Friday, January 29, 2010

The Hanging of El Bandito


There is a play that my DD 16 saw last summer and has not stopped talking about since. She says she laughed so hard and insists that we all go see it.
So when I heard that we could win tickets to it, I thought that I would mention it to all of you. Here is the link with information on how to win tickets.
Here is the link about the show.
Hopefully we will see you there! Pin It

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Bow Night!!

Tonight was so fun!! I loved demonstrating bows and visiting with everyone. It was so fun. I thought I would post the instructions for those of you who weren't able to make it. You'll have to click on the "picture" and then when it opens in a new tab, increase the size by pressing the control button and the =/+ button at the same time. Sorry, I loaded them small so they would fit and I think it was too small. I'll try and fix the problem later. Let me know if there is anything that isn't clear.



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Friday, January 22, 2010

No Procrastination

One thing I have found is that you shouldn't procrastinate. Don't let things pile up. Otherwise you can't catch up very easily.
For example, I have let my desk pile up for the past year. This was mainly because 3 little ones getting into stuff wouldn't be very helpful. Papers would get torn, lost, or ruined.
So I didn't file, and let my desk pile up with things that would have been so easy to take care of earlier. I also used it as a quick dumping spot for whatever I didn't want the kids to get into.
Well, the past 2 weeks I have spent a bit of time each day cleaning it off. Putting things where they go, filing, taking care of things that I procrastinated. It didn't seem to make any difference until yesterday. I spent my half an hour. Then noticed that I could see a bit of the desk.



This was only a small portion of the mess I started with yesterday.

So I let the rest of the house go (I had played with the kids in the morning) and finished it.



I can see my desk again. It feels so good to accomplish something that has been a mess for about a year. I was surprised how much time it took. Less than 2 weeks. Half an hour a day during the week. Then 2 hours yesterday. But I couldn't stop. I put a desk calendar on it. Sorted my coupons ON THE DESK. And even wrote my shopping list ON THE DESK.

Then I was able to sit and watch TV without feeling guilty. (I don't get to do that very often. The current events are only known because of the headlines in the paper, and the kids bringing in news, or the radio.)

And today I was ready to do grocery shopping. And now I can go Pin It

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Keeping priorities in check

One thing that is very important to me is my relationship to my DH. I love him and want him to know it. I don't get to spend much one on one time with him, but when I do, I cherish it. For example, last Tuesday we were busy. Running kids, feeding kids, getting them out the door. Then bathing, putting on PJs. You know how it is.
Well, we hadn't had time to sit and eat, so after I got the girls in the bath, I came back to eat. And guess who else was still eating? DH. So we sat and had a quiet dinner. He talked about his day at work. I talked about what I wanted to get done that evening. We talked about other things I can't even remember. It was great. It was quiet.
We are so busy taking care of the kids, that we don't have that kind of time. This doesn't mean we have a rough marriage. It just means that we have a large family. We wouldn't have it any other way. But we do wish that we could have more time just us.
We do have a weekly date night (or afternoon). This is SO important. But sometimes those quiet times in the evening are so good.
Between getting kids to bed, and cleaning up the few things that were gotten out before bed, we just don't get to sit by each other on the couch and watch the news (or whatever). We Usually collapse into bed.
We always joke about how sad we will be when our kids are older and either moved out or busy with activities and friends. I'm sure we will. We will still be busy with something.
One great blessing that will help is we were called as Primary teachers. Sow e get to see each other the whole 3 hour block. This is so great. Plus we HAVE to sit down and discuss the lesson during the week. Get things figured out. Decide what to do for an activity. So that has added some MUST HAPPEN time together.
So basically, we cherish every minute we get to spend together, even if it's at 3AM.

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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Sharing what works for us

The next few posts I'm going to share what has worked for me to keep my sanity (or at least keep the loony bin at bay). Most of it isn't too profound, but I know that some of what you way gives me that inspiration to fix a problem, and I;'m hoping that something I say can give you an idea for you, or at least open the windows of thought to let some ideas start formulating.

Today I'm going to share what I TRY to do, but it doesn't always happen. That is to write things down. I write down what I want to do. I write down what I need to do. I write down what we are going to eat. I write down appointments. I write down what the kids did, what they are going to do, what they need to do.

I keep notebooks by the microwave. Just the spiral 10 cent kind you get before school starts. This is where I write down what I want the kids to do for chores that day. I write the things I want to get done that day.

I have 2 notepads on the fridge to have the week at a glance type of things. I put the menu on one, and the sorta schedule on the other. I write down Dr. appointments on this, parties, programs, school stuff, days off, whatever I need to see for the week as I open the fridge to get out a drink for whoever. I can also see what I need to get out of the freezer as I am about to open it.

I also have a wall calendar. I love this one.



It has a space for each member of the family. I write down at the beginning of the school year when the kids are out of school, when parent/teacher conferences are, and any other special days. Then I add birthdays, anniversaries, whatever I want to remember. I transfer these from the previous year's. I put down what is coming up as far as appointments or activities on each members' line. I also use a specific color for each person, that way at a glance from the other room I can tell who has something on a certain day.

Dad/Mom
Elyse
Julia
Ari
Jayden
Katia
Delta
Emma


I pay a few bills by phone. I make sure that I write down the date, who I spoke with, what the amount paid is, and any reference numbers I'm given. Then file it.

Now, I also keep a list of what I DO during the day. I put a check mark, then write what I DID. Or I'll write it and then instantly cross it out. This is my list of accomplishments. I don't always like to feel so overwhelmed.

exercise
unload dishwasher
laundry
start thawing dinner


Writing things down has helped a lot. I think that's the only way I have been able to keep track of anything. I don't always write things down, but I try. and when I do, I am better able to keep on top of things. Pin It

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Keeping little ones busy.

I'm gonna share some ideas for keeping kids busy. If you have any ideas you'd like to share, just leave a comment. Thanks ahead of time.

The activity the kids are doing right now is coloring. I print pages off the internet. I do a google search for whatever they want to color. Today it's Ariel.
I've printed out a number of different pages for them. Then I get out the color crayons or pencils, and just let them go to it. This seems to work. The pencils are getting on the floor, the pages aren't perfect, and Delta is on the table, but they are having fun and I'm sitting here typing after being able to clean the kitchen floor.

Now I'm off to change laundry quickly and then see what else to do to keep them busy.

................................................................................... Pin It

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Organizing in 2010!

Okay, so for the past few months I have been a lazy person. Why? Well, that is for another post. But for now, I have been trying to get back on the wagon for a few weeks, since before Christmas. I have done a schedule again. I've been de-cluttering 15 minutes a day. Filing 15 minutes a day. Exercising 30 minutes a day. Making the kids be responsible for their things.

I have been "organized" several times in my life. And it seems that as soon as I have things "down pat", then a change happens that turns my world into a chaotic mess.

My schedule use to be "It's 9:00. Time to clean the bathrooms and then off to switch laundry, fold the load and put away. Then it will be time for some 'me' time. I'll sit and read a bit while I have some cocoa." Now it is more like: 1st I make the bed, 2nd exercise, 3rd, get Jayden up, 4th make breakfast...

With 3 little girls at home, I have to spend my time differently. I also have to be ready for things to not be perfect. I don't get much me time. But I DO get to be home with them. That is a GREAT blessing.

Maybe I'll share some things with you that have been great, even if they were not lasting.

When I was a working mom, I would come home in the evening, and after fixing/eating dinner, I'd spend a bit of time with the kids (3 of them at the time). Then bathe, "jamma", and read to them. (We'd read scriptures then 3 stories that they each chosen.)
After they were in bed, I would do one of 4 things: Mondays I folded laundry, Tuesday I paid bills, Wednesday was sometimes Relief Society, so other Wednesdays I would take a break, read or something like that. Thursdays I would deep clean the house (you know, mop, vacuum, scrub, that sorta thing). I also had only a few papers that I had to keep track of, so the filing cabinet was a small 2 drawer type. The bills and accounts I had most of them memorized (numbers, amounts, and some addresses). I had a place for everything. For a few years we had a toy area, so the kids could have free rain in that room (within reason).

Jump forward to today. I get to be a stay-at-home mom.

I do have a sorta schedule. I do laundry everyday. Monday is change sheets day, Tuesday is switch towels and scrub bathrooms day, Wednesday is preschool coop and vacuum day, Thursdays I work in Jayden's classroom, Friday is pay bills and go grocery shopping day.
I give the kids chores for after school. They each have a room that they are in charge of straightening, then they help wrap up laundry and put theirs away. Even Jayden (almost 6) helps.

So thing that I have set as a goal for the year is to have a place for everything, and teach the kids to put things there when they are finished. We read this book called Polite as a Princess that says "Cinderella always puts away the things from one project before starting another." How to teach this, I don't know. Hover and nag I guess. For myself, I need to be able to say, "Just a minute while I finish cleaning up. Then I can come do (whatever) with/for you." That has been a hard thing. I usually drop what I'm doing and go with/to them.

I also need to keep up with balancing the checkbook every week, filing, sorting mail as it comes in, and not making my room the hide everything storage place.

I have fluttered with Flylady for years and have done alright, but with 2 almost 2 year-olds and an older sister who follows them more than leading them, I have fallen off my broom. I guess I'm mainly overwhelmed.

Well, let's see what happens. Pin It

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Follow up

I decided that to solve the problem I would use advice from everyone.
First of all, I got some cute little baskets for the girls to put their things in.
Then I went through and took out anything that I haven't seen them play with in a while. I also donated the things they have outgrown that I thought they still played with.
All the Barbie things that are always on the floor (some of the furniture and little accessories) I put up high. They don't seem to play with them, just get them out of the way. I had already put up the shoes and tiny things, but now only what they play with is out.
Now there is 2/3 the stuff to pick up.
Then I decided that when they get up on the top bunk and start throwing the coats off the hooks, then they have to get down and I take the ladder off. This was such a simple thing, but since I can't staple the coats in place, I should do what I learned in child development and put it out of reach. Duh.
Don't ask me why they don't take the coats off the hook they can reach. Guess it's only fun if it takes a long time to hit the floor.
I haven't had them clean up yet, so we'll see if the games work. The song that they all know and love is the Barney clean up song:
Clean up clean up everybody everywhere. Clean up clean up everybody do your share.
Clean up clean up everybody everywhere. Clean up clean up everybody do your share.
Clean up clean up everybody everywhere. Clean up clean up everybody do your share
.
We will see if that helps.

Delta and Emma had also been getting into the DVDs and throwing them on the floor. Taking them out of their cases. Taking the papers out. Even throwing them away. I found this out by finding a case in the trash one day when I was putting something in. When I asked if they threw a certain movie away. They nodded and said, "Uh-huh." So this weekend, DH put doors on the shelves and made another shelf with doors to keep them out. I'm just using rubber bands on the knobs to keep them out, but hopefully this will do the trick. Thanks Tony! Pin It

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

One Problem Solved, One Not

Okay, so this year I'm trying to solve some of the problems that we have. I won't name them here, because then I wouldn't get to the two that I want to address.
The first problem was solved by advice from SS, JK. We have lots of gloves and mittens in our coat closet. I've kept them in a basket for...well...over 16 years. This is what it looked like last week:


She suggested little baskets to put each persons gear in. Here's what I did:


I got the little plastic drawers (2 sets) that hold 8 1/2 X 11 sheets of paper. Kinda small, but will fit in the closet. Then I labeled each drawer with the person's name. Now it's easily accessible.

Now for the problem that isn't solved. I saw this comic strip a while back,


and decided to try the pack'n'play thing for Delta and Emma. Katia even joined them.


Well, here's what happened. First of all, they can climb in and out of the thing. Then if I turn it over, because it has rounded ends, it is easy to rock over. And putting something heavy on top doesn't help. So, I still don't know how to contain them except in their room (which they love to destroy) and their chairs with buckles.

Now, the pack'n'play thing did work for a short while. We called it the "baby fort" and put toys in it. It also worked for snack time. I turned on a movie, popped popcorn, and put a bowl and them in there and it lasted for about half an hour.

Hopefully they will either start using their powers for good, or I will have another idea to use so I can go potty or change the laundry without worrying. Pin It

Monday, January 11, 2010

How to Keep Your Child's Room Clean???


As some of you know, I have the youngest three girls in the same room. We put bunk beds in there and Delta and Emma share a bed. The sleep situation has been great. I'm hoping this will continue until Katia is old enough to move down stairs.
We have shelves in there to keep the toys and books on. I put the smaller toys in bins with labels to help with organizing these.


They have a walk in closet, so I keep the laundry hamper in there. We have shelves in the closet also to keep the shoes on so it isn't a big pile to dig through.
We will work together to clean it up sometimes, but lately it is me cleaning and them destroying. Here is what it looks like today, even though Saturday we had it spotless.



What can I do about them destroying in 5 minutes, what I cleaned in 30? I think 3 and 1/2 and almost 22 months is old enough to keep some semblance of organization. They dump out the bins and throw everything off the shelf. They will climb on the top bunk and throw the coats down. (I have bought over the door hangers to put on the end of each bed for us to use for coat racks. It works great!)




So here is what I need your help with: How can I get them to , first of all help, but then not make too big of a mess that we can't even walk to their beds? Thanks ahead of time for all your ideas. Pin It

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Fun winter play picts

I love all the seasons! Since it's winter now, I love winter.
I'm sure I've said that before, and once spring comes, I'll be saying it again.
So, here are some of my favorite pictures of this season (hopefully I can narrow it down to just some).




Jayden practicing his Jedi moves in the snow.


Ari sledding down a hill.


Katia shoveling snow.


Emma shoveling snow.


Happy Emma shewing on her coat. (love that grin)


And here is what Delta was doing while we were playing.
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