Monday, April 29, 2013

Menu Monday

Monday: Left overs
Tuesday: Taco Night
Wednesday: Mac and Cheese
Thursday: Chicken and Rice
Friday: Pizza at Church

This is what we are planing on eating this week!  Hope you all have a fabulous week!



Friday, April 26, 2013

Time Management for the Busy Homemaker: How do you find time? (Part 2)

This a 2nd of a series, if you missed part one please check it out!

In my own personal life right now, I have been delving into the area of time management.  It started when I read this fantastic book from Jim Wideman (a children's ministry guy) to help me get more ministry done in my short 32 hour week.  I have been leaving daily with undone tasks, and consistently feel like I can not finish my work in my allotted time.  However the principles are things that every homemaker needs to know.  You CAN find time in your schedule, I promise!  In part one we dreamed about what we would do with our extra time and our goals, now it is time to look at how to find the time for those things.

Here are some basics for how to get started.

1) Track your current time.
How do you currently spend your time?  Take out a piece of paper, and actually write down what you do and when you do it.  Do it in 15 minute (or smaller) increments.  Do this for a week.  Seriously track your minutes, physically write it down and track what you are actually doing with your time.

2) Evaluate your current time usage.
Are you getting sucked into menial tasks that can cause you to loose time?  What are things that you can cut out?  Do you really need to watch 5 hours of TV per week?  I found that I was watching TV out of habit, during scheduled blog time, or hubby hang out time.   Do you spend 2 hours doing something that should take less?  Do you not do things you should be doing?  Ask the hard questions.

3) Figure out your needs versus your wants.
I would love to zone out for an hour or two a night before bed to decompress and just enjoy some TV (yes, I'm picking on TV here because it is my issue, however for you it could be pintrest, apps on a portable device, video games etc). How much of this down time do you need?  Is it productive?  Is it eating time away from other things you need to be doing?

4) Eliminate the time wasters.
Here comes the hard step.  Getting rid of or seriously limiting the things that you don't need, that don't add to your life and things that are a distraction.  It is as simple and difficult as that.

5) Discover your "free" time
There are some other ways to create more free time (I will discuss those in a later post).  However, discovering and changing your habits that are sucking time out of your day, will give you "extra time" to do the things you want to do.



Thursday, April 25, 2013

Time Management for the Busy Homemaker: The Dream of an Extra Hour (part 1)

I don't know of a single homemaker who doesn't tell me they are busy and/or tiered.  We all have a lot going on, we all have a ton on our plate.  What would you do with an extra hour a day?  Dream with me here.  

With an extra hour a day I could...

... read a book
... craft
... hang pictures on my wall
... some of the 1 million DYI projects I want to do for my home
... update the blog facebook page (oops hangs head in shame)
... actually do the dishes
... talk with or hang out with friends

This list could take awhile.  I will come back to it I promise, but first we need to think about what we want in life.  What are things that you really want to do (long term) with your life?  For myself, I have many dreams I wish I could turn into reality, I just don't have the time .  

What if you could find the time?

What if we could make you the time?

It honestly all comes down to priorities.  What do you want your priority to be.  You make room for the big stuff in your life first (God, family etc) and then you can figure out how to make more time for the little things.  Don't be tricked in to thinking that you don't have any time.  I have recently discovered that you can make time by shifting things around a bit, and find more time to do the things that matter to you.  

For example, tonight for me it was taking the time after dinner to blow bubbles with my adorable two year old.  He is now in bed, the dishes are mostly done, and I am able to focus on my blog, and be happy knowing that my 2 year old thought blowing bubbles with mommy was the best part of his day.

A week ago I would have told him I'm to busy, but I have found a way to make the time.  I'm really excited to share these tips with you because I think every homemaker wants more time, weather you use it to sneak away and take a bubble bath, to work on projects, to blog, to spend more time with your family doing the things you want, or if you want to start a new project soon (like grad school).  I hope that you will dream big with what you will do with your "extra" time.  

Take a few minutes and think about your priorities and goals in life.  What are they?  How much time do you think you spend on the things that are most important to you?  How much time do you think you spend on things that don't matter at all?

In part 2 we will be discussing how you spend your time currently, stay tuned!  



Monday, April 22, 2013

Menu Monday

Monday - Leftovers (from my birthday dinner, super excited for this)
Tuesday - Pizza
Wednesday - Mac and Cheese
Thursday/Friday/Saturday - One will be chicken and rice, the other two will be out with family.

This is what we are eating this week!  What are you guys eating?


Friday, April 19, 2013

General Update

Our little home has been full of hustle and bustle lately.  I honestly wouldn't have it any other way.  I love all of the wonderful things we do together.  Even if it can be a bit overwhelming sometimes.

Here are a few pics of our last few weeks...

We have spent lots of time at the park
Last weekend we bravely went camping with two little ones, details on this later.

We have been doing lots of family walks.
And lots of swimming in Grandma and Grandpa's pool.
We had a very Happy Easter, quite, but happy.
We have continued our Monday night game nights, and they are always a blast
Brother and Sister have had lots of fun together too.  
Watching movies
Doing puzzles

Life, it is truly wonderful.  Even if it is busy, and crazy.  We have so many wonderful things that happen in our daily life.  I am one happy and grateful mommy!


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Through the valley

Thank you for allowing me to be raw&unedited and then staying with me as I took a step away from this blog.  It was a needed break to get things in order and refocus/reground myself.

It has been good.  Really good.

I have been sucked into the hustle and bustle of life and have not taken the time that I should to stop and focus.  To more firmly root myself in Christ, and to draw my strength from him.  How easy it is to not do that.

1. Come Thou Fount of every blessing
Tune my heart to sing Thy grace;
Streams of mercy, never ceasing,
Call for songs of loudest praise
Teach me some melodious sonnet,
Sung by flaming tongues above.
Praise the mount! I'm fixed upon it,
Mount of God's unchanging love.

2. Here I raise my Ebenezer;
Hither by Thy help I'm come;
And I hope, by Thy good pleasure,
Safely to arrive at home.
Jesus sought me when a stranger,
Wandering from the fold of God;
He, to rescue me from danger,
Interposed His precious blood.

3. O to grace how great a debtor
Daily I'm constrained to be!
Let that grace now like a fetter,
Bind my wandering heart to Thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here's my heart, O take and seal it,
Seal it for Thy courts above.

There is a reason that come thou fount is my favorite hymn.  It is so easy for us to derail, to be distracted, to be entangled in sin.  It is only through Him that I can do this whole wife/mom/full time worker/homemaking and life thing.

I am still challenged, I am still growing, I am still working on how to do this whole thing.  I think that is the thing, we are all still in process.  Some are further along than us, others simply appear that way and sometimes, we get ahead of ourselves and think we are further along than we really are and we try to do it all on our own to prove it to ourselves.  (*coughASHLEYcough *self finger point*)

The truth is, we can't.

That is the beauty of it though, realizing that we can't do everything and do it perfectly releases us from the burden of having to.

We don't have to do it all.

We don't have to do it all perfectly.

We are free.

In this freedom we can choose to do what we want, and the best thing is the biggest power source in the universe is on my side.

How easy it is to forget, the grace of it all.  There is that word again.  Grace.  My daily grace challenge has been amazing so far.  Extending it to others is so freeing.  Especially my husband.  Why is it sometimes so hard to do this to the people we love the most?

I know that this post had a heavy spiritual content, I truly do not mean to offend anyone, however this is what has been going on in our home, and is what I am sharing.  I normally do not share much of my faith on my blog, it is not because it isn't central in my life, it is because it is not the purpose of THIS blog.  I do have another one that focuses on faith, if you would like to know more about it email me.

In homemaking news, we have been having some MAJOR dust storms this week.  The joys of living in a desert.  It seriously looks like I haven't cleaned my house in months because everything is covered in dust/sand.  SUPER gross!

I also have some exciting things to announce soon for the blog.

Hope you all have had a wonderful month and that the US folks got their taxes filed yesterday!