Sunday, May 29, 2011

Mom's giant, rolling purse, the vehicle, gets organized

Mom, does your vehicle look like a giant purse? Take a few minutes this week and the following ideas and turn your giant, rolling purse into an organized vehicle of transportation for you and your family. This project requires a trash can, two baskets for returning items to their homes in the house or vehicle, a laundry basket works well, storage totes, a vacuum cleaner, wipes, window cleaner and car wash supplies or money for someone else to clean it inside and out and your children.
Start by taking everything out of the vehicle, younger children love to clean out the car, older kids may need a nudge. Place all items in either the trash or the baskets. Once everything is out of the vehicle you have two choices, if you have money in your budget for a trip to the car detail and wash shop go now. No money in the budget allows for more fun at home, wipe down all leather, vinyl and plastic parts inside, clean the windows inside and vacuum out the vehicle. Don't forget to clean the cup holders and compartments where the kids stash their candy, gum, crayons and lipgloss. Removing the seats will allow you to reach those nooks and crannies where the cheerios and change are collecting.
Now move onto the baskets, place the basket of items that go elsewhere in the house to be emptied later. The basket you have left needs to be sorted. The ages of your children and your families activities will help determine what items to keep in the vehicle. Sort the items that were found in the vehicle by activity or need, than make a list of items you need to retrieve from the house or need to purchase.
Once you have determined the items you need in your vehicle, what will contain them? Check the house for baskets or totes that you can use, if you must make a purchase decide what will be in the tote before purchasing in order to purchase the correct size. As with any organizing project your needs, wants and budget will make the final decision in what will stay in your vehicle.
Here is a list of supplies that you may need or want to keep in your vehicle. The list isn't comprehensive it only serves to get you started.
Everyday use items:
  1. first aid kit
  2. vomit bag
  3. trash can with extra bags
  4. jumper cables
  5. reusable grocery bags
  6. change of clothes for each child and mom
  7. sunglasses and hats
  8. extra diapers/pull ups if you have small children
  9. diaper wipes for spills and dirty faces or hands
  10. activity kit or goody bag for each child
  11. straws or sippy cups
  12. sunscreen
  13. hand sanitizer
Summer items for unplanned fun stops:
  1. picnic supplies: tablecloth, paper towels, forks, cups
  2. flip flops or water shoes
  3. laundry bag with outdoor toys: baseball items, frisbees, 
Winter items for breakdowns or weird weather:
  1. coats
  2. blankets
  3. scarves and mittens
Remember proof of insurance, car registration papers and the vehicle owner's manual should always be kept up front in the glove box or other compartment where you can quickly access it.
After the inside is finished the outside needs to be washed if it wasn't earlier. Take it to the car wash or pull out the water hose and have fun with the kids in the driveway. Then enjoy a picnic at the park.
To keep your giant, rolling purse organized remove any trash and unwanted items at the end of each day's trip and clean your vehicle inside and out once a month.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Who Inspires You?

We all have those people, besides our parents, in our lives who have really helped us become who we are. When I was in high school my piano teacher encouraged me to teach piano to younger children in my home. I did and loved it! From that experience I knew I wanted to be a music teacher. Because of the love and support of Ms. Omega I majored in Music Education in college and taught public school music for seven years before becoming a stay at home mom. I continue to teach piano to several students and enjoy hearing and seeing their excitement as they succeed one song after another.

As my youngest looks forward to starting kindergarten in the fall, I see another chapter of my life opening up, thanks to my children's kindergarten teachers.  My oldest two girls had the same kindergarten teacher, Mrs. McAvoy and my son has had her teaching buddy, Mrs. Duckett this year.

Over the three years that we have been in kindergarten I've come to realize that I will eat my words. I remember my very first day of teaching music. I had three kindergarten classes back to back and I told myself there is NO way I will ever teach kindergarten. Fast forward thirteen years, I'm chewing on those words right now. After teaching kindergarten through eighth grade music, staying home with my children and volunteering in the classrooms of those beloved kindergarten teachers mentioned above, I am proud to announce that I will be adding my K-6 elementary education endorsement starting this summer and praying for a kindergarten position. Although I know it won't be at the same school with these ladies cause that means one of them would have to quit.

I can honestly say both of these ladies have greatly influenced the last four years of my life. Watching as they involve themselves in the lives of each child in their classroom, working with parents, teaching the basics of kindergarten as well as life skills, these ladies can do it all. They have allowed me to step into their lives and considered me a friend, we've shared laughter and tears. We've comforted each other in time of pain and sorrow. We've chopped apples, dressed like pilgrims, dyed Easter eggs, panicked over emergency phone calls from parents, sang silly songs and they've taught me to bite my lip.

As summer break approaches I will miss my Wednesday fun of working in Mrs. Duckett's class with her and her extra special children and spending time with Mrs. McAvoy and her class when they team up for activities. As much as I don't want my youngest to start kindergarten in the fall, I also can't wait to get back into those kindergarten classrooms to learn more from those amazing teachers. I know that all of the kindergarten teachers at our school are as amazing as these two ladies it's just that I've spent more time with these, so please don't think any different.

So as I start the next journey in my life's book, I am thankful for teachers who not only take my children under their wings but also me. Who are willing to be "real" and themselves in the classroom just like they are in their own homes. Who inspire, encourage and believe in all from the youngest to the oldest (me) students in their classes. Thanks ladies for changing the lives of not only the students that you teach but this mother also. As the book by Robert Fulghum says All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten.

Has someone inspired you to make a life change? Leave me a comment below and you will be entered to win a copy of the book All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten

Contest ends Friday, May 27, 2011.

I have not been paid for citing this book. The book being given away was purchased with my own money.

I have barely touched the ways these ladies have inspired me, writing it all down could be a book.

My girls have had wonderful teachers every year, I've just spent more time in the classroom with these.

One lucky winner will be drawn. Good luck!!!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Chaos in the Sanctuary

I told myself I wasn't going to do this but it is far too funny to let it pass.

Our two oldest daughters had the pleasure of spending Saturday night with the Worley family. The Worley's have five children ages two through eleven, four girls and that sweet little two year old boy. 

When me and the youngest two arrived at church this morning, I sat in our usually pew, (Mikie was at drill), and the kids went a pew back to sit with part of the Linsley family.

The choir made its way through the hall as the Worley crew, plus my two and another young lady shuffled into the pew behind, in front of and beside me. We joked about them beating the choir into their seats. 

The worship part of the service was fairly calm, other than sweet J turning her pocket inside out to drop her change in the offering plate. Then deciding that she only wanted to give a dime. I can't tell you who the deacon was at the end of the pew waiting on the offering plate because I was laughing so hard. 

As Pastor Bob started into his sermon, I hear this sound, singing, talking, maybe a cell phone, I couldn't tell. I notice my youngest was under the pew and the four kids sitting on the pew where she was supposed to be were giggling. While everyone around was checking their cell phones, I'm snapping my fingers to get her attention. Her stuffed animal that she swore was broken and didn't make a sound had suddenly revived itself with some French love song. Once it was passed to me I realized the switch had been broken off and had to make a not so discrete exit to the hallway to leave the animal. 

Back in the sanctuary that sweet little two year boy of theirs got upset and very loudly informed his mom that his dad had told him not to talk. Dr. C. got up to take him to the nursery and my pew of girls and I thought they were going to meet the floor. We still aren't sure what happened but there was a pretty good lunge and sudden straightening.

Michael asked to go to the potty so I let him go alone. In a minute J (same age as Michael and possibly a little too flirty together), needs to blow her nose. So K let her go out to the restroom. Six minutes later Michael and J return with grins on their faces. I asked if they had been in the bathroom together, which I was told no, that she had waited on him in the hallway.

After service Dr. C told me he only needed little C potty trained not J, (Michael has helped potty train 3 little boys in the last year. Were thinking about starting a potty training business.) 

Pastor Bob does an awesome job at ignoring the chaos on the first three pews, and so far hasn't asked any of us to move to the back.  

And in the words of the oldest Linsley child, "when your family, my family and the Worley's are together, the best you can hope for is a scene."

1. I used initials for the other families because I didn't ask permission to pick on their kids. 
2. It probably isn't as funny as it was if you were there! 
3. Mollie found her singing dog on the table in the hallway. I didn't throw it in the middle of the road like someone had figured I did. 

Thursday, May 5, 2011

It was a dark and stormy night!

Ok, so I really wanted to title this post "Oh, Hail!" but I wasn't sure that would go over well with some people. The more I've thought about the storms from last Wednesday evening and night, I want to put some memories down.

Before school that morning I had "informed" my children that Nana and I would be getting pedicures, shopping and having lunch for our Mother's Day gifts. I told them there would be no early pickups from school today, belly aches, head aches and just not feeling good wouldn't get them picked up. I would only pickup early if they were dying. I told Mollie's Parent's Day Out teacher basically the same thing I had told the kids.

Nana and I got our pedicures and were shopping when it started raining and the wind picked up. As we were running in TJ Maxx my cell phone rung. It was Kristi, Mollie's PDO teacher. She had drawn the short straw and had to make the call. "I hated to have to call," she said. I was thinking about just telling her to let her take her nap somewhere else, but as I was thinking, "Oh what a wonderful day," she told me school was letting out early because of the storms.

Nana and I grabbed lunch and went to pick up kids. By this time the sun was shining which I've since learned is not a good thing with wild and wacky weather. As the big storms came closer to town the kids and I debated whether we wanted to go to church. But Michael, being a 6 year old genius, told me, "We are safer at church, because we can hide in the back class room downstairs and God is there. He will protect us." You guessed it, we went to church.

Mikie had decided he was leaving work 30 minutes early to beat the storm, walked to his van and had to return to his office because of a tornado warning in the county where he works. At 5:10 he called to say he was leaving, an hour after he originally tried to leave. He barely made it out of the front gate when another tornado warning was issued.

Church activities were busy that night as usual and there was only heavy rain. We stood around and talked and finally got home about eight o'clock.

As Mikie went out to bring Maximus from his outdoor kennel to the basement I heard a tornado warning had just been issued for our county. I quietly and peacefully told the children to go to the basement. Oh, okay I can't lie, they were upstairs, I was on the main level and I panicked. "Everybody downstairs, go to the basement now. I don't care that you're peeing. Finish in the basement. GO, GO, GO NOW!!!!"

 I've always aggravated my Mother (Nana) that it is her fault I'm terrified of storms. The last tornado that went through our little hometown was 34 years ago. She was pregnant with me and working at the White Way. The manager didn't know a tornado was coming through town and told her to hold the front door shut cause the wind was blowing everything in the store. Needless to say when she finally decided she couldn't hold the door shut and took off to the back of the store they realized what was going on. So I'm sure there is some inter-womb caused fear of storms there. Which one day I will think to ask my friend Kristel if that is possible.

Back to Wednesday night, as we went down the steps, I turned them around and sent them for flashlights while I informed Mikie who was now standing in the backyard looking up at the sky what was going on. One of these days the inevitable will happen he will become a lightening rod. I've heard we have other friends who may join him in this same demise.

As Mattie cried uncontrollably about her friends who didn't have basements, lived in apartments and the trailer park, about the cat who was afraid of the dog in the basement and chose to stay upstairs, and the bunny in the cage upstairs that I wouldn't bring to the basement because of the dog, Maggie and Michael discussed what they would do if Momma and Daddy died. This whole conversation was taking place in a very small bathroom which contains a toliet and vanity and at that time, 3 small lawn chairs, 4 very upset kids, one sitting on top of the toliet and a great dane. I shut the door and went outside with their Daddy.

As the first hail storm began, I went to the hallway outside the bathroom and sat down. Michael was deep in conversation with Maggie.

"If Momma and Daddy get killed I'll shoot myself with my new bow and arrow. I can't live without my Momma and Daddy." Me, "Michael your new arrows barely go through the target all you will do is hurt yourself." Him, "Then I'll get out my BB gun and shoot until I die." As much as I appreciate his dying love for me and his Daddy I couldn't help but laugh. Mikie broke up the woe is me and made them go to the sliding door to watch the hail storm. Once it stopped they had fun playing with it. And of course hollering "Oh Hail!"

This whole event occurred within 15 minutes of getting home from church and the power went out in the process. We spent the night in the basement, sat in the bathroom several more times, one included Mikie when he saw a cloud he didn't like the shape of over the lake. At 4:30 the next morning when Mikie got up to go to work we all went to our own beds. School had been canceled and we slept for a few more hours. Once we got up I surveyed the damage, which fortunately wasn't too bad, considering our neighbors got much worse. Pictures on the news and Facebook showed the damage to our friends homes and cars and to our little hometown were an F1 had passed through tearing up the high school and lots of homes, which started in that cloud Mikie didn't like over the lake.

As the kids and I spent the day doing basically nothing cause we were mentally and emotionally exhausted I thought about how God has blessed us. I don't know why He continually blesses my family. We aren't anything special, we just try our best to follow His will and do what He tells us to do. I pray for those families in my hometown and other counties close by that have damage and have lost loved ones. I can't understand why the Lord lets things like this happen. But I've realized it's not for me to understand or comprehend. Only to trust to Him.