Sunday, November 30, 2008

TAKING A DAY OFF

Hello! I am taking today off. I have so many things going on that I will be in and out (mostly out) all day. I do hope you all have a great day and I hope you'll come back tomorrow. Take care and enjoy the rest of the weekend!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

MAKING THE MOST OF WHILE YOU WAIT

First, before I talk about what today's post is about, if you want to have a little fun with your blog after you're done reading today's post, I encourage you to "read my post yesterday." When you're done reading go "here" and take the test and be sure and come back and comment to let us know how you did! I look forward to hearing about it! Please share how you did, it'll be fun, lol!

Now, back to our regular scheduled blog......Ever spend time in your car, waiting for someone or something? How much time have you spent waiting at the doctor’s office? Ever wished you could get some things off your “to-do” list? Maybe clip some coupons from the newspaper, balance a checkbook, write a letter or thank you note, or sew that tear in your clothes? Now you can.


For years I have had an "office" in my car. I can’t tell you the number of times it’s come in handy. Everything I need is stored in a clear plastic lidded shoebox under the seat of my car. Inside the lid of the box, as shown here, I have taped an index card labeled “Contents” and under that is an inventory of what’s inside.

What’s inside the box? Since I don’t really remember it all I went outside to my car to get it. Here’s what’s currently inside: a writing tablet (ruled); a ruler; masking tape; scotchtape; a mini sewing kit; scissors; a calculator; clothespins; bandaids (we also have a well-stocked First-Aid kit in the car); 3-hole punch; latex gloves; rubberbands; paperclips; pens and pencils; “Thank You” notes; 3x5 index cards; a pencil sharpener; a black marker and a stapler. (I used to store stamps and envelopes but apparently, we used them all).

How do I get all this in a box that measures about 13.6 inches long, about 7.5 inches width, and is about 3.5 high? I put in small amounts of some items. The 6x9 inch writing tablet has 100 sheets and is full-sized, but the scissors, calculator and stapler are small. Also, I only have a few index cards and a few thank-you notes stored in there as well.

This little “office” has come in handy many times. For example, once we went to a wedding and pulled into the church parking lot. A couple in the car parked next to us had bought their wedding gift and the wrapping paper on the way to the wedding (oh come on now, you’re saying you’ve never done that?). I heard them discussing how they were going to wrap it without tape or scissors so I offered to help them out.

Think about all the things you often wish you had when you are out running errands. No, I'm not talking about a nanny, a chauffeur or a maid. I'm talking about the "little" things that you find that you need whenever you leave home. Those are the kinds of things you would put in your mini-office in your car!

I not only had an "office" in my car, I had a "library" as well. When the kids were younger, we carried books, colors, paper, and some toys. Even now, I try not to leave the house without at least one book to read, in case I get stuck waiting somewhere. I don't like to just sit and wait, I like to either "be productive" or to read....after all, reading is productive, right? What do you store in your car for those “waiting” times?

Friday, November 28, 2008

THIS BLOG IS FOR JUNIOR HIGH READING LEVEL...Sniff! Sob!


So I was visiting over at "Candy's" website and saw this "test" she did.
I feel that I should apologize to you all. I did this "test" to find out this blog's "Reading Level" and this is what they came up with....sigh!

I do apologize. I would love to elevate you all above the level of the mundane. I love my readers and I would love to be able to be the one who lifts you up to bigger and greater things. Who causes you to think and ponder about such things like Quantam Physics and Blackholes, why did the chicken really cross the road?, and the most scientifically correct way to diaper a baby who is squirming at ninety miles an hour.

I would love to have you come away from here knowing exactly how to repair a misfiring rocket, or how to fix a twelve-course meal out of only two toothpicks and a bandaid, clean your home in two seconds while your mother-in-law is beating a path to your door), learn another language, rebuild an engine, fix your computer, hold your breath for 45 minutes while changing a poopy diaper, stitch up a wound, know what a Quark is, or remove someone's appendix (while I lie passed out on the floor from all that blood....).

Oh, if you could only come away from here, ready to take on the world. Bursting at the seams with ideas of how to redecorate your home with only dryer lint, or 1001 ways to make a great meal using only a can of Spam (hey, don't knock it, we actually like the stuff. I know....ooooh, sad!). If only you could come away from here with the knowledge of how to purchase $15,000 worth of groceries using only one coupon and a smile.

Alas, this is not that blog. There are lots of awesome blogs out there that can probably teach you that stuff, but this is not one of them. So if you leave here with an overwhelming desire to pick your nose and wipe it on your sleeve, now you'll know why. My humblest apologies.....sniff...snort....sob!

THE DAY AFTER

Well, I hope you all had a wonderful day yesterday, whether you celebrate Thanksgiving or not! I am going to be one day off the rest of the week, because it seems like it should be Saturday, not Friday.

Have you ever heard a line from a song that goes "I fought the law and the law won?" Well, that song was going around and around in my head as I prepared the turkey. In fact, I am happy to now pass it on to you. All together now "I fought the law and the law won. I fought the law and the law won." The funny thing is that's the only part of the song I know. However, in my case it was "I fought the turkey and the turkey won."

We had the usual thanksgiving happenings. Nothing big. Yes, folks, the turkey was frozen inside. "Didn't I tell you?" I'm so glad I didn't disappoint you. I felt like that woman in the t.v. commercial as I was wrestling with that thing. I accidentally dropped it and it landed in the sink in a pan of water and splashed water everywhere. Better the sink than the floor though.

Our 15 year old and I raced each other while peeling potatoes. Well, he didn't know we were racing. He just thought we were peeling potatoes and talking and laughing. But in my mind, we were racing. By the way....I won! I smoked him. Besides, he got a time penalty for accidentally dropping a potato in the garbage. (Shhhh! Don't tell him about the race. He doesn't know about the penalty either.)

Our 19 year old got off work in time to make the green bean casserole and a blackberry pie. He's been doing that since he was about 11 or 12.

The puppy did her "business" in the kitchen (where I was working by the way, heeelllooooo!) and poor hubby stepped in it. While I say "poor" hubby in order to appear very loving and gracious, I really must add that I say "better him than me," hehehe! Guess in all the commotion nobody remember to take her outside, and far be it from her to actually tell us!

The burner on the stove decided to stop working and take the day off, so when I went to check on the potatoes they were no longer boiling. Surprise! Something is going on with the oven too because the turkey took way to long to cook.

Dear hubby spilled gravy on the dogs' heads. Fortunately it had cooled some by then. They did not seem to mind at all. (I suppose it's similar to how I'd react if somebody spilled a barrel of chocolate on my head.) The funny thing is, the gravy smell probably drove them nuts. With gravy on their ears and faces they could smell it but couldn't get to it, lol! We have got to teach those dogs to stay out of the kitchen and out from under foot. Does anybody else do that?

As usual I left something in the fridge but hey, we'll just eat it tomorrow! We ran out of chairs and I offered to stand but dear hubby came to the rescue with the piano bench. Clever guy. I knew there was a good reason I married him.

I found our bigger dog with his head in the garbage, and the little one had a turkey bone in her mouth. They didn't even bother looking guilty.

My sister-in-love (not sister-in-law because I really love all my sisters-in-love, they're awesome) took some Benadryl and could barely keep her eyes open. She had plenty of company though. After the meal we were all kind of catatonic anyway. I could have cheerfully taken a nap. The dogs did and dreamed big dreams of turkey and gravy and all they could eat.

We had way to much pie left over but I don't have a problem with that. Honestly, can you ever have to much pie???? Guess I'll just have to eat some tomorrow. What a bummer.

All in all, it was a lovely day. Such a blessing to spend it with people you love. I have so much to be thankful for. I am so thankful to the Lord for His faithfulness to me every day. I hope you all had a great day too.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

THANKSGIVING

This is definitely going to be my shortest post ever!

For those of us who are celebrating Thanksgiving today, I wish you a Happy Thanksgiving. To those who aren't celebrating today, I hope you have a very happy day as well. Take care!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

IT'S A DOG'S LIFE


Today I took my puppy to the beauty parlor to get her hair done. You can see her BEFORE picture "here," or look at the sidebar. I paid more to have that dog's hair groomed than I pay for mine...twice as much in fact. What is wrong with that???? Seriously, does that seem right to you?

Now, granted, I pay a friend to cut mine. Plus, my puppy had some mats going on that needed to be cut out. Apparently I was brushing her improperly. Who knew?

Here's the thing....my sweet hubby keeps looking at the puppy and talking about how stinkin' cute she is. (This is the same man that made a yuck! face when I asked him if we could get a puppy.) "You're so cuuuuuuuttttteeeee!" he keeps telling her. First of all, I take exception to that. I have got my hair cut many times, and dear hubby has never once said to me "You're so cuuuuuuttteeeee!" in that tone of voice. He certainly hasn't said it multiple times, all day long, ad nauseam. He also has not given me doggy treats or scratched behind my ears. Not even once.

Second of all, she really doesn't understand what he's talking about. No, seriously, she doesn't. I know you think she does, but she doesn't. Sorry to burst your bubble here. So, technically, it is a waste of time to compliment her. All she can understand is the tone of his voice. He could be saying "You're so uuuuuugggggllllllyyyy!" in that same, sweet tone of voice and she would still love him.

Third of all, how come she gets to wear little bows in her hair and a pretty collar? I could put bows in my hair too, ya know.

Fourth, how come he took her picture afterwards? Not just one picture, but several. He actually got down on his stomach and took pictures of her. Well, to be honest, you kind of have to. She's that little. Regardless, he never takes my picture when I get a haircut.

Fifth, how come he noticed that she even had a haircut? He rarely notices when I get my haircut....almost never. If he does notice it's more like "Did you get a haircut?" This is said with the same amount of interest and enthusiasm as one would say "I think I'm going to throw up."

Sixth, how come he said she looks smaller now that she has less hair? I have had many haircuts in my life. My hubby has never told me that my haircut made me look like I'd lost weight or inches off my waist or hips. Never has a haircut made me look thinner. Never. If I thought it could do that I'd be bald.

Tomorrow I am going to book an appointment with that dog groomer. Two can play this game you know.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

SERIOUSLY, THE TURKEYS ARE TAKING OVER!!!

Warning: I am typing when I'm tired (again) and you know what happens when I do that. Proceed with caution. My sense of humor get all wierd and I crack myself up and think that I am hysterically funny....till I read it the next day. So I am making a disclaimer that this is not going to be as funny to you in the morning as it seems to me now. I guess ya just had to be there.

I have to tell you, noone was more surprised than me that that turkey post went out on Monday night. I had previously written it and scheduled it to go out in the wee hours of Tuesday morning, so that it would be there bright and early for y'all on Tuesday (today). I know, the things I do for you, lol!

BTW, in case you're wondering about the "y'all," I am not from the South but I do have serious accent-envy. I have always wanted an accent. My poodle puppy is from Georgia and she has a lovely accent!

Back to the topic at hand, or keyboard as it may be: clearly I put down the wrong date on my post. O.k., so I go to my dashboard (On Dasher, On Donner, On Blitzen....oh, dear....I feel a song coming on!!!!). But, I digress (I digest too but I doubt if anyone wants to hear about my appetite)!

And by the way, yes, I really do talk in exclamation points!!!!

Here's where it gets confusing (Now she says it gets confusing?): So anywho, I go to check my comments and you all are talking about turkeys. Seriously, TURKEYS??? I had no idea what you were talking about or why you were commenting about turkeys. Then I go back to view my blog and I see the "At The Well" post still up, and I don't understand how a turkey fits into that. (BTW, this in no way is to demean that post or the faithfulness of God. I am just explaining my confusion.)

Now, personally, I know I mentioned my hassles in the past with turkeys, but I wouldn't exactly say it was that difficult a time. I mean, I didn't struggle for months or have any deep-rooted turkey-issues that have affected my life negatively today. Although, there was that one time.....

Well, back I go to the "edit post" section, and there is my "turkey post." Are ya still with me? Are you as sick of turkey-talk as I am?

So, I go back to view my blog and, sure enough, my "At the Well" post is still sitting there, minding it's own business. I don't know what I thought it was going to do or where I thought it was going to go. But I never thought that turkey post was going to go anywhere that day either. And they say turkeys can't fly......ha!

Finally, I got the brillant idea of scrolling down. (You know, maybe a house really does need to drop on me!)

Wait for it....wait for it.....there it was: My Turkey Post (cue music). It was posted with Monday's date, underneath the "At the Well" post where I hadn't noticed it, but you had. No wonder you were all talking about turkeys! My turkey post had accidentally been dated wrong and had posted without my knowing it. I thought we were still on the post about difficulties so the turkey comments did not make sense. (Can you believe I took this long to get to the point? Hey, I have to post about something!)

So I decided if that stupid turkey post was so determined to sneak out earlier than it was supposed to, that I would just put it at the top of the page where it belonged. After all, I am in charge here.

Now, didn't I tell you that turkeys are out to get me? Didn't I tell you that they are not polite or obedient? That they are always fighting me? Didn't I tell ya???? You didn't believe me. Noooooo, you had to have proof. Well, there is your proof. I hope you're happy.

I'm telling ya. Look out, the turkeys are taking over the world. Don't say I didn't warn you. It's allllliiive! It's allliiive! I'm just sayin'....

Monday, November 24, 2008

ADVENTURES IN TURKEY-LAND

So I took my turkey out of the freezer a few days ago and put it into the fridge to thaw. It really doesn't matter, it won't thaw by Thursday. It doesn't matter what they tell you. My turkeys are always frozen inside. I could take that turkey out in May and let it thaw in the fridge for six months and it would still be frozen inside Thanksgiving morning.



I know it's in there. Just chuckling to itself. Eagerly waiting for that moment, the morning of Thanksgiving, when I will attempt to stick my hand in places where no hand should go, and try and yank out it's little frozen innards.



Turkeys and I go way back. I first wrestled one in the early years of our marriage. I wanted that day to be special. It was our very first time to host Thanksgiving at our house, and I wanted it to turn out perfect.



Stupid turkey refused to cooperate. Who knew I was supposed to take it out days earlier and let it defrost? It's not like it talks, ya know. So I plunged that sucker into a sink full of water. I am not sure who was more wet, me or the stinkin' turkey.



Oh the agonizing phone calls. To my mother. To my friend. To the Turkey Hotline (who knew there was a turkey hotline? Is that who turkeys call when they need someone to talk to?)



And why was I making stuffing from scratch when I could have bought it in a box? Who named it stuffing anyway? Isn't stuffing the....well, stuff, that is inserted into pillows?



Yeah, turkeys and I go way back. I remember that one Thanksgiving where the electricity went out just as I was taking the turkey out of the oven. Pretty funny watching dear hubby try to cut the turkey with his electric knife without the "electric" part!



Anybody else have any turkey adventures to share? Chickens and I go way back too, by the way.....

AT THE WELL - HAVING A THANKFUL HEART



At The Well” is hosted by “Laurie” this morning. Below are this week's discussion questions:

It is easy to give thanks when everything is going well. But how easy is it to give thanks when we are low in the valley?
How do you give thanks during difficult times?
Share with your readers a testimony of how God brought you thru a difficult time.
What is the most memorable Thanksgiving you have experienced?

It is easy to give thanks when things are going our way. When things are easy and life is good. But it is a lot harder to be thankful when we are hurting, when things are not turning out the way we wanted, hoped or expected them too. It is harder to be thankful, but not impossible.

God is so faithful and He loves us so much. He helps us to do what we cannot do on our own. He helps us to rise above our feelings and live on faith. He helps us to accept things that we cannot understand.

Many years ago we lost a baby through miscarriage. We had tried for five long years for this child and I was devastated. I remember being in the bathroom, down on my knees sobbing and feeling as if my heart was breaking. I remember knowing that I probably would never get pregnant again (and I didn’t). I remember grieving the loss of that precious life. And I remember being concerned about how my children would take it, worried about how they might view God’s love. How would they understand His sovereignty? Would they be bitter against Him?

I began to pray. I prayed for my children. I prayed that we might have the words to explain it to them, so that they could understand God’s faithfulness and His love. So that they might understand that even though we don’t know why things happen, we could still trust God's love and that He was in control and knew best. I prayed for acceptance for them.

I prayed for my husband and myself, that God would help us not to be bitter. I remember I was gritting my teeth, sobbing out to God that He might find me to be faithful. That He would help me to choose to praise Him, that I would choose to give Him the sacrifice of praise, even though I did not feel thankful. I thanked Him anyway, in faith, through gritted teeth as I cried out the words to Him, asking Him to help me not give way to bitterness.

God is so faithful to answer prayer. He lovingly and tenderly walked with me through the painful process of letting go of what I wanted, and enabled me to believe that He knew what He was doing and trust my hurting heart to His care.

During difficult times, as we cry out to God, He is there. The Bible tells us that He captures our tears in a bottle (Psalm 56:8). That if we draw near to Him, He will draw near to us (James 4:8). He is always there when we are hurting. He hears every plea from our heart. He sees every teardrop that we cry. I Thes. 5:18 says that it is God's will that we give thanks in all circumstances, in everything.....everything. Even when it hurts. Especially when it hurts.

I have experienced God’s faithfulness in my own life. I have seen His faithfulness to my mom when she lost her beloved husband, my father. I have seen His faithfulness to those who have lost spouses, children, and to those who themselves are dying of an illness. I have seen His faithfulness to those who are stuggling with finances, wayward children, in a difficult marriage, and in many other areas. I have taken hold of His promise that He would never leave me nor forsake me. That He cannot fail.

How do you give thanks during difficult times? You pour out your heart to God, you tell Him what you are feeling, and how you are hurting. Then, you ask Him to help you to live your faith. To live what you believe. This is the opportunity to put feet to your faith. To walk with your eyes on Him and not on yourself or your circumstances. This is walking by faith, not by sight; one step at a time…eyes on Him. Thanking Him in faith, and trusting in His sovereignty.

Psalm 77:19 says "Your path led through the sea, your way through the mighty waters, though your footprints were not seen." Sometimes God takes us through some difficult times, and we are trusting Him in the dark, but He is always there with us, carrying us through.

As for a memorable Thanksgiving, that's a hard one to choose. I choose to remember the last Thanksgiving with my dad. We didn't know it was going to be his last, of course. But although he wasn't real strong and used a walker, he was able to participate and enjoy all the food, fun and laughter. How thankful I am that I will see him again one day.

Please visit "At The Well" today to see what the other ladies are sharing.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

ALL DRESSED DOWN AND NOWHERE TO GO

My hubby got up this morning and got dressed in a pair of shorts and a t-shirt. Not his usual preaching attire. He is doing some things early this morning at the church so he went comfortably prepared.

I reminded him to bring a change of clothes so he's not up there all raggedy and messy, preaching and looking like something the cat dragged in.

So guess who just called and said that he forgot his dress clothes...go on....guess! That's right. My hubby (I'm so proud!). Mr. Calm, Cool, Collected and Oh-I-Forgot-My-Clothes!

Ya know, if he weren't going to be standing up in front of the church I feel that I could really have fun with this one. I could mix and match. I could throw something of mine in there. Something pink and ruffly (o.k., I don't have anything like that). I could throw something of the kids which would be several sizes to small.

He's lucky that it's still early and I haven't left yet, or he'd be one raggedy pastor preaching away on Sunday morning wearing only his shorts (no, not those kind of shorts) and a t-shirt.

The truly wonderful thing is that it really doesn't matter what hubby looks like on the outside. The Lord does not look at our outside, He looks at our inside. He cares about our hearts, not our clothes. I, for one, am thankful that we can come to Him just as we are.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

CONQUERING THE MESSIES - PART 4

Hey, welcome back to the final post in this clutter series! Glad you stuck around! Check here for "part one," here for "'part two," and "part three" if you missed it.

Once you have your home clean and clutter free, you will want to keep it clean. Now is the fun part (o.k., probably not really....but it's all about the attitude, lol!). Now you need to keep it that way. Seriously, good luck with that and thanks for stopping by! See you later. Please come again! Love ya!

O.k., I will tackle the subject but I do apologize if I don't do it well! Maintaining the home is something lots of us struggle with. It can be tough to get in the pickup habit and stay in it. Deep cleaning will keep your home down-to-the-bone-clean. But it's the maintenance (the surface cleaning and daily to-do's) that will make it look and stay that way.

It's the maintenance that will keep the home running smoothly. Your family may not notice if your floors or bathrooms miss a week of cleaning, but they will notice if they have no clean clothes, clean dishes, or food to eat.

Our floors may be eat-off-the-floor-clean (seriously, who does that?), and the tables may be spit-shined (eeewwww...now there's a concept), but if they are littered with toys or papers and stuff, they will not look clean. I'm not saying that you should only do surface cleaning, however. We really need to do both. I am saying that surface cleaning will make your deep cleaning last a long longer.

When I first started trying to get my home under control, I set up a schedule. I had one big cleaning day on Friday, and a friend watched my kids. On Thursdays she cleaned and I watched her kids. That worked, and then suddenly, it didn't. So I needed to figure out a new schedule that worked for me.

Find a schedule, a routine, that works for you. Some people like to just veg-out during the week and clean, clean, clean on the weekend. Some people would sooner die than clean on the weekend, so they will space it out during the week. Find what works for you.

I recommend starting with a cleaning schedule. To do this, make a list of all the cleaning jobs that you think need to be done around your home. Then put down how often you think each of these need to be done....daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly (or even bi-monthly or seasonally).

Decide how many days a week you want to designate as cleaning days. A little every day, two days a week, three? For jobs that need to be done once a week: spread them throughout the week on those days. Monthly jobs will be spread throughout the month.

I recently wrote a post on my "weekly schedule:"

Monday: Laundry, wash kitchen windows (inside only), 15 min. work on a project
Tuesday: Straighten pantry and cupboard underneath the sink, water plants, 15 minute project
Wed.: Windex mirrors/glass, clean microwave and stovehood, clean out fridge, 15 minute project

Thurs: Laundry, price book, school and/or menu planning, 15 minute project
Friday: Mop floors, change sheets, 15 minute project
Saturday: Bathrooms, Special Projects, sweep hardwoods, 15 minute project

These are just things I try to do every week to keep my home flowing smoothly (I also have a monthly schedule). Some weeks I may not get to it (such as straightening up the pantry), but I know that eventually I will get to it and things will stop falling on my head. You will note that some chores, such as dusting and vacuuming, are not on there. That is because my children do them.

Another great thing to do is to set up a daily schedule. Mine is "here." My cleaning schedule is not broken up into specific time slots, my homeschool schedule is. To do that, you will want to list things you do every day and the times (roughly ) that you do them. List the time you wake up, the time you have your meals, kid's nap times, soccer practice, bathtime, bedtimes, etc. Everything you have a time for. Figure out how much time you should allow for each event. Then you work from there and fit your "daily" schedule around those times. Start at bedtime and work back, that will tell you the time you need to get up in the morning.

When the kids were little we had three pickup times a day...before lunch, before dinner, and before bed. I also had a standing 4:00 p.m. room-check time in which I checked that their rooms were neat and orderly (this was the before dinner toy pickup time). We also established 7:00 p.m. as the time in which we did a pickup of the entire house (that was the final toy pickup).

I would suggest that you establish some "rules" for your home. These are just some examples to give you an idea:

1. Never leave a room empty-handed (always grab something out of place and take it with you).

2. Always put away your grooming supplies (brushes, combs, makeup) when done with them. Hang up your towels. This will keep the bathroom neat.

3. Always hung up your clothes when you're finished wearing them (or put them in the hamper).

4. Always put the toilet lid down (just like a bed that's made can make the whole room look neater, a closed toilet lid can make the bathroom look neater). I can hear you laughing but try it, and let me know what you think!

5. Make your bed every day (would it please you to know that my bed is not made today? Hey, like I said, these are ideas to get you started...right? You may not get them all done every day.)

6. Always close cupboard doors, drawers, closet doors. Straighten up sofa pillows. Put away newspapers and unwashed dishes.

7. Before you go to bed at night, straighten the last room that you are in.

8. Do not set something down "just for now" unless it really is just for now.

9. When making a meal, clean as you go. Always put the supplies and ingredients away before sitting down to eat.

10. Clean the kitchen after every meal. Wipe the counters, sweep the floor, run the dishwasher and go enjoy your evening. It is always such a blessing to come into a clean kitchen every morning.

Basically, develop the pickup habit. Teach it to your kids. Learn to pick up after yourself, and do it all day long. By the time bed comes, you will look around and notice that your house is clean, with barely little effort because you have developed the habit. Stop before you drop!

Here are a couple of websites you may enjoy. "The Organized Home." Also, "Flylady" and "shesintouch."

Friday, November 21, 2008

TAG

"Stacy" tagged me. Her blog is new to me but I have enjoyed getting to know her through her blog and seeing the pictures of her precious children, so pop over and give her a visit!

Lately I have received some awards and tags (thank you all) but have been unable to pass anything on due to lack of time. I actually have a little bit of free time right now so figured I'd pass this one on. I have done a similar "random things about yourself" post so now I'll have to come up with some more stuff. If I repeat myself please forgive me!

Here are the rules: 1) Link to the person who tagged you. 2) Post the rules on your blog (copy and paste 1-6). 3) Write 6 random things about yourself. 4) Tag 6 people at the end of your post and link to them. 5) Let each person know they have been tagged and leave a comment on their blog. 6) Let the tagger know when your entry is up.

1. I get my kid's names mixed up and call each by the other's name. Kind of sad because I only have two kids. I get my two dog's names mixed up too. Fortunately I only have one husband, what's-his-name, so I can usually remember who he is...especially when something needs to be repaired.

2. When somebody talks to me and I am only half listening, later I won't remember a word they said. Then I am left wondering where my husband is or what time my son is coming home because I forgot what they said. I am working on this, by the way!

3. I like to eat fritoes with m&m's. Don't knock it till you've tried it!

4. When I'm out in public and I walk by a mirror I usually can't resist looking into it (blush!).

5. I always feel like I should answer the phone "happy," even if I don't feel like it.

6. I used to have "80's" hair. Sad, but true.....


Now, for the six people. I haven't been passing on the tags or awards lately, so don't know if any of these people will "play" with me, lol! Also, a couple of them have no idea who I am but I wanted to introduce their blogs to you. This was tough because there are so many blogs I'd loved to share with you, check out "Chris" or "Sonya" or....o.k., I gotta stop here. I should mention that I recommend any of the blogs of the people who "follow" me. I read all their blogs and would recommend any of them! Also, check out my blog list (the one on the profile page because I haven't updated the home page yet).

Here are my six:

"Baseballs and Tutus." She is a sweetie and has the most precious kids and you will love her pictures and videos.

"Alicia." She just celebrated her 100th post and you will love her blog and her too.

"Patti." Another great blog. She really has a heart for ministering to and encouraging women.

"I AM (Not): I recently discovered Natalie's blog and she is so funny! I haven't read all of her posts as I just discovered her, but she really is funny!

"Tootsie." Don't ya just love that name! I am new to her blog but oh, my goodness, you have got to see her garden!!!! Not to mention give her blog a read!

"Cherry Hill Cottage." I just discovered this blog today, but I just have to share it with you. Look at the pictures of her home, I just loved it!

Allrighty, that's it. Whether or not they "play" tag or not check out their blogs when you have the time. I have found many of my favorite blogs this way.

CONQUERING THE MESSIES - PART 3

Are you knee deep in boxes? Wondering what to do? Well, this is part three of this little series on winning the war on clutter. If you missed the beginning, go "here" for part one and "here" for part two.

So now you're standing in your living room, or wherever, surrounded by all that stuff, and you are starting to toss your items into the four boxes: KEEP, GIVE AWAY, THROW AWAY, and UNDECIDED (and Dancer and Prancer and Donner, and Dopey and Sleepy and Grumpy....ooooh, sorry! I got carried away).

Eventually you will sort through your closets, cupboards, shelves and drawers. In the beginning you may not be sure where everything is going to go. Put it in or near the room or place that you think it should go. Eventually there will be room for it as you continue to sort.

For boxes you can use plastic ones (with lids) or cardboard "banker's boxes." Costco sells them, so does Sam's. You really can use any box. Number the first box #1, the second #2, the third box #3, etc. Take a piece of paper and write down everything that you put in box number one. Do the same for box number two, and so on. Six months from now you are not going to remember which box you placed something in. You may not even remember six hours from now. That is why you need the inventory. You will want to either put the information on your computer, in your Household Notebook (if you have one), or in a safe place....just don't forget where you put it!

When I first started storing my things in boxes, I tried to store them according to categories, such as baby clothes, maternity clothes, out-of-season clothes, Christmas things, hand-me-downs, etc. That really did not work for me, because that meant there were many boxes that were only partially full, and I was not making good use of my storage.

Eventually, I started filling the boxes all the way to the top in order to make better use of my storage shelves. Since I have an inventory I am always able to find what I need, so it really doesn't matter what box they are in. The only exception to this are my Christmas boxes. They are bright green plastic boxes that only hold Christmas-related items.

What kinds of things did I store? Baby clothes, maternity clothes, a humidifier, toys (so that I could rotate them when the kids got bored), old yearbooks, decorating knicknacks (so that I could rotate them when I got bored), out-of-season clothes, hand-me-downs, blankets, schoolbooks to pass on to little brother, swimwear, a coffee carafe (bought it at a yard sale in case the other one broke), pictures, heating pad, fabric scraps, extra tealights, arts & crafts, etc.

I tried to store things that I didn't use as often. That way, I could save my shelves, cupboards and closets for "A" and "B" storage items, meaning items that I use most often. I didn't want to clutter up my kitchen storage with a turkey platter that I only used a couple of times a year. I also didn't want to clutter up the kid's drawers with summer wear when it was winter time.

When you're through you will want to carry the Give Away boxes out to the car so that you can drop them by the thrift store next time you're out. Toss the Throw Away items. Your Undecided box should be decided by now. All you have left are your Keep boxes, which are ready to be stored.

Tomorrow we'll talk about maintenance and finding a routine that works for you!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

HELPING TROOPS BY SENDING COUPONS

This is my third post today, am I on a roll or what?....well, at least on a croissant or something. Scroll down after this if you want to see the rest of today's posts.

"The Happy Housewife" runs a coupon program which sends coupons to our troops overseas. Please go there to read more about that. They can use current coupons and also some bases accept expired ones (for up to six months). The prices at overseas commissaries and exchanges are higher over there so your coupons could make a huge difference to these families.

The "Happy Housewife" says to send an email to: coupons4troops@comcast.net if you want more information on how to be part of this program.

AWARDS


I don't often post twice in one day but I have some awards and things to post. If you want to see today's post, just scroll down below this post. Awards and tags can be a fun way to discover new blogs. I have discovered some of my favorite blogs from reading someone else's tag or award.

This was a tag given to me by "Chris." Go visit Chris' blog so that you can get to know her. For this award you are to tell ten things about yourself and pass it on to ten people. I really don't know who has this award and who hasn't, so I am going to pass for now. If you want to read ten things about me go "here."





This award was given to me by "Alicia." She is so sweet, you'll love her! Go pay her a visit!








This was given to me by "mom to 3." Wasn't that sweet of her? I love reading new blogs and I have just discovered hers. She posts on a variety of things that you might enjoy. Check it out!
























This one here is a Visitor's Award from "Ernestine." I encourage you to visit her blog, I think you'll like it! She said that I could do anything I want with it. So I am giving it to any of you to pass onto your visitors if you want. I can't seem to get Ernestine's name to print right, so thought I'd add it again.

I hope I haven't forgotten anyone; please forgive me if I have. I am not passing anything on at this time. I am still pretty tired, and just don't know who has what award or done what tag. I do appreciate all of you for thinking of me with these! For anyone reading this, feel free to leave comments about yourself so that we can get to know you, or take this tag or award to your blog if you wish!

WHY YOU SHOULD NEVER POST WHEN YOU'RE TIRED!

Here's a little humor for you today. So in yesterday's post on clutter I said "Tomorrow I will cover what to do with those boxes of thoughtfully chosen items!" Well, I lied. O.k., I didn't lie, but I won't be posting it today. Tomorrow's not looking' so good either, lol! Seriously, I'll try to get it posted on Friday.

Sorry, but I am tired. I am sitting here staring bleary-eyed at the screen and typing all sorts of wierd letters that don't even remotely resemble words. I just can't focus enough to write it now. So here's some random thoughts going through my brain tonight:

Why is it that when you're tired your mind starts to get wierd? Like, why did God make our knuckles with wrinkles on them? I guess it's so that when you bend your fingers the bones under the skin don't pop out, like they would if the skin was stretched so tight.

Why do people always tell me to drive safely when I leave their house? Do they think I'll forget and get in a wreck if they don't remind me? "Oh, yeah, forgot. Sorry!"

Why do I say "thank you" when I place an order at McDonalds? I am paying them to give me the food, and yet I feel obligated to thank them for taking my order.

Why do I talk to my dog? She has yet to answer me, and yet I dutifully explain things to her anyway.

Why do men's shirts have the buttons on a different side than women's shirts? I assume that's so that we can identify them, but I mean, does it really matter? If the men's shirts are in the men's section and the women's are in the women's section, and I bought it and it's on my side of the closet, don't they think I am going to be able to tell them apart? Am I going to forget that I bought it? "Oh, I don't remember buying this, that ruffled pink shirt must be my husband's."

What about t-shirts? Using their premise, how am I supposed to be able to tell my husband's blue t-shirt from my blue t-shirt if it doesn't have buttons?

Why is catsup spelled catsup or ketchup? And who named it ketchup? You never really catch up because it pours so slow.

Why is it that the phone only rings when I am in the bathroom? How do people know?

Why do I feel obligated to answer the phone in a "happy" voice even if I'm not happy? Even if I am irritated at someone or don't feel well or something. Why do I feel obligated to act "happy" with someone I don't even know, but feel perfectly free to be crabby with my precious family?

Why do I apologize when people bump into me? I mean, I was the one standing there, minding my own business and they bumped into me. Yet I feel the need to apologize for not anticipating that they would want to walk right through the exact spot that I am standing on.

Why does the hand in the crosswalk always start flashing when you're not even halfway across the street, so that you have to run the rest of the way? With all that money couldn't they have timed someone walking across the street and figured out how much time should be allowed? I would have done it for a buck!

Why do they put eggs, which are so fragile, in a cardboard box? Shouldn't they put them in a box made of steel or something?

Why do I always get in the line in which something goes wrong in and everybody has to wait and wait?

Why is it that when it's me that messes up, there are always a ton of people waiting behind me in frustration?

Why do the robes in the doctor's office have so many holes and ties and snaps that I can't quite figure out how to put the stupid thing on? And why do I always get the one that has a huge rip down the back of it?

Why do you hurt your leg only on a day when your legs are all hairy because you didn't shave them, braid them, or mow them, and now everybody knows?

Why do I always open cupboard doors or closet doors in such a hurry that I often wind up hitting myself in the head? I mean, don't I know ahead of time that I am going to be opening it up? Ahead of time, get it? A head?...never mind...

Why is it that my hubby can get big ole' cuts or bruises and never has the slightest idea how they got there, and yet I can get a paper cut or tiny bruise and tell you exactly how and when it happened....with sound effects even.

Why does the mere mention of lice make my head itch? Come on now, admit it, you're starting to feel an itch there, aren't ya? Aren't ya? Go on....be honest.

Why do I bite my cheek or lip sometimes when I chew. And then I bite it again, and again?

Why is that lol means "laugh out loud?" Why doesn't it mean load of laundry? Or lots of love?

Why does someone always steal my grocery cart when I am eating lunch at Costo (or waiting in line for my food)?

Why do people refuse to wear coats when they're outside during the winter time but then want to borrow mine?

Why are the two pony-tails on the sides of your head called "pig-tails" when a pig only has one tail, and it's not on the side of it's head?

Why am I still typing this instead of going to bed? Seriously, I am rambling here.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

CONQUERING THE MESSIES - PART 2

Today is part two of learning how to stay on top of the messes at home. If you missed part one, you can read it "here."

When I determined I was going to somehow dig myself out of the mess we'd made, I decided to start with the living/dining room and the kitchen. Why two? Because the living/dining room was the first thing people saw when they came into the house. It's also where we spent most of our time.

The kitchen? Well, we really did need to eat. Have you ever tried to cook a meal in a messy kitchen....no room, seriously! Also, I figured if I did two rooms (technically three, since the living and dining were connected)...now where was I? Oh! If I did two rooms I could have a change of scenery when I got bored with the first room. Bored? Seriously, bored? How could you get bored with all that junk? Disgusted, frustrated, overwhelmed, sure...but, bored??? He-llo!!!

So, let's get going:

First, you need to get all that clutter under control. Grab four boxes (or bags) and mark them KEEP, GIVE AWAY, THROW AWAY, UNDECIDED. As you sort through your clutter, you will be sorting it into those four boxes. Don't take a walk down memory lane here or you will never finish. If you must, give it one last hug for the road and let it go. If you're keeping it, you can reminisce later, so put it in the KEEP box and keep moving.

Ask yourself some questions: Why am I keeping this? Do I love it? Am I ever going to use it? Is it "me (us)?" Does it reflect my taste, or someone elses? Do I need it? Am I keeping it because someone gave it to me and I don't want to hurt their feelings? Am I keeping it because I am the "keeper of memories" in my family and I feel a responsibility to it? If I get rid of it, can I easily get another one if I find that I do need it? Does having this validate something in me? Does keeping this remind me of a special time in my life? Am I keeping this for sentimental purposes only? Can I take a picture of it and pass it on to someone else who will appreciate it? Is this even mine, or am I storing it for someone else?

If it's broken, ask yourself : Am I ever actually going to repair it? Will it cost more to repair it than it would to replace it? If I repair it, will I ever actually use it?

I am not saying there is anything wrong with keeping sentimental things. I certainly have some of my own. Some people keep maternity clothes or baby clothes as a reminder of a precious time in their life. But evaluate your need for space versus your sentimental need. Do you have to keep every single item? Would one or two do? Could you take lots of pictures of the clothes and then keep the pictures but pass the clothes along? (This said, I do have a baby outfit or two floating around somewhere....)

Does keeping the baby teeth of your beloved dog (now long passed away) really meet a need in you? Don't laugh, I found a plastic bag with our dog's baby teeth in it, neatly labeled and dated....that dog has been gone for about twelve years now! In our defense....o.k., there is no defense.....we just thought it would be funny to save them. I can hear you laughing, you know.

Items need to earn their place in our home. Our homes should be a haven for us. They shouldn't be a place where we store other people's stuff. If they didn't want it enough to store it, then why are we doing it? Now, obviously I can understand storing your child's things when they go off to college. But if said child is now thirty with a home of their own....I say it's time to ship those puppies off.

Now is the hard part, stop thinking and start moving. When you've asked yourself the tough questions, start placing the items into one of those four boxes. If you are placing most of your items in the "Undecided" box, you probably need to stop and ask yourself some questions again. You may find it easier to make some decisions if you have a friend along side you saying "Are ya kiddin' me? Why on earth would you want to keep that?" (insert appropriate horrified face here).

Tomorrow I will cover what to do with those boxes of thoughtfully chosen items!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

CONQUERING THE MESSIES - PART 1

Alicia left a comment asking me to do a post on, in her words, “how you conquered the messies.” If you saw my house today, you would say that I haven’t conquered anything completely. There are days where I get busy and I do not do my regular every day “maintenance cleaning”, and things get, well….messy! However, my home is so much neater than it used to be. For the most part, I would not be embarrassed to have someone drop in today. Which is good, because it happens on a regular basis!

There will probably be a few posts on this subject, as I don’t think I can cover it all in one. Let me just start by saying that I was raised in a very large home. My mom loved to clean and she did it all herself. Can you believe it? I think I helped her dust once, but we didn’t have any chores or anything, at least none that I recall. I was supposed to clean my room but it was never totally clean. Fortunately, I rarely kept anything so I wasn’t piling up the clutter.

When I moved out (with a roommate) I didn’t know how to clean a bathroom, cook or do my own laundry. You would think I’d learn fast. Instead I took my laundry home for my mom to do (hey, it was her idea, LOL!). Anyway, cleaning was not “my thing.” I had a roommate that was very neat and she insisted that I keep my stuff in my bedroom so our apartment stayed pretty neat. It wasn’t too hard to keep my room neat either as I just didn’t have that much stuff.

After my husband and I got married, I felt overwhelmed, at first, with all the things that I didn’t know how to do. We were merging his things and my things, and I didn’t know what to do with any of it. I really didn’t know how to cook, clean, or do any “homemaking" stuff. I was without a clue. I didn’t have a cleaning routine, didn’t even know what one was, so I never did laundry until we were desperate. Unfortunately, that caused some discussions because, at the time, my husband had to wear clothes that I just couldn’t manage to keep cleaned and ready for him to wear.

My sweet hubby gently offered to take the pressure off me and take care of cleaning his own himself, but I said no because I felt that I should do it, only I rarely did. I yelled at him once for going to work with a wrinkled shirt, because I felt it reflected badly on me. It seems so silly now, but at the time I felt very guilty for letting him go out like that. I felt even more guilty because my house was always a mess and I just couldn’t seem to get a handle on it.

For years we lived in one big mess. Empty dishes in the living room, newspapers and clothes everywhere, sacks of groceries (with the canned goods still in them) on the kitchen counters waiting to be unpacked, grooming supplies all over the bathroom counters, more mess in the bedrooms. I was always embarrassed when people dropped in.

I wanted to have a clean home but I didn’t know how. My idea of cleaning was to "crisis" clean: throw everything into the bedroom and close all the other doors. I was embarrassed once when a friend went into the bedroom to change her baby and saw my mess. I felt discouraged and I felt like a failure.

When I had free time, the last thing I wanted to do was clean. The huge mess just looked so overwhelming and seemed so hopeless, and I didn't have a clue where to start...so I didn't. Tomorrow I will share the first thing I did that made a huge difference in the appearance of my home.

Monday, November 17, 2008

AT THE WELL-STAND FOR YOUR MARRIAGE



Today at "The Well" Chelsey is hosting and we are talking about what it means to stand for your marriage. This is going to be a very long post today. You may want to read it all at once, or read a little at a time and come back later and read some more. After reading, please visit "The Well" to see what others are sharing. Please remember I am not a Biblical scholar, these are just my opinions of the things the Lord has shown me.

One of the questions asked is “What does commitment in marriage mean?” In Genesis 2:23 & 24 it talks about the unity of marriage. We are to leave and cleave to one another. That means that I am to physically and emotionally leave my extended family and cleave to my husband.

That does not mean that I no longer love my extended family. That I no longer care about what happens to them. That I won’t help them if there is a need. It does mean that I am to be committed to my husband. He is to be the one I turn to when I need support, and I am to be his supporter as well. I am to put God first and my husband second in my life. I am to be committed to him with my heart, my body, and my emotions.

Sometimes, it’s hard for young wives to emotionally leave their families. They have learned to depend on mom and dad, and it’s hard to let go of that. It’s hard to learn to trust their husband’s judgement, especially if it goes against what mom or dad think. It is smart to seek wise council, but we must always remember that our husband is to be the head of our household, not mom and dad. We must also guard our hearts. Noone is to come between a husband and wife, be it friend, family, man, woman or child.

Another question was “What kind of wife are we called to be to our husbands?” When we got married, I promised to love, honor, and obey my husband. Some people raised eyebrows at that word “obey” but I wanted it in there. A man and woman are of equal worth in God’s eyes, they have different roles, but they are of equal worth. There can only be one head of a family, otherwise there is strife.

We are called to submit to our husbands as unto the Lord (Eph. 5:22). We are to love, honor and respect our husbands. Nowhere in the Bible does it say that we can stop honoring, loving and respecting our husbands if he is not holding up his end of the bargain. We do not have an “out.” If our husbands are not loving us as they should that is between them and God. That doesn’t mean that we get to opt out of our God-given responsibilities. We are to submit as if we were submitting to the Lord, because we are. Please hear that I am not talking about submitting to abuse here, abuse is never o.k.

There are many wives out there who love the Lord but are hurting in their marriage. They want to be obedient to God and stay in their marriage but are finding it difficult. They know the verse in I Peter 3:1 & 2 that says “(1) Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without talk by the behavior of their wives, (2) when they see the purity and reverence of your lives.” They know that verse and are honoring it, but still they struggle.

If you look at verse 1 of that verse, it says “Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands…” What do you think “in the same way” means? If you look in the previous chapter, chapter 2 you will find Peter talking about suffering. In I Peter 2:20 he says “…But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God.”

Verse 21 says “To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in His steps.” Vs. 22-24 talk about the suffering Christ endured on the cross. Vs. 23 states that He did not retaliate, that “he entrusted himself to him who judges justly.”

"To this you were called." We are called to suffering. That does not mean that there won’t be joy along the way. That does not mean that we won’t have the abundant life that He promises. But we shouldn’t be surprised when suffering comes our way. The difficulties that we suffer only serve to mold and shape and make us more like Him. Going thru the Refiner’s Fire is what we can expect in our walk with the Lord. It burns away all the impurities in us, it refines us, it makes us more like Him.

We generally marry because we love the person, because we expect to be happy. But sometimes, for the wife who is struggling to keep her marriage commitment, being happy is difficult. She isn’t happy. Her husband is not being obedient to God, or perhaps isn’t a believer at all. She shows him love and cooks for him and takes care of the children and he just doesn’t appreciate it. Her heart is breaking.

To the wife who is currently struggling and unhappy in her marriage, I would say that there will be moments, in our Christian walk, when we will go through suffering. There may be moments in your marriage that you will go through suffering as well. Jesus suffered, should we be any different? Should He suffer, and yet not us? What if we give up our right to be happy in our marriage?

What if we yield our right to happiness to the Lord and submit to Him and to our husbands out of obedience to God? What if we say, not my will but yours, Lord? What if we let the Lord work it out in His time and His way? What if we abandon ourselves to total trust in Him? We get hung up on our feelings. Love is not a feeling, it is an action. When we do the action the feelings will take care of themselves.

I am not saying that a wife who is struggling will be miserable in her marriage the rest of her life. But she needs to lean heavily on the Lord and wait for Him to restore her marriage. To take her expectations and her hurt to the Lord, and trust Him to take care of it. To submit to the Lord and ask Him to restore her love for her husband, to let go of her expectations and her rights.

I'm sure we all have seen marriages that have been healed and people restored to love, when they let go and allowed God to work. Allow Him to strengthen you during the waiting process. I have seen people who were miserable in their marriage and have been restored to loving their spouse and to happiness and joy, and it's all because of the Lord.


In I Peter 3: 5 & 6 Peter talks about submission and not giving way to fear. The thought of submission can be very scary (again, not talking about submitting to abuse here). That is why we are to remember that we are really submitting to the Lord.

Many times, if the man is not leading in the relationship, the woman will overstep her bounds and take the reigns…after all, someone has to lead, right? We need to give our husband’s our opinion, and than respectfully give up our right as to whether they accept it or not. When we overstep our bounds, we are interfering with the Lord’s work in our husband’s life. How do we know what lessons the Lord wants to teach our husbands?

How do we know what growth our husband may experience from that one mistake? Isn’t God in control? Can’t we trust Him with our husband’s decision? Pray, pray, pray if need be. But give your opinion and then let it go…give it up to God and close your mouth! Let your husband lead. If He isn’t leading, that goes right back to I Peter again. Submit to his un-leading, and love him anyway. Don’t try to change him. Let God change him.

We are called to be a help-meet to our husbands. I am to be my husband’s helper (Gen. 2:18). He is not called to be mine. I am the keeper of our home. If he wants to help me out around here, great. But it is not his job. It is mine. He has a job working outside the job, my job is to stay within the home and make it a resting haven for us. Many of our frustrations come because we confuse our role with our husband’s role. The husband is to love his wife, and out of that love will often come help. But we should not let it be our expectation. If I expect my husband to help and he doesn’t, I will be frustrated. But if I give those expectations up to the Lord, and do not expect my husband to help and he does, I will be thankful.

“What are ways that we can biblically stand for our marriage?” To submit to your husband is to take a biblical stand. To place your husband ahead of your parents or your job or yes, even your children, is to take a biblical stand. To love him, honor and respect him is to take a stand. To defend him against others, to refuse to husband-bash, to support him and be his helper is to take a stand.

God is healing marriages today. God is changing people’s lives and giving us the strength we need (Phil 4:13) to do what He has called us to do. God is giving love, joy and peace, even in the midst of struggle. God is restoring marriages and restoring people to love. I Peter 2:24 says “by His wounds you have been healed.” Because of Christ’s work on the cross, we have salvation, we have healing, we have a future and a hope. Stand for your marriage today. Don’t let anyone tell you that there is something or someone better out there. Let the Lord love your husband through you.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

TEACHING KIDS TO FOLD CLOTHES

In my "previous post" I continued with part two about teaching the kids a work ethic. In that post I talked about teaching them how to fold laundry. When I taught them how to fold clothes this is what we used. It's called the "FlipFold" and it is so cool. I started to put a picture of it on here, but I am not sure if I am allowed to do that. I don't know if it's legal to use a picture of an item. Does anybody know if it's o.k. to use a picture of a retail item off a website, as long as you give them credit?

Anyway, It was invented by a mom who wanted to teach her kids how to fold laundry properly! Don't ya love it! A mom who found a better way to do something and turned it into a business, how awesome is that?

My kids would literally argue over who got to use it. (I should have bought two of them...). You just flip the left panel, the right panel, fold up the extra fabric on the bottom (if it's a grownup shirt) and fold up the bottom panel and it's done. Folded into a perfectly neat 9x12 square. Like it says, flip, flip, flip, fold. It also comes in pink, green and yellow.

Not only did my kids love it, but my husband and I had a blast using it. Seriously!

TEACHING KIDS A WORK ETHIC WITH CHORES - Part TWO



Image courtesy of AKARAKINGDOMS at FreeDigitalPhotos.net


Yesterday I posted about "teaching kids a work ethic" through music and chores. Today is PART TWO:

We did not pay money for chores. We reasoned that no one pays my husband or myself for the things we do around here (wouldn't that be nice!), so we didn't pay them. We wanted the kids to learn that we are all a part of the family, and we all participate in the care and upkeep of the home.

We did, however, make it possible for them to earn money for doing certain chores that no one else really wanted to do (me included). Let me just say that one chore involved the dog and the yard.

When each child was about three or four, I started them on their first chores. Before that, I would “help” them pick up their toys by taking their hand, at first, and doing it with them.

Early preschool “chores” were things such as:

  • getting dressed
  • brushing their teeth
  • washing their face
  • putting away pajamas
  • feeding the dog
  • folding washcloths
  • emptying the wastebaskets
  • setting napkins on the table, etc. 


We had three toy pickups each day: before lunch, before dinner, before bed.

As the children grew, so did the skill level on their chores.

 By the time my youngest was seven he was capable of:


  • folding the towels
  • making his bed
  • cleaning the bathroom (I had him use baby wipes and I disinfected a few days later when I cleaned the bathrooms)
  • sweeping the floor
  • setting the table
  • dusting
  • vacuuming
  • washing the dishes
  • loading and unloading the dishwasher, etc. 


By the way, each chore was under ten minutes, so it's not like they were doing huge amounts of chores.  Click here for a free, printable copy of my kid's chore chart when they were ages seven and eleven.

I built a chore training time into my homeschool schedule. I would work with each child individually, training them on one chore at a time. I loved those training times.

We would work together, and sometimes I made up songs to help them learn the chore. For example, in learning to fold towels I would sing “Mr. Left meets Mr. Right, Mr. Top meets Mr. Bottom” and they would sing and fold left to right and top to bottom.

If I were teaching them how to sweep a floor, I would do it first, and have them watch me do it. Then I would have them do it with me helping, placing my hand over their hand, showing them how to move the broom.

After that, I would have them do it with me watching but only giving verbal instruction if needed (“Don’t forget to sweep the corner, sweetie!”).

The next time, I would leave the room and have them do it by themselves. When they were finished, I would come back and inspect their work. You always want to inspect their work, because I have found that the work quality tended to go down if I didn't inspect.

During these chore training sessions, I would be very encouraging, telling them what a good job they were doing, how proud I was of them, and how pleased daddy would be to see their work.

So when daddy came home, the kids couldn't wait to show him the floor they had swept, the towels they had folded or the bathrooms they had cleaned. Their Daddy was very appreciative and admired their work, and I really appreciated the extra help. I still do!


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Saturday, November 15, 2008

TEACHING KIDS A WORK ETHIC WITH CHORES - Part One


Image courtesy of AKARAKINGDOMS at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

When the kids were little we wanted to teach them a WORK ETHIC. After all, we reasoned that some day they would have to grow up and support themselves and most likely a family too.

So we came up with some ways to do that, such as chores and music lessons. We wanted to teach them diligence, patience, perseverance.

To do the work and finish the job, whether you wanted to do it or not. To hang in there, and learn to appreciate the rewards of “a job well done.”

We wanted them to learn to do something, every day, because it needed doing, not because it was necessarily fun (like practicing music day after day).

To be diligent, faithful, to take pride in your work (don’t be sloppy), and find satisfaction in it. To understand that we should do everything as if we were doing it for the Lord.

We did not have them just do chores at home. We also encouraged them to help out at their grandparent's house when they were there.

My kids would work in the garden with their granddad, or help their Nana with some chores inside. We would also go together and work at the church.

Sometimes we would pull weeds, or put down bark, or work inside painting. Once they wore gloves and walked along the road picking up garbage.

We wanted our children to learn how to serve.


Come back tomorrow for PART TWO!!!   (Edit: Go here for part two)


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Friday, November 14, 2008

TAG FUN

"Baseballs and Tutus" tagged me for 15 Things You Are Not Afraid To Admit. So, let's have a laugh and a little fun at my expense today!

1: I love my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and am so thankful for my salvation.

2: I love my dear hubby and my precious sons. I even love my two dogs!

3: I am not a morning person. I am not a night person. Once my husband jokingly asked me "When are you a person?”

4: I have my long-suffering husband send text messages for me, when it is absolutely necessary that I send one. I do not like techy-stuff. I do not want to learn how to send a text message. I do not want to learn how to figure out the computer. I do not want to learn how to program the dvd player. I want somebody else to do it for me!

5: I love drinking my diet-pepsi first thing in the morning (well, after breakfast anyway). I don’t like coffee or tea…I prefer my caffeine cold!

6: I do not really have rhythm. During church, I have to watch someone else so that I know when to clap and when not to.

7: I once sprayed air freshner under my arms because I thought that it was deodorant spray. It didn’t work as well but it sure smelled good.

8: I am a klutz. I rush around without really watching where I am going. I run into corners, open cupboards (who is leaving those things open anyway????), trip over things (including small dogs), and have been known to slam my fingers in the door. Once I even closed the door on my own head (don't ask, lol!). I really need to slow down. A couple of days ago I practically mowed over my poor mom!

9: I don't check my email as often as I should. I do, however, check the comments on my blog more often!

10: I do not like being cold. I like to cuddle up in front of my space heater and just absorb the heat! Sometimes I have to fight the dogs for it though.

11: I am not very experimental or brave when it comes to cooking. If it doesn’t say to add something, I don’t. The cooking-police are never going to have to come after me! I am very obedient and follow the recipe!

12: I love to look at decorating magazines. I love to borrow ideas out of them and use them in my own home.

13: I love to organize. I think it’s fun. Some of my friends joke (at least, I think they're joking, lol!) that I am obsessed with it, but I do enjoy it.

14: I try and exercise nearly every day, and I lift weights three times a week. (Just so you know, I haven't been trying very hard to exercise lately....hence the word "try.")

15: Sometimes I forget that I have laundry in the washer, and I have to rewash it. In fact, it's funny because as I write this, I just remembered that I have a load of laundry in the dryer. I guess it’s nicely wrinkled now….sigh!

So now, here comes the fun part. I am supposed to pass this on to some people, but I just passed on a bunch of awards. So I am giving you the opportunity to pass this “tag” onto someone if you wish. Also, please feel free to leave some comments on here about what you’re not afraid to admit!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

THE REAL PERSON AWARD







"Jennifer" and "Naomi" have given me The Marie Antoinette, Real Person Award. I wish I could give it right back to both of them, because they really do blog from their hearts. Stop by and pay them a visit! You will come away feeling like you just had a chat with a friend. They are both so open and genuine.

I am to display the icon on my blog, link back to who gave it to me, and pass it on to seven other people.

Wow, that's a tough one. Seems like everybody whose blogs I regularly read would deserve this award. However, I can only pick seven. Today I am choosing some of the newer blogs that I've recently discovered. Some of the people I chose probably don't even know who I am as sometimes I am a "lurker!" Also, some of these blogs are new to me, but I just love their heart.
They are people who are either making me laugh, making me cry (no, it's o.k., it's a good thing!), making me praise the Lord, giving me something to think about, or giving me some great ideas or tips that I want to try. So to all of them (whether they "know" me or not), thank you!

I choose: