Lisa's Homemaking Corner

Lisa's Homemaking Corner

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Struggling with balance and finding simplicity

As in my last post, I had made the decision to not obsess about housework so much.  In my efforts to do that, I found things seriously out of balance this week as the house is now driving me nuts!  I've been thinking and praying about what I should do to find balance in this area, and I have gotten my answer.  I am going back to flylady's way of doing things and using her baby steps.  :)

This will be a very good lesson for me, as I typically want to jump in to these things full force, and instead, I will be following the beginner's baby steps.  In the past, it has driven me crazy doing things so simple, and doing things so S-L-O-W-L-Y, but it is what I need to do.

So, today, I am shining my sink and getting VERY basic, minimal stuff done.  Then tomorrow, I will move on to baby step #2, and so on.

I hope to be updating my baby step progress with pictures as I go, so check back again!  :)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Kicking out the robber

Yesterday, I finished reading Homeschooling With a Meek and Quiet Spirit, by Teri Maxwell.  I thank the Lord for what He showed me while reading that book.  Having a meek and quiet spirit is something I have struggled with for awhile now, and I've finally made the connection to a major robber of a meek and quiet spirit, thanks to this book.

My own mom was a stay-at-home mom until I was in high school.  Being a stay-at-home-mom myself, I have been holding myself to the same housekeeping standard that she kept.  I mean, I'm at home, with no other outside job, so my house should look nice.  Right?  And everything should be done by dinner time, so that when dishes are done, it's time for myself and the family to relax.  Shouldn't it?  I can attest to the fact that being at home is MUCH harder than anything I've done for outside work...although I will say, it's definitely not as stressful.  The only person's schedule you really have to follow is your husband's (or your own, if your husband is not big on sticking to schedules around the home-front), and he's usually a LOT nicer than a boss.  :)  Yes, staying at home IS harder, but I knew that and was prepared for that when I signed up for the job.  What I wasn't prepared for, however, was the whirlwind and utter exhaustion each day brought by it's end.  My husband kept telling me I was doing too much, while not getting the big things done...I'm a very detailed person, so when I take on a project, it can take me forever making sure I have it done just so, much to the detriment of things like meals and school.

Last night's reading brought on a light bulb moment for me.  Teri explained in her book that many stay-at-home, homeschooling moms today had stay-at-home-moms themselves.  These mothers have set these high standards for the homes that many of us try to hold to ourselves.  But here's the kicker:  Most of these moms (including my own) SENT THEIR KIDS OFF TO SCHOOL FOR 6-7 HOURS A DAY.  Did you get that?  I'm not knocking my mom, or any other mom, who sends their kids to school.  What I'm saying is, those moms had 6-7 hours each day kid-free!  That's when most of them did their housework, virtually free of distraction...kid distraction, anyway.  Plus, they didn't have messes being made during that time, and (most of the time) no one was home for lunch, so she just had to worry about herself for that meal.

So, here I am, not only with my kids home all day, but dedicating several hours to homeschooling.  On top of that, I've everyone but hubby here for all three meals (plus snacks, don't forget the snacks!), so more time gets spent on that, as well.  THEN, I am trying to get the same amount of housework done that my mom did, in the same time frame!  As you can guess, many days it hasn't all gotten done, and I drive myself insane with unnecessary pressure, all the while thinking that was just how it was supposed to be.  Duh!

After I read that chapter, I just sat staring at the ceiling for a good five minutes, thinking in amazement and asking God why I never made this connection before.  Seriously, you know it's really bad when *I* actually admit I was doing too much.  But it's true.  The most important things, like school and well-planned meals, had been suffering to let little, less important details take the front seat.  No more.

My way of thinking has done a complete turn-around.  I'm going back to the bare-bones basics around the house and bringing those important things back to where they belong, front and center.  I am working on readjusting my priorities as they should be...God, husband, children, everything else if there's time and I feel like it.  Do I want a super clean house?  Of course, but not more than I want my kids to be well trained and educated, and certainly not more than I want my husband to be happy.  I will keep the basics as far as housework goes...meals, laundry, dishes...and if I want to do anything else, I now realize that instead of cutting into the time it takes to make good meals or homeschool, I will have to find time somewhere else, AFTER those things are taken care of.  And if those extra things don't get done, I'm not going to kick myself about it.  And if I choose to do that work in the evening instead of relaxing, that's my choice, and that's perfectly okay.  As a homeschooling mom, my schedule is going to look very different from a non-homeschooling mom's, and, as I now realize, that's okay, too.  So if you happen to stop by my house and it's NOT clean (gasp!), just know that I had bigger priorities on my plate that day.  :)

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

MS Diet: Watch out for dairy detox!

I managed to go dairy-free for almost a week before Easter.  That day I decided to indulge in some foods that had cheese, were probably made with milk, and yes, some Easter candy.  Oy, never again.

Up until that point, I had made a pretty gradual cut of dairy, going from cutting out milk, which I didn't drink a whole lot of, to cutting out cheese, which was in/on A LOT of things I ate.  Well, on Sunday, I ate dairy, and Monday I didn't eat any.  I woke up Tuesday morning with what felt like some morning allergies.  Except, they didn't go away.  In fact, they got worse as the day progressed (still eating no dairy), to where I had the chills by Tuesday fever though!  I had a feeling, and did some research...sure enough, I was going through dairy detox.  Here's an interesting article.

The fact that I did my first major strength training session yesterday (before I felt too bad) didn't help either.  With the achy muscles, it felt like I was in the middle of a bad cold.  I definitely feel better today, although I'm still achy from the exercise yesterday, and I'm still stuffed's very obvious my body is trying to get rid of all the extra mucous brought on by my completely unnecessary indulgence on Sunday.

So, lesson learned!  No more dairy indulgences for's just not worth it!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Frugal Friday: Books

I know, I know, I'm a day late.  LOL!  Better late than never, especially if you love books and are looking for ways to indulge your passion and keep the pocketbook under control!

Do you love to read?  Can't get enough books?  I love to read, and use the library often, but I often find books that I want in my personal collection at home.  If you have books lying around that you just don't want to read for one reason or another, I recommend joining paperbackswap.  When you first join, see if you can find ten books around your house that you are willing to part with, and are in fairly good condition, and list them on paperbackswap.  You will then get two credits toward books.  Books are generally one credit each, two credits for audio books.  Here's how it works:  When people "order" the books you put up, you pay postage to send them out.  As each book is received by the person who requested it, you get another credit!  With your credits, you can order books, and the person sending the book to you covers the postage costs, just as you cover those costs sending out books.  You can use the two credits you get for listing your first ten books, right away.

I listed eleven books last week and already got my two books yesterday from that.  I also sent out three books, so should be getting three more credits any day.  My wish list is pretty long.  ;)

Another resource I found and love, is for those of you who own a ton of books and are trying to find a way to keep track of them.  Librarything is for you.  This is a free site to catalog your home library.  Enter in every book you own, and it will generate recommendations for other books you might enjoy.  You can also become friends with others on the site, and it will tell you which people have libraries similar to yours.  There's many other features, and the best part is, it's free!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Basic Pancakes: Dairy and Sugar Free

I wanted pancakes this morning and almost made the mistake of using a mix, with the intentions of just replacing the milk with coconut milk beverage.  Then I smacked my forehead as I looked at the ingredient list...Duh!  It was a BUTTERMILK pancake mix.  That was not going to work, so I got out my cookbook and looked up a pancake recipe.  I adapted it to make it dairy and sugar free.  Granted, it's not gluten free, but that can easily be fixed by replacing the flour with a gluten-free flour, such as white rice flour or almond flour.

Here's my version.  They turned out great!

1 cup all -purpose flour
1 tablespoon agave nectar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 beaten egg
1 cup coconut milk beverage (NOT canned coconut milk, but such as is found here)
2 tablespoons olive oil

1.  In a medium mixing bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, and salt.  Make a well in the center of dry mixture and set aside.
2.  In another medium mixing bowl combine the egg, coconut milk, agave nectar, and olive oil.  Add mixture all at once to the dry mixture.  Stir just until moistened (batter will be lumpy).
3.  For standard-size pancakes, pour about 1/4 cup batter onto a hot, lightly greased griddle or heavy skillet.  Cook over medium heat about 2 minutes on each side or until pancakes are golden brown, turning to second sides when pancakes have bubbly surfaces and edges are slightly dry.  Serve warm

Now, instead of butter, I spread a little coconut oil on mine.  Also, make sure you watch any other toppings you want to use, to make sure they are dairy-free.


MS Diet: Hidden dairy ingredients

I'm happy to say that yesterday, I went completely dairy-free!  I feel great about the changes I'm making for my health.  It's important that if you're going this route, make sure and add things like more fruits and veggies, and supplements that will replace what you're missing in dairy, such as calcium and vitamin D.  I have also found that magnesium really helps with feelings of irritability and stress.

Today, I will get the rest of the ingredients I need to make dairy-, soy-, and gluten-free cheese.  I will post that after I make it and try it.  ;)  I have also replaced any butter I use with either coconut oil or olive oil, whichever is more appropriate to the situation.  I am still looking for something to replace cream cheese, so if anyone knows any good resources for that, let me know!

For now, I have found a very thorough list of hidden dairy in ingredient lists.  This list also includes ingredients that may contain some proponent of dairy, but is not usually a concern for those with a dairy sensitivity or allergy.  It also includes ingredients that may *look* like they contain dairy, but really do not.  Click here for the link.