Blessed are those whose strength is in you, who have set their hearts on pilgrimage. Psalm 84:5

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Laundry in a Large Family

Just imagine how many clothes there must be to wash with 6 children and 2 adults!!!!

Laundry has always been a chore I struggle with. Even when it was just my husband and I. problem! It's the putting away that has always been my problem.

Washed, dried and folded clothes end up in piles everywhere. Flowing out of the baskets-on top of the washer and dryer, on the stairs (at least closer to their destination!), on dresser and bed tops. All with good intentions of making it to closets and drawers.

Before that ever happens, though, there seems to be mounds of more dirty clothes to wash!!!! And so, my laundry time is taken up again with the washing, drying and folding and never the putting away.

This doesn't sound so horrible. I mean, at least everyone has clean clothes to wear! Somewhere! It's just a matter of finding the right pile!

Well-to tell the truth-it is horrible! If you struggle with keeping up with the can relate. Most of the time the piles get sorted through or knocked over or moved so someone can get into their bed and they wind up on the floor- where soon we don't know the dirty from the clean.

Guess what happens next??? 
Yup-you guessed it. The smell test. Sorry-it's just the way it is. OR WAS!!!!! 

Until I started my new laundry system!!! 

It's been working so well-I thought I would share and perhaps it will help someone with similar laundry issues.

Step 1: I started by making my sorting non-existent . That's right-NO SORTING! Each room has their own laundry hamper. I purchased the very light-very cheap, fold up type that just "pop open" when you take them out of the package.
 When people take off their clothes-they go in their own hamper. If they share a room-they can still have their own hamper. That way when I do a load-I know everything in it belongs to one person.

Step 2:Then...I grab a hamper-any hamper-in the morning and throw in that load. The hampers are so light and easy to carry-all but my 2 year old can carry them down.  Often, it's as simple as just asking someone to bring their dirties down to the laundry room.

Some time later-I switch them over to the dryer and put in someone else's. I have been training the two oldest children to do this to ensure the wet clothes don't sit in the wash too long.  Between hampers and sheets-I have to do at least 2 loads a day to keep up.

Step 3:When I am taking the clothes out of the dryer, they go into that room's, similarly made, pop up, laundry basket. I purchased them at Wal-Mart. Very cheap-very light-very easy to carry-and they hold a lot!

I also purchased a cheap, narrow- but long, folding table. This table sits against the wall in my laundry room and all the baskets line up on top of it. The table wasn't actually long enough to hold them all-so some are on top of the school bins that are partially under and partially next to the table.
Yes-we have 8 people but only 6 of these-I just couldn't fit any more. 1 for towels and sheets-and some hold one person's in the front of the bin-and another person (in the same room) in the back of the bin. Still kept very separate.

 Step 4: Now...all clothes are dry and folded and placed in a basket that will stay right where it is until I or someone else takes it only to the room it goes in and that only happens when said person is right that very minute going to put the clothes away!

No more piles of laundry anywhere! Sometimes the baskets get a bit full-but that's how we know whose has to be carried up and put away next.
looks like the girls room laundry is the next to go up!

I have been training the children how to put their clothes away to my standards-but for now I do most of it. Otherwise-it does find it's way onto floors, under beds-and sometimes-right back into the hamper of dirty clothes!

Overall-this system has been a tremendous help and taken a huge level of frustration 
out of the labor of a large families laundry!!!

ps...please, please, please...don't ask me about socks!!!!!! I am still convinced our attic and basement mice take them to use as sleeping bags! Even with each person's clothes being kept and washed separate-we are still finding lone socks!!!!!!!!

Linked up at:Wise Woman
and Raising Mighty Arrows

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

ABC's....Summer time Blessings

I can't help it...I think of everything at the preschool level...comes from working with preschoolers since I was about 12 years old!!

Thinking about all the blessings of summer time this morning...perhaps you can add a few of your own???

A-All done school!!!! I know some homeschool year round-but I need a break! So..we just do a few essentials each day.
B-Birds singing and on the feeders-especially love the woodpeckers we see daily.
C-Camps! This year our children are signed up for various day and 1/2 day camps. They are really having fun, enjoying seeing kids every day (something they don't get during the school year) and the time outside each day is wonderful!
D-Dunkin Donuts....I love coffee...more specifically-I love lattes-and on a hot summer day an ice cold caramel latte from Dunkin Donuts hits the spot!!!
E-Elephant Soup. Yummy!!!!! Ok..just kidding. No such thing. Didn't have an "e" off the top of my head and that's what popped in. See-told you, preschool brain. At least it wasn't potty talk! :)
F-Fun! Fun! Fun!  Speaking of which-time to take the toddler outside-she is yelling, "Go outside now?? Go outside now???"

So-I'm off-for a walk in the neighborhood-a swing on the hammock-a splash in the baby pool-a cuddle with the bunny...

It's a Blessing!!!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Foster Findings

I like to talk.
I like to share truth.
I like to say it how it is and though I try to do that's not always appreciated.

I wear my emotions on my sleeve and I think I tend to do the same - even in writing.

Once-a woman told me she thought I shared "too much". She felt I should only ever share a negative thing about myself if God had already worked it out in me.  Then, I could also share the positive end result and thereby help that person see the light-so to speak. As opposed to risking being the type that just commiserate with each other's sins but never really encourage and help each other repent and turn away from them.

I've thought long and hard about those comments. During that time, I've come to realize that I'm one of those people that you either love or really hate. You either appreciate my honesty-my transparency-my willingness to put myself out there and risk others thinking poorly of me because I just said something out loud that many think and feel but won't admit to. wish I would just be quiet!!!

Sometimes I want to share something on this blog and wonder if there is a point? If it's something negative I've said or done, will it just allow someone else to continue in their sin? Is it profitable? Is it edifying? Is it encouraging?

See-I told you I like to talk-all that was just the intro!!! What I really want to blog is about being a foster mom.

Are you interested? Can you relate? Do you ever wonder what it really FEELS like? I want to tell you. I want to share. The good stuff-but the bad too. Will it be profitable? I hope so. Will it be edifying? I'll try my best. Will it encourage you? Well-either that or it might scare you away-either from fostering-my blog-or both!!

This is just one little thing that happened tonight. It makes me want to cry. I wish it weren't this way. If you are a foster mom-I hope it's not like this for you. If you are considering being a foster mom, I think it's important that you realize this might happen.

When I went to check on my 5 year old biological son, he was in a funny position on his bed. I adjusted him slightly and he started to wake. I spoke soothingly to him-rubbed his hair-gave him a kiss and he settled right back down.

Here's the sad part. As I was doing that  I had this thought:

"Why am I so very endearing to my own children but not to my foster son? Why do I so easily give them hugs and kisses and love on them all day-but not him? They have been raised in this type of love from day one-and though they need it...they don't need it like he does. He hasn't ever had love like that and I am the one in the position to give it to him. So...why is it so hard?"

Foster Findings #1:  Having compassion for children in need and desiring to foster or adopt-does not mean that said compassion will carry over to a real child. A real child, with real emotional problems. With real anger issues and behavior in your house-with your children-affecting your way of doing things every second of every day.
Foster Findings #2: Being a lovey dovey, cuddly, affectionate Mommy with your children..does not mean you will naturally be that way with a foster child -who by no fault of his own-comes in and rocks your whole world!

"Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves,4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” – Philippians 2:1-4

Foster Findings #3: It's not about you. It's not about me. It's not about what I like or don't like or what comes naturally or what doesn't. It's about doing nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Doing only in humility and putting the child/ren above your self. Reaching out to hug and cuddle even when you don't want to. Relying on the strength of God to help you deal patiently with those hard behaviors. Casting your cares on Jesus when you are weary and need rest. Finding your joy in Him-and Him alone -and not in the day to day- which some days seem like such a failure.

Thanks for joining me tonight-It's a blessing!

Shhh! Don't wake the baby-unless there's a tornado??????

Whenever I have a baby....making sure they sleep and stay asleep has always been very important to me.

Tonight, however, I think I went a bit overboard!

Our "baby" (she's actually 2 1/2-but still my baby) would not take a nap today, and so after a long and
busy day-she crashed on the couch about 5pm. Then we all it a nap? Or is it bedtime?

She was carried to bed by her biggest brother-and she stayed asleep...hmmmm...maybe bedtime!

But, it didn't last long. She woke up calling for "Mommy". I laid down next to her and tried to nurse her back down. Some of you are now going back up to read her age....yes, I'm still nursing my 2 1/2 year old. Maybe we'll get into that another time. Maybe.

Anyway...while nursing her back to sleep-at just the point where I think she is going back to sleep I hear a long, wailing siren.

In NJ-this always meant a fire somewhere. It was called the "fire whistle". No need for alarm-unless of course you were a fire fighter and needed to speed to the station.

We have lived here in Ohio for 3 years, and each Saturday at noon when the siren goes off, I calmly tell my children, "Don't worry-just the fire station testing the whistle." It was not until about a month ago that I fell upon a tid bit of information I was not aware of!!!

Ohio has tornadoes and tornadoe sirens!!

WHAT? I never even heard of that. Yeah, sorry-a bit pathetic-but true. Since this revelation, I've been intrigued by a green sky one morning, listening to our weather radio occassionally and tonight...heard what must have been the tornado siren!

Here's the really wacky part. I just kept listening! Hmmm, is that really a tornado warning? I glance out the windows. Doesn't look like a storm a brewin....maybe it is used for fires as well?

A few more minutes go by...she's not letting go...I don't want to wake her.

"What if it's a real warning? Should I be getting everyone in the basement?"

The siren is still going.

"Should I at least go get the weather radio?"

The siren is still going-and she's still attached.

"If I get up, she'll wake up for sure." I stay there. The siren finally stops and I think to myself.
"I must be crazy! I just let her keep nursing, for fear of waking her, thinking that was more important than
possibly getting my family to safety from an oncoming tornado!!!!!!!"

Well-I did get up as soon as she was sound asleep..I checked the weather, checked the national warning thing, even tried to call the local departments to see why it went off. Nothing.

Absolutely nothing.

Ah, well-baby's still asleep-house is still standing-all are safe....guess as crazy as it sounds this time my choice turned out ok.

I'm thinking a lot about choices tonight-I might be back.


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Friday, June 24, 2011

The Clock is Ticking!!!

About 50 or so hours to go!!!! Enter the Super Fun Double Give Away Today!!!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Wednesday's Wink

 This Wednesday's Wink is going to put a smile on your face and a wiggle in your step!

Well-at least that's what it does for me!

I'm not a big background noise kinda person. My husband turns the music on and up....I wander into the room and turn it down or off...his turn, my turn, and so it goes. He likes the music to drown out the noise...I need the music off so I can pay attention to the noise and be able to focus on the needs the noise is demanding!

That being said-there is this one exception..(well-maybe two or three-but definetly this one).

When I hear this song....I stop what I am doing. It puts a smile on my face every single time-it seems to wash away the stress, relax the tight muscles..the toes start tapping and I feel 16 again!

This song only came out this year-and trust me-I'm no where near 16!!!'s not the song that brings back that feeling-it's the exact lyrics of it. Listen to the words as Jimmy Needha sings about being found by Jesus and what that felt like!!!!

I remember being 16 years old. Attending a youth group concert with my friends from the christian school I was attending-though I and my family were not believers. I had listened to them as they had their turn planting seeds-but I pushed them all away with comments of "that's nice for you" or "I'm fine-thanks." Until that night. There were at least a thousand people in attendance-but I am telling you the singer (it was Al Denson-anyone remember him?) was talking right to me! Well-more like right through me-or through my heart!

I was sweating (and no-it was not from the dancing!), my heart was pounding out of my chest and I was STILL ready to run from God. I bolted out of that place faster than a cheetah after it's prey.

But..God was prepared.

He sent my friends out after me. They had seen the signs before. They told me it was God calling me to him that was making me feel that way. NO WAY! I wanted out of there! But, they convinced me to at least go back inside. I did. For about 5 minutes. Back out I went-tears pouring down my face-panting for breath-fighting with tooth and nail to hold onto....hold onto....what?! I don't know what I was thinking!!! I guess I was holding onto some type of imaginary control.

But..God was prepared.

He wasn't just calling me.

He was pursuring me. Furvently!!!! Passionately!!!!

They convinced me once more to go back inside and that night I surrendered my life to Jesus Christ.

This song..will give you a little "wink's insight" to how I felt for so long after!!!!!
Just click on this link below to go directly to a You Tube video of this amazing song!

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Monday, June 20, 2011

Getting out of the "Set Up" Mode

"I get this car!"
"Awesome-I get all these motorbikes!"
"Cool-let's line them up on our sides."
"Yeah!!!! I get all the blue ones."
"Yeah Man! It's going to be sweet!"
"Thanks Man!"

And so it goes-on and on and on. The "Set Up". The two youngest boys have been in their room "setting up"-getting ready to play for about an hour already. Soon. Sooner then they realize, I will tell them it's time to
clean up and come down for dinner. Then I will hear this:

"AAWWW! MOM! We didn't even play yet!!!!
"Yeah, we were still setting up!!!"

I think it's a disease. At the least-a condition. I'll call 'bout other words-too much-all the time-trying to get ready-but never actually getting to the important stuff!

It never works to their advantage. They are usually frustrated during the set up. There are often arguments about how to set up-who does what-what goes where, etc. When they realize they lost the time to actually play-again-they are even more disappointed. Sometimes I interevene and say something like:

"Why don't you boys just PLAY! Stop doing all that setting up stuff and just PLAY~have a race or something-pretend car wash-anything! Just get to the part you are trying to get to before it's too late!"

I don't think they have ever taken my advice. Well-I can't blame them really. The girls do the same thing with their polly pockets ,barbies and oldest does the same when setting up his legos and..... OH! NO! I think I have the same illness-perhaps it is hereditary!!!!

"I can't read to you right now..I'm organizing the bookshelf."
"Sorry, I wish I could play CandyLand with you...but I have to find all these pieces
and put them back where they belong."
"No, you go ahead and eat without me...Mommy needs to finish getting the kitchen back together."
"We'll plant the seeds soon..I'm still trying to clean out all the gardens."

The list goes on and on...all the ways I am "setting up" or "perpetually preparing" for something..for a time when I won't need to set up and can finally sit down and get to the playing? Problem never seems to come to that time.

I should take my own advice. Tonight-instead of setting something up..I'm going to sit down with the kids and get down to what's really important...some time together!!!

How about you? Do you suffer from Perpetualpreparednessitis???????

Friday, June 17, 2011

Look At The Birds!

"Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?" Matthew 6:26

I hate mud. Mostly because I am a Mommy of 6 little ones who LOVE mud! But to is just one big mess-just one more thing to clean off my floor-scrub out of clothes-wipe off of shoes and sometimes even wash out of the baby's hair!

Right outside my back door-smack in the way of getting down to the yard-is a giant mud puddle. I think it's been there every day since April. It just won't dry up. I request, I tell, I p-l-e-a-d, I punish...I do everything to try to keep the kids out of the mud-but it finds it's way into our home daily. And so....

I hate mud.

Just now...God reminded me of how he can use even a muddy puddle for His glory and purposes. I looked outside my back window just in time to see a beautiful bird (I LOVE birds-by the way), enjoying a drink and a bath in our little puddle.

Aaaawww...just like that-the mud puddle took on a whole new meaning. It, for at least that moment, was no longer a trial...but a pleasure! I was able to view first hand how God can use our little back yard and our little puddle to do what He for the birds. much more does he care for us???

Well-in under 24 hours, God met the need for the family I mentioned in my last post!!!! He used some of you, and some others, and some others, from all over the nation...through a simple blog post-a puddle if you will. And now..HE RECEIVES THE HONOR AND THE GLORY FOR BLESSING THIS HURTING FAMILY WITH THE MONEY THEY NEEDED TO GIVE THEIR BABY SON A FUNERAL.

Perhaps you read the post? Perhaps you visited the blog? Perhaps you prayed for them? Perhaps you donated? If too were part of God's plan.


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Christian Family Needs Your Help

It's A Blessing Friends...though I don't know this family personally-my heart goes out to them and for their loss. If you feel so inclined to read about them-their loss-their need-and how you can pray and help in a tangible way-please visit A Wise Woman by clicking on the link below.
Really and truly....what is the point to all this blogging stuff if REAL relationships are not established...if REAL people are not helped and if GOD is not REALLY glorified in all we do?-even blogging!
We're all sisters in big family-even though we've never met-and if you had met them...wouldn't you want to help? Wouldn't you be blessed in return to know that God used you to meet their need? I hope you will join me in praying for and ministering to this hurting family.

Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2

Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God. Hebrews 13:16

Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Philippians 4:4

If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together. 1 Corinthians 12:26

 Wise Woman Builds Her Home: Christian Family Needs Your Help: "Dearest Friends, There is a Christian family that is very dear to us that needs your help. (Tony and Susie Shock) This loving, homesc..."

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Welcome Wise Women!!

If you are visiting It's a Blessing from Wise Women...we welcome you!

We hope you will be encourged...blessed....and maybe have a little laugh or two as you
peruse our posts.

Please visit our Etsy Shop where you will find many wonderful, scripture focused gifts
to bless dear ones in your life!

If you are already a follower and have not met June over at Wise can find her at

Thanks for joining us and have a blessed day!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Have You Met Jasmine?

If you haven't met Jasmine-at

Now is a great time to visit!

You will be encouraged by her posts, link ups and enjoy wonderful opportunities to win prizes from her give aways! 

It's A Blessing is offering one of our newest items-the Blessing Bag! Visit her today for your chance to win!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Heaters vs. Air

My Brogan Boy-again-I think he's going to be a theologan~

Out of pure silence he questions me:
"Why didn't God just give us all heaters instead of air?"

WHAT!? I had to stop and think about that one.

"What do you mean, "give us all heaters?" Do you mean to breathe?"

"Yes", he further explained. "He could have just put heaters on our backs or something so we could get air thr...." He stopped mid sentence and asked:

"Wait a minute! Does a heater just take the air already there and suck it through and then it comes out again?"

"Yes," I explain. "Only God makes air-not people and not the heaters.  The heater just sucks it in- heats it up and it comes out warm."

"Oh. That wouldn't work then. I thought if God gave us all heaters to use to breathe that we could SEE the air. Why didn't He make it so we can see the air?"

Well-here we go!

We talk about how amazing air is-how essential it is-how you can't see it but you can see it's power. You can see what it is moving-how it is moving it-how fast or how slow. You can see how it gives life-and how it can destory life.

Brogan is still listening but by this point I think I am talking mostly to myself as I become amazed at the complexity of air. Something we take for granted with each and every breath!

I conclude our little session by sharing my amazment:

"Brogan-you know what!? I think God made air invisible on purpose!
 I think He uses it as just one of the wonderful things in His creation to show us who He is and what He is like! God is like air! God is invisible! We can not see Him-but we can see His power! We can see how he is moving and changing people-sometimes fast and sometimes slow-we can see how He gives us life-and sometimes takes it away. We know we need Him-we know without Him we would have no life-and yet sometimes we let days and days go by without even thinking about Him-who gives us life!  Let's thank God for air-and for your mind-and for using the things He has created to reveal himself to us both!!"

One of my favs of Brogan Boy!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Blessing Bags! Check Them Out!

Blessing Bags!!!!

I am very excited to introduce It's A Blessing's Newest and very exciting product line!

The Blessing Bags!!

Colorful-fun-original-and filled with fun and meaningful items to encourage young girls to sit quiet in church or any "need to sit quiet" place!

It's wonderful colors and petite size are just right for a young lady to carry.

Inside each blessing bag is:

1. Laminated Bible memory cards. Each card has a picture prompt on the front to help the child memorize the verse on the back. For example: The red card with the apple reminds of the first sin-and the verse on the back is Romans 3:23 "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."
The second card is the cross and the verse on the back says, "That Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the scriptures." I Cor. 15:3. The snowflake helps them remember, "Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be white as snow." Isaiah 1:18. The green tree reminds us of 2 Peter 3:18 "But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ." and the world of Jesus's calling on all our lives: "He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation." Mark 16:15

This fantastic collection of cards will help little girls memorize verses that they can hide in their hearts and use to share the gospel! The cards are collected together on a lovely keychain-with dangling, glass, colored beads. Even the beads co-ordinate with the scripture passages!

2. A Religious coloring book and small set of crayons.
3. A small plastic religious sliding puzzle.

This set is sure to be a blessing-an encouragment-a helpful tool for Moms!

To get a closer look or to purchase-just go to our etsy shop. Click on the picture/top right of home page or go to


Thursday, June 2, 2011

Check! hubby is excersizing. I mean-REALLY excersizing. The kind where he is setting the alarm clock to wake up WAY TOO early, and working so hard he can't put his own socks on after because his muscles hurt so bad.

He's doing a great job and when I was asking him about the program, he said,
"Do you want to try it with me?"

WHAT???!!!!! ARE YOU KIDDING???!!!

Wake up an hour earlier-when I only get 6 hours of very interrupted sleep in the first place?

I said, "NO WAY!"

Then -I felt bad. I mean-he's doing this for both of us. Perhaps I should make an effort to get in better shape.

Then-I had to laugh at myself all day today as I totally justified my answer of "NO WAY" and found lots of examples of super-dooper-excersizing I already do!!!!  Maybe some of you Moms out there are feeling a bit lazy....a bit lacking in the excersize area...well...take a look at this list!!! I bet you do them all-and more!!!! They have got to count just as much as an hour of stuff in the am when my body needs to be snoozing.....

1.  Ran up and down the stairs at least 20 times to get diapers, wipes, tissues, toilet paper for downstairs bathroom, laundry to wash, time for my shower, dog got upstairs-catch her quick, etc . etc. Leg workout-check!
2. S-t-r-e-t-c-h my legs out to shave my legs...then to put cream those muscles tighten? Thighs and calves-check!
3. Wrestle the baby down to change her diaper-not even sure what that works out-but it's a work out! Check!
4. Food shopping-bought giant bottles of gateraid and lifted them in the cart-out of the cart-in the trunk-out of the trunk! Those babies are heavy! Phew-arm workout-check!
5. Ran from the backyard to the car to rescue the M&M's I forgot and left in the trunk. Quick! They might melt!!! Wow..when did my buttocks get so jiggly when I run??? Welll-rear end excersizes and cardio-check!
6.  Baby sees me resting on the floor (well-can you blame me after all that I've done already?) and climbs onto my legs while I"m laying on my back. Up, down, up, down, vroom went the airplane-round and round-in for a landing!!! "Again!" She cries! How can I resist? Up, down, up down, at least 5 more times.Tummy work out-check!
7. Baby falls asleep in the car...crocheting while I wait for her to wake up...wrist workout-check!
8. Kids out back fighting...I'm working on this blog....yell out the window to see what's going on-put one in time out-the others need re-direction...vocal cords workout-check! :)
9.  Typing, typing, typing, check facebook, check favorite blogs, check etsy shop and Lilla Rose...visual and finger workout-check!

Well-that's my excersizing done for the day...and...I can still put my own socks on! Amazing! Only thing left...spiritual work out-better hit the Good Book!

Have you done your excersizing today?