Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Calm and Peaceful Days

The alarm goes off at 8:00am. You jump out of bed.
 You have to find the kids clothes to wear, feed them, and be out the door by 9:30.
 Oh no!  You forgot to get the library books together! 
Now you have to hurry to get everything done so you can search for them -- and you still have to make a grocery list.
 Your kids can’t find anything to eat because they ate the cereal yesterday. Now what are you going to do?   ” Just find something!” you yell. 
They end up eating Goldfish® crackers.  
You tell them to get dressed so that you can find the library books and make your grocery list.  
Your older child comes in wearing clothes that are too small. You tell him to change but he says that these are the only clothes that are clean. 
Ugh! “I guess you will just have to wear them,” you say.  
Your preschooler is running around half clothed with a Batman® cape.
 You gently tell him to get dressed.
 “NO! I want to wear my green shirt and purple pants!!!”  he exclaims.
 You tell him that he can’t because they are dirty. 
“Then I will not go!” He sits in the middle of the floor refusing to budge.
 You still have not found the library books that you need or made your grocery list. 
You only have 10 minutes until you need to go. And this is just the morning. 
Think of how off balance the rest of your day will be.

Now let’s look at a different day.

You wake up at 7:00am.
You read your Bible, pray, drink coffee, and daydream.
You make pancakes for breakfast. 
You wake up the kids. They make their beds, eat breakfast, and put the clothes on that they picked out the night before. 
You put the meat in the crock pot that you will have for supper tonight.
 You get the library books that are by the door, grab your grocery list, and leave the house 15 minutes early. Everyone is calm, peaceful, and happy. They are ready to have a great day.

What is the difference in these two days? 

In the second day you got ready for the next day the night before.

My mom always taught me that I should lay my clothes out the night before for the next day. This is something I have done since I was little.
 It got me thinking. If it works with clothes, then why not with everything else? 
Then I decided that I need to look at all my plans for the next day to see if there is anything I can do the night before to make my next day run more smoothly.

 I have my kids follow this routine before they go to bed. 
They are in charge of finding the clothes they want to wear the next day and showing them to me for my approval. 
This is especially helpful with an opinionated preschooler.
 They are also in charge of getting together anything else they might need for the next day. For example:  if the next day is church,then they have to get their Bibles and put them by the door.

When they are tucked in bed I look over my plans and see what I need to prepare for the next day.

Do I need to get meat out to thaw for supper?
Do I need to make sure all library books are together and by the door?
What clothes will I wear the next day?

I also decide what I will make for breakfast the next morning and make sure that I have all the ingredients.
 My grocery list is always ready to go because I keep a list on the refrigerator of the things I need. I put a mark by the product when I run out of it.

Another thing to ensure a smooth day is to try (notice I said try) to get up before everyone else.
 I like to get up read the Bible, pray, eat breakfast, and day dream before the others get up. Having that time to charge up just seems to make the day go better.

I want to add that just because your day starts smoothly does not mean it will stay that way. There are always going to be unexpected events that happen; but, when they do  it seems not to affect me as much if I have planned my day.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Warranties and Instruction Books and Receipts, Oh My!

You know those warranties, instruction books and receipts you get with different products? I decided after the 100th time of needing a warranty, or trying to figure out how we got the batteries in that toy train the first time that it might be a good idea to organize them so I could easily find them.
I bought three big notebooks, clear page protectors, and notebook dividers. I divided the notebook by rooms, alphabetized the rooms and wrote the room names on the dividers-for example:  Bathrooms, Kitchen, Laundry Room, Outside, etc. Whatever room the product is located that is the section I placed it in. I put the instruction book, warranty and receipt in the page protectors.  


Now I know exactly where they are when I need them. This also comes in handy when you want to give the product away or place it in a garage sale. You can have the instruction book to go with it and the person can see when it was bought and if it is still under warranty.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Simple, Daily Cleaning Routines

Simple, Daily Cleaning Routines
Daily cleaning routines are a wonderful thing!!!
They help you keep your house clean with very little time or effort. You just decide when a task will be most convenient to do and in 5 minutes or less it is done!
This is easy to do even if you have a baby, homeschool or work outside your home. I am going to give you an example of my daily routine so you can get an idea of how this works.
7:00- Wake up and take dirty laundry to laundry room, sort and start a load.
8:00- After fixing my hair and brushing my teeth I wipe down the mirror and counter. I quickly clean the toilets with a toilet brush (no cleaner).

8:15- I unload dishwasher and put clothes in the dryer.

8:30- After breakfast, I clear the dishes from table, rinse then put them in the dishwasher and wipe the table. (This is a good job for kids.)
10:00- During a school break the kids and I get clothes out of dryer, fold them and put them up. * I try to only do one load a day if possible and I don’t do laundry on weekends.
12:00- Following lunch, the kids and I clear dishes from the table, wipe table, rinse dishes and load.
4:00- Quick clean, At this time we run around the house (this makes it fun, ) to make sure everything is where it is supposed to be and we quickly vacuum with a rechargeable vacuum. (Kids beg to vacuum with this.)
6:30- We clear the dishes and wipe the table and counters. I have the kids vacuum the kitchen floor  with the rechargeable vacuum and I start the dishwasher.
7:30- During little brother's bath, I wipe down the kids’ bathroom counters and mirror.
8:00-During the kids’ bedtime snack , I clean out the sink and get the coffee ready for the next morning.
The best way to set up your routine up is to figure out what you want to get done in a day and place it where you can most logically get it accomplished with little effort. Even though my list may look like a lot, it is really not. You get to the point where you don’t even realize you are doing anything. Good luck setting up your routine. If you have any questions or need help please add a comment.

Monday, July 2, 2012

                                                                Look At What You Are Seeing
This blog title started as our family motto.  When the kids or I would be sad about something we missed out on, my husband would say, “Don’t look at what you are missing, look at what you are seeing.”   The saying became a way for us to focus on the good memories that we had made and not the things we missed.

Look at what you are seeing, has actually started to mean more to me in different ways.
It has become a way for us to realize our blessings and to be content with what we have. It also helps me focus on the little things I was missing before - small things I would have passed over in a normal busy day.

Now I live life more intentionally and fully.  This blog will be focused on Godly living and how to see the joy in homeschooling, homemaking, living naturally and living frugally.