Having wonderful children to dote on and spend time with is amazing. We picture them all day while they are at school in the best light, but the door flies open at the end of the day and they all march in tossing their items here and there and making their messes and we have to wonder what happened to those angels we were fondly thinking of just a few short hours ago. The evening drives on and there are dinner dishes and of course papers and homework to get through. We, of course, shuttle them to activities and watch them with the proud mom smiles and adoring watchful eyes and all along we try to keep our sweet thoughts somewhere in our minds. Eye rolls, long loud sighs, head tilting in some child like language letting you know that you are obviously not on the same page with each other, puts a fog over the angelic daydreams we have when not in the same room together. Darkness comes and they all go to sleep at night. Walking in and checking on them before retiring and seeing their angelic sweet faces lost in dreams and slumber, we are then able to regain our sweet smile and disposition on how wonderful our little darlings truly are, of course, until morning. Washing, drying and folding their laundry and whisking into their room to stop short and see the wasteland of mess and clothes tossed all over the place. A child's room can look like a war zone or in some cases a junk yard or dump. We have to wonder how a child can walk into that room and not see what we see when we look around. How can they function with all the clutter and chaos and another question is where do they get all this junk from? Well, in short a child is like a junk magnet and their eyes only see what they want to see. Children have the ability to function in all sorts of messes and with blinders on can look around and think that this will do.
The first thing we can do to help our children is to teach them about organization. Everything has a place and make a habit of keeping that place for the same thing every time. Also, simplify their life. Kids don't need everything they think they need and taking some of the chaos away will make things easy to manage. Limit clothing for kids. They love new clothes and as they progress into preteen and teenage years they want even more. A rule of thumb for every new item that comes in an old item must come out. Keep a box in the laundry room to put the older items into and when it is full donate it. Teach them to hang up most of their clothing and use the dressers for small items like socks, underwear and pajamas. Designate a drawer in their dresser for gloves, hats and belts. This will keep them on top of small things they need often. If you have a boy that wears hats, put a rack up to hang them on and if it's a girl with purses, do the same with a rack and a lot of hooks to hold them up. Hooks and baskets are great organizers for kids because it does not take a lot of effort to get the items where they need to go. If a child has to put forth effort like opening a door or drawer they will just toss it anywhere. Shelves are great pieces of furniture for a child's room. This allows them to easily store and retrieve things they think they need. Although, we know they probably don't touch half of what they have year after year. Teach them to let go of things that have no meaning to them or that they do not use. A good rule of thumb is if you have not used it, thought of it or touched in in six months it can go. Keep their room basic and all the furniture up against the walls. This allows for plenty of floor space and keeps them from getting things behind the furniture. Put storage under the beds to prevent stuffing all their clothes and items under there. Closets can be easily arranged so that there is room for things on shelves and clothes hung up. A little investment in closet systems can save years of headaches. If a child gets their room so messy that its overwhelming for them to clean they will never get it finished. Help them to get organized and let them do the work. A child will be more able to manage if they do it themselves with some helpful assistance and encouragement. Most often just hanging out in the room with them and helping with trash and items that need to be removed makes them happy enough.
Taking time to keep children organized makes a happy home for mom. It is so much easier to get in and out of their rooms with things we need to put in there such as clean laundry or things we've picked up. Teaching kids to do their own laundry is ideal, but in most cases we end up having to do some of it no matter what we teach them. Once a child has their room clean and organized its easier for them to keep it up and maintain it. Not to say that they won't get lazy and things won't get messy again, but having to do a reset once a year is much better then constantly nagging them to clean up their rooms daily when to them their room seems fine.
Spending some time getting children set up and organized can help them as they grow older learning how to clean and maintain their mess. It truly can make them more productive and balanced in their lives.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
We had our family pumpkin carving contest last weekend and we all did fantastic this year, even Keegan's pumpkin was amazing and this is her second year to do her pumpkin completely by herself.
We all had a great time and we actually made eighteen cups of pumpkin from all of our pumpkin scrapings and that will get us through the winter. Saving the pumpkin meat and cooking it down, makes great pumpkin to have on hand for breads, pies, muffins and cakes. I just cook it down, pulse it in the food processor and then put it in one cup increments into freezer bags. We use our pumpkin for our Thanksgiving pies and other yummy things all winter long. We did our seeds as well toasting them in the oven with a little canola oil and garlic salt. They turned out amazing.
It was exciting to put the pumpkins out and wait for dark to come to light them and see how well we did with our carving. This is such an exciting time of year for the family. It begins our holiday season where we spend a great deal of time together eating, laughing and playing. We enjoy our family time and sharing our days and evenings together cooking, doing puzzles and playing games.
Having a close family bond is a great way for children to grow up and learn how to interact with others. I didn't really have that as a child and I've always worked hard at giving it to my children. I think it gives them substance in their other relationships. Watching them grow up and form friendships and have relationships is very heart warming, but sad as well knowing someday they will all be out of the nest. Enjoying holidays and sharing family time is so important because it goes by so quickly.
Monday, October 12, 2009
The excitement is growing in my house with the arrival of the fall season. This is the time of year that we really flourish. The Apple Festival is happening and we will be attending next weekend. This brings in loads of tasty apples that the kids and I can make all sorts of yummy things from together. Apple sauce, Apple dumplings, and Apple pies for the Thanksgiving holiday. It is pumpkin time as well and we will set about choosing our pumpkins for our family carving contest and I will make and freeze loads of pumpkin for breads, muffins and pies. The house just hums with excitement as we finish out the year with all of our weekends full and exciting. It is my time of year to clean too, I get so motivated cleaning the house from top to bottom getting rid of things we don't use or want and giving them to others that can use them. Starting out the holiday season with a bright, shiny clean house that have plenty of room for decorations for each upcoming holiday. I am very excited that the fall energy is happening in my house!
This is a great time to learn a little history of Halloween. There are great links on my web page to help celebrate the holiday with your family. For my family, we will be wishing every other family a great season full of fun, love, happiness and everything others wish for!