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Gratituesday – Pinterest

I know, I know, it’s Wednesday. We took last week off from school & I’m all off kilter this week trying to get back into the swing of things. We did a lot of painting…
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We really enjoyed the Grilled Mustard Pork from last week. (Only I didn’t realize there was no pork left in the freezer so we substituted chicken.) ;-)


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Laundry fail

Some of you may be familiar with FlyLady. I like her approach to cleaning, even if I don’t do all of the things that she suggests.

One thing that has really stuck with me is doing a load of laundry a day. I try to load the washing machine shortly after I wake up. Otherwise I completely forget about it for the rest of the day!

Yesterday I loaded the washing machine taking my time to check for & spray stains. That takes a while with a family of 6! Any ways, once I got it all loaded I apparently just walked right out of the laundry room! You can imagine my surprise when I went to go check the laundry after dinner. Yes, sometimes I don’t get back to it until waaaaaay later.

The good news is that all I had to do was add detergent & start it up this morning. :-)

Antoinette

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I’m linking up to Wordless Wednesday today, here & here. :-)

Sam’s Quilt is coming along!

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P-R-I-O-R-I-T-I-E-S

What are your PRIORITIES?

Micca Campbell gives us a great acrostic to use in Chapter 4 of An Untroubled Heart.

P – Pray. Ask God for wisdom. Ask Him to show you His priorities for this season of your life.
R – Review God’s priorities for your life. Study God’s Word to determine His priorities for you as His child and as a woman.
I – Take Inventory. Examine the activities that consume your time. Keep a time log for a week. Then ask hard questions. What are my true priorities? Are they the right ones?
O – Order your schedule. Ask, “What is important?” Make the hard choices based on God’s priorities for your life.
R – Resist the “tyranny of the urgent.” Don’t let the urgent keep you from focusing on the truly important.
I – Input from others. Seek input, counsel, and accountability from authorities, godly friends, mentors, and your husband (if applicable).
T – Take advantage of the time God gives you. Don’t waste time. Do all to the glory of God. (I really like this one!)
I – Identify time robbers. What saps your energy and robs your time? Activities, attitudes, distractions, interruptions? (One thing I need to remind myself is that children are not interruptions. They ARE my priority.) ;-)
E – Experience this season fully. Be all there is this season of life. Weep, rejoice, work hard, and celebrate with all your heart. Don’t waste your time living in the past or future.
S – Sabbaths. Take regular time-outs to refresh, regain perspective, reflect and evaluate, and re-prioritize. Make adjustments accordingly.

I think I need to print this & have it with me at all times. ;-)
If you can, take some time right now & think through each point or plan a specific time today to do this. Then let me know if you did it. ;-)

Have a fulfilling day,
Antoinette

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Hello again! How are your morning routines going? And your before bed routines? When I remember to do my before bed routine the next day goes so much smoother in the morning! If you haven’t had a chance to get into a routine I’d like to challenge you tonight. Just pick out your clothes for tomorrow. Shine your sink. Those little things can make a huge difference in how your start your day. :-)

Day 14 beholds an essay for us to read. It’s about using a calendar if you don’t already do that. Nowadays there are some really great calendars out there. You can even sync your calendars with other family members through gmail and other sites! There are some really great apps for your phone. Don’t underestimate the old school wall calendar either. FlyLady has great calendar in her shop & this is the calendar that I use.

To go off on a bit of a tangent, I’ve been thinking about starting another challenge since we’re getting our lives organized. Some of you know that I’ve lost a lot of weight this past year. I get a lot of questions about how I’ve done it. I did it all through a group that met at our church called PRISM. I learned a lot about nutrition, but I also learned a lot about why I ate the way that I did. I’m an emotional eater/stress eater & not everyone is the same. Unfortunately the group isn’t meeting any more. However, a friend mentioned a book that I was shocked to find was very similar in its eating plan. The writer is spot on with his approach to weight loss & has such good information to read. It’s called The ABS DIET. I have to admit that when I first heard the title I didn’t like it at all. My goal is not to have well defined abs, a six pack or anything of the sort. The more I read though, the more I realized that his approach is to get rid of the fat in that area of your body, surrounding your organs.

I won’t go on & on about it right now. If you get a chance, go over to this site to read a review of the book. I liked the review because it was very realistic. I was able to check this book out from the library to preview it first before purchasing. However, I found a link to the diet information through Women’s Health Magazine. The goal is not so much to go on a diet, but to work on changing bad eating habits. There’s so much I want to share it that area.

What I need to know is, who’s interested? And if you’re interested when do you want to get started? Monday? That would give you a chance to read through the info & go grocery shopping this weekend. I can’t wait to hear what you think. :-)

Antoinette

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OK, I literally laughed out loud when I read Day 12 – Delete all emails from FlyLady. Didn’t I just say that? LOL! So it’s not just me, even she knows they can get overwhelming. ;-) Go ahead, delete them if you haven’t already. They’ll be back the next day. :-)

How are you doing? I still struggle keeping the sink shined, but I’ve been doing a whole lot better at keeping it empty & cleaning off the counter. Believe me, that’s a BIG improvement. I picked out my clothes last night & dressed to shoes in the morning. When I don’t wear my shoes my back is usually hurting pretty bad by about 2:00 & I need to sit down to rest it. But when I get my shoes on I can get a lot more done. Enough motivation for me!

Anyone have a favorite Baby Step so far? Anyone still doing the challenge?

Antoinette

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Seriously, that’s how it has felt lately.

I wake up in the morning, feed a baby, make sure there is breakfast for 3 other children, have Bible time with everyone, try to get a shower in, start laundry, play with baby, put baby down for a nap, the other 3 go outside after their chores, I start snacks, lunch & dinner (if possible) because if I don’t, it doesn’t get done! That’s all in the first couple hours of my day. The rest are somewhat similar. I’ve still been menu planning, but it’s been a little more difficult to do it on Sunday nights. I get my CSA boxes on Mondays, so I like to try and plan my meals Monday nights. However, sometimes I just plan them the night before. ;-) (Looks in the fridge, thinks “we really need to use that up” viola, dinner!)

I will also be starting to homeschool my children in September. There was a lot of prayer put into this, and then the school sent out a letter saying it would be closing its doors. Prayer answered! I was a bit anxious about this being that I’m not a very gifted teacher. But a very dear friend shared her curriculum with me and I fell in love with it. Mine arrived this week. Believe me, I was tempted to get started right away… but I’ll let me children enjoy their summer first. :-) I do think they’re going to be surprised at how much they like school though.

I’ve been having fun trying out some new recipes, making yo-pops (popsicles made from homemade yogurt, honey, & fruit), and bubbles, and just enjoying my children. If I find time I’ll write some more. If you don’t hear from me, you can assume I’m in the kitchen. ;-)

Antoinette

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I had to repost this from the Hill Billy Housewife Blog. Head on over there for lots more great articles.

Even Our Cleaning Sponges Need Cleaning – Tidy Tuesday

Many of us have been trying to live a more frugal lifestyle, taking steps to eliminate wasteful things like using paper towels. Some of our frugal ways have actually brought up some subjects we may not have expected. Like germs.

We were used to wiping up a dirty counter top with a fresh paper towel, then throwing it away, along with the germs. Now, we have to stop and think as we reach for our sponges. I used to throw away bacteria… now what?

Yes, we’ve noticed that using sponges to clean our homes has raised an interesting question. It’s a funny thing that, even though we wouldn’t dream of using cloth rags over and over and over again without washing them, we continue to leave that old sponge sitting there for what seems like an eternity. For some inexplicable reason, a sponge gets thrown back where we keep it after we squeeze it out, but we don’t often give it any more attention than that.

What is the harm? Of course, it’s germs, bacteria, that nasty stuff that can transfer from place to place and eventually make us sick. Consider the fact that if you are using the same kitchen sponge to wipe meat juice off the counter that you are using to wipe off the baby’s high chair, you have a science experiment in the making – and not with a favorable conclusion.

You don’t have to discontinue using sponges, but how do you take care of them so they don’t harbor germs? Well, it’s not much different than you might imagine. Some good old vinegar and water, bleach and water, and soap and water will do the trick.

Here are a couple easy instructions for cleaning those hardworking sponges:

For your kitchen sponges – simply throw them in the dishwasher with your next cycle and they will be sparkling clean and disinfected. You can also fill a stainless steel or glass bowl with hot water, drop in just a tiny splash of bleach, and let the sponge soak in there for about 30 minutes. The same thing can be accomplished using hot soapy water and vinegar, just increase the amount of vinegar to about 1/2 the amount of water. Many people will take their washed sponges, rinse them under fresh water, wring the excess water out, and stick them in the microwave for about 1 to 2 minutes. Be sure to use a tongs to remove the sponge from the microwave. Let cool, and the sponge will smell fresh as new and be germ free, too.

For your bathroom sponges – you don’t want these sponges to go into the dishwasher for several reasons, one of which I’ll mention here; they will be somewhat embedded with hair. To wash and disinfect sponges used to scrub toilets, sinks, tubs, and showers, you want to wash them in your washing machine with other rags used for cleaning floors, windows, and even your car. I recommend washing them once without any detergent as they’ll have plenty of soapy residue that you’ll want to remove first. Just add a couple cups of white vinegar to the washing machine before the sponges and rags start the wash cycle. Let the machine go through the entire wash, rinse and spin cycle once. Then, for especially mistreated sponges, put them through the cycle again with a small amount of laundry detergent. When finished rinsing, let your sponges and rags dry outside. Don’t make the mistake of putting them away wet.

For your spa or body sponges – you don’t want to use any harsh cleaning methods. Avoid any bleach, laundry detergent, or dishwashing liquid or powder. A bucket filled with hot water and a little shampoo works well. Be sure to rinse thoroughly, then hang up where they will dry well. Don’t put them away wet. You can use a tiny amount of white vinegar in your rinse water to ensure that all the soup is rinsed out. However, be sure it’s just a drop or two of vinegar – not nearly as much as you would use for your kitchen sponges.

NEVER mix ammonia with bleach. This means several things – don’t use ammonia to clean sponges that have been used with any bleach product, and vice versa – don’t use bleach to clean sponges that have been used with any products that contain ammonia.

Furthermore, most common sense approaches would indicate that if you use a multitude of cleaning products, and some contain bleach and some contain ammonia, it’s best to wash your sponges, separately, in simple dish soap and water… just be sure your dish soap does not contain bleach or ammonia! This is not a complicated matter in homes that stick to one or two cleaners, but if your home has a closet full of different concoctions, you will need to heed these warnings.

If you keep your sponges clean, following these steps every couple times you use your sponges, you shouldn’t have to worry about spreading germs around from surface to surface. Of course, your sponges won’t last forever, so be sure to watch for signs of deterioration. When your sponges start to break down, it’s time to throw them out. You did the best you could for them, for as long as possible, so don’t feel bad. They served their purpose and you kept your home nice and tidy… and free of germs!

If this project gets you in the mood for more cleaning ideas, be sure to check out our Spring Cleaning Tips For Mom and get your whole house as sweet smelling and germ free as your sponges.

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