Saturday, January 31, 2009

Photo Shoot

My dearest daughter loves to have a photo shoot every once in a while. She dresses in her blog colors (really!) and we go outside and take some pictures for her to post. Today I was dressed up for Torah study and she suggested I have a photo shoot of my own - she thought I needed a new picture for my profile. It's fun to have a teen aged daughter. How did I ever get along without one for so many years? Here's one of my favorites from our little outing:

Like basketball? You will after this.

Thanks Lanita - I loved this video.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Challenge Update and Check In

We're 22 days in to the 30 day Fresh Thoughts Challenge. Can you believe it?
How are things, ladies? Are you meeting the goals that you made for yourself?

I've been getting in my five workout days most weeks. In fact, a neighbor invited me to come to her gym with her, she gave me a free week pass. I've been having a great time taking different classes. I've tried the water aerobics, which I've never done before and thought would be really easy, ha!, as well as some regular classes. Today we plan to meet up for some weight training and a bit of cardio on the machines. I've really enjoyed the novelty of the whole thing.

What about you ladies? Jennifer, Amy, Dalyn, Beulah, Kim, Rachel, Grace?


Interested in getting this book for free? Go here to download your copy.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Need a Laugh?

Then "check" out this "post" by Beulah.

This Morning...

Breakfast is on the stove but so is a pot of chicken. I'm working on chicken noodle soup for my little sickies.
Here's one of them. He's been up much of the night and is now resting on the couch in the living room. Poor little guy. He has had a fever, runny nose and just feels really crummy.
But not my little side kick - she's ready and raring for another day. She won't even stay still for an early morning picture.

I've got a lot of things on my to do list today:
Meet with a friend for an aerobics class at 9
Lunch date with my husband at 1:30 - a.k.a. nap time :)
Quilting class with Sissy at 5:30
In between those - make meals, school children, laundry, the never ending job of cleaning up and of course, blogging!

I hope you have a wonderful day. Don't get so busy that you let your eating and exercising go by the way side. Be mindful of what your goals are and do something to accomplish them today!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Five Ways to Oatmeal

Oatmeal is the standard breakfast during the winter around here. I think I serve it about twice a week at least. But sometimes my kids groan when they come downstairs and see the pot boiling on the stove.

One time I had a bunch of apple pie filling in the freezer that I'd made in the fall thinking I'd make apple pies for my family. Well, that didn't happen. But it did go in to the oatmeal every once in a while and, I can tell you with out a doubt, that my children really loved that!

Since apple pie isn't super practical for every day or super healthy either, I've been on the look out for new and inventive ways to serve up our old stand by. Check out some ideas I've found - here are new and different ways to serve our old favorite:

Pumpkin Spice: Stir in a can of pumpkin puree (this is for multiple servings - if you are doing just one, adjust the amount), some ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon and brown sugar.

Strawberry Swirl: Add slices of fresh berries, or thawed frozen berries in their juice, to your cooked oatmeal then add a little strawberry jam for sweetness.

Fruit and Nut: Add chopped dried apricots, dried plums and rasins as it is cooking so the fruit plumps up a little. Then add some toasted, chopped walnuts and almonds and a touch of honey.

Banana Walnut: Top your cooked oatmeal with sliced bananas, chopped toasted walnuts and a bit of honey.

Oatmeal Cookie: Add all the flavors that make oatmeal cookies so good: vanilla extract, some raisins, cinnamon and a little brown sugar.

These recipes are from Small Changes Big Results, a good book if you are looking for a slow but steady progressions to changing your lifestyle toward healthier eating and fitness.

I made the pumpkin oatmeal today. And, my kids really loved it. My husband even thought it was great, he said we should market it. So, you know it's good.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The State is Responsible

I am never up on the news. We haven't had a TV since before 9/11 so I miss quite a bit. I practically never click on Yahoo or Google bites that are ready and waiting for you every morning. My husband loves talk radio but I think there is enough talking going on around me that I don't need to plug something in to hear more, know what I mean? I do get a Sunday paper but only for the coupons! I just don't care to hear from any of these sources.

For three reasons.

1. I'm just not that interested in politics (I know, I know, they affect us greatly. I feel comfortable letting my husband making the decisions for us. Mostly, he decides, I vote. 'Course, I do have an opinion at times and he never forces me to choose his side, okay? So don't worry about any of that. He's much more up on what's going on, cares more and I trust his judgement.)

2. We all know that the media is sending its own message. Whatever they want people to hear, they hear.

3. I've got lots of other things to worry about than what people on the other side of the world are doing.

I hope this doesn't sound crass or uncaring or like I stick my head in the sand because I don't. There are things that I really care about. Parenting issues are a big one.

I can't believe what's going on in the world when I finally do hear a tidbit from somewhere. It's shocking. Do people really have so little faith in themselves as parents or faith in God to teach you to parent that they rely on the state? I just don't understand how this can happen. I could quote a billion and one Bible verses here to expose what is going on in Sweden. But, I am guessing anyone reading this blog knows them. And why this is wrong.

If God is for us, who can be against us? Romans 8:31

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Resistance Training

You know that exercise is good for you. Aerobic activity builds the all important heart. But what do you know about weight training?

It's like money in the bank. When you do an aerobic exercise (walking, jogging, running, stair climbing, rowing, biking, etc.) you burn calories while you are working out and even later after the workout. Some studies suggest even up to 48 hours after you exercise. BUT - with weight training you burn calories even while you sleep - days and days after the muscle is built.

When you build muscle it continues to "eat" more all the time so your metabolism is going at a higher rate all the time. Fat? It just sort of sits there. Unless you try to move around. Then it sort of jiggles there. Fat takes up more space and is shapeless. It is sort of like my mom's back storage room at her house. No one really knows what is in there and it grows every year. Ew.

So does it seem like you can't eat the same as you used to when you were younger? You probably can't. Check this out: "Sedentary individuals can begin to lose muscle mass as early as their mid-twenties. Human beings can lose up to 1-2 percent of muscle mass per year, eventually losing as much as 50 % of muscle mass in the course of a lifetime. The effects of losing muscle mass include a decrease in strength, greater susceptibility to injury, and in increase in body fat." (To read the whole article go here.)

Strength training can change that for you, there are benefits for every woman. You can build back your youthfulness. You will look better, feel better and be able to eat more with out weight gain.

Interested? I just read a great book on the how-to of the weight training. View it here - remember to check out your library before buying any book!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Why don't you take a little rest today?

Resting is harder than it looks. Working at home or living at work, as it were, makes for a never ending work load. Stay-at-home moms are constantly picking up this and straightening up that. To stop and rest is a difficult requirement.

Shabbat (the Sabbath day) is mandated by God. Yes! You have to do it! And, no, you can't just pick any day of the week and say, "I choose today to be my Shabbat". From Friday sun down to Saturday sun down we are supposed to stop working. To rest.

Consider with your husband how this could be a practical part of your family life. You could plan to cook everything ahead of time, weekly chores could be done on Fridays. How about a four day school week to accomplish that? A sweet friend of mine says that they always have dessert on Shabbat. I am sure all of her children look forward to it!

Check out what the other Jenny M - another sister in the Lord I've met online, has to say about why she loves to fulfill God's commandment.

Enjoy your Shabbat today. Focus your efforts on the spiritual instead of the carnal. Look to Him today.

Mr. Right's Favorite Cookies

Is it fair to post this during the 30 day challenge? I give you my personal permission to eat one. If you are counting they have 112 calories each. Make sure you feed the rest to your family and they aren't laying around for you to see every time you go to the kitchen, just to play it safe. :)

Chocolate White Chip Cookies

1 cup butter, softened
2 cups white sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 2/3 cups white chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt; stir into the creamed mixture. Fold in the white chocolate chips. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, until cookies are set. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Marriage Conference!

I love conferences of all types... my husband usually enjoys them too. We always try to go to the local home school conference (which, by the way, is coming up - if you haven't yet gone, it is so worth it!!!) and we've been to numerous marriage retreats just for the fun of it.

There is another one coming up, you have a chance to focus on your marriage... check it out here to see if they will be doing it in your area next month!

On the bookshelf....

I'm reading a fun little book. It's called Maryjane's ideabook, cookbook, lifebook for the farmgirl in all of us. And it really is all of those things. She's got lots of great photos and recipes as well as many ideas. You'll love it. And, it was at my library, so check yours!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Get your workout clothes on this morning! Get going! I took a picture of myself working on my flat and muscular abs for your encouragement! (Ha!)

Have a great day... watch those calories and get the exercise in so that you can feel g-r-e-a-t when you fall in to bed tonight!!!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Farmer Boy

Last night I finished reading my favorite Laura Ingalls Wilder book to my children, Farmer Boy. All of her books are just as interesting for me as they are for the kids. She explains the way that things were done so many years ago, and truly, I believe that I was made to be a farm girl!

In this book, as with them all, the children respect their parents. I respect the parents!

In my very favorite passage, Father teaches Almonzo about money. Almonzo is nine years old and in town with his family for the independance day celebration. He has asked his father for a nickle to buy lemonaide. This is his father's response:

"Father looked at him a long time. Then he took out his wallet and opened it, and slowly he took out a round, big silver half-dollar. He asked:

"Almanzo, do you know what this is?"

"Half a dollar," Almonzo answered.

"Yes. But do you know what half a dollar is?"

Almanzo didn't know it was anything but half a dollar.

"It's work, son," Father said. "That's what money is; it's hard work."

"You know how to raise potatoes, Almanzo?"

"Yes," Almanzo said.

"Say you have a seed potato in the spring, what do you do with it?"

"You cut it up," Almanzo said.

"Go on, son."

"Then you harrow - first you manure the field, and plow it. Then you harrow, and mark the ground. And plant the potatoes, and plow them, and hoe them. You plow and hoe them twice."

"That's right son, and then?"

"Then you dig them and put them down cellar."

"Yes. Then you pick them over all winter; you throw out all the little ones and the rotten ones. Come spring, you load them up and haul them here to Malone, and you sell them. And if you get a good price, son, how much do you show for all that work? How much do you get for half a bushel of potatoes?"

"Half a dollar," Almanzo said.

"Yes," said Father. "That's what's in this half-dollar, Almanzo. The work that raised half a bushel of potatoes is in it."

Almanzo looked at the round piece of money that Father held up. It looked small, compared with all that work.

"You can have it, Almanzo," Father said. Almanzo could hardly believe his ears. Father gave him the heavy half-dollar.

"It's yours," said Father. "You could buy a suckling pig with it, if you want to. You could raise it and it would raise a litter of pigs, worth four, five dollars apiece. Or you can trade that half-dollar for lemonade, and drink it up. You do as you want, it's your money."

Of course, Almanzo ends up with a little pig in the end.

For ways to use the Laura Ingalls Wilder books as curriculum go here to view the Prairie Primer and other books that go along with the Little House books... but don't try to get the Prairie Primer on Paperback Swap... I think I'm number 48 out of 64 or something on the waiting list!

Ah... I just love those books!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

The Magazine Giveaway Winner Is....


Saturday, January 17, 2009

Something to treasure...

My brother-in-law has come to live with us. Sadly, after 28 years of marriage his wife left him this last summer. The silver lining out of this terrible tragedy is that Rusty is becoming part of the immediate family.

Since moving in here, he's been slowly going through all his possessions. He's trying to pare down years of kitchen ware, clothes, boxes and boxes from his former family of four (his two children are grown and gone, one with a child of her own). Needless to say I've been the recipient of many items.

Today he really blessed me. He came up with two of his mom's cookbooks. I was never able to meet my mother-in-law as she passed away before I married my husband. From what I hear from those who knew her, she was quite a cook. For years I've been trying to find recipes to recreate many of the much-loved meals and special snacks that she made for her children. Trying to get the right Christmas cookies and beef strogonoff recipes have been especially challenging. I am so happy to say that they can be found in the two volumes that Rusty gave me today.

I with cherish these books and pass them along to my own daughters. I hope that they love them as much as I do and think of their grandmother, long ago, working in her little kitchen as they follow the lists of ingredients written in her own handwriting.

Thursday, January 15, 2009


Sorry. I know it's a little early in the morning to start talking about such a subject. The very word elicits fear in the hearts of couch potatoes the world over. But, take courage. Facing those fears is the only way to grow... um... gain... um, I guess I really mean loose.

Not that you can't loose weight without exercise. Because you can. I did. I lost 97 lbs. without one leg lift. Truth be told, it's because I couldn't get my hiney up off the couch to lift my leg. (We won't mention that I found a way to get up to get to the kitchen.) Truly, exercise was just not an option for me at (mumble, mumble) pounds. Too much. Too hard. I started off just changing the number of calories that I ate every day and it worked.

Then one day I started to feel... sort of squishy. Ever make homemade bread dough? You know what I'm talking about then.

By this time I was down quite a bit and decided it was time for phase two of the plan to come in to action. But how do I do this?

When I was younger I enjoyed the luxury of a gym membership - and the luxury of large blocks of time in which to spend at the gym. I wasn't in denial here, I realized that these days were long gone.

I thought about getting up early in the morning to exercise. Then I hit the snooze button. Morning comes all too quickly in my house.

Taking walks around the neighborhood with all the kids in tow? I used to get a lot of use out of a double stroller when I had two little ones. With number 3 I added a front pack and kept going. Somewhere along the way though, those walks ended. It was SO much work just to get everyone ready to go on the walk. There were SO many stops on the way to look at this and that and then there was the crying, arguing, fighting and complaining. You know what I mean.

So I had to think of something totally new and different, because I am in a totally new and different place in my life.

I finally hit on a perfect solution for me. Now I exercise in the late afternoon, right before dinner. Using a variety of tapes (my favorites are Kathy Smith, Corey Everson, The Firm) that I already owned, I do floor and step aerobics along with some strength training every day.

We have an upstairs room that isn't used often, it's waiting for a remodel. My husband hauled a TV with a DVD/CD combo up there and I put it in the middle of the room, facing one side. On the other side of the room I put three old twin mattresses on the floor and brought out the hoppity hops, a small slide and rocking horses out too. It brings a whole new meaning to the words "home gym".

Just about every day, while you will find Sissy and I sweating to the oldies, the five other children are enjoying a hour or so of loud and physical play. We are all together and I don't have to wonder what so and so is doing. This way, we've been able to consistently exercise for weeks now.

It's really worked for us.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

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Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice

My Girls

Monday, January 12, 2009

Family Library

'Member back in September when I re-organized the school room?

I took all of the many, many books out to make room for things like kids. I took them upstairs to an extra storage room, where they lay for quite a few weeks until I could devote a little time to them. It was very difficult for me to decide on a cataloging system for all those books. I didn't want to go quite so far as to go totally dewy decimal but I wanted to be able to go to the shelf, find a subject and get the ones I wanted in seconds.

I ended up with one floor to ceiling shelf of chapter book series, one the same size of chapter books A-Z by title, one of picture books organized by either fiction or non-fiction by subject, one section of biographies, one of missionaries, one section of geography and, lastly, history. So far, everything has fit in to those categories.

After many an evening spent sorting books, I finally have five shelves of orderly titles.

I wanted to make "going to the library" a special thing for my children. During Hanukkah, I made library cards for each of my readers. Macho Man was especially excited to see that he'd have access to all those books that he'd been missing since September and a few more he'd seen me haul home in thrift store bags.

I also "hired" a librarian. Her name is Stella Librella. Have no fear, she isn't as scary as she looks. See photo above. :)

So, from now on, Thursdays at 1:30 (also coincides with nap time!) at our house, the library is open. The children who have cards may come in and check out three books. The wonderful thing is that I know who has what, who's book is on the floor, etc. Oh, they have the option of writing a one page review of a book in exchange for an extra book at check out the next week. Sneaky writing assignment, if you know what I mean! :)

Although I still try to get in a weekly trip to the neighborhood library, I have to scrutinize titles and carefully sort through many books to find a few good ones for my children. It is wonderful for them to have the opportunity at our library to choose anything they find interesting. I know that all of the books we have here are "safe" to read, exhibiting our values. And, it's a lot of fun.

It's the small things that make the difference...

Although Weight Watchers does not say that you will loose weight just by hoping it away, they do say that these small changes will make a big difference. And, you know, it's true.

… About Small Eating Changes
1. Water, water, water, water. (Your skin will look great, too!)

2. Order half portions at restaurants, or share a full portion with somebody. Or ask for a "to-go" container when you order your food, and pack up half the portion before you even start eating.

3. Cut back on butter and mayo.

4. Limit fried foods to once or twice per week.

5. Use less or no sugar in your coffee or tea.

6. Replace ground beef with meatless products or ground turkey.

7. Try at least one new food every week. If you're bored with what you're eating, you're more likely to give up.

8. Eat fresh, raw veggies with sandwiches instead of chips.

9. Measure your portions until you're sure you know what a cup, a half-cup, and a tablespoon look like. This will help you practice portion control, an essential key to weight-loss success.

10. Try not to drink high-calorie beverages.

11. Dip your fork in a side of salad dressing before each bite instead of pouring it directly on your salad. You'll find that you are satisfied with much less than you usually put on.

12. Find healthy alternatives to all your favorite foods.

13. If you don't really love it, don't eat it.

14. Never eat out of a bag or box. Take out a measured/counted quantity of food and put it in a bowl. This way, you know exactly how much you're having.

15. Always eat something for breakfast.

16. Read food labels. Check serving sizes.

17. Add vegetables to everything.

18. Plan meals in advance; use that information to make out a complete shopping list.

19. Give food to guests to take home.

20. Write down everything you eat and drink, without fail.

21. Plan ahead for special occasions by accounting for higher-calorie foods before you eat them.
… About Small Exercise Changes
1. Take the stairs every single time they're an option. No more elevators or escalators.

2. Make exercise a priority, not an inconvenience.

3. Park far from your destination so you're forced to walk. This works at the supermarket, the mall, wherever. (This also helps you waste less time looking for a parking space!)

4. View tiring chores (shoveling snow, cleaning the house, weeding the garden, taking the garbage out, grocery shopping) as a chance to get in some activity.

5. Take the grocery cart back to the store when you're done loading your bags into your car.

6. If you take public transportation, get off one stop early.

7. Work out with a buddy.

I am praying for all of you who accepted the Fresh Thoughts Challenge! May you glorify God in the changes you make, and ultimately have a better witness for Him.

Sunday, January 11, 2009


Ladies, read my previous post, become encouraged, and then sign up for the Fresh Thoughts Challenge - I will be randomly selecting one of the participants to receive the very stack of magazines that I looked over for months, gleaning all sorts of information about dieting, exercise and meeting my goals. You too will enjoy hours of reading and great tips.

Hurry and it may be you that is chosen on 1/18!

Finding your inspiration

So. You've made a decision. Now how do you walk that out day by day to achieve your goal? How do you find inspiration to get there?

Before I changed my eating habits, several things happened. One was a slight push out of the darkness of denial.

My husband and I had tried to get life insurance for the both of us. We'd had a lot of red tape and issues due a move and change of doctors. It ended up that I was eight months pregnant by the time I was getting all the tests to obtain the insurance. I hadn't been weighed the whole time I was pregnant, I just told the midwife no. I knew I was fat and just gaining weight so why suffer and get on scale every week at the appointment? So back to the insurance clinic, I told the nurse that I just didn't want to know how much I weighed. She did something that I was NOT happy about at the time. She wrote the very high number in red marker on a blank sheet of paper and circled it. She put it right in front of me on the empty table. No more denial for me!

Then I had baby #6. I expected all of the aches and pains to go away after I had her. Well, they didn't. I'd never been at such a high weight and couldn't handle the knee pain, the constant tiredness and all the rest. I felt like I was 85 when I was days away from my 34th birthday. I couldn't look in the mirror, I didn't even recognize myself - forget about having my picture taken, I just couldn't face reality.

It surprises me now, but these negative experiences were not enough to change my habits.... or thinking.

Although I knew I had to do something, I didn't think that I could loose weight. I've tried and tried again. I just loose some and fall off the wagon and gain it all back. It's so difficult.

Then I had a surprise spark of inspiration. I was looking thorough the on-line library catalog trying to find books on a certain topic for my children. I came upon a new dieting book by a famous exercise guru that I loved years ago. I put a hold on the book, just to see what it was about.

As soon as I checked it out, I read through it, page after page. She gave all sorts of little tips and ideas. And, to tell you the truth, this is what got the ball rolling. I was encouraged by her words and began following her suggestions on eating. One thing that really stuck in my mind was getting away from sugar and balancing carbs with protein to keep the blood sugar spike from happening.

Another helpful find was a big stack of Weight Watcher's magazines my husband bought me. What fun it was to read those! I came away from many articles with new inspiration.

Then I found calorie counter plus on line, started a free account and began logging everything I ate, every day. I could easily find information on most any food.

I also went on line after the kids went to bed to read success stories - people who had done just what I wanted to do. They often added little things that they had done along the way to help them achieve their goals. I made note of them and if tried to add them to what I was already doing.

All of these positive, encouraging and informative avenues helped to give me the push I needed to get started. They were what I needed to just do the things I needed to.

I will leave you with one more thing. It's an article written by Pamela Spurling. I hope it encourages you to just do it, as it did me.

May 7, 2008 by Pamela.

The longer I live, the more I think that when people ask questions, they're not truly looking for answers. Not really. O, they may want results or they may want things to be different than they are — and they may ask questions regarding how to get there — but they don't really want answers. I guess, to be fair, I should say: we. We want good results — we want good conditions — but we don't really want to have to apply ourselves to the task or the answer to our question. We may think we do, but our actions betray us.

I'm thinking of lots of things today over which I've had conversations with mothers and friends, acquaintances and strangers. Sometimes I even think that what seem like questions or what seems like a desire for answers is really only a rhetorical question — maybe even a hypothetical question — so that if the answer given to that (hypothetical) question isn't an appealing answer, it can be dismissed as not applicable or impractical.

For example, I have had many women ask me, over the years, how to keep laundry done or how to tackle the problem of a mountain of laundry. In short I tell them: Just do it. If they're still with me, I tell them how to keep it done. Usually, women will tell me how my solution is impractical for their schedule/situation. You know… they'd be able to do it if they didn't have so many young ones, that they could do it if their laundry wasn't in the opposite end of the house, that they could do it if they had bigger/better/more machines. I tell them if they want to get their laundry done, and stay on top of it, they need to: Just do it. And after they do it one day, when they get up the next day, they need to: Just do it. And when they've done it two days in a row and have stayed on top of it, on the third day they need to: Just do it.

Now if the woman is still with me, then I tell her some keys to doing it and keeping it done — because, the longer I live, another thing I've learned is that people are looking for the secret. We all want to know that. I mean, consider the billion dollar diet industry… the billion+ dollar cosmetics industry… the billion+ dollar movie industry… the billion+ dollar romance novel industry. Everyone wants to know how to be thin, how to look beautiful and how to live a romantic life — but the truth is, no one wants to really do all it takes to be, do and have all that.

So back to the laundry — I guess I should say: there's a no excuse laundry solution; it is this: Just do it. Every day. If it's your first day of the plan, it starts like this. Get up… do your stuff and in that doing, start a load of laundry. After breakfast, switch the load from the washer to the dryer and start another load. Do more of your stuff. An hour later, *FOLD* the clothes right out of the dryer *AT* the dryer (not the sofa - the sofa is the great abyss and the bane of a mother's existence). When the clothes are folded into stacks according to their destinations, switch the load and start another one. GO put the clothes AWAY — or send a *reliable* helper to *do it* or to do it with you. Go do more stuff. An hour later, go back and… yes… sort of like lather, rinse, repeat — till it's done. For you it might be all done. For another woman, it might take another load or two. If you have older children who are capable of the task, then teach them to *do it* just like that. It's a good plan. It works if you work it.

So… the secret (since everyone is really looking for the secret)? The secret is to just do it… everyday… do it every day. One load, two loads or seven loads. Everyday, just do it — AT the machine and *put it all away* every day. You may then have a day where you just *don't* do laundry. It may be Sunday and Wednesday or whatever. That is a decision you can make and stick to… bcz you know you're *going to* do it the next day. That's not poor planning or poor performance, that's prior planning — that's time management — that's wisdom at work. But it's sort of like credit card use… if you don't regularly pay it all according to plan, then that's not a safe plan for you — time and actions speak louder and show more than words and intentions. Think of good housekeeping as good credit - you want high scores in both areas.

Well, at the outset I typed: No answers; just get me results, please. Well… I gave a TNT (tried `n true) answer… I know it's TNT bcz I do it and have done it and I don't have a laundry pile and a laundry mess (note: I didn't say I don't have a pile of laundry or that I don't have messy laundry — for I do have both — every day). A long time ago I wanted answers to this dilemma *and* I *needed* results… and when I was willing to apply the solution to the dilemma, I *got* results. And I get them every day. Good results in one area of homemaking quite literally leads to good results in other areas as well.

Last night… as I snuggled into my warm bed, I heard the lulling hum of the girls working away. One girl in the kitchen and two more in the laundry area. One was doing the dishes and one was washing clothes and one was drying them — all humming away like a well oiled machine (quite literally), I drifted off to sleep — telling my husband as I do many nights: thank you for those great girls, I so appreciate the blessing they are. When I woke up this morning, I was mindful that they had done a nice job… It's very easy to have the day already smoothly underway if you: have a plan that works and *work* the plan that works. Whatever your plan is - plan your work and work your plan.

As the morning chores routine was underway, I reminded the children that the "girls" had been busy once again while they were sleeping and had left them partially completed work to carry on. Our plan was already underway… we all just needed to keep working the plan. If we really and truly want solutions to our problems, we will be glad to find and apply answers .

Saturday, January 10, 2009

What did one snowman say to the other?

What did one snowman say to the other?
"Do you smell carrots?"

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Great Deal on Books

If you are a homeschooling momma AND like a good deal, this one is for you.

Go here to check out the Scholastic dollar days for teachers.

Sloppy Joes

Can you believe that, up until my mid-twenties, I didn't know that you could make sloppy joes with out one of those little packets from the grocery store ? Yes, really. Since that little revelation, I've researched sloppy joe recipes for years and this week I finally found a keeper. Try this one out for your family... it's slightly altered by me but from a new book called Eat This Not That for Kids. A very interesting little read.

Sloppy Joes

1 lb. hamburger
1 medium onion, diced
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1 medium green bell pepper, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup ketchup
1 Tbs. chili powder
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
4 buns

A little spicy and very tasty. We used 1 1/2 pounds and it went for all seven of us. Yum!