Friday, March 23, 2012

Spring Cleaning

The house is a wreck in a great way.  Our spare bedroom is piled high with stuff.  We are purging and cleaning and giving away and it feels great.

I think there are two great disadvantages of having a fairly large house.

1. Cleaning.  Ugh.  This place can be a beast to clean.  OK, we obviously don't live in Downton Abbey, that might be more worthy of the title beast, but we'll just say it is no 20 minute job.

2.  Stuff.  More space means more room for stuff.  Books, papers, clothes, toys, kitchen stuff.  Oi!

I decided it was time to really pare down our stuff, or at least to start paring it down.  I started in the kids rooms with all the hand-me-down clothes.  Changing seasons and changing sizes in our house is a bit of a nightmare.  After going through all the hand-me-downs for HC and Annelise, I discovered that I actually did not need one single piece of new clothing for either of them.  Thank you friends who give me clothes!  In turn I am giving all my clothes away, one good turn deserves another.  Just this morning I invited a friend with two young girls over to go through my stash.

Next I tackled the playroom, and then the kitchen and then the books in our family room.  We still have more to go through, but it is a start, and a move in the right direction.  I do have to stop for a week or so because my parents are coming for a visit next week, so I need to get rid of all the stuff in our spare bedroom so there is room for them to sleep.

OK, so, where did al the stuff go?  Let me tell you.

I packed up a box of used shoes and sent it to Shoes for Kids.  Dave is on his way to USPS as I type.

Our church has been supporting Atlanta Union Mission for as long as I have been there, and not only does AUM have multiple thrift stores around town, they also pick-up!  Yay!  All of my clothes, toys, and kitchen knick-knacks are going there.

Anything that is leftover is going to the Kidney Foundation which also has a couple local shops that you can drop things at or ask for a pick-up.  We got a new mattress last summer, and still have the old one, so out that goes next week.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Chores and Allowance

Dave and I have been mulling over the whole chore-allowance subject for a few years now.  My girls are very helpful around the house, and we have wanted them to have specific responsibilities they are in charge of.  We have also mulled around the idea of an allowance or commission.  On one hand I think my kiddos should help around the house, no matter what.  They live here, they contribute to the mess, and we are here to serve each other.  But we also want to teach them about money and an allowance is a great way to begin to do that.

So, we have a chore chart.  At the end of the week they will get a nickel for every chore completed.  These include making their beds, helping with the laundry (folding and putting away clothes), helping in the kitchen, clearing their dishes from the table, emptying the silverware from the dishwasher, and cleaning up their toys before dinner.  HC also has to wipe the table and counters.

Both girls are very eager to help and get stickers for their chart, and I like the extra incentive it gives them.  Since the girls have no need of money, I have been talking to them about what they can do with all the money they earn at the end of the week.  This morning I went onto World Vision's website and showed them a bunch of videos about how they can use their money.  They can buy a chicken, or some ducks, they can buy a family some seeds, or help a child go to school.  I thought this was a great way to get them involved and most of the gifts would be attainable in a few weeks, if the girls pool their money together.  SO far both of them have decided on World Vision's clean water campaign.  We'll see how long it takes us to make that $20.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

After a Long Silence

It’s been 7 months since my last post, and of course there have been lots of reasons for that.  I am not sure that I want to go into all of it at this time.  But I am sure as I become more and more comfortable posting there will be more and more thoughts that come out.  I do feel like I have a lot to say and a lot that is stuck inside of me that is bursting and to come out.  But these days things seem to come out like a slow trickle. 

Enough about that.  We’ll save it for another day.

Here are some things we have been up to since June.

Celebrating True’s first birthday. 

A trip up to OH to visit my grandparents, and introduce True to his only living great-grandfather.

Sending Hadleigh Claire off for her first day of kindergarten.

The girls started ballet and we painted and rearranged our bedroom with the help of my bff Erica. 

Halloween and pumpkins

Celebrated Annelise’s 4th birthday.  We took her to see the musical Cinderella and it was a  memorable experience.

Spent Thanksgiving on a wonderful little island beach.

Took the girls to see the Nutcracker

Celebrated Christmas here and then took a quick trip to TN to visit with Dave’s family.

Lots of fun things seem to be in store for us in 2012.