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Do you ever look around your house and think about how you have too much stuff, but it is so emotionally stressful to actually do anything about it? 

Having too much stuff is stressful, but purging yourself from all the stuff is also stressful.

What is my obsession with stuff? My grandmother lived through the depression and she keeps everything.  She isn’t exactly a full-blown hoarder, but that may have to do with the fact that she never had a driver license to go anywhere on her own. She lived in the country (she lives with my aunt now) and every trip to town had purpose.

Maybe it is a genetic thing?

I have certain things or categories of stuff that I tend to hoard save.

1.  Cords.  Seriously, why do I need to keep cords?  I have no idea what most of them connect to, but I just keep hanging on to them.  I have this fear that I have something that has lost its cord and if I throw it away it renders that thing useless.  Nevermind that it is useless anyway because I am apparently not using it.

2.  Books. I love books.  Afterall, I do have an English degree (please do not hold it against me if my blog does not reflect this).  I can’t seem to part with my books.  I envision having a huge bookshelf with all my books on it–one day.

3.  Kitchen gadgets and plastic containers.  I have this desire to throw away all those plastic containers that take up all my cabinet space, but then what would I do with all  the leftovers that I have?  Oh wait, my 17-year-old usually takes care of the leftovers.  But still…

4.  Medicine, hair care products, skin care products, make-up, etc.  Somehow I can’t keep band aids, though.

5.  Clothes.  I still have jeans from 10 years ago that I was hoping to wear one day.  I am happy to say that I have successfully placed those in a box that is destined for Goodwill.  I also don’t want to get rid of old t-shirts and pajama bottoms. 

6.  Shoes.  I am in a constant search for the perfect shoe.   

7.  Purse.  Again, I am in a constant search for the perfect purse.  I think I have finally found my perfect purse. 

8.  Notebooks and office supplies.  Not sure why, but every time I go to Wal-Mart, or some store like it, I have to look at the office supplies, notebooks, and planners.  I am in the constant search for the perfect planner.  It doesn’t matter what kind of planner I get, because I forget to use them.

9.   National Geographic.  Actually magazines in general.

10.  Stuff my kids have made in school, church, etc.

I am stopping now. I think you get the picture.  Speaking of picture.  Look at these beautiful flowers my husband gave me for Valentine’s Day.

Purple Flowers from Valentine's Day 2013

They are still sitting on my counter.

I have so many issues.

I searched for minimalist living and found several blogs that discuss minimal living.  I know that I probably will never go to the extremes that some have gone, but I know that I have to purge some things from my house and life.  It will be difficult, but it will be therapeutic and spiritual as well. 

But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. Matthew 6:20

Blogs that I have used for inspiration:

Miss Minimalist

A Guy Named Dave

Smallish

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As I headed home from my grandmother’s house on Thanksgiving, I noticed I had a rather large stick in my back windshield. So I asked, “Why is there a stick in my back windshield?”  My dear sweet child, Sebastian, said that he liked the stick and he was taking it home.

Yes, my child found a stick that he liked and decided to take it home. 

This short conversation has stayed on my mind ever since.  Why in the world would he need to bring a stick home? He never plays outside. 

Our yard is a barren wasteland of just plain old boring grass.  Perfect for smooth mowing, which is exactly what Josh is trying to accomplish, but it isn’t the best yard for the childhood imagination.

We don’t have rocks in our yard.  Josh gets rid of those.  He doesn’t want to run over it with the lawn mower.

We don’t have sticks in our yard.  Josh gets rid of those, too.  He doesn’t want to run over these with the lawn mower, either.

We don’t have leaves because Josh chops leaves up with the lawnmower.  Not sure why he does this.  Don’t they just disintegrate?

We don’t have old tires, overgrown flowerbeds, swings, picnic tables, overgrown roots, or rusted old stuff left over from 30 years ago.

I told Josh about the conversation with Sebastian and how there aren’t any sticks in the yard.  Of course Josh implied that he did wish the kids would play in the yard more.  Knowing better, I said, “Now just what would you say if you walked outside and seen the kids digging a hole in the yard with a stick?”  He chuckled and said, “I would tell them to stop.”

I am not sure where Sebastian put his stick, but hopefully he hid it well.  There is no rock, stick, or leaf in our yard that is safe from Josh, and I don’t see that changing anytime soon.

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The kids are on Spring Break. There is a lot of nothing going on in the house, except for some PlayStation playing, Internet surfing, and TV watching. For some reason, they believe that they are on vacation from chores when they are on Spring Break. They do what they are supposed to with a little bit lot of reminding from me, but I don’t complain too much. After all, they are kids and you are only a kid for a short while. Except for those people with brains that never catch up with their body.

Anyway…

Emily is really getting into the show, Jon and Kate Plus Eight. She tries to tell me about the show when I get home in the afternoon.

So far, I have gathered this from the show–from Emily’s opinions.

Jon is really easy going and does whatever Kate wants.

Kate yells a lot and has to have a lot of help because she has a hard time controlling all those kids.

There is always someone crying.

Kate is always tired.

Evidently, we could have our own show because it is just as chaotic in our house as it is in theirs even though we have only four kids and not eight.

I handle things better than Kate. (No offense Kate.)

Jon is calm and has Daddy and kid time while on some trip somewhere.

Evidently, Kate and a friend took the kids to some “chocolate place” and she is crazy, because Emily said that I would never dare take them anywhere like that. Apparently, I know better. (Again, no offense Kate.)

Kate would never make it working in a day care, because Emily said I watched more than eight kids with no problem.

Since, I have only heard bits and pieces of the show, I can’t really comment from experience but only on Emily’s perception of the show.

First of all, I think that if Kate is able to handle all eight children all day, every day, without going insane, then I think that she is doing great. Especially, since they are so young. My children are spread out and not even close to the same age, so I have to deal with 4 children that are all in different stages in their lives.

Second, I suspect that it is just easier for Jon to go with the flow than to argue. From what I gather though, he works hard and does all he can to support his family. Also, I think it is great that he tries to make time for every child. That doesn’t always happen even when a family only has a couple of children.

Third, I am glad that they decided to put their story on TV. It is great entertainment and I think that it helps Emily because she relates to the show–even though we only have four children. Being the only girl, Emily often feels like she is misunderstood and out of the loop. I do what I can to help her not feel that way and let her know that she is an important part of our family.

Finally, Emily said that she is glad that I am her mom. If watching the show allows her to appreciate the family she has, then I will gladly let her watch the show.  Besides, I like hearing Emily’s observations about their family.

Maybe one day I will get around to actually watching a full episode.

Have a Blessed Day!

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I use charts, lists, and a huge calendar to keep my family organized–or at least try to, anyway. I felt like it was a losing battle. I have to constantly remind my kids to check their lists. I have to remind them to actually do the stuff on their list. I don’t always get to everything on my list because life gets in the way. Life has a funny way of doing that sometimes. 

My mother (who is my biggest critic) came over Friday morning. She commented on how clean my house was and asked if I had spent the night before cleaning. I told her that I had not and I looked around my kitchen. I realized that my house was clean. It was clean without me having to spend hours cleaning.

All this time that I thought I was fighting a losing battle, I had actually won it.

Sometimes, it just takes stepping back and seeing your situation through the eyes of others to see the real picture. I am sure this applies to more than just my clean house. Thanks Mom!

Have a Blessed Day!

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It is a sad day at my house when I am the only one that has it all together.

Let me explain. I am what some might call scatterbrained. I call myself that, too. I am forgetful and often to the point that someone might even think that I didn’t care about whatever it was that I was supposed to remember, but really and truly my mind is somewhere else–Sonya’s own little world. Sonya’s World also makes me run late quite often, too. I even forget to leave work when I am supposed to and then I run late getting home. Sad, huh?

lose misplace items all the time: keys, check card, makeup bag, purse, cell phone, occasionally my car in Walmart parking lot, and other things. I have developed my own system for dealing with my habit of misplacing stuff, just because my mind is on something else at the time.

My keys: I always place them in the same place every day as I walk into my home. It is a cute little fish dish.

My Purse: I drop it into the same spot every day.

My Makeup bag is a little harder to keep up with. It stays in the same spot, but sometimes I don’t have time to put on makeup before I leave the house so I take it with me and then I forget that it is in the car until the next morning when I am ready to put on my makeup. It is a vicious cycle.

I always park in the area of the parking lot at Walmart. It just makes it easier to find that way.

I will put my cell phone down anywhere. I find it all over the house. I have even had to call it before so that I can hear it ring, but then half the time I realize that it is on vibrate. A quarter of the time, I have left the thing in the car. I will only realize this after calling it 5 times, realizing it must be on vibrate, and I have torn the house apart searching for it.

Knowing how I am, I have been determined to get organized. I have lists everywhere. Lists that I have forgotten about. I have lists for the kids. I have a huge desk calendar at work and at home with everything listed on it. I don’t know how much more I can do.

The other day, I was on my way home. I had just picked up baby Samuel from the sitter. It was 5pm. Jacob had a Chiropractor appointment at 5:15pm. I called Josh.

Me: Hey, I just picked up Samuel. I am on  my way. Tell Jacob to be ready when I get there.

Josh: Oh, Shoot.

Me: (I could tell this wasn’t going to be good.) What?

Josh: Jacob went to hit balls with Stanley. (Stanley was Jacob’s baseball coach last year and Jacob is really good friends with Stanley’s son.)

Me: Well, do you know where they are?

Josh: No, but he took the cell with him. (The cell that Jacob’s father bought him…not me.)

Me: OK. Well, I will be there in a minute. You know, I have it written on The Calendar.

Josh: I don’t look at The Calendar.

UGH! Can you feel my frustration? I thought that my husband was the one that had it all together. He is the neat freak in the family. I just assumed that neat freaks would be great at organizational stuff. Perhaps, I am wrong…or it is just him. Anyway, for me to be the one that has it all together in the family is sort of comical really. Since when is the most scatterbrained person in the family the one that seems to know what is going on and when it is happening. It all comes down to determination and constant vigilance on my part to have a routine for everything. Repetition is the key for me.

The Calendar is our command station. It is where I communicate to my family, as well as telling them, that this is what is on the agenda for our family. The Calendar and our lists are a way to remain organized. Having and maintaining a routine is crucial for my family. Apparently, I need to make some revisions to their lists.  

I need to add “Look at The Calendar” to my family’s lists–either that or stick a post-it note on their foreheads.

By the way, we did make it to Jacob’s appointment–barely.

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I would think that traditions are important to a lot of people, especially around the holidays. Some traditions are complex while others are simple. Some involve religious beliefs while others do not. Who knows, you may have a tradition that you don’t even think of as a tradition.

I was thinking about the traditions in my own family. We have traditions such as doing crafts at Thanksgiving and Christmas. Even something as simple as having my Grandmother’s Chicken and Dumplings at every holiday could be viewed as a tradition.

I think about how my mother and I would go out to eat, then to the movies every Saturday when I was a teenager. That was sort of our mother and daughter time. Even now, I still go shopping (most of the time it is to Sam’s or the grocery store) with my mom on most Saturday’s. We don’t get to the movies much anymore, but I feel like we have continued the tradition of spending time together on Saturday’s.

Now that I have my own children, I am thinking about traditions that I celebrate with them. Sadly, I can’t think of anything really significant that we could call a “tradition” other than attending church, but I don’t know if this qualifies as a real tradition. I think that my family gets so caught up with life that we forget to stop every now and then and enjoy being together as a family.

So, I need some inspiration! I want to hear about your family traditions.   🙂

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My husband called me yesterday afternoon while I was on my way home from work. After a little chat, he told me that he had something to show me. He wouldn’t tell me what it was and I told him how rude it was to say you have something to tell or show then not tell what the what is. He just said that it was weird.

We have had so much stuff go wrong with this house that I think someone is going to have to come take me away to the crazy house (no offense to any of you that have actually been to the crazy house) if anything else happens. So, I know that whatever is weird has to involve the house. Anyway, I get home and Josh takes me out to the room that we have been renovating. Josh walks over to the far wall and just below a window are two perfect little holes about the size of small nail holes in the wall.

Our conversation was similar to the following:

Me: What is this?

Josh: Some critter is boring holes in our wall.

Me: What kind of critter?

Josh: I don’t know.

Me: Well, this is weird.

Josh: You are getting a kick out of this, aren’t you? (I was sitting in the floor looking at the holes very intently and wishing that I had a magnifying glass. I was also wondering how in the world did Josh see those tiny little holes in the wall in the first place.)

Josh leaves the room and then I see critter legs or antenna move out of the hole. I yell for Josh to come quick because the critter is trying to come out of the hole. Then I grab my phone. This is just too exciting:  I have to call my mom. I proceeded to tell her about the two little holes and the antenna.

My mom: Antenna??? (with a little giggle.)

Me: Yes, antenna. It is like little feelers. Maybe spider legs.

My mom: Sounds like termites.

Me: Are you sure that there aren’t hole boring spiders or something?

My mom: I really think it is termites. Oh my gosh! Do you think that could be why your floor in the kitchen gives a little? (Mom would bring up the fact that the floor in the kitchen gives a little, but I wasn’t too concerned because the house is kind of old. Now I was getting concerned.)

Me: I have to call dad. (My dad owns his own pest control business.)

I call my dad and I ask him the same question I asked my mom: Are there hole boring spiders?

My dad: Why? (very tentatively)

So, I explain the situation to him.

My dad: Is there a heater near by?

Me: Yes. Why? (my turn to tentatively ask why.)

My dad: Sounds like termites. They are probably going for the heat. It is a little early for them to swarm though. (Evidently the termites in my house don’t know this.)

Me: What do I do?

My dad: Catch one if you get a chance.

Me: Catch a termite?

My dad: Yes, even though I am positive that it is termites. If they start swarming, spray hairspray on them. (I don’t even own hairspray.)

Me: Why hairspray?

My dad: It makes their wings sticky and they can’t fly. Other than that don’t do anything to them, so that they will take the (I can’t remember what he called it, but it is whatever they spray for termites) back to the colony.

Great, now I have visions of termite colonies in the walls of my house.

OK. So, here is the situation. My room is finished and ready for us to move our bedroom stuff back in, but now I have to wait until next week because my dad is going to come over and take care of the termites on Monday. Josh unplugged the heater and now I am praying that it stays cold until Monday. Hopefully, the warm weather that we have experienced will stay away until after the house gets treated so that we do not have termites swarming in my house.

Oh, and Josh caught one that evidently managed to come out of the tiny little hole. So far, no more have come out.

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