Monthly Archives: October 2012

Casual Saturday: Rambings About Our House, etc.


This has been a good week.  I am finally feeling comfortable with life being full of projects.  I used to want all the “special projects” done as perfectly and quickly as possibly so I could get right back to my normal life and routine.  Now I’m learning to roll with it.  It’s okay that I’ve been canning for months.  It’s okay that three walls in my living room are completely painted… and one is not even started.  Yeah, it’s all good. 

It appears that special projects are the norm when you’re a new little family living on an old, old farm.  I’m starting to redo all the things we did to the house when we moved in.  Can you believe we’ve been here for FIVE years!?  Crazy.  It was five years on Labor Day weekend.  Anyway, when we moved here we did a lot of work but it was mostly all hard labor and low dollar stuff.  My Mom helped a lot.  We stripped the cabinets and tore down wallpaper.  I put up new trim.  Brian rearranged the kitchen cabinets and installed new counter tops.  If you’ve been reading since the beginning you probably remember some of that.  If you weren’t here then you can read about it here.

What we’re doing now is making the house fit the way we live, and making it match our style.  I like simple.  Clean.  Fresh!  Brian likes simple, too, and organized.  Before I was trying to make everything look like I thought a classic farmhouse should look.  Turns out that’s not a good fit for us!  The more I brainstorm ideas the more doable things look.  I used to think our kitchen renovation was going to cost so much money that we wouldn’t be able to do it for another 10 years or so.  Now I think we could do it more gradually and for way less, and therefore much sooner.  We’ll see. 

We might buy a heater for Kent’s room tomorrow.  His room and the living room are really cold and unwelcoming in the winter.  Warming them up will be a big step in a good direction.

In other news, Brian and Kent went out for several hours today and I used that time to can more tomato sauce and plan for Tot School.  The tomatoes are done.  That was the last of them from our garden.  Hallelujah!!!  For Tot School planning I stayed up late last night and made a really nice form to help me.  I want to use it for awhile and see how it works but then I’ll probably share it here.  I haven’t been doing formal, planned activities with him.  Everything we’ve done lately has been random and that just doesn’t work for us.  It’s not enough!  He’s constantly seeking stimulating activities on his own so I need to do a better job of providing fun, challenging things for him to do.  We’re picking up our color themes again this coming week with Orange.

How was your week?  Is your life full of projects, too?  How do you handle them?   



My Morning Seven

I am very list-oriented.  I don’t work off of a schedule but rather a routine and a to-do list.  My to-do list has four sections.  The first section is for the “morning”.  I want these things done by about 10 AM for the day to go smoothly.

This is my bare bones must-be-done list.  If I have a special project going (i.e. painting!) or plan to be out of the house for the day I still need to get these things done.  When I was working outside the home I would get up early and try to accomplish these things before going to work.  Your list may look a bit different than mine so I highly recommend you make your own if you are struggling in this area.  It has been a huge help to me.

My 7 steps to start the day right:

1. Bible Study: This is the third or fourth time I’ve participated in a Good Morning Girls Bible Study.  It has changed my life.  I NEED accountability and consistency to stick with it and the format of this study is perfect for that.  You get in your Bible every morning and fill out a small worksheet if you choose.  Then you chime in online to say good morning and let the other ladies know you did your study.  The group I’m in talks via Facebook so if I’m in a hurry I can just hit “like” to check in.

2. Dishes: We don’t have a dishwasher and I try to wash dishes as we use them throughout the day.  As I wash them they do in the dish rack to dry.  Each morning I empty the rack out, wash any dishes I’ve used already that day, and wipe down the sink and surrounding areas.  Once that is done I cross “Dishes” off my list, even though I’ll need to keep up with them throughout the day.

3. Laundry:  I usually make a note of the day’s goal on this line.  Today’s list says, “Laundry – all washed, upstairs away”.  That means wash the remaining two loads and put away everything that belongs on the main level.  I round up all the dirty laundry on Sunday night and hit it with vengeance on Monday morning.  I keep at it until it is all done and then stop and let it collect for the rest of the week.  Right now I am typically done on Wednesdays.

4. Litterbox:  Self-explanatory.  This biggest thing here is just to make sure it gets done every day, otherwise our cat will use other parts of the basement instead.

5. Balance Accounts: The only things we write in our physical checkbooks are checks.  We do not have credit cards but we use debit cards a lot for our personal and business expenses.  I go through our accounts almost every day and reconcile our Quickbooks registers with the online banking.  It only takes a couple minutes if you do it everyday, and I’m usually able to catch problems early.

6. Chores – AM: This means barn chores.  The details vary depending on the time of year and what animals we have.  When we have baby calves on bottles I mix their milk and feed them as soon as Brian leaves for work and before Kent wakes up.  Right now we don’t have any on milk and Brian has been doing some of the bigger jobs at night.  Since there’s no rush I have been waiting for Kent to wake up and going out mid-morning.

7. 2 Rooms from my Cleaning Rotation: Follow that link for more details.  I basically tidy up, dust, and either run Roomba or sweep.

For those most part I do all this in the order listed.  I usually have the first 5 or 6 done (laundry started) when Kent wakes up.  He helps or plays while I do the 2 rooms.

Do you use a to-do list?  What does your morning look like?

Tot School Break and Milestones: August

Kent was 13 months old in August.

We didn’t do much for structured Tot School in August and September. We had a lot of fun and did random activities as they fit in. His physical development exploded in August!

He figured out how to climb up…

… and slide down!

We switched to a real glass at mealtimes.

He learned to climb up in his high chair by himself. We’d find him like this.

We tried a new activity with him washing dishes on the floor while I washed them in the sink.

He had fun, I got my work done, and the floor got mopped with that towel when we were done.

He started to seek out his Little People farm. His favorite thing to do is put all the animals in the top of the silo and take them out under the door.

He learned how to climb up in his rocking chair and sit down, and we laughed as hard as he did about it.

If you think you see disposable diapers in some of these pictures you’re right.  We had an issue with diaper rash that turned in to a staph infection so our doctor suggested we use a pack of disposables while he was healing.  It was so weird to use disposables, it felt completely wrong!

How was your August?  Do you remember a certain time when your child’s development took a leap?  Are you a fellow cloth diaperin’ mama who was forced to use disposables at some point?  Tell me about it!

Casual Saturday & Blogging

It is Saturday, right?  😉  With me home and Brian on four 10’s it gets a little confusing.

Let’s see what’s new.

I’m in the midst of painting our living room, to be followed by painting the kitchen.  I found my dream couch on craigslist yesterday so my Mom and Kent and I drove down last night and bought it.  This is one project that I hope I actually get around to posting pictures of.  The room transformation is pretty amazing.  I keep walking in there and just sitting down and looking at it.  Taking the time to pick the perfect paint color really paid off.  I love the way it looks.

I finally finished canning applesauce only to be gifted with another box of tomatoes.  Our garden is still producing tomatoes, too.  We do need more pizza sauce yet so I just keep putting up as much as I can.  Our freezers are overflowing.  I need to update my freezer inventory and start cooking with more variety.  I did a menu plan this past week for the first time in a long time and that was time well spent.

It’s a busy time on the farm.  We have more cattle and sheep then we’ve ever had before.  We’d like to downsize some for the winter.  We’ll see.

I have some good post ideas for the week but am not promising to actually write them out.  As I just shared with my friend Jess @ A New Leaf I go back and forth about whether I should continue to keep this blog going.  It hardly seems worth it if I can’t find the time to blog more consistently.  God keeps nudging me on though so I keep trying.  The biggest issue in my opinion is the wide range of topics I write about.  It’s a rare reader who wants to hear about farming, Tot School, God, and menu planning, ya know what I mean?  And I don’t really want to narrow down to one focus because that’s not my life.  I’ve been kind of trying to post about certain topics on the same day each week so readers will know when to pop in for what they like.  Any other ideas?

Actually, if you are reading this, could you somehow let me know you’re here and maybe chime in with what you’d most like to read about?  I know there are a fair amount of people visiting the blog that never comment.  I could really use your feedback.  Post ideas are welcome!  I once asked on Facebook what I should write about and although there were a lot of good ideas I can’t find that page now.

I have an idea for an ongoing series of articles… but I’ve never successfully completed any series here on the blog.  I always slack off and quit partway in.  I’m just going to keep praying about it for now.

What’s up in your world this week?  Can you give a girl a little feedback today?  Thanks in advance!