How to fill your kids’ love tank (on Valentines and every day)

These times are difficult, and if you’re like me, you are struggling to balance work, home, and all of the different things you are currently worried about. Sometimes, even when I believe my children know I love them, I don’t always do enough to fill their love tank. Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, but why do we tend to focus heavily on showing love on Valentine’s Day, rather than all year long?

The best thing we can give anyone is our time- and today I’d like to share some simple, fun and easy ways to fill your child’s love tank all year long.

1. Spend time with them

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Photo by August de Richelieu on Pexels.com

Kids won’t care if you spend a lot of money. I always thought we had to buy something or pay for an experience for the kids to be happy. My kids are perfectly happy to play with us in the backyard or help cook dinner. Ask your kid what they enjoy doing the most with you and go from there.

2. Listen to them…actually listen

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Photo by Ketut Subiyanto on Pexels.com

Sometimes, in the age of devices and screens, good conversation falls by the wayside. I try to have at least one good conversation a day with my kids- ask them about their day, what they think about a song playing on the radio, or something. Kids have lots of interesting things to say and sometimes they just want to know someone cares about what they have to say.

3. Snuggle

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Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

Snuggling doesn’t have to be just snuggling. Snuggle up together with a good book or while watching a movie. Kids feel safe and loved when they’re near you.

4. Let them make a decision

calm stylish kid recreating in green garden
Photo by Allan Mas on Pexels.com

You don’t have to let them make a major decision- it can be something simple, like “What are we doing today?” or “What would you like for dinner?” Kids feel important when you let them choose.

Lastly, I try to get one good hug in with my kids and husband every day. It helps us connect to one another and feel loved. What are some ways you fill your kids’ love tank on a regular basis?

Simplify: tips for a happier and healthier life

Simplify: tips for a happier and healthier life

Simplify tips

At my house, we have really been thinking about simplifying areas of our lives, but what lately, I keep coming back to one recurring thought. What about simplifying our lives in general? There are so many things we do that add stress to our lives, and we don’t even realize it.

Before we changed the name and niche of this blog to Lumber in my Minivan, it was called “Organized and Simplified.” Most of the time, my life is anything BUT simplified. I am the world’s worst for trying to do too much, and it’s something I need to work on.

In addition to maintaining this blog, I also work full time, raise two lovely but lively little girls, and schlep my kids to dance class three nights a week, as they are competitive dancers. Add their schoolwork to the mix, along with keeping house and church, and, well…you get the picture.

In order to simplify my life, I am doing some things differently. I am far from done experimenting, and I am definitely open to suggestions. Please feel free to comment below and add any more tips- I’d love to hear from you!!

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  1. Know your priorities, and choose them wisely.

I am guilty of often trying to do too much in one day. I often try to do so much, that quantity takes over quality, and I end up doing a lot of things, but not necessarily doing them WELL. If you’re like me, I get stressed out by a lengthy to-do list. Just because you have a lot to do, doesn’t mean you need to do it all at once, or even in the same day. Give yourself permission not to be perfect. It’s OK- no one else is, either.

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2. Read more, watch TV less

I am trying to make an effort to read more than I have been. I love reading, but I usually have no time for it, until summer or spring break. I have been taking at least 15 minutes a night to read something, and a few minutes during lunch to read my daily devotional.

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3. Less phones!

Hooo boy, is this an area that I need to work on!! My family has been making a concentrated effort to put down the cell phones and just be present. Turn off your social media notifications, and allow yourself only a little cell phone time each day.  Being constantly tied to your phone stresses you out and makes it difficult to concentrate on other things.

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4. Declutter your spaces by getting rid of what you don’t need.

A cluttered space is stressful and makes it hard to relax. A light, airy, decluttered space is a space where you can get comfortable and relax.

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5. Focus on the present, not the future

Focus on what you’re doing right now, and what you need right now. Don’t worry too much about the future, as you can’t do anything to change the future. Worry about the future when it gets here. For now, enjoy where you are.

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6. Don’t overcommit- you can say no, and you should say no. No one can do everything- it is perfectly OK to turn down tasks if you feel overwhelmed.

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7. Don’t multitask- singletask when ever you can, to sharpen focus and effectiveness. Trying to focus on too much at once is like a computer browser with too many open tabs. Your brain runs more slowly and less effectively when you are trying to do too much at once. Focus singularly and you can focus more easily.

 

I hope you have enjoyed these tips for simplifying your life. Please comment below to share any additional tips you might have.

 

Have a great weekend!

Free printable Friday: Valentines on my Mind!

Happy Friday! Can you believe it’s February? This year is going by quickly and I can’t say I’m sad about it. So, to celebrate, here are two free printables for you. This year I’m focused on God’s definition of love and 1 Corinthians 13. I thought I’d base my freebies on that verse.

And here is one with the passage of Scripture from 1 Corinthians 13:8-12.

I hope you love these new free prints! In case you want to print them and frame them, I’d recommend printing no larger than 8×10. I like to use a print shop like Staples Copy and Print for mine. Just right click and save to your device!

And have an amazing week! We will see you Monday.

Installing a Portable Polytunnel Greenhouse Part 2

Last week, we shared our new polytunnel greenhouse. We have been working on it, since it is nearing the time we usually start our seeds for our garden.

This week, we have begun working on the inside. We just need to purchase a heater and install our irrigation system and we will be good to go.

The inside currently looks like this:

Stable mats from Tractor Supply (I used two of them) and poly resin Muscle Tech garage shelves from Walmart. They snap together without tools and are very sturdy.

For the shelves, we purchased 5 5-tier Muscle Tech resin garage shelves. The fifth tier made them too tall so I reduced them to 4 tier and was able to make one more shelf out of them. This way, if these shelves don’t work for the greenhouse, I can repurpose them in our attic or garage. I wanted something with holes for drainage and ventilation that wasn’t expensive, wouldn’t rot or rust and could be used for something else if they didn’t work here.

We have also ordered a potting bench that hasn’t arrived yet.

We are looking at several different heaters and we are leaning toward this one:

And as for hydration:

We are planning to DIY something similar to this.

I can’t wait to show you the finished product! Check back next week!

DIY Shabby Chic Lampshade

My youngest daughter wanted a pretty new lamp for her bedroom. We tried to find something that would fit her boho- themed room without breaking the bank, but we couldn’t.

But did you know lampshades are incredibly easy to DIY? All you need to make this one is some ribbon and a hot glue gun.

We found this ribbon at the Wal of Marts.

Then, get your hot glue gun and glue the ribbon to your shade however you want. I put a drop of glue every inch on this one and it has held just fine.

I really love how it turned out. A lot of people have thought it was high end.

Plus, my kiddo is happy and that’s all that really matters, right?

Tune in next week for some more really cute crafts for girls’ crafts.