Awana Awards and Minimalism

Thanks so much for the comments on the last post! It makes me happy to feel the love from my family and friends alike, who are still chugging away with me:) I love you guys!!

I know these pictures aren’t the greatest (because I totally lack the confidence to run up the aisle and be snapping sappy-mom pictures!!) however, last night was the last Awana night for the year and it was Awards night! Every volunteer got little pins and all the kids got certificates, ribbons and plaques, etc, depending on what they accomplished through the year!

Zakkai was a Sparky (K-2nd grade) and his group were the “Green Frogs.” He finished 2 whole books this year, which would be somewhere between 175-200 verses memorized! He would often do 5 or more sections per week. He got two ribbons!

Ben was a TNT shepherd this year and his group was called the “Red Lobsters.” He had mostly girls:) And a very sweet bunch of girls, too! I was a “Listener” so kids would come out in the hallway to read verses to me and a couple of Ben’s girls were a little too shy to read to him so they came out to me:)

Samuel (front row) was a “Blue Shark” and he was a TNT (3rd-6th grade.) He finished his whole first book, which was somewhere around 130ish verses. The books get harder as you go on so his were more difficult than Z’s.

Samuel was one of 4 to get the Alpha award for finishing his book! He got a really cool glass award to wear around his neck:)

The Cubbies, Eliana’s group (ages 3-Kindergarten) got their Awards and ribbons last week. They got a quick recognition and then got to go do a craft. It was such a fun experience over all for our whole family. It was hard some weeks to rush, rush, rush to get there but so good for our kids to learn all the verses and for Ben and I to be able to be volunteers and help out. We will definitely be doing it next year!

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If you’ve followed my blog for awhile, you’ve probably heard me mention one of my favorite books on organizing several times! Go ahead and roll your eyes but I’m about to mention it again!

It’s called “Organized Simplicity” by Tsh Oxenreider. I have LOVED this book since the minute I got it. I’ve read it cover to cover a few times and am starting again. The organizing/simplicity bug hits me usually around January or in the spring time, when I feel a renewal of energy.

As you know, our schedule has been much busier than we are used to with both of us working 2 jobs and now with sports practices and games. We only have one weeknight where we don’t have to rush off to something! One of my jobs is cleaning houses and an office and by the time I get home, the last thing I want to do is clean my own house!

I told Ben I’d like to pay someone to clean our house:) haha. Lately, I’ve been intrigued by and researching the idea of minimalism. Of course, not on the extreme end! We will not be moving into a 128 sq foot house or allowing our children only to play with blades of grass or wearing the same clothes every 3 days. But it would be a whole lot easier to keep up on our home if we had less stuff!

I found a blog about minimalism and while they take it to a point I am positive we will never reach, having kids and all, I am intrigued with some of their ideas! One thing I am challenging myself to do and throwing out to you (yes, yes, it’s true!!) is the 30 Day Minimalist Game!

I am starting tomorrow! The rules are: You have to get rid of one thing on the first day. Two things on the second day. Three things on the third and so on. Yikes! I’ve heard it gets challenging by week two! You have to either trash, donate or sell your item(s) by midnight that day! In other words, out, out, OUT of your house before remorse sets in and you end up tucking it back in its dusty spot!!!

We got rid of a LOT of stuff before we moved here last summer. Moving is, after all, the ideal time to purge. I also got rid of some more as we unpacked. We have an out of control pile of stuff taking up our basement that is waiting for a garage sale. I will be SO relieved to have it all out of the house!! Plus, it never hurts to make a little extra cash:) Maybe some for our kitty jar! Or maybe a long-dreamed of family vacation!

So, if you want to tag along and try to challenge yourself, join me this month in May! Let’s see how much we can get rid of!! I will be keeping a running list of what I purge and I am going to see how far I can get with this. Less to clean, less to dust, less mess!

Who’s with me? (this is where you chime in!!)

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Mustachioed!

 Life has been SO busy lately and I am having a hard time adjusting to it! I got used to “quieter” days at home with as much social interaction. Now I feel like all of my days are so full and I fall into bed at night exhausted! The past few nights, I have been in bed reading by 8:30pm! Is that a sign that I am getting old??

Eliana went through a really long phase where she would only let me do anything for her and was selective with her affection to others. Now in the past month or two, she is crazy about Ben, too! She is super affectionate and loves to spend time with us, constantly turning to us and saying, “I like you” or “I really love you!” It is very sweet. Ben is just soaking up all the love from his princess!!

  I recently got a book from the library about little girl hairstyles and attempted my very first ever French braid! It is not even close to text-book perfect but I was proud of it! And this is after the whole day:)

I loved it so much I attempted another one the next day. My mom used to French braid my hair a lot so it was a happy memory for me!

There are different themes on Awana nights and last week was Mustaches! As you can see here, Ben was looking debonair in his Charlie Chaplin mustache:)

  And Zakkai with his classic handlebar mustache….a fine future look, I think!

 

And Samuel looking dashing! It was funny because you couldn’t smile with the mustache on or it would unstick. Of course, that made you want to smile at everything even more!

Ah, my handsome trio of men!!

They talked me into joining the fun! I was going for a snobby, cultured look but then realized my mustache was crooked! Oops:P

So I fixed it. Hmmmm….definitely not a keeper!

 Eliana held on tightly to her mustache and refused to try it out on until after Awana! Very handsome, er, beautiful, Eliana!

So there you have it, the Thomas family Mustachioed!