April in Review

The One Room Challenge has been taking up a lot of my time, but to be honest, what is keeping me most busy are my kids. Moms of school age kids out there, you know what I mean. It’s the end of the year, and we have to do all.the.things. Not to mention my daughter is a senior, so just add about 1,657,265 more things to that. Moms of high school seniors – don’t you just love this in between time?? While trying to finish up all the things high school, we must also start all the things college. One thing at a time people – that’s all my brain can handle right now!

So, today I am doing a bit of a catch all, catch up of all the things family going on around here in the past month!

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An Open Letter To My Graduating Senior {Thoughtful Thursday}

Hey there friends! Well, here we are again. Preparing for another high school graduation. It seems like yesterday that we just did this, but in reality it was two years ago!! Time moves so quickly these days, that I feel I must pay close attention or it will all become a blur. 
There is something that happens to us mamas when are babies are about to leave the nest. It’s odd, and hard to explain, but it’s real. It happened two years ago and it’s happening again. 


So, I am writing this letter to my graduate to try to make some sense of this strange phenomenon.
My Dear Graduate,
The days are growing near for your high school days to be completed. The next couple of months are going to be filled with fun and celebration. I’m so proud of the person you are becoming, and am so excited for the journey you are about to embark on. 
However, my emotions are all jumbled up. And some days I don’t feel so excited. 
Some days I will be hard. Raising the bar, picking on you for all the little things you need to do better. When I get this way, just know that I am so proud of you. I’m just trying to make sure you know all the things you need to know before you leave.
Some days I will be sad. Memories of you over the past 18 years flood my mind often. The thought of you being away from home for 9+ months out of the year is not appealing to me. When I get this way, remember I’m excited but I’m going to miss you.
Some days I will stare at you a little longer. Don’t be weirded out by this. I haven’t lost my mind. I am studying you. Imprinting your very being into my brain to make sure I don’t forget a single detail about you.
Some days I will need an extra hug or two. After all, I need to stock up. When I get extra clingy, please don’t be annoyed by me. Just know that I love you…and hug me back.
Some days I will retreat. I’m not mad. You didn’t do anything wrong. Yes I love you and I love spending time with you. But, some days the emotions are all just too overwhelming and I need to be by myself for a while to process…or maybe to cry a few tears. 
This transition time is difficult for both of us. But, it is good. God has a plan, and He is working it out in you. And He is working it out in me. 

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Another Year Older

A couple of months ago our oldest turned 20. And just this weekend our daughter turned 18. 18 and 20? How is that possible?? Seriously it was just yesterday that they came home from the hospital right? 

It’s hard not to have all the feelings when these milestones occur. The past 18 years seem like such a blur. 

This year has been filled with all the senior things. Ordering cap and gown. Preparing her senior salute for the yearbook. Senior pictures. Applying for college. And soon, all these things will conclude with senior prom (of course), finals, graduation, baccalaureate, senior Sunday at our church, all the final church youth trips for the summer, and the end all – moving to college.

This is not our first time to do this – send a kid to college – but even still, I know it won’t be easy. She is our only daughter. I know the space she will leave behind will be large. And yes, I know it’s not forever, but we will be forever changed. 

Changed by her presence, and changed by her absence. 

Children are a gift from the Lord…(Psalm 127:3 NLT).  I have cherished every moment of these past 18 years, and I look forward to what the next 18+ bring. 

Love you sweet daughter of mine!!

All the beautiful senior pics were taken by Caitlin Boswell. If you are in the Oklahoma City area, check her out! She is amazing, sweet, and very talented!

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5 Things To Make Back To School Easier For Moms

Maybe your kids have already started back to school, or maybe you have a couple more weeks. Here they start tomorrow. After a summer of slothing around I’m looking forward to a schedule, but thinking about all the things that are going to be on the schedule kinda freaks me out a bit. Over the past couple of years I have put a few things in place that have seriously made my life easier and more peaceful.

First up is organizing school supplies and school papers (you know the ones that come home that are too awesome to throw out).

1. Organization for school supplies and papersIn our entryway closet (for lack of a better place) we have this

The tower of drawers on the left holds various school/office supplies and the kids keepsakes for the year (the top drawers). The crate to the right holds more school/office supplies. I love this because they have learned where to find things they need all. on. their. own. Major mom win!

A place for everything and everything in its place.

3. Family Calendar – I hang large monthly calendars here in our kitchen

I attempted at one time to color coded but that was just too much for me, so I just write the person’s name by their activity. It helps a lot to see it out in the open.

I pre-bag snacks so I can just grab and go. This way the only thing that I have to make is sandwiches. (Yes, we could go healthier, but hey it’s just one meal, and how much do they really eat anyway??)

5. Meal Planning – This is a total life saver when I do it – here is what my meal plan looks like

Basic, but it works. This year I am planning to kick this one into high gear by adding some homemade freezer to crockpot meals. I tend to buy frozen dinner things that I can throw in the oven on a busy day. But, I know some of these aren’t that healthy. I love to use my crockpot but I don’t always have time in the morning for the prep work. I have pinned some great sources on my pin board with a great variety of recipes. I printed a bunch out for myself and I am making my grocery list! 

I hope these ideas help stream-line some of the necessary chaos that comes with the school year! Happy learning everyone!

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