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Work-at-home mom: take a deep breath and Do Life Different as you allow these devotions for work-at-home moms to fill the vacuum of your needy heart in the chaos of your busy world.
 
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Archive for Finding Simplicity as a SAHM

Jun
07

Mom’s Perfect Breakfast

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Finding Simplicity as a SAHM by Adrina PalmerfruitsLet’s face it Mom’s, sometimes eating breakfast is more work for us than it’s worth. We might munch on our children’s leftovers as we carry their plates to the sink. Two bites of a waffle sans syrup, three bites of scrambled eggs with syrup, and two bites of applesauce with a Princess spoon. Anything else just makes more dishes, more mess to clean up, and an obstacle in watching the children create more mess.

As my children have gotten older, I found more time to make myself breakfast, but less desire to eat the first meal of the day. Many of grocery bags come into the house filled with food to entice me to eat in the mornings, end up in the trash or in the hands of my children. Honey on english muffins, grapefruits, strawberry breakfast bars, and organic oatmeal no sugar added, all paths less taken. Finally, I found my breakfast of champions. Not only do I create this every morning, I actually carry through and eat this meal! Let’s talk smoothies!

Adrina’s Perfect Smoothie

What you need:
A blender
3 Fruits
1/2 an Avocado
1 tbsp Flaxseed
1 tsp Almonds (ground)
1 tbsp Coconut Oil
1 tsp Ginger
1 tsp Cinnamon
1 handful Spinach
Liquid (water, fruit juice, or milk)

Blender: I use a Magic Bullet, I blend in the cup I drink from, cutting down on dishes. The blade is the only other dish and this is a simple rinse off with a drop of dish soap. Important, remember to only blend for 10-20 seconds at a time if you are using a cup blender.

Fruits: I use a mix of frozen and fresh fruit. I prefer more fresh fruit because the smoothie comes out thinner and easier to drink. Some prefer thicker and frozen fruit will achieve the desired thickness. If I do use frozen fruit, I put the fruit in the cup and cover with water and let it set for several minutes to thaw before blending. My favorite fruits are blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, kiwi, and peaches. The blackberries and blueberries are mainly to create a more palatable color. The other fruits alone create a less ascetically appealing color.

Avocado: There are two kinds of people, those who love avocados and those who do not. I am an avocado lover. This is an important ingredient in my smoothie, full of healthy fat and a creamy texture, much more palatable. I cannot taste the avocado in the drink at all. Seriously, do not forget the blueberries, the color with out the darker fruits and with avocado is a bad bad thing.

Flaxseed: Ground flaxseed adds little flavor or texture but packs a powerful punch of omega three fatty acids, fiber, and vitamins. Seriously, add this superfood, there are so many benefits to gain from such a small ingredient.

Almonds: Ok, you could add these for the wonderful nutty flavor. Of course, if these are not our favorite nuts feel free to add cashews, peanuts, peanut butter, almond butter or whatever other nut you prefer. Almonds are my friends, we get along fine and I would not go to smoothie-ville without my bestie. Besides being the perfect best friend, almonds are full of protein, fiber, good fats, antioxidants, and help with weight loss.

Coconut Oil: Yes, I am aware that on top of the fattening avocado I am adding more fat. This is not just any fat this is good fat that fights bad fat, another superfood. Coconut oil is like a ninja ready to fight bad fat out of my body! There is a trick though to adding this ingredient. Do not put this oil on top of frozen fruit! This will make the oil hard and difficult to blend. Add in last after blending everything else. Or some people use coconut water or milk, I will try this at some point.

Ginger and Cinnamon: I use organic spices in my smoothies. Ginger helps to aid in digestion promoting weight loss and many other nutritional benefits. Cinnamon is full of antioxidants, fights illness and pain, and like ginger helps regulate insulin (this is not an issue for me but worth a mention). Both are superfoods worthy of more research pertaining to their many health benefits. Did I mention the added sweetness?

Spinach: Fresh spinach is my preferred method of adding in this powerhouse ingredient. Packed full of vitamins (for me I focus on spinach because of its healthy doses of potassium and magnesium which my body does not store well), omega-3 fats, antioxidants, and fiber. You are worried the spinach will lace your smoothie with unfavorable flavor. I was very nervous with my first smoothie that the taste of spinach would overwhelm the fruits. The power food is well hidden, so long as you add dark berries.

Liquids: This is where Adrina misbehaves. I should add water, so healthy. But grapefruit juice is so much sweeter! So does orange juice. Milk is fine for coffee, but a little juice takes this yummy concoction up a notch. I know, I know, pure sugar. All the wonderful ingredients above should compensate a little bit for the calorie dense juice, right? If you care more about the calories than I do, try a little almond milk, coconut water or milk, or good old H20.

So what do you say, moms? Leftover toasts crust with the jelly licked off, or a powerhouse delicious smoothie filled with ingredients to kick-up energy levels, add invaluable nutrients to your life, and even improve your fiber intake? Give it a try, but most importantly have fun and experiment! What vitamins is your diet lacking? Drink them and stop forgetting to feed yourself. Clean up is a breeze with smoothies, the entire process takes ten minutes from pulling ingredients out of the fridge to clean up. Take a few minutes to give yourself a smooth day.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Adrina Palmer is a stay-at-home-mom to three wonderful children and a wife to an amazing husband. She has a bachelors degree in Religion from Liberty University and is currently writing her first novel. Adrina is a Christian hoping to help other stay-at-home moms find the joy and simplicity as a mother and wife. In her free time she enjoys many crafts, writing, spending time with family, and reading. She would love to hear from you!

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Apr
27

What Chores Can My Children Do?

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Do Boy with Choresyou have children over the age of four? Then you have children old enough to do chores. Children need play time, trust me they will find the time to play, but chores are necessary for them and for you. Remember one of our jobs as parents is to raise children up to be adults that are an asset to society, not a debt. Teaching responsibility is one of the most important parenting functions. How do you teach responsibility? By putting your children in charge of cleaning up after themselves and others. Teach them young, so they will understand they will need to clean more than just their messes. When they become parents, if not sooner, they will be cleaning up after children and their spouse.

Here is a list of age appropriate chores children should be doing. They live under your roof, do not teach them their room and board are free, or they will expect life to be free.

0-1 year – Not a whole lot you can do at this age for chores. Let them learn to use their bodies, chores later.

2-3 years – This is the magical age where children want to use their new-found abilities to help so they can be a big kid and are capable of the biggest messes. Hand them a few plates to put by the sink, let them help unload unbreakable dishes. Let them retrieve the condiments for dinner and put them on the table. Most importantly, teach them to pick up the stuff they pull out. Many kids this age will want to follow mom or dad around and help because it seems big and they want to be big. Promote the idea of being big.

4-5 years – This age can clean their room without help, not well, but they can. Expect to go in and help organize every once in a while, kids this young seem to not understand organizing, make sure they see your organizing and understand why you’re organizing. Other chores include:
Sweeping up the dust after you sweep with a handheld dustpan and broom.
Cleaning the toilets
Cleaning the counter tops in the kids bathroom
Clearing the table after dinner
Picking up shoes around the house and putting them away
Picking up toys and trash in the backyard
Dusting furniture
Emptying the bathroom trash

The possibilities are endless. Do not put them in charge of a whole chore, instead a portion of a chore. Expect to send them back several times to do the job right, do not forget this step. You remember the old saying, “Any job worth doing, is worth doing right.” While they may need several tries and your head may actually combust from the sock they still missed on the third go picking up the backyard, they really can find that sock. Tell them the sock has chocolate in it, then they will find it, trust me. Read More→

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Mar
30

There I Am

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Photo Credit: Someecards

There is a meme rolling through Facebook that basically states, the mom does not see any of herself in her child, until her child trips over his own feet and falls on his face, then the mom can see herself in her child. This is me. I am in the business of making miniatures of my husband, well I have three times, and I am definitely in the business of being a klutz.

I am the person who is capable of racing a cat down the stairs and somehow breaking my foot. Crutches. I am capable of spraining my ankle in basic training. Crutches. I am capable of re-spraining my ankle on a sidewalk. More crutches. Then there are the numerous ways I re-sprained my ankle, falling down stairs, slipping on water and slamming my foot into an odd angle under the washing machine, etc. I am a grade A klutz and crutches have been my unlikely friend throughout the years.

Thankfully, my children got more than just their looks from their daddy, they got their ability to stand on their own two feet and not fall down repeatedly, for the most part. My son Rick did have that one instance on the playground when he and another boy were running so hard that when they slammed into each other at fast speeds that it almost broke his nose, needless to say, his white shirt was ruined. There I am.

My older daughter Bri is not super klutzy, she was actually a dancer for a while and even won some ribbons in Irish dance. She is our reader, just like me and her daddy. Like me, she gets in trouble for reading in school, because she doesn’t read what she is supposed to read, but what she wants to read. She actually goes so far as to hide books in the classroom, so that whenever and where ever she is, she has a book to read. There I am. Bri is more like her daddy in every other aspect, though, I am the talker, and he is the listener. She is the only listener of the three kids, we use to call her our owl or ninja girl, she is so quiet and stealthy. Read More→

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Mar
11

Read Me a Book, Mama

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reading a bookMy youngest daughter, Alex, is about to turn five-years-old and does not know how to read yet. This is not surprising, she is quite young, and there is no rush, she will read when ready. My son is turning 11-years-old this week and has been reading on his own since he was three-years-old. Rick taught himself how to read and shocked me when I sat down to read him a book, and instead he read the book to me. My middle child, Bri, is going to be nine-years-old in two months, and she learned to read when she was around five-years-old. We did not rush her or her older brother, they set the schedule and decided when they were ready to read. But Alex was under a misconception that changed her timeline and now my husband and I are running into the same battle with our youngest.

Every night we read a book to Alex, and she like Bri was, is afraid that if she learns to read, we will stop reading her a book every night. Tonight we made sure that she is aware that she is in charge of when we stop reading to her, not us. This has been holding her back from wanting to read. This is a real fear for children. Some of the most loving memories children have are of their parents reading them books.

From the time our babies were about three months old, we would read them a book. As long as the chosen book is not a Barbie book, I quite enjoy this nightly routine of reading a book, giving good dreams, and stealing freckles before sending the kids off to sleep. These memories have formed bonds, not just between the children and us, but between my children and books.

Their love of books is as high as mine and my husband’s love of books, which is massive. Bri can and will read three or four children’s chapter books a day, given enough time. This reading habit is not just from nurture, but also from nature, but this does not delude the power of reading to children, it is a necessary component of helping children desire to read. But with both of my girls, I have found that they so cherish this nightly routine, that they are afraid we will stop reading to them and end this beautiful part of their childhood. Read More→

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Feb
10

Crazy Cat Lady No More

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

My eight-year-old daughter decided last year that for her future career she was going to be a crazy cat lady. At this time, we had two cats, Loki, and Odin. Along with the cats came added expenses such as declawing and neutering the boys, dry food, wet food, cat litter, etc. My husband and I had brief stints without cats while in the dorms in the Air Force, but otherwise have had furry friends to keep us company our entire adult lives. Then comes the words out of the doctor’s mouth, “Your daughter’s symptoms make me think she might be allergic to cats, and you need to get her tested.”

I argued internally with these words from the doctor. We had had a cat my daughter’s entire life. We even had a cat at one point who slept next to her and claimed her as his person. I fought the idea and didn’t think my baby who loved cats more than anything else in the world, could be allergic to the thing she loved most. I was certain the allergen that caused my daughter to go into wheezing fits sometimes, was mold. Then one day she had another wheezing attack, that made her lethargic and trouble breathing. I could no longer ignore the problem and took her in for breathing treatments, and then scheduled her with an allergist, to find out if I was right that she was allergic to mold and not her beloved cats.

Sadly, the test showed in seconds that the only thing my daughter is allergic to is animals.

She is not only allergic to cats, but she is as allergic to them as a person can be without needing an epi-pen to save her life. She is not just allergic to cats, but also dogs, horses, mice, cockroaches, and dust mites. She has no allergy to mold, at all. All these years I have been miss reading the situation and her wheezing attacks would come from extended cuddling bouts with Odin, the friendliest cat in the world. The doctor prescribed her an inhaler and nasal spray and said there was no reason to get rid of the cats because she would have the inhaler to rescue her, The future seemed less bleak since our furry friends could stay. Read More→

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Jan
25

Neat Freaks and Mary

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Imirror know many people who are neat freaks, I am not among that crowd. I do not like my house to be dirty, I do prefer my home to be clean, but I do not desperately need the house clean to be able to sleep at night. Now, there is nothing wrong with people being neat freaks; the world would be a horrible place without neat freaks, those people who know how to make a house sparkle and shine. I have been told, that as a stay at home mom I should be a neat freak, my response usually is along the lines of “God created me, He didn’t put the neat freak gene in my DNA, and I can live without it.” To my neat freak friends, it sounds like an excuse because it is an excuse. If I tried harder or cared more, I could be a neat freak.

How does a person who is not a neat freak raise children who learn to clean and pick up after themselves? Well, the answer is simple, they have to learn to care about clean a little bit more. My house is never dirty; you are never going to walk in and think, “Wow, this house is disgusting.” I have a serious lack of organization skills, that come in handy when attempting to keep a house from becoming an overly cluttered mess. I also have selective sight in comparison to my more organized counterparts. I choose not to see the tape stuck to the floor, or the paper towels left out on the counter. I have to re-train myself now to see these little messes so that I can teach my children to see these items that belong in the trash bin.

I have a double standard in my house. At any given point you can find three pairs of my shoes scattered about the living room, and yet I do not allow my children to do the same. This works for me, because the upstairs houses the kids playroom and bedrooms while the downstairs has the master bedroom and the shared rooms. My floor, so I can leave my shoes around if I so desire. But back to the question of how do I raise my children to be neat and learn to pick up after themselves, when I am not great at this myself? The second answer to this question would be: it’s a learning process for my children and me.

There are so many things my husband and I are responsible for teaching our children, and cleaning is just one of those skills. If I had my choice to be silly with my kids or teach them to clean their room, I would choose silly, then tell them to go clean their rooms. Ultimately, I want my children to understand the importance of cleaning and why it is a necessary life skill, but I want them to know there are other things that are more important. My children having been raised in the military and overseas, are having a hard time making friends now that we are in the states, and in the house we plan to be in until they are all graduate from high school. The majority of the kids in their classes have been in this town for their whole life and already have friends. So if my daughter’s room is a mess but her new friend wants her to come over and play, I am going to let her go play at her friends house. Her room will still be there tomorrow, and she can clean it then. Read More→

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Jan
07

Simplicity as a SAHM #2

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Finding Simplicity as a SAHM by Adrina PalmerCheeseburgers, fries, and soda are not the only items super-sized in America, appliances are too. My husband was active duty in the Air Force for 21 years, eight of those years we spent in Germany. First in Stuttgart, and then after a short stint in Nebraska, we headed back to Germany, but this time to Ramstein. I had different laundry needs and experiences at both bases. In Stuttgart, we had a condensation dryer, which means you have to empty the water out of a drawer on the bottom. German washers and dryers take 4 1/2 hours to wash and dry one load of laundry (I still do not understand why it takes that long) and then I still had to hang the clothes because the clothes were still damp.

Simplicity as a SAHM by Adrina PalmerThis was fine until baby number one was born and spitting up all the time. On top of the hassles already mentioned, the house layout made laundry an even bigger chore, especially with a newborn. The bottom floor of the house was the mother’s apartment, and we didn’t use this portion of the house, up a set of stairs took you to the main house, with one more floor for bedrooms. The laundry room, however, you had to go all the way down to the front door in the mother’s apartment, around to the backyard and open a door into the laundry room. How do you manage this with a newborn and a basket of laundry and your keys because German doors lock differently? You go on base to the laundromat once a week; that’s what you do. Read More→

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Dec
21

Crazy Christmas Shopping

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As a stay-at-home-mom I have the advantage of being able to leisurely shop at least twice a week. My older two are in school for seven hours and my four-year-old is in school for five hours twice a week. This has been most helpful this year in shopping for Christmas and making presents for Christmas. Now, I know it is too late for you this year as Black Friday has come and gone (and nary a trauma!), but store this away in your brain’s filing system for next year. You can start Christmas shopping before Black Friday! Shock! Yes, it’s true, Christmas shopping does not
have to be crazy expensive, stressful, or unenjoyable. If you are like me, shopping in crowds and fighting for parking spaces is stressful.

The only stores I purposely go to after Thanksgiving is the grocery store. Aldi’s and Kroger’s are quite capable of meeting all of my December needs without being crowded or insane. But how do I do this? How do I not shop for Christmas presents in December? Easy, I shop year round. I bet you are thinking, “I can’t do that, I am not that organized. I would lose the gifts, or forget who I bought them for and that just wouldn’t work for me.” Well, I am not an organized person. I buy things to help me get organized and I lose those. But, my fear of shopping in December out weighs my fear of organizing.

In April I usually have a list somewhere on my computer of who I need to shop for, how much I plan to spend on each person, and what I want to get them. For my children I do not start shopping until September because kids change likes so often. My daughter wanted Barbies until she learned about Shopkin’s in August and then Barbies were out, they are just chilling under her bed now with no clothes on. My husband usually wants just one large present and because he is a December baby, I usually get his list about two weeks before his birthday and I use that list for both Christmas and his Birthday.

For those who I do not know what to get, I get them gift cards. Let’s face it, gift cards are our friends and everyone loves a mini shopping spree. Otherwise, for those I know what to get I
wait for a sale, I already know what I want to get them roughly and I have all year to find it on sale or at a reasonable price. I save money. I do not have a Christmas closet, I don’t wrap the presents before December, but they are some where in the bottom of my closet shoved under my boots and too-small blue jeans with a piece of paper saying who the gift is for. This system works for me. December is not scary for me anymore. Read More→

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Dec
02

Finding Simplicity as a SAHM

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When I wake up on a school day I get my coffee and go to wake up my children. On my way up to wake the older two, I will adjust the four-year-olds door in hopes that her brother and sister will magically be quiet and let her sleep in until they have left to walk to school. My ten-year-old son wakes up easily, but I have to step over multiple piles of blue jeans, tee-shirts, Pokemon stuffed animals, and his school laptop to get to him. My eight-year-old daughter seems resentful that morning is interrupting her sleep and will require several reminders to get out of bed. The children are quite capable of getting themselves dressed, but this is the only act that will imply they are self-reliant in the morning.

Every day I have to remind them to brush their teeth (how does a person not remember to brush their teeth? Who wants morning breath all day?), every day I will have to remind them to eat breakfast and to put on their shoes. The thought of zipping their backpack before putting it on their back completely escapes them. Somehow, every day I manage to get them out of the house, with hair brushed, shoes on (or in the case of the boy with sandals and socks in November) and spend the next several minutes wondering if they will ever be self-reliant functional adults. There does not seem to be a light at the end of the tunnel when they can’t even remember to brush their hair, even after seeing how disfigured sleep has gotten their hair in the morning.

Every day when the kids walk in the front door having finished a day of school, I have to remind them to put their backpacks away, put their lunch boxes next to the sink, give me their folders so I can check for notes and homework, and put their shoes in the closet. Even though we do this every single school day, without fail they will forget one of these steps, and I will try to go out to the mailbox and have an obstacle course of backpacks, jackets, and shoes in my way.

What is a mom to do? Step one, turn on mom voice, step two, load recorded nagging from brain and turn it on to repeat as children never hear what you say the first three times.

These constant daily battles to get my children to do simple independent acts are very  trying. I constantly feel like an annoying nag to them to get things done that adults do without a second thought. I do what most people do and compare my kids to myself at that age and a different generation that of course, were not that lazy, listened better, and never argued with their mom. Don’t ask my mom if she agrees with this assessment because she will just laugh and say, “Payback my dear, payback.” Read More→

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