Nov 172016
 

My mom is back to work and she seems to be enjoying being out again, its nice to see her happy, though she is tired after nearly 5 months of waiting in pain before a surgery and then 6 weeks of recovery.

Since we all live together I had planned to clean the house for her this week, you know, the deep clean that no one really enjoys, but needs done regardless. Instead, we’ve been dealing with a child who has mono, another with a broken wrist and now I have been sick for the last 4 or 5 days.



{My Snuggle Chicken this week after a nap!}

I felt bad today when she couldn’t enjoy her day off because she had to clean the bathroom and sweep and mop and do it all carefully so cleaner smells wouldn’t choke me and cause a major coughing fit, she even washed my sheets that I changed the other day but didn’t have the energy to wash and dry. I almost cried when she told me today that my sheets needed folded and were in the dryer today.

I am definitely feeling blessed that even though I am sick and my lungs are literally itchy and my tonsils are swollen tight, that I have parents who are helping me and kids who are being fed while I am sleeping life away trying to heal up so I can enjoy life again soon!



{Cloudy Sunset}

I’ve been so blessed by Plexus products that have prevented me from getting REALLY sick in the past two years and that have also allowed for me to enjoy foods I love, make healthier choices and be free from worrying every flu season. So I really can’t complain too much about this bug considering. Pretty sure that my 4 trips to the hospital with kids and 3 trips to the clinic with the kids has been the germs that decided to attack.

Yet, we still enjoyed the times. Sitting in the hospital late into the night (and early morning) and having a friend bring coffee and donuts for me and the girl child as we waited to find out what was wrong. The jokes told about janitors pretending to be doctors -by our family doctor no less and getting to spend extra time with my kiddos as they mend.

Once you have teens the affection is hard to come by, but when they are injured or sick they tend to need their mama’s and while I wish neither were suffering I have to selfishly admit that I have enjoyed these past weeks of bonding in waiting rooms!!

Jul 032016
 

It’s almost midnight when I am writing this, but letter late than never. I have to say today was a fairly big flop. I woke up this morning in pain and ended up going back to sleep after taking some meds for that. I was up again at 1 for more meds and then slept until almost 5.

In the meantime while I was out like a light, my dad was cleaning the carpet in my daughters room. She has allowed her dog to pee on it so much that her room stinks, seriously stinks.

Tonight, we had a simple dinner, spaghetti and garlic bread. The weather was grey and rainy and the humidity was a lot higher than it was yesterday. I got the table and chairs all wiped down and dishes done. Definitely not an epic day.

Had the dogs out and fed at around 8 tonight and then I went to shut the tv off in the room my daughter was sleeping in to find that the brand new mattress she had borrowed had been peed through by her dog, and of course she denied it despite her having slept on the couch the last several nights, using laziness as an excuse.

I can definitely say I am extremely disappointed in her for that one. Had she been honest about it the mattress wouldn’t now be ruined and yet another thing wouldn’t be going to the landfill, and my wallet wouldn’t be taking a hit to get rid of it or to replace it, but it is.

The sad thing is that I know her dog is not very well mannered, and that’s okay. What’s not okay is the need to lie and hide this type of stuff. It kills any trust I had and it feels like just when we begin to get to an okay place lies pile on and we end up back in this place where I don’t trust her or believe her, and that sucks, it REALLY sucks to not trust your child, especially with things that are seemingly so basic.

I picked up the dishes in my room after that and washed those up and added the new things that had piled in the sink to the dishwasher.

I have been in bed most of the day and now that it’s midnight I am guessing I won’t be getting anything more done.



It was nice having dinner with the family, nice that it was Canada day on Friday and my brother has been able to come for dinner the last three nights in a row, awesome that we were able to grill out for two days and awesome that some of the stuff needing to get done has been completed.

Definitely hoping tomorrow is a better day and that I can get my pain under some sort of control and get things done around here. I am also excited to check on the tomato plants, they were blooming like crazy yesterday but I didn’t take the chance to go and see them today to know if they are showing signs of fruit!

Also, fresh strawberries are amazing and it is really awesome to be able to pluck them off the plant and eat them knowing that while they may have dirt there are absolutely no chemicals on them or used to help them produce.

I am always amazed by how God provides, and yet He never lets me down!

Apr 182016
 

The laundry is done and I am placing the last of the folded clothes away inside a child’s drawer and decide to straighten up a bit. Three throw blankets that had been pulled from the top closet shelf folded and put up. Bending down to pick up a toppled over guitar I spot it.

A pile of soiled laundry tucked in the corner by a child who decided to hide a spill instead of being honest. I breathe deep and remind myself that I am homemaking for Christ and that I will be talking to this child about how hiding something and being deceptive is also lying.

The dishes are washed and sitting in the sink to dry and just as the last of the water drains and I toss my rag into the wash a plate pops in and again I have to look to God because that little plate could lead to a lot of frustration.

I am learning that when you live with your two kids and your two parents you end up with a lot of things always being dirty and rarely in a state of cleanliness that lasts more than a few seconds. These are my top 5 tips that I use to enjoy homemaking and make it awesome.

ONE

Worship music.

Yep, you heard me right, since I feel that homemaking is a calling from the Lord and I believe that I should do it to the very best of my ability in that moment or on that day I often sing hymns or play worship music on my IPad as I move around the house form one task or the other. It keeps my focus on Christ and serving Him by serving my family. One day I had a revelation on the bathroom floor and I haven’t looked back.

TWO

Grace.

A whole lot of grace. God gives me grace and I know I have to give my family grace. They eat, wear clothes, shower, make messes and aren’t perfect and neither am I. If God is so eager to give me grace, then it is my duty as a daughter of Christ to be a daughter that gives grace to my parents and children too.

THREE

Time Myself.

I hear so many people complain that they don’t have time to do the dishes or take the trash out or even clean the bathroom. Flylady says you can do anything for 15 minutes and way back when I used to set a timer for 15 minutes and would be amazed by how much I could get done in that time. Now I am less into the timer but have learned to use my time wisely.

For example, last night, I turned the kettle on for my tea and even though it was Sunday and the meal was big and my brother had been here I decided to wash dishes while I waited. I was done washing up before the kettle went off, which was less than 3 minutes. Dishes that I had planned to just leave for today because I was in pain and not feeling well were finished. Today we were able to wake up to clean pots and pans so the morning wasn’t rushed and we weren’t working around a mess.

FOUR

Pick up as I go.

If I head into a child’s room with laundry to deliver I will pick up any trash or Lego that has made its way into the room or onto the floor. It makes sense to make fewer trips and it makes it easier for my young teens to pick up their rooms on their own. It also makes my job easier if I find a glass or a plate and have it ready to wash BEFORE I do dishes!

The same goes for laundry, and of course, other rooms. Instead of walking past a throw on the floor I will grab it and fold it and toss it back onto the couch. Our one dog LOVES to throw the pillows and blankets in the living room around and if I want it to look somewhat orderly I may as well just pick it up as I walk past it. That way, when a bigger job like vacuuming comes along, the floor and surfaces are for the most part ready to go!

FIVE

Have a schedule.

Daily tasks are simple but easily forgotten. Put away my OWN laundry. Open the curtains. Bring any dishes from my bedroom to the kitchen. Fill my water bottle.

My weekly tasks include a day for wiping down the entire kitchen, meaning I remove everything from the counters and spray it, wipe it, and get rid of any crumbs. It always shocks me how many crumbs get behind things each week! EWW.

Other weekly tasks include vacuuming upstairs, vacuuming downstairs, deep cleaning the entire bathroom (I do some things as needed through the week so it stays mostly clean), watering the plants, fish tank maintenance, sweeping the stairs. I am sure you get the idea.

Monthly tasks include things like washing the comforters and duvets, turning mattresses, wiping the windows, cleaning out the car, and decluttering.

I don’t have to check my schedule every day but I do check it regularly. It is a nice guideline to help me be productive throughout the week.

What are your tips for keeping homemaking fun? I would love to know your tricks in the comments!

Feb 192016
 

I clean the bathroom on Thursdays unless it needs it otherwise. Call me crazy for leaving it a full week before doing it again but Thursday seems to be what works for our family so that’s what I do. This week though I have been feeling sick still from the flu I had last week. Exhaustion comes simply from thinking and naps have been a must for the past 10 days or so. I did clean the bathroom last week so I wasn’t really behind. Yet yesterday I just slept most of the day and had no energy so it got moved over to the to-do list for Friday.

Isn’t that how everyone wants to spend their Friday evening?

I woke up from my long nap around dinner time, everyone had eaten and I had no appetite yet again. I sat on the bed contemplating whether or not being awake was a good thing and I wondered how babies sleep in such awkward positions without being stiff. This extremely deep thought forced me to conclude that that is why babies cry -stiff joints after a good nap.

I pulled out my planner to see what I hadn’t done this week and the list was a mile long and the bathroom stood out to me like a sore thumb. After some deep Biblical talk (yes seriously) with myself about cleaning the bathroom to serve the Lord I got off my butt and went upstairs and used that highly toxic mint scented toilet bowl cleaner and wondered to myself how on earth getting cancer was godly, then, I noted that I am only going to use natural cleaners once that bottle is gone.

I removed everything from the counters and wiped away, got mold out of the window, finished with the 7 toothbrushes and toothpastes, refilled the soap dispenser and then pulled out my trusty and equally toxic Lysol wipes and quickly gave the outside of the toilet a once over. Then, it hit me.

I was cleaning the bathroom to serve God and my family BUT I wasn’t doing it with a servants heart. Revelation right there on the floor. I pulled out a few more wipes and torqued my body around the toilet and wiped it properly, I was actually pretty grossed out by how much my once over missed and continued to clean. This time while talking to God about how I need Him to continue to work in my heart to help me make the mundane into something that can bring Him glory. Yes, I want my toilet to shine, not just for me, but to show God how grateful I am to have a toilet to clean, a family to mess it up and the cleaning supplies to get the task done.

I grabbed the toilet brush and scrubbed away while humming some of my favorite worship songs and for the first time in awhile it felt like cleaning the bathroom wasn’t a chore, but a duty asked of me by God.

When I was done with that I cleaned the mirrors in the rest of the house that didn’t have a streak free shine despite having just been done, because I wanted them to sparkle for God instead of just being half-done or done incorrectly just so they could get a check mark. I swept the floor around the dog crates, put 2 gallons of water in the fish tank and wiped down their glass.

I am still behind on my chores for the week, but I am excited to be approaching them with the mindset that I am serving not only my family, but the One who has gifted me all that I have.

Growing up I often heard that cleanliness was next to Godliness, and while I don’t believe that to be true because we all have different standards and ideas of what clean is, I feel that God is moving in my heart to do the job to the best of my ability whether I am wiping up crumbs, scrubbing a toilet, or simply taking care of myself. He isn’t calling me to be perfect, He is calling me to serve.

Jan 312016
 

I have been seeing so many people talking about the KonMari method from the books The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing and her new book Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up both by Marie Kondo. So, I decided maybe this was for me!

I have been a perfectionist of the worst kind for several years. I am either all or nothing. Meaning, if I can’t do it all perfectly, I don’t do it at all. This either leaves us with a very clean house, or now that I am in pain most days, a very messy home that seems to be falling apart around us.

I have spent a long time placing the blame for the clutter on my family. They don’t want to part with anything and the house is cluttered, but MY SPACE DOESN’T HAVE TO BE! When I began to learn a bit about the KonMari method of decluttering it really hit home for me. What is worth my time and my pain to keep tidy and clean? From there I purged down my closet but I didn’t follow the rules of pulling out every article of clothing that I owned and placing it in a pile and going through each one, touching each one and seeing if it sparks joy while deciding to donate, toss or keep.

This afternoon I did just that with my clothing. Some of which had been stored in bags that I haven’t looked at in a few years. Since I already did my main clothes last week I didn’t pull those items out again as I know they are all part of my wardrobe that definitely spark joy. Here is the floor of my bedroom after I pulled everything that I had stored out. I am shocked that I had so many things stored, some of which still on hangers! Please tell me I am not alone?!


It only took me about a half hour to do my first sort through. I did 3 piles that I knew would work well for me. Keep, toss and maybe. This giant pile was quickly split in half which left me thinking “do I really want to hang up these things and keep them?”

So I went through the keep pile again and only kept a few pieces. A dress for my daughter that is brand new and will likely be worn to a school dance, a button up shirt, 2 leather skirts, a leather jacket, my pink spring trench coat, my white leather jacket and 3 tanks. Funny enough, these were ALL items I had been looking for and was upset that I couldn’t find. I had assumed they must’ve been lost in the move and I was looking to replace them. I am definitely happy I found these things! It saved me money and are pieces that I LOVE!


I also kept a stack of things my grandma made that bring me joy. They don’t fit but they have sentimental value. I will have to re-evaluate these items when I get to the sentimental portion of the KonMari method! For now, they stay.


And this is what I am getting rid of. I would have loved to be able to donate everything but unfortunately most of the things that were taking up space in my life were torn, stained and embarrassing. They served me well at one point and they definitely showed it! The blue bag is what I am able to donate. It includes pyjamas, pants, shirts, skirts, and even a set of sheets. I am excited that this bag will be able to bless others. I am also excited that I won’t be hurting my back anymore moving these things around just to tidy up.

I am definitely feeling like this method is something that is going to work for me. I am excited to get through all of my things so that I can then move forward to the kids and help them tidy up their lives and only have things that bring them joy as well. Who knows, maybe the rest of the family will catch on too!!!

This in total probably took me about 45 minutes, including pulling everything out of storage, dumping it out, sorting, sorting again, bagging things up and moving them to the door to be taken out by my dad. A task that had literally waited years because I didn’t have the time ended up being super easy and more than fulfilling! I would love to know how you declutter and how you keep things organized. Have you read through Marie Kondo’s books and did they help you?

This #1 New York Times best-selling guide to decluttering your home from Japanese cleaning consultant Marie Kondo takes readers step-by-step through her revolutionary KonMari Method for simplifying, organizing, and storing.

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Japanese cleaning consultant Marie Kondo takes tidying to a whole new level, promising that if you properly simplify and organize your home once, you’ll never have to do it again. Most methods advocate a room-by-room or little-by-little approach, which doom you to pick away at your piles of stuff forever. The KonMari Method, with its revolutionary category-by-category system, leads to lasting results. In fact, none of Kondo’s clients have lapsed (and she still has a three-month waiting list). 

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Jan 302016
 

I woke up this morning and within an hour I had made tea, had a banana, washed the dishes from yesterday (wasn’t feeling well) and put them away, moved everything off the counter and wiped it down, cleaned the stove top, changed the trash bag and swept the floor and was working up a little bit of a sweat.

My muscles started to scream at me for water. I drank 32 ounces within a few seconds and remembered that I keep forgetting about me.

More importantly though, where was God?

As I guzzled water down fast the thought that God was searching for me when I wasn’t seeking Him was crossing my mind. Then, the words, “man cannot live off bread alone” slid into my head rapidly followed by fueling my aching soul with water from God’s well instead of my own.

It was definitely one of those moments where you are like “okay God, I am listening, I get the point. Slow down, take care of myself physically AND spiritually!”

As mama’s we forget to take care of ourselves and as children of God we tend to put our Bible studies at the end of our to-do lists instead of as part of our daily routine.

I have been studying the book of Ruth with Hello Mornings the past few weeks and it has been great, but today is Saturday and there was no reading for today, but God beckoned me anyway.

“Make ME a habit. Not a chore!”

So, I am going to focus on giving God the best of my day instead of fitting Him in.

How do you keep His Word on your tongue and have you heard God speak to you without any doubt before?

Jan 292016
 

I look out the window and stare at the blank slate of snow covering the ground and weighing heavy on the tree branches. My mind floods with to-do’s for the day and my body aches to crawl back under the covers, out of the cold and into the comforting down. The kids didn’t have school today and the weather is finally warm at just below freezing.

I have spent the last few days sick with my stomach and have no energy left. Dehydration ravishing my body in ways that it hasn’t felt in over a year. The exchange rate is killing me, quite literally, because I can’t afford the products that restore my health.

I toss on an old maxi skirt that has seen better days, a hole on the seem down by my ankle and another from one of the dogs nails poking through on the other side. No one can see them, but I know they are there. My black and white skirt topped with a sky blue tee and my hair in a French braid. Am I really ready for today? I look the part but I certainly don’t feel it.

A quit run to the store for coconut milk and fruit coming home and having an English muffin with an egg, cheese and a cup of green tea. The desire to go back to bed possibly stronger than it had been when I had crawled out this morning. I pick up the dog and carry him upstairs to the bathroom and run the water. Keeping my foot in with him the whole time as I sit on the edge of the garden tub and I am grateful for the wide edge to sit on comfortably.

I lather him up and rinse, and then I repeat for good measure. Stimulating his hair follicles through massage in an attempt to help him grow back his hair. He doesn’t fight it. The warm water feels good and when he is done I lift him out and swaddle the little man in a towel like I did my own children way back when. As he shakes off the towel and then shakes off the wet I give the tub a quick scrub and a rinse of it’s own.

The blue sky replaced by cloudy grey and snow turning into slush falling from the sky adding more to the piles that are already several feet deep. A fresh cup of tea waiting for me and even though the day was more than mundane- I can’t help but count the blessings, the dog not fighting his bath, the tub being accommodating to sit on, the beauty of freshly blanketed earth and the stark contrast of the red car peeking through it’s white covering, watching TV with a daughter, watching the dogs play, and of course, plenty of opportunity to pray.

It amazes me how handing it all to God brings new energy and life to an otherwise blah day.

As I snuggle down into my warm bed again and wear my pj’s I think of a hot shower and an early night.

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