Tag Archives: overwhelmed

Homeschooling Through The Unexpected

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We’ve all been there… or some of us have. I was once a very efficient, organized, multitasking homeschooling Momma. I still am for the most part but I have learned that you also need a lot of flexibility and patience.

There will be times when your plans go perfectly and everything seems to be so easy. But then there will be times when your homeschool is complete CHAOS! This can happen in the blink of an eye and without warning. Continue reading Homeschooling Through The Unexpected

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13 Fun First Day Back To HomeSchool Ideas

**This post does contain some affiliate links which could possibly earn me a small commission if a purchase was made through them. These links help to support our blog and our family.

I can remember how excited I always was on my first day back to school. I loved school as a kid and I was always so eager to learn. My best memories were of the teachers who let us play games or gave us special treats on that first day. Maybe they were just trying to bribe us but it was something I remember.

As a homeschooling Momma I can find ways to bring that excitement into our homeschool. I try to keep things fun and interesting and sometimes do something a little crazy. Check out my new Pinterest board, Homeschool: First Day Activities. Continue reading 13 Fun First Day Back To HomeSchool Ideas

Simplify Your Life: Step 3 Learn To Say ‘NO’ Without Feeling Guilty

**This post may contain affiliate links which help to support our blog and our family.

This post is part of a multi-section post in honor of National Simplify Your Life week which is the first week of August. The original post wasn’t as short and simple as I had wanted it to be so I decided to break it down into a few shorter posts.

3. Learn to say ‘NO’ without feeling guilty

I am so guilty of this! Right now I am sitting here with two laptops open, a huge TO-Do list, and a pile of notes that I’m taking care of. Not to mention that I have five kids running around who also need my attention, laundry to finish, and there will be lunch and dinner to make at some point. Many of these items on my To-Do list are not personal items for myself but things I’ve told others I’d help them with.

Why do I let myself do that? I am just a genuinely helpful person and I don’t seem to be able to say ‘NO’ when others ask for my help. This is something I really need to work on if I am ever going to have any time for myself and my family.

So many times we let ourselves get overwhelmed by making too many commitments. Sometimes we really just need to relax and enjoy life. It’s hard, I know, to say ‘NO’ but we really need to learn to do it more. Once we learn how to say ‘NO’ to the things that aren’t that important we will have more time to say ‘YES” to those things that are important. Check out this book, ‘How to Say No Without Feeling Guilty: And Say Yes to More Time, and What Matters Most to You‘, for tips.

While you are practicing saying ‘NO’ start saying ‘NO’ to multitasking too.

Are you tired of feeling overwhelmed? Check out 3 Strategies to Stop Feeling So Overwhelmed (FREE Webinar).

Stop Multitasking?

Wait, what? Yes, I know that might seem impossible. I am always multitasking as are most Mommas. The problem is that many times we start things and don’t finish them.

I have so many half finished projects laying around the house. Granted quite a few of them don’t belong to me but they are the result of multitasking.

When we are focusing on so many things we aren’t as focused on the task on hand. We need to focus on the stuff that really matters and work on it until completed before moving on to the next task. You will find that life is much simpler when we stop sweating the small stuff.

Check out these books here and here to find out how to get more done.

Be sure to check out the other post in this series for more simple ways to simplify your life.

 

Click here to go to Step 4.

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Have You Bought Your School Supplies Yet?

**This post does contain some affiliate links which could possibly earn me a small commission if a purchase was made through them. These links help to support our blog and our family.

We’ve bought the majority of our school supplies for the upcoming year. I know from experience that this is something best done sooner rather than waiting to the last minute.

Not sure what to buy? Check out my post here with our Free Printable Back to school list. I’ll try to start planning for our next year’s school choices about midyear. This gives me plenty of time to research and make lists for supplies that we’ll need.

Not homeschooling? Check with your child’s school and/or teacher for supply list. Many times the local Walmart will have a handy checklist available when you walk in. Continue reading Have You Bought Your School Supplies Yet?

Surrender Those Burdens

Hey there Momma (or maybe Daddy)! I see you… you right there who is so tired you can barely keep your eyes open. The Momma who was up all night with a sick baby or maybe your the one who had a couple of sick babies.

Maybe the Momma who is working two or three jobs to make ends meet. The money doesn’t seem to stretch quite far enough and then the babysitter wants a raise or is thinking about moving away.

The Momma worried about whether or not the car will start in the morning. Not to mention the sound it just started making.

The Momma who has been saving here and there to buy a new outfit because all of her good clothes now have holes in them. But then little Jimmy’s jacket is a tad too small or Haley has suddenly grown an inch since school started and her shoes are too tight.

The Momma whose plate is so full she needs help to carry it. Then when she feels she is just about to snap from all the pressure something else happens. It feels like fate is not on your side at all.

Maybe you are the Momma who feels like she just isn’t enough. You feel like you just can’t seem to get anything right lately. Nothing seems to be going your way. No matter how much you do there always seems to be more that needs done at the end of the day.

You’re tired, more than tired, you’re exhausted. You feel like you could sleep a week or two and still not be caught up on your rest. There is no amount of caffeine that can revive you at this moment.

You feel overwhelmed because even though you are tired you can’t seem to get any rest. Even when you manage to get in bed or lay down for a nap there is no peaceful slumber to come. It seems the minute your head hits the pillow the kids start to cry or whine, the phone rings, or someone comes to the door. Then once your eyes close it seems like only a minute before the alarm is going off at the crack of dawn and it’s time to start again.

There are so many worries and so many people depending on you. There are bills to be paid, meals to fix, clothes to wash, and a house to clean. There just seems to be so much to do. Most days you fly through it with little thought. You do what needs done and don’t think twice.

But today is different. You are just so tired that you feel like you can’t. You can’t find the energy to write those checks or even log in to the bill pay site. Thinking about what needs cooked makes you want to order pizza but you don’t feel like getting dressed to go pick it up.

Not to mention that other 100 things on your To Do list. Then you have that project due at school or work. Which reminds you that the kids didn’t finish their homework yet either. Sigh… for a fleeting moment the idea of running away seems like a perfectly sensible thing to do.

But Momma those things can wait just a bit. Right now I just want you to STOP everything and take a deep breath. Clear your mind and think of something peaceful.

These crazy moments won’t last forever. I promise. They will pass and you will get through this. You are not alone and there is always someone there for you.

In your craziest most overwhelming moments God is there. He is ready and waiting to listen to you. He wants to share your burdens and take away those worries. He will listen without judgement and if you let Him, He will guide you to where you need to be.

He will bring the peace in the storm. He will make those impossible mountains of tasks seem like small hills. You can do anything when He is by your side. All you need to do is just ask.

God loves you!

Ask Him for strength, healing, peace, calm, guidance, and wisdom.

Trust in Him that He is using this moment to mold you and shape you into the person He needs you to be.

Surrender those burdens over to Him. Give Him all of your worries and cares.

He is waiting Momma. He is there to comfort you just as you comfort your children and those around you. He is there to give you the rest you so desperately need.

All you need to do is to go to Him, right now. Let it all go. Open your heart out to Him. He will listen and He will help you.

Remember too that tomorrow is a new day. A fresh start to everything. Don’t stress over what you can’t do or change and just concentrate on what you can do or change. One foot in front of the other. Don’t be afraid to stop and talk to God as often as you need to. He will help you through you today, tomorrow, and everyday to come.

God Bless!

Getting Back to Routines

I think it was last Tuesday when I wrote my last blog post, Getting Back to My Morning Routine, where did time go? It seems the older I get the faster it slips away.

Anyway we are still working on getting back to routines here. I do believe the laundry has been caught up, for now that is. Routines are coming more natural now as we continue to settle in. I am gradually adding a few more things to our routine schedule and trying not to get too overwhelmed. If it isn’t working then we make changes.

For instance last week the porch was really bothering me …. it still does for that matter. I had added it to my ‘Hot Spot’ list along with the table, the command center, and a few other areas that seem to be clutter collectors. The hardest part of living in a small home for me has to be the speed at which clutter overtakes things. This means I probably need to get rid of more stuff and teach everyone to put away the stuff when they finish using it.

Getting back to the porch, one area of the porch was sectioned off and tarped to use as a makeshift storage area for things that just wouldn’t fit in the house. Well, the intentions were to to close in the porch and turn it into a utility/storage room. Hurricane Irma hit before we could really get any progress made on that and caused us to delay those plans. Unfortunately, some of the stuff got wet and therefore needs to be gotten rid of. I have realized that some of the other stuff is really just stuff and not that important to me and I am trying to get rid of it.

Sighhh…. if only I had one day to dedicate to it I could probably do away with most of it and find homes for the rest of it. Then there would be space to actually make it an utility room or do something else there. For now I am going to keep my goal of 10 items/day and do what I can because every little bit is progress towards my goal.

That was a rather ambitious goal and I think I have managed to put three boxes of stuff in my truck to take to Goodwill. I also found some of my exercise equipment and made a temporary home inside for it… haven’t actually used it but I’m working on getting that back in my routine.

Another area on that Hot Spot list are the bookshelves. I am a firm believer that you can never have too many books, unless you live in a tiny space that just can’t handle it. Books are really hard for me to get rid of and I really am trying. My goal for these areas are one shelf a day. I also realized that some of the kiddie books are on a shelf that is not easily accessible to them and some of my more important books are a little too easily accessible for them… lol. I will be swapping some of that stuff around as well.

As far as our normal routines we are doing pretty well.

Today I caught up on my ‘weekly routines‘ (they may have changed a bit since that post) like scrubbing my kitchen sink (watch for that post coming soon) and cleaning out the fridge (post coming) and microwave. The FLyLady zone this week is in the bathroom so I have been doing a little extra work there and will probably put out some posts soon.

We’ve also worked on our ‘daily routines’ like laundry and such. I have chicken in the crockpot for Crockpot Italian Chicken and the kids are down for ‘quiet time’. I figured out how to upload pics from iphone to my laptop and now I am working on getting caught up on a couple of blog posts.

I must say I am proud of the kids and myself for being able to stay on routine as well as we did and for adjusting as well as they have. We have had our days, like yesterday, when I wonder if this move was really for the best. The kids were super cranky with a cold and I cried for awhile as I had to throw away some food because a freezer had gotten unplugged.

In my heart I know this was a good decision and that life will get easier as we go. It is so easy to doubt ourselves and lose faith when things get rough. I have to remember that God has a plan and that sometimes His plan includes runny noses, grouchy kids, and spoiled food.

Our little house may be old and dusty. There are cobwebs in the corners and plenty of things that need done. Our house is full of love though and we are working one day at a time to make it our home. I am hoping that by sharing our progress it will help to motivate others who may not be happy with where they are and help them to find contentment wherever they are.

We don’t need a new house or shiny new appliances. We may want them but that is something totally different than needing them. I am thankful for what the Lord has blessed us with and hope to help others feel that way too.

Note: If you read last week’s post you will see that I chose to wear purple last week as you can see in the picture… lol… today the kids think I should wear pink.

 

 

So many choices!

I don’t know about you but sometimes I get overwhelmed by the number of choices I have to make everyday. Choices about what to make for dinner, what to wear, and heaven forbid that I need to buy a new appliance or gadget for the house.

Everywhere we look there are choices. So much marketing about what is the best choice and why we need one brand versus another brand. So much persuasion about how things will make our lives better or how we just can’t go on another day without a certain product.

I try to be as informed as I can be about every choice I make. If it is a big financial decision then I try to take my time to think about it and weigh my options. Sometimes I overanalyze the decisions and sometimes I just fail to make one and it gets made for me. So how can we make sure that we make the best choices?

When it comes to the things about what to wear or what to eat then those are usually fairly simple. I keep my clothes weeded out and organized so I don’t have too many choices. I have something for about every occasion but I don’t keep an overabundance of clothes. As far as meals go, I always try to plan ahead and I have our menu on a rotating schedule. This helps me narrow down that ‘What’s for dinner?’ dilemna. (See meal planning for more info.)

For the bigger decisions I always try to ask God for His guidance no matter how big or how small the decision is. When I was married I would also consult with my husband and have him to help me with the decision. If I am still in doubt I will try to find someone knowledgeable about the product and ask their opinion. I check reviews for the product and/or service before making my decision.

We need to learn to be as informed as possible in making decisions. Sometimes we don’t always have days or months to gather information or ponder over what to do. Each of us is different in the way we handle our decision making and sometimes we need to pray for guidance and wisdom. If we go ahead and pray for that right now then we will prepared for whatever lies ahead.

This is especially important when we have children who are looking up to us and watching everything we do. Now the decision to buy the automatic coffee maker over the manual may not be something that really affects them but there are and will be other choices that do. They are watching us and learning from us when we are making choices in life. They see the big choices and whether you realize it or not they see the little ones as well.

The way we handle these decisions is helping to mold our children in the ways they will handle their future problems.We need to make sure that we’re setting good examples with our decision making process. We can help them by allowing them to make choices from an early age. Decisions about what to wear or what snack to eat. I’m not saying to give them free reign but present them with a couple of options. The younger the child, or the less mature, then the fewer choice options they should have. Maybe let them pick from two outfits or two different snacks.

It is important that they learn to do this as we need to practice skills to get better at them. When they make choice help them to stick by it, when appropriate, and let them learn the rewards and consequences of their choices.By showing them how to make responsible choices and how to accept the consequences our decisions we will be helping them to be more responsible adults.

 

Just a twinge

Last night I was reading over some things on my computer when I happened upon a very nice comment left for someone regarding something they had written. There was nothing wrong with the comment, nothing wrong with the person who wrote the comment, and nothing wrong with the person it was directed to. When I read it though I felt an instant twinge of jealousy. Why? I really wasn’t sure.

I admire the life she has. She seems to have everything going for her. The profile picture shows a happy family with a handsome, smiling husband and two kids right beside her. She has many accomplishments listed in her profile and she has traveled the world. So many things that I had planned on doing when I was younger.

When I felt the twinge I knew why, well at least partly. Then I thought about my family and all the things that I have done. If I had been in school or working I might’ve missed out on some of the opportunities that I have had. I instantly knew that I am where God would have me to be at this moment in time and I felt a sense of peace. I asked God to forgive me. Then I also asked him to bless her and her family as I know that they are right where He would have them to be.

 

The key to overcoming this feeling is to be aware of it. Don’t let it grow or it will overwhelm your emotions. I realized it immediately when I felt it but sometimes it is an emotion that comes on more subtly. It creeps into our minds and our hearts without us noticing it. We may start to feel discontent and not know why.

We may admire something someone has or something someone else’s husband has done for them. These feelings may trigger other feelings of insecurity and doubt about ourselves, our marriages, our families, and our lives. These feelings can grow and manifest themselves into bigger uglier problems like resentment, distrust, and anger.

 

Maybe you know or admire someone but you feel anxious or resentful towards them. Maybe you compare yourself to them and you feel like you are never enough or that you just can’t measure up to them. Maybe you wonder why they always seem to have all the luck. Maybe you wonder what they ever did to have or to earn the things they have.

You need to recognize that these feelings can come from being jealous. I know, I know, we don’t want to admit that we could possibly be jealous over someone else but it happens. We might laugh at someone if they suggest that we could possibly be jealous of a certain person.

You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere humans? – 1 Corinthians 3:3

The truth is that we are human and we have emotions. We feel things like no other creature on earth. We also have the ability to control these feelings. What do we do about this?

First, you need to recognize the feeling. Let yourself acknowledge it but don’t let it over take you. You can’t let it control your emotions, your actions, or your life. Accept responsibility for the emotions.

Second, take a look at why you feel the way you do. Take a step back and really look at the situation. Are you jealous of someone’s relationship? Are you jealous of someone’s appearance? Are you jealous of the recognition someone else gets from their job or other accomplishments?

Third, remember that you have the power to change the way you feel. The root of the problem lies within yourself and your own heart. Think about things you can do to improve yourself. Look at your own strengths and build on them.

Fourth, stop comparing yourself to other people. I mean it! Stop! You need to remember that what you perceive to be true is not always as it seems. Look at everything you have been blessed with and be thankful for what you have. Remember that if it is in God’s will for you to have something then He will give it to you in His time. I know how hard it can be to watch things fall in place for others when it might feel like your own life is falling apart. Just remember that everything is working together for the good.

Fifth, pray about it! Admit the feelings you have and ask God to forgive you for feeling that way. Ask God to help you develop a more positive outlook on life and to help you make positive changes in your life. When you recognize your faults and weaknesses you can ask for specific changes. God hears your prayers and He knows the innermost thoughts of your heart.

If you are struggling with jealousy God can and will help you. He can take away those feelings and He can create a new heart in you. He can help you overcome these feelings. Jealousy is a tool that Satan uses to get to you and he will use it to destroy you.

I pray every morning that God will help me to take away any feelings of jealousy, lust, envy, anger, unforgiveness, bitterness or discontentment that may be hiding in me. I may not see these until its too late and I have done or said something that I will regret later.

I ask Him to give me strength to prevent these emotions from creeping into my relationships with others. I ask him to help me remember that I was beautifully created by His own hand and that He loves me even when I don’t love myself. I also ask Him to prepare me for the changes He is making in my life and to help me accept the things that I can not change.

I trust in God and His plan for my life. He only wants the best for us and He has a plan for each and every one of us. So when you are dealing with jealousy or anything else you need to hand it over to God. He will help you just as He has helped me.

Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm, for love is strong as death, jealousy is fierce as the grave. Its flashes are flashes of fire, the very flame of the LORD. -Song of Solomon 8:6

December 3, 2016

Good morning everyone! It is such a beautiful day, isn’t it? I hope you all answered a big ‘Yes’.God is so good to us each and everyday. My cup is truly overflowing this morning. He has blessed us so richly and many times we just take those blessings for granted.

I am thanking him today for my family, for our health, for a roof over our heads, for food on the table, for the clothes on our backs, and the shoes on our feet. He supplies us with all of our needs and so many of our wants. Thank you Lord for being so good to me, my family, my friends, and the one who is reading this right now!

Yesterday I finally managed to get all of the Fall decor down and out to the building. DD17 helped me to carry out the totes. While we were in the building, which is a big mess, we dug out the Christmas totes and carried them to the house as well. I also restacked some of the other totes to make it easier when we need to retrieve them in the future. I am in the process of color coding our holiday decor so we can immediately tell by looking at a tote what is in it. This will help when I assign future tasks for the kids to help me with.

I am sitting at the island right now drinking my cup of coffee, typing this post, and working on my To-Do list. ( I am also messaging my friend and listening to some Christmas music as well.) The kids are finishing up their breakfast, Dutch Puff, and discussing their plans for the day which makes me smile.We do have one case of the grumpies, DS3, who kept insisting that he ‘needed’ brownies for breakfast.

They made brownies last night with DS17. Then while the brownies were baking we worked on our Advent Study, which I still need to pull out the nativity scene, and then enjoyed some warm brownies. I am really thankful that I did manage to get some of it together as the kids are enjoying it. I know when I get the nativity set out and they actually get to do the activities suggested they will enjoy this study even more.

So now we have a mountain of green totes in the Living room. This makes DS14 crazy but I have assured him that they will be out of the way soon. My kitchen island looks so bare right now, actually the whole kitchen does as it held the majority of the Fall decor, but I will use this as a chance to give it a good cleaning.

My To-Do list for the day also includes getting my stack of Christmas card addressed and ready to mail. I really hope that I can get them in the mail but that will be a bonus if it happens. I have the cards, the stamps, and the addresses on my desk so it probably won’t take too awful long to get them finished up. It is just finding a moment to actually sit down and work on it that my prove difficult.

We also plan to put up a few of our holiday decorations today. Yesterday the kids did stick Santa in the yard but someone had pulled him off his stake before we managed to get all the totes in the house. So that probably needs some attention too. We decided to wait until St. Nicholas day (December 6th) to put up our tree and the anticipation is driving the littles crazy! I don’t really know if there is a ‘right’ time to put up the tree. I figured we would do a lesson on St. Nicholas and try to incorporate the tree decorating into the lesson.

I’ve also noticed that something got into the trash bin during the night. So that will be on the top of my list to take care before the wind blows it all over the yard. It is an unpleasant task but needs to be done. Sometimes taking care of the not so fun things first will motivate me to take care of the other things on my list.

For now though I am going to enjoy a few minutes with the littles. DS3 has brought his plate to the island and is sitting beside me. DS4 is dragging sheets and blankets to the laundry room and just informed me that he had wet the bed last night. That doesn’t happen often and I know that accidents will happen from time to time.

It makes my heart happy to see that he is attempting to help with the clean up and that he is admitting what he did and accepting responsibility for it. He knows that it does affect the way I feel about him. He knows that he is loved and accepted and that we will not belittle him or make him feel bad about what happened. He also knows that we will help him clean up whatever he needs help with. He just told me that he will try harder to remember to use the potty before he goes to bed. So he is attempting to learn from the situation and prevent it from happening again.

We can learn so much from this. Life happens, accidents happen, mistakes happen. When they do happen we need to remember that God still loves us and that He is there for us. When we come to Him and tell Him what we have done, when we repent and ask for His help He will forgive us. We can use our mistakes as learning tools and try not to make them again.

As a parent we can also use these accidents and mistakes as a model of God’s love. We can listen to our children and remind them that we still love them. We can show them the same mercy and grace that God has shown to us so many times. We can show them the power of forgiveness and not make them feel guilty about things.

We also need to remember to be quick to admit our faults and mistakes. We need to apologize to them and ask for forgiveness if we have done them wrong in one way or another. This sets a good example for them. They will see that we are not perfect and that we make mistakes too.

I pray everyone has a blessed day!

Getting Routines Started 101

‘Your first obligation as a parent is to not bring chaos into your kids’ lives.’

OK, I should’ve written this before I started on the other posts about routines. I didn’t realize, until I was writing another post, how complicated and daunting routines can seem. Truth be told we all have some kind of routine already.

**Please note this post does contain affiliate links to which I may, possibly, earn a small commission from if you click on and purchase an item. For full disclosure click here. Continue reading Getting Routines Started 101

Weekly Routines

I hope you have had a chance to read through my other posts on routines. If you have then you are probably wondering what Weekly Routines are.

For me these are tasks that need to happen on a weekly basis. I have divided these tasks up by certain days but sometimes I may complete them ahead, or behind, schedule. These just help to keep our house running smoothly and keep the cleaning from becoming such a chore.

Sundays are more of a resting day for us here. The only things I have listed to do on Sundays are:

  1. Check for newspaper coupons
  2. Empty all trash

I will go to Couponmom.com to see if there are coupons in the current week’s newspaper and then I will either make a quick trip to get 2 papers or ask someone else to pick them up for me. (I will need to do another post on couponing.)

Then I will also have the kids check the various trash cans and empty them. Our trash collection runs on Monday morning so we try to get it all ready ahead of time.

Mondays here can be a little hectic just like they are for everyone else. Monday is normally the day when I try to do our ‘house blessing’, another FlyLady term. I have actually divided these tasks between Monday and Tuesday but will try to get as many finished on Monday as possible.

  1. Take the trash to the road
  2. Wash clothes — Ds3 & DS4
  3. Scrub & Shine the sink
  4. Wash coffee pot in the dishwasher
  5. Dust*
  6. Vacuum*
  7. Purge magazines*

So the first one is pretty self explanatory but sometimes I forget so it helps me to remember. Someone usually has to help the boys to get their hamper to the laundry room but they can load/unload the washer and the dryer. You can see our Laundry Routines for more info on the second one.

Third is to scrub and shine my kitchen sink. I try to wipe out the sink every night before bed but it does seem to need a good scrubbing once a week to keep it nice and shiny.

I rinse the coffee pot out each day but by the end of the week it starts to look a little dingy. A quick run through the dishwasher takes care of that and it is ready to go again.

The last three marked with an * are parts of our ‘house blessing’ which I learned from the FlyLady. Each of these tasks can be completed in 10 minutes or less at my house.

The weekly dusting I do is not the pull everything off the shelves and dust each piece individually dusting that my Mom-mom had me help with when I was little. This is just taking a feather duster and quickly dusting through the house. I also dust the blades of the ceiling fans once a month. We live on a dirt road so dust builds up rather quickly.

Same with the vacuuming, 10 minutes or less, just vacuum the main areas. I am fortunate enough that my vacuum has a long enough cord that I can pretty much plug it into an outlet near the kitchen and be able to reach my bathroom, my bedroom, the playroom, the living room and most of the other bedrooms. The kids are responsible for vacuuming their rooms at least once a month. We don’t move the furniture or anything like that, unless we are rearranging or deep cleaning, as there will be a day that is designated for that with our daily missions from FlyLady.

To purge magazines doesn’t take long at all. I have a stack of magazines and only keep a set number. Once we reach that number I will either pass them along to someone else or throw them away if they are in bad shape. I do keep a few of them to use for art projects as well.

Tuesdays have another set of tasks that are completed each week. These include:

  1. Wash Clothes – DS14
  2. Clean room – DS14
  3. Polish*
  4. Mop*
  5. Clean out fridge
  6. Clean out microwave
  7. Meal planning
  8. Mow the play yard

OK. The first one is just something we do everyday, and the second is something I have recently added. DS14 is special needs and sometimes his hygiene practices are questionable. While I am trying to teach him to be as independent as possible his room often needs attention. He will sometimes spit everywhere or lick the walls, I know it’s gross, or do other things that cause his room to smell funky. So I get him to strip his bed and we thoroughly clean his whole room, wipe down the walls, shampoo the carpets, etc. every Tuesday. I have a system to my cleaning and can usually have his room cleaned in about 15 minutes. This helps everyone in the house and is just something that really has to be done.

Again the ones marked with an * are parts of our ‘house blessing’. These take 10 minutes or less to do. I grab a rag and a bottle of Windex and run, maybe not run as running isn’t allowed but I do move quickly, and wipe off all the shiny surfaces first. Shiny surfaces would be the mirrors, glass, TVs, computer monitors,etc. I also try to wipe all the light switches,remotes, and kitchen appliances like the stove, refrigerator, and dishwasher. Then I do a quick wipe of the tops of my coffee tables and end tables. I will also wipe some of the newer cabinets that we have as they seem to be a magnet for sticky hands.

When everything is all nice and shiny we do the mopping. I use a steam mop but a regular mop is just fine. This is not a get down on your hands and knees to scrub the floor either. I will fill my steam mop with water and set it to ‘scrub’. Then I first use it on my kitchen table and benches. It helps to get any of the ‘stickies’ that DD8 may have missed. After I finish with that I will do the kitchen, laundry room, and entry ways. I save the bathroom for last. Then the mop pad goes into the hamper for the whites. This is normally 10 minutes or less as the cord for my mop reaches to every room except the back bathroom.

The key is to keep it under 10 minutes for each task. The house blessing is not the time to do a major detail cleaning. That can be added to your To-Do list for another time.

I will try to put a cup of water in the microwave before I start mopping. I set it for 2-3 minutes and leave it. By the time I finish mopping I can open the microwave and just wipe it out really quick. If I didn’t get the outside of it when I was polishing I will give it a quick wipe also.

Same with the fridge. I don’t take everything out. I quickly grab anything that needs to be thrown out and empty it. Then I just wipe off the shelves and clean up any obvious messes. There will be another day to do a major deep cleaning of the fridge. I will also polish up the outside if I missed it earlier.

Once the fridge is clean and I can see what we have and don’t have or what may need to be used I will review my menu plan and start a grocery list.

Sometimes I have DS21 here and will have him mow the yard. When he mows he will mow everything that needs mowed. If I am mowing I just break it down into smaller segments that I can do quickly. The play yard needs the most attention as the kids are out there almost every day.

Wednesdays are more of an errand day here:

  1. Change sheets
  2. Wash whites
  3. Make grocery list
  4. Clip coupons
  5. Grocery shopping
  6. Drop off donations
  7. Get gas

I have the DD8 & DD9 change the sheets on their beds. (I keep an extra set of sheets for everyone’s bed so they can remake the bed after they strip it down.) Then DS3 & DS4 will also bring in their sheets. I also strip my bed down and remake it as well, as Momma needs to lead by example. I know everyone has different opinions on how often sheets should be washed but I like to do them every week. If the weather is nice I will hang them outside because it makes them smell so good!

I keep a hamper in my bathroom for the whites. When anyone has anything that needs to bleached they put it in that hamper. DD8 & DD9 are responsible for gathering up any used/dirty towels, bath rugs, and wash rags and bringing to the laundry room to be washed with the whites also. After the sheets are washed I will throw in the load of whites.

While the kids are doing their school work I will start working on the grocery list again. I will check the sales and print off lists for each store that I plan to visit. Then I will pull the coupons out and clip what coupons I need and put them in my binder. I also try to check for ecoupons if I have time.

Once the kids are down for naps and DD17 is up and ready to babysit I will head to the grocery store(s). While out I will drop off any bags or boxes or donations that we have accumulated the week before. There are many different drop bins in town so I will stop at whichever is closest to where I am going. I will also try to fill up with gas while I am out.

Once I am home everyone helps to unload the truck and put away the groceries.

Thursdays are usually kind of slow here. The kids are ready to be done with their school work for the week and Momma is usually ready for them to be finished also.

  1. Wash clothes – Momma
  2. Restock the bathrooms
  3. Carry shopping bags to the truck
  4. Vacuum
  5. Call Mom

Again we have laundry, Thursday is my day to wash clothes. DS3 and DS4 like to help with restocking the bathrooms. They know where to put the toilet paper and are always to eager to help. I check the bottles of soaps and such. I will refill the soap containers, if needed and bring new shampoo, conditioner, and/or body wash to each bathroom, as needed.

The next one just helps me to remember my reusable grocery bags. Sometimes I just throw them on the bench at the back door and forget about them. Then when I go grocery shopping I can’t find them so I just have this as a reminder for myself.

We will do a really quick vacuum through the house. We are surrounded by sand and there are many feet that walk through our house on a daily basis. Everyone takes their shoes off at that door but the sand still finds its way to the carpet. Not to mention the other little things like the paper bits off of notebooks and such. This quick task just keeps the house looking freshly cleaned.

Last I have ‘Call Mom’ on my list. Sadly I admit that I do not talk to my family as much as I probably should. We text but that isn’t the same connection as actually talking to someone and hearing their voice.

Finally Friday! Yay! Who am I kidding? I don’t get the weekend off. As our week is winding down we have a few more things that we do just to keep everything under control.

  1. Wash clothes -DD8 & DD9
  2. Clean out vehicles
  3. Clean out purse
  4. Clean out work boxes
  5. Mop
  6. Pick up in the yard

Not too bad, we have laundry as usual.

I will grab a grocery bag and one of the kids to help me with cleaning out the truck. It isn’t usually too bad as we try to pick up our messes as we go. I will change out the trash bag I keep in the truck too. I try to do a quick wipe down of the seats, dash, , steering wheel, and console while I am in the truck as the dust is really bad. (I should probably get me a small duster to keep in the truck.)

Then I try to clean out my purse as we all know how receipts and things can pile up in there. Also kids will always hand you things to keep for later and then never reclaim them.

I have the kids clean out their work boxes. Our work boxes are just simple plastic containers that hold their pencil pouches, notebooks, and workbooks for school. During the week the kids manage to accumulate massive amounts of paper and trash in their boxes. By cleaning them out once a week I can try to help them tame their clutter monsters.

Again I do a quick mop as it is usually needed by Friday. I don’t do the table and benches though unless they are super sticky or something.

The kids will also grab a grocery bag and run around the yard to pick up trash that has blown in and get rid of broken toys that may be laying around.

Saturdays are pretty simple:

  1. School planning
  2. Check oil/fluids in vehicles

I try to find a little time on Saturdays to get the following weeks lessons planned out and entered into our Homeschool Manager app. I will also check to make sure that I have entered grades and checked off the completed assignments. I try to go ahead and make printouts or copies of the things we will need and put them into my file organizer.

Vehicle maintenance is important and as I don’t have anyone else to do it for me I have to remind myself to keep a check on everything.

This is the basic run down of our day by day weekly schedule here. I know it may seem complicated or seem like a lot of things to do but its not really all that bad. These tasks and routines are what keeps our house running as smoothly and stress free as it does.

When you first start your routine it will take a bit of time to get used to it. Start simple and basic and slowly add things to it. Pretty soon it will come as second nature. You will immediately start to see the results of doing things on a regular basis. I wish you all the best of luck!

See also:

Getting Routines Started 101

Morning Routines

Afternoon Routines

Evening Routines

Weekly Routines

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Evening Routines

I know by the time the kids are in bed the last thing you really want to do is think about any more routines. However the success of tomorrow morning will greatly depend on your evening routine. I try to keep it fairly simple and if I have checked off the tasks on my Morning Routines and Afternoon Routines then it doesn’t take me long at all.

Below are the screenshots of my current Evening Routine:

evening.jpg

Once the kids are in bed it is time for me to finish up the day so I can relax a little and have a bit of quiet time. I may sit in my room or watch a movie with DD17. Sometimes I just chat with some of my friends who are night owls as well.

First thing I do is check to make sure the coffee pot is ready to go in the morning. I also check our bread basket, which is more of a bread box now, and I will pull a loaf or two of bread out of the freezer if I need too.

Then if the dishwasher is full I will make sure it has been started and if it has already finished I will crack the door a bit. I have DS14 and DD9 hang their glasses on the bulletin board so they don’t misplace them. I will clean them and get them ready for the next day.

I will also wash out the water bottles, if they didn’t make it into the dishwasher, and refill them so they are ready for the morning. I have some really thirsty kids here and they love water!

Shining the sink is a FlyLady term and it simply means cleaning up your sink and making it shine. Nothing like coming into a clean kitchen with a shiny sink! I will also take the dirty wash rag and dish towel to the hamper and set out clean, fresh towels and rags.

I check to make sure the porch lights are on, and that the doors are locked, while going from room to room to double check that everything is pretty much in order. (2 minutes or less for this task.)

Before I put my computer away I will double check my calendar for the next day to make sure of any appointments or activities we may have planned. I will also review the menu and see if there is anything I need to prepare for them.

evening1.jpg

I will also double check my FlyHelper app for any other tasks that may still need to be completed for the current week and/or month. Those will go on my To-Do list, if they haven’t been completed.

When I go to check on the little ones I will set their outfits out for the next day. (I usually hang a pair of bottoms with a top to make it easier.) Then I try to set out my outfit for the next day as well so I can just grab it really quick in the morning.

Ahhh…. the day is almost done and it is time for some ‘me time’. I will fix me a cup of tea or cocoa and take a few minutes just to relax. When I get ready for bed I remind myself to take out my contacts, I am guilty of forgetting this, and then I wash my face, put on moisturizer, and brush my teeth and hair.

I try to spend a little time reading my bible or devotional. I remind myself to go to bed at a decent hour but for me a decent hour could be 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning. I do normally try to go to bed by 10:00 but often times I just can’t sleep.

I hope these routines will help you to set up and maintain your routines. I can promise you that your house will run more smoothly and your stress levels will go down tremendously. Don’t try to just copy mine unless you also have 6 kids at home, a dog, a cat, and 50+ chickens and a few geese…. I’m just kidding. But in reality what works for me may not work for you. My priorities will not be the same as Mrs. Smith’s who lives down the road.

Remember that what looks good on paper isn’t always right. So if you try to set up a routine and it isn’t working then don’t be afraid to revise and revise again until it does work.

If getting up and exercising at 5:30 isn’t your cup of tea then don’t do it. Maybe it is better for you to exercise later in the day or every other day. If you don’t like cocoa then that wouldn’t be the best way for you to relax in the evening.

See also:

Getting Routines Started 101

Morning Routines

Afternoon Routines