Monday, March 31, 2008
Saturday, March 22, 2008
So my review of Springfield, after having been there twice in a matter of months, is mixed. I have had a lot of fun in Springfield but also a lot of memorable (not the good kind of memorable) experiences.
One not so good memorable moment from the first trip as you may recall was the bad tourist brochure with an inaccurate map. This time around I still got lost numerous times. I thought Missouri roads were bad but really I think Illinios is not doing much better!
Our main horrible memorable moment this time was the hotel we stayed in. If staying in Springfield, do NOT stay in the Travellodge. There were numerous things wrong with this hotel like having no locks on the windows and the floor actually vibrating until 3 in the morning due to a party downstairs. But really, the worst part of it can be summed up in two words- "NO AIR CONDITIONING!" Can you believe that a hotel in this century doesn't have AC!!!??? Mental note, look for AC under the amenities section from now on when booking your hotel. Also, the alarm clock could only be set for times ending in :30! We wanted to get up at 6:00 am but could only set the alarm for 6:30 (or 5:30 but like I ever even considered that!)
Okay, now for the good moments...
The Scrapbooking Store in Springfield is great! We spent lots of time there, agonizing over which pretty papers to buy! I was looking for paper to make placemats for the girls. They turned out so cute! The people at the store were really nice and very helpful. Wendy had to wait forever for me to finally decide on what I was getting. Gee, that's hard to believe. She kept muttering something about making her fetus starve!
We had Chinese for dinner and went to see The Bucket List. Good and I cried. If only I could meet a Jack Nicholson type to take me around the world to sit on the Pyramids and attempt to climb mountains in the Himalayas! Any takers?
Then we went back to the AWFUL hotel, got no sleep, and woke up early to head to our conference for mom's. It was a fun day filled with laughter and lots of information. I attended workshops on marriage, spiritually nurturing my kids, and having contentment. The day ended with the hilariously funny Ken Davis, a comic and speaker. My favorite story of his was his introduction. He said he loves to go out on his motorcycle, winding through the mountains. He pulls off to the side of the road, pulls out a hairdryer and just sits and waits for people to drive by and points it at them. He said the funniest thing is to see the reactions of the men and women. The men always ask their wives should I pull over and the wives are always like no, you idiot, he is on a moped!
And to top off the weekend, we stopped at Outback Steakhouse for what else, but steak!
It was my first trip with Wendy, usually we are talking in broken English and drinking tea with Afghans but this weekend it was just us yacking it away in woman jibberish! What fun! Can't wait for next year. Kevin Leman's coming to Hearts at Home! So are we!
Sunday, March 16, 2008
The first claim is true but thank goodness I don't have to be perfect. I can be a mess but am still loved by and can still be used by God. As to the second claim, I have been trying to work on this for the past several years. I am a perpetual "Messie" as popular author Sandra Felton terms it. (This is opposed to being a "Cleanie"). Last year I went garage saleing. I happened to be at the house of a professional organizer. She was weeding out her books so there was a large quantity of books on organizing and getting rid of clutter. Now, even though I am a Messie, I gravitate towards learning about anything and everything organizational. You could call it a secret obsession. It excites me but at the same time makes me feel sick because it is so hard for me to implement! SO, back to the garage sale, of course I saw the books and was SO excited. I even stumbled upon two more of Sandra Felton's books! So what did I do??? I came home with four, yes FOUR, books on how to eliminate clutter from my home!!!! :)
After reading all of these, I got another great book on cleaning and organizing called The House that Cleans Itself by Mindy Starns Clark. This has set me on a quest to finally get my house semi organized FOR GOOD! I'm tired of organizing things and reorganizing them again, only to have everything still be a mess. I have gained a lot of good tips and insights from the book. A couple of tips that have impacted my life thus far...
- if you're life is chaotic (I feel like mine classifies!) then figure out which area of your home,when cleaned, brings you the most contentment and satisfaction. For example, mine is my living room floor. I have to have all the toys picked up and everything somewhat straightened before I can sit down and relax. If there are things all over the floor, I feel unrestful, kind of frantic, and overwhelmed with the mess. When my living room floor is picked up, I can handle some of the other mess because I am not so overwhelmed. The Fly Lady's space she needs clean is her kitchen sink. The author of The House that Cleans Itself must have under her bed and the inside of her closet floor straightened in order to feel sane!
- Rather than continuing to get frustrated with your lack of organization, embrace it. Work with your tendencies. Example: I am scatterbrained. I lose everything. I have to ask Ryan multiple times a day where my keys, my brush, the girl's sippe cups, bottles, etc. are. So in my first attempt at organization, I put a small basket on the counter to hold our keys and wallets in. The problem: it is about 15 feet from the door. So my keys, being the lazy kind, would never quite go the distance. Most books on organization would say you just need to suck it up and walk the extra few feet. The approach that Mindy Starns Clark takes in her book says find another way that works. So I did! When you first walk in our back door, immediately to your left is our refrigerator SO...I purchased magnetic hooks. And guess what?! My keys are there 75% of the time! (This may sound like a rather low percentage but if you realize that before about 99% percent of the time I could not locate them in under 2 minutes, 75% saves me a lot of time and a lot of grief!
- She suggests letting your house get messy for a day or two and then observing what kinds of messes you have. For instance, our diaper changing table was a hub for stuff, lots and lots of stuff- mail, diaper bags, papers, anything. So we eliminated it. We couldn't use it with things on it anyway. So we got a cabinet with doors that closed! So nothing can just be put down there with out purposely having to go about opening the doors and having it placed there. When dealing with paperwork, this tip is particularly helpful. You can begin to notice what type of paperwork tends to get left out and then find a solution to store it instead.
- Trashcan in every room. Sounds simple but I didn't have enough trashcans. Shorter trips to the trashbin means more picking up with easy disposal.
Those are just a few that I thought I would share. But really, I have learned so much more through all of the books. I didn't know organizing and household stuff was a skill but it is. And it can be learned! So far, our sunroom and our bedroom have gone through the House That Cleans Itself system of purging. How liberating it is. They are still a mess about 25% of the time. But, hey, I am happy with 75% of clean!
Oh, and by the way I'm famous! Mindy answered one of my questions on the House that Cleans Itself blog. If you'd like to visit it, you can go to http://thehousethatcleansitself.com/ and read the March 14th posting.
One last thing-
In heaven, I don't care if I get a mansion, I just want a housekeeper!
Wednesday, March 5, 2008
Our "work of art" - which was immediately eaten (the mouth was made of M&Ms and the eyes were Girl Scout cookies) by Sadie and then consequently knocked over by Sadie. Not that it matters anyway... the snow is mostly melted. I haven't looked at it today but I am guessing there are just a bunch of toys laying in our backyard now! My favorite are the shoes!