What I learned in January….

What

Well January is all wrapped up and there are some things I learned this month that I thought I would share.  Emily Freeman over at her blog has a link up party each month for others to share what they learned too.

  1. Democracy Jeans.  Ok so it is was time for me to accept that Old Navy or Target might not make the best jeans for a 42 year old Mom of 4. I went shopping with a friend to Nordstrom Rack (which I hardly ever do) and she was exchanging a pair of Democracy Jeans for a different size.  I decided to give these jeans a try.  To say I love them would be an understatement.  They have a stretchy band around the waist that makes my muffin top so happy. (Did I just admit to my muffin top online?) Try them out for $39 they were so worth it.  
  2. Kids remember what to do when there is money involved.  We could talk for days about philosophies on kids doing work around the house.  They are part of our family and are expected to help out. But in our house this was a constant battle.  I was nagging all the time and so frustrated with kids not taking care of their own stuff. This month we started using Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace Jr.  It has been a game changer around here.  All four kids have charts with chores which they get paid for on Sunday.  I have nagged less and more has been done this week than ever before.  They have to do their jobs every day to earn commision at the end of the week.  If they miss one day then no pay.  Check it out it.
  3. Planning for lunch after church on Sunday is a great idea.  Our church doesn’t get out till 12:30 and we get home around 1 each week.  This makes lunch late and people are starving.  The last 3 weeks I have put something in the crockpot for lunch.  It has been so nice to walk into lunch already prepared.
  4. I love Periscope.  Are you familiar with Periscope?  It is kind of like a live YouTube.  You can subscribe to people on the app and then you will be notified when they are live. You can interact and comment while they are talking.  It has been fun to get to know new bloggers and also to hear the voices behind their words.  My favorite scoper is Stacey from Humorous Homemaking.  She is really funny.  I am thinking about starting to use Periscope. I would love to have you join me soon.
  5. Motherhood can be lonely. This year is a big year of transition for me.  My baby is in school everyday for a full day.  So that means I can count on alone time 5 days a week.  I dreamed of these days and am loving them.  But there is something interesting that has happened I have gotten lonely.  Although I love the quiet and the freedom it brings me, it is a real transition.  I am looking at this time as a chance for new opportunities and new friendships.  Also being confident that I will find my groove in this new stage but that it will take time.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Daily Routines that help me stay Organized

 DailyRunning a household is hard work.  It never ends and you can get behind so quickly. Laundry, food, messy bathrooms, paperwork, and spills (oh the spills that never end). For me a messy house makes me crazy and very cranky.  I can’t find anything and I feel overwhelmed just looking around my house.  

If you do a little pinterest search you will find many plans to help you keep your house clean. Many times I would set out to completely overhaul how I ran a household.  I would print off check lists, buy new 3 ring binders to keep my lists in and let my family know things were going to change around here. But what I soon realized was someone else’s plan wasn’t going to completely work for my house. I also would fail so quickly and be so discouraged.   Then I would be so frustrated and want to completely give up or yell at my kids because they were not following the plan.

If you do a little pinterest search you will find many plans to help you keep your house clean. Many times I would set out to completely overhaul how I ran a household.  I would print off check lists, buy new 3 ring binders to keep my lists in and let my family know things were going to change around here. But what I soon realized was someone else’s plan wasn’t going to completely work for my house. I also would fail so quickly and be so discouraged.   Then I would be so frustrated and want to completely give up or yell at my kids because they were not following the plan.  

Instead I realized that I needed to make small changes that I could be consistent with, so they would become habits or regular routines. Over the years I have established a few daily routines that have really helped with the running of my house.  The things I share I have slowly added to my daily routines.  Start small and be consistent and slowly you will begin to see a difference.

One of the first places I started was with the Fly Lady.  Have you heard of her?  She says we are all living in CHAOS (Can’t Have Anyone Over Syndrome).  The Fly Lady is all about routines as well.  Check her out for some great ideas.  I will tell you know if you try everything you will quit but she encourages you to start slowly. She was recently a guest on Mud Stories a podcast by my friend Jacque Watkins.  The Fly Lady is hilarious and so encouraging.

These are 5 things I do (most) days that help bless me and keep my house running more smoothly.

  1. Do your dishes before you go to bed.  We run the dishwasher every night and make sure there are no dirty dishes in the sink.  Fly Lady calls this “Shine your Sink”.  The dishes will only be worse in the morning.  Waking up to a clean kitchen is a gift to yourself.  My sweet husband empties the dishwasher before he leaves for work at 6 am.
  2. Make your bed and clean up your own room.  For so many years my room was the dumping grounds.  I never made my bed and it was a huge mess.  I figured people don’t usually see it so why does it matter.  This goes back to taking care of yourself.  A clean room is a gift to you and your husband if you are married.  If you tidy it up every day is shouldn’t get too messy.  
  3. Wipe off the bathroom counters and toilets every day.  This too is from the Fly Lady she calls it “Swish and Swipe”.  I keep Clorox wipes, toilet bowl cleaner and a brush in both bathrooms.  This way I do not have to carry cleaners around the house.  There is toothpaste gunk in the sink everyday from my kids.  Simply cleaning each day makes it much easier.  
  4. Do 1 load of laundry to completion every day.  I start a load at night, switch it in the morning when I wake up, and fold it during the day.  Then my kids put their laundry away each day.  This habit is probably the hardest for me to keep up on.  But I have found I much prefer doing 1 load a day then 8 loads once a week.  
  5. 15 minutes of clean up before I go to bed.  I set a timer after dinner and just put things away.  You can get a lot put away in 15 minutes if you know you can quit when the timer goes off.  

All of these habits put together have made a huge difference in the chores around the house.  But like I said each one was a slow new habit.  I would challenge you to pick one area of your house that is the most frustrating and make a plan of how you can build a new habit around that problem.

Things you should know about me. (Declare 4×4)

This next week I am attending my very first blogging conference in Dallas Texas.  The name of the conference is Declare. It is a gathering of Christian women who write about declaring God’s word online.  So in order to get to know everyone a little bit better Declare is hosting a link up party and asking everyone to share some fun facts about ourselves. beach family

4 Fun Facts About Me.

  1. I have been married to my sweet husband for 13 years.  We met when we were 18 and dated off and on for 8 years including breaking up 3 times.  He is am amazing blessing to me and the best father to our kiddos.
  2. God has blessed me with 4 kids Cadyn 11, Griffin 9, Tanner 6, and Madeline Joy almost 4.  I always wanted 4 kids and had no idea how crazy having 4 kids would be.  Being a mom of a bigger family has taught me more about God and myself than I ever imagined.
  3. Before I was a stay at home Mom I was an elementary school teacher.  My favorite grade to teach was 1st because I love to be a part of kids learning to read.
  4. I have lived all over California.  Some of my childhood was spent in Southern California but most of it in the San Francisco Bay Area in a town called Pleasanton.  I went to college in San Diego and now live in the Los Angeles area.

4 Endearing Quirks

  1. I don’t want anyone to touch my feet with their feet.  Like if my someone’s feet touch mine under the table YUCK! A pedicure doesn’t bother me in fact I love a good pedicure.
  2. I love old school hip hop and rap music.  When I listen to it in the car by myself then I imagine that I am an amazing dancer.
  3. When I am given change at a drive thru it grosses me out for the person to touch my hand.  Especially if they have long dirty nails.
  4. I have a really dry sense of humor.  Most of the time my jokes are only for those to hear sitting by me.  I have dreams of being a stand up comedian some day.

4 Things About My Blog/Writing.

  1. I have been reading blogs since 2005 and even started a blog way back then.  I have always wanted to write more consistently and be part of the blogging community.  So Declare is a big move for me that I am beyond thrilled for.
  2. Writing is not something I feel very confident about.  I was more of a math and sports girl myself.
  3. My blog name, Laundry Prayers, comes from all the time I have spent in the garage at the washing machine praying for strength, wisdom, and forgiveness to get me through another day as a Mom.
  4. I am not a grammar nazi in fact I am sure there are lots of mistakes and misuses of commas.

4 Of My Favorite Things.

  1. I love the St Louis Cardinals and have been a huge fan my whole life.  My parents grew up outside of St Louis and have generations of Cardinal fans in their family.  Unfortunately my husband is a Dodger fan.  My 3 boys are Cardinal fans but my daughter is being swayed by her Dad.
  2. Dr Pepper is my drink of choice.   I would drink it all the time if it wasn’t so bad for me. Hoping to find some fun Dr Pepper stuff in Texas.
  3. When going on a road trip I would always choose chips over cookies for a snack. I am a salty snack fan.
  4. This year I have started baking my own bread.  I have made sourdough, sandwich, hamburger buns, English muffins, and breadsticks.  By far the most delicious kind is pretzel bread. I wrote about my bread making here.

4x4 Declare