5 Ways to Keep your Home Tidy with Kids dictated by Elise, age 6

Kid House

1. Distract the children with something tidy to do, like screen time, coloring or reading.

2. Have them help you clean whatever you are cleaning. Give them easy jobs at first, and then a bit harder and a bit harder until they can do grown-up jobs.

Lauri5 Ways to Keep your Home Tidy with Kids dictated by Elise, age 6

How I Wrote a Book with Small Children Underfoot


Kitchen Rescue for the Not-So-Organized is here!

It was one of those projects that incubated for several years without me even realizing it was growing. But once I saw the need to actually write a book about my organizing process, I suddenly had laser focus.

It’s funny to say that I had laser focus, because that is almost never true of me. With three or more small children constantly underfoot, there is the unending stream of cares to tend.

Fortunately, we were on break from homeschooling when the inspiration hit, and the timing was perfect! No structure to maintain. No lessons to prepare. No assignments to oversee. So…

LauriHow I Wrote a Book with Small Children Underfoot

Taking a Young Family Camping for the First Time


    It’s daunting to consider taking a young family tent camping! It took us about a year to work up to it. Last summer, we bought a family-sized tent. We had also gradually acquired a few random camping items: a lantern, wedding-gift sleeping bags (that zip together!), marshmallow-roasting-sticks, but the idea took a long time to germinate before we took action. Living in Tennessee, summers are hot and muggy, and we did not relish the idea of living outdoors for several days. So we didn’t. September seemed like a good idea though. We were ready for some outside sanity-restoring time and adventure! When I was a kid, my parents took us camping. They loved it and had all the gear from camp stove to fishing tackle and everything in between. Their king-sized pickup truck (with a camper shell over the back) would be packed to the gills and we’d head into the mountains for vacations. Looking back, it’s amazing how much I didn’t learn about how to prepare for a camping trip. I should have watched and helped my mom more… sorry mom! So here we are, a family of five with kids ranging from crawling to first grade. They’ve never been camping, and we decided it’s time. Here’s what we learned: First, make a reservation We heard that campgrounds fill up, and it would be horrible to gather up all that energy and preparation to be turned away. Since we had the flexibility to go mid-week in September, there was plenty of …

LauriTaking a Young Family Camping for the First Time

Learning from Laryngitis


I’ve been three days without a voice. Following a spring of allergies and catching colds, a bout with bronchitis left me silent. I could whisper, but not even much of that. It’s a strange feeling, not being able to laugh or talk or sing or call for someone. And even stranger to figure out family communication. 

How do we keep the children in line without a voice? How do we operate? How can we take care of each other? Here are some of the things I learned:

LauriLearning from Laryngitis

Some important lessons about grieving


I’ve been out of pocket the last several weeks, as I traveled with our five-month-old to California for my grandmother’s memorial service.  

It was an extraordinarily beautiful weekend. Knowing all their chicks were returning, my parents rented a house to fit all of us. They wanted us to be together.

My family has begun a tradition that I hope continues for generations to come: when folks come for a funeral, we also host a dinner for extended family and close friends to come share a meal and stories of the loved one who has passed away. 

LauriSome important lessons about grieving

A Grandmother’s Legacy

China Doll

This afternoon, I talked with my sweet grandmothers, and began a special dialogue. A friend got me a book called A Grandparent’s Legacy with questions about their lives and their stories. Some of this information I already know: their full names, when they were born, etc. But the stories, not as much.  I feel a bit late in starting this, since they are getting on in years! But better to start now than not at all, right?

LauriA Grandmother’s Legacy