Friday, March 28, 2014


Soma - Kids are always asking for a treat when on the way home from school in the afternoon or driving to other activities. Created "Fun Friday" - Only stop for a treat 1x a week (on Friday), kids get to decide where, but they have to agree. **Also out of all of the parenting books read - favorite is "The 5 Love Languages Of Children" by Gary Chapman.

Jennifer - Suggests the book "Try And Make Me" by Ray Levy. Helps with the battles of strong willed children.

Linnea - Instead of having laundry baskets in everyone's room, she now puts 4 baskets in the bathroom and everyone sorts their own laundry. This makes it much easier to tell when there is enough for a load.

Caryn - Amazon Prime is $99/yr and is a great place to do your Christmas or birthday shopping especially if you are laid up. By paying for Amazon Prime you receive free 2 day shipping on every order no matter how big or small, you also receive access to many tv shows and I believe movies also for free.

Ciara - Has 2 boys and everything becomes a race. Sets the timer for 15 min & tells the boys to see who can pick up the most toys. Gives herself a chance to have a break or freshen up right before her husband gets home from work, results in the house being more picked up when husband walks through the door.

Karen - Has a son with Type "A" personality & always has to have an order to things. Made a poster board for kids to follow to get ready in the morning. Took a picture of each task that needs to be done in the morning & put on the poster board in the order which it should be done. Helps when someone else is watching the kids also & less questions in the morning.

Christine - Trying to foster a love of reading in her children. Keeps a small organizing tote in the backseat of her car and puts books in it for children to read and look at while riding in the car. Also keeps a smaller box in the tote to collect garbage.

Tricia - Has her older boys listen to books on CD during rest time. You can check them out from the library or download them to your ipad.

Linda - Shared a recipe for Microwave Caramel Corn that she has used for 25 years.

Microwave Caramel Corn

1 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. butter
1/4 c. Karo syrup (white)
1/2 tsp. salt
Combine the above ingredients in a glass 2 quart dish. Put in microwave and bring to a boil. Cook for 2 minutes more on high. Remove.

1/2 tsp. soda
3-4 quarts popped corn
optional almonds (toasted)

Stir in the soda. Pour into brown bag which popcorn is in and shake. Cook in bag 1 1/2 minutes. Shake and repeat if necessary. Pour out onto wax paper to cool.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Kicking the Clutter to the Curb!

This week, Cheri Gregory came to our MOPS group to talk about getting rid of the clutter in our lives. With a title like, “50 Ways to Leave Your Clutter: Go On and Ditch that Lyin’ Cheatin’ Back-Stabbin’ Stuff for Good,” I knew our MOPS group was in for a great morning. I was expecting to hear some interesting organizational tips on how to tidy up, but it was so much more. Not only did Cheri give us great tips on de-cluttering, but she also gave our hearts a deep cleaning by getting to the root of letting stuff go.

There were so many great things I learned from Cheri, but the one thing that resonated with me the most was when she asked us to finish the sentence:
            “I have so many/much ____ in my house/garage that ______.”
Then she asked us to finish: “With more open space, I could…”

I have a tendency to create piles. The piles consist of pictures my kids have drawn, papers from kindergarten, and catalogs/mail I think I’ll look at in the future. Sometimes it’s a laundry basket of clothes that won’t get folded for a really loooong time. My husband is very neat and tidy, and every now and then he politely hates on my tower of junk. Now, I could claim to really, really be embracing our MOPS theme and hand him the lovely laminated card, complete with our theme verse that Cheri gave us, but that would be kind of lame. The truth is, I would love a house with less clutter.

So, to fill in the blanks of Cheri’s sentence, I would say: I have so many piles of junk in my house that it makes my husband (and myself) miserable.

After our MOPS meeting, I was wired (thanks to the rockin’ coffee from the hospitality team)& inspired to conquer the pile of papers that took up a third of my dining room table. It’s been there since Christmas. I realized this when I found the left over Christmas cards at the bottom of the pile.

As I went through all the little papers on my dining room table, Cheri’s questions ran through my mind. Why do I still have this? Ulta catalog with expired coupon…chuck it. Am I hanging on to this because of guilt? I love you, sweet son, but this 40th drawing of Sonic the Hedgehog has to go. Am I really a _______er? Couponer? No. Goodbye Redplum coupon book. Has that season of my life passed? Old Christmas cards? Yes, Christmas passed 3 months ago. Into the garbage you go!

The final result was beautiful! Check it out:

I forgot to take a before picture, but if you must know…it looked something like this:

Now, the dining room table was my warm-up. My husband and I are starting to feel like our family is complete. My youngest son will be 4 in June. We have a garage full of baby stuff we’ll no longer need, and it’s tempting to hang on to the things my boys used during their first precious years of life. BUT, how awesome would it be to have a clean garage? So, now I can ask myself, “Am I holding on to make my life the way it used to be?” “Am I hanging on to this because of what it once cost me?” & “Has this season of my life passed?” I am ready to take on the baby stuff, and I will remind myself that I am not feeling empty; I am feeling spacious.

For more information on Cheri Gregory, check out:

Sunday, March 16, 2014



Heather - Use Ziploc bags to pack kids clothes in for trips. Mark each bag for which day they will wear that outfit. Much easier to grab and go when getting ready for the day.

Michele - Doesn't like doing laundry and to make it easier puts underwear for all 3 boys in the same drawer (they all wear very similar sizes). The pants go in another drawer and the boys hang up the shirts...don't be particular on how they are hung, as long as they aren't on the floor.

Coby - Uses vinegar in her laundry to keep her whites white.

Julie - To save time getting ready in the morning, she gives her daughter a bath in her bathtub and can finish getting ready while her daughter is taking her bath.

Ruth - Uses her iphone to take a screenshot of a recipe or other item that she wants to keep when she is on Facebook or another online site.

Amy - When traveling with kids bring supplies for kids to figure out and follow the route you are taking. Bring maps, highlighters, calculators, crayons and pens, etc... Kids aren't allowed to ask the question "How much longer till we get there?" They may only ask questions to help them figure out how long it will take to get there, like "How fast are you going?"

Rachelle - Uses a squirt bottle filled with white vinegar to squirt in child's mouth when they talk back.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Mom of the Month: March

Mom of the Month: March

Sara Poulos

Who is in your family?
My family consists of my husband, Caleb, my daughter, Ava (16 months), me and our three dogs, Henry, Hank and Harvey, and four cats, Sam, Ashley, May, Elaina and Sookie.

What is your favorite childhood memory?
My favorite childhood memory is traveling while playing fast pitch A- division softball. I was the catcher.

Do you have a place where you like to go to relax or think?
That place would have to be in my bathtub with bubbles and candles lit!

If you could be a member of any TV-sitcom family, which would it be?
My husband says I am most like Claire from Modern Family. I also think it would be neat to have my own talk show!

What bit of advice or encouragement can you offer the other moms in our group?
Do what works for you! As a mom you can go crazy from all the advice and tips constantly given to you. There is also a lot of pressure and comparing as well. Follow your instincts and heart and God will lead you in the right direction.