ATTIC STORAGE SOLUTIONS.

When we moved into our new house a couple of years ago the attic was a blank, un-boarded space, with only an access door. After a few months I installed a ladder and after about a year of living here I had a good day (or two) at boarding it out. I haven’t boarded it out completely; a) because there wasn’t much point as some of it is inaccessible, and b) because I don’t want it to become a place that becomes the dumping ground.

So I boarded out a middle section and in-between the eaves. This has been great for storing all Nathanael’s Baby things, Christmas Decorations and other items that are of occasional use – such as air beds.

Since Kiri and I have started to get the baby things down again in preparation for Mini Smith #2, I look at the attic going, I could do so much more to make it more usable so here are my top 3 things I’d like to do to the attic.

1. Install lighting
An obvious choice, at the moment there’s an uplighter in the attic and an extension lead for lengthy period up there while the phone touch is used most other times.

2. Shelving and Clothes Rails in the eaves
I’ve seen this on a popular pinning website where there is shelving attached to ‘V’ shaped eaves and that is what I want to aim for, to keep boxes off the floor or make things easier to get to/store away.

3. Carpet the floor
In a way, this is a good dust catcher but does also double up as additional insulation, albeit a thin layer.

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WAYS TO GET A TODDLER INVOLVED IN DIY.

Nathanael loves DIY and as an enthusiast myself it only seems fitting that I try to include Nathanael in as much DIY jobs as possible – I use the phase DIY loosely as these jobs aren’t always DIY. Kiri and I bought Nate, last Christmas a little tool box that had a (very life-like) hammer, screwdriver and spanner, plus some extra bits – screws and bolts and the like. However this has fuelled his obsession even more. I spoke about how I keep my house tool box in the bottom of my wardrobe in my Essential Dad Items post the other month and when I’m doing anything around the house, my tools are far more superior than the ones we bought Nathanael and he walks around the room saying “hammer”, “Screwdriver”! while hammering and screwing anything in sight that has a bolt, nail or screw in it – pretty much every piece of furniture. WHAT HAVE I DONE!

Here are my 5 ways to get Nathanael (or any toddler for that matter) into DIY.

1. Be well prepared beforehand, never try anything overly dangerous when they’re around.
By this I mean, if you have any sawing to do, do that when they’re asleep so all you have to do is fix it together with them later so they can ‘help’, or so I told Kiri last time Nate and I went into the garage – no sawing happened then…..

2. Have a spare hammer or screwdriver around that they can use to feel a part of the action!
I have a multi-tip screwdriver that Nate seems to love and it’s his ‘go to’ tool whenever I’m doing anything around the house, this is a great win as I take the tip off and its fairly harmless.

3. Prepare to have them in your eye line of whatever you are doing.
Nate can get himself into the most awkward positions known to man, and wherever I need to be, that’s where he puts himself – but that does mean he gets the best view.

4. If you don’t mind a bit of mess, get them involved in painting.
Painting can be fun for them and there has been many a decorated room in our house.

5. Put screws and bolts for the item you are putting together in a bowl / box.
This really help them get involved, i.e. Nate, can you pass me the box of screws, etc.

These are a few of the things I’ve done to get Nathanael involved, if you want to share yours below, go for it.

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SUDDENLY MOMENTS.

You know that moment when you watch something happen and you can’t do a thing about it, and time seems to slow down. I had one of these a few weeks ago. I was emptying the dishwasher, putting some plates away and as I lifted up the smaller plates in the cupboard to put the larger ones underneath, one of Kiri’s ‘special’ plates slid off the top and on to the floor and smashed! There was nothing I could do, how was I meant to catch it without dropping several other plates in the process.

Then there was the mad panic to keep Nathanael away from the sharp edges as he runs into the kitchen mocking my achievements — “ooooow, ooooow” and pointing at my shame (slight exaggeration), but he did come in to see what I had done. I then had to confess to Kiri that I chose to save the ‘boring’ white plates over her cream flowery edged ones. The Horror!

I overheard a bible study that Kiri was listening to when I came downstairs after putting Nathanael to bed and something popped out to me as I was getting a drink from the kitchen. I don’t know who it was or what the study was about, this wasn’t his main point but it stood out to me. The premise about a particular passage that was being discussed that when the Bible writes ‘suddenly’ – something amazing is about the happen.

After hearing this I had to do some further research into this subject. In the bible there are so many Suddenly Moments. Here are four examples… I found loads:

Daniel 3:24-25
So Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, securely tied, fell into the roaring flames. But suddenly, Nebuchadnezzar jumped up in amazement and exclaimed to his advisers, “Didn’t we tie up three men and throw them into the furnace?” “Yes, Your Majesty, we certainly did,” they replied. “Look!” Nebuchadnezzar shouted. “I see four men, unbound, walking around in the fire unharmed! And the fourth looks like a god!”

Joshua 6:20
When the people heard the sound of the rams’ horns, they shouted as loud as they could. Suddenly, the walls of Jericho collapsed, and the Israelites charged straight into the town and captured it.

Acts 9:1-4
Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples. He went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem. As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”

Mark 4:39
When Jesus woke up, he rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Silence! Be still!” Suddenly the wind stopped, and there was a great calm.

This led me to think of all the suddenly moments that I have had in my life and in my family that changed the circumstance or the current course which I was on. Jesus is in the business of suddenly moments, being a follower of Jesus is not dull, or boring, or mediocre; there are times when it is difficult (all the time – we are called to be different) but the suddenly moments when Jesus moves in your life in an incredible way and changes your viewpoint. There is so much literature (books, even devotionals) out there about being in a bad places and focusing on Jesus. But what about the good days, in those days I need Jesus just as much as the ‘bad’ seasons of my life.

I hope this post encourages us as followers of Jesus to push on for a ‘suddenly moment’. To focus on Jesus to make a difference in whatever situation you are in.

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