Tuesday, October 15, 2013

If You Could Not Fail

I came across this quote today, and it struck me quite profoundly. "What great thing would you attempt if you knew you could not fail?" 

How often do you quit something because you lose enthusiasm, or because it gets too hard? If you really knew that you could not fail at something really important to you, would you be more persistent? Doesn't it make sense that if you are persistent with your goals, there is a lot more chance that you will succeed at them?

This is a key concept for the jumbled mind and jumbled life. Sometimes we give up or get discouraged with ourselves because we cannot see the future to know how it will pay off. But if you could see how the future would change because of your persistent work, wouldn't you be more likely to put in the time and keep going?

Just think about it for awhile.  

I'd love to hear your thoughts and ideas! Post your comment here or email me at: jumbledsunshine@gmail.com. Have a wonderful day! ~ JS ~

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Thoughts from "Fiddler on the Roof"

Sunday night we watched Fiddler on the Roof with our family. For my two youngest kids, it was their first time seeing it. The rest of us have seen it a few times, but it had been a long time. We've been singing songs from the musical for a few months now, all gathered around the piano, and my younger kids were pretty excited to see what it was all about. What an experience! 

What did I learn from my re-watch of Fiddler this time? Quite a lot, actually! Here are just a few of the things that stood out to me when I watched it this time. 
  1. This movie is full of VERY catchy songs. The next morning after watching the movie, one of my sons (who, incidentally says he hates musicals) was whistling "Tradition" all morning. Hahaha. Today I'm still finding myself singing "To Life! To Life! L'Chiam!"
  2. I watched the movie with a slightly different viewpoint this time, seeing it from the perspective of a parent with "young adult" children. It portrays a very unique view of the way life used to be, with parents making so many decisions for their growing children. How difficult it must have been for those who wanted to do what was best for their children, but found themselves fighting between old traditions and the modern progress of the world. That is something we continue to struggle with today - keeping what's good from the past while embracing the improvements offered by the future. 
  3. This was the first time I really saw and understood the poignant message of the scene with Tevye and Lazar Wolf celebrating the marriage match they had just agreed upon in the local saloon. Notice that the Russian citizens are also there, congratulating them and singing and dancing with them. The people from both cultures had grown up in the same town - together but separate. They celebrate with each other and are happy for one another. However, later in the movie, political and religious pressure from the outside world tear their friendships apart, and eventually the entire community is broken up. It's a very powerful message reminding us to beware of the world pressuring us to abandon friendships because of differences. I believe the world would be a better place if everyone was more understanding of one another and worked together in love. 
  4. I was deeply touched by watching the way Tevye struggled with the conflicts between his traditional beliefs and his love for his daughters. Everything he did, all day long, was for his family. And though he spoke of wanting to be rich, it was obvious that what he cherished most was his family. It is difficult for the parents when their children make choices that are in conflict with what they think is best for them. Considering the time and place, I think these parents do a pretty good job of balancing the two. The ending, where he *kind of* makes peace with his youngest daughters is extremely touching. "And may God be with you" he says quietly under his breath...  
  5. Tevye's wife Golde is a funny character, speaking harshly all the time, and yet showing her love through her service. She works so hard every day to give the best to her husband and children. And I especially love the scene where Tevye and Golde sing about whether or not they love each other. Golde: "For 25 years I've lived with him, fought with him, starved with him... if that's not love, what is?" This reminds me of a quote I heard long ago that says, "Love is not a noun, it's a verb."  
Moving on. . . There are SO MANY great quotes in this movie! 

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

10+ Favorite Simple Essential Oil Recipes

I've just started learning about all the nutritional and health benefits of using essential oils for wellness. It's been a really fun journey and I learn something new every day. Here's one I just found out recently: Did you know that you can use essential oils in cooking? (Just make sure the brand you use is suitable for internal use. Hint: Any doTerra essential oil with nutrition facts on the bottle is suitable to be used internally.)

Here are some fun essential oil recipes. . . some of them sound mighty delicious! I've tried #2 and really liked it! My sis-in-law said that #6 is incredible! Enjoy! ~JS~
  1. Add a few drops of doTERRA essential oil into several bowls of melted chocolate chips (i.e. peppermint, orange, lavender, OnGuard, etc.). Use to dip fresh fruit.
  2. Put 2-3 drops of OnGuard in a bowl of water. Then, add slices of apples to the water for a refreshing treat.
  3. Put 2-3 drops of OnGuard in a spray bottle with water. Spritz over sliced peaches.
  4. Mix 2-3 drops of Cassia in greek yogurt for a delicious fruit dip.
  5. Put 2-3 drops of a variety of doTERRA essential oils into small bowls of whipped cream for dipping fresh fruit or pound cake.
  6. Add 2-5 drops peppermint essential oil to your favorite chocolate brownie recipe.
  7. Add 2-4 drops Wild Orange to your favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe.
  8. Add 2-3 drops of your favorite doTERRA essential oil to frosting for cupcakes.
  9. Add several drops of lime to guacamole for a zesty treat.
  10. Add 1-3 drops basil to strawberry lemonade for an amazing drink.  
  11. Bonus Idea - At BYU Education Week this year, Chef Brad added Citrus Bliss to the smoothie he made for us in his demonstration. YUM! 
If you're interested in learning more about essential oils, I'd love to answer your questions. I'm still learning, but I have a great support team that seems to know everything there is to know about them! I'm really loving what essential oils are doing for me and my family. So grateful to have gotten started - I'd love to help teach you if you want to learn more about them! Just shoot me an email at jumbledsunshine@gmail.com or visit my distributor store here: http://www.mydoterra.com/jumbledsunshine/    ~JS~

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Inspirational Thought of the Day

I'm not sure where this originated, so I can't post a source. . . but it's a beautiful thought, isn't it? Don't worry, because no matter how hard life gets, you have the Savior on your side. 

For the full story, read Matthew 14:22-33

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Fabulous Quote of the Day!

YES!! I love this!!
Courtesy of: studiojru.com - "Filling your walls with scriptures and encouragement."

Doesn't it make you feel better already? ;) 
~ JS ~

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Best Blog Post Award: "To Moms of One or Two Children" by Sarah Short

This woman has such a gift with words. . . what a perfect answer for those who wonder how to get through it all when they are struggling as a new parent! I wish I had been able to think of something this clever to say when I was asked "How do you do it all?" by other mothers again and again as I was raising my crew! :)

 My short-and-true-but-not-nearly-as-helpful answer was: "I just. . . do it. . . I don't have any other choice!" :) 

Read Sarah's answer to this frequently asked question by clicking on the title below:

by Sarah Short, author of www.shortstopblog.com 

My comment on her post:

Sarah, Thank you for your beautiful post! 

I have seven wonderful and amazing children who are growing up right before my eyes, so I've "been there, done that." When #6 was born and my oldest was only 10, I thought, "What in the world have I done? This is crazy!! We. Are. Completely. Insane." But just like you said, I grew into it, and God helped me through. And I even found room in my heart for one more. 

Today, my oldest is 21 and my youngest is 8 and it is a completely different world. Not an overwhelming, bone-numbing physical strain like before, but a fierce emotional time with teenagers finding their way, and young adults trying to learn how to make it on their own. I am so grateful to the women in my life who were such amazing, supportive examples. 

You are so right that it is important to find YOUR OWN WAY as a parent and not worry about what other people think. When I discovered that, and truly began to live it, that's when true peace came and overwhelming happiness in whatever stage of parenting I was in.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Personal Kanban - Keeping it Simple!

You'll never believe what I'm doing. . . I'm working on time organization - again!

I know. . .shocking, huh?
I tend to go in spurts, and the cycle goes like this:
  1. Get schedule & tasks organized.
  2. Follow it, get things moving smoothly, get lots done.
  3. Get burned out or tired of the system, or dissastisfied with how it's working.
  4. Wing it for awhile (FREEDOM!!)
  5. Become overwhelmed. (PRISON...)
  6. Start over!
And on and on it goes. Anyone else in this boat?

Friday, June 28, 2013

Resurrect the Sunshine Within!

Okay, so I really don't have any time to write, but I'm going to do it really quickly anyway. Wow, that's awful grammar. But the the whole point of the way I write on here is to sound the way I would if I were talking to you, so don't edit me!! (Can't help that part - I've been socializing with a bunch of writers lately and I know they will all be going crazy when they read this. But enjoy it anyway and don't complain!!)

Wow, I sound like I'm grouchy today, which I'm not. . .

ANYWAY - so I'm going to write because if I don't, I'll probably not get to it until next week. Why? Because tonight is NEBO RELAY FOR LIFE! Yay! So excited to get out there to the track and walk all night! Why? Because all these people come who really care about someone who is fighting cancer or who has lost their battle. And we all come together to CELEBRATE - REMEMBER - FIGHT BACK! It's a very humbling experience and you leave there feeling so grateful for what health you have, and for all the people in your life who you care about. There's nothing like a life crisis to help things fall into perspective.

So I will be a zombie tomorrow, and possibly all weekend, so I need to write now or I won't write at all for awhile. My life has been SO crazy! I can't even begin to say how crazy, but it seems like that phrase is starting to become a "normal" phrase for me, which is really scary. But there's nothing to do about it except go on. . . put one foot in front of the other and smile and keep going!

Speaking of, the thing that prompted me to write was a really great little video that my sister-in-law shared on her Facebook page. It's from a website called tryhappy.org and it's called "Choose Happiness". Sorry, you'll have to watch a brief commercial first. But it's worth it!

Nice, huh? I think that website will offer some really valuable insights for many people. It reminded me of why I started jumbledsunshine.com. To help people. To reach out and be myself, without fear or worry, and help others to love and accept themselves, too. No matter your personality, talents, trials, or how you fit into this world, the most important person you need to love and care for is your own self.

I'm not talking about selfishness here, I'm talking about love for who you are, who God knows you are, and gratitude for living. Quite simply - learning to be happy no matter what!

Learning To Be Happy

Notice I didn't say "being happy", I said "learning to be happy." There's a difference.

I have been very happy for most of my life, and especially jubilant for the past six months or so, but that wasn't the case last summer and fall, due to a whole host of issues, mainly some kind of chemical imbalance that took forever to figure out and fix. So I really do understand where people are coming from who struggle with anxiety or depression.

I know what you're thinking - wait - Jumbled SUNSHINE struggled with anxiety and depression?!?

I know - it doesn't seem to make sense, does it? Sounds like an oxymoron! But yes, I've struggled on and off with it occasionally throughout my life. Except I didn't know it! I've always been an extremely happy person, a very social person, a very "bubby" person, you might say. But there have been times in my life when circumstances totally overwhelming have thrown me for a loop.

Most of the time, it was just some small, short moodiness, or a bout of post-partum blues, or something like that. But last summer & fall it was full blown anxiety and panic and depression. When you sincerely can't think of a good reason to get out of bed and do anything. . . that's when you start to realize that there's something wrong.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Day 9: Books!

Guess what I'm doing today?? YEP! I'm resuming my POWER PURGE!! If you thought it would never happen again, you thought wrong! I know, too many exclamation points. But I'm excited!!!!

I love this picture! I have this really cool background on my login on hubby's HP laptop - it rotates amazing pictures of libraries from all over the world! 
Here's the plan:
  • Read Hannah's blogpost about books: http://hannahkeeley.com/blog/30-day-power-purge-day-nine
  • Watch video about decluttering your books:
  • Today's challenge is your book collection. Remember to sort your books into three piles--give away, throw away, and put away. Throw away if in shreds, give away books you no longer need, donate to library (you can write off the deduction).
  • Your extra credit is to de-clutter your magazines.
  • Your bonus is to organize your books into categories.
I love this quote: 
"It can feel overwhelming, but YOU CAN'T GO BY YOUR FEELINGS. You have to go by your commitment. That's what that timer is for. Even if you don't feel like it, just set it for fifteen minutes, that's all, and see what you can do. The hardest part is just starting the task. Once you get momentum moving, it just takes over. Before you know it, you've de-cluttered!" - Hannah Keeley

I'll check in later to tell you how it went!!


Saturday, June 8, 2013

A Beautiful Birthday at the Gardens

Yesterday we had the most wonderful day! Both my husband's birthday and mine are this week, so we thought it would be fun to spend the day doing something we've been planning for a long time, but have never made the time to do. So, we enjoyed a beautiful tour of the Thanksgiving Point Gardens.

Beautiful wooden archways at the Rose Garden.
The first thing you notice when you visit the gardens is the beautiful, peaceful atmosphere. Everything is done to perfection - from thoughtfully planted flowers, shrubs and trees, to strategically placed benches in the shade, to rest stops with bathroom facilities, water and vending snacks. But overall, the most poignant feature of this beautiful place was the peace.

Inside the Secret Garden
We hardly saw a soul during the 4 or 5 hours we spent there, with an occasional group passing us or visible across a large expanse of lawn. This is probably because we were not there during a festival or special event, and the 55 acres is so expansive, and the walkways and trees planted so well, that we felt like we had the entire place to ourselves.

Entrance to the Secret Garden - just like the movie!
We even saw a red-breasted bird hopping around, just like the one that helps Mary find the secret door!
The beautiful white stone fountain pool is the centerpiece of the Secret Garden.
We went on a Friday morning, June 7th, and arrived there about 11am. I was a little worried about the heat, because it was going to be 90 degrees by mid-day yesterday. However, there were so many trees and bushes providing shade, that my worries proved to be unfounded. We carried a water bottle with us, which I would highly recommend. There are drinking fountains here and there along the way where you can fill them up, as well as a few stops with vending machines stocked with ice cold drinks. 

I loved the little details like this gorgeous rock-hewn bench. 

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Pinterest Stress? Really?

So, I came across this article today and was flabbergasted that this is even an issue. Maybe because I've reached a certain age and experience level and I forget that others aren't there too. Not that I'm any smarter or better than anyone else, I am seriously challenged, as you all know by now! But it really saddened me that people are basing their self-esteem on external things like what they perceive others can do that they can't? Honestly, if you think about it, that's just a form of coveting. . . but I jump ahead of myself. How 'bout I share the article? Then you can go read it and see what you think.

Today Show Report:
'Pinterest stress' afflicts nearly half of moms, survey says

Here's my grade of this whole line of reasoning: 
I honestly could go on and on about this and re-post the entire thing, and write in my comments after all the little places where these women are saying things that hurt them inside. I feel so sad for them. That said, I do admire the principle that when something affects you negatively, you should remove it from your life. Very true.

But even better, how about remove the cause of the negativity? I don't think it's the website itself, it's the person's perception of what the website is about. It doesn't matter if it's in the form of a website or a magazine, or a church congregation or gym class. Wherever you are, if you spend your time comparing yourself to others and expecting yourself to live up to "being like everyone else", you will most certainly fail. Your job is to be the best YOU that you can be. At least that's how I see it.

I will say that I *love* the idea of "pinterest fail" - to show how *real* projects turn out. Sometimes they are really great, but most of the time, crafts and dinners and other things like that turn out mediocre or good at best. Not picture perfect. And guess what. . . that's okay! That's real life! That's why I posted pictures of my messy home at the end of that one weekend. . . it's just the way it is, my jumbled friends, it's real life, and guess what - it's okay! Be happy anyway!

But why am I going on about this anyway? I already wrote a comment responding to the article on the Today Show website. I hope that it's helpful to someone. I am re-posting it here for your convenience. I'd love to hear what each of you thinks about this topic!

Talk to you soon!
~ JS ~

Read the comment that I left on the Today Show article by clicking "read more" below:

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

No Time To Write. . . But Hello Anyway!

I decided that if I keep waiting for "time" to write on this blog, I will be waiting forever. Seriously, do you ever feel like your life is a runaway train and you are just scrambling to catch up? I asked a friend this question yesterday, and she said, "Is there ever a time that I *don't* feel like my life is that way?" haha - yeah, that's what it's been like around here the past several weeks!

If you have kids who are in school, you've probably noticed that the closer it gets to summer, the busier and busier things get. Even if you don't have kids, as soon as it starts to get warmer, everyone wants to be outside, playing in the sunshine, digging in the dirt, planting flowers, and getting things in order while it's still cool enough to work and play outside. With kids, you add in the end-of-the-year testing, soccer season, graduation. . .

. . .and so many interruptions that you can't finish a blog post! (I just spent the last 20 minutes answering the door and several phone calls instead of writing. . . lol) Anyway, I didn't even start to mention the *regular* stuff, like your job, your church and community responsibilities, keeping up with the house, maintaining a relationship with your spouse, and the list goes on and on. . .

Official Pomodoro Technique Timer
Click photo to purchase on Amazon.com for less than $6.00
How to cope? For me, the only way is PLANNING and using a TIMER! (And going easy on yourself when you aren't perfect, because no one is.)

Here are a few of my favorite tools & websites for you to browse, since I can't keep writing now because my timer went off!

Friday, March 29, 2013

How to Wean a Toddler from their Precious Binky. . . (or "passie", as we always called it!)

A friend asked this on Facebook, and I realized I do have a few gems to share after raising 7 children. (Although I'll admit that the more kids I had, the more I figured out how little I actually knew!) But here's a strategy that worked for us with 5 of our kids who became somewhat "binky dependent" over those first couple of years. . . I'll tell ya though, those binkies are a lifesaver!

And I know people have concerns about teeth growing crooked and yada yada yada, but out of 7 children, only two of mine so far have been candidates for braces (One is just now completing invisalign at age 19, the second will probably start sometime this year at age 16). I have seen absolutely no correlation between teeth problems and those who used binkies or not. So that's my anecdotal evidence anyway. ;)

Fer Cute! - On My Mind BPA-free Pacifiers - Available at Amazon.com
"Ok moms, I wanna know... How did you take away your baby's binky? It's only been the last few months that JW has become really, REALLY attached, because of teething. Now he has his top teeth, and I want the bink to go bye, bye." - Nellie Edmonds, Utah

Jumbled Sunshine Answer:
We used a "binky leash" to pin the passie to the pillow with a safety diaper pin. Make sure it's long enough they can lay there in bed with it and short enough that they can't get it wrapped around their neck. I made my own by braiding some yarn. This way the child can only have it at naptime and bedtime. (Just be aware that a clever toddler may start carrying the pillow around the house to have their precious binky/passie along at all time, haha! We resorted to pinning the pillow to the toddler mattress with one of our kids, haha!)

It's a good compromise - the passie is still there if they really need it emotionally, but it's a little bit of a hassle for them to go find it. This way they only use it when they really really need it the most. (Usually bedtime). Although funny thing - one of our more emotional daughters would run to her bedroom whenever she was upset and lay there sucking on her passie to comfort herself, then come back out when she was happy - it worked rather well, actually. hee hee

Anyway, after a few weeks/months of this routine, when you think the child has gotten to the point to not be totally dependent on it during the day, choose an out-of-town weekend when the binky gets "accidentally" left at home on the pillow. (You can take one hidden in your bag if you are worried about your sanity on the trip, lol.) Chances are, the child will do fine all weekend long, which is the sign that they are ready to give it up.

So - when you pull into the driveway at the end of the trip, one parents runs inside and takes the passie off the pillow. The child has likely forgotten about it after a couple days "binky-free". Worked for us. . . let's see. . . five times!

Love the "snooze button" and "volume control" ones!
So true.
On My Mind BPA-free Pacifiers - Available at Amazon.com

The worst response we ever had was a child saying, "Where passie?" when we got home. After expressing an appropriate level of surprise that it was missing (without directly lying of course, haha), I explained to the child at her own level that since she hadn't used it all weekend, it was clear that she was a big girl now and didn't need it anymore. I offered her blanket and some hugs, and that was that!

Oh yeah, I feel like the passie master right now! :D

Have a great day all you Mommies and Daddies!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Calendaring: A Critical Skill to Master

Today I only have a few minutes due to a very crazy several weeks. . . so I'll just go over one of the most basic and important items in time management - CALENDARING! It doesn't really matter if you use a wall calendar, a pocket calendar, a phone calendar, or an online calendar. But seriously . . . if your life is even a tiny bit busy, you need to use a calendar!

"But," you may ask, "How do I use a calendar?"

To those who have been calendaring for years, this may seem like a foolish question. But honestly, when did they ever teach you how to use a calendar in school? They *had* calendars in school, but did you ever really learn the properly way to utilize a calendar to keep your life sane and on schedule? I know that I wasn't taught it in all my years of school, including obtaining a bachelor's degree in college. I learned it on my own, as I assume everyone else who knows how to use a calendar does.

As a Freshman in college I realized there was no possible way to keep track of everything I needed to do unless I had a calendar/planner. My first "real" calendar (as in, one that I actually used consistently), was a simple little notebook with 7 days across a 2-page spread like this:

Here's how I used it: I simply wrote down assignments on the day they were due. So it would say, for instance: "DUE: Read Psych Ch 1". For each class, I would take the syllabus for the entire semester and write all assignments into the planner on the day they needed to be handed in. Then I would take large projects and break them down into smaller tasks, and lists those throughout the semester so they would be done on time. These can be marked with (parentheses) so that you know they are "optionally" due that day. This way, every day I could look ahead at the whole week and make sure I was doing all the homework I needed to have done for the next few days. I could also pencil in all the social activities, work schedule, and more, that needed to be listed for that particular week. It worked out really well for me as a student.

Once I became a mother and homemaker, I found that it was critical to have a wall calendar that everyone can see in a central location. Everyone's schedules have to go on it. We've used a wall calendar for the family for over 20 years, and here's a picture of the one we are currently using: 
This is the "Big Grid 2013 Wall Calendar" from calendars.com. Click on the picture to go to the full details online. They have it on sale for less than $4 right now since it's already March. So - good time to buy!

Anyway - It doesn't really matter what kind of calendar you use, as long as there is enough space in the little boxes for what your family has going on during an average day. I like this "Big Grid" calendar because it expands over the whole fold-out instead of taking up half the space with a picture. Don't get me wrong, I love picture calendars, but the squares are WAY too small. So I may hang blank pretty calendars around the house just to see what day it is, but we only put the schedule on our main kitchen calendar. You can get this "Big Grid" calendar at THIS LINK or click on the image above. 

Ideally, with a calendar like this being used by the family, you are going to only put your SCHEDULED EVENTS on it. Don't put "to-do's" or "job charts" on it, it will get too cluttered. Just list all appointments and other scheduled things that have to be done on a certain day. So, for instance, when you get the soccer schedule, put all the games and practices on the calendar. When you have a doctor appointment, write it on the calendar. If you always have a date with your husband on a certain night, put it on the calendar (use pencil if it's an activity that could be rescheduled if needed.) When you have someone ask you to do something for them such as babysit, or bring food to an activity, write it on the calendar! If you are not by your calendar, then you have to have a notebook or some kind of task app on your phone that you are committed to recording when you get home. (If you go electronic, it's helpful to put a little reminder on the phone so it will beep you when you are at home and remind you to put it on the family calendar). Either that, or ask the person call you back when you are at home in front of your calendar before you commit! This works wonders for just keeping track of those basic things that are on the schedule that you don't want to forget.

What I do right now for my calendaring system, is two-fold: I have the wall calendar for the family items, and I use a Google calendar online that happens to also sync automatically with my phone. This way, I have my own personal basic schedule always in front of me no matter where I go. Ideally, each week I take everything that's on the family calendar and enter it into my Google calendar, and vice versa. I say ideally because it doesn't always happen. I admit it! But it still greatly simplifies my life, because it's not too big of a deal if I have to check in two places. 

Once upon a time, I thought it might work better if *everyone* in the family had a Google calendar, thinking that this would replace the wall calendar. Honestly, it was a total failure because everyone in the family was sharing one or two computers. So when that phone call came with a new schedule, who wants to run over to the computer, start it up, wait for the calendar to load, then type it in? Right now, most of my teens have their own little calendars on the phones or computers, so some of them will update their Google calendars, which are all shared with everyone else in the family. However, for the most part, the main place they have to make sure they have recorded their schedules is on the family calendar. (Remember, this is not for personal scheduled things like a routine or when all the class periods are - the family calendar is just for the events that involve someone else in the family or events when they will be gone so everyone else needs to know about it. 

I'm sure someday we'll all have a little flat screen hanging on the wall that will be connected to the internet and can be used as a family calendar that is also visible on everyone's phones. As a matter of fact, the technology is already there, but it's not quite ready as far as being affordable and practical. So, for now, it seems best to me to have a paper one on the wall for the family, and have everyone use their own personal systems, then have one day per week (I like Sunday or Monday nights) for everyone to tell everyone else what's going on and make sure everything for the coming week is recorded on the family calendar. 

This works out really well because each person can fill in other types of things on their personal calendars. For instance, I keep track of my daily and weekly routines, my work schedule, meal plans, etc. These are all on my Google calendar under different "calendars" that can be kept separate in various colors on there. It works out well for me most of the time and keeps me on track so I don't get too distracted. Although, like you probably suspect, there are time periods when I will completely forget my online calendar and just fly by the seat of my pants. This is a good break for me from the tedium of a schedule, but it always ends up getting crazy so I fall back into the tried-and-true calendaring system.

Remember the most important rule about a calendar or a schedule - it is a TOOL to help you accomplish what needs to be done and help jog your memory about everything you have committed to. Use it to help yourself be organized, but don't ever make yourself a slave to the calendar. You scheduled all those appointments and you have the personal power to cancel them as well. If it's getting too busy, you may need to simply say, "I'm not going to be able to do that!" to one of your scheduled items. Have the courage. Trust me, it will make life much better so you don't end up with a nervous breakdown!

In our family, no matter what else happens, we never EVER stop using the family wall calendar. It is right there by the kitchen where everyone can see it, and the rule is *supposed to be* that if you don't write it on the calendar, don't plan on my driving you there. I have probably been a little lax on this, so the kids have gotten a little lazy about some of their schedules. But for the most part, we are pretty consistent, so the wall calendar can be trusted 95% of the time to at least have the most important items on it. This has saved me so much hassle. And when things aren't recorded, there is inevitably a scramble at the last minute to figure out rides and etc. 

SO - new habit for you? If you don't have a family wall calendar, I highly recommend you get one! Right now is a great time because everything for 2013 will be discounted since it's already the end of March. I like to order from calendars.com because they have a large variety of choices. Just don't get too caught up in the pictures so you end up forgetting to get something that will actually be useful!

That's it for today my jumbled friends! Talk to you again real soon. . . Have a fantabulous day!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Book Preview: The Art of Homemaking

It's all fine and good to be spontaneous and have fun, and I hope I never lose that, but at the same time, it is a constant life-long battle to keep focused and organized so that something can get done! Ever felt that way?

Yeah, I thought so. Me too. When I was a new Mom, I came across this great old book that helped me in so many ways:
The Art of Homemaking by Daryl V. Hoole (1962)

I don't know where I got it or when, but I'm so glad I did, because it was a great teaching tool for me back in 1992, when I was a young mother and a college student trying to figure out how to balance all of my responsibilities. While out of date by modern standards, this book was my first peek into home management and how to stay organized so that things could run smoothly despite the unpredictability of parenthood and life in general. Besides the great time-tested true principles talked about in this book, there are some adorable pictures that I just have to share:
Haha - Do you ever feel like this in the morning?? Me? Let's see: #1 - yes, a lot. And #2 - occasionally!

Here's another one that I love:
Haha, laying on the couch eating bon-bons! Unfortunately that's what a lot of people think homemakers do all day. But if you have been a stay-at-home Mom of babies, toddlers or preschoolers, you know better! If you did do this (and if the kids would let you for even a minute, you would seriously pay for it later - totally not worth it.) Don't ask me how I know that, hee hee. 

Most women who are even giving a half-hearted effort won't be seen doing anything remotely like this during the day. Besides, does she really look like she's enjoying herself? Don't think so. Here's the contrasting picture:
Hahaha! There. That's better! Look at all those happy people. Especially the lady with the broom, hee hee.

Okay, this one is probably more like how I feel much of the time, and I'm suspecting you too:
Oh no! How to get it all done!?
But isn't this drawing great? It brings to mind all the adventures of Lucille Ball.
The poor woman's like, "Oh my! Where do I even start?"

This one's just the best:
Thank goodness for the modern washing machine! Now she can wear her heels, makeup, cute little dress and apron and still get the laundry done without a hitch!

Okay, so that might be a stretch for how most of us look these days, whether doing laundry or not! But isn't it fun to see the pictures? And doesn't it just inspire you a little bit to do better with your job, whether at work or home or church? It does me.

This book was my lifeline as a young woman who had just quit her full-time job and full-time student life to become a stay-at-home Mom. What in the world was I going to do all day? Haha - those days are long gone, with 5 busy teenagers and 2 gradeschoolers, I never have to wonder what I am going to do all day anymore. Instead, what I have to figure out is what should I do today, and choose from all the many things that I could do today.

In my next post, I'm going to go into the basics of taking charge of your schedule and how to find what works for you. I've found that no matter how I "change it up" over the years, success always comes down to a few basic principles, as taught quite well in "The Art of Homemaking". Here's a sneak peek at a few of them:

  • Make a basic daily/weekly schedule.
  • Keep an updated calendar and look at it every morning!
  • Create routines that are realistic and stick to them until they are a habit.
  • If it's not working, tweak it, but don't throw out the baby with the bath water!
  • Reward yourself for doing things right.
  • Don't get down on yourself for not being perfect.
  • Take a day off now and then. Seriously. Do.
So, until then, my jumbled friends . . . enjoy this final thought for the day:
Just do it!

Monday, March 4, 2013

When Disaster Strikes. . . Or Does It?

I've decided to write a post today to make everyone feel better about their lives and homes. This is going to take a lot of courage, because we all go through this life trying to put our "best foot forward" and keep our struggles and weaknesses to ourselves. That is a good strategy in many ways. It is helpful for forming relationships, getting a job, "keeping up with the Joneses" and many other things. But it has a destructive side too.

When we think that everyone around us has a "perfect" life, and only see the parts of other people's lives that make them look amazing, we can get quite discouraged. And it's especially destructive because what we are seeing from the "outside" is not usually the truth at all. In fact, it very seldom is the entire story.

I was having a discussion about this the other day with a couple of friends, and it was very therapeutic for everyone in the conversation to realize that we were all "normal", and that we didn't need to hide behind this wall of perfection just so others would accept us.

That said, there is a time and place for everything. No one wants to hang around someone who brings them down or makes them feel sorry for them. No one likes to hear someone complain all the time. At the same time, no one wants to be around someone who is always bragging either. In fact, as in many many things in this life, there is one extreme on the right and one extreme on the left, and the truth lies somewhere in between.

And so, for the sake of truth and encouragement, I am going to show you some pictures of what my house looks like this morning, after a very fun weekend (gulp). Yeah. I am. Everyone knows that a picture is worth a thousand words, right? And after all, I'm short on time this morning, so here goes. . .

The Den. . . 

The Family Bathroom. . .

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Day 8: Toys and Board Games!

Surprise! A post about the 30-Day Power Purge! YAY!! You thought I'd finally given up, didn't you? Not me! I'm back again to show you that "by small and simple things are great things brought to pass; and small means in many instances doth confound the wise." (Book of Mormon, Alma 37:6)

Lesson learned: Taking little baby steps moves you forward, no matter how slow of a pace you take, and no matter how many times you fall down. "Just take two steps forward and one step back, and you'll go a long, long way." (see the music values series for children: "Standin' Tall by Janeen Brady") But enough philosophizing. . . 

I know your next question: "Why is there a picture of the "Leaning Tower of Pisa" at the beginning of this blog post? Answer: Read on to find out!! Isn't that fun? A mystery! hee hee.

I will be honest about this - I have been avoiding the Power Purge: Day 8 Challenge like the plague! And yet at the same time, I was really excited about the day that I would finally have the COURAGE to tackle it! Now, luckily for me, I didn't have to worry about TOYS, because at my house, well, we really just don't have a lot of toys left. Since my kids range in age from 8 to 20, we don't have a toy room anymore, just a little basket of preschool-type toys for kids who visit, plus a few miscellaneous toys in the rooms of my two youngest. 

So - my focus has been, and still is, THE GAMES. "May the odds be always in your favor!" (random thought, sorry!) So anyway, this "week" is the "day" to re-organize the board games! I say "week" instead of "day" because, you see, after 20 years of buying, gathering, playing, organizing, storing, putting away, scattering, destroying, fixing, re-organizing, and playing some more, our board games have gotten a little rough around the edges! But I knew we needed to organize them again - we've needed to ever since our last move. We've made a few attempts at getting them organized again, but never back into good shape in a place that really makes sense. 

Now in my defense, here's what happened: Years ago, I got all the board games really well organized with these little containers according to the system taught in Christy Youd's "Organize Your Home in 10 Minutes A Day" (see "Board Game Organization System" below), but then the when we moved to California in 2008, the games cabinet they were all stored in literally fell apart! Yeah. Really. (It was one of those cheap fiber-board cabinets that looks really great on display at the store, but cracks if you slide it wrong across the floor - you know the type.) 

Anyway, when we moved back to Utah in 2009 (yeah, I know it was only one year, that is a long story for another day), I put all the game containers in a closet in the basement that I thought would be relatively convenient, but apparently it wasn't, because the games rarely got used, except just enough to get taken out a couple dozen times and completely mixed up. And due to a multitude of health issues over the next several years (another long story for another day), I just never had the energy to even walk down the stairs, much less think about re-organizing the games. SO - that's my excuse. 

Enough about the excuse! On to victory!!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Content Filtering Using Your Wireless Router

This is such great information. I found out that just using the wireless router that I already have installed in my home, I can login to the settings and block certain categories to keep my kids safe from pornography and other harmful stuff! And it works not just on one computer, but all ALL the devices in your home that use the wireless internet through that router. devices! 

It's a little techie to set up, but not too bad. The hardest part is figuring out how to login to your router. I learned how to do mine from my brother-in-law, you basically enter the "URL" of your router into your address bar, then put in your password and open it up.

Once you get into your router settings, everything else is pretty easy to figure out. If you don't get it right away, do a little googling to figure it out, or send me a note and I'll see if I can help you. 

It's SO worth it to find this out - you can actually see every website opened by anyone using your wireless router, in real time. So you can make sure no one is browsing in the middle of the night, or see if your teen is really doing their chores or watching Netflix on their phone, hee hee (not that any of my kids would ever do that of course. . . .) 

Now remember, my jumbled friends, that with authority and power comes responsibility. As parents we need to balance our desire to keep our children safe with our respect for them as individuals, and trust as much as we can, only checking up when they give us reason to not trust them. And let them know you are doing it. That's my philosophy - be open with the kids about why you are restricting certain things and then LISTEN to their feedback. Depending on the age and maturity level of your child, there may be some things that you would automatically restrict without realizing that they are actually quite enjoyable for your child and not harmful like you assumed. So - LISTEN, LISTEN, LISTEN!

Here's some great counsel on the subject:

"We have learned by sad experience that it is the nature and disposition of almost all men, as soon as they get a little authority, as they suppose, they will immediately begin to exercise unrighteous dominion. . . . No power or influence can or ought to be maintained . . . only by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned; By kindness, and pure knowledge, which shall greatly enlarge the soul without hypocrisy, and without guile— Reproving betimes with sharpness, when moved upon by the Holy Ghost; and then showing forth afterwards an increase of love toward him whom thou hast reproved, lest he esteem thee to be his enemy; That he may know that thy faithfulness is stronger than the cords of death." 
~ (Doctrine and Covenants 121:39-44)

Thursday, February 21, 2013

It Runs in the Family. . .

Conversation between my 19yo daughter and I at midnight . . .

ugh! you're still awake too! tsk tsk!

hee hee....I was just trying to post this "Little Shop of Horrors" story I'd written awhile ago onto FB....
but I had to quickly edit/add some errors....
it took longer than I thought....

Yeah, I was doing the same thing. . . on jumbled sunshine

haha! It runs in the family!
There's your post for later.

Huh?? It's my post for right now. . .
OH. . . I get it. . . this needs to be on Jumbled Sunshine!

I don't think this needs too much more explanation. :D

To check out my daughter Jessica's current blog, visit: healthyhabitsjourneyofalifetime.blogspot.com

[Update 10/29/14 - Visit Jessica's newest role-playing site (still in progress) here: http://roleplaycafe.blogspot.com/]

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The Joy of Finding Yourself

Source: upwardgaze.tumblr.com via Erika on Pinterest

And sometimes it hits you out of nowhere,
That you love being Jumbled Sunshine!
And you're so glad you didn't succeed,
At changing yourself into someone else,
Despite many years of trying.

Follow Jumbled Sunshine on Pinterest at www.pinterest.com/jumbledsunshine

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Day 10: Family Entertainment

Okay, for Power Purge Day 10, the challenge was to take care of the DVD's, videos, CD's and computer games in your home and get them organized. I did a little bit on this, but not too much, because this is an area that was in pretty good shape already (yay!) Over the years, our family has used various systems for organizing our family entertainment paraphernalia - some with more success than others, lol - so here's a quick overview of a couple of the things we've tried - plus what is working for us right now.

Luckily for me, the videos have been done several times over the past couple of years, because one of my daughters got really motivated one weekend and labeled everything. So - she arranged them with typed labels right on the side of the videos so we didn't need to mess with cases (more on that later) - so the videos were all ready pretty much done. Yay!
Christianna's  Labeling system - no cases to worry about! So nice for little ones. 
But here's the funny part: We don't have a working VCR in our house. hahahaha! Yes, it's true! So we have all these neatly organized videos and no way to watch them! Because of this, I have decluttered quite a few more, especially because with Netflix and YouTube and Dish Network, we don't have much need for videos anymore, so I tend to just keep our very most favorites. Each time we re-organize, I get rid of more and more of them. All the preschool types have been given to my niece who lives nearby, and many others have been sent to the local donation place.

I know your next question - if I don't have a working VCR, why am I keeping any videos at all? I guess I just can't quite let them go - too many memories of my family when everyone was little. :) And honestly, I am planning to get a VCR just for watching these few precious videos - I thought we could probably find a decent one on Ebay or something - do they even sell VCR's in the stores anymore? I guess they probably do, but I assume it's not super common, because I never see them anymore. Just another thing to add to the to-do list. :P

Enough about videos. On to the DVD's, CD's, and computer games! This task was mostly part of our Day 11: Office challenge as well, since we had a lot of the computer & audio CD's stored in there and we decluttered them when we were moving things out for my nephew to use that room.

I have a bunch of different organizing systems for discs, so here's how I handled it - I put all the computer games in a CD organizer that I purchased a few years ago, it's a pretty neat idea by "Discgear" - here's a link & picture:
Discgear 3700-09M Selector 100 - Silver

This is a pretty awesome little organizer, you will have to check it out. You can even keep an inventory of all your CD's/DVD's on the internet with their program. However, I decided not to do that. Why?

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Consistency May Not Be the Rule - But it Does Have a Place

Okay, so up until now I've mostly written about my tendency to jump from one project or idea to another, but I haven't given many details about the things that I'm either naturally consistent on, or that I've learned to be consistent on because they are so important.

Especially with a mind that loves to think of new things and maybe has trouble focusing for long on one thing, I've found it's so important to create little rules, routines & schedules for myself, even if I don't follow them perfectly. Because of my hard efforts over several decades, there are a handful of things that I have become very consistent on that I believe are the foundation from which my family and I can thrive. This is despite the undisciplined periods in between!
  • Family Scripture Study - Early morning before school and each evening before bed
  • Family Prayer - Morning and night
  • Christmas Traditions - I could go on and on about these, but I'll do that next winter. :)
  • Family Meal Time - We try to eat dinner together at least half the time, even with crazy schedules
  • Be at the Crossroads - This to me means being there when the kids are leaving and coming each day, so I am there to greet them and send them off. (See "To the Mothers in Zion" by Ezra Taft Benson)
  • Supporting Clubs and Organizations - like Cub Scouts - these types of organizations help us in the challenging job of raising our families and teaching them how to be good citizens.
These are just a couple of ideas that I've listed - there are hundreds of little things that could be mentioned that are valuable for keeping a family on track. What are some of the traditions and routines your family follows to make sure you keep your life manageable?

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Jumbled Sunshine to the Rescue!

Thanks to Jessica for becoming my personal artist! This is just what this blog needed. . . yay! 

My personality captured brilliantly by Jessica Ward. :)

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Day 17: Shoes!

Okay so I know I haven't written for a few days - but here's the important part - I did another decluttering challenge! Yep, that's right. I did it on. . . Thursday I think? Wow I feel so ridiculous admitting to my inconsistency. But hey, if no one ever admits to it, we'll all feel like we're alone, right? So guess what - YOU ARE NOT ALONE! No one is perfect, we are all just doing our best and we have successes and failures - that's OKAY.

So here's the challenge I did - my shoes! Here's my picture just to prove what I did:

GORGEOUS! Right?? hahaha! Yes! And *all* the other shoes have been sent to D.I. (or they are lost under a bed somewhere. . . ) But truly, every shoe that was tossed on the floor in this closet was either decluttered into a donation box, or lined up neatly on this lovely little shoe shelf thingie that my most awesome hubby Lonny made for me a couple years ago. Nice.

And it was really fun because I got a bonus out of it! I'll give you a clue - it's in the picture!!

Read on to find out what it was. . .

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Great Quote: "Setbacks Happen"

"Setbacks happen. But you've got to stay positive and learn to roll in another direction. Understand that success is never a straight curve going up a graph. It's got plenty of dips in it. True success is not measured by how well you stay on task, but by how you act when you get off task and how quickly you can pull yourself back." ~Hannah Keeley

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Day 11: Home Office (Part 2)

Okay, so today I DID do something on my decluttering challenge! See, I *can* be dependable and consistent! Thought you had me there, didn't ya? Not a chance! Ah-hahahahaha. . . (don't know how to write it, so imagine a wicked cackling sound there, lol . . . )

Here's what I did: I went through all the challenges that I haven't done over the past 10 days or so and organized my to-do's for each challenge day so far onto my Kanban Flow chart. If you are interested in being invited to this board so you can use my check-off lists, send me your email address here: jumbledsunshine@gmail.com and I will be happy to add you. You just have to promise to READ THE INSTRUCTIONS in the left column before you copy any of the challenges to your own color/name. (This will all make sense after you join and read the instructions!)

Anyway, the reason I did this was because I'm a visual person and I need a way to check off what I've done and keep track of what I haven't done. I found Kanban Flow several weeks ago when I was on my quest to find the best time management software. I really like it for something like this - a major project that has a lot of different parts) - it's been very handy! Oh and did I mention the best part about Kanban Flow? It is combined with the Pomodoro method! So you have a timer that you connect to each task as you are doing it. So awesome!

Join the Conversation!

I'd love to have you connect up with me on social media. For a list of all the places where we can connect online, visit: www.jumbeldsunshine.com/p/social.html. I'd love to get to know you, see your channel, your page, your social media stuff that you're doing out there. I just love learning and meeting people and connecting with people, so I'm excited to get to know you. ~JS~ 🌞