October 22, 2014

Four Qualities I Want to Instill in My Children

Recently I shared with you 5 Weird Things that I want for my children~ If you missed the post, be sure to check it out~ Today, I'm thinking along similar lines...considering four qualities that I want to instill in my children.


Creativity - I believe that God has gifted everyone with some amount of creativity...Now what that looks like for each person will most definitely vary; but I want my children to find where their gifts and talents and abilities lie; And I long to seem them nurture those and use them in way that points others people back to the Master Creator.

Excellence - I never want my children to be satisfied with the status quo. Yes, I want them to content, but I don't want them to settle. I desire for them to strive for excellence in every area of their life - seeking to please the One who has given them life.

Initiative - When I was a classroom teacher, this was an area where I strongly encouraged my students. If someone spilled something, would others take the initiative to help them clean up the mess? If trash was spotted on the ground, would there be anyone who would take the initiative to pick it up and throw it away? Initiative was rewarded [big time] in my classroom, and this is an area we already find ourselves focusing with our little ones.

Integrity - I want my children to be individuals that others can count on to do what they say they're going to do! I want them to be honest...dependable...people who keep their word. Even in the small things...Did they promise to bring baked goods to an event? Did they rsvp for a party? Did they say they would arrive somewhere at a certain time? If so, I want them to do everything in their power to follow through on those promises.

Did your parents seek to instill these qualities in you? 
What do you think are some creative ways to encourage children in these areas? 

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**Next month, hubby and I will be celebrating our wedding anniversary, and I am excited to be putting together lots and lots of wedding-related posts. If you are the creator of a product that brides would be interested in incorporating in to their big day, let me know! I would love to collaborate to feature your items next month!**



Linking Up To:
OurJoyHisGlory
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October 20, 2014

Why Getting Up Early Has Changed Everything

Since having children, there have been mornings when I have set my alarm ... gotten up early ... spent some time alone ... and those days have been some of the best I've had ... because they've given me some time to gather myself before the day begins; but this was not a consistent norm for me. In this stage of life...with two little ones...I was typically woken up very early by someone needing something. My kids are early risers, so to wake up before them means getting up at a very dark time of morning...when it should be against the law to be awake.

However, over Labor Day, while we were on vacation, David and I were sitting on the balcony of the condo building...listening to the waves...and chatting. We were having one of those conversations where I was pouring my heart out to my dearly beloved....telling him all of my deepest struggles as a wife and mom...expressing my frustration with the fact that I can't do it all. Insert that ugly cry...you know the one...and you've got the scene just about right. The poor man is looking at me like I can't believe I married this girl. She's crazy. 

Not really...He's actually a really good listener and an amazing support....absolutely my best friend in life...but I have no doubt that he questions my sanity at times.

While chatting, I made the mistake of bringing up those mornings when I've gotten up early...before the roosters (We don't have roosters, but you get my drift, right?)...and he had the audacity to suggest that I start doing it everyday! WHAT?! You have got to be kidding me...I can not possibly do such a thing. There's no way. I'm not a morning person. I can not imagine how much extra coffee I would need to pull that off everyday. On and on and on. Panic. Total panic.

But for some reason, I agreed to give it a try...I committed to it, because I felt somewhat desperate and any solution was worth a try. I want to be the very best I can be for my family. I want to make sure that I am settled and ready to face them each day...with my whole self.

Now, almost two months later, can I tell you that getting up early has absolutely changed everything for me? Let me tell you how...




I wake up with my alarm and immediately head to the coffee pot~ I get to drink my coffee hot and eat a little breakfast alone - My breakfast is almost always peanut butter and banana on toast. I am totally predictable and completely boring.

If I am feeling extra eager, I get dressed before I have my coffee, but sometimes that waits until after I've woken up a little bit. Either way, I have started to try to get dressed...even if it's a day I know we aren't planning to go anywhere special.

It's about this time when hubby heads downstairs to make his coffee and gather his things for work. My man works long hours. Our kiddos do not see him in the morning and dinner runs a little late around here most nights. So seeing him in the morning like this has been great! We get to chat a little bit and I get a hug and a kiss goodbye. It has made me feel like I see him a little bit more during the week and I love it. Now if I'm PMSing, he stays away....he quietly slips out the door for work while I sit in a dark corner and drink my coffee is silence. He is a wise, wise man.

After he heads out the door, I get going. I might throw a load of laundry in the washer...wipe down a bathroom...gather homeschool supplies for the day...do a little blog work...answer texts/e-mails...you get the idea. If I am able to accomplish just one of these kinds of things before my kiddos wake up, it helps me feel a little more organized....a little more settled...a little more prepared for the day.

Because of my personality being the way that it is (loving organization, feeling most at peace when there is a little structure/routine, etc.), the result is that I am more patient...I am not as quick to get frustrated and angry with my children...I respond to them in a more loving way...To me, these things are completely worth setting an alarm for a ridiculous hour.

Disclaimers:
If you are the mommy of a newborn baby, don't you dare try to do something like this (unless you are wonder woman). Sleep whenever you possibly can. Let that laundry go. Allow someone else to cook for you. Leave your e-mails unanswered. Love on that baby. Get some rest. I have been there, and sleep has been the only thing that made a difference for me.

Also, I understand that this may not be for everyone. It has worked for me...in this stage of life...and I realize that it may not work for you or your family. I also realize that we may someday enter a new season when my needs as a mom might change, but I think the important thing to remember is that I must take care of myself in a sense before I am ready to respond to everyone else's needs.

Sometimes my kids wake up extra early, but I have tried to remind myself that even if I hadn't set my alarm to get up, they would've been up then anyway. They have their own schedule, and it most definitely requires a little flexibility on our part.

One more thing, I know it would sound great if I told you that I wake up early and spend time in Bible study/prayer; but I have to be honest and tell you that - while I do pray throughout my morning - I have better focus, etc. when I do my Bible studies later in the day...sometimes my favorite time is in the evening...after my kiddos go to bed. Once again, do what works for you!

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**Next month, hubby and I will be celebrating our wedding anniversary, and I am excited to be putting together lots and lots of wedding-related posts. If you are the creator of a product that brides would be interested in incorporating in to their big day, let me know! I would love to collaborate to feature your items next month!**



Linking Up with The Modest Mom and A Mama's Story and

OurJoyHisGlory
a-wise-woman-builds-her-home

October 17, 2014

So Glad It's Friday~

#1 - Etsy Share:
Keri from Living in this Season has opened a new Etsy shop! Check out her Thankful Tree Kit~ What a beautiful idea!

#2 - Pinterest Love:
While browsing Pinterest this week, I stumbled upon these:
I pinned them to my Pinterest Recipes Board - I think they would be adorable for the holidays!


#3 - Sweet Article:
Did you see this article going around social media?
It's beautiful, and such a sweet reminder for me in this stage of life. 

#4 - Guest Post:
Yesterday, I guest posted on The Fisk Files~ If you've never met Britt, stop by and say hello! 
This summer, she welcomed a precious little gal into her family! What a sweet crew she has~


#5 - Getting Out of a Funk 
Last week, my kids had low-grade fevers...nothing too bad, but their temps were up, so we were stuck inside...kept from our regular activities. This kind of thing puts me in a funk...I lose my groove to cartoons, pjs, and reheated cups of coffee. These past couple of days have been a little bit more normal for us, and I have been glad to get back into a routine. 

I hope you have a great weekend! 

Momfessionals

Do you follow All Kinds of Things on FacebookInstagram, and Pinterest? I would love to connect with you there! I love doing flash giveaways on Facebook and Instagram, and I have some fun stuff coming up for the holidays~


Follow "All Kinds of Things" on Instagram
Follow "All Kinds of Things" on Facebook
Follow "All Kinds of Things" on Pinterest
Follow "All Kinds of Things" on Bloglovin'

**Next month, hubby and I will be celebrating our wedding anniversary, and I am excited to be putting together lots and lots of wedding-related posts. If you are the creator of a product that brides would be interested in incorporating in to their big day, let me know! I would love to collaborate to feature your items next month!**

October 16, 2014

It's Thursday...

Good Morning, friends! It's Thursday, which around here means we are heading to one of our weekly programs - my kiddos go to incredible classes and I am encouraged [and get to drink lots of coffee] with other moms. We do this type of thing on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and we love the interaction!

I hope you have other mamas to encourage you along the way! It has made all the difference for me~

One of the moms who I have been blessed to cross paths with is Britt from The Fisk Files!
Not long ago, she visited with us here, and today, I am guest posting over in her space. 
I am excited to get to know her readers better, and if you are new to "All Kinds of Things", you may want to hop over there and see a little piece of what I'm all about. 

Happy Thursday, everyone! I hope you're having a great week~

Do you follow All Kinds of Things on FacebookInstagram, and Pinterest? I would love to connect with you there! I love doing flash giveaways on Facebook and Instagram, and I have some fun stuff coming up for the holidays~

October 15, 2014

Mama's Weekend Getaway & A Few Announcements

This past weekend, my friend Alayna and I headed to the Smoky Mountains. Our plan: to drink lots of coffee, eat great food, and do a little Christmas shopping. 
We accomplished all of those thing and had such a fun weekend together!
This was the first time I had been away from my babies for a weekend! There was one night...when Caleb was about 18 months old...and I was pregnant with Isaac...when David and I spent a night out of town for a wedding...and I laid in a hotel room with a double ear infection...and we returned home to a toddler who had croup...but I don't count that. 

Moving on, Alayna and I should have done this trip sooner! We had not headed to the mountains to shop in over nine years, and it was a much-needed getaway for me. I wouldn't say it was necessarily relaxing as we did lots and lots of walking...and shopping is very hard work...but it sure was fun, and we refuse to wait another nine years to go again. 

I would, however, be lying if I told you I didn't miss my little guys! It's funny how - as moms - we spend time wishing we could just get a little break...but then when we do, we miss our babies so much we can't stand it. 

No matter how frustrating or difficult or exhausting raising little ones might be, my heart is with them...
...home is where I know I belong. There is really no where else I'd rather be...

and I think they missed me...especially David who sent a few texts that looked like this:
What am I supposed to do now? I'm out of ideas!
You're on your way home now? Can you drive faster?

He was teasing...kind of...*smile* - Let me just take this opportunity to say that my hubby is wonderful - He is an amazing father! He loves being with our boys, and they love being with him. He consistently encourages me to take time for myself - never, ever complaining when I do. 
I do not take this for granted - I am so, so thankful for him. 

When I arrived home, dinner was made...laundry had been done...the house was clean...the kids were dressed...I'm not sure how he did all of that while taking care of two slightly feverish boys, but he did - and I love him for it. 


Around here, we are loving fall! The weather has been a little weird, but we've had some great evenings for walking...We love being outside together!

What I like to call "consignment season" is finishing up for me~ Four times a year, [my mom and] I participate in a set-up/tear-down women's consignment event. As we speak, we are finishing our sorting, tagging, steaming, etc. for the last sale of the year. We enjoy doing this, but I am looking forward to having some extra time to start thinking about the holidays...

...getting my Christmas gifts sorted....
...my recipes ready to go...
...and we are especially excited because it is almost collection time for OCC shoeboxes

One of my favorite All Kinds of Things Pinterest Boards is: 

I have been spotting all kinds of great things to add to the board - 
including this gorgeous free Printable

Our fall linkup went live this week - Bloggers, there's still time to add your post; and if you'd like to join us for next month's party, we would love to have you!

Do you follow All Kinds of Things on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest? I would love to connect with you there! I love doing flash giveaways on Facebook and Instagram, and I have some fun stuff coming up for the holidays~ 

Sarah F. you are the winner of the Terri Blackstock Book Giveaway
I also wanted to share with a special announcement from Terri Blackstock's Facebook Page
The ebook of TRUTH STAINED LIES, first in my Moonlighters Series, has been chosen as the iBooks Book of the Week, meaning it's free through October 20th. This is the first title chosen from HarperCollins Christian Publishing, so I'm very excited to offer this to you. DISTORTION is only $1.99, and the final book, Twisted Innocence, is available for pre-order (releasing 2/10/15). 

**Next month, hubby and I will be celebrating our wedding anniversary, and I am excited to be putting together lots and lots of wedding-related posts. If you are the creator of a product that brides would be interested in incorporating in to their big day, let me know! I would love to collaborate to feature your items next month!**

Linking Up To The Modest Mom and A Mama's Story
OurJoyHisGlory
a-wise-woman-builds-her-home