Tag Archives: children

Another Condo Life Challenge

One of the greatest challenges facing us this year is adding a fourth child without adding any additional housing or storage space.  They should really make reality shows about this kind of stuff.  Actually, they probably do and I’m just blissfully unaware of it. 

By the way, in case you hadn’t guessed it yet, this is another post on our condo life.  Remember the “1100 square feet and counting…” thing?   

After wracking my brains for how to increase storage space without decreasing square footage … with a plan that did not use any of the following: 1) dynamite, 2) excavation, or 3) possibly more dynamite … I came up with something that I pitched to the “Head of the House” (he’s the head, I’m the neck … or at the moment, the double chin) as a viable solution.  In other, related news … thank God for IKEA. 

Step One (no, this is not a song by The Fray): we did a complete and  introspective soul-search (“Are we really ever going to read that book to the kids again?  Do they ever play with that toy?”) and with the heightened sense of self-awareness did a thorough clean-out for our donation center of choice.  I, for one, feel much better about myself now. 

This picture (taken during the clean out phase) shows the damaged toy/book shelf and the super-damaged college dorm-style blocks I’d been using for Chase’s clothes.  Parenting note: never use dorm-style blocks.  Your kids will try and pull them apart despite the severe warnings to the contrary that you repeatedly give, and then, if the blocks restack and stand at all, it will be at an annoyingly drunken angle due to bent plastic pieces.  Hypothetically speaking, that is.

Step Two:  Next we picked the storage unit.  (again, see: Thank God for IKEA)  While the bedrooms here are larger than many, we absolutely can’t fit four (or even three!) dressers in them.  And, even if we could fit that number of dressers, we currently use the bedroom as book and toy storage space, so we would lose that entirely.  Enter the awesome shelving unit …

 [Seen here still in the boxes.  Please feel free to note all the lovely piles on the top bunk and well, pretty much everywhere else in the picture. ]  The two units will take the place of the damaged book/toy shelf, the disorderly (and leaning) dorm blocks, and a gorgeous vintage roll-top dresser that I am loathe to part with.  Luckily, it isn’t going very far … just across town to my parents house.  And luckily, due to a slight project error (It takes how long to do how much?) and my husband’s work schedule, I haven’t had to part with it at all yet as it’s still in my living room.

Classy, huh?  There’s a small part of me that feels like there should be a red-neck “dresser in the living room” joke somewhere.  Don’t know why, but I do feel that there should.

Step Three: We repaired the damaged shelf from the bedroom and put it in place of this lovely pairing in the living room.  Finally!  A place to put paperwork, school books, and craft supplies … other than the dining room table.  Again, hypothetically speaking, of course … my dining room table is always … eh, forget it … I can’t even type the sentence with a straight face. 

Before:  The Louis chair grouping. .. This is my husband’s throne chair.  True story.  Sorry about the dark and blurry quality.  I do that on purpose so you can’t see how dusty my house is.  If it weren’t blurry, you’d see a cardboard box under the chair that (up until this project) housed all the craft supplies.  Yes, we’re so childproof and no, I did not spend half of any at home day trying to keep Chase out of the finger paint.  Not.  (is it too soon to bring “not” back?)

After Ah, blissful organization!  As my father would always say: “A place for everything, and everything in it’s place”. 

Step Four:  The assembly of bedroom storage units.  (see also: My Husband is Awesome)  The goal is clothes on the top and toys/books on the bottom.  We’re still breaking in the sliding boxes in only a few places …not sure if we like them completely, but you still get the idea …

If you’re visualizing the “before”, this is the exact wall featured in the shelving disaster with piles and dorm blocks picture I posted higher up.  (and by the way, all those green fabric boxes on top of the shelf are where I keep all my cloth diapering items)

And this, is where my beautiful dresser (which, just as a reminder, is still in my living room) used to be. 

Epilogue: We increased actual space in the living room with the installation of the previously damaged/now repaired shelf and we close to doubled the space in the bedroom for clothes, toys and books.   Oh, and for the curious/non-Ewoldt house-visiting among you, the sleeping situation will read one bunk bed, one standard size crib, and one super tricked-out pac ‘n’ play (tricked-out = it has a mattress and is set up like a mini crib).

So this, my friends, is how we plan to put four children in one room and survive.  You know … until the housing market gets more encouraging or Chase goes to college … whichever comes first.  Haha …

Any tips, tricks or suggestions?  Please feel free to pass them along!  I’m always in search of how to do this condo life even better and more efficiently.

A Father

I loved my husband first because of his love for my child.  I love him now even more and for so many more reasons, but today, I mention this one.

He laughs with them …

He listens to them …

They rest in his love for them …

He leads, teaches, and guides …

HAPPY FATHER’S DAY

One Hope

Remember Carrie, my bratty little sister?  Okay, well, for the moment, put the brat thing out of your head because this is way too cool to be bothered with silly sibling stuff.  Is it out now?  Good.

Carrie (or “Care” to me) will be working with One Hope Ministry in Tulsa, Oklahoma this summer.

One Hope is a ministry seeking to transform the inner city by targeting the devastating cycles of poverty, racism, abuse, and violence. We believe that the hope of the Gospel can change individuals who are imprisoned in these cycles and can transform families and communities by destroying the cycles themselves. Our goal is to combat the cycles of devastation in the inner city  with research based and relationally oriented programs that specifically target kids who are at-risk for being the next wave of those cycles.  ~www.onehopeministry.org

Unlike many large cities where our poorest are often located directly within the city, Care describes many of Tulsa’s projects as being totally removed.  The city has moved the poorest of the poor into a field outside the city.  Kids growing up in this environment are totally isolated.  Those who can go to school face high drop out rates and failing public schools, not to mention large areas of economic depression with few prospects available.

Working with One Hope as a “getAHEAD” tutor, Carrie will be one of a team of people seeking to close the learning gap for at-risk kids in school and taking every opportunity to share Christ.

The night before she left, I asked Care why she cared so much about this particular ministry and why I should care with her.  She looked at me and said “Why? Because it’s the only thing that matters in 500 years, that’s why.  Everything else is going to go away, but what you do to help people come to Jesus and have a better life … that’s priceless.  That’s the next generation, and the next generation after that.”

You can go to One Hope’s website to better understand their mission, “getAHEAD”, and One Hope Academy.  There is also a video page with several informative shorts on the ministry, the impact, and better understanding the gang problem.  Why should you care in this moment?  Why should you learn about this ministry?

For the small children (ages 5, 6 and up) who are turning to gangs to follow in their older sibling’s steps, refusing to use certain crayon colors in the classroom because it represents a rival gang’s signature color … for the 12 and 13 year olds being targeted by gang recruitment and pressed to prove themselves with acts of aggression, violence and speculatively even murder … for the small boy failing his classes whose mother keeps him alive by prostituting herself … for all the children who have no fathers… for all the children caught in nightmare cycle after nightmare cycle with no hope.  Why?  Because there is HOPE for these children:

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6 [ESV]

Please go to One Hope’s website and prayerfully consider how you can be involved with this amazing ministry as they seek to rescue and impact the next generation.

To become a “Friend of One Hope” and receive regular prayer updates, contact: onehopeministry@gmail.com

Follow One Hope Ministry on their blog: www.onehopeblog.wordpress.com (side note: the daily life stories of these kids are amazing!)

Do you have more questions or want further information on One Hope Ministry?  Contact Pastor Joe Blankenship at: be2Himglory@gmail.com

Skinned Knees, Runny Noses, and Pots

I’m happy to report that we survived the start of our pot* garden on Friday!

*just to be clear, I’m talking legal pot, or potS rather … as in the terra cotta kind.  Or really, fake terra cotta because I’m cheap.

It was not without it’s small bumps (literally and figuratively), but now, after one trip to the plant store (virtually disaster free …ha!), ever so many snack crackers used to bribe the children, 4 skinned knees, 15 nose wipes, one disciplinary action (we SHARE the toy car, we do not extricate our little brothers and/or pull the car over on top of him), three showers, two small sun burns, and one missed nap (and possibly a partridge in a pear tree?) …

TaDa!

[Hey, you can also see my gorgeous Mother’s Day rose in the background … an idea my hubby got from the Pioneer Woman …well, don’t look too closely actually, it had a pretty hacked-up pruning experience yesterday, poor thing]

Darcy picked two veggies: yellow pepper and cucumber, Aidan picked his nose, and Chase tried to pick something sticky off the cart (ew).

I picked some herbs.  I’m so excited about growing herbs!  Have I mentioned this?  I plan on spending some time this summer reading exactly how to utilize the plants beyond “Wow, they smell great!” and “I feel so cool for growing herbs!”. Know of any good info?  Pass it along, please. 

I’m especially excited about the Lavender.  I love Lavender.  I have a little crush on it and utilize it as much as I possibly can.  (Think: healing/relaxing, household cleaners, air freshening, etc, etc … more on that later)

So this is our start … off hand I’m thinking of adding tomato, peas, and lettuce.  (Be impressed with my impressive planning ahead skills)  Wishing I had enough room for some things like squash and pumpkins!

Have some suggestions for us?  Please … I’m always in need of suggestions … share away!  Have a favorite veggie?  Share that too!