November at Our Home

I want to take a moment and thank all of you who have so graciously offered your thoughts and encouragement in response to my recent survey. It has been a huge privilege to read through all your ideas! I am eagerly anticipating all that the Lord has in store for this blog in the new year.

November has brought some peace and simplicity to our lives after a month of traveling in October. We have been able to get back into our routine in keeping our home peaceful. One thing I started doing this month, was simply getting all our laundry and housecleaning done in one day – Monday of each week. What I love about this routine is although it is a busy day, I don’t have to think about cleaning or laundry for the rest of the week. I can instead focus on my little ones, making yummy meals, and such. Getting those not so desirable tasks done first thing helps launch me into a good week. It may not work for everyone, but if you set your mind to it, it really was more workable than I thought. I can clean my house in two hours – bathrooms, dust, vacuum, and wipe down kitchen and floors. Set that timer and get to work! ;)

Another goal this month was to cultivate some more special times with the kiddos. I get too easily distracted with homemaking or technology. One way that we have done that is to start attending our local library store time once a week. This gives us occasion to get out, enjoy the benefits of reading aloud, and also participate in a cute craft project. Since I am not a crafty momma, this has helped meet that need that my daughter loves. All for free! The kids love it…especially when we do it with another friend. I try to limit my outings to twice a week, so as to cut down on gas and save my energy. One morning out for library story time, and one morning out for errands.

We also started reading the Jesus Storybook Bible (I love this book!) while the kids are eating breakfast at the table. We keep our devotional book at the table so it is ready to go each morning. And in the last month, we have nearly finished the whole book. And then we’ll start again! We use this time to read, work on our memory verses, and pray together. It has been so fun, and they are contained in their seats, so I can keep their focus well. It has been so sweet to plant seeds of the gospel in their precious hearts. And my daughter will not let me forget…every morning she states, “can we read the story?” If I can accomplish nothing else in my day, this quality time is of greatest Kingdom building importance.

Another recent release that looks awesome for family devotions isĀ  Long Story Short: 10 Minute Devotions to Draw Your Family to God. I cannot wait to get my hands on this one.

We’re Moving!

We actually placed an offer on a cute house, and will be moving here before the year’s end, Lord willing. It happened really fast. We looked at it on Sunday, placed an offer down on Monday, and she signed on our offer on Wednesday. The Lord totally opened the doors. And the beauty of it is that we will be so close to our church community, Aaron’s work, and in a house that is perfect for hospitality. I am eager to be able to have a little more room to love on people through our home. And the kids will have a yard to run around in! After being in a condo for the past 4.5 years, this is a huge blessing! So I am thrown into the world of packing amidst the holidays. We are super excited…this has been our dream for a year now. We didn’t sell our condo, as the market has been dead, but the Lord has opened the doors for us to find a good renter to cover our expenses.

Any tips on how to simplify the moving process that you’d like to pass on to me? I’ve never really moved in my life. I was born and raised in one house and then moved my simple bedroom belongings when I got married. So this is the first real deal! ;)


We had a sweet Thanksgiving holiday with both sides of our family, enjoyed the local Macy’s parade, found a lovely $10 Christmas tree, and are simply enjoying a wonderful holiday season. I love Christmas! I love being able to step back and refocus at the end of the year around the goodness and beauty of our Savior’s coming. I love doing our Advent celebration with our Jesse Tree (check out the new free updated Jesse Tree devotional), and cultivating new family traditions. I love buying and making gifts (vanilla extract, chapstick, peanut brittle, canned goods, photo books, etc) for our family and extended family. I love being able to bless my husband with surprises. Now if I can just reign that in so I don’t overspend. ;)

1000 Gifts

As promised, I am monthly listing out many of my blessings as recorded in my gratitude journal. This exercise has been so helpful for me, and I recommend it to anyone, especially if you battle with depression and anxiety, like myself. I am up to 180 gifts listed in the last 30 days. I’m on my way to listing 1000 gifts that God has given me. Every time I am tempted towards depression, I stop, and continue on my list. It is so helpful in restoring my joy.

#27 – To start the week off well with a clean house and laundry tucked away
#28 – A date night out with my love
#31 – A good night’s sleep
#32 – Playing a card game with my Karis and laughing together
#37 – Warm soup on a cold night
#42 – Bringing a meal to a friend
#43 – Sourdough bubbling up
#52 – Cold wash cloths on a feverish body
#59 – Dancing with my little ones as we worship Jesus
#68 – A freezer full of food for the winter
#70 – A head massage
#77- The fun of bringing trikes indoors
#78 – Titus inventing a drum from a blender
#86 – Little hands sneaking raisins from the cupboard
#88 – A cozy bearskin rug
#98 – Being feminine
#99 – 15 people in a cozy condo with every bowl and plate in use
#104 – Free access to the throne of grace amidst every minimal activity – in my closet, car, or at my sink.
#106 – Cheesecake ice cream – “my one weakness!” – (A line from Lark Rise to Candleford - a sweet clean family movie series we started watching recently)

The more I start to record these little gifts, the more He is opening my eyes to see!

By the way, the Lord also lead me to write out my personal testimony this month. I have added it to the About tab above. I pray this would encourage you all as you learn of my own personal struggles and finding victory in Christ.

November Reading

Because He Loves Me: How Christ Transforms Our Daily Life by Elyse Kirkpatrick has been a beautiful challenging reading on understanding who I am in Christ. I have found it very encouraging in learning how to apply the gospel to every day life. It is so easy to go through our daily life without even considering the gospel’s implication and how it can grant us victory over sin and transformation. Learn your true identity and how to live it out.

1000 Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are by Ann Voskamp has been a truly life-changing read. This woman is an amazing writer! She pierces to the heart in dealing with ingratitude, and how to transform your life into a joy and grace filled daily experience. Her challenge to record 1000 gifts of the little things that God has done for you, has been helping to grant me victory in attack of anxiety, depression, and discontentment. It is truly a call to the full and blessed life through cultivating thanksgiving.

May you all have a blessed holiday season!

Thank you to our new sponsor for December: Graham Gardens - a wealth of natural body products, soaps, lotions, and cremes for your family.

Our family photos pictured here were taken by my lovely sister, Christa Taylor Photography. If you are local, I can highly recommend her!

About Lindsay

Lindsay Edmonds is first a lover of Jesus, wife, mother of four, homemaker, and writer. She loves inspiring women around the world toward simple, natural, and intentional living for the glory of God.

74 Responses to November at Our Home

  1. Angie February 15, 2011 at 11:45 am #

    Pack books in brown paper bags. Tape around them. These are easy to lift, pack and stuff in small places, between items and in dressers.

  2. Ashley December 13, 2010 at 7:24 pm #

    Another moving suggestion if it hasn’t already been stated: Label boxes with LIVING ROOM KITCHEN etc. and then number the boxes and create a corresponding excel spreadsheet with the complete contents of the box. This has saved my life SO MANY TIMES in our last few moves!

    Also, so thrilled to see you watching Lark Rise, too!!! I am in love with that show and its family-centered-ness and moral lessons. Wish there were more shows like that out there!

  3. Marianne December 10, 2010 at 8:26 am #

    Your children are so beautiful!!

    Good luck to you and your family in the new year. And Merry Christmas!

  4. Olivia December 8, 2010 at 9:49 am #

    I have been very challenged and encouraged by your blogs – thank you for your intentionality and creativity! I have one practical question that has probably already been asked and answered with previous readers, but: what do your kiddos do on those Monday cleaning and laundry days? I have a toddler and an infant and it feels like I can hardly get a moment to use the bathroom let alone clean a whole house! Any suggestions??

    • Miriam December 8, 2010 at 10:28 am #

      I’ll share what’s worked for me, currently with a 3 yr.old and almost-2 yr. old. While I don’t delegate entire days for cleaning/laundry, I do schedule about 1 hr. of cleaning per day, plus the usual straightening-up, laundry, dishes, etc.

      A few things that work for me is:
      1. For toddlers, have a small chore (such as taking their toys out of the living area, making their bed, cleaning up their room, etc.); when they’ve finished it, they may watch a movie. During their movie time I can (usually) have uninterrupted time for housework.

      2. While the younger one naps, I have the older one either do coloring/crafts, or let her “help” clean. I give her a small spray bottle of water and a rag– even though she sometimes gets carried away cleaning, water doesn’t harm much around the house!

      3. Right now my little ones sleep in to 9am, so if I’m desperate to get some housework done, I can have an hour or two before they’re up to get things done. Alternately, if you have kiddos that go to bed early, take 30 minutes before your bedtime to get something done. (My husband often works until 11pm, so those days are perfect for late-evening cleaning!)

      I’ve found that for me, especially when I have a baby, it’s much easier to schedule 30-minute housework duties that can be done during naps or movies, rather than hope to get an entire day of cleaning in! Perhaps as my kiddos get older, and can help out and entertain themselves more, a day of housework will work better.

    • Lindsay December 8, 2010 at 11:31 am #

      I will be sharing some ideas in an upcoming post, but in reality they play by themselves. We have dress-ups, music that they love listening and dancing to, a kitchen set, and a few other basic toys to entertain them. We have always made it a habit that they have time to themselves each day so they can learn to entertain themselves. It works. When I had an infant, I would carry them on my back to clean the house. I also will give my toddler a rag and let her help wipe down things and dust. She likes being helpful. They both help vacuum as well….they love pushing it around or just chasing me around the house and try to get caught by the vacuum. I just clean around them most of the time. The bathrooms usually wait till nap time, because I don’t like them around the bathroom bucket with the toilet brush and all, but everything else is done with them around. Give them a job to do for as long as they are able to stay focused.

  5. R. Hall December 6, 2010 at 8:53 am #

    This may have already been said: pack a 24-hour box (or 48 depending on how big your move is) of items immediately needed for your first day in your new home. Such items could include sheets, a change of clothes, eating utensils, trash bags, toiletries, etc. (You’ll need this box the day before you move, too, since you’ll be all packed up!)

    I got this tidbit from Martha Stewart’s section on moving in her Homekeeping Handbook.

  6. Laurie December 5, 2010 at 10:42 pm #

    There are lots of good tips above! You also might want to google military moving checklists. They are on the web with timelines and most of the items pertain to any family moving, not just military.

  7. Emily Balling December 5, 2010 at 8:12 am #

    Hmmm, Lindsay,

    Thank you for your efforts to contribute to woman kind. Something I’d like to share with you is due to your example I took a gulp and volunteered to a friend who did a 14 hour labor but didn’t make it natural, that I could be a doula for her this time around! Wish me luck…I’ve never done it before!

    I love your gratitude list it so romantic; life is filled with romance and I love your feeling feminine, scalp massage, warm soup…laughing together.

    Laundry is my dreaded chore too…and Monday is my busy housework day, however now on my 4th, while Monday is still fullest, like you I wipe down kitchen, vacuume etc, I have to divee up to more days for laundry…:(

    For moving too, wewy, you are going to be busy. My suggestion is…normally I try to organize w/ moving, but I wouldn’t suggest it while trying to keep up Christmas memories. I used to plan out an agenda for Christmas now I know what we like and I don’t take time to write it all out, and don’t demand an activity but just let it flow, since I know what we like, then I write it on a calendar a simple little thing such as “read a Christmas story, kids made a Christmas calendar, Danced to Christmas music, etc for that day written tiny and it really brings peace and fulfillment as I watch our memories simply and naturally fill up our days.

    This year I was feeling so cermudginy. I just wrote out how my heart melted to feeling the Christmas spirit, which I’d like to share just with you!!! :) see “Bring on Christmas Spirit with a side of sparkles”

    P.S. That pic with you and your daughter looks sensational and simple and perfect. And I like the one w/ hubby and son too!!! Good luck w/ the move!

  8. amber catalanello December 4, 2010 at 11:06 pm #

    one thing i’m glad Idid at our last move was an idea from my mom. I numbered my packed boxes as I packed them marking them with an index card taped on two sides with the number on it. On a corresponding inex card with the same number on it I wrote what was in the box. That way later whenthere was a large pile of boxes in my new house I only had to read through my index cards to find it thenfind the corresoonding box and ta-da, item found. It also might be helpful to mark each box as “kitchen”, “bathroom”, “master bedroom”, ect., in an obvious place on the box so you can easily direct or place the box yourself in the appropriate room right away. It’s just simpler and a few letters with a sharpie saves lots of extra box moving later. You could even keep the box contents in your ipod(?) and skip the extra index cards. If you try this and perfect it let me know, I’d love to make it even simpler or simply better. Good luck packing!

  9. Becky @ Our Peaceful Home December 4, 2010 at 11:41 am #

    Such sweet photos of you, your hubby, and your kiddos!

  10. Anna December 4, 2010 at 11:35 am #

    Just wanted to tell you, your hair is looking really pretty! Are you naturally curly? Any tips for curly hair care/styling? :) Mine’s always been wavy, but since my last pregnancy, its gotten way curly – and I don’t know what to do with it anymore!

  11. Ginger December 4, 2010 at 9:03 am #

    The Chocolate package sounds wonderful! Thank you for this wonderful contest. Looking forward to easing my son’s eczema symptoms this winter! Thanks for the hard lotion bar tips!

  12. Kat December 4, 2010 at 8:20 am #

    I LOVE those photos! You are beautiful and have a lovely family!

  13. Dream Mom December 3, 2010 at 6:34 pm #

    Congratulations! What an exciting time to be moving to a new home! LOVE the November pictures-they are too cute!

    As for moving, here are a few tips:

    1) Create a notebook for moving. That way, any notes you want to make are in one place.
    2) Create a sheet for “Moving Tasks”. I like to have one task for “Mail” and create a list of place I need to notify, etc. I have another list of items I don’t want to forget and a third list of things to do before I leave.
    3) Pack boxes and place a large color coded sticker for each room. Pack at least 15 minutes or more every day but pack daily. There is a lot more things that you think there are.
    4) For the new place, create sheets that you’ll tape to each of the room. The sheets will have the color code for the boxes and will also have the furniture layout. I like to draw out where the bed and major furniture pieces will go so that when the movers or whoever move the furniture in the room, they can get them close to where they will go so you have much less to move. You can create these sheets in advance and put them in your Moving Journal.
    5) I like to pack and move the boxes to the garage each day or to the family room so that the packed boxes are in one spot instead of all over the house.
    6) For dressers, if the move isn’t too far, you can sometimes leave the contents in the drawers and just remove the drawers from the dresser instead of packing everything. If you use a mover, you won’t do this.
    7) If you are using a mover, check their website, they’ll have moving tips on there. Even if you aren’t, check out movers websites, they’ll all have tips.
    8) As you go through each day, write down things you use each day-you’ll pack those last and you’ll need them unpacked first at the new place. Those are things you may want to transport
    9) This goes without saying, but of course, get rid of anything you can prior to the move.

    Good luck! Can’t wait to see pictures of the new house.

  14. Deb December 3, 2010 at 6:20 pm #

    We moved (400 miles away) last Christmas – it’s a whirlwind for sure! Labeling boxes by room is a must – makes it so much easier on the other end. My daughter is about your daughter’s age – I slowly packed a few of her toys every day, so she won’t panic when all of a sudden her toys were last. By moving day, she had 1 small bag of toys for her to carry with her. That worked really well for us.
    Moving is also a great way to realize that you need even less than you think! We sold and gave away so much as we were packing, and then even more when we were unpacking.
    Also, since it was Christmas and our house was filled with boxes and I didn’t even pull out any Christmas decorations, we spent all of our non-packing time at my parents – so we could relax and enjoy Christmas as best we could.
    Good luck with it!!

  15. Lori December 3, 2010 at 4:42 pm #

    Congrats on moving! We just sold our house a month ago and are currently living in my parents basement while we fix up our “new ” house (130 year old farmhouse). It’s been a little hectic trying to keep track of everything in two locations. I find myself often making trips back and forth, trying to locate an item in the stacks of boxes stashed in the garage (we can’t move stuff into the house yet because of construction). Someone advised me to label each box by room AND the exact contents of each box. SOOOOOOO glad I did that. It was a bit time consuming, but it has saved me hours of seaching thru boxes. However, if you are moving right into a house and able to unpack right away, that probably wouldn’t need to do that!

  16. Emily December 3, 2010 at 3:32 pm #

    Moving tips from someone who has moved herself and multiple friends, multiple times:
    Pack boxes by room. Don’t label every single box with every single item. Just use different colored sticker dots or post-it notes to designate each room as a different color. When your help is moving the boxes on the big day, have a colored coded key on each entrance and each room door. This will ensure most boxes just end up in the correct room without answering questions all day about what goes where. Then you can easily unpack one room at a time and the boxes will already be in the room. Also, pack the few things you’ll need the first few days separately, so you’re not frantically looking through boxes for an essential item. You can also use all your linens to wrap breakable items and this will cut down on packaging costs. Finally, we always get boxes free from local stores and then recycle them later. The stores are happy to give them away. The smaller the boxes, the easier for your moving help to carry, especially with heavy items, such as books.
    Hope this helps. :)

  17. Sheri December 3, 2010 at 1:15 pm #

    I’m so excited for your move! We have a very similar story to you. After living in our small townhome for a little over four years and trying to sell for 1.5 years, God finally opened the doors this summer and all in one week we decided to rent our townhome and buy a house, we found a house and a renter and were moving four short weeks later! Wow! We have now been in our new home for 3 months and are so grateful. We had to rent our townhome for less than our mortgage, but we are managing to get by so far. We too are now super close to our church and my husbands work (same place). I believe we learned a lot in that waiting period and we are now so much more thankful for the house we have now.
    We moved with our three boys now ages 4, 2, and 6-months. I have moved quite a few times, but never with kids. Here are some things that worked for me I packed in the small free minutes I had. In a 10-minute period you may be able to pack a box or two. i would also pack a lot at night. It definitely seems never ending, expect to use many more boxes than you think. Purge as you go, don’t pack what you don’t want. Even though we had a 850 square foot 2-bedroom place, I apparently was better at hiding items than I thought. Everyone was amazed at how much we had, but really when you empty all the cupboards and closets, etc. it accumulates fast! Even though we don’t use paper products much, I broke out a leftover party stash to use in the transition days when all the dishes were packed up. Pack “overnight” bags for your kiddos and yourself with everything that you can’t live without for a few days, blankets, sheets, pjs, lovies, a few toys, shower curtain. That way you will know where those things are. Plan on maybe sleeping on the mattress on the floor for a few nights if you have a be that is hard to take apart or put together. Arrange for someone to have the sole job of playing with your kids during the move so that they stay occupied. If you go to the new house before the official moving time bring some essentials with you – toilet paper, hand soap, hand towels, garbage bags, cleaning supplies. Assign jobs to your helpers. It was very helpful to have some of the girls help clean the kitchen and bathroom while the guys were moving all the heavy stuff. Also, to make it easier for those moving boxes I labeled them with the room names and instead of saying, E’s bedroom, L’s bedroom, etc. I labeled them bedroom #1, bedroom #2, etc. and then had signs up. Helpers don’t always remember who’s bedroom is whose. One last thing, What I found to be the most stressful was when I wanted to be unpacking in our new house, but instead we had to go back to the old place to get it ready for the renters. Definitely ask people to help you clean up your old place if you can!
    Sorry this is so long, but I hope it helps! Have a good move, and Christmas!!!

  18. Whopper December 3, 2010 at 1:14 pm #

    I just wanted to suggest that for in-town moves, I found it a ton easier to just take a few car trips over before the actual moving day with my dishes and glasses in a box or basket. It’s a lot easier to not worry about wrapping them all up (and then unwrapping them) in paper or towels. I’ve done this several times and never had anything break. Pictures also are much easier to take over in the car. I also think that labeling is a huge waste of time if you’re like me and plan to be unpacked within 48 hours anyway. I love using the color code system for boxes and doors of rooms they go in but I don’t write the contents down anywhere. Good luck!

  19. alyssa December 3, 2010 at 9:51 am #

    Yay on your move! We recently moved from living in apartments for our first 5 yrs. of marriage to a house, so I can relate to your joy and excitement! I never dreamed of having 2 children in a 1 BR apartment. We made it work, but I am oh so thankful for a little extra room and a big yard. :)
    My tip would be to get a friend or relative to keep your kids on moving day. Small children can just get in the way and slow you down with tending to their needs. I know your family is nearby, so hopefully they can be of help! And also, make your life easier by eating simple sandwiches or take out for a few meals. When you’re packing your pots and pans and dishes, it’s a pain to have to be washing them in order to pack up. Get back to more homemade cooking after you settle in!

  20. Tamara December 3, 2010 at 8:00 am #

    Using stickers to color code each room is super easy and less time consuming than cutting paper or ripping tape. Worked well for us with our last move!

  21. Stacy Anderson December 3, 2010 at 7:44 am #

    Someone might have mentioned this already, but give each of your rooms a color code. For example, all boxes with your sons things, have a blue paper taped on, with a number as well. I used construction paper, cut into squares. I labeled/numbered both short ends of the box, because I wasn’t sure which end would face out. This is nice so on moving day, anyone who is helping you knows where the boxes should go (tape a sheet of colored construction paper to the appropriate door which will simplify answering where the boxes go- you can say upstairs, blue door, rather than upstairs, down the hall on the left). Lastly, I kept a notebook with simple notations of what was in each box. I used the notebook since our house was for sale for a while, and I needed to remember what was inside the boxes. It was helpful not to have to search through boxes for anything. Some people label the boxes only, but then still have to look at each box to read what they labeled. This way, I knew that if I needed a pot from the kitchen it would would be in white number 6.

  22. Shannon Hazleton December 3, 2010 at 6:59 am #

    Your November sounds wonderful! And those family pics are some of the best I’ve ever seen – you guys look so sharp. Have a blessed December!

  23. Lee Webster December 3, 2010 at 6:31 am #

    I’m sure you’ll probably gets lots of responses, but I thought I’d put in my 2 cents :) When you pack, you have to touch every single thing you own. It’s an excellent time to simplify and really decide what you can live without. As you pack, also have some boxes for donation open that you can continually add to. Don’t move with anything you’re not going keep! Save the effort :) Congrats on your new home – that’s an exciting time!

  24. Misty December 3, 2010 at 6:12 am #

    Hi there. I have moved so many times, It is exhausting to think about it. We purchased tape from our local U-Haul that says all the names of the rooms in your house. It helped immensely on our last move to quickly be able to determine where everything goes. We always get our boxes from the grocery store for free.

  25. Lindsay December 3, 2010 at 2:44 am #

    I love your monthly family/personal posts. They are my favorite! Thanks for the link on the BBC series. I’m always glad to find wholesome movies to watch. Writing down the things that you are grateful for is a wonderful idea. A great way to praise the Lord. Sometimes we forget to appreciate and thank Him for those “little things”. I’m beginning my own list today.

  26. Naomi December 2, 2010 at 10:06 pm #

    We will be moving also, but not until June/July of next year. We’r waiting until our son gets done with preschool. He has extra help there, so we don’t think it is right to take him out before than. My husband will be graduating from college next week, but we still won’t get to see him very much. We live about 2 hours apart- My husand from my 2 kids and I. He has a job down in the city and lived with my parents for the past 1 1/2 years. He was on unemployment for about 1 year and they paid for all of his college and through a grant, so we will be debt free on that part. He was hoping to live with us after next week,but he just got a new job about 2 weeks ago and it pays pretty well. We will have to live another 6 months apart, but we’re trusting Jesus that he will continue to keep us all safe. He said that the hardest part his that his new employer wants him to get a place down by his job and that he can’t live with my parents anymore. My parents aren’t kicking him out or anything his is just 1 1/2 hours from his new job and his employer doesn’t want that, anyways please pray for my husband the He will keep relying on the Lord to keep him safe and comfort him. Anyways, I’m glad that you guys got a new house, Congrats!!!!!

  27. Sarah F. December 2, 2010 at 8:13 pm #

    This post was an answer to prayer! Thanks for sharing!

    I would love to hear what a “regular” day (a non-Monday) looks like at your house. I’m struggling with how to balance my time on my projects verses with the kids. Also, what do your kids do during your cleaning and laundry time on Mondays? Do they play well independently? Any tips on how to get kids to do that?

  28. Jennett December 2, 2010 at 7:16 pm #


    What a blessing to have more room in your new home! When people offered to help pack, it was easiest for me to set the things out on the table or the bed etc. while they wrapped breakables and did the actual packing. This way, they don’t pack your last pan that you will still need for a couple of days. We have thousands of books. We labeled the books on each shelf with a different colored sticker and wrote the shelf number on the sticker. The books were one of the first things that were completely unpacked. As far as blessings go, sometimes we take the simple things for granted. A good nights sleep is a blessing that you appreciate far more since your struggle with insomnia. May the Lord bless your family.

  29. Jessica December 2, 2010 at 6:57 pm #

    I recently found a post about moving that has tons of sage advise!

  30. kristi December 2, 2010 at 3:24 pm #

    One thing that really helped me out with our recent was to designate each major area with a different color of duct tape attatched to one top corner of the box(so I only needed one roll of each color). Basement = black; our son’s room = blue; kitchen = yellow, etc…

    Also, if something was going to be needed very shortly after we moved in, I added an orange strip to alert me.

    It was really helpful for our movers – by the time we were half way through – they knew where the boxes with blue tape went and they didn’t have to ask me – or if they did – I could just glance at the box from far away and tell them where the box went.

  31. Alison @ Hospitality Haven December 2, 2010 at 2:54 pm #

    I always appreciate your family updates, and how open you are about what joys and challenges are present in your life! You’re a blessing.

  32. Elle December 2, 2010 at 2:53 pm #

    Sounds like a lovely November!

    I just wanted to let you know how I’ve appreciated your candor with your struggles of depression in other posts. I’ve battled that as well in varying degrees throughout my life. Winter has always been especially difficult. Since you are all about living naturally, I wanted to pass along my own latest blog post about naturally fighting depression in the winter, which has helped me immensely. God bless!

  33. Renee Stam December 2, 2010 at 2:36 pm #

    what a beautiful post! so many good news and blessing, I love having a peek into your life :-) ANd congrats for the new house!!!

  34. Erin December 2, 2010 at 2:13 pm #

    I would suggest having someone babysit your kids at their home on the big moving day, so you can work work work! Maybe a family member could have a fun day for the kids planned, and then they can just take part in a bit of it (beginning and end), and not have to endure the day with everyone busy working.

    I’m not moving, but if I was, that’s what I’d do. Heed all the others’ advice about packing ahead and then have a plan for your kids for the day of, so they can have fun, and you could focus on getting everything from your old home to the new home, in the best condition and order possible!

    I love your blog and your ideas. Thanks for sharing your heart!

  35. Deborah December 2, 2010 at 1:51 pm #

    Lindsay Congratulations to you and Aaron on your new home! I know you will make many happy memories there.
    Being a military family I have moved many many many times! You got a lot of great advice. Mine is to put the most important things in your car so they are not taken by mistake. For me my must have was my coffee maker.
    I have moved during Christmas as well. We didn’t even have a tree but we celebrated at my parents house. We were moving to Hawaii, which was the biggest gift of all so I did not mind in the least. I am sure you will feel the same way with the excitement of your new home.

    I love the laundry idea. I do laundry all the time. Right now, in fact. On one hand I feel great getting it done and not having laundry piling up but on the other hand I know It is not green. My loads should be much bigger.
    I started recording my gifts. I can not wait for the book to come out. Thanks for sharing your gifts with us and the photos. Precious! What a talented sister you have.

  36. Lynn December 2, 2010 at 1:51 pm #

    I echo everyone’s great tips. Label, label, label. Use towels and out-of-season clothing for packing materials. De-clutter. Pack a box or three daily of the non-essentials. Give the kids the task of decorating the boxes!! We got LOTS of boxes from the local Barnes and Noble and your U-Haul stores encourage you to take free boxes from their recycle bin. Our freecycle network or craigslist also has people giving away boxes.

  37. Kara December 2, 2010 at 1:46 pm #

    Label your boxes with the room you are going to put them in as well as what they have in them. Also, as you pack, have a big trash bag near by, and another box labled give away. It’s a great time to declutter, and figure out what to keep, toss and give away.

  38. Starlit December 2, 2010 at 1:12 pm #

    I move a lot and one thing that helps me is to label every box with a number and what room it needs to go to. I keep a master list of every box number and its contents. That helps me find items faster as I unpack, without advertising to the movers the contents of the box.

  39. Amy December 2, 2010 at 12:53 pm #

    We have moved 3 times in the last 7 years. The last time we had 3 little ones and I was 6 months pregnant with no 4!
    I have two priorities when we move. 1) Get the girls bedroom completely unpacked by the time they go to bed. and 2) My bedroom as unpacked as possible (Even if I have to put boxes into a different room when we go to sleep!)
    This sounds mad and impossible but it isn’t. It has helped the girls to settle into a new house really quickly, it also gives them somewhere to play while other stuff gets done. I sleep a whole lot better in a box free room. And when you wake up you don’t feel like the unpacking is already overwhelming. It is great to have a done room you can just go and be peaceful in.
    I also agree with Chelsea about packing an overnight bag. And also make sure you have something easy for dinner. (if not take-away!) It is a bit like when you have had a baby, accept every offer of help and remember that it takes time to get it all right. :-)

    Hope it all goes smoothly.
    ps – I am from the UK and love love loved Lark Rise to Candleford!

  40. the chatty housewife December 2, 2010 at 12:08 pm #

    Regarding moving, I’ve moved a few times and what I found the least stressful, was to take a long time to pack and a short time to unpack. I always started packing with the walls, and when they were bare I started on decor. Getting these often breakable and sentimental things safely packed away made it easier later on when packing supplies get scarce and time is short.

    When unpacking, I liked to start with what we will need the soonest and work my way through the boxes, leaving the decor and wall items for last. When I mentioned above, “a short time to unpack” what I actually meant was that ALL boxes get unpacked and homes are found for all items. I know many people who have unpacked boxes in their house and those items just take up useful space and create mental clutter!

    Oh, and start eating from your pantry, fridge and freezer as much as possible so you don’t have a lot of food to move and worry about spoiling.

  41. tacy @homemakinghabits December 2, 2010 at 11:57 am #

    Thanks for this, and thank you for sharing your very meaningful, humbling testimony Lindsay!

  42. Jen December 2, 2010 at 11:54 am #

    My husband and I have moved 4 times since we got married 3 years ago! Yikes! But thankfully we are now happily settled in our own home. My biggest piece of advice in moving is to throw away/give away/sell as much as you can while you pack. It is a great and easy time to get rid of things that are cluttering your life. And that way when you move into your new home you only have what you actually want. Also, the better you are at packing, the more time you take to label every box and pack like things together the easier it is to unpack which you are always so anxious to get finished. It can get tempting to start packing quickly and not so organized but the time is worth it on the other side. We also have always packed up everything we aren’t using right away so when it comes down to the last few days you don’t have a whole house to pack but instead only what you use on a day-to-day basis. I hope this helps and good luck!

  43. Nicole Abele December 2, 2010 at 11:42 am #

    Love the idea of 1000 gifts! I am going to start doing that each afternoon.

    I wanted to offer my moving tips, as I’ve moved a half dozen times in the past couple of years. I’m not a military wife, we just move a lot!

    For me, I get easily overwhelmed (and then, of course, procrastinate) if I don’t force a mountain of tasks into tiny molehills right away. If a weekly break down works for you, that’s my suggestion. Look at checklists online that go week by week.

    Gather all of the materials you’ll need first – boxes, packing tape, markers, scissors, etc. Make lists. Then begin.

    Start with out-of-season stuff (if you’re moving in the winter, pack away the summer stuff).

    Designate one area of your home for packed boxes. Move along, packing what you don’t use often.

    Get bold and give or even throw away things you don’t cherish.

    For us, I wish we had a scanner. My beloved husband holds onto every document in his possession for years… I might get him a scanner for Christmas! Trying to pack up loose papers is such a nightmare. Scan whatever you can onto the computer and make sure to back it up to a hard drive. Then shred it.

    Think twice before packing something into a box.

    Pack boxes as tight as you can – loose objects typically break or bend out of shape!

    I know some people swear by those space saver bags that you suck the air out of us with a vacuum – I bought some once and they didn’t work properly in the long term. I wasted my money, so I would not recommend them.

    Ask God for extra grace for this season of your life. You will need extra patience, understanding and letting go of higher standards… Sometimes it’s hard…

    We don’t have kids yet, but when I was a kid, we moved once every couple of years (my parents rented). My parents did a great job of making it fun and even adventurous and we had mostly positive experiences. We were involved in the packing and everything, and we loved sitting on the empty floor, eating pizza or sandwiches on paper plates and playing cards… Often felt like camping when we were moving out of one home and into another.

    Make sure all of your family and friends know that you are moving as soon ahead of time as possible – people will be more understanding, and some might offer to help!

    Consider moving things in as soon as possible, going in shifts. If you can get a couch or even just some boxes in a week or two in advance, it makes everything feel a little easier. If you’ll be hiring paid movers for the big stuff, make sure it’s JUST the big stuff – move everything else yourselves ahead of time – you’ll save money.

    Speaking of paid movers, we live in NYC and should have been more careful, but you can learn from our experience – don’t bother with movers you don’t know personally or from a professional, legitimate, accredited company. We hired some local company that tried to charge us almost triple the quote and then got really angry with us when my frustrated husband refused to tip them extra!

    So I hope that helps… if I think of any more tips, I’ll add them. God bless your moving time.


  44. Adica December 2, 2010 at 10:13 am #

    I’ve moved a couple times in and out of dorms, apartments, and now a house I’m renting. One thing I do is to wrap my dishes and other (clean) breakable items in clean wash cloths, towels, rags, etc. That way you’re not wasting paper towels, and you’re packing two things at once. It’s much better than wrapping in newspaper, too, because you don’t have to wash everything when you get moved in (and you’re unpacking two things at once, as well!). Having the overnight bag with clothes, pajamas, and toiletries for everyone is also very helpful.

  45. Lisa December 2, 2010 at 10:04 am #

    Hi Lindsay,
    I very much enjoy your blog and so look forward to your monthly updates! I have two little ones as well (2 yrs and 6 mo), so I love to glean ideas from you and am so blessed by your transparency (awesome testimony) and your love for the Lord.

    May God bless you!

  46. Jeff Wise December 2, 2010 at 9:58 am #

    Great post! I’m glad I found your site. I’m also following you on Twitter.

    Because I have to wake up so early in the morning we do our family devotionals at night right before bed. Right now we’re working our way through Psalms and then following up with prayer.

    Our oldest daughter is two years old and because of the consistency of this she now prays on her own. Way too cute!

    Thank you for sharing about the Jesus Storybook Bible. We’ll have to look into that.

  47. Sheila December 2, 2010 at 9:23 am #

    What a blessing to read this post! I really need to start writing out the many blessings that the Lord has given me as well. Thank you for that reminder. Praying for you as you prepare to move! It can be a big and scary process! One room at a time. ;-)

    God bless,

  48. Laura December 2, 2010 at 9:07 am #

    If you are moving with the help of your church, Miriam’s way is a great low-stress way to move. I would, however, highly discourage packing in bags of any sort. In my experience (moved about 10 times in my life now), bags rip and don’t pack well in a truck. So, for now, my advice would be de-clutter and start collecting boxes. I bet big stores like Target have lots this holiday season, and liquor stores (grocery where you are?) have boxes that are perfect for books/kitchen and other heavy items because they’re reinforced.

    Oh, and don’t pack your cleaning supplies. When we moved as a kid my mom taught me that the absolute last thing on the truck is the vacuum, and the first thing off when you arrive is the vacuum. Vacuum last (and do a bit more cleaning?) when you leave and vacuum first (and more?) when you arrive. You will never again have the opportunity to vacuum with furniture and stuff everywhere.

  49. Julia December 2, 2010 at 8:59 am #

    Wow. God has grace for moving! In October we moved out of our condo in a week so a renter could get in by November 1. Our life has been a whirlwind since then, but we found a duplex in our budget to rent (we didn’t want to buy just yet.) I have a teething infant and have been in grad school throughout this process. So my advice, if any… is rely on God’s grace. Rely on your church family to help, because they surely will. And do it fast! I find when you set a short deadline for a move it just gets done. Other than that, food and clean clothes are all that matter!

    God Bless, I hope it goes speedily and well.

  50. Krissa December 2, 2010 at 8:52 am #

    I’m moving at the end of this month too! I’ve decided I’m just going to focus on Christmas and enjoy that and then begin on my packing after the holidays and just try to get it done quickly. Good luck to you!

  51. Miriam December 2, 2010 at 8:41 am #

    We’ve moved 4 times in our 4 years of marriage. All the moves have been hectic, rushed and mostly un-planned, but here’s some things that have worked for me:

    1. As soon as you know you’re moving, go through each room and de-clutter. By this I mean get rid of the things you’ve been knowing you don’t want anymore, and put away things where they belong. Make sure the kid’s clothes are organized, and all the books are on the bookshelf, etc. If you have time, pack up the decorative/fragile things that you don’t use everyday.

    2. Invite *lots* of people to help you move! Because our moves have been in the same town/area, we’ve always done 1-day moves. Our house is completely unpacked in the morning. We have at least a dozen people over. The gals begin boxing up everything (and since it’s an in-town move, there’s no need for detailed packaging.) The guys load furniture in a trailer. Because the de-cluttering has been done, it’s easy to toss all the baby toys in a box, all the closet clothes in a bag or box, all the bookshelf items together, etc. By noon or so we’ve loaded everything up in truck and trailer and we’re off to our new place. Everything is unloaded there, and since we’ve just packed things that morning, we know what room to put everything in! By dinner time, our house resembles a lived-in home!

    3. Make use of those Costco big boxes of kitchen trash bags. It’s sometimes hard to collect enough packing boxes, so for all soft and unbreakable items, I just toss them in a bag and mark with a sharpie. (Clothes, bedding, toys, plastic dishes, and such.) Most of the bags are still usable as trash bags afterward, too.

    I should mention that having a 3 yr and 2 yr old now, all our moves were made when I had young babies. So it was nearly impossible for me to do much packing myself, but it was easy to find willing helpers! The 1-day moves began more out of necessity, but they worked so well that’s how I’d do it again.

    Best wishes as you move into your new home!

  52. EllaJac December 2, 2010 at 8:31 am #

    Maybe this suggestion is already here, but in 20 and Counting, Michelle DUggar details a way she moved (and eventually stored) their belongings. It was basically numbering boxes, and keeping a card file on hand with SPECIFIC things listed on the card. So if she needed the turkey platter, she knew right where to go. maybe this could work for you?

    Last we moved we had a toddler – and it was from a tiny 872-sf house to our 2700 sf house on 17 acres. And we now have four children. The thought of moving scares me to DEATH! Good luck with your move! :)

    • Amanda December 2, 2010 at 9:13 am #

      I thought of the same thing! Michelle’s moving process seemed so organized and smart. Lots of labeling, packing one box each day (or setting a similar goal), taking your time…

      Congrats on the house, Lindsey! I’m so excited for you and your family to have more space, and am looking forward to seeing what you do with it. :)

  53. Lauren December 2, 2010 at 8:02 am #

    As the wife of a soldier and the daughter of an Air Force officer, I am well acquainted with moving! Some tips I have would be to label everything. It really helps to know a brief description of what is in the box and where the box goes, as well as knowing how to treat it! Be liberal when protecting your important and fragile items, you would be surprised what can break even in a short move. Start WAY in advance, even just doing a box or two a day of items you know you won’t use in the next month helps a lot. I usually plan outfits out way ahead of time and pack the rest of the clothes. I usually force my family to participate in a clean out as well. Because we are required to move so often, we go through every drawer, every closet and every place where our ‘stuff’ tends to accumulate. If we haven’t used it in the last 6 months, we get rid of it! Not only does it help reduce the amount of things needed to actually move, it allows us to bless others with things we were just holding on to. I’m not sure if you’re using a moving company or not, but if you are not, I would recommend getting a dolly. Not only does it help make loading up much quicker by allowing you to move multiple boxes at a time, it also helps prevent you from overtiring too quickly. I think it was mentioned earlier, but when unpacking, beds are always set up first! After beds I usually set up the fridge and kitchen so we can avoid ordering food. I personally am able to devote an entire day to unpack and set things up, and will usually be successful, but that is not always the best plan for everyone. This is when the labeling becomes so useful, you’re able to unpack those things most important for essential day to day life. Also, make sure you have plenty of water and snacks available during the moving process! I hope that helps. Will be praying you have a smooth moving experience!

  54. Erin Coates December 2, 2010 at 7:46 am #

    What a wonderful testimony! It is amazing your struggle with friends and comparing yourself to others, now you are loved by so many women! God has truly used you to impact so many homes for His glory!

    As for moving (sorry if this has been written) packing party! Have ladies from your church come and help you, it is such a wonderful time of encouragement and fellowship. Break and have a light lunch! This is how we move families in our church!

    Many blessings Lindsay!


  55. Kate December 2, 2010 at 7:45 am #

    Hi Lindsay!

    I am 28 and have moved more times than my age including across the globe to Thailand. It has been adventure and I’ve learned to condense my life along the way.

    I’m sure you will do a great job seeing that you are great at simplifying and being practical. My first step in moving is weeding out stuff I’m not going to need in my next home, such as kitchen ware, clothes, books, toys, etc. Your girlfriends will love helping you do this- make dinner and invite them over- they won’t mind because they may end of with some goodies to take home :) The big key- allowing people to help you! Blessings!

  56. Michelle December 2, 2010 at 7:34 am #

    I moved quite a bit growing up, usually across the country.
    Last year I was blessed to stay in the same town when I moved from a townhouse to the house my husband and I live in.
    All of the moving tips everyone gave were wonderful!
    From my experience it helps to:
    - Not pack your clothes
    - Pack an overnight bag for everyone
    - Set up beds first, kitchen second
    - Have some freezer meals/convenience foods on hand for about 3 days prior to and post move. It gets kind of hard to cook when your kitchen is boxes.
    - Feed your movers lunch, whether they are paid professionals or dear friends providing lunch is a wonderful gesture, even if it’s just take-out pizza.
    - Have lots of water of hand and available to everyone for moving day.
    - Will you be moving everything in one day or is it possible to spread it out over a few days/weekends?
    I found that moving over an extended period seemed like a good idea but turned out to be incredibly time consuming!

    Good luck, I’ll be praying that everything goes smoothly as you transition into your new home – so exciting!
    One last thing, if you want to do any painting in your new house it helps to get it done before you move in. I’m not sure if that is feasible in your situation . . .

  57. Cori December 2, 2010 at 6:50 am #

    Beautiful testimony of the Lord! Thanks for adding that to your blog. It really completes the picture of your story and your life in with the Lord. I pray that through your story and continual witness, many will come to know the Lord through your blog!

  58. Allyson December 2, 2010 at 5:44 am #

    I’d love to get down to one day of laundry, but with two in cloth diapers that’s not happening any time soon :)

    I’ve been considering doing all of the cleaning on one day and may try it once this semester is over and life’s not so hectic.

    Right now we are really enjoying our Names of Jesus and Jesse tree advent activities as well. So wonderful to focus on Jesus!

    As far a moving, pack (and label) by the location of where you think it will go in your new home. That way you can at least have others help deposit each box in the correct room. So much better than boxes labeled with only what’s actually in them, no one but the owner knows where they need to go so you end up running around telling everyone where to put the boxes instead of unpacking.

    If we lived close I’d volunteer to help you, I have a strange love of packing and unpacking :) And I’d love to be able to bless you in return for all the ways your words and encouragement have blessed my life.


  59. Reese December 2, 2010 at 5:32 am #

    Congratulations on the home, we just moved from an apartment to a large house with 5 acres, so I understand the excitement!

    This recent (last weekend) move was my 7th in just over 2 years; one tip I have is never pack your clothes. All of your clothes that are on hangers, just grab them by the hangers and move them, zip tie the hangers together if you want to. Any clothes that are in drawers, leave them in the drawers, remove the drawers from the dresser so it’s not so heavy and move them that way.

  60. Jennifer December 2, 2010 at 5:17 am #

    What a wonderful post! I really enjoyed reading this and seeing how your past month went. I’m really thinking about starting a gratitude list myself – I’m curious to see where it will take me!

    With regards to moving…..

    Pack a box or two with immediate supplies that you’ll need upon moving in. Things like – temporary curtains for your windows, towels, shower curtain and bath mat, cleaning supplies, radio/CD player. Have each family member pack a bag or suitcase with clothing and supplies for at least a day or two.

    I also color coded our boxes per room and then categorized those boxes like Melanie mentioned above.

    Good luck and God bless!

  61. Sarah M December 2, 2010 at 5:09 am #

    I love these monthly posts, they are some of my favorite. Thanks for sharing about the “1000″ things, that is *such* a good idea. I shared your post about all the children’s books awhile back with my husband and he bought The Jesus Storybook Bible for our kids. We had a small children’s bible but there were some things lacking with it. We are also SO pleased with this book. We recommend it to all our friends, now, that are looking for one. My son is almost all done with it (and then, of course, yes, we’ll start over :)

    Thanks for sharing,
    Sarah M

  62. Julie December 2, 2010 at 4:53 am #

    Thanks for sharing your testimony. It was beautiful and encouraging.

  63. Jaime @ Like a Bubbling Brook December 2, 2010 at 4:41 am #

    Lark Rise to Candleford?! We are getting ready to watch that next! We’ve been enjoying Cranford and are just finishing Return to Cranford, and have thoroughly enjoyed them. Such beautiful scenery and language!

    • Lindsay December 2, 2010 at 7:27 am #

      Another BBC that we really like is Little Dorrit. It’s my favorite one.

    • Sheila December 2, 2010 at 9:25 am #

      Ooh, I love Cranford, and the Lark Rise to Candleford! Fantastic stuff!

  64. Amy December 2, 2010 at 4:18 am #

    I just had to comment that I love the Larkrise to Candleford series. My parents love BBC movies and have bought all three series, which I have enjoyed as well. My hubbie even likes them too. Sorry, this is probably a silly comment, but it just tickled me pink that someone else would even know of this series. Have a wonderful Christmas season and happy moving!

    My few recommendations (having moved all my life) are to pack the kids rooms last and unpack them first. It helps them feel more secure and all allows them their toys to play with while you unpack the rest of the house. Next, unpack the kitchen. It’s amazing how less frazzled I feel when my kitchen is in order. Hope it all goes well!

  65. Chelsea December 2, 2010 at 3:14 am #

    When we moved recently I packed a small bag for each of our family members containing everything we would need for moving day and the next day (pyjamas, a set of clothes, toiletries, small toys for the children etc). It really took the pressure off knowing that we had everything together that we needed (no hunting through boxes). Also we made assembling the beds and making them up with linen our first priority at our new house. That way we had somewhere ready to sleep when we were exhausted that night. Good luck!

  66. Melanie December 2, 2010 at 1:39 am #

    Lindsay, as always such a very encouraging article!

    Here’s a suggestion for making your move easier. Mark your boxes according to where the items were located when you packed them. So, rather than just writing “kitchen” on a box, you might write “Kitchen- sink, upper right hand cupboard”… Rather than “bathroom” you would write “Bathroom- medicine cabinet” or “bathroom- under sink”..Rather than “Livingroom”… try “Livingroom- children’s bookshelf” or “Livingroom- knick-knacks”…etc… Someone suggested this to me when we moved years ago and I found it really helped us find items before every box had been unpacked.

  67. Miranda December 2, 2010 at 1:38 am #

    I would LOVE to know how you only do laundry once a week? We are a family of 6 and I do laundry at least twice a day! I am open to any ideas that will cut down on mommy’s chore time and cut down on water usage!

    • Lindsay December 2, 2010 at 7:30 am #

      I do about 5-6 loads back to back. I just keep rotating the laundry through and then fold it all at the end of the day. I think it is key to slim down your number of clothing as well. We only have 6-7 outfits per person, so it makes 1-2 loads of colors, 1 load of whites (with white towels), 1 load of darks (with dark towels), 1 load of cloth diapers, and then 1 load of kitchen towels and rags. Rather than washing towels and sheets separately, I mix them in with whatever colors they match. This makes better use of our water and washer. I’ve been doing this practice for quite some time now and it works really well.

      • Miranda December 2, 2010 at 11:13 am #

        I am going to try this next week. Slimming down on clothes is a great idea…That’s going to be my weekend project. The children have tons of clothes and they never wear them! It’s time for them to go!