Saturday, November 30, 2013

Clutter Busting Challenge November 2013

On my errand day which is usually on Friday or anytime I go into town I load my car with donations that I have collected over the week.

My Clothes and Bird Study Stuff

Old Dog Stuff

Crackers, Cocoa, and a Sweatshirt

VCR/ DVD Player, Child Safety Locks, a Belt, and a Hanger

My Dress Pants, Window Plastic, and Clothes Hangers

The things that went into the trash:

One File drawer worth of old Homeschool Worksheets

Friday, November 29, 2013

November 2013 Reading List

Summerhill Secrets, Volume 1 by Beverly Lewis 
Whispers Down the Lane
Secret in the Willows
Catch a Falling Star
Night of the Fireflies
A Cry in the Dark

Summerhill Secrets, Volume 2 by Beverly Lewis 
House of Secrets
Echoes in the Wind
Hide Behind the Moon
Windows on the Hill
Shadows Beyond the Gate

The Dawn of Christmas by Cindy Woodsmall

An Amish Christmas Collection
A Miracle for Miriam by Kathleen Fuller
A Choice to Forgive by Beth Wiseman
One Child by Barbara Cameron
Christmas Cradles by Kelly Long

A Log Cabin Christmas Collection
Snow Angel by Margaret Brownley
Christmas Traps and Trimmings by Kelly Eileen Hake
A Star in the Night by Liz Johnson
The Courting Quilt by Jane Kirkpatrick

Submitted to: 2013 Booking It @ Life As Mom

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Daily Focus: Home Office Day

In My Husbands Office:

For our home paperwork we have a 2 drawer filing cabinet in my husband’s small office. I throw away junk mail as soon as it comes in the door and put bills in a box. We make sure to file any new papers as soon as we get them so they don’t build up because it causes more stress later. We try to eliminate any papers we don’t need each week and at the beginning of each year I go through our papers to discard any that we won’t need in the New Year.

In My Office:

For my personal papers I deal with them right away and don't let them sit. If I print recipes I hole punch, and put them in my Notebook. Most of my papers are in Notebooks on a bookshelf in my small office. I do have a filing drawer in my desk but it has a small amount of files, more Notebooks, and snacks. LOL

I have a list I follow on my Home Office Day which is Thursday's of what I need to do. My Errand Day is Friday so I spend time prepping for that.  I put anything I need in my purse, errand bag, or in my car if it’s a lot. I try to collect at least one grocery bag of stuff to donate each week to drop off and load it in my car the night before. I check my libraries website for what needs returned, load my return bag, and make online requests. My normal Friday Errands are thrift store, library, grocery, and household needs. I use a post it to list the places I need to stop in order of how I come into town.

Home Office Day Tasks:

Clean and organizing my office
Organize Desk and File Papers
Plan in and organize my Notebooks
Purge Magazines
Plan Date Night and Family Fun Time
Check prescriptions and call for refills
Make appointments and phone calls
Write letters, cards, and wrap gifts
Pay bills, do Checkbook, review Bank Account, and clean out Bill box
Work on my Blog
Organize School lessons, projects and make a list of needed supplies
Purge and Organize Old Homeschool Papers
Prep for classes and activities
Put holds on books at the Library and gather returns
Prep for Friday Errands/Grocery Day
Pack lunch and fill water bottles
De-Clutter purse have money for Errand’s
De-Clutter car and put a trash bag in car
Put donations in car
Put activity bags in car
Clean the fridge before grocery shopping
Take trash to curb

My On Going Problem Areas-


I had a magazine problem that I finished dealing with about 2 years ago after discarding most of them.  I organized the remaining magazines by title and made a stack of 10 that I had to read, cut out, and discard each week and it took me 1 ½ years to get through 8 large boxes. I now have an old wood Pepsi crate in my bedroom that I keep magazines in along with a stack in my desk drawer. I try to spend time each week reading them but if I get a stack of more than 20 I make a stack on my desk of at least 5 to read by the end of the week.

Homeschool Papers:
In my quest to eliminate most of the homeschool papers that we no longer need I disposed of one whole drawer of papers in our tall filing cabinet in the basement this past Sunday evening. I got drastic and threw the papers away without even looking through them.  It was worksheets that we never used so I took everything out of the folders and carried the stacks of paper to the outside trash can. I could not believe that one drawer took up a whole can by itself. I have 3 drawers to go and plan to do one drawer a week until its finished before I move on to another area that I store homeschool papers.  It will be harder because it is emotional clutter but I need to decide on how much to save of each of my kids work and how best to store it. I want it to be one small box per kid and it has to look nice.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Thanksgiving in the Heart

I read a post @

This is my favorite and I quote:

 "a Thanksgiving that never moves into hands and feet and out into the world was never really Thanksgiving in the heart."

My thoughts:

This speaks to me because we are the hands and feet of Christ but it is so hard to move out of my comfort zone. I hear Him calling me to move more every year into the world. Once my children are grown and I have fulfilled my calling in my home. I have ideas and I have prayed for direction I just haven’t figured it out yet. I can hear Him calling me to get more personally involved in people’s lives instead of serving behind the scenes were I feel comfortable. I look out into my community and see the need. There is a mission field just beyond my door. I don't feel the need to travel very far to find hurting people that are in need of a welcoming heart.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Holiday Prep

Since the holiday prep season is underway, how organized are you feeling? Everything was so organized last year, you barely have to do anything? Trying to get a holiday planner together and coming up with new ideas? Just making a gift list? Already done shopping?

I did most of my grocery shopping in October. I bought anything in cans, jars, or packaged such as pickles, olives, summer sausage, and crackers, or that can be frozen such as vegetables, cream cheese, cool whip, and cheese. I will buy perishables the week before. I made two banana breads in October for the freezer and plan to do a lot of baking this month. I have a cookie recipe that I like to make up several batches of and freeze in rolls to bake later. I’m going to start making appetizers and cheese balls to freeze this week.

I set up a wrapping center several years ago in my basement and so it is ready to go and I don’t need to buy anything new this year but I do need to get some stamps for cards. I made plenty of gift tags 2 years ago so I am good there.

I need to look threw and see if I need to add anything to my Christmas Notebook or my Winter Notebook that I set up several years ago. My notebook comes in handy since I can follow the routine that I have set up and have the  recipes I make ready to go. I bought gifts for 3 people on my list but I only have 7 people to buy for this year. We started gifting to only those in our home and drawing names for our family Christmas party at Thanksgiving. I have plenty of supplies to package up my token gifts such as candies and cookie plates that I like to pass out to family and friends. I like to restock at the after Christmas Sales each year for things like wrapping supplies, and treat packaging which helps me to be organized and to keep the costs down.

It helps that I have a system that I follow every year and prep ahead of time. I don't go crazy with doing the holidays I try to keep it simple but organized so I don't have as much stress. I make sure to put everything away properly at the end of the season and declutter. I also challenge myself to use what I already own and doing things myself instead of spending too much money.

My husband and I decide to cut some of our volunteer activities that we have done for several years, although we have enjoy them they are a lot of work and have taken over our holidays. Volunteering is good but 7 day of working at least 6 hour each day that includes a full weekend between Thanksgiving and New Years is just too much. Our kids 24DD, 22DD, 21DS, and 17DS are old enough that they can participate if they want without us. We are replacing them with less time consuming activities and making room for others to enjoy the gift of service during the holiday season.