Wednesday, May 23, 2007


WFMW: Library Laundry Basket...

Do you- and by "you" I mean "your children"- misplace library books? Do you ever get that Overdue Notice in your
e-mail inbox? Do you have to play "last minute mad-scramble" before heading to the library? Let me be the first to say that all of the above have happened to me. Sometimes I want to avoid the library altogether, but that's not a smart move. So what's my solution? The Library Laundry Basket! It's easy: just designate a small to medium-sized (remember, you have to carry it full of books) laundry basket for library use. Take it into the library with you and tell your children to choose their 5 (or however many books they check out on a weekly basis) books, movies, books on tape, etc. and put them in the basket. I promise you that you will become a favorite with the nearly-retired librarians! After checking out, remind your children that all library items must stay in the basket unless being used. This way, the library things don't get absorbed into your children's things. Imagine: your local library will be FREE again without the hassle of overdue fines from lost books!!

Be sure to scoot over to Shannon's place for more great tips!

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Friday, May 18, 2007


Mother's Day...

Yes, I know. I'm several days late, but I'm slow like that. Mother's Day on the Suburban Housewife homestead was a good one- and busy. Around these parts we like to refer to it as "Mother's Day Weekend." This year we began with an overnighter at Grandma and Grandpa's house. On Saturday, my sister and I took my mom and Grandmother out for a "girl's day"- Sophia came too! We started with a pedicure and then went off in search of food. It was at the lunch table that I realized my throat was hurting badly, so we finished our day and returned to Grandma's house, where I promptly took two Extra Strength Tylenol and slept for two hours.

The ride back to Watkinsville found me feeling even worse, so Rob prescribed a rapid descent into bed for me. I worried about the next day, because I knew the children had been working on a surprise or two for me.

Come Sunday morning, Harrison came in with a cup of hot tea- English Breakfast with cream and sugar- my favorite! The other three soon followed with handmade cards, picutres, and gifts. The gifts included a beautiful necklace, some Dark Chocolate Altoids (who knew?), some Ritter dark chocolate, Choxie dark chocolate truffles (are you sensing a trend?), and four bottles of Starbucks Strawberry Creme. After many kisses and hugs, we got dressed for worship and headed to Panera Bread for our traditional Mother's Day pastry and coffee.

After a wonderful worship service, it was off to Nanna and Papa's house for the afternoon. Amid the grilled hamburgers, kid's table arrangements, admonishments to "sit down and eat", and backyard sprinklers, we actually had a relaxing time. There's just something about watching your children play with cousins that makes you feel old in a satisfied, "God is so good to us" kind of way.

I am so undeserving of the gifts that are my four children. God has been kind, merciful, and lavishly generous to me. My prayer is that I will be found a faithful steward of these precious gifts.


Wednesday, May 16, 2007


WFMW: Color-coded family members...

Remember when we heard that it was a good idea to buy a "family calendar"? So we all went out to Sam's Club or Office Depot and bought that large, supercool erasable whiteboard? Yeah, me too. What I didn't realize was that once I put all the commitments and errands for the month on that board I would still be confused! It hurt my eyes to look at it. But I came up with a solution: color-coded family members. I assigned each member of my family a particular color. Then I use the color of the person I am scheduling at the time. For example, Eli is the color RED. When I schedule his karate times for the month, or the birthday party he will attend, I only use the RED marker. See? So when grandparents call and want to know what child A,B,C,or D is doing, all I have to do is look for that person's "color" on the calendar! It works for me!

Hop over to Shannon's to check out the other great tips!


Wednesday, May 09, 2007


Works for Me...

This is really a no-brainer, I know, but it is a jewel of a tip that has helped me tremendously this school year. I teach at a small classical Christian school, and there is no "formal" hot lunch program. There is a restaurant that caters daily (to the tune of $4.25 per meal), but that doesn't fit my budget. So in August, when I was staring down the barrel of having to make 720 lunches (180 days x 4 children), I came up with this idea. Basically, when I make cookies, I keep back roughly half the cookie dough and scoop it onto a cookie sheet using my cookie scoop. These go into the freezer for a flash-freeze (about 30 minutes) and then are transferred to a Ziploc freezer bag. On the outside of the bag I write the type of cookie- though at my house it really doesn't deviate from chocolate chip- the baking temperature, and the amount of baking time.

This has saved me oodles of money and has kept me from the temptation of buying pre-packaged, preservative laden snacks (sorry Little Debbie lovers!).

Be sure to stop over here for more WFMW tips!

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Tuesday, May 08, 2007


Even when I am faithless...

God is still faithful. This is not a new truth, but sometimes God is kind and gracious to apply the truth of His faithfulness to my heart in a new way.

Our extended family has been in the Refiner's fire for quite some time, but most intensively for the last four years. In all honesty, there were times when I despaired of realizing the sweetness of restored relationships this side of heaven. Rob continued to exercise faith in the midst of this very long and draining trial, and he is such a fantastic encouragement to me. It is interesting to note that in our marriage there have been very few times when we have been utterly discouraged at the same time. Generally speaking, one of us would have the gift of encouragement to offer the other one. Rob has definitely been the one heavy on the encouragement end!!

As I reflect over these past years, I wonder at the amount of dross that God has scraped off the surface of my heart- and how much more festers within. I sense a tenderness, a willingness to cry out, "Purge me; cleanse me; search me; know me," that perhaps wasn't there before. I have witnessed the devastation and ravaging effects of sinful deceit. I have seen family members turned against one another out of frustration and pride. But now, on the other side of this heartwrenching divide, I have experienced tenderness and loving restoration. I have seen the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living, so to speak, and I have seen God intervene in the lives of His children for the glory of His name.

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