Saturday, July 26, 2014

Sorry YOU missed it!

This is how I feel most of the time. 
That's it!  I have had it!  I am tired of my home being a mess! To describe it my home is out of control.  I like this acronym....C.H.A.O.S. - can't have anyone over syndrome.  My kids love it when this happens!  To be quite honest, they are lucky our home has not gone into "lock down" until it is clean again.  I love that term!  Lock down.  I was introduced to the term by a friend of mine who told me she puts her home in "lock down" mode once in a while until everyone gets their work done.  She said it was pretty effective.  And she is the wife of a bishop who gets put in lock down too.  Imagine that???!!!  The BISHOP in lock down.  I can hear it now....someone calls the house to speak to the Bishop and one of the kids answers...."Dad, the phone is for you.  It's Bro..... from the ward.  Should I tell him you are in "lock down" and can't come out until Mom let's you out?"  Oh the fun members of the ward would have with that!  Frankly I say whatever it takes to get my kids to help out.  I am tired of hearing I didn't do it or having to get mean and nasty about it.  I know I look like I could take someone out. (Yeah, I know what some people think and say about me.  I say whatever!) I may look big and mean on the outside, but that just is not the case.  I am more of a big softy.    To be perfectly honest, I have NEVER been in a fight with anyone....except one time..... in my entire life.  I did not start that fight and I was barely out of 6th grade when it happened.  It happened when I walked into a Sunday School class in our new ward in California.  I sat down and the Bishop's daughter lost it, came at me, and we got into a huge fist fight right in the middle of the rows of metal chairs.  We ended up on the floor right there in the middle of Sunday School.  Imagine that!  What a welcome to a new place and a new ward.  To this day I have no idea why that happened.  She started it.  I don't think I ever asked her why.  It was awkward being around her after that.  Eventually our ward was split and the boundaries changed and I was worried about being stuck in a ward with the girl who welcomed me with such open arms.  After the change in ward boundaries we became fairly good friends.  We are Facebook friends now, but I still have not asked after all these years.  Whatever it was, does not matter.  What matters now is that we are friends.  Period.   I know, I am rambling.  Back to the cleaning..... It seems that nobody sure makes a big mess in our home all of the time!     There is a cute story about this I got a long time ago.  In fact, let me share it with you.  Here goes.....  
This is a story about four people named Everybody, Somebody, Anybody and Nobody.  There was an important job to be done and Everybody was sure that Somebody would do it.  Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it.  Somebody got angry about that, because it was Everybody’s job.  Everybody thought Anybody could do it, but Nobody realized that Everybody wouldn’t do it.  It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody could have.

What I am sure my children say to each other before I get home from work.

I found this cool thing I decided to try around my house.  It takes some index cards and a recipe box with dividers for each day of the week.  This will help to keep me organized and hopefully help me get things in order.  Not to mention keep me on task.  I have decided this is how we will get this done.  Kevin physically cannot do all that he use to do to help around the house anymore.  My children will not and when the house is a mess it only looks bad for the mother.  No one else.  So, since this job falls on my shoulders and reflects poorly on me, I have decided to get to work and try something new.  (I know that sounds bad, but it's the truth.  It's a woman's job to keep the house clean even though EVERYONE contributes to the mess.)  Each day of the month will have several cards.  Some cards will be moved from day to day, others will be for weekly, monthly and seasonal (annual or semi-annual) tasks around the house that need to get done.   

This is how my card file looks:


The designer in me is cringing because this is old and not as cute as I want it to look.

The inside has a little divider for each day of the month, like so:


As each day ends, I move the dated divider into the back of the numbers (so that they are constantly rotated into the correct order for the rest of the month).

Inside "today's" divider, I have my white daily tasks.


These are broken down to as basic as you can get. This is what works for me. I imagine some of you don't need cards to remind you to "get dressed, brush teeth, and put makeup on," but for me, it's nice to have a reminder of what's next in my day... otherwise noon will roll around and I might have *forgotten* that small detail of my day. He he

As I complete each task, I pull it out


and then move it to the correct spot for tomorrow, so it'll be ready to go for me when I wake up tomorrow.


I go through all, or as many, of my daily tasks in this fashion. Typically, this is a good portion of my morning (including a 30 minute Internet break, he he) and a little of my evening time. It seems a little micromanaged, but I need this to get on track during certain periods of my life. It kind of "thinks" for me, so I don't have to think of what I need to do next.

Each day of my week has different things allotted for it. Some days are for more cleaning (I have moderate and heavy cleaning days, because there is no way I'm going to end up cleaning all day long!) and some are for doing other stuff.

No matter what, the white cards have to be done every day- they are the absolute necessities I have for running my household.

These orange cards are for the "extra" things that need to be done on a weekly basis.


On Mondays, or sometimes the weekend, I look at my plans for the week and go ahead and slip these orange cards in on the days that I think they will work best (in the moderate or heavy cleaning days). I try to keep tasks in the same room together on the same days (like, dust master bedroom, sweep & mop master bedroom). I used to work by task (doing all the dusting on the same day), but I like that I can completely clean at least one room and feel like I've accomplished some small miracle.

I've got other cards that are for monthly tasks and seasonal tasks (like: monthly- clean out magazine rack; seasonal- wash windows & dust ceiling fans) that I try to fit in too.

To sum that all up: it works for me. You have to find a system that works for you. I discovered over the past few years that I get overwhelmed by seeing all the stuff I have to do and I pretty much just give up, so seeing one small task at a time really helps.

If I don't get through all of it- I know that I at least accomplish a few things each day, and that's better than nothing. 

(Caveat: do I do this all the time? Heck no. I go through phases where I'm really gung-ho and then phases where I feel like I've got things under control and then phases where I am sick and pregnant and it all goes to h-e-double hockey sticks in a hand basket. Just FYI.) :)

Which leads me to another cute little story I used when I was in primary many many many years ago.....(I needed to read this little story.  It turned my attitude around because I can feel the anger and frustration building inside of me.)  Hope you like it.  

There once was a family of ants.  There was Mother Ant, Father Ant, and six children ants named Persist-Ant, Observ-Ant, Pleas-Ant, Dilig-Ant, Obedi-Ant, and Serv-Ant.

Mother Ant
Father Ant
They were a happy family.  They lived in a nice comfortable ant hill that Father Ant had worked hard to make and Mother Ant always kept looking very clean and neat.

Everyday the six little ants would march out of the ant hill in a straight line to go to school and come home the very same way.  You could always tell who was who, even though all the ants looked very much alike.

PERSIST-ANT was always first and made sure everyone stayed in line.  Mother and Father Ant told him to keep the line straight and on course and he did this, even though the others often complained.  But thanks to Persist-Ant, they always made it to school and back.

OBSERV-ANT came next.  It was a good thing Persist-Ant was first because Observ-Ant was often busy looking around, so he didn't always walk very straight.  Observ-Ant was forever noticing the beautiful sky and he constantly observed the good in everything and everyone.

PLEAS-ANT was east to pick out.  He always had the biggest ant smile in the world.  Besides, when the sun would hit his braces, his smile would be the brightest, shiniest, and the most radiant.  He would grin at everyone and wave as they passed by.  Everyone knew and like Pleas-Ant because he was so enjoyable to be around.

DILIG-ANT was the easiest to pick out.  He wore ant glasses.  There were not many ants that had to wear glasses but Dilig-Ant did, because he spent so much time studying.  He was so diligent that when his teachers assigned a chapter to read, he would read the whole book.  No matter who gave him something to do he was always diligent and did more than was asked of him.

OBEDI-ANT was the only girl in the family but she was the kind of ant that every mother and father ant would love to have in their family.  She always made her bed and helped with the dishes and never got in fights.  She did everything she was supposed to do.  Her parents and friends knew she would always be obedient and trusted her to be a good example.

Last in line because he was the smallest, was SERV-ANT.  Although his brothers and sisters were good ants, he was everyones favorite.  He was often quiet, but was always doing something for someone else.  He would help Mom with the house work, then help Dad outside.  If Persist-Ant was having a hard time getting everybody in line for school, you could bet Serv-Ant was right there helping.  Or if someone was teasing Dilig-Ant and calling him "four-eyes" because of his glasses, then you would see Serv-Ant defending his brother and making him feel better.  He was rarely sad, lonely, or angry because he felt happy when he was helping.  If by chance, he occasionally had these feelings, he knew all he had to do was to be of service to someone and these feelings would go away.

He not only helped his family, but he helped the neighbors as well.  All of the other ant families knew that if they needed anyone to help, Serv-Ant would be there for sure.  
Serv-Ant never wanted to be thanked or paid for what he did, he just did it because he wanted to make life easier for others.

Even though Serv-Ant was always in the background and quiet, the other ants couldn't help notice how happy he seemed.  When anyone would ask him why he was so happy, he said that it wasn't what he got in life that made him happy, but what he was able to give.

Now Heavenly Father loves ants just like he loves people.  He loved Persist-Ant because he knew how to be a good leader.  He loved Observ-Ant because he always noticed the good in others.  He loved Pleas-Ant because he was so friendly.  He loved Dilig-Ant because he always went the second mile and he loved Obedi-Ant because she always did what was right.  But, do you know what?  He had a special place in his heart for Serv-Ant because he was always, always serving others.

Heavenly Father commanded us to serve others and told us that when we are serving our fellowmen we are really serving Him, and that pleases Him very much.

Out spirit recognizes when we are serving Heavenly Father, and it makes us feel happy inside.  Heavenly Father wants us to be joyful, and we can be most of the time.  If we feel sad, lonely, or angry, we need to think of something we can do for others, and that will help those feelings to go away.

How can all of us be "Serv-Ants"?  

Well, it's getting late and we still haven't had dinner and I need to get some things done.  Like my lesson for tomorrow.  Hope some of this helps you too.  If you want copies of the Serv-Ant pictures, story, scavenger hunt, and FHE lesson helps let me know.  I would be happy to scan then and email them to you.  Enjoy.  Have a great night.  

If you have children who are grown and gone, in all likelihood you have occasionally felt pangs of loss and the recognition that you didn't appreciate that time of life as much as you should have.  Of course, there is no going back, but only forward.  Rather than dwelling on the past we should make the
most of today, of the here and now, doing all we can to provide pleasant memories for the future. 
If you are still in the process of raising children, be aware that the tiny fingerprints that show up on almost every newly cleaned surface, the toys scattered about the house, the piles and piles of laundry to be tackled will disappear all too soon and that you will -- to your surprise -- miss them profoundly.
Stresses in our lives come regardless of our circumstances.  We must deal with them the best we can.  But we should not let them get in the way of what is most important --and what is most important almost always involves the people around us.  Often we assume that they must know how much we love them.  But we should never assume; we should let them know.
                                                -Thomas S. Monson
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