6 Tips for Brightening Up the SAHM Life

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Do you ever feel that your SAHM (stay at home mom) life lacks some luster?

A stay-at-home mom can easily feel stuck doing the same thing day in and day out, your creativity levels seem low, and when you have  little kids and are limited in your ventures, you can start to feel like your abilities and options are zero to none.

That’s not true, but our vocation is a simple seeming one and generally we don’t have a boss or any competition breathing down our backs to get moving with new projects or checking in on how our progress is, etc. (Sure, now and then we’ve got a spouse who may insert a thought or two. That’s good, btw.)

You have to learn how to be content in your field and simultaneously push yourself in ways to stay purposeful and excited about your “stay at homeliness” .

In case you didn’t already guess I’d feel this way>> I think that if you’ve chosen to stay at home to raise those little kiddos….you’re doing AWESOME!

Think of a couple of reasons why you stay home and do what you do

For me:

1. I’m a Mother-Definition: To bring up a child with care and affection

2. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity-I’m taking those first 18 years and, yes, maximizing on the opportunity.

3. “Hear, my son, your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching” (Proverbs 1:8)
Hey, Solomon is telling that kiddo to pay heed to their mama, I better be there giving them something to learn about.

4. I seriously love being with my kiddos. Not because I or they are perfect, but this role of motherhood is something I cherish and am grateful for.

Anyways, the list could go on, but we’re just making a quick point that we love our job for multiple reasons, so now we can get on to how we can add some color to it this week.

Think of one or two things to incorporate into your home life that isn’t there, currently.

Here are a few that pop up into my mind:

1. Be creative and try a new DIY. No, not just pin it, DO it. In case you didn’t ever see my  attempt at a DIY, take a look here: Checkerboard Table

2. Teach your kids something aside from the regular routine. Depending on the ages of your kids the options will vary, but any age child can learn something new. This past week I picked something quite simple and decided to teach 4 of my kids how to iron. It took about an hour  for me to stay focused on the safety and basic guidelines of ironing. A couple of them really took off with it and have continued to work on it this week.

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3. Pick an area in your house to organize. This week I chose a master bedroom closet.( P.S. Throw out a few lot of things.)

4. Work outside in the yard; weed, organize stuff, etc. Okay, you northern folks don’t have that option. Sorry.

5. Try out a new recipe. This week I made ghee and some healthy energy bars. They were awesome.

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Check out  NotCrazyHealthy on Instagram for some healthy good stuff! Here’s her recipe for the above bars Energy Bars Recipe    Sea Salt Caramel Recipe

6. Put some fitness into your routine. If you’re like me, a membership at a gym and going multiple times a week is NOT conducive to my current schedule/lifestyle, so I find ways that I can make it happen without having to leave. There are all sorts of options, and though I don’t always stay perfectly consistent, the times that I do it really helps boost my emotions and give me a sense of motivation in other areas as well.

 

One thing I love about our  SAHM vocation is that each and every one of us have distinct and individual experiences and circumstances.  Your days will look different than mine. Our projects and interests will vary.  I hope we all remember not to look at someone else’s scenario and feel we should copy them. Be inspired by one another, but be YOU.

It’s healthy to stretch ourselves and get out of our comfort zone, but not for the sake of living up to someone else’s expectation. Personal growth, purpose, and taking action on training our kids are healthy reasons for doing new things.

This week I hope that you can take a fresh look at your awesome vocation and have fun with it!

Is there something you’ve taken on recently that may inspire some of us here? Or maybe you’ve been mulling around an idea in your head. What is it? Don’t hoard your thoughts, share them!

Here’s to getting out of our pajamas,
Leilani

 

 

 

A Country Wedding Reception

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I said in passing and quite nonchalantly to my recently engaged friend when discussing where she was going to have her 200-300 guests wedding reception take place: “Well, if nothing works out elsewhere, you could always have a country wedding reception here at our place.”

We don’t have much to offer, but we do have an 8 acre plot of flat land, one side with a view of hundreds of acres of pasture land, and room for a lot of cars to park. She responded with a thank you and we moved on to the next convo.

Not more than a month later she called and said, “Um, yeah, so about that offer of having our wedding reception out at your place. Does that still stand?”

Of course!

I reminded Nora that the bathrooms in our doublewide wouldn’t work for a huge crowd on our small septic and she mentioned that she had already planned on renting port-a-potties, so not an issue.

When you offer others to use your property, but are simultaneously separate from the planning, you learn things about yourself.

The first thing that caught my attention was the wording on the wedding invitation that we all received for where the reception was located: The Orr Family Estate
I cringed at this wording because I immediately felt insecure that the 200+ wedding guests who were going to drive 30 minutes out of town may expect to come upon this Estate like mansion and beautiful grounds, but would be sorely disappointed when they arrived at the end of my driveway where a small dumpster is located and drive down and see our doublewide trailer…..

So I care about what people think about my house and stuff? How immature, how prideful, how ridiculously shallow.

Nora and her wedding crew put plans and thoughts together and I just waited for the day to arrive. Sure, I did a bit of keeping our property as clear of huge ant piles as I could, put any unsightly bicycles, and random yard stuff away, etc., I was here to receive the port-a-potties on a very rainy day prior to the wedding, but for the most part, this was her thing.

Oh, hello there, wedding guests, you will be thrilled to know these are available for all your potty needs

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The day before the wedding was clear and gorgeous.  Nora, Jonathan, and all their ‘laborers’ arrived and the reception area set-up began. The tent company staked the tent, and things started to happen.

I wasn’t going to just sit in my house and watch other people do fun stuff like talk, laugh, feel confused about what they were to do and put stuff together. I joined the crew outside and met a few new faces (oh, one of my favorite things), and let our kids putter around. It just so happened that 2 neighbor kids were also hanging around and gawked and put a hand in to help now and then. One thing  about Jonathan and Nora is that they’re laid back and very much welcomed the assistance of the little helpers.

See all those little helpers?

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Some new faces I met and lots of people doing laborious type activities

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After many hours, things started coming together:

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The wedding ceremony was located elsewhere and time for rehearsal came faster than anyone would’ve liked. The working crew had to leave before all the ends were tied together and head out. Jonathan and Nora planned on returning later that night to do a walk through of the lit up tent in the dark.

11 pm and Jonathan and Nora returned and we met them outside to see what their thoughts were on the reception site after dark…….

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It was looking pretty good, but if you’ll notice, some lights were definitely NOT lit up (as well as in multiple other places not shown). Maybe seems like a little deal, but trust me, to a bride-to-be, it was not kosher.
Bryan and Jonathan brainstormed on how to fix this problem without having to restring the entire thing….

Bryan and Jonathan looking quite romantical in the middle of the night

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 Bryan said he’d work on it the following day. He figured out a weird and crazy way to fix the problem that involved splicing wires, reconnecting partial light strings, etc. Just another reason why I married him; he’s a determined problem solving sort of fellow when he puts his mind to it.

Wedding day arrived and a couple of ladies showed up out here and together  finished the last touches to prepare the center pieces, put linens on the tables, clean up all the prep stuff, get all the stuff ready for the caterer, etc.

The wedding ceremony went smoothly and upon the guest’s arrival at our place there were a few 10-14 yr. old boys helping direct the hundred or so cars in our field and the reception took place. People danced, people ate, people laughed, people talked.

In closing, I just want to say that:

1. People matter
2. Just because you don’t have “perfect” facilities and circumstances doesn’t mean that people can’t enjoy themselves. It was a great time. Nora, Jonathan, and all the people that helped put this event together made it happen in a great way.
3. My mind is spinning with ideas for the future and parties that could take place out here.
4. How wonderful it is to see people come together and enjoy one another; God’s design of human relationship is a beautiful and crazy thing……

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Checkerboard DIY in 6 Hours or Less (or more)

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Are you a crazy, DIY/Pinterest project sort of person? As much as I like browsing on Pinterest, I do NOT find a lot of allotted time in my days to do creative, Pinteresty projects.

Now and then something will cross my mind, and usually it’s when I’m looking at something ugly in my house that I want to change, but don’t want to spend a lot of money on. I found a gross table in my house this week, and I had paint already on hand, so I decided to give it a whirl and upgrade the table.

Here’s a simple checkerboard DIY, that even *I* could complete.

START WITH SOMETHING UGLY LIKE THIS

I had some white paint on hand, and I also had Plaster of Paris on hand due to homeschooling science projects, so time for chalk painting!

Here’s a quick, easy, chalk paint recipe:

1 cup paint (any color)
1 Tablespoon Plaster of Paris (found at craft stores)
1/4 cup hot water.
Mix the paint and paris until smooth, add the hot water and mix well; you’re ready to paint! (As long as you have a paintbrush)

That down there is what plaster of paris looks like, and see how I have a cup of paint in that plastic tub?

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I had lame paint brushes on hand, but if you want to spend a few dollars on good brushes it may be worthwhile. Or not.

Start painting! 

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This picture is to remind you I have kids around me. And I did allow them to be glued to the Wii. Margot doesn’t care for the Wii, she wanted to eat the sheet that I had the table set on.

I did this in the house for 2 reasons:

1. I live in Florida, so it’s hot and humid. I figured the paint would dry quicker in A/C,  and it did.

2. I wanted to be able to keep an eye on the kids, and since they were glued to playing the Wii and with house toys, doing it indoors was the best option.

One layer is on. That took like a whole 15 minutes. The cool thing about chalk paint is that it dries FAST!

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After letting it dry for about 25 minutes, I applied a second layer, pronto!

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All finished with the second layer. So easy and smooth. You may be wondering why I took 6 hrs. for this DIY since the table is already painted and it’s been less than an hour…here’s the thing, painting the black, checkers squares is the tedious,  fun, and annoying part, which made me feel like it wasn’t fun anymore.

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For the checkerboard: My table is 32inx32in, I wanted  there to be 6 inches leftover on each side of the checkerboard, so a 20in. square was just right. I measured that out and penciled the square onto the center of the newly painted, but dry table.

A checkerboard has 8 rows of 8 squares, so divide the length of the row (20 in.) by 8 and that’s the size each individual square should be. For mine that means they were 2 1/2in. squares. Since 20 divided by 8  is  2 1/2…..
To make life easier you could buy a pre-made stencil, but of course it may not be the size you want. I didn’t have a stencil so I made a really tacky and poor man’s “stencil” out of cardboard.

Look how tacky and poor man it is

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Now pencil/stencil in your rows of squares, I did mine one row at a time.

I had a quart of flat, black paint from something I had painted 5 years ago, so I used flat, black paint. You really could go with any color. Blue, red, gold, yellow….you get the point.

I used  a really tiny brush to paint the edges of the square, and then I used a slightly larger (but still small) brush to fill in the rest of the square. I don’t have to remind you to offset the color and the white squares, do I? I bet you know that about a checkerboard.

See that checkered row coming to fruition?

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Every now and then straighten your back and check your work.  My back was killing me. Actually it wasn’t killing me seeing as I’m still alive, but I sort of felt like maybe I was never going to be able to stand straight again. It took me a looooong time to do this as I’m not a natural artist and had crappy paint brushes.

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At this point I wanted to stop and never start a project again. These 4 rows took me 2 hours, no joke, and I was only halfway done.  I’m kicking myself for not having a perfect straight edge tool and better brushes…..*please don’t use cardboard that was outside and brought in for this project to make your stencil.

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After 6 hours of focusing on this project, I was able to finish!

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Somehow the kids did awesome. My boys got dinner started, and though the house was a wreck when I finished, I was happy, oh so happy that my task was complete. I could now go and clean the kitchen…..while being bent over like a scary creature.
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Now I should go and recover the cushions on those chairs^………or not.