Monday, July 23, 2012

Plan for Pinterest Week

I am planning a Pinterest Week.  Starting the morning of August 9th and concluding the evening of August 15th, I'm planning to actually do, as many as I possibly can, the items I have pinned.  We will eat pinned recipes. I will use those toilet paper rolls I have been saving.  The kids will be occupied with so many new activities their heads will spin.  Organization will occur at a lightening pace, and craftiness will abound!!!  At least, that is the plan.

Why don't you join me?  It will be fun, and I'll post my successes and failures.  You could share yours.  And we can fill up our "done" boards before school starts.  Come on, join me.  I DARE YOU!!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

How To Kill A Monster Mess

Don't you hate it when the mess monster invades your home?  Sometimes it comes with a construction project, sometimes with a pile of company, and sometimes it just jumps out of nowhere.  It is easy to be overwhelmed by a huge mess, but you can kill a giant mess with patience, persistence, and a few tips.

#1  Clear out a pile place
This should not take long.  You just need to clear a large area so that you can make piles.  In a bedroom, I will strip the bed, put the sheets in the wash, and tumble the comforter or hang it out on the line.  In  other rooms, I just push things in the middle of the room to the edges so that there is an empty space in the middle of the room.  This doesn't have to be pretty and should take no more than 5 minutes.

#2 Go to the corner
No, you are not in trouble!  A corner is a logical starting point for two reasons.  First, things tend to pile up in corners.  Cleaning out a corner will give you a great sense of accomplishment.  Two, the starting point is defined by the room, not the mess.  As you clean, you will always be able to tell how far you have come.

#3 Work clockwise picking up everything you come to
This is the real trick.  Work around the room, dealing with EVERYTHING you come to.  You are just sorting and putting away in this step - no dusting, sweeping, mopping, or vaccuming.  If an item belongs in the room you are working in, put it away.  If it belongs in another room, put it in a pile to be taken to that room later.  If you don't know what to do with it, figure it out QUICKLY.  If you can't, put it in a pile to be decided on later.  As you continue cleaning, the solution may come to you.   The key is to not get stuck on one item or project.  If you can't fit something in a cabinet it belongs in, DON"T STOP to clean the cabinet.  Lay the item beside the cabinet and tackle that project another day.  STAY FOCUSED on the clockwise picking up of the room you are in, working your way around the room until you have returned to your starting point. 

#4 Put up those piles
Now take each pile to the room it belongs and put those things away.  You will be surprised how much time and energy you save by first gathering and then taking things to other rooms.  My mother-in-law always says "If you don't use your head, you;ll have to use your feet." True, dat!

#5 Decision time
All that should be left of the clutter is the pile of things you couldn't decide about.  Now it is time to decide.  Should you keep it?  If you need it and can find a place for it, the yes.  If not, no.  If you need it, but you have no place for it, you don't really need it.  If you truly needed it, you would get rid of something else to give this item a home.  To keep something, it must have a place. Period. 

#6 Finish up
Get your cleaning supplies, and look start in the same corner, and go around the room dusting.  Don't forget to dust the middle of the room at the end.  Now clean the glass, scrub any fixtures, vaccum, sweep, and mop.  Now, get a glass of iced tea and a good book.  Go sit in the room you just cleaned (even if it is a bathroom!) and enjoy the fruits of your labors.  Bask in the calming cleanliness and the waves of accomplishment.

Monday, July 9, 2012

A Silver Lining

laundry...............................402 piles done today
nasty diapers......................648 changed today
fever..................................102 and holding

cuddles from a sick boy...........priceless.

(the numbers listed in the first two items represent the feelings of a tired momma and are not to be taken as true or accurate,)

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Our PA Vacation

 We had a great vacation in Philadelphia visiting my sister's family.  Here's a quick look at our trip.

The first day we went to Valley Forge and Arnold's Family Fun Center.  Valley Forge was impressive to Lyndol and me.  The size of the place was surprising to me.  For some reason I had imagined Valley Forge to be a small fort, but it is acres and acres of ground camped on and held by the colonial troops.  Lyndol and I would like to take an adults only trip up there sometime.  The children had more fun at Arnold's, which is no surprise, but I do hope that one day they will appreciate their visit to this piece of American history.

The next day we went to historical Philadelphia.  This was on the 3rd, so that we avoided the crowd on the 4th.  The kids were able to experiment with a printing press, make crafts, and ride the carousel in Franklin Square.  There were several locations around historical Philadelphia and at Valley Forge where they had storytellers sharing pieces of history in a kid friendly fashion.  We all enjoyed the wonderful talents of the Once Upon A Nation writers and storytellers.  We went to the Constitution Center, the Betsy Ross House, and Franklin Square.  Lyndol went to Ben Franklin's grave.  We had done Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell on a previous trip, so we bypassed those.

On the 4th, we watched the parade in Lansdowne.  That is the community where my sister's family lives.  They had a fire eater, period costumes, antique cars and bicycles and lots of candy.  After the parade, we walked back to the house and did a family photo shoot.  We spent the afternoon with the little ones catching up on sleep, and the older ones playing Catan, Cities and Knights.  Then we walked back down to the school for the fireworks display.  I must say the display was HIGHLY impressive, but you will have to take my word for it, because my battery power ran out.  

The last day we were there, we went to Ocean City, NJ and played at the beach.  It was the first time for all of my family, except myself, to swim in the ocean.  They loved it!  We all did.  Daniel spent most of his time fist-fighting the waves.  He was so happy punching something that would fight back and not get him in trouble!  Hannah enjoyed riding the waves and looking for and gathering shells.  Unfortunately, one of the shells she gathered was still occupied by it's crab.  This fact was not discovered until she washed her shells the next morning and the dead hermit crab fell out.  YUCK!!  

We had a wonderful time, but we are happy to be home.  I hope all of you are able to enjoy the blessings of simply being home, in your place, with your family, living a wonderfully normal and special life.