Category Archives: lists

When A List Isn’t Enough…

I like lists.
No, I love lists.
I love writing them out.
I love checking things off.
I love rewriting the lists when they begin
to look too sloppy to be inspiring.
Most of the time,  a list works for organizing my life.
Sometimes,  I use several lists on a clipboard~
~like ~
Things To Do
Things To Buy
Things To Cook
Things To Pack
Preparing for a a Graduation Open House
sent me way past the usefulness of
Clipboard With Lists.
I went for the Big Gun I named ~
~Command Central~
Using a huge tray from IKEA,
I first wrote out days of the week on Post-It notes
and stuck them across the top.
You can see why the pressure was building,
I only had five days left,
and many, many, many things to do.

Each task to complete or item to buy
was written down and placed under the column of the day
I thought it should be done.

The white notes were mini-lists,
like all that needed to be cleaned in the dining room
and other things I don’t remember,
and the print is too small on the picture to read.
Double-click on pic if you care what I was doing.
When a chore was completed, it was crossed off
and labeled with the name of the hero that completed the task.
At the end of the day, 
uncompleted tasks were moved over to the next column.
By the final day, only a few things had to be eliminated
from the list because we couldn’t get them done.
Because the whole list was in view for the entire family,
everybody knew what needed to be done
and what they were capable of doing.
It also kept me from nagging and brought peace in the house.
Even my Type B “I’ll-Do-It-Tomorrow” hubby
enjoyed completing a few tasks and  crossing them off
the first day
Command Central was established.
 I loved involving the whole family
in preparing for a special occasion,
and having a list that was flexible.
I think my family loved it because it kept me from
…but they can’t admit that in public,
because they don’t blog.
So, I’ll say it for them.
Anything that relieves stress for Mommy
is a success in our house.
What organizational victories have you had
while planning special events for your family this summer?
Making your home sing Mondays

Making Memories

This summer,
I have been slightly obsessed with lists.
I started out the summer by making
I blogged the  victory when I conquered
Then, I conquered the list from my desk.
I conquered another weekly To-Do  List.
Now, I am going to start working on the list of fun stuff
 I wanna’ do this summer.
The list is tucked away in
I love the feeling of accomplishment,
when I cross the last item off a list,
but accomplishment doesn’t always equate memories.
 I’ve learned, as my kids get older,
I don’t look back on my life
 and marvel at how many lists I conquered in days gone by.
I look back and remember the times we
jumped on the trampoline,
made popsicles,
covered the sidewalk with chalk drawings,
walked to Dairy Queen for a high-cal snack,
read a good book on a blanket under the cedar tree,
slept in the tent,
slept on the trampoline,
explored a new store or park.
So, I will keep whittling away at the work lists,
but my heart’s desire for the rest of the summer
is to make memories that my children will cherish.
Memories are mind treasures,
for them to   pull out and enjoy.
They are experiences painted upon their hearts
with love and joy.
As a squirrel stores away nuts for a winter,
they can be their sustenance through dreary times.
Memories can even become storehouses of wisdom,
because someday my children might be spouses and parents,
and use our family adventures
as a pattern for their own traditions.
Let’s make some memories!

Lists, Lists and More Lists

Another Monday.

Another week stretching out with too many things demanding my attention.  It always makes me wonder how I accomplish anything during the school year with homeschooling daily breathing down my neck.

My first order of business will be to find and compile all my To Do Lists from the past week in my Summer Binder and on my computer. I am getting a lot done, but I am not always efficient – YET.

I jotted one list  down on on a small pad of paper in my Bible,  

three lists on sheets of lined paper
 on a clipboard next to my bed,

five pages on my desk
 that I scribbled on when  at my computer,
and another list for those urgent things
that popped into my head first thing this  morning.
Oh yea, then there is the task box in my Outlook.
See all the little red squares on the bottom right of the screen?
Yea, those things are DONE, baby.
My plan for organizing the lists:
Long-term lists –  These items are high-faluting goals, like painting rooms, sewing curtains, fixing things, ordering books, things that need or should be done in the next six months, but there isn’t any urgency.
They can be written out according to rooms and subjects, just beautiful inspirational lists of aspirations.
If I need to yearly track the list and accomplishments, like when planning Daily Vacation Bible School, I love to use OneNote, my favorite Microsoft product of all time.
If I just want to cross off the things and throw the lists away, I write them on paper.  My summer binder  will also include lists  for planning  our family vacation and our trip to Bible Camp.   In turn, these are divided into To Do, To Pack and To Buy segments. 
Weekly lists –  Overall view of weekly obligations.   I use my Outlook Calendar (see pic above) program faithfully, listing all baseball in blue, appointments in orange, company in teal and traveling in lavender, etc.  The calendars can also be printed and posted on fridge or in binder if I need to make it available to everyone.
Daily lists- Just so I remember to do little things and keep priorities straight.  Monday is laundry day, that goes without saying, so I don’t even write it down, unless I have that undeniable urge to write it down just to cross it off. As I read my Bible in the morning and have those two cups of coffee, I am always prompted about little needs, like

-Does Jon need another teeth cleaning?

-Oh, I need to sent a card to my niece.
Sometimes I put so many things on a daily list, it automatically becomes a weekly list. That’s OK!

Don’t Do List – I am giving myself permission to NOT tackle anything for homeschool this week. 

Our summer schedule is simple –
Morning – work
Afternoon – play

I usually get up much earlier than the kids because I cherish those golden silent moments and the ability to sometimes work on a project alone.  After they obey the Morning Rule – “get up, get dressed, make your bed” -they eat and we decide what needs to be conquered.  They usually aren’t allowed to clean their rooms during this time, that is expected to be done.  Mornings are Mommy Projects, extra things I need help with and skills that I am teaching them.

Lists should be a tool, not a torture.  We are not a slave to them. There are days I give myself permission to not even look at my lists, or have to cross anything off.  Somedays, I do a bunch of stuff that isn’t even on the list, and wasn’t ever going to be on the list.

I still want to be led by the Lord in how I spend my time and energy.  According to Proverbs 16, we plan,  but the Lord guides. I am embarrassed to say that sometimes I forget to pray over my lists. 

The lists are NOT to hang a noose around my neck, they are just to keep me from forgetting things that need to be done and keep me from wasting time. 

Plus, when they are on the counter, the kids might even go see what “needs to be crossed off” before we can go play.

I am hearing the sounds of summer, laugher and lawnmowing, and the sun is peeking through my curtains.

I’m gunna throw in a load of laundry, stack my lists on the Summer binder in the kitchen and grab another cup of coffee.

‘Cuz, I have another Monday to face.

Follow me over to Nan’s Blog where she hosts
for more encouragement to start your new week.