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

family making breakfast in the kitchen
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

photo of woman and girl talking while lying on bed
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

focused students doing homework at home
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?

Socially distanced fun: Weekend Hikes North Carolina State Parks

We found ourselves with a three-day weekend and nowhere to go. Usually, we would go visit family but due to the pandemic, we haven’t. Instead, we have been searching for fun, socially distant ways to get out of the house. And hiking has proven a great way to keep the kids entertained, get moving, and have fun, while staying safe from Covid.

Jordan Lake State Park is only a short drive away. We needed a short trail, so we chose the Pond Trail at the Seaforth entrance. The trail is 1.4 miles.
Portions of the trail have wood walkways.
These two had a blast walking on the trail (and throwing rocks into the water).

The trail winds its way around the lake shore and two ponds. You will also see an osprey nest.

The trail also crosses the road and goes past the boat ramp, picnic shelters and ends at the beach and playground. Since it’s cold, we didn’t picnic, play, or swim. We did let the girls play in the sand for a bit.

All in all, we have decided to explore a few more state parks in our area. Hiking trails are a good way to get out of the house, get some fresh air and get moving, without the worry of getting sick.

Have a wonderful Wednesday! I can’t wait to show you where we go next week.

Sunday Musings: I don’t have it all together…and that’s OK

Sunday Musings: I don’t have it all together…and that’s OK

I don’t have it all together. Not even close.

If most of us are honest, we will admit that we don’t have it all together. In today’s Pinterest-perfect society, we are expected to be perfectly dressed with perfect makeup, not a hair out of place, with perfectly clean, magazine worthy homes. We are expected to have a home-cooked dinner on the table every night, with perfectly dressed and perfectly behaved children.

I don’t have that; at least, not all the time. And never all at once. So, who holds us to this impossibly high standard? We do. We hold ourselves to these impossibly high standards we can never meet, but luckily, God does not.

God chose us, even though we are a long way from perfect. We don’t have it all together and God chose us anyway.

Ephesians 1:4 says “For he chose us in Him, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless in love before Him.” We don’t need to be perfect; we just need Jesus. There are no perfect humans, and there don’t need to be. Jesus already fulfilled the role of the perfect human.

It’s tempting to spend all of our time trying to be perfect and live up to those impossible standards, but instead, let’s put that energy into trying to be like Jesus. He already knows we aren’t perfect and he loves us anyway.

Have a blessed week.

Clean routines and parenting: keeping a weekly cleaning schedule

Trying to keep a tidy house is hard when you have small children. It’s even harder when you’re at home all the time with those small children, due to the coronavirus pandemic. We have always had a weekly cleaning schedule that worked pretty well for us, but now I’m making it a point to incorporate a little extra deep cleaning, in honor of the current pandemic.

Our weekly cleaning schedule is laminated, framed, and hanging in our laundry room.

This definitely doesn’t mean that we are perfect. Not even close. Even though this schedule is hanging on our wall in a frame, there are days when our stuff doesn’t get done and when we let messes linger for too long. And while the Friday chores are typically deep cleaning tasks, I’d gotten a little creative in how we deep clean these days.

Typically we spend two weekends a month deep cleaning. While we are at home self quarantining, we are choosing to vigilantly follow a deep cleaning schedule. We are following our daily task schedule, but we are mopping and cleaning bathrooms twice a week. We are also making it a point to remove shoes at the door and do a deep cleaning task every weekend instead of every other weekend. The kids and I are trying to work together to make the chore of the day happen.

We are also currently homeschooling and I’m teaching from home too. We are struggling to find the balance but we are OK. We are getting there and we are making it work.

And while we are on the subject of house cleaning to combat the germs, have you considered incorporating a little self care into your day? Staying home is not easy for some of us, and as a result, your mental state can suffer. Remember to do something that lifts you up each day- it could be something as simple as taking a walk or Facetime calling people you miss, to gardening, to reading a book, or taking a hot bath. Either way- don’t neglect YOU!

We will see you soon with our spring home tour! Until then, stay safe and stay healthy. Thanks for reading!

Life as a Lumber: What we’ve been up to!

Goofin’ off with my Little Lumbers

Hello, all! We are gearing up for a tremendously busy but tremendously great spring season. I cannot wait to share the wonder we have in store for you all, but I first wanted to catch up a bit. If you follow me on Instagram, some of this will not be new to you. And if you don’t follow me on Insta, you definitely should!

Someone has been bad and needs to go to the Principal’s office!!

Ok, not really! But we did surprise these two with a trip to West Jefferson, Valle Crucis and Boone two weekends ago. They loved it and so did we. We even stopped by my grandma’s house and got to visit with my grandma, aunt and uncle, and cousins on our way home.

We finally got some snow!!

Not long after we came home from the mountains, it started snowing! It didn’t snow a lot but we were out of school two days and the kids enjoyed playing in it.

Cutie sisters

These two stinkers actually got along for a few days and I have pictures to prove it!!

Rehearsal

This one is gearing up for her next competition and has been practicing like crazy! Wish her well because those nerves are really starting to set in.

Selfie queen

This one commandeered my phone and took hundreds of selfies- I made a collage of her best ones…and laughed at how much her “selfie game” has improved.

It’s clean!!

And we have started cleaning out our playroom, since we are about to repurpose this room. Spoiler alert: it’s going to be used for something else, and no, it’s not a nursery for a new baby. Just in case anyone gets confused.

Join us this week for our spring home tour, some beautiful spring quotes and a round up of my favorite spring decor at local retailers. Have a wonderful week!