I Am Saying Yes To The Best: Are You?

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I am a very routine person and so the lazy, crazy days of summer–although I enjoy them–really start to wear me out.  There is very little routine within them, especially this summer. With all the rain my family has become a group of sun chasers. The minute the sun is out we drop the rainy plans we had for the day and do something summery.

sunrise while running

All the last minute upheaval of plans has left me weary even though I started this summer with what I thought was a great attitude. I told my running buddy before summer began “this year I am not making a ‘going to get all this done since I don’t have to homeschool‘ list”.

me and two of my kidsYou see, every year I usually make a list as long as my arm of all the things I am going to get done now with all those hours I spend homeschooling. Problem is I forget that my children, although teenagers, still require my attention and truthfully their homeschooling doesn’t take that much of my day now that they are older so these last few summers I have had less time to work in the summer–not more.

daycation

Yet even though I let go of getting anything “extra” done, letting go of my routine has left me weary. And even though I cut my blogging back to 3 days a week instead of 5 to make room for summer fun  I am currently writing this post mere hours before it should be published because it is the first time all week I have been able to sit and write. That is not like me at all! I am normally done with a post several days (if not weeks) ahead of time.

muddy feetI had a mini panic attack about it yesterday when 7 pm came and went and the computer needed to be closed for the day so that I could wind down and get a good night’s rest (burning the midnight oil never works for me; I am better at catching the worm of productivity in the early morning hours).

I felt like I was slipping down a muddy slope with no hope of ever getting back on track. I was spewing all I needed to get done to my hubby–because you know listing off all your stress a few short hours  before bed really helps you get to bed early so you can rise early and work {NOT}–when I realized two things: I had created a summer to do list after all, and my return to routine is coming.

summer work spot

I might not have written out a “summer to do list” but I had added to my normal blogging workload by hiring a blogging coach for 3 sessions this spring and then trying to work my way through all the great ideas she had for my blog, its readership, and its growth.

I had changed doing just 3 blog posts a week to have more time for family fun this summer to doing 3 blog posts a week to have more time to grow my blog.

My running partner {one smart cookie, that gal} reminded me my blog is named Snail Pace Transformations for a reason, it is because of my desire to always put my family first and my work second. This means that my business {my blog} will grow at a slower rate than most but I truly believe that being family centered is how God has asked me to live and by doing so I will look back with no regrets.

building a bridge

I also have to put things in perspective. The floodgate of summer fun is closing. My middle son Aiden begins his soccer season  this week, with 2 hour practices each morning for 6 days, the following week he has practice from 9 am to 3 pm for 6 days, and the week after that both he and his sister Courtney will be attending a small private Christian school 2 days a week and homeschooled by me 3 days a week for the upcoming 2015/2016 school year.

bridge fixed

Our time to chase summer is ending and my beloved routine will soon return…and yet…I am not 100% happy about it like I thought I would be. I look at all the photos of our summer and part of me is weeping inside. How did my children get so big? How did summer go by so fast? How is it that there are just 4 more summers until my youngest child graduates?

Are you saying yes to the best

So now that I am looking at my to do list with fresh eyes I can say I have no regrets about work still left to do, panic you are not going to win, I said yes to the best!

How about you? Are you saying yes to the things you value most? Or are you letting your “to do’s” get the best of you?

psst…I just started reading The Best Yes by Lysa Terkeurst last night and I can tell already that this book is going to help refocus  me to say yes to “the most important things in life”, say no to the “important but not as important” things in life and let go of guilt caused by saying no.

If you like the pictures you see here you are going to want to follow me on Instagram.

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Snapshot Thursdays: Clowning Around

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(post contains affiliate links: see disclosure)

So the other night 4 out of 5 of the people in our family were on the way home from a soccer game, when husband started playing around with his hat trying to give it the slumped beanie look that is so in. It had me laughing so hard, I got my iPhone out to take a picture. While I was doing that he found one more item to make the picture go from funny to silly.

jack and his clown nose got to love itI then of course had to try it.

Victoria and the clown nose too funnyThe clown nose selfie! A classic. While I was snapping this shot the natives in the back seat were getting restless for a turn.

Courtney and the clown nose too funnyHere is my daughter Courtney in her clown nose glory!

Aiden and the clown nosetoo funnyThen my son Aiden had to give it a try.

We all looked at each other and said “Thomas has to do it too”.

Thomas and the clown nose too funnyThe minute we got home we tackled poor 19 year old Thomas and got him to make a funny clown face for the camera.

Screen Shot 2015-04-22 at 11.37.05 AMI uploaded all 5 clown pictures to Facebook with the title “our family of clowns” and loved the collage Facebook made of them so much I took a screen shot of it and shared it on my Facebook page for Snail Pace Transformations a day or so later (by the way follow me on Facebook for updates all week long).

That night I was reminded once again. Family fun  doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. It can be made from a silly plastic clown nose, that someone bought your husband in a fundraiser.

Family fun also doesn’t have to take up a lot of time. This whole memory making moment took all of 5 minutes, and we laughed about it for an hour.

Family fun can also bring others joy. People were still liking the “our family of clowns” Facebook status days later, and with every like I couldn’t help but think that our family fun brought a smile to someones face. Smiles are contagious! so who knows how many people were touched by our 5 minutes of free fun playing around with a camera and a clown nose.

Share a fun family moment you have enjoyed lately in the comments below.

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Welcome To Our $10,000 Home

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(post contains affiliate links: see disclosure)

This week Snapshot Thursdays is going to look a little different. I have joined the Keepin’ It Real Home Tour & Blog Hop. When I read that Sarah of My Joy Filled life was going to be doing a homemaking challenge that showed what our homes really looks like I knew I wanted in.

When I tell people that we purchased our home for just under $10,000 they immediately want to see it. So today I am letting you have a peek at what the living areas of our home look like; keeping it real style.

Welcome to Our $10,000 Home(this is a keeping it real post so hence the reason I didn’t move the upside down Christmas reindeer lawn ornament)

  My Keeping it Real House Tour

I never want to be that blogger who makes it looks like she has is all together; because I  don’t. So today I am sharing what my home really looks like on a good day. I say a good day because my husband, the cleaning ninja of our family,  without knowing I was going to take these photos after I got home from a run surprised me by cleaning our home up while I was running with a friend.  So today’s tour will be a little neater than a normal day.

I want to mention 2 other things (besides an awesome husband)  that are helping my home stay a lot neater lately . One my 52 weeks to a simplified home, is making our  home easier and easier to pick up and make presentable. Two I am way past the toddler stage of life where everyone makes a mess and even if they do help clean it up they still make the mess again two minutes later, my kids are 12,14 and 19 and they help keep our home clean and keep it that way. Mom’s training your kids to help clean when they are little does pay off eventually trust me.

our front porch 2015 (near front door)This is the view you would receive as you stepped onto to our front porch and headed to our front door. That wicker couch, yard sale, the cushion, clearance. The lounge chair, thrift store, the cushion clearance sale. The table, left behind by a previous owner of our last house. The welcome sign; something I won in my MOPS days.

Yes we believe in thrift around here. Even our home was a thrifty find costing just under ten thousand dollars. We spent forty thousand and two years  fixing it up from top to bottom to be just how we wanted it. I had so much fun doing the renovations, it truly drew my husband and I closer together.

Our libraryThis is the first room you will see as you walk in the front door. We call it our library. It can get cluttered really quick as we don’t have a coat closet nor a real defined area to put shoes and such. I make do with a big plastic tub for our coats (see the corner of it near the lamp) and  laundry baskets for shoes. Oh and that banana box you see, it is full of stuff for the thrift store but I just haven’t put it in my car yet; which breaks my own decluttering rules.

our dining roomOff the library is the dining room. Yeah I really need to stain those china cabinets. I only bought them oh 7 years ago at an unfinished furniture store. That project has been on my to do list a long time. :)our kitchenOff one end of our dining room is our galley kitchen. I loved being able to plan my kitchen from scratch. We bought stock cabinets and painted them white. I however am not happy with how the white paint has held up. If you look closely it has worn off near the handles on the cabinets, yet another thing to add to my to do list

Oh and my hubby in the picture is making me a breakfast of fried eggs and hash browns. YUM. I am very blessed to have him.

our family room 2015To the other end of the dinning room is our family room. Yes that is a safe on the ground it is a long story, but nothing is in it currently. The bean bag over in the corner is the dogs bed. Oh and those two baskets stacked up on top of each other is actually where we store all our socks. Yep, all 5 of us share socks. We all have the same sock size. Years ago I got tired of sorting socks, so I went out and bought 2 dozen black socks and 2 dozen white socks and now I just stuff them in those boxes for people to grab them as they need them. It works for us.

That makes up the living areas of our home. It isn’t large but it is big enough for our family of five; plus we own it 100% debt free and that makes it awesome. As a homemaker I work hard at making it a home. It took every thrifty trick I had to decorate it and stay within our budget. It takes all 5 of us working together to keep it clean.  front porch swing 2015 I wanted to share with you just one more spot on the front porch. My favorite spot. If you lived near me and asked me to spill my homemaking secrets I would take you out front to sit on the swing porch a while and discuss what has worked form me and what hasn’t.  I would also want to hear what works for you too!

In this busy world though there isn’t enough time to sit on front porches, sip sweet tea and share wisdom with one another, so instead before you leave let me share some of my favorite books that have helped me with my homemaking skills over the years.

For cooking help nothing is better than the classic Better Homes and Garden 3 ring binder style Cook Book. It has all the instructions you need to cook great meals from scratch.

For time management I really like Don Aslett’s book How To Handle 1000 Things at Once. It was written in the 90’s but the wisdom in it is timeless.

If you feel like you are lost in the trenches of motherhood Say Goodbye To Survival Mode can help you find your way back to living a passion filled life.

Thanks for visiting our home and hope you come back soon! Stay in touch by joining me on Facebook.

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