MODERN DAY MARTHA

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    It’s the little things

    Saturday, September 26th, 2009

    It’s time for a nitty gritty post- a how do you do the things you need to to keep the house moving kind of post.

    I’ve realized that if I do a couple of small things on a daily basis, I can keep a handle on the world (or at least my house).

    1. Make my bed.

    I decided back when Z was just a tiny baby that my bed being made was going to be my signal to myself that everything was ok. Even if the rest of my house was an insane mess, and all I had managed to accomplish was to make my bed, I would have done that, and it was ok.  For a friend of mine, her “ok space” is her kitchen sink- as long as the dishes are done she can feel ok about the world.

    2. Fill the dishwasher directly after dinner.

    The food hasn’t had a chance to cement itself to the plates, and then it’s not hanging over my head for the rest of the evening.

    2a. Start the dishwasher before bed.

    Waking up to clean dishes is so much nicer than fishing around in a washer full of dirty dishes to find the plastic valve for a sippy cup while your eyes are still bleary.

    3. Tidy up the house before bed.

    Everyone else is in bed, so it’s not going to get messed up again, and it’s SO much less depressing to wake up to a clean house than a dirty one.

    4. Fully process one load of laundry a day.

    I fall behind on this one, but when I do keep up it makes life so much easier. By fully process I mean wash, dry and put away. Doing all of the steps right after the other gets it done, and doing only one load a day is so much less intimidating(and tiring and boring) than attempting to wash all of the clothes in the entire house.  I have it scheduled out which load gets done which day, Monday: white clothes, Tuesday: black clothes, Weds: kids clothes, Thursday: Sheets, Friday: White clothes (again, there’s a lot of them), Sat: Towels , Sunday: other clothes.

    What little things do you do to keep things flowing in your house? And do you have an “ok space”? What is it?

    Sitting around, eating bon bons

    Monday, August 31st, 2009

    “To me it appears that our splendid sisters sometimes undervalue their abilities—they focus on what is lacking or imperfect rather than what has been accomplished and who they really are.”   -Pres. Dieter F. Uchtdorf

    Last week I was present at an activity with the Young Women wherein we had them write down things they were good at.  (It started out as a way to have them brainstorm for activity ideas, and then shifted gears when we saw what was happening.) The girls struggled and whined a little bit, some had a list of 4 or 5 things, the most anyone had was about 10.  When we suggested things at which we knew they excelled, they said that just because they could do something didn’t mean they were good at it.

    Then we had the girls turn over their papers and write a list of things they wanted to be better at. Pencils flew.  One girl asked for more paper.

    My heart broke.

    It’s good, great even, to want to improve. To see our weakness and want to progress, to be better. But being honest about ourselves means seeing the strong with the weak, the accomplishments with the imperfections.

    Forgetting planning activities, we took a paper for each girl and had the other girls write down things they knew that girl was good at.  Again, pencils flew, sheets were filled; this time with confidence building, truth revealing observations.

    “She always participates and makes me want to participate too.”

    “She always smiles at me and makes me feel better.”

    “She works really hard at school.”

    “She is an amazing singer/swimmer/dancer/writer/friend.”

    How would other people describe us? What would they see as they watched us going about our days?

    In that spirit, I offer this list of things I have accomplished today, as seen by the fly on the wall:

    Woke up at 5:30. Did not yell at Heavenly Father in prayer form.

    Successfully moved Z into my room so that she could stay asleep and A could go back to sleep, without A seeing me or Z waking up enough that she couldn’t go back to sleep.

    Said morning prayers while laying on the couch. Did not fall asleep while saying prayers.

    Took 20 minute nap on the couch.

    Had a smile on my face when I got a screaming A out of bed.

    Fed A and got her happily playing.

    Read scriptures and checked e-mail. Noticed something new while reading scriptures, which means I was actually paying attention to what I read.

    Noticed the beauty of the morning outside. Took  pictures of Z’s tomatoes.

    Welcomed Bruce and Z to the morning when they woke up.

    Fed Z.

    Got everyone dressed. (Bruce dressed himself.)

    Refilled my well by talking to my sister on the phone.

    Went for a walk with my visiting teacher and enjoyed the beauty of a cloudy day.

    Talked with Z about visiting teaching and why it’s important.

    Picked up lunch and watched two little girls enjoy it.

    Successfully gauged when to put A down for her nap so that she actually fell asleep rather than screaming for an hour.

    Called a dear friend to wish him Happy Birthday.

    Figured out meals for the week.

    Ordered groceries.

    Got Z down for a quiet time.

    Tidied up the house.

    Thought of something to post about.

    Did not throw a fit when Z pooped in her pants even though she was in a room with a bathroom in it.

    That’s more than 20 things I’ve done today. I’m sure there are plenty of things I haven’t done, but I’m focusing on those 20+. That’s a lot of things to have accomplished by 1 pm.

    I’m amazing.

    And so are you. Please, share. What have you accomplished today? And like I told my girls, “don’t be modest. I mean, do be Modest- don’t run around half naked- but boast, people! C’mon!”