Monday, March 28, 2011

Hot Spot #4...dun dun dun

Hot Spot #4 was revealed this morning! It is yet another one I have a leg up on. The spot is the refrigerator/pantry. Thanks to my dear friend Misty hiring me some cleaning assistance last week, I was able to tackle my fridge! Woohoo!! :) This week I will dive into the deep, dark cabinet that houses our dry foods. Oh my! This should be fun...join in with me, won't ya? I will update with the before and after pictures this Friday.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Household Chore Scavenger Hunt

Sierra had a brilliant idea she shared with me last night. She suggested I post a chore for her to perform in a certain location, then post another where she'll complete that one, and so on. I immediately thought it was a great, fun idea for the kids! I also thought they could find a little "treasure" at the end. Perhaps the treasure could be a certificate for a special privilege or a kind note, or something that would mean a lot to that particular child. I thought I would share as some of you may be looking for a fun system for household chores for your children. I like anything that teaches children that the tasks God requires of us can be something we delight in rather than drudgery.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Hot Spot #3 Revealed! Tackling Tiny Town :)

Hot Spot #3 was revealed today! The 3rd challenge is kid's toys and clothes. I have already done this recently to prepare for our garage sale we had Saturday. There is never an end to the kids' clutter though, so I will probably get in there and do a little more this week. This will probably be a good week for us to catch up on our paper clutter we failed to finish last week! :) Hope everyone is joining in and organizing their homes. It feels great to let it all go. ;)

The more I ponder it, the more I realize there is MUCH work to still be done in the kids' rooms. I'm excited! I love projects that involve the kids. They get just as enthusiastic as I do, and Sierra already loves to give her toys away.
I love this quote from Simple Mom: This comes from the famous quote from 19th century architect William Morris — “Have nothing in your home that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.”

Friday, March 18, 2011

Hot Spot #2: FAIL!

Well, I didn't get it done this week. The paper mess required Steven's help, and my focus was on the house and preparing for the garage sale we are having on Saturday. And honestly, I'm still behind on all of that! I knew going into this challenge that keeping on top of it was going to be just that: a challenge. Hopefully I'll have more success with Hot Spot #3 and can share that with all of you. :)
I still plan on conquering the paper mess, just not in their set time line. My husband and I are currently attending a Dave Ramsey course and will be making a budget tonight, so organization in this area will hopefully be coming!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Homeschool and the "Unpackaged" Curriculum

So, it's that time of year again. It's the time when I inevitably re-assess our home school: what is working, needs improvement, or what may need to be thrown out altogether. I've been starting to get into a more comfortable groove now. I feel as though I am starting to get a handle on what is comfortable and works best for all of us.
I have really enjoyed My Father's World this year. It is a great "package" curriculum. However, I think I'm starting to have my eyes opened to what so many more experienced mothers have lovingly shared with me in their experience with building their own personalized curriculum. They've explained how they piece together subjects from different curricula and publishers according to what works best for both them and their children.
I love the freedom in that. Isn't that one of the greatest benefits to the blessing of being able to educate your own child? We know them better than anyone and can work closely with them to assure the best possible education for them. The book fair will be crucial to me this year, I believe. I plan to take Sierra with me to allow her to peruse the endless sea of resources. I'm going to observe closely what interests her and those will be the things I will offer to her for the coming year. We will still use the same math, spelling, and Language Arts because they've been working beautifully, but we will customize the rest.
One of my biggest changes will be a more in-depth Bible Study every morning. Since this is the most important part of our family's curriculum, I desire to find something solid, scriptural, and challenging. I'm so thankful that Sierra comprehends so many spiritual concepts and Biblical truths and want to give her something that will grow her desire to know and glorify her creator.
The thing I like most about piecing together my own curriculum is the schedule. Lately, especially, I'm seeing how nice it will be to create my very own schedule that fits our family. I'm excited for the year to come and all that God has in store for me as a mother, nurturer, and teacher to these beautiful gifts He's entrusted to me!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Running Thoughts

On my run this morning on our treadmill, my mind wandered back to less than one year ago when I completed those beastly 26.2 miles at the Big D Marathon in Dallas. It was April 11th, my 27th birthday, and I was just weaning my 12 1/2 month baby. I never realized until just this morning just how amazing it is that God brought me so far (literally, :)) so fast. As I labored through my "modest" 2 miles this morning at a pace of 5.4 mph (really nothing to scoff at), I thought how I ran that 26.2 miles at a rate of 6.0 mph. That could have discouraged me on this morning's run, but for the fact that I knew it took hard work and LOTS of painful, hard, taxing workouts to get there. It only encourages me to know that in only a short year after having a baby, my marathon goal was accomplished. It can be done!

I'd like to share with you my musical findings, this morning, as well. I've found the perfect running soundtrack! Haha!

  • beginning: Needtobreathe; fun, great beat/acoustics/harmonies to motivate and get you started
  • middle, bulk of the run: Lecrae; great beat to pace and solid words/lyrics to ponder. (gets that bass pumpin')
  • end: Shane and Shane; relaxing, worshipful, great time to praise and thank God all the way home and great for controlling tired breathing and muscles ;)
That's it. Give it a try and let me know what you think. :)

Monday, March 14, 2011

Hot Spot #2 Revealed and I'm Terrified!

Hot spot numero dos was revealed and I really just want to pretend I didn't see it, to be quite honest! How did she know that was one of my biggest problem areas? I suppose because it's most everyone's problem area. If I had my way, I'd just go through and trash ALL papers, but alas they are important (a lot of them, anyway). Unfortunately, I'll have to wait til the evenings to tackle most of this week's project because Steven handles the finances of our family and knows best how he'd like it organized. We may have a mutiny on our hands if I toss or re-arrange things without his knowledge! I think I'll just stick to home school/kids' papers, magazines, junk mail, coupons and the like for now. Anyone else feeling sick to their stomach over this one?

Friday, March 11, 2011

The Simple Mom Decluttering Project:Hot Spot #1-My Wardrobe/Closet

Please forgive the overkill of before and after pictures! I have an interesting closet and the only way to really photograph it is to piece it here goes! :)

Before: These pictures are scary...I know! :)


Steven's side....I was able to organize his stuff, too! Yay!

And now, the new and improved closet:

I wish I had taken a picture of the floor! You can walk in there now!! This was a much needed project. With a newborn baby and little ones, I really had to work it around their schedule, but really I got most of it done during their playtime on Wednesday. That was after I did laundry Monday, and hardly anything Tuesday as Margot wanted to be held a lot.

Here is my pile to be donated:

Here is my pile to be sold in a hopefully near garage sale:

Here is the maternity clothes I cleared out for storage:

I also had two filled trash bags that went out to garbage! Whew! Much better! :)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

March 8th, 1999: The Day I Said Goodbye to my Dad

It was 12 years ago today. My dad lost his battle with brain cancer. I think of him so often. Raising my kids, I often find my thoughts drifting, thinking what it would be like for my dad to meet them. I wonder what things he would approve of, if we would've grown closer, or drifted farther apart.
I know it's silly to think in "what if's", but I still do it. I think often of how I desired to be closer to my daddy growing up. It brings me such joy to see my kids with their daddy, and observe the close bond they are forming. Losing my dad at fifteen has taught me so much. The biggest lesson I've learned is to cherish every loved one every moment I have.

I'll leave you now with some fond memories of my dad:

  • He was incredibly smart. We referred to him as the "human encyclopedia".
  • He was strong, brave, a man's man.
  • He served our country proudly for 21 years in the U.S. Navy (submariner)
  • He was pretty funny...though I didn't like to admit it. He loved to tell puns and they were pretty good, I must admit. :)
  • He LOVED to fish, and loved to include us in that.
  • He could polish off a half gallon of Blue Bell Ice Cream in a single sitting! (that must be where I get it)
  • One time he snapped at me pretty harshly and later told me how much he loved me, and that he felt like he was hard on me a lot because I reminded him of himself as a kid.
  • He loved Christmas time and became almost giddy (a word I would RAREly use to describe my dad!)
  • He had big ideas and always dreamed out loud about building cool things (such as a train going down to the river, through the woods in our back yard)
  • He hated killing snakes but did it more than once for us girls when we asked him to!
  • He loved animals.
  • He was an experimental chef, which was often very scary, since we were his guinea pigs! He made excellent breakfast, though, and even to this day I hardly accept cereal as sufficient in the mornings.
  • He was always early everywhere he went.
One of my last memories of him was when he was dropping me off at my mom's house before church one morning and he told me I looked beautiful. He even sang "you are so beautiful to me". I cherished it. I would've been embarrassed, however, he was very sick and I knew it. It's amazing how differently we look at things when we're faced with loss. You really do never fully know what you have until it's gone.

I love you and miss you, Daddy.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

The Simple Mom Decluttering Project

So, I've basically been doing this all the past week. I'm going to keep the momentum going, though, and continue in the simplifying of our home! Come on friends, click the button and join in! It feels so nice to get rid of the clutter and take more stock and care in people than things. Stay tuned for my before and after pictures next Monday and Friday, and I'll be looking for yours ;)

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

March 1st at the Hoefelmann Home

We are enjoying a lovely first day of March here in small town Texas. This is Jaysen's "focused" look. :)

This is how Sierra eats a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

This is how Juliet eats a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Mmm...looks delicious, doesn't it? :)

And this is my sweet, wide-eyed, little one month old, Margot. :)

Lovely day :)