What are we teaching our kids?

I just saw this on Facebook. I Love Love Love this!! It’s SO true! I feel like this generation is being coddled and ruined by technology and parents that are afraid to make their children “unhappy”!
We all want what is best for our kids. Does that mean they have to have every new toy, device, or random crap that fills the check out isles at the grocery store?  The answer is clearly NO! It doesn’t seem that simple. There is the constant pressure of keeping of with the Joneses. I feel like the adults are worse than the kids in this realm. Why do kindergarteners have cell phones? 😩
The social pressure continues as people discuss how many extra curricular activities your kids are doing? Do they take piano lessons, speak a foreign language, and are they on the all star traveling sports team that takes EVERY single weekend and every ounce of family time you may have??
What happened to family dinners? What happened to chores on Saturday that everyone pitched in with because if they didn’t they got their buts beat?
I feel like I am failing so many times when I get a snotty response from one of my kids and another adult says….”if I talked to my mom like that when I was young; she would have knocked me into next week!”
I KNOW that I don’t have the answers to these questions. I KNOW I can make big changes that would result in more self reliant, hardworking kiddos that respect their elders. We were doing yard work with our kids last night and they acted like I was asking them to move a mountain! For the LOVE! Please just grow up to be good humans that grow up to move out of the house and contribute to society!!
I do know that we have taken a step back the last few months. We paired down our schedules. We made the kiddos make HARD choices and do a little less. We are trying to eat dinner together even if it’s one of those one pot frozen meals that I heat up in 12 minutes with no side dishes! 😆 Dinner is served! 😋. It’s not perfect, but we are together. Our evenings are a little less hectic and we are focusing on giving our kids experiences rather than THINGS.
We plan to travel more and use the funds that we were spending on the extra classes and activities and put it towards a family trip. The kids gave us a little backlash at first, but quickly jumped on board.
I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas on how you instill these values in your family. Is something in particular working well for you right now? Take a look at this video. Stephen Covey is one of my FAVORITE authors. He was a wise man and I love his principle based teachings. Take a look!
Green and Clean by Stephen Covey

The Laundry Monster

IMG_2179Holy Hannah!  Isn’t laundry pretty much the worst thing EVER. It NEVER ends. I swear my kids are walking tornados and have no concern or care for the fact that they make me want to die inside every time I walk into their rooms or the bathroom.

The moment I have it all done; the vicious cycle starts again.   When Cory and I first got married I STRUGGLED keeping the laundry under control; and we didn’t even have kids! We would have company over and we would throw everything onto the floor of our master bedroom closet and shut the door and hope no one wandered astray into our closet.  Then the clean would mix with the dirty and I would start the process all over again because I didn’t know what was clean and what was dirty.  It was ridiculous.

As kids joined our family I gradually learned some processes that really helped me along.  One AHA moment for me was when I was introduced to Fly Lady!  I read her book and it changed my life.  I highly recommend it.  I still think of her every time I shine my sink.

The other book that helped me SO much when it came to laundry is The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. It has an awesome method of folding our clothes that helps you keep things orderly and also allows you to see what you have.  It is very helpful for little people.


I also recently found Capsule Wardrobes on Pinterest.  The essential idea is that you can pair down your wardrobe and have versatile items that allow you to create several outfits from the same items of clothing.  I DRASTICALLY reduced the amount of clothing my kids had and it was done wonders for the amount of laundry in our household.

What tricks and tips do you have?  What laundry system do you use?  Do you do it all on one day, does each kid have their own basket and do their own, and what age do you make your kids help out?  I would love to hear your feedback!

Is Real Estate Investing for You?


Cory and I have been investing in real estate for over 10 years.  We started small and have been able to get over 70 properties in those 10 years.  It seemed like we hit a point of critical mass that finally opened some doors that allowed us to make big leaps in the last few years.

Cory has a unique skill set that has been a huge blessing for us.  He can do just about anything.  It wasn’t always like that.  His dad was a roofer and a painter so he was pretty well versed in those area.  He has learned through trial and error, magazines, and this big books that you could buy at Home Depot before the internet had everything at your finger tips.  If he needed to wire his sisters basement; he went and bought a book on electric and figured it out.  He can now build a housefrom the ground up!  That has saved us thousands upon thousands of dollars and there is no way we would be where we are today if we were hiring people to do all of the work.

That does not mean that you have to have this skill set to be successful in real estate.  This is just our story.  One website that I have gained TONS of knowledge from and is a valuable resource is Bigger Pockets.  Take a look at their getting started in real estate investing overview and let me know what you think!

Are you a mess?

The last few months have been pretty rough in the Smith household.  We have been dealing with some pretty crappy stuff and it has been a trial of my faith.  There have been days when I was at the end of my rope.  I think when you are dealing with loss and you feel like your world is falling down around you, it is easy to lose sight of the bigger picture.
I am by nature, NOT a patient person.  This seems to get magnified when life isn’t going exactly as planned.  I was losing my temper with my kiddos, I was beyond stressed at work, and I wasn’t enjoying the time I was spending with my husband.  Not to mention my horrible diet and lack of exercise. I was a MESS!!!

Have you ever felt that way?  Like no matter what you did, life wasn’t going the way you had planned and you kind of want to give up and crawl in a hole and hide?  Where do you turn when you feel that way?  I know that I have been talking God’s ear off and for some reason I don’t think I have been in the right place to be getting much inspiration and direction.   My husband is probably sick of talking to me!  One place I found comfort and peace is with my bestie Janelle!  She is amazing.  She loves me for who I am.  She doesn’t expect me to pretend that life is all roses and a Facebook Highlight Reel.  I can cry on her shoulder, ask her for advice, or go out for a lunch date to get my mind off of things.  I am truly grateful for her friendship.

I think I have often taken my friendships for granted. I just read the book Of Mess and Moxie and it made me realize how important friendships are! It is the most AMAZING book!  Jen Hatmaker from www.jenhatmaker.com is seriously hilarious.  I fell in love with her years ago when her Worst End of School Year Mom blog post went VIRAL.  I loved her voice and her sense of humor was real and refreshing.  Somehow the magic facebook wizards or pinterest gurus out there put her newest book in my newsfeed because I swear THEY KNOW US BETTER THAN WE KNOW OURSEVLES!  It’s creepy!  Anyhow, you can get it on Amazon but I HIGHLY recommend listening to it on Audible.

The way she tells the story is SO much better than it would have been reading it.  I listened to it in a matter of days and I am tempted to start it over again because I feel like we became friends.  I miss my friend!  This book made me grateful for my tribe.  It is a rather small tribe and I wish that there weren’t so many miles between me and some of my close friends, but at the end of the day I know they are there.  I know that I have someone to lean on when chatting with your hubby doesn’t feel like the answer.  If you are dealing with tough stuff, if you want to laugh and cry, or are just looking for some good entertainment, I highly recommend you check out Of Mess and Moxie by Jen Hatmaker.