Time-saving Tuesday

Easter Egg craft

You’re never too old for this craft!
Crack an egg gently at the top and pour the egg out carefully.
Let the shell dry completely.
Make a face on the egg with markers.
Fill the egg about 3/4 full of potting soil.
Sprinkle grass seed on top.
Add more potting soil.
Place in the sun and wait for the ‘hair’ to grow! Give your egghead a haircut and let it grow again!  Rejoice in spring.  Dead things come to life. All things become new!  Have fun!  I will take update photos of these eggheads when they get an eggful of hair!

Time-saving Tuesday

Praying Circles Around your Children,The Mantra -part 2

Not sure what your mantra should be?  Are your children so young that you are just praying the snot dries up and they sleep through the night?  Don’t be discouraged.  The great thing about prayer mantras is they don’t take much energy.  You could leap around and yell them at the top of your lungs, but it is not required.

Mark Batterson shares a few to get started, here’s one:

“May you grow in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.”- Luke 2:52

This has been one of my favorite prayer mantras for years.  It is the blue Gatorade for the sickness of foolishness.  The more foolish and disobedient my children behave in the natural, the more I pour on the prayer for wisdom.  Don’t take physical circumstances for the determiners of your child’s future.

“The Biblical position is clear — man cannot be explained as totally determined and conditioned — a position that built the concept of the dignity of man.  People today are trying to hang on to the dignity of man, and they do not know how to because they have lost the truth that man is made in the image of God.  He was an unprogrammed man, a significant man in a significant history, and he could change history.”

Francis A. Schaeffer, Escape from Reason
Your child can change history.  He is significant.  He has a hope and a future.  Even when you see the negative.  Circle the Word.  Pray your mantra.   If you are weary and worn out from night time feedings, changing diapers, doing dishes, folding laundry, preparing meals, God sees.  He knows.  Just say the Word.  He is there with you.  He may not relieve you of the circumstances, but He will bring you through.
Sometimes when a child is being particularly difficult, I say to myself, “God must have a really big plan for this one!”  Hold on.  Do not grow weary in well doing,  Sow now, reap later.

Time-saving Tuesday

Five Things

Every morning, I write a to do list, usually in the margin of my journal.  My list is a random conglomeration of things I need to do during the day or week such as:  

get a whole chicken out of the freezer
copy grammar pages
wash sheets

I have more goal oriented lists too.  I write a list of five goals I have for the day. My goal is to do those first.  Usually the things that I most desire to accomplish are not the tasks I do first.  

Paul spoke of this in Romans 7:

“For I know that nothing good dwells within me, that is, in my flesh.  I can will what is right, but I cannot perform it. [I have the intention and urge to do what is right, but no power to carry it out.]
For I fail to practice the good deeds I desire to do, but the evil deed that I do not desire to do are what I am [ever] doing.”  -Romans 7:18,19

This is a timeless problem, I know what I want to do, but I end up [ever] doing the temporal insistent chores instead the eternal worthy-of-my-time things.

For years, I struggled with making daily prayer time a priority.  I wrote it at the top of my list, but it was pushed aside for more temporal things like sleep after late night reading and snacking or a movie that I didn’t really care to watch (but I couldn’t bear not to see the ending).

The next morning, I blamed my lack of prayer on my early risers and I started the day off feeling a deep angst toward myself and often my children, who really had nothing to do with it.

The second item on my important list was to do something with my children to form that habit of connection on a daily basis.  Too often these activities were swallowed up by temporal tasks: another load of laundry, dishes, mopping, scrubbing the baseboards, a lengthy phone call.

I have shared two examples of bad habits that kept me from doing what I really wanted to do.  These sorts of habits that go contrary to the inner man cause an unrelenting unrest and self-loathing.

I’m not going to tell you that I have arrived.  Far from it.  I don’t accomplish my goal list every day.  I have made some habit changes to ensure I have prayer time most mornings.  I get up before my kids which means late night habits had to go for the most part.  When I had an infant, I did many five-thirty rocking-feeding-prayer times and many Bible-reading-journaling times with toddlers playing at my feet.  God understands. (Isaiah 40:11)

Another habit I formed- beside me jobs.  Fellow blog friend, Megan has a great post on this subject entitled Shared Responsibility.  Megan calls these jobs “shoulder to shoulder”.  Even a two year old can put a plate in the dishwasher or help sort laundry.  Not only does the child feel needed because he is participating in meaningful work, but connection is made through conversation.  For a child with attachment issues this time gives them the opportunity to attach even if the child puts two dishes in the dishwasher to your thirty or throws the socks up in the air- let him talk.

Friday night, I tried my hand at some GF cinnamon rolls for Saturday pajama breakfast with oldest daughter and family.  Youngest son, hired by older brother, was on kitchen duty. I worked on the dough while he entertained me with a few minutes of complaining. He settled in and began washing (dishwasher died). We had an amazing conversation about deep theological things- some of which I didn’t know the answer to- but he talked, listened and talked!  

These moments cannot be bought in fifteen minutes of quality time if the foundation of quantity time is not set.

What is the time-saver for today?  I guess it’s more of a grief-saver.  We each have the same amount of time to spend every day. Do you too feel locked in the temporal tasks that scream, “DO ME NOW!”   Writing down five things and doing those first is a great habit to start.  If you decide to try it, share with me in the comments!  Love to hear your story!

Don’t forget:  
I’ll be starting a book study on 
Praying Circles around Your Children

My fellow Blog Buddy, Maria author of TheJoyfullyFrugalHome is joining me.  Check out her post on the subject.  She has some unique insights that may  be helpful to your family!  Join us on Monday, February 4th!  Read my post description here.

Time-saving Tuesday

The clothes pin is my friend. 
It holds clothes on the line in spring/summer/fall.
It closes bags of flour and chips in the pantry.
My latest clothes pin use?

This is an old wooden window from the Guire farm barn.
My creative daughter and I sanded, wood filled the frame and strung the wire on this beautiful old relic.
I clothes pinned photos of grandchildren on the wire and a floating memory holder was born!

Time-saving Tueday

This may be a little late on the punch-line, but I did my black Friday shopping at home in my pjs with help from my elves- daughter, Audrey and son-in-law, Adam- all ONLINE.  It was not frantic, no lines, no crowds and no super exhaustion for me at the end of the day.  I made home-made waffles for a late breakfast and then went ice skating in the afternoon with kids and nieces, and Gregory’s girlfriend. Skating. Talking. Bonding.  Time with family over trading my energy and time for retail? Yes! Audrey and I got in some cyber Monday shopping and more wondrous deals!

P.S.- I am doing some shopping outside of the home and not in my pjs!  I am overwhelmed and thankful that God provided a way for me to buy the majority of my gifts online!

Time-saving Tuesday

T-Tapp  (Theresa Tapp- creator)

My CFS doctor posted a link to this workout on his facebook page last year and I had to check it out.  The fifteen minute workout is recommended for chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia.
T-Tapp Basic Workout Plus is a fifteen minute time-saving workout.  It uses compound comprehensive muscle movements, working each muscle group from where it is attached at the spine.  It maximizes muscle development, the workout is based on quality, not quantity.  The workout strengthens the core, rebuilds bone density, balances hormones, drains the lymphatic system to rid the body of toxins and balances blood sugar levels all in fifteen minutes!

Try some of the free exercises HERE

Here is one of my favorite moves!  I do these throughout the day for an quick energy boost!

Time-saving Tuesday

The Command Center
I cannot take credit for this awesome time-saving center.  The credit goes to Sarah DeRoos who helped in the remodel design of our kitchen.  I took a photo of the kitchen from the command center facing the kitchen  so you can get an idea of where it is placed.  In the original house design, a tiny breakfast table would have fit in this space, but not been functional for our large family.  So, instead, Sarah had us order an extra slab of  Corian counter for this long wall  filled the space with a white board calendar and a bulletin board (plus a cafe photo).  The calendar is essential to keeping things on track in the Guire home.  If it’s not written on the calendar- it doesn’t happen.  The bulletin board houses work schedules, college schedules, special events and photos.  I just cleaned off the board in preparation for new work schedules and Christmas card photos! The command center is multi-purpose.  It serves as a place for charging electronics, working on a lap top, doing some extra schoolwork and it serves as a lovely buffet.  My little bit of help on the project was to recycle posts that we took down from the eighties railing between the family room and the kitchen and use them as legs for the command center.

Time-saving Tuesday

Our dining room is multi purpose, we dine there, host family meetings, do crafts and do our seat work for school. Lately, at the end of the day the dining table looks as if the library vomited a shelf of books on it. Nobody wants to haul all their books to the bookshelves in the living room, so we end up shoving the mess down to end of the table until Friday when we clean up for the weekend. It was really getting to me (and Ania). I searched on pinterest for an in- room solution. Here is my rendition of it. I recycled my library table and purchased the baskets at Target. Each student has a place to put books away close at hand every day!
More on the fast tomorrow!

Time-saving Tuesday

Sink Praying

Ladies, if you are anything like me, you spend a lot of time at the sink.  My sink doesn’t have a window above it, although I hope to remedy that when I find an antique one to stand up there, it looks into the corner. Ever been put into the corner as a child?  Time out?  That’s what my sink is- time out.  Even though my children have dish duty and help out immensely, I end up doing pots and pans or filling in for them so they can finish school work.

So, while I am in time out, what do I do?  Pray!  It’s not just a time-saver, it’s a life-saver, mind-saver and attitude-adjuster.  Yesterday, while bracing for the Sandy-snow-storm, I found myself at the clean sink over and over again.  I prayed.  I’m not bragging- sometimes you wouldn’t want to hear my prayers, they sometimes go like this:

“Really, really?  I am supposed to love that kid, if he says one more…..”
“Why is this happening? I don’t….”
” I don’t think I can do this anymore…”
Of course, God always brings me back around to his Word.

God is our Refuge and Strength [mighty and impenetrable to temptation], a very present and well -proved help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change and though the mountains be shaken into the midst of the seas.
Though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling and tumult.  Selah [pause and calmly think of that]!

More on the fast tomorrow!