Category Archives: Color Created Family

Simplified Living

A few weeks ago when I was sorting through and pricing fall clothes to place in our local consignment sale I found myself with some free time on my ears and decided to check out this world of podcasts that I have heard so much about.

I know I’m super late to the game on this and I really didn’t know where to start but after searching around a little bit I stumbled across

The Minimalists.   Early this year we stayed with some good friends of ours in Birmingham who had shared with us that they loved listening to The Minimalists.  I remembered they shared with us how helpful it was to examine everything in their lives and ask themselves whether that item/task added value or took away value from their lives.  Michael Luke and I have always had the desire to simplify our lives and cleanse our house of “junk” so I decided to check them out.

The Minimalists are Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus, two men who used to live it up with their corporate jobs, six figure incomes, more possessions than their jobs could afford, and hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt.  After some major life setbacks they each realized that none of the  things were bringing them true happiness and were in actuality cluttering their lives up.

They stripped their lives down until all that remained were the essentials… the things that actually added value to their life.  I’m talking major simplifying that involved “packing parties”, scanning documents and pictures to hard drives, and drastically reducing the size of their wardrobes.

Now, I by no means see our family becoming super extreme minimalists but I have definitely seen the value in simplifying and over the past few weeks we have been evaluating everything in our lives to see what items add the most value to us and what steps we could take to simplify tasks around our house.

For instance, we have hardwood floors downstairs.  Michael Luke recently bought one of those automatic vacuum cleaners that cleans the floors for us while we are out of the house.  It adds immense value to our lives because we don’t have to spend all that time sweeping the floors every day now. Something else that adds value is that we don’t have any rugs downstairs except for in front of the sink and in Judah’s room. This means that we don’t have to roll them back to clean underneath them or spend extra time vacuuming them with our Dyson.

As a mom, why would I not want to make my job easier.  Do we really need those items we haven’t used in more than three months?  Is a collection of DVD’s we haven’t watched in years worthy of taking up drawer space?  Isn’t a closet much less overwhelming when it only contains clothes that I love and I know look great on me?

I’ve been purging toys, cleaning our drawers,  and pairing things down.  I took the place mats off the table that I thought made things easier but in reality they complicated cleaning up after supper.  I had to wipe every place mat off after dinner and then pick them all up to clean the table from any loose crumbs afterwards. Sure the table looked pretty with the extra color but it wasn’t making my life easier.  Now we eat and then the girls are able to use a damp towel to clean the table after each meal… way easier for me.

Reducing the clutter and the amount of your possessions also provides more free time in your life because there is less cleaning.  Which means less sounding like a not so fun mom who has to constantly ask her girls to pick their toys up.  Our girls don’t have a boat load of toys but it doesn’t take much for any child to accumulate a stock pile of trinkets.  Despite all their “stuff” when my girls play most days they end up creating many of their props needed for all their imaginary expeditions.  Before we moved earlier this year we packed up nearly all their toys a few weeks before the big day. Never did they complain about having less toys. They just came up with new ways to play.  They used their amazing minds and got creative.

I really think pairing down our possessions and simplifying our lives is going to have such immense benefits and allow us to focus on what we as a family value most… each other and time together.  It’s been fun examining our lives in a new light and reading about other families that choose to live a minimalist lifestyle.

A few fun new blogs that I have discovered on this dive into minimalism are:

The Minimalists

5 Kids 1 Condo

The Minimalist Mom

One thing I have learned over the past few weeks is that minimalism doesn’t have to look like concrete floors, bare walls, and a clean line sofa. Minimalism has many different looks and just may include a big comfy sofa, a bag full of Lego pieces, and a selection of dress-up clothes because all of these add value to our lives.

Is anyone else out there living the minimalist lifestyle?  If so, what resources or tactics have you found most beneficial?

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Butterflies, Sparrows, and a Nest

Many of you know that in addition to sharing our DIY challenges and adventures here at Color Transformed Family I also have an Etsy shop, Color Created Family.

coloredcreatedfamily-new

Pink Ombre Crochet Earrings

Color Created Family was born out of my love for crocheting and as a way for me to earn a little extra money to help us cover travel and other expenses as we journey towards bringing our little girl home from Hong Kong.  One thing I didn’t anticipate when I opened my own Etsy shop was how God would use it as a door for me meet other families that also have a passion for adoption.  It has been such a joy for me to partner with other families and help them raise money for their own adoption expenses.  Last month, God surprised me again by introducing me to the The Sparrow Fund and what they do to help others through the adoption process.  Color Created Family is donating 10% of our sales to The Sparrow Fund during the month of May.  So in addition to supporting our adoption process your purchase will also help support other families through their adoption process as well!  Kelly, the founder of The Sparrow Fund shares below how the idea of the The Sparrow Fund came to her and more about what they do.

The Sparrow Fund

Have you ever considered adopting? Simply looking at the stats, about a third of you have. About 30% of Americans have seriously considered adopting. Yet, only 2% have actually adopted. That means that of those who say they’ve seriously considered adopting, 14 out of 15 don’t ever do it.

Why not? Well, it’s daunting—the financial cost, the impact this child will have on your family, the unknowns…so many unknowns. It’s no easy thing. We get that, because it was daunting for us.

As we walked that road ourselves and alongside other families like ours, we saw a need. That 2% of families who were taking that leap of faith to bring a child into their family through adoption—they needed more support. So, we took the leap of faith ourselves to do whatever we could to do just that.

Two years ago, The Sparrow Fund was started to give grants to families specifically for the purpose of family support through programs around the country that provide preadoption support and counsel, on-call support for families while they travel across the world to meet their children and bring them home, and support once they are home to help both the parents, new son or daughter, and family as a whole become a family.

Recognizing more need, we added programs to encourage and support families from those waiting to meet their children to those who have been home for years. We’ve helped families learn about the unique needs of children who have been adopted in the classroom and how to use correction as a vehicle of connection with their children in a way that is sensitive to them and their histories. And, we offered a weekend retreat for couples to be reminded of their calling as parents and refreshed to continue serving their children.

We’re not interested in growing the number of families adopting; that’s not our focus. Rather, our focus is on pouring into that 2% who are adopting; we want to love and serve them and do whatever we can to make the daunting a little less daunting. And, maybe, just maybe, as the daunting becomes less daunting and the support available becomes more readily available, we’ll see more of those families who have seriously considered adopting say, “maybe we can do this afterall.”

There’s something special happening this month. A whole bunch of folks are now coming alongside of us, saying, “Yes, we support adoptive families and the work of The Sparrow Fund to pour into them. And, we want to help.” This May, in our third annual fundraiser, about 50 businesses have made a commitment to help us build the nest so that we can help others as they build their nests. In addition to event sponsors, these business partners have made the commitment to give 10% of their total sales during the month of May to The Sparrow Fund so that we can do what we do.

That’s where you come in. We need you to click HERE to see all the businesses and then we need you to shop purposefully. There’s really no better way to shop. Share the link with your friends. Let people know about this easy and fun way to help! Together, we can make that 10% something crazy big.

Forever changed by our experience of being adopted and adopting, Kelly Raudenbush is a stay-at-home mom/manager to 4 children and a professional juggler, juggling her calling as wife and mother with her secondary callings (editing and serving adoptive families through The Sparrow Fund). You can learn more about their adoption story, how they’ve been changed, and what life for them looks like on their personal blog, My Overthinking (where she’s going to have some super sweet giveaways this month, by the way).

Isn’t it awesome what Kelly is doing through The Sparrow Fund?  And what an easy way to support adoption.  Shop.  Shop for Mother’s Day, for yourself, the house… or just to show your support for adoption!

Thanks again for all your continued support and prayers for us during our adoption journey.  Right now we are still waiting to get immigration approval for our adoption from Hong Kong and then we will officially submit our dossier to Hong Kong for approval!  I’ll keep you posted as more develops.

 

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Tans, Sun, and Ombre

Happy Saturday, y’all!

Here in Birmingham today is just too pretty of a day not to thank God for.  It’s the promise that Spring is just around the corner.  And just in time for Spring is this beautiful pair of earrings available now at Color Created Family!

Pink Ombre Crochet Earrings

I received a special order last month to crochet a round pair of ombre earrings.

pink ombre earrings

They turned out so well that I decided to make a diamond shaped pair adorned with a gold glass bead.

Pink ombre earrings

I love how well the gold pairs with the warm tones of the pink… perfect for Spring, Summer, and a golden tan… if you tan (my skin refuses to).  These crochet earrings make me want to pair them with a long flowing skirt and the beach.  Can earrings really make you want to go to the beach?  I guess so since that’s what happens when I look at these.

Tan or not if you would like snatch these pink ombre crochet earrings for yourself hop on over to Color Created Family on Etsy and make them yours.  Something tells me they won’t be there long.

Happy weekend!

Is anybody else getting anxious for Spring?  Warm weather? Picnics and the park? What is your favorite thing about Spring?  Mine is the few weeks when the temperatures are absolutely perfect, the sun is shining, and the mosquitoes have yet to come into full force… that when I love to go to the park, lay on a blanket and read… or chase after Noah.

P.S. Remember to use discount code CTF10 for a 10% discount.  And as always you can access Color Created Family through the Mini Etsy shop on the right or one of the Color Created Family ad squares on the right.

For more Color Transformed Family follow me on:

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For more Color Transformed Family follow me on:

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