Wednesday, November 17, 2010

It's All Too Much

Peter Walsh was right. It is ALL TOO MUCH! Two weeks ago my husband called me from work and said, "They want to know if I am still interested in working from home next quarter." I was in the midst of homeschooling and immediately said, "Um, no." HA HA HA But the more I thought about it and made a list of pros and cons, the more I started liking the idea of having him here. You have to understand that he works many,many, M A N Y hours each week and has to go in on the weekends more times than I care to admit. So he came home from work and we went over the list and he said he would inform his boss that yes, he is still interested in the opportunity. So he can work 7:00-3:30 if he wants and then can "go back to work" so to speak, after the boys are in bed.

This is where Mr. Peter Walsh comes in. The only way Bryan can work from home is if we give up the boys' playroom downstairs. I began to google to find out creative ways to be organized with kids toys. A lot of blogs had valuable information that came from a book called, "It's All Too Much" by Peter Walsh. It was a quick read and I gleaned a lot of wonderful tips. I immediately got the boys involved and we went on a massive purge. The three of us went into each room and I asked them to separate what the didn't want and that we would donate it to Goodwill for children that are in need of some toys. Six garbage bags later, my oldest son said to me, "Mom, why did you buy us all these toys?" I said, "because we just love you and wanted you to have them." To which he replied, "Mom, you didn't have to do that." Bless his little heart. He gets it.

It's what Peter's message is... 'an easy plan for living a richer life with less stuff.' Amen, Peter. I highly recommend this book, if you haven't read it. My husband's office at home is now waiting for him and the boys are so excited about the toys they do have because they are no longer overwhelmed like before. Praise the Lord!

Speaking of that, my mother is a recipe hoarder. Thank God she doesn't read my blog. LOL! I am currently helping her organize them in a binder separated by category so that when she is meal planning she can just flip to 'Main Dishes' and choose what she feels like having. I am having her go through all her cooking magazines and rip out the recipes she wants to keep rather than the entire magazine. I am going through her many large Ziploc bags full of recipe cards, post it notes, newspaper clippings, and even a few recipes written on napkins! Mother, seriously? So the sorting has begun. I told her, "Mom, you can't appreciate the recipes you do have when you have so many!" Same thing I told my boys about their things and myself with my clothing collection. I went through my closet yet again and finally implemented this amazing tip by Saint Peter Walsh. I put all my hangers backwards (think of it this way, opposite of the way you have them right now) See photo below.

In doing that, you see what you actually wear. Peter said, "We wear 20% of our clothes, 80% of the time." Imagine that. So each time you wear an item you (after laundering and ironing, obviously) you hang it back up with the hanger the right way this time. At the end of six months, whatever hanger is facing the opposite way, you know you didn't wear and should get rid of it immediately. Interesting concept.

Here are a few of my favorite quotes from his book.

"Kids so overstimulated by the sheer volume of stuff in their home that they loste the ability to concentrate and focus." PREACH!

"We are all in some way owned by our possessions." OUCH!

"And the typical American solution to having too much stuff? Buy another organization solution!" SO TRUE!

And finally, "Your home is a metaphor for your life-it represents who you are and what you value. When your house is a wreck, your life starts to crumble." SMARTY PANTS! :)

Woman's Day Magazine said, "The best organizing advice we've ever heard!" I concur. Thanks, Peter for reopening my eyes to the simple fact that less, indeed, is truly more.

In unrelated news, but since we are on the topic of "It's All Too Much" I thought perhaps, you would get a kick out of these photographs from Halloween.

Happy Organizin' & Simplifyin'!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Lions' Den

I'm currently working on week 6 of my Beth Moore Bible Study of the Book of Daniel. This week we learned about the story of Daniel in the Lions' Den. Can I just say how right Beth is when she says, "This isn't a "cute" Sunday School lesson." She showed pictures of and read crazy stories about lions and what they can do. I don't keep scary pictures of lions on hand to one put in my blog but my sons have a toy lion and so that is who you see in these pictures. Scary little thing, isn't it? NOT! :)

1 Peter 5:8 "Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour." We learned in class that we live in a lions' den and must know the Word of God because it is our sword. It is our only offensive weapon against our enemy. "What do we know?" We default to what we know; that is why we need to know the Word."-Beth Moore.

In closing, I just wanted to provide an excerpt from the listening guide regarding how we can react in an emergency.

1. We can panic. (Doing the wrong thing)
2. We can become paralyzed. (We do NO thing)
3. We can pray. (We do the power thing)

Psalm 55:16-18 "But I call to God, and the LORD saves me. Evening, morning and noon I cry out in distress, and He hears my voice. He ransoms me unharmed from the battle waged against me, even though many oppose me."

Daniel 6:22 "My God sent His angel to shut the lions' mouth, and they have not harmed me, because I was found blameless before him; and also before you, O king, I have done no harm."

Just like for Daniel in the lions' den, He can do that for me. He can shut the mouths of the lions' on my behalf and allow me to escape unharmed. We serve a great, big God who can do anything. He IS the Lion of Judah!

Monday, October 18, 2010

I can and I will!

Today I am using my authority and taking a day off from homeschool! YAY! We started school 34 days ago and haven't taken one day off. Not bad, if I do say so myself. I was gone all weekend photographing weddings with my dear friends from Cunningham Photography ( We had such a great time but honey, I'm tired and have a long list of things to get caught up on today.

Like what? Well, I did most of my laundry yesterday so today I have ironing, of course! Everyone knows how much I love ironing! Call me crazy, but you get instant results! :) I also have to clean the fridge, wash the kitchen floor, clean the bathroom, livingroom, bedrooms and the downstairs. Jordan requested a playdate today with my mom so she is picking him up in a few minutes. Brandon is going to hang out here with me and have some uninterupted play time. I've got to take him to piano lessons this afternoon and also go to bank and make a deposit and go to Town and Country to close out an account we no longer use as well as go to the Post Office and mail out a belated birthday gift. Niccccccccccccccccccceeeee. You know what, though? I love cleaning my home. I find such peace in it. I love order and having a place for everything. I just have to look past the exposed window trim and missing curtains for a couple of months while we have our new windows and siding installed. Praise the Lord for new windows and siding!

Tonight, my husband has band practice at church so it'll be me and boys hanging out at home. I've got to plan my lessons for the next month of school and do some homework for my Daniel study and then watch the Yankees game at 8. I mean, we do have our priorities, afterall! LOL

Did I mention I need to workout today too? Well, I do. I'll remind myself what I say to my boys, "I can and I will!"

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Treasured Up

Living Proof Live will forever be a treasure to me!

Beth taught out of Luke 2:19 a familiar verse that we all know and love, "But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart." She asked us what it means to 'treasure something up'? She provided the Greek definition 'syntereo' which means 'to hold or treasure up in one's memory; to guard, keep, to preserve, to keep safe, to keep close.'

I love when Beth said, "God is intimately involved in our life, and shows Himself in these treasures, not always in the obvious." She provided 8 statements about the lost art of treasuring and I would love to share them with you here.

1. There are treasures out there. She said, "We are so overstimulated in our culture; we want to be amazed. God never amazes us for amazement sake; being amazed doesn't change us. He wants us to treasure stuff."

2. They're not my treasures until they make it past my defenses. She said, "Whatever we treasure we have an emotional attachment to" see Matthew 6:19 "anything we treasure has the potential to rust."

3. Treasures strung together can bring healing.

4. Most people will miss the treasure entirely. "You have to have an open heart to receive the treasures."

5. The fine art of treasuring got lost in the same trash as our time. "Treasuring takes time." O U C H!

6. Where there is one treasure, there could be many. Matthew 13:44 "The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field."

7. We'll minimize our treasure if we look past the hardship and pain. Isaiah 45:3 "I will give you the treasures in darkness and the hoards in secret places, that you may know that it is I, the LORD, the God of Israel, who call you by your name." She went on to say that in God's economy it is "falling and rising" not rising and falling (see Luke 2:34) and night and day not day and night. That was profound to me. She asked, "what has God enabled you to do that you literally can't do on your own? That is a treasure." She also said, "all it takes to treasure something is to store it up; which means that we could be storing up bitterness, unforgiveness, anger, resentment, addiction, lust, covetousness, etc." She encouraged us to, "deal with our toxic treasures and make room for the Divine treasures."

8. When you feel like you've lost the treasure, look for Jesus. Colossians 2:3 "in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge ."

Travis Cottrell led us in beautiful praise and worship. I was sick as a dog, but still made a joyful noise to the LORD. :)

Thanks, Travis!

Amen, sister!

PS You might be wondering why it took me so long to do a recap post 13 days later? Well, Beth told us "Eat it, before you TWEET it!" HA HA HA

Thursday, September 30, 2010

LivingProof Live in 3..2..1

I finally leave tomorrow for the great state of Massachusetts! I have been waiting since I ordered my ticket on April 26, 2010. I can hardly stand myself. I could do without this cold I have but I continue on because some things are just.not.worth.missing!! Although, I probably am not the only going to this event but I was the only one to comment on her blog. She asked if anyone was heading that way! I AM! (

I am going with a bunch of friends and we are leaving tomorrow at 2 PM. How I will survive homeschool co-op in the morning is a mystery to me. And I then have to make the mad dash to drop my boys off at my aunt's house until my mom can pick them up and deliver them to my husband after work tomorrow night. I love me a get-a-way with girlfriends. Refreshing is the word that comes quickly to my mind. And Beth Moore is the icing on the cake!

I "saw" Beth Moore at the So Long Insecurity simulcast in April but seeing her in person will be the best ever. She has the cutest clothes and hair although, she will tell you that it wasn't always the case. I can relate and I'm sure you can, too. I'm sure anyone of us could insert "awkward" child photo (or two, three or four)! LOL

So I'm sure you can sense my excitement about this weekend. God's timing is always perfect and I just know that He is going to speak to my heart, renew my mind and give me grace to continue in my journey of being a wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, homeschooling mom, and the list goes on and on. We are so many things to so many people, aren't we? This weekend? I'm first a daughter of the King and secondly, a friend to the Excursion full of people traveling to Lowell, MA.

Get ready, cuz here I come.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Piano Man

Last night, after many months of hard work, Brandon had his first ever piano recital. He was scheduled to go second out of fifteen performers. At the last second, the first student had a bad case of stage fright. Bless her heart. My sister-in-law, Donna (and also his piano teacher) asked him if he would be willing to go first. He stood right up, smiled and said yes. I was so proud of him. So brave!

He gets to the piano and immediately starts looking around and fear sets in. Then I hear, "the piano isn't on". Donna runs to the rescue and apparently it was turned off after the last person warmed up. Whoops!

He played the first two songs with ease and pure joy. I mean, how cute are these song names: The Juggler and The Haunted Mouse! I was snapping photos like crazy! He final song was a duet with his teacher/Aunt (Trampoline Tumble) and I just love the expression on his little angelic face. All of those Monday lessons and daily practices paid off. After his duet, he stood up and took a bow. What a guy!

Everyone came up to me after the show to comment on how precious he is. I think they are SO right.

PS He even missed his baseball game for this event. That's huge! LOL