“IT’S NOT HOW MUCH LOVE WE GIVE, BUT HOW MUCH LOVE WE PUT INTO GIVING.”
This week as Blake and I were contemplating quotes and ideas for this weeks COVID-19 free printable, it seemed perfect to share this quote by the infamous Mother Theresa! Brady just got home from serving his mission where he spent 19 months serving others. He’s been home about 12 days and we have heard so many amazing stories about the people he served and those who served him! He had some life changing moments by some of the most simple acts that have in turn, changed me. We can do something so simple, but it’s the LOVE behind the act that counts the most. Such a great reminder for our family!
(Head over to JP Lettering Co. to access the free printable…have your kids color it, attach a treat and deliver to a friend or neighbor to brighten someones day!)
Brady arrived home late last Thursday and not 24 hours later we went out to my favorite field in our neighborhood to take a few pictures…we ended up out there much longer than expected because these three were back to their old shenanigans. Mike was there for a bit, but was in the middle of a huge project for work so I stayed out and just watched them! My heart was SO FULL, I could have stayed out there all day! The bond between our kids is something I love so much and I hope never ends!
Before long the boys were pulling some crazy tricks that made me a little nervous, but they promised me that we wouldn’t end up at the ER the first day Brady was home! Ha! All three of them were out in the fields laughing, posing, doing tricks, and hanging out!
This last photo sums up their relationship so well…SARCASM, LAUGHTER AND PURE LOVE!
You’d never know that they had not seen each other for NINETEEN months! I love my job as the photographer…I mean MOM!
I thought that 2018 would likely be one of the last Mother’s Days that I would spend with all of the kids home! Brady graduated that same year and left to serve a 2 year mission. Blake will be graduating this year and the boys should have overlapped with missions/school. In 2018 I knew that it was unlikely that I would have all of them home again for this holiday! I’m not complaining…it has been amazing to watch our kids grow up and into the adults they are becoming! But, I loved and cherished those 18 consecutive years that I had them here with me! This year I feel extra lucky for this BONUS year of having them home unexpectedly because of COVID-19 and Brady’s early mission release. And, I will not take it for granted!
I will share some gift ideas, thoughts and some of my favorite tips/parenting moments from experiences over the last 20+ years! I’d love to hear yours as well!
Our oldest son has been away from home for 19 months. He arrived back home last week and today we finally finished unpacking his suitcases and going through his room! I shared some stories on instagram as we went through the process. The main thing we sorted was clothes! We had two piles…one for donations and one to save for Blake. I always tell the kids to get rid of anything they don’t wear, doesn’t fit or they just don’t like! I try not to get offended:) We keep our closets organized by item and by color. For example, Brady’s closet goes left to right…jackets, suits, sweatshirts, long sleeve button downs, long sleeve tees, short sleeve tees, shorts, and pants. Each category is organized by color which makes it really easy to know what we have, and to get dressed! It’s all about what functions for YOU! Once we finished with clothes it was sorting through hobbies and reorganizing them. We use these striped storage bins in closets to keep them organized. We have one for electronics (GoPro, IPad, cameras, cords, etc.), another one for baseball gloves, one for skate gear, and one for junk (basically any little thing that doesn’t have its own place)! We haven’t put in any fancy storage organization in this house, but I have used inexpensive items that work! I’m all about storage, function and only keeping what we need/use! I listed a few inexpensive items that we use from Amazon and Target. All of the items can be shipped or picked up curbside so you can get organized while at home during quarantine!
This is the shoe rack we have in a couple of closets here, but we also have used the hanging shoe racks as well.
This hanging tie rack is perfect to keep ties organized and from getting ruined, plus it takes up little space.
This over the door organizer could be used for anything. We use one in Ellie’s room to sort hair accessories & it’s great!
A simple tie/belt rack that screws into the wall is perfect for ties, bow ties, belts, drawstring bags, and hats! All of our kids have them!
A larger size cloth bin is another option for storage. Whether on a closet shelf or floor, they look nice and are functional!
Target carries several sizes of clear bins and I keep them on hand at all times. I use this size for everything! In kids drawers to sort clothes (without lids), we use them in our pantry for snacks, under bathroom sinks because they are easy to wash if needed or throw away because they are cheap! We have a few in Brady’s closet to store winter items (hats, gloves, scarf), sticker collection and more skate wheels! For the price, go stock up and you will find a million ways to use them!
This Easter crept up on us with everything going on in the world and the COVID-19 pandemic. It was just a week before Easter that the “stay at home” order was announced so we were preoccupied with making sure we had our essential items. By the time we were getting into a routine, I realized that we only had a few days to prep for Easter. I placed an order on Amazon for a few things, but most items I ordered from Target with curbside pickup. Luckily, I was able to get everything in time and keep our traditions going. We had a great Easter weekend and really enjoyed the time at home with each other!
We decorated Easter eggs on Saturday night with the kids which was a perfect family thing to do, especially during quarantine! This is a favorite tradition at our house and seems to get more competitive as the kids get older! They are so creative and it’s fun to see what they come up with! This year we used the most basic egg decorating kit from Target and Sharpie Markers and they turned out to be some of our best work!
We had to come up with a new plan for Sunday since our typical Sunday would be spent at church. We did our usual Easter morning with baskets and a big breakfast. I usually make cinnamon rolls for Easter, but this year we had crepes and we all loved them so that might be a new tradition! We held our own church at home and had the kids participate…we all loved it! Blake surprised me on Easter with this original painting of Christ! It is beautiful! We played games in the afternoon while we prepped dinner. For dinner we grilled steaks with mashed potatoes, green beans, fruit, and homemade rolls. We ended the night with a bike ride and then we video chatted with extended family! It turned out to be a really nice, quiet and perfect Easter Weekend!