Thursday, December 31, 2009

I Need Your Input

To continue, I need your input if you have any, because we have so much stuff!! Now to some folks we have nothing, but for our size house we have too much. We had to trim down when we moved here, and I think it's time to trim down again. Mostly, our stuff in storage is boxes and totes of children's clothes at different sizes. Also we have a couple of totes of seasonal changes of clothes for hubby and I. Our dining room closet holds my hanging dresses as my own closet is too short and they drag. It has a tote of toys or something, a sleeping bag, a bag of misc. fabric, and some blankets and our DVD and VHS player on the shelf. The problem with this closet is that the sliding doors are stiff and don't roll well, and there is a big ventilation pipe off to one side of it. But there is a hanging bar all the way across, that only has about a dozen items on it.
We have another closet in the tiny hall between the kitchen and the dining room that holds all games mostly. We have hooks down low so the kids can put away their own coats, and a basket for mittens and hats. Otherwise it is three or four shelves of games--most of which we can't play together because of the young ages of my children(pre-readers). Many of them are group games, that we don't want to get rid of because our families like to play games--trouble is our house is so small, no one visits us for very long--not long enough to break them out...So keep or donate??
Our front closet has a coat bar and shelf, and we have it stuffed with coats, hats, mittens etc for hubby and me, as well as the vacuum, and several boxes (china, other good dishes, some clothes) our suitcase set, and misc. bags for travelling. I haul around two sets of china dishes that are heirloom dishes--can't get rid of them...
Our kitchen has plenty of cupboard space, including a large pantry-type setup at one end, that holds our bulk stuff or dry goods. I also keep home canned stuff, and homemade jelly on short shelves in there. I have a shelf or two for our homeschool stuff also.
My biggest trouble spot is the area around the desk. I want to put the bassinet here at some point, cause it's near our bedroom, but we have a piano that we don't know what to do with, but as Nathan will be old enough for lessons soon, I don't want to get rid of it. Our interenet connection enters the house at this spot, so I am not exactly sure where we would set up the computer. Plus I have two boxes of odd fabric tucked in the corner, and a large bag of trim (you know--edge binding, ric-rac, lace, eyelet etc). I wasn't sure if I wanted to keep all of it, but in these uncertain economic times, I figure if I have fabric, I could at least make clothes, or blankets if I had to!! But the piano collects junk all the time. The top of the bookshelf does too. The desk isn't much better. The drawers have paper for the printer, sewing patterns, quilting instructions, and odds and ends...
We also struggle to keep toys under control. I have a toy box with a top tray in the living room. The little sink and stove tuck behind the living room chair, and books and puzzles are in the built in cupboard in the the living room by the heat vent, with doors I can shut. The dining room has a plastic three-drawer set that we keep stuffed animals in, cars, and blocks. However, we have a bag of large foam puzzle pieces, fabric car mats, animals that won't fit, and the cars/trucks are getting too many...Not to mention the collapsable tunnel in the dr closet, the lincoln log box, etc. We don't have as many toys as some, but given the house space, we HAVE to keep it limited. How much is too much??
I have very few knicky-knacky things around. Very little in our house is strickly for looks. Mostly it is functional. I have done some rearranging, I think it's helped a little...Any suggestions would be appreciated!!! What works well for all of you?? How do you all keep on top of clutter, and get maximum storage out of the least amount of space?

I Need Your Input

We are having another baby in six months or so, and the nesting instinct is flowing strong. Any of you who have been in my house know that it is teeny for a soon-to-be family of six. With our present arrangement, it is a two bedroom, one bath house, with no basement, and a small attic for storage. We do have a laundry room, but it isn't really heated, as well as my husband's office space(used to be a garage), and a small room where we keep our freezer, and cram full of boxes and things. There are two rooms that run front to back the length of the house, but they are rooms that our landlady uses for her salon, however, infrequently. A front room for her hair cutting stool, and a small back room for her two hair-drying chairs. So we can't put too much stuff out there. Right now our boots and some coats and my small cabinet sewing machine are out there, as well as a bushel of potatoes from the garden. Anyway, here are the pictures. I hope you can see the layout of the house, with all the closets etc. The rest are angles from the different rooms. I haven't gotten to my bedroom or the kitchen.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Daily Struggles

As I go through each day's set of difficulties, I often wish I had someone here with me to guide or coach me through my tasks, attitudes, and struggles. I was pondering this today, as I washed dishes with my son(who is 4). I struggled all day to try to figure out what to do with these children, get my own work done, try to get them to help me some, try to think about what needs to be done tommorrow etc. I struggle constantly to find a balance, and quite frankly get bitter and frustrated as one day melts into another, and the struggle just seems to get harder, with no clear cut answers. I struggle to understand my thoughts--I need a sounding board to hash my thoughts out on and make sense of them. I was thinking, how nice it would be to have someone at my elbow giving me that sense of direction, laying a gentle hand on my shoulder (or mouth)when my temper starts to rise. Ready to give me sound guidance at the moment that I need it, and it occurred to me what the process of parenting IS. I had 18 years at home with a mother and a father. I had their years of priceless wisdom at my fingertips 24 hours a day. I had their understanding of the scriptures at my fingertips, had I cared to ask them. I felt at that moment that I wish I could take back all the years of peer-chasing, and chase them, instead. I wish I could take back all the years I spent hours working on sketches that ended up in the trash, and instead learn self-control, and willing self-sacrifice. I wish I had had the presence of mind to probe my mother and father for their experience in life and how they coped over the years with anger, lonliness, bitterness. I wish they had been brave enough to see my faults(I was a goody-two shoes, and self-righteous to boot), and tell me of them, and call them sin.
I feel that there is a whole season of living that God created and put there for my benefit, and that somehow I missed the whole point of it. But now that I have my own children and household to manage, all their education to execute, my own brain to continue to train and guide, I feel like there are years in my past that are just empty, filled with nothing that will come back to aid me in these moments of difficulty. I sincerely wish I had done things differently. I sincerely wish I had taken the time when I had it, to be more prepared for where I am now.

Why I have been gone

Hello Blogland friends!
I have been gone, and rather busy for the last few days. My dear hubby and I went to the 2009 Sufficiency of Scripture Conference hosted near Cincinnati OH. We were gone half of last week while kiddos stayed with nana and popop. We try to take a few days together before the birth of each of our children, as after a newborn comes along, you don't get much alone time for awhile.
The premise of the conference was how God's Holy Word is sufficient for guiding every area of life, and they tried to flesh this out by having a seminar on just about every area of life you can imagine. So they had smaller, shorter break-out sessions in the morning and afternoon each day, along with a keynote speaker each morning and night. It was refreshing, encouraging, and challenging. There were several families there (whole families--including babies and children), and lots of practical resources on everything from Creation Science to homeschooling, to the roles of wife, husband, mother, and father. We picked up several books and audio-teaching on CD. When I am through with them, I would be willing to lend them to individuals if you are interested, but I would like them back.
The titles are: Give Me Your Heart My Son(lectures from father/son retreat)
The Excellent Wife
The Wise Woman's Guide to Blessing Her Husband's Vision
Already Gone (Ken Ham)
Curriculum Advice by Victoria Botkin (homeschool aid)
Created for Work (teaching for fathers and sons about hard work)
2 childrens books for my boys(not up for borrow)
-one about dinosaurs/creation
-one about Noah's ark (creation based)

I am currently working through The Excellent Wife by Martha Peace. Very interesting read, so far.