Pickled Shrimp

An elegant and tasty appetizer for you to take to holiday gatherings–Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year. Shrimp is not kosher so do not take to Hanukkah gatherings.

    • Ingredients:
      • 2 to 2 1/2 pounds  fresh or frozen shrimp in shell
      • 1/2 cup celery tops
      • 1/4 cup mixed pickling spices 
      • 1 Tablespoon salt
      • *****************
      • 2 cups red, yellow or white onions (I used red)
      • 7 or 8 bay leaves
      • ****************
    • Pickling Marinade:
      • 1 1/2 cups salad oil
      • 3/4 cup white vinegar
      • 3 Tablespoons capers and juice
      • 2 1/2 teaspoons celery seed
      • 1 1/2 teasooons salt
      • Few drops bottled hot pepper sauce
    • Cover shrimp with boiling water; add celery tops, pickling spices, and salt. Cover and simmer for about 5 minutes. Drain. Alternate shrimp, onions, and bay leaves in a shallow dish.
    • Combine remaining ingredients for pickling marinade. Mix well. Pour over shrimp. Cover and chill for about 24 hours, spooning marinade over shrimp occasionally. Drain. Remove bay leaves. Serve shrimp and onions slices on a relish tray or however you choose. (Pickled shrimp will keep at least a week in refrigerator.) 6 Servings.
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Wednesday is Desk Day. Today is the first day with your Bedroom, Bathroom, and Closet as the Focus. Thoughts on mail.

Basket on Bed

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Hello, Lovely!

Each Wednesday is Desk Day

  • Pay Bills
  • Take Care of Any Personal and Family Business—are there any issues that need to be dealt with? Notes to write? Cards to send? Calls to make?
  • File: Put away only papers you may need to reference in a way that you can locate them when needed.

Today is the first day with the Area of Focus as The Bedroom, Attached Bathroom, and Closet.

Understanding Areas of Focus:

Focus on one area of your home for six days. Do your basics and spend 15 to 30 minutes decluttering or cleaning in your zone per day week

Key:  D= Daily W= Weekly M= Monthly S=Seasonally EOM= Every Other Month

Bedroom Checklist

  • Is your bed made? (D)
  • Are there cobwebs that need to be removed? (M)
  • Are there any burnt out bulbs in the light fixtures? (M)
  • Do the light fixtures need to be cleaned? (M)
  • Are the ceiling fans clean? (M)
  • Are the windows and window treatments clean? (M)
  • Is the woodwork and walls free of fingerprints and marks? (M)
  • Are the sheets clean? (W)The duvet? The dust ruffles? The Mattress pads? (M)
  • Are the surfaces (night tables, dressers, tables) free of clutter? (D)
  • Does the furniture need to be polished? (M) Dusted? (W)
  • Are your drawers and cabinets in order? (M)
  • What’s under the bed? (M)

 

The Closet:

  • Are the shelves in order? (M)
  • Are the hanging clothes in order, clean, in good repair? (M)
  • Are the shoes in order? (M)
  • Are there items stored in your closet that should/could be stored elsewhere like the attic? (M)
  • Does the floor need to be dust mopped or vacuumed? Does the carpet need to be shampooed or spot cleaned? (M)


 

Cleaning Checklist for Your Bath

  • Wash Area Rug—also toilet seat cover, and shower curtain. (M)
  • Clean sink—I wipe mine out after each use (D)
  • Polish faucets (D)
  • Clean toilet (every Monday) (W)
  • Clean tub after every use. Clean and wax shower. – (Use car polish. DO NOT GET POLISH ON THE SHOWER FLOOR) (M/S)
  • Clean shower door—Lemon juice works. You can even slice a lemon and apply directly to the glass. It will cut soap scum and smell fresh, too. (M)
  • Clean mirror (W)
  • Polish countertop (W)
  • Clean cobwebs (M)
  • Clean window treatments (M or S)
  • Wash windows (M)
  • Vacuum fan grill (S)
  • Clean grout (M or EOM)
  • Wipe down woodwork, cabinets, baseboards, doors, door and window frames (M)
  • Clean blinds (M/S)
  • Clean out medicine cabinet (S)
  • Clean and organize cabinets and drawers (M)
  • Clean brushes and combs (M)
  • Clean scale (M)
  • Wash floors (Every Thursday)
  • Empty trash. (as needed)

 


 

Checklist for Your Child and Your Child’s Room

Before Bedtime:

  • Put away shoes and clothes
  • Put away toys
  • Lay out clothes for tomorrow

In the morning:

  • Put away pajamas
  • Make Bed

Each week:

  • Dust
  • Vacuum
  • Change sheets

Seasonally:

  • Work with mom to go through outgrown clothes
  • Work with mom to deep clean

Even when changing sheets, it’s nice to have someone work with you. Changing sheets is a great way to work with your children.

Some thoughts on handling your mail:

  • Sort and open it when you bring it into your home.

Junk mail—sort it directly into your trash can. Shred the credit applications or tear your name and address off them and toss them.

Old mail—if you have not opened mail in over 3 months you may not need to open it. If you have been stacking mail instead of opening it begin to deal with it today.  Then work backward.  Use the Simple File system. Make Files labeled To Pay, To Do, To Read, To File.

  • To Pay—Bills
  • To Do—Documents that request information or require action. Information on upcoming events and invitations (Note: put important dates on your calendar before placing in this file.
  • To Read—materials you want to read: magazines, newsletter, information on topics of interest
  • To File—documents you want to keep for tax and other purposes

Newspapers—Use it or lose it. If you subscribe to a newspaper read it that day and recycle. If you do not read it the day you receive it, just recycle, and cancel when your subscription is over. News is available on TV, online, and on the radio as we travel.

Coupons—Many people get the paper for the coupons.  Until you get your paper clutter under control give your coupons to someone who will use them. Also, there are apps now that will allow you to clip and store coupons on your smart phone. Couponing is a subject of its own. Until you have your home in order wait on the couponing. Then develop that shopping skill.

Magazines—If you read them, enjoy them. If you do not read them, cancel your subscription. I have a magazine basket in my living room, when a new issue arrives I get rid of an old issue. I do keep two issues. I donate most of my magazines to my local library or leave them in waiting rooms for others to enjoy, I remove the mailing label.

Keeping paper you do not need makes it more difficult to find the papers you do need.

Love, love, love,

Mary

Tuesday is Duster Dance Day! What do I do with papers and books from homeschooling or projects?

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Good Morning, Lovely!

Tuesday is Duster Dance Day—Grab your effective duster, put on some happy music (Good Morning by Mandisa?) and dance that dust right out the door! This is a fun task to involve your mini assistant in doing.

An effective duster is a duster that captures dust and does not spread it around. I love my ostrich feather duster. Microfiber dusters, Swiffers, lambs’ wool, and treated cloths all work. Chicken feather dusters belong nowhere but in the trash.

Today is the last day with the Kitchen as the Area of Focus. Tomorrow our focus shifts to our Bedroom.

As you go through your home you will gradually be able to dig deeper and deeper. In the beginning, you will be getting rid of clutter, put in general order, and do surface cleaning. As you go on you will be able to identify solutions for storing the things you need to, want to keep. We are often drowning in a sea of stuff we neither really want nor need. Do not buy organizers until you have identified the need. Those organizers can become part of the clutter. It is significantly easier to clean a clutter free and orderly area.

One of the people I highly value in my life has the challenge of being a very prolific person who teaches, homeschools, blogs, and does a number of other things.

Her challenge is the books, and papers she uses in the course of her life.

First of all, the things she no longer needs should be released—given away, donated, or even tossed. There are other homeschool families that would appreciate the materials for subject matter that has already been covered. I donated my homeschool materials and resources to an inner city organization for use in working with the children in their after school program.

One of my favorite tools is my three-hole punch. The papers that are needed to be referred to can be placed in notebooks by subject. This keeps the papers from being lost or damaged and keeps them readily available. When you are finished with a notebook, it can be repurposed. I use notebooks for all my activities and interests. If you have only a couple of pieces of paper it can be kept in your general notebook but if the papers grow in number AND ARE NEEDED, you can dedicate a notebook to that activity, interest, or project.

Another solution is an idea wall. You can make this as elaborate or simple as you want. You can also use the cardboard trifold displays that our children use for science fairs or other school projects, if you do not have wall space for an idea wall. There are bulletin boards of different sized or you can buy cork squares for your wall. These areas need to be maintained or they become cluttered, too. Having a place where you can view your ideas while working on a project. I like to use sticky notes because they can be moved around as you work through your ideas and plans.

Remember, keep only what you refer to on a continuing basis. When you have completed a project you can dismantle and discard or store your clearly labeled resources in a smaller space. Keeping papers you do not need makes it more difficult to find those you need.

Tomorrow is Desk Day—the day for dealing with bills, paperwork, cards to be sent, notes to be written, calls to be made.

What are your greatest challenges? How can we solve them together?

Have a joy filled day!

Love, love, love,

image
One of my favorite dusters is a paintbrush! It’s great for lampshades and getting into cracks and crevices. Make sure the bristles are soft

Mary

Welcome to Another Week–The Kitchen and Your Bedroom

image

Today’s graphic is a few years old. I still love these canisters.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Good Morning, Lovely!

Each Monday is Launch Your Week Day!

  • Put your home back into good general order after the weekend
  • Clean your toilets
  • While you are in the bathroom cleaning the toilet, check to see if you need any personal, paper, or cleaning supplies.

Today and tomorrow, our Area of Focus is The Kitchen.

Wednesday the Area of Focus becomes Your Bedroom, Ensuite (attached) Bathroom, and Closet

As hardworking women, dividing the never-ending work of taking care of your home, allows you to maximize your efforts. Caring for your home in small increments gives you time for yourself, your husband, your children, and life. Be consistent and persistent and you will get it done.

Remember to model respect in your home to every member including yourself, your husband, and your children. This respect is modeled in your attitude, your words, and your actions. Beware of subtle disrespectful behaviors like rolling your eyes, and giving your attention to your electronics instead of the people around you. Be careful of how you speak of family members especially with friends and in front of other family members. Teach your children to love each other and work together. Remember you can be a thermostat or a thermometer. A thermometer simply responds to and measures the temperature. A thermostat determines the temperature.

Love, love, love,

Mary

Kitchen Cleaning Checklist

  • Are there any cobwebs? (M)
  • Are the light fixtures and ceiling fan clean? (M)
  • Are the windows and window treatments clean? (M)
  • Is your refrigerator clean —inside and outside? (M) Are there fingerprints? (as needed) Are you using leftovers? (D) Do any items need to be tossed? (M)
  • Is your freezer clean? (M) Are there any foods that need to be used before they go out of date? (M)
  • Is your microwave clean inside and out? (M or as needed)
  • Are your stove top and oven clean? (M or as needed)
  • Are your drip pans or grates clean? Do they need to be replaced? (M)
  • Is the stove hood and filter clean? (M)
  • Are canisters and decorative items clean? (M)
  • Are there fingerprints or other marks on walls, window sills and woodwork? (M)
  • Are doors and door frames free of marks? (M)
  • Are baseboards clean? (M)
  • Are cabinet fronts clean? (M)
  • Do your cabinets need to be put in order? (M)
  • Is your under-sink cabinet clean and in order? (M)
  • Are your countertops clean and sanitized? (D)
  • Is your sink clean and sanitized? (D)
  • Are your floors swept? (D)
  • Do your floors need to be mopped? (W or as needed)
  • Are the dishes done and put away (D) Is the dishwasher empty? (D)

Bedroom Checklist

  • Is your bed made? (D)
  • Are there cobwebs that need to be removed? (M)
  • Are there any burnt out bulbs in the light fixtures? (M)
  • Do the light fixtures need to be cleaned? (M)
  • Are the ceiling fans clean? (M)
  • Are the windows and window treatments clean? (M)
  • Is the woodwork and walls free of fingerprints and marks? (M)
  • Are the sheets clean? (W)The duvet? The dust ruffles? The Mattress pads? (M)
  • Are the surfaces (night tables, dressers, tables) free of clutter? (D)
  • Does the furniture need to be polished? (M) Dusted? (W)
  • Are your drawers and cabinets in order? (M)
  • What’s under the bed? (M)

 

The Closet:

  • Are the shelves in order? (M)
  • Are the hanging clothes in order, clean, in good repair? (M)
  • Are the shoes in order? (M)
  • Are there items stored in your closet that should/could be stored elsewhere like the attic? (M)
  • Does the floor need to be dust mopped or vacuumed? Does the carpet need to be shampooed or spot cleaned? (M)

 

Cleaning Checklist for Your Bath

  • Wash Area Rug—also toilet seat cover, and shower curtain. (M)
  • Clean sink—I wipe mine out after each use (D)
  • Polish faucets (D)
  • Clean toilet (every Monday) (W)
  • Clean tub after every use. Clean and wax shower. – (Use car polish. DO NOT GET POLISH ON THE SHOWER FLOOR) (M/S)
  • Clean shower door—Lemon juice works. You can even slice a lemon and apply directly to the glass. It will cut soap scum and smell fresh, too. (M)
  • Clean mirror (W)
  • Polish countertop (W)
  • Clean cobwebs (M)
  • Clean window treatments (M or S)
  • Wash windows (M)
  • Vacuum fan grill (S)
  • Clean grout (M or EOM)
  • Wipe down woodwork, cabinets, baseboards, doors, door and window frames (M)
  • Clean blinds (M/S)
  • Clean out medicine cabinet (S)
  • Clean and organize cabinets and drawers (M)
  • Clean brushes and combs (M)
  • Clean scale (M)
  • Wash floors (Every Thursday)
  • Empty trash. (as needed)

 


 

Checklist for Your Child and Your Child’s Room

Before Bedtime:

  • Put away shoes and clothes
  • Put away toys
  • Lay out clothes for tomorrow

In the morning:

  • Put away pajamas
  • Make Bed

Each week:

  • Dust
  • Vacuum
  • Change sheets

Seasonally:

  • Work with mom to go through outgrown clothes
  • Work with mom to deep clean

Even when changing sheets, it’s nice to have someone work with you. Changing sheets is a great way to work with your children.

Welcome, Friday–Ready for a Fantastic Day and for the Weekend!

Refrigerator

Friday, November 10, 2017

Good Morning, Lovelies!

Yesterday the opportunity to speak to the MOPS at Swift Creek Baptist was such a joy and a blessing to me. I met so many lovely young women and their mentors are stellar!

Friday is Wrap Up Your Week Day—

·         Clean Out Your Car—Whenever you arrive home take trash and whatever else does not belong in the car into your home and put it where it belongs, BUT on Friday take a closer look for something that has become a permanent resident in your car that does not belong there or the trash you just did not have one more hand to dispose of when you got home. Most gas stations have large trash receptacles and while the gas is flowing into your tank you can take a moment and clear your car of trash.

·         Clean Out Your Purse—or backpack, diaper bag, computer bag, tote, or whatever goes out the door with you whenever you leave home. Diaper bags may need refreshing more often (like before each trip outside your home) as you use the contents when you are out and need to remove dirty clothes, used bottles, and replenish your supply of diapers and wipes.  

·         Put your home in order for the weekend.

Saturday is Family Fun Day—work or play as a family and make it your goal to make work fun. Add a simple reward at the end of the day like a family game night or movie night, making a special treat like mini pizzas, or sundaes together. Be mindful of making memories and building loving relationships with your children and their relationship with brothers and sisters.

Sunday is for Worship, Family and Friends. Sunday is also the day we coordinate our calendars for any upcoming events. It’s when you can make sure the right clothes, refreshments, and transportation are set up to avoid last minute panic.

The Area of Focus until Tuesday is The Kitchen. I shared the Cleaning Checklist on Wednesday and it is also under the Files tab for the group.

In the kitchen, when I begin to cook I fill the sink with soapy water and wash dishes as I go. I also make sure the dishwasher is empty so dishes can go directly into the dishwasher.

Remember to keep the front 2/3 of your counters clear as a workspace. Décor is lovely. Clutter is not. Neither belong in your workspace.

For those of you who are new to the group, there is a letter pinned at the top of the page that talks about my beginning in becoming better organized and dealing with clutter. Please take time to read it.

Have a Fantastic Friday,

Love, love, love,

Mary

 

Kitchen corner with stove

Good Morning, Lovely!

Today I am regrouping. Yesterday I worked the polls for the election. This involved me being there from 5:15 am to around 9 pm. I left my home in order and it was pleasant to come home to a clean house. I have the pleasure of speaking to the MOPS group at Swift Creek Baptist tomorrow. My focus today is preparing for tomorrow. I want to have everything in order today for tomorrow morning. I have already:

  • Had Quiet Time my Lord
  • Made sure my home is in good general order
  • Sorted through my paperwork to make sure that nothing requires attention
  • Taken care of my teeth, hair, and skin

Now I am focusing on the groups that I post to (My Heart’s at Home and Strength and Dignity eCourse)

I need to make sure I have copies made for tomorrow and enough paper to print them on. I checked and I have enough ink.

I need stamps.

I need to take my husband’s shirts to a friend to have them made into memory items for my children and grandchildren.

What I have been expressing is my goals for this week and today. This is my thought process.

So today is Wednesday. Wednesday is Desk Day. Review the items on your desk in the basket you use to keep the papers you need to deal with together.

  • Pay bills (I use my bank’s Bill Pay—it saves money on stamps and makes sure everything is paid on time.
  • Take any needed actions on business in process
  • Write any notes, letters, or cards you need to send this week. Hint—I put the date that the items (card, note, or letter) needs to be SENT (not received) in the corner of the envelope where the stamp will go. I put these items to be mailed in the organizer next to my front door. And make sure they go out on the appropriate date.
  • File store appropriately so you can retrieve when necessary—any papers you will need to refer to in the future. You do not need to keep every piece of paper that comes into your home.

Today is the first day with the Kitchen as the Area of Focus. Take as much time as you choose to work in your kitchen a little each day.

Kitchen Cleaning Checklist

  • Are there any cobwebs? (M)
  • Are the light fixtures and ceiling fan clean? (M)
  • Are the windows and window treatments clean? (M)
  • Is your refrigerator clean —inside and outside? (M) Are there fingerprints? (as needed) Are you using leftovers? (D) Do any items need to be tossed? (M)
  • Is your freezer clean? (M) Are there any foods that need to be used before they go out of date? (M)
  • Is your microwave clean inside and out? (M or as needed)
  • Are your stove top and oven clean? (M or as needed)
  • Are your drip pans or grates clean? Do they need to be replaced? (M)
  • Is the stove hood and filter clean? (M)
  • Are canisters and decorative items clean? (M)
  • Are there fingerprints or other marks on walls, window sills and woodwork? (M)
  • Are doors and door frames free of marks? (M)
  • Are baseboards clean? (M)
  • Are cabinet fronts clean? (M)
  • Do your cabinets need to be put in order? (M)
  • Is your under-sink cabinet clean and in order? (M)
  • Are your countertops clean and sanitized? (D)
  • Is your sink clean and sanitized? (D)
  • Are your floors swept? (D)
  • Do your floors need to be mopped? (W or as needed)
  • Are the dishes done and put away (D) Is the dishwasher empty? (D)

Have a wonderful Wednesday!

Love, love, love,

Mary

Working at the Polls on Tuesday so here is your information for Monday and Tuesday–Go Vote!

Monday, November 6, 2017DSCN0041

Hello, Lovelies!

I am an admin for an eCourse – Strength and Dignity from Greater Impact Ministry ( greaterimpact.org ) In this course we encourage women to be and become women of strength and dignity. I am a woman of strength and dignity. I walk in God’s love, joy, peace, and power. I am a daughter of the King of kings. His royal blood flows through my veins. In all I am, in all I do, in all I say, I will remember these things and glorify my father by my graciousness, forgiveness, and love. I will remain humbly dependent on Him to live in this way, moment by moment, day by day. I will not forget who I am. I will not forget whose I am.

Monday is Launch Your Week Day.

  • Clean Your Toilets
  • Check Your Bathrooms for Any Needed Supplies before you are tee totally out of them and add them to your shopping list.
  • Put Your Home Back into Order After the Weekend.

Our Area of Focus through tomorrow is our Gathering Spaces. Remember to maintain—it makes all the difference!

My Cleaning Checklist for the Gathering Spaces

(Living Room/Family Room/TV Room/Den)

  • Have you cleaned cobwebs? (M)
  • Have you cleaned the light fixtures? (M)
  • Have you cleaned windows? (M)
  • Have you cleaned the window treatments? (EOM)
  • Have you cleaned any marks and fingerprints from walls and woodwork? (M)
  • Have you cleaned decorative items? (M)
  • Have you cleaned out the fireplace? (as needed or seasonally)
  • Have you cleaned out the end tables? (M)
  • Have you straightened the bookcases/entertainment center?(M)
  • Have you dusted the lamp shades? (M)
  • Have you polished the furniture? (M) Have you dusted? (W)
  • Have you culled out dated magazines and catalogs from magazine basket or rack? (M)
  • Have you cleaned the phone(s)?(M)
  • Have you vacuumed the traffic areas? (W)
  • Have you vacuumed under, around and behind furniture and drapes? (M)
  • Have you shampooed the carpets? (S)

In my gathering spaces I have a throw or a shawl on each seat. It gives you something to throw around your shoulders or over your legs if you are cold. I limit the number of magazines that I have on my tables. Coasters are readily available. There is nothing in the Gathering Spaces that is not used in the gathering spaces.

A friend has a nightlight in her entry way near the stairs to the second floor. When she lights candles she turns on the night light to remind her to extinguish them before going upstairs to bed or leaving the house. What a clever idea

Tomorrow—Tuesday—is Election Day! I have to be at the polls at 5:15 am and be there until we have our counts certified. I will not be posting.

Tuesday is Duster Dance Day! You know the drill—have fun swishing that dust right out the door using an effective duster, and playing happy music to dance by.

Tomorrow our Area of Focus becomes our Kitchen.

Kitchen Cleaning Checklist

  • Are there any cobwebs? (M)
  • Are the light fixtures and ceiling fan clean? (M)
  • Are the windows and window treatments clean? (M)
  • Is your refrigerator clean —inside and outside? (M) Are there fingerprints? (as needed) Are you using leftovers? (D) Do any items need to be tossed?(M)
  • Is your freezer clean? (M) Are there any foods that need to be used before they go out of date? (M)
  • Is your microwave clean inside and out? (M or as needed)
  • Are your stove top and oven clean?(M or as needed)
  • Are your drip pans or grates clean? Do they need to be replaced? (M)
  • Is the stove hood and filter clean? (M)
  • Are canisters and decorative items clean? (M)
  • Are there fingerprints or other marks on walls, window sills and woodwork?(M)
  • Are doors and door frames free of marks?(M)
  • Are baseboards clean? (M)
  • Are cabinet fronts clean? (M)
  • Do your cabinets need to be put in order? (M)
  • Is your under sink cabinet clean and in order? (M)
  • Are your countertops clean and sanitized? (D)
  • Is your sink clean and sanitized? (D)
  • Are your floors swept? (D)
  • Do your floors need to be mopped? (W or as needed)
  • Are the dishes done and put away (D) Is the dishwasher empty?(D)

Don’t forget to vote—not a political party, but your conscience!

Love, love, love,

Mary

 

Priorities and Goals

Friday, November 3, 2017

Hello, Lovely!

Each Friday is Wrap Up Your Week Day:

·         Clean out your car

·         Clean out your purse, backpack, diaper bag, computer bag, tote or whatever you carry with you when you go out the door.

·         Put your home in order for the weekend.

The Area of Focus until Tuesday the 7th is your Gathering Spaces. Spend time in each area of your home a week at a time during the month and you will bring it into order. Plan your work. Work your plan.

·         We have decluttered each room. For me whenever I work through my home I go back to the beginning and start over again.

·         We have talked about setting up a Control Center including a calendar.

·         We have talked about doing a Time Audit and creating a Basic Weekly Schedule.

Let’s talk about our priorities and goals. This is revisiting something I put together while Roy was alive:

Let’s talk about priorities. Priorities are those things that are most important to you. If you are living life apart from your priorities you will be constantly disappointed with the results. Your life will be managing you. You will not be managing your life.

For me my priorities are:

·         God

·         Roy

·         Children, grandchildren, parents and family

·         Friends

·         Everything else

 

If it appears I am not on the list, I am. In every one of these relationships, I am nurtured.

 

The other telling thing is my priorities are all relationships. My priorities are not stuff. Stuff only supports my life. Stuff is not my life.

 

In support of priorities we set goals. If you aim at nothing you will hit it every time. Aim higher. Aim to grow in relationship with God, your husband, your children, and grandchildren, family and friends.

 

Goals are specific. For instance, a specific goal will state what, how, when. It’s not “I want to develop a Quiet Time.” It is “I want to spend the first 15 minutes of my day focused on God by reading the Bible and praying. I will have this quiet time at 6:30 in my favorite chair in the Living Room. I will keep a Bible, pen, and notebook in a basket near my chair.  I will begin with the gospel of John and read a chapter a day. I will write down one observation, question or thought in my notebook. I will keep a prayer list in my notebook that notes both request and answers to prayer. I commit to doing this at least 5 days a week. This is something I plan to do for the rest of my life.”

Or:

Not “I want to lose 10 pounds.” But “I want to lose 10 pounds in the next two months (Date) by losing a pound a week. I will write down all that enters my mouth down to a mint, piece of candy or a stick of gum. I will drink a glass of water 15 minutes before dinner or whenever I feel hungry. I will not eat after 7 p.m. I will focus on eating fresh fruits and vegetables and lean meats. I will allow myself a cheat day once a week but I will still write down everything I eat on that cheat day. I will weigh myself weekly on Monday morning at 6 a.m.”

Your goals will support your priorities and may include relationship goals, like a Quiet Time as part of supporting relationship with God. What are your goals in supporting your relationship with God and the others who are important in your life?

My goals may also be

·         Physical: reach and maintain a healthy weight, be physically active, care for my teeth.

·         Intellectual: keep up on current events, read three nonfiction books a year, learn a language.

·         Financial: give 10%, save 10%, live debt free on the other 80%

·         Recreational: Have a fun day with family once a week, take a family vacation (crossover with financial goal—pre-save for family vacation by setting aside $? a week.)

·         Creative—learn to paint, arrange flowers, make cards

·         Home: Do a whole house declutter, update bathroom, have my home clean before I leave for the day or by 10 am, teach my children to care for their room and possessions and help with home care. (cross over with relationship goals for children)

It is sad to give up what you want most, for what you want at the moment.

Assignment:

Consider your priorities. Write them down.

Consider your life. Does it reflect your priorities?

What goals do you want to put in place in connection with each of your priorities?

(As a stay at home mom most of my life, one of my goals was to meet my husband at the door when he came home each day, and greet him warmly and cheerfully (big hug and kiss)—no matter how my day had gone. If I had something challenging to discuss with him, I tried to save it until after he had time to decompress.)

Write down each goal and put it in a plastic sleeve in the front of your notebook. Review frequently and no less than once a week during your planning time. No planning time on your calendar? If we fail to plan, we plan to fail.

Love, love, love,

marypaitsel-august-29-2016Mary 

November–Your Calendar and Schedule

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Good Morning, Lovely!

Thursday is Floor Day—Vacuum, sweep, mop, or scrub—whatever is called for—your floors. In the Gathering Spaces, clean your floors more thoroughly and vacuum furniture, drapes, whatever needs vacuuming—around, under, and behind.

Your Gathering Spaces are your Area of Focus through next Tuesday the 7th. Spend time in that space/those spaces each day to make it less cluttered, more in order (organized) and clean.

Your Mission for Today (should you choose to accept it) is your Calendar and Schedule.

Even now when my family is grown and out of the house I keep my calendar and my planner. They remind me of upcoming events and help me avoid double booking. I know the embarrassment of having to call and explain that I have more than one obligation in the same time slot.

Keep your family calendar in a highly visible area. I like the Lang calendars because they are beautiful and have decent sized blocks. There are many good calendars available that will comply with your needs and your style.

Sunday is planning day. Coordinate the schedule for your family—the week’s events and upcoming events. When a schedule for a group that a family member participates in enter the dates on your calendar so you will not over-schedule. I kept all the rosters and schedules in a notebook to refer to as needed. Take into consideration upcoming trips, events, and anything that requires your family to be different places at different times. Consider what clothes are needed, if you need to provide refreshments, and consider the time the family member needs to be there which is often considerably before the start time of the activity.

Some things you cannot control. I was looking forward to having coffee with a friend on Friday, only to have my daughter tell me that Friday was early release. I have a long-standing date with my local grandsons for lunch on early release days. So sweet friend rescheduled for Monday and I have a lunch date.

There are two documents under the Files tab that will help you see how you use your time and create a basic weekly schedule. The Time Audit will help you see how you are currently using your time and where you have pockets of time you could make use of. My Basic Weekly Schedule is created from your Time Audit, you make choices of what and when you will do things in the course of your week.

Remember, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.

Love, love, love,

fd3038d0-e7b4-49f5-9f1f-f12d3ccc1028-2Calendar November 17Mary

It’s November–Put into Place or Put into Order Your Control Center

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Good Morning, Lovely,

A new month—new opportunities to grow and move forward.

Wednesday is Desk Day—Time to bring all your personal/family business up to date

  • Pay bills
  • Check your Current File for any action that needs to take place with ongoing business
  • Write notes and cards (Thank You or Special Occasion or just because
  • Make phone calls
  • File any papers you will need in the future in a way that will make it easy for you to recover.

The Area of Focus from now through next Tuesday is The Gathering Spaces

My Cleaning Checklist for the Gathering Spaces

(Living Room/Family Room/TV Room/Den)

  • Have you cleaned cobwebs? (M)
  • Have you cleaned the light fixtures? (M)
  • Have you cleaned windows? (M)
  • Have you cleaned the window treatments? (EOM)
  • Have you cleaned any marks and fingerprints from walls and woodwork? (M)
  • Have you cleaned decorative items? (M)
  • Have you cleaned out the fireplace? (as needed or seasonally)
  • Have you cleaned out the end tables? (M)
  • Have you straightened the bookcases/entertainment center?(M)
  • Have you dusted the lamp shades? (M)
  • Have you polished the furniture? (M) Have you dusted? (W)
  • Have you culled out dated magazines and catalogs from magazine basket or rack? (M)
  • Have you cleaned the phone(s)?(M)
  • Have you vacuumed the traffic areas? (W)
  • Have you vacuumed under, around and behind furniture and drapes? (M)
  • Have you shampooed the carpets? (S)

Your Mission for Today (should you choose to accept it) is to put into place or put into order a Control Center.

The Control Center is the place where you coordinate family activities and where your family can see the family activities and obligations for the next week.

Central to your Control Center is your calendar. Make sure you have a calendar with large blocks so you can easily include the activities of all your family members.

A Whiteboard or chalkboard is useful to communicate messages to your family.

A Bulletin Board is useful for displaying information you want to share.

In this area you should easily be able to see

  • The Family Schedule—school, work, sports, and other activities
  • The Family Cleaning Schedule
  • Your Meal Plan
  • The Grocery List
  • Important Phone Numbers
  • Birthdays and other special occasions to be recognized

Maintain this Area so that important information can be easily seen. Put it in an area your family tends to visit often.

Tomorrow—Your Calendar and Schedule.

Love, love, love,

Mary

marypaitsel-august-29-2016