Saturday, March 1, 2014

The Back Button

As I'm cleaning the bathroom today, I'm thinking that I have a lot of great tips for how to really get the bathroom clean and perhaps I should post them on my blog. My blog. My poor forgotten blog that I visit about once per year and add a post about how I'm going to change everything. Poor blog. Anyway, I realized that I was thinking I probably should not post my cleaning tips because not one of my cleaning products is at all natural, and therefore, worthy of being poo-pooed by some random mommy that only uses vinegar to clean pee off of her boy's bathroom floor. And I continued to ponder why I felt that way and realized it wasn't right. I aksed, what is wrong with people? Why have we gotten so far that it isn't ok to admit that you use bleach on a mold spot on your shower? Or that you love Windex for it's ability to get a mirror nice and shinny without streaks. Or that when you are finished with your difficult task of defunking (is that a word?) the bathroom that you can't admit that you sat down with a Diet Coke? So there you are. It's out there for all to comment upon. And I'm writing a manifesto against it.

 I remember a couple years ago, another blogger had kindly posted a freezer meal plan. She took time out of her day to bless us with how she pulled off filling her freezer. Do you know what the comments said? She had used too many plastic bags and she was a glutton for all the food she was packing away. How could she be so terrible to want to feed her family?

And what about a post that I saw yesterday that was about steps you could take to make your mornings smoother? This mom proposed that you could have a 5-day meal plan and offered some suggestions for meals. Another mom commented on pinterest that she doesn't know anybody that could afford to make those meals.

Or the multitude of other recipes offered out there by bloggers all over. "We only eat clean." "Won't fit my paleo plan." Or, "Great. But my family doesn't eat wheat." And maybe the recipes tout that it uses only ingredients from Aldi? Which naturally comes with a poster warning about the additives in the food or that the beef has been suspected to contain horse meat. The warning posts drive me crazy!

Or a facebook personality that I follow that lost over 100 pounds on Weight Watchers. People have the nerve to tell her that low carb/high protein is the only way to lose weight and that her meals have too many carbs. She has told them multiple times that she doesn't eat low carb.

And then there's always the apology post. Apologizing for using only white flour because that's what you had or PB2 (frankenfood, I guess) instead of peanut flour? I noticed more and more bloggers and forum posters feeling the need to explain themselves for their choices ahead of time because they already know that someone will take the discussion down that path.

You can probably tell that I read a lot of blogs, facebook, and forums. I've watched the above trends continue to build over the years and I am concerned about the subtle bullying and smugness that is pervasive throughout many posters in these communities. Why can't we keep our own opinions to ourselves or maybe even just think about whether or not the opinion is even appropriate? You do realize that you can think it and not say it, right? Not everyone eats the same way. There are probably 100s of diet plans out there that all have information that contradict each other. And not everyone has thought through the latest environmental news on plastic bags. Or insert whatever topic that really didn't ask for your opinion because the article was trying to give you something useful.

Why do we continue to pick and pick and pick? Is it really that hard to think, "Hmm, that doesn't fit what I need, so I'll hit the back button and keep searching until I find something that does fit?" instead of leaving a smug comment?

Please understand, that I'm not saying that some posts don't lend themselves to discussion and that you can't post your opinion, I'm just asking that you consider some things before you post your smug reply.

THINK

Is it True?
Is it Helpful?
Is it Inspiring?
Is it Necessary?
Is it Kind?

Yes, clich├ęs are necessary especially when they drive home a point and give us a nice formula. Really think about the author or poster's heart before you try to pull them down. Think about what type of reply you would like if you posted something on your blog or facebook page.

I know, I know. I just made the internet angry. Long live the back button!



Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Another Revamp day!!!

The weekend went well! I'm continuing to stay off the computer, generally until evening. DD is brushing-up on Algebra, so I have to get online to work with her for her online course (aleks, if you are a homeschooler and care. ;))

I spent much of Saturday working on reorganizing the laundry room to get it to functional at minimum. Pleasant to be in might be a stretch since it is in the basement of a house built in 1903. But this blog will not be about trying to make my home look like Better Homes and Garden model homes. Rather, working on being realistic and functional.

Another great thing that happened today was that I had some outside help! She worked on the main level and I worked on cleaning up my bedroom and the boys' bedroom. (The boys' bedroom is a never ending saga. Let's put that to rest, already!) I have had cleaning help in the past and loved it. DH makes fun of me for cleaning for the cleaning lady but I'm honestly not cleaning. I'm picking up and tidying. All the while leaving the dust bunnies behind! An added bonus to having the help is that I'm forced to tidy the house. Afterwards, nobody want to mess it up since it looks so nice. I'm hoping this will allow me to focus on some of the organizing projects that need to be done to make my home function better. I feel a lot more caught-up!

I'm still working on Bible study as well. It's part of my revamp! I just started "A Call to Die". In it, I've been challenged to give something up or change something drastically for 40 days. Good thing I've already started that. Only now, I'm going to wait until sunset to turn on the laptop. This is hard, btw. But it's part of working fixing the inner selfish child in me. I want to serve my family and my heavenly father better!

Anyway, laundry room before and afters coming soon! I wish I would have taken a pic of my vanity today before I cleaned it up. I'm a toiletry/make-up junky!!! But it's all put away now and looks great!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Revamp my life day 1

The husband forgot to take my laptop to work this morning. Fortunately, my daughter hid it as soon as I told her what I was trying to accomplish. It's late but I drank too much caffienne this evening while visiting with a friend. The boys are on a scout camp out. I feel bad for them because it is very cold and rainy outside.

So my first day was just okay. I did make it through and accomplished a number of things during the day. The biggest one was my quiet time. I dusted off "My Utmost for His Highest" by Oswald Chambers. I always find this to be a good place to start when I'm really lost. And today I was really blown away by what the passage was about considering the changes that I'm trying to make.

Beware of the tendency to ask the way when you know it perfectly well. Take the initiative— stop hesitating— take the first step. Be determined to act immediately in faith on what God says to you when He speaks, and never reconsider or change your initial decisions. If you hesitate when God tells you to do something, you are being careless, spurning the grace in which you stand. Take the initiative yourself, make a decision of your will right now, and make it impossible to go back. Burn your bridges behind you, saying, “I will write that letter,” or “I will pay that debt”; and then do it! Make it irrevocable.

We have to get into the habit of carefully listening to God about everything, forming the habit of finding out what He says and heeding it. If, when a crisis comes, we instinctively turn to God, we will know that the habit has been formed in us. We have to take the initiative where we are, not where we have not yet been.
 
 And the corresponding verse:

For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. 8 For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.9 But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins. (2 Peter 1: 5-9)
 
 WOW! My realization that I spend a lot of time "asking the way" about homeschooling an housekeeping when I already know perfectly well what I must do. I will be working on the habit of carefully listening to God. I already heard that small voice yesterday when I made the decision to start revamping my life.

So here it goes:
  • I will stop using my computer as an escape and a time waster.
  • I will turn to God more and my computer less (especially when I need answers on managing my time & life).
  • I will continue taking steps toward being a woman who seeks God in all things.
  • I will continue to diligently teach my children.
  • I will continue steps to maintain a less than perfect, yet orderly home.

If you are interested, "My Utmost for His Highest" is available for free here: http://utmost.org/take-the-initiative/. It's a great devotional and I often find it speaking to my situation!

I'm going to be working on more specific goals for revamping my life. But right now daily time with my Heavenly Father is the highest priority. I want to make sure that I'm starting with a firm foundation and not building "castles in the sand" as I have so many other times before. I never burned the bridges as referenced above. There was always a path right back into my mess.



Thursday, May 9, 2013

Revamp my life bootcamp!!! Day Zero

It's been awhile.

Life. Is. Good.

I really can't complain. But something is always just a little bit wonky. The dishes are never fully finished or that laundry pile is just a little too high. I'm just a little bit overweight. (Now. I actually use to be a lot.) A history or science lesson isn't all the way finished. There's one too piles of papers or dishelved closet that I hope nobody open. Some days I hope that I don't have an unexpected visitor! Disorganization haunts me around every corner.  And as that builds up, I get more and more overwhelmed and find myself in a place that I'm frozen. Even a baby step seems useless.

Overall, I can't get it together at the level that I want it together. My desired level is beyond what is realistic. But I know that I'm fed up now and I know that I need to do something different.

But, today I made a decision. I don't want to stay this way. I've been reading Cleaning House and it has inspired me to start my own experiment. It will mostly involve me changing my heart but hopefully that will extend to my own children through example. I'm putting myself through a Revamp My Life boot camp. And it starts tomorrow with the first Revamp. My precious laptop is going to work with my husband. No more getting sucked into hours of pinterest, facebook, reading blogs, shopping online, reading homeschooling forums, reading about cleaning and doing laundry. I'm going to actually do some of this stuff.

Enter this blog. I need a place to record the results of my experiment with unplugging during the day. Track what happens when I make a change as a reminder to not end up back in this same place like I have so many times in the past. And I think that relaying it to the world might just help at holding me accountable (or my readership of two, LOL!) But still. Someday, someone will stumble upon my post and realize that they need to do the same. And hopefully my success and failures will inspire them to jump in as well.

Day One will start where it should. I'm inviting my Heavenly Father into this journey and give the first day to Him. That's right. Part One will be to start revamping my spiritual life. I'll still be working on some of the other stuff, afterall, what else will I do without a computer all day? Yep. All the stuff I haven't been doing.  I still have kids to homeschool and errands to run, too!

So here it goes.  I get the computer back tomorrow evening but I won't even be home until late at night to access it. Do you think I'll get the shakes? ;) Don't answer that!

Friday, October 28, 2011

sick

I didn’t sleep at all last night because of the cough. I went to see a doctor today and she said I’m definitely sick! I have a sinus infection and bronchitis. I was really feeling it today when I went in. So now I have antibiotics and will hopefully be on the mend. DH came home for the day. Overall boring an eventful day since I took some cough medicine and went back to bed. I’m really sick if I go back to bed.

more to come…

Thursday, October 27, 2011

another day...

I spend much of my day correct my 9yo who is always asking, “May me and E have a snack?” I always respond with “Who?” “Oh, I mean may E and I have a snack.” So, my blog heading is driving me nuts. I don’t know what I was thinking when I put that together. I know better!!! But the thought of redecorating my blog is up there with organizing my socks, so I’ll just have to live with it.
Today was interesting. In the breaks between hacking up a lung, I managed to get the boys through their lessons. But it can never stay serious around here for too long. E asked me if he could go to the bathroom in the middle of his math lesson and come back looking like this:
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He saw the photofunia app on my phone and wanted his picture on a “Billboard”. At first I thought he was asking me to put his photo on a real billboard. I was really confused. I eventually figured it out and this is what he chose. I crack up every time I look at it. This goofball finished two reading and math lessons today so maybe he needs a stache everyday?
I didn’t get much done in the way of housekeeping today. But I found out about a really wonderful feature on my oven! I wanted to make dinner in the crock pot but when I pulled the chicken out it was all freezer burned. I had to toss it. Sad smile Fortunately, I made a couple freezer meals a few weeks ago. I pulled one out. But then I realized that I would never remember to put it in the oven at 3:30 to cook. So I set it in the oven and programmed the oven to start at 3:30 and turn off at 5:00. It worked perfectly! The dish had some time to thaw before cooking and came out of the oven smelling heavenly.
Laundry was towels. And L helped fold a couple clean loads left over. We have to get better at that. But I think overall the laundry situation is much improved. Tomorrow is L’s turn to wash her clothes.
Tomorrow is a busy day.The kid’s have art class in the morning and A has physical therapy in the afternoon. We’ll have to squeeze in some school work in between all that. There are no plans for tomorrow night.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Here I am again…

I’m blogging again! But I don’t have too much to say. The voice is getting better. But I’m still hacking away.

WP_000041So another day of trying the new routine. Since I end up in a coughing fit every time I talk, my little guys worked on their Classical Conversations memory work on their own.  I put our CC memory work up on the fridge. Our kitchen table overlooks the fridge so we will spend some time at dinner practicing the CC memory work. L doesn’t have to memorize the foundations work in her Challenge class since they are memorizing all the countries, geography terms, pages of Latin vocabulary, and later anatomy. But she usually ends up memorizing the foundations work by osmosis. She even has the Veritas Press timeline partly memorized. Amazing!

I made the boys clean up their room today. What a mess!!! They didn’t get the clean gene either. But our biggest issue is the massive amounts of Lego craziness that is in their room. Couple that with poorly utilized (or maybe even worthless?) storage units and it is an absolute disaster in their room. Most days I don’t even look in their room. It makes me cRAzY!!!

Well, I’m coming clean here and I’m going to post and before and after shot. The sad thing is that there room still isn’t finished. I’m trying to get it organized and cleaned-up because I want to paint the room in the very near future. I bought them cute Camo bedding and the periwinkle walls as just as they were when we moved in. Not “cool” for a boy’s room!

Here’s the mess:

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Here’s that corner after. Not too bad for the five minutes it will stay clean!

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The other four corners are still in class 1 disaster status. And will be cleaned over the next few days. While working on this mess, I am also switching out their summer clothes to winter clothes. So it’s a huge undertaking!

Sadly the boys are not to get out any more Legos until they keep the ones that are already out on the table off the floor and somewhat organized. It’s such an issue that something had to be done. They are lucky I didn’t just take all of them away.

Today was their laundry day. There were three loads from their room. I still have one to fold and put away. But I broke E’s Plasma Ball and the glass pieces are in that basket. Sad smile I have to shake the clothes out outside. (and I have to find a new plasma ball.)

And our afternoon/dinner routine is improving. I have to start dinner at 4:15 to have it ready in time. I think tomorrow I’ll do a crockpot meal so I can spend more time in the boys’ room.

More to come…