Saturday, June 29, 2013


I braced myself for the temper tantrum I knew was coming.  No, not my two year old... me.
It was going to be a busy week and I tried to prepare myself for the exhaustion. 

It's an adult version of a temper tantrum.  Sorry to disappoint, but I don't actually lay down on the floor, kicking and screaming.  Instead, I become overwhelmed with my emotions and lash out because I just can't handle it.  I know myself, this is how I react.

You can only imagine how surprised I was that I have been in a great mood this whole week.  Sure, there were times that I was so tired I couldn't even gather the energy to go to bed, but my thoughts remained joyful. 

What happened? 

God sent people to encourage me... 

Through the words and actions of the people I crossed paths with, I was blessed.

 I calmed down about things I felt anxious about.  I was given strength to carry on when feelings of incompetence threatened to darken my perspective.  I laughed when nerves could have removed all the joy from an experience.

God gave me opportunities to encourage others...

I almost missed it because I doubt myself.  I told myself that I don't really know this person very well and who am I to have an opinion?  I'm not a counselor.  I've never been trained.  I'm probably a little crazy.  Yet, something prodded me forward.  I actually saw how encouragement can make a huge difference in a person's life.

Encouraging words flowed a little easier this week.  These experiences have caused my encouragement sensor to be on the highest level.  I am starting to see encouraging people all around me and I want to be an encourager, too.

To give someone hope, confidence or courage. 

Brightening their day brightens mine, too.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Weekly goals: 6-24-13

Here are my goals from last week and how I did... 1)  Laugh more and find joy in the little things.  Check but still needs work.  I almost didn't take the boys to the pool on Saturday because I had "things to do."  I forced myself to go. We had a blast and it was a lovely 3 hours spent enjoying each other.  Nothing to do but be together.

2) Make the birthday party invites.  Check... but he changed his mind.  I swear he's just like his mother.  Questions every decision.  I'm giving him 5 days and then he has to stick with whatever choice he makes.  I will also be sending e-mail and facebook invites.

3)  Find a new book to read.  Nope

4)  Clean kitchen at night (hubby or I) and one load of laundry a day.  This didn't get done like it should.  Oh, well.  We had clean dishes to eat on and my husband only had one moment where he thought he might have to go to work with no clothes on.

5)  Go to bed by 9:30.  Check- helped a lot!

Goals For the Week Of 6-24-13

The first part of this work week is crazy busy for me.  I have an audition for a vocal contest Monday, a meeting Tuesday night, and I am scheduled to practice with our church's worship team on Wednesday.  Plus, I have to help on the bus route at work 4 out of the 5 days.  Keeping all this in mind, and not wanting to scare my husband or emotionally scar my children, I'm going to keep things simple.

1) Keep the house from falling in around us.  (Very manageable goal.)

2) Go to bed/sleep by 9:30.

3) Let my husband know if I need him to do a few simple tasks.  Write them down for him.

4)  Do my devotion every day.  Even if it's a night.

5)  Laugh and find joy in the everyday...

Saturday, June 22, 2013

A Woman Who Fears the Lord #4

The Woman Who Fears the Lord
A Study of Proverbs 31
Verse 13
"She seeks wool and flax, and works with willing hands."
Let's hope that God didn't mean this literally.  I have no idea how to make material, let alone raise sheep to get wool or grow flax.  My heart goes out to the women who used to do that. 
Let's take this verse and interpret it two ways.  The first will be precisely and the second will be more broad.
1)  God wants me to either raise sheep and have a field of flax or go out and get some from a local farmer.  I am to use the supplies and make enough fabric for everything we need, then I need to sew.  Sew.  Sew????  Clothes, towels, bedding, etc.  I need to do it with a cheerful spirit and be consistent in my work.

That makes me feel overwhelmed...  Right now I am having a hard enough time making sure what we have is clean, let alone making everything from scratch.  And with a cheerful spirit????
2)  God wants me to use the resources that are available to me to take care of my family's clothing needs and our household needs.  I need to do that with a cheerful spirit and be consistent so that my family has what they need.
Less overwhelmed... because this is doable.  I'm not perfect at it yet, but I have found ways to clothe my family without paying full retail price for things.  On-line garage sales, consignment stores, sales, gifts and hand me downs from family and friends take care of my children.  I usually only shop for myself when there is a sale or I have a coupon.  My husband hasn't had new clothes for years.  (Like I said, I'm not perfect.)  He doesn't really care about his clothes and so I'm going to have to make his wardrobe my new project.
Bedding, coats, towels, etc. we have gotten as gifts or hand me downs.
(A lot of people go to garage sales and have great success.  Garage sales make me frustrated and I end up wasting a lot of time and gas or buying things we can happily live without.)
Now let's talk about my attitude and how consistent I am... 
I don't like spending money.  It scares me and makes me question my choices. 
I am not consistent but I have gotten better. 
I'm praying that I will be encouraged to grow as I study Proverbs 31.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Homemade Laundry Soap

Here is one thing I know.  I do not like the amount of money that we spend at the grocery store.  This includes purchases that go beyond food.  Laundry soap, hand washing soap, dishwasher detergent, paper towels, napkins, etc.

Here's a link for a recipe I found on Pinterest for Homemade Laundry Soap.  I have made a whole batch two times and it has lasted our family well over 5 months.  Each batch cost aproximently $1.75.

1 cup Borax
1 cup Washing Soda- the link says to use 1/2 bar but after researching it, I decided to use a whole bar.
1 bar Fels-Naptha Soap
(I found all these at our local Mejer's in the laundry isle.)
 Grate the Fels-Naptha into the stockpot.  I used my Pampered Chef Mandolin to grate it but a friend of mine told me that there is a way to microwave the bar that makes it flake.  I'll have to research it.

 Add 1 gallon of water and heat on stove top until the soap flakes are dissolved.

 Add the Washing Soda and Borax and bring to a boil.

Add 1 gallon of cold water.  Let the laundry soap sit for 1-2 hrs. to cool and then pour it into your containers.  I used 2- gallon distilled water jugs and labeled them with a sharpie. 
Note-  If you forget about your detergent and it cools to long, it is too thick to pour.  If you reheat it the next evening and forget about it again, it is again too thick to pour.  If you have to reheat it for a third time and you pour the liquid into the jugs, it will cool and thicken up so much that you won't be able to pour it out to wash your clothes.  I think it that be because too much water evaporated.  You would just need to add  hot water to the jug and shake it to make it pourable.  Not that this happened to me, but I'm just saying.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Singing Brings Me Joy, Part 2

There I was, praying for more opportunities to sing. 

Nothing changed.  (Talk about wanting instant gratification.)

Months passed and my prayer was forgotten.  My new prayer was that God would help me to be satisfied with what I had and to help me do my best.

It was a Friday when I received an e-mail that the local minor league baseball team was holding auditions for people to sing the National Anthem before the games that season.  For a moment, just a moment, I thought "I could do that."  Then I remembered that horrible feeling in my stomach that I would get before doing it.  I deleted the e-mail.

The next day, my husband forwarded me the e-mail.  In it, he said "You should do this."

Let me tell you about my husband.  With me, he is the most flexible, easy going, go with the flow kind of guy.  He just doesn't really express an opinion with me and what I want to do.  Until this.  Now this e-mail had my attention. Then I remembered that quiet prayer for more opportunities to sing.  It certainly didn't fit inside my neat little box but I'm not going to be trying to keep God confined.  Like I could...

Long story short, I auditioned and they asked me to sing!  Tons of my family came and my husband was there recording the whole thing.  If any of our family or friends missed it, all they have to do is tell my husband.  He'll have the video pulled up in about 2 seconds.  I love him and I love knowing that he is proud of me.  :-)

Here is a link to the video...

Since singing at the South Bend Silver Hawks game...

-My husband won't stop playing that video for people.

-The Worship Team Leader asked me to help out and lead the worship the week he's gone.  It's coming up in a couple of weeks and I'm praying that God's presence will be there and the joy and Presence I feel through music will be attractively obvious.

-A local parks and recreation department has asked me to come and sing with some children during an event they're having for children with developmental delays and disabilities.

-A woman I knew a long time ago asked me to come to their church in August and sing a special for them.

God is in control and I'm going to do my very best to enjoy what He has planned.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Singing Brings Me Joy, Part 1

I love singing and I love beautiful music.  It speaks to my spirit.  There are times when I feel closest to God through music.
I started singing in front of people when I was two years old.  My mother always told the story about how she, my sister and I were in front of the congregation singing, when she noticed that people were chuckling.  Unable to figure what was going on, she looked down at me.  I had lifted up my skirt and was doing a saloon girl dance.  In church. 
I don't do that anymore.  At least not in front of other people.
We sang together as a family until I was 27 and my mom passed away from cancer.  I tried singing a solo at our small country church but couldn't even remember the words.  I went back to what I was comfortable with.  Singing with my children, singing with my students and singing in the shower.
Fast forward a few years...
My husband and I began attending a larger church.  At first I was satisfied with just going to church and leaving without having to help or spend any other time there.  My ministry is in the home and I didn't think there room for anything else.
About 5 months after we began attending this church, they had a "Volunteer Sunday."  On Volunteer Sunday, people walk around and talk to the various kinds of ministry within the church and sign up to help if they feel lead to.  I, however, wasn't feeling lead, but I was feeling lonely.  Volunteering would be a good way to meet people and maybe begin to build friendships within our new church family.  It made sense to me and so one of the things I signed up for was to be a part of the worship team.
It took some time and some healing but I grew to love being a part of the worship team!  I loved it so much that I prayed God would give me more opportunities to sing.  Let's just say that I should be careful what I pray for...
 or at least more specific.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Weekly Goals: 6-17-13

Here are my goals from last week and how I did...

1) Have my husband help me clean the kitchen each night.  If I spend my evening with the boys and do most of the bed time routines, he gets to clean the kitchen.  Check.  My husband was awesome and yea me for respectfully communicating with him.

2)  Do one load of laundry every day.  50/50.  I did great at doing the laundry but I got a little distracted and it took me a while to put things away.

3) Make the birthday party invitations.  Umm... they are still sitting on the buffet in the dining room.

 4) Get up 30 minutes earlier than usual.  This leaves time to do my devotion and makes leaving more relaxed.  If you can picture a chicken with it's head cut off, running around and terribly grumpy, you have gotten a glimpse of my mornings.  Check!  Things go so much smoother this way.  I have got to get to bed earlier because burning the candles at both ends makes one (easily) stressed out mommy by the end of the day.

5) Get Liam up 30 minutes before we have to leave in the morning so he has an easier time transitioning.  (I did this today and we had a temper tantrum free morning.)  Check!  Note to self, one child can roll out of bed and be ready to go in under a minute. (Matt)  The other one needs a half an hour.  (Liam)

6) Read 3 Chapters of "The Ministry of Motherhood" by Sally Clarkson.  I only read one chapter.  I'm having a hard time getting into the book right now.  I'll set it aside and try a different one.


1)  Laugh more and find joy in the little things.

2) Make the birthday party invites.

3)  Find a new book to read.

4)  Clean kitchen at night (hubby or I) and one load of laundry a day.

5)  Go to bed by 9:30.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Joy Comes In the Morning

While I got ready for bed, I had a thought.  I need to stop taking everything so seriously and laugh at myself more. 

A dream woke me at 4:30 this morning.  In the dream, we were at our church waiting to get our picture taken for the church directory.  Our name was called and I walked right by a friend who was trying to say hello to me.  I was so engrossed in my own world that I didn't even notice her.  The dream bothered me because it's something that's happened to me.

Later in the morning, I pulled out the devotion for that day.  (It's actually the one dated for 6/17 but it's the one that came up when I turned on my kindle.)  The first sentence of the devotion was "Learn to laugh at yourself more freely."  Whoa.  I think God is trying to tell me something.

I'm trying to control things... pretty much everything.  I'm not putting my trust in God and allowing Him to take control of my life.  I thought I was, but I'm not. I'm a work in progress and it's time to lighten up!

Saturday, June 15, 2013


It's been a busy and full three weeks of work.  We have been on the go all but one day.  I sat down to reflect on the past week and decided that we just needed a day at home. 

- Matthew seems to be adjusting well to the new routine, he's always been very flexible.  We talk about what's going on and how he's feeling, and we search for the good. 

- Although Liam is in a fabulous mood when I get home from work, the morning transition at the daycare is getting harder.  This makes the start of my day an emotional train wreck.  His wonderful child care provider said "the honeymoon period is over."

- My husband seems to be doing good.  His life doesn't alter too much when I go back to work, just additional child care, picking children up, more household responsibilities... Well, maybe his life does alter a lot but he's been doing great.  Kind of like my rock to grab on to in sinking sand.

- I've been struggling this week with missing the boys, missing the pace of being a stay at home mom, missing my friends, and feeling just not good enough at what I am trying to do.

We're all just going to regroup, relax and reconnect.

Friday, June 14, 2013

A Woman Who Fears the Lord #3

The Woman Who Fears the Lord
A Study of Proverbs 31
Verse 12
"She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life."
I never intend to do my husband harm.  Who would?  But, I know I have.  Reading this verse and thinking over the past twelve years... the past week... I feel like I should start a support group for women who mess up being a Proverbs 31 wife.  I think I could get a lot of members.
There's this thing that I do. (I'm only picking one.)  I speak to my husband like he's a two year old.  It may be because I have taught young children for most of my life.  It may be because I am a mom.  Or, it may be a way that I protect myself from blowing my stack.   It doesn't really matter why, it is just not okay to do.

When we discussed that specific thing during marriage counseling a few years back, I realized it made my husband feel stupid.  (Aka, it did him harm, and not good, for many days of my life.)  My job is to be my husband's helpmate, to build him up and to help him in whatever way he needs to become the man, the husband and the father God wants him to be.
I would love to say I no longer cause him harm but that would be a lie. 
 (Let's not add to the things I need to work on here.)
When I mess up, a sincere apology is made, forgiveness is requested and a Christ like spirit and attitude is sought after.
  God handles things so much better than I ever could. 
I'll just keep trying and let Him take care of everything...
My husband, our marriage and me.

The link to the series "The Woman Who Fears the Lord"

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Discussing the Birds and the Frogs

We currently live on a very quiet road.  The kind of road where you can walk on the road without seeing any cars at all. 

This evening, my husband, our two sons and I enjoyed a leisurely stroll together.  The boys and I hunted for caterpillars on the milkweed that grows on the side of the road and we observed two birds trying to chase off a hawk. 

As we walked, Matthew told me about how there had been a daddy frog calling all the women frogs at his Aunt's house.  "Come here ladies, is what the frog said."  I asked why the daddy frog was calling the lady frogs.  "So they could lay their eggs in the water."


We stopped to listen to a red winged black bird who was calling out.  Matthew wondered out loud what the bird was saying.  I said that it would be interesting to know what the daddy bird was saying and Matthew informed me that it wasn't a daddy bird, it was mommy bird.  "The mommy bird is telling the daddy bird that it's time for dinner."

Someday we'll have to talk about the birds and the bees.  For now, we'll just talk about the birds and the frogs.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Weekly goals --- 6/10/13

Here's a list of my goals from last week:

1) Go to bed each night with a clean kitchen.  Check
2) Do one load of laundry each day.  From start to finish, which means folding and putting away.  Sort of Check
3) Plan with Matthew his birthday party with his friends. Check
4) Make the invitations.  Partial Check
5) Change the picture display in the dining room.  (It still has SNOW and winter pictures on it.)  I'm going to pretend it's still winter.  Not so easy to do in 80 degree weather but I have a GREAT imagination.
6) Finish reading "My So Called Life As A Proverbs 31 Wife."  Check

Here's a List of Goals for this Week:

1) Have my husband help me clean the kitchen each night.  If I spend my evening with the boys and do most of the bed time routines, he gets to clean the kitchen.

2)  Do one load of laundry every day.

3) Make the birthday party invitations.

4) Get up 30 minutes earlier than usual.  This leaves time to do my devotion and makes leaving more relaxed.  If you can picture a chicken with it's head cut off, running around and terribly grumpy, you have gotten a glimpse of my mornings.

5) Get Liam up 30 minutes before we have to leave in the morning so he has an easier time transitioning.  (I did this today and we had a temper tantrum free morning.)

6) Read 3 Chapters of "The Ministry of Motherhood" by Sally Clarkson.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

A Woman Who Fears the Lord #2

The Woman Who Fears the Lord
A Study of Proverbs 31
Verse 11
"The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain."
The first part of this verse seems pretty straight forward to me.  The husband in the verse has an awesome wife. She is reliable and he has total confidence in her.  He's got it made. 
When I think of marriage and trust within that relationship, the first thing that comes to mind is being faithful.  My husband has has my heart, mind and body.  It is for him alone. 

At our wedding, my husband and I said the traditional vows.  It included "in sickness and health" and "'til death do us part."  If my husband is going to completely trust me, I have to take those seriously.  This is not easily done and requires much work.  On both our parts, but we're only going to talk about mine.
I feel like my husband and I had a challenging first nine years of marriage.  There was a lot of death on both sides of our family; his father, grandparents, uncles and aunts, my mother and our first born son, William.  Mix that with my high ideals of what marriage should be, my husband's battle with severe depression and unwise financial choices. 

I was not a strong Proverbs 31 wife... 

Fast forward to our 12th year of marriage.  We are the best of friends, can (mostly) discuss things without ending up not speaking to each other for weeks, he's better at managing his depression and I know how to give him what he needs without letting the depression take over.  We have two healthy and active boys and the best part, we know our love for each other is strong.  If I were asked if my husband trusts me with all his heart, I would say yes.

Which leaves us with the second part of the verse, "he will lack no gain."

I don't think we're talking about material things here.  It's not like God is saying that if a man is blessed enough to have a Proverbs 31 wife, he'll have a great job, always have the money they need or want, he'll drive awesome cars and they'll live in a gorgeous home.  Nope. I really don't think that is what God feels is important.

God looks into our inner most being.  Our spirit.  It's what connects us to Him and what we will have for all eternity.  The Proverbs 31 wife will help her husband's spiritual life.  Depending on what the needs are, she will meet them.

For my husband, at this point in his life, this means a lot of prayer and little to no "suggestions" from me.  It builds my own character as I pray about and wait for the things I see he needs, the ideas I believe will help him, and the areas which only God knows about.  If my husband will lack no gain, I must spend less time talking and more time in prayer.

Over the last year, I've been working on praying more (and nagging less).  I asked my husband back in November if we could start attending Wednesday night Bible studies.  I felt like it was important for us to go as a family.  He said and I quote, "I'll think about it."  So, I prayed.  My prayer was that if it was something that God wanted us to do, He would change my husband's heart.  If not, I prayed that he would change mine.  I asked one more time in December and got the same answer.  As we pulled out of the church parking lot on a wintery January morning, my husband said "Pastor Tim is teaching a class on Wednesday's about American History and how it relates to the bible.  I'd like to go."  All I said was, "Okay." 

Prayer... it's changing us both.


Thursday, June 6, 2013

A Woman Who Fears the Lord #1

Studying the Bible has never been something I was strong at.  I've tried and tried and tried but it often felt like Greek to me.  Or, should I say Hebrew.  Either way, I find myself reading the words but unable to really understand it.  I'm ever so slowly beginning to change...
The Woman Who Fears the Lord
A Study of Proverbs 31
Verse 10
"An excellent wife who can find?  She is far more precious than jewels."
Who determines that a woman is an excellent wife?  My first thought would be the husband but I find that discouraging.  I don't know if my own husband ever thinks that way.  He loves me and I'm sure he appreciates me, in his own way. 
The only One who can truly know if a wife is excellent would be God.  He knows our inner thoughts and desires.  He understands how hard we try and He sees our past, present and future
This wife is of high cost or worth; valuable.  She is highly esteemed; cherished, dear and beloved.  She is treasured or esteemed.
Writing this makes me feel a little overwhelmed.  Okay, really overwhelmed.  I don't feel like I am all those things. 
What does God think?
A jewel takes time to develop. Consider the diamond.  It is a jewel and it develops under heat and pressure.  That kind of describes the experiences of a wife.   Heat... Pressure...
God is using my life, with all it's heat and pressure, to develop me into the wife He wants me to be.  The wife He knows my husband needs.  An excellent wife who is cherished and treasured.
The definitions for precious and jewels were found on

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Zombies versus Parents

For family game night, we played Clue. This sparked Matthew's imagination and he came up with a plan to have family game night outside with each of us playing the characters. As he described his elaborate plans, I began to feel light headed. I asked him to slow down because my brain couldn't keep up with his.  Disappointed, he replied that he could make all the plans he wanted in the game "Minecraft." I said "Yes. You don't have to worry about grown ups, or jobs, or money, or time, or weather. Well, you do have to worry a little about weather and zombies. You have to worry about Zombies." 
I think he would rather worry about zombies than parents.

Book Review: "My So-Called Life As A Proverbs 31 Wife"

What happens when a spirited woman challenges herself to become a domestic diva?  Laugh out loud humor, that's what.  For the women who have Proverbs 31 down pat, no need to read this book.  For the rest of us who struggle, this book is a must read.


The author is Sara Horn.  She spent a year on this Proverbs 31 project and the book is about how she tries to help her husband, strengthen her marriage, be patient, cook, clean, organize, decorate, work from home, sell a house, move, work a full time job, and be a single parent while her husband is deployed or in training.  Sara takes Proverbs 31 and makes it understandable and attainable for woman today.

Here's what impacted me most about this book.  No person can tell you how to be a Proverbs 31 wife.  My journey with my strengths and weaknesses is going to be different from yours. God is going to help you become the wife He wants you to be and Proverbs 31 is a great guide.

On a side note:  My mom was a stay at home mom for my entire life.  She and my father felt very strongly about how she needed to be in the home and not working a job.  Sometimes that got communicated as the only way, the best way, God's way.  Right now in my life, I need to work.  It's helping my husband and I meet goals that are healthy for our family and fix some past mistakes.  I have a great job and am blessed to only have to work 5 1/2 months out of the year.  Yet, I struggle emotionally with it every single day.  Even during my off season.  When Sara faces the challenge of leaving her work from home job to a full time job outside of the home, she takes it head on.  (That's just the kind of person I think she is.)  It's not easy, but it's what her family needs.

There are at least 7 verses in Proverbs 31 that relate to business.  The woman in Proverbs 31 does what it takes to help provide for her family.  I can and will learn from this.  I will do what my family needs and continue to seek after God's will.

Thank you, Sara.  You strengthened what I already knew, helped me feel more confident and shed light on areas that were previously dark.

(Sara has a new book coming out in August 2013.  It's called "My So-Called Life As A Submissive Wife.")

You can find Sara on Facebook under her name, Sara Horn.

My Proverbs 31 Life Blog-

Sara's Blog-

A video where Sara describes this book-

The book is available to purchase on Amazon-

Here is a link to the book review that I did on Sara's next book--

Surviving to Thriving

A couple of weekends ago, my family went to meet with some relatives from my husband's side.  While speaking to his cousin, Jennifer, she recommended the book "Year of Biblical Womanhood" by Rachel Held Evans.  I find myself easily distracted so I asked if she could message me the book title, because I knew I would forget.  And, I did.  I couldn't wait for her to get me the title and so that night I thumbed through the Amazon booklist on my kindle, searching for the book.  If I came across the title, surely I would remember it.  During my search I came across the book "My So-Called Life As A Proverbs 31 Wife" by Sara Horn.  Reading over the description, the fact that she had to leave her domestic diva project to take on a full time job, peaked my interest.  It's very similar to how I feel in this season of my life.  Not the domestic diva part... the going to work a full time job part.  I wondered how working outside the home, away from everything I consider to be my most important job in life, could relate to the woman from Proverbs 31.  A few minutes later, the book was a part of my teeny tiny kindle library.

 I haven't been able to get into a book for a while now.  Besides reading my bible and skimming through some home schooling books, I just can't seem to stay on task when it comes to reading.  This book was a great read and I finished it in a week.

The two previous seasons that I have worked full time, left me feeling like I barely survived.  Trying to manage household responsibilities and two children was about all I could handle.  I'm sad to say that my husband and our marriage got the short end of the stick.  I want this season of work to be different.  I want to finish the season knowing that I took steps towards being the woman that God desires me to be.  I want to live intentionally, to step away from barely surviving to thriving and loving EVERY aspect of the life I've been given.

Monday, June 3, 2013

"Little House On the Prairie"

Making goals usually helps me to feel like I am accomplishing things.  It doesn't really matter if I would have done them anyway, somehow putting it down on paper and crossing it off helps.  Yes, I have done something that was not on the list, added it to the list and then crossed it off.  It's my paper and I can.

Not wanting to overwhelm myself while I am still adjusting to working a full time job,  I'm going to start small.  Here are my goals for this week:

1) Go to bed each night with a clean kitchen.
2) Do one load of laundry each day.  From start to finish, which means folding and putting away.
3) Plan with Matthew his birthday party with his friends. 
4) Make the invitations.
5) Change the picture display in the dining room.  (It still has SNOW and winter pictures on it.)
6) Finish reading "My So Called Life As A Proverbs 31 Wife."

Well, I can already say I have checked #6 off my list.  I couldn't find one of our two kittens last night, so while I was waiting for him to come out, I finished reading the book.  Between waiting for the kitten, my two year old waking up around 1:30 a.m. and then the kittens coming to play on top of me at 5:30 in the morning, it was a short night.  Still, I could get the laundry and the dishes done.  That seemed bare minimum to me.

Somehow, all my plans seem great when I'm starting them the next day or I make plans in the morning.  Coming home around 6:00 from work, not eating dinner until 7:00 and then finally getting both boys to bed at 8:30, sure does change how motivated I feel. 

I whined to my husband that I was tired and still needed to do the dishes.  He told me that he would just work on them tomorrow.  I know how his day looks tomorrow.  Even though he doesn't have to go into work, he does have errands to run... with the boys.  I really need to do the dishes.

Setting the timer for 15 minutes should give me long enough to at least get the dishwasher loaded and going.  As I alternated between loading the dishwasher and washing the bigger dishes by hand, I thought how blessed I was to have a dishwasher.  This got me to thinking back to a conversation I had with friends about people who lived in the 1800's, the period of time that the book "Little House on the Prairie" was set in.  They had to wash all their dishes by hand and with no running water.  All the modern day conveniences we have.  Washing machines, dryers, dishwashers, mini vans, computers, cell phones... the list could go forever. 

Yet, I'm sure they weren't running off to work in the morning, dropping their children off at daycare and then trying to cram everything into the two hours they had together before the children had to go back to bed.  They had to plan out their trips into town and only made monthly or quarterly trips.  No driving to the store to pick up a few things you forgot and needed to complete that nights meal.  Back in their time, people wrote each other letters and dropped in for coffee.  No facebook, texting, cell phones, or blogging.  

I know that in any century, women feel overwhelmed and have much on their plate.  I just think that maybe, just maybe, doing all those things the hard way wasn't so bad.  I kinda think their plate looks pretty.