Training vs. Discipline

Scurrying through the dining room to complete a quick 15 minute pick-up session before supper, I turned to my 5-year old daughter for assistance.  “Could you put that brush in the bathroom, please?” 

My request was met with a very nonchalant, “It’s not mine.”

SCREEEEECH!  Somehow those words hit me like fingernails on a chalkboard.  After teaching tweeners for eight years, I do know what that sounds like!  De-cluttering no longer important.  Time for some training.  Let me be the first to admit that my normal reaction would be to give her the evil eye, say “do it” in a not-so-tender-mommy tone and huff on to my other pre-dinner responsibilities.  I don’t know what made me stop this time, but I’m glad I did. 

So began a quick talk about what would happen if mommy only took care of her messes…  how everyone needs to contribute to the family for us to run smoothly… and, of course, the proper response when I ask for her much needed help.  “Yes, mommy” would be an appropriate choice, along with some followthrough.

So we practiced.  Task completed.  No more hairy brush on my dining room table.  “Thank you.  And now I need you to put the doily (currently used as a headress) back on the table where it belongs.”  Before I had put the period at the end of my verbal command, out came the popular excuse  “That’s not where it was…” along with a stunted explanation of exactly where the doily had been discovered. 

Hadn’t I just talked about this?!?  Again, I could have disciplined for disobeying and talking back (and trust me, it’s my go-to method entirely too often), sent her to her room to stew about it, and done it myself… but in another moment of patience and sanity (two in one day!  WOW!) I chose to train my daughter, even as she walked away.

Stop right there.  Come back.  Let’s try this again.

“I need you to put the doily back on the table where it belongs.”

“Yes, mommy.”

Ahhhh, temporary relief for a Mama’s ringing ears and frazzled mind.

Discipline is easy less time consuming in the present, but training will pay off in the future.  It will make my life simpler someday.  Right?  Anyone? 

For more Living Simply Saturdays, visit Keeper of the Home.

Oh, the Things They Say!

Each of the following statements is a future blog post all its own, but sometimes a Mama must take a minute to relish her kids’ creativity, imperfect speech, and their way with words.  Here’s what I’ve been hearing at my house:


“We a team, wight Mom?”

“Good job, Mom.  Good job!”

“Mommy, I wish you were an octopus.” 


“I help you ’cause you my big boy, wight Mom?”

“That MY job, Mom.”

(gasp!) “We fogot to pray!”

“Hey, Mom!  I pooped a big one.  Come see it or you’ll miss it!”

Oh, the things they say!  Definitely a Finer Thing.  I am grateful for every one!

Head on over to Laura’s place to get your Gratituesday fix.

Snuggled up with a Good Book

The days are getting shorter; the evenings cooler.  We recently pulled out my favorite article of kids’ clothing… footie jammies!  So cute, so warm and cozy.  Definitely one of the finer things.   

During the fall and winter months, we are somehow less rushed in the evenings (except on game nights… which, in Tiny Town, can be nearly every night…).  I’m grateful for the early fall sunset wrapped in comfort foods and warm baths and some serious snuggle time!  Snuggle time at our house almost always means BOOK TIME!

A few of our favorites:

  • Baby Angels (current favorite for the 14 month old)
  • Usborne’s Farm Yard Tales (Usborne books are awesome!)
  • Little House on the Prairie series (I loved reading these with my daughter even more than reading them when I was young!)
  • Boxcar Children series (we’re on #6 now)

Snuggle time in footie jammies with a good book.  Does it get any better than that?

Visit Heavenly Homemakers for more Gratituesday.

Embrace the “Littles” Years

My challenge for you today:  embrace this time with your littles.  Don’t fight it.  What a wonderful gift we’ve been given to be everything to our children.  What an opportunity for growth and learning (for us and them!) just by including and encouraging them in the daily routine.

Read more of my Mommy Monday guest post at Happy to be at Home.

Grocery Shopping?

Take the kids! 

Huh?  Doesn’t that go against the very grain of all things sane?  But… but… I won’t get to cross check every one of my coupons with the sales flyer and manager’s specials!  And speaking of manager’s specials, I won’t have time to scour the aisles for those happy orange and yellow stickers! 

Work with me here.  Take the kids!  Preferably during naptime.  And best the morning after a rather sleepless night.  Oh, and load at least one of them into the van while he’s hungry.

The Pouting Before the Storm

Be sure that the only “fun” cart available is missing a steering wheel.  That way they can fight over the remaining wheel while you dart through the aisles frantically crossing off items on the we-have-to-have-this-right-now list.

See?  Faster shopping (in anticipation of the imminent volcanic eruption and complete meltdown) = less shopping = less money spent!

So… how was your day?  😉

For more Frugal Friday, visit all the sane mommies at Biblical Womanhood… who all went grocery shopping after the kids were in bed.

Cleaning With the Kids

I’m a guest poster again this week at Happy to be at Home.  The topic?  Cleaning with the kids.  Those of you who know me in person… quit laughing!!!  Cleaning is definitely not my forte, but the kids and I do have a few strategies to get it done together.  Go check it out!

Ready to fold some clothes!

Get Movin’ With Your Monkeys

 Get Movin With Your Monkeys


Head on over to Happy to be at Home to read my Mommy Monday guest post, and to see why this ridiculous picture was intentionally taken…

Down on the Farm

We just returned from a quick morning trip to my favorite place in the world, visiting my favorite people in the world.  Well, my favorite place besides my own home, on my own couch, curled up with an afghan on a cool fall evening (with a big bowl of homemade soup, right Kate?)… and my favorite people besides my doting husband and my perfect, well-behaved, peaceful, um, entertaining (that’s it!) children. 

Anyway, we’re back from my Grandparents’ Farm.  It would take many, many posts to write about how much the farm means to me, but I do want to share just a few things.

  • How cool is it that my favorite people live at my favorite place?!?
  • I’m so grateful that my children have been given the gift of time to develop a relationship with their great-grandparents!
  • The farm is only 30 minutes from my home, which means we can visit any time… we really should do that more!
  • My kids have a ball exploring some of the very same things I enjoyed as child (and still do!)  I can prove it.  See?
The cows have forever been a star farm attraction.

The cows have forever been a star farm attraction.

The front porch used to be my balance beam, too!

The front porch used to be my balance beam, too!

My favorite thing at my favorite place - the old cellar.

My favorite thing at my favorite place - the old cellar.

Many a tag game was played in the old hay barn.  The crazy girl is pretty cute, too!

Many a tag game was played in the old hay barn. The crazy girl is pretty cute, too!

Happy Gratituesday!

Join Them!

My kids are great teachers.  They teach me how to slow down.  They show me what really matters.  They help me get back to the basics and focus on the Finer Things.

Children are all about simplicity.  Feed me.  Clothe me.  Love me.  Feed me.  They like to be fed, too.

I had a couple of choices when my little scavengers bellied up to the apple crisp bar yesterday.

  1. Scold them and move them and get them busy on something else so that i could get something done.
  2. Join them!

I joined them.  🙂  There were plenty of apples to go around, our morning snack was taken care of, and we had lots of fun!  Oh, and the apple crisp turned out perfectly yummy, too!  And for those with a keen eye, that would be a sports bra around my baby’s neck.  She had started folding laundry for me in the other room.  Such good helpers I have!

Check out Living Simply Saturdays at Keeper of the Home.

Baby Wipes

I’m a pretty frugal person.  We’ve taken lots of steps to live happily on less so that I can be home raising our children.  We don’t do cable.  We rarely eat out.  We don’t have any debt aside from our mortgage.  We utilize our library and fresh free produce and Manager’s Specials.  I’ve even stalked the local grocery stocker and asked for a discountSo why, I ask you, had I never thought to make my own baby wipes?

Even though I’d seen the baby wipes idea on a few other blogs, it took several reads to turn the lightbulb on.  Finally, after reading Joy’s suggestion, I gave it a try.

I won’t go into how to make them; Joy does a nice job of that.  But I will tell you what they cost (for me).

Here’s the breakdown.

1 roll = 88 sheets x 2 (because I cut the roll in 1/2) = 176 sheets

Official "wipes tearer"

176 sheets = 80 cents (withOUT a coupon because my 5 year old daughter, who was in charge of holding coupons, somehow couldn’t think what she did with the coupons at checkout time… never mind that I had THREE MORE of the SAME COUPON with me in my organizer… didn’t even think of that, grrrr)

1 T. baby oil and 1 T. baby shampoo = didn’t take the time to figure it, but it has to be PENNIES, right???

176 wipes fill TWO + (but not quite three) of my store-bought wipes tubs.

So one full tub of wipes cost me maybe 43 cents, without the darn coupon!  Pretty good deal for those of us unfortunate enough to live more than four hours from the nearest CVS, huh?

Thanks, JoyWhy didn’t I try that sooner?

Check out more Frugal Friday at Biblical Womanhood.

*** Update:  I should have let you know that I’ve already tried them out on many a varied 😉 messy situation, and they work wonderfully.  They smell great, too.  Like giving baby a bath with each new diaper!