Category Archives: Inspiration

Love Pig Will and Pig Won’t

Pig Will and Pig Won'tThis summer as my kids and I were at the library reading books we came across this book by Richard Scarry. Somehow it made an impression on my girls and stood out amongst the others we read. Some books do that. It is always a treasure to hear one of my daughters refer to a book several weeks later. I immediately thought to myself, “Score, they were listening after all!”

This book stood out in particular I guess to my little daughter Emery for when I asked her if she would help me unload the dishwasher, a few weeks after reading the book, she jumped up and said “yes, I WILL! (I was in shock.) …because I am Pig Will and NOT Pig Won’t.” Whoohoo! This is one of those golden moments as a Mother that I couldn’t help but be thrilled about. Basically, the book is about two little brothers Pig Will and Pig Won’t and how Pig Will is always willing to help out and do as he is told while Pig Won’t won’t. As a result, Pig Won’t is often miserable and no fun to be around.

It was a cute little book and has a great message for kids. In addition to that, more recently I’ve been trying to instill in Emery a desire to be a peacemaker and help her sisters as she is now the oldest at home. I noticed that it is typically her behavior to her sisters that determines whether they are crying and upset or quiet and at peace.

Since then, I have reminded her of this little book along with teaching her how it is important to try to be a peacemaker. It is something that one has to practice and it doesn’t always come naturally. Right? We naturally get annoyed or upset and want to do something about it. Am I not correct? So when she is caught in an act of teasing and tormenting her sisters, I remind her about this. “Emery are you practicing being a peacemaker?” Believe it or not this little question, along with telling her how cool peacemakers are is helping!

With these two things in mind I’ve been thinking over the concept of being a peacemaker and being a Pig Will or Pig Won’t myself.  It is a cute concept for kids to start learning what an angry unwilling little character looks like to everyone else.  As a grown-up though I think it is important to embrace both Pig Will and Pig Won’t and not associate an emotion with needing to say no or yes.  Pig Won’t is not bad, in fact, he is very very necessary sometimes.

In fact, maybe we need to apply him more in our lives!

FOR EASE OF MIND, and to be more effective in what you’re trying to do

Make a list of WON’TS and WILLS!

Yay! I love making a list of what I want to do next in my life or what I want to work on improving or what I need to accomplish this week. I love lists.  But sometimes they aren’t so helpful when I am feeling like I have too much to do.  More than a couple items on a list starts draining me instantly.  So why not, when feeling a little overwhelmed, make a list of clearly defined WON’Ts and WILL’s!? Love both of the pigs, right? Hee, hee. Life is about balance. You need the ying just as you need the yang. Allow yourself a sigh of relief as you do this list exercise.

My Pig Will and Pig Won’t List: (Example)

  • I won’t sign my kids up for any more weekly activities this school year.
  • I will however, work with them on what they are currently learning at school and doing already.
  • I won’t do more than I have planned on the schedule this weekend.
  • I will make a nice meal for my family tonight and get the kids in bed on time.
  • I won’t…

Tip 1:  Just because you won’t do something now doesn’t mean you won’t in the future. Just think of the long life you have to live. Rarely if ever is it now or never. As a whole, now or never is pretty much a false statement.

Tip 2: Most often I won’ts should be things you keep mulling over in your head but haven’t felt the conviction to jump on board yet. There is probably a reason for that. Don’t doubt yourself. Maybe yes, the idea is a good idea but not something to do at this time. Give the things you are doing more strength and more of your full attention by making this defining list. Just do it. You’ll thank me later.

Make your list and watch the magic happen. If you are feeling overwhelmed at this time of year, I promise it is helpful. Try it!!! You will feel a weight lifted off your shoulders as you perhaps make some decisions about things you didn’t even realize where bothering you. You can always re-access in 3-6 months if you feel it would be helpful.

Have a great weekend! 🙂

-M

A Moms Salary- Check it out!

This is awesome and so true. Although us stay-at-home Moms may not be bringing home big bucks our work and service is dramatically adding to the quality of life our family enjoys. Check out this Mom Salary Chart from Salary.com.

In addition to that, there are two ways money can be accumulated by how it comes in and what is allowed out. I may not be in the “workforce” but I have a huge impact on my family financially. My side of caring for the family financially is to monitor what money goes out as I am the one responsible for the family shopping and putting together our home.  Check out this awesome chart! Also, keep in mind some of the kindness we offer and aid we give to others one can’t really put a price on for example, caring for a baby in the wee hours of the morning.  This is just an average, so if you are really rocking it as a Mom maybe your “salary” is much more than this. 🙂

Never forget how amazing you are Moms!!! 🙂

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As of Lately

Sigh. I have been super busy lately after settling in from my trip to see family and friends last week in Utah. Extremely busy also because our vacation time is over, my husband has started his new job,  and I am back busy at taking care of my 4 little ones. It isn’t easy. Especially with caring for my newborn who doesn’t sleep the night yet. (We’ve got her to where she only wakes up once to be fed so it’s not too bad but still with everything it is a lot…) This quote I came across the other day spoke volumes to me.

“God has designed this mortal existence to require nearly constant exertion… By work we sustain and enrich life… Work builds and refines character, creates beauty, and is the instrument of our service to one another and to God. A consecrated life is filled with work, sometimes repetitive, sometimes unappreciated but always work that improves, lifts, and inspires.”

D.Todd Christofferson Reflections on a Consecrated Life

Right now I don’t get a lot of credit or personal praise for what I am doing everyday but I know the work of a Mother is very important work. It may be very repetitive at times, and also unappreciated but it is okay because it is so very WORTH it. It may even take every ounce of my exertion at times to manage it all but I make it through. And, I will get better at it through time. Adding a baby always does this to me- knocks me flat for a little while until I can figure out how to start juggling it all again and what I can cut out that really wasn’t very productive in the first place.

I am doing it and I will get better and better. It just takes time. Thanks for hanging in there!!!

 

January Revamping

IDSC_5521 have been crafting a lot for fun lately from revamping clothes I have purchased at mega sale prices- like I am talking $2.99 brand new, jewelry, and even making pillows. With being several months along now with my pregnancy, things aren’t fitting the way they used to and for good reason!  I really want to enjoy every step of having  a baby no matter what number it is.  So with those new pieces I mentioned above I have a put together a cute maternity wardrobe that I am excited about wearing for the next couple of months- three and a half to be exact! All this for a fraction of the cost because I was willing to do a little repair work and simple altering.  (When I say simple I mean like sewing a straight line.)  Yay!

These throw pillows are place mats that I found on clearance at Target. I just opened one seam, put in stuffing, and then sewed it back up. These are the sort of crafts I like to do around here… very simple and yet effectively changing the look of the room. 😉 Continue reading

City Market

No we are not in Beijing but in our beautiful Kansas City! We love it here. The city market downtown is great with excellent produce, prices, variety, live entertainment, and a mixture of cultures. The coolest thing is that it is available every Sat. except a couple months of the winter!

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—Don’t Be a Cookie Cutter Consumer—

I am not really sure what I have been doing lately other than taking care of my kids, getting out to enjoy our summer, keeping the house clean, housework up to que, and my weekly goals.

Now I think of it, I have been cleaning a ton, donating stuff, and organizing. I’ve deep cleaned ours cars, the freezer, fridge, basement, and every other room.  I am ready for the next big project or adventure although I haven’t quite come upon it yet.  Usually, it naturally presents itself and I have all faith it will. I’ve been reading a couple of books this summer, too.  One book Millionaire Next Door has been particularily interesting and has made me re-access how I am spending my money and how I can budget even more effectively.

The bottom line of the book is that it is more about how little one can live on than how much one makes. Over half the millionaires of America earn less than a six figure income. What they have in common is that they 1.) are meticulous  at budgeting 2.) spend way less than what they make regardless of how little or much it is 3.) they invest.

How can one spend so little when so many “needs” present themselves? This is the question I ask myself.  I don’t want to constantly cut myself short of living the good life but at they same time, save up for those big ticket items and live with financial security?

Reading this book lately and thinking about the subject of wealth has also helped inspire me even more to think outside of the box. Here are 3 simple rules of thumb I have thought of for myself that I would recommend to you. Here are the three B’s.

1. Brainstorm to use what you have.  Instead of thinking up what you need or want and what you will need to purchase to accomplish it, take a slightly different angle.  Think of what you have and how you can use it to meet these needs.   My parents were incredible at this.  For example: Recently, I really wanted to redo the decor of my house.  I decided to just move things around that I already had. I tried to make it into a game.  A couple things that were in the basement, I brought upstairs.  Then I brought a couple things from the living room upstairs to redecorate the master bedroom.  I then rearranged furniture and added only one thing new in the end to tie it all together.  I am loving it! It looks totally different and the one thing new I added I tried to use frames I already had and buy the rest on the cheap at a thrift store.  There is definitely a time and place for new but just don’t let it  be your auto response.  If you can rewire your brain to try to solve problems with what you already have, you will save your self much energy and time in addition to money.

2. Buy Used.  Yes, just do it.  Every time you do actually need something think of how you can buy it used. Sometimes it takes more patience.  Be prepared for this.  Don’t run away, yes, I am talking to you. Typically, when I want something I want it now are you any different? To wait, is like asking me to drink castor oil.  Are you kidding? Not that you should drink caster oil, but I beg you to try to exert some patience with buying things that you “need” (other than food and shelter).

For example, yes, you need some new work out shoes. The ones you are using are getting really worn and if  you let this thought pass and forget about them you may cause yourself injury with using non-supportive soles right? There are so many things we can say to ourselves to feed the I need it now voice.  Trust me, I know. But, just try it and wait. Don’t live off the gut impulse feeling that you “need” it now and in effect rush off to the store. With patience give it a chance to settle in for a while so you can be 100 percent objective about it. Then do something else and set it aside. Sometime these “need” will pass and you will see it wasn’t really an issue after all. Or if it really is than it will be in the back of your mind and the problem will start to work itself out.  What I mean is this example with needing new work out shoes was just what happened to me recently. I told myself I needed them about 3 weeks ago but I also told myself I would just hold off. Then, last week I happened to stop at a garage sale and there was a pair perfectly in my size that looked super cute and they looked practically brand spanking new.  They were only 4 dollars. Wow!  This is not some bogus example, it happens all the time and could happen to any of us. Another possible answer is that you decide to clear out your closet one day and find an extra pair that are in good shape you had forgotten about about.  Sweet.  Patience works, just try it PLEASE. Don’t live off cave man-like impulses. Come on you can do it! You can!
3. Budget. Don’t worry, I am going to stop at three as to keep it straight forward and simple. Access your budget.  Set in your mind exactly what you want to spend on each category based on previous history and what you know is do-able.  Keep those numbers in your head.  Don’t be embarrassed to ask to put a few things back at the grocery store. Who cares what they think. You may even be inspiring the store teller to be better themselves by simply being honest and saying you want to keep it at a certain amount to keep within your budget. That being said, you need a good money management software. I love Mint.com. It is free and automatically updates with your bank. There are many different and safe management systems. Research it and do it.

Go you! Thanks for reading my article. Go get more control and be the author of your own destiny. God will help you, he wants us to be self-reliant and strong. YOU ROCK!