• Archive for January 2011

    Mothering Mondays ~ Laundry

    Monday, January 31, 2011

    Mothers have you ever heard of this little thing called Laundry? Can it be a daunting, lifeless and overwhelming daily/weekly task? It sure can be in my home! I hope these tips will aid you. And if you want, just picture me in Africa thinking of all you mothers doing most likely the same thing as me… sorting, switching, folding and ironing ~ stop ~ sleep ~ and begin again!



    Laundry Tips from Anita Stels Home

    Have "play clothes" and "going out" clothes, and have the kids wear their "play clothes" for more than one day at a time. This will really reduce your amount of laundry. We have our kids check their play clothes at night (with help, if needed ~ some kids will just throw everything in the hamper because they don't want to go to the trouble to check it!), and if they are not caked in mud, but just a bit dirty, they lay them out for the next day. Underwear and socks, of course, are changed every day! :)



    Laundry Tips from Sylvia Simpson’s Home

    1) Just Do It!

    2) Laundry is something that is never-ending so you need to decide how you will tackle it. When my children were small, I started the laundry first thing every morning and I did 2 loads a day, a dark load and a light load. And once a week I did towels and bedding. My goal was always to have it folded and put away in the drawers before I went to bed. This is an area that I could easily procrastinate about so I never gave myself any leeway, once the machine was finished I dealt with it right away. This is also a job that I could delegate to the children as they got older.
    I would always remind myself that I had such efficient machines that did all the hard work, all I had to do was move it from machine to machine and then to the drawers. Hence the term Just Do It. Happy folding!




    Laundry Tips from Alice Duits Home

    Laundry has been a big part of my daily life for the last 29 years. It is a never-ending job and it is one of those jobs that you might as well enjoy doing. So early in my life as a mother I decided to accept the challenge of making the laundry work for me. My biggest goal is that everyday the laundry that I am doing is done and put away by 5 o'clock clean up. I also use a clothesline from April until October, which is a daily highlight for me. I love being outside for a 15 minutes each morning, listening to the birds, looking at the flowers and trees and the blue sky. It is also a few minutes to be alone! When I say I do laundry daily, I do mean that, but I do take a day of rest, so I do laundry six days a week.
    I have done a couple of things that has made a difference. I always fold my laundry very neatly, so that my cupboards look nicely and I am showing my children that our home is important to me. Often I pray little sentence prayers, specifically to what garment I am folding. My little children get lots of little prayers because they have a lot more laundry. Even folding several tea towels daily is reason for praying... "Thank you Lord for the good talks I have with my children when we do dishes " etc

    My favourite tip though is about my children’s clothing. Early on in motherhood, I did not enjoy having the children’s clothing in their bedroom. It seemed like there were always dirty clothes in their drawers, clothes on the floor etc. So many years ago, I modified away to have all the children clothes in the bathroom, which was a place that I could monitor the clothes a bit better. This idea has saved me hours upon hours of work. When a child has a bath, there dirty clothes going into the laundry, and all clean ones are right there. I have a wicker basket on the bottom shelf for pjs and a picnic basket with all the bathing suits. Presently we have a smaller bathroom, so I took a solid book case, made a curtain to go around it, a change table on top and a basket to hold tooth brushes etc. You might wonder how I hold clothes for 4 children...well I do... they each have 5-6 pants, same for shirts and sweaters. In the summer, I store the winter clothes in bins and visa-versa. Believe it or not, this system helps me keep the nicest clothes, get rid of the older looking clothes ... and I do no collect to many clothes, which keeps my life more manageable!
    I hope, dear mothers, that something I shared might be an encouragement to you. I pray a blessing for you, knowing the huge role mothers are to their family.
    Sending a hug and a heart that cares…God Bless You.
    Alice Duits

    (A quick not from Rosaleen (daughter to Alice Duits)

    The above pictures are from my Mothers very sweet bathroom! I just love this bathroom, when we have family reunions, I love the mornings when myself and three or so sisters are all applying our make-up or doing our hair, together in one bathroom! We sis’s sure get to know each other WELL during those tight quarter moments. Now if you would all grace my sweet Mother with your prayers, she is planned to have a hip replacement surgery on Tuesday. A massive ordeal and a huge undertaking for a Mother with still a large broad of youngsters under her roof!



    Laundry Tips from Shannon Duits’ Home

    In our home our laundry is done on a weekly schedule. I like having a schedule this way I know what days are my laundry days.
    Mondays all the bedding is changed and washed so on this day I also do all bath towels and wash cloths, and kitchen towels and cloths. This is about 2 maybe 3 loads of wash on Mondays.
    On Tuesdays I wash all the clothing. In our home each person has their own basket for laundry. This makes it easy so there is no sorting of clothes involved you just wash, fold and put away. When you have lots of young children it can be easier so that you don't have to take the time to figure out which clothes belong to what child! And if your husband’s clothes are very dirty from working they do not smell up any other clothes! We usually try to keep the laundry pile down by re-using clothes. Pants we try to use for 2 days sometimes 3 days if they are not too dirty, and shirts maybe 2 days. Socks and undergarments only one use. With a house full of boys this task is sometimes easier said than done. This means that right now I do 6-7 loads of wash on Tuesdays.
    On Fridays I will do 1 load of bath towels and kitchen towels and cloths.
    This schedule works for us and has been helpful to our household. I know that each household has things that work for them, but maybe there is something that you feel would work for you!
    If there are any skin allergies or irritations in your family, rinsing the clothes in white vinegar will help get rid of any soap that may still be on the clothing. Just put the vinegar in the fabric softener spot in your washer machine. About 1/2 cup per load works well.




    Laundry Tips From Rosaleen Milner’s Home

    A few months ago I realised that there is only ten minutes in my entire week that is laundry free, the ten minutes between all the laundry being put away on Monday evening and the kids stripping down for their bath. Only ten laundry free minutes in a whole week! Other then those precious moments I always have something that needs washing… this thought can be overwhelming! A while back I decided I might as well buckle down and find a way to infuse such a mundane task with enjoyment…

    For me when something entices beauty then I enjoy it. I make my laundry room/ area as ascetically pleasing as possible. I do not allow clutter to build up in this area! Don’t allow this area to become a place that saps the energy out of what little gumption you have to accomplish your laundry. I use hand made laundry soap mainly for the reason of controlling the smells wafting from my laundry room, I always add a few drops of essential oils to my laundry soap. Take the time pick out an essential oil scent that refreshes you (you can buy these at any natural food store) add a few drops to any load but a specially towels and sheets.
    You could also make linen water by mixing distilled water with an essential oil of choice, display in an attractive jar. I add ½ a cup to my laundry and towel loads.
    Find some nice laundry baskets. Fold your laundry with purpose! Pray for those who’s clothing you are folding, be thankful you are blessed enough to have clothing and can care for your family in the way of laundry.

    Make this job ~ Enjoyable ~ Beautiful!

    There is something very refreshing about fresh white sheets stacked neatly in a wicker basket, aromas of lavender, filling the closet with a job well done!

    Oh yes and just a little tip, laundry is much easier to fold neatly if folded right out of the dryer. Crinkles deter any laundronista! This also helps eliminate many an iron job.


    Mother’s you are the guests of honour on Mondays and because you mother, are the giver of gifts, and pour out from your life ~ life to your children. I wish to send you something to let you know you are remarkable! And I know that! I know you often give more then you have to give. Every week I will have a little treasured package carefully chosen out to bless your mothering ambitions. All you must do is quietly slip your name into my inbox and I will fold your name into a draw. On Fridays I will randomly choose one of your beautiful names, then as quickly as I can, get it sent off to balm your long days. Email me at rogerandrosaleen@gmail.com and I would be delighted to add your name to this weeks gift give away!

    A Gift For You

    Sunday, January 30, 2011

    I am so glad (and a few days late) in announcing which sweet Mother will receive this weeks treat. Elizabeth, a new friend and mother of not 1 ~ or 2 ~ or 3 but FOUR precious children. Lovely Elizabeth, may this gift be a warm and meaningful embrace nurturing your soul as you mother your four!

    Friday Tin

    Friday, January 28, 2011

    It is Friday and I was over excited for this weekend. I was dreaming of Mr. Hubs being around for a whole two days (after being away this week) and what do you know there is a very high chance he has to go away AGAIN over the weekend! Something about a frisky machine on one of the rigs, well I am thinking I may start acting a little frisky myself, just to get some attention from the highly sot after engineer!

    Now I did stock up my Friday Tin. This week is a good merge between my no sugar blitz and my family’s cravings. I adapted the recipe from the rebar cookbook.

    Fruit Oat Bars

    ¾ Cup unbleached flour ~ I used Whole Wheat
    ¾ Cup whole wheat flour
    2 Cups oats
    1 ½ Cup walnut pieces
    2 tsp baking powder
    ¼ tsp salt
    1 ½ tsp cinnamon
    1 cup + 2 tbsp butter ~ I used coconut oil
    1 ½ Cup brown sugar ~ I used coconut sugar
    1 egg
    1 Cup fruit jam ~ I used organic sugar free blueberry jam, and added a little sprinkle of sugar.

    1) Pre-Heat oven to 350 F. Lightly grease 10x15 baking pan.
    2) Mix all ingredients, except the egg and jam. Once well mixed remove half of the crumble. Add egg to the first portion. Press into pan and bake for ten minutes or until lightly browned.
    3) Remove the crust from the oven and spread the jam on top, cover with the rest of the crumble and bake until brown about 20 minutes. Enjoy.

    It is a lip smacking healthy treat though it may be a little crumbly but as Uncle Grant says “just crumbles its way down”!

    I am sure each and every one of you could barley handle the fact that I did not post a picture of my man baby, on his eight months. So here it is… eight months and cuddling with a big black Nigerian ~ sweet Blessing ~ friend of Lydia. Blessing help us move Lydia, Tunde and Innocence. Blessing lives and works at the beach, unfortunately she is a lady of the night. My heart aches for her. She is so fun and confident! I wish I knew of more ways to help women like Blessing. For the mean time I will let her hold my baby, he seamed happy…and a little too comfortable!

    Mother's please remember to add your name for this weeks mothering gift, tomorrow another gift will be sent off for one of you!


    Thursday, January 27, 2011

    Tea steam spills around me, I pour a cup to warm me on a day I feel so far. My thoughts afloat, given this day to the celebrations of a Mother. A memorable Birthday and I ache to have missed another milestone.
    My fingers trace hand made pottery ~ the first of my wedding gifts. You used words with emotions only a mother could feel. You said this gift would go into every home, around the deep conversations of my new life, would hold the warmth of tea on cold moments, it would be part of the tears, seep nine months of baby growth, and top cups of smiles. You knew it would go with me, where you could no longer come. And that teapot has been the first thing unpacked in all eight of my homes, in distant cities and countries.
    And parts of you were always with me.
    Three pots have made their way from your heart to our homes and some day eleven will sit on the sills of lives you gentle and carefully helped shape.

    This letter comes late, but I know your grace will cover, because that is what I think of when my mind wonders to you, Mom,
    ~ Grace ~
    Grace enough to guide eleven children through the torrents of life, Grace enough to be the testimony of the power of Grace, and it is Grace that years of debilitating pain never escaped with complaints, your Grace has made you brave and strong and true. And I know your life shines brilliant on that back caribou road, because your life has been about serving the least of these. But your Grace slips farther then those dirt roads and child raising it has been the source of many people’s victories. Your life the touches of healing so many of us have craved needed and received. You grace this earth!

    I sip slowly my tea. I think of you. How precious you are. How your life has made the difference for me.

    I thank you for this clay that has comforted me, for your insight to know I would need your touch in my homes, so far away from you.

    I thank you for your never wavering Grace.

    I thank you that Grace was not a word you used, but a life you lived.

    I know heaven will spill its perfect Grace over your next days.

    And your story of Grace will continue, as always through your life.

    Happy Birthday Mom

    I will always Love You!

    Billows of Tulle

    Wednesday, January 26, 2011

    A few more birthdays are on our horizon. This time the girls and I are buried under billows of tulle. A tutu project for us three girls to fluff together, all for one little dazzling princess.

    Ladies if you would like to have a little peak into this weeks Mothering gift, fallow the link ~ One Thousand Gifts ~ to Ann's poetry of words and pictures.


    Tuesday, January 25, 2011

    I can feel the rumble of change, forging pathways of hope. I sit with my friends, the people I love, their faces the name of poverty. It took rejection, word games, bribed currency, just to secure a home, for a broken women, lost boy and helpless baby. The intensity of expectation settles heavy during our one-hour drive, moving the meridian of lives. We toss with the weight of the future, and scour the past from today. Each lost in our silent worlds, meeting with God, watching as new letters are scratched into our histories, the grain of their stories etched by Love.

    Four simple walls, a door, fresh paint, a mattress, running water ~ for some it is the first time ~ home ~ can ever be whispered, hope held near, mixing with peace, the welling of warmth, strength of security, a place for them.

    He lays his boy hands on the walled concrete, his fingers trace freedom. She perches like a lady, confidence strengthening her downcast frame. My arms cradle a bouncing baby, nursed to life by the world’s community.

    And the stoic engineer wipes streams of tears as heaven gushes grace.

    I hear the clashing spheres of destitute change course, as angel choirs sing, beauty songs of hope.

    And it feels right.

    Pray silks toss on the parting waves of thankfulness. Languish ommited through the gentle fragrance of God, settling peacfully on that humble home in the back streets of Africa.

    Mothering Mondays ~ Words

    Monday, January 24, 2011

    Dear Mothers,

    I am easing my self out of bed, early, you sweet mother are present in my morning. May I ask if you would grace me again as I thoughtfully stammer out my heart, pen words humbly, as a Mother desperately still learning.

    I am thinking of Words.

    The lyrics of our lives. The sounds of our heart. The mark of our Mothering.

    I wonder could words be the single most effective tool of Mothering?

    Our delicate souls are woven words, laced together through life. Some words hang as crystals a pyramid of cascading light, sadly others are infectious with debilitating pain.

    The words that make it to sound, are first drops in the pools of our mind or heart, they gather existence and form into the gushes of our words. So let us slip back to these two gathering places of the birth of our Mothering words.

    Our Mind:

    Mothers what runs around in that extraordinary mind uniquely yours? I know I am piteously human and often find my mind working wasteful thoughts. I have found that most Mothers have a recording playing constantly. Usually it is familiar derogatory tune, hums of our failures, weakness, and shortcomings. It plays around and round until painful paths have formed and the thoughts of our selves are left to travel the trenches of muck.

    What if we gather courage this community brings, together we press pause on those negative thoughts, clear our heads for a moment.

    You are extraordinary! Perfectly designed to be the person you are, no other single human being could do as good of a job at being you as you can. You are made unique, perfectly canvassed to hold the story of your life. A shinning example of a miracle in action. You were meant to grace this earth at this very moment, Mother to the souls of your children! No one could ever replace you,

    NO ONE!

    If you would, give your self-the most powerful gift you can, WORDS OF LIFE. Garden those trenches until nurturing and bountiful life flows from your thoughts, into words about your self. The beauty of who you are as a Mother should greatly effect your home, creating a place where words are for blessing, beauty, healing, encouraging, infusing the mundane with joy and life. Through your thoughtful Mothering words!

    Our Hearts:

    Mothers did you know that out of the mouth the heart speaks? What is welling in that Mother heart of yours? That deep cistern of love! Does the love you have for your child swell and spill into your words for them? Do your words cascade from your heart on the sounds of your voice?

    With ever word we speak to our children we are cultivating who they are. Our words the fertiliser for their identities. We know words hang heavy, we have experienced this in our own lives. I have heard, and oh how I know, that it takes one hundred positive words to calm the effects of one negative word. The power of words, stemmed from the power of our hearts! I can hear our own aches now, the fragility of a broken heart beating of pain, unable to compose hope or sweetness.

    Dear Mother there is no easy remedy for brokenness, and I offer my clumsy success and that is to love, love others, and healing will surely mend. Love stiches the pain into wholeness and health. If words released into your atmosphere are words of healing they will positively effect, even you. It is a beautifully effective cycle!

    It takes a wise and thoughtful Mother to slow the stream of noise and listen to the world she is composing with her words. It takes the courage and God given strength of a Mother to infuse grace with every word she speaks. It takes Mothering ingenuity to cradle her child’s destiny in the safety of her words. It takes the LIFE WORDS of a Mother to create the spectacular symphony of greatness your child is destined to be.

    It is in your words that life is formed!

    Mother’s you are the guests of honour on Mondays and because you mother, are the giver of gifts, and pour out from your life ~ life to your children. I wish to send you something to let you know you are remarkable! And I know that! I know you often give more then you have to give. Every week I will have a little treasured package carefully chosen out to bless your mothering ambitions. All you must do is quietly slip your name into my inbox and I will fold your name into a draw. On Fridays I will randomly choose one of your beautiful names, then as quickly as I can, get it sent off to balm your long days. Email me at rogerandrosaleen@gmail.com and I would be delighted to add your name to this weeks gift give away!

    A Gift For You

    Saturday, January 22, 2011

    Mothers you have taken all allure out of the possibilities of a Saturday morning sleep in. With the first hint of weekend noise, I am out of bed eagerly collecting your names!
    This week a familiar name was read by the oldest girl...Aunty Lisa! A very deserving mommy whose love for labels runs as deep as mine. Dear Lisa, I can not wait to see these labels nested somewhere in your cozy cabin!

    Friday Tin

    Friday, January 21, 2011

    This week I buckled and have made my family a chocolate pudding pie otherwise known as ten-minute whip together pie! Marion asked me if I added sugar! I reassured her there was generous amounts of sweetness added!

    I pray your weekend is delightfully dashed with sweetness.

    Mothers, today is the last day to add your name for this week’s mothering gift. All the information is up in the ‘gift give away’ tab.

    No Money = No Style?

    Thursday, January 20, 2011

    This week has been amazing, conversing with each of you about this little thing called organising and keeping organised a home, all while working to make it a beautiful place for your family! No easy task! I have had an abundance of comments mentioning what a challenge it is to be organised and stylish on a very small budget. Ladies I know what that is like! But I do not believe that is a valid enough excuse! It may take some innovation, work and tenacity but you can do it and within an achievable budget. Bellow I have compiled a list of things found today on the internet to make your own ~ fun ~ organised ~ nice to look at ~ toy section or any sort of shelving space needed for your home… o.k so here we go.

    First a little inspiration...

    Choose a colour pallet for decorating your space. Either chose colours from a magazine with a room you gravitate towards. Notice that most rooms have two or three colours being used. Choose one of those colours to be your foundation colour, this is typically used for your furniture or big pieces. And the accent colour is to enhance the foundation colour and is used for accents. I like the colours in the bellow chart for foundation colours, they are very versatile and can be meshed with almost any accent colour of your choice.

    Now look through your local online used advertising. Kijiji.ca, usedcanada.com, Craigslist.ca.
    Or the local paper classifieds, thrift shops, garage sales or your parents garage, for a solid wood bookshelf. Pay no immediate attention to the colour, as we will personalise that a bit later. I found this shelf for $10.00 or you could buy two for $20.00. I like both, as they seem solid and have some nice details.

    At Walmart buy ½ gallon of indoor paint. Ask the clerk what is their most washable paint ~ this will be best for a kid’s space. Buy a paint brush (a cheap one will do) a small roller if your budget allows, one pack of different grade sandpaper and TSP.

    Now buy a few baskets from thrift shops, garage sales or online classifieds. I found these ones on kijiji Calgary for $10.00. If you fancy the colour of the basket then leave it or you could buy one can of spray paint in the accent colour of choice (Walmart has the best price).

    Now lets head home and get the shelf ready. First give it a rough sand with the grittiest sand paper you have, work your way through the sand paper until you smooth it down with the lightest paper. Do not spend to much time on this job. I really just rough it up so there is a grain in the surface, this way the new paint can cling on. Now give it a deep wash with your TSP and let dry. Next step is to give it a coat or two of paint.

    While the shelf is drying spray paint your baskets. Another option or additional way to add storage is by decoupage (example picture bellow)a cardboard box. Dipper, wipe or shoeboxes are very sturdy, I like to use these. Slice off the top of the box (floppy part) find a wrapping paper or material in your accent colour. A great place to find material is at thrift stores, a tablecloth, curtain or sheet. I must say that wrapping paper is a bit easier to work with. Here is a link for how to decoupage your box.

    My advice to you is once you have bought your shelf, go through the items needed to be put on this shelf (lets say your toys) go though all your toys and get rid of everything that will not fit on the allotted shelf. Now put your toys into piles that will go together in a basket. Now you can see how many boxes and what sizes you need.

    Now lets move things into your space. Fill your baskets, place on shelf. For my paints, glue or any other drippy craft supplies I bought a deep ‘aged with character’ baking sheet from a thrift shop, this is a great way to hold those sort of crafts. A nice way to contain your paint brushes, pencil crayons, felts, scissors, is with wide mouth glass jars.

    A few cheap ways to ‘dress up’ any space is by embellishments like labels, bought or hand made are great ways to make storage boxes pretty. Either make your own or buy from this Etsy shop. A cheap ball of burlap twine or ribbon adds some character for hanging your labels.

    So here is the cost break down.

    $20.00 Two book shelves.
    $15.00 Paint
    $10.00 Paint brush, sandpaper, TSP.
    $10.00 Baskets
    $5.00 Spray paint (accent colour)
    $10.00 Wrapping paper
    $3.00 Mod Podge (decoupage glue)
    $10.00 Vintage cooking sheet and glass jars
    $3.00 Twine or ribbon
    $2.00-10.00 Paper (for home made) or Etsy labels.

    = $88.00 – $98.00!

    So there you have it. You can use this blueprint for literally any where in your home that needs an organised (but pretty) space…laundry, bathroom, mudroom ect.ect.

    Hope this eliminates any excuses!

    Love you all!

    P.S I have linked to a bunch of online shops…I guess my link colour is the same so skim over the words with your mouse and you should see where my links are. Sorry!
    P.S.S If $100.00 is still a bit steep then see if you can find the shelf, baskets, paint from around your home our friends leftovers. Or have a goal to shave $10.00 a week of groceries or gas then in a few weeks you will have the funds to support your creativity!
    P.S.S.S I have been with out internet most of the afternoon, a late post again!

    Through the Eyes of the Young

    Tuesday, January 18, 2011

    I am so sorry about skipping our visit yesterday. It was one of those days…

    A day I needed to catch up with my learners.

    Experiencing the pleasure of hand crafted light.

    As we explored the details and lives of olden peddlers.

    Learning Histories tricks.

    Taking a deliciously deep drink of discovery.