Saturday, July 30, 2016

The Toothpaste Monster Will Be Caught!

"Oh.My.Goodness.!" Those are the words that race through my mind when I open up this bathroom drawer, along with many other raging thoughts.  I have no idea HOW anyone or WHY anyone would desire for their toothbrush supplies drawer to look like this.  When my kids were younger, I pretty much wished their lives away thinking things would get a little easier.  Ha! Nope.  Trading diapers for pee-ers just means instead of spending wasting money on padded underwear, you now are spending wasting time cleaning urine off of every nook/cranny that a toilet bowl contains. And this toothbrush drawer... it NEVER looked this way until I stopped brushing their teeth and they started brushing their teeth. SEE?!?! Trading one hard, for a different hard.  Sigh!!! BUT... I do say, finding a solution to the problem, rather than allowing it to consume you is a much better ROUTE.  SO... that's what I did. At first, I tried desperately to train my kids on how to brush their teeth, squeeze the toothpaste, put the cap back on, and put everything back the way they found it.  As you can see, in the photo above, NONE OF THAT was honored or followed.  My theory is that ONE person is ruining it for the others and the others gave up. So did I. Then, I decided "Forget it!", I am not going to fight this battle anymore.  I am not going to see stars and ruin my testimony every time I open this drawer.  I adopted the "Not my bathroom, not my problem!" mentality.  Clearly, that didn't last long. Clean, organized people cannot just close a drawer and be satisfied with hidden filth and disorganization. None of my kids will admit to who's causing this catastrophic mess, so I have figured out a way to nail the toothpaste monster ONCE.AND.FOR.ALL.  Final mentality, "MY HOUSE, MY RULES... you will live clean."
In the Bolling Kid's bathroom, there are four, large, deep drawers and two cabinets. PERFECT! Each kid will get a drawer. No more sharing spaces.  I shopped for some drawer organizers.  Originally, I considered a silverware organizer, from the Dollar Tree, but the compartments were too fixed! Meaning, not all of their toiletries are shaped like a spoon.  LOL!
Instead, I found these Inter Design Drawer Organizers at Lowes (of all places).  The smaller one was $4.99 and the bigger one was $6.99.  They also sell them at The Container Store, Target, and Amazon.  
The initial investment is there and might deter you at first, but I had to think of the long term goal and joy it will bring me.
Ty has always claimed green.  Lilah pink & Jax blue. We already had the toothbrushes and the colorful bowls.  I just needed to buy a few other needs: NEW usable toothpaste, dental floss sticks, and mouthwash.  
Look how nicely the products fit into the drawer organizers.
I picked up some drawer liners at the Dollar Tree.  LOVE.THAT.STORE.
The boys were with me.  They refused to have their drawers lined with the green and blue dots, so I chose that for Lilah. The boys chose the bark liner.  Can you believe I got three rolls for $3.00.  You can't even buy one roll at Lowes for under $6.99.
So... here is the BEFORE photo! So gross!
Oh and here was the hair product drawer too.  I'm telling you... I just gave up, but ONLY for so long...
Lilah and I worked together to clean out the drawers.
And lined the drawers.
Then we organized together.  Lilah exclaimed, "I love doing this stuff.  It's so much fun!"  
Each kid has their OWN drawer NOW, with their own needs!
(Above): Ty has mouthwash, deodorant, cologne, toothpaste, a toothbrush, and dental floss sticks.  
(Above): Lilah has lotion, mouthwash, carmex chapstick, perfume, deodorant, a toothbrush, toothpaste, plastic rubber bands, and dental floss sticks. She doesn't have a use for deodorant, but she thinks it's cool to wear it.   
(Below): Jax has mouthwash, a hair brush, hair gel, a toothbrush, toothpaste, and dental floss sticks.
I will now be able to determine who is causing all of the messes.  I will know based on how clean each individual's drawer stays.  
I love the way this turned out.  Can you figure out what I added in the below photo?  THEIR NAMES! DUH.  When possible, use your labeler.  Hehe.
Lilah's hair product drawer is below.  Eventually, I needed more space, so being we never use a blow dryer, I moved that to one of the cabinet spaces.
Tada! (Jax added a deodorant and water spray bottle.).
When I walk up the stairs, I now know that what's sparking clean on the outside, is also sparking clean on the inside.  Shew! I slept so good last night.  LOL!  Seriously.  
Bye-bye toothpaste monster Jax...(ok, that's just my guess)!

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Rise & Shine!

Last Summer, I felt I needed to start instilling some Summertime routines and expectations. The Summers before were filled with all day pajama days (or at least it felt that way if we were in our pjs until 10 a.m.).  Those types of days are okay ONCE.IN.A.WHILE, but for me and my personality, they need to be SPECIAL OCCASIONS.  I don't want to produce children that don't see the need to serve their home or be productive.  I want to raise children who will be an asset to our society. I want to raise a daughter who knows how to run a household and sons who can take care of themselves before marriage and who are not ashamed to help their wives, from time to time, (when they are not at work).  
So... I came up with a slogan, "Check your floors, drawers, doors, and lights!"  Basically, before my children were allowed to leave their rooms, in the morning, it must be 7:30 a.m. or later and they must make sure that their floors are clear and their drawers, doors, and lights are shut. They also were responsible for making their beds.  It was a good stepping stone!!! This Summer, additions have been made.  I do want to get it laminated, so that they can use a dry erase marker to "check off" what they have done otherwise I have to print this daily.  That's a lot of wasted ink and paper. 

My best friend, Ashely, asked me to share my children's chore lists, but I chose to share their morning "to do" lists FIRST! Stay tuned... hopefully tomorrow night, I will be ready to share the list of chores that my children have been assigned/responsible for throughout this Summer.

Call this rigid! Say what you want!! I call it routine, structure, raising future adults, and future Christ followers.  I think it benefits my children's future and the flow of our home throughout the Summer!!!

Eat It Or Wear It Food Challenge!

What do Jumex mango nector juice, Hellmann's mayo, sauerkraut, spaghettio's, minced garlic, and Starkist tuna all have in common?  WELL... I am glad you asked.  On a day that I shared a devotional about accepting the mundane tasks as God's calling, which builds our character and soul, I was begged by my children to let them do the "Eat It Or Wear It" food challenge.  For real?!?!?! I have enough laundry to last me the rest of the day and finger prints to wipe off of windows and refrigerators and you want to do what? Dump nasty smelling foods all over each other?  Sigh... this is where the rubber meets the road people.  This is where I live out what I am suggesting. The "practice what you preach" method.  So... I obliged.  Why me? I designed 21, brown paper bags, numbered 1 through 21.  I chose the foods that they would eat or wear.  This was MORE than plenty.  After round 4-5, things were getting a little uncomfortable, smelly, and their laughter was turning into tears or disgust.  
The kids decided on the rules before starting.  They did "Rock, Paper, Scissors" to decide who went first, second, and third.  In that order, each person picked a bag.  They had to choose whether they would eat what was in the bag or wear it.  If they chose to eat it, then they got to dump the remainder onto the person of their choice.  If they were too afraid to taste it, they would bypass ingesting it, but they had to get it dumped on them instead. 

The materials you need for this "fun" are the following: brown bags, food, plastic spoons, measuring cups, a tarp, and willing subjects.
Here is a sneak peak into the bags, but let me list the items I chose to use: black beans, peppers, tuna fish, green olive, pickles, milk, apple cider vinegar, hummus, chocolate syrup, sliced peaches, boston creme pie yogurt, mayo, creamed corn, green beans, powdered sugar, mango nectar juice, brown mustard, sauerkraut, sliced mushrooms, and spaghetti o's. I think that is everything.  I meant to add coffee and honey, but I am glad I didn't because those two things would have stained and been sticky.
Let me remind you... this was NOT my idea.  They begged.  Here is the cute BEFORE photo. My kids are extremely picky eaters, so this really surprised me that they wanted this.
Lilah really lucked out. I kept telling her she should really play Deal or No Deal because she was picking ALL of the bags that had half way decent things in it.  Her first bag had powdered sugar in it. She didn't know what it was, so she was really skeptical.  She decided to eat it and dump it on Jax.
I recall her saying, "Now it's time to make a cake on top of Jax's head."
Jax was a great sport.  He usually cries during Bean Boozled, but he mostly smiled during this challenge. Jax's first bag was mayo. EWE! No one in our home, but me, eats mayo or has even tried it. He couldn't bare the thought of eating it, so he chose to have it dumped on him.
Ty got tuna.  Again, none of my kids have ever tried this.
The smell alone was nauseating Lilah.  Ty was brave enough to try it.
He ate it successfully and chose to dump it on Lilah's head.  
This girl's second bag was mango nectar juice.  LUCKY! She drank it with joy.
And retaliated by dumping the rest of the can on her brother's head.
He laughed and said, "It feels so good!" I believe he didn't want to give Lilah the satisfaction that the flies, who were attracted to it, were driving him mad!
Jax's second bag was creamed corn.  
From this photo, you can tell, he tasted it and chose to let his big brother wear it.  
Ty's second bag was chocolate syrup.  Some of you may be thinking, "OH THAT'S EASY!" Yes!!! IF you like chocolate. TY despises it.  He came very close to throwing up.
Things were getting a little out of control at this point.  Ty "ate" the chocolate syrup and then he enjoyed smothering his sister's hair with the rest.
Lilah ate a green olive.
Jax wore them.
Ty ate peppers.
Lilah wore peppers.
Lilah ate sliced peaches.
Jax wore sliced peaches.
Jax got mustard and could not bear the thought of tasting it, so he chose to wear it.
Ty ate black beans
Lilah wore black beans.
Lilah drank milk.
Jax wore milk.
Jax ate apple cider vinegar.
Ty wore it.
Lilah ate boston cream yogurt.
Ty wore boston cream yogurt.
Jax ate spaghetti O's.  
Lilah wore spaghetti O's.  
She didn't like this very much!
And the mess was really starting to gross me out.  The stench of these foods combined was unbelievably horrible.
Ty ate hummus.
Lilah wore hummus.
Lilah ate pickles.
Ty wore pickles.
End result: 21 foods combined, three dirty kids, and about 100 flies! We definitely WON'T be doing this again, but I am glad that I was able to be that "cool" willing mom! Stay tuned for all of the video footage later tonight or tomorrow! I am uploading all of the videos NOW. The clean up was a breeze.  Kids in the shower, roll up tarp, throw it out.  Our tarp was OLD, so I didn't feel like cleaning it off and salvaging it.  I recommended a HUGE plastic tablecloth from the Dollar Tree.