Sunday, August 30, 2009

Just a real quick post to say that this past week went so much better than the first week. I loved coming home knowing that dinner was almost done before I even got in the door. What's better? I still have some stuff in the freezer to use for this week.

I'm turning back to my trusty Flylady Control Journal to try to get a handle on chores and such. If you have never heard of Flylady, you should check out her site. If you have never tried her system, I highly recommend it. It completely changed the way I take care of my house. I have a "Control Journal" with all of our routines and chores in writing (typing).

Here's how it is broken down...this is all on her site and she does a much better job of explaining it:
  • Before Bed Routine
  • Morning Routine
  • Afternoon Routine (things we do right when we get home)
  • Late Afternoon Routine(what we do after homework is done)
  • Evening Routine (begins approx 6:30, when we eat dinner)

  • Weekly Home Blessing Hour List (the only time the whole week that you spend more than 15 minutes at a time cleaning)
  • Weekly Checklist (Those things that need to be done every week ie. Mop, Vacuum, Refrigerator,Dust, etc.)
  • Basic Weekly Plan (This is a plan that outlines on what days I will take care of the chores on the Weekly Checklist)
Then your home is broken down into Zones for all the monthly detailed cleaning (baseboards, window sills, tops of door facings, top of fridge, etc.) You then take one zone per week and do your detailed cleaning(never for more than 15 minutes at a time).

For example, Zone 1 is the Entrance and Office. Some things I have listed on my detailed cleaning list are:
  1. Dust tops of door facings
  2. Clean Switch plates
  3. Clean baseboards
  4. Wipe down door
  5. Clean computer monitor screen
  6. Clean Window
  7. Shred papers that need to be shredded
  8. ETC.
At the end of the month, your house is spotless and gorgeous.....ideally.

I haven't ever gotten EVERYTHING done on my list...but a little is better than nothing. And I keep my papers in sheet protectors and check off the items I did complete with a dry erase marker. The chores that didn't get checked off are the first to be done next month.

I wish I could post my Control Journal here, but unfortunately I don't know how or even if you can attach documents. If you would like to see it, I would be happy to email it.

on a side note: You know how they have Day Sponsors on the radio on Lifesongs? Well on Saturday, the Day Sponsor sponsored in honor of Flylady. She really is great, and so very encouraging!

Have a Blessed, Stress-Free Day!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

First Week as a Blogging Working Mom

Since I started this blog when I was out of school for the summer, I haven't actually posted yet as a "Working Mom". So here is my first post as a "Working Mom with a Stay-At-Home Heart.

I will just start out by saying that last week was ROUGH. I almost deleted this blog because I felt like a miserable failure at managing both home and work. There was a flood of emotions and a shortage of time. But then I remembered that I didn't start blogging to write a manual on how to go about this journey, but to document my journey, which is often times a little crazy..ok, a lot crazy.

Our schedules this year are really tough because of where my two younger kids are while I am at completely different towns. It makes for a rushed morning and a rushed afternoon. But by the end of the week, things began to smooth out a little. Although, we ate out every night last week except for one night when we had leftover Pastalaya. The house was a wreck because by the time I got home I was exhausted. I really wasn't prepared for last week.

So this weekend, I am working hard to be ready for next week. I am hoping our lives will be more peaceful because of a few things I have done to get us ready.

I spent a few hours today preparing meals to freeze or to refrigerate for the week. Here is how my day went:
  • Went grocery shopping for the week.
  • Put together two meat loaves; one to freeze and one to put in the fridge for Monday night.
  • Made two Shepherd's Pie mixtures-minus the mashed potatoes. Froze them both, one for Tuesday night, one for a later date.
**I have class on Wednesday, so Cecil will make pulled pork from the leftover pork we will have after Sunday lunch.
  • Made a Spaghetti meat sauce to freeze for Thursday.
  • Pounded, breaded, fried and froze chicken breasts for Chicken Parmesan on Friday. I will just thaw and add marinara sauce and pasta.
  • Cut chicken breasts into strips and froze for Chicken Marsala.
  • Diced, cooked, and froze chicken breasts for Chicken Pot Pie.
  • Made a double batch of Chocolate Chocolate Chip cookie dough. Cooked one batch for snacks for the week. I will freeze the rest for use at a later date.
  • Making a batch of pancakes to freeze. They are super easy to heat in the mornings for breakfast.

This all sounds like a lot. But it really didn't take as long as I thought it would. I plan to do this for a couple weekends to try to accumulate a few meals in my freezer for really busy days. I just have to remember to take it out to defrost. I am horrible about that.

I already feel better about next week. Now I am off to tackle the laundry and get uniforms ready for the week.

Whether you work outside the home or inside the home, what are some of the strategies you use to help your household run smoothly?

Monday, August 10, 2009

Fashion Savvy

I usually try to let the girls pick out their own clothes. I try to let them wear what they pick out barring anything inappropriate or just really extreme. This morning I told them to get ready because I had to go to the school and this is how Lylah Grace came out of her room. She always puts together the most interesting outfits.

She is so proud of her choice!

You know, layering is so in right now. Notice she has not one but two sweaters over her shirt. And yep, I'm letting her wear it. Although with this heat, I 'm sure one or both will come off. I just love her!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Happy Birthday to You!!

Ava's party went very well. We had the usual family and a couple close friends over for hamburgers, hot dogs, and cake. This birthday was, of course, a happy birthday, but for me it was a little sad. I just can't believe that my baby girl is one. I no longer have an infant. I guess why I'm a little more emotional is because she may be my last baby, and I just don't want her to grow up. But that is our job as parents, I guess, to grow them and teach them. I just wish sometimes that we had a little more time to do that.

Here are a few pictures from her party:

The last one was the day after, on her actual birthday. She was wearing the new dress that Mrs. Chasity got her and the headband that she made for her. Yes, we know another Chasity, I am not referring to myself in third person. That would be weird, but I guess not as weird as if I made my daughter refer to me as Mrs. Chasity.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Finding Joy

The school year is fast approaching. Already I am feeling anxious, busy (more than usual) and like I just don't have enough time in the day. I know myself well enough to know that I can get really grouchy-for lack of a better word. I have really been praying for God to help me to have a joyful heart in everything I do. I know, I know, I know, without a doubt that time is going to get crunched, schedules are going to become so full, they are bursting at the seams, and I know that the way I deal with these things along with the other daily inevitable bumps and gliches depends on my heart place. It depends on where my priorities are.

Like I said, I have been praying for a joyful heart for a couple of weeks now, and this verse is lodged in my brain for some reason. (I really know the reason)

Satisfy [me] in the morning with your unfailing love that [I] may sing for joy and be glad in all [my] days.

Psalm 90:14

I read or heard this verse somewhere this week-I can't remember where for the life of me. But it has really stuck with me. I think this may be my motto for the next 9 months. It just reminds me that my joy is not going to come from anything that can happen to me throughout the day, my joy comes from Jesus. Therefore, anything that happens to me throughout the day will not steal my joy away. It also reminds me that I need to "meet" with Him in the morning, for me it will be first thing in the morning. I'm really going to have to commit to having a prayer time each morning. I know it sounds terrible- and I feel ashamed even as I write this- but some mornings are just too rushed for me to sit down and have a quiet time. But as a wise woman(Lydia), has said over and over, "You usually make time for the things that are important to you". And it is so true. I mean, would I really leave the house without taking a shower? Okay, crazier things have happened ;) But my point is by not having quiet time in the Word every morning, I am essentially saying, "Ok God, I'm really sorry but I have got to unload the dishwasher maybe I'll talk to you tomorrow. Call me crazy, but I really don't think I, or anyone, would say that if God were really stading in front of us and really wanted to have a conversations with us. If there is something God wanted to tell me, you better believe that I would want to hear it. Well, God may not physically be at my kitchen table every morning, but I do believe that he has a word for me, and I want to hear it.

A couple more verses that I will lean heavily on are:

When anxiety [is] within me, your consolation [brings] joy to my soul.

Psalm 94:19

Be joyful always, pray continually, give thanks in all
circumstances for this is God's will for you in Christ

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18