Lisa's Homemaking Corner

Lisa's Homemaking Corner

Friday, May 29, 2009

S.H.M.I.L.Y. 30 Days of Prayer for our Husbands

Amy over at Dandelion Seeds has organized a group over at Facebook for using "The Power of a Praying Wife" to pray for our husbands during the month of June. She already has over 600 wives committed to praying for their husbands, including me. :) Won't you join us?


Thursday, May 21, 2009

What a day! Whew!

First, as part of my internet de-clutter, I will soon be permanently closing my other blogs. That means I will be copying posts from those that are important to me over here. Last night, I reduced the amount of blogs in my reader from 86 to I think 23. Wow! It feels nice to not feel "obligated" to read so much. :)

Second, I spent some major time in the Word today. I read all of Ezra and am about halfway through Nehemiah. I have obviously been thirsty for the Living Water! I have been working on reading through the bible from cover to cover, and I can't tell you what good it's done my soul to just spend so much time getting to know my Lord better!

Also today, we started our first major project around the house. TOYS. I was listening to a CD by Michael Pearl recently, and he was talking about how we always want our kids to "have it better" than we did, but a lot of times, we do them a serious injustice by making things *too* easy for them. This is evident in my own family. Our boys have so many toys, so many that they don't even play with. I know that having clutter around all the time definitely affects my attitude, so, it has to be the same way with kids, too. Plus, our (as in, mine and dh's) kids have no idea what it means to work to earn things. Dh and I accept full responsibility for this. It shows in my oldest when he whines every time we give him something to do that's "too hard."

So, I came up with a plan. We took every single toy out of the older two boys' room today. I did leave ds3's teddy bear and a couple of stuffed animals ds8 likes to have for bed time. But everything else went.
See the empty bins? Everything except for ds3's books are gone (we didn't take ds8's books, they're just kept on the shelves in the dining room with the school stuff).

This was not done as a punishment. I had already gone through about a month ago and culled a bunch of toys. I still felt they had way too much, though, but couldn't figure out what to get rid of (mostly due to feeling guilty because most of them are gifts from relatives). So, I thought I'd combine a lesson in getting them to work for what they have (thus, they will be able to appreciate it better), and figure out what they *really* want, and what they don't really care about. I moved all the toys to our laundry room (and they KNOW not to touch them!).
I will randomly ask each boy which toy they would like to earn. They will each pick one toy (or set, for instance, Legos, or something) and we will put it on the kitchen counter. Depending on the toy, I will choose a job for them to do (*outside* of their normal chores and duties) to earn it. For instance, the bigger or more complex (or in real life, more expensive) the toy, the bigger job they will have to complete to get it back. The boys know (um, obviously I'm not doing this with the 10 month old LOL) that I will *not* keep nagging them to get the job done, they cannot whine, complain, or anything else, they have to work nicely together (if I have them working on the same project), and the job *cannot* be done sloppily, it has to be done right and to my (or hubby's) satisfaction. Hubby and I haven't set a time yet, but after a certain amount of time (2 weeks? a month?), whatever's left in the laundry room goes.

So, I set them to work on their first job this evening. Ds3 barely got started when he decided he didn't want to earn his toy. So, I put it back. Then, when ds8 was almost done with the job, ds3 decided he wanted to go back to work. I told him no, he would have to wait until I gave them another job, that it wasn't fair that ds8 had to do most of the work and for him to get the same reward. He was not happy about that, but oh, well! It's teaching him that if you don't work, you don't earn the things that you would like to have.

In other news, I felt like the worst mother in the world with what happened after that. I realized that we were almost out of milk, so we had to run to the corner store to get some. As we were leaving the house, I checked to make sure the kids were clear of the door, while holding ds10mo. It didn't do any good though, because as soon as I turned and shut the door I heard a blood-curdling scream. Ds3 had grabbed the door frame as he was walking down the steps and got his hand stuck in the door (the other side from the handle). The knob was already locked, so I had to unlock it to get his hand out. :( Poor thing. The fingernail on his middle finger was purple, so I got some ice for him and we headed off to the store (it's so close it took less than 10 minutes there and back, and I just had ds8 run in to buy the milk) after a few minutes of hugs and kisses. Luckily, when we got home, I observed that it wasn't swollen, just very purple. So, I kept it on ice and gave him some infant's Tylenol to help out with the pain. He's sleeping now, but he is going to be so sore for the next couple of days. Poor guy. :( If you think of it, please keep him in your prayers for a speedy recovery.

Yikes, this post turned out longer than I expected! I will continue to post updates on our journey as I have time. :)


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

A New Journey

I will not be spending nearly as much time on the internet as I have in the past. I really need to re-examine and simplify my life. It's not just the internet, but I realized when we got back from our camping weekend just how many unnecessary things are cluttering my life and taking away my focus from God and family. I will be updating my blog periodically on my journey to a simpler life, but I will not be spending so much time reading about others. You see, in my attempt to live a Christian life, I became too focused on reading about how others live theirs, and less focused on what GOD wants *me* to do.

So, here's the start of my journey. I cut my yahoo groups by more than half and went to "no mail" on the ones I've kept. I am about to go through and cut down BIG time on my Blogger reader list. While I'm not completely going to be off the internet, from now on, I will only be on when my little ones are napping/sleeping and all my chores are caught up. I'm also going to be doing things like my to-do lists with plain old paper and pen. Usually I put them on Word, but checking my list will make it too tempting to "just check a few a few things while I'm at it."

Well, now I'm off to do a little de-cluttering. ;)


Monday, May 11, 2009

Menu Plan Monday--Simplify, simplify, simplify!

My menus are going to be dramatically simplified, hopefully from here on out. A couple of different factors have influenced this. 1) I'm trying to cut down on our energy bill. And, 2) I'm trying to cut down my time spent in the kitchen. Having the daily menus for every meal is great, but it seems since I started doing them regularly, I'm spending way more time in the kitchen than I should. Don't get me wrong, I *love* spending time in the kitchen! But, between meal preps, actually eating the meal, and cleanup, it's cutting into my other housework, homeschool, and family time more than I like it to (yes, even with the kids helping!).

So, I've made a decision that all week, we will have only one choice for breakfast and one choice for lunch (plus the option for leftovers, if needed). Dinners will be planned as usual, but I am going to try to use my crockpot as much as I can. If I do have to turn the oven on, I want to be prepared to make several things at once.

So, this week's breakfasts will be cereal and yogurt. Lunches will be PB&J's and soup.

Monday-Crockpot rosemary chicken, rice, and green beans.
Tuesday-Crescent roll-wrapped hot dogs, chips, raw carrots and cukes. Since I have to turn on the oven, I will also make an artichoke spinach ring and plain crescent rolls for leftovers.
Wednesday-Crockpot chicken and wild rice (with leftover chicken from Monday), crescent rolls from Tuesday, and veggies.
Thursday-we will be trying to eat as many leftovers up as we can, because...
Friday-we are going camping! We keep our meals as simple as possible here, since most of the time, we're using the fire. Eggs or pancakes for breakfast, sandwiches and chips for lunch, burgers or hot dogs with baked beans and chips for dinner. Friday morning, we'll stop and get breakfast on the road somewhere. It's a tradition. ;)


Sunday, May 3, 2009

Menu Plan Monday (on Sunday!)

Cereal, yogurt
Sweet & sour meatballs, rice, snap peas

Tacos with fixin's
Cinco de Mayo casserole, refried beans, dessert tacos

Muffins, fruit
Crustless quiche, biscuits, fruit

Pancakes, syrup, fruit
PB&J's, soup, carrot sticks

Cereal, yogurt
PB-stuffed celery, graham crackers with cream cheese
Baked ziti, buttered corn, apple slices

And yes, most of my dinner menus are from this week's basic weekly menu from Menus4Moms. :)


Last week

Whew! Sorry I haven't been posting much lately! I've been working hard at keeping things up around the house, and it's definitely showing. ;)

Last week was mostly cleaning in the living room, with Friday (the start of a new month) the only day to work on the entrance, dining room, and yard. I didn't really get a whole lot done on the living room (although we did the week before with all the game/puzzle de-cluttering!), but worked extra hard on the front hall and dining room. The desk and homeschool area of the dining room were getting pretty cluttered-looking, so that's where I concentrated most of my effort.
It is soooooo nice to have this done! School seems to flow so much smoother now.

I am definitely excited to be moving on to the kitchen this week, though. It's been kept up, but it's been awhile since I gave it a really good cleaning...and the cabinets definitely need to be reorganized. Not rearranged, though! I'm actually pretty happy with where things are at for now. ;)

I already pretty much have my menus planned out for the week already, so I will probably be posting them later on tonight.