{SQT} Six Molasses Takes

Today’s blogging goal?  I’m not going to be whiny, long-winded, negative or come across as “mentally unstable.” You can give me a grade in the comboxes.

1. I’m so organized, this week I put my kid’s toys on a weekly schedule. The low down: condense 95 percent of the toys on the first floor into four 20 gallon tubs, with only one tub of toys making an appearance in my living room each week.  Even though I regularly weed out toys for donation, we still had a lot of really nice toys I didn’t want to part with. As the younger boys can’t play upstairs or in their room, and we don’t have a separate playroom or den, our living room had become overrun.  However, after the great toy divide of 2013, I walked through the living room repeatedly without injury or expletive. Organization high!

2. Awhile back, I was convinced we’d need to do a fundraiser to buy a new handicap vehicle for our family. Then, somehow, my husband and I convinced ourselves that we didn’t need no stinkin’ fundraiser, we could handle it with our own bootstraps or something. Then, after looking at vehicles and running some numbers I was like, holy crap, we can’t afford anything even with a ton of fundraising! Then after some prayers we looked some more and I think we’ve found something perfect…which horrifies me. I can think of a ton of instances where Tony and I were convinced that we’d found “the one” whatever, only to have something fall through at the very last second shattering our dreams. And if we do acquire said dream item, it turns out to ultimately suck and ruin our lives by becoming an endless money pit (our current house, our former B&B our Ebayed camper, etc). We keep trying to make these very wise decisions, shaped by past choices but somehow, without an angel in a dream giving us the answer, we screw up.

3. Which brings me to my next take/point. Our previous experiences have given me a real “monkey’s paw” attitude towards prayer. Like God’s sitting there thinking “Oh, you want a nice handicap vehicle huh? Okay, here’s one for a great price…but the lift will stop working in six months and you’ll be stranded at home for weeks while the garage orders in special parts which are made for this model only in the mountains of Peru.”  Or if I start to think, I just want things to be a little easier around her, I’m instantly afraid someone will die thus “lessening” my workload. Is this just me? Am I completely nuts? I don’t know why it’s so hard for me to just ask God for what I want or need and be at peace with it. It’s also why I’m always asking saints to intercede for me. “Yeah St. Joseph, it’s me again. Look, this house…I know I said I wanted it, but could you ask God to make it stop falling apart. I’m afraid if I ask, it’ll catch fire instead or something. Thanks.”

So, in a round about way. If you wouldn’t mind saying a prayer for us and our vehicle situation, I’d appreciate it. It’s more a matter of discerning what we can really afford given our current financial situation, whether or not we need to fund-raise and what role government programs (which take forever to reimburse) should play in our purchase.

4. This week I started using a “gold star” incentive chart with Fulton to motivate him to complete a bit of school work. External incentives make me want to puke; they should just love to learn damnit! But here I am, justifying my means. For the first month or so after Fulton’s nurse left, he acted out towards me and refused to do any educational games he’d once loved to play with his nurse. Frankly, it was preschool, I wasn’t going to spaz about it. But of course, since family knew I had “started school” with Fulton they kept asking me, and him, how it was going. Fulton is also bright and I thought he might enjoy learning to read so several times I tried reintroducing some games with no success. So although I don’t think kids should be rewarded endlessly for completing assignments, I’m giving Fulton stickers on a chart to motivate him and it’s working. Once he fills the chart, he get’s a new Lego minifigure. I’m hoping I only have to buy him one or two before the habit has sunk in. (For the record, all I’m asking him to do is 10 minutes of a letter game on his iPad, 10 minutes of a numbers game, [both are simple Montessori inspired games so no flashing lights, loud songs or craziness] 10 minutes with a fine motor activity and for him to listen quietly to a story a sibling reads to him.) The most surprising part is the older three want their own charts to fill out to earn minifigures. I’m starting to become concerned about how much all these incentives will wind up costing me.

5. I’m considering adding sponsors to my sidebar. I currently have some Google Ads and Amazon links that generate little to no money and typically  suggest my readers buy sexy leggings or do a background search on someone. Honestly, I’d prefer to make little to no money promoting Catholic businesses, Etsy shops, blogs and the like rather than ‘The Language Method Language Professors Don’t Want You To Learn About!” But is there interest? If you’re not afraid of my reputation, send me an email. I’m thinking dirt cheap, between $2-4 a month for a button roughly the size of that Sheenazing award. At this point, I’m opting out of sponsored posts or reviews. Really, I don’t think you want to go down that road with me anyway. And if I broke some unspoken blog etiquette rule by writing about sponsorship I’m sorry.

6. That was a lot of long deluded takes wasn’t it? I’m going to stop before I lose you. Oh wait….I guess you clicked back to Jen and the rest of the Ticky Quakers awhile ago. Well, thanks anyway for making a pit stop at my roadside stand on the information superhighway.

PS I’m giving myself a C+, half a gold star and a “Nice Try!” on today’s effort.


  1. If I had anything to advertise, I would do so on your page! I’ve gone down the sticker route and my hard harden children don’t respond as well as I would like to the stars etc.

    Hope you get the van!

  2. I originally was turned off to sponsored blogs but Ginny’s blog Small Things changed my mind. I trust your ability to choose sponsors who reflect your values and tastes, which is definitely better than the google ads. AND I want you to be able to earn a reasonable amount of money for taking the time that you do to write a wonderful blog.

  3. I’ll be ZERO help here since I don’t even know how sponsored links work; that said, GO FOR IT!!! Why NOT make some money for your time? Sponsored links don’t bother me and if you find some that fit your bill, do it!

    I’ll say A+ for effort based on the honesty and realism without sugar-coating the BS that goes on in life with just a touch of humor/sarcasm.

    One last thing, I haven’t checked my Lotto tickets yet….so if there’s a winner, I’m definitely throwing you some jack. Real talk.

  4. Oh my, #3. I get it. I’ve also realized that I tend to believe that God jinxes people. Like if I get too proud or say something I shouldn’t, Bam, God’s gonna take it away or humble me somehow. My husband has called me on it and is all like, “God doesn’t work that way.” But I don’t know sometimes. I’m convinced if I even mention something on the blog in that vein, I will live to regret it. I should probably work on that.

    And ads usually don’t bother me a bit except when a blog ends up doing half their posts for sponsors and loses what drew me there in the first place. Good luck!

    1. Actually, that’s exactly how it work with me – the minute I congratulate myself for something, the very minute, wham something happens to bring me right down. I don’t think of God as a punishing deity but I do think I need strong lessons in humility/pride and this gets through my thick skull!

  5. Hey, I’ve managed to buy some things I really like based on sponsor posts on my favorite blogs. I trust you; go for it! If I thought I could make enough money doing blog posts that my dh could quit one of his 4 jobs (and I wouldn’t have to babysit additional kidlings while homeschooling) I would jump on the chance.


  6. I’m Jewish and teaming up with an ex-Mormon and a very secular Calvinist to open our etsy shop, would you still let us on your side bar?

    Most of my Amazon income actually comes from the links in my text. I refer to books a lot, and then link the books I’m talking about.

    1. Unless you’re selling background checks, sexy tights or blatantly anti-Catholic material, you’d be welcome on my sidebar.

      1. Hm, I think one of us crocheted a pair of tights once… for a cross country ski trip in Norway. They were nice, but sexy is not the word for them!

  7. #1 When you have several kids, a ‘toy room’ is needed. You really can’t divide the toys as ownership, because of hand me downs. Also fo the older kids, when it is a ‘mine only’ toy it is easier for them to keep it in the bedroom.

    Because of a toy room, no toys are allowed to be left out in the living room. If they have no room in the toy room, that means they need to pick up the room.

    1. Unfortunately, we don’t have space for a dedicated toy room and the mess created in the living room was primarily from the little boys, who can only help clean up so much. Having fewer toys has made it less overwhelming for everyone so there’s less fuss when it’s comes to pitching in.

      1. Remove the furniture from the living room and make company that visits sit on the floor.

        Hey, why not? (joking, but not) 🙂

  8. I remember someone somewhere at some time advising me to be specific in prayer. “Lord, please send a reliable handicap vehicle for a ridiculously low price, insanely low mileage that will run for years beyond your need.” When the Lord makes wine he makes the good stuff <> so don’t be afraid to ask. 🙂 ?

  9. We consistently underestimate God’s love for us because it’s easier given the circs. I’m with you on feeling that i think He’s not doing that well at the moment, but I know it’s my own lack of faith and my own shortcomings which are to blame rather than His character.

  10. Go for the sponsorship! Much better than ads. And for the record, I really don’t like reading sponsored posts, but I know that’s where blogging is headed these days, so if you went that direction I’d grin and bear it.

  11. Ask Kendra and Emily about Passionfruit Ads. I advertise my Reece’s Rainbow kids with them (trying to get them parents) and it’s pretty reasonable.

  12. I love your posts. It’s more like listening to talk to us over coffee. That’s why we keep coming back!! Will pray for you on the van. We’re in the same boat only with a need for a different house. I appreciate your honesty when it comes to prayer. I tend to line my saints up and beg them to tell the Lord everything for me, too. Sometimes I just want to feel like God is small enough for me. Sticker chart – don’t flog yourself for it. I want my boys to want to learn on their own too, but stickers and a mini-figure isn’t going to wreck your son’s intellectual desires.

  13. I will pray for the van situation. I like what Eileen said and have a friend who did something very similar – down to the color of the car she wanted. God provided for her and I trust He’ll do the same for you.

    Also, as for sponsorship. Grace Patton writes sponsored ads but in a way that are still very true to what she would otherwise write. Like that Wendy’s / car wreck post she recently put up. I like how she does it and I’m sure you would be very similar. So I say do it! And get the ads on there, too. Worth it.

  14. Regarding #3 — well, all I can say is that I here you there! I also have this very irritating problem where sometimes what I say (and mean) is exactly the opposite of what is going to happen. For instance, I tell my hubby, “We need to say no — I am totally overrun with all these activities outside the house and can’t keep up.” Later in the day — KAPOW! Ring, ring … “will you do the food for the graduating seniors retreat at church next week?” Me: “Sure, how many?” 10 minutes later … oh no — I am double booked that day already with stuff to do and other volunteer activities!!!!

    Or here’s another example: I wake up resolved to stop letting our money dribble away (fast food, extras at the store, etc.) Later that same day, on our weekly trip to the nearby big city for a free homeschool class …. 5 things don’t work out, we end up stopping for fast food TWO times. (This after no extra spending during the previous 4 weekly trips for the free class.

    ARGH!!! Why, why, why???

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