Friday, September 30, 2011

Keeping House: Bedroom Edition

In our house, the bedrooms are where all "things" go to disappear. I may clear the clutter from the living room, but it ends up in a basket or on a chair in my bedroom. Or on top of the dresser in my kids room.

But a clean room=a clean brain.
I know my mom is totally freaking out right now at that sentence because this is the total opposite of who I was in high school.

But I have changed. Haven't we all?
And if all of the "flat surfaces" in my room are cleaned off, I am at an unbelievable place of peace when going to bed.

So with that being said:

Make your bed. Take all drinks to the kitchen.

2x/week: clean the surfaces off, then dust them. (SWEET!)

1x/week: Tackle the floor. Vacuum, sweep. Whatever you have as far a floor surface goes. Get after it.
Get flowers for yourself and put one next to your bed. (I hardly ever do this, but it makes me really happy when I do)

1x/month or every 6 months or if an animal or child pukes:
Get under the bed and clean it out. Dust it. Clean it out and clean it up. You will be so happy you did. Put it in the calendar and do it.

Do the windows, walls and lights.

Clean out the closet and vacuum it. Dust the shelves and wipe down the doors.

Marble or Wine

"If we are ever going to be made into wine, we will have to be crushed-you cannot drink grapes. Grapes become wine only when they have been squeezed.

I wonder what finger and thumb God has been using to squeeze you? Have you been hard as a marble and escaped? If you are not ripe yet, and if God had squeezed you anyway, the wine produced would have been remarkably bitter...We have to be placed into God and brought into agreement with Him before we can be broken bread in His hands."

My Utmost for His Highest
Oswald Chambers
 September 30

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Keeping House: Family Room edition

Here it is, the family room edition of speed cleaning your house in a month!

This is the place you spend the most of your time and the place where clutter probably accumulates the most.

So on a daily basis, do your best to not leave the room without something on your hands that does not belong in that room.

If you have 3-5x a week/15 minutes:
Grab a laundry basket. Grab up all items that don't belong in that room and place them in the basket for redistribution after you leave the room.

Dust everything on eye level.

Fluff pillows and fold throw blankets.

That will make you feel like a million bucks right there.

If you have 1x a week/30 minutes:
Vacuum or dry-mop the floor

Every month/6months/when a dog or kids pukes on it:
Tackle upholstery and window treatments. Vacuum under sofa cushions and on them. Clean behind the couch. Flip over the cushions for even wear. Close curtains and vacuum. Wipe down blinds.

For spring/fall cleaning days:
Wash windows.
Spot clean the walls.
Roll back rugs and clean the floor.
Get after cobwebs in the corners.

The Great Sandwich Debate

Every since we got back from France, Asher has refused to eat sandwiches made with whole wheat bread.

Only white bread sandwiches.
I have no idea.

He makes barf face and gagging noises the entire time he chokes down a sandwich.

This has now gone on for two months.
Yes, I have endured.

These are not new sandwiches. Or bread. Same as he's ever had. He just "doesn't like them now."

Today, I gave it one more try. I asked him to "beast it" and not give us a problem about the sandwich when he came out of his class at church saying he wasn't "hungry" for lunch-because he knew another whole wheat pb & j was going to get served up.

The day before, he went so far as to feed the dog the sandwich and pretend as it he had eaten it. That went over well.

So we came home today, fully expecting him to in fact "beast" the sandwich. But that did not happen.

Instead, he dragged it out and then on a bite that was followed by a swallow of water the whole thing came up.

This is now the third time that little trick has happened since our return as well.

There are a few questions here:
1) is this hilarious or maddening?

2) how can I get him to actually eat a sandwich without giving him white bread?
I refuse to bend on this matter. Which sounds annoying but he is one person and we are three others who will eat and enjoy the other bread. And he's 6.

3) how can I break his will on this thing without breaking him in the process?
I don't just want him to eat a sandwich. I want him to be obedient. And get over it. But I want him to remain strong-willed; just not incapable of following us as we ask him to eat what we prepare.

4) am I making a big deal out of nothing?
I think we make him eat he rest of the sandwich for dinner and the rest of this week until the point is made. But maybe that is going too far?

Maybe we should just call the whole thing off and just take this whole debate off the table? Just be full of grace-no more sandwiches for awhile?
Let him try then again in a few months?

Mountains out of molehills.
Man this parenting thing is HARD.

Any feedback would be tremendous!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Risky But Nice

You should go watch this but beware a little...
It will make you laugh. Inappropriately.

Keeping House

I am not a wizard at house keeping. I want to be. I set very high standards at house keeping. But neither I nor Matt can live up to those standards, so what we have is usually a "problem" because I am chronically unhappy with the state of our house, but unmotivated to do anything about it. Then I get mad at everyone around me for failing to work hard at it.
Don't I sound like a joy to live with?

I have been looking for a solution and I am hoping that I have found one. Google calendar.

Each day I have a task that if I actually do it, by the end of the week//month my house will be deep cleaned.

Here is an example:
Set aside 5x week/15 mins:
clean countertops and sink
Sweep the floor
Clean the fridge handle

Set aside 30 mins 1x/week
Wet mop the floor
Wipe down the appliances
Wash down the cabinet fronts

Kitchen deep cleaning 1x (or every 6 months...or if a dog/child throws up in or on these surfaces) a month activities:
Deep clean the fridge
Clean the oven
Vacuum the inside of drawers and cabinets

If Matt and I share a house cleaning calendar and these tasks are in there, this is much more likely to happen. Matt just doesn't even think about these things. While I think about them, but I am also thinking about 700 million other things too. We all need help to serve and love one another.

Tomorrow, I will give you an example of the calendar for the family room.

I am turning super nerdy on you aren't I!?
Why does this get me so excited?

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Life is Revolutionized

I am now the proud owner of an iPad! Super fun for work. Super fun for play. But where my life has been revolutionized has been in setting up my google email account on yet another location. I have finally figured out a way to incorporate ALL of my email in one location and once I have read it, I can move on.

To some, this is no big deal.
For me, I can leave for 30 minutes and have 40 emails pile up.

I am more excited than I probably should be.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Beautiful People Do Not Just Happen

Empire State of Mind

My daughters school sent this home on Monday as a 9/11 tribute.

It is supposed to be an image of how God has the whole world in His hands. But instead, it looks like the whole world is coming out of his butt.

It's a pretty good representation of how people have felt since that day.

We didn't have Facebook back on 9/11 and many people I went to high school were either in the towers themselves or their parents, siblings or loved ones were. This past week was interesting as I got to see for the first time the depth of these stories and to read more about friends being on the Staten Island Ferry approaching the city as the planes hit. And knowing their twin sister was in the twin towers.

I remember every feeling I had those days. And the fatigue from worry and concern over my sister and her husband living and working on Wall Street for the years that followed.

Now that has numbed a bit.
It's why we need memorials and anniversaries.

Even if we get sick of them or jaded.

This week a commercial (yes. A commercial) was released by State Farm was released that put it all in perspective and is so sweet, it makes you feel united to New York.

Much more so than a giant butt pooping out the world.

Empire State of Mind Commercial on YouTube

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Winter/Fall Shoes

I struggle with shoes in the Fall.

1. I like to wear flip flops. A lot.
2. I think of my Toms as dress shoes.
3. I feel like a goof-ball in warmish weather in boots.

Also, I live in a town with a lot of women who generally:
1. like other women
2. like to wear flats
3. like wearing shoes that proclaim #1 or have the name Thom McAn inside it.

What is a girl (who likes cute shoes) to do who has to work and go to meetings? Just meetings?

Shop for shoes. Constantly.

This is what I scrounged up this week.
I liked these. They had a cute little heel, came in different colors. Had a cute little bow on them. But, they still seemed in the manish category. 

I know I said, "no boots" but these were the softest most amazing boots. They looked like they would just hug your foot. 
I wanted to snuggle with them.
This gold color is way popular right now. 
I am pretty sure that I will be heading back to pick up these babies at some point. 
As soon as I find the "elusive" golden cardigan that matches. 

I loved these shoes. All of them. 
Color is tricky though. 

And then I took the plunge!
Orange with brown and hints of white. 
I have loads of this in my wardrobe AND it is very seasonal. 
They look super cute on and have a little heel on them for my longer jeans. 


They are $89 on Zappos, but not even close to that expensive at our local Tops for Shoes. 
Come to Asheville! I'll shoe shop with you! 

Lucy hilarity

Lucy loves to take pictures and being that she is home a good deal more than Asher (since she is in preschool) I have more material to work with. Enjoy the glory that is a 4 year old girl.
She hit a "little" growth spurt this summer. I think this was the last hurrah for this suit. 
Heading off to preschool. 
Our favorite part of the day is lunch (which we get to eat together) 
and on Friday's we make a special treat for Asher coming home from school. 

And the little man who we have raised to love all things lemon related. 
He is quite happy to be the recipient of these good gifts. 

Yes. If you click on the names of those treats, there are recipe links. You are welcome. They are delicious. For serious. 

First Day of School

We made it. Through the summer. Sabbatical is over. The kids are back at school. Matt is off and running and now I'm lonely.
Not a real surprise but somehow it has caught me by total surprise nonetheless.
I was totally unprepared to feel at such a loss for purpose when those around me regained theirs.
I am sure this is typical of mothers everywhere but this was a first for me because I am used to being on the go and with an extended fullness to my plate-but not this year.
The Lord has crafted a bit of a "sabbatical" season for me. It's bittersweet right now. I'm trying to taste the sweet but the loneliness makes it fairly bitter.
Even with these adorable ones to love on, I am just finding it hard to grip the ground beneath me in this season. Thankfully the Lord is patient and kind and helping me to find joy in the quiet but it is hard fought.

My Kids View of Life

The six and four year version of our daily lives