Category Archives: organizing

The Ol’ Bag Lady Has Dinner in the Bag

 

New readers may not know that I am fondly called The Ol’ Bag Lady” by my husband.  Sometimes, he shortens it to just “Ol’ Bag.”  He may or may not be referring to my attitude, but certainly he is referring to my love for bags to organize my life.

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For years (OK, I have to admit, I should use the term decades here), I’ve sewn drawstring bags to organize toys at home, in the car and to use as gift bags for toys I give away.

 

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An organizing series I wrote a few years back was called Flying Frantic, which describes the lives of most women.  We have more people, projects and personal goals than we know what to do with.  The post on using tote bags to organize your life according to commitments was popular. I have one bag for church, one bag for homeschool coop and one bag of special things for my daughter in the car.

This Ol’ Bag Lady has found one more way to organize using bags – this time in the kitchen.

There are amazing women  who cook a month of meals at a time and throw them in the freezer.  Sounds like a great idea, but my family is not particularly fond of food that has been frozen.

“The noodles are mushy.”

“The hamburger tastes funny.”

And those were just my complaints.   I know, picky, picky, but there is nothing like a freshly cooked meal.  It’s just another thing to fit in a busy life. It’s easier to dream than do.

There are other amazing women who plan a week of meals and shop according to their meal plan.  I stand in awe.

Then, there are women like me.  I shop with a list and still forget items. The week I plan the entire menu is the week my husband ends up traveling out of town.  I grocery shop, but am too tired to cook dinner. I am embarrassed to admit how many days 4pm rolls around, or 5pm, and I’m slapping my forehead thinking, “UGH! Why do people in this house need to eat dinner every. single. night?”

We have a few standby crock-pot recipes, but it never fails, I run to the pantry and find I am short one item. Or I discover somebody put the spice jar back in the drawer, but it was empty. GGRRReat!

That’s when I had my Light bulb moment.

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Yep, I have children.  My stapler never works correctly.  And I was lucky to find the black Sharpie in my junk drawer without stabbing myself with a rusty nail or box cutter.  Not Pinterest pretty, but Got ‘Er Dun pretty.

White Chicken Chili Bag

The ingredients for one meal were bagged with the recipe, the ingredients to be added highlighted in case anybody else wanted to make dinner. Anybody? Anybody?

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The only ingredients purchased and added to the stuff in the bag.

Mindy’s White Chicken Chili

Sauté until soft, about 5 min:

  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 medium green pepper, minced
  • 1 large onion, chopped

Add and sauté another minute:

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder

Add and simmer:

  • 4 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 limes, juiced

Add:

  • 2 (14.5-ounce) cans white beans(drain, mash one slightly)
  • 1 rotisserie chicken, remove skin and shred meat

Although this is called “chili” it is more of a chicken and bean soup.  It is quick, easy and filling on a cold, rainy day, which is nearly every day during the winter in the Pacific Northwest. We serve with sour cream and grated cheese.

The other recipe  I bagged up for the pantry is the Southwest Roast.

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It’s one of the few recipes I have blogged, I’m not really a recipe kinda’ girl.

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The Southwest Roast with the Special Ingredient was another popular post because the recipe is simple and delicious.  You start is 24 hours ahead of time, so when you’re cleaning up dinner one night, you throw the ingredients for tomorrow’s dinner in the crock and go to bed. 

If you get a little organized with your family’s  favorite recipes, you can have dinner in the bag.

Making your home sing Mondays               WHWButton#2

Less is More for Bachelors, More is More for Mommas

My son comes home from college almost every day with a new revelation. I remember those days. You’re filled with the newness of it all and have to constantly discern what’s pure malarky and what’s useful. It makes for interesting dinner conversations.

My son showed me the video below.  Click on the pic to bring you to youtube.com.

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Hill’s main point was that Americans have three times more living space as 50 years ago. We also have a new  $2.2 billion industry in storage units. Once we fill up our houses, we start filling up storage units.  He says having more leads to:

1. Credit card debt

2. Huge carbon footprint

3.  Happiness levels flat line

His conclusion: Less is best.

As I looked at my overfull house, I had to agree.  In fact, as a mother of six kids, I know if I don’t constantly purge,  the house would explode at the seams.  Nobody can find a pen or a matching pair of socks, but there’s stuff everywhere. In every room.  In every closet. In every drawer.  Under every bed. UGH! He ramped up my ambition to clean, purge and organize in June.

In fact, he made me feel a little jealous. 

  • He doesn’t know what it’s like to open the pantry and have a newly opened box of cereal that was balanced on top of a newly opened bag of pasta fall on his head before he’s had his morning coffee.
  • He doesn’t know that little motion of shoving all the towels in the closet quickly to close the door before they fall.
  • He doesn’t have to throw at least five things off the couch when a friend drops by.

Then, he made me feel a little guilty, until I tried to find his bio. 

  • No mention of wife or kids.  I’m gunna’ assume he’s single, ‘cuz I don’t think he hid a wife and children in the closet of his 420 square foot apartment when he shot his video. The paraphernalia alone for a baby would fill up his space.  A woman with any amount of clothing and hobbies could fit it up at least one time over.  He didn’t mention a roommate, so he didn’t have to accommodate anyone but himself and one hobby – kite surfing.
  • With no yard, no gardening tools. I suspect I own more power tools than he does. Why does that make me feel a little smug?  He probably doesn’t have any old letters from friends, or a picture of him in the 7th grade. I’m 100% certain he doesn’t have any baby teeth or locks of baby hair in a hope chest, either.
  • So, other than kitchen items and toilet paper, Hill  basically only needs 7 pairs of socks, 7 pairs of undies, 7 shirts, 4 pairs of pants, any 4 pairs of shoes.  He’s done.  Each item in a man’s closet matches every other item in a man’s closet.  There are no rules for men’s clothing, just that you wear them.  He has a distinct advantage in living with less by being a male bachelor. 

As my son and I discussed this video and how we could realistically apply this to our family,  I had to cut off our conversation.  I had about 48 hours to make 35 centerpieces for the Northwest Christian Writers Renewal, our annual writers conference, with no money budgeted. I wanted to honor our keynote speaker, Jane Kirkpatrick, a Christian historical fiction writer, with my decorations.  They had to be free.  Inspirational.  Reflective of her books’ themes.  Vintage.

I was ready for the challenge.

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Of course, on the rare occasion that I allow my kids to drink pop, I save the bottles, don’t you?  They’re so cool.

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I removed the label with every Mom’s favorite liquid super-hero, Goo Gone.

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To make the bottles look vintage, daughter Beka and I roughed them up while watching an old movie together.  On the deck.  In the sunshine.  A moment to cherish.  We were wincing with the annoying sound of the sandpaper on glass (think fingernails on chalkboard) but it was a great time of creating something out of nothing.

I  cut strips of woven fabric, unraveled the edges, then hot glued them around the middle.   I save buttons from everything, and have been known to buy a $.99 shirt at the thrift store just for the buttons.

The glue can be peeled off and the bottles put in the recycle bin if nobody else cares to use the vases again. The buttons can also be peeled off and reused.

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The Daughter’s Walk tells of  Helga and daughter Clara Estby, who walked from Spokane, WA to New York City trying to earn $10,000. The Kinship and Courage series tells the story of 11 amazing women who lose their husbands on the Oregon Trail, but continue alone. Vintage maps ripped into squares represented the movement of Kirkpatrick’s characters. Of course, I save old maps, don’t you? Homeschooling/crafty women tend to save weird things.  This paid off.

Inspirational quotes from the novels by Kirkpatrick were written with a calligraphy pen on tags cut out of brown grocery bags and tied with compostable twine.

My OCD is freaking out that the fabric slid to the bottom of the bottom.  It needs to be centered.  If you have OCD, too, either pretend it is centered, or quickly scroll down to the next picture.

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I have an old wooden crate of milk bottles.  We use them for drinking glasses when we have a party and for vases. No filling up the dumps with Styrofoam with me, no sirreee.

Vintage is the new green.

You’re probably wondering about the flowers.  Who in the world has enough silk flowers for 35 arrangements?  Well, apparently I do.  I hit this amazing sale when Michael’s was clearancing out their summer/ fall items for $2 a large, black trash bag.  I told my husband to close his eyes, smile, and work with me.  After 27 years of marriage, he understands. We filled the back end of his Jeep. But, for about $12,  I had toys for Bible camp prizes, the birthday basket at our church and Sunday school prizes, plus enough floral picks for two 18 gallon plastic containers.

All you bargain hunters are bemoaning the fact that nothing this good ever happens to you. All you men are SO glad you’re not married to me. Yep, so is my hubby. He adores me. In all my quirky ways.

Renewal Book Table Genre Labels

I continued the vintage theme on our book table, using old bottles, more brown paper and buttons to label the genres.  The small crates were $1 at Michael’s and held business cards and book markers from authors. (These little bottles would also work well to put name tags and/or a flower to mark a place setting for a meal.) Large, wooden crates were used to display books.

So, there ya’ go.  In my 2,200 square foot home, that includes a double car garage, where up to 11 people have lived at a time, (that’s 200 sq. ft. per person)  and I have been hoarding recyclables and craft materials for decades, I created decorations for a writers conference. I made something outta’ nothing.

I guess Hill and I have similar ambitions in life, after all.

1. No credit card use

2. No carbon footprint

3. No unhappiness

More stuff, more happiness.

When I begin that summer purge, I’ll probably avoid the craft room.

 

Wooden You Love an Upcycled To-Do List ?

We’ve lived in our current home almost seven years.
I figured it was time to get a few things done.


I was tired of ugly To Do Lists.

It’s not inspiring.

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This window is from my dream home, an older two story beauty. 
We lived there less than one year.
When we replaced the old wooden windows with
double-paned argon sealed windows,
there were stacks of windows on my lawn.

I SO craved keeping them and making something out of them.
But, this was back in the Olden Days when there wasn’t
a lot of blogging and there wasn’t Pinterest.

Ya’ know, the Dark Ages for Inspiration Time.

I kept one.

It was used for a picture frame, then sat in the attic for years.
I finally figured out what I wanted to do with it.

I know all the young crafty people think they invented
UPCYCLING,
but they just renamed it.
We‘ve always called it “making do.”

Why do you think my mom was raised wearing panties
that said “SUGAR” on the bum?

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First, I had to remove the bright craft  paint.
A paste of Comet and water works well.
Smear it on, walk away.
Come back later, rub and scrape.
Smear on a little more and walk away.
Come back later, rub and scrape.
Repeat until paint is gone.

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Almost  done!

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I wanted something to back the panes of glass and remembered this vintage curtain
that I’ve stored away for….
ummm…nearly two decades?

It might be called Dotted Swiss. 
I read about Dotted Swiss in a Nancy Drew book when I was younger.
This has dots but I don’t know if it’s Swiss.

It was very hard to cut up a curtain. 
It kinda’ gave me the heebie-jeebies
’cuz it was such a nice curtain.

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But, I cut it up into four squares and kept the scraps.
Maybe 20 years from now I might need them.

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I smeared the back of each pane with Mod Podge.
The majority of my life I called it Modge Podge
That’s what Kim in my High School Home Economics called it.
I believed her.
After all, she told me she was one of the Popular Kids.
Now I know better about both accounts.

The fabric was carefully smoothed over the back of panes.
Don’t put it in backwards!
The pattern has to face forward.
It was challenging to get the rows of dots straight.

Just in case you’re wondering,
if you spill Mod Podge on brand new carpeting
but wipe it up right away with a damp rag
you can get it all up.
Almost all of it, anyway.
Just in case you’re wondering.

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It was going to be a bulletin board,
but the post-it notes fell off right away.

Remember post-it notes were invented because of a failure?
Oh, you didn’t read that
post?
You can read it now.

Well, my post-it note failure invented a better solution.

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I discovered dry erase markers work great on glass.

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Vintage tatted edging and clip-on earrings were later improvements.

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The final resting place, on an enamel topped table in my office.
Four panes to organize four parts of my life.

Suddenly, that To Do List is looking pretty good.

 

Christmas is Coming!

But, you already know that.

Kinda’ hard to live in America and not realize the biggest holiday of the year is

right.

around.

the.

corner.

It’s not panic time, it’s the time where we’re still convinced we can pull together a Martha Stewart holiday.  We have big plans for gifts, meals, decorations and homemade stuff. 

Lotsa’ homemade stuff.

Closer to the deadline, we’ll get real about what actually is going to happen, and plans will be adjusted and downsized.

For now, we’re just bringing the sights, sounds and smells of the holiday season into our home.

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Since we didn’t host Thanksgiving for the first time in a score, that’s 20 years in case you haven’t figured that out from Abraham Lincoln’s famous speech, we put our tree up early.

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Then, our house looked like this for days.

Christmas threw up in my house.

I’m not original, I steal that from Nan at Mom’s the Word every year, ‘cuz she’s way funnier than I am.  It’s my new holiday tradition, to steal this phrase from her.

 

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Last night, I started stuffing the stocking sacks.  Try saying that ten times really, really fast.  During back to school sales and after Halloween candy sales, I shop for the stockings.  Last year I started very early, since I had 14 stockings to stuff.  This year, six will be a piece of cake. 

The bags are labeled  and put in a box in the closet or attic, and as I buy, I begin tossing goodies in. It gives a good visual of my stocking-filling progress. My goal is to have them almost done when I start the big Christmas shopping.  It saves money and frustration by getting the stockings out of the way in the fall. 

Boxes are being stockpiled in the garage for perfect wrapping.  Big boxes, small boxes, gotta’ disguise all presents boxes.

Years ago, I crowned myself  The Queen of Peekless Packages. If you have overly curious children, ya’ might wanna’ go check out my tricks.

We’re enjoying the CHRISTmas tree lights, our vintage CHRISTmas nativity sets and the family collection of CHRISTMAS books.

There’s a lot of decorating,  shopping, baking, and hosting to do in the next few weeks, but as the pace increases, we want to keep the CHRISTmas mood.

Because, Someone knows when we’re naughty and when we’re nice, and it’s not Santa.

My Husband Calls Me An Ol’ Bag

Years ago, my husband started calling me

The Ol’ Bag,
short for
The Ol’ Bag Lady.

Of course, he wasn’t referring to my age or my crankiness.

He was only referring to my love for bags.

It started as a light addiction.
On Sunday mornings, I usually had a paper bag of stuff for someone.
It might be hand-me-downs  or books for a homeschooling family.

When gift bags replaced wrapping paper,
baby gifts, birthday gifts, and thinking-of-you gifts,
were all delivered in beautiful gift bags –
usually recycled bags.

My addiction grew.

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Then, I discovered I could sew my own bags.
and began organizing my house with drawstring bags.

(I’ll reveal later what cool thing is INSIDE this cool bag.)

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Toys are in bags and sleeping bags are in bags.

I previously blogged about  my system of using a
different tote bag
for each activity in my life.
That’s  also when I first admitted my hubby calls me
this delightful nickname.

So, when I started crafting a wedding gift,
it just had to include some bags to keep up my reputation, right?

Right!

So far, the gift has included

a tin for matches and

a tin for coffee.

Then I had to sew.

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The drawstring bags were to hold more goodies for the gift.

One was filled with clothespins and a clothesline,
the other filled with misc. kitchen utensils.

If you haven’t guessed yet, these few items were part of a
Camping Kit

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for this couple.

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That’s my boy, Dan, and his new bride, Sarah.

I’m pretty sure the highlight of their honeymoon
was my handcrafted gifts,

don’t you?

 

I JUST NEED 24 HOURS…

I found myself wishing,
as I shut my eyes for two minutes inbetween
 finishing school with one child and picking up another child from college,
 I could have an extra
24 hours
in a day.
Just one extra day, I don’t ask for much.
Only I would get that extra time,
nobody else in the world, especially my children.
They’d be in a time warp where they couldn’t
make any more messes,
eat any more groceries,
dirty any more clothes,
take any more scissors or tape,
or ask me any other questions.
Speaking of questions, while I was pondering this miracle in my mind,
 another child, who was finishing homework asked,
“M-ah-ah-ahm,what’s for dinner?”
The longer it takes him to say my name, the hungrier he is.
In my mind I was thinking, “Dude, the same as every night, I don’t know!”
Instead I politely mumbled, I don’t know.”
I went back to dreaming about that extra
24 hours
 all to myself.
What would I do? 
Sleep? 
No, that would be a waste of time.
Eat?
No,  I’m the one who wants the Wonka pill.
I wouldn’t waste time eating, except for chocolate,
and I can eat chocolate along with
 whatever I do in my extra
24 hours.
What do I really want?
My house to be in order.
I want all my stuff to have a place
and all my stuff to be in its place.
I want my life to function  as smoothly
 as in the magazines.
When the kids were little, I was in total control.
 The house was clean, three meals were done, one or two loads of laudry done each day.
All that sleeping little kids do made this easy.
As the kids aged, their interests had to be added to my calendar.
Instead of cleaning my bathroom every day (yes I did that during cloth diaper days),
I’ve been wondering when was the last time I really cleaned it.  
 I don’t mean the Lysol wipe clean, but the real clean.
I just want my house in order.
That extra 24 hours, I know it won’t happen.  It’s not logical.
But, I  always have 15 minutes. 
I learned that lesson years ago. I can always find 15 minutes each day.
I’m gunna’ make a list of things that need to be done
and carve out a mere 15 minutes a day.
This could work.
365 x 15 =5475 minutes saved in a year
1440 minutes each day
3.8 extra days each year.
What?
Not even four days a year gained?
That’s not enough.
 Too much effort, for too little outcome.
I think I’m gunna’ go back to just
dreaming
about that
 extra 24 hours a day.
Clean and organized houses are overrated anyway,
right?
Right?
Right!
Instead, I’ll throw away those magazines
and finish my nap.
I plan on sleeping longer than 15 minutes……
maybe
24 hours.

I’m Still an Ol’ Bag

When a new school year starts,
we’re all thinking the same thing –
if only
I were more organized and efficient,
I would remember more and accomplish more.
We long for that
perfect container,
perfect shelving system,
perfect organizational feature,
that will magically transform our chaos into control.
In 2010, I blogged through an organizational kick
with some new ideas and some tried-and-true practices of mine.
My favorite system really did impact my life
in a powerful, helpful way.
Not everything I try works, so I felt it worth revisiting this tip.
OK…all this build-up……
….it involves this….

….and this.

As I began this new year not emotionally ready,
I realized my systems were in place and I was physically ready
using this simple sytem using my favorite tote bags.
Follow me back in time when I first admitted
It will turn chaos into control,
I promise…

Fading and Failing Flowers

We have high ambitions of teaching our six children to answer the phone correctly
“Hello, this is the ______residence, _______ speaking.”
We also have high ambitions for our children to take detailed
messages and deliver them in person with a smile.
We grill drill them on phone etiquette over and over,
cautioning about things like mouth full of marbles,
and mumbling like a teenager.
To help make message taking easier,
I found a vintage tin for paper and my daughters made cute flower pens.
Nobody should have had an excuse not to take a good message.
The problem is,
the pens ran out of ink at least two, maybe three, years ago,
and I kept running out of paper.
It became a simple project I kept putting off.
The phone messages ended up being scratched onto
random pieces of mail, napkins, receipts or any stray
piece of paper within grabbing distance of the phone.
Of course, I mean scratched,
cuz when all the pens were out of ink,
you really were scratching.
It made the ol’ Abe Lincoln scratching out his math homework
on the shovel with a piece of coal,
look pretty high tech.

I just had to remember to buy a new pack of pens,
and unwrap the old pens,
saving the flowers and the leaves.
You cut off the flower stem,
leaving an inch of wire.
Using about 4-5 inches of floral tape,
you wind enough just to secure the flower to the pen.
The leaves are added a little further down from the top
then you continue winding all the way to the end.
Jon jumped in and helped finish the project in minutes.
They were finished so quickly,
I couldn’t figure out why I put it off for years.
Wouldn’t you know, the phone rang,
just in time for Jon to test his creations?
I saved all the bad copies from the copying machine
and cut them to fit into the old caramel can.
Handy, useful, but still vintagy and cute.
And flowers are always a great spiritual reminder –
Isaiah 40:8
The grass withers, the flower fades:
but the Word of our God shall stand for ever.

The Word of God also lasts longer than homemade flower pens.

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.

Flying Frantic – Tote Bags

This is the second in a series,
hoping to inspire some organizational processes into frantically busy lives.
My husband lovingly calls me The Bag Lady.
Partly in jest of being an Ol’ Bag,
but partly because I use a lot of  tote bags.
I am a mom,
I homeschool,
I teach Sunday School
and am involved in a homeschool coop.
 I have discovered that instead of having one tote bag
that I would always forget to unpack or repack,
it’s easier to have one bag for each activity.
My coop bag has

the binder I need with all the information in clear sheet protectors,
 and a zippered pouch filled with school supplies.
They are never leave this bag, except during coop.
I can also throw in a book, a game to play or a purse project
Anything I need to bring, I slip it in during the week.

I have a church bag.
Throughout the week, I fill it with things I need to bring to the church.
 A book to return to someone, sanitizers, tracts I ordered,
Sunday school treats, prizes or craft items.
On Sunday morning it eliminates the frantic rush,
helping us to get to church on time
AND
in the Spirit.
My camera bag is also stocked.
The right pocket has personal items,
the front pocket paper items,
and left pocket camera supplies.
 I can leave the purse, throw my wallet in my camera bag,
 and I am ready to hike, sightsee or just stalk my children.
Even though it isn’t a bag, this errand basket organizes my life.
When Woolworths went out of business,
I bought a stack of these beauties for $1 each.
They are some of my prize possessions.
I keep it by the door and add:
-returns that need to be made
-lone overdue library book found under the couch
-packages that need to be mailed
I even have a special Zune bag from Hawaii.
The bag orignally came with coffee,
but is perfect for my Zune and accesories.
Yes, I made the container for my ear phones
from a dental floss box.
Remove label, add a monkey sticker,
and it is a cute little thing ready to hold treasures.
During their younger years, each of our kids had a library bag. My husand mounted a peg shelf at their level, so they could always return their bag, with books in it, to the peg shelf. It kept books from being lost and  made it easier to return the books. A clear pocket on the outside would have been a great idea for the checkout slip.

When I am beginning to organize things to bring or send to someone, I begin a brown paper bag in the closet with their name printed in black, bold letters. As things are purchased, found or finished, they are put into the bag. If it is to be mailed, I might even pick out the box ahead of time and put that in the closet labeled. When it is full, it is mailed.

My youngest keeps a toy bag packed in the van. She is encouraged to keep a few toys, books, personal items, water bottle and maybe a snack. Living in a busy area, one accident on the highway and your commute home just got 29 minutes longer. Baseball season is here, and games can get long for the little ones.

Now that it is baseball season I have a baseball bag. Because it can be chilly, I keep a fleece blanket, extra hats and gloves, snacks and kleenex.

Just for fun, I looked up bag in the Bible.

Didja’ know David organized his five smooth stones  in a shepherd’s bag? 1 Samuel 17:40

The best use I found for a bag yet was in the book of Job.

Job 14:17
My transgression is sealed up in a bag,
And You cover my iniquity.

Another good reason for my hubby to call me The Bag Lady.