The Family Mission Statement

First off, let me say I am sorry for the one week hiatus. Things were a little crazy with the holiday weekend, so I had to take a little break from writing..

But, I am back and feeling rejuvenated!

self care for the win!


(The girls enjoying their picnic on our little homestead on the 4th!)

So here I am penning the much awaited family mission statement post. I don’t know why I have gotten so much feedback about people waiting for this specific topic to be posted about. Maybe its because there are a lot of us in the midst of this transition from survival mode to purpose mode, or because having a mission statement that fits our family sounds like it paves the road to freedom…

whatever the reason is, I am glad that you’re here and I hope that you are excited!

So, whats the deal with mission statements? Or what is a family mission statement?


In truth, its just putting the direction and purpose of yourself, or your family, into a written and tangible statement. What are the overarching ideas that you want to govern your home? Where are your priorities right now? What do you want to be important that maybe gets pushed to the back burner?

We talked two weeks ago about creating a list of priorities (its a long post, but worth it – you can read about it here). Hopefully, if you’ve been working on this list, you now have a good idea of what direction you want your family going in. These priorities provide the base for your mission statement. They kind of govern the key points you want to have in your statement.

Now, you can write a mission statement a number of different ways – you can be more and less specific than the next person, have a short or long statement, include lots of detail or have something more general. Remember, this is YOUR statement, for YOUR family – so surrender to the freedom to make it your own!

So here is how I put ours together:

  1. I looked back over my list of priorities: as a refresher mine were: my relationship with the Lord, my marriage, raising the girls to love the Lord, making homeschooling a major part of our lifestyle, and growing our homestead. I have specific ideas of how to go about these, but this is just a general overview.
  2. I started playing around with how to word them in a way that made a solid statement. I had seen some in the past that seemed a little too formal for my liking, but I also really wanted to get specifics in there. After awhile, I came up with this:

In this family, we serve the Lord first. We seek to know Him, to love Him, and to be obedient to Him above all things. In this family, a healthy marriage is the backbone. We promise to make time to nurture, protect and grow in our marriage through time alone, regular date nights and making our marriage a priority. In this family scripture reading, prayer and learning about the Lord will take precedent over most things. We will strive to bring up our girls in an environment where they understand the love the Lord has for them and to bring each one up to fulfill the roles and callings that the Lord has on their lives. In this family education is important. We have chosen to homeschool and we give priority to creating an environment conducive to learning. We promise to give the girls the opportunity to grow, explore and discover the things they love and the things that move them. We will strive to offer grace and to adhere to Charlotte Mason’s statement that “Education is an atmosphere, a discipline and a life.” In this family, we want to create a legacy of hard work and self sufficiency. We long to grow in our knowledge and skills in homesteading and we promise to devote time and energy to developing this lifestyle that we believe God has called our family to. We believe in the rewards and blessings that come from working with our hands, sustainably growing our own food and humanely raising livestock. We will journey together as a family as we learn and become more efficient in this area. We believe that if we devote ourselves to these areas of life in this season that we will continue to fulfill our purpose and calling. We are committed to measuring commitments and opportunities, as well as habits, up to these things to see if they are beneficial to the goals of our family in this season. 

So I know that this sounds a little on the formal side still, but once I started writing it out, I wanted it to have purpose and meaning and to sound strong. You need to lean into the personality of your family and find the wording that works for your lifestyle.

The best thing about all of this is that we are free to tweak and change things as life evolves and seasons change. But, there is a freedom in developing guiding principals for your home. We all only have so much time and energy we can give – and when we realize that we can edit our lives to fit where we are now and the things that we love, there is joy that naturally follows.

For a real life example, I have had to step back from certain things that I thought would be beneficial but just ended up stressing me out.

I have been invited to join multiple mama groups for homeschooling moms. Each one of them has all of these amazing things that they offer in terms of fellowship, encouragement and growth for moms who homeschool – and all of them seemed like they had something that I NEEDED. But, in truth, one thing I need more than anything else is time at home as a family when Matt is home, and time to rest and recuperate alone. Some of these wonderful groups meet at times where I would have to trade family movie night or an earlier bedtime to attend. So I had to really take stock and evaluate what we were already involved in and how that was serving the areas I felt we were lacking.

  • Our homeschool co-op provides wonderful opportunity for fellowship and encouragement at teacher’s meetings. Going to this meeting provides me with a time for growth, adult conversation and time away from the kids. Shifting how I viewed this meeting really showed me what a blessing it truly was.
  • Our twice monthly group that I had thought of leaving because it cuts into “school time” provides FREE classes and fellowship for the girls, fills a need for me to fellowship with other moms and meets at a time when Matt is at work. Compared to other groups who met in the evening, didn’t allow kids and would require me to make new friends instead of investing in relationships that I have already started, the time spent attending this group actually makes more sense.
  • Because I can count on these events monthly, I am free to stop feeling the need to say yes every time I am invited to another group to fellowship with other homeschooling moms. In addition, now I also have the freedom to find time to spend with some of these moms one on one and strengthen individual friendships.

It may seem ridiculous, but I am the type of person who has a really hard time saying no. I would say yes to events, groups and things I thought I “should” attend, and then feel guilty or resentful the whole way there. Now, having things in writing doesn’t suddenly make the ability to say no come super easily, but it does give me the encouragement and motivation I need to say no because I feel like I am sticking with the plan and the purpose we are creating.

Okay, I promised myself that this wouldn’t be a long post! And here I am rambling on and on. I hope that you find this helpful! If you are looking for some accountability or feedback, I would love to you to come and join our conversation over on Facebook and share your mission statement! I’d love to see them!

And don’t forget to go back to the priorities post and enter our giveaway! I’ll be announcing the winner tomorrow morning!

One Year

of intentional homemaking.

I remember when my idea for this series first popped into my head…

we were in our old house, had ONLY 4 kids and my personal/emotional/mental life was a mess. I don’t know why I thought I could keep up with a series like this at the time.

Fast forward and here we are living out our dream on this little homestead, raising 5 girls, homeschooling and the list goes on.

Moving, starting homeschooling, having another baby, and building a homestead have pushed the intentional part of my homemaking into survival mode.

No intention. Feed the kids. Keep them alive. Teach them all the things. Sweep the mess under the couch. Fall into bed exhausted. Repeat.

Its been crazy and I have felt crazy. BUT, things are starting to really fall into place. We’re on our second year with the massive garden, we wrapped up year 2 of homeschooling (and we survived!), our new house is feeling like home and baby number 5 is turning one!

I finally feel ready to stop surviving and start THRIVING again. However, I know that it doesn’t just happen overnight. Homemaking isn’t something that has always come naturally to me. I am THAT mom – you know what I’m talking about – the one who changes her family schedule every month, has a new method of discipline each week, rearranges her furniture constantly in an effort to motivate herself to keep up on the chores…

Part of the problem is that I never really took the time to figure out what being a homemaker even meant to me. What is this role that I put myself in? How can I become great at something I can’t define? Am I just the person who cooks the meals, cleans the house, runs everyone to practices and makes sure we don’t go over budget? Am I the decorator, maid and chef? Is there even a “right” way to do all of this?

There is. But “right” isn’t going to look the same for all of us. I always tell other moms that the best advice I have ever received as a mom was that my family and home will NEVER function the same way another family and home function – and that’s okay. In fact, its MORE than okay, it’s how God intended for it to be. You see, if I am living under the belief that our family was knit perfectly together by the ultimate creator, then I need to realize that what works for someone else may not work for us.

And that is where this series comes in. What originally started as a way for me to post about all the new things I was going to try to make our home life great has morphed into a series where I plan to get down to the core of our own home – and document how we got there.


This year is about intentionally creating the home that THIS family needs to move forward on the path that God has for us.

So why follow along?

Because I want this series to encourage you to figure out the unique homemaking skills that you possess and to embrace them to create a beautiful, safe and comforting place for your own family to grow and thrive. God has these incredible, marvelous, exciting plans for these children he has placed in our care. This season can feel so much like we are just trying to stay afloat. Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram can make us all feel like we are falling short. Comparison has become the core of our generation – but we all know that comparison is the thief of joy. The Lord wants this season of our lives, as hard as it is, to bring us peace, joy and growth.

The first three posts in this series will help us to begin to set the direction for our homemaking by covering how to:

1.Write a family mission statement.

2. Set our own priorities and goals for ourselves and our home.

3. Tackle our space and bring it line with the mission and goals for our family.

I hope that you will follow along and join me on this mission of moving from surviving to intentionally thriving…

This season of raising littles, being a wife and taking care of home takes so much effort on our part. The world seems to have moved on from recognizing the hard work that goes into creating a home where our families can reach their fullest potential. Sometimes its hard to feel like we are constantly being told that we are “just a mom” – but let me point out that you are anything but that. Our service to our families is something that brings glory to the Lord, and when it is done intentionally with Him in mind we realize that this calling is truly one of the most important ones that we will have during our brief time here in the world.

God sees you mama. He sees your efforts, He understands your struggles and He wants to walk this journey with you. Lean on Him, allow him to be the strength in the midst of your exhaustion and feelings of inadequacy.

I am so excited to go on this journey with you!

Here we go…


5 Ways to Encourage Your Kids to Love Each Other

I posted on Monday about how we are focusing on LOVE this month in our home!

And while we are talking a lot about God’s love, and about how much we love each of our girls, we are spending some extra time focusing on SIBLING LOVE.

Our girls are so lucky to have this little army of built in best friends, supporters and future advice givers.

But, THEY FIGHT. They bicker, argue and hurt each others feelings more than I would prefer. I know that this will continue throughout all of their years of growing up, but we can teach them the importance of learning how to love each other through the process of growing….

5 Ways to Teach Our Kids To LOVE |

Here are 5 ways that we are trying to do that:

1. Love ‘Em Up: Sibling to Sibling Surprises: This was the idea straight from the book In This House, We Will Giggle. I love this idea because it teaches our girls to figure out what their sibling would receive as love. Is it making their bed so they don’t have to? Drawing a picture for them? Leaving them a note? I am helping each of the girls to do something nice for one of their siblings each day. And while, right now, its more me coming up with the ideas, I hope that it leads them to doing these sibling surprises on their own.

2. “Catch Them Being Nice” – We spend a lot of time correcting wrong hearts and wrong attitudes in this house. There are days when selfishness seems to rule the roost and its so frustrating. We started pebble collection jars when we began our chore charts, and we found that rewarding good behavior, at times, works better than correcting wrong behavior. So, this month, at the suggestion of a new friend and wonderful mom, we are “catching them being nice”. When I find them being nice, doing something loving or helping their sibling without prompting from me, I am adding a pebble to their jar. When our girls earn 7 pebbles, they get a trip to our secret prize bin.

3. Talk it Out: Truth is, we can’t avoid all arguments or selfish behavior. Fights and hurt feelings are part of the package of growing up with siblings. But we CAN teach our kids to express themselves properly, instead of biting, hitting or screaming. With our oldest two, we try to get to the heart of the issue – “Why does this make you upset?”, “Why are you feeling like you need to be selfish right now?”, “What could you do instead?”….With our younger two, and sometimes with our almost 4 year old, just explaining to them why something is hurtful to someone else is enough. We expect them to apologize with an “I am sorry for……”, and the person who was hurt needs to verbalize forgiveness. Hurts happen, and its okay.

4. Hug it Out: Another suggestion from a wonderful friend. A one minute hug after a fight!! I LOVE the idea of this, but to be honest, we have not implemented it yet. I am excited to see what happens, between the girls when they are encouraged to focus on loving each other after an argument. I think that a silly one minute hug will help to prevent any lingering hurt feelings! It will probably make for some pretty cute pictures too!

5. Teach them to pray for each other: In our house, Matt and I do the bulk of praying. But, this month, when someone has a need, we are encouraging a sibling to come and pray for them. There are few things in this world that we can do for someone we love, than to pray for them. I want my girls to be each others prayer warriors when they get older. I want them to constantly pray for one another as they continue to grow and find their own paths in life. I want them to know that praying for their sibling is important and makes a huge difference. And, it gets them thinking about the needs of others. I want it to just be second nature that when they know someone has a need, they stop what they are doing and pray for them. This is such a great place to start.

I’m not going to pretend that by implementing these things, our girls have suddenly stopped bickering, fighting or bossing each other around. They haven’t. Truth: Autumn BIT Scarlet during gymnastics class when she wasn’t listening to her, instead of encouraging her. They are not going to be sweet and kind to each other all of the time, because they are growing and learning more everyday. But, we can get the started on the path of thinking outside of themselves by teaching them to think about each other.

What ways do you teach your children to love each other, or to love others??

Valentine’s Day with Kids

I have noticed over the last few days the same question popping up in a bunch of different mom groups that I frequent online…

How do you celebrate Valentine’s Day with your kids?

I have to admit, my husband and I are not that great at celebrating Valentine’s Day together…but we do love to celebrate with our girls. I love knowing seeing their faces when we ask them to be our valentines and give them little cards and gifts. We have managed to surprise them each year with some a different take on the holiday, and it some ways its more fun than Christmas!

So, today I am sharing you 5 easy ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day with your kids, regardless of their age…

5 Ways to Celebrate Valentine's Day with Your Kids |

1. Serve a heart themed meal!! Whether its breakfast, lunch or dinner, take advantage of that heart shaped cookie cutter in your cupboard and turn everything into a heart! Pancakes, sandwiches, meatloaf…a lot of things can be shaped into hearts! And you can give it extra oomph by adding some pink and red foods to go along with everything. Watermelon, raspberries, strawberries, tomatoes, red peppers, tomato sauce! Kids love themed meals, so have fun and go to town!

2. Heart Attack! I have seen this in a bunch of different places on Pinterest and I am so excited to try it out. When they least expect it, cover their door, a wall in their room, the bathroom mirror or the kitchen table with heart shaped notes highlighting all of the things that you love about your kids! The older ones will love finding this and reading it on their own, but you can sit down with your littles who can’t read and let them bring you the notes one by one to read them to them. What an awesome way to let your kid know all the things you enjoy about being their parent.

3. Write your older kids a love letter and hide it under their pillow. Try your hand at poetry, or just list the “10 things I love about you.” Make sure you highlight those things that you are proud of, and things that are specific to them. And while older kids may not react with the excitement and appreciation of the younger kids, I promise you this letter will make an impact in the depths of their heart.

4. Have a cookies and hot chocolate indoor picnic. I know – an indoor picnic was on my list last week too, but my kids LOVE indoor picnics. You can make cookies, or buy them at the store and you can serve hot chocolate or sparkling grape juice. You don’t even have to eat cookies! Whatever you decide to serve, make sure you use this time to look your child in the eyes and tell them some things that you love about them!

5. Throw a Jesus Loves You party! I say this idea at, and I loved it. Come up with some fun age appropriate games, crafts and treats for your kiddos and spend time talking to them about how much Jesus Loves Them! Use Valentine’s Day as a day to show them how much there is to celebrate when we understand how much Jesus truly loves us.

Whatever you decide to do, I just hope that you use tomorrow to remind your kids how much you love them and how thankful you are that they are yours. Sometimes this parenting thing is so hard and we get so caught up in raising our kids correctly, that we forget how much they need to know, without a doubt, that we love them so much it hurts.

How will you celebrate Valentine’s Day with your kids this year??

Coconut Flour Pancakes

  Coconut Flour Pancakes|A healthy twist on an old favorite|

On Friday I posted a bunch of fun activities to do with your kids this weekend and one of them was to have a huge pancake breakfast, for dinner….

Which leads me to an issue I have had for a long time.

I LOVE pancakes.

There I said it…

It doesn’t sound like an issue?

Well, I have to eat gluten free, and so do 2 of girls now.

When you grow up on Bisquick pancakes every weekend, that is a hard truth to swallow.

So that led to us trying to find a great replacement, and we found a ton! But the problem is, they weren’t healthy enough for eating regularly.

So our dilemma was – save pancakes for a monthly treat, or find a different way of making them.

Well….we have found a way to eat pancakes every single day if we want to! And I am going to share our not so secret, secret with you!!

Coconut Flour Pancakes….

High protein, high fiber, low sugar, yummy, healthy goodness.

After trying different recipes, we tweaked and added different ingredients, changed measurements and came up with our go to coconut flour family pancake recipe!!!

And now it can be yours too:

To make 12 – 14 pancakes

6 eggs

1/2c unsweetened almond milk

1/4 c coconut oil

2- 4 TBSP of honey (or more, depending on how sweet you want them!!)

1-2 tsp of Stevia (optional, depending on desired sweetness)

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp butter extract

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/2 c Coconut Flour

pinch of salt


1. Mix well all wet ingredients (eggs, milk, honey, coconut oil, stevia, extracts)

2. Add baking soda, coconut flour, and salt and mix by hand until just combined (Do NOT over mix!)

3. Melt some butter, or use additional coconut oil and heat skillet on low to medium

4. Cook pancakes on each side until slightly browned (they tend to take a little longer than traditional wheat pancakes)

5. Serve with butter and real maple syrup or greek yogurt with berries or peanut butter or plain!

Optional: Sometimes to jazz it up while the first side is cooking we will sprinkle the pancake with mini chocolate chips, shaved coconut or some chopped up berries!

 Autumn |Meaghanmorris.comEmmy| Scarlet |

10 Ways to Cultivate Joy in Your Kids…

This weekend!!


I posted a few days ago about how we are getting intentional about the heart around here.

After reading the book In This House, We Will Giggle (did you buy it yet!?), we have decided to spend all of February focusing on creating an attitude of Joy in our house.

And while the Joy we are trying to instill in our kids is about being so grateful for like that you can’t help but feel joyful, and is about the full and complete joy that we find in Christ, it is also about having a lot less stress and a lot more fun!

Which to me means not allowing us to get so busy that we forget to plan fun things to do as a family…


10 Ways to Cultivate Joy in Your Kids: Fun and mostly free activities to do as a family! |

I have put together this list of 10 activities that you can do in the winter, are mostly free and can easily be done THIS WEEKEND.

1. Have a pancake breakfast, for dinner! Because, for some reason, breakfast always tastes better at night to my kids.

2. Order a pizza (or make some frozen ones – Aldi’s has them for a pretty decent price), throw some blankets on the living room floor, put in a movie and call it a picnic!

3. If your kids are a bit older, bundle up and go exploring outside! Winter hikes are awesome and so different than in the summer time.

4. Younger kids? Bundle up and stay close to home – explore your own backyard, build a snowman, teach them how to make snowballs, just GET OUTSIDE!

5. Make snow ice cream! You can find a lot of different recipes for it here on Pinterest.

6. Turn up the music (and the heat!), let your kids throw on their bathing suits and have an (indoor) summer dance party!

7. Dress up with your kids! Become princesses, pirates, monsters or have a fancy tea party! Let them decide what you will be and take part in their active imagination.

8. Have you older kids help you get some props together and make an indoor Photo Booth! Have a photoshoot with your kids! Take pictures of them or let them be the photographer – and don’t forget to upload all of your fun pictures so your friends and family can see.

9. Go out for ice cream. I know, I know – its cold. But, kids love ice cream (and frankly, so do I!) no matter what the weather. If you are like us, we NEVER go from November – May. But, surprise your kids with a fun trip to an indoor place and get some dessert.

10. Have a messy paint party! I LOVE this one, but my husband doesn’t. Cover your table in paper – you can use big sheets if you have them available or you can just use tape to cover the whole thing (make sure you overlap the paper so that paint doesn’t go through the cracks). Give your kids some finger-paints and a smock and let them go to town! Let it dry and find a fun place to hang it for a few days – or use it as the backdrop for your photoshoot!

I hope that you try some of these fun ideas, or come up with your own! I know our lives are busy, but our kids grow so fast. Let’s make sure that we are taking the time to have FUN with our kids while they are young!

What is your favorite winter activity to do with you kids?

Which of these are you most excited to try?

**I link up with these awesome blogs!**

Virtue of the Month


I slacked off on my weekly posts for One Year of Intentional Homemaking. To be honest, I was overwhelmed. I had a million directions that I wanted to go in and I was still recovering from my PPOCD. I was afraid to try new things and share them with you because I was afraid of failing at them.

But, I am over it! And 2015 is going to be our year, I am telling you! So many things are happening within our family, and God just keeps opening so many doors. But the most important thing that He keeps bringing back to my attention is the importance of our home life being at the top of our priority list.

Matt and I had been talking a lot throughout January about things we wanted to change in our discipline methods (or lack of discipline methods), and what we wanted to really focus on this year. One thing we agreed on was changing our focus from behavior correction to heart correction. We have been learning a lot that when we change our own hearts, the behaviors that we desire for ourself follow. Learning that as an adult is HARD, so we wanted to switch gears and really focus our parenting on that this year.

But…How do you teach to matters of the heart? Our kids, for the most part, aren’t old enough for lectures and to be honest, I don’t really find lecturing all that effective. We correct behavior, have set consequences and make sure that we reward for good behavior too, but how do you get your kids to think about the WHY? How do we focus them on doing the right things for the right reasons, not just to earn a prize or avoid time out?

The answer isn’t found in the moments of correction, but its found in between them. So we talked about focusing on certain behaviors that we wanted to instill in our kids and that we wanted to work on ourselves.

God is so good. Whenever I begin to wonder if I am doing the right thing, He finds ways to respond to me so that I don’t have to doubt. Racing through Barnes and Noble while alone one day (I know – it never happens….) I came across a book that I hadn’t heard of, but its title made me want to take it home…

In this house, We will giggle.

It sounds so simple. But when you are in the throws of raising kids its hard. I had to stop and ask myself, how often do I just laugh with my kids? Do I spend more time being worried, or being busy, or being angry than just laughing with them? How often do I make sure that they know I enjoy them? I grabbed the book without even looking to see what it was about.

And it turns out that the entire book is about teaching your child’s heart. It goes through 12 biblical virtues and how to teach them (without lecturing) to your kids while learning to live them out with your family.

If you have not read this book – you should go buy it now! And no – I am not posting any affiliate links, and the author didn’t ask me for a review. This book has really begun to change the way our household is functioning in just days. And mostly because it is working on my heart more than the girls at this point.


What are we doing?

For the last week of January and all of February we are focusing as a household on Joy. I had to go against every bone in my body that wanted to focus on something more “serious”, and now I am thoroughly convinced that this is where God wanted our family to start.

We hung up the memory verse in the kitchen, along with the kid friendly definition from the book:

IMG_7796 IMG_7802

And we are making an effort to fix our eyes on Jesus and remember how much he desires us to be joyful in all things. We are working on pointing out to our kids things that they have to be thankful for. We are taking the time to praise our kids when we see them doing their work with a good attitude and ESPECIALLY when they do something to help out without being asked but simply because they wanted to help another family member. We are approaching negative attitudes in a different way, trying to get to the root of the attitude instead of focusing on the resulting behavior. Consequences are still being handed out, but its in a different manner. It is hard to not want to instantly punish and then ask questions later. It is hard for me to remember in the daily mess that there are things in that moment that should bring me so much joy. It is difficult to praise Jesus when your child is sick. It is incredibly difficult for me to remember to be an example of joy in reactions to my own problems and stresses.

But it is changing our family dynamic quicker than I ever thought possible. And it is bringing me closer to Jesus every time that I search for something to thank him for. As I thank him to show my kids, my heart is softening and growing closer to him too!

And I have been having so much fun allowing myself to break away from everything to just enjoy my kids. Giving myself permission to just let the messes happen, to play with them – to cancel everything we had planned for our normal busy Saturday and make a point to just spend time with them – has been the biggest blessing on this journey so far! I can’t wait to do more of the activities in the book and fill you in on the affects that they are having on not just the kids, but me as well.

Here are some pictures of what Joy looks like in the Morris Household!

IMG_7795 IMG_7829 IMG_7815 IMG_7809

We took every blanket, pillow and cushion we could find and spent hours Thursday just playing in the living room. We had jump contests, pillow fights, tickle wars and just had a blast. We took breaks for chores and to eat, but we were in there the whole morning!

IMG_7890 IMG_7884 IMG_7875 IMG_7869 IMG_7866 IMG_7858 IMG_7843 IMG_7837

The bigger girls and I took advantage of Emmy’s nap time today and bundled up to go and play on their playground! We spent the rest of today baking, watching movies and eating dinner. Saturday chores still were done, the house in clean and everyone is in their own bed exhausted from a day of fun at home.

My heart is so full of joy.

Thank you Jesus for opening my eyes this week.

I’m Coming Clean…

I have a confession.


(This is my laundry room folding table…)

My house is not always clean. I know that you probably thought it was, but it’s not.

Truth: I rarely have people over unexpectedly. My mom and mother in law are probably the only two people on the planet who get to see my house in its everyday state, and its because they have stopped over unplanned.

When I know someone is coming, I clean house – or at least I throw everything into a room, close the door and pretend to have an always clean house.

And it is stressful. Needing things to be clean is just how my desire to appear to have it all together all the time manifests itself. It causes me to stay up way too late, get up way too early and sometimes, unfortunately, to get way too mad at my kids.

And it also causes me to worry a lot about how I am perceived as woman, wife and mother. I don’t think we realize that the facade we create to appear to have it all together puts a lot of pressure on other moms to “have it all together.”

So here is another fact: I don’t have it all together. My house is a mess, I am wearing clothes from yesterday, my kids are still in their pajamas, I am tired and I still need to brush my teeth.

But, we are having fun.

God is doing some work in me lately, and He is teaching me (once again! seriously – I am not a quick learner apparently…) that I need to let go of control. In order to be happy, I need to embrace the chaos of this season of motherhood. I need to understand that living life with kids doesn’t look like clean houses and a shoe rack with shoes arranged in order by size….

It looks like pillows and blankets on the floor from snuggling to watch a movie.

It looks like dishes in the sink from dinner last night that we ate together around the dinner table.

It looks like a dirty laundry pile in the corner of the living room because excited children can’t always keep their paint on the paper.

And it looks like having a pile of clean laundry waiting to be put in drawers, because I was needed more for snuggles on the couch this week than I was needed in the laundry room.


Don’t be surprised if next time you come over, I invite you into my mess, and wipe off a corner of the table so you don’t stick to it while drinking your coffee because my life is messy.

And embracing it means not pretending that it isn’t.

What’s on the Menu?

We have been getting serious about our health around here! I cut out sugar a month ago and feel so much better, Matt has been really paying attention to what he eats and we have been eliminating almost ALL processed foods from the kids diet.

We have dealt with digestive issues a lot in this house and I can tell you that it isn’t fun. I grew up having all sorts of things wrong with my stomach, but never REALLY knowing what was wrong. It seems as though the girls are unfortunately following in my footsteps, but I am determined to teach them young what foods make them feel good and which ones make them feel bad. Battling issues with food as an adult is HARD, so we are actively trying to set our kids up with good habits now and teach them to recognize the cues their bodies are giving them when it comes to different foods.

To say that is was overwhelming at first was an understatement. We have made major food adjustments in the past for health reasons, but this was a total over haul. Sugar is in everything and has been the hardest thing to control. And not having handy “snack” foods has resulted in a lot of “There is nothing to eat!!”

So I decided I really needed to get more specific with our menu planning and meal board. If you follow me on Facebook, you probably saw me post this:

fridge fail

I was so excited about it and jumped the gun on posting it!! It turned out that my magnets were too weak. Weak magnets combined with the fact that it was hanging on the fridge resulted in it falling and shattering into a million pieces less than 24 hours after posting the directions for making it. You can still make it using the directions that I posted, just make sure that you use STRONG magnets and put it somewhere your kids won’t be touching it a hundred times a day.

So I needed a new plan. I found this collage frame at Target on clearance and decided to see if it would work.


I used my favorite teal paint and painted one side of the glass frames.

paintpainted glass

(I had a hard time making sure that I kept the paint on only one side! In order for the dry erase markers to work, the glass on the other side needs to be paint free!)


After they dried I put them back into the frame with the unpainted side facing out! A little bit of fun with my paint markers and I was able to turn that collage frame into this:



We hung it on the wall as part of our command station and I am so happy with how it turned out! This is MUCH more sturdy than the one I previously made, plus the kids can’t reach it and the wall doesn’t swing open and shut like the fridge door.

I spent Sunday preparing food, and now we have the menu board up and a refrigerator full of healthy and easy meals for the week. Our health is totally worth the couple of hours of work it takes to prepare for the week. If you try to make one yourself, let me know!!

Not as crafty? Head on over to the Creations tab to find out how you can order your own custom made menu board from me!

How do you keep track of what you are going to eat during the week? Do you menu plan and then grocery shop? Or do you just grocery shop and wing it?

I know when I first starting feeding  multiple people a few times a day I was OVERWHELMED with how to figure out what to buy, what to feed them, what to cook.

So….if you have a blog with menu planning or meal ideas that you think are AWESOME – post the link in the comments 🙂

Intentional Homemaking: Cleaning Schedule

Have I ever mentioned that I truly dislike cleaning? Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE a clean house, I am just not the biggest fan of the work it takes. I used to be REALLY bad about it. Our dirty laundry pile would be so high that sometimes I just wanted to give it all away and buy everyone new clothes. I didn’t, but there have been times when the girls have outgrown something in the time it has taken to make it through the entire laundry cycle…

And then there are the dishes. Why, oh why are there so many dishes?? I mean there have been days when I have had to wash….

But it was usually because I spent the two previous days just rinsing them and letting them pile up in the sink. I am not always the most motivated person when it comes to cleaning, and I fantasize about the days when the girls are old enough to take over a majority of these things probably more often than I should…

In the meantime, the majority of the cleaning is left to me and I have had to figure out a way to help it along without making me feel like Cinderella all day long. I always thought cleaning schedules were for people who were either A. really strange or B.had OCD. Well, jokes on me because now I have postpartum OCD….

So I have a list of daily chores that need to be done in order to keep our house running smoothly. It is truly amazing how much longer these chores seem to take with each additional child….

I try to split the daily tasks up into a morning routine and an evening routine.


Morning Routine: Evening Routine:
Move clothes to the dryer Put new load in the washer
Empty dishwasher Load/Run dishwasher
Make beds/Tidy Rooms Clean remaining dishes
Put away laundry from dryer Quick Vac Kitchen
Vacuum living room/playroom wipe down table/counters
  clean highchair
  Pick up Bathroom

I don’t always do them in this particular order, and I definitely don’t do them all at once. I try to get the dishes going right after dinner so there is less to do after the kids go to bed. The rest of the things probably take me 30 minutes to complete in the evening. Morning dishes are put away while I am making breakfast and the rest I just fit in throughout the morning when there is time. I do TRY to get the morning things done before we leave the house for anything because then I don’t feel as overwhelmed when we get home, but honestly, that doesn’t always happen.

The rest of the major things are split up throughout the week:

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Grocery Shopping Change Sheets Wash Towels Clean Garbage from Van Clean Out Refrigerator Dust Where Needed Create Meal Plan and Grocery List
Food Preparation Wash Bedding Clean Tubs, Showers, Toilets Vacuum Hallway Clean Kitchen Floors Vacuum Girls Bedrooms  
Straighten Kitchen Cabinets Clean Under Beds Clean Bathroom mirrors        

With the exception of Monday, which takes longer because of grocery shopping, these things take me at most an hour, freeing up the rest of the day for other projects, activities or just playing with the girls. I have just recently created this cleaning schedule, and have only stuck to it for a little over a week, but already my life feels a little easier and Matt is much happier when the house appears clean. Disorder breeds chaos and we honestly have enough of that around here already.

I am trying to make a schedule for larger monthly chores (like wiping down walls, vacuuming underneath all of the large furniture, the things that I REALLY hate doing…) but currently I am just squeezing them in if I have extra time in the day and I am already cleaning in a room that needs one of those monthly chores done. I am shooting for improvement not perfection Smile.


Okay – so I HAVE to know…

What is your least favorite chore and what do you do to get yourself motivated to accomplish it???