Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Day 2 of Organizing and Purging Boys' Bedrooms

We slept in a bit this morning . . . we were thoroughly exhausted from yesterday's organizing and purging.

Once we began, we didn't stop . . . Frankly, we actually finished up about Midnight. Not even remotely kidding.

I began by heading into Cody's bedroom. We cleaned it very well a week and a half ago, but we didn't go through his dresser drawers or the clothing in his closet. Today was the day. Yikes!

Let me start with Cody's room by showing you what it looked like before we deep cleaned it a few weeks ago . . .




It wasn't pretty, but we trudged on, and on, and on, and . . .




Pretty good, right?

This was today . . .

I chuckled a little when I saw this in his chest. Doesn't everyone store miscellaneous socks in their swim trunks?


He was *ahem* busy in his room. He did get these toys sorted and put away.

Cameron helped me out by going through the clothes in Cody's closet. He then tossed the outgrown ones down to me so we could donate them. Some were like brand new!

Cody's room went pretty quickly - only a few hours of organizing and purging clothing.

Then, onto Ryan's room. I had encouraged, reminded, and demanded he get his room tidy and organized. I also told him I would check everything to make sure it was done. I didn't seem too worried about it, so I thought he might have accomplished it.

NOPE!

Once again I was surprised at the treasures I would find. 

Let me make you a little list . . .
  1. Three pair of MY scissors
  2. Scotch tape from my desk
  3. Candy wrappers
  4. 14,973 ipad/iphone jacks and cords - o.k. I may have exaggerated a tiny bit!
  5. Change - like in $$$
  6. Books in Lego brick containers
  7. Pens probably a 1/2 dozen - in with the Lego




We sorted and sorted and sorted. Let me tell you, my fingertips are extremely sore tonight. The results of our efforts were amazing! Ryan was relieved of his toy burden just like the other three boys.


Ryan and Knox were excited they had room to play! Time for puppy lovin!

The Legos in the corner are awaiting a 28 gallon tote to arrive. The room will look much better without all of the smaller tubs.

Artemis was pretty happy watching us today. She lounged under her heat lamp most of the day.

Doesn't she look thrilled?





 Trying to get a good picture of little Knox is close to impossible. Many of the photos look like a blur of black!

We need to fix Ryan's name on the wall. Apparently, the letters came down (probably when dusting) and now his name is RYNA! lol

Once we finished up Ryan's room and cleared the upstairs hallway of the fallout, we headed to the main floor to begin putting things back together. You see, for some reason the boys tend to scatter their toys everywhere and parts become M.I.A. Once we purged their rooms, the things that had been scattered were put back together, bagged or boxed and put into totes to either donate, give away or sell. This process took a very long time as well. Everyone had to pitch in and help. I am so thankful for my Katelyn! She selflessly helped yesterday evening, plus this afternoon and evening. 

To say we are thrilled to have the boys' bedrooms done is totally and understatement! They definitely have much less to "deal with" which also means Mom, Dad and Katelyn have much less to "deal with". 

One final note - the boys have all been warned . . . any of their belongs left for someone else to pickup, cleanup or put away will not be a burden to them, it will simply disappear. If an item is not important enough to take good care of, it isn't important to have.

Hopefully, they will remember and avoid the unpleasant.



Monday, December 29, 2014

Boys' Room Organizing, Purging from a Complete Disaster!

Every Christmas Vacation we tackle purging, organizing, storing and giving away items. We began the boys' rooms a week and a half ago and today we worked in my middle boys' room. They had assured me, "Everything is put away Mom" several times over. I woke this morning, had my coffee and headed to their bedroom. I was prepared to spend a little while in their room making sure all was tidy and organized. I was in for quite a different day . . . and so were they!

I am sure they thought they could get by with stuffing toys, books, clothing, garbage, etc. anywhere and everywhere their imaginations could take them. 

At this point, I feel I must add . . .


  1. My boys are creative, oh yes they are. They can design many ways to hide things to make their room look all tidy. 
  2. This mama wasn't born yesterday. I know things are not always as they appear, especially in a bedroom of boys that are 10 and 11.
  3. The good feeling the boys had prior to me checking their bedroom didn't linger long.
  4. Randy, Katelyn and I have requested their rooms be tidied, several times within the past few weeks.
  5. Apparently, they didn't get the memo.
  6. This mama followed through with the promise . . .
I promised them that I would remove the items they could not put away properly. Today was the day my promise was fulfilled.

Like most parents, we love to give our children gifts for no reason other than to treat them to something special. However, after much thought I came to a realization, right in the middle of our morning.

We as parents tend to BURDEN our children with gifts and the responsibility that comes from owning them. Let me explain. We have always given to our children . . . always. They wanted a toy, generally we got it for them. Christmas, Birthday, special days, good grades, just because . . . gifts, gifts, gifts, toys, toys, toys and more. Those gifts became burdens to them the second they were told they needed to clean them up and put them away. We may get them to tidy them, clean them up from the family room - only to be dumped in their closet or on their floor. 

The burden isn't limited to toys, gifts, books, etc. Clothing (in excess) is also a burden they must also take care of. It must be put away in their dresser drawers or hung in the closet. What kid likes to take care of clothing chores?

It had been suggested to me several times over - limit what they have. Those suggestions were right on, but I still cringed at the thought of cutting back their "things". Until this morning . . . 

Throughout the day, the boys came to understand . . . I will not tolerate their disobedience, carelessness and sheer determination to ignore what they have been taught AND told several times.

I told the boys when we began . . . I will take pictures of our day. Little did I know those few hours would literally turn into 10 + hours!

The look on Evan's face explains it all . . .  exasperation. You see, there really isn't an easy way to organize chaos, except dump it all and begin.

We could actually play a hefty game of I Spy simply by looking through this pile of everything they had thrown together.

  1. hanger
  2. Lego directions
  3. sock
  4. dirty Qtip
  5. playing card




continuing on with I spy . . .
  1. Zoob game pieces
  2. Various building sets
  3. Automoblox car
  4. Hobbit game
  5. empty ziplock bags
  6. more game cards
  7. Eye glasses inside the mess
  8. Ipod inside a Lego container
  9. Another Lego found in the middle of this mess



Oh Dear . . . Cam isn't happy either! No Mama points here!




This container was under Cam's bed . . . 

Emma was trying to keep up.


Time to look in the closet and dresser drawers. As you can see, they weren't any better.
  1. Clothing on the floor.
  2. Dirty clothing inside dresser with clean clothes.
  3. Chewed gum stuck inside a dresser drawer.
  4. Candy wrappers hidden inside dresser drawers.
  5. Lego and misc. toys in between folded clothing.
  6. Toothpaste in a drawer.
  7. Dirty goodnight pull up also in a drawer.


I tried organization with tubs and containers. We tried keeping Lego separately in Lego bins, the sorter, etc. nothing has worked.



Katelyn came up to assist . . . she missed her mama. However, the boys were ready for me to L.E.A.V.E. their room. I was there for the duration.

It is here I want to make a statement . . . We have always been teaching parents. They do know how to clean their room, organize, fold clothes, hang clothes, vacuum, etc, they simply refuse.

However, they are learning by experience . . . hands on experience.

At this point, we have hauled the excess out of their bedroom and tomorrow we will sort, put the pieces with what they belong to and pack it up to either store, give away or sell.

From here on out, I won't say a word about toys or things laying around, I will simple pick it/them up and put them in a container. 

The finished room - please ignore the trim down from the newly installed window and the partially stained wall unit. Hopefully, those will be completed soon (aka Daddy's department).





Another room tomorrow.





Friday, December 26, 2014

The Perfect End to Christmas Day - Salvation

It is 12:39 a.m. December 26 and everyone has just gone to bed, except me.

Yesterday we celebrated Christmas at my sister's house. We had fun enjoying one another, some played Old Maid Cards plus a few other games. We had delicious food, plenty of laughs and precious moments.

Christmas was both busy and relaxing. We began the day with homemade waffles, sausage, biscuits and sausage gravy. We enjoyed visiting Grandma and Grandpa B and Aunt Doris over breakfast. It has been a tradition for several years now and we look forward to it each year. 

Afternoon was relaxing for the adults in the house. The boys played with their gifts while we took little snoozes on the couch. 

This evening we had a little visit from the K family. It was such a surprise and we enjoyed our time together. The kids all played a little wii so there was plenty of fun to be had.

We had a lite dinner - we raided the fridge. The boys were thrilled to have left overs! After dinner we all headed into the family room to watch Left Behind. There were many questions and comments throughout the movie. The movie was good and touched hearts in our home. After the movie, Cody was quiet and we could tell something was bothering him. We asked him if he was o.k. and he asked, "but what if I am not sure?" The other boys remained quiet as we spoke to our eight year old about KNOWING for sure. At 12:06 a.m. on December 26, 2014 and through a quivering bottom lip, our eight year old son Cody asked Jesus to forgive his sins and come into his heart. Praise be to God! As Cody completed his prayer, sobs were coming from our 10 year old. Evan was totally engulfed in tears and sobbing his heart out. It took a few minutes for him to be able to speak to us, but when he did he said he wanted to make sure he too had Jesus in his heart. So within minutes of his younger brother, he reaffirmed his Faith in Jesus Christ as his Savior. This mama had tears streaming down her face as I listened to my husband/their daddy guide our two youngest sons through the sinner's prayer. Glory be to God!

The perfect end to our Christmas Day.


Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Striving for a PERFECT Christmas

I, like many other moms and dads strive to make Christmas "Perfect", but I have come to the realization perfection is not reality.

We were extremely excited to begin Christmas Vacation. We had a mini party for our little Home-School and then headed home to begin the vacation festivities. 

Our list of "To Do" was a bit large, but I assured myself that all would be well as "many hands make light work". However, the boys decided they really didn't agree with my mom thinking. Instead, they have busied themselves with . . .

  1. Fussing, fighting, arguing, challenging, tattling and irritating one another . . . just because they can.
  2. Everyone working together, instead try to do the chore half way, besides no one will notice.
  3. Destroy their bedrooms, "I was playing with that" is the answer to the mess. Hmmmmm
  4. Laundry time finds us asking one of my boys WHY there is only ONE pair of undies in the laundry to be washed. 
  5. Bath time is another challenge lately . . . You mean I have to actually get into the water and use SOAP?!
  6. Of course we also have the candy "swiper". You know the one  . . . candy wrappers are found EVERYWHERE, but no one knows anything about it.
The list could go on and on . . . even though I prefer it not.

Today in the midst of the chaos,  I called each of them to the main floor and had them sit at the table. I handed EJ the book by Ann Voskamp . . .




and we began reading. The room became silent and the boys were listening, soaking it all in.




We are reading and lighting candles for Advent. We are a bit behind in the reading, but will have it all done by Christmas morning. Can I say, it was wonderful to take a few minutes away from all of the above to focus on the meaning of Christmas with my kids.

Tomorrow our Christmas celebrations begin. Will they be perfect, Absolutely not! Will they be memorable, Definitely! The messes will continue, hopefully the fussing will stop. The house will be full of chaos and memories will be made. 

I pray we will all stop and reflect,  

A "Perfect" Christmas will not happen in my house or yours, But
there once was a "Perfect" Christmas many years ago . . . 





Sunday, December 21, 2014

The Late Night Lego Challenge

This evening we watched a Christmas movie and when it ended, I announced it was time for a Lego Challenge! So, into the kitchen table we went and opened up a HUGE box to begin the challenge. EJ and Cameron were a team, Cody and Daddy were a team, Katelyn and I were a team, Ryan was building his own upstairs.

The pictures from tonight:


Oh the concentration!

Ryan and Knox - crazy smile!

Katelyn and I completed our book first!


Little Knox was tired from all of the excitement. He lay in front of Katelyn as Ryan took a shower. As you see, the iphone 5 is not much smaller than he is.

All fresh from a shower, Ryan gets Beckett lovin!

Oh the Lego . . . a few thousand!

The second floor of the movie theater is complete!

It is really cute!

EJ and Cameron finished up the roof section and the marquee.

It wasn't long after EJ and Cameron finished that Katelyn and EJ headed to bed and Randy took a soak in the tub.

Cody, Cameron and I were the only ones remaining.

The movie theater and pictures were all done by 1:30 a.m.





The Palace Movie Theater came out so cute! We are thrilled with it and can't wait for the others to see how it came out. We have three more sets to add to this set - they all connect to make a little "Down Town" type area from the past.

We had a great time and now our Challenge is done, it is time for bed.

G'night!




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