wish list of all the things we’d like to do with it, from paying off credit cards to a flat screen TV, to stuff for working on the house. THEN we had to figure out our priorities: the money isn’t ours, but God’s, and we want to be good stewards of it. We now have a preliminary budget, which I imagine will flex as we go. It’s amazing how fast money goes!
organizing the office here at home… which begs the next paragraph.
We were able to scrounge the money to put in a laminate floor in the office, so have the materials ready to go, and will install it on Saturday. We should have a good crew here, combining those with the brains with those with the backs and hands. I’m excited to add to my skills in that department, as well as in sanding and painting: My goal tomorrow is to sand and paint the molding so it’ll be ready to reinstall when the crew gets here. Should be interesting, but I’m kinda excited!
Also, the moment you’ve all been waiting for: We have 2 new additions. Romeo and Jada have been one big ball of energy from the beginning. One of these days I’ll hafta blog about the adventures of settling in grown-up puppies. They may not chew on much like puppies would, but we’ve had to train them in just about everything else. Romeo is turning into quite the stinker. We’re sure it’s him that has found ways to knock down the child-gate that’s supposed to keep them in the kitchen when I leave them at home. We try doing it tighter,
stacking things against it, stacking things against both sides, etc. I’ve got an idea for next time, but that stinker is BOUND to find a way around it. Jada on the other hand, really doesn’t like car rides (doesn’t get sick though), shivers in fear in new situations, and then turns around and has started trying to put Molly in her place (someone needed to!). All kinds of craziness! I’m just glad they’re finally acting like they’re potty trained most of the time.
looking at me, and I can’t stop thanking God for Duane’s patience with me, his sensitivity,
his strength, and… just so much.
that help me make life a little more manageable.
1. Weekly Schedule
cook. Then I can add a few recipes that I’d like to make on the nights when I have more time to cook (like Friday when I don’t work and can have something ready to welcome Duane home for the weekend). I usually try to find at least one recipe that is new or a little more challenging to try out. Sometimes that is from a lovely home-made recipe book made by a friend (thank you to Sarah Seck and to my CEF friends in Eugene!!!) Other times, it’s one I’ve kept since childhood, or in one of several cookbooks in the cupboard. If I STILL can’t
find what I want, there’s always the internet, but I’ve never gotten that far yet!
Next I fill in all the other blanks with simple meals. This is where I usually refer to the E-Mealz program (a subscription to weekly menus using a budget priced according to the grocery store or diet that you prefer – this also includes the shopping and price-list). I did it for a full year, and as a single for most of that time, I couldn’t use CLOSE to all of it. I cancelled my subscription, and now go back it for very simple but tasty menus. It includes
the shopping list right with the menus.
ingredients that I’ll need to buy (I try to limit this as much as I can by using things on hand), which becomes part of my general shopping list as well.
hodge-podge of things that meld together to help me tackle things.
The first main tool is to give myself permission not to get it ALL done in a week. Somehow I wake up realizing that I’ve put pressure on myself to get it all done, and feel like a miserable
failure for not, so then I don’t do anything. Reality is that I work full-time, am involved in various ministries, have physical issues I’m still trying to figure out (another blog for another time), and am often emotionally exhausted, and just can’t devote 24-7 to keeping house. Cuz you know all those house-wives who don’t “work” get it all done AND sit around and eat bon-bons while watching their soaps on TV. Just kidding. Anyway, Once I realize that I don’t have to do it ALL in one week…
I realize that I DO have to do the reasonable amount. So at the beginning of the week, I figure out what I can handle – even just for that week – and add that to my calendar.
Basic things: While waiting for the dogs to finish their morning and evening meals in the kitchen, I do a quick tour of the kitchen, tidying up, filling the dishwasher, putting food away,
etc. In the morning, I also make the bed, have a “quiet time”, shower, take care of the dogs, etc (still working on getting all that into a routine, but working on it nonetheless).
Then I assign things for each day. This week, for example, I was to Pay the bills on Monday, update the budget, and go grocery shopping. Tuesday I knew I wouldn’t have much time at home, so just decided to sweep the floors and do a quick tour of the bathrooms (check TP,
empty garbage cans, wash the sink, clean toilets if there’s time). Wednesday, I planned to Vacuum and mop, which was scheduled around calling to chat with my dad. This was also a night I knew I could catch up on any chores from the first part of the week that I didn’t get done. Tonight (Thursday) is my built-in kinda-relaxed night: After I do any dishes that need to be hand-washed, I “get” to do laundry (one of my least favorite chores is FOLDING laundry) while watching a movie. Fridays I don’t usually work at the office, so I have two
main goals. First, I want to fix some food that Duane will be able to take on the truck with him, so I’m not scrambling on Sunday afternoon to get it ready for him. Sometimes that’s rice krispie treats, other times that’s dip for his veggies, and still others, it’s tuna packets (tuna and mayo in a squared off crescent roll). The other goal is to pick two chores off of my chore list to do. This is why I maintain my list throughout the week of things that need done
around the house. These are usually bigger chores that will take more time or focus than a busy weekday schedule can afford. This includes washing the windows, hauling in wood to the garage, gardening, etc. I make it my goal to do at least 2 of these each Friday, and then am completely satisfied that I did what I needed to do. Then if I can do more, it feels like it’s a bonus, but at least SOMETHING gets done, instead of being overwhelmed by all that COULD be done but isn’t.
One thing that will make all this work, whether for me or for you, is to START. Right now, doing some part of this, I can start to be successful in being diligent as the Proverbs 31 woman in caring for her household. Thanks for joining me in this journey!
Proverbs 31:27 She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.
Inexpensive Date Idea:
surprise. I know it's not fancy, but we always enjoy long afternoon walks, too…”
E-Mealz.com (Mention Dave Ramsey and get a major discount)
The forms mentioned above (menu, schedule, and chore list) are part of a wonderful FREE collection of organization sheets available for your home notebook. http://organizedhome.com