Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Thinking of changing my blog's name

Hello Ladies

I've been debating in my head about changing my blog's name.

See, my blog title is a lie. I had good intentions of writing about how to be a passionate homemaker and I wanted to share some creative ideas with you all.

I've done neither.

I have fought for over a decade about being a homemaker, never mind a PASSIONATE one. I have spent the last 11 years of my homemaking journey carrying around my good friends named Guilt and Shame. Have you met them?

If I'm doing something fun, I feel guilty...like I should be doing something productive. When I open the drawer to see there are no more dish towels, I feel shame. "Wow, Angell, you're behind on the laundry once again...what kind of homemaker are you?" Meanwhile Shame reminds me of this when I may have only half a load to do. Nothing is ever good enough for my friend Shame.

I hear the same thing when the q-tips and cotton ball container is empty. Never mind all the other little tasks we do.

I'm tired of it.

Why can't I be cocky?  "Wow, look Angell, you did such a great job organizing that drawer!!" Or, "great job cleaning the refrigerator, you're such a great homemaker!!"

Why don't I ever hear those?  I can bust my butt all day and see something I didn't get done, and feel like a failure.

Forget how I feel when I'm sitting reading a book and hubby decides to clean. Talk about feeling like a lazy homemaker!  My husband loves to clean yet, due to my stupid friends Guilt and Shame, I can't truly appreciate it the way I know I should.



That's what I hear, all the time. God forbid I do something I'm enjoying, like reading, crocheting or watching a good movie.

Have I mentioned he also loves to cook?  Oh yeah, he'll come home after working all day and cook dinner. Guilt and Shame love that!!!!

Just recently I shared a few blog posts about my favorite books. One of those was Elizabeth George's "A Woman After God's Own Heart."

After writing about it, I decided to reread it.

I threw it across the room.


I love her, but she just adds gasoline to the fire. So don't other bloggers and other books I've read. I was loving the book until it got to the homemaker part.

Here's just an example of what set me off. I read she has raised her daughters so that when they sit and watch TV, to do something productive while watching (like going through the mail, cleaning something, organizing something, etc). Because, God forbid, we aren't productive every flipping second of every day!!!!!!! Why can't we sit and, gee I don't know, enjoy the show over a cup of coffee! Now I DO like to watch TV while doing something minor, but to have to ALWAYS do that..,no thank you.

What is going on here?!!!!

Look, I'm not trying to find an excuse to be lazy. By far am I lazy. But can we please take this monkey off our back that puts such stupid rules all over us??? There is this shadow that follows us that affects our self worth, who we are at our core...our very being. Why can't we take advantage of all the technology that helps us clean FASTER than how they did it in biblical times?

Idle hands

Let's talk about that phrase I hear all the time from bloggers and books that want to justify why we need to be "productive" 24/7.

What classifies us as idle? If we're reading a book, are we idling? If we talk on the phone and enjoy fellow-shipping with a friend, is that idling? If we are watching a TV program we enjoy, are we idling? IF WE ARE DOING ANYTHING OTHER THAN CLEANING, are we idling?

Dictionary.com defines "idle" as: "not spent or filled with activity"



Reading is an activity (and even proven to be exercise for the brain...which I love since there is Dementia in my family). Sitting outside enjoying our family is an activity. Exercising is an activity, so isn't painting our nails, taking a bubble bath, doing a puzzle, playing video games, coloring, shopping, rocking a baby to sleep and so on. But why does that ONE activity...cleaning...dictate our lives? Why does it call us so much? Why is it, when we are doing any OTHER activity, we feel guilty for not doing that ONE called cleaning?

I have a love affair with pinterest. Oh the sneaky tips and tricks you learn to clean your home, organize it, build routines that help you fly through them and so on. I was born one of those annoying people who are naturally organized lol. I don't need lessons, classes or instructions on how to organize my house. It just comes. But yet Guilt and Shame never remind me of that. My entire house can be clean, but they are whispering in my ear, while I'm reading, that I should clean more. I'm being lazy. I'm being..."idle."

Is anyone ever really "idle" nowadays? I mean seriously...everyone I know is busy busy busy. So let's stop this nonsense.

Let's stop making ourselves feel guilty because, even though we've truly been busy all day, we didn't get the house super clean. Let's tell Guilt and Shame good bye!

That's what I'm working on. I'm done with this stupidity.

As for the blog title, I have no clue what I would want to call it. I know God has steered me to help other homemakers get off this annoying guilt/shame/lack of self worth merry go round. He is first working on me. One minute I think I'm doing great, then I have another set back. Thank God for Jesus!!!!

I won't be changing it soon. If I do, I'll have to change my blog banner and that costs money. I would want the address to change as well. I don't know what all the entails and I don't care enough right now to research it lol. (Hey, I'm honest lol!)

I just want you to know that you are not the only one that battles this nonsense...that nonsense of Guilt and Shame in regards to your homemaking. Next time you are doing something fun, tell them to kiss your butt lol!!!

Friday, May 1, 2015

A few other favorite books

The past couple posts have been about my favorite books (I would love to hear yours because I'm always on a hunt for great books!)  This post is about different random books that I love.

If there is ever a book I can recommend for losing weight, it's this one:

"Thin People Don't Clean Their Plates," by Jill Fleming is a book that everyone who personally knows me is tired of hearing about! I was bored one day and took my youngest son to the library with me. While he was playing I was looking through the cookbooks/health books and stumbled across this. I sat to read it a bit and fell in love the first couple pages. I kept renewing it and renewing it, and when I was getting close to the last renewal, I reserved another copy and swapped it out. I continued this for about 6-7 months! I have finally just bought the book lol. This is not a typical weight loss book. Each chapter is a habit/lifestyle choice and after reading it I learned something major. I was doing EVERYTHING wrong. I never had a weight problem as a child or teen. I ate whatever I want, how much I wanted, and how often I wanted. Bringing those same habits into my adult life, I am now a size 24 and need to lose over 70 pounds. Because I was thin, no one even noticed how I ate or had a reason to change my habits. So I'm relearning how to eat. My life is now structured around this book. I'm pretty sure I'll mention it again within the next couple of months. My main focus right now is in losing weight. I've had enough of this being overweight nonsense. I'm also learning how to eat correctly. There is so much nonsense out there and different people doing different things that it's hard to figure out what's right.  I'll talk more on that later. This particular book, in my opinion, is the only "weight loss" book you'll ever need. Toss out all the nonsense with these other fad diets.

"The Complete Tightwad Gazette, Promoting Thrift as a Viable Alternative Lifestyle," by Amy Dacyczyn. I so wish I had this book in my late teens. Man, the money I would have now lol! What I love about this book is even if you didn't follow everything, her attitude about frugality is so contagious that it rubs off on you. This is definitely not a typical book where you have chapters. This book is made up of her old newsletters that she used to mail so it's almost like reading a magazine. I love just peeking through a couple pages every now and then.

"Vegetable Gardening for Dummies," by Charlie Nardozzi. This is on my to-buy list. I don't have many of those by the way. I personally look at the library as a place to hold my books lol. I stopped buying holiday books because I got tired of trying to find places to store them. The only way I buy a book now is if I already know I love it (from a previous library copy), if I know I will use it or read it often or I want to highlight it like a coloring book, or if the library doesn't have it and it's by a favorite author...and even then I will still wait until I can get it used for no more than $4 otherwise I'll just go without (or ask for it as a gift when someone asks what I want for my birthday or Christmas). I take this out from the library every year we've had a garden. It would be so helpful if I just had it, highlighted the parts I need, put post it notes and bookmarks on the pages of items I'm growing and be done. As with all "Dummies" books, this one is super simple and easy. I highly recommend it.

"Clara's Kitchen: Wisdom, Memories, and Recipes from the Great Depression," by Clara Cannucciari. I love this woman! She has her own YouTube channel, which I believe is run by her grandson now that she passed away in her late 90s! It's sad that all the people who lived through the great depression are now dying off. They are just a bundle of wisdom. Her YouTube channel has a few of her recipes in there. What I love about this cookbook is it's more of a story than a cookbook. She chatted about what life was like then and shared her recipes. Good stuff.

So I think that's it about the favorite books. Sometimes I love to sit with a cup of coffee and browse Goodreads for more suggestions. If you are on Goodreads, feel free to add me :-)

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

My Favorite Fiction Books

When I was a teenager I LOVED to read fiction. As an adult I have struggled with it a bit. I always felt that if I'm going to take the time to read, it should feed my mind. So I stuck with Non-Fiction and Christian Living type books.

That changed a couple years ago. A typical trip to the library includes me grabbing books I will probably never read. I have good intentions, but they just get returned, unread. Well one day I was in the kids/young adults section and came across this book (all book links are to Good Reads where you can get book descriptions and reviews):

"The Time Travelers" by Linda Buckley Archer. Please, please, please ignore the comment "For Kids who love Harry Potter." I know many Christians are against that whole series. There is nothing magical about these books other than a science mishap that turns some anti gravity machine into a time machine...that's it! There are no witches, wizards, and anything like that. Anyways, I started reading this book and was HOOKED! I downed it in a few days which is huge for me and even more huge since it has 416 pages!!! Every second I got, I read that book. And I was homeschooling at the time so I had even less time than normal. So saying I read it in a few days is a MAJOR accomplishment. Then it happened. I got to the end and it didn't exactly end. I was confused. Then I finally saw on the cover the word "trilogy." I have never read a trilogy before. So I went online and reserved the next two books. I devoured them in less than a week. (and each book was close to 500 pages!!)

Here are the other two books:
The Time Thief                                                              The Time Quake

So there's that trilogy. After reading those, the love of fiction has come back. I have learned that you ARE feeding your mind, even if it's just enjoyment. I read somewhere that reading is like exercise for the brain. 

Here are some more I recently read and have become new favorites. 

"Goodnight June" by Sarah Jio. This was the next one I read and loved. It's now on my to buy list (I take them out from the library first). Does the little picture on the lower right hand corner look familiar? It's from the book Goodnight Moon. This book is a fictitious tale of how that book came to be. It's suspenseful, heartfelt, and has a little romance in it (clean romance I might add). I just love it, and will be buying it soon and rereading it. I personally wait until I have forgotten most of the detail of a fiction book before I read it again lol

My next one was a game changer. It proved to me that you can read and get the same "benefits" as a Christian Living genre book. 

"Candle in the Darkness" by Lynn Austin. This is my first Christian fiction book and also my first historical fiction book. I can't believe how much inspiration you can get from a fiction book. Jesus Himself used parables and stories, so now what seems to me to be obvious but wasn't at the time, you can get it from fiction books. Since it's stories, it has a tendency to stick more. I find myself remembering something that has happened in the story and it has actually encouraged me. Now for the historical fiction part...it's actually funny I read this book. I was horrible in history in school. I had to do extra credit just to pass. So for me to read a historical fiction book, sounded pretty funny. This is part of a trilogy series about the Civil War. All the historical parts are facts. My hubby is a history junkie and I was able to actually have a conversation with him where I couldn't otherwise. I questioned him about some of the facts mentioned (which were true) and I now have an interest in history. When you're in school and are just fed facts and dates to memorize, you don't really see that these were real people. Candle in the Darkness is read from the Southerner's point of view of the Civil War. 

Here are the other two books:

Fire by Night                                                               A Light to my Path

I just recently finished reading Fire by Night and that is told from the Northerner's point of view. Don't worry if you aren't into historical fiction. The story line itself is just amazing. I haven't, yet, read A Light to My Path. I'll be doing that hopefully soon. From what I read it's written from the slave's point of view.

So those are it for now. My goal is to read other books by Lynn Austin and to find other "inspirational books." I do love romance books and I have a stack of "Love Inspired" books that I got years ago, and still haven't read. They are clean Christian romance books. The door to reading fiction has once again been opened. It is NOT a waste of time.

What are some of your favorite fictional books? I'm always opened to suggestions!

Monday, April 27, 2015

My Favorite Christian Living Books

Being a book nerd, I love peeking at other people's bookshelves when I visit their home. It's so interesting to see what people like to read. I'm going to share a few blog posts involving my favorite books. This one is about my favorite Christian living books. I have a ton, but I was somewhat able to limit them to a small list. All the book links go to Goodreads.com, where you can get book descriptions and other reviews :)

"Falling in Love with Jesus" by Dee Brestin and Kathy Troccoli. This is my all time, most favorite book. This is the first book I read when I started my walk with God almost 14 years ago. I need to order a new book, the pages are literally falling out of the book and they are turning yellow. I'm notorious for not finishing a book, but this one I have read handfuls of times. This book is geared towards women who are single and also are married. When I first read it, I was single. It had such an influence on me. "Abandoning yourself to the greatest romance of your life"...that subtitle is perfect, and true. The chapter titles in the book are all names of songs. I remember going grocery shopping and literally feeling like Jesus was right there with me, as I put stuff in the cart. Walking at work, He was there. It brought such a deeper level to my walk. I would have a candlelight breakfast and talk to Jesus. I just loved it and still do.

"Heart Hunger, Letting God Meet Your Emotional Needs," by Cindi McMenamin is another biggee for me. Very similar in message to Falling in Love With Jesus. There is so much more of Jesus available to us than we realize and I don't ever want to settle for just a ho-hum relationship. This book helps with that as well.

"The Power of a Praying Life, Finding the Freedom, Wholeness, and True Success God Has for You," by Stormie Omartian. I love all of Stormie Omartian books, especially the books on prayer. This one, in particular, seems to go deeper and I highly recommend it.

"The Secret Power of Speaking God's Word," by Joyce Meyer. This is a book that I use all the time. It's not a book that just sits on the shelf collecting dust, or read sporadically. I wrote a post in 2012 about the power in speaking God's Word. This book is a gem. She has taken what the Bible says about specific topics (anger, love, anxiety, worry, finances, etc) and written them in a way that you can speak them.

For example, Matthew 6:27 says: "And who of you by worrying and being anxious can add one unit of measure to his stature or to the span of his life?"

She writes it for us to speak in first person as "My worrying and being anxious will not add one unit of measure to my stature or to the span of my life."

This little gem has helped me in times of fear, stress, loneliness and a ton of other things. I regularly confess from this book but instead of saying "I" I say "we" or "us" and speak these over my family, unless it's something I'm specifically fighting for/with at the moment. I highly recommend it. I love all her books, but there are 3 more that are also favorites. Those are "Battlefield of the Mind," "The Word, the Name, the Blood" (VERY POWERFUL) and "The Power of Simple Prayer."

"Becoming Myself, Embracing God's Dream of You," by Stasi Eldredge. I LOVE Stasi Eldredge. Her books are written in a way as if an older friend, whose been there and done that, is chatting with you. She seems to go through a lot of what I do and is so encouraging. This book teaches you that YOU ARE OKAY JUST THE WAY YOU ARE. God loves you and He's proud of you. She has another book that helped me tremendously. That's "Captivating, Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman's Soul"

"A Woman After God's Own Heart," by Elizabeth George. This is a book that will challenge you to go higher in your walk. I love her style of writing. She's like an encouraging cheerleader that is screaming to keep going and grow in your walk with God. I also love the one for moms and wives.

Elizabeth George also has a Bible Study Series called "Woman After God's Own Heart Bible Study Series." I love them and own all of them so far. She goes through verse by verse guiding you along and helping you apply it to your life. Love it!

"God is Able" by Priscilla Shirer. This book has helped me tremendously through a tough trial in my life recently. I never leaned on God so much as I did then and this book helped me through it.

"His Princess, Love Letters from Your King," by Sheri Rose Shepherd. Love love love this little book.  The author has taken scripture and turned them into love letters written from God. I have taken many of them and handwritten them in my Bible on pages from the Psalms. Definitely worth a peek.

"Devils, Demons and Spiritual Warfare, Power to Engage and Defeat Demonic Forces," by Tom Brown. In my opinion, every Christian should read this book....hands down. Sometimes we like to just stick our heads in the sand and not see what Satan is up to. He is everywhere and after everyone, especially us and our family. This is a must read

"Four Blood Moons, Something is About to Change," by John Hagee. This is another must read. If you don't want to read it, at least listen to his sermon HERE. So far we have gone through 3 blood moons (2 last year and one this year), and there is another one coming on September 28 this year. This is NO accident. God has said in many places in the Bible that the heaven's are His billboard and there will be signs in the stars and moon. I can't believe there are people out there that believe that this is just science and not any "signs." Every blood moon out there has been on a Jewish holiday...how is that NOT a sign? And they have all come in patterns of 4 AND every time they have come, something significant has changed, at least for the Jewish people. In his book he has explained how this set of 4 blood moons and the timing of it is the most significant of all. Maybe this time around it won't just be for the Jewish people...maybe it's for the whole world. God will NOT stand by and watch His people (Jews and Christians) be treated the way they have been. Since the first blood moon TONS of things have changed. I can't wait to see what God does when He steps in...because He will!

So there is my list. Have you read any of these? What are some of your favorites?

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Cleaning While the Coffee Brews...

On Monday, I re-posted a blog post I wrote in 2012 about how to clean your bathroom without actually taking time (as in an hour or so, or having a set day or week to clean it) to do it. This post is somewhat of a re-post. I'm taking the same idea from my OLD POST on this idea.

I have admitted many times on this blog that I don't really care for cleaning. I enjoy cleaning when the setting is perfect. No interruptions, I'm not sweating, good music, candle going, and knowing for sure that when I'm done I can do something I enjoy. Since that isn't reality, my goal is to keep a clean house, without spending hours cleaning it. Isn't that everyone's goal? I highly recommend you check out Monday's post :-)

Quoting my old post: "I love to multitask especially when a task I'm doing doesn't require much focus or thinking. I was making coffee and realized I was cleaning a little bit while I waited for it to be done. Ta-da! This idea was born."

My old post had a list of about 40 different things. My new list has over 70. The reason it's so much more, is because I broke the list into smaller goals and it's not just for while I'm waiting for my coffee to brew. I want to be able to do one from the list in the time it takes during a commercial break. I will share that list at the bottom of this post If you decide to do this, create your own. Mine is totally customized to my home.

Before that, I want to share some more multitasking tips.

- Once a load in the wash is done, and contains any washcloths, I take one of those washclothes (it's the perfect dampness by the way!) and wipe down the dryer and washing machine. Once I'm done, I just throw it back in the washing machine to be washed next time. I know one of the Daily Mission's of Flylady is to clean them, and by developing habits like this, I don't have to "remember" to do it, or schedule to do it, etc.

- When emptying the kitchen garbage, throw 5 trash bags in the bottom underneath the new bag. When I empty my last bag, then that would be when I wash out the trashcan (same goes for bathroom trashcans). This way I don't have to remember to do it...the fact that I have to add more bags to the bottom tells me I should clean it first! If it doesn't need cleaning at that time, then I don't do it. Just add 5 more in and see if it needs cleaning next time

- Pick up after yourself! It only takes a few seconds to put back the box of cereal, or that book back on the bookshelf, or that CD/DVD back in it's case. But when you have a ton of stuff like that, those seconds turn into many many minutes.

- Keep up with laundry. I HATE being behind in laundry. Here's a tip that I started doing. If you are one of those who does a load a day, how about starting that load at night? Before bed have it going in the dryer so then the next day it's ready for you to fold when you are ready for it. If I want to knock it out at 7am I can. Just an idea

- Leave a grocery list on the fridge at all times, even if it's just a scrap piece of paper. Add columns by departments (produce, household, beauty/meds, dairy, etc) and the second you know you need something add it to the list. By having the departments already planned out, you don't need to rewrite your list. Just grab it and go.

- For your kids' rooms - have a system where everything has a home, even if that home is a box with a taped piece of paper with it labeled what goes in it. Diaper boxes work great! I even use them in my closet...I rip off the flaps and lay them on it's side. I have wire wracks for shelves in my closet and by putting the boxes on its side, I'm able to store books and DVDs in them. Also, the top of the box creates another type of shelf, so I'm able to put stuff up there

- Clean stuff that the kids can't mess up in the morning time and then clean up the stuff they can mess up, before hubby comes home

- When you are in a mood to clean, take advantage of it! Work in one space at a time, even if it's one counter or one shelf.

Okay so here's that list!

1. Clean the fronts of the top cabinets in kitchen
2. Clean the fronts of the bottom cabinets in kitchen
3. Clean front of microwave, stove and dishwasher
4. Clean front and sides of refrigerator
5. Clean top of fridge
6. Clean shelves in fridge door
7. Clean two crisper drawers in fridge
8. Clean top two shelves in fridge
9. Clean bottom two shelves in fridge
10. Clean deli drawer in fridge
11. Wipe down inner walls in fridge
12. Straighten freezer
13. Wipe any marks in freezer
14. Wash two smaller windows in kitchen
15. Wash the 3 large windows in kitchen
16. Clean toaster, inside microwave, and coffee pot
17. Vacuum ceiling corners in kitchen
18. Vacuum ceiling corners in living room
19. Vacuum ceiling corners in kid’s bathroom and playroom
20. Vacuum ceiling corners in hallway and kid’s room
21. Vacuum ceiling corners in master bedroom and bathroom
22. Vacuum ceiling corners in computer room and laundry room
23. Clean living room windows and tv
24. Dust everything in the living room
25. Clean other tvs
26. Clean computer monitors and mirrors
27. Wash computer room windows
28. Wash windows on back door
29. Wash playroom and kid’s room windows
30. Wash master bath and bedroom windows and door
31. Swiffer duster all ceiling fans
32. Dust pictures in kitchen and hallway
33. Dust pictures in kid’s room, playroom and kid’s bathroom
34. Dust pictures in master bath and bedroom
35. Dust pictures in laundry room and computer room
36. Refill soaps and salt and pepper shaker
37. Refill q-tips and cotton balls
38. Throw washable rugs in the wash
39. Wipe down all switch plates
40. Wipe down all door handles
41. Empty all trash
42. Wash cabinets in kid’s bathroom
43. Wash cabinets in master bathroom
44. Dust kid’s room
45. Dust playroom
46. Dust master bedroom
47. Clean teapot
48. Swiffer living room walls
49. Swiffer playroom walls
50. Swiffer kid’s room walls
51. Swiffer master bath walls
52. Swiffer master bedroom walls
53. Swiffer kid’s bathroom walls
54. Swiffer hallway walls
55. Swiffer half kitchen walls
56. Swiffer other half kitchen walls
57. Swiffer laundry room walls
58. Swiffer computer room walls
59. Move couches and vacuum
60. Vacuum out couches
61. Wipe down woodwork in living room
62. Wipe down woodwork in playroom
63. Wipe down woodwork in kid’s room
64. Wipe down woodwork in master bath
65. Wipe down woodwork in master bedroom
66. Wipe down woodwork in Kid’s bath
67. Wipe down woodwork in hallway
68. Wipe down woodwork in half of kitchen
69. Wipe down woodwork in other half of kitchen
70. Wipe down woodwork in laundry room
71. Wipe down woodwork in computer room
72. Wipe down tables in living room
73. Clean tub
74. Clean shower

Now, of course, the bathroom items are there because I wrote this list recently. I am now trying to get back to how I cleaned the bathroom before and I won't need to do it. 

I continually add to this list, things I come up with. I do these items all at different times. Sometimes I do it while I'm waiting for my coffee to brew, something to boil, something to cook/bake, while I'm on hold, during commercial breaks and so on.

I'm so done taking out the time, that I could be using to do something else (like reading, sit outside, visit with a friend and so on), to sweat and clean. I love the motto "work smart not hard." I think we can apply that to cleaning as well.

Monday, April 20, 2015

How To NEVER Take Time Out to Clean the Bathroom

I have completely fallen off the band wagon with cleaning. My routines have been thrown out the window the past few months and I'm trying to get back into them. I have learned that I don't battle with routines...I battle with interruptions to those routines. It could be an errand that has to be done at a certain time (appointments, etc), a child who is much more needy than normal, and any other list of unexpecteds (I seem to make up a lot of my own words blogging on here lol).

So I'm not trying to create a NEW routine right now, I'm just trying to go back to what worked at some point. This post is a repost that I wrote back in 2012. I might share a few more of these reposts because I need them now more than ever and I'm sure that someone else can use them too.

Here is one that worked wonders for me. When I did this, I never had to carve out time to clean the whole bathroom the traditional way. I loved it. Sometimes I follow Flylady's schedule and I just loved when I got to skip the whole week they were in the bathroom because it was stuff I've done already. Also, when you keep it up every day, there is less and less to clean (example: no dust on the top of the toilet...cleans with just one wipe). So you fly through it. I end up doing more than one on the list below because it's so fast.

So here's that post:

How To NEVER Take Time Out to Clean the Bathroom

Now, if you're like me, I drink a lot of coffee and water throughout the day...which means I pee a lot!...which means I'm in the bathroom many times a day.

My goal here is to never have to take time out of my day to clean the whole bathroom down. I hate cleaning the bathroom! I end up all sweaty and my back hurts and then I'm cranky. Which then makes hubby cranky and my kids cranky, which makes me even more cranky. See...it's not worth it!

So here's what I've been doing and hope to continue to do. Like I've mentioned before...it's all about consistency!

First off, get a cleaner just for the bathroom. I use a spray bottle from Dollar Tree and fill it with cleaners (I go back and forth with making my own, and buying stuff from the store) I have one for each bathroom.

After taking a shower, get a clean rag and wipe down the whole shower/tub/faucet area (I bring 2 washcloths in with me instead of one, one being for me to wipe down the shower). Pay attention to the outside part of the tub/shower as well. If you do this consistently, especially with a germ killing spray, you won't have to actually take time out to clean it. Plus with the steam from the shower, it helps loosen up stuff making it easier to clean.

Since I go to the bathroom so much, I figured each time I go, I can do a quick cleaning of something specific, then by the end of the day, the whole bathroom is clean. Doing this every day, would keep your bathroom clean without really having to add it to a schedule, a whole week on Flylady, and on and on.

1) After going to the bathroom, wipe down the whole toilet with a baby wipe, or washcloth and some cleaner. I personally don't decorate the back of my toilet because that means I have to move it to clean it (I'm lazy! lol...and...I'm worried that my little one might knock it off into the toilet!). I'm talking cleaning under the seat, down the sides of the toilet, and the base.

2) Use your toilet brush and "swish and swipe" as Flylady would call it. Doing this daily prevents a ring around the toilet.

3) After drying your hands off, spray some cleaner on the towel and wipe down the sink really quick and the front of the cabinets (it helps to not have too much on the sink. I keep the necessities there (soap, toothbrushes, etc) and then I have a basket with everything else in it)

4) Empty trash (I use grocery bags from the store and as I put one in the bin and wrap the handles around the edge, I put in about 5 more on top of that in the same manner. So once I pull the top bag out, there is one already ready to go without having to do anything). Before tying up the bag, take a quick walk through the house to see if you can throw anything else away and put it in the bag

5) Spray some cleaner on a towel and wipe down the mirror and windows (if needed). Spray more cleaner on the towel and wipe down the floors. If you don't feel like getting on your hands and knees to clean the floor, spray it on the floor and drag the towel back and forth with your foot! Yup, laziness at its best!

6) Wipe down door, switchplates, door handles, toilet handle etc (this doesn't have to be daily, but often)

If you have more than one bathroom, then go pee in each one and work on these lol. If the kids are occupied, and I'm not in the middle of something, I'll do a few of these at one time. And after being consistent with it for a while, you'll notice that each task gets quicker and quicker...then you can do more than one at a time. It's so nice to walk into a bathroom that is always cleaned. And it's even nicer when you make out a cleaning schedule/routine and you can skip this room(s) all together!

Monday, April 13, 2015

Why my blog isn't on social media and some more rambling

I will be the first to tell you, I LOVE social media. My two favorites are Pinterest and Facebook. I love them both equally but for different reasons. I also love Goodreads which is basically Facebook for book-nerds...which I totally am one!!

I'm not on twitter, simply because I ramble too much and they limit how many characters you can tweet. Sorry...I just can't do that lol. I love Facebook for the main reasons it was created...to keep in touch with people. My son has made friends over the years at school and to help him be friends with them outside of school, I would send their moms a letter with my phone, email, and facebook info. You can quickly get to know someone through facebook. Just seeing what they post, what pages they "like," and so on. But also, you can send quick messages. I use it a lot when we decide to go to the park...I'll throw a message to some of them that live by me that we're going and if they like to join us, then come along. I also plan coffee get togethers and what not. It's so easy when they are all "together" so to speak.

However, I HATE Facebook from a page owning perspective. For starters, not everyone who "likes" your page, sees your page. In fact, you have to pay money to get more people to see your stuff. Also, people can be really mean and I rather not get into that rat race. There are a lot of pages I follow and when I read the comments, there is always arguing. No thank you.

I just deleted my "My Blog Posts" board on Pinterest.  I'm really not feeling the whole "putting my blog out there" thing. Since I started posting my stuff on Pinterest, I have written less. Why? Because you need a PICTURE to pin in order to do so. You can't just pin any ole picture because people would have no clue what that post is about. So I paid for backgrounds, downloaded free fonts and worked on creating pictures for my blog posts.  One picture may take me over a half hour to create...if I'm feeling particularly perfectionistic that day, then forget it...I'm over an hour at that point.

It's just not worth it.

I like to just write. I'm tired of the pressure that comes along when putting it out there. I love to just click "create new post," write, and then click publish...AND BE DONE.

There are times I battle with comparing myself to bigger blogs. I don't want to be a big blog. I don't have time to be a big blog. I simply want to ramble about being a homemaker and everything that involves. I pray it reaches people that will find it a blessing, and that's it. I'm not always able to come up with a "teachable post" because, quite frankly, my life is a mess at times.

I hope to write more, and more simply. Every now and then God gives me a message, but not always. I love hearing about other homemakers day to day life. I get tired of them telling me how to do things. Quite frankly it ticks me off and I stopped following blogs that tell me I need to clean more, I need to love cleaning, I need to talk and walk sweetly...blah blah blah. I'm not feeling it...sorry.

I do love blogs, like The Legacy of Home, who just writes what's on her mind, and that's it. Her example and joy are contagious.

I hope to eventually be that to you. But first I need to take the pressure off myself and by getting off social media and link ups, I'm doing just that.

Love you gals!!

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Thankful for friends that convict me

God has done a work in my life when it comes to friends. As I got closer to Him, I realized how easily a bad friend hinders your walk with God. I'm thankful to say, I'm surrounded by great friends...now. But it didn't happen overnight. It took me giving up, some rather "close" relationships and being alone for a bit. I lost all contact with people I went to school with years ago. I became a stay-at-home mom and slowly lost touch with people I worked with. I then moved out of state, but didn't seem to get close enough to the moms at my mommy play date groups to truly make a friend. Everyone around me worked and I had to be, to a degree, lonely.

During this season, I got to really learn God. And as time went on, one friend after another found their way to me. And not crappy friends either...true friends.

What I find interesting is how they each offer something that I need.

For example... One of my biggest weaknesses, as a mom, is I'm a pushover and I give in easily. Doing this for years, I have seen some bad fruit from it. Well God put four women in my life who are strong in this area, one friend in particular is super strong.

For a while, I always felt condemned when I hung out with any of them.

I felt like a failure.

God has shown me that He purposefully put them in my life not to condemn me, but to convict me. To give me a model and a soundboard when needing help in this area. To show me how it's done, so to speak, and to bring these ideas and concerns to God. I'm sad to say, that many times I didn't see certain issues as concerns because I was blinded. Thanks to these moms, my eyes were opened. And not because they do anything on purpose, they are just being themselves. 

Another struggle I have is with losing weight. Well one of those four moms I mentioned, is also into health and fitness. How perfect!

Maybe you have your own battles like me. Do you have friends that are strong in areas you're weak in? That's no accident!! Be thankful for them! I truly believe God led them to you for a reason...

Because you need them.

You can skip googling and finding help books and instead call them up, invite them over for coffee and pick their brains. How awesome is that?!

I'm so thankful God showed this to me. It's amazing what happens when your perspective is changed

God bless you!!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Great resource I found for those who struggle with alone time with God due to motherhood

Hi Mommas.  My last post was about struggling to find alone time with God when you truly don't have a minute to yourself. Apparently this is a problem I've struggled with for years because I wrote about it back in 2012 here.

I know I haven't been writing consistently like I want to. Right now we are going through some trials that has left me with barely any time to myself, never mind having the ability to think AND write. There are truly not enough hours in a day sometimes.

Since I wrote last, a month ago, I noticed that my youngest hasn't been getting up early much. So I planned some alone time with God again. I laid out my clothes for the next day so I can change quickly. Put my Bible and journal on the table. I prepped my coffee, even going as far as putting the cup out with a spoon in it, knowing that they were all in the dishwasher and I didn't want to even waste a second having to go in there. I even put a spoon on top of my yogurt in the fridge. I told my older son that he's getting up for school at 6:30 instead of 6 because he needs more sleep lol. I'm not technically lying because he actually does but my motive behind it was more time with God. I set my alarm at 4:30. I have been getting up at 6ish with my older son, so this would give me two hours alone with God. I desperately need it. I've been an emotional wreck. If my walk with God is not where I need it to be (where I feel consistently close to Him and in His Word), then I'm a moody pain in the butt.

Everything seemed to APPEAR like it would go well. Until my youngest woke up to have to go potty...AT 2AM...and decided not to go back to bed after that. It never fails. This happens to me EVERY.SINGLE.TIME. My attempts at alone time with God has failed for at least 6 months.  I woke up yelling at God in my spirit. I KNOW He has the ability to keep everyone asleep so I can have alone time with Him. And if this is Satan, well God has the authority to keep him at bay and chooses not to. I was in tears this morning from how angry I was (just being real here). And although I know what to do (heck, I just wrote a post about this), I wanted to see if anyone else has written about it.

And someone did.

This is my first time coming across this site. If you struggle with the same thing, I suggest this post, "Help! Mommydom leaves me no time for God," from True Woman.

Definitely made me feel better and put me back in the right perspective. Have a great day!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Having "alone" time with God when you never are alone

We are taught how important it is to spend ALONE time with God, but what happens when you are never alone?

We hear how Jesus would run off and spend alone time with God and if anyone can get away with NOT doing that, it would be Him. Although we want to do that, some of us are in a season of life where it just doesn't happen by no fault of our own.

Have you ever made a special effort to have morning time with God? The night before you place your Bible and other items you're using on the table (or wherever you spend your alone time with God), you prep your coffee or tea so you just have to turn it on in the morning and even lay out your clothes? You set your alarm clock off early, get up, sneak around the house getting dressed, get your coffee going, finally you sit down, open up your Bible, and then it happens...

Someone wakes up. Usually it's a little one.

This happens more than I care to admit. Can I be honest for a second? I get really mad at God when that happens. I mean, I'm trying to have some alone time with HIM and He has the power to keep these kids asleep, so why wouldn't He?

It got to the point where anytime I was truly desperate to be with Him ALONE someone always caused it not to happen. Not too long ago, I gave up with the whole concept. I was so in need of His presence, I really needed Him...one on one...so I got up...at 2 AM!!!!

And, like I said before, I spent almost an hour the night before prepping. As soon as I sat down, took my first sip of coffee (again at TWO IN THE MORNING), touched my Bible, my youngest woke up. And I mean he was up, up. He was up and ready for the day. I had a few choice words with God and I haven't had my morning time since. I was very angry and bitter.

And it only got worse because I kept hearing teaching and messages about the importance of spending alone time with God. I'd scream at God "HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO HAVE ALONE TIME WITH YOU IF I'M NEVER ALONE??!!! AND *YOU* ARE CAPABLE OF KEEPING THESE KIDS ASLEEP!! IT'S NOT LIKE I'M NOT PUTTING IN AN EFFORT TO TRY!!!

Now I have relatives living with us for a few months. They are up at 5 am. My older son gets up at 6 for school.  To have morning, alone time, I would have to get up at 4! However hubby is now home on workers comp (possibly for a year or two) so we don't go to bed until 11 or so (since we barely get alone time to ourselves either)...that means getting up at 4 would mean consistently not getting enough sleep...and I'm not guaranteed of it actually being time alone with God. I swear kids have radar for when their mama wakes up.

So what to do...

Well I prayed about it and God showed me a lot through all this

First and foremost...God is not sitting up there, like an ogre, ready to smack ya. He is a loving God who understands your situation and season of life. He knows your heart.

This is what He was teaching me during these consistent frustrating events:

When you learn to seek Him in the chaos, it helps us learn to spend time with Him when situations aren't perfect. If we can only sense His peace, His presence, and guidance in a perfect environment that we created and planned for, how in the world can we seek Him when we are drowning in a storm? How can we hear Him through the thunder and lightning life throws at us?

He has used my own life situations, including my own family, to teach me to hear His voice in the chaos and to be led by Him when I can't find my way in the darkness. Not only that, but to really dig in and seek Him

You don't have to have the perfect scenario to seek Him and read His Word. The bathroom can be a very holy place! Lol

Here are some ideas God has shown me how to have "alone" time with Him when you just aren't ever alone

- Accept you'll never be alone in this season. It's okay!! He's not grading you and there is no set way of spending time with Him. Get whatever picture you have in your head of a godly woman and that picture perfect scenario of how she spends time with God, out of your head. I have finally accepted that in this season of life, I'm not going to have any alone time, or at least nothing consistent. The picture in my head of me reading the Word, early in the morning, is not going to happen right now. But I pray, and look forward to the days where not only can I get up early and do that, but I can do it some mornings in front of a lake or ocean...some place super peaceful. Or even just on my backyard patio while the birds chirp

- Realize there is no certain way to spend time with God. I'm very much a type A personality. I get lost if there is no plan. I always did the same thing every morning. I wrote in my journal. I prayed out of my prayer binder that was divided up into certain sections and certain days and there was always a plan with the Bible. And then I would wonder why I was getting bored with reading the Word. You can just sit with a cup of coffee and talk to God. That works! All spending time with God is, is talking to Him...that's it!

- Get some ear buds! I have a love/hate relationship with theSE things! I like the typical headphones I grew up with...they actually stayed on my ears! lol. But the advantage of today's ear buds is you can keep one out of your ear. Let me explain. I'm not a big TV person. I have to almost mentally prepare to watch a movie. I like my sitcoms and a few religious shows on TV...that's about it. However hubby can watch movies anytime...he can even watch one NOT from the beginning (I can't!). Sometimes I sit next to him and read or crochet while he watches, if I'm not interested. However God gave me another idea and that is to listen to podcasts or religious teaching or music on YouTube, while only having one ear bud in. That way I can still hear hubby talking to me, I can still hear what is going on in the house, but I also get to be uplifted by what I listen to. I leave the ear bud out on the side hubby is sitting on.

- I love the Coffee Cup Bible Studies! Have you ever heard of this series? Click HERE to see them on Amazon. I love them because they are one of the few Bible Studies out there that include ALL the Bible Verses needed. Why is that important? Because you don't need to have the book AND your Bible to do the study. That means you can do a Bible study while going to the bathroom, while you're on hold on the phone, while you're waiting for something to defrost, while you're at the doctor's office...anywhere. The books aren't that big and they are spiral bound. Perfect to put in your purse or bag, or to fit in the slot in your car door.

- Keep books that inspire you readily available. I always have a "bathroom book." Basically a book that I will only read while in the bathroom. It's amazing how far you get just reading a couple pages a day. I'm now working on keeping one in my purse at all times and one in the car. A little goes a long way and sometimes just that quick reading sets your mind back on God. Even keeping one near the computer for when it lags can be helpful.

- Listen to music while cleaning and really sing and communicate with Him. I just love having the Christian radio station playing while cleaning, and then a song that my heart loves so much comes on. It's one of those that, when you hear the melody, you're instantly connected to God. This encouraged me to purposefully listen to music and talk to God while I clean. Just because I'm not sitting at a table, with a Bible in front of me, doesn't mean I can't, or I'm not, spending time with God.

- Take advantage of the random times you do get alone. When you're life consists of no regular alone time...meaning none you can count on...you never know when "alone time" may appear. Maybe your hubby takes the kids with him to the store. Maybe everyone takes a nap (it happens! lol). I strongly suggest you devote even 2 minutes to God right off the rip. I started doing this and I notice that I get more windows of alone time for Him than I did before. I think it's called sowing a seed :)

- Get spouse's help if possible.  If your spouse is understanding and open about this (not all are), see if he would be willing to watch the kids while you get some time alone with God.

- If you have family or friends close by, have them watch your kids for a few hours (not every day of course, but maybe once a week or even once a month). I personally don't have this luxury but I would love it if I had a friend that we could swap watching each other's kids while having a few hours to ourselves to be with God. Whether at home or out some where.

So those are the ideas God showed me. They have really become helpful for me and I hope help you. Getting mad at God because people wouldn't stay asleep, although understandable, was stupid. God uses things and situations to teach us, whether we realize it or not!