Friday, October 10, 2014

31 Days: Review First Thing in the Morning

There are days that are a recovery from the day before. That is us today. We went on a beautiful and fantastic 3 hour drive into the mountains yesterday, picnicked at a lake, hiked along a stream and through the pines and Aspens to a mountain meadow with a stream running through. Then we hiked out and drove 3 hours home. Once home, we ate a bit of overcooked chicken from the crockpot and crawled into bed. An exhausted bunch of kids from one day make for a next day of extreme recovery. One step in front of the other. Just the basics: food, chores, schoolwork. I knew it was bad when we got home so I turned off my alarm. We started the day when we woke up and sure enough, it’s about noon and we’re catching up with the normal work.

One thing I find very helpful to do in the morning is to review my idea list. I call it “Ideas to Review Daily”. I have a few categories and a short list for each. It’s not quite a “To Do” list that feels pressure to get things done but it is more of ideas to work on when the mood strikes, the sun shines just right, an opportunity presents itself, or sometimes an item does become something to move to the “To Do” list. By reviewing this list daily it keeps these things in mind so that when the opportunity arises the idea can be seized.

A few categories on my list of “Ideas to Review Daily” list are Books to Read, Movies to Watch, classes or educational opportunities to do “someday”, ideas to improve organization or efficiency to an area of the house or school or life, decorating ideas, garden or landscape ideas, field trips. Keep your ideas under control, don’t let the lists get overwhelmingly big or you may get discouraged and never look at the list. Keep it relatively do-able. 

These are things to keep in mind so you can seize the opportunity to do them when the opportunity presents itself. I.e. Your friend suggests a hike to a spot you’ve had on your list (that was our yesterday); you’ve been planning to replace the dead bushes in front of the house and because it’s fall the nurseries have their trees and bushes 50% off.

Keep your “Ideas to Review Daily” list on the short side so that it just takes minute or two to put these things in mind at the front of the day. What you think about you will move towards.

You can change your day with a good start of positive input (not in a particular order):

  • Bible and Prayer, living with purpose and thankfulnes
  • Exercise
  • Water and Supplements
  • Having a plan for the day, knowing what you have to do, how you’re going to do it, when you have to do it, and being prepared to do it
  • “Ideas to Review Daily”
  • Give yourself an attitude check before greeting the world—thankfulness, forgiveness, kindness, patience. Make an attitude checklist and put it on a card to stick in your pocket.
  • Next, focus on what is front of you this moment

Tomorrow is another day, as Scarlett said. Get ready for it right now. 

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

31 Days: I think I missed a couple of days

 Monday I did laundry.

Here is what I've been doing since then:
Tuesday was a full day, I can't remember all of the exact details...     laundry, schooling, my lab class, making food, 4h sewing class with my younger girls... and ...
I think I took someone to the orthodontist this week...
Today, Wednesday, more laundry and food, school with the kids, I studied for a test, took the test, stopped at Costco, cleaned, laundry, food, hung some decor on the schoolroom wall, talked to the neighbor, braided girly hair, read a couple of blogs... I'm going to start a book if my eyes don't shut first.
I'm not so good at blogging this week.
Here is how I did it:
I exercise early in the morning. I put on uplifting music. I read the Bible and pray. 

I change the laundry loads. Sometimes the kids do. We fold and put away in the afternoon. 

The older kids do their schoolwork in the library/computer/school/music room (I don't know what to call that room). The younger ones sit at the dining room table with me and we do school together.

I give instructions before I go to my weekly  lab class and most of the time they all do what they're supposed to do. 
Today I came home from town to find art projects on every table. Annie was painting her bedroom furniture outside. 
That's OK.

We all make food; sometimes with help and sometimes without. Last night Annie (16) made supper with me. Today Ellie (8) made pancakes for breakfast and brownies for a snack later, all by herself.
Matthew (7) vacuumed the living room on his own volition. Bronwyn (11) helped with supper tonight.

Tomorrow, we go on a big drive into the mountains to hike around a lake with friends.

Monday, October 6, 2014

31 Days: Monday = Laundry Day

The following is how laundry is working out in my home right now. Different home have different set-ups and I write this just to give you and idea of how it looks here and maybe give you a springboard for ideas that may work in your home.

Because we have a bunch of children we need to do laundry every day or else it piles up too high but on Mondays we really focus on getting through it all.

My current washer and dryer do a cycle about every hour and by keeping that in mind we focus on doing at least 6 or 8 loads on Mondays.

This house has a very small laundry room off the kitchen. The room holds the machines, a sink, and cupboards over the equipment, and a window. I'm always glad for windows. There is no room for dirty laundry in this room although we do shove a basket in there to throw the kitchen towels into.

I have a laundry sorter (that's not an affiliate link, just a picture of what I'm talking about) in the big girls room (they do their own laundry), another sorter in the hall by the younger children's bedrooms, and the third sorter in the "en suite" bath (the shower in this bathroom gets used by everyone, therefore the dirty clothes pile up here). These sorters help tremendously because the children (are supposed to) sort their clothes and then I can call for the specific load I want to do.

"I need more whites to fill the washer, bring me the whites from upstairs please!"

When the dryer is done with a load, I pull out all of the "hang-up" clothes and hang them up immediately and put them in the appropriate closet.  I don't like wrinkled clothes. Ask my children. I have been known to tell them to take off an item and iron it.

The rest of the clothes go into a pile in the living room and the children fold them in the afternoon after schoolwork is done. They can only watch a video or show if they are folding laundry and when they are done folding, everyone puts their own clothes away.

The rest of the week we do the odd loads that pile up, bedding, towels, or if someone needs an article clean--they do a load. We have a house rule that a person never washes a partial load, fill it up. We always have dirty clothes. Use that machine with wisdom!

This is what is currently working in this particular house. Sadly, I don't have a clothes line yet. I think this is the first time ever in my life that I haven't had a clothes line! We've been in this house almost a year, that has gone quite fast, so it's definitely time for me to get one.  I LOVE to hang out clothes. I love the excuse to get outside and look at the sky and hear the birds and stretch and bend, and I like crisp clothes and towels.

Some Mondays don't work out for doing all the loads so we double up the rest of the week or devote another day for focusing on getting through the piles.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

31 Days: Slow Cookers are for Sundays

And any other day that you need a meal to come home to.

Today I put leftover taco meat and beans in the slow cooker. When we came home we had a taco bar for lunch.

Back in the day when I had to do a lot to get everyone out the door for church I filled the crock pot the day before and put it in the frig until Sunday morning. Things are a little easier now. And there is no toddler to or preschooler to push the off button, turn the knob, or unplug it. Yes, that had all occurred in the past. Along with me forgetting to turn it or plug it in. Oh. I guess that did happen this morning but my husband saved the lunch and plugged it in.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

31 Days: Kitchen Rules

Happiness is a Kitchen full of Family

Kitchen Rules

1. If you empty it – fill it
2. If you dirty it – clean it
3. If you open it – close it
4. If you spill it – wipe it up
5. If you cook it – share it