Organizing Snow Gear – Mug Shots!

Eby's Snow Gear Mug Shot

With eleven kids over a span of 23 years, we’ve gathered loads of mittens, hats, and boots.  We love hand-me-downs, and fortunately, we have friends who pass us great stuff.  As the weather has grown colder, I’ve gotten out mittens and warm coats, but Monday’s snow forced me get serious. Russ hauled out the bins labeled, Snow Boots, Mittens and Hats, and Snow Pants  and I sorted through grabbing anything that looked like it would currently fit one of my youngest six.

We often have problems with kids forgetting which mittens are theirs or even which boots ( Dimples, Sunshine, and Eby all wear nearly the same size).  This year Russ came up with a brilliant solution. Once we found a complete set of gear for each child, they put it on, and we took a picture; now we know which mittens belong to each child. No more arguing or blaming a sibling for a lost hat!

The system is already working.  Only a few short hours after the photo session, Eby could not find his mittens or remember what they looked like.  I pulled up the picture and, voila!, the mittens were navy blue with green stripes.  The same day the girls went ice skating with friends and Dimples left her gloves in the van.  Since my friend has nine kids, the likelihood of finding our gloves without a description was small.  I pulled up the snow gear mug shots and was able to ask my friend to look for gray and blue gloves.

At the age of 46, my memory is not what it used to be — I can use all the help I can get!

How do you keep your gear organized?

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How are you doing on your 50 Points of Joy? My list has 31 items on it and I’m trying to add more.  In two days I have 11 checks, not quite as many as I should if I’m going to hit 50 in a week, but not too bad either.

Please keep adding your lists to the comments; I’ve gotten great ideas from you!

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It was – 5 degrees this morning;  I opted for the treadmill over going outside.  The kids went outside to play in the snow and only stayed out 20 min., I can’t blame them since it is only 2 degrees.

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Russ, Rusty, and Dimples are on their way to Spokane for Rusty’s orthodontist appointment.  Dimples is having a hard time figuring out what to do with her days and can’t quite seem to settle in to playing with her siblings.  I sent her along with a bag of snacks and the small DVD player; She is getting a break from the  “I don’t know what to do” Dilemma, and we’re having a quieter day at home.  I find myself feeling a little sad that she can’t simply enjoy downtime, but we’ve come so far, this is a relatively small problem.

*****

I need to start cooking for tomorrow!  How about you?  Are you hosting Thanksgiving or being the guests?

If I don’t make it back to the computer, have a wonderful, joy-filled Thanksgiving.

Lisa

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Let me introduce myself. Russ and I are the parents of twelve children by birth and adoption, and sometimes more through foster care. I'm the creator of One Thankful Mom which has been as much of a gift to me as to my readers. In 2011 I became a TBRI® Pracitioner* and have lived and breathed connected parenting ever since. I'm deeply honored to be the co-author, together with the late Dr. Karyn Purvis, of The Connected Parent; it is her final written work. I love speaking at events for adoptive and foster parents. I'm also the co-founder of The Adoption Connection, a podcast and resource site for adoptive moms. I mentor and encourage adoptive moms so you can find courage and hope in your journeys of loving your children well.

12 Comments

  1. Giann
    November 24, 2010

    Oh my! -2º already?? (I'm sorry, its just about 61º where I live!) Love the system and the pictures!

    Y'all have a Wonderful Thanksgiving!

    Reply
  2. aarsethfamily
    November 24, 2010

    I saw an idea on another blog with a large family with many small children that might also help. She put dots on the tags. 1 dot for the oldest, 2 dots for the next child and so on. Then they can just look at the tag and count to see if it belongs to them. When the oldest grows out of something just add another dot and it becomes the next child's!

    Reply
  3. Courtney
    November 24, 2010

    what a GREAT idea! maybe you could print the pictures out and hang them up by the door where the gloves/hats/etc are stored?? then you wouldn't have to pull the picture up!

    have a wonderful thanksgiving!

    Reply
  4. Jenny
    November 25, 2010

    I love your idea! We are going to do this. Now…how about any ideas for hanging/ storing 8 pairs of winter clothes as they dry out after a 15 minute romp in the snow?

    Reply
  5. Joelle Holland
    November 25, 2010

    I love it. Hats, boots, scarves, gloves, oh my! What's a mother to do?

    Reply
  6. KTBrad
    November 25, 2010

    I LOVE IT!! Great idea!!

    Reply
  7. One Thankful Mom
    November 25, 2010

    Sadly, I don't have a mudroom, so my front entry way becomes the gathering place for wet gear on days when the kids are going in and out often. I set up my drying rack over a floor mat for pants, hang jackets on the hooks on the wall, and lay mittens, hats, etc. on the shoe rack. It's not pretty, but it works!

    Reply
  8. Marlene
    November 26, 2010

    What about a future post on the "I don't know what to do dilemma?" This is a struggle in our house too. And yes our daughter has come so far, but how great it would be if she could enjoy that time without having someone to entertain her or watching a movie. I was very challenged by your "50 points" posting. Somehow I've sadly turned the idea of having joy in my life into feeling guilty for taking time for myself when my kids needs so much of me, more than I have to give some days. I hope I can remember what brings me joy. Thank you for the reminder.

    Reply
    1. One Thankful Mom
      November 26, 2010

      Marlene, This is an ongoing challenge for us. I thought I had written about this quite a bit, but when I searched my own archives, I didn't find much. Here are a few posts that might be helpful. https://www.onethankfulmom.com/attachment-and-trauhttps://www.onethankfulmom.com/adoption/my-learninhttps://www.onethankfulmom.com/attachment-and-trau
      About joy, my heart hurts reading your words that you hope you can remember what brings joy to you. I know that place so well, and I'm so sorry that you are living there. Find some points of joy – even just a few – and start practicing them. Get enough sleep. Call a friend. Pray.

      Reply
  9. Wendy
    November 26, 2010

    We have baskets (I wanted nicer looking ones for my entryway) on a shelf right inside the door. Each child has their own bin, and they toss in it their hats, gloves, scarves, etc. They all have 2-3 sets of each (part of living in Alaska, I guess), and this system fits all their gear. The snowpants and coats are still a bit of jumble on shared hooks, but at least they have a place to hang. Under the shelf with the bins is a place for boots and shoes. As I type this, my dh is down in the basement building a "locker" system for their gear (we go out the downstairs door more frequently than up), which will give them each a cubby for boots under the bench, a place to sit, a hook for their coat/snowpants, and a shelf above for their bin of gloves/hats. It doesn't solve the problem of whose is whose, but at least it has a chance of going into the correct owner's bin!

    Reply
    1. One Thankful Mom
      November 26, 2010

      Wendy, I would love lockers for the kids. My friend Signe bought metal lockers at a university surplus sale and put them in her garage. They actually look great. Maybe some day! I would love to see a picture of yours when they're done.

      Reply
  10. Theresa
    December 12, 2010

    Great ideas I am a mother of 7 children both biologic and adopted plus twins 6 mth old foster babies! any idea to help in our Michigan winters is a plus thanks again , Theresa

    Reply

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