Monday, April 30, 2012

If You're Thirsty...Parent's Version.2

I shared my new song with my husband and he decided to do me one better, and make it actually flow.

So, here is "If You're Thirsty...Parent's Version.2"

If you're thirsty, get yourself some water
If you're hungry, eat a better dinner
If you're tired and weary, go and take a nap
And if you are lost in darkness, say Good Night!

(Tyler says the last line should be "Turn on the light!"

Deep Thoughts About Deep Cleaning

I am almost finished with deep-cleaning the house.  It's been quite an experience for me.  I'm going to be honest here; I've cleaned things these past two months that I've never cleaned before.  I didn't even know you had to clean them.  And I've collected some thoughts.

Besides the normal dishes, vacuuming, cleaning the bathroom, I can't remember doing much deep cleaning as a kid (maybe I've suppressed it all).  And I was a messy (though not quite as bad as my daughter, thankyouverymuch!) so it certainly wasn't a desire of mine to do anything above and beyond the "huge load" of chores that I already had to do.  Due to the circumstances of my life, I had an attitude problem, to be quite honest with you, and that attitude affected a lot of things into my marriage, my housekeeping being a huge one.  I became a busy working mother, and as long as we had clean clothes and food, we were doing just fine.

I'm sorry to say that some of this attitude has carried even until the present (though I'm continually improving, Thank you, Sis Johnson!).  I'm a busy, tired, stay-at-home, homeschooling, mother of four children, one of them who has autism.  I'm doing great to get food on the table, (you know I cook mostly from scratch, right?) and keep us in clean clothes! 

And maybe some of that attitude is true.  All of those things I mentioned above are all valid excuses.  But, something changed about six months ago, maybe longer, I'm not really sure.  I just know that I began to make it a priority to have the house picked up before Jim and Katelyn got home.  Now, mind you, most of it consists of picking up all the toys scattered around the house and depositing them into the playroom, which then gets picked up three or four times a week.  But just having the mess out of the main part of the house is huge!  It makes it so relaxing to be able to sit down with Jim in the living room and not have a huge mess of toys laying around.  And, I noticed that if we do it a couple of times a day, it doesn't take quite so long.

Then I started assigning other cleaning chores to a certain time/day.  No, it doesn't always get done perfectly, exactly when it's supposed to, but things are getting done more often.  And I don't find myself going "Um, it's all a mess, so why bother?"

Finally, I got to the point where I wanted to deep clean the whole house.  There are many different ways to do it.  Money Saving Mom just did a series during the month of April where she assigned one cleaning chore every day.

But, for me, I found that I liked doing one room at a time.  I would go into each room, start at the top and work my way down.  First I would declutter the area, then I would clean it.  I scrubbed cleaned walls and doors, I cleaned cabinets and closets, I cleaned the washer and dryer.  The refrigerator.  I pulled out the stove and cleaned under it.  Something else?  The dishwasher.  I never knew that you had to clean the inside of the dishwasher, but it was pretty gross.  The baseboards.  Know what else?  I've never cleaned baseboards before.  But, after I was done, I found myself noticing them, how white they were and how nice they looked.

It made me happy!  I felt so content and at peace to open the fridge and see how nice and shiny it was.  The dishwasher, the same.  The walls?  Wow, I can't believe I got that gunk off!

And now that I'm almost done, I'm looking forward to starting all over again.  And this time, it won't take me nearly as long because it's not nearly as dirty as it was the first time.

I started out devoting 30 minutes a day to this deep cleaning and its taken me about two months, though the past three weeks or so I've been spending three to four hours a day on it.  So I know that if I just continue to give 30 minutes a day to deep cleaning, that I can continue to have a cleaner house.

I actually look forward to cleaning now.  I actually want to get the mop out and clean the floor.  I think I must be crazy, lol.

I've also realized that I need to get the kids even more involved in the cleaning, mainly Katelyn.  I do have them do chores, but not the deep cleaning.  But, if I don't have them do it, how will they learn?  Maybe my mom DID do all those things when I was a kid, I just don't remember it because she never had me do it?

So, look out kids, hehehehe.  I know some people who have their kids clean baseboards for punishment.  I think that's a terrific idea.

I know my husband is happier, too.  Poor guy is NOT a messy, yet he had to marry one.  I know it's been hard on him.  Last night at Jubilee, Bro Winsted made a comment about children learning to be rebellious from a rebellious wife.  My first thought was "I'm not rebellious."  But the Lord quickly spoke to my heart and reminded me about all the times I leave my junk in the van, even when it drives Jim crazy.  And the times that I don't make the kids eat at the table.  Or when I leave my cup on the floor for a little one to kick over.  Yikes.

So, what's my point?

1. If you truly can only get so much done, then yes, food and clothing are a priority.
2.  But once you start to have more free time, find out what pleases your husband, makes you happy and brings peace and contentment to your home.  For us, it's having a cleaner house so that we can relax and have fun in it.
3.  Devote a certain amount of time every day to achieving that goal.  For me, it's 30 minutes a day of focused, deep cleaning.
4. Teach your children to clean, too.  First of all, they make most of the mess, they need to clean it up.  Second, how can they take care of their own homes if they've not been taught how?

I'm off to clean!


If You're Thirsty-The Mom's Version

We were listening to The Morgan's CD "I've Been Blessed" during chores the other morning.  The song "If You're Thirsty" came on and I just couldn't resist changing the words up a little. 

So, this is "If You're Thirsty-The Mom's Version":

If you're thirsty...get yourself something to drink.  There's a cup right in front of you!
If you're should have eaten a better dinner!
If you're tired and should have taken a nap instead of playing during quiet time.
And if you are lost in dark...that means it's bedtime.  Go to sleep already!

Pretty Good Mom

Jason came in to see what I was making for breakfast.

I told him I was making Apple Crisp (granola with apples baked under it-yeah, it qualifies!)

Jason nodded and said "Yup.  You're a pretty good mom."

I'll take that as a compliment.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Don't Mess With Texas

On Wednesday night, Joshua Tarpley came over to spend the night with Tyler.  This little guy is a dream, let me tell you.

We were eating dinner and quizzing Joshua about his food likes (he has no dislikes, apparently!), amazed by his love of food, which is not something that my children have.

Katelyn asked him if he even liked meatloaf (horror of horrors)

Joshua responded that he sure did.

Katelyn revved up the drama and said "What?!?  You're crazy.  You are not from my universe!"

To which Joshua calmly replied....

"I'm from Texas."

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Give Me the Word

Today I had a conversation with one of my children that went something like this:

Mom, (insert crisis)!  What am I supposed to do???

I then tell the child exactly what they need to do to solve the problem.

But I don't want to do that!!!  What am I suppoooosed to dooooo????

Well, Child, if you don't do what I told you to do, then you have to suffer the consequences of your actions.

No, I can't suffer those consequences.  WHAT am I supposed tooooo dooooooo????

Child, nothing has changed.  These are your options.  Do what I said or suffer the consequences.

Bare in mind this is not the first time that I've had a conversation like this.

Later I was pray-thinking as I was taking a shower about this child and this conversation.  And I said in my mind, "Lord, what I supposed to do with this child???"

As the irony hit me, I couldn't help but laugh.  And I knew exactly what I needed to do.

It's all in the Word.  The answers have never changed.  I have the option to do what the Word says, or suffer the consequences.

As my fellow VPC bloggers have been mentioning this week, Pastor Garrett has been hitting hard the theme that we need the Word.  Everything we need to live a Godly life is found in the Word.

Sunday morning Pastor opened Sunday School by reading the words to a song that the youth choir sings "Give Me the Word".  I already had the chorus written in my Bible:

Give me the Word, make it plain and clear to me
Give me the Word, it's a light that I might see
Give me the Word, it's my total victory
Over every situation, Give me the Word

And that's exactly it.  Over EVERY situation, the answer is in the Word.

Lord, what am I supposed to do?  It's in the Word.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Yep, that's me

Thought this was an interesting article; totally points to where I am as a grocery shopping mom, minus a kid.

The Life Cycle of a Couponer

Monday, April 16, 2012

Phoenix Zoo with Grandparents

Kate and her daddy with their favorite animal
 Jim's parents came into town this weekend.  We have so enjoyed having them here.  Today we all played hookey and went to the Phoenix Zoo.  Field trip, right?

We did about half of the zoo before everyone pooped out.  Jason and Tyler were very anxious to see monkeys, so they really enjoyed the Monkey Walk exhibit.  You can actually walk into the cage and be with the monkeys.  Some of the monkeys were right next to us!  They were the little ones, spider monkeys, I think?  At one point, Jason squatted down and just watched the little monkey for a long time.  It was so cute!
A Pearl of Great Price

Tyler the Turtle! Aloha, Tyler!

Mom!  The alligator wants my apple!

Tyler wrestles with an angry oyster

Tyler on the John Deere

Mom, take this picture so I can send it to Sis. Luckenbaugh!

There is a petting zoo where you can get a brush and brush the goats.  I was shocked that Jason went in and brushed the goat considering that he was scared stiff of the animals that were safely in their cages.  Later we went to a window where you could look in on a cow.  The cow turned its head right then and was inches from Jason.  He freaked!

Katelyn and Jason brush a goat

Justin brushes a goat

Jim with his parents

Jim Sr, Brenda, Jim Jr. and Katelyn

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Cooking with my boys

Justin stirs the dry ingredients, carefully
 The littles and I have had a busy food-related day!  First, I made french toast for breakfast this morning.  I actually started it yesterday by baking a loaf of bread in my bread machine.  I toasted the entire loaf and froze the leftovers for easy breakfasts this week.

After a quick run to the store for fruit, cheese, eggs, and peanut butter, we got busy in the kitchen again.  First up was a batch of Granola Bars.  The boys love helping me add the ingredients, stir, and use the mixer.  It's hard for me to give up that control because I really just want to get it done, but as you can see, the boys really enjoy it and we're creating memories!
Jason uses the mixer

And, by the time I was ready to start the next project, they had gotten bored and wandered away.  So, I was on my own for the brownies and the pumpkin bread.

Now I'm taking a break.  Don't anyone even try to tell me that there's nothing to eat!

Yum!  We love to lick the beaters!

My boys don't stay dressed for long.  Jason decided that he wanted to wear an apron like Mommy.  Tyler took this picture, which is why it's wonky.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Haircuts, showers, and candy

Today was haircut day.

Justin was not a willing participant.

Then, to add insult to injury, I gave him a shower. We have one of those removable shower heads because we thought it would make hair washing the little boys easier. Ha!

Justin is deathly afraid of the shower. He screamed like he was dying the whole time.

Then, as soon as I turned off the shower, Justin stopped screaming and said "Done?" He happily climbed out of the bathtub and would have run off if I hadn't caught him.

I wrapped him in a towel and cradle held him for a while while I talked to Jim.

I asked Justin some questions like "Did you get a haircut? Do you want Mom to put you down? Do you want Mom to keep holding you?" The answer was always "No".

Finally I asked "Do you want candy?"

Justin popped right up "Yes!"

He got his candy.

My children are deprived.

I don't buy much packaged food. First, I can't afford it (unless it's free with coupons) and, second, even if it's free, I don't think that it's good for my children, Tyler specifically, to have much of it. Instead I buy ingredients and make homemade snacks, which we eat with fruits and vegetables.

This morning we went to Sam's Club for our by-weekly shopping trip. Our cart was loaded with things like flour, sugar, eggs, cheese, yogurt, apples, bananas, strawberries, potatoes, and onions.

We got in line behind a mom and her 3 year old son. She only had a few things in her cart, some fancy coffee thing and Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal.

Tyler looked at the cart and said, "Wow, that kid is so lucky. He gets Cinnamon Toast Crunch. All we get is fruits and vegetables."

I just smiled and said "Yup, your mother is so mean."


Let's just say that Jason is a challenge. When Pastor tells stories about his childhood, Jim and I just sigh and say "Thank God, there's hope."

Example 1: Jason got mad at Justin for something. I could hear the screaming and crying. I picked up Jason and disciplined him for hitting, which is his usual method of attack. He was screaming something, but I couldn't understand what it was. Finally, he calms down enough that I understand. "But, Mom, I didn't hit him!" I asked why, then, was Justin crying.

"Because I knocked him down."

Example 2: Jason has been calling people "naughty words" when he gets mad. He gets disciplined every time. Funny thing is he tries to tell me that he wasn't saying the words to a person, he was, um, saying it to the wall. Sorry, kiddo, it's not allowed at all.

He's got a future in persuasion, that's for sure.