Friday, 20 December 2013

Snippets from my Heart

For the past few months, it has seemed too overwhelming to write a couple of paragraphs on anything.  That is why my posts have been made up of activities and photos.  It may because there are far too many interruptions in the day to be able to formulate a thought long enough to communicate it in a post or that the things I have been pondering are too complicated to put down in one post.  However,  I have been feeling quite shallow in my blog as of late, so am leaving you with 10 things that I have learned and have been praying/thinking about lately.  If there are any topics you would like me to expand on in future posts, please let me know.

1. I will find true joy when I fix my eyes on things above and not on the things of the world.
That is, instead of stressing over my kids behaviour, how my living room would look if it was decked out in all Ikea or how much happier I would be if I could own a pair of tall boots "like everyone else", I will give praise for the abundant grace of God in my life, each day as I make mistakes and am forgiven,  praying for friends and family who don't yet know the great love and relationship that is available with God through Jesus and how I can exercise more fruit of the Spirit like love, joy, peace patience, kindness….

2. I am responsible for my own feelings.  
People "can't make me" feel anything. I choose to feel and respond to people's actions in the way that I do.  I can choose to respond graciously and with forgiveness in all circumstances.

3. This is the stage of my life where there is more death.  
Aunts, uncles, grandparents and even friends are more prone to sickness and long-term illness.  I need to get my will done.

4. Why am I surprised that my kids want to be on our i-technology all the time….we are.  
How do I find the balance in my face time and FaceTime?

5. Consistency in discipline is key.  
It is so hard to do with a cute 15 month old but if I am not consistent now, I will have a monster of a 3 year old.

6. Marriages are falling apart all around me.  
It doesn't just sadden me, it literally breaks my heart to pieces.  Many men are not rising up to role they have been given and many women are giving up on those men.

7. I must constantly surrender my family to the Lord. 
 I could do all the "right" things as a parent and they could still make poor choices and even though I have made many mistakes my kids could still turn out "normal". ha ha

8.  Nobodys family is perfect, even if it looks like that from the outside.  NOBODYS.

9. Generally, most Christians do not live in the victory and freedom that is offered to them through Jesus Christ.  
They do not walk in their new identity but are still living in the lies of their past and their circumstances.  What does it take to get us into that freedom? 

10. I am so grateful for the abundance in my life.  
I have food to choose from, I have a safe home and I have friends and family to call on when in trouble.  I am rich.  There are many people that I can share this abundance with, I just needed to look.  

Enjoy the next few days before Christmas.  Thanks for stopping in! -Angela 

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Freezin' Fun

Man, it's cold outside.  It is not even officially Winter yet and I am freezin my buns off.  If you are from Canada or even part of the States, you know what I am talking about.  It is just too early for this type of cold. 

The other day, the boys and I decided to make the most of it and had some fun.  

Freezin' Bubbles 

I braved the -40 while the boys stayed in side (with jackets and boots on) to blow bubbles and watch them freeze.  Munch suggested we don't do that one again because "It was way toooo cold!" 

Freezin' Inside 

 I buried some marbles in bowls of snow and had the boys use spoons and warm water to search for their "treasure".  It went over even better than I thought it would. 

Even Baby Goose had a good time.  Easy clean up too! 

Freezin' Beauty 

We made a sun catcher out of ice, marbles and food colouring.  I am all about being real here, so I have to say it was a real headache as it kept cracking on me.  Thankfully, in this weather, all I had to do was add a bit of water to the crack and wait another hour.  Totally worth it!  (The marbles will be fun to discover on a chinook day.)  

Freezin' Balloons 

I cannot take credit for this photo as our attempt did not work.  Take your leftover water balloons from the summer and fill them with water and food colouring (and then tell me how to do it without spraying water all over the place!), leave outside or in the freezer until completely frozen and peel off the balloon. Mr. Bubblegum, in complete three year old style, found ours before they were totally frozen and smashed them to smithereens. 

Freezin' Education 

After the crazy snow storm of 2013, my friend Jenn took an "educational moment" to show the kids how much it had snowed in that one day according to the pattern on her newly snow-plowed driveway.  I like my science-ey friends!  

All in all, this cold weather has been pretty fun.  However, I don't know how much longer I can stay cooped up in the house.  Here's hoping that sledding weather for littles is on it's way! 

Here's the thing. We live in this crazy arctic climate and Winter is not going away anytime soon, so might as well make the most it. 

Send me some of your ideas for fun in the Winter and I will pick my faves to highlight in an upcoming post.  Send them to  

Stay warm!  


Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Getting in the Christmas Mood

Here I am, sitting with a Chai Latte and enjoying the hilarious advice of Dr. Kevin Leman on my Focus on the Family app.  If you have not added this app to your mobile device, you must!  They have wonderful podcasts on parenting, marriage, social issues and spiritual issues.  The one I am listening to right now is Practical Advice for Parenting Powerful Kids.  Dr. Kevin Leman is the author of How to Have a New Kid by Friday and The Birth Order Book.  He is so funny but also very practical and challenging.  

I digress... this is a post to help me get in the Christmas holiday mood.  Don't get me wrong, I love Christmas!  I love celebrating the birth of The One who saved me and changed my heart and gave me hope after this earthly life.  Love it!  However, the thought of trying to decorate and bake with three active boys…who want to be involved in EVERYTHING…is enough to make me hide under the covers until boxing day.  

I am hoping that looking at the cute little chocolate snowmen and christmas balls with kids' handprints on them will swoon me into the festive spirit.  Here are some great things that I have found.  Feel free to share your fun ideas for kids' crafts, decorating and yummies.  I feel kind of lonely here when no one responds (yes, I am trying to use guilt to make your comment).  

Enjoy! Fa la la la la…

Aren't these beautiful? This is something I will do myself as it may be a little complicated for the littles…but I would love to see them around the house.  Thank you to Handimania for this great tutorial. 

My boys love gum. I mean LUUUV gum.  This is the greatest advent calendar ever!  No fanciness or chocolate required. Love it! This great idea came from My Little Mochi.

I saw this on a friend's Facebook page and the snowman grabbed my attention. Too cute.  There are many more fun recipes ideas on this food segment of  Buzz Feed.

Once again, feel free to share your ideas.  Have a great week!  

Friday, 22 November 2013

Photo Sneak-a-Peek into our Day

 One morning in our household. These photos were taken before 9 am.  Enjoy! 
(I took these with my horrible cell phone which is soon to be replaced by my first iPhone. Yay!) 

Bubblegum drums several times a day on those silly broken drum pads.  His latest tune is Come Thou Fount. 

Goo is obsessed with brushing his teeth. I guess that's a good thing. 

One of the kids pooped in the tub last night. I was greatful for my disinfectant from Melaleuca. 

We do it ol' school in our home. Since the three year old is screen free, we have invested in the old style Leap Pads; the boys love learning with them. 

I finally gave in to Lego. What a wonderfully timeless toy. The boys mix it up between their new Lego and their daddy's old Lego. 

A crayon bomb was detonated in the living room this morning. It kind of looks like a heart. Awww. 

This is what you get when you tell the kids they can dress themselves. 

Have a great weekend.

Friday, 8 November 2013

Homeschooling-active ways to learn letters and their sounds

I haven't posted much about our first year of homeschooling. To be perfectly honest, I have felt very insecure in this adventure.  When people asked how it was going I would start this rambling rant about how we are taking it slow because after all it is just kindergarten and Munch is a natural learner so I am just making sure I am more intentional, blah, blah, blah... Now, I just say, "It's going well, thank-you." 

I have discovered that Munch loves math, science and art but is not too keen on language arts.  He becomes this ditzy, squirmy, hard to focus boy and I have to be on it to keep him on task (that was me with Math).  With that in mind, I came up with "off your butt" ways to learn letters and their sounds.  When it is an active game it doesn't feel like learning.  Grandma bought him some alphabet flash cards and we have been using those every day (thanks, Grandma S.)

Some fun ways to use Alphabet flash cards:

We scrambled the letters all over the floor and Munch would have to find the letters in order and make a train across the floor. Bubblegum loved the singing the ABCs song over and over. Interestingly enough, the last picture in the cards is zamboni, which was used to clean up the train when we were done.    

We found items around our house that started with each letter and taped them or clothes-pinned them to the item (speaking of that, I think he still has the U for "us"on his shirt in the laundry hamper).  

We also had a scavenger hunt for each card and then had to put each letter in order. Bubblegum was happy to participate in this activity and surprised me with the letters he recognized.  

I guess I can do this homeschool thing after all....

Saturday, 2 November 2013

Winter Fun-crafts and soup time!

I have to admit, after my boys sat and marvelled at the snow for a few minutes, I closed the blinds and turned on some good halogen lights and pretended it was Summer again.  I know, I know, I could hardly wait for Winter a month ago.  The grass is always greener...literally!  
In spite of my "bah snow' moment, I brought out the paper and scissors and as we talked about the beauty and wonder of snowflakes, we each made our own individual paper snowflake. Moms, do not underestimate the joy of making a paper snowflake...,duh! they get to wield scissors (what kid doesn't like using scissors?!)  
I learned a little something in this exercise husband can make a prettier snowflake than me. I actually found myself studying his and trying to find ways to make mine better but I...just...couldn't.  He is so wonderfully creative!  It was a great way to celebrate the coming snow. 
In keeping with the celebration with snow, here is a great website that has wonderful winter themed ideas.  I especially LOVE the ice ornaments. However, with Calgary's fluctuating temperatures, I wonder how long they would last.  

Courtesy of: Hands on as we Grow

I am not much for soup in the warmer seasons but once it gets chilly out, I am all over it!  Here are some of my great finds on Pinterest. 

This is a picture of a yummy Tomato and basil soup that I found.  However, when I went on the website to get the recipe I realized that it was in a language I do not know.  So, I found another recipe from with a less tantalizing photo but I am sure is just as yummy.

If you have not yet discovered yet, you must today.  I first found them when my friend Karla sent me the easiest and most amazing cinnamon bun recipe (I share the recipe in my post On the Lighter Side ). This Cheeseburger soup is something I think the kids might even enjoy. 

Keep warm and stay safe on the roads!  

Monday, 28 October 2013

My Sad Heart

It has a been a tough day. After watching our 12 year old dog Stewart struggle for days with congestive heart failure, we made the decision to put him down.  I really didn't image taking it this hard.  As you may have learned from my previous post Food, fun and Stewart, it was bitter sweet having a pet.  However, as I reflect upon my relationship with "Stewey", I can say he was the most faithful and loving dog I have ever had.  As my husband so wonderfully put to the vet,

"When you have a dog and no kids that dog is your kid; they get all the attention and love you have.  When the first child comes, the dog moves down the totem pole a bit and then when the next child comes a little lower and then when the third comes, the dog becomes the annoyance and frustrating task to deal with. Stewart took that role humbly and he did his best with it.  He loved those kids even when they were the ones who took his place."
He was a great dog, full of humility and courage.

The question has been, "will you get another dog?" Maybe one day.  Right now we have these boys to raise.  We wish that we would have had more time and love to give Stewart in our busyness and so I think we will take that as our lesson. 
We had prepared the boys for Stewart's death and so one night while Munch and I were raking leaves he says, "I really love Stewey, Mommy."  I reply, "I know honey, you are so good to him. When he's gone, why don't you take that love you have for Stewey and use it to care for the other dogs in our neighbourhood? You could play with Sarabi next door or maybe take Cola for a walk."  He thought that was a great idea and began suggesting ways he could help our neighbours with their dogs.  So, that's how we will fill our Stewart shaped hole in our hearts for now.  And perhaps, we will get a gold fish...people don't generally cry over dead goldfish, right?

Until next time,


Friday, 18 October 2013

Flu season

This last week has been one of many guests in our home...but not the welcome kind.  We have had puke (minimal), fevers, headaches, body aches, stomach aches, stinky gas, stinky diapers and exhaustion.  Strangely enough, I have enjoyed the cuddles and extra naps but nothing is greater when your littles are up and playing again.  The kids are now almost 100 % and Ryan and I are trying to get by, both feeling yucky at the same time. My favorite remedy for the body aches and chills is The Hot Toddy.  Ryan reluctantly takes it but I chug back, bundle up and sweat it out! 

Here is a simple recipe:

2 Tbsp rum
1 Tbsp honey 
1 slice of lemon and one 
1 cinnamon stick 
Boiling water

Mix all ingredients into boiling water. Once mixture is at a tolerable drinking temperature, drink quickly.  Bundle up and get to bed. 

Hope this finds your home healthy and happy. 


Sunday, 13 October 2013

Your Mother Dresses You Funny

He loves everything that makes me cringe...and not to drive me crazy,  he just really genuinely loves the mismatched, very colourful, completely cheesy clothing that triggers something deep inside of me causing me to turn red in the face and hold my breath, only to let out the largest defeated sigh possible.  Now, I am no fashionista, I know that.  (I do really, really...REALLY appreciate things that match though; like strangely, however, that's not the point.)  The point is that when my dear son wears his turquoise, yellow and red Iron Man socks with a green and grey t-shirt and orange sweat pants, I cringe.  

The other day the question came to me, "Why do you cringe?"

 I cringe because I don't want other 
people to think I chose that for him  

 "Why is that"? 
(Here is where I get honest, like really honest)
  • I believe that how I look to others is important
  • What people think of me really matters    
This is not healthy thinking.  What my son thinks is healthy.  He does not care what people think about his clothes because he is simply expressing who is without apology.  He is not worried about brand names or colour trends. He likes what he likes and he wants to enjoy that in his clothing. I do not want to rob him of that.  I do not want to begin teaching him that he must change who is or pretend he is something he is not to impress people.  I appreciate that he is colourful. I hope he stays colourful.  I don't want him feeling pressure to dress a certain way to make friends. I certainly do not want him to wear his pants halfway down his arse (God help us all!) to fit in with people who don't care about who he really is.
 I appreciate what his individuality is doing to my insecurity issues.   As much my as his purple tie-dye dinosaur hat drive me up the wall, I am grateful for it.

With that being said here is a list of things I want to work on:
  1.  I no longer want to be annoyed by my sons' love for slippy pants, rubber boots and Thomas the Train t-shirts...I want to enjoy them because they are KIDS AND THEY LOVE RUBBER BOOTS AND THOMAS THE TRAIN!!!
  2. I want to let them pick out their own clothes on most days (I say "most" because realistically there are days where they need help according to the event, weather, etc). 
  3. I want to stop criticizing their choices under my breath, joke or complain to others.  
  4. I will "try" to stop using the "FYI, his father dressed him," comment (but sometimes, they just gotta know, right?"  
Is it just me or does some of this resonate with you?

Have you ever asked yourself why you insist your kids wear or not wear certain things?  
What is your reasoning for why your littles need to where Tommy Hilfiger when they don't even know or care who he is?  

It is an interesting thing to ponder. For me, it is a difficult thing to ponder.  Going to those honest, ugly places is not fun and as much as I will try to do the list above, I know the deep "whys" will take much longer to work on and will require much prayer, surrendering to the Lord and renewing of my mind.  Until then, I want to protect my minchkins from the same way of thinking and encourage them to be who they are without apology.  

Be blessed this week!  

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Pumpkins-Pinterest best

When I was little I thought pumpkin pie was disgusting.  Now that my taste has matured passed French fries and noodles I LOVE pumpkin everything (heard about the pumpkin spice M&Ms? What?!)
This week's Pinterest Best is in recognition of ....


Our kids LOVE to finger paint. They can enjoy this...

While we enjoy this....

Have a great week!

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

At the risk of sounding cliche...Just Do It!

See that woman with a double stroller chasing after the two kids on bikes in the picture? Rather, do you see the bigger dark spot behind the two smaller dark spots on that path (Ryan took the picture from the deck with the iPhone).  That bigger darker spot, which is a a woman chasing after the two kids is attempting to jog.  Of course, I chose one of the windiest days of the week but here is my point.
When you get the urge to be active, just do it! Do it before you come up with a hundred excuses why you shouldn't and then don't and then regret it and then give up and then don't do it for so long that you might as well not ever do it because where do you even start.  What am I saying?...Just Do It (Nike really had something there.)
Do it even though you need better shoes and are waiting for a really good sale on a not-so neon pair of 'jogging' shoes.  (Note: I ran in a pair of 8 year old hand-me-down runners from my mother-in-law)
Do it even if you don't have the fancy running stroller you have been coveting from the avid mom joggers in your neighbourhood (who, I am sure, also sport those fancy running coats with the reflective V-stripe on the backside).  I ran with that ridiculous double stroller with the front wheels' turning lock on...sure made for some real muscle around the corners!
Do it even if you have three kids, two kids, one kid, fifteen kids.  Tell them you are going to chase them and if you catch them they are going to get the whoopin of their life or make them chase you and if they catch you, you have to buy them a tub of ice cream.  I opted for having the boys race around the creek and try to beat their best time.  The first time, they had to stop to look at every leaf on the ground and how the wind blew the water so I tried doing squats while they meandered. Second time around (yes, that 's all we was freakin' cold!), we made half our time.  There was much to celebrate.
Do it even if you know it may be the only day you do it this week...or ever do it.  You will just feel good doing it.  I hear those new marathon running moms out there say, "It gets easier and easier until one day you crave running."  I personally do not get that and doubt I ever will be someone who says that phrase but hey, let's trust them.  Give it a try.
Do it even if you know you are only going to run, like, 5 metres.  Next time it may be 8 and then 15...
Do it even if its cold out. You will warm up.
Do it because you know it is good for you and you will love yourself for it...and you can eat that cookie later and not feel quite so bad.
Last week I tried to get the boys to ride their bikes while I ran to the park.  Well, Bubblegum's sandals fell off a gazillion times and the two boys got in a few pushing matches over who was in front but I made the most of it and did some pilates on the grass at the park (and some mean squats, step-ups and push-ups on the playground;which I learned from the wonderful Courtney Cassidy of FitMom).  

With kids in tow, it probably won't be perfect but a little is better than nothing. Am I right or am I right?
So, Mom, if you are looking for that kick in the butt to get active...this is it! No excuses! Just do it!

Please tell me some stories of ways you got out there and did it!  This is a great way to encourage and challenge one another.  I would love to hear from you.

Have a great rest of your week!

Friday, 27 September 2013

Never Underestimate the Power of a Colouring Contest

Today we went swimming at our favourite pool.  The boys were delighted to go since they hadn't been there since swimming lessons.  They showed a whole new confidence in the water.  Baby Goo showed too much confidence, which caused a lot of water intake but he smiled all the way through.  This family trip to the pool was not just any trip.  This one was very special.  We were able to enjoy our time because a certain little boy won us a free family pass in a colouring contest.  
I really didn't know how important this colouring contest would be until I received the phone call from the pool congratulating Munch on winning.  I was filled with so much pride and was very excited to tell him about it.  He was elated...not because he won a contest, but because he won something for the family.  What a confidence builder.  What a way to show a child that they can contribute to their family; that they can bring blessing and joy to the people they love.  We had a blast today at the pool but not just because of the awesome kiddie area and the pool noodles but because it was a celebration of a great accomplishment.  Who knew a simple colouring contest could do such a thing?  I will never pass by a colouring contest entry the same way again. 

 One of our budding artist's drawings of Dad (that coloured bulge in the arm is Dad's muscle-as if Dad wasn't totally pleased) 

Our other artist scribbling away with pride. 

Have a great weekend! 

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Autumn fun

I know I already said this but...I LOVE Autumn! This week's Pinterest Best is all about Autumn.
We have a lot of apples around here and are looking for ways to enjoy them. We also have a lot of leaves and broken crayons around and are looking for ways to creatively use them AND we have pumpkin...not a lot but still always trying to find great ways to consume it.  Oh and yes, we have a crock pot. Enjoy!

Thank you, The Skinny Chef

Thank you, Sunny with a Side of Sprinkles

Thank you, Pop Sugar Moms

Pinterest Best Activity of the Week 
Thank you, Ramblings of a Crazy Woman

A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver. -Proverbs 25:11


Wednesday, 18 September 2013

The craft closet is complete!

I had the garage sale from all the stuff Nichol and I gathered from the closets.  It was a horrible weather day so I ended up consigning and selling on the Internet.  With the money I made I was able to buy the bins and containers for the craft closet and a few other small things for around the house.  If you are looking for a good price and storage containers, Canadian Tire has great deals weekly.  Nichol tipped me off on shoe box size clear containers at an amazing price.

I bought 10 for $14.  I also went to Target and although had a few trendier items, they were not comparable in price to Canadian Tire.  One great deal at Target right now is a shower caddy. I used it as a house cleaning caddy for both floors.  

Another recommendation is a label maker. Nichol brought one and labeled the craft closet and boys' hangers for size marking.  Ryan just asked me where the label maker went because he needed it for his office.  We will be saving up for one of those babies for sure!  My pantry is the next project and the label maker will be perfect for that.  I won't mix the pancake mix with flour anymore! 

And here it is. Thanks to Nichol Kripki from Nik's Knack Home Organizing, the great transformation. Linen closet to craft closet. 


This was an everything closet.  I was so frustrated with it that I just shoved things in half-hazardly.  We moved the towels into the boys' bathroom and got rid of all the extra bedding and vases that we really didn't need.  That change table that was in the way was sold at the garage sale as well. 

 As you can see, we were able to get a lot more in the closet with some organization and thought.  The boys are able to access their activity books and crayons easily and with the labels, I know where all the craft supplies are can grab and go.  I don't get that scrunched up forehead whenever I open this closet now.  I breathe and enjoy.  

Can I just encourage you to find a friend to help you with your clean up, like my friend Jenn did today OR contact a professional like Nichol.  They are well worth the money!  

Saturday, 14 September 2013

Pinterest Best

Hey friends!

Are you feeling so busy right now?  I am not sure if its the change in season or what but I feel like I am spinning in circles.  Don't forget to take time to sit and rest.
I was going to share the new before and after of the craft closet but Ryan's computer isn't working and it is most frustrating to make a post on an iPad.  So, that can wait. Today, in keeping with school starting, I thought the activity should be learning fun.  I am looking for fun ways to teach Joshua his letters.  I found this great post from The Adventures of Bear

Pinterest has fabulous ways to enhance your child's learning.  There are endless ideas!

I don't know about you but I am exciting for it to cool down a bit.  Here's to warm drinks and comfy sweaters!

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, 5 September 2013

More Favorite Blogs and a Summertime Activity

Several months back, I shared some of my favourite blogs.  Here is a continuation of that, with some of the others that I check out once in awhile.  

The Minimalist Mom">

I love learning from this woman and her family, as they strive to decrease the clutter in their lives and work towards minimalist living.  She is honest and enjoyable.  


Now that I have begun my homeschool journey, I have desired to glean from these mom's who have been educating their children for awhile....lots of great ideas and wisdom.  

The Busy Mom button

This woman is just wise...and transparent.  She is like a virtual mentor in the areas of home management, parenting and homeschooling.   

Mandy picture
House of Rose
This was one of the first blogs that I really got into and the one that inspired me to start blogging.  Her and her husband are making a living just by blogging and love sharing how others can do it.  She has a great sense of style and is a lot of fun.  

Kids Activities 
Need an idea for an activity for your kids? Look no further!  This blog has every idea under the sun.   Every Wednesday other bloggers link in and share their best ideas as well.  It is a must have for those entertaining littles.  

On that note, here is an summertime activity that I found on the Kids Activities blog.  In celebration of it still being wonderfully beautiful outside, I thought I would share some messy fun.  This is from Sense of Wonder.  Enjoy!  

Monday, 2 September 2013

Last day of organizing closets...phew!

I was so grateful for Nichol from Nik's Knack Home Organizing to come and help clean out the closets.  This week, we went through the older boys' closets and made some tough decisions.  There were things that I was holding onto for emotional reasons and Nichol helped me work through that.  I learned that it is not healthy for our home to say yes to peoples' hand-me-downs out of fear of their reaction. I know right? Sounds silly.   "Angela, you just don't have the room or the time to go through it. Don't let it in to your home. You have to say no."  Wise advice.  This is why if there are rooms or closets that need to be cleaned out, it is a great idea to hire someone like Nichol to help you or ask a friend to join you.  There can be some emotional things to work through and when you are alone, it's easy to just ignore them.  When you have someone with you to say,"Hey, that's not going back in there until we deal with the issue.", you can get rid of some REAL baggage.  It was an empowering afternoon.  Here is the wonderful progress we made.

We color coded the boys' hangers so that I know what belongs to who.  They are only 22 months apart and so close in size it's hard to keep it all straight.  Munch is blue and Bubblegum is white. Nichol also used red hangers to separate the sizes.  She used her handy label maker to label the hanger with what size was behind it.   

Here is what I would eventually like to do with the boys' closet. 

Nichol recommends keeping the clothes where the boys can reach them so they can do it themselves.  Keep the clothes you don't want them to get at up higher, out of their reach.
I love the Ikea Expedit shelf look.  These boxes are neat too and you can find them almost anywhere. 

If we had more storage space, I would take the closet doors off and do something like this, with the curtains.  Seems there is more room in doing that. Ahh, one day!