Category Archives: Her Home

CLUTTER GUTTER Part 3 {The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up}

CLUTTER GUTTER

Part 3

The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up

On my way to clutter-free. When my oldest was little, we happened upon a video called Mouse and Mole. Like Frog and Toad, these two were best of friends. One or the other of them was a collector of “stuff.”  I don’t think we’d see him on Hoarders or anything, but View full post »

Ordering Our Life {Purpose}

Ordering Our Life

Part 2

 Purpose

In the first part of Ordering Our Life discussed our limits of time: we each get the same 24 hours in a day and 7 days in a week. Now, what are we to do with them? I asked a group of stay at home moms to share with me what they do with their time. Here’s a snippet:

*activities
*Bible time
*Breakfast with kids
*Family correspondence (birthday cards, calling grandma once in a while, etc)
*Garage sale for supplies
*Homeschool, lesson plan, plan fun activities and outings,
*I read lots of books to the kids. Books and books and books!
*I try to start my day with Bible reading and personal quiet time
*Keep all the doctor appointments dentist appts, specialists
*Pick up toys
*Read books together
*Research and sign up for kids classes and events at the library, community center, field trips, etc.
*Research curriculum

*Take walks
*Take care of myself and the kids
*Thrift for household supplies
*baking
*balancing checkbook
*bathe the kids
*being a referee
*bottles
*breakfast, lunch & dinner,
*breastfeeding
*budget.
*call my husband to see how his day is going at work
*call service providers or Drs for appts, or account questions (may include long hold times)
*chores
*church
*clean
*clean up messes made while you were on the phone,
*co-op
*cook
*crocheting (or some other hobby when I have free time)
*dance
*diaper changes
*dishes
*driving my children to weekly activities
*entertain two kids
*evening activities
*extra curricular for kids
*feeding animals
*field trips
*go to the zoo or science museum almost weekly,
*grading
*grocery planning
*grocery shop
*grocery store,
*helping family out during the day
*homeschool lessons
*horseback riding
*household chores
*housework
*keep the car cleaned & working
*keep the littles from fighting
*keeping order in the house.
*keeping track of hubs military schedule
*laundry
*library
*look for stuff on Pinterest, check my favorite freebie worksheet sites.
*lunch
*make breakfast
*meals
*menu planning,
*occupational therapy
*oh my gosh I can’t even list it all. Lol
*one on one time with each of my girls
*organize everything.
*pack hubby’s lunch
*paying bills
*photography
*piano and guitar lessons
*picking up toys or directing kids
*planning our cross country move
*planning our days/weeks
*potty training
*praying
*private art lessons
*provide support(baking/council) others
*running errands
*running my etsy shop
*school
*schoolwork
*sewing
*sleeping
*soccer
*speech therapy
*spend quality time with the kids
*spending time with hubby in the evening
*supper
*sweep & vacuum…
*take kids to the park or movie
*take online courses for myself
*taking lots of pictures of these cuties at home
*taking the dog for walks
*talk to the Lord
*teach children to clean up their own messes
*teach kids to do chores
*teach siblings to get along
*teaching each of my kids
*Therapy
*vacations
*vacuum
*visiting family
*work in the yard

A couple of moms echoed many others:

“I don’t know how moms keep up with everything and still have time for other stuff!”

“I feel like I’m in the kitchen for half the day lol…when I’m not doing that I’m (doing school with kids), chasing toddler around, straightening up, or taking kids to activities.”

Please, for the love of -of anything at all- do not turn this into any sort of  moms vs moms, because it is nothing of the sort.  I have done it all in terms of mothering and working: stay at home mom, full time teacher & mom, homeschooling mom, part-time working mom, working from home mom and self-employed mom. If you want, as bonus, add in the mix of it all a 12 year stint of full time, live-in caretaker, daughter/mom.

That said, as I wrote out the above list tonight I thought to myself, “I did all these things when I was working full time, too.” I’m sure some of you reading this had the same thought. Rightfully so! But…hang on with me here,  there is a difference. A big one. At the risk of this being a harsh reality, often times we hear the big difference  disguised in the words of every mom’s exclamation in looking forward to school starting at the end of summer…or Christmas break.  One of the laws of life reads: Neither you nor I can be in two places at one time…though it would be nice sometimes!  For every job listed that absolutely has to be done, someone is hopefully doing it. When MOM is at her job, someone is substituting for her. Before I was a mom, one of my early career jobs was an assistant in a day care. I worked 12 hr days  and took care of 8 infants in my nursery. Can you believe the law used to allow a 1-8 ratio for infants?!  If you’re like the majority of women, on any give day our to-do lists can turn pages, but when we’re not home (and even if we are sometimes) by default many things go undone-at least  for a time. A long time?   Many working moms are not in a place to get help with home duties, but some are blessed to be able to hire out some things.  (Three cheers for the  blessings of lawn service, maid service and/or a personal chef! ) BUT,  not everything can wait until we’re present: at minimum babies need changed, fed and  rested, children need meals, activity, safety and shelter.  We all can agree, when/if I’m at work, someone has to be taking care of the necessities. It’s2016-01-14_0004just the way it works.

Truth be told, some moments I long for used to bes.  Even a short drive into work alone or a couple unaccompanied minutes to the potty without teeny fingers dancing under the door, or actually being in a little more control at some point of the day (even as mundane as showing up and leaving in a general semi-expected timeframe feels like more control than what is common to a lot of homeschooling moms, specifically) would be kind of nice. There’s more, much more,  but if I skip most for most of all,  my main pining of leaving for work each day it’s not in leaving at all. Nope. Actually, it’s all  in coming back home.  It’s not like I maintain a hotel-home always ready for the magazine photographers to pop in and shoot a 2 page spread.  No, but vacuuming and leaving the house has its perks and toys don’t really walk around, have tea-parties and plan their escape when left alone.Usually. Letting the kitchen sink dry, the toilet seats stay down and the trash can empty for even 6 hours a day all are harmonious gifts in  keeping a house tidy.  I admit, I miss it.

Now the BIG difference I was referring to earlier.  I read three words written after one of the moms wrote out her list of things she does every day at home, they stopped me in my tracks. I finished copying the rest of the list, but  those three words were embedded in my eyes like a brightly lit and flashing amusement park sign.  The difference is in these words:

all

the

time

Most of the list could be written in non-stop mode. Never does it end or begin again, it just goes on and on:

do it again and again and over and over and over and over and over and over and over do it again and again and over and over and over and over and over and over and overdo it again and again and over and over and over and over and over and over and over do it again and again and over and over and over and over and over and over and overdo it again and again and over and over and over and over and over and over and overdo it again and again and over and over and over and over and over and over and overdo it again and again and over and over and over and over and over and over and over do it again and again and over and over and over and over and over and over and over do it again and again and over and over and over and over and over and over and overdo it again and again and over and over and over and over and over and over and overdo it again and again and over and over and over and over and over and over and overdo it again and again and over and over and over and over and over and over and overdo it again and again and over and over and over and over and over and over and over do it again and again and over and over and over and over and over and over and overdo it again and again and over and over and over and over and over and over and over do it again and again and over and over and over and over and over and over and overdo it again and again and over and over and over and over and over and over and overdo it again and again and over and over and over and over and over and over and overdo it again and again and over and over and over and over and over and over and overdo it again and again and over and over and over and over and over and over and overdo it again and again and over and over and over and over and over and over and over do it again and again and over and over and over and over and over and over and over do it again and again and over and over and over and over and over and over and overdo it again and again and over and over and over and over and over and over and overdo it again and again and over and over and over and over and over and over and overdo it again and again and over and over and over and over and over and over and overdo it again and again and over and over and over and over and over and over and overdo it again and again and over and over and over and over and over and over and overdo it again and again and over and over and over and over and over and over and overdo it again and again and over and over and over and over and over and over and overdo it again and again and over and over and over and over and over and over and overdo it again and again and over and over and over and over and over and over and overdo it again and again and over and over and over and over and over and over and overdo it again and again and over and over and over and over and over and over and over do it again and again and over and

all

the

time

I want to leave  a little encouragement for the Momma home with your littles, making the sacrifices financially and doing anything  and everything  ALL THE TIME: it’s worth it, and it’s pleasing to the Lord.

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Suddenly, all the time will give way to memories and leave a legacy of time passed while lovingly, obediently and sacrificially  investing in your  marriage, your home and your children.   There is no greater life, Momma. One day you’ll look back and while you may long for more time between babies and grandbabies, you won’t regret messy houses, fewer ‘things’ or the All The Time days and years you spent with your children.  It will be a great moment!

Chin up!  You’re doing great.

Proverbs 31: 27-31

She watches over the affairs of her household
    and does not eat the bread of idleness.
 Her children arise and call her blessed;
    her husband also, and he praises her:
 “Many women do noble things,
    but you surpass them all.”
Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
    but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
 Honor her for all that her hands have done,
    and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

 

Clutter Gutter Part I {The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up}

Clutter Gutter

{The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing }
by Marie Kondo

It’s fair to say  over the past 30 years of  life (starting a home, teaching/organizing classrooms , selling/moving to a new home etc), I’ve done my fair share of fleeting organizing. It’s been said I can lean toward OCD in this way, but I think it’s more accurate to say I just like things neat.

I’d read about The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up about the same time I learned of a capsule wardrobe concept. Life had kept me busy for the past, oh, 14 years or so, and to say this change was needed in my house, my life, my HEART, could not be over exaggerated.

Clutter Gutter

Clutter Gutter

2016-01-09_0002When I saw the book in Costco my husband insisted on buying it, and so we did. I read much of it and couldn’t wait to get started.  Not long after, every piece of clothing I owned (minus what I was wearing) was out of it’s hiding place and in the middle of my bedroom. OH GOODNESS!  I hope this one works; it’s not looking good from here!

 To be continued.

Don’t miss what’s next!

Gratitude 2016- Day 9

White Towels

January 9, 2016

I was going to say, “Not to be confused with waving the white flag,” but now that I think about it…

My children aren’t babies, or toddlers, or dependent on me as they once were. A tiny bit of me hesitates to share this post because I know it’s not so easy in every phase of mommyhood to go to the bathroom for 2 seconds let alone take a bath. Be encouraged, some day you too will be able to take a hot bath.

Alone.

Again.

And you’ll want to even more than you’ll want to climb in bed and sleep for a few weeks.

But I get it, and this share with complete empathy as you do the hard, tiring work of mothering just where you are.

White Towels.

Tonight, I got out of my tub  (this girl in the middle’s PM escape comes by way of a hot bath),

grabbed my white towel and realized what a treat a simple clean white towel is to me.

I have no idea why this is a highlight of my day, yet every part of me loves it.

Sometimes I’m there for minutes, other times for an hour.

Always I’m able to think, to pray, to talk to  the Lord, read…anything, really.

My fresh white towels not only look pretty, they smell heavenly and feel wonderful wrapped around my warm body

like a perfect night cap.

I  certainly used towels with holes in them for years and never complained.

 I was content  (and I really didn’t know what I was missing).

Of course I know it’s perfectly indulging, but I’m thankful for them anyway.

Can’t wait until tomorrow night!

White Towels

White Towels

Use it as a bookshelf?

Bookshelf Where?

I love throwing away expired coupons, crumbs in the bottom cracker boxes and the tiniest pieces any  bag of chips tries to hold on to. And, I feel the same way about a complete after-Christmas clean up.

This year, like any other day, 😉  I changed the room around as I put away decorations. Couch–over there. Chair to the other corner, tables for the windows to frame, and as I did this it came to me. Bookshelf closer to Dad’s chair. Stopping to dust, I placed the books in waiting off the shelf and above me. Light bulb!  A little arranging and, wha-la, there they’ll stay.

Check this out and try it yourself. Spruce up the room and put those books in the space made just for them (at least for now). Pretty, if I do say so myself.

2016-01-03_0016

Stairwell, Spindles and Books

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