Merry Christmas

"But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.  And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, "Abba!  Father!"  So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God."
  Galatians 4:4-7
What a hope filled passage, which was the message preach this past Sunday.  Praying that your Christmas is focused on Jesus...
Our Redeemer.
Our Savior.

Merry CHRISTmas from our family to yours! 

Lead by Example

How many times I fall short of this.  Oh, to be a momma and so desire to teach those which the Lord has given me to disciple, through nurturing, loving, educating, and protecting, yet I can cause them to stumble by my own sinful example!  This gem of truth came in my email today {see below and visit here to sign up to receive daily email devotionals and truth in your inbox}.  God's timing is always impectible!  My prayer for grace and wisdom to set a right example; that Christ would abound and I would not.

A Mother
"A Mother's Love" by Ron DiCianni

Oh Lord, help me to lead by my example and not cause my children to stumble.  Lord, You are such a loving and merciful God.  That your love for me was so great that You laid your life down to pay the penalty of all my sins!  I ask that You would give me wisdom to train the children you have given me according to your word and that your Spirit would rule me, instead of the sinful flesh.  Lord, I pray for daily grace...even moment to moment grace to set a godly example for these impressionable ones.  I am weak, yet you are strong.  Lord, reign in me.  Amen

(The life and letters of John Angell James)

If you are parents, let your profession lead you to instruct your children in the fear of God, especially by the impressive admonition of a good example. Be very attentive to the spiritual education of your children--let them neither hear nor see anything in you which would hinder true religion. Example is more powerful than precept. It is vain to teach them religion by your words--unless you show it to them by your actions.

Teach them to obey you.
Be firm, but mild.
Govern them in love.
Subdue them by kindness.

One quote I have written in the mini-quote collection book I compiled which I find most exhorting is:

"My darling precious children!  For their sakes I am continually constrained to seek after an amended, a sanctified life; what I want them to become I must become myself."  ~ Mrs. E. Prentiss, Stepping Heavenward

Mothers, will you join me in the call to be a godly example to our children; to show them real Christianity by our examples and in doing so, to ask forgiveness when we fall short?  May the Lord's grace and wisdom be upon you {and I} as we seek to live as unto Him.

Blessings ~

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Are You a "Good" Person?

How many times have we asked ourselves that question?  How easy is it to compare ourselves to others and in doing so, if comparing to people who have done horrible things, think "yes"?  Our standard however can not be comparing to other people, for man's standard changes.  There is one standard that does not is the same yesterday, today and forevermore...

The Word of God.

His words says,

for fall have sinned and fall short of the glory of God
Romans 3:23

and that then means we are not good, right?  He also says,

None is righteous, no, not one;
 no one understands;
no one seeks for God.
All have turned aside; together they have become worthless;
no one does good, 
not even one.”

Romans 3:10-12

When we compare ourselves to God's standard, His law ~ The Ten Commandments, then we will find that we do fall short.  We have broken His commandments and are therefore we are GUILTY.
But you may say, I have not broken ALL of the law.  I haven't murdered.  I haven't stolen.  Well, according to God's word you don't have to break all the laws to be guilty.
For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.
James 2:10
The makers of the "180" movie have just produced another film about false conversion.  I encourage you to take a few minutes (just 34 minutes) and view it. 

Examine yourself to see if you are in the faith {2 Corinthians 13:5}.  Today is the day of salvation {2 Corinthians 6:2}!

Because of Him ~

Linked:  Walk with Him Wednesdays, Encourage One Another, A Wise Woman Builds Her Home


Simple Gifts for Christmas...Joy-filled and Christ-centered

Gift making is underway at our home with many helping hands to make the load lighter {although not always neater}.  We are excited to give you a peak at what we will be sharing with family, friends, neighbors, music instructors and others of whom the Lord has brought into our lives.

With the colder weather sneaking back into our Florida days and nights, this makes for the perfect gift to warm the body...

Thanksgiving Learning & Living

This coming week we will stop to give our Lord Jesus Christ thanks for all the many blessings He has given us and reflect back on the history of lives that sacrificed, laboring in order that future generations would have opportunities to enjoy freedom to worship.

We will prepare our home for guests joining us on Thanksgiving Day and we will prepare our hearts by expressing gratitude for all we have, enabling us to extend thanks and hospitality with those the Lord has brought into our lives.

Plans for our week include sending our Thanksgiving Family Newsletter out with photo cards to many family, friends & loved ones.  We will put our hands to preparing little blessing baskets for neighbors & others to express our thanks for them.  We will prepare our meal, cooking & baking special foods together making memories & sharing traditions along the way.  We will surely recall prior Thanksgiving Days, telling the next generations of God's faithfulness & of the wondrous deeds He has done.  Here's a look back at just some of the memories of more recent Thanksgivings...

Making Memories with Country Flare...

Making Skirts....

Prelude to the Fall Jamboree

Each year our family makes plans to attend the Fall Jamboree and this past weekend was that time again.  The blessings of this time of memory making and sharing in the joys of friendship are always plentiful.

It is always a time for new skirts and this year was no different.  The days fly by around the Smith home so Friday night was here before I knew it.  Kailynn asked Friday afternoon if I would make her a new skirt to wear to the Jamboree and I didn't foresee any reason I wouldn't be able to.  She had picked out the fabric from my fabric bin and the plan was set in motion. 

The Dawn of a New Day...

Today, is a new day. His word says:
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
“therefore I will hope in him.”
Lamentations 3:22-24
When these times have such a weight and heaviness to them, I must now ACTIVELY renew it with truth and this is one of the verses that I will recall. The outcome of the election is what it is...and God is still in control. Be renewed and reminded:
  • “These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
  • God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change and though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea; though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains quake at its swelling pride. Selah. The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our stronghold. Selah. Psalm 46:1-3,7
  • ‘Do not fear, for I am with you; do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’ Isaiah 41:10
  • Casting the whole of your anxieties on Him, because for He cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7
  • Cast your burden on the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never permit the righteous to be moved. Psalm 55:22
  • I have set the Lord always before me; because He is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken. Psalm 16:8
I read a post this morning which also called me to be hope-filled {in Christ}. Our work is set before us, let us not grow weary and be down-cast. Kelly's post is titled, "More Important Than Voting in the Election." Let us all seek to encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing. {1 Thessalonians 5:11}

By His Grace ~

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Menu Plan Monday

We have been diligently doing our daily lessons for over a month now; 'textbook work' in full motion since Labor Day.  Chore charts need a little tweaking still, but overall most areas are covered and this makes for a clean home over the course of a week.  I still find some areas need more oversight with so many littles pulling things out and playing, but having a "home" for their things does make clean up easier and usually does not take too much time.  Our focus over the past few weeks has been:

Apologia's Human Anatomy and Physiology has provided some great hands-on learning activities this year.  This one is to show the molecular structure of a cell..."Edible Cell" activity.

Autumn Creating and Decorating

Autumn is one of my favorite seasons!  I live in Florida therefore we have to create autumn in our home, as our location doesn't provide the beauty of "change in seasons".  This year, after pulling down our autumn decorations and going through them all these are some of the elements we decided to use in adding touches of autumn to our home.

Glass bead pumpkins & gourd placed on wooden pillar candlesticks; autumn leaf garland swagged over mirror; a splash of color added in our foyer with reminders of gratitude and praise plaques; layered beans added to our bubbled hurricane glass vase {pinto beans, black beans and yellow corn} with a pumpkin candle added to the center and an autumn wired-ribbon tied to the base

2 FREE Events: Fee Free Day at National Parks & Musuem Day Live! Event

You and your family have an opportunity to attend two FREE events on Saturday, September 29, 2012...a great time of family togetherness, learning and fun!

 Details I found have found at the different websites, with links for more information, a comprehensive list and individual participating museums links for you to have contact information, are below.
If you would like to learn more about Fee Free Days you can read an article written by the Secretary of Interior here. Here is an excerpt providing the dates determined for the Fee Free Days:
"The fee free dates for 2012 are January 14 to 16 (Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend), April 21 to 29 (National Park Week), June 9 (Get Outdoors Day), September 29 (National Public Lands Day), and November 10 to 12 (Veterans Day weekend). More information is available at"
For a comprehensive list of the National Parks participating in the Fee Free Days, click here, although I would contact them to confirm prior to packing up the family and heading that way. :D
MUSEUM DAY LIVE! hosted by Smithsonian magazine
In conjunction with this Fee Free Day to the National Parks, will be Museum Day Live! On September 29th, free admission is being offered to various museums across the country. Read here for the details about this event here. Locally, on the list, your family could attend: The Florida Ag Museum, The Lightner Museum, Museum of Arts and Sciences, Museum of Science and History, World Golf Hall of Fame, and many others in DeLand, Jacksonville, Sanford, and Orlando.
Visit here for a comprehensive list of participating museums and to check to see if a museum near you is offering free admission. {SIDENOTE:  If you have season membership to the MOAS, MOSH or another museum, don't forget that some of these may be on your "reciprocal list" so my suggestion would be to compare your list to the list online and visit a museum that is NOT on the reciprocal list, since any museum on the reciprocal list could be visited for free during your membership year anyway.}
What a great day of family togetherness and learning this could be...we are definitely planning to take advantage of it! Hope you can too! 

P.S.  You are invited to participate in a GIVEAWAY I am having.  Click here to read my post about this great gift I received and join in the chance to win the same're going to LOVE it!  What a blessing!
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Forty one...

The LORD is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot.
The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.
I bless the LORD who gives me counsel; in the night also my heart instructs me.
I have set the LORD always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.
Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure.
For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol, or let your holy one see corruption.
You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
Psalm 16:5-11
Another year, marking life.  In light of Scripture, it causes me to reflect and wonder how my days are spent.  My heart's desire is to use each one to give God glory in all that I do.  How short I have fallen...

One year ago today...

Today is a very special day.  I remember the anticipation….I remember the anxiety of waiting {15 additional days once man’s “anticipated date of arrival” had passed!}…I remember the struggle of resting in God’s PERFECT timing and my great desire to hold the precious gift He was giving our family again.

Minutes after delivery ~ a photo collage of a labor of love

Pictorial Tour Summer 2012

This year’s summer has been a blur!  The year for that matter… In order to keep things in order, blogging had to take a rest for a bit.  Life is full and there are so many things to juggle,  that sometimes things can get out of order if we allow it.  Instead of blogging "about" living...we were in the midst "of" LIVING.  I have missed posting and “visiting” with so many of you, so here is what I hope will serve as a glimpse of our summer and my absence from this blogging world.

 As I sit here I reflect on...
We finished school later than usual this year.  That pushed the End-of-the-Year Home School Celebration & Evaluations get-together we have been hosting the past few years, back a few weeks later, too.  {I was too involved and I did not take one picture!}

Freezer Cooking...

There was a time when I did Once-a-Month Cooking…oh, that was about 4 or 5 children ago.  Now, it is much simpler to double or triple recipes and freeze what we don’t need for that night’s meal.  This is also how I do meals for ministering to a friend in need, a new momma, or “just because” it’s nice to give someone a break.  There is no more real effort or time involved to make one or two extra batches of a recipe and since I try to stay with meals that are casserole or one pot types for those occasions, the mess is not any more than if I prepare one meal.

Some short cuts I take to make meals in a crunch include:

Smoked chicken pulled of the bone and cut into bites...use some, freeze the rest for another quick meal night.
  • Freezing extra cooked chicken {pulled off the bone and diced} or ground beef…this method makes it a snap to cook a fast meal like Chicken Alfredo, spaghetti or Sloppy Joes, since the meat is already cooked.
  • Freezing extra veggies in a freezer container then adding to it over the course of weeks.  This makes for putting together a homemade pot pie or veggie casserole or soup quick and saves on waste, too.
  • Freezing bananas that are a bit too ripe for eating and saving for a future banana nut bread baking day 

Tonight’s meal is a Chicken and Squash Pasta Bake.  It’s the first time I am trying this with a few tweaks to suite our family’s taste buds.  SIMPLE, good tasting and feeds a large family {or 2}.  Works for me!

My kitchen helper for dinner today...cutting squash and onion are a great helper's role. 

This is where I altered the recipe a bit.  Instead of stir frying the squash & onion (omitted the zuchinni since I didn't have any) and added them to the boiling pasta.  Drained them altogether and returned to pot.  Finished by adding the cream, butter, cheese and herbs and then baked.  Keeps the kitchen messes LESS.

YUMMY...fresh squash, herbs, smoked chicken and the cream make this a delish dish!

 Blessings ~

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Remembering Those Who Served Bravely...Thankful Indeed

In honor of all who have given the ultimate sacrifice to protect and defend our country throughout the years, we give thanks!  May the Lord bless the families who have lost loved ones in battle and those who have served our country bravely, honorably and sacrificially.  May He bless each family, who even now,  has someone serving in our Armed Forces…not only is the serviceman or servicewoman to be honored, but we give thanks to their families…understanding that it is a sacrifice for you as well having your loved one in the military.

He is good...

Thank you all for your prayers and comments of encouragement.  Although I have not be posting about life here, we have been busy living it.  We are all doing well and the days in our home are very full.  Things continue to move according to the Lord's sovereign plan for our lives and I am so thankful to rest in this. 

He is good.

The loss of a loved one can bring about so many things.  So much learned and continue to be learned as we journey on this road of life.

Life IS a vapor...

God has fixed our day of birth, just as He has fixed our day of death...

Grief is personal, yet His peace does provide comfort which surpasses all understanding...

Lives lived according to His word brings blessing and hope and contentment {striving for that} ... 

Soon after Mom's passing, life as I knew it changed forever.  Many truths were revealed.  My grief is not at her passing so much.  I rely on the truth that her last two years were a gift of time...a gift for her to reconcile many relationships she had.  A gift to our family to be able to minister to her, sharing truth with her, helping to care for her and investing in memories for my children to draw from over the years.  A gift in being able to not only witness His mercy, faithfulness and grace, but to experience it as well.  A received with a thankful heart.

The End of Suffering...


This Lord's Day

Marks the end of Suffering and Pain

For my Mom.

Easter 1957
Morning of Logan's Birthday ~ January 21, 2012...
Mary Ann Franklin Leverett
January 31, 1953 - March 4, 2012

O LORD, you have searched me and known me!
You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
you discern my thoughts from afar.
You search out my path and my lying down
and are acquainted with all my ways.
Even before a word is on my tongue,
behold, O LORD, you know it altogether.
You hem me in, behind and before,
and lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
it is high; I cannot attain it.

Where shall I go from your Spirit?
Or where shall I flee from your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, you are there!
If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!
If I take the wings of the morning
and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
even there your hand shall lead me,
and your right hand shall hold me.
If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me,
and the light about me be night,”
even the darkness is not dark to you;
the night is bright as the day,
for darkness is as light with you.

For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother's womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them.

How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
If I would count them, they are more than the sand.
I awake, and I am still with you.

Oh that you would slay the wicked, O God!
O men of blood, depart from me!
They speak against you with malicious intent;
your enemies take your name in vain.
Do I not hate those who hate you, O LORD?
And do I not loathe those who rise up against you?
I hate them with complete hatred;
I count them my enemies.

Search me, O God, and know my heart!
Try me and know my thoughts!
And see if there be any grievous way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting!
(Psalm 139 ESV)


Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children.  And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragnant offering and sacrifice to God. 
Ephesians 5:1-2

According to history, on February 14, 269 a young man named Valentine was martyred for his faith.  History has pointed to several men named Valentine and legends vary on their lives.

Some say he was a young man with a tender heart who aided Christians who were undergoing martyrdom...he was not a Christian at the time, however converted to Christianity during his time in prison.  For what?  It is not known.  He would not renounce his faith and wrote letters to his friends saying, "Remember your Valentine."

Others say Valentine was a Roman priest who secretly married men against the orders of Emperor Claudius, to avoid husbands being sent to war.  This enraged the emperor who desperately needed soldiers.

And yet still another legend states the Roman priest refused to sacrifice to the pagan gods and was martyred for his defiance.  Legend has it that while he was imprisoned, his testimony was shared and his prayers for healing of the jailer's daughter brought her healing.  He left her a note signed "Your Valentine".  What do any of these accounts have to do with the way Valentines' Day is celebrated today? 

Today Valentine's Day marks a time of celebrating love and friendship...a time the retailers seek to profit .  We don't do anything overtly special for the day but do try to add extra emphasis on simple acts of kindness and love.  In the past we have made breakfasts special by making hearts shaped pancakes in the past or having strawberry milk.  We have made Valentine's cards and shared with friends, family and neighbors.  Each year I purchase little gifts for the children and leave out to bless them and show our love for them...

As Christians, our focus is Christ and every day is a day to remember the LOVE that came down...all things are filtered through that truth.  Today, I listened to a sermon by Pastor John MacArthur which is here, "Walking in Love, Part 1".  This is the first in a series of sermons he has preached on the topic.  As I listened to it, I had such a broken heart for all the times I have fallen short...short on love, short on forgiveness and just thank God for His love for me...undeserved LOVE.

Today, for the fun of it, I fixed the girls hair and with Alyssa's help made mine the same way.  We tried to do heart shaped twists that Connie shared, but I just couldn't get it, so we kept it simple with a pull-through ponytail.  I really need to play more with fun hair some of the ones that Shaunell does.  Wow!

Alyssa's pull-through pony was quite SIMPLE to do and does look very feminine, I think.

With Alyssa's help, here's mine.  A lot more hair to pull through and hard for me to do since it is so long.  Two are better than one.  ;D

Kailynn's little pull-through pony...a little more challenging to get all those strays in thanks to her doing some hair cutting in recent days.  ;-)

I think for tonight's meal...spaghetti with meatballs, a lovely green garden salad with RED tomatoes and Texas garlic toast.  As I sit here, I think about that Disney movie the Lady and the Tramp I saw YEARS ago...I think that had spaghetti and  XD  Oh yeah, for dessert {not a norm during the week....} peanut butter pies Logan made last night topped with little Wilton heart sprinkles.

What about you?  Any special traditions or projects you have done this year to show your love, friendship and kindness in your family?  Just drop a quick note or link back to a related post in the comments area...

Blessings ~

P.S.  Does anyone out there in the blog world have a SIMPLE pattern or how to video tutorial on how to make a prairie bonnet?  A special request of Alyssa for her birthday...Thanks in advance!

How Do We Manage ALL Those Clothes?

Living in a large family forces one to be organized in order to keep order and peace in the home. Being organized helps us to be better stewards of what the Lord has given us. Our home is not large by most standards, especially for the number of people living in it, however it really is big enough for us. With each child, a little more creativity is tapped into {thank you Lord} as we re-organize to accommodate another blessing. One key is regular assessment of what we really need and either storing, selling or giving away what we don’t. This keeps our living area free from clutter.  With creativty comes the implementation of it and I have lots of helping hands to take it to the next step of putting it into action...taking the vision and applying it by DOING.  I am so thankful for a handy husband and sons who are going to know how to be just as handy by helping and doing!

Handling Current Sizes/Seasons

As you can imagine, a family of 10 has a lot of shoes, clothing and basic essentials. An area I will address today is the topic of managing all the clothes. For handling ‘current’ clothes, each person has a section of their bedroom closet for hanging items and assigned drawers {either with a built-in drawer unit in their closet or via a good ole dresser} for their folded clothes. I love the built-in units as they keep the bedrooms more open with less furniture needed. To further keep things uniform and orderly, we all have an assigned hanger color which helps when doing laundry.

My husband added this unit purchased from IKEA to our closet before Carolyne was born to accommodate her clothing, towels & blankets.

Closet system purchased from the home improvement store allowing for double rods for hanging clothes and storage shelves for personal belongings, books, etc.  When we built our house in 1995, all the closet had the standard wire rack with clothing rod...just ONE long rack in each closet.  That was also SEVEN children, what the Lord has done!.  Our closets have all had a makeover to accommodate our changing and growing home.  Mark and the boys have been instrumental in getting this done and taking the vision I had and making it a reality...thank you Lord.

The good ole fashioned dresser...each of the boys in this room get one side for the folded laundry items.  This was my husband's dresser and continues to serve our family well.

Then these closet drawer units and double rods were installed into our other sons' closet allowing room for folded and hanging clothes.  Each son has a hamper/basket for their dirty clothes {which they wash themselves} that is also kept inside the closet.  I like these units better than the wire ones used in other other sons' room.  You can go here to get more design ideas.
On the other side of their closet we chose to use adjustable track shelving and baskets instead of drawers. Thus system uses brackets which wood shelves are screwed to and the brackets can be adjusted according to desired heights.  We also made the shelves go the full width of the closet unlike the other side with drawers, maximizing space.  This allowed it to be more customed for storing his belongings as well as using the baskets for folded clothing.  He slips his laundry basket under the last shelf for dirty clothes.  They slipped another Closetmaid type of drawer unit under the rods for storing games and such.
Same system was installed in the girls' room with double rods and drawers.  Each girl has a rod for hanging clothes and then this series of drawers is Elizabeth's.

This is the full shot of the girls' closets/drawers.  The center drawer unit is for Alyssa.  The right closet is identical to the left {see previous photo} with another series of drawers belonging to Kailynn.  Three girls' worth of clothing and it IS doable.  ;-)

How Much Do We Keep of Current Clothing?

The amount of clothing each person has is determined by what can be managed and what they can afford. We purchase all the clothing needs for our home and usually give new items during the year for birthdays or special occasions. When our children are old enough to work regularly, then they become responsible for buying items they need/want. Just as with any budget, they learn and establish a budget at a young age with funds set aside for such purchases. We have found that this is another life lesson and skill they will need when they have families of their own AND we have also found that whenever funds earned are exchanged for products, there is ownership that takes place and this in turns makes better stewards. {There is a cost associated with their purchase…work in exchange for goods…also helps them think twice about spending.}

I will say we could do even better in this area by further assessing what is REALLY needed. Having less, makes managing easier. Less to wash, less to care for, less to store. I have read others who only keep 7 days worth of clothing and a special outfit for church or occasions. That makes things very simple…I’m just not there yet.

Storing Out-of-Season/Outgrown Clothing

From early on, I saved the clothes purchased/given to our children and stored all outgrown items for future use with younger children. I have chosen to use the sturdy colored storage bins and labeled them according to contents. The out of season and outgrown clothing are kept in these bins in the attic until something is needed. I try going through them each season as clothes are rotated in and out, purging what is no longer needed or too tattered to keep.

I prefer the Rubbermaid or Sterlite brand colored storage bins.  I use them for clothing, holiday decor, toys, etc. and try to color code them according to the theme {Red - Christmas, Blue or Green - boys, Purple or Pink - girls, Grey - shoes, Taupe or Orange - Thanksgiving/Autumn, etc.} and label them to make keeping things in the attic organized, too.

What to Do with Clothing When It’s Been Worn Out

Clothing that is too tattered or outgrown is sometimes repurposed, like this great idea from Quinn at Reformation Acres!  Another repurposing idea can be to take all those favorites and make a quilt ~ what a great way to remember those sweet baby/children's outfits!  If things begin to accumulate to a point of more than may be needed in the future for other children, clothes may be passed on to other families or donated. IF a need arises for new clothes to be purchased…I ALWAYS keep an eye on the clearance racks and think ahead of the current season to replace more worn items. You’d be surprised what GREAT deals can be found on the clearance racks for well-made clothing…far better sometimes than buying consignment, thrift or garage sales…and the items are NEW. We also try bless others as items are reassessed, as we have been blessed with ‘new-to-us’ clothes, too. All these options really help to stretch the dollar.

Another way to stretch the dollar is to make your own clothing and I know many a family who are training up skilled seamstresses. This is an area I am not proficient in, but do sew enough to get by and not nearly as much as I would like. All my children will at least know the basics {including the boys}.

Managing the Dirty Laundry

I have written a post about our laundry system here which you can read to see how we handle this area of managing clothing in a large family. I haven’t deviated too much from this method, as I find this is what works for our family. Training our children from about age 9 on to do their own laundry helps to keep things from backing up. Up until this point the younger ones help with sorting, folding, delivering to each room, transferring clothes into the dryer or pulling them out, etc. We believe this helps them to be contributors in our society not just consumers…

Look what Mom found BEHIND the laundry, no, no.  Someone's got laundry to do.  So, even with all the are only as good if they are utlized.  :-)   Here's a glimpse of REAL LIFE...

I hope that reading about how we manage the clothing for our family will help you and provide a few ideas to make your life a little easier…

Blessings as you seek to serve Him, even when doing the laundry ~

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