Archive | August 2013

Making a Routine: Cleaning Schedule

Hola all! Jenn here with a post about getting in a routine.

A few years ago when I was trying to get some organization in my life….again not a strong suit of mine….I did what anyone else would do, I googled home organization. Well, lots of sites and blogs came up that had tips for all sorts of things to do to get organized around the house.

One I found that I really liked had a weekly cleaning schedule that was supplemented with a daily quick clean schedule. Well, I thought that was a great idea!! The way it goes is you have things to do each day of the week, but the weekend was pretty much free. I printed it off and tried to start it, but I have to admit that I failed. I was working 40 hours a week, trying to sell Avon on the side, trying to be a fun mom to a 2 yr old, and I had a laundry list of other things going on. (I struggle with wanting to do it all) So I tried and tried but I just never seemed to stay on schedule. I was not good at juggling, you are probably better than me. I always ended up just cleaning some at night and doing most of my cleaning on the weekend…..or attempting to ignore those bothersome dust bunnies πŸ˜‰

Well, when we moved and I was blessed to be able to stay at home I decided to give the cleaning schedule another go, and I did a much better job keeping up with it. I LOVE it now! (I also have preached to not take on to many things at once…..well I have gotten better)

It is so simple and if you can stick to it, you will be impressed with the results! When I stick to it daily my house never seems dirty…..except for the dog hair, but we love our dog and when I watch him and my daughter play it is all worth the extra sweeping.

Okay now for the weekly cleaning schedule:

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See so simple! I love it! I wake up everyday knowing what I need to do and it doesn’t take long to take care of the days work, so that leaves lots of time for all the fun things!

You may also find, like I have, that you don’t need to dust every week so some Wednesdays all I have to do is vacuum the bedrooms. So that means Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays are super easy! Usually as a rule I sweep/vacuum and mop my kitchen, family room, living room, dining room, and hallway on Mondays and Thursdays or Tuesdays and Fridays…with spot mopping and sweeping in between, I have a dog and a child so my floors get dirty fast πŸ˜‰

To supplement that there is a daily quick clean:

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These were taken from the blog Bloominghomestead.com

These are the two schedules I found and love! I have added something’s to them as I needed, but that’s the great thing. You can alter them to fit what works best or you. And if you want to see more examples, a simple Google or Pinterest search for cleaning schedules or cleaning routines will show you lots of different ones and I am sure you can find the one that’s right or you!

I have added to the schedule as needed and will share those with you in a later post. Once you can stay on schedule it is easy to add to it.

This has really helped me become a better homemaker(I am not perfect and my house isn’t spotless, but I am way better than I used to be), and I hope that it will help you to!

Don’t forget to do something to make someone smile today!

Love,
Jennifer

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Page Turning Mondays: Aliens in Underpants Save the World

Hola all!! Jenn here with your latest Page-Turning Monday post.

Today’s book is:

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Written by Claire Freedman & Ben Cort.

This is such a fun book to read! It is about aliens who love underpants and come to earth to get them when they are in need, but one day earth is threatened by a meteorite! So the aliens quickly jump into action and save the world! With its fun rhymes, cute illustrations, and funny story I am sure your little one will love this story as much as mine!

Now for some alien and underpants fun!! I don’t have a ton of ideas for this book, but I am sure a Pinterest search for Aliens in Underpants wouldn’t disappoint!

– Talk about aliens. Discuss with your child life on other planets, what science has found, and what you personally believe.

– Talk about the different planets and their distance from earth, this will depend on the age of your little one. If you little one is big enough this would be a fun time to decorate some styrofoam balls and create planets!

– Have your little one draw or paint pictures of aliens, either from the book or their imagination.

– Talk about astronauts and pretend to be one! Make something into a spaceship and fly somewhere! (Boxes that are still in my basement come to mind)

– You may even be able to use this story for potty training! Making that transition to “underpants”-Look the aliens do it πŸ™‚

Well those are my ideas and I am sure you can come up with more!

Don’t forget to do something to make someone smile today!

Love,
Jennifer

Blooming In Christ: Using Your Talents

Hey y’all! Jenn her with a new Blooming in Christ post.

If you missed the start of this it was a post titled Am I Blooming In Christ? Are You Blooming In Christ? I had realized that I was not blooming in Christ so I began working on that. I made a list of the things I was doing when I felt the most growth and compared that to what I am doing now…..so I can address the things on the list and correct them.

Today’s topic is: Using Your Talents

Lets take a moment to think about what our talents are, write them down….we will come back to them.

Some of you may have a hard time saying what your talent is, don’t worry about that. What are you good at? What do you excel at that you use for God or can use for God? I can’t sit here and tell you that my talent is ______, because I don’t really know what I have that I would list as a talent. But I know that there are things I enjoy doing, so I do those to my fullest ability for God when I can and I seek out opportunities to use those things for God. Just in case you are struggling with finding something that you enjoy or are good at I am going to list something’s. Be totally honest with yourself and I am sure you will find at least one thing that you are good at/enjoy doing/would learn to do/ can do for God….
– Teach a Sunday School Class. -Teach Ladies Class. -Help Clean the Building
– Help Prepare Communion. – Be Welcoming to Visitors. – Help with VBS or other events.
– Write Cards to Sick and Sutins. – Visit the Sick and Shutins. -Visit People in the Hospital.
-Work on Bulletin Boards. -Take Meals to Members in Need (new baby, surgery, etc.)
– Go Door Knocking (invite for studies, services, special events, etc.).
-Check on Members who Miss Service. -Go on a Mission Trip. -Help With the Pantry.
-Be Welcoming to New Members (invite them out for lunch or over to your house)
-Visit other Members and Invite them to do things with you (going shopping, or just over to hang out). -Call Members when you Know they are having a hard time.
-Pray for your brothers and sisters and let them know you are praying for them.
-Give members a ride to appointments who need them.

There are so many different things that could be listed, I have tried to list all the ones I could think of. Also, do not be discouraged if you feel that you only have one talent and other women have more than one, its okay. God made us all different, with different talents and abilities. He didn’t make us the same on purpose. We all have things we are good at and when we work together with others who are good at different things, more gets accomplished for the kingdom. He has a plan and a purpose for us and our talent. Just make sure you are using your talent to the best of your ability for God.

We all have talents. We all have something or something’s that we are naturally good at or can learn to be good at. But do we use those talents for God?

The Bible says lots about talents/gifts and using them for God. One of my favorites is the parable of the talents. It is found in Matthew 25:14-30 and Luke 19:12-28. I am not going to post the entire parable, but I would encourage you to take the time to read it and really think about what it says. To paraphrase this parable is about a man who is going on a journey so he gives talents to his servants to watch over. To one he gave 5, another 2, and another 1. The servants who were given 5 and 2 went out and used the talents and doubled the amount. The servant with one talent was afraid and hid his talent. When the man returned and went to his servants the two that doubled the talent amount were told what a great job they did. But it really sticks with me what was told to the one that hid his talent…..
β€œBut his lord answered and said to him, β€˜You wicked and lazy servant, you knew that I reap where I have not sown, and gather where I have not scattered seed. So you ought to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I would have received back my own with interest. Therefore take the talent from him, and give it to him who has ten talents. β€˜For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away. And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ (Matthew 25:26-30 NKJV)

Wow! What a punishment for the servant who hid his talent! The first time I heard this and it really clicked I was shocked! It got me thinking…. what are my talents? Are there other things I can learn to do? Are there things I could assist with? Am I using my talents for God?

Now lets go back to your talent or talents that you wrote down….are your using it/them for God? Or have you hidden your talent?

I think that it is easier than we realize to stop using our talents, not use them to their full potential, or to not even try to use them. There are so many reasons. I have a few that have been an issue for me or for other women I know so I am going to talk about them. I hope that you will be open and honest with yourself as we talk about these things, it can lead to some serious blooming for Christ.

-“No one asked me to help”. If this offends you, so be it, but you can not sit back in the shadows and expect someone to ask you to do something all the time! If there is a project you would like to help with, SPEAK UP! If you don’t no one will know you were interested! Then later when your feelings are hurt and you didn’t get to help, you only have yourself to blame. I have seen women do this, and eventually they get their feelings hurt so much they pull away from the church, but no one knew they wanted to help because they never said anything until it was to late.

-“They have enough people already”. There can ever be “enough” people involved when doing something for God. The more the better! Even if there are more hands than projects there is still fellowship with other sisters which can be soooo good for the soul! And if you have extra hands, it creates the ability to add to a plan or event and make it bigger and better or it allows the ability to add more events because you have enough workers.

-“I was asked to help, but that’s not my thing”. Hmmmm….how do you know? Maybe at least try it and see. You never know what you may find you enjoy or are good at it. Someone may ask you to do something like help with bulletin boards and you say “no thanks, that’s not my thing, I’m not creative”. You may not think that is something you would like to do or be good at, but if you don’t try you never know. You don’t have to be creative, you just have to be willing to help,and again you are missing a fellowship opportunity with other sisters in Christ.

-“I would like to plan a ______, but we have never done that”. If there’s something you would like to start or plan at your congregation just find out who to talk to about it and go talk to them. The worst thing that can happen is they tell you no, and if they do, they will tell you why it can’t be done. But then at least you tried. If you don’t ask you’ll never know and it could be something that turns into a great outreach or ministry! Don’t be afraid to ask!

-“I don’t know how to do ____”. There are things that someone may ask you to help with or to do and you don’t know how to do that thing, but I promise that someone is willing to teach you if you are willing to learn. At my current congregation there is a group that crotchets scarves and hats for orphans in another country, what a wonderful work!! There have been women who wanted to help with it, but didn’t have a clue about crocheting, well all they had to do was come to the meeting and someone taught them! Now they have a new talent to use for God! Be open to learning/trying new things, you never know how that new skill can be used for God.

-“I would like to help, but _____ is going to be there and she always has to control everything.” This is a touchy one. There are people out there who have the personality that makes them naturally more in charge and sometimes that can make it seem that they are not open to the ideas of others. If you have this feeling about a sister in Christ I would suggest going to that sister and talking to her in private about it. (Talk to her, not everyone else) I do not think that any of us should sit back and let someone else keep us from doing work for God, we are commanded to use our talents, not to hide them. The confrontation may be awkward and hard, but you could come out with a new friendship that you never imagined having.

-“If we don’t do it this way, I’m not helping”. Well that is simply a matter of pride most of the time. We all have an idea of how things should be done, but that does not mean that our idea is always the only one to consider, or the best for the situation. The church is made up of lots of people who all have ideas, we need to be willing to put our self aside and let others bloom sometimes. For example: you may have worked really hard to come up with a great idea for _______, but when it comes time to do the project someone else shows up and has another idea. What do you do? You do not browbeat them into submission until they give up and use your idea! You listen to their idea, listen to everyone’s ideas, go over your idea, then have an open conversation about the best idea and then go from there. Your idea may be best, someone else’s may be best, it may be best to combine different things from all the ideas…..it doesn’t matter whose idea it was, it matters that we all work together to accomplish good for God. This does mean that sometimes we may need to step out of the spotlight, it does mean that sometimes we let someone else take charge….it does not mean that we are not an important part of the work for God. I can not stress enough how important it is sometimes to back up and let someone else shine, it could be the blooming that they so badly need! And again it doesn’t matter whose idea it was or who had the best plan, it matters that everyone worked together to accomplish something for God. And if your idea is not the one that is used…..I see NO bible verse anywhere that says you are allowed to pout and not participate nor does it mean that you participate but complain the whole time and talk about how your way would’ve been better.

Do you remember that talent you wrote down?…….have you allowed any of the above things keep you from using that talent? If you have it’s not to late. Change your mind and your heart, get past the thing that is preventing you from using it and start using it today. It may mean that you have to pray about something, it may mean you have to apologize to someone, it may mean that you have to have a conversation with someone…..but isn’t it worth it? Lets not hide our talents in the ground, lets use our talent for God. Our blooming will be amazing and we never know how our talents can help someone else or the kingdom bloom also.

I hope you will join me in blooming by using your talent to the best of your ability for God.

Love,
Jennifer

Page-Turning Mondays: The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything

Hey y’all! Jess here with a new P-TM post. Ok, so I know it’s the middle of August, and the official beginning of fall is still about a month away, but here lately in my neck of the woods, we’ve had lots of cool weather. It has felt so much like fall, my favorite season! I’ve had to restrain myself from pulling out all my pumpkins and scarecrows and fall scented candles. Not too much longer, though! The book I’m sharing with you is considered a fall book, but my boys, especially my 3-year-old, love to read it year-round. It’s..

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This is a fun book about a little old woman who encounters some spooky objects on her walk home one evening. I think my 3-year-old loves it so much because of the repetitive phrases used throughout the story. I’ll randomly hear him walking around the house, chanting the words from the book. I won’t spoil it for those who haven’t read it, but once you read it, you’ll probably know what I’m taking about. It’s a fun read, and a good one just in time for fall!

I don’t have a particular craft to share, but I know when I googled it, there were several cute ideas that popped up, like some sequencing activities and using a flannel board and felt pieces to retell the story. You could also use this time as an opportunity to talk about anything your child fears, and how with the Lord on our side, we should never be afraid. When our sons are frightened, we always take a moment to pray with them and encourage them to take their fears to the Lord. Our 5-year-old will do this all on his own when he’s nervous or frightened about something. It is inspiring to see one so young go to God for help!

And, check out Pinterest too! Always good ideas there!

Happy reading! And happy almost fall, y’all! πŸ™‚

Find Your Motivation, Resolve To Change, Stick With It!

Hola all! Jenn here.

Well it has been a while since I talked about trying to quit soda and eating more organic/all natural or what I like to call “eating what God made”.

I had some good days, and I have had some bad days…..I have a lot of excuses I could tell you, but it’s mainly just that it’s hard and I struggle.

Eating better is not that hard for me. I have come to realize I feel a lot better when I lay off the high fructose corn syrup, MSG, partially hydrogenated oils, and all the artificial stuff. It isn’t that hard to say no to sweets anymore, it used to be! Of course no one has offered me a cookie cake, peach cobbler, or pumpkin pie…..seriously I could eat those all by myself πŸ˜‰

I just struggle so much with letting go of soda. Which I realize is silly….talk about being full of artificial junk! Have you read a soda label? I did good one day last week, I drank only water and sweet tea. But I didn’t resist a Mtn Dew in a glass bottle the next day, and then it has been downhill since then 😦

If you struggle with saying no to soda and/or bad for you foods, know that I understand! But there are things that mean more like health. And sometimes we just need to find the right motivation!

I have a four year old and I always think about being healthy for her. I need to show her how to make good decisions regarding diet and exercise. I need to show her how it can be fun to exercise and be healthy! And I need to be healthy for her! I want to be able to play! I want her to have a healthy fun fit mommy! I also want my husband to have a healthy fun fit wife! I want to be comfortable in my own body, I don’t have to be completely ripped, just comfortable with myself.

Well tomorrow starts a new day of resolve! Resolve to stop soda! Resolve to exercise (P90X, walking, riding my bike) Resolve to not give into late night snack temptations! Resolve to get in better shape!

Just find your motivation, it can be anything! Your husband, your child, your health, a walk for charity, a 5K, a certain dress or pants, your swim suit, to inspire someone you care about, anything!

Then resolve to do what you need to do and stick with it! Don’t give up!

Set goals and change them as they are met!

We shall see how it goes…..I will let you know!

Don’t forget to do something to make someone smile today!

Until next time,
Jennifer

DIY Days: Ditch the paper, Use cloth

Hola all! Jenn here with a new DIY day!

Today’s topic is: Ditch the paper, use cloth!

If you are like me you have become painfully aware of how many rolls of paper towels your house goes through in such a short period of time. It was truly nagging at me.

Saving money has not been easy for me….well I guess that is better stated finding ways to decease spending has been hard for me. One of the things I noticed was how many paper towels we were using, I was going through an alarming amount! Between using them for cleaning, using them at meals, and using them to wipe up messes….it was ridiculous! I talked to my hubby about it and told him I wanted to switch to using cloth for cleaning and meals which lets face it, he’s a guy…he doesn’t really care.

I happened upon a dollar store that was going out of business where I found packs of washcloths which were only 0.75 each. I instantly bought them and started using them for my cleaning. At another dollar store I found the purple cloths in the picture below. They are more absorbent and more abrasive (they those “super” absorbent cloths). I prefer to use them on the toilet, and eventually will switch to using just those on everything as I buy more. They were 2 for $1.00.

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I LOVE it! It takes a little more wiping because they do not absorb like paper towels, but I have found it totally worth it! I use the same one to clean both bathroom mirrors, then one for each vanity, and one for each toilet. I use one rag for dusting which I can use 3-4 times before it needs washing. Once they have been used I just simply wash them with my whites so they get bleached πŸ™‚

I found 4 pack of cloth napkins at the goodwill for less than $1.00 (sorry I don’t remember the exact amount). Then when talking to a woman about my new endeavor, she said she had some cloth napkins she didn’t use so she gave me 6! They do not always get very “used” at meals, so I can reuse them, sometimes…..depends on the meal. Once they are dirty I just simply wash them! Added bonus is they look nice on my table!!

-I still use paper towels for cleaning my granite countertops because I found the rags streaked them.

Let me tell you, within a month of using cloth I could tell how much less we used paper towels! I was so excited! A 6 pack roll of paper towels lasted us over 6 months!! I average less than one roll a month…..that is a huge difference than when I was using them to clean both bathrooms, dust, and for meals!

I have never been a fan of using paper plates for everyday meals, I always thought that was a waste of money. (Yes I know not having to wash dishes is nice, but how cost effective?) So I have never done that, but if you do I would suggest looking at how much you spend, compared to a little extra time washing or loading the dishwasher.

So if you are tired of having to use paper towels and tired of the frustration of realizing you are out….ditch the paper and switch to cloth! Your bank account and the environment will thank you!

**EEEKKKK I have to add I recently found DIY reusable fabric papertowles on Pinterest! They are fabric and you can use snaps or Velcro to fasten them together and you roll them around an empty paper towel tube and stick them on your paper towel dispenser……so excited!! Can hardly wait to try making these!

Don’t forget to do something to make some smile today!!

Until next time,
Jennifer

Page-Turning Mondays: I Like Myself

Hola all!! Jenn here with today’s Page -Turning Monday post. Today’s book is:

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Written by Karen Beaumont and Illustrated by David Catrow.

This is such a fun happy little book!! We LOVE IT! It starts out;
I like myself!
I’m glad I’m me.
There’s no one else
I’d rather be.

And it continues from there and list the things she likes about herself her eyes, ears, nose, fingers, and toes! This fun book goes through different things about the little girl that she likes. It ranges from liking herself the way she is, liking herself when her hair is a mess, liking herself even if she had horns and a pig nose, she even likes herself when she does something silly, “and I don’t care in anyway what someone else may think or say”. I love the rhymes and fun pictures and I LOVE the overall message of loving yourself because of who you are on the inside, excepting what’s on the outside, and not letting what others think and say ruin how you feel about your own self image.

Hmmmm now for some activities….I really don’t have a lot, but here is what I came up with:

– Talk about how it is what’s inside that counts. The outer can be beautiful, but the inside can be ugly.

– Help your child develop a positive self image. Give your child praise for a job well done, thank them when they do something nice, tell them they are pretty/handsome/cute. Build up the way they view themselves.

– If your child is old enough to understand, discuss what to do when others laugh at you. Explain to them whose opinion really matters. Help them understand that some people are just mean, but you as their parent are there for them and God is always there with them.

– Don’t push your personal insecurities on your child. Don’t bash yourself/others in front of your child……that just repeats the negative cycle.

– Teach them the golden rule! Wouldn’t it be great if everyone treated others the way they wanted to be treated?

– If your child has any handicaps talk about how those make them special. Talk about the positives.

– Don’t be afraid to be silly in public with your child. Show them life is fun! We are blessed, live happy. Jump in puddles, walk on walls, jump over cracks, make silly faces…..the smile on your child’s face is worth more than anything a stranger may think about you.

Well that’s all I have but I am sure you can think of more.

I hope you enjoy this book as much as us! Every time we read it we laugh and smile πŸ™‚

Don’t forget to do something to make someone smile today!

Until next time,
Jennifer