Thursday, April 9, 2015

Opportunities to Learn. . .

I hope that it isn't a secret to those around me, especially my family, that I am passionate about motherhood.  I know there is nothing more important in this world that I could be doing with my time.  

Motherhood is hard!  As soon as I think I have got a good handle on what I am doing as a mother we have a new baby join our family and the older kids enter a new stage and I seem to start figuring life out all over again.  Throughout my mothering years I have felt so privileged to learn from so many amazing mothers in all different parts of the country as we have lived in several different states.  

I love to learn, I am constantly looking for new ideas and inspiration to do a better job in my role as wife, mother, and homemaker.  That is one reason that I love Power of Moms.  It gives me an opportunity to learn from other mothers and share my thoughts and ideas.  

For many years I have dreamed of being able to attend a retreat that they hold in Park City, UT each year at the Eyre's home.  The last couple of years it hasn't worked out for one reason or another and I am so excited that I am going to be able to attend this year!

This is a big year for our family, we will have a teenager this year, our oldest son will get the Priesthood, right now more than 1/2 of our kids have been baptized, and we will have our 8th child (5th daughter) in August!  

With all these exciting milestones I look forward to gleaning some of the inspiration that Linda and Richard Eyre have gained as they have raised 9 amazing kids, written many books, and had opportunities to speak all over the world!  I love the co-founders of Power of Moms, Saren Eyre Loosli and April Perry.  Both are so full of inspiration.  I appreciate their approach with Power of Moms, here is part of their purpose:

"Just as members of other “professions” have their professional organizations and websites, we see Power of Moms as the “professional organization” for mothers everywhere who take their “job” as a mother very seriously and desire a network of other mothers that can provide ideas, inspiration and empowerment."

I am also looking forward to attending BYU Women's Conference while I am in Utah.  My heros are the amazing women who so selflessly serve in leadership roles to guide and direct our Primary, Young Women, and Relief Society organizations for the church.  Just last weekend when we heard the LDS Women's Broadcast I felt so uplifted.  Sister Oscarson's talk will always be a favorite in my book.  I have re-listened to it at least 3 times since Saturday.  I look forward to hearing many inspiring talks at Women's Conference.  

Another perk of this adventure is that I will be able to see a few of my favorite mothers from our good old Rochester days.  I am so looking forward to visiting with and learning from them!  

If you are available please join us at these amazing events!  I would love to catch up with some of the wonderful mothers that I have know throughout the years!  

(I am only attending 1 day of BYU Women's Conference, May 1.  The Power of Mom's retreat is on May 2)

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Loads of Laundry

This post is dedicated to my 
friend Natalie who asked me 
to post about laundry a long time ago!   

Laundry, laundry… it never ends.  May I confess that I don't love laundry?  We have a lot of it and we stay pretty well on top of it because I have a secret weapon… my husband.  Years ago when all of our kids were too tiny to help he offered to take over the laundry for a few months each time we had a new baby. (It was a great deal!)  He is super organized and thinks of great processes of how to work efficiently, thus, our laundry system was born.   Here is how we handle all the dirty clothes:

All dirty laundry that is removed is placed in one of three bins:

Always Sorted!

White, light, or dark.  There are only 3 dirty laundry bins in the entire house and they are all lined up, it has been that way for years (many years, like 10+).   When kids get out of the bath or shower upstairs or down they come and drop dirty clothes in the bins.  The little kids of course need reminding or help.  This helps so much, because I never have to collect or sort clothes! 

(*note: at our house this works because it is a habit.  If your family is currently in the habit of throwing dirty laundry on the floor or in the closet it will take time to break that habit! Be patient and persistent.)

Load a Day

I try to do about one load per day.  (The exception is when we have a potty training child, and then the laundry never ends!).  I fold clothes and leave them in piles on my bed and have the kids take their piles after school to their own rooms to be put away. If I fold laundry after they are in bed I leave their pile by the door so that they can put it away the next morning.  Doing one load a day ensures that we all have clean underwear and socks, but we have a lot more laundry than one load a day.  The fact is that somedays are busy and slide by without a load of laundry getting done.  

Plan to Have a Catch Up Day

In the past:  Saturday has been a big laundry day at our house.  I usually would direct the kids in Saturday work while my husband collects all the towels that need to be washed.  Saturday is the day that we make sure our laundry bins are empty and that all our towels are clean.  Part of the kids Saturday work is to help with laundry, so we all help fold or hang.  

This systems has worked quite well, but my husband continues to get busier and busier at work and church so I have had to adjust to getting more done durning the week.  I now have Thursday as my big laundry day to make sure bins are empty and all towels are clean.  The kids come home from school and help fold their own clothes and put them away.  

I usually do bedding on a Tuesday or Thursday during the week.  Most of our kids take a bath or shower every night before bed, so I don't feel it is necessary to wash their sheets every week since they always get in bed clean.  I usually wash one room's sheets each week.  

Our laundry room is small, but it works. I think the key is to stay on top of the clean clothes and make sure that they are folded shortly after they are finished in the dryer.  

Everyone happily helps with laundry :)  
Favorite Products

If I am going to all the work to have clean clothes I want them to smell clean.  I prefer Gain.  There are two different scents at Sam's Club.  I like to switch it up occasionally so that we notice the fresh smell!  Bounce works for a fabric softener.  

Oxi Clean Max Force Gel Stick is a product that we love!  I can't tell you how many white and light pink shirts this stuff has saved.  When the kids have had an extra messy day with spaghetti sauce, ketchup, or watermelon we stain stick their clothes before we throw them in the hamper and this stuff works!   

Less is More!

Most people can reduce most of their laundry problems by reducing the amount of clothes you own.  You don't believe me?  Try it!  Here are some of the benefits to having less clothes:

-It is easier to put your clothes in your drawer or hang in your closet because it isn't over stuffed.  

-If you only have what you like in your closet you spend less time trying on multiple outfits (I have kids that will try on an outfit and throw it in the hamper so that they don't have to put it away!).  

For little kids our rule is 10 outfits.  (if they have 11 shirts that is close enough :)  

Here are pictures of our 4 year old's 10 outfits.  I roll her outfits together so that she can get dressed herself in the morning.  

My general rule for little kids is:
-10 outfits
-3 pairs of pajamas
-1 coat
-a few cardigans or sweaters for girls
-a sweat shirt
-swimming suit

(I am not a total stickler, if they get a new shirt for their birthday they can have more than 10 :)

Bigger kids:
-At least 5 pairs of pants or shorts (depends on the season)
-Around 10 shirts
-3 pairs of pajamas
-1 coat
-a few cardigans or sweaters for girls
-a sweat shirt
-swimming suit
(of course older girls have vests, scarves, cardigans. . . )       

Church clothes for everyone: Girls at least 4 dresses, boys have a suit and khaki pants with a sweater vest so that they can switch off each week.  The boys usually have a long sleeve and short sleeve white shirt. 

FYI:  for kids over the age of 6 we fold pants but hang all their shirts.  

I cleaned out my closet this week and only kept things that I love.  (I thought my closet was pretty clean and organized, but I filled two and a half garbage bags of clothes for Goodwill.) The best part is that I feel like I have more to wear!  I don't have to sort through the stuff that I don't really like!  

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