Archive for November, 2009

NaNoWriMo

November 30, 2009

Today is the last day of November. I’ll bet most of you knew that, right? But did you also know that it is the last day of National Novel Writing Month? Thankfully, a little more than 15 minutes at a time, I’ve written my 50,000 words so I can be declared a “winner” for 2009. Yipee! And dear Jacob bought me a NaNoWriMo sweatshirt for my birthday. Farewell until next year, NaNoWriMo.

P.S. What does this have to do with Flylady? Well, if I hadn’t determined a time within my Flylady routine that I could devote to writing on a regular basis, I wouldn’t have been able to get my 50,000 words in. I also could not write this many words in one fell swoop, so I had to utilize the “15 minutes at a time” concept. AND, probably most importantly, I have to let go of perfectionism to even begin to participate in NaNoWriMo. I think Flylady is applicable to almost any project for a side-tracked home executive.

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Flylady, Christmas and My Flybabies

November 29, 2009

Several years ago, Amelia, Clara and Jacob began using their 4-H premium money to buy Christmas gifts. The younger kids have followed suit and it works out really well. The other day, Margaret and Eleanor had already made out their gift lists, so we went Christmas shopping. They did a splendid job of keeping to their lists and not getting distracted by other items for sale AND staying well within their budgets. I am so happy to see my little Flybabies planning ahead and sticking to a budget. They are well on their way to FLYing!

And they even have their gifts wrapped, already.

Flylady and Christmas Music

November 28, 2009

I was pleasantly surprised yesterday. Last summer, I spent some time de-cluttering our music CDs. So, yesterday, when I went to get out the Christmas CDs, I found them all in one spot, ready to go.

Christmas is coming….

One More Post About Flylady and Thanksgiving

November 27, 2009

There I was yesterday morning, all calm and ready for the day, when Joey asked me why I looked deflated. I realized that I was feeling a little deflated because we weren’t having quite the “crowd” that we sometimes have at Thanksgiving since many of our usual guests were traveling to see their families this year. In the back of my mind, I was saying, Thanks to Flylady, I finally am able to have a stress-free Thanksgiving preparation, but since we aren’t having as many people over as usual, I don’t get to experience the full benefit of it.

Then, I thought that THE biggest benefit of preparing for Thanksgiving using Flylady’s Holiday Control Journal is that my family got to enjoy the days leading up to Thanksgiving with a mom and wife who was not running around barking orders and getting cranky for fear that everything would not be prepared in time. How could having any more people over for the meal result in any bigger benefit than that?

Also, before we take down our Tree of Blessing, I wanted to mention some inspiration God gave me through it. We love to use Ann Hibbard’s Family Celebrations books. I mean, we love to use them. As part of the Tree of Blessing devotions in her Family Celebrations at Thanksgiving and Alternatives to Halloween, we were reading 2 Kings 4:1-7 about the widow whose late husband’s creditor was coming to take her two boys as his slaves. God, through Elisha, told the woman to get a lot of empty jars from her neighbors, go home and shut the door and pour what little oil she had into each one. As you know, she miraculously filled all of the jars with oil which she sold to pay off her debts and still have money to live on.

About this story, Ann Hibbard wrote:

God did not simply make a pile of money magically materialize in this woman’s house. He did a tremendous miracle, and He made sure that she had more than she needed. But He required that she trust and obey. She needed to believe that Elisha was speaking for God (trust), and she needed to borrow jars and pour oil (obey). If we want to see God do amazing things, we too need to believe His Word and do what He has told us to do.

This is true in so many areas of my life. Through Flylady, God shows me a way to be a good steward of everything He has given me, to provide a peaceful home environment for my family, to be rid of CHAOS and frustration and guilt. But, I have to obey that leading. My home will not magically be transformed. It is up to me to do the necessary work. This goes for my being rid of Body Clutter, too. Through the South Beach Diet and Jazzercise, God has provided a way for me to be a good steward of the body He has given me. But, I have to obey that leading and follow through. My body will not magically stay free of clutter. I have to do the necessary work.

This whole idea extends into my desire to have more time to be creative. God has shown me that if I prepare and dedicate a specific area in our craft room for my work, I will be able to more easily be creative on a daily basis. But this area will not be magically prepared. I need to do the necessary work. And I think I’ll start on that right now, before we start going full throttle with Christmas preparations.

Flylady and Thanksgiving

November 26, 2009

Oh, I am so excited! Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. And today, for the first time, I’ve planned ahead enough that I made two jello salads yesterday, the thawed turkey is in the roaster right now and Joey and I are going to go set the table before any of the kids get up and moving. I even washed all of my tea towels and hot pads yesterday so they would be ready for today. Plus, we’ve had all of the Thanksgiving play props made since Tuesday and we had a lovely rehearsal last evening.

We still have a lot of cooking to do, but it’s all planned out and we’re ready and rarin’ to go.

So, Happy Thanksgiving! And, thanks, Flylady!

Flylady’s Routines and Thankfulness

November 25, 2009

I’m reading a book called When You and I Were Young, Nebraska!: The Autobiography of a Pioneer Woman by Berna Hunter Chrisman. In her introduction, she writes:

If such writing as this is to be purposeful, if such an autobiography is to become meaningful to others, it must deal with elemental truths that have been discovered for ourselves in the life process.

So, I would like to share what I might consider an elemental truth that I have discovered over the past couple of weeks. Earlier this month, before the Monday, Monday week and the week before that, I was feeling pretty sorry for myself. I was frustrated that I had to do so much work every day just to keep up with the Flylady routines. I was indulging in a lot of “grass is greener” thinking about moms whose children are not home all day or women who only have to get a husband on board with the routines. And I know plenty of women who have cleaning ladies come in, too. Oh, yes, I was having quite the mental pity party.

Then, I spent two weeks facing the possibility of NOT being able to get the Flylady routines done, especially had I come down with the stomach bug. My first thoughts were still along the lines of, See how much work this is? I have to be in top shape every day to even begin to try to keep up! But, eventually, I came to a different conclusion.

I have now realized how grateful I am to have a solution to my CHAOS, even if it takes work. A lot of work. I could still be wallowing around in frustration and guilt and CHAOS. But I am not. That there actually is a solution to my being a side-tracked home executive, no matter how much work it requires, is something to be grateful for.

If not for Flylady, I would be scrambling around today, trying to prepare my home and my children and the food for tomorrow. Because of Flylady, I am looking forward to a nice, relaxed day of preparation, no scrambling. And I am truly thankful.

Flylady’s Holiday Control Journal and Holiday Cruising Mission #27

November 24, 2009

I was so excited when I read Flylady’s Holiday Cruising Mission for today because I had already finished my grocery shopping for Thanksgiving! Last night after Jazzercise, I was tired, but I thought, No, don’t put off grocery shopping another moment. You have your list and your money with you. You have no little “helpers” to distract you. The grocery store is almost entirely empty and every aisle is packed full of ingredients you need. Just do it!

So, I listened to myself and just did it. I know that I saved time because there were probably five other people in the whole store. Everything I needed was on sale and in stock. And the reason I was able to easily talk myself into completing the shopping was because I had long ago made out the menu, copied off the recipes and made a grocery list, thanks to Flylady’s Holiday Control Journal.

Now, let’s see if I can manage to talk myself into making all of the props for the Thanksgiving play today and not tomorrow….

Family Fun and Date Night

November 23, 2009

While some of us had a bit of Family Fun on Saturday at the Make It With Wool contest, I don’t think that would really “count” as our Family Fun for the week. At the same time, I was really tired and not feeling especially motivated to come up with a Family Fun plan on Sunday. Then, we remembered that the free matinee at the movie theater was showing. This week’s movie was “UP.” Oh, yea! Going to the movies is always considered a fun treat so after church, we all watched “UP” together.

Then, because we had 4-H Recognition Night instead of Date Night this past week, Joey and I sent the younger kids home with Clara, Jacob and Tim and we had Date Night. I am becoming more and more convinced of the necessity of taking breaks for renewal, so I’m especially glad that we were able to have Date Night this week after all. I’m also going to try to read more of what Flylady has to say about spiritual renewal and taking care of oneself and begin incorporating those ideas more concretely into my daily routine.

And, today, we are going to have some special Family Fun since we are celebrating the finalization of Anne’s adoption!

NOTE: It is my general policy in this blog to mention activities after they have been accomplished. When I was writing about Anne’s finalization before it actually happened, I thought that it was fairly safe to go ahead. But, wouldn’t you know, her finalization did not occur yesterday due to some miscommunication. Sigh. Next time I mention her finalization, it will be a done deal.

Make It With Wool

November 22, 2009

I am so grateful that yesterday Amelia, Clara, Margaret, Eleanor and I all felt well enough to attend the state Make It With Wool contest. I was still a little leery of coming down with the stomach bug myself, so I was especially glad that Amelia and Clara felt well enough to accompany us, just in case I started feeling unwell. (Thankfully, I felt fine all day!)

Like Strictly Strings and 4-H, Make It With Wool is an activity that I love because of its ability to unify our family while allowing individuals to express themselves. Since 1998, members of our family have been sewing with wool to enter this contest. The kids have made everything from simple skirts and vests to elaborate historically accurate garments. It’s always a learning, as well as a bonding, experience. And, we have enjoyed getting to know other contestants over the years.

In 2010, there will be only a state contest (no preliminary district contests) and it is in our part of the state. Amelia and Clara mentioned that they might enter again next year. Hmm…I think that I’ll encourage Jacob and Tim and even Charlotte to start thinking about entries. Who knows, maybe I’ll sew something. It’s Family Fun!

P.S. Margaret placed fourth in the pre-teen category and won a lovely pair of shears.

More Thoughts on Flylady and Illness

November 21, 2009

This past week I never knew if or when I would suddenly come down with the dreaded gastrointestinal illness. Because of that, I didn’t put off for one moment any chores that needed to be completed. The laundry was done immediately. I didn’t procrastinate about exercising on non-Jazzercise days. Yes, these tasks are in my Control Journal. Yes, they are assigned to certain times of the day. Yet, on typical days, I sometimes find myself, for example, putting off doing the laundry. Instead of doing it immediately when I wake up (because I always have a load set on the washer’s timer that is just getting done when I get up), I sometimes put it off until right when the kids are waking up. Or, even worse, sometimes until right after lunch. There is no reason for this procrastination. No reason at all. Laundry first thing in the morning fits perfectly into my routine.

When I don’t do it immediately, however, it becomes a tiny little nagging chore in the back of my mind instead of a completed task to be mentally checked off. It was a relief to always have those chores checked off, even if I were getting them done in anticipation of possibly NOT being able to do them for awhile.

So, it was a gentle reminder this week not to put off any little daily task that’s in my Flylady routine “just because.”