"Every minute you spend looking through clutter, wondering where you put this or that, being unable to focus because you're not organized costs you: time you could have spent with family or friends, time you could have been productive around the house, time you could have been making money."
Oh, a heap of clutter pretty much sums up our home perfectly. We are a family of nine. That is huge in the time that we live in now. Nine people, three inside dogs, four inside/outside cats, and various fish tanks. Toys, clothes, books, dishes, and everything else. Finding things like a letter I am looking for gets shuffled into a pile, then another pile to be taken care of later. Later might be a long time away. Oooops!
A good family member of mine, Melissa got me hooked on a 30 day declutter challenge. I cannot remember where we ended up getting the idea from. The video below does explain how the decluttering of 1,000 items works. That is as simple as 35 items per day. Not that hard to do if you think about it.
After our first and second round of decluttering, everyone was asking how are you doing it? That was easy to answer. I am just sick of the clutter and there is so much stuff we have and don't use. On the first day I started in an easy room. For us that is the living room. There isn't a ton of items in there. Only takes a little bit of time to go through, straighten up, and then done for the day.
Things I asked myself for each item:
As I stated the two times this challenge has been started and finished we were quite successful. The only problem that I have is that more stuff comes into our home after other items have left. My bad! To fix this after this time around is if anything comes in a new outfit, book, toy, etc. something has to go out. That will help keep the simplified life we are trying to teach our children not to mention myself, too. Moments are measured by memories made not by what material items one person has in their life.
Would you like to start the declutter challenge? Get some family, friend, or coworkers involved. Add a lottery tree where everyone puts in $5.00 in tickets or the same thing but a restaurant gift certificate. Any type of reward would do. The person with the most items gone wins. It could even be broken down into how much was donated, trashed, or sold. The possibilities are endless. Whatever you decide, have fun with it. When you are done, you will feel a lot better. Blessed be!
"Dare, dream, dance, smile, and sing loudly! And have faith that love is an unstoppable force!"
It is that wonderful and glorious time of year again. We are all signed up for dance class. This year it is all five little monkeys. Yup! Five wonderful monkeys dancing to their own beat of the drum. Just kidding. Dancing to the songs that are chosen, and taught by their wonderful and amazing teachers, the steps that they need to put on a fabulous show at the end of the year.
Kaitlynn used to dance for Julie's Dance Studio for a few years when she was younger. Then she spent a year with Jennifer George dancing toe. She loved dancing. So imagine how happy we were when Jazlyn started dance two years ago. Jazzy is our little diva monkey. She worked so hard under the instructions of Angela and the other dancers that help Julie teach her students. Jazlyn studies tap and ballet. She also enjoys the limbo!
Jazlyn waiting patiently for their turn to go on stage. Expo 2018
Sophie had her first year of ballet and tap last year. For the first few months this circus juggling momma had to become a tiny tots dancer. We learned quite a bit. She finally got more comfortable and was able to dance by herself. Sophie is our shy monkey. She still left the room for a quick hug and assurance that I didn't leave her.
Sophie dancing at the Expo 2018.
Then came our young lady monkey, Chloe. Last year she stepped out of her comfort zone and danced jazz with a group of wonderful girls. Chloe gained so much confidence in that year. She was beaming. This year, she will be doing a solo that has her very excited. We are just having a hard time picking a song for it.
Chloe and the girls take a bow after a job well done at the Expo 2018.
Little monkey, Connor is now signed up for his second year of dancing Hip Hop. This little guy loves to move and grove. We find him dancing around the living room quite often. Sometimes he even sings, too. James will be joining him this year for his first year of Hip Hop. Can't wait to see them get down and bust a move.
Connor with his class and the first year of awards, 2018.
I truly have to thank Julie Hooper for all of her hard work, dedication and love that she has for her students. She puts her whole heart into what she does with each and everyone of them. All of her teachers and student teachers take their time to listen and build the confidence in each individual child. Our little monkeys are busy, some shy, and a few other things. However, when you walk into either studio room there are smiles, attention, cooperation, and dance family. Thank you for letting us be a part of your dance family at Julie's Dance Studio, LLC.
©Photos by Kimberly Doerr unless otherwise noted
"I say to everybody, 'Adoption is not for the faint of heart.'"
Everyone knows about the hit T.V. show this is us. It has swept the nation like a storm. The reason that it is so popular is because it touches on real life situation, moments, and family events. All of them both good and not so great. There are parts to that show that is easy for me to relate to.
First of all let me introduce our loving family. It all started when a girl (me) met a boy named Donald. Isn't that how all good romances start? Well there are some derivations from that and I am good with those love stories too. We met way back in the year 1993. It was no surprise to anyone that we fell deeply in love. We were just two crazy kids that were going to take on the world.
It wasn't two long later that we planned our little family. Our hearts were filled when Kaitlynn and Devion came into our lives. We loved them even before they were born. Both created out of the love that we have for each other. Many happy memories, moments, and years went by. We had our ups and our downs like any family. Teen years and tears as they graduated from school. We were done and we made it from start to finish. Or so we thought.... ;)
Our family of four with our two bigs.
Photo Credited Kimberly Doerr
Now here is where our life turns into a new adventure. We had been fostering children for a few years. In 2015 five beautiful little souls came into our lives. They were so tiny and adorable. Little whirlwind of energy, cuddles, giggles, and hugs. It was extremely easy to fall deeply in love with them. Their warm brown eyes melted our hearts.
We worked closely with the biological parents for reunification. With a heavy heart as we all know from the way things sometimes work returning home was not an option. There were many mixed emotions with that. It is heartbreaking and heartwarming all at once. That is a blog for another time.
Our family is complete, us, our bigs, and our littles.
Photo Credited to Gina Johnson Photography
On November 20, 2017 our adoption was finalized. These little ones were finally in a family. No second guessing, no more moving, they are home. This was the best Christmas gift for all of us. It was the best one that I have ever received. We were joyous to be welcoming Chloe, James, Connor, Jazlyn, and Sophie into our family officially. Even though they were already a huge part of it for so long already.
Our days are filled with organized chaos. When you have a 4, 5, 7, 8, 12, 22, and 23 all at home it can get interesting. Throw in there that we own a small family farm then it is literally a circus. The two legged and four legged animals are all a joy to be around.
Best Christmas present ever, our family!
Photo Credit Jennifer White
Life is a journey. One that should be enjoyed every step of the way. Having those who love you and you love makes it even more fun to travel on. Look for more things to come from our circus with our monkeys. Blessed be!