Tag: Fun

Why I’m a MOPS Mommy

Years ago, I gave birth to the wildest adventure I’ve ever known: my precious son. I have been perpetually tired since the day he was born. I laugh, I cry, I nap. Some of you know what I’m talking about. Just saying the word “boys” makes you tired. Now I’m not saying girls are easy, I’m just saying that boys are…wide open, loud, non-stop, 90mph whirlwinds of sticky, smelling, bug-collecting, stomping, free-for-all, stop every now and then to kiss you then drive you up the wall, buckets of joy.

He came early and had to be nursed or fed every 2-3 hrs. By the time I nursed, diapered, swaddled, pumped, cleaned everything, and set up for the next round it was time to do it all over again. Ya’ll remember those first moths of sleep deprivation. I was tired all the time. Exhausted, really. Even though my doctor said it is harder for moms to bounce back when they are “older first timers” I was still beating myself up a little about it. I wanted so badly to enjoy every second. I figured, I’ll rest later. Later came and he was crawling, then walking, then running! You get the picture.

Little-boy wrangling, family obligations, home keeping, Church obligations…the world kept spinning while I grew more and more tired. I felt old. I felt worn out. Did I say I felt, old? Old. Really, really old. I felt a little awkward at library day- the other moms were SO much younger than me. I didn’t know it at the time but I had let myself get withdrawn and just a tad bit depressed.

Then it happened. One of the other moms at library day invited me to a Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS) meeting. Yeah right… a room full of barbie dolls half my age with their perfect little outfits and their perfect little children with no stains or sticky stuff. I was not interested. No way. It seemed like just one more thing to make me feel pressured and inadequate. Since I told her I would think about it, I did. My son is virtually an only child (his teen-age half-siblings no longer live with us) and a homeschooler, I thought being around other kids his age would be good for him. I went for him.

The kids were downstairs and the moms were upstairs at a local church. I felt so insecure. They were all a good bit younger. The voices in my head were saying I wouldn’t fit in but they were so sweet. Everyone was so friendly. Over the next few meetings, I realized they weren’t perfect little moms. Nope, not at all.  They had in-a-hurry pony tails, tired eyes and yucky stains too. The screaming from the children’s area assured me their kids weren’t perfect little tikes either. They were…like me. They were a lot like me. That was two years ago.

Since then, I have developed friendships with some of the most beautiful, caring ladies on the planet. We have laughed, cried, played, and learned together. My son has playmates and playdates galore. This fall I will be assuming a small leadership position within the group. I am so excited to attend the international convention in August.

I am still tired. Are you kidding? The older he gets, the faster and stronger he gets! I am no longer isolated. I am not withdrawn. I know I’m not alone. As women, we are as diverse and unique as we can be. As moms, though, we share the same joys and struggles. We understand each other. We have a sisterhood that strengthens us.

MOPS, is an international organization dedicated to supporting, nurturing, educating, and empowering moms through community building. Their mission statement reads, “MOPS International exists to encourage, equip and develop every mother of preschoolers to realize her potential as a woman, mother and leader in the name of Jesus Christ.”  There are local chapters virtually everywhere. Their web page has a group locator and super resources for every single kind of mom. Even the old and tired ones, like me.

I encourage  you to give it a try. You may be busy, you may be shy, but you just may change your life!  Are you a part of a MOPS group? Have you thought it wasn’t for you? Why? Share your stories with me. Moms don’t let other moms mother alone (yeah, I had to work in the slogan somehow).

Three in Thirty

October Goals

For my October goals, I have chosen:
1.  Read one inspirational book (Relationship with God)
2.  Establish a blog posting/ writing routine (Social Media)
3.  Decorate for Fall (Home/Organization)

I have already completed one goal!  What, you’re not applauding? I’ve put out our fall decorations with the exception of the turkey things.  I’ll put those out next month closer to Thanksgiving.  So far we have a few table decorations, window clings, a couple of mantle pieces, and I added a few pumpkins to the year round table center piece.

I don’t really do a whole lot of seasonal decorating outside of Christmas.  I don’t know why…maybe because my family never did.  We always had a Christmas tree, of course.  Now that I’m a mom, I’ll have to do better!  I think my son and husband appreciate it- so that motivates me.  I enjoy making seasonal crafts with my DS4.  I’m sure we’ll get more elaborate with the decorations as he gets older.

Silk Leaves

 

Pumpkinized Centerpiece
Living Room Mantle

Sun Porch Window Cling

It’s fun getting back into the #3in30 habit!  How are you doing with your goals?  I love seeing everyone’s progress.  It’s encouraging to me that we all have so many similar goals.  Great minds think alike, right?  Keep up the good work, Ladies. #3in30 Blessings to you!

(You know, I really did want applause- just a little.)
3in30 I'm In!!

Three in Thirty

3in30 I'm In!!

September just flew by.  Did anyone else notice?  This month has been especially busy for us.  We’ve been getting back in the homeschooling groove and had a beach vacation.  Although my vacation has nothing to do with the challenge (or this post),  I know you are just screaming for beach photos. I wouldn’t want to disappoint – here’s a shot or two:

Blue Crab
Snack Time

I am proud to say that I accomplished two of my three goals.  Notice how I put a positive spin on that?  It’s all about attitude, Baby. I created a home management journal.  I may do a post on it with links to the pages I used.  Want to see it?

Front Cover

Calendar Pages

Scripture Confession Pages
And I tackled the over flowing stack of magazines and catalogs.  Now it’s down to three that we are actually using.  Here’s a before and after:
Before

   

After

How did you do in September?  Are you thinking about your October goals?  I am!  One of my Home/Organization goals is to get out the fall decorations.  You know, sometime before the actual day of Thanksgiving!  Here’s a sneak peek:

See you next time…

Want to know a secret?

I have a love/ hate relationship with social media.  I love blogging- sometimes.  I love reading and learning from other moms in the trenches.  I love Twitter, Instagram and Pixoshere. BUT… I’m unreliable, undependable, you just plain can’t count on me for regular blog posting.  There, you have it: the cold, hard truth. I’m just a blogger wannabe.  For the rest of my dirty, little secret click here.  You’ll be redirected to MommieKate – the fun & fellowship side where I’m currently crying out for time management tips (and a maid).

The Truth Hurts

I have a love/ hate relationship with social media.  I love blogging- sometimes.  I love reading and learning from other moms in the trenches.  I love Twitter, Instagram and Pixoshere. BUT… I’m unreliable, undependable, you just plain can’t count on me for regular blog posting.  There, you have it: the cold, hard truth. I’m just a blogger wannabe. I’ve tried scheduling my time, joining blog hops, even group accountability. Now I know that you, all twenty-four of you WONDERFUL, FAITHFUL, BEAUTIFUL followers have been holding your breath just waiting for my next blog-hopping post. What? You haven’t? Well then I know you’re not too disappointed.  Whew. That’s a relief! Thanks for loving and reading me anyway.

I have so many great ideas, so many posts in my head, so many photos to share…and no time. No motivation to wake up at 5am just to blog.  No push, no pressure, no DRIVE.  What I do have is a very flexible (yeah, that’s what we’ll call it: flexible) routine.  I have a huge house to clean, an active boy to wrangle and to educate, and a hungry husband to feed – just like most of you.  So how do the blogging divas do it? They have groceries, dishes and tantrums to deal with.  So what have they got that I don’t have? OK, that IS a rhetorical question. Please don’t even begin to answer that one!

I seriously love, and I mean LOVE writing.  So why is it so hard to do just one little post a week? I started blogging because I wanted to share the things that my Pastor’s wife (and very dear friend) had taught me.  Little things that profoundly changed my thinking and my life.  Things about keeping it real with Jesus, how to manage my home for His glory, and how to practically keep a family fed and happy on a budget.  I started with a few posts on how I save money and Practical Faith For Everyday Life was born.  As my son grew older I started researching homeschooling blogs for pointers.  I fell totally in love with the homeschooling community online and I wanted to branch out. Then came MommieKate.

I wanted to join all those lovely blog hops I had found.  I wanted to BE one of those women.  You know her- she works out everyday, pays only six bucks plus coupons at the grocery store for $500 worth of food, has faithful morning & evening devotions, has her housework done by 9:00am, homeschooling done by noon, and loves arts & crafts time with her genius, never- naughty boy.
The woman who does all that AND has time to blog about it. (That’s the part I really wanted).  I also have fantasies about photography, jewelry making, and mission trips but that’s for another (probably unwritten forever) post.

Don’t get me wrong, I have my Bible time. I can stretch a dollar a mile or two. My chores get done. The lessons get done. We get crafty every now and then. Don’t ask about the workout.  Oh, alright: I’ll confess. The PX90 is still in the closet – you guessed it: unopened. I get things done and I enjoy life. I just can’t seem to get a handle on writing about all these adventures.

I have blogger envy.  That’s my secret.  Now you know.

I would love to hear how you make it all work.  I’d really love you to send me a maid but while I’m waiting just clue me in with your time management tips.

Rolling Out!

Buckle up, Peeps, we are on the go!
I55 at St. Louis
Road trip! After months of searching we found THE camper that is just perfect for us.  We traveled 14 hours (one way) to pick it up.  Round trip we traveled over 1600 miles in just three days. Yes, it was exhausting but so worth the trip (I’ll dish on the savings later)!
Are we there yet?
I have to brag just a bit- my DS3 was an absolute champ!  I wasn’t very confident about his ability to endure such a long time in the truck without multiple melt-downs. Heck, I wasn’t sure I could endure the trip without multiple melt-downs! He was great! We all had a super time watching the scenery, singing along to the cd player, and visiting with each other.  The promise of a nightly swim at the hotel was a great incentive for good behavior, by the way.
Why on earth would we voluntarily embark on such a journey? To save a boat load of bucks, that’s why!  For us camping is a way that we can vacation without breaking the bank. We can do more, see more, go more often for a lot less money.  After a few attempts at tent camping, we decided that sleeping on the ground was not for us.  Face it, for me to consider it fun I have to sleep comfortably.  I want a cushy bed and air conditioning/heating at the end of the day. A microwave in case of a rained-out campfire helps too! 
We researched for months. We had to figure out what we wanted in a camper and balance that with what my husband’s truck could haul and with what our budget could handle. When we decided on a few models we started scouting dealers and classifieds.  We purchased our camper at Cheyenne Camping Center.  Even with what we spent traveling to pick it up, we saved between $5-10,000.00 for what the same model was going for locally.  We purchased a brand new 2012 model for LESS than the price of many used ones we saw for sale.  
Was this my original plan for seeing the world?  No. Sometimes you have to have to adjust. Even when your dream seems impossible I have found that there is always a way, ALWAYS. You just have to be open to new/different paths to getting what you want. Sometimes it turns out even better!
Our adventures begin!

Video Resources

I have (finally) boarded the YouTube train.  I know, I know… a little late.  Really, I thought it was all about bootleg music videos and weirdo exhibitionists. You know, the DARK side (play sinister music here). Yes, all that’s out there and more- but now I have found it to be a wonderful resource for preschool videos, books, music, and mini-lessons.  The subscription button is now my friend (that’s my tool for weeding out the yucky stuff).  I’m passing along some of my favorites.  Enjoy!

And one more just for fun!

Video Resources

I have (finally) boarded the YouTube train.  I know, I know… a little late.  Really, I thought it was all about bootleg music videos and weirdo exhibitionists. You know, the DARK side (play sinister music here). Yes, all that’s out there and more- but now I have found it to be a wonderful resource for preschool videos, books, music, and mini-lessons.  The subscription button is now my friend (that’s my tool for weeding out the yucky stuff).  I’m passing along some of my favorites.  Enjoy!

And one more just for fun!

Thankful Thursday

I am so thankful for spring time.  With everything in bloom and mild temperatures it is so much fun to be outdoors.  My son and I have been able to romp and play almost every afternoon.  We picnic and even do some of our homeschooling lessons on a blanket in the yard.

Daisey by mommiekate, on Pix-O-Sphere
MommieKate@pixosphere

Spring is a time for renewal.  It gives me that clean slate- anything is possible feeling. The crisp air and sunshine make me smile on the inside.  I feel like a kid again- good thing I have a little kid to be silly with! If you haven’t already, take the opportunity to go outside and PLAY. Enjoy nature.  Have fun. Be silly.

What are you thankful for? Link up at Spiritually Unequal Marriage and share!