Monday, March 30, 2009

Finding a routine

I just read this post by SimpleMom and found it extremely helpful.

I have quite a few friends who schedule their days really well. I am more of a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-britches kind of girl...which has led to MUCH fun in the past (like a drive to Charleston and back in the middle of the night, a tandem bungie jump over a famous waterfall in Africa, a large hoop hanging from my get the picture).

However, I have apparently graduated from college and now have two kids that have to eat and a house that still doesn't clean itself.

SO....the question in my head has always been, "How does one even begin to think about what her routine should look like?" I don't want to copy someone else's because their life isn't like mine and I think I would get frustrated, but these tips help me think through what's most important, what REALLY needs to get done, what I already do and how to whiddle away all the other stuff without feeling guilty.

Super helpful.

So here are my 3 MIT's for today:

1. Fold and put away laundry.

2. Clip and sort coupons.

3. Keep kids alive and the house standing (because the other two are big tasks today).

What helps you decide on your routine?

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Spring equals inspiration slash goals slash lists

I am a list maker. I really love lists. They take all the fragments and mismatched, half-thoughts running amuck in my head and make them...complete, whole, real thoughts. I have all the normal lists like grocery, to-do, errands, projects, packing, step-by-step instructions and sometimes even a list of things I need to look for online so I won't get side tracked (which works approximately 2% of the time). I also journal to get my thoughts to make sense, but that's another day.

(I never thought I would need a way to get to complete, whole, real thoughts, by the way, but apparently I do...and badly.)

And, with current technology, I have found myself to be a much better typer than hand writer so I thought I would make my list for spring here. And aren't you glad?

These are all the things running around like rabbits in my brain...things I'll complete, things I'm just thinking about completing, things that just won't leave me alone.

1. Squarefoot gardening. This WILL happen this year. I will make one, only one, and it will be good. Amen.

2. Pillows. I want to make them. Pretty, springy, fresh pillows for our bed and couch. This girl on Etsy has some super cute ones.

3. Thermal curtain panels. The blinds over our sliding glass door do little more than prevent sunburn, get knocked off by a certain two year old and then re-stapled and re-stapled again. Our great room is also a sauna in the summer time, so I'm trying to decide if I should get fabric and make them myself or just buy them...leaning toward buying them.

4. Cute memory board for the boy's room. I have wanted to do this since I was pregnant with Isaiah. It seems really simple (I already have the list of instructions for it). Though not for a boy, I still thought this one was pretty.

5. Make my own cleaning products. Do any of you guys already do this? Organized Home has some really simple ways of doing this.

6. Clean! The yearly (and I do mean yearly) bug has bit. This task is still very overwhelming to me. I would like to get back to doing little things everyday that don't take much time, but maintain cleanliness really taking 39 seconds to wipe down a counter everyday instead of taking a fire hose to it once a month. Real Simple has the best plan for this that I have ever used. I really worked for me back then.

Friday, March 20, 2009

And just for proof of life

Here are a few pics taken recently :)

This is how we relax these days....We've gone off the deep end.

This is the best of about 20 attempts at this picture

Snow get-ups

Just plain happiness

Taking over Mommy and Daddy's bed
(Manny got his band...more about that later)

Tired boys

Isaiah's still silly :)

Manny's getting chunky!

Maybe it's because he's started eating food :)

Meet your new sister

I know it's been ages, but there is no better reason to blog than to introduce you to a new sister in Christ and ask you to share in my rejoicing and prayers for her.

A little background:

In 2001 I was an RA for a girl's floor in Moore Hall at UNCC. I was involved with a campus ministry that had a passionate vision for discipleship and I primarily became an RA to share my faith with the girls God would bring me. 2001 was my last year as an RA, but I built precious relationships that I still keep in touch with. One of those relationships was with Corey. She was lost, insecure and needed guidance. She was open to talking about anything, but completely shut out the gospel. She would just say, "I'm sorry, Dana. I know that's important to you, but it's just not for me."

Over the years I would see her at our annual Christmas parties and other get-togethers and it was obvious that her life was not good...I'll just leave it at that. Things were bad. Several of us girls who are Christians would talk about how we just wished Corey knew Jesus, and what do we say to help her and how she didn't want to talk to so-and-so (usually me because they looked to me like a mom) because she was embarrassed, etc. A few months ago, she finally called me out of desperation because she didn't know what to do, but was still very determined to "figure it out." I told her the gospel again and that I really believed God was using her circumstances to chase her down....and that He had been doing that since she was a freshman.'s an email I just sent out to people who I had asked to pray for her:

Hey Ladies,

Just wanted to thank you for praying for Corey. She called me a few days ago and wanted to get together for "spiritual guidance." We met last night and for an hour she very tearfully told me the story of how God drew her heart to Him the other night while she was by herself, and how she gave Him everything.. .her mess, her sins, her life. She said that Chris (the father of her child, who she lives with but is not together's a mess) told her that to have a relationship with God you have to talk to Him and confess your sins. How amazing that God would use him, or me, or any of us! God has been bringing back to her mind conversations that we've had over the last 8 years...things I don't even remember saying.

To hear her tell it was so pure and real and beautiful. I don't think I've ever heard a story so beautiful. She really knows nothing about the Bible....she' s been to church twice and didn't even know if she believed in God before...but she knows that He has forgiven her and that He's with her and always will be. That's it! How simple and pure her experience is and nothing can ever take that away from her. I really have no words to describe listening to her last night. I wish you all could have heard her.

I explained the gospel to her in a little more detail (like the Jesus part) and even drew out the "bridge diagram" (shout out to CO folks!). I didn't want to overwhelm her but everything I told her just went straight to her heart, bringing more tears.

We are going to meet weekly so please continue to pray for this journey for her...she told me that her circumstances have only gotten worse, but that now she has Someone to turn to. I can't express how precious this all is to me. When I was her RA in college (when I first started talking about the gospel with her) it was probably the worst year of my life and I was a real mess. Isn't God good?

Love you all.

Amazed again by His grace,

"The Lord has done great things for us and we are filled with JOY!"