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Archive for October, 2014

7 Steps To Keep Your Kid’s Clothes Organized

7 Steps To Keep Your Kid’s Clothes Organized

I have three kids, so we have a lot of clothes…we all know that kids grow like weeds and it seems like every time I turn around another one of the kids has outgrown one size and have moved on to the next size.  If you are anything like me, I’m sure you are scratching your head wondering what to do with the clothes or shoes that they just grew out of, while still considering if you should save those items for their brother or sister.  If you do decide to save the items, then how would you organize them?  How can you remember where you put them when it’s time for the next child to use them?  What system should you use?  Help!clothes2

Katrina to the rescue!  I have been there and totally understand how daunting this task can be, especially if you are trying to pinch pennies and be as economical as possible.  I’m no expert, but here is they system I have come up with over the years to keep my 3 kids clothes organized by each season and ready for the next sibling to use.

Katrina’s Organzied Kid’s Clothing System:

  • Step 1: Shop at Garage Sales.  I shop for 95% of my kids clothes at Garage Sales in the summertime and I try to buy for that upcoming year for the needs that each child might need.  I have an older boy, middle daughter, and younger boy.  In a perfect world, I want my boys to share as much as possible.  A lot of times this doesn’t happen because boys just tend to be harder on their clothes, but I try to pass as much down from my older son to my younger one.  There are a few items that my daughter can share from the boys as well, but usually she gets her own stuff – lucky girl!
  • Step 2: If It’s a Really Good Deal Buy It and Save It.  I try to buy stuff at garage sales only for that next upcoming year so I don’t have to organize and store as much stuff, but there are plenty of times that I run across a really great deal on something that I absolutely purchase and save for the next couple years before my child can use it.  A perfect example of this is a winter coat.  I found an awesome deal on a very warm winter coat in excellent condition for my daughter that was a size 5T.  When I found it she was only a year old.  But, I knew she would eventually grow into it and it was worth buying and saving until she was ready to wear it.  Be careful using this system, you can find yourself with a TON of stuff to store for the upcoming years and you have to be careful that you don’t forget what you have already bought.
  • Step 3: Save Boxes or Storage Totes.  Ever since my first son was born I have been saving his diaper boxes.  I would use them for all sorts of things, but quickly I realized how great and convenient they were for storing his clothes that grows out of.  If you don’t have diaper boxes readily available, then collect some storage bins, totes, or other boxes.  Diaper boxes are wonderful because you can store stuff in smaller portions and break down the contents by size and season.
  • Step 4: Make Labels.  This is VERY important!  I make labels for my diaper boxes.  You can make them however you want, but I have BOY labels that are blue and GIRL labels that are pink.  I made my labels in QuarkXpress and I have them   broken down from baby sizes like GIRL 0-3 Mths SUMMER all the way up to BOY 7 WINTER.  You can break them down into whatever options you want.  I also have a few that are for shoes that say SHOES 0-5 GIRL.  I print them on regular paper and then I keep a big stack of the various sizes my kids are in at that specific time in a little box along with a big roll of packing tape on the top shelf of my son’s closet so I have them readily available when I need to quickly pack up a box.diaper_boxes_clothes_labels
  • Step 5: Label Two Sides Of The Box. Make sure to print extra copies of your labels and label two sides of your boxes.  I put a label on the length and width side of every box so that no matter which way I have store my box you can see the label.  And make sure when you do store your boxes that you always store them with a label out so you can quickly know what is in each box.
  • Step 6: Have All Your Supplies Readily Available.  When my youngest son was a baby he had his own room.  I would put an empty diaper box on top of his dresser in the closet and I would tape a label to the box of whatever size he was currently in at that time.  Since babies grow of out clothes very quickly, as soon as he would move on to a different size I could quickly throw those items in the box.  This works out great when you realize that adorable onesie you loved will no longer snap and rather than try to figure out what to do with it, I would just toss it in the box.  Done.  Simple.  Easy way to deal with a problem especially when you are so tired with a newborn! Then once the box is full you close it up and store it, and start over with the next diaper box you purchase.
  • Step 7: If You Don’t Reuse Your Items, Then Sell Them.  I use this system for all three of my kids and since I only have one girl, I am able to sell a lot of my daughter’s clothes online to my VarageSale group or for your own garage sale.  Using this system it keeps all my clothes organized and very easy to grab sizes and resell.  It’s also great when a friend needs a certain size and season of an item and I know exactly which box to grab to find those things.  Plus, it feels great to be organized!


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October 31, 20140 commentsRead More
How a Mission Trip Challenged My Dream

How a Mission Trip Challenged My Dream

imageMy family and I just got back from our first family mission trip to San Felipe, Mexico. Rather than play and hang out during Fall Break, we packed our bags and headed to some warmer weather in Mexico! Me, my husband, and our two older kids went along with 34 others from our church to Sonshine Hacienda, a small orphanage in the heart of the city. Our plan was to conduct a Vacation Bible School at the Hacienda and at a local pastor’s house, as well as do some construction projects.

I’ve been on several mission trips before, to Mexico in fact. I honestly wasn’t expecting to have an “earth shattering” experience – I knew what to expect, I knew we would be surrounded by poverty, I knew it would be dirty, I knew there would be lots of trash in the streets, I knew the public sewage system would have it’s limits and that we could not flush toilet paper or drink the water, and I knew that the kids would be amazing and that they would giggle trying to understand my attempts at simple Spanish. I was expecting all of that. And all of that was true yet again. It’s not that the Lord didn’t teach me anything and that I wasn’t impacted by everything we did. What did happen is that very subtly the Lord taught me some powerful lessons about myself.

I learned:

  • God has a bigger plan for my talents than I can see in my narrow “Katrina tunnel”
  • God made me. He uniquely designed me, my abilities, my talents, my thoughts, and the entire journey of my life
  • God has a plan for my life.
  • God wants me to share all of me, my abilities, my talents, my thoughts, and the entire journey of my life with others to glorify Him.
  • God solidified a dream that I’ve had for years and is calling me to fulfill it.

I know all of that can sound cliché’, but for me in midst of singing songs, crafting, coloring, playing games, and teaching kids about the Love of Jesus I was reminded that just because I can’t take the best photos of the kids, or run the fastest when chasing them outside, or sing in tune when we sang songs, God still gave me a lot of talents and life experiences that He calls me to share in the place He has planted me. Not everyone can drop everything and head to a far off place to “serve”. But you can serve wherever you are. God has planted me and my family in the exact place he wants us to be, in the community He wants us to serve in and although the “service” looks different than it did in Mexico it’s still “serving”. It’s the same for you to.

The dream I’ve had for years has been an idea swirling in my head – but it’s been an idea that was so disjointed. It’s exactly this – what I’m doing right now – it’s a dream to share my life with others. To share my experiences, hobbies, talents, ideas, and lessons with moms to offer encouragement, grace and a most importantly, help. Help to get through this thing we call ‘Life’.

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October 29, 20140 commentsRead More
Make Every Moment Count

Make Every Moment Count

imageOk, so it’s overcast and a bit chilly outside, it’s one of those days you wish you could’ve stayed in bed late…and on top of that it’s a Monday…uggh, I hate Mondays…I was tired before the day even began! That was the conversation I was having in my head this morning at 5:45am when my alarm went off…should I get up and workout? Should I get up at all? Uggh, do I have to? I’m sooo tired…. But ya know what? I did get up – in fact both me the hubs got up at 5:45am and did our T25 Beta workout together. I really dislike working out, but I always tell myself it’s only 25mins and once it’s done, I feel awesome for the rest of the day! So by 7am I had already worked out, showered, dressed, and was in my kitchen packing school lunches and having my favorite cup of coffee (which I look forward to like Christmas morning). Talk about making the morning count! I don’t write this to make you feel bad if you are struggling with getting up and going in the mornings, but I write this to encourage you to make every moment of your day count.

As moms, we juggle so much everyday – from making sure we take care of ourselves, to then making sure we manage our household, our kids, and our marriages. It’s a never-ending To-Do list that gets very little praise. I feel like as soon as I finish washing laundry and putting it away, the entire process starts all over again (of course, laundry is seriously one of my least favorite chores to do…if I didn’t loathe it so much it probably wouldn’t take a week to wash, fold, and put away…but still…). Same with the kitchen floor – as soon as I sweep and mop it, the very next child that walks through the kitchen inevitably leaves a trail of sand, dirt, leaves, food, crumbs..etc and the floor is a mess again. It’s frustrating huh?

But you know what? I’ve learned over the years that having the cleanest house on the block doesn’t mean I win an award. And having all the laundry washed, folded, and put away as soon as possible each week, it’s going to make my kids love me more. And although having a spotless kitchen floor does keep the ants away, my kids have never begged me to please clean the floor vs. playing with them instead.   I do love a clean house, and I do like things to be tidy, but having my house spotless ALL the time doesn’t make me a better wife or mom. You have to find the balance in it all and make every moment count.

Here’s how to Make Every Moment Count:

  1. Get Up Early – exercise, spend some time with the Lord, get ready before your kids are up
  2. Make a To-Do List
  3. Schedule time during the day to specifically check Social Media – then turn it off
  4. Don’t get distracted by little things, pick a big item you want to tackle and just get it done
  5. Schedule your day and stick to it
  6. Build in time to rest and play with your kids
  7. Involve your kids as much as possible with your tasks
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October 28, 20140 commentsRead More
So, You’re a Stay-At-Home-Mom…Now What?

So, You’re a Stay-At-Home-Mom…Now What?

Did you wake up this morning to toys on the ground, kids raring to go asking for Cheerios before you’ve even had your first cup of coffee? I did, and I’m sure a lot of you are in the same boat. I feel like I’m a veteran Stay-at-home-mom now that I’m almost 9 years into it, but I know for sure that I’m not an expert – just a mom who loves my kids and longs to be a voice for more than just my kids – I want to be a voice for who the Lord made ME to be. I’m so much more than diaper changes, fruit snacks, laundry, dishes, story time, and homework helper. I’m a sister, wife, friend, daughter, lover, teammate, entrepreneur, AND a mom. kids

A little about me, I’m in my early 30’s, I’ve been married to the man of my dreams who is my complete opposite for almost 13 years, and we have 3 awesome kids. I’ve been a Christian since I was 5 years old and knowing the Lord has made me who I am today. After we got married, we waited 4 years to have children because we’ve both always been very entrepreneurial and we were 3 years into our first home business and we both wanted to be working from home to spend as much time as we could with our kids. It was a nice dream at first – we started our first business and things went great – we worked hard and made a great income and had our first son, Coen. When our second child was born, Makenzie, working and taking care of them both was becoming very hard for me to manage at the level I was trying to maintain. When our third child, Rylyn, was born I looked my husband in the eye and told him I was done working. I felt the Lord whispering to me that I needed to step away from working and focus on the kids for a while. And that is exactly what I did. I very slowly pulled away from work and really devoted my time and energy to my kids. As a result the business closed. Which was really heartbreaking, but also good for us. It was very hard on my husband to close that business – we had poured our hearts into it. But, we both know it was the right thing to do – as a result, three years later, we can look back and learn from it. We found out that we make a dynamic team in the business world, we can absolutely run our own business and succeed at it, and we know we will do it again in the near future.

When I stepped away from the business world into mommy world I was completely lost. The two worlds are so different, and hard to compare. One is high heels, suits, meetings, contracts, high fives and fulfillment. The other is diapers, spit-up, yoga pants, playgroups, referee, and feeling unappreciated and alone.   But all of those can change within minutes, either good or bad. It took me a few years, yes, a few years, to finally come to grips with the fact that I left my business world where I was successful to become a mommy and feel totally blessed on a good day and completely drained and unappreciated the next day. Being a mom is a high calling from the Almighty. Being a SAHM is an even more divine calling from the Almighty. Some of us do this ‘mommy’ thing really well – or at least that is how it seems.   Most of us are all the same, we all just love our kids and are trying the best we know how to be moms. I can’t speak for everyone, but I know for myself that it’s only by God’s grace in my life that I can even call myself mom and I like to think I do an ok job at it. Everyday I ask the Lord for patience and wisdom on how to be the best mom I can be. Most days it’s a day-by-day thing. When I mess up, which I do constantly, I try not to dwell on it and am always thankful for the Lord’s grace. But just because I’m a SAHM today, doesn’t mean that I’ve put my dreams on hold or that I’ve turned off my entrepreneurial brain. In fact, being a SAHM opens up a whole need world of business opportunities! There are all sorts of ways to earn a side income during naptime each day!

If you find yourself as a new SAHM and wonder what to do next, do what I did:

  • Take a deep breath and know that you are exactly where God wants you.
  • Take it a day a time. Don’t stress about tomorrow, live in every moment today.
  • When you are focusing on your kids, put your phone and iPad away and truly focus on your kids. AND enjoy them and the moments you have with them.
  • Remember that your kids grow up – enjoy them while you can, but also make sure to do something for yourself daily – enjoy a special cup of coffee, paint your toes, take a shower without one of your kids, cook dinner while they watch a movie – anything that you enjoy – build it into your life daily.
  • Keep dreaming! I keep a notebook handy in my kitchen that I add ideas, thoughts, dreams, goals, etc to every day as I go about my life as a mommy.
  • Join a playgroup; MOPS (Mother’s of Preschoolers) group to socialize with others SAHM.
  • Invest in relationships with other SAHM and share your lives together!
  • If you miss the income you left to be a SAHM then do some research on how you can generate an income from home.
  • Take a moment to pray and thank God for your amazing kids that He has blessed you with – even if it’s while you are changing a very stinky diaper!
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