Overstuffed Overstuffed

Monday, October 12, 2015

How Full is Your "Mom Account?"

Being a mom takes a lot out of a girl. You've got to make sure that Mom Account is fully funded! #overstuffedlife

I get pretty cranky with my kids around bedtime. I have even been known to tell them that I can't be a mom after 9:00 pm because I'm off duty. Some days are worse than others, and I think I've finally figured out why.

Sometimes I'm just too depleted to be a mom.

I like to think that I have a "Mom Account." And each thing I do throughout the day counts as either a deposit or a withdrawal into that account. That's why some bedtimes are so much harder than others—my account sometimes gets overdrawn, and then my kids don't get the best of me (or any of me at all).

Related: Dear Moms—It's Okay to Take Time For Yourself!

How full my account is depends on the choices I make.

This afternoon I had to drive my daughter to her orthodontist appointment. That may not sound like a very big deal, but our orthodontist is a two hour drive each way. For obvious reasons, I make these appointments on my days off of work, and then I get really resentful that I have to spend almost an entire day devoted to the bleeping orthodontist when I could be getting so much done at home.

Tulle Witch Wreath for Halloween

Make this adorable tulle Halloween wreath in under an hour! It's easy to make and the supplies are inexpensive. #overstuffedlife

I recently wrote about how I wasn't so sure I wanted to go all out decorating for Halloween this year. I'm still not sure I want to, but Sophia took care of that for me! I was going to be totally fine having this adorable witch wreath I made in September take care of the entire Halloween decor for me! It has the place of honor on my front door and I love seeing it every day when I come home.

Making tulle Halloween wreaths are one of my favorite ways to add new October decor around my house because they are easy to make and pretty inexpensive.  (See other tulle Halloween wreaths I have made: Happy Halloween Tulle Wreath and Black Tulle Halloween Wreath.) This "witchy" tulle Halloween wreath only took me a couple episodes of my favorite show to make and was a fun way to keep my hands busy while I watched.

Make this adorable tulle Halloween wreath in under an hour! It's easy to make and the supplies are inexpensive. #overstuffedlife

I got the idea for this wreath from those cute witches you see around that have crashed into houses. I decided not to include a broom, but I still love the way my little witch wreath turned out!

To make this wreath you'll need the following supplies:

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Making the Most of Your Family Scripture Study

How to make the most of family scripture study. Ideas to make scripture reading more effective for kids in every age group. #overstuffedlife

Tonight Bria and Chloe and I went on a teaching appointment with the missionaries. They are teaching a girl that is a year ahead of Bria in high school, and it was such a great experience for my girls to be in on a missionary discussion. They got the chance to share parts of their testimonies and I am pretty sure they learned a lot from the lesson, too.

The lesson the missionaries were giving was about scripture study. I must admit, I learned (or at least was reminded of) quite a lot, too. Basically, I realized that we aren't doing enough with family scripture study at our house, even though we do it pretty faithfully each morning.

I thought of a few ways we have been more successful in the past, and ways that we can be more successful now that the kids are older. I also know that when we are faithfully reading our sciptures together as a family our home is much happier than when we aren't.

Scripture study for children who aren't reading yet

Saturday, October 10, 2015

40 Conversation Starters For Kids {Free Printable}

When you're in the car with your kids, you have a captive audience. Make the most of it with these 40 conversation starters! #overstuffedlife

I don't know about you, but we spend an awful lot of time in our car. As soon as the kids get home from school we are jumping in the car to go to dance and music lessons, cross country practices and meets, and all kinds of other things. The older they get, the busier they get, and short of forbidding them to be well-rounded, I can't do much about it.

Usually, the girls are turning on the radio to their favorite Top 40 station before I've even put the car into gear. And while sometimes we're all happier just rocking out to some Uptown Funk or whatever else is popular at the moment, I wish the radio weren't on so darn much.

It's hard to find time to talk to my kids. 

When they're home, they're busy. And when they're not home, well, they're not home! Sometimes those moments in the car driving them to their various activities is the only real time I have to check in with them and see how they are doing. And once we're finished with the "How was your day today?" and "What did you do at school?" sorts of topics, we're done.

I want more.

Friday, October 09, 2015

12 Beloved Books to Read Aloud With Your Children

Looking for something to read to your kids? Why not look at all the classic books you loved as a child, plus a few newer ones that are destined to become classics?

It's no secret that I love to read and that we read a lot at our house. This past summer I worked on getting back into the habit of reading out loud to my girls. I love reading to them. We have such great conversations and cuddles and it's one of the best ways I know to improve your relationship with your kids. Now that we have been back in school, reading out loud has fallen off again as we adjust to the craziness of after-school lessons and sports and getting homework done in the evening. It's already all we can do to get in bed in time to almost get all the sleep they need.

But I want to do better. I've been thinking of all the books I have loved as a child and I want to make sure we read some of those together this year. I've also been remembering that when I do read to the girls at night, they are much easier to get settled and to sleep. It's a great way to kill two birds with one stone—getting enough sleep and getting enough reading time.

Tonight I went through the bookshelves to grab a bunch of my favorites. There ended up being 12 total, so my goal is to get through one per month for the next year. In my humble opinion, a home where books are read often is a very happy home!

12 Books to Read to Your Kids:

October 2015 Visiting Teaching Printable

I've been so busy working on my 31 Days to a Happier Home series that I completely forgot to post the Visiting Teaching Printable for this month! Well, we still have 3/4 of the month left, so hopefully it isn't too late.

This month's Visiting Teaching message is Divine Attributes of Jesus Christ: Filled With Charity and Love. I used the quote by President Monson, but not for the reasons you might think. What I got out of the lesson is that I need to have more charity and love for myself. I need to stop allowing myself to be easily offended by my own shortcomings and weaknesses and start practicing more self-acceptance.

Speaking of President Monson, I was filled with love for him as I watched him in General Conference. His message for us was so important that he endured through some great difficulties physically in order to deliver it to us. I know he is filled with love for us as a people. I'm thankful for a living prophet!

Free printable download for the October 2015 Visiting Teaching Message: The Divine Attributes of Jesus Christ—Filled With Charity and Love. #overstuffedlife
To download the visiting teaching printable, click here:

Thursday, October 08, 2015

5 Good Reasons You Need a Budget

No matter how much money you make, budgeting is necessary. Here are 5 good reasons you definitely need a budget. #overstuffedlife

I've written before about our budget, but what I did not write about is how we totally and completely fell off of the budgeting bandwagon last year. Life got crazy and stressful, and we slowly stopped entering in our expenditures and balancing the checkbook. We slowly stopped having budget planning meetings. We slowly stopped being careful about what we were spending and very quickly found ourselves back in the predicament of living paycheck to paycheck.

The more time passed that we didn't get back on track, the more overwhelming the whole idea of getting back on track became. Life didn't get any less stressful, and our finances became a heckuva lot more stressful.

We were so stupid to let that go on for more than a couple weeks, but we did.

We went without a budget for over a year.

I look back on that time now and I could just kick myself! What were we thinking? We weren't thinking, actually. That's just the problem. We kept talking about how we needed to sit down together and start all over, but we didn't make it top priority, and we continued to wing it with our finances.

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

How Much Sleep Does Your Family Really Need?

If you and your kids are cranky, you may not be getting enough sleep. Find out the sleep recommendations for each age group. #overstuffedlife
The other morning Sophia was having an emotional meltdown before school. In fact, I could probably write that sentence on any given day because on most mornings Sophia has an emotional meltdown before school. Usually it's because she is feeling rushed (the bus comes awfully early), and she doesn't like The Maestro and me nagging at her to get her before school tasks done.

On the particular morning I am thinking of, she didn't want to brush her teeth. She was in full blown meltdown mode—if you have a 4th grade daughter, perhaps you are familiar with it—which meant she wasn't listening, she wasn't being reasonable, and she was crying. A lot.

I couldn't take it anymore and I snapped. I yelled at her to get herself into the bathroom and brush her teeth and to stop throwing a fit. Needless to say, my yelling did nothing to help the situation—all I did was exacerbate it.

Funny enough, this post is not about how to deal with tantruming children without melting down yourself.

This post is about how to prevent the tantrums in the first place.

And when I say tantrums, I mean tantrums of both the child and adult variety.