Monday, February 27, 2006
But I have made a commitment (to myself) to follow the decluttering plan of MIH. (If I didn’t, I prolly wouldn’t declutter as much as I want to.)
I realize how EASILY I get distracted with other projects (or cleaning or decluttering) that I want to do instead of staying focused on the task at hand. No wonder my house is a mess! It is full of unfinished tasks! LOL!! I started a cleaning project and didn’t finish it. Or I brought something home that I bought and did not put it in it’s place. Or I brought groceries home and left them on the counter instead of in the pantry. Or I get the mail and just take out the bills, throw away the “spam” and then just leave the rest to go through later somewhere on my kitchen counter.
So as I am going through the decluttering challenge I plan on staying to the task at hand and FINISHING it before moving on and starting something else. That means not just decluttering, but making sure that everything has a place in that area and is put back in that place. And making sure that I don't bring anything into that area that doesn't belong there (gotta find a place to put mail to go through when I have time).
For info on the decluttering challenge, please visit Mrs. Catherine's site (link on right hand side of blog).
These are the pictures of the shelf in the pantry that is for the girls to put away their own dishes and to be able to reach the dishes to set the table. I still have to get out Daddy's and my plates for them to set. BUT it is so nice that they are able to help unload the dishwasher, help set the table, and it is so cute that when we have guests over and my dd offer them a drink, they can goto the pantry and get one of their cups to fill with water for the guest.
Ignore the rest of the pantry as it really needs to be delucttered (see previous post).
Sunday, February 26, 2006
*I took one shelf in the pantry and put the kids cups, plates, bowls there. The children are able to help unload the dishwasher and put all their dishes away. (I will try to share a picture of this --- I am waiting for hubby to take the pictures off the camera and put them on the computer.) They are also able to set the table. The girls LOVE this. Even the 2 1/2 yr RUSHES to the kitchen when she hears the dishwasher open. She loves to put the dishes away, and they all love to be able to set the table themselves. This has to be one of the best things I did. I lost a little bit of pantry space, but the joy on my girls' faces when they saw this shelf was priceless!
*After every meal, each child is responsible for putting their dishes in the sink.
*After every meal, one wipes the table/placemats and one sweeps the floor. The youngest sweeps the floor after breakfast (when there is the smallest amount of mess), the next oldest after lunch (where there is a bit more mess) and the oldest after dinner (with the biggest mess on the floor AND she gets what the other two left behind).
*They each have their own toy drawer (one of those stacked plastic drawers you get at Walmart). They take out one toy at a time and put it back when they are done. I have made a new rule (after all the recent reading I have done) that if they take out another toy without first putting the other one away, they lose the toy.
*They are responsible for folding their clothes and putting them in their drawer after laundry. They also help fold the towels (the oldest can actually fold them in thirds!!!!). =^) The oldest is currently learning to fold sheets.
*Every morning (following the schedule), they make their beds and clean their room.
You can see my schedule on my blog. I have already tweaked it a bit and need to add those in.
The evenings are free for Daddy and me time (although there are a few nights where he does have to work late and on those nights I do personal things like blogging, scrapbooking, home business, etc.). I don’t have it in front of me right now and have NOT memorized it yet.
Anyways, just thought I would share and am anxious to hear what others are doing.
Saturday, February 25, 2006
I came across this WONDERFUL article yesterday that is a must read.
I'm Sorry Is NOT An Apology
I love the site Ladies Against Feminism. I cam across it YEARS ago when I first started learning more about being a WOMAN of God, and not just a Christian. I hope you will enjoy it as much as I have.
I have been trying to keep up with the dishes. "Shiny Sink" Flylady thing. And also just trying to be responsible to put things where they belong when I am done with them. Dirty dishes need to be rinsed and put in the dishwasher, not just left in the sink.
But last night after dinner, I looked at the dishes and pot (cast iron which means a little more time to clean) and said "that will take too much time." But I had done well keeping up on the dishes for two nights now. So I set to it. And do you know how long it look? SEVEN MINUTES! A whole lot less than the hour I had imagined/exaggerated in my mind.
One of the things I have always liked about Flylady (and notice that a lot of others have this too) is the use of the timer for 15 minutes to clean. "Set the timer for 15 minutes and do it. You can do ANYTHING for 15 minutes!"
When I set my timer and actually work on cleaning ANYTHING, I find that I not only did do that mammoth task I assumed would take forever, BUT I am able to do so much more! Oftentimes I find myself needing to find something else to clean as my 15 minutes are not over yet.
I bought a timer that has a string so that I can wear it around my neck (I could not always hear the kitchen timer when I was in a different room). It has been exceptionally nice, and I find it an encouragement to actually do the cleaning. Whenever I feel that it will take too much time, I just set the timer and go at it. And I find I get MUCH more done than I had expected.
In the CD Twenty Four Hours Is All You Get, Mrs. Bradrick talks about how we need to be careful about the time we think something will take. If you schedule an hour to do the dishes, it will take an hour to do them. She warns that we can spend unnecessary time doing necessary things. It really does make you think.
Tuesday, February 21, 2006
Monday, February 20, 2006
Of course I find her site after already creating my schedule (which I will share below). This means even though for the two days I have now being slightly following my schedule, I will prolly make more modifications. :D
Something I have always believed and tried to live by is that you have to do what works for YOU. God made us all unique and individuals. When we seek His guidance, what He leads someone else to do may not be what He wants to lead me to do. I have applied this principle to nutrition, to our homeschooling (a mix of Mason, Moore and unschooling), and I have applied to to making a schedule.
My schedule will of course have NON-homekeeping things in it because my life is not just about keeping a home ( I have a husband to be a helpmeet to and kids to play with and love on and a husband to love on too!).
So what has helped me create a schedule?
While I have not been able to "do" Flylady, I am so thankful for the lessons that I have learned. I continue to visit her site and learn. I have taken a lot from her (the importance of routines and STICKING to them, Shiny Sink, etc.) and put in my schedule.
Managers Of Their Homes has also helped me. While we are not as strict as the book suggests (or the applications/examples in the book), it has helped me to manage my (and my kid's) time more wisely.
Twenty-Four Hours Is All You Get
I must say that THIS is what has helped THE MOST. I have FINALLY created a schedule. You can get a copy of this CD (which comes with PDF worksheets) from Vision Forum. Mrs. Brodreck talks about the importance of a God-honoring schedule. What would He want me to do? What would He have my children do? It also helped me to realize how much of my day is wasted on things which I think are a high priority but are actually robbing my time to do more godly living (no matter how important I think learned to keep a good home is, KEEPING the home is more important). We are told in God's word we are to be good stewards of what God gives us. Shouldn't that include being good stewards of our time? We only get twenty-four hours a day!!
The Genuine Profit of Home Sweet Home and Making It Home yahoo group
I have JUST discovered this WONDERFUL resource. It is amazing how different each style is and yet what is so wonderful is being able to take a bit from here and there and making it work for YOU. The MIH yahoo group has wonderful reminders throughout the day (not NEARLY as many as Flylady...just a few here and there to help out). And the Genuine Profit blog has a wonderful Homemaking 101 course. I am currently reading through those to incorporate them into my schedule.
So here is my schedule. Right now it is VERY loosely followed. Although I must admit that my 6YR keeps asking what is next on the schedule Mommy? :D I am happy to be starting her so early. The following schedule is for weekdays and days where Daddy is working. I have a separate more loose (VERY loose) schedule for the weekends and days where Daddy is off (as we want to be open to what HE wants to do.
6:30- 7AM get dressed; groom self and room (wipe down bathroom)
7 - 7:30AM Bible reading/prayer/memorization
7:30 - 8AM prepare breakfast
7:45 - 8:15AM Morning Meal Job
8:30 - 9:45AM Morning Work / school
9:45 - 10AM Exercise
10 - 10:45AM Read Aloud to children while they work on handiwork
10:45-11:15AM fun school / creative indoor playtime / sewing (me)
11:15-11:30AM 15-minute pick-up
11:30 - 12PM Outdoor Playtime / Zone Work (me)
12PM - 12:30PM Unload dishwasher / Prepare lunch
12:30 - 1PM Eat lunch / Afternoon Meal Job
1 - 2PM Younger Ones Nap / Older Ones School
2 - 3PM Younger Ones Nap / Older Ones Rest / Personal Time (me - blogging, research, planning, email)
3 - 4PM Afternoon Work / Service and Hospitality
4 - 5PM Outdoor Playtime / Service and Hospitality
5 - 5:30PM Prepare Dinner
5:30 - 5:45PM Training Time / Life and Practical Skills
5:45 - 6PM 15 Minutes Pick-up
6 - 6:45PM Evening Meal / Talking
6:45 - 7PM Evening Meal Job
7 - 7:45PM Family Night
7:45 - 8PM Bedtime Routine
8 - 8:15PM Bedtime Story and BEDTIME
8:15 - 10PM Time with Hubby / Personal Time / Scrapbooking / Home Business
- Preparing/Cooking food
- Dishes to sink
- Sweep floor
- Wipe table/counters
- Load dishwasher
- Morning: run dishwasher after loading with breakfast dishes
- Afternoon: before preparing lunch unload dishwasher
MORNING WORK:this will prolly change after reading and incorporating more of what I am learning from Homemaking 101 and Making It Home
- Cleaning Home - blessings hour broken up by day
- Farming/Gardening spring/summer
- start laundry
- See Mon-Fri cleaning schedule (not created yet)
AFTERNOON WORK: this will prolly change after reading and incorporating more of what I am learning from Homemaking 101 and Making It Home
- Cleaning Routine (not created yet)
- Farming/Gardening in fall/winter
- Fold / put away laundry
- grocery Shopping
- Library time
- See Mon-Fri cleaning schedule (not created yet)
- Monday - Reading Night (Daddy reads aloud, we do quiet handiwork)
- Tuesday - Family Fun Night
- Wednesday - Family Devotions
- Thursday - Arts, Crafts and Hobbies Night
- Friday - Game Night
- Saturday - Saturday Night Sundaes (we make homemade ice cream while playing games/watching movies)
- Sunday - Family Day
So for what it's worth, there it is. At least for now. It was pretty difficult to come up with a schedule and still be true to the free learning that I want my children to encounter. But that is the great thing about schedules - if they don't work, keep praying and revise.
Tuesday, February 14, 2006
Tonight, it was a normal family evening dinner. After dinner, the 6yrG is in charge of sweeping the floor. Everyone usually brings their dishes to the sink when they are done, but tonight, Daddy had to discipline the 2yr, so I asked the 4yrG to help by bringing me all the dishes (I was at the sink washing dishes).
After one dish she complained that she didn't feel like walking anymore and didn't feel like cleaning up anymore. I commented that I thought maybe tomorrow I wouldn't feel like making breakfast. Or lunch. Or snacks. Or dinner.
My 6yrG who was sweeping asked what about her. Wouldn't I make her food tomorrow?
I commented that I would not feel like making anyone ANY meals tomorrow.
The 6yrG then started to clean up the table for the 4yrG. I said that everyone contributes to the state of this house and the family. That if the 4yrG neglects her job, it effects everyone. Just like if I neglect my job, it effects everyone.
The 4yrG then happily cleaned up the rest of the plates and cups off the table. And I will happily be making breakfast, lunch, snacks and dinner tomorrow.
Monday, February 13, 2006
I know that sometimes because men are different than women, it can be difficult to feel love from our husbands. I want to encourage you to think of all the ways your husband DOES show his love for you.
Does he get up in the morning and go to work to be able to provide for you and your family? (sure, he might be doing that if he were not married with a family, but now YOU and your family are his reason.)
Does he fix things around the house (my man fixed our toilet last night!)? (notice that I did not say right away or EVERYTHING on your honey-do list, because our men do get busy, but those times he does take to fix something)
Does he come home after work? (that really is a big thing)
What are some other ways your man shows YOU that he loves YOU?
Wednesday, February 8, 2006
Secondly, I just wanted to share some thoughts I have after reading the first few chapters of the book HomeGrown Kids by the Moores.
This is a book I wish I had read before I had my first child. Even though we planned on homeschooling LONG before I ever got pregnant, this book has wonderful advice that starts from pre-conception and goes through the first nine years! It is book not just for homeschoolers, but for all mothers.
I find it interesting that he talks about how discouraged many women can get about having children. He says that women want children, but when they see a mother struggling or hears a mother complaining about motherhood, they get the wrong idea. A lot of women (and men) get the idea that children are a burden rather than a blessing and a JOY!
And most of that is because most people are unwilling to make the self-sacrifices that it takes to raise well-mannered, well-behaved and well-adjusted children. The children must come first.
Now you might think that this goes against what I was taught (and most of you were prolly too) when I first became a Christian about how God is first and your husband is second and children are third. But it doesn't. God still comes first, and your husband should still be second. But sometimes the children get pushed so far into third, that the mother becomes wedged inbetween husband and children. You may know it as "me time."
Susan Bradrick has a wonderful quote based on Scripture (which I cannot find at the time) "His work for His glory not our work for our pleasure." I cannot say it any better than that.
And I am sad to say that I see too many marriages where the husband is placed so far in front of the children, that the children suffer. They grow up feeling unloved and unwanted. While it is important to keep your marriage strong and show your love for each other in front of the children, there is something equally important that sometimes gets forgotten.
A lot of couples put so much into their marriage with the thinking that soon the children will be gone and it will just be us. But has it been forgotten that while those children are with us that it is OUR responsibilty to raise them, train them, teach them, LOVE them?? And not just to be independant so that one day they can be out of our house and hair (which is the feeling they get when pushed so far into third place), but to be less dependant on us and more dependant on God. More of Him and less of me. Not just in my life, but in the life of my children as well.
And the thought that soon they will be gone and it will just be us is just wrong. Children are told to honor their mother and father (that has no age limit and continues long after the child has moved out and gotten married). And my husband and I have recently started looking into verses that talk about how the children should care for their parents when their parents are no longer able to care for themselves.
Our children are our legacy and will ALWAYS be a part of our lives. If we place them on the back burner, they will feel unloved and unwanted and possibly get a warped view of who and how God is.
**UPDATED - Clarification:
YES! There does need to be a balance. And I do advocate a date night once a week (if you are not able to get out of the house, then at least have some alone time in your house - put the kids to bed early and have a romantic dinner and snuggle in front of the fireplace). Read the book Romancing Your Husband for some great ideas!
I came from a family where the kids were put first (above the husband) and I see the sad effect it has had on my parents marriage. They are roommates instead of lovers. And they do not smile very often. I feel sad sometimes when I see them.
My husband came from the type of family where so much emphasis was placed on the husband and wife (and the thought that the kids will be gone and it will just be us) that he really did feel neglected. I won't go into a lot of details, but the relationship with his parents is not good, he has difficulty accepting God for who He truly is (and not what he thinks God is), and has difficulties in other areas of life - which can be traced back to his treatment at home.
Yes, PLEASE don't put the kids first so that you do lose touch with your husband. I have seen too many marriages end up in divorce or a roommate type relationship because they do place so much value on the children. BUT don't place the children so far behind that they begin to pull away from you and feel unloved and unwanted.
My husband and I are very lovey and touchy in front of the children. We are always expressing our love for one another in front of them (in appropriate ways of course... holding hands, a gentle loving touch, a short kiss, playful playing). And the children know that we value each other highly and love each other deeply. We have alone time every night and the children know that Mommy and Daddy have alone time. If children do not see that their parent's marriage is strong, then they feel insecure (I always worried, and still worry about my parents getting divorced). And they will have a difficult time in their own marriages.
BUT, I see so many marriages going so far in the opposite direction (realizing that their marriage is suffering because they have put the children above their spouse) that they do push the children on the back burner (as in the case of my husband). My husband would cry and beg and act out for attention and his parents response was always "you are only here for a little while and then will be gone and it will just be your Daddy and me." He kept a lot of things from his parents and moved out as soon as was possible.
The point of my previous post was to warn of the dangers of putting too much emphasis on the marriage and not making the self-sacrifices needed in raising children. Not to put the children above your husband. I hope that this clarifies some things. And I SO APPRECIATE those of you who have commented or emailed!!! I did not realize I was coming across the way I was.
Saturday, February 4, 2006
QUESTION #1: Seven things I hope to do before I die
1. Develop a meek and quiet spirit
2. Raise my children to love the Lord with all their heart, mind, soul and strength
3. Teach my girls all the virtues listed in Titus2
4. Learn to crochet
5. Visit all 50 states
6. Love my husband so that I do him good all the days of my life and that he trusts me completely
7. See my children marry godly spouses and raise godly children
QUESTION#2: Seven things I cannot do well:
1. Finish something I start (I have LOTS of started projects)
2. Keep house (but I am learning)
3. Be creative
4. Paper scrap (I like my digital scrapbooking MUCH better! Check out PICTURES link to the right)
5. Lie (which is a good thing)
6. Decorate (as Martha Stewart would say, it is NOT a Good Thing!)
7. Hold my tounge (I know that Paul says it is difficult, but I am especially inept in this area!)
QUESTION#3: Seven things that would attract me to my spouse.
1. His smile (my hubby has the BEST smile)
2. His laugh (his laugh gives me warm fuzzies)
3. His sense of humor (can you tell my husband brings a lot of JOY to our home?)
4. His passion (he cares so deeply for me and the children)
5. The sparkle in his eye (when he looks at me, I MELT!)
6. The way he smells (my knees buckle!)
7. His touch (says that I belong to HIM!)
QUESTION#4: Seven things I say often:
1. "Hey Munch Munch." (don't ask me WHY I call my children that, I just do)
2. "I love you." (should be said SEVERAL times a day to EVERYONE in the family)
3. "I don't know."
4. "Don't do that!"
5. "Be nice!"
7. "We can try that."
QUESTION#5: Seven authors, books or series I love
1. author - Elizabeth George
2. book - Created To Be His Help Meet
3. book - I Love You As Much
4. book - Romancing Your Husband
5. author - Nancy Leigh DeMoss
6. author - Andrew Murray
7. author - my friend's list (does that count?)
QUESTION#6: Seven movies I watch over and over again:
2. Anne Of Green Gables (all three of them)
3. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
4. 13 Going on 30
5. It's A Wonderful Life
6. You Can't Take It With You
7. Mr. Deeds (the b/w version)
QUESTION#7: Seven people I want to do this:
Everyone who is in a tag free zone (I know, that is more than seven)
Friday, February 3, 2006
A friend of mine introduced me to Tasha Tudor and I have been having a blast checking out all her books from the library. I love the era in which she writes (it is our dream to have a more simple life and homestead). We like to play Victorian Parlor Games (there is a wonderful book by the same title, no longer in print, but definitely a fun book we checked out from the library and was able to find online for a great price). If you have never read any of her books, they are wonderful for all ages of children, but especially the younger ones.
I have also been convicted about my housekeeping lately. After reading an article by a friend, I realized that I need to be a better keeper at home. I mean, the house isn't a messy mess, but it is definitely not something that I would invite people over to. And should something ever happen to me (I die or end up in the hospital), I would hate for my husband to worry about how the house looks. People would come over to help keep the house, bring food, watch the children, etc. and I just would like them to come over to a welcoming atmosphere. That is done not just by people with a hospitable attitude, but by a clean house as well. Now I am not talking white-glove clean. But definitely better than my house is. I am going to work on a home keeping schedule.
Keeping house is something I did NOT learn growing up. And I want to be a good example to my three daughters. I hate seeing them just walk over dirty clothes to get into bed instead of picking it up and putting it in the hamper. But how can I hold them up to a standard I am not willing to hold myself to?? No more! I will share more about that later in the week. Or should I say I plan to share more about that later in the week.