Our Blessed Chaos

My hubby + a 1st grader + twins in kindergarten + 4 critters..... Yeah it is chaos, but we are blessed!

Today's Verse

I have been reading several blogs, most of which I have posted at the left side of this page. I have been enjoying these blogs for these reasons:
- They make me laugh
- I have been blessed by the SOAP posts and other biblical based writings
- I have learned many interesting things, especially in the cooking category
- I have certainly been convicted about many things and I have started to make some positive changes in myself and in my home


And so I continue to quickly read these posts nearly every day. A couple days ago I was reading Kate's blog, A Simple Walk and she had a book giveaway. Here is a link to her post. asimplewalk.blogspot.com

I need this book! So I posted a comment and I won!!! I can hardly wait to get the book and get my pms emotional roller coaster under control.

Before I was pregnant I only ever had cramping, fairly significant but controllable with Midol or something like that. Then I had babies and everything about my cycly changed. I no longer have cramps, at least nothing more than a bit of achiness (sp?). But there have been months that I literally think I am losing my mind and am near emotional breakdown. I have been fairly good at not being psycho mom, not so good at freaking out at my poor hubby who usually takes the brunt of the emotional attacks. He has told me that some days he doesn't know which war will be fought when he comes in the door. It might be me on some kind of a warpath or me falling into a puddle of tears. And for some reason, every month I seem to forget about the cause of my emotional roller coaster and really do think I am losing my mind. Then just about when the ride is over I realize what is going on, that it is all pms. arrggg!!!

So now you can see why I was so excited about this book and I knew that if I didn't win it I would soon be looking for in on Amazon. I entered my comment first on Kate's blog and followed the links to comment on a couple others. Maybe I will win more than one copy and have my own giveaway!

Thank you Kate for the giveaway it really made my day!

Breakfasts are Cereal, Waffles, Oatmeal, or Bread with PB&J
Lunches are usually Leftovers
Suppers:
Sunday - Tuna Casserole

Monday - Beef Roast on top of Potatoes, Carrot & Onions in the crockpot and covered with Salsa (so easy and so yummy)

Tuesday - Stew (haven't decided on a recipe yet)

Wednesday - Meatloaf (post recipe later)

Thursday - Homemade Soup (post recipe later)

Friday - Pizza Night

Saturday - Any leftovers or Roasted Chicken

Scripture
Mark 14: 43-72 Betrayed!
blueletterbible.org

Specifically, verses 60-61
60 Then the high priest stood up before the others and asked Jesus, "Well, aren't you going to answer these charges? What do you have to say for yourself?" 61 Jesus made no reply. Then the high priest asked him, "Are you the Messiah, the Son of the blessed God?"
62 Jesus said, "I am, and you will see me, the Son of Man, sitting at God's right hand in the place of power and coming back on the clouds of heaven." [fn10]
63 Then the high priest tore his clothing to show his horror and said, "Why do we need other witnesses? 64 You have all heard his blasphemy. What is your verdict?" And they all condemned him to death.


Observation

The High Priest askes Jesus if he is the Messiah, Jesus say that he is and they do not believe him but condemn him to death for blasphemy.

Of all the people who should have recognized Jesus as the Messiah, it should have been the priests. The priests were the ones that knew the scriptures and studied them deeply. They were wrapped up in selfishness rather than what God was showing them. And so God used them in another way, to accomplish His plan. They did not recogize him as Messiah and in fact rejected him. Jesus needed to die to be our sacrifice and the priests condemned him to die.

Application

Are we recognizing the signs God is giving us? Do we hear or see them? Are we even paying attention, or are we so wrapped up in the business of our own lives and don't take the time to listen? No matter how busy we are, we need to take that time and spend it in a meaningful way so that we can recognize how God is working in our lives and so that we can go in the direction He is wanting us to go.

Prayer

Thank you God for showing me that it is so important to be paying attention to you. I know and trust that you are leading me, I only need to be able to see the path to make the decisions that you want me to make. Please help me to be more aware of you and what you are doing in my life, what you want me to be doing, and how you want me to reach out to others.

Scripture
Mark 14: 1-42 The Betrayer Approaches
blueletterbible.org

verse 24 And he said to them, "This is my blood, poured out for many, sealing the covenant between God and his people.

Observation

In vere 24 we are given the sign of the New Covenant, the symbol of drinking the wine as a remembrance of Jesus' sacrifice. In the Old Testament there are other signs that God gave as a sign of covenents he made with the Jewish people, examples are the rainbow and circumcision. But now in the New Testament we are all part of this New Covenant that all can come to God and be forgiven of our sins because Jesus shed his blood as the final sacrifice.

The symbol of Communion is often treated simply as a church tradition. I think that the significance of why we have Communion is taken for granted or even not understood. We need look further into the Chapter, at verses 33-34 and 36 to really understand the significance.

33 He took Peter, James, and John with him, and he began to be filled with horror and deep distress. 34 He told them, "My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and watch with me."

Jesus in prayer asks the Father, 36 Please take this cup of suffering away from me.

Application

This coming Sunday is the first Sunday of the month and is tradtionally when many churches celebrate Communion. I have a renewed awe and respect for the meaning of the tradition and will hold that close to my heart and be so much more thankful for Jesus' sacrifice and for his suffering.

Prayer

Jesus, thank you for bringing me close to you and for being the final sacrifice. Through you I can have God in my life, working in me and through me. Help me to show others how important your sacrifice was and how wonderful it is to be able to have a close relationship with you and God.

Scripture
Psalm 14 >blueletterbible.org

Observation

verse 3 all have become corrupt This is that same idea as in Romans 3:23 For all have sinned; all fall short of God's glorious standard.. And in fact Romans 3:10-12 actally quotes Psalm 14.

It is amazing and glorious when you really stop to think how wonderful this is. We cannot get close to God because of our sin, He is holy and we are sin and our sin seperates us from God. But God loves us so much and wants to be with us so He gave us Jesus!

Romans 3:24 Yet now God in his gracious kindness declares us not guilty. He has done this through Christ Jesus, who has freed us by taking away our sins. We can now have a relationship with God through Jesus.

Application

I think we sometimes can get in a rut of the same kind of worship. So when I am reminded of a concept like this one - so simple yet so powerful, all I want to do is find simple but powerful ways to worship God. We need to strive to increase our worship to God throughout each day. Not only can we sing praise and worship songs every day but we can give praise and thanks for all things big and small.

Prayer

Lord thank you for reminding me of such an important concept today. Your holiness is so great that we cannot ever hope to be near to you except that we can - through Jesus. Your plan for our salvation is so amazing and gracious. Thank you for all you do and all the blessings you have given us. Thank you for the beautiful music we can sing to praise you. Thank you for the piano I found. Thank you for my beautiful children who bring joy to my day and who bring me flowers(weeds) that they think are beautiful.

This morning I was getting ready for church and Sam was in the room with me.

Sam: Are you getting dressed Mama
Me: Yes
Sam: For church?
Me: Yes
Sam: Are you getting dressed all by yourself?
Me: (trying not to laugh) Yes
Sam: (raising the pitch of his voice) Oh Mama, good job getting dressed all by yourself, you are such a good girl.
Me: (laughing hysterically) Thank you Sam

Recently I have felt the need to make a contribution to our finances. I have been praying about this problem and asking God to help me find something that I can do. We have some credit card debt that I really want to pay off, and we have alot of plans for various renovations to our house. And so I simply want to get there faster, but what can I do when I am at home with 3 toddlers?

I have had a couple ideas but nothing that I could see evolving, with the exception of babysitting or bookkeeping. I could do either of these things but both have the disadvantage of needing to know people. We just moved into a very rural area and meeting people is not that easy, but I am keeping these options open.

Then a few weeks ago I got an email from my professional association stating that they are recruiting people to mark assignments submitted by students in the program. This is a job that can be done from home after attending a one day training session. Perfect, except that I am in the US and the training sessions are in Canada! hmmm, maybe it could still work, if I could get the assignment it would soon pay for the flight & hotel.

I quickly filled out the application form and prayed the whole time - God if this is your will I trust that you will make it happen. A couple weeks later I get an email from the coordinator requesting that I complete the travel request. Turns out that the trip will be paid for plus an additional amount to pay for my time! I called to make sure that they understood I would require an international flight, which would be more expensive and also two nights accommodation because of the flight times. No problem! My trip was paid for, I attended the session, my expenses will be reimbursed plus the honorarium, and I have now been assigned to not one but two groups. Most first time markers would never receive two groups!

All I can say is this is the work of God and that I am meant to do this. Thank you Lord for all you do!

I grew up in a home where manners were not only important they were expected. My Grandma tells the story of my brother asking for something when he was very young. The conversation goes something like this:

Scott: Can I have a cookie?
Grandma: I can't hear you. (one of the standard cues for us to say please)
Scott: (a little louder) Can I have a cookie?
Grandma: I can't hear you.
Scott: (a little louder again) Can I have a cookie?
Grandma: I can't hear you.
Scott: (frustrated and now yelling) Can I have a cookie?
Grandma: I can't hear you.
Scott: Grandma, why can't you hear me?
Grandma: (gathers my brother into a huge bear hug and explains as best she can through her tears of laughter)

I love this story and think of it often as I try to teach my young children manners. I started before they could even please, thank you, and the often neglected you're welcome. If they wanted something I would always work in the words I wanted them to eventually say.

Fast forward to them actually being able to say the words. Sam and Ben both picked up on the concept quickly and was soon saying please when I prompted him to. Carlee is a natural at manners, her first word was thankyou! I continued my "training" and was soon rewarded with the odd unpromted please from Sam. Of course Ben & Carlee are not even two yet so my expectations are slightly lower for unpromted words of manners.

However, yesterday I had a moment of pure joy as I watched and heard the results of my consistency. Sam is almost 3 and Ben & Carlee are almost 2 so I have added in some words. Here is how our lunch progressed.

Sam: I want more cucumber
Mama: How do you ask nicely?
Sam: Please
Mama: I'm sorry but the cucumber is all gone (at the same time noticing that Ben & Carlee have not touched theirs and Ben likely won't at all)
Sam: Please can I have more cucumber?
Mama: Well I told you that the cucumber is all gone so I cannot get you anymore, but maybe if you ask Ben nicely he would share with you.
Sam: Ben can I have your cucumber please
Ben: (No response as he is very busy shoveling in the meatloaf)
Sam: (walks over to Ben's chair) Ben! cucumber please
Ben: (gives Sam the cucumber)
Sam: Thank you Ben!
Ben: You're Welcome
Carlee: (hands Sam her cucumber across the table) Please Sam!
Sam: Thank you Carlee!
Carlee: You're Welcome!
Mama: (almost in tears) What wonderful manners you all have today
Sam: Mama, you happy?
Mama: Yes Sam, I am very happy when you have suchnice manners
Sam: You're Welcome Mama!

How great is that! I will cherish this memory for a long time. And I will need to because about 5 minutes after lunch was over Ben&Sam were fighting over a truck for the thousandth time!

I have make several batches of the 1st bread dough recipe that I tried. It is going so well that I have not bothered to attempt anything else. My hubby has been cutting down on carbs lately so we have not been going through as much bread, I have been eating more bread, especially at breakfast. Let me tell you that eating bread from freshly milled grain has some unexpected "regular" benefits! I had long ago switched to 100% whole wheat store bought bread and never really noticed any changes. This just make me so much more convinced of the benefits of milling my own wheat.

I recently heard a cd of a presentation from breadbeckers.com. It gives all the details of these benefits and more. You can get the cd for free by simply requesting it. If you are at all interested in learning more about using freshly milled grains you absolutely must get this cd!

Scripture Mark 13
Keep Watch blueletterbible.org
A sensed a theme and so I went back to underline the ideas. Here is what I found, also note that in all of these verses it is Jesus speaking.

verse 5 don't be mislead
verse 7 don't panic
verse 9 watch out
verse 11 don't worry
verse 13 those who endure to the end will be saved
verse 21 don't pay any attention
verse 22 Watch out! I have warned you
Verse 34 Stay alert and keep watch
verse 35 keep a sharp lookout
verse 37 Watch for his return

Observation

Verse 32 tells us that only God knows when Jesus will return. I believe that we are seeing many of the signs that He will return soon. Verse 33 pulled it all together for me. No matter what - we are to stay alert and keep watch. How do we do this? By growing in our relationship with the Lord.

To stay alert we must be in the Word, the Bible is our guide and it tells us how to live. I think that keeping watch means we are to be prepared. Firstly in knowing the Bible and gaining wisdom but also in our lives. But secondly so that we can use this wisdom to tell others about Jesus.

Application

Verse 13 tells us that if we endure to the end we will be saved. Endure what? How bad will it have to get before we see the end? I have heard from more than a couple pastors that the Western world is not part of the Biblical prophecies as they relate to the end times. I also heard a speaker talk about how every democracy will eventually fail. So what happens to the most powerful nation in the world? Perhaps there will be a mass destruction like the TV show Jericho, or maybe a disasterous plague of some kind, or maybe economic and social failure. Did you know that a grocery store only has 3 days worth of food on its shelves and that there is only about a week's worth of food in trucks on the road for delivery. The country is basically 72 hours away from mass hysteria!

So just maybe the US has to be brought down in some way from being a powerful nation because the US is not a player in the end times events. So will this need to happen before Jesus returns? Whether or not you believe in the concept of rapture, I think that we will all have to endure some serious trials before the end times events begin. And this is why I have started to feel so strongly about being prepared through a food storage program. I have just started this program in our home and will continure to write about the steps I am taking. This chapter simply tells me that the Holy Spirit is leading me in this direction and that I need to continue developing purplepreps!

Prayer

Dear Lord, thank for continuing to make yourself known to me through your Word. Please help me to be alert and to keep watch so that I will be able to endure to the end.

The kids are still napping so maybe I can sneak in another Psalm. Lord let them sleep a little longer so that I may hear what you are saying to me!

Scrpture

Psalm 13 blueletterbible.org
A Prayer of Self-doubt

Observation

Ouch! Verse 2 says what I have been feeling for weeks! How long must I struggle with anguish in my soul, with sorrow in my heart every day?

If you have read my other posts from today you know that I have used the analogy that I feel like I have been drowning. The sorrow and sadness I have felt are because I have been struggling with simply keeping up every day. I have said to myself more than once - I am a terrible homemaker when I can't even make our home comfortable.

This short little Psalm has taken a terrible weight off of my shoulders. It is not my weaknesses that have been making me "drown", it is simply the enemy trying to defeat me! The Lord is allowing the enemy to do this so that I may learn from this. I needed a lesson in trusting the Lord. I needed a lesson in leaning on God and His Word no matter what else is going on in my life.

Application

Getting into the Word every day and doing deeper Bible study rather than just reading is so essential for me to be able to keep my focus on the Lord. I absolutely must work at doing this every single day.

Prayer

Oh Lord you are so wonderful in the ways that you work through us. I am simply amazed with what I have learned today just through two little tiny Psalms. Thank you for opening my heart to hear you speaking to me. And thank you for giving me these few minutes to study this Psalm.

My children literally woke up as I typed the last sentance of the prayer!!! God is good!

I have been very neglectful with my bible reading, devotionals, and study for bascially all of September. Now I must stop feeling guilty, ask for forgiveness and repent. By repenting I have to simply get back into the Word and stick to my routines. In my prayers I have been asking God for strength and I feel like I am blessed to be receiving what I have prayed for. So back into it! I won't have alot of time today because I chose to work on my routines first and the kids will soon be up from their nap.

Scripture
Psalm 12
blueletterbible.org

Observation

Verse 1 hit me hard - the godly are fast disappearing! Godly people are harder to find, especially those my own age. Our new church is very rural and very small. Quite a contrast to the churches we attended in southern California! In California we were surrounded by young couples and young families. The children's ministries were in full swing and did not blink an eye when came with our three babies. Our little church now is very traditional and the young children in regular attendance are our three toddlers plus three others. Our kids are half of the nursery so they had to make some adjustments when we started to come to church!

Wednesday nights are the adult bible study and if there are 15 people it is a big crowd. I really enjoy Wednesday nights because it gives me a chance to be with the Lord and in His word, but also it is my break. However, I am the youngest in the group - all the others could easily be old enough to be my parents or even grandparents. I wonder every week, where are all the young families in this area. Surely we are not the only family with young children that could be attending church.

Application

I know of two families with young children that our pastor has recently visited. It is now my turn. I need to be visiting these families, not to get them to come to church, but to witness to them and then let the Holy Spirit work in their lives.

Prayer

Lord, please give me the strength to stay with my routines so that I can have peace with my daily life and the desire to gt into the Word. Also give me wisdom to witness and share your Word with the families that I plan to visit with in the next few days.

It seems that one or two weeks of not keeping up with the house cleaning can take more than that time to catch up and get it to where it should be! Like I said in the post, there have been alot of times in the last while where I feel like I am drowning. I think most of it has to do with the fact that there is something messy and unorganized in every single room in the house. It drives me absolutely crazy and has been consuming my patience. I realized that I have been trying to accomplish daily and weekly tasks on areas that need much more attention. If you have not already checked out the Flylady.net website you really should. It has great advice and tips to having an organized house.

I needed to get back to basics. So I sat down with my calendar and rather than deciding what area to work on in a week, I picked an area for each day.

Monday - get the kitchen back to standard and I also needed to bake a cake for our desserts

Tuesday - Tidy the porch and school area plus get the laundry caught up. I also needed to bake bread

Today - Wednesday - Playdate in the morning (which was cancelled so I finished the last load of laundry instead and then talked to my mom & dad for a nice long time) This afternoon I have planned to tidy the Living Room and Den and mop the floors

Thursday - Clean the bathrooms and bake another dessert

Friday - Organize the desk and go shopping for birthday cards needed for Oct & Nov then sign them and send them out

Saturday - Yardwork (mostly hubby to do this) and clean & organize Master bedroom

Sunday - church, then continue with yardwork and clean & organize kids room & playroom

I think that if I can get this all accomplished then by Monday I can actually get back to the normal routine which I already posted here.

I only have a couple issues with the routine.

First, I might swap workout in the morning with cleaning in the afternoon. I am much more motivated to clean in the morning.

Second, I have to work on the kids having "quiet time" on the days when they decide not to nap. When they don't nap I don't get to have computer time which is my time for bible study and writing in here. I don't think I have done a SOAP bible study all month! How horrible is that! But at least I am starting to feel like I am at least able to keep my head above the water, maybe within a week or so I can make it to shallow waters!

This month of September has been horrible. It seems that no matter what I do I cannot catch up. I am not even sure what I am trying to catch up to anymore! There have been moments and even entire days where I feel like I am drowning and can't hardly catch my breath. I needed to do something to turn it around so I fell back on my ever faithful skill of making lists.

First I needed to get back to our weekly meal plan. I set this up some time ago and then a few days ago I redid it and simplified it even more. I have a weekly calendar where I set these up, but mainly it is the same items repeated.

Breakfasts are one of:
Cereal with milk
Oatmeal
Waffles (soon I plan to make them from scratch - for now it is Eggos)
Bread with PB&J (fresh homemade bread is so much better slightly warm than toasted)

Lunch is always leftovers if there is some in the fridge otherwise I choose from:
Turkey slices, Cheese & Crackers
Hot Dogs & "ronies"
PB&J Sandwiches, fresh veggies & dip
Chicken Quesadilla, fresh veggies & dip
Soup, cheese & crackers

Snacks are now only once a day and is fresh fruit and yogurt or appleasause. I try to have at least three types of fruit around and give them the choice. Surprisingly they seem to vary the choices nicely. They still also get small bowls of goldfish, animal crackers, dry cereal, raisins - but I am trying to cut back on these.

Suppers seem to be the most consistent as to what we are going to have on what day. Probably because I have to put more planning and effort into these meals. The variety comes with what recipe I choose and with what meat I have bought. Some weeks I might buy a beef roast, other times maybe pork.
Sunday - Crockpot Roast with Potatoes/Carrots/Onions
Monday - Pasta & Veggies
Tuesday - Stew or Casserole and Bread
Wednesday - Homemade Soup and Bread
Thursday - Hamburger Dish such as Meatloaf or Chili
Friday - Pizza night
Saturday - Leftovers or Ham or Chicken

Next is a plan to get the house in order...

I had created a routine a couple months ago but was having trouble following it. I always seemed to be behind and of course things later in the day would never get done. I needed a new routine and for it to be simplified and more complex at the same time! I figured this routine out yesterday and I don't know if it will work yet, but I feel good about it. Today was an off day because I have three sick kids which means I was up half the night and then today I was cuddling somebody nearly all day.

6:00 - 7:00 Bible reading & devotional time

7:00 - 8:00 Kids wake up and start to make their way into our bed and we watch Blue's Clues

8:00 - 10:00 Morning routine which includes making beds, getting dressed, breakfast, cleaning up the kitchen, any needed supper preparations and laundry that needs to be done

10:00 - 11:00 Time for exercise and play. I am hoping that I can do some kind of beneficial workout with the kids along side me.

11:00 - 12:00 Lunch

12:00 - 2:00 Naptime and my time for Bible Study and blog reading & writing

2:00 - 4:00 Snack and school. We are following the preschool curriculum from hubbardscupboard.org.

4:00 - 5:00 Cleaning, I have a schedule for my cleaning routines that I will post later. I developed these using ideas from flylady.net

5:00 - 6:30 Supper routine which is preparing, eating, dishes, and taking the garbage to the dump.

6:30 - 7:30 Bedtime routine which includes storytime, family devotional, teeth, bath, prayers & bed

My previous routine was too detailed and too split up. I was constantly looking at the routine to see where I was and what I was supposed to be doing. The best part about this routine is that I could type it out without having to look back too much at the printed copy. It flows alot better and the big chucks of time are good for when things don't run as nicely as they do on paper.

Of course this is our at home routine. The routine is thrown out the window on days we go to the library for storytime, days we will be going to MOPS, and days for playdates or shopping.

Today was our very first storytime. Well, we have storytime at home nearly everyday and sometimes several times a day, but today we went to the library and joined in with their organized storytime. The main group of kids are from the local preschool so they are all about 4 years old. Mine are still in diapers! Sam will be 3 in Nov and Ben & Carlee are 2 next month. So you can imagine how nervous I was as to how they would behave! They are not used to sitting still and paying attention.

So we got started and Sam did really well sitting down when everyone else did. Ben & Carlee - not so much, after only a minute or so I took them to the back of the room to try to somewhat contain them. Thankfully they came quietly, and after a few more minutes of introductions and other things the story started. I had slowly started to make my way back to the back of the storytime mat and once the story started the three of us were sitting down and listening to the story. Hoorray!!!!

Meanwhile Sam had made his way to the front of the group and I noticed that he would occasionly look back to make sure we were still there. And whenever we made eye contact he gave me this cute little subtle wave that was just so darn adorable. It was almost like he was saying Hey look at me, I am a big boy now, butdon't go too far away just yet cuz I'm still only 2. I was very happy with how well he did with the "big kids", and he said he had "so much fun" and that he wanted to go to the next storytime.

Ben was a bit of a handful because he wanted to roll around on the mat rather than sit still. But he was so cute because he kept trying to see where Sam was. Ben is the only one who calls Sam "Samuel" so today he was asking "Where Samuel" and then he would say "There he is" It is unfortunate that I cannot recreate the cuteness of his speech in writing.

And my biggest surprise of the day was my little miss independant was my clingon. Usually Carlee is the one who is playing by herself, even when we visit the library to take out books she is the one who is off by herself moving books around on the same shelf every week. But today she would not sit down and basically buried her head into my shoulder for most of the time. I was surprised at the drastic shyness. But of course her cuteness came through. At one point of the story we were asked what we do with our lips. The kids yelled out "kiss". So when I said kiss she turned her head to give me a kiss, and then she says "hug" and gives a great big hug. Just so cute how lovable toddlers can be.

I have had a rough couple weeks. I spent pretty much all of last week parked on the couch or in bed with a terrible migrane headache. I struggled just to keep the kids entertained and fed. But got through it and for the last few days I have been trying to get some strength back and now I need to get my house back in order. It is truly amazing how quickly routines can be tossed out the window and the terrible effects that it has. Every room in the house is a disaster and the kids are suffering from lack of routine too. Tempers are flaring, tantrums are worse, and to top all that now they are not napping! I think they are sleeping in later bacause it is not as bright in the mornings now and so they just are not tired enough at naptime. I have to rethink my whole routine structure.

First I need to get the house in order. I am basically trying to work on one room at a time to get it were it should be so that it is easier to maintain with regular daily, weekly, and monthly routines. I had already started to implement these a while ago when I stumbled upon the Flylady website. I love the concept and it is a slow process but it is working.

Anyway, here are the rooms I got through. First, as always, is the kitchen. It wasn't much worse than normal because I have the same routine that I pretty much follow every day no matter what. I cannot stand a messy kitchen - I hate to even pour a glass of water on a cluttered counter. Yuck!

Then I tackled the porch area which is a long narrow room that is usually a disaster area. It is where we keep all the hats & shoes and soon boots & coats. It is also where I have the change table. I still change 15-20 diapers a day so this is an important area!! On the far side of this room I have set up a school area with a child sized table & chairs and a cabinet for all the supplies. This is still a work in progress and I seem to not ever be organized enough to have an effective routine for our preschool program that I want to do. And that is the biggest motivater to get better routines in place.

The next area was to tackle the laundy through to completion. I have a bad habit of not putting laundry away when it is done, so today I changed that and put away clothes while they were still warm. It was so nice and cozy to fold warm clothes and see that they were not wrinkled yet.

Since I started to not allow very many toys downstairs, because they have a playroom upstairs, the living room tends to stay fairly tidy. Usually a couple minutes of picking up is all that is needed. But one of the weekly tasks for this room is to sweep and mop the floors, so I did that.

I also started on the den and the bathroom but there are so many interupptions that I did not finish either of them. I was sort of working on them both all day. Whenever I was in the bathroom I would wipe something down until I had a not so helpful helper underfoot. The major area of disaster in the den is the desk with 2 weeks worth of mail and all my Bible study stuff piled up. I absolutely must get this cleaned off so that I can get back to my Bible. I have not read a thing of substance in nearly 2 weeks and I am feeling neglected. Sure I have listened to sermons on the radio and read a few pages of devotionals, but it is not the same as the reading and studying I have been doing and started to post in here.

I just realized that I have started to ramble and I really should be sleeping. I will write more about my routines as I redevelop them.