Archives for the month of: August, 2012

What did the snail say while riding on the back of the turtle?  Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

What did one lawyer say to the other lawyer?  We are both lawyers.

What do you call a poodle who likes to take a bath?  A shampoodle

What is smarter than a talking bird?  A spelling bee.

My family loves to laugh and we’re always trying to one up each other with a new (clean) joke! But it wasn’t always this way.

I personally always thought of myself as having very little sense of humor. I can’t think of a single movie that would be considered comedy that I love and I can’t stand slap stick. Also, I mostly don’t get it when other people are joking…I’m usually thinking, “Huh?” I guess I’m just slow that way.

In my old age (late 30’s) I’m finally starting to get sarcasm. And that has been quite fun.

Maybe that’s what sparked the desire for more. I just remember looking around one day and realizing that we (as a family) didn’t really laugh together a lot. It made me sad.

So I got a big fat joke book and read it cover to cover. Then I wrote down all the jokes I thought the kids would like and put them in a big bowl in the middle of the kitchen table. Each night we would take turns choosing jokes and cracking each other up. We had so much fun!!

It amazed me that with just a little effort, laughter and humor could become part of our lives and change the way we interact with each other.

So often we think, “This is just the way it is.” But it’s not always. Sometimes, this is just the way we’re allowing it to be.

I love that we have the option of taking charging and setting out a big bowl of jokes on the kitchen table!

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I am a terrible housekeeper! If you know me you’re probably laughing because you know it’s true. I almost always have dishes in the sink, laundry piling up and a stack of books strewn across the couch or kitchen table or both.

I’m not bragging.

No really, I’m not. Believe me, if I’m having an, “I’m a failure” moment, 9 times out of 10 it’s because my house is trashed and I’m totally overwhelmed by it.

So being the bad housekeeper that I am, I find myself constantly looking for a “better system”. I can’t tell you the number of chore charts I’ve filled out for my family and I. And they always work out for a while…and then I slack off…and they don’t work anymore.

But I think, I’ve finally found the perfect solution to conquering my mess! We call it the Twenty Minute Tornado (or the 10 minute tornado if we’re pressed for time).

I’m sure I didn’t make this up but I don’t know who to give credit to so I’ll just share how it works in my house.

Step 1: Eat dinner at the kitchen table. If this doesn’t happen then a lot of times the tornado doesn’t either. So you could say this is the most important step.

Step 2: After dinner set the oven timer (for 10 or 20 minutes) and announce that the tornado has begun!

Step 3: Everyone cleans as fast as they can until the timer goes off.

We have pretty specific chores that everyone begins with, dad in the bathroom, kids take out trash and recycling and clean the kitty litter box, mom does dishes. Once those chores are complete everyone pitches in as needed. The ultimate goal is that with the 4 of us working together our living room, kitchen and bathroom will be spotless when the timer goes off.

We’ve been doing this for almost a year now and I can’t talk enough about how well it works. The kids like knowing that they only have to clean for a short amount of time and I like knowing that I don’t carry the weight of it all on my shoulders.

If we’re going out for dinner we will often do our 20 minute tornado right before we leave and it is so nice to come home to a clean house. (Sometimes we forget, see Step 1).

So, what”s your favorite housekeeping tip?

It’s back to school day!

My youngest starts 4th grade today at a private Christian school down the street from our house. My oldest is in 7th grade, still homeschooling and attending a homeschool enrichment program 2 days a week. Today is the first day of the enrichment program.

So both boys have a new start today with the new school year.  And I begin mothering them, guiding them and praying for them on their new adventures.

I can sometimes get so bogged down with making lunches, washing laundry, helping with homework and double checking back packs that I forget what the other side of mothering is all about.

On one side the daily management of our homes matters. Last year I found myself buying fast food for breakfast and sending my kids to school with dirty jeans on far more often then I’d care to admit. (I can’t believe I just admitted it at all actually.) So I’ve committed to doing a better job of managing my home this year.

I want my boys to start each day with confidence and strength, not watching me scramble to get it together.

On the other side, I know that mothering is more than clean clothes and nutritious meals.

I thought I would make a short little list of a couple of the things that mothering means beyond the day to day duties, but I quickly realized that it’s impossible to sum it up.

There is so much to being a good mom…knowing when to solve problems and when to just listen, knowing when to cuddle and when they’re not in the mood, balancing discipline with grace. I could go on and on.

Parenting is such a big job, such a tall order. It can be overwhelming. We can sometimes feel like the weight of the world is on our shoulders.

The good news is, it’s not. We serve a capable God…who is more than willing and able to succeed where we fail!

So as this new school year begins and each of us get a new start, the most important commitment I’m making is to be my children’s most diligent prayer warrior and to trust God’s promises for them and for me!