.

I hope their lives are happy in all that they do;

and to themselves I hope they stay true. 

 

I must get back to my cooking – I don’t like it I admit!

I am no Martha, or Betty or Julia but I’m trying a bit.

One more peek on the children; they are soundly sleeping

our blessings for now…  for safekeeping.

 

 ~Krystal Worth

My handsome big man and little man.
My handsome big man and little man.
Where does the time go?
Where does the time go?

 

 

 

School Shopping Already -Yes I am Serious!

Be prepared this year!
Be prepared this year!

I know. I know! It is WAY too soon to be thinking about back to school where I live. I can actually feel the burning glares from all parents as I am writing this. But, hear me out. It is not too early to start researching and buying a few back to school things. Hey. If you are prepared and organized you may realize that you already have much of what you need; this will save you some shopping sanity! 

Retailers are already beckoning you to come and shop in their stores. Commercials are already saying don’t miss their fantastic sales. Is it just too soon? Well, I definitely will not start devoting every day of my coveted summer to searching all of the flyers, watching all the commercials, scanning the malls. I will however take some time every now and then to research what we need so that when the time comes I know exactly where to go to get what we need. You see I really despise wasting time going in and out of stores to the point where I would probably say “just buy whatever” so that we can get through this!

Hang onto your wallets! With the rise of “back to school” as a two-month marketing exercise for retailers, it can be a tough job to get the kids outfitted and supplies bought without breaking the bank.

What I have here are a few tips to not break the bank, and to save you time and therapy fees!

Scouts Motto: Be Prepared!

This is good advice for many things in life including school shopping. Make sure you have each child’s school list before you so much as set foot in a store full of smelly markers, glittery pens and personalized rulers. You can download lists from your child’s school website. Also, many supply stores will have lists on hand according to school and grade.

Shop at Home First

Shopping at home first will save you time and money in the long run!
Shopping at home first will save you time and money in the long run!

I always think that it is a total bonus when I can find things on the list that we already have. Don’t ya just love checking things off? 😉 So go through those pens, pencils, erasers, notebooks, duotangs, binders, etc. See what you have before you pull out the cash. Designate a certain drawer, shelf, box, or area for all of your finds so that you know exactly what you have.

Budget, Budget, Budget!

School supplies are now usually set up in a way that appeals to our children – the characters on the backpacks, the pretty designs on the binders, the glitter pens and smelly colours are attractive but come at an extra cost. Kids are easy prey for consumers and this is where it is our job as parents to set limits. Consider compromising. For example, if you want that more expensive backpack then we will need to get the regular binders. This is a great time to teach your children some financial responsibility.

Once you know exactly what you need set your budget. Then you can shop flyers and search online. Try not to stray far from your list.

Shop Early….and Late

By shopping early you are assured to get exactly what you need. You will also have a little more time to compare prices and sale shop.  By waiting until a week or two before school is in you will be able to buy items at a clearance cost. It’s a win-win but remember by waiting too long you may have slim pickings. Stock up on a few essential items that the kids use every year. This will save you money next year.

As the Beach Boys Would Say – Get Around! 

Sometimes it pays to shop off of the beaten path. Grocery Stores, crafting stores, and dollar stores are also great places to find supplies. Most stores want a piece of the retail back-to-school action. What about asking on the buy n sell for supplies? You never know – it doesn’t hurt to ask.

I hope that school shopping for you is painless and dare I say fun?!… Keep these tips in mind and you are sure to be done before you know it!

~Remember when we had to walk to school uphill BOTH ways? Barefoot…in the snow? Kids these days have it so easy! 😉 

 

 

 

I Have All These School Papers – Now What?!

‘Tis the time of year when the kids are sent home with schoolwork, report cards, supplies, and anything else that may have been lingering in their desk or locker. (Hopefully you do not find a nasty, fuzzy green sandwich in your child’s backpack like I did one year. At least I think it was a sandwich?…)

Perhaps I should back up a wee bit… My children come home from school with papers in their backpack on a daily basis. These are forms, weekly correspondences, school newsletters, hot lunch papers and whatever other notices that we need to be informed about. I try to go through these papers as soon as they enter my home otherwise the paperwork can pile up VERY quickly; especially because I have more than one child plus my own mail and work stuff to deal with. The best thing to do is make an action pile for things that need to be looked at and dealt with soon. Another pile for the papers that you need but don’t need to be processed right away. A final pile will be the papers that need to be saved and filed. Here is a more detailed description of the categories of papers that can be placed in a temporary file or pile.

  • Take Action/Sign – this file is for forms that need to be signed, permission slips that need to be returned, teacher requests, PTA announcements, and flyers about events that need to be added to your calendar.
  • Short-Term Storage – this file is for forms or information that you don’t need to keep forever but will need to refer to at some point in the near future. For example: information on an upcoming field trip that includes a list of what your child is to bring or a flyer on an upcoming school event.
  • One per child labeled with the child’s name – this file is for each child’s special papers, progress reports, test scores, awards, certificates, or programs from sports, school plays or musical events.

So now the year is coming to an end and all of the action and short term papers have been dealt with. Now you are left with the keepers or the special papers that you and your child want. What do you do with them?

Here’s what I do…

Below is an example of storage that I bought for my daughter. It is a cute file box that has built in dividers. It actually has 12 for each month of the year. I will use one per year until grade 12; it works out great! And it was only about $15. As you can see in the bottom photo, I put the report cards on the top, then special certificates or awards, schoolwork, memory book and then the favorite art pieces.

I am sure some of you are wondering how it will all fit in there? The key is, every time your child brings home a bunch of artwork, lay them out on the floor and have them choose their favorites. If they want to keep absolutely everything, encourage them to choose their very best ones and take a picture of the others. They may or may not ever look at that photo but keep it for a while just in case.

So far this way of organizing everything is working out fantastically. I have 4 years in there. She does have a few items that do not fit in there and I do not stress about it. That stuff is in a really large envelope beside this box.

 

Finding proper storage is half the battle!
Finding proper storage is half the battle!
The handy dividers separate the years.
The handy dividers separate the years.
Decide what is important to you and your child.
Decide what is important to you and your child.

 

Find what works for you and your child. Some people use those plastic totes or hanging files in a box. Some people like to scrapbook while others may want to utilize a binder. It is just one of those things that you have to play with and have fun!

If you are needing help with setting up a station for your child’s school work let us know! We can get you on your way to having some organized memories.