Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Things I'd like to do regularly....

I would love to do some things regularly. For example, I would love to...

... invite people over for dinner after church on Sundays.
... sit down and plan out my week on Sunday evening.
... have one day to file and organize paperwork.
... run 3 days a week.
... invite people over for a party once a month.
... meet with a friend once a month to do cooking for the freezer.

I just don't know how to plan things well enough to actually follow through on the things I want to do.

Monday, December 29, 2008

If we fail to plan, we plan to fail....

I need to remake my plan, revisit my priorities, and reboot my life. It's time to start over. My house is a mess, my waist is becoming a body clutter hot spot, and I can't seem to stay on top of anything! I need help!!

So I'm taking a deep breath (*inhale* *exhale*) and I'm taking a good hard look at what my life looks like and what I want it to look like, what sacrifices I'm willing to make to get it to look like that, and how I'm going to get there. So let's start with the ideal...

In my ideal world, I am not sleep deprived. So I should probably be going to bed much sooner than I do now, as it is close to 1am when I am writing this... But because we are dealing in ideals here, I'm just going to think about how my ideal day would go. It would go something like this...

6am - get up, eat breakfast, read my Bible, check email
6:30 - yoga / stretching
7:00 - Eliana up, dressed, get her breakfast, read her a Bible story while she eats.
7:30 - laundry into the washer, cardio with Eliana
8:30 - Eliana watches PBS while I do strength training
9:00 - shower
9:15 - dressed, hair, makeup
9:30 - ready to go out the door for the day (on days in town), empty dishwasher, dinner thawing/in crock pot
10:00 - laundry into the dryer, blog / spark people
10:30 - activities with Eliana and around the house
11:30 - lunch
12:00 - Eliana plays by herself while I fold / put away laundry
12:30 - clean zones / hot spots and tidy up
1:00 - art activities with Eliana or playing outside
2:30 - snack time
3:00 - quiet time reading books and reading Eliana a Bible story
4:00 - Eliana plays by herself or watches a video while I get the house cleaned up before Leif comes home
5:00 - cooking dinner
6:00 - dinner time
7:00 - Eliana gets a bath and gets ready for bed while I do Mary Kay
8:00 - Eliana's bed time and I clean up the dinner dishes
8:30 - craft / me time
9:30 - bedtime routine
10:00 - bedtime

Whew! I'm sort of tired just reading all this stuff and typing it out! But it looks like the biggest thing I will need to change if I want to make exercise a priority is going to bed earlier and getting up earlier. I love to sleep in and I love to stay up late, but I just don't think it's conducive to the healthy lifestyle I want to maintain. So... that looks like the first change I will have to make. Bed by 10, up at 6. We'll see how that works.

But for now it's 1:15 am and I really ought to get some sleep. I won't be up by 6 tomorrow morning, but if I don't go to sleep now I'll be lucky to be up by 10!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Meals for December 14-20

Sunday (12/14) - Costco Rotisserie Chicken {Picture taking at Meg's}

Monday (12/15) - DAY 2 - Chicken Tortilla Soup {Watching Zach and Kat 10-4}

Tuesday (12/16) - DAY 3 - Mandarin Salad with Chicken {Making cookies at Erika's 10-4, TNL 7-9}

Wednesday (12/17) - DAY 4 - Fishsticks {Bible Study/Christmas party, Movie watching at Taylor's}

Thursday (12/18) - Out to eat? {Home all day}

Friday (12/19) - DAY 5 - Fried potatoes and onions {Erika over to craft all day}

Saturday (12/20) - DAY 1 - Open Face Broiled Sandwiches {Leif skiing all day}

Emergency Backpack

I'm updating our emergency backpack today. I realized it's been a while since I've done it and with the subzero temperatures again, it was a good reminder that I need to do that again.

Plus, our water is turned off again today. I don't know why, but it's the second time in about a month they've had the water in River Rock turned off. It's pretty frustrating when you realize you need water to do everything, from making soup for dinner to making mac and cheese for the kids. Lucky for me, though, I had some water in that emergency backpack, too.

There's not too much in the bag, but here's what we have already gathered together if we ever need to leave in a hurry:

Clothes for Elizabeth (pants, socks, sweatshirt, t-shirt, underwear)
Clothes for Leif (pants, socks, underwear, t-shirt, insulated shirt)
Clothes for Eliana (pants, shirt, sweater, socks, 5 diapers, wipes)
Hot Hands Warmers (3 sets)
Notebook and Pencil (to write down information if we need it, or for Eliana to draw on)
2 liters filtered water
Granola bars
Trail mix of nuts and dried fruit
Flashlight with extra batteries
Roll of toilet paper
Sample size packets of body care products (shampoo, etc.)
Walmart bags for trash, etc.

Everything (clothes, etc.) is in ziplock bags in case the bag gets wet.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


In no particular order, I need to...

... Wash the dishes from Sunday's party and put them away
... Make the bed
... Personalize the books for Marcus and Brooklyn
... Call MK people
... Fold the laundry in the dryer
... Pick up the playroom
... Pick up Ellie's bedroom
... Pick up my bedroom and closet
... Finish Christmas cards
... Write Christmas letter
... Take Christmas picture
... Take pictures off D300
... Blog reading Christmas stories with Ellie
... Record Daily December

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thanksgiving Prep

Today I'm prepping for Thanksgiving. We leave for Roundup tonight and we'll have Thanksgiving there tomorrow. Then we head home tomorrow night and I would love to return to a clean home! We'll see if that happens....

In prepping for tomorrow I learned something new. You can make mashed potatoes ahead of time in the crock pot!! How cool is that?? I'm trying it, so we'll see how it turns out tomorrow. I'm using this recipe (though I didn't put the egg whites in it) and so far it tastes really good! If it turns out tomorrow it will definitely be something to remember for the future since the recipe says it can be refrigerated for up to 3 days before you serve it!

In other news, I used store bought pie crusts this year. Yeah, I know... I shouldn't have, but I did. And do you know what happened when I baked my (dairy free) pumpkin pies? Yes, the crust got WAY darker than I wanted it to! *sigh* That's what I get for not making my own crusts. But I just cut the crimped dark edge off and, though it's not as pretty, I think it'll be fine. I think the other pie I'm going to make is a peanut butter pie (how traditional, eh?) and that takes a graham cracker crust, so we should be just fine. Oh, and it's a no bake, which makes it easier. I'll have to take a trip to the grocery store to make that, but I need to anyway to finish the strawberry pretzel salad.

I wonder what time we're leaving this evening? I'm guessing 5, when Leif stops working. Eek! That gives me 2.5 hours to get a lot done!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Great deal!

So Taylor told me about a great deal at Albertsons yesterday. I didn't make it to the store until after 9pm, but the sale was running until Midnight. Whew! =D Wanna know what I got?

For $6.39 I got 2 Sara Lee pies and 2 half gallons of Breyers ice cream. Sweet! (In more ways than one...) They had a special where if you bought a Sara Lee frozen pie then you got one free, and two free half gallons of ice cream. So I got an apple pie, a pumpkin pie, chocolate mint ice cream, and vanilla bean ice cream!

I don't know if I'll use them for Thanksgiving, since I have plans to make my own pies and I think Wenda is providing a pie, but it's nice to know I have them on hand just in case!

Monday, November 17, 2008


Once a month cooking....

I am becoming more and more interested in this idea. Once I start cooking or baking, it's usually pretty easy for me to whip up a bunch of stuff at once, so if I were organized I could probably get a bunch of meals taken care of this way. I used to do something like that when I worked, but have fallen out of the habit in the last couple years.

Here's a website on OAMC with some good tips to remember.

Also, we have a ton of ground beef in our freezer right now that I ought to deal with at some point. I rarely use ground beef, though, because I hate browning it. But this website has a great idea for browning a large portion of ground beef all at once. I'll have to try it!


We're having Thanksgiving in Roundup this year. I offered to bring the bulk of the food, and Thanksgiving is next week, so I suppose I ought to start figuring out what to bring, when to cook it, and how to pull this whole thing off....

Let's see... guests will include...

Leif, Elizabeth, Ellie (3)
Terry, Wenda (2)
Rolan, Gayle (2)
Eric (1)
Marsha, +1, 2 kids (4)

So that's about a dozen people to plan food for. So far, so good.

Requisite Thanksgiving food... (*provided by me)

Turkey (Terry and Wenda?)
Green Beans
Pretzel Salad*
Mashed Potatoes*
Relish dish
Cranberry sauce*


Yambake can be made up ahead of time, refrigerated, and baked that morning (35 min bake time)

Pretzel salad can be made up ahead of time and refrigerated.

Ham can be made in the crock pot.

Turkey can be cooked ahead of time and frozen, then reheated that morning OR deep fried that morning.

Pies can be baked ahead of time or purchased. *gasp!*

Mashed potatoes will have to be made that morning, I think, but perhaps the potatoes can be cut up ahead of time...

SOOOOO.... it looks like the following items can be brought by someone else if they wish:

* Relish tray (olives, pickles, etc.)
* Green bean casserole (if anyone is particular to that - or I can just bring canned green beans)
* If Terry and Wenda insist on white gravy, they can bring it.
* Rolls
* Pies (I will bring at least one, if not two, but if someone else really wants to provide them, they can)
* Other salads

Dinner Tonight

Greek Salad

All I have to do is figure out the calories.


I put away all that laundry from my last post, but do you know how many baskets full of laundry I have in my bedroom right now that need to get put away?


I sense a recurring problem.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

So much laundry.

There is so much laundry piled up at my house it's not even funny. 3 baskets of clean laundry that need to be put away, and two piles of dirty laundry that need to be washed. Where does it all come from, and how can we possibly have closets full of clothes with all this other stuff not even in them?! Perhaps it is time to weed out the old stuff again?

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Lots to do!

My mom is coming to visit tonight. Her flight gets in at 11:30. Before that, though, I have a LOT to do. I need some time management today!!! Here's what needs to get done...

DONE 9:30-11 Bible Study
DONE 11-12 Lunch at Pizza with Bible Study ladies
DONE Find a babysitter for tonight's class
MOSTLY DONE Put away MK stuff
DONE Kit tonight's class (including instructions)
DONE Finish Black Orchid cards
DONE Email Spooktacular pictures
DONE 30 min to 1 hour of calling for MK
5:30-9 DONE Scrapbooking Class at Keepsakes
9-11:30 DONE!! Finish editing and emailing Spooktacular pictures
11:30 Pick up Mom!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Free day....

If you had a day at home, free from your busy 2 year old, what would you do?

I just talked to my friend Beth and she said she wants to take Ellie for a playdate on Monday. She is going to come over and pick her up at 10 and then return her later that day, leaving me free to do... whatever!

What should I do with my day??!!

there are lots of things I have been wanting to do and not gotten around to, so I think I probably ought to do some of those things... So I suppose I will spend my Monday:

  • Setting up the guest room for my Mom's arrival on Wednesday!
  • Cleaning out the too-small clothes from Ellie's closet
  • Reorganizing the downstairs closet where all of Ellie's outgrown baby things are.
  • Setting up for Monday's holiday preview
And if I have time, perhaps I'll do a little crafting, but not until my Mary Kay desk and cupboard are organized again.

Not a fun list of things to do, but oh, so needed and it will be wonderful to get those things accomplished!!

Cleaning frenzy!!

I am having a Mary Kay holiday preview on Saturday and I was planning on cleaning on Friday night. Turns out, though, that we are taking a family trip to the symphony that night. It is also my day in town without Ellie, so I won't be home that day to clean either. SO... I need to get it all done tonight!!! Here's what I need (or want) to do...

Empty and reload the dishwasher
Put away groceries and dinner ingredients
Sweep floor
Mop floor
Throw away trash
Empty trash
Declutter countertops
Declutter fridge

Living Room:
Declutter piano, console table, floor
Clean windows
Clean windowsills

Master Bedroom:
Make bed
Put away laundry
Declutter bedstands
Clean windowsills
Clean windows

Guest Bathroom:
Clean toilet
Clean mirror
Clean countertop
Clean tub
Wash little potty


Family Room:
Throw away the trash
Pick up the toys
Clean the end tables and coffee table
Get DVDs out for kids to watch (Word World, Veggie Tales)

MK Office:
Clean off desk
Find profile cards
Update inventory spreadsheet

Preview Tasks:
Photocopy surveys
Pull out holiday decorations
Ready profile cards (both new and existing customers)
Pull out samples for the preview and "look only" products

I'm going to set the timer and get to it!!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Cube Steaks with Feta from the Body Clutter Menu Mailer
Mashed sweet potatoes

Empty and reload dishwasher
Change sheets (ours and Ellie's)
Tidy our bedroom and the living room

Mary Kay:
Make phone calls
Organize office for 15 minutes

Play outside for a while
Do some sort of art project, coloring, or painting

Children's Museum
Make Costco list
Pick out clothes
Clean up house before bed

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

I've made dinner 2 nights in a row.

And that's progress.

That's sad.

But I'm taking it one day at a time and I have meals planned for the next 3 days.

But first things first... It's after midnight and I need to put away the groceries I brought home an hour ago.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

I need a new plan. Again.

Every time the seasons change I seem to need a new plan. The last few weeks have been busy as all of our Fall activities have started up and, unfortunately, the cleaning schedule that worked this summer is no longer working for me! So I need to come up with a new plan (or, rather, get back to the old Flylady plan, more likely) and use a little discipline to stick to it! Here's what I need to work around...

10-11a Kindermusik in Bozeman
7-9p Craft Night (twice a month)

10-12p Open for MK Parties as scheduled
2-4p Open for MK Parties as scheduled
7-9p MK Success Meeting in Bozeman

9:30-11a Bible Study in Belgrade
6-9p Scrapbooking Classes (every other week) in Bozeman

10-12p Playgroup in Bozeman

10-3p Zoe/Ellie Playdate (every other week I have the girls here - the off weeks I'm in Bzn)

Open for MK Parties when scheduled

10-12p Church

So... as you can see, there's not a really good day to call my "cleaning day". I realize that with Flylady you only spend an hour doing your weekly home blessing, and maybe I just need to get back to that. Maybe I need to get back in the habit of swishing and swiping, doing a load of laundry a day, running dishes at night and emptying them in the morning, and keeping on top of things. That's probably what I need to do. But it still takes some scheduling to make sure I get it done, especially on days I need to be in town in the morning.

To be in town at 10, I need to leave the house at 9:30, more or less. Assuming it takes me an hour to get ready, I need to be up at 8:30. Ellie usually gets me up around 7 or 7:30 anyway, so I really need to use that extra hour wisely. I should be able to use the following schedule, if I keep myself to it:

  • Wake Up / Take Temperature
  • Make Bed
  • Get Eliana changed / milk
  • Shower
  • Swish and Swipe Bathroom
  • New washcloth for tomorrow
  • Get Dressed (to the shoes!)
  • Open / Close Windows
  • Eat Breakfast - record
  • Read Bible / Do Study
  • Laundry to washer
  • Empty Dishwasher
  • Clean Up Breakfast Dishes
On days that I need to get to town, the next steps are to put Ellie in the car, round up my stuff, and get in the car and go. On days that I'm staying home, the next steps are to transfer clothes to the dryer and do 15 minutes in my zone.

There is more planning to be done, but we'll see how the morning routine goes first. That's enough planning for right now.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Shampoo Solution

I have a big event at my house today, so last night I was determined to get the stains out of our carpet and shampoo it (at least the living room) so it looked nice and fresh for our guests today.
Problem #1 - I'm out of my magic Kirby carpet spray!! I've got to find a local dealer for it, because I need it! No time to do that last night, so I settled for trying to remove the stains the natural way... with vinegar. Not as good as my carpet spray, but it at least lessened them and I'd hoped it had loosened the dirt enough that the shampooer could take the rest.
Problem #2 - I'm out of carpet shampoo solution!! Of all the times to run out of both! So I did a quick search online for homemade carpet cleaner solution and found a few recommendations for vinegar again! Well, it's better than nothing, I figured... So I gave it a try. Ran the shampooer like normal, substituting vinegar for the cleaning solution.
Then I let the carpet dry and went to bed. When I woke up this morning, guess what? IT WORKED! We opened the windows to let the vinegar smell dissipate the rest of the way and it cleared out quickly. The carpet looks great and it was a cheap solution!! I think I might just be doing that instead of buying more carpet shampoo. It doesn't smell like lavender, but it works great!

(And just for the record, I also already mop my hardwood floors with vinegar, and that has seemed to work just fine, too. Plus it's safe to have around kids and it has naturally disinfecting properties. Ah, the glory of vinegar.)

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

What's in the freezer?

This is the ongoing list of ready-made meals I have in my freezer right now, from oldest to newest. When I'm stuck for an idea or need something quick, here's what I have...

3 Cilantro Lime Chicken (Stove Top)
2 Japanese Chicken (Crock Pot)
2 Pepperoni Calzones (Oven)
2 Hawaiian Calzones (Oven)
2 Curry Chicken (Crock Pot or Stove Top)
2 Curry Sauce


Bulk Ingredients:
Parmesan Cheese

Turkey Breast
Chicken Breast
Canadian Bacon
2 bags Stew Beef
Flank Steak

Menu Planning: Friday


Friday is my day to cook again, providing dinner for Amber's family, too. Here are a variety of ideas for when I get stuck...

Chicken Cordon Bleu
Grilled Chicken
Pepper Steak
Apple Salad
Chicken Soup
Greek Gyros
Greek Salad
Fried Potatoes
Meat and Veggie Kabobs
Aloha Chicken Kabobs
Poultry with Pears
Broccoli Cheese Soup

Menu Planning: Thursday


Amber provides dinner on Thursdays! In the event that she doesn't, American food sounds good, doesn't it?

Barbecued Chicken Wings
Baked Ham
Roast Beef
Roasted Chicken
Baked Beans
Chicken Nuggets

Menu Planning: Wednesday


Wednesday is DATE NIGHT! That means Leif and I will either have the evening to ourselves, or we will have Josie over and have to provide dinner for her, too. For now, let's go Asian with Wednesdays...

Stir Fry
Sesame Chicken
Vietnamese Rice
Sweet and Sour Chicken/Pork
Mandarin Salad
Korean Wings

Menu Planning: Tuesday


I provide dinner for Amber on Tuesdays.

If I'm stuck for ideas, go Mexican...

Spanish Rice
Taco Salad
Tortilla Soup*

*Crock Pot

Menu Planning: Monday


Amber provides dinner on Mondays.

If she doesn't, go with Italian...

Chicken Marinara

This week's meals....

Monday (Day 5) - We had CROCK POT BROCCOLI CHEESE SOUP, made almost entirely of items that needed to be used now to keep from going bad. Hooray! It was quick, easy, and delicious. I'm freezing the leftovers for another meal, but it's a recipe I'll have to make again! Here is the recipe:

Broccoli Cheese Soup

12 slices of velveeta cheese
quart of half and half
16 ounce frozen bag of broccoli
2 cans of cream of celery soup

combine everything in crockpot and cook on med until desired thickness. And broccoli is soft.

**I added chopped onions and some shredded colby jack cheese and substituted whole milk for the half and half.

Tuesday (Day 1) - MK meeting tonight, so we need something quick and easy. SPAGHETTI

Wednesday (Day 2) - QUESADILLAS

Thursday (Day 3) - Children's Museum and errands today, so something easy for dinner. STIR FRY

Friday (Day 4) - Watching Zoe, so a crock pot meal would be good. CHILI

Saturday (Day 5) - Robert arrives!! CHICKEN CORDON BLEU?

Sunday (Day 1) - Robert here! PITA PIZZAS

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Today my goal is laundry.

Today Ellie and I are staying home until this evening when I drop her off at Taylor's and head to New Consultant Training. SO... I'm taking advantage of the day at home and spending it in the basement! My goal is to finish cleaning the craft room and get all the laundry done. If I stay down in the basement I can actually hear the washing machine ding, which is a plus for getting clothes out without having them too wrinkly! So I have a load of Ellie's stuff in the wash right now and in 45 minutes I'll switch it over to dry and put our laundry in. I'm hoping to get our sheets washed today, too, if I can. Now... on to cleaning the craft room! Just as soon as I figure out what Ellie did to make the washing machine stop mid-cycle while it was on child lock!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Put Away, Give Away, Throw Away!

When I was talking to Erika the other day, she mentioned that she saw these pop up sorting bins on flylady. According to the website, these were made for people who don't declutter using the "Put Away, Give Away, Throw Away" sorting method because they can't find 3 boxes or the bins they try to use aren't the right size, etc. I am SO that person!

Of course, I'm also too cheap to pay for shipping when I purchase something online (which is partly why I offer free shipping on my MK website!) so I headed to Walmart and found the same pop up bins in the laundry section for under $5 each. Of course, mine are the not-so-attractive blue and white, and all 3 of mine are the same color, but they are great for sorting! I set my timer today and sorted down in the craft room and actually made noticeable progress using the bins! And they fold up to pretty much nothing when you're done and want to store them!

So I'm going to have to try this more often... Put Away (the things that belong in other rooms - just carry the bin to the next room and put away anything in it that belongs in that room), Throw Away (a large trashbag fits perfectly inside the sorter to make emptying the trash that much easier! Just tie the bag and pull it out!), and Give Away (this would be my Freecycle pile). It's that simple!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

For the first time in a long time....

... my house is clean.

The upstairs is clean, at least. There are some dishes in the sink, but I will get to them in a bit and then they won't be there anymore. But my house is clean.

Eliana decided to take a nap today, so I took the opportunity to pick things up around the place! The bed was already made, so I just had to put away the shoes and dirty clothes in the bedroom. I put away all the stuff that was out in the kitchen and I wiped down the counters. I cleared off the table and put a tablecloth on, and cut some flowers from the garden to put in a vase for the centerpiece. I straightened the rug and dusted the furniture, including the door frames! I even dusted the ceiling fan blades in Ellie's room. Of course, then there were nasty dust bunnies on the floor, so I vacuumed her room. I lit candles in the living room and kitchen, something I really haven't done in a long time. But it feels like home. Nice, relaxing home. Oh, and I tidied up the front bathroom and cleaned the toilet in there.

And it all took less than an hour.

One, glorious, uninterrupted hour.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

I just need to do the dishes....

It won't take that long. All I have to do is empty the dishwasher and reload it and then clean up the counters. If I'm really good I should shine my sink since I haven't done it in forever. It won't take long, I just need to do it.

My hope is to go for a walk with Taylor in the morning and then Cheryl is coming over in the afternoon, so I'd really like to have a clean(ish) house when she arrives. But in order for that to happen it would be good if I went to bed with a dishwasher full of dishes and a shiny sink.

So I just need to do the dishes, and I ought to do it right now.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Organizing Frenzy...

I think I'm turning into my mother.

I have been in the mood to organize lately, and I'm organizing up a storm. And not just one room, either... In the last week I have...
  • Completely reorganized the pantry, moving the large tupperware items to the top shelf and the juice stores to the bottom. It's clean and tidy and hopefully will stay that way now that I reworked the tupperware situation.
  • Sorted through all of the rubbermaid and threw out the lids and bottoms that didn't have mates. I put lids on all the remaining containers and put them back in the box - and it turns out that we don't need the lid drawer in the kitchen anymore, so I'm turning that into my bento drawer.
  • Finished cleaning and organizing the laundry center. I think it's going to work out marvelously.
  • Sorted and organized items in the under-stairs storage closet in the basement. Moved things that shouldn't be down there and consolidated some totes. It left me with extra room.
  • Turned the extra room from the under-stairs storage closet into a gift wrapping station, complete with rolls of wrapping and tissue paper hanging down the wall and a table on which to work. I love it!
  • Finished putting away the mound-o-laundry I spent the earlier portion of the week washing.
  • Started sorting through Ellie's clothes to pull out the too-small sizes and put them away. That project still needs some finishing.
  • Scrubbed the guest bathroom tile floor, hands and knees style. I did it while Ellie was in the tub and now it looks pretty clean.
That's pretty much what I've been up to. The insane organizing bug has taken over and I'm getting lots done. Weirdest of all? I'm enjoying it and it makes me happy.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Help! Help!

I'm drowning in laundry!!!

So much to do... I think I'll be doing laundry all day today and tomorrow, too. Hopefully then it will all be done, because we're out of washcloths for Ellie and running low on clothes for the rest of us, too!

New bedding...

Ah... I love new bedding. We just got some new flannel sheets at Costco for our bed. They're not on the bed yet, but they will be nice come fall and winter. And we got a new comforter and bedskirt set, too. All deep red, just the color I am transitioning things int he bedroom to. It's been a several-year-long project, this color transition, but I am slowly making my way. Leif isn't much into painting the walls any "color", so I've been sneaking color in other ways. A red vase here, a red body pillow there... now we have a big red comforter to cover the bed, so there's really very little left to do! I'd love to get some curtains in there, but we'll have to see. And I think they'll probably be cream like the curtains in the rest of our house anyway, simply because I have more of the material and that way the rooms will look cohesive when the doors are open.

Anyway, since we have new bedding, I figured it was time for a mattress flip and vacuum at the same time. Did that this morning when I put the new bedskirt on. It's very nice! We bought new pillows, too, (since washing them after our camping trip was sort of a soggy pillow disaster) so it feels almost like a new bed all around!

I love new bedding...

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Today I Scrubbed...

Today I scrubbed the entryway tiles. They look SO GOOD! I can't believe how long it has been since I last scrubbed them...

Zone 5: Living Areas

These are the things I want done to clean the living room and family room each month:

Living Room:
  • Vacuum Couch / Chair
  • Straighten Rug
  • Dust with Pledge
  • Shampoo / Spot Clean Carpet
  • Vacuum Baseboards
  • Vacuum
  • Clean Windowsill
  • Wash Windows / Mirror
  • Rearrange / Straighten Bookcases
  • Check Seasonal Decorations (put out / put away)
  • Clean Ceiling Fan Blades
  • Cull Magazines / Put Out New Seasons

Family Room:
  • Swiffer / Sweep Floor
  • Straighten Rug
  • Rearrange Eliana's Play Area
  • Dust Furniture
  • Put Away Movies / Games / Toys
  • Check Seasonal Decorations (put out / put away)
  • Clean Ceiling Fan Blades

Zone 4: Bedrooms

These are the things I want done each month to zone clean the bedrooms:

Master Bedroom:
  • Polish Furniture
  • Wash Dust Ruffle / Extra Bedding
  • Flip Mattress
  • Vacuum Mattress
  • Wash Windows
  • Straighten Drawers / Bed Stands
  • Arrange Shoes
  • Vacuum Baseboards
  • Vacuum Floors

Eliana's Room:
  • Sort Toys - Store Unused
  • Sort Clothes - Store Outgrown
  • Dust Furniture
  • Vacuum Baseboards
  • Vacuum Floors

Guest Rooms:
  • Get out seasonal bedding
  • Make Bed (if needed)
  • Vacuum
  • Dust
  • Empty Trash
The shiny sink in each room is the bed.
The hotspot in the master bedroom is the bedstands.
The hotspot in Eliana's room is outside the door.

Zone 3: Office / Craft Room / Laundry Room

These are the things I want done each month for zone cleaning in these rooms:

  • Vacuum
  • Dust Piano Keys
  • Dust Picture Frames / Computer / Shelves / Decorations
  • Organize Closet
  • Wash Windows
  • Straighten Bookshelves
  • Straighten Desk
  • Empty Trash
  • List Freecycle Items

Craft Room:
  • Clear Tables
  • Wipe Down Tables
  • Clean Stamps
  • Put Away Embellishments
  • Sort and Put Away Paper
  • Pick Up Floor
  • Vacuum
Laundry Room:
  • Put away any laundry still down there
  • Iron
  • Tidy Laundry Area
  • Empty Trash
  • Replenish Hangers

Zone 2: Bathrooms

These are the things I would like done each month for zone cleaning in the main, guest, and master bathrooms:
  • Wash Rug
  • Clean Toilet
  • Sweep Floor
  • Vacuum Baseboards
  • Scrub / Mop Floor
  • Clean Shower
  • Wash Bath Toys
  • Replenish Toilet Paper
  • Replenish Towels (if needed)
  • Dust Pictures
  • Clean Mirror
  • Clean Counter Tops
  • Organize Under the Sink
  • Replenish Cleaning Supplies (if needed)
My shiny sink in this room is the toilet.

Zone 1: Entrance / Dining Room / Kitchen

These are the things I would like to have done in these rooms each month:

  • Scrub Entry Tiles
  • Wipe Doors
  • Sweep Porch
  • Beat Front Mat
  • Check Seasonal Decorations (lights, wreaths, etc. - put out / put away)
Dining Room:
  • Dust / Clean window sills
  • Wipe Walls
  • Vacuum Baseboards
  • Sweep and Mop Floors
  • Wash Windows
  • Polish Dining Table
  • Finish Table with Cloth, Flowers, Centerpiece, etc.
My shiny sink for this room is the dining room table.
The hotspot is the floor by the garage door.

  • Empty Refrigerator / Clean Thoroughly
  • Clean Microwave Inside and Out
  • Clean Stove / Oven
  • Wash Canisters / Utensil Containers
  • Straighten Drawers / Cupboards
  • Wipe Walls / Door
  • Wash Windows
  • Wipe Cabinet Doors
  • Clean Under Sink
  • Deep Clean Sink
My shiny sink for this room is the kitchen sink.
The hotspot for this room is the counter.

Monday, August 4, 2008


There is so much clutter in my life right now it is driving me crazy. Not just stuff clutter, either, but I am tackling that right now. I need to clean out the craft room and get rid of the stuff I am just never going to do. Like homemade paper. Not going to happen. Candle making? Nope. There is just a lot of stuff down there that I don't need and can do without.

Now... I just need to find the time to clear stuff out down there and organize so that everything has a place and is in its place....

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Laundry Central

One of the things my mom suggested might help me in my constant struggle for laundry is a "laundry center." The theory is that if I deal with the laundry right when it comes out of the dryer I won't have wrinkly clothes that take days to put away.

So tonight I have been organizing and tidying the laundry area. I got Leif to move the rolls of insulation that were there so I have room to hang clothes as soon as they exit the dryer. I cleaned off the top of the washing machine (put the detergent, bleach, etc. along the back, but kept the front open) so I have a place to fold clothes. And I have the ironing board set up and cleared off (except the items that need to be ironed) so it's ready to use when I need it.

We'll see how "laundry central" goes, but so far so good on the one load I've done tonight. I've got another drying right now, one in the washer, and one waiting to go in, so that should give me a little practice with the new setup!! =D


I am still working on decluttering and cleaning the house, but I just want to say that I have thus far maintained Eliana's room and the kitchen and that makes me happy.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

++Double Plus!

I just did some math and figured out that if I do an hour of housework every day I can lose 10 lbs in 8 weeks**! Sweet!!!

Not to mention that my house will be VERY CLEAN! No wonder those stepford wives were model thin!

**(okay, so this isn't entirely true since an hour of housework WILL burn 200 calories, but 55 of those I would be burning anyway, just by being alive.)

... on a completely different note, I shined my sink tonight, for the first time in a while. And I cleaned the guest bathroom while Ellie was taking a bath. And I am working on decluttering the countertop in the kitchen. It's good stuff.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Schedule Bumps

When Eliana's schedule changes, it always throws me for a loop. And for some reason, this last change has really been a doozy. I have been off kilter for a few weeks because of it, and it's not just my house that's suffering. I haven't been doing my morning and evening routines, which means I haven't been reading my Bible. And because I haven't been starting my day off with prayer and the Word, it's been hard for me to keep my priorities straight day in and day out. I get selfish. I want time for ME. I don't want to do the things I ought, and I start to resent spending my entire day looking after a 2 year old who doesn't nap anymore.

But you know what? My time is not my own. It never was, and it never will be. That's what it means to be a servant of Christ. My time is His to use for whatever He has called me to do. And right now, do you know what He has called me to do? That's right... be a wife, mother, and homemaker.

So again I sit down and write out a schedule. Nothing too strict, but some guidelines to get me through the areas of life I can't seem to maintain on my own. Bible reading. Housekeeping. Parenting. Meal planning. Weight loss. These are the areas I struggle with, and the struggle is always over consistency. So I sit down to write out a schedule to help me be more consistent in all of these areas. Because I am inconsistent.

I have a general schedule for meal planning and daily meals/snacks for Eliana. That works when I follow it. Now I need to work on planning meals in advance so that I know what I'm making for dinner and not trying to wing something when Leif calls to say that he's on his way home. I want to make food that is tasty and nutritious, made with ingredients that are good for my family. I want to make food that helps me work toward my weight loss goals. And I want to make meals that are cost efficient and piggyback on one another for time efficiency.

So... what are we having for dinner this week? Good question. Today is Day 5 of our meal planner, and we're having pulled pork sandwiches for dinner tonight. Tomorrow starts Day 1 and I should get planning now so I know what we're doing:

Tuesday (1 - Italian): DD Lasagna
Wednesday: Bite of Bozeman
Thursday (2 - Mexican): Fajitas on the grill
Friday (3 - Oriental): DD Aloha Chicken Kebabs
Saturday: Sweet Pea Festival
Sunday: Sweet Pea Festival
Monday (4 - American): DD Chicken Nuggets with Baked Beans

So that gets me through the week. And it lets me try a few Deceptively Delicious recipes. And hopefully it lets me eat and serve to my family some healthy food.

Friday, May 30, 2008

I will not eat the bread of idleness.

A Wife of Noble Character

[c] A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies.

11 Her husband has full confidence in her
and lacks nothing of value.

12 She brings him good, not harm,
all the days of her life.

13 She selects wool and flax
and works with eager hands.

14 She is like the merchant ships,
bringing her food from afar.

15 She gets up while it is still dark;
she provides food for her family
and portions for her servant girls.

16 She considers a field and buys it;
out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.

17 She sets about her work vigorously;
her arms are strong for her tasks.

18 She sees that her trading is profitable,
and her lamp does not go out at night.

19 In her hand she holds the distaff
and grasps the spindle with her fingers.

20 She opens her arms to the poor
and extends her hands to the needy.

21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
for all of them are clothed in scarlet.

22 She makes coverings for her bed;
she is clothed in fine linen and purple.

23 Her husband is respected at the city gate,
where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.

24 She makes linen garments and sells them,
and supplies the merchants with sashes.

25 She is clothed with strength and dignity;
she can laugh at the days to come.

26 She speaks with wisdom,
and faithful instruction is on her tongue.

27 She watches over the affairs of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.

28 Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:

29 "Many women do noble things,
but you surpass them all."

30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.

31 Give her the reward she has earned,
and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

I'm taking one step at a time, and today I will not eat the bread of idleness.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Updated to do list

Here is today's updated list...

  • Make guest bed
  • Sweep and mop kitchen
  • Vacuum upstairs and down
  • Type up kit instructions
  • Transfer Ellie's laundry
  • Empty dishwasher
  • Clean table and counters

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


It's not even 10:30 yet and I've already made more progress than I made all day yesterday. Hooray!

I'm about to head into town to get stuff for tomorrow's class at the scrapbooking store, and as of right now the sheets on my bed have been changed, the bed has been made, I've got the dishwasher running, the washing machine is running, and Ellie and I are both up and dressed. I've even blogged this morning (on MIM and our family blog, in addition to this one).

So I'd say it's a good day so far!

Off to town with us!

I had a list

I had a list of things to do yesterday to get the house back in order after my parents left. Guess how many things I got done from that list?


I hate days like that.

So today I'm aiming to do better. Here's my list (with a few extras added on):
  • Change sheets
  • Make guest bed
  • Put sheets in crib
  • Wash laundry
  • Fold/put away Mt. Washmore
  • Sweep and mop kitchen
  • Vacuum upstairs and down
  • Pick up supplies at KBD and kit tomorrow's class

Think I can get it all done?

Monday, April 14, 2008

The daily grind...

My house has been more or less clean and tidy for a few weeks now. When it gets out of control (which it magically seems to do in less than 24 hours sometimes!) it takes less than a day to reclaim. That is a blessing, and something that didn't used to be true.

Take today for example... I woke up and the kitchen table and counters were covered with stuff from lunch and dinner yesterday. Dirty dishes, leftovers that needed to be thrown out, papers, trash, boxes... It was a sight! There were dishes in the sink to be taken care of, Leif's hiking clothes in the chair in the living room, Ellie's toys on the floor... You get the idea. Shannon was coming over at 11 and I needed to get it cleaned up.

You know what? By the time Shannon came over, everything was pretty much clean. Dishes in the dishwasher, table cleaned up, clothes in the hamper, bed made, and I was dressed and fed. Ellie and I had even spent about 45 minutes outside swinging and playing by the time they arrived!

Then tonight Leif called to say they were on their way home, but he didn't call until they were about 3 minutes away, so I didn't even have time to pick up the house before he walked in the door. And you know what? It was okay! The house wasn't PERFECT, but it was nice, and 95% tidy. He noticed. He said it looked much better. And I realized that it's okay it wasn't perfect.

Me, my house, and I are a work in progress.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008


This week has been a busy one. I spent Monday and Tuesday at Taylor's house, helping her with the babies. Today I had Bible study in the morning, then ate lunch with Leif, ran errands, and got home around 2, just in time for Ellie's nap. I put away the groceries, relaxed for about 30 minutes, and started dinner. After dinner I spent an hour or so putting away laundry. Tomorrow Erika and I are heading to Billings to take the girls to the circus and we're just going to make a day of it. Then Friday is my scrapbooking day. Erika will watch Ellie and I need to get most, if not all, of my class projects made for the open house next week. Lots to do. Busy week.

BUT I have been making an effort to get things ready the night before (milk/juice cups filled, my water bottle filled, diaper bag on the doorknob of the garage, setting out clothes, planning dinner) and that has really helped things go smoothly. I've been going to bed with a clean house and waking up to a clean house, and that has made me happier. I think Leif has been happier coming home to a clean house, too. It's all been good.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

It's becoming a habit...

Cleaning up before bedtime, that is. It's a good habit. I like having a clean house. And I like waking up to one. And the truth is that it doesn't take much to keep it picked up. I just have to do a little here, a little there, and not leave it a mess when I go to bed.

So I don't know what my problem has been all these years.

But we're going on 2 weeks now of a company ready house that stays clean and picked up! And because it's already tidy, I've even been keeping it vacuumed, swept, and dusted. How's THAT for amazing?

Saturday, March 29, 2008

It's not a miracle...

... but it comes pretty close. My inlaws left today and I already have the guest room company ready again, fresh linens and everything. That almost never happens. The dirty sheets and towels are in the washer and there are fresh sheets on the bed and towels in the bathroom. It's company ready. Both guest rooms are, actually. Almost - I need to put a new roll of toilet paper in the bathroom. That goes on my to do list.

Toilet paper in the guest bathroom
Clean the shower, toilet, sink, and mirror

Make curtains for the guest room
Make a quilt hanger for the wall to display our pink wedding quilt

Friday, March 28, 2008

Must have been 3 days...

I didn't get it done while the girls were playing today, but once Zoe went home and Ellie went down for her nap I DID get the house vacuumed and the front bathroom cleaned. I even got a load of laundry done, start to finish.

And it must have been 3 days since I've done our laundry, because in that load were 3 shirts, 3 pairs of socks, and 3 pairs of underwear for me, and 3 shirts, 3 pairs of socks, and 3 pairs of underwear for Leif. So I'm guessing that was 3 days worth of laundry I did today.

What do you want to do today?

I have Zoe today, so depending on how the girls are playing and getting along, I would like to:

* Vacuum the house
* Clean the front bathroom

The rest of the house (basement NOT included) is pretty much clean. I could straighten up the books on my bedstand, but even the hot spots are clean. Woohoo!

I'm not feeling so hot right now, but if I get to feeling a little better (for some reason I'm just a bit woozy) I was thinking of taking the girls for a walk down to the park by the school so they could play on the slides. It's sunshiny outside and it should be warming up in the next couple hours, so maybe we can do that right before or right after lunch.

And today? Today I am dressed to the shoes. It's been a while on that one!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

It occurs to me...

... that if we make it through tomorrow my house will have been clean (drop-in company clean!) for a whole week! WOW! It's great to wake up to a clean house every morning, and it really doesn't take that much to keep it clean throughout the day. All it takes is a little diligence, so here's to a good tomorrow!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

A few timesavers...

One of the things that always slows me down on the way out the door is getting Ellie's milk and juice cups filled so we are prepared for hours out. Tonight I had a breakthrough....


Duh.... such a simple thing! So I did that tonight in preparation for heading to the Children's Museum tomorrow. I also have Ellie's backpack hanging on the doorknob, ready to go. And, once again, my clothes are laid out for tomorrow.

I went to bed tonight (for that is where I am right now.... ah, gotta love laptops) with a clean kitchen. The dishwasher is scheduled to run, and the dining room is clean. Laundry is put away, and I even took time to CLEAN my stovetop and the fronts of the oven and microwave. It will feel good to wake up to a clean house in the morning.

I even did my Mary Kay bedtime face routine, and I drank all my water and stayed within my calorie range for the day. Yes it has been a GOOD day.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Busy Day Tomorrow...

... and so my clothes are hanging on the doorknob, waiting for me to get dressed in the morning. I don't lay out my clothes the night before much now that I'm a SAHM, but it sure makes things easier when I have to get out the door in the morning.

unexpected change of plans

Yesterday I got a call from Taylor asking if I could take her and the babies to the doctor since her mother was feeling a little dizzy and couldn't drive. So I dropped Ellie off to play with Corinne (Taylor's mom watched the girls) and I took Taylor to the doctor. I picked her up at 10:30, and, due to some snow, a mis-scheduled appointment, running behind schedule, and waiting on blood tests, we got back around 1:30. During that time, Leif called me to ask if I could come pick him up from work. He had a migraine and was feeling awful. He got a ride with someone else and was sound asleep at 2:00 when Ellie and I finally walked in the door. I put her down for a nap and worked on putting away clothes. Leif got up around 3:00 and wanted me to spend time with him, and so I did until Ellie woke up. Then around 5:00 we all went into town to get some groceries and ate dinner at Costco.

Needless to say, I didn't get everything accomplished yesterday that I wanted. But we cleaned up after putting the groceries away and I am happy to say that I didn't sweat the stuff that didn't get done, and I woke up to a clean house this morning.

Today I got up and showered, got dressed, and made the bed. Then I worked on putting away Ellie's laundry while she ate breakfast. I got most of it folded and ready to put away when Susan Beth showed up for Latin at 9. Ellie played in her room most of the morning. We played blocks together for a while and then I worked on organizing some of her toys (aka finding puzzle pieces at the bottom of the toy box). And now Ellie is playing nicely, clad only in her diaper, bringing me pretend cake that she made. I did get her dressed this morning, but after Susan Beth left she wanted nothing to do with her clothes and pulled and cried until they came off. And so she has been running around in her diaper all day so far. *sigh* But you know what? It's okay.

I had a healthy breakfast this morning (scrambled eggwhites and one yolk with ham) and I'm going to eat a healthy lunch. Ellie had a good breakfast of cottage cheese and a little orange and then ate a chicken nugget and a lot of peas for lunch. She has had one cup of milk and a cup and a half of juice/water, and I have started working on my water for the day. And Ellie has watched no TV. We have played together and she has played by herself and it has been a good morning.

Monday, March 24, 2008


A month ago I was overwhelmed by the chaos surrounding me. I still have days like that. But The house has been basically clean since I cleaned it Friday. We worked to maintain it (even the laundry!) over the weekend. And now I find myself comforted on Monday. I have a few things I would like to tidy up, but there is not the overwhelming mess left by days of activity. Though there were days of activity... Friday we had Ben and Kathy over for dinner (they brought the dinner and cooked it here), then Saturday and Sunday Leif's parents came out for Easter and to let us go out on a date Saturday night. But we cleaned up along the way and kept the dishwasher going when needed and today... no overwhelming mess!

Right now...

The bed is made.
Ellie is up, dressed, and fed.
I am dressed. (but lacking the shoes...)
The pantry is organized.
There is a mess under the kitchen table where Ellie smashed her crackers from breakfast.
There are a few towels that need to be put away.
The guest linens need to be washed, dried, and put away.
The craft room is a mess.

There are lots of things that need to be done, but lots of things are under control. And that is nice. Today is a new day, and it is a new week. And so, with my newly made bed as my starting point, I will work to make sure the house stays maintained today. I will work on the projects I need to finish and not stress over what doesn't get done. One day at a time. One project at a time. I can do anything in 15 minutes.

A New Day.

Today is a new day.

Today I am going to take control.
Today I am going to eat well.
Today I am going to record what I eat.
Today I am going to exercise.
Today I am going to work on picking up the house.
Today I am going to do my Bible Study.
Today I am going to smile.
Today I am going to live.

Because today is a new day and I am free.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Food? We have food?

This is sort of how I've felt about the way our pantry and fridge have been (dis)organized lately. I don't know what to make for dinner because I don't even know what we have. So we fend for ourselves or Leif makes dinner. How sad!

I feel like parts of my life are out of control, so I just want to control things. I want to have my craft room clean and in control. I want to have my food storage under control. And when they aren't and I feel overwhelmed by them, I turn to junk food and eat badly. It is momentarily comforting, but when the pounds start coming on again, I feel out of control and the cycle starts over again!

Leif asked how he could help me get things under control over the weekend. I said I'd like to get caught up on the laundry and get the fridge cleaned out. So he helped me and those things are done!!

My project for today is the pantry. I want to clean it out and organize it so I know what we have, what we need, and what I can make for dinner.

I'll tackle the craft room another day.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Routine Maintenance

I am not very good at routine maintenance. But today I did a little:

Vacuum mattress - CHECK
Rotate mattress - CHECK


How does it happen so quickly?

It seems like every time I get the house clean it gets dirty again!

I was going to go into Belgrade and buy groceries so I could make a cake and some frosting for Taylor's shower on Saturday, but Leif took the car with the carseat today, so I won't be going anywhere.

Instead, I'm using the time to catch up on the little cleaning projects I've been neglecting lately... You know, dishes... laundry... And because Ellie's diaper leaked on our bed this morning, I'm changing the sheets, washing the comforter, and I might even vacuum the mattress and rotate it while I'm at it! All of the rooms need to be vacuumed - for real, too. Not just a Roomba job. It's time for the Kirby.

So maybe I can get those things done this afternoon when Ellie goes down for her nap. The dishwasher and washing machine are running right now, but I'll put another load in the washer and empty the dishwasher when they're done. I also need to go for my C25K run as soon as Ellie goes down, too. Maybe I can get a load in the washing machine and let it go while I run. Then when I'm done I can pull out Kirby!

That's my plan, anyway... we'll see how it goes.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Menu Planning

In 2007 I used the Body Clutter Menu Mailer. A year's worth of recipes, all relatively healthy, planned for me week by week. It was a great plan and I came away with a bunch of great recipes. But it's been a year now, and I've been slacking on printing out the recipes each week, and I'm not really using it now. In fact, I've sort of slacked on meal planning in general. So I guess it's a new year and time for a new plan.

So for 2008, I'm stealing Dana's idea!! I'm even going to plan out breakfasts, snacks, and lunch. I think that will help me give Eliana a better variety of foods, as well as think about the balance of my own foods. Here's what I've got so far:

It'll be a 5 day flexible rotation, so if we want to do something else that night, no big deal. The lunches are for Ellie, not me. I'll have to figure out what I'm doing for lunch based on what we're having for dinner, what I had for breakfast, and how many calories I have left for lunch. But I will follow this basic plan for breakfast and dinner, at least.