Sunday, October 31, 2010

MAKING YOUR HOME SING: Learn The Value of Little Minutes

Making your home sing Mondays

Welcome to the Making Your Home Sing Monday meme! Every day you are doing something to make your house into a home for yourself and your family (if you have one). My point with each Monday post is, what are you doing or going to do today to make your home sing?

It can be an attitude or an action. Motivation, our attitude, baking, encouraging our husband or children (if we have either one), organization, cleaning, saving money....the opportunities are endless.

Some people don't think that they can accomplish anything in 10 or 15 minutes at a time. So they wait for the big blocks of time which rarely come.

Consequently they get frustrated because they "don't have the time" to do things. What they need to do is use the time that they have in order to do the things that they need to do! There is value in little minutes of time as together they add up to bigger minutes.

Do you ever notice that we seem to find the time to do the things that we enjoy doing? And yet we "can't" find the time to do the things that seem boring or too much work.

We can find time to watch a favorite t.v. program but can't find time to fold the laundry....which could be done while watching the t.v. program.

We can find the time to go out to lunch with a friend but can't find time to do our errands....which could be done before or after lunching out.

We can find the time to scrapbook but can't find time to clean our craft room. We can find the time to read a magazine or book but can't find time to read our Bible. We can find time to visit with a favorite friend but can't find time to visit or call someone in the hospital. We can find time to decorate our house but can't find time to clean it.

It comes down to priorities and also, how we use the time that we have. It's always much easier to make the time for something fun, isn't it? So often we dread things and so we put them off. Sometimes we put things off for years if we can.

There is value in little minutes. You CAN declutter in five minutes a day. It will just take you longer. You CAN clean in five minutes a day, it will just take you longer.

Also, you have to maintain what you already cleaned, otherwise you will just be cleaning the same thing over and over and show no progress. Kind of like gaining and losing the same five pounds over and over.

Many people want immediate satisfaction, and if they feel they don't have eight to twelve hours in which to clean the garage then they will just wait until they DO have. They may have to wait a few years and live with a mess (and perhaps their spouse's frustration) however.

Are you one of those people? Are you waiting for a huge block of time to do something? How long have you been waiting to do it? Days? Weeks? Months? Years?

Why are you really putting it off? Is it because of time or because you really don't care? Make a chart of things that need doing in and around your home and list them by order of importance. Where does it fall and why?

If you have a cleaning project that seems overwhelming, start small. Start in a corner somewhere. Start with a drawer, a shelf, a table. Just START. If you have some other project that needs doing and you're not doing it, start working on it. Break it down into baby steps, one thing at a time and begin. Just START.

Set yourself a timer of 10-15 minutes and get moving. When the timer is done you are done. Then tomorrow set a timer and go do it again, and again and again until that project or cleaning is finished. Don't let the amount of time deter you. Don't believe that you can't accomplish anything in just a small amount of time.

After all, each hour is just broken into sixty minutes, and sixty minutes of work is still sixty minutes of work. It doesn't matter if you worked the whole sixty minutes or divided it up into five minutes here and five minutes there, etc.

There are 1,440 minutes in a day......make them sing!

If you want to use your blog header or profile picture, use the "from the web" button on your right (after you click to link up). If you want to use a picture from your computer use the button on your left (unless the picture is on your blog). Please let me know if you have any problems with linking up.

What are you doing or going to do today to make your home sing? Please go here for instructions and/or ideas and come back here to link up to join us today! Please do not put your own "Making Your Home Sing Monday" Linky on your blog. As always, please don't forget to link to this post. Also, please don't forgot to leave me a comment!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Chocolate Shortage Crisis of 2010




Today there was a minor "crisis" in our home. It was a chocolate shortage crisis. If you call being without chocolate a crisis.

Today there was none to be had. I even checked my mother's stash and she didn't have any either. If the dog treats had been chocolate flavored I may have gone all Bolt! on them and given them a run for their money.

In desperation I turned to my 17 year old son and said "You don't have any chocolate hidden in your room somewhere, do you?"

My son turned to me with a total lack of understanding and said, "Nooooo. Why would I do that?" Thus proving my belief that, #1 he is his father's son and, #2 he has no clue about the importance of chocolate. Believe it or not, when he was seven he wanted to be a pirate, yet obviously has no clue about the value of hidden treasure.

So, feeling somewhat delirious (bordering on comatose), I looked in my husband's sock drawer. After all, who knows what might be hidden in there. In the past, my hubby has hidden chocolate in order to surprise me, so who's to say that there wasn't any hidden amongst his socks.

Well, there wasn't. I was tempted to call dear hubby at work and beg him to go out and buy me some chocolate. However, I did think that maybe his idea of a crisis and my idea of a "crisis" might not be the same. Also, I was feeling very fragile and just couldn't take it if I found out that chocolate really wasn't on his list of priorities for the day.

Then I began to think about my older son who is away at college. Was it possible? Could it be? Did he leave something behind to remember him by?

As I ran to his room in a chocolate-withdrawal fueled panic, I remembered how my children never seem to crave sweets (or chocolate) very much, so I knew the odds weren't good. Then I remembered that long ago, my oldest had some mini candy bars left over after a get together, and he had stashed them in the pantry.

So off to the pantry I went. Would they still be there???????????????????????

Yes! They were there in all their chocolaty goodness. Mini candy bars of chocolate perfection. They may have been there about 75 years. I didn't even care how long. I also decided that I need to clean my pantry more often.

So, word to the wise: next time you see me coming hide your chocolate. And don't say I didn't warn you either.

Editor's note: no chocolates were hurt in the writing of this post. However, I may eat another one tomorrow.

I am linking this post to Chocolate Friday at Stop and Smell the Chocolate's blog!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

MAKING YOUR HOME SING: Make It One For The Memory Book

Welcome to the Making Your Home Sing Monday meme! Every day you are doing something to make your house into a home for yourself and your family (if you have one). My point with each Monday post is, what are you doing or going to do today to make your home sing?

It can be an attitude or an action. Motivation, our attitude, baking, encouraging our husband or children (if we have either one), organization, cleaning, saving money....the opportunities are endless.

When you were little, did you ever think about what kind of a spouse or parent you would be someday?

When I was a little kid I used to have things that I assured myself I would NEVER say. I remember saying "I will never say 'because I said so' to my children."

I also remember thinking about what kind of wife I'd be. I would leave little love notes for my hubby. I would wake up early and make him breakfast. I would put candles and flowers on the table for dinner every night. Every day would be a celebration of our love.

Then the honeymoon ended and real living began.

I used to think I would be the fun mom. I'd be the mom on the block that always had cookies available and kool-aid, and never minded how many kids were over at one time and never minded how big a mess they made in the house.

Then the honeymoon ended and real parenting began.

Isn't that the truth? Isn't that what we always say? The honeymoon is over, wake up and smell the diapers........or something like that?

Why does it have to be that way? Why do we have to let our busy-ness dictate how we choose to celebrate our love and our family? Why do we let life interfere with living it?

Why do we get so caught up in the very-important-job of being a wife or a mother that we forget to enjoy it and make it fun! Is there really life beyond that pile of laundry in the bathroom? You betcha there is.

What are the memories that we're making? Are they good memories of fun, and love and laughter?

What do you remember about last year? What memories stand out? Are they memories of you cleaning, and organizing, and doing the laundry or cooking? Or are they memories of camping or swimming, or making a snowman, or hot chocolate and game or movie nights with your family?

The memories that stand out are usually the memories of being with those we love. This week I encourage you to make it one for the memories. Make it something that you can look back on and smile. Make it special.

Leave a loving note on your husband's pillow, put a smiley-faced "I love you" in your child's lunchbox, mail a funny card to your hubby or children, buy some flowers, light a candle, put on some special music, buy or make a "you are special" plate and put it on the table, iron the pillowcases, or do something to make tonight's dinner or tomorrow's breakfast special. Make it one for the memory book.

Make this week (and every week) one to remember and make your home sing!

If you want to use your blog header or profile picture, use the "from the web" button on your right (after you click to link up). If you want to use a picture from your computer use the button on your left (unless the picture is on your blog). Please let me know if you have any problems with linking up.

What are you doing or going to do today to make your home sing? Please go here for instructions and/or ideas and come back here to link up to join us today! Please do not put your own "Making Your Home Sing Monday" Linky on your blog. As always, please don't forget to link to this post. Also, please don't forgot to leave me a comment!


Thursday, October 21, 2010

THE NIGHT IS YOUNG AND I AM NOT

Sometimes I cannot believe how I have changed as I've grown older, and how happy I am to have changed, apparently. Sometimes I am not aware of how I've changed until I see the energy of my kids.

How come they can go like the energizer-bunny?

I remember when I was little I was begging to stay up late. Now I'm begging to go to bed.

I couldn't wait until I was old enough to "set my own bedtime." But it seems like once that happened, I couldn't wait til bedtime came.

I couldn't wait to stay up past 9:00 at night. Now 9:00 comes and I say "The night is young and I am not."

I remember staying up late Sunday night because I didn't want the weekend to end. Now 9:30 or 10:00 rolls around and I can barely keep my eyes open.

This is odd, because I used to stay up until 11:00 or midnight with nary a problem.

So, lately I find myself forcing myself to stay awake. Like a little toddler who refuses to nap when she is tired.

I will NOT give in to sleep. I will NOT give in to sleep. I will NOT.....

zzzzzzzzz.......zzzzzzzz......zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz......................

Sunday, October 17, 2010

MAKING YOUR HOME SING: CLEAN THE "LITTLES"

Making your home sing Mondays

Welcome to the Making Your Home Sing Monday meme! Every day you are doing something to make your house into a home for yourself and your family (if you have one). My point with each Monday post is, what are you doing or going to do today to make your home sing?

It can be an attitude or an action. Motivation, our attitude, baking, encouraging our husband or children (if we have either one), organization, cleaning, saving money....the opportunities are endless.

It amazes me how quickly my house can go from clean to messy. It happens THAT fast. In fact, it happens so fast that I wonder if maybe I just have a "special" house. Surely no one else has a house that can go from "ahhhh" to "arggghhhhhh!" in sixty seconds flat. Right?

It's just me. I am alone. Sigh.

O.k., maybe not sixty seconds but it was fast.

Friday I had a clean house. At least, it was fairly clean. Most things were picked up and put away so it was clean enough. Then Saturday morning came and we went to make 150 lunches to help feed some homeless people in our area. Then we went and bought some groceries (which I never fully unpacked because we had to leave again) and went to a friend's 40th birthday party.

Then I came home and needed to lie down and rest my back so I really didn't do anything else. That means I did not do the dishes last night, so I awoke to a messy kitchen. This doesn't happen very often, but I do have my moments and last night was one of them.

So now we come to today and there are dishes in my sink, there is a bag with potato chips and another bag with some saltines crackers and a few other bags and items sitting on my kitchen counters. Our college aged son came home last weekend and raided our pantry (with our encouragement) and so I am restocking it.

My kitchen table also has remnants of broken knicknacks from a shelf that I knocked over in my haste to get to church. The shelf is fine, some knicknacks are broken and the dog saw her life flash before her eyes and is saying "I almost died," but hey, just another day in my life.

Oh, and the recycling is piling up, the laundry needs to be folded, and I never mopped the kitchen and bathroom floors on Friday because I had a doctor's appointment that ate up my morning and I was busy in the afternoon and in the evening I was mopping the hardwoods instead.

So I sit here and wonder how I could go from clean to chaos so quickly and now I know.

It's hard to clean your house when you aren't home to do it. It's hard to clean your house when you choose to do something else instead. It's hard to clean your house when you don't clean the little mess and let it pile up into a bigger mess. It's hard to clean your house when sometimes you just need to lie down and rest something.

It's hard to clean your house when you're sitting on the computer blogging about how you can't understand why your house is messy. It's hard to clean a little, but it's a lot harder to clean A LOT.

So this week I will be making my home sing by cleaning up the little messes before they give birth to even bigger messes (although I would say that my kitchen has outdone itself and should win some award for "messiest."). I will be cleaning up the "littles" before they become the "a lots." Right now, my kitchen is A LOT.

So I encourage you to join me, if you need to, and clean the "littles." Otherwise you and I are going to have one big A LOT to clean, and nobody wants that. Right?

If you want to use your blog header or profile picture, use the "from the web" button on your right (after you click to link up). If you want to use a picture from your computer use the button on your left (unless the picture is on your blog). Please let me know if you have any problems with linking up.

What are you doing or going to do today to make your home sing? Please go here for instructions and/or ideas and come back here to link up to join us today! Please do not put your own "Making Your Home Sing Monday" Linky on your blog. As always, please don't forget to link to this post. Also, please don't forgot to leave me a comment!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Pottery Barn Hates Me

While perusing through people's blogs over the last few months, I have discovered a store called Pottery Barn. I don't think I'd ever heard of it before, and if I HAD heard of it, I would have assumed it was a store full of pottery.

Because, after all, Dairy Queen is full of queens, and Burger King is full of kings, and Walmart is full of walls. Well, it IS full of walls, you know. Otherwise it would be a tent.

Anyway, I discovered that there is a store called Pottery Barn. Or maybe it's The Pottery Barn, I don't know.

From reading people's blogs I have discovered that they have lovely things at this store and they also have a catalog that you can get.

Well, YOU can get. I can't. Because I'm beginning to think that Pottery Barn hates me.

That's the only thing I can think of to explain why I keep trying and failing to get a catalog sent to my door. Seems like everybody else in blogland has a catalog but me.

I have tried twice to order one online and it has never come. I ordered one and waited weeks and weeks in endless anticipation and still, it never came. Then I tried to get another. I'm still waiting. Always a Pottery Barn bridesmaid, never a Pottery Barn bride.......

As I said, at first, I figured that Pottery Barn hates me. Now, I sadly have to admit that apparently my computer skills are so inept, I can't even manage to request a catalog online.

I have to admit that I can barely manage to blog and breathe at the same time. So it appears that my computer skills (three words which no one who knows me would ever put in the same sentence) are apparently cramping my decorating style. Or, I can't afford to shop there anyway and my computer skills know it.

Hmmmm, who knew? Well, maybe Pottery Barn knew and is trying to save me from myself....

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Making Your Home Sing Monday

Making your home sing Mondays

Welcome to the Making Your Home Sing Monday meme! Every day you are doing something to make your house into a home for yourself and your family (if you have one). My point with each Monday post is, what are you doing or going to do today to make your home sing?

It can be an attitude or an action. Motivation, our attitude, baking, encouraging our husband or children (if we have either one), organization, cleaning, saving money....the opportunities are endless.

I had a video I was trying to upload but for some reason it wouldn't load. So now I don't have a post for today's meme! Anyway, our oldest son is home visiting from college and that is how we are making our home sing these last couple of days. Y'all have a great week and I look forward to reading about how you are making your homes sing this week.

If you want to use your blog header or profile picture, use the "from the web" button on your right (after you click to link up). If you want to use a picture from your computer use the button on your left (unless the picture is on your blog). Please let me know if you have any problems with linking up.

What are you doing or going to do today to make your home sing? Please go here for instructions and/or ideas and come back here to link up to join us today! Please do not put your own "Making Your Home Sing Monday" Linky on your blog. As always, please don't forget to link to this post. Also, please don't forgot to leave me a comment!


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Dear Diary: Does James Bond Have A Puppy?

Dear Diary,

Just the other day I decided I needed to buy one of those kneeling pads. You know the ones I mean. The kind you buy to protect your knees when you are working outside in the garden.

Only I wanted to buy mine for working inside the house. No, I am not gardening in the house.

If you could only see the state of my flower beds you would know that I am not gardening outside either. My bad.

I just bought that puppy so that I could kneel on it when I clean toilets or feel a deep, dark desire to get on my hands and knees and scrub the floor (which I pray will never happen).

In case you are having trouble following my writing, I did NOT buy a little puppy dog so that I could kneel on it while I am scrubbing the floor.

For one thing, that would be rude. Puppies are cute and cuddly and we won't even talk about how much I outweigh them, Diary my dear.

For another thing, if I had a cute little puppy I would be playing with it instead of scrubbing the floor. However, if I DID have a little puppy I bet I would be cleaning lots and lots of floors..........and carpets too.

But I digress.

So I was going to tell you the little adventure that I had when I tried to buy the kneeling pad. But that would take awhile and frankly, it's been a long day and I'm tired from all that kneeling on my puppy pad.

Let me just say that the clerk must have had something against me, Diary, because that girl sent me on a wild goose chase.

Let me also say that no, I did not buy a wild goose.

After wandering aimlessly up and down the same aisle about fifty times, I finally decided that it really wasn't there even though she said it was.

I also decided that I was going to get my James Bond on and track that puppy down (please see above explanation again for clarification).

So I did my best 007 impression and I snuck around that store until I spied me a lovely cushion to protect my poor knees and my knees thank me and my puppy thanks me.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

MAKING YOUR HOME SING: Let God Write The Song

Making your home sing Mondays

Welcome to the Making Your Home Sing Monday meme! Every day you are doing something to make your house into a home for yourself and your family (if you have one). My point with each Monday post is, what are you doing or going to do today to make your home sing?

It can be an attitude or an action. Motivation, our attitude, baking, encouraging our husband or children (if we have either one), organization, cleaning, saving money....the opportunities are endless.

How often do we exhaust ourselves by trying to do the things that we believe need doing, by trying to respond the way we believe we need to respond, by trying to love and serve our family and others the way we believe they deserve to be loved and served?

But we too often come to the end of our limits. We exhaust our strength, our patience, and our perseverance. We continually fill up at the wrong watering hole. When we go back to the well, its run dry, but that's because we went to the wrong one. We went to ourselves instead of to the One who will never run dry.

Perhaps we think we can try to repay God for all He's done for us by being very good, by being as close to the perfect woman as we can be. By not asking to much of Him and by not bothering Him to much. Do we think that we can "pay" Him back for all He's done for us by not "bothering" Him? Do we even think that we CAN pay Him back?

Want to make your home sing? Let God write the song. How often do we try and do things our way, instead of His way? How often do we try, in our own strength, to accomplish things that we can only do in God's grace and power? Do we have a "works" mentality? Do we try to repay God, instead of accepting what is freely given?

This week we can make our homes sing by not trying to do it all in our own strength. By asking God to show us when we're operating under our own strength, versus His grace. We can accept that we can never pay Him back for all He has done, and we can thank Him for all He has given us. We can make our homes sing by letting Him write the song with our lives.

If you want to use your blog header or profile picture, use the "from the web" button on your right (after you click to link up). If you want to use a picture from your computer use the button on your left (unless the picture is on your blog). Please let me know if you have any problems with linking up.

What are you doing or going to do today to make your home sing? Please go here for instructions and/or ideas and come back here to link up to join us today! Please do not put your own "Making Your Home Sing Monday" Linky on your blog. As always, please don't forget to link to this post. Also, please don't forgot to leave me a comment!


Friday, October 1, 2010

VEGETABLES ARE OUR FRIENDS

I don't really remember much about my eating habits before we had children. I mean, that was like, a million years ago. Who remembers back that far???

I do remember that I did not have great eating habits in my early twenties. I worked long hours (and I mean long, sometimes working 12-16 hour days). After about a year of long hours and collapsing into bed at night, sometimes too tired to do more than scramble one egg or grabbing a slice of bread and calling it "dinner," my body rebelled. I got pretty sick and was off work for about six weeks.

I do not recommend that.

However, after that I really tried to eat healthier. Which means I made sure that I had three meals a day. The fact that one of those meals may have consisted of greasy hamburgers and french fries was merely a coincidence.

Hey, I used to drink coke and have a package of mini chocolate donuts for breakfast every morning. Talk about the breakfast of champions!

I really began to eat healtheir after we had our first child. I wanted to make sure that he ate healthy foods. He never had a piece of candy until he was three years old. This meant that I was careful about my own sugar intake as well.

All this has gone somewhat downhill, I think. I confess I ate some m&ms today. I confess I will probably eat a few more tomorrow.

However, I did eat some vegetables today. Vegetables are our friends. If vegetables are our friends, then I'm thinking that they need to work a lot harder to hold up their end of the bargain. Because try as I might, I can't make a carrot taste like chocolate. I can't make broccoli taste like a cookie, and brussel sprouts and I haven't spoken since I was a child.