Having Overnight Guests? Download “Create a Haven for Your Guests During the Holidays!” It’s a Free Resource!

Let Your Hospitality Shine Through!

The holidays are nipping at our heels! Soon we will be cooking and baking up a storm, sending greeting cards, holiday shopping, decorating and having overnight guests. Hospitality is one of the greatest gifts we can give to any guest who stays at our home. I created a little cheat sheet for you to download to help make preparing for your guests a bit easier! Enjoy the resource and pass it on!

Download (PDF, 12.43MB)

5 Simple Ways to Show Your Children Kindness

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If you’re like me then you love your kid(s) to the moon! So it should be easy to show them kindness right? Well, yes and no, not really no but, when life gets hectic and there are a million things tugging at you, kindness can fall by the wayside. Luckily for us, our kids are pretty forgiving. Kindness doesn’t have to come through grand gestures, it doesn’t cost money, it’s the simple things that you can do that will speak volumes to your children.

Here are 5 Simple Ways to Show Kindness to Your Kids Everyday:

Be Present: Put down the phone, shut the laptop, stop doing 10 things at once and simply sit in their presence. Maybe it is just watching a movie with them without being distracted by the text coming through, or talking to them without running from one room to the next finishing up chores, or sitting down with milk and cookies and being completely absorbed in what they are saying without your mind racing.  Simply just practice being in their presence and being present with them.

Show Them You’re Interested in Them: Being interested is more than just being present, it is being curious about their very essence. It is asking questions, digging below the surface, and developing a bond with the person they are evolving into as they grow through childhood.  It’s easy to get caught up into routine and have the same stale conversation day in and day out. When this happens we miss out on discovering  who our child really is. When you show your child you are interested in them you convey that you care about them as an individual.

Give Them a Hug and Kiss: I find one of the easiest and sweetest way to show my child kindness is with a big hug and kiss. Don’t underestimate physical contact! Your body language says so much to your child. I know the older they get they might shy away, but I say do it anyway! Sneak it in whenever you can and I believe they will appreciate mom’s touch.

Be Forgiving and Show Grace: When we give our children forgiveness and grace we show them our pure unconditional love for them, not to mention we model Jesus. Forgiveness is kindness. It says yes, there may be consequences, but I love you anyway. When we give our child grace we show the softness that Jesus shows us.

Say, “I Love You”: These three words so simple yet so full of kindness and power. Tell your child you love them, whenever you can. Let them know how you feel and that they are loved. There is no greater gift to a child then to say those words.

Free Hospitality Printable PDF Resource!

I’ll be organizing a homemaking workshop for girls ages 8-11 this year and I’m busy organizing all the resources! I wanted to share this quick Hospitality Resource I created. Feel free to  print this resource for yourself or your family. Hope you enjoy it!

 

Download (PDF, 50KB)

5 Tips for Your Evening Routine That Will Make Your Morning Easier!

Mornings set the tone for the rest of the day, so why not make your mornings run as smoothly as possible? One way to do this is to put an evening routine in place that makes your mornings easier. Here are a few tips on for a night routine that can add a little sunshine to your mornings. Before my personal tips, think about the 3-5 things that you can do in the evening that would make your mornings easier and make it a habit to do them. 

  1. Clean the Kitchen: If you clean your kitchen in the evening you wake up and have a clean slate. You aren’t staring at dirty dishes in the sink and you can move about easier and more efficiently.
  2. Put the Breakfast Dishes Out the Night Before: You can have the kids do this after dinner clean up and almost any age can is capable of this chore. It is simply one less thing to do in the morning.
  3. Prepare Lunches the Night Before: If you can do prep work for the week, do it! But, if not making lunches the night before will help tremendously.
  4. Lay the Clothes Out: How much easier is it when you aren’t digging through your closet at 7:50 AM trying to find something to wear! Make this a habit for yourself and your kids along with book bags at the door ready to go.
  5. Create Your Goal List for the Next Day: Get a plan in place so you have a vision for your day. Spend 10-15 minutes writing your to do list/goals for the next day so that you aren’t scattered, it will make a huge difference.

Form routines that will make your life easier, happier, and that set you up for success!

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Our Advent Tree and Traditions!

In our home Advent has become a tradition and it is how we keep focused on Christ during the Christmas season. Celebrating Christmas is more than decorations, gifts, and cookies it is a time to reflect on Christ and his birth. Advent is a wonderful and fun way to prepare our family’s hearts and minds for Christmas and to stay Christ-centered. We celebrate Christ’s birth in a few different ways, such as an Advent calendar, Advent boxes, and last year I decided to put up an Advent tree on our porch. This is a new tradition added on to our old ones that I’m loving! We also light the Advent candles and read scriptures at dinner (I’ll post a pic of our candles this week) Here are a few pictures of what we do here to celebrate!

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This is a simple tree I have on my porch that has become the Advent Tree! In our house we have a fresh pine tree, but since we want to do this every year I bought a tree last year and we decorated it very simply with burlap, white lights and Advent envelope holders with the scripture inside. Each night we take one of the scriptures and read it at dinner. I also have a nativity scene on our porch.

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We’ve had this calendar for years! I put chocolates inside and there are manger figurines in a few of the boxes that we take out leading up to Christmas.

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I made these Advent Boxes for Anya at least 4 years ago and they are one of her favorite things! I put little treats in them and hide them around the house each day.

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How do you celebrate Advent? What are your family’s traditions? I would love to hear how you stay focused on Christ during Christmas!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Count Your Blessings While Doing the Chores

Don’t you love chores? NOT! There are those daily chores that are so mundane that they can easily give us a case of the grumps. I have found if I find gratitude in doing them I’m a bit more thankful doing the daily things. When you’re doing chores try saying little prayers of gratitude that relate to that chore. For example, as I was washing the dishes last night with every scrub I gave thanks. It went something like this:

  • Scraping food off the plates- Thank you Lord for providing us with food for our bodies. 
  • Filling the sink with water- Lord, I am grateful for the clean water you provide us with not only to drink but to wash our dishes so that we can eat off of clean plates.
  • Scrubbing the dishes-Thank you Father for giving me the strength and use of my hands to be able wash these dishes. 
  • Drying the dishes and putting them away- I am so blessed to have a warm home where I can put my belongings away.
  • Cleaning off the dining room table- Lord, thank you for allowing my daughter and I to share another dinner together around the table. Thank you for the laughter and conversation, may we always stay this close. 

If we try hard enough we can always find the gratitude and blessings in our day to day routines no matter how mundane they may. The mundane reminds us of how event the simple things are blessings!

There are blessings in the mundane things in our daily lives

There are blessings in the mundane things in our daily lives

5 Simple Tips To Transform a Room

I love coming home to a cozy house! Lately I’ve been wanting to make a few changes, but not break the bank. Here are  few simple tips I have for changing your living space cheaply.

  1. Simply move the furniture around. I find that moving a chair or switching out pictures on the wall makes a huge difference! Pull in furniture from other rooms (utilize what you already have in a different way). Don’t be afraid to experiment.
  2. Change the curtains. I had these lovely blue curtains up in the living room that I adored, but I wanted to lighten it up a bit. Changing the curtains gave the room a lighter feel and even made it feel bigger.
  3. Pillows! If you find pillows on sale buy them! I found a couple at Michaels that went perfectly with my living room that were $8. You can’t beat that!
  4. Plants add life to a room. I bought a hanging plant for the kitchen for $6.00 at Walmart and now I’m obsessed with adding them all over my house.
  5. Buy a rug that stands out and add pieces that compliment it and accentuate the room.

I’m thrilled with the new look!

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Guest Post! Simple Household Management For Single Mothers

Being a single mother is certainly a great challenge, as you need to overcome the obstacles all by yourself and to manage to educate your children in the best possible way. The role of the parent is difficult enough and single mothers need to be armed with a lot of patience and strength when their daily routine is concerned. Apart from the cares around their children, single mothers also need to organize the household management in an effective way. Sometimes this turns out to be tiring, especially when they are too preoccupied with other issues such as helping the kids with their homework, or managing with other tasks connected with their work.

 

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Thanks to this ultimate guide for single mothers you will be able to explore new ways in which to manage with the basic chores, even when your schedule is too tight.

Here are some innovative ideas that will definitely facilitate your schedule:

Establish Strict Schedule for the Household Duties

 It would be much easier if you have a schedule with the cleaning duties that you need to provide. This way you can fit other arrangements and you will become more organized and effective when managing with your tasks. Even if you are too busy during the week, make sure that you leave at least half an hour per day to check whether your rooms need some basic cleaning. Do not leave all the household chores for the weekend because two days are usually not enough to take up with all the tasks and to relax in the same way.

Involve the Children in the Household Chores

 Although you cannot completely count on children’s help when cleaning is concerned, they will help you to maintain your home sparkling clean. Ask them to be supportive and to handle some basic duties while you are at work or when you are preoccupied with other tasks. If you can count on your children for the household management, you will quickly find out that possessing shiny and well arranged home is possible even for single mothers.

Use Homemade Cleaning Products

Single mothers often have tight monthly budgets which is why the can turn to a cost effective decision when cleaning is concerned. Instead of spending a fortune on commercial cleaning products that often turn out to be ineffective, you can try to create homemade cleaners, that apart from being less expensive are also all natural. You can use natural products such as baking soda, white vinegar, borax and lemon juice- they are the basic ingredients in a wide range of green cleaning recipes.

Turn The Household Management Into A Fun Experience

 Do not feel depressed if you fail to manage with the cleaning tasks – after all every single mother deserves to take a break and to leave some time for relaxation. Turning your household management into a fun experience will definitely save you up a lot of nerves. Be a team with your children and find pleasure in the tiny cleaning tasks that you are required to do on a regular basis.

Organizing excellent household management for single mothers is possible in case you take into account the tips mentioned above. Single mothers often sacrifice their free time to provide the utmost care for their kids and for the house, without realizing that they also need a moment for relaxation. It is true that single mothers face a lot of difficulties but when they are organized and motivated they will be able to handle the household management in an excellent way. As long as single mothers make a suitable schedule for their duties they won’t meet difficulties in managing with the chores.

The article is contributed by Edna Thomson from MainCleaners Mill Hill