Monday, July 31, 2006

Starting Week Four

I didn't take the time this weekend to change the cleaning schedule around like I need to do. So today I'm doing Monday's tasks. And I'll add in whatever else I think I can reasonably add in to "shorten" the work load later in the week.

The fact is, I've simply got to attack the paper pile that is growing daily. My office is quickly becoming a disaster.

The girls have VBS tonight at a neighboring church. And we desperately need to get to Sams today.

And I've not forgotten about the breadmaker post. Just too busy at this moment to get to it since it involves pictures and that is time consuming to me as I'm new to posting them here.



Friday, July 28, 2006

This - N - That

Today I finished the third week of my household schedule. I'm absolutely thrilled with how the house is shaping up.

It's been slower going than I'd hoped. But considering the time invested, it's amazing. I find that I'm always tempted to not do a certain chore this week, and work on something else. Like a certain clutter pile. Or some drawer or cabinet that needs attention. But I've stuck to the schedule pretty well. And then done a little bit on extra stuff here and there most days. And it's feeling like a habit now. Instead of the organized chaos of the past.

Also, the work is much harder than I'd anticipated. Not the physical work, though it's hard, but the amount of time that I'm spending. My days have been full for so long that I've forgotten what leisure feels like.

I homeschool (more on this in another post), drive the girls to their various activities, bargain shop, cook meals, pay (meaning "write out and mail", or click on billpay if possible) the bills (it's my husbands choice that I do this, I'd gladly turn it over to him.), garden (a little), and take care of my husband, 3 daughters, and 2 big lovable dogs.

Add to this a cleaning schedule.

When something needed to be dropped, guess what got dropped first?

The cleaning schedule.

So I'm trying to make it a habit in the lazy (ha) days of summer. What's the saying? If you do something for 21 days, it's a habit, right?

I am finding that this particular cleaning schedule doesn't work exactly for me. A couple of things that I've found that need to be changed:

  • Vacuuming definitely needs to be done more than once a week in the den.
  • I need a day for administrative duties (bills, filing, straightening the computer room, etc)

So I'm somehow going to have to add work, but do it all in less days. I've got to see what days I can mix. And then we've got all the fall activities starting , but I think I've got all that scheduled pretty well. I suppose only time will tell.

I hear women here (blogland) all the time talking about how they get their housework done in 45 minutes. It take me between 1 1/2 - 2 hours to get mine done. I thought this might become less after the first couple of time, but it doesn't seem to be so. At least not so far. days are full. And my house is clean. And I wouldn't have it any other way.


Amazing Women

I've run across an article a couple of times in the last couple of days reading different blogs. And it was one of those things that I just had to wait to comment on. I had to wait to let my thoughts settle.

At first I thought it was a joke. Not a funny "ha ha" joke, but something that a journalist wrote to get attention. And it very well may be just that. But when the subject is your children...well, that just changes everything. Would she sell out her children to write this for the "fame"? I realize there are people that would. But I can't decide which seems better in my mind.

  1. If she truly feels the way she's saying in her article.
  2. Or if she really does love and adore her children and just wants the attention.

The article is found here:


The general idea is that she finds her children "boring". Yes, she says the word. Repeatedly.

And of course, that's such strong language to those of us that are homemakers (or not) and care for our children profoundly.

But I think that's overshadowing what she's *really* saying in the article. And that always makes me uncomfortable. It's almost like a subliminal message.

She not only talk about her children "boring" her, but she then goes on to discuss studies that say that (and I'm paraphrasing) her uninvolved way is the right way because children shouldn't be overindulged and their every whim catered to (and yes I know that's a hideous run-on sentence...It's content I'm going for here! LOL).

Whoa! It's not one or the other. There are all sorts of shades of gray. Her logic is so totally flawed that it's moronic.

And her poor children. The last 2 (short) paragraphs in the article hurt my heart. And I get the feeling she thinks it's good. Or cute. She certainly thought it was a nice way to end the article at any rate.

I have very strong feelings on parenting (mothering in particular). I've done it for over 20 years now (if you start counting with the beginning of my first pregnancy, which I certainly do).

I am so not perfect. But that is certainly one of the areas in my life that I strive for perfection. These are my children. My future.

Tell me what is more important.


Thursday, July 27, 2006

Homemade Frugal Laundry Detergent

I know that the picture is kinda washed out. I'm not sure why. But I'm so excited by what I got done yesterday! Finally, after wanting to do so forever (and being unable to find washing soda in our area), I made our laundry detergent.

Can you believe, other than water, this is all it takes to make laundry detergent?

I grated the soap and used, get this, 1/3 of the bar.

Melt the soap over medium heat with 3 pints of water. Take off heat and add premeasured washing soda and borax. (ETA: ½ cup of each) Stir until dissolved.

Pour into a large bucket. Add 1 quart of very hot water. Stir well. Then add another gallon + 6 cups of hot tap water. Stir again. We then poured it into an empty huge (2+ gallon) liquid detergent containers from Sams. Use appr. 1/2 cup per load.

I washed my first load of laundry yesterday and neither DH nor I could tell any difference. In fact, if anything, we liked it better.

We figured the cost, based on the local price of ingredients, and were astonished to find that it cost appr. .52 to make the entire batch. The container at Sams costs appr. $15. Other than grating, it took about 20 minutes.

Definitely worth the time in my book.

I also received a bread machine I "won" on eBay yesterday. Much to write about that later. Hopefully pictures to follow on that too. Assuming this posts well. These pictures were a bear to upload here. I'm sure I'm doing something wrong. :/

ETA: There have been many questions on where to find washing soda. I tried to answer as best I could here.


Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Better Late Than Never?

I'm a little later than I like to blog, but that's ok. I've been busy and that's what's important.

Both of the little girls have been invited to individual sleepovers tonight and they're excited. They are making lists of what they need to bring. It's fun to watch.

DH is still suffering insomnia. He went to sleep after 3am last night. I so wish he could get past this. It's been going on for weeks now. : (

Today is the fun day to scrub the toilets/sinks/countertops/tubs. Then we may make a quick trip to the mall before heading to the sleepover dropoff site. It's Clinique bonus time here. :)

Better get at it.


Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Wow...Tuesday Already

It's been a good productive morning so far. Which is a good thing because I've got a lot on my to-do list today.

It's been such an odd time in our home for the last few months. The beginning of DH going to church. And an amazing thing that was/is.

And we've had wonderful things happen since then. Amazing things. Things with the potential to be life altering in such ways I'd have never hoped for.

And then there are trials that have come since that happened. I think it's hurtful to him that things have been so difficult. It's like one temptation after another to keep his mind and actions where they don't need to be. To keep him out of church. To keep him away from doing what he needs to do.

This last week has been better.

So last night I picked up Fascinating Womanhood again. And today I feel a little shame when I think on it. I should have continued reading it when things were not going like I'd hoped. But I just couldn't force myself for some reason. I had a bad attitude.

Well, we live and we learn.

I pray that this upswing continues.

And now to get going on the rest of my morning. : )


Friday, July 21, 2006


Well, the pool sparkles. :-)

It took me (and the girls) 3 hours to get it done yesterday, but it was worth the effort. We had a blast doing it too. Which never hurts. The water is a teensy bit cloudy, as it tends to get when you wipe down everything, but we shocked it and when everything "settles", DH will vacuum it out. That will probably be the last major clean of the summer.

Because of the pool, I didn't get all of my inside chores done. But that should be easily remedied today as it's slight cloudy and they're calling for rain.

I do have a couple of errands that I need to run too. And bills to do. :-l

Thankfully, there is leftovers from supper last night, so that is a non-issue. I'm so grateful to have a family that loves leftovers. I almost never hear a complaint. Actually, the opposite. I'll hear them go on about how it's better the second night. I love my family. :-)

Off to get things going.


Thursday, July 20, 2006


No time today. DH had to be up and out early and on top of what I've got to normally do, please add "clean the pool" to that chore. This should take a while because it's suddenly looking gross. Like yesterday morning it was beautiful. Yesterday afternoon it was gross.

Jillian and I got in for an evening swim (that's when I noticed). No, it wasn't so bad you shouldn't swim in it. In fact, it was probably something I wouldn't have noticed if I hadn't been actually IN the water. But I was.

And I did.

And that adds a couple of hours to my chores today.

Luckily, it's a very nice day for it.


Tuesday, July 18, 2006

So About Yesterday...

I definitely had a rough morning. But things are better today. :)

My schedule yesterday looked something like this (times are approximate):

8:30 Get up.
8:35 Make coffee, empty dehumidifier
8:45 Start Laundry
9:00 Make breakfast, eat, clean up kitchen
9:45 Read email and daily blogs
10:15 Laundry
10:30 Blog
11:00 Bible time (girls clean their room - then read)
11:45 Finish and put away laundry
12:00 Start housework Monday = kitchen This week detail is door shelves of refrigerator and top of refrigerator.
1:15 "Minute per room clean up"
1:20 Make fruit smoothie for lunch and take it outside to drink
1:30 Outside time.
2:15 Bath, brush teeth, etc
3:00 Errands
5:00 Return home and put things away
5:30 Begin supper
6:30 Eat supper
7:00 Clean up kitchen, empty dehumidifier
7:15 Fun time with girls
8:30 Girl's baths (DH and I relax and watch tv/surf internet/watch movie/talk)
9:00 Girls to bed, prayer time
9:15 DH and I continue with 8:30 activity or maybe swap activities
11:00 - Midnight To bed

I had wanted to post pictures with this, but didn't find the time to do so. I didn't find the time to do it today either. But I hope to post todays "To Do" or really "what I've done" list in a little while.


Monday, July 17, 2006

If I Can't Say Something Nice...

I'm up. I've been up for a hours. Accomplishing things.

That's the nicest thing I can say. So I'll stop. More later if possible.


Sunday, July 16, 2006

I don't know who, if anyone, reads anything here. It's not like I've been here long blogging. But I've been around for several months reading. And I've found it's important for me "what goes in".

There are other places on the web to read about household duties. And there are many other blogging groups. But the air behind them is maybe more important than the content?

Anyway, I like it here. The Christian attitudes and faith are inspiring.

So I'm tempted to come here and not put all of me out on the table, so to speak. ; ) Because when you're the new kid you want everyone to think you're "cool".

But if this is to be a journal, and a place of growth, then it's important that I share my shortcomings as well. Because it's an accountability issue. And because we all have faults. Whether we choose to discuss them in public or not. ; )

On thing about me is that I'm great under pressure. I perform best when there is a deadline. I suppose that's why I love timers and the snooze button so much. I have to have "enough" time or things get stressful of course. But just barely enough time. Squeaking by like a well oiled machine and just barely done in the split last second like one might see in the movies.

But I've been thinking lately that it's really unfair of me to allow this when it involves anyone other than myself. I find that even when DH and kids are involved, I'll push things to the last minute. And we all know that things happen with DH and kids. They DON'T necessarily work great under pressure. And things just happen sometimes to make us not reach our goals in a timely manner. Which can sometimes mean we don't reach them at all.

I'm going to try to find a way to work on this.

But right now, I'm typing when I should be getting ready for church.

But it's okay, cause I've got just *barely* enough time...


Saturday, July 15, 2006

Sleeping In

So last night DH finally got tired at a normal time (he's been having insomnia lately) and wanted to go to bed at 10:30 or so. Yes! So I go up to get ready for bed and he's asleep before I even get my teeth brushed.

Then it starts to thunder. Just softly. In the distance. But we have this big bear of a dog that is old and for some reason terrified of storms. Or rain. Or fireworks. Or ... any noise really. Actually I think it may be more the vibrations because he doesn't seem to be able to hear well.

So he's up panting and shaking. I go downstairs with him so that DH can sleep. And we're up until almost 2am.

At least I got to sleep in today. So that was nice.

Baby daughter (8) has a cold or sinus something and is sniffily. At this point I'm increasing fluids and encouraging rest. No fever.

My plans today is to update my list of things that need to be done and perhaps tackle one of the declutter jobs.


Friday, July 14, 2006

A Productive Day

I got the cake made and then attempted to make the icing while it cooled. I'm not sure what on earth I did wrong, because I can usually make some pretty fabulous icing (if I do say so myself) but everyone agreed that this one tasted like coffee for some reason. LOL Coffee. I have no idea why.

Anyway, I scrapped the "new" recipe and pulled out my old tried and true (on the box of confectioners sugar) and *finally* got the cake frosted. Then the girls and I wrote "Happy Birthday Beth" on it, put 4 candles in the corners and we were all set.

So now it was time to get my housework done. So today was vacuuming. I only had an hour before I had to get a shower so I did each room, but didn't get to edge any of them. I will start that next week, God willing. It took me the full hour to simply vacuum and do it well.

Side note: We've got a Dyson vacuum cleaner. I don't usually brag on specific products unless they are beyond great. Let me say that my Dyson is beyond great. We have 2 big dogs that stay inside as much as outside and one of them sheds quite a bit. I simply can't imagine the state my carpets would be in without that purple Dyson.

In 40 years I've learned some things. Dyson = good. Believe it.

So we got all cleaned up and then headed out to my mom's house. You never know what you're gonna get there. Sometimes it's "tense" but today it was all good. My sisters boyfriend had brought over his nephew so the girls had someone else their age around. Beth's dad (not my dad) had already brought her a store bought cake and it was all pretty (with a little missing already) and so our cake looked kinda pitiful. Don't get me wrong, I can decorate a cake as well as most, but I didn't this one. Taste was the object here.

Well as soon as I brought it in, the family pounced on it and everyone wanted to try some. Beth said it was the best cake she'd ever eaten. And so did the nephew (who also said it was the first homemade cake he'd ever tasted, and he's 12, and that's another story all together). Everyone ooohhhhed and awwwwed. How nice.

Oh, and the girls and I had also made Beth a "Surprise Ball". We put a bunch of quarters as the "surprise" and she got the biggest kick out of it. I highly recommend it as a low cost, fun, thoughtful gift for all ages.

Don't know what a "Surprise Ball" is? Well I just happen to have found a website that showes one.

It got me kinda excited about the girls upcoming birthdays. Now the ideas are flowing. And I'm so happy with the house this week. On my day off tomorrow I may even tackle another job. There is really a lot of decluttering that needs to happen. That's not really true. Not a lot. But some. And I look forward to getting it done. This week has felt purposeful. And that's really nice.

Really nice.

I've even managed to almost keep up with my Bible reading. And I'm working on Fascinating Womanhood too. And trying to implement that even more in my life. And DH has promised that we'll try to go look for a travel trailer on Monday.

Life is good.



So I didn't get a chance to blog yesterday. Julia had a meeting to work on her Program Aide for Girl Scouts and we overslept. I dropped her off at noon and then Jill and I went to Barnes and Noble (Julia needed her next book in the series she's reading and it's a new series so the used book stores don't have it) and I was looking for something on RV's.

DH and I have been discussing getting a travel trailer. Lots to look into and decide on with that major purchase. But we've narrowed it down to things we want. And hopefully we can get what we want and it falls within the weight limit we can pull AND the price we can afford. : )

I didn't find the book I wanted on RV's however. So Jill and I went next door to Old Navy. They had the cutest dress on sale (1/2 off) and it fit her perfectly. This is day 2 of her wearing it. ; )

I've kept up amazingly on my household chores. Yesterday was floor day and I mopped the kitchen floor and then put down some mop and glow or some such and it looks fantastic. The bathroom floors got a lick and a promise but they look MUCH better. Time had run out and I needed to go pick Julia up.

On the way home we stopped at the store to pick up some powdered sugar. It's my sisters BD today and we're going to make her a cake!

So I'd better get going on that considering how late it is already!


Wednesday, July 12, 2006


Yep, later blogging today that I would have liked, but DH wanted to sit up late last night and "play" (read: watch) Who Wants to be a Millionaire. LOL It was fun. But by 1am I was over the fun and falling asleep.

The girls and I got a lot done yesterday. Their attitudes aren't perfect yet, but they are really coming alone. This summer downtime has been not the best for them I don't think. You would think I'd know by now, I've been parenting for a while, that everyone does better with some structure. Anyway, the girls have shown some pride in the things they have done. It's an encouraging start.

So a friend is coming over to play today. I have the floors to do and I didn't really have anything extra for them except their normal chores.

We dusted and windexed yesterday. It was a big job. We cleaned places that I've not thought of in forever (dusted off little plants). We moved things to clean. It feels better and looks better.


Tuesday, July 11, 2006


Yesterday was productive. I got a lot of work done around the house. We had taken the van in to have a few things looked at and while they didn't fix every little thing, they did fix the passenger door which was the biggest thing by far. So we got to pick that up yesterday.

On the way home, Jill and I stopped by Sams and WAY overspent. But got our pantry stuffed which always feels good.

I've almost got the refrigerator cleaned. It's taken two weeks of Monday's so far. And honestly, I've probably got 2 more weeks to go. But it feels good to have as much of it done as I do. And it's a start. We all have to start somewhere.

Time to get the day going.


Monday, July 10, 2006


We had a pretty nice day yesterday. Church was great as usual. Our oldest daughter went with us and that always makes it nice.

We came home and washed the dogs. They desperately needed that. Then Mike watched some TV while I worked on oldest daughters computer. It needed updating, etc.

Middle daughter wanted to go to a youth activity at a neighboring church later in the afternoon, so baby daughter and I took her there while DH went to check on some property. We came back home, cooked, ate, and then left again to pick up middle daughter. Then we met DH at the Honda place to drop off the van (there were several small things that needed to be fixed).

We came home and watched some TV then made it to bed fairly early. A nice relaxing day.

Today, and this week, I hope to get on the household schedule. If I don't get to "down" now, it's going to be harder when all the fall activities start back up.

Time to get started.


Sunday, July 09, 2006

I did get some housework done yesterday, but alas, not the bills. They can wait until tomorrow I suppose. It's not like I can mail them today. : )

The sun was out and DH wanted to spend some time outdoors. Who was I to say no?

After church today we plan to wash the dogs. And maybe cook-out. I discovered yesterday, after DH got the grill out and ready to cook, that I have no frozen hamburger patties (well, I had one, but that's certainly not enough). Looks like a trip to the butcher. I've got to find some way to catagorize that better. My way certainly isn't working well.


Saturday, July 08, 2006

It's been an odd week with the holiday and all. I still have my plans to blog in the am daily. We'll see how that pans out. We've been sleeping in this week. Not too late. But late enough that I'm a bit "behind" when I start. I don't like that.

It rained a lot on the 4th, but we still were able to go to a great fireworks display. It's the first time we've been in a few years and I think that's encouraging.

Since the week has been "off" I plan to catch up on some housework today. And do bills.


Monday, July 03, 2006

Productive Day and Thoughts

I decided to reward myself for going above and beyond today in my household and children duties with a few minutes to blog again. I've had a lot on my mind today as I've went through the day and I didn't want to lose it.

So as supper finishes cooking (scratch crustless quiche) I'm here.

I don't even know where to start. My thoughts are jumbled for some reason. I'm distracted for no reason. But I want to at least put some thoughts down, because I think they're important. To me anyway.

As I was cleaning out my refrigerator, I realized that it really is all about an attitude.

You see, I'm terribly grateful for everything in my life. I truly am. But what does that mean if I don't show it in my actions? If I allow my refrigerator to get filthy? How would I feel if I didn't have a refrigerator?

Last Thursday the girls and I got home from a Girl Scout camp at 10pm. to find that our air conditioner had stopped working. We live in the South. It's hot and (worse) it's humid. It was a sticky 81 degrees when we walked in the door. Luckily, we know an airconditioning guy (he's a distant relative of my DH) and he was able to come out the very next afternoon. At which time it was 87 degrees. We could hardly breath. The humidity here is ridiculous.

Luckily, DH was out of town and didn't have to experience this.

But to the girls and I ... it wasn't fun. It took HOURS to cool off after the machine was fixed. And we all appreciated the air so much at that point.

And it's just got my mind whirling. I don't want to be one of those people who don't appreciate what they've got until it's gone. How is that showing a Christian attitude?

So I'm working on my attitude. It many, many different ways. I'll post more on it as I can articulate.

But for now, the timer is telling me that supper is done. : )


Monday Morning (kinda)

Ok, I'm late today. DH couldn't sleep last night and wanted company and we sat up WAY too late. So we slept in.

We had a nice Sunday. Church was great as usual.

We go to a "new" church. The pastor from a church I used to visit started his own church a few months back and called me. DH answered the phone and talked with him and decided to go with me to his new church. It's been a blessing beyond belief.

I've got a lot to do so I'm going to get going. More tomorrow.


Saturday, July 01, 2006

Forgot to add...

I'm also a wife! LOL I'm not sure how I could have forgotten that one. Been married over 20 years to my dear husband. His name is Mike. And we live in SouthEast TN.


New Here

Well, I suppose it's time for me to give this a try. Put my money (or time) where my mouth (fingers?) is so to speak.

I've been reading here and there for a while. I've found many women who are inspiring. And we could all use some inspiration.

My name is Michelle. I have 3 daughters. Jessica is 19 and a sophomore in college. Julia (11) and Jillian (8) both homeschool and have since the beginning.

We're a Christian family. But only newly "redevoted".

That's the tip of the iceberg.

I'm here to learn. Maybe teach a little. And mostly to communicate with more like minded people than I have found so far on the internet.

I'm going to try to post most days. Hopefully in the am.