This month will get us starting to organize our paper life. This month, grab your handy-dandy notebook and write down your bills, when they are due, etc. If possible, try to find any insurance paperwork as well. It may be time to review those policies to see if they need updating.
More or Less Homeschooling & Home-making Adventure
I am a work in progress. I am striving to be an encouraging wife, a fun and loving homeschool mother, to learn to homestead, organize, and adapt. I desire to see life more like Jesus and less like the world's view of what's important. I praise God that I am saved by grace alone, through faith alone, by Christ alone! Cuz' I CAN'T DO IT ON MY OWN!
Monday, January 30, 2012
Sunday, January 22, 2012
Life is starting to take on a normal pace after the month of holiday that we take each year. I finally have my cards finished and now I will implement them completely for the first time this year.
Challenge #4: Papa Blessings
A few years ago my husband was feeling very left out in the family. The kids were so young and demanded 99% or more of my attention. The toys were constantly thrown everywhere. Dinner may have been prepared on time or very late and usually cold. His towel usually had dirty hand prints and he couldn't find his things when he needed them. He wanted a place of his own in the midst of chaos. At first I resented this, especially since I felt that I was doing everything for everyone and getting nothing for myself.
At that time, I was reading Debbie Pearl's book, Created to be His Help-meet. This book sure opened my eyes as to my role as a wife. I wanted to be a better wife but I was so tired and really just wanted some "me" time. But with small, intentional changes, our marriage really took a turn for the better. Debbie says the easiest change to make is to smile at your husband every time you see him. I didn't realize I wasn't smiling. That little expression of love started the changes and grew our marriage. I couldn't believe it was working. We always want to change our spouse but Debbie says we must change ourselves to be what God has called us to be. Boy is she right.
I decided to start a system to help him feel as if he too were important to me. I cleared a shelf in the bathroom cabinet and organized his things nicely. When I showed him his shelf, he was so excited. We don't have room for a man-cave but a shelf seemed to do just the thing for him.
From there, I implemented "Papa Blessings". I made up a list of things around the house that would make him feel special, thought about, and give him a comfortable, peaceful home to come back to each night after a hard day at work. I divided these "blessings" up between all four of us and we start them at 4:00. By the time Papa gets home, the house is straightened, the kids are calming down, and dinner is started.
The change in his attitude about coming home was dramatic. He noticed the change weeks before I told him what we did. I didn't even tell him until he asked. When he heard the name, he felt important again. There was a time when I gave him my full attention, then I didn't have any energy left by the end of the day, now with only a few intentional ideas, he feels validated. That is my role as a wife.
So what are our "Papa Blessings"? Mine will be different from yours.
Hang a clean towel in the bathroom
Take out the bathroom trash
Wipe the counter
Light a candle to make the house smell better than dog
Clear the toys away from the entrance of the door on the porch
Straighten the living room and give a quick vacuum
I also read a book by Focus on the Family about the smells of the home. It said do whatever we, as mothers and wives, can do to make memories that smell. How many times do you smell something and it takes you back to a time? Some ways to make "smell" memories are bake bread in the bread machine as often as possible for dinner, light special smelling candles during specific activities, bake cookies on the same day each week while having a game, special talk time, etc. These are only some ideas. My family loves it when I try to make "smelling" memories. I don't do it as often as I'd like but my husband loves this.
So, what is your challenge? Make your husband feel special when he comes home from work by implementing "Papa Blessings". Make a list of items around the house that bug your husband and make an effort to focus on these items each day around 4:00. They don't have to be big or time consuming. You won't believe the joy this will bring him, and you in the end, as well. Then you can just imagine the teachable moment to your daughter about her role as a wife and to your sons about choosing a wife who puts him first, after God.
Though we are using Ambleside Online for our curriculum, I've really revamped it for myself. We are starting our Term 2 tomorrow for this school year and focusing on British History with Our (An) Island Story. I found this great link to Timeline Characters of the Kings & Queens of England on fellow AO Mom's blog: Little Homeschool Blessings. I am so thankful for this. I think this will make a great addition to our study.
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
I've posted before about my favorite book for teaching grammar. I just love GrammarLand by Edith Nesbit.
It's a fun and interesting way to learn grammar. I wanted to share a link to the grammar worksheets you use with this book. Thanks to Jessica Cain for preparing all these awesome worksheets and posting them for all us to use for free.
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
I hope you have been able to finish your room inspections and plans. I finally finished my chore cards. Click the picture below and it will take you to my google docs link. I wrote in some of my considerations for each room to explain why I chose specific days of the week or months of the year. I kept November and December free for holiday focus rather than room focus.
If you would like a copy of this in open office, which is what I made mine in, let me know I will email the file to you.
Monday, January 16, 2012
Goodmorning everyone! I do hope you all had a great and relaxing weekend. This is our third week of organizing in 2012. Let's don't give up if we aren't doing as well as we hoped. Our lives are busy but with some intentional changes we will be much farther ahead next year than we may feel this year.
This week's challenge is simple....let's work the plan. If you haven't finished preparing your chore cards, this week will allow you to get caught up. By the end of January, all the cards should be completed and implemented.
You will notice that in preparing the chores last week, that the annual chores were divided up throughout the year. I thought I'd explain this a little more in case it wasn't clear. Many chores don't need to be done weekly, but once a year is not enough. After doing our weekly clean in a room, I like to challenge myself to do one more chore. It never takes much time to do just one more thing. It's when I feel like I have to do everything that I get overwhelmed and exhausted. Well, finish all the weekly chores on your list, then do one annual chore like clean the ceiling fans, wipe the bathroom walls, wipe off the appliances, etc. The chores like changing the a/c filter will go under the bi-annual card since we really only need to change them twice a year.
I have not finished my cards yet but plan to this week. Once they are completed, I will post them here. Good luck and let's get cleaning!
Monday, January 2, 2012
I hope you were able to get through all the rooms in your home to list out what you hope to accomplish in them this year. Now, we will take each room and dedicate one day per week as well as 2 months per year for special projects in each room.
Each day, take one of the sheets of paper (one room per day). Underline any chores on the paper that your children are able to do. Even if there are too many chores, underline them all anyway. The ones left will definitely go on your chore list.
Next to the yearly section of each room, write a number 1-4. These numbers will represent the week of the month that the chore will be done. If you have more than 4 of these chores, you may either double up smaller chores or put an "S" for spring or an "F" for fall after the number. This allows you to only do that chore once a month or twice a year.
Decide which day of the week you'd like to focus on each room. I feel better when my kitchen is clean and organized at the beginning of the week since I spend more time in that room than any other. Write that day on the top of the paper.
Below is a word version of my chore list by rooms. Download it and put it in your word program. It will convert into whatever you use. You will see that each card has a date on the top, a room name, and a list of chores. Take the Monday chore card and replace my chores with your room and your list of chores.
I hang my cards on a hook on my refrigerator, changing the card to the appropriate date. I keep the project cards on their own hook making it easy to keep these projects in the forefront of my mind. Any time I have extra that month, I try to do one or two projects. If I miss any, that room will come around again in 6 months. I like to dedicate 2 months to the yard and garden because I love to stay outside in the spring. I will admit that I won't spend 2 months in the fall. But this is a good time to work on cleaning the shed, setting up Christmas lights, etc.
I hope this makes sense. Good luck this week!
I will be blogging this year about getting organized in 2012. I decided to post my plan in order to make me stick to it. If I know that other's are reading and working this plan along with me, I will be more dedicated to keep it up. If you'd like to join me and my friends who have already signed up, just read this blog each Monday for your weekly assignment.
HOW THIS GOT STARTED:
Years ago, I read FlyLady's website non-stop. I put most of her ideas into practice and I LOVED it! It worked great and after lots of reading (and I mean addicted reading) I made my plan, worked it, and kept it up. I loved it. After several years, life took over, our business took off, and I wasn't home to work the plan anymore. I had learned a lot from her and I thank her with all my heart! But this time I decided to go even slower and easier. I spent WAY too much time reading that website and neglecting my family last time. I want to be that Proverbs 31 woman but it's very hard. I once saw a speaker at a church who talked on her book which was about the Proverbs 31 woman. She said we don't have to HATE the Proverbs 31 woman. The chapter on her is short but it covers all the stages in her life. What an eye opener that was for me!! Now, I don't HATE her, I just have to read it and see which stage I'm in right now. I can't always be everything but I can always work towards her as my goal. I don't remember this author's name or the name of her book. If I come across it during our book cleaning day, I'll post it then.
I will post short and easy assignments to do each week. We have 52 weeks. There is no need to get in a hurry. After the year is over, we should have a great game plan in action to keep us going in the years to come. We'll see where that leads but for now, it's ORGANIZING our home, family, and life for 2012.
LET'S GET STARTED!
ASSIGNMENT #1 - WEEK 1
Our first project for this new year, to get us organized by the end of the year, is to take a clean sheet of paper to a different room each day of the week. Divide that paper into 3 sections. Section 1 - weekly cleaning, Section 2 - Yearly cleaning, Section 3 - projects for that room, goals for that room, or long term ideas for it.
By the end of the week, we should have a good plan to work with for the year. We'll start putting it together next week. This month will be organizing our ideas and making a plan.