Thursday, January 31, 2013

You CAN Do It...One Step at a Time!

Many people have told me that no matter how hard they try they just never will be organized.  I suppose that could be true for some people, but I'd like to believe that it is true only for the minority, not the majority, of disorganized people!  

Where do you begin?  That is the real question.  Is it possible that your entire life is in utter chaos?  If that is so, and I really hope not, then maybe you need to start by organizing and/or beefing up your prayer life.  Let God help you to see where you need to start.

What if, instead, you could just point to one area of your life that is totally out of control?  Let's say you homeschool and you have the schooling thing under control but can't seem to reign in the house or the meals.  Pick the worse of the two and start there.  Once you have that under control, move onto the next one.  Rome was not built in a day and your life is not going to be entirely organized in one fell swoop either.  You must not let that defeat you, however!  

I'm the kind of person who likes things done RIGHT NOW.  Unfortunately something like this takes time and patience.  When I look back I realize that it took me years to put all my "systems" in place.  Some of them weren't even possible until my kids got older.  What we can accomplish now has a lot to do with years of trial and error, growing and maturing children, and lots of patience. 

So, what can you do? First of all it probably wouldn't be a bad idea to get "A Plan for Joy in the Home".  Or, if you've already gotten it and haven't read it yet, then get it back out!  Read through it and then really look at your life and see what the major areas are that are getting you down.  Decide what needs to be done to make you feel better about those areas and then, using the worksheets and ideas in the book, make your plan.  Don't tackle everything at once and don't expect to be done in a week!  

Here's an idea...Lent is coming up.  Pick one area that you need to organize better and then make that one of your Lenten resolutions.  If you're at a loss as to where to start, start with your prayer life!  That's always a good way to go.  

Keep plugging along and take it one day at a time.  It IS possible.  It ISN'T easy but the rewards are worth all of the blood, sweat and tears that you'll put into it.  I'm always glad to help in anyway that I can :)

God Bless!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

Just one more March picture.  I don't have too many pics of these two together!!!
Although I just realized that I put my watermark on here but I didn't take the picture.  Thanks to whoever did!

God Bless!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The Lego Adventure..

The evening plans hung in the balance, a constant monitoring of the radar to indicate if the storms that were predicted would actually come to fruition.  A last minute decision would have to be made...would we still go to the Lego Store to use the Christmas gift cards or not????

We needed to leave by 4:30 because we would first be taking Ms 17 yo to her ballet class.  It was 4:10 when I realized that Ms 20 yo was in bed, asleep, because of a bad headache brought on by the approaching weather.  Hmmm, it was her turn to make dinner.

Quickly, with no time to spare because we were going to make a dash for it through the rain drops and to the car in 20 minutes, I called all available hands to the kitchen to chop, saute, pour and stir; we had a pot of soup to put together before we left.

In 20 minutes everything was in the pot and beginning to warm.  The bread was almost done in the machine and jackets and shoes were on; we were ready to go.  The rain wasn't too horrible as we began our journey.  We reached our ballet destination no worse for the wear, but looked warily at the clouds up above.  As we turned onto the road we needed to be on, the rain became more persistent, so much so that within a few miles I really couldn't see where the road was.  You know, nighttime, hard rain, oncoming lights...they don't make for a good combination with my eyes.  Finally I called it quits and turned the car around, announcing that no Lego was worth all of this.

Mr 7 yo said he was disappointed.  "You know, Mom, this is really the first time I've ever been heartbroken."  Really?  Thanks, son.  My response, "Well, son, could YOU see the road ahead of us?"  "No, so I guess it's okay.  There is always tomorrow night!"  Son, we live in the Midwest.  Tomorrow it is supposed to snow!

God Bless!

Friday, January 25, 2013

7 Quick Takes January 25 2012

--- 1 ---

So it is here...the March for Life commemorating 40 years of legalized abortion.  40 years...what a biblical number.  Did anyone else notice that today is also the feast of the Conversion of St. Paul.  You know, bright lights, voice from Heaven, knock him off his horse type conversion.  Think it all means anything?

--- 2 ---

Why is it that all day I had more than 7 things I wanted to include here but now, as I type, I can remember none of them?  Pre-menopause brain-fog...that is why!

--- 3 ---

I've had laryngitis for a week now and, no, my husband and children aren't excited.  In fact, we're all quite ready for this to be over as everyone is tired of me sounding like Batman.  School has been a pain; I had to call on Ms 17 and Ms 18 yo to be substitute teachers at the beginning of the week.  I really just want my voice back so that I can belt out those songs from the "Les Mis" CD Ms 17 yo got for her birthday this week.  I suppose then they'll all be hoping I lose it again :)

--- 4 ---

I often wish I had time to just sit on the couch and read a good book.  You know, a comfortable couch where I'm sitting, casually sipping my coffee and reading a great story.  Unfortunately when I do get my hands on a good book there's nothing casual about it.  I have a tendency to devour a book, doing pretty much nothing until it is finished.  Before you know it I'm done with the book and my life is in chaos because I've ignored everything.  As a matter of fact, this very thing happened to me this week...300+ page book in 24 hours.  Done.  Over.  No reading that one at a casual pace.  It is a very frustrating habit!
--- 5 ---

The girls just ordered some new soap fragrances in time for Valentine's Day.  They aren't in yet, but rumor has it there will be soaps with names like:  Strawberry Shortcake, Pink Sugar, Lavender, Sweet Pea and Honeysuckle.  Keep an eye out, they should be in in about a week!

--- 6 ---

February is looming right around the corner.  A big, scary monster of a month.  February is usually the hardest month to homeschool around here.  Cabin fever, moaning and complaining, all that kind of stuff.  It usually isn't pretty.  Does this happen to you?  How do you combat it?  While I'd like to plan a month long vacation to Hawaii, it ain't gonna happen so somehow I need to plan ahead and fight it off before it gets here.  Any ideas?

--- 7 ---

I'll leave you with my current favorite song!
For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

God Bless!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Exercise - It's a Beautiful Thing :)

Over the years I've come to realize that it takes a lot to be a mom.  It takes a lot to have a big family.  It takes a lot to homeschool.  It takes a lot to be a good Catholic in the world we live in today.  I've also realized that I can't do any of it well if I'm not at the top of my game.

All those times of being pregnant or sleep deprived with a baby, all the times I've been sick or recuperating from a surgery; those are tough times and they make it almost impossible to do anything but survive.  Fortunately, those times have been temporary.  Most days my biggest hurdle is getting enough sleep.

One important thing that has helped me, besides getting to bed earlier, is getting some exercise.  I know I've mentioned it before, but this past year we've all really been focusing on getting in shape - getting myself and those kids off the couch and into some real physical workouts.

There have been some ups and downs, and not just in my weight, but I'd say that overall we have all seen improvements in the way we look and feel.  I definitely have more energy and my body doesn't have as many aches and pains.  I struggle with sciatica and I've noticed that when I exercise, as long as I don't overdo it, my leg doesn't hurt as much.

Currently we all are involved in this exercise program.  My DH gets up first and does his workout.  I think he's crazy, but he gets up before 5:00 so he can get it done.  Then, around 6:00 am, three of the kids get up (their own choice!) and do the workout.  Myself and two of the other kids usually work out in the afternoon and the two littlest ones just got a fun hip hoppy type exercise video that they've started doing.

I have to say that it has made a difference in how we all feel.  In addition, we have something in common to complain about at dinner!  How fun is that?  Not only are we all feeling better and getting into shape, but we're building family unity at the same time :)

I pray that we can keep going the way we've been going.  Usually when big things like this happen (and this is BIG, believe me!), it usually is a piece of a the bigger puzzle.  Maybe we'll have to flee someday and it will help that we're in shape...I know, crazy.  Anyhow, I'm thankful that we've gotten as far as we have.

God Bless!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

God Bless!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

40 Years of Roe V Wade

It is so hard to believe that abortion has been legal for so long.  It is so wonderful to see so many of the youth embracing the pro-life movement.  As the children get older, there is so much more we can do to help.   For years, my role in the pro-life movement was having babies!  Now that these babies are growing, we can pray together, protest together, help to spread the message together. 

This year we're sending two of our daughters to the March.  It would be so nice to all go together, but the finances never seem to be there.  Ms 17 yo has never gotten to go because today, this anniversary, is her birthday and the March has always been over her birthday.  This is the first time since she was old enough to go that she can be at home to celebrate and still make the March.

Speaking of celebrating, this date is always so bitter-sweet for us.  Yes we abhor abortion and want to make reparation on this day,  BUT it is also a day for us to celebrate as we welcomed our third daughter into the world 17 years ago.  

Father told us the Bishops have called for prayer and fasting today and so we will go to Mass, pray our rosary and try to fast from something, all the while celebrating the wonderful life that was given to us.

 God Bless!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Catholic Woman's Almanac

 Linking up with the ladies at Suscipio!

Moments of Gratitude:

* A good book to read
* My wonderful hubby and daughters who picked up the slack while I devoured this book
* A busy day on Friday but the peace to go from one event to the next without tension.

Beauty in the Ordinary:

Getting back into the rhythm of the ordinary times:  Mass, school, a few activities, chores, exercise, responsibilities, prayers.  It is good to have some repetition in life.  Right now I am at peace in it.

Listening to:

Ms 16 yo discuss history with two of her siblings because I lost my voice on Friday night and have yet to get it back :)  I'm also listening to "One More Day" from Les Mis constantly playing in the back of my mind.  It is such a beautiful song that I can't seem to get it to leave.

In the Kitchen:

Frozen chicken.  It was supposed to be taken out and defrosted so that it could get into the crock pot in a timely fashion today, but that didn't happen.  On to plan B.  This morning I also had to get up and make a coffee cake because the cranberry bread forgot to make itself last night.  Oh what a good book will do to the best of intentions :)

Looking Ahead:  

This week two of my daughters will be heading off to the March for Life.  This is something we all want to do together some day, but alas it is still not meant to be.  I'm glad, and a bit nervous, that they are getting the opportunity to go.  They will be with the yellow group for those of you who have been there and know what I am talking about!


For so many people who are in need of so many things.  It truly is overwhelming at times.  Praying for the safety for all of the people traveling to the March and for their safety while at the March.  Praying that all of their efforts will continue to have a positive impact on society.


Just finished previewing a great novel that will be released later this Spring.  I still have yet to start Fulton Sheen's autobiography, but continue to plug away at St. Francis de Sales.  I just love they way they wrote so formally back then! 


God Bless!

Friday, January 18, 2013

7 Quick Takes January 18 2012

--- 1 ---
This week I've spent my "free" time processing the pictures I took at our annual Father Daughter Ball from last weekend.  This is my favorite event of the year as it is so much fun and everyone looks marvelous.  Because I love it so much, I'm going to share a bunch of pictures with y'all this week :)  Get ready for a ton of loveliness! 
--- 2 ---

These guys are two of my favorites every year.  This little girl is so cute my camera can't stand it :)
--- 3 ---

We did things a little different this year.  We tried a new venue, more elegant looking decorations and had moms do the serving.  Here is one of our lovely moms serving appetizers!
--- 4 ---

Every family gets introduced and then gets to give Our Lady a rose.  Here's our own little Rosebud giving the flower to Our Lady of Guadalupe, the patroness of our homeschool group.

--- 5 ---

Dancing is the highlight of the evening and we always do a number of group dances every year.  This one is our standard Jewish dance.  Honestly, I don't know if it really is, but that's what they call it :)
--- 6 ---

This has to be their second favorite part of the evening...taking group photos.  We have the formal (above) and the not so formal.

--- 7 ---

Hope you enjoyed the pics.  Have a very blessed and safe weekend!  
For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Grab Your Spiritual Weapon!

With all that is going on in this country right now, many people are talking about grabbing their weapons and hanging on tight to them.  So much is at stake that you better be sure to grab your spiritual weapon, too:  the rosary.

The rosary is such a powerful weapon that it must not be forgotten, and even if rosaries get outlawed, you'll still have your ten fingers!  How good God is that He even made it easy for us to keep track of the decades without needing something tangible.

I belong to a mom's group on facebook and the topic of praying the rosary came up.  It is always so wonderful to see how and when other moms pray.  There were so many interesting ideas and ways in which busy moms make sure that they get their decades in every day.

In our house, we pray the rosary as a family every night.  Sometimes it's ugly, sometimes people fall asleep (okay, usually it is the same person, but we won't name names :), sometimes kids get admonished for not participating or for playing with Legos, and yes, it can be hard, but we do it!

Many times we take advantage of being in the car together without many distractions, other than driving, of course.  We pray the rosary on the way to church on Sunday morning.  Our drive is long enough that we are usually finishing as we pull into the parking lot.

Some of the other moms in the group talked about how their spouses aren't Catholic and they need to pray their rosary during the day when their husband is at work so they carve out some quiet time in the early morning or pray with their kids during the school day.

Many of the moms break their rosary up and pray it one decade at a time throughout the day whenever they have a few minute break.  That's a great idea because then you can get into the "praying all day" mentality and recollect yourself.  

People pray with CDs (my favorite is "The Rosary is a Place" made by my good friend Simonetta!), with DVDs, and there's even this online site where you can see how many others are praying with you at the same time!  How cool is that!

It is so important right now to reconnect with you Mother if you have not done so in awhile, or ever!  Lent is right around the corner.  If you need to use that to get you started, then do it.  Consider jumping in with both feet and committing to praying one set of mysteries every day through Lent.  As one mom said, she just asks the Lord to find her the time in her day to pray her rosary!  Believe me, that is one prayer that will be answered.

If you are a veteran rosary pray-er, God bless you and keep up this all-important work.  If you have any other suggestions or would like to share how you pray the rosary, feel free to comment.

May God have mercy on us all and may His Blessed Mother protect us under her heavenly mantle.

God Bless!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

God Bless!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

I Saw "Les Miserables" and then...

I fell into the trap.  One afternoon some friends and I were conversing about life when one of the ladies asked if anyone had seen "Les Mis".  I enthusiastically responded that I had.  She asked what I thought.  I told her that I cried through most of it and then asked if she had seen it.  That is when I realized I had fallen into "the trap".  

A conversation then ensued about the appropriateness of seeing a movie such as that.  Another friend pulled up a blog post entitled "Why good Catholics shouldn't see 'Les Mis'".  Discussions were had about whether or not a few bad minutes of a movie render the entire movie worthless.

Whenever discussions such as this come up I always think of the story of the dad who made brownies for his kids and told them after they began eating them and raving about how good they were that he only put a little bit of dog poop in them.  When they were done spitting and being repulsed he defended his actions by stating that, really, it was just a small amount, it shouldn't have any great effect on the overall brownie.

I know many other "good" Catholics who have seen the movie and who have raved about it.  I know many who will not see it because of the one scene which takes place during the song "Master of the House".  Yes, it was objectionable.  Yes, I was uncomfortable.  Should I have left the theater?  Should I go to confession?  

I haven't had a chance to discuss this with a priest yet, but I will because I want to know if watching that one scene makes the movie worthy of confession.  We've had quite a few discussions around the dinner table about this and still aren't sure what the "right" answer is.

Of course, I know that asking 10 different priests will give me 10 different answers.  Asking the others will also elicit a variety of responses, I'm sure, from the "Don't be ridiculous" to the "Get thee to a confessional" variety.

What's your opinion? Have you heard a priest speak about this specific movie, or others like it?  Have you seen "Les Mis" and, if so, what did you think?  Without passing judgement on me or others, I would LOVE to hear you take on things like this.  I know that sometimes, for whatever reason, people can't leave comments here.  If that's the case, I'll have a link to this posted on my Catholic Homeschooling Resources facebook page.  Feel free to comment there, too :)

God Bless!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Catholic Woman's Almanac

Joining with the Ladies over at Sucipio!

Moments of Gratitude:

* Seeing my son make his first basket in a basketball game.
* The beauty that was found at our annual Father/Daughter Ball
* A good first week back to school
* Watching new episodes of "Downton Abbey" and "Once Upon a Time" with my kids

Beauty in the Ordinary:

On Sunday we took down all of our Christmas decorations.  There is definitely beauty in the simplicity of the house after all of the fanfare of the holidays is over :)

In the Kitchen:

Back to some semblance of "clean eating" for us.  Gone are the sweets and desserts and pop and all of that sugary goodness; we're going back to the basics.  I know there will be some withdrawal, but I'm hoping that it will be minimal.

Looking Ahead:

I'm still trying to adjust to our new activity schedule.  Ms 16 yo is back to ballet, which is two evenings a week and Mr 12 yo is in basketball for the next 6 weeks so that is another two nights a week.  The final week night is choir practice for some and adoration for the rest of us.  That leaves no week day nights unencumbered, and that is not something that I relish.  Throw in a few afternoon activities for the week and I'm already starting to feel my blood pressure rise!


For our world.  Every where I turn there is suffering and craziness to the point of being overwhelming.  I'm praying for a peaceful heart and one full of trust; one that willingly surrenders to Divine Providence.


I finished "Choosing Joy" by Dan Lord and it was wonderful.  There were a lot of great bits of wisdom contained in that book.  Next on my list is a Bishop Sheen's autobiography that I received for Christmas.  Can't wait to dive into that one.


God Bless!

Friday, January 11, 2013

You Must Watch and Share This!

Have you seen this yet??  It is an incredible video that all pro-life people must watch and share!  

God Bless!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Wordless Wednesday (almost)

Don't you just hate when you don't have the right candles??

God Bless!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

A Matter of Being Flexible!

We started back to school on Monday.  We took it light, you know, trying to ease back into things.  Made sure we were caught up on grading and recording from last semester, planned out where we want to be this semester and when it looks like we'll be finishing up.

Today, Tuesday, was the "big" day...the start of real school again.  The day when we would get up on time and get to Mass, then rush home and dive into that school work.  Until last night at 11:00 when Ms 14 yo started throwing up.  She continued on into the night which meant little sleep for either of us.

Immediately when these type of things happen my mind shifts into re-organizational mode.  It kind of makes me think of Ironman and how he has all those dials and screens that flash on and off in front of his face while he's suited up; how he is calculating what the circumstances he is faced with mean and how he is going to conquer them.

That's what happens to me.  I begin to assess the situation at hand and try to figure out what that means for all of us for the following day; who will be impacted, what will have to change.  It all happens pretty fast and I just think it comes from homeschooling for so many years and having to be:

Flexible! of those things that mothers need to be really good at.  There are many virtues and character traits that a homeschooling mother needs and this has to be one of the top ones (along with patience, fortitude, stubbornness, strength, etc.).  If you cannot bounce back when a curve ball gets thrown at you and reconfigure your day around the said curve ball, then you will become terribly frustrated and will be more likely to give up.

Instead of getting frustrated and throwing in the towel, start asking questions like:  Who does this impact?  Do I need to change things for everyone or just that person(s)?  Will we have to cancel anything?  How likely is this to effect others in the household?  How long will it last?  Will things need to change on a long-term or a short-term basis?  Start moving the pieces around until you are comfortable with your new plan based on the new variables.

Homeschooling is all about changing things as the need arises.  If you are flexible and not attached to your plan or your day or the events as you'd like to see them happen, then things will go much more smoothly for you.

So this morning, even though I got up late, didn't make it to Mass and got school off to an even later start, we still managed to get our work done and keep the sick patient comfortable.

Now it is just a matter of praying really hard that this doesn't spread to the rest of us!

God Bless!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

A Weekend Full of Activities and Photos

We wound up our Christmas break with a plethora of activities this weekend.  I'm learning to use manual mode more on my camera, so I was motivated to take a lot of pictures, too.  

Friday night found us at Mr 12 yo's first ever basketball game.  I should say that it's his first game of anything ever!  We found a great Christian church group that run organized sports but only have one practice and one game per week.  It is so nice to not have it overtake our lives...or our dinner time!  Friday night's game was at 9:00 pm.  I think we all took a nap first so we could stay awake :)  I like the fact that they pray before they begin each game, too!

Even though he's never played an organized sport before, I think he did a great job.  We did discover that he needs new gym shoes, as quite a few times his lack of tread made him look like he was ice skating!

Saturday brought Ms 16 yo, Ms 18 yo and me to the theater to see "Les Mis".  I really wasn't sure I was going to like this movie but, I will admit, I cried through most of it and loved a lot of the songs.  It is a very haunting movie!

Later that day we went to pick Ms 20 yo up from the airport as she returns to us from 9 days visiting her boyfriend and his family.

On the Feast of the Epiphany, we took advantage of the fact that no one had to sing, serve or usher at our parish and we went down to St. John Cantius in Chicago for Mass.  No one can convince me that all of these statues and paintings are going to distract me from the Mass.  

This place is so beautiful, especially at Christmas.  Add to that their amazing choir and you feel like you're in Heaven!

After Mass we took a trip to visit my 92 yo great aunt.  She loves to see the kids, even though she is going blind and is slightly deaf!  It's hard for them to go there because she doesn't always get their names right and rarely can hear what they are saying, but they do a great job cheering her up. 

We did a house blessing for her for the feast today and then Mr 7 yo took the holy water and sprinkled her with it like I do to him at night.  It kind of took her by surprise, but she thanked him for it!

It was then time to come home and bless our own house.  Changed into comfy clothes, we lit the incense that the church had available for people and followed the prayers they had listed in their bulletin.  They even gave out pieces of chalk to mark the doors with.  Here's my husband holding the incensor that came with my son's Mass kit.  We finally got to put it to use :)

Tomorrow starts back to school.  I think we will take the morning to reorient ourselves and map out a course for the next couple of months.  Hate to just "dive" into anything, right?  Happy Feast of the Epiphany!

God Bless!

Friday, January 4, 2013

7 Quick Takes January 4 2013

--- 1 ---

Definitely praying for Jen and her unborn baby boy. What a scary time for both of them.  I always have to chuckle at God's ways sometimes.  Just the other day she posted about St. Michael being her patron saint for the year and wondering what God had in store for her.  Why is it that sometimes God answers your prayers so quickly and other times it seems as if He doesn't answer them at all?

--- 2 ---

Can I say that we are trying so hard to enjoy the last few days of our Christmas break?  I am seriously contemplating making Monday a Teacher's Institute day, locking myself in my room and conferencing with myself about what the next semester of school will look like.  This was supposed to happen at a leisurely pace over this past week but, well, it didn't.
--- 3 ---

Ms 16 yo has talked me into going to see "Les Mis" this weekend.  I've never read the book, never seen a stage production or anniversary special or anything, so I'm a bit skeptical about whether or not I will like the movie.  I don't know...something about poor French people just doesn't seem like it will grab me, but I've heard many people mention that the story is a spiritual experience.  I hope they're right!
--- 4 ---

A very talented friend of my daughters' is hosting a "12 Days of Christmas Giveaway" on her blog.  The 10th day giveaway features my daughters and their soap.  Hurry over to Shealynn's blog and enter to win a FREE three-pack of this great soap!  (Really, it is totally free and therefore, what is there to lose?)
--- 5 ---

I've not made any New Years' resolutions.  I've never been big on setting life goals either.  I don't know, it just doesn't make sense to me.  I guess if I have to it would be, as we discussed at a breakfast with friends Thursday morning, "Do God's will better and love everyone better".  Pretty much covers the important aspects of life now, doesn't it?
--- 6 ---

One thing we will be doing this new year, starting very soon, is P90X.  My hubby, myself and 4 of my girls will be attempting to stick as closely to the 90 days as our lives will allow.  My husband will probably do it the best as he 1. loves to exercise and 2. can exercise either early in the morning or in the evening.  I cannot make a claim to either of those two.  Hmph, we'll just have to see how this goes.  We've taken our "before" photos (ha ha) which no one will ever see unless I have this amazing body transformation (another ha ha).  Well, I guess it can happen.  I am going to give this my best shot so please pray for all of us that we can remain injury free and not kill each other :)
--- 7 ---

Well, back to the grindstone soon.  Just a few more days of peace and quiet before real life sets back in.  Have a wonderful weekend!
For more Quick Takes, visit Moxie Wife this week!

God Bless!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Taking Control...

of the Lego's, that is.  I am far more motivated to do Spring cleaning right after Christmas than I am in the Spring time.  This time the Lego's were the object of my organizational flurry!  I'm sure many of you out there can relate to the Attack of the Lego's when it comes to finding them in every nook and cranny of your home.  Lego's are everywhere and they hurt when you step on them in the dark.  They are perched on every available flat space in my home, so I decided it was time to tame them.  We went from these (which were taken on a good day) 

To this:

I am so happy with this new arrangement!  The three youngest each get three drawers to house their Lego kits and creations.  I'm really hoping that this will help contain these little rascals (the Lego's that is...not the kids).  Even if it doesn't, it sure looks a lot nicer than the previous system. 

Now, on to conquer other areas where toys have gotten out of control and chaos runs amok!  

God Bless!