Thursday, January 29, 2009

How I Survive & How Things Get Done Around Here

1. I make sure the kids get in bed at a decent hour- the 2 year old is in bed by 7:30 and the boys get in bed by 8:00 (they can leave the light on and read and whisper for awhile, but they are in bed)

2. I make sure the kids do not get up before 7:30. the boys know this and have a clock. The 2 year old does not know how to tell time but I will send her back to bed to play quietly if she gets up before 7:30

3. I make all 3 kids have quiet time in the afternoon. They are separated and by themselves but they can play or read, play cds, whatever they want as long as they don't scream and yell or come out of their designated room.

After reading all of this it may sound like I never want to be with the kids! Actually, I think when you structure your day, it makes the time together better. We are together for the whole morning and have a lot of interaction with story time and school work together. Before and after quiet time is for playing outside or running errands, etc. Every meal is spent together (altho lunchtime is when the laptop comes to the table with me). I think when you stay home with your kids - you all need time apart and also alone time to read and be quiet.

4. I stick to the curriculum for homeschool with the exception of adding lots of library books and field trips. I have found a curriculum that I trust and like, so we don't continue to research for more textbooks. (that is the way it will be for us unless something is not working). This is not to say it is the right way- just what works for our family at this moment.

5. I beg my husband to be my alarm clock and make me get up early so that I can read my Bible and pray and get ready before the kids get up. This is the only way it works for me. What a different perspective you have for the day when you immerse yourself in God's word. Although I need to continue to meditate and pray during the day because I get so sidetracked and selfish and rotten and my focus gets OFF of where it should be!!

6. We work to set aside a time each week just for housecleaning. Most Fridays a sweet friend comes over and watches the kids for several hours and I get the mopping, bathrooms, dusting, etc done. Then the rest of the week I just try to keep up with laundry and dishes (the kids do the floors, make beds, empty trash, pick up every morning). Otherwise a person would be cleaning the house every minute of the day! When you stay at home with 3 kids it is always messy- so we just stick to this schedule and if things are messy, they are messy and I will deal with it when it is time. I have given up the dream of a spotless house- there are WAY too many other things to do than clean every day :)

7. Dave and I have worked time into the week just so I can paint. This is priceless. With 3 kids who need their momma- I am grateful for time uninterrupted to get some of this work done. And they love time with Dad- he has light saber fights with them.

8. Getting on the treadmill 3 or 4 times a week has helped with my energy. Not sure if this is partly due to my kids getting a little older- I don't have babies to get up with- but in any case- I have a lot more energy. I can work through nap time instead of napping through nap time.

9. I have an irresistible urge to create- and this is why the decorating and painting gets done. Everyone asks how I get it all done....most times it is not a planned thing- like the decoupaged and painted wall on Saturday night- there was the urge- I had the supplies on hand- the kids were in bed- I do it! Don't think about it - do it! Also, it helps to take on small parts. The kitchen as a whole is a huge job, but wall by wall- it can get done.

It also helps to have a very sweet husband who lets me paint whatever wall I want. Here he is wearing the tie Gigi made for Christmas, and blowing a kiss to her.

10. I get a lot of blogging done because I love to blog! I blog instead of watch TV (except for 24). So when I need to sit for awhile and relax I blog and blog and save posts to use for another day.

I would love to hear how you schedule your days. How do you get it all done? Do you clean your house once a week or everyday?


Jennifer said...

I clean every day, but it is never clean!! I would LOVE to have someone come clean for me, but I don't have any money or a friend that would do that for me every week, so consider yourself very blessed that you can get it done! I wish I was so structured.

Jen said...

I noticed all of your books out around the house. Do you do that all of the time. Does it help getting the kids into 'reading' them? How do you incorporate that into your day. Thanks for sharing. : )

Steph said...

I loved reading about how you make time. Isn't 24 awesome? I am a big fan. I try to clean once a week.

If I get behind in my cleaning, I use a trick I read online somewhere, maybe flylady, and that's to set the kitchen timer for 10 to 15 minutes and clean house each day for that short of time. It's amazing what you can get done in 15 minutes.

Chrissie Grace said...

Hi Sara
I love this post today. I do a lot of the same things you do, but I need to set aside a few hours once a week to really DEEP clean. Thanks for the tips. I loved seeing more pictures of your house. I wish you lived down the street so I could come over and paint with you!:)

Keri said...

Oh Sara! I love this post. I look at it and think, okay, how is Sara doing it - 'cause I know it's a good way and I respect you so much in how you treat your kids and hubby. Caleb has the same schedule (almost) as yours at night - 8 to 8. He naps usually a couple hours during the day - and my plan is for him to have quiet time like you do once he doesn't need naps. I am glad to see you using this plan and that it can actually work. And - the Lord has spoke to me awhile now and you will be happy to know I finally listened. I now set my alarm for 7and have time with Him before Caleb gets up. I've been doing it a week and it is such a blessing!
Oh - one more thing in this novel I'm disguising as a comment - I am insanely jealous of your housework time. I miss that - I just do this and that when I can and remember the days that my house was spotless.

Jess Pennington Griggs said...

I loved your blog. I am a stay at home mom with 3 boys and also I take care of 4 other children. I try to clean everyday. It is never 'clean', but I am not embarassed by how my house looks. It is picked up most of the time. My boys' have daily jobs which also help in the cleaning process.

gailsgarden said...

That setting the timer sounds like a really good idea. I will have to try it. It is hard to stay focused at times!

Pam said...

Clean house? We're supposed to CLEAN HOUSE???

Just kidding. I clean a little bit each day, calling it, "5 minutes/room." I have a timer I can clip to my clothes, and the kids and I set the timer for 5 minutes, only cleaning the room we are in for 5 minutes. When the timer goes off, we moved to the next room. It is amazing how much we get done in those focused bursts, and the kids don't get bored!

Thanks for sharing how you "do it all!" That was one of the questions the reporter asked when she came to interview me.

gypsy@Hebrews11:13 said...

We have a lot in common. I get up before the kids (6:30ish) and get dressed, do devotions. Kids usually start coming down between 7 and 7:30. We do school, then lunch, then quiet time for 1 1/2 hours. This is when I catch up on reading, crafting, blogging. Dinner by 5 every day, kids getting ready for bed at 6. HOWEVER- we are a very flexible family due to therapy/surgery/doctor changes. I also always want to be available for friends who need me to cook or babysit for them and playdates. So sometimes, instead of quiet time we will spend that time catching up with school. After quiet time, I take the kids outside or we play games together, do a project. That's pretty much it! OH! And I sweep, vacuum, do dishes, and clean the 1/2 bath EVERY day(usually right before school and after kids are in bed). Everything else is as needed.

heather said...

thanks for sharing. i always wonder how you get so much done! even after reading all of that....i still wonder!
i try to have 1 or 2 "big chores" for the day as far as house work goes. then i just work on picking up and laundry throughout the day. you're doing great and always inspire me!

ko said...

GREAT Post! Love all the GREAT things you have in place! :) I need to be more organized like that!

T Lyn said...

I am new to your blog and just had to comment. I love all your color. It's great. Wonderful. Brave. Uplifting. Just Wow.

Sara said...

Hi, Sara.

I stumbled across your blog one day, and I've been checking in for a few months now!

I have a four month old & I teach piano lessons from home. We try to keep the front part of our house clean since we have company everyday, but there is always baby stuff EVERYWHERE!

Fridays are a great cleaning day for me and I try to get as much done as I can when Baby Ellie falls asleep in the magic swing! Two hours with two hands makes a big impact on this house!

Jessica said...

Cleaning once a week or everyday??? Hmmm... how about every two weeks or so??? Gross huh?
I stay home part time and my kids go to public school so we are not here to mess it up as much. Some day I will post a picture of my one "hotspot" in my house... my desk- it's always a mess!


Thanks for sharing your day! I'm still amazed at your motivation.

I usually like to take one day and just clean the entire house. There's nothing like sitting down at the end of a day to a fully cleaned home! And throughout the week I just keep up on laundry and putting things away in it's correct place. I don't like clutter or a mess and can't relax until thinks are picked up......

Paige said...

Great post! I love all the color in your house. I wish I was that brave with my creativity.

Jenn A said...

I clean most things every week, some things not quite as frequently. I LOVE structure too and follow a similar plan with my kids and their day. I find that our day is much more pleasant when I have a plan before the day begins! Thanks for sharing!

Jill said...

Hi Sara,

I just did a post featuring your blog on mine!- hope you enjoy it!

Anonymous said...

You're a smart woman Sara! I get the kids to bed early too. It's just better for them and for me. I friends whose kids are up till 10pm or later and they never get any relax time. I need my quiet time at night or else I'm a bear.

You do quite the job. It's impressive.

ByHISgoodGrace said...

Thanks for sharing your schedule.
I envy you in many ways--in a sister in Christ getting encouraged sort of way!
You and Dave have worked out things quite nicely.
Thanks again!