Monday, January 24, 2011

Laundry Love


This is the sign hanging about my laundry door. Isn't it the truth? Girls, who knew when we said, "I do" that laundry was going to consume our lives?? As I've mentioned in previous posts, I feel like I have "conquered" laundry. This has not always been the case. As I thought back over my old habits and what things changed to bring me to my present state of laundry bliss, I felt inspired to share with you.

Tip #1: Make a set laundry schedule. In the past, I did laundry "whenever". Well, sometimes "whenever" might be 2 weeks since the last "whenever". And we all know that 2 weeks is way too long to go without doing laundry, especially if you have children. In my house, I put in my first load on Friday night and continue first thing on Saturday morning and through the day. I usually have about 2 loads left on Sunday. So my scheduled time is the weekend. I can't go through the weekend and NOT do the laundry. It can't be an option. With that said, if we have a crazy weekend, maybe being out of town, then I would need to do a load (or 2) each day of the week. In this case I can't wait until the next weekend to do the laundry. But even putting in a load as you walk out the door can keep the laundry progressing. In the past, I used to do a load a day since I average about 7 loads a week. But it has worked out where I can get it all done on the weekend and have the other 4 or 5 days laundry-free.

Tip #2: Fold AND put away each load as soon as it comes out of the dryer. This will help avoid Mt. Laundry piled high on the couch. It only takes about 10 minutes to fold AND put away each load. Don't just fold it! PUT IT AWAY! This also helps with unnecessary wrinkled clothes, therefore saving you time ironing.

Tip #3: If you have children 7 or older they should be folding and putting away their own laundry. Of course, this is only my opinion. But in my house, I started my children putting their clothes away at about 5. I still fold Holly's laundry. But her 7th birthday is in May!! Yippee! I have been telling her since she was 6 that by 7 she would be folding and putting her laundry away all.by.herself. So she is mentally prepared for this. Now, brace yourself for this: all the clothes in their drawers are not perfectly folded, but the pajamas are in the pajama drawer and the socks in the sock drawer, etc. And that's fine with me. In my opinion, I am doing a disservice to them if I don't train them to contribute to our household. I am teaching them responsibility and hopefully raising them to contribute to their future households as adults. Also, I am a working mom. I cannot do it all. I need them to contribute. I always run their laundry first so they can get it folded and put away first thing Saturday morning and be done with it. And honestly, it only takes them about 30 minutes. So I'm not violating any child labor laws.

Tip #4: Keep empty hangers in a separate section of the closet. As you take a piece of clothing off the hanger, pull it from the closet or put it in a designated place. This saves me time by not having to dig through the closet to find empty hangers to hang up laundry. I also have my all of my clothes color coded which makes hanging things up easier because everything has a specific place.

Tip #5: Make sure everyone has a 5-7 day supply of socks, underwear, uniforms, etc. This is important if you're on a weekend schedule like I am. I generally don't do regular laundry during the week. So if I have to wash a favorite shirt or if there's not enough p.e. uniforms for the week, it's more time (that I don't have) spent.It throws off my schedule and results in clothes sitting in the dryer and/or small, incomplete loads. So if someone needs their favorite jeans washed on Wednesday...too bad, so sad. "You have to wait until Saturday. You have to choose another option."

Tip #6: Separate your loads. This is obvious with whites and darks. But it's more efficient when it comes to folding and putting away for me to separate loads. Here's how mine are separated:
Dylan's
Holly's
whites (mine & Brian's)
darks (mine & Brian's)
Brian's work clothes
towels
rugs
Normally I don't have issues with not having a full load, but on occasion, I can just combine the loads if one of the loads is a little too small.

Tip #7: Get caught up. If you have 47 loads of laundry backed up none of these above tips will help you. You have to get caught up first. If it means locking yourself in the laundry room for 3 days, only coming out for food and water then you must do it!

It really comes down to establishing new habits and purposing to not let the laundry pile up.ever.again. Wishing you lots of laundry love!!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Weekly Plans


Bible Study:
So I was supposed to start reading my Bible in 90 days last week. Let's just say I didn't get very far...So continuing on that journey with more resolve this week!

Memory Verse:
Romans 8:25
But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it PATIENTLY!
(this was Holly's memory verse this week & I LOVE LOVE it!

Husband Encouragement:
He does so much without complaining. I want to be diligent in thanking him and not taking his help for granted!

Train Them Up:
*Holly has become quite the little pigpen lately. Her room and her bathroom have been complete messes! She is awesome about cleaning it all up herself, but I need to train her in organization to prevent the mess from happening!

Personal Goals:
*work out 3 times this week
*I've lost 10 pounds so far-so continuing to eat sensibly.

MUST Do:
*Prepare for parent/teacher conferences on Friday.
*Finish my professional development homework.

New Habit of the Month:
*working out 3 days per week

Menu:
M -Ham (I got a huge ham on "clearance" for $9. The plan is to use the leftovers for sandwiches this week), potato salad (I want to teach Holly to peel potatoes for this one!)
T -chicken tacos (got the red spicy taco shells!!)
W -pan fried pork chops, broccoli, cauliflower with homemade cheese sauce, rolls
Th- bbq chicken legs, baked beans, salad
F- order pizza-or go to Pizza Loft
S-Having Dad Hughes over for a birthday dinner-I'm thinking shrimp parmesan but not sure yet.

FUN Things!!
*My aunt Sissy, cousin Michele and her baby Tasiya are coming in from Ohio this weekend!
* Hopefully scrapbooking this weekend again
* Dinner party Saturday night

3 Things I'm Thankful For Today:
1. bills are paid
2. all the laundry is done
3. Everyone in the house is healthy!

Southern, sweet tea

I make yummy, southern, sweet tea.(If I do say so myself). So here's my secret. I put a small pot of water on to boil with 4 teabags. Once it boils I take it off the heat and let it steep for about 20 min.(usually while I cook dinner.)


While the tea is steeping add 2 1/2 cups of sugar to a large pitcher (mine was probably 3 quarts). Yes, 2 1/2 cups of sugar. This IS southern, sweet tea!


Add steeped tea to the sugar. Stir until the sugar dissolves. You CANNOT make sweet tea if the water is not hot. The sugar will not dissolve. So don't make this mistake!!


Fill the pitcher up with water and stir. Another common mistake made with sweet tea is not putting enough ice in the glass. Fill it ALL THE WAY UP with ice before you add the warm sweet tea. Add some lemon and enjoy!

My Quick, Easy, Cheap, Yet Tasty Chili!

Gather these ingredients for the easiest, tastiest chili around. Everytime I make this, inevitably someone asks for the recipe. I'm almost embarrassed to tell how easy it is. Notice that I use the store brand beans and tomatoes, making this an inexpensive crowd pleaser. I would have used the store brand chili seasoning but my Supertarget didn't offer it. However, I know Publix does have a mild store brand chili seasoning.


Brown the ground beef. I put it in the pot frozen so no need to thaw. This makes it a great meal on the fly. I put it on low with a lid and stir around every few minutes. After the meat is all browned make sure the beef is crumbled into small pieces.


Pour in the tomatoes undrained. Drain the beans and add those.


Add the 2 packets of chili seasoning and stir it all together. I also add about a can of water. Let it simmer for 15 minutes or hours. You could even transfer it to the crockpot to keep it warm like I will do today so we can eat it for lunch and dinner on this cold, football Sunday.


For the finished product, we add sour cream, shredded cheese, and Fritos. My husband likes to add the heat with some tabasco.
Yum-o.

Here's the recipe:
This makes a double batch so just half the ingredients for a smaller batch.
2 cans of diced tomatoes
2 cans of light red kidney beans
2 cans of dark red kidney beans
2 packets of chili seasoning mix
2 lbs. of ground beef

1. Brown the ground beef.
2. Add all the ingredients and stir completely.
3. Simmer for at least 15 minutes.
4. Add toppings of your choice. Enjoy!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Weekly Plans


Bible Study:
Starting reading my Bible in 90 days this week. It was such a blessing to me last year when I did this, and to be honest I'm so excited to go on this journey again! I can't wait to see what God has for me this time around.

Memory Verse:
don't have a memory verse for this week.

Husband Encouragement:
*show my appreciation for all his help with the kids and around the house

Train Them Up:
*I see Dylan being so responsible and I want to be more consistent in praising and encouraging him in that.
*Holly is such a sweetheart and I also want to praise and encourage her regularly as well.

Personal Goals:
*work out 3 times this week
*continue on WW. I lost 8 pounds my first week!

MUST Do:
*wow-nothing pressing this week!

New Habit of the Month:
*working out

Menu:
M -chicken tacos
T -beef roast (love those crockpot meals!)
W - chicken boudine (recipe altered from Paula Deen)
Th- hamburger helper (which I despise, but I have a meeting on Thurs. afternoon & Bri can prepare this)
F-spaghetti night
S-meatball subs

FUN Things!!
*Day off on Monday!
*4 day work week
*planning on a couple of family bike rides this week

3 Things I'm Thankful For Today:
1. a happy, healthy home
2. a job I love to go to everyday
3. the faithfulness of my Savior daily in my life

I'm linking here:

In Light of the Truth
and

Sunday, January 9, 2011

WHATEVER you do...



Rewind 10 years. If you entered my house you would not find a neat, tidy, organized home. You would find exactly the opposite. Being a working mom with small children kept me from having the structured, pleasant, clean home I desired. Fast forward 10 years. My home certainly is not PERFECTLY clean (as I would like it to be). There are cleaning projects all over that I see undone (dusty closet door slats, bathroom grout that needs to be scrubbed, bathroom that needs to be painted, etc.). But, generally, you could stop by anytime and I wouldn't stop you at that door pretending to be sick, or not even answer the door because the house is such a disaster. (YOU know you've done it or at least wanted too!) My children are older (6 & 12), and I've gotten into a groove. It feels good. But I think the real secret became very clear to me just this past Saturday during my weekend cleaning. I was putting clothes in the dryer and quietly thanking the Lord for a working washer & dryer. I then began thanking Him for all the dirty clothes that he's provided us with. I caught myself praising Him for our small, comfy, modest home that He has provided us. Colossians 3:23 immediately came to mind. So this is what it means to "work willingly at whatever you do".
If this doesn't come so naturally to you as you're on your 18th load of laundry or scrubbing yet another toilet, I encourage you to purpose to thank God as you clean. Sometimes being a homemaker is a thankless job, IF we're doing it for man. It would save us all a lot of pressure, resentment, and feelings of inadequacy if we worked as unto the Lord in WHATEVER we do. So hide this verse in your heart this week and Happy Cleaning!
Colossians 3:23
Work willingly at WHATEVER you do, as though you were CLEANING for the Lord rather than for people.

I'm linking here:

Monday, January 3, 2011

Project 365-A Picture a Day

In 2011, I am participating in Project Life.
I love Project Life by Becky Higgins
I'll take a picture a day to document our lives in 2011. I started this last year, but had to put it in on hold when we started our renovations. But I absolutely loved it! I'm going to be doing Project Life digitally this year-so I feel very tech savvy right about now!
I'm also going to post my pictures on my blog weekly in Project 365.
Project 365 button designed by http://richgift.blogspot.com
So here's a quick review of the first 2 days of 2011!


Day 1: We started 2011 by sleeping until 10:30 then stayed in our p.j.'s all day. It was heavenly! We went to Smokey Bones for dinner and played Mexican train the rest of the evening. I love family days! May 2011 be filled with many more days just like these!


Day 2: Mom & I scrapbooked the night away! We made page kits and ended with 20 pages by the end of the night! Hoping to do this alot more this year!
Here's hoping your year has started as great as mine!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

11 New Year's Resolutions for 2011


I think people take the whole resolution thing way too seriously. Big deal if you don't accomplish them, or even make it through January 1st without breaking one! I like making lists. They help me stay organized and reach goals. They also help me to prioritize. For me, resolutions are things I would like to accomplish as of today. Those things could change by February 1st and that's o.k. I'm blogging my resolutions for myself. So I can look back on them and see what I accomplished and where my priorities changed. I'm not documenting them so I can see where I failed and how I lacked motivation. I hope you'll do the same, and with the same positive attitude! Here are my resolutions from last year. I was encouraged by my progress in 2010! So here are my 11 resolutions for 2011-in no particular order!

1. Read more
2. Read the Bible cover-to-cover again-starting Feb. 1st.
3. Spend more time with my family-not involving the t.v.
4. Start AND finish some sewing projects
5. Eat healthy and exercise (which hopefully will result in the dreaded resolution of losing weight!)
6. Scrapbook-alot!
7. Look for AND act upon opportunities to live radically for Jesus-individually and as a family (if you haven't read Radical by David Platt-stop what you're doing and go get the book. right.now.)
8. Make monthly date nights a priority-not an "if we can fit it in" event
9. Use coupons and save lots of money
10. Hug Dylan more-I get and give hugs from my 6 year old Holly alot, but with my 12 year old Dylan, hugs are fewer and farther between and that makes me sad
11. Teach for Jesus in my classroom

I Love, Love, Love this verse that I used in last year's post and being that God's Word never changes-here it is again!
II Corinthians 5:9 So we make it our goal to please Him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it

I would love to read your 11 resolutions for 2011!
Please comment them below or add them to your own blog!

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