Monday, October 14, 2013

Moving Right Along: Little Gestures

Mr. Bug got me flowers today. They are so happy on my table in the middle of rainy days and crazy schedules. Sometimes it’s little gestures that say the most.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Moving Right Along: A Little Moving Humor

Happy Sunday evening to you! Since moving is so stressful fun and we love whining to each other sharing, I thought a few funny moving pictures were in order. Enjoy!


Saturday, October 12, 2013

Moving Right Along: Moving With Kids

Just popping in for a quick ‘hello’ and a note or two about moving with kids. I have now survived four moves with one or more children running around, and we’ve all made it through alive! Here are a few tips I’ve found that go a long way toward making things a bit more bearable for everyone.

Talk about the move ahead of time. Don’t forget to include the fact that they probably won’t be going back to the old place once you’re moved out. I think younger kids have a hard time with this; they keep waiting to go ‘home’ and they don’t realize the new place is permanent.

If possible, take them to the new house to look around and play before the move. This helped our kids with the last move since they were already familiar with the house. *If you can visit during the day and evening this is even better. New places are scary in the dark!*

Point out to them which room will be theirs and help them imagine how everything will work. “The bunk beds will go over here and then I was thinking we’d hang such and such a picture right there on the wall” will get them excited and starting to picture their new space.

Let them pack up a few things of their own that are special to them. Judah and Adaleine have no preference for certain toys or books, but Eden was very worried that all of her special toys needed extra care. I gave her a basket to put her special things in and she felt a lot better.

The ideal for moving day would be to have the kids out of the picture for the entire moving day. For us this just wasn’t an option so we made arrangements for them to go play at a friend’s for a few hours. It covered one full trip to and from the house. I think it helped them to go back to the house mostly empty rather than seeing it get torn apart bit by bit. That’d be like a little kid’s horror movie! : )

Last tip: try to set up their room first. I know it will drive you nuts that first couple of days to go into the kitchen and see boxes on all the counters. But trust me, they will sleep better and feel more at ease with the whole move if they have a semi-peaceful place to call their own.

Even with all the helpful lists in the world, the truth is that moving with kids is hard. Hopefully these tips will help ease the transition for everyone and make it seem like going on a new adventure rather than leaving behind an old life. Just remember that the things that seem little and silly to us mean a lot to them, so try to find new ‘special’ things in the new place. They’ll start rocking again in no time : )

Friday, October 11, 2013

Moving Right Along: Moving Away from Pride {Second-Hand Duds}

I am a very prideful person. Not in an ‘I’m super proud of my accomplishments’ way, but in an ‘I can’t let anyone know I don’t have my whole life figured out’ way. This has led me to make a lot of mistakes and has led to a lot of discontentment in some areas.

One of the areas that I found myself struggling was kid’s clothing. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but kid’s clothes are expensive! I would get so frustrated when I would spend $100 at Target on clothes for the kids and come home with only four or five outfits. Finally, I decided that my pride be darned. My kids didn’t need new clothes!
How cute are these little newborn outfits from Target?? But at a $22-24 each, we just can't afford to buy things like this unless it's a special occasion.
Most of the clothes in my kids’ closets weren’t bought brand new. This is one way I have found to get more for our money. Instead of buying them three shirts at $9 each, I can get them nine shirts at $3 each by shopping at a consignment or second-hand store. So many kids outgrow their clothes before they’re anywhere near worn out, and I always make sure the items I buy are in good shape. We do make exceptions for some things. At the beginning of the school year, not only did each of the girls get two or three pairs of jeans from Once Upon a Child, but they each got one new pair from a retail store also. We also buy sneakers new, but rather than buying brand names like Adidas or Nike, we get something from Target or Wal-Mart.
Both of the dresses the girls are wearing in this picture were found at Once Upon A Child and I probably paid less than $6 for both of them!
We also inherit a lot of hand-me-downs from relatives and friends. Since Judah has five male cousins older than him, I really haven’t had to buy a whole lot of clothing for him at all. And both of the girls have received clothing from older girls in the church. Sometimes you have to spend a little time weeding out the stained or worn items, but it’s so worth it!
Even The Boy's 'I love Dad' shirt here was a hand-me-down from the cousins
This picture is from when we still lived in Kearney a couple of years ago, but don't they look cute in their second-hand sweatshirts? : ) I may be slightly biased, I know.
If I’m being completely honest, it still sometimes feels like I’m somehow depriving my kids by not buying them brand-new brand-name clothing. I see kids at school or the mall wearing the latest styles and worry that my kids are self-conscious about their second-hand duds. But I know that it’s really all in my head. My kiddos have very cute clothes and they have enough that I’m not scrambling to do laundry every second. Ain’t nobody got time for that.
This is Sissy Bell on her last day of preschool last year. Not only was the dress a consignment shop find, but I made her schoolbag myself. So while a new backpack could have cost $20-$25, I spent about $9 on fabric and made her her very own special bag unlike anyone else's!
When they get older I know this method of shopping will not fly quite as well, but we’re trying to get our finances handled while they’re young so that when they’re older we can say ‘yes’ to a few of the higher priced items. They still won’t get the most expensive of everything just because we don’t think that’s a great use of money anyway. But a pair of Nike sneakers or Buckle brand jeans may be in their future. Maybe even two if they ask nicely and give me a chocolate bar. : )


Thursday, October 10, 2013

Moving Right Along: Packing up Toys & Preserving My Kids' Brains

I’m popping in really quick today for a mini-post on packing up toys. (This is almost like I’m failing at the 31 Days Challenge, but not quite)
I mentioned here that I think toys should be one of the first things you pack up. I packed up dress-up clothes about three weeks before we moved and didn’t get one request for them until we had been in the new place for a while. This obviously wouldn’t work for every family; my kids aren’t nuts about playing dress-up like my sister’s some people’s kids. : )
It looks like Judah's playing dress-up here, but he's really just squirrel-watching. With protective eye gear.
Books got packed up. I left out maybe ten books for the kiddos and then the rest with in small tubs along with coloring books. I also went through the books as I was packing them and got rid of any that were torn, beat up or just held no interest for my kiddos.
The Boy has a gift for getting books out. He's a stealth mess maker.
Play-Doh got thrown away. There. I said it. The Play-Doh that we had was either dried up and crusty or it was all mixed together so much it just looked brown. Lame. Also, I hate Play-Doh, but I keep telling myself that didn’t influence my pitching decision too much. (I’m in denial. Leave me alone.)
Get in the box, Mrs. Potato Head. Go quietly, ma'am. We don't want any trouble.
I wish I could tell you that I had some perfect system to decide how many toys I left out for my kids to play with, but that’s not true. You want to know my secret? I figured that even if I packed up every.single.toy. in the playroom there would be more throughout the house that would be left out for their use. I was right. Worked like a charm.
If you can pack up the major categories like dress-up, books, Legos, dollhouse, toy kitchen, etc. then the rest should just fall into place. And I really think that the fewer ‘toys’ my kids have, the more creative they are forced to be. That’s how I keep their brains from melting out their noses. You’re welcome : )

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Moving Right Along: 31 Days of Blogging Challenge

Welcome! This is my newly created home page of sorts for the 31 Days of Blogging Challenge. This will be home base for all of the new posts in the 'Moving Right Along: 31 Days of Moving Through Life' series. I'll link to the new posts as soon as they're up! I hope you enjoy : )
I am so excited to be a part of this challenge, organized by the lovely Nester over at her blog Nesting Place. There are tons of bloggers participating! Go check it out!

Moving Right Along: New Memories in a New Home

We've only lived in the new house for a month and already we've made so many memories here. That's one thing that I actually really enjoy about living in different places like I mentioned here. You get to have so many memories in so many places! Today I'm just sharing a few of my favorite Instagram photos that are now memories in our new place
New bunk beds for the girls meant a great big box to play with, so the munsters colored and decorated it before using it as a boat for their toys.
This was about two weeks in to our time here. He had finally figured out where to go in the middle of the night to find me :)

This was our first morning here (and such poor quality!). Judah looked and looked for a seat on which he could sit and eat his cereal bar before giving up and just sitting on a box.

 The Boy was nice enough to help Daddy put together the aforementioned bunk beds. Note the concentration and raw power.

Here's Judah Bear all set to go have lunch at school with big sister!

We finally live in a house that's not on a busy street! So Sissy is out there riding her bike every chance she gets : )

Our first new house 'injury.' Just a smooshed finger, but I took those closet doors down so fast they didn't know what hit 'em. Punk doors hurting my baby.

The Boy insisted on sleeping with his Superman beanie a couple of nights...not sure if this is cute or weird???

First casualty of the new house. Judah squished a roly poly and Eden was devastated. So she buried him and asked me to take a picture of his grave. Judah continued playing in the dirt.

First badge from Awana Sparks! We've never done Awana until this year, so it's been fun to have something brand new in this house.

All of our old toilet brushes got pitched, and Sissy was super excited to be the first one to use the new brush I got. I graciously allowed her to break it in.

Mr. Bug spent a couple of hours one of his days at home to get my curtains hung for me. It was nice not to have the feeling the neighbors were judging me for watching The Good Wife. What? It's an addicting show!


Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Moving Right Along: Getting Ready to Move

While preparing for our last move, I called my sister countless times to whine about how much I hate moving. She was a trooper to put up with it, especially since she and her family had also just moved and her experience was far more stressful. (Think moving out of state into an apartment for only one year with two kids and another one on the way. Yeah, my whining was silly.)

But like I talked about here, our landlords wanted to sell the Mouse House and we didn’t want the stress of showing the house and not knowing if we’d have a place to live in a month. And the truth is the new place is great. It is somewhere that I can see us living comfortably for a few years while we pay off debt and save a down payment for another house of our own.

So long story short long, I was kind of moving against my will. Sounds so dramatic, huh? Picture me with my hand to my forehead collapsing on a fainting couch. Oh man, I would love to have a fainting couch. Anywho, back to moving…
This isn't exactly a fainting couch, but if TJMaxx wanted to donate it to the cause, I wouldn't object : )
 The first thing that I would suggest to anyone preparing to move is to purge. Not in a Seinfeld ‘refunding’ way, but in a ‘get rid of all this crap that we have no idea where it came from’ way. If you’ve got a couple of months before you move it might be a great idea to have a yard sale. If you’ve got less time than that, I would suggest giving it all away.

Giving perfectly good stuff away is tough for me. I am a cheapskate to my very core, so when I see something that we don’t need that I could get a few bucks for my first thought is to try and sell it. I did this with a few things but what I really should have done was just get it the heck out of my house. I have a few friends whose daughters are younger than mine, so I gave them shoes and clothes that they’d outgrown. A stroller we no longer use went to another friend.  Excess dress-up clothes went to a little girl at church who loves to play dress-up.

If you come across something that is stained/broken/worn out/no longer useful…pitch it! Now is not the time to see potential in every scrap of fabric and wonky picture frame. Do not move trash just to throw it away a month later. This one was also hard for me and I honestly could have done better. Learn from my mistakes, people!

My final word of advice for The Great Purge is this great idea that I shared yesterday: someone else is happy with less than what you have. When all is said and done, all this stuff is just…stuff. They’re just things. Is it worth snapping at your kids and being a grump because you’re stressed over the move and all the things you have? Consider how blessed you are to have all of this stuff and let the stress go.

Moving Day! These kiddos were such troopers. I am so blessed with these little gifts from above.
 This is one lesson that I feel like I’m in the middle of learning. Maybe if you’re a young whippersnapper it will take you less than 30 years to become as wise as I am. HA! I’m sorry; I couldn’t say that without laughing! : )


Monday, October 7, 2013

Moving Right Along: Quotes that Move Me

I’m close to my deadline for the day, so this is one of my freebies/super easy posts to write : ) I present to you: moving quotes! Not quotes about moving—quotes that move me. You can find all of these on my ‘Words’ Pinterest board here. Have a great day!
The Winnie the Pooh and Piglet friendship is beautiful. They are so understanding and they're always there for one another. I know they're not real, by the way.
I feel this way about my kids sometimes. When you just want to squish their soft little bodies in a snuggle.
I love these words. In a culture where people get divorced after six months of marriage and 'fall out of love' left and right, this is Truth to me. I'll tell you right now, there are times when I don't feel like being in love but I make a choice to honor my vows. *stepping down from soapbox*
Sometimes all you can ask for is someone to stand next to you, hold your hand, and say "Yep. This sucks." But when they keep ahold of your hand, things are just a little bit more manageable.
This song. We sing this song at church and every.single.time. it brings tears to my eyes. The idea that God would love this imperfect creature enough to take the time to see something He loves and can use. Very humbling. Here is the song. Please go and listen to it.
Oh, Mr. Darcy. I love Jane Austen. Darcy and Colonel Brandon are two of my very favorite characters ever. And I have to admit, I like Elinor from Sense & Sensibility better than Elizabeth from Pride & Prejudice. Blasphemy, I know : )
Truth. Flowers are happy and that's all they can be. Even if you get them for a sad reason, the flowers are a thing of beauty that reminds me that God loves me and loves making beautiful things. Go listen to the song again. Seriously.
This is a depressing-ish quote, but it rings true for me. I get bummed out during the winter, but just reading this makes me feel better. It's nice to know that I'm not alone in that.
Continuing on with my Audrey love affair. Sabrina was a magical movie to me when I was younger. Not only was she gorgeous, but it told me that love isn't necessarily what you always think it should be. Sometimes it's better.
This is really good for me to remember when I'm thinking about how much I hate the blinds in the kitchen or how I wish I had a headboard. Reality needs to take hold of me at times like that.
There are monsters in this world. Not with horns and googly eyes and fire coming out of their mouths, but real monsters. But they're not unbeatable. Something I want my munsters to learn. 
I pinned this shortly after moving to Lincoln because it really rang true to me at that time.
I love that not all the responsibility is on the wife, nor is it on the husband. I do my part, he does his. It's a partnership and I love that. I don't always live up to my end, but we try.
I heart Mumford & Sons. "Sigh No More" is one of my favorite songs of theirs, partly because it borrows so much from Shakespeare's play Much Ado About Nothing. I first watched this movie with one of my best friends in the world when we were still in middle school and I love it to this day.
This is cheesy but still true. Mr. Bug and I have been together for over 11 years, married for more than eight, but I still find myself looking for him no matter where we are.
Can I tattoo this on my daughters' foreheads? That way it will help them and other girls remember! Too far? : )