And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of thy children. Isaiah 54:13 KJV

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Women of Faith Webcast

If you've enjoyed the information I've given you about Sheila Walsh's new book The Storm Inside then you will want to watch the free webcast.

There will be a few of these happening on Tuesday nights in the coming weeks. This week's episode focuses on forgiveness and includes Lysa Terkeurst. It's only about 30 minutes long and it's free!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Come Smell the Mountain Breeze

A throw back photo from one of our many mountain vacations
We live in Tennessee and we love going to the Smokey Mountains. It's been a few years since we've taken a trip but we have a favorite cabin retreat we like to rent and just get away. There's no place quite like the mountains with the cool crisp air, plenty of bear sightings, and the wonderful hiking trails with waterfalls and God's majestic scenery.

Well now Purex is bringing the mountains to you! Introducing their newest Purex Crystals- Fresh Mountain Breeze. Like all the other Purex Crystals, it smells AMAZING!

That's my smelling face. Don't ya love it?

Purex Crystals are SO easy to use. You just put them in the washer when you add your detergent. Doesn't get much easier than that! Purex Crystals provide long-lasting freshness and help eliminate odors. This fabric softener will have your clothes smelling so fresh that you will feel like you've been transported straight to a mountain top. The best part is the crystals don't damage your clothes in any way. My favorite items to was with Purex Crystals are our bed linens. They smell so good when they come out of the dryer and for a long time after.

Still not convinced that you want to try them? Well what if I hold an awesome giveaway and provide 3 lucky winners with a coupon each for a free bottle? I thought you'd like that. Before we get to that though, Purex has a special treat for you as well. 

"To celebrate the release of New Purex Crystals Fresh Mountain Breeze, the Purex brand will be hosting a sweepstakes. One grand prize winner will receive $500 while 100 second place winners will receive a coupon for free Purex Fresh Mountain Breeze." Now you've got 2 chances to win free Purex Crystals! 

The Purex brand provided me with a sample of Purex Crystals Fresh Mountain Breeze in exchange for a product review. However, all opinions expressed here are my own.


Sunday, January 26, 2014

Giveaway Link Ups

If you have a giveaway link up you'd like me to add to the list just leave me a comment or send me an email (carterchaosblog AT gmail DOT com). Of course this is a terrific list to help you find giveaway to enter also! (open to all giveaways per site)                                                                                                                                                                           9.6.16                                                                               9.20.16


                                                                                                                                              6.22.16                                                    7.14.16

Airplanes and Dragonflies

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Crazy Hair and SKG

Ahhh so I have a confession to make. I've been in denial. To quote a friend, "I'm not one of these parents who has been sad about the kids growing...I have loved seeing them grow & do more." I feel the exact same way! I have never been one to hold my kids back. I've truly enjoyed watching them learn and grow....until recently. My babies aren't babies anymore! 

Now I know I've said that same statement on this blog a few times recently but see I'm in denial! I say it but I've tried not to REALLY believe it. Alas there is no more denying it. Apple is a......da da dum TWEEN. AHHHHHH! The horror. Not really. It isn't horrible. I'm just scared. Like first time mama scared because really that's what this feels like. Some all new territory. 

But as with most things in life, now that I've faced my denial, I'm ready to meet this challenge. I've hiked up my yoga pants and pulled my hair back and I'm ready to figure all this out. The Lord knows I can't do this alone so He has sent me some reinforcements. 

#1 I have an AMAZING group of friends that have first born children that are girls that are all super close to Apple's age. We're like an army of mamas. We are all going to go through this together.

#2 Secret Keeper Girls Crazy Hair Tour came to our city. Hallelujah! 

Apple & her friends before the show

Just a few weeks ago I bought our tickets and I read Dannah Gresh's book Six Ways to Keep the Little in Your Girl. Mamas you need to read this book. It's good. Like I was so sure I wasn't going to be impressed and then I was! It is a great book if you're in the tween stage or about to be in the tween stage. 

Before we went to this special mother/ daughter night I scoured the internet looking for more information about what the night would hold and I was disappointed to not find much at all. I was NOT compensated in any way to provide you with this information. I just wanted to provide mamas with a little more info in case you are trying to decide if this tour is right for you and your daughter.

Now the tour goes to churches and schools and other venues all over the place. You can check out the Secret Keeper Girl website for more information and tour stops. So each venue may have some different aspects. I don't know because I've only been to one.

Our event was a little special because Dannah Gresh made an appearance! It is the 10th anniversary and she was making a few special appearances and we were blessed to be one of them. We also had pre-show entertainment by Copperlily. FYI the tween girls LOVED them! And they just released their first CD. 

There was a "bookstore" set up in the lobby with t-shirts, hoodies, hats, necklaces, and books for the tweens and the moms. Oh and crazy blinky hair things too. We passed on those but plenty of girls had them on. The prices were reasonable and Apple was pleased to pick up a few items. Of course she had to have a Copperlily CD too and she got it signed. Woo! (This is some exciting stuff for an almost 9 year old.)

So the show is about 3 hours long. There was a short intermission towards the end. It was relaxed enough that you could go out for restroom breaks or whatever as needed.

This is what I was looking for before we went that I couldn't find much about:

*There was some worship time at the beginning and near the end. It was great. Stand up and join in.

*There were some short stories and some are acted out.

*Be ready for a lot of audience participation. If you have are prone to headaches (raises hand slightly) be aware that a lot of tween girls and mamas yelling is LOUD. 

*Anyone under the age of 8 is probably not going to get this program. It is LOADS of fun and everyone had a great time but I saw some very bored younger girls there. It isn't tailored to them. The prime age is 8-12.

*There is a very short talk about modesty and a fashion show.

*Be ready to dance mamas and daughters! 

*Wear CRAZY hair. It might get you on stage!

Apple's crazy hair (dinner before the show)

*There isn't any talk about those BIG topics you may or may not have discussed yet. No worries there.

*The message is a Godly one- don't be "normal" and follow the world, be CRAZY and follow the Lord!

*There are scripture verses to remind your princess (and yourself) how God sees her/ you.

*You won't be disappointed. This is a high energy, super fun time and it went so quickly. I was amazed when our time was up.

*The ladies on stage were terrific. You can really tell they are passionate about their message and they were so, so sweet as they greeted the girls, signed autographs, and took pictures with girls after the show.

I did not received any compensation for this post. These are simply my opinions on a phenomenal event. 

Friday, January 24, 2014

Make-A-Wish with Purex

Last November, Batkid stole all of our hearts, didn't he? The story of Make-A-Wish turning San Francisco into Gotham City for that sweet boy was just wonderful. Did you know that Make-A-Wish averages a wish granted every 38 minutes? Just amazing. I think what I love the most is that the kids are so creative! If you spend a few minutes looking at the Make-A-Wish Facebook page you will see some amazing smiles from kids that were given a chance to be secret agents, police officers, and even take in the Grammys!

I was also pleased to find out that so many companies partner with Make-A-Wish. Places like Macys, Zaxbys, and now Purex! In the month of February (February 1-February 28, 2014), Purex will give Make-A-Wish .08 per bottle sold of Classic and Ultra Lines in Mountain Breeze and Sweet Lavendar Fabric Softener. The donation will increase to .10 per bottle above 620,000 and they have a minimum guarantee of $50,000 and a max of $100,000. They will pay .05 per bottle for the first 4 million bottles of 75oz+ liquid detergent sold during the same time period. They will increase the donation to .10 per bottle over 4 million bottles with a minimum guarantee of $200,000 and a maximum of $300,000.

Purex wants to make sure that EVERYONE knows to stock up on laundry detergent and fabric softener so they sent me 3 coupons to host a cool giveaway! If you would like to win a FREE bottle of Purex Mountain Breeze detergent (smells fabulous!) then please enter with the Giveaway Tools widget. Make sure to spread the word about the partnership between Make-A-Wish and Purex!

That's a LOT of awesome wishes right there! So please stock up on Purex during the month of February. Learn more at

Purex Laundry Detergent provided me with Purex coupons in exchange for sharing the Purex Make-A-Wish Campaign. However, all opinions are my own.


Saturday, January 18, 2014

Organizing to Relax

So while organizing itself is not necessarily relaxing, I find that the results provide me with a sense of peace and calm. When I worked full time nothing in my house was organized. It was all a big ol' mess. Then when I first began staying home with Apple she was an infant and slept most of the time so my house was so clean and organized. I had a place for everything and everything in its place. Fast forward over 8 years and my house is a big ol' mess again. Now I am a bit OCD as you probably noticed in my cleaning posts so I do try to keep the mess to a minimum but some areas just slip by and before I know it they are ridiculous.

Last night the kids were gone and I had great plans to tackle a big pile of ridiculousness but I got started late and couldn't muster up the energy to get started. Instead I sat down and did a little blog work (yes I have to do things other than write posts) and decided I would organize my computer files. I have tried to do this many times in the past and I usually work on it 30 mins or so and then get distracted by something off the computer or by social media (I'm sure none of y'all ever get distracted by Facebook or Twitter). Last night I put on a show I like on Amazon Prime (did y'all know there were 2 seasons of Restaurant Impossible on Prime?) and got started.

I lost track of time. I think I worked about 3 hours. I really only have 2 main sections I worked in: Downloads and Pictures. I still need to work on my documents at some point. However a majority of my saved files were in those 2 areas. Because I save so many things for this blog and for homeschool in those 2 folders I had loads to dig through. So I set up some new sub-folders and got to work. I'm so happy to say that everything looks neat and tidy now. You wouldn't believe all the stuff I found as I worked! I had about 6 books saved that I had completely forgotten about! Ridiculous. They were saved to my computer before I got a Kindle and I just never read them. I also had an embarrassing amount of really great homeschool resources. Most of them were freebies or items that I've won over time and I always just save them and think I will get to them later. Well later took me a really long time.

My new goal is to save items to the RIGHT folder as soon I get them so I will know where to look for them. Now when I need a resource for school I can check my homeschool folder first to see if I already have what I need. When I need a pic for the blog I can check my blog folder to see if I already have one. Now I just need to tackle my desktop........(on my computer and my actual desk).

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Fighting the Storm

It seems like the past 5 years have been full of one storm right after another in our lives. From job changes to loss of loved ones to painful situations to illnesses, it just hasn't felt like as a family we've been able to catch our breath. I've been so blessed with lovely friends along the way to keep me encouraged but I'll be honest that in the past year or so I've withdrawn.

It's one of those things that just slowly happened. Excuses began to pile up to stay home- illness, to-do list, finances, busyness (now I do work part time so this isn't exactly an excuse). While it seems like a good idea at the time let me testify that isolating yourself gets lonely quick. First comes the loneliness and then comes the condemning voices in your head. Without all those encouraging, smiling, friendly faces around you start to believe those voices.

I've told you my word for 2014 is relax but as I read through The Storm Inside by Sheila Walsh I'm realizing that a big part of relaxing is going to be ridding myself of that negative, nagging voice. The one that tells me I'm not good enough, the one that makes me feel alone and ashamed, the one that speaks lies- it needs to go. In Chapter 4, Walsh addresses shame and she says,

"You are loved, you are beautiful, you are treasured, and you are a daughter
of the living God." (The Storm Inside, Sheila Walsh, page 79)

Oh how I need to repeat that to myself on those bad days. And oh how I need to surround myself with other loved, beautiful, treasured daughter's of the living God so we can remind one another of our worth.

I feel a little nervous as I'm filling up my calendar with "social" activities but I KNOW they are key. We aren't made to live life alone and as amazing as my hubby and kids are sometimes I need other moms, other women, my people. But don't worry, while I'm filling in some girls nights I'm also looking forward to some fun activities as a family, just with my daughter, and I will be searching for some special activities for Speedy and I.

If you are feeling the condemnation or loneliness I have been experiencing, I encourage you to check out The Storm Inside when it releases on February 11, 2014. You can pre-order at many retailers like

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Inside the Storm

I told you in a previous post about the introduction to Sheila Walsh's newest book The Storm Inside. Now that I've read a few chapters I just wanted to share a little more about the book with you. In the each of the 10 chapters, Sheila deals with a chaotic feeling that we can easily let take over our lives.

I've read through chapter 3. I'll be honest normally I would've conquered a book this size in a few days. This one is definitely taking me longer. I just feel the need to digest every passage. I can't just zoom through it like a fictional story or even skim through like most non-fiction books. I need to pick it apart, deal with the feelings that come up, share it with someone, and then move on to the next passage.

Chapters 1, 2, and 3 cover heartbreak, disappointment, and unforgiveness. Heavy topics. Great, great writing by Walsh covering how to take those emotions and deal with them and covering what God wants from us during those times. I shared a little of the message in Chapter 2: Disappointment to Hope with my Sunday School class this morning. I am looking forward to sharing more with them in the future.

When this book hits shelves on February 11 (great Valentine's gift btw) there will also be a small group guide available!

I will continue sharing about The Storm Inside over the next few weeks. You can pre-order via Amazon.

I received a free advance copy of this book as a member of the launch team. All opinions are my own. 

Take the Blah Out of Snack Time

If you are looking for a tasty snack enhancer then you should check out new Hershey's Spreads.

They come in 3 exciting flavors:
* Chocolate
* Chocolate with Almond
* Chocolate with Hazelnut

I received a free sample from Crowdtap and tried the Hershey Chocolate with Almond flavor. My kids tried to snatch the jar as soon as it arrived. It looked so good we had trouble deciding what to try it with! Finally we decided on vanilla wafers. We were not disappointed!

Vanilla wafers are good but not an incredibly exciting snack on their own. Dip them into a little Hershey's Spread and instantly you have an exciting snack!

This spread is good on everything: bananas, crackers, bread with peanut butter, break without peanut butter, ice cream, strawberries, pineapple, graham crackers, toast, waffles, EVERYTHING!

I can't wait to try the other two flavors!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Romance and Hockey

Susan May Warren returns to the Christiansen Family with It Had to Be You. This book follows Eden as she tries to handle her own life, mama bird over her brother Owen's life, and control everything around her. When hockey player Jace keeps showing up in her life she must decide whether to open up to a friendship with the bad boy who is a good guy deep down. Jace is fighting his own battles and doesn't really want a friendship or anything else with Eden either. Can they work past their own judgements of one another?

Owen is a hockey player and Eden is an obit writer. I must admit it took me a little while to get into this story with all of its hockey talk and twists and turns. It's so much easier to get into a book with a southern setting because it seems familiar. However I'm glad I stuck with this book. The story is very good (possibly a bit verbose) and the characters really grow on the reader after awhile. The side stories of Maddy (a sick little girl who needs a miracle) and a John Doe in a coma are heart wrenching. This is not your typical feel good romance by any means. It's much deeper than that with all of the characters battling their own deep issues. 

This is a relaxing read. It does take a little concentration in the beginning but there aren't too many mysteries to figure out or edge of your seat moments. It is perfect for those that love gentle reads with a little romance to them. The book also includes a Free Series Prequel inside. I must say the Christiansen family has intrigued me and now I feel inclined to read the other books in the series to learn more about them. It Had to Be You releases on January 17, 2014.

I received a free copy of this book from Tyndale Blog Network for the purpose of review. All opinions are my own.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Forced Relaxation

So I shared some tips for relaxing last week. This week let me share ways you may be forced to relax:

1. An ice storm, snow storm, or frigidly cold temps- any of these scenarios could get you stuck in the house for several days. Stuck in the house means you can catch up on chores and projects (see #2), go insane, or relax.

2.  An ice storm, snow storm, or frigidly cold temps- any of these scenarios might also lead to a loss of water and/ or electricity (thankfully ours stayed on) so you might be stuck at home and unable to accomplish many chores and projects.

3. Sickness- say one child woke up at 12:30 last night with a high fever and chest congestion. That might keep you stuck in the house for an additional day or two. Especially if you are also feeling less than stellar.

So for the past few days I've been relaxing a little more than normal. I have a list of things I'd like to accomplish like:

*sewing a project my son requested
*helping Apple set up the sewing machine she got for Christmas
*grocery shopping in order to make some freezer meals
*visiting with friends (which I've vowed to do as part of my journey to a more relaxed existence)
*spending some time outside with the kids prepping for baseball and softball season (but it's just too cold)

Instead I've mostly stayed home. Without water. Except for visiting my grandfather in the hospital (which is the exact opposite of relaxing) I've been here. With the kids. Who are tired of being cooped up. And we needed to go to the library today. But it has to wait due to the fever- sickness. And so I am forced to relax. And as you can probably tell catch up on blogging. :)

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Six Days

I saw a report this morning that Bill Nye will be doing a debate with Ken Ham. I find this very interesting. My kids have enjoyed Bill Nye's science in the past but after his inflammatory remarks regarding creationism and Christianity, we have veered away from Mr. Nye. I also find it intriguing because I've just been reading Ken Ham's book Six Days: The Age of the Earth and the Decline of the Church (published by MasterBooks). 

I have to say this book has surprised me. I expected it to be full of information that I already know. I was wrong. Ham (as usual) has done an excellent job of researching and compounding a large quantity of information. He brings together the proof and science of God's creation of the Earth in 6 days. In doing so he also brings to light the movement of some preachers and churches that are trying to change the Bible to align with Big Bang science and/ or the age of the Earth being millions of years old. I've personally heard preachers say things like, "We don't know that each of those first 6 days were thousands or millions of years long." Honestly I didn't give it much thought. That's how our minds our infiltrated and indoctrinated into ideas that aren't Biblical. Here he gives us the facts and reasoning behind belief in a literal 6 days. In his typical fashion he presents his information clearly using pictures and other visual effects when needed.

Ham also spends a good deal of time explaining why we need to make sure our children understand our belief and our reasoning behind those beliefs. He's right when he says that in general churches spend too much time teaching Bible stories and not enough time teaching apologetics. However I am one that is a strong believer in parents taking the time to teach their children Biblical truths and then attending a church that supports those teachings, not expecting the church to do all the teaching. In this busy world it is important that we take time to show our children our beliefs every day, not just on Sunday. It is no wonder that so many that are raised in Christian homes grow up to abandon those Christian beliefs because they were only modeled on Sunday mornings.

So from this book let's take away a strong belief in the Bible. The whole Bible. Including those first 6 days. Let's also take away the importance of talking with our children about our beliefs and how to defend them. And let's look forward to this debate and pray that God uses it as a time to strengthen believers, open the eyes and ears of the unbelievers, and spread His message.

See a special preview of Six Days here. You can see other reviews of this book here.

I received a free copy of this book as a member of the Book Reviewers for New Leaf Publishing group. All opinions are my own.

Blessings Every Day

What do you want to do differently in 2014? I've already shared with you that I just want to relax and let God take control. That's what I want for Apple and Speedy too. That they could learn right now that God is in charge and that there is no need for them to worry over earthly woes. At their young ages the best route is to keep them soaked in God's word. Apple is reading her Bible in a Year for Kids. I'm so excited about her journey through the whole Bible in 2014. I'm hoping it leads to some amazing discussions. Now I want Speedy to begin Every Day a Blessing: A Year of God's Love.

We're getting a little bit of a late start but hey better late than never, right? Actually it won't be hard for us to "catch up" because this devotional isn't dated. Instead there are entries for each day of the week and one for weekends. This is a great format especially for young readers! Speedy tends to like things orderly so it is better for him (and me) that he won't be starting on an off date and that he won't get behind if we miss a day or two. I'm excited about this devotional because he will be able to read the passages himself. He's been using a nice devotional for school time but it wasn't made for early readers and so I was reading it to him most days. I'm looking forward to having him read this one to me. The daily entries are short. They include a title, a verse, 2-3 short paragraphs, and an activity or question to help with the day's lesson. 

While the entries aren't dated, some of the entries will follow along with things that should be happening around that time of year like spring, summer, back to school, etc. Other topics include God being all around us, sharing blessings, and Sunday school. These little thoughts and verses are just what Speedy needs to stay focused on God all year! I'm looking forward to my discussions with him as well.

Do you have an early reader that would enjoy a new devotional? I have 1 to giveaway! Follow the easy Giveaway Tools widget for your chance to win!

I received a free copy of this book from Tommy Nelson for the purpose of review. All opinions are my own. 


I am so excited to tell you that I am a part of the launch team for the latest work from Sheila Walsh. In The Storm Inside (releasing February 11, 2014), Sheila addresses how to trade your inside chaos for the truth of who you are. Y'all are well aware I've got some chaos and I'm excited to see how this book will guide me through letting God work through it.

I've long been a fan of Walsh's from her Princess books for girls to books like Sweet Sanctuary she has a gift for writing and sharing God's truths. I've made it only through the introduction of The Storm Inside and already my breath has caught in my throat and I've decided this book is just for me.

No matter
how out of control your storms may feel right now, make no mistake
girls—God is in control! 
(The Storm Inside, Sheila Walsh, page 18)

A storm is exactly what we've been in. Our search for a house has been fruitless and in haste I started packing boxes when we began looking a year ago. The chaos around my home has been physical and emotional. I'm so excited to see what God has to say to me through this book. I feel the sweet anticipation of good things coming!

I will be sharing about The Storm Inside over the next few weeks. You can pre-order via Amazon.

I received a free advance copy of this book as a member of the launch team. All opinions are my own. 

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Guided Pathway

Do you ever have trouble praying? Sometimes I feel like I could pray for days straight and never run out of words to say to God. Other times it's like I'm a dried up well. I've got nothing. I want to pray but I have no words, no song, no feelings. Nothing. During those times I often wish I had a script or notes or a guideline. One idea I've toyed around with is a prayer journal. This is still something I REALLY want to do but never seem to be successful at. I've started at least 10 of them and I never make it very far. So......

Sharon Jaynes has written Praying For Your Husband From Head to Toe. This is like a prayer for dummies book. 30 days of specific prayers to say for your husband to cover him from head to toe and beyond. She has sections each day for different parts of his body including his ring finger (marriage) and side (friends). I love it. It really is just what I need to get me praying for Hubby. His job is dangerous and sometimes he works nights. I have a really hard time sleeping while he is gone. With this book I can make sure I am praying for him without being that dry well. I think the thing I love about it the most is as I read the scriptures and written prayers I often find my soul bubbling up with more and more prayers for him, for our marriage, for our kids, for our current situations, etc. So this is like the great starting point for an even bigger prayer time. 

I mentioned prayer as one of my relaxing methods. It is truly one of the best ways to relieve worry (as long as you aren't having a dry well moment). Prayer is the one way to hand all those stresses over to God and His divine plan. I want to encourage you to pray more in 2014. Don't feel like it has to be a big production. You don't have to have a journal, a cup of coffee, and an hour of quiet time (although that is nice!). Just take a few minutes to talk with God. Tell Him your troubles. Ask for His providence. Lift up loved ones to Him. If you are interested in covering your husband fully in prayer I recommend this book.

I received a free copy of this book from Booksneeze in exchange for my honest review.  

Riding to Paul Revere

History has always been one of my favorite subjects. I love book series that include many historical facts while telling a good story. Apple has enjoyed similar books and she's read many series including Wishbone and the American Girl books that do a great job of incorporating real history. Of course some of her favorites have been the Imagination Station tales with Beth and Patrick.

The Adventures in Odyssey Imagination Station books continue on with a new 3 book set about the American Revolution. The set begins with The Redcoats are Coming by Marianne Hering and Nancy I. Sanders. This is such a great way for kids to begin to learn about early American history and to start familiarizing themselves with the famous names from that time. In this book the cousins are off on a mission to deliver a letter to Paul Revere. They meet some famous people along the way like Samuel Adams and John Hancock. They also make a new friend named Sybil. Of course it isn't an easy adventure. The letter disappears and they are accused of being spies! How will Patrick and Beth come out of this unscathed?

These are such fun books. The black and white illustrations are always great too. I'm hoping to get Speedy started on these books soon. The grade level is 2.5, the books are recommended for age 7 and up, and according to the Tyndale website a homeschool curriculum to go along with the book will be available as a download for $3.99. I'm going to check into that because Speedy has already finished his reading curriculum for the year. This would be perfect!

I received a free copy of this book as a member of the Tyndale Blog Network in exchange for my honest review.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014


Ways to relax:

* Enjoy your favorite beverage. My favorites are Dr. Pepper and coffee (not together of course) but caffeine tends to aggravate anxiety so when I need to relax hot tea with honey is the way to go.

* Take a bath. A warm peaceful bath with some bath salts or bubble bath is sure to help your body relax and your mind too if you will let go of all your worries for 20 minutes or so.

* Remember the things you like. Us moms tend to push our wants and needs to the side for the benefit of our kids and spouses. However if you let this go on too long you may find you've forgotten what you really like. Make a list and keep it with you. Let go of the financial & time worries and just write your list. Just because you put it on the list doesn't mean you have to have it. The list just helps you remember what makes you happy. If you are happy you will be more relaxed. Don't forget to jot down the restaurants you like, you may have forgotten in the pursuit of kid friendly meals.

* Find time to do what you enjoy. This is a little different from your happy list. What activity helps you relax? It could be cooking, spending time with friends, a date with your husband, reading a good book, sewing, etc. You really don't have to spend a lot of money to do any of those things. Make room on your calendar to do your favorite activity at least once a month.

* Pray. Ask God to help you with your worry. Remember what the Bible tells us:
    Matthew 6:34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

* Laugh. Watch a comedy. Pay attention to your kids for a little while. Read a funny book. Call a humorous friend. Find a way to laugh EVERY DAY. I'm certain this is essential to survival and to relaxing.

* Fill your home with scents that make you happy. Okay maybe this one is just me. I'm all about some smell. I feel SO MUCH BETTER if my house smells good. Use room spray, a candle, essential oil, wall plug ins, whatever it takes. Fill your home with heavenly aromas.

* Control the noise. Now I know we can't really fully control the noises our kids make but we can make some choices to control other noises in our environment. If you like quiet turn off all the background sound and encourage your children to use headphones for their devices, radios, etc. If you like noise (I tend to fall in this category) put on some relaxing background music or a calm tv show. I'm thinking any show with the word Judge or Springer is probably out for relaxing background sound.

This is just my starting place. I will continue to add as I find new ways to relax. What are your favorite ways to calm down and find peace?