Archive for the ‘Weekly Home Blessing Hour’ Category

Top Ten Countdown: Number Five

August 26, 2010

Half-way into my countdown of the Top Ten Things I’ve Learned in 365 Days with Flylady, number five is:

Flylady’s routines can be creatively adjusted to fit anyone’s circumstances.

I’ll say it again, I am a mother of ten children. Eight of these children are still at home. The other two and their husbands and the darling granddaughter are in and out. We homeschool. A lot of people are in this house. A lot. Consequently, I cannot–should not–follow Flylady’s own personal routine to the letter. I have a lot of house to hold a lot of kids and it just takes lots and lots and lots of actual time and physical effort to maintain it all. Yet, I need not throw the baby out with the bathwater.

This year, some of the most important things I’ve learned have involved modification of Flylady’s basic ideas to fit OUR HOUSEHOLD. For example, our Weekly Home Blessing Hour is not an hour. As I’ve mentioned, it takes an hour just to mop one floor of our house. So, we plan accordingly. I’ve also finally learned, through a lot of trial and error this year, that if a Zone Mission is going to get done, it’s usually going to have to be completed before any kids get up. Once the children are awake, I am torn in a million interrupted directions if I attempt to put off their needs in order to complete a Zone Mission. That also goes for de-cluttering (which I cannot seem to find a consistent way to spell). If any serious de-cluttering is going to happen, it has to happen while I am by myself.

I’m kind of hard-line when I hear people complain that Flylady just won’t work for them. I contend that if Flylady can work for me, it can work for anyone. Just take Flylady’s principles, ask God for His inspiration and get to work creatively.


I Did It, Again!

July 8, 2010

So…today is our Weekly Home Blessing Hour and I challenged myself not to use that as an excuse to cut out my creative time. I set the timer and got 15 minutes of creativity in (after I had my one-hour floor mopping job done). I did NOT get my Zone Mission done, today, though, but I’m not going to let that be my excuse tomorrow!

Let’s see if I can keep this up….

Weekly Home Blessing Hour, Large Family Style

June 21, 2010

Well, once, again, I am reminded why I write this blog. Early this morning, I was quickly going through some email before I started the day and I ran across a little description that Flylady had sent out of what the Weekly Home Blessing Hour included. I am totally familiar with the description of the Weekly Home Blessing Hour. But, every single time that I read that mopping should take 10 minutes, I start to laugh.

My weekly mopping of ONLY the main floor of our house consistently takes me exactly one hour. That includes moving the chairs around, sweeping and mopping. There is no nonsense involved. No perfectionism whatsoever. This is a “get ‘er done” approach to mopping. Yet, with a commercial mop and rolling mop bucket, it takes me one hour. Every time. Today, I timed it, again: 7:33am to 8:32am by the computer’s clock.

Now, I am NOT complaining AT ALL about how long it takes to mop my floor. What I am saying is that we mothers of many children simply have to expect that we are going to have to modify almost everything about Flylady’s routines. If we expect that we are going to have to modify, then we won’t be disappointed and give up when it appears that we can’t do exactly what Flylady is describing.

And a bonus (I think) of having to modify means that I will expect to be asking God for His wisdom pretty much every step of my way. Only He knows how I can actually fit all of my responsibilities (and desires!) into one 24-hour period. He guides my decisions concerning how I spend the 15-minute segments of my day, to His glory and my benefit.

So, thanks, Lord, for giving me the physical energy to mop today. Guide me in the rest of my Weekly Home Blessing. And, please show me where I can fit in that creativity….

My Flylady Timer Is My Friend

June 10, 2010

This morning I faced the potentially daunting task of whipping my kitchen into shape before Anne’s physical therapist arrived. Thursday is our Weekly Home Blessing Hour day, but today the kitchen needed a little extra boost due to the Hot Spots. So, I set my timer and away I went. I got everything done in plenty of time, thankfully. I felt like I was using the timer to set a pace so I could get to all of the little areas that needed attention.

Yea, timer!

Bunco Saves the Day

October 30, 2009

Yesterday, Miss PMS, unwelcome, as usual, kept sticking her nose into all of my business. “Aren’t you just sick and tired of trying to eat right?” she whined. “Everyone else gets to eat yummy stuff and what’s the use, anyway, since you don’t even really love the way you look with all of those stretch marks and stuff? And that goes for all that time you have to set aside for exercising, too. Sheesh. No one else exercises almost every day. The only benefit to you is that maybe some day you’ll be a healthy old person. And that’s not guaranteed. Meanwhile, you’re spending an hour a day exercising when you could be doing something FUN.”

“And what about that Flylady junk? Do you really think you can keep doing those routines for the rest of your life? You know that you still hate doing the actual housework, it’s just that Flylady has given you a method for getting those hated jobs done. Flylady routines don’t really make you like to do housework. How can you possibly keep this up for any length of time?” she droned on.

Yep, yesterday, with its gloomy, overcast weather and Miss PMS haranguing me, was “one of those days.” I was doing my best to ignore Miss PMS. I did my Walk the Walk DVD, despite the fact that the VCR had been moved to the basement TV. I did my Weekly Home Blessing Hour. (And the kids were fabulous! They knew just what to do and did it!) I made the kids’ lunch that was on the menu, thanks to Tim’s willingness to go dig some potatoes. I did laundry. The kids did their regular morning routine involving math and writing and piano and strings. We read aloud our biography of Catherine Booth and Anne of Avonlea.

However, I was definitely feeling put-upon and grumpy. I just wanted to eat whatever I felt like eating in whatever amount I desired and have no repercussions. I just wanted to spend the time that I spent exercising, crafting.

But, I knew that Joey and Amelia were praying for me. And God answered their prayers mightily. Because, last night was…


Marilyn was hosting and we had a costume party, and Miss PMS was not invited. I dressed up as a Christmas tree. Darth Vader was there. Pippi Longstocking came, too. A very cute Bunco die rode to Bunco with Eowyn and me. We played Bunco with a Renaissance gal, a “swamp monster” (maybe?), a cow, a beach bum, Little Red Riding Hood, a clown, a pumpkin and “someone” wearing a shirt that read, “I don’t do costumes.”

By the time we were coming home from Bunco, I was no longer feeling put-upon or grumpy. I think I’ll go exercise right now and then do some of my Flylady routine.

Take THAT, Miss PMS!

Tidy as the Norm

October 1, 2009

The other morning, I had to walk downstairs to retrieve a roll of toilet paper before I had showered and dressed (someone had confiscated my toilet paper during the night because he had a runny nose). I rarely (never?) come downstairs in my pajamas anymore, so that felt kind of abnormal. Perhaps it was this abnormal sensation that heightened my awareness of my surroundings, but it was as if I were seeing my house for the first time. As I passed through the kitchen, dining area and living room area to get back upstairs to shower and dress, I noticed how TIDY everything was. This was my house. We were not expecting company today. Nothing was out-of-the-ordinary. This was just our everyday, normal house. And it was TIDY.

All I can say is, Thank You, Lord, for Flylady!

Library Books

September 27, 2009

I am happy to report that, with a Flylady-tidy house, and a very specific place to keep our library books and DVDs, we are able to keep ourselves relatively fine-free, even though, at any one time, we have dozens of items checked out.

Are you reading this, Dad?

The Power of the Weekly Home Blessing Hour

September 19, 2009

Joey and I were gone all day on Thursday for medical testing for Peter and Anne and I knew we would get home late (and tired).  I also knew that we had the ladies’ Bible study on Friday morning at 6am.  In anticipation of these events, the kids and I completed the Weekly Home Blessing Hour on Wednesday (instead of the usual Thursday plan).

Let me just say that I got home late (and tired), as expected, on Thursday evening and those very same kids who had participated in the Weekly Home Blessing Hour the day before (vacuuming, taking out trash, dusting, etc.) had kept the house looking very tidy and ready for the Bible study on Friday.  Tim had supervised the younger kids all day Thursday and I know he was instrumental in encouraging everyone to keep the Hot Spots cleared, keep the sink empty of dishes, the floor swept, etc.

I was very encouraged!  Tired, yes, but very encouraged!

Early Morning Gals

September 11, 2009

Today was our first 6:00 am Bible study.  Yes, you read that right.  SIX.  A.M.  Oh, yes, and AT. MY. HOUSE.  It’s true.  We are having a weekly, 6:00 am ladies’ Bible study at my house.  Yes, WEEKLY.  Yes, AT. MY. HOUSE.  If this doesn’t prove that Flylady’s routines have ushered in the end of CHAOS in my life, nothing does.

Before Flylady, I would probably have spent yesterday putting off doing the inevitable mad cleaning until I had no time left for anything but the “essentials.”  Then, I would have frantically dashed around, putting papers in a pile, loudly ordering the kids to pick up this or dust off that, stressing them and myself in the process.  I would have depended on Joey’s sincere contributions to this cleaning frenzy, even though he had been at work all day.  I would begin dreading next week’s cleaning episode before this week’s work was even partially completed.

But that was not the scenario at our house yesterday.  In fact, we had quite the logistically challenging day due to our having to retrieve our beef and pork from the butcher and, consequently, needing to purchase and pick up a new, additional freezer for this 600+ pounds of meat.  Our food buying club order also came yesterday afternoon.  So, I arrived home with over 1,100 pounds of food in the van that had to be put away.

Was I panicked about getting everything put away and still having to clean for the Bible study?  NO!  Why?  Because yesterday was Weekly Home Blessing Hour and the kids knew just what to do.  They got everything dusted and vacuumed and trash removed and sheets changed.  Hey, the Bible study ladies could even have spent the night with everyone’s sheets all nice and clean.  And Joey, realizing that I would be slightly out-of-routine with the trip to the butcher’s, did my part of the Weekly Home Blessing Hour (mopping!) before he went to work.  All I had to do last night was make the breakfast casserole and clear up the hot spots.

So, I’m looking forward to our 6:00 am Bible study every week at my house.  At least the AT. MY. HOUSE. part is not stressful.  But, then, there’s that SIX. A.M. thing….

P.S.  I’m SO glad that Patty, Alissa, Carol and Clara and I could get together this morning.  Thanks so much for making the effort, gals.  I think we’re going to learn a lot and be encouraged.  Hopefully, Sheree and Cindy and, perhaps, Rachel, will be able to join us.  Anyone else interested?  Come on over!

Weekly Home Blessing “Hour”

September 3, 2009

Another thing (in addition to incorporating the Riley Challenges more effectively into our routine) that I had not quite figured out until I made my Control Journal a few weeks ago, was how to accomplish the Weekly Home Blessing Hour.  Because we have a large family, we have a large house.  There is no way that we could get the tasks on the Weekly Home Blessing Hour list done in an hour.  I know.  I tried.

First, I designated a specific time each week that we would set out to accomplish the Weekly Home Blessing Hour. I knew from experience that I could not be one of those people who spread it out over the week.  Next, I knew that I would have to do some major delegation.  I knew that the job of mopping the main floor of our home (we have vinyl composition tile throughout our home to make it easier for wheelchair users to zoom around) — and the main floor ONLY — takes me at least an hour.  I needed to keep that task for myself because it involves mopping with an industrial-sized mop and my younger folk haven’t quite developed the physical strength for the job.  (Hmm…maybe I could train some of the olders, though, so when they are at home during the Weekly Home Blessing Hour, they could take over.  I’ll have to think about that.)  That left vacuuming the two area rugs, dusting the main floor furniture, polishing mirrors and doors, purging magazines, changing sheets and emptying all trash.  Those items could definitely be delegated to the 12-and-under crowd.

We set Thursday mornings as the time for our Weekly Home Blessing Hour because we are motivated to have our home look especially nice for Mary, our physical therapist, who comes once a week for Early Childhood Intervention with Anne.  Last week was the first time we tried out the new routine and it went fairly smoothly.  We didn’t get everything done (I’m pretty sure that there was no polishing of mirrors and doors), but I think that the kids got the idea.  It didn’t take very long when we all worked together and the kids still got in their regular morning “learning routine.”

So…we’ll see what happens this morning.

P.S.  Yesterday, Joey hit his head very hard putting Anne’s car seat in the Suburban and, after becoming extremely dizzy, then lethargic and unresponsive after he got to school, was transported to the hospital via ambulance.  The CT scan showed that he only had a severe concussion, thank the Lord.  This morning, after experiencing such a whirlwind of activity and emotions yesterday — especially as I followed the ambulance to the hospital, not knowing if Joey were conscious or not — I found comfort in being able to go back to routine.  I’m so grateful that Joey is fine and that we can get “back to normal” today!