Friday, January 20, 2012

Are you Flying??

     Good afternoon!  I hope you are all having a wonderful day.  We are very lucky today in Phoenix, the weather is wonderful and the sky is blue!  My thoughts and prayers are going out to my family in Washington today as they are iced in and out of power.  Not a fun day for sure.
     I thought today was a good time to update you on where I am with my 2012 non-resolution to get my house organized.  As I told you, I had a wild 3 months leading up to Christmas and really let everything go in my house.  I shared that I was excited to be home and ready to start making some serious progress...hahahaha...well, I lost that excitement really quickly.  Once we started our normal routine of school and work and groceries and laundry, etc...I became overwhelmed, very quickly and did not make any progress...at all!
     Now, I have come to realize that being a productive housewife is not one of my strong points.  I can organize 400 volunteers, I can plan an event for 50-100 people and do it well, but when it comes to the daily maintaining of the house...well, that is not so easy for me.  My best friend, R, and I sit in this boat of shame together and last week, we decided (together) we were going to row to shore and get out of that boat.  As you know, or maybe you do not, when you let the house go, it takes a great deal of work to do the daily tasks and make progress on the "pile up".  In one of our long phone calls, R, reminded me of The FlyLady!  The FlyLady is a woman who has kindly acknowledged that not all women are good at maintaining their home and she has developed a whole system to train us to declutter and maintain our homes by creating routines and encouraging us to take small steps.
     Now hear me on this, she is not teaching me anything I did not know or anything my mother did not do and I am a great "cleaner".   I can work all day and make my house shine...the thing I am bad about is the daily routines that keep the house free of CHAOS (can't have anyone over syndrome).   The Fly Lady gives me a structure of when to do things each day and I tell you...that is what I needed.  She also encourages us who are so far behind not to try to do it all in one day and burn out.  She has what she calls baby steps and when you start with her, you are supposed to add one step a day and on day six, I see that they are working.
     So far, she has encouraged me to get up and get "dressed to my shoes" each day, make my bed, swish my toilet, swipe my bathroom sink each morning, do one load of laundry and shine my kitchen sink each night.  I know, some of you are thinking, "duh, what else would you do?"  But, that is not me.  I will say, it is working.  Now, I have three clean toilets and four clean sinks and a made bed everyday.  The exciting part is, doing these small tasks has done a few other things.  1.  Given me a sense of accomplishment with the house.  2.  Doing the small task spurs me on to bigger tasks, like scrubbing the bathtub one day.  3.  The house is really looking better.  Far from perfect and organized, but definitely better.  4.  It is creating good habits in me.
     Today, she told me to set the timer for two minutes and declutter one of my hot spots (those areas that tend to gather clutter).  I was supposed to work for two minutes and stop, no matter where I was.  So, I did this and to my amazement after 2 minutes my kitchen counter was just about clear and because I was so close to done, I went ahead and worked another minute and now my kitchen cabinet is clean!  Yippie!!  One more step in my routine!  I will get there, I just know it!  If you struggle with keeping your house the way you want it, check out the Fly Lady today.  I will be posting updates every week!  Come Fly with me!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Watoto Children's Choir

    Hello, hello!  What an incredible night we had tonight.  Mike and I took the kids to see the Watoto Children's Choir and they were amazing.  We first became acquainted with the choir a couple of years ago when they came to our church to sing for us.  That first night, I had no idea what to expect, but man oh man I was blown away.  They did not just come to sing, but to put on a great show!  The outfits were beautiful, the singing was wonderful, the stories were heart wrenching and the dancing???  It took all I had not to get up and dance with them!
     Well, they are back in Arizona and tonight we took our three kids and my sister, J, to see them!  Who are they and what is Watoto you ask?  They are a group of children from the Watoto Ministry in Africa.  All of the children we saw tonight were rescued from life...some had lives torn apart from disease and some from war.  All were in situations we can never imagine.  No parents, no food, no bed to sleep in and nobody to love them.  Watoto takes these children in and gives them all of those things and teaches them about the love of Jesus!  The choir tours in order to gain support for all the wonderful things happening in their village.  This year they had 62 young people graduate from college! 
     I urge you, do not miss the opportunity to see and hear these precious young people.  They still have dates here in the Phoenix area, northern Arizona and all over the country.  You can go to www.watoto.com, for a calendar of dates.  We were blessed by these young people!  I was ready to take one sweet little girl home with us, she kept smiling at us and winked at our youngest, E.  The event is free and amazing!  Check it out this video and let me know what you think! 

video
   

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Hello 2012!

     Here we are in a New Year and even if you are like me and do not make resolutions, we all think similar things.  "I am going to get my money in order."  "Time to clean out the house."  "I think I may watch what I eat and exercise more."  There is a natural tendency to think about doing things differently with the start of a new year and I am no different!

     My family and I just returned home from a trip to Washington and Folsom, CA to visit with family.  Mike and I were crazy and we drove...two 12 hours day each way, with three kids crammed in the backseat of a Chevy Malibu (thanks to Grandma B).  All in all, it was a great trip...there were some rough spots, in the backseat, along the way, but the kiddos were troopers!  Needless to say, we were all happy when we walked in our own house. 
     I have to say, the closer we got to home, the more excited I became to get things accomplished.  Organization is one of my big ones!  Posting here on the blog is another thing I plan to be better at!  That means, you will get to hear about all the things I am doing to organize and of course, trying to save money. 
     It seems like since we moved in August, I have been a disorganized mess in every way.  Now that we are a little more settled, birthdays are done, (we have 10 between August and December) and Christmas is done, I feel like it is a "New Day".  So, here it is, HAPPY NEW YEAR!  Let me know what things you hope to accomplish in 2012!