The Silent Treatment is a Relationship Killer

Getting Organized:
In your home and homeschool

 

 

Dear Friends,

When you are upset with someone do you react with the silent treatment? This method of dealing with conflict is a relationship killer. It cuts off communication. It builds walls. It removes your participation from the relationship.

The silent treatment does not put you in control of the relationship. Rather it makes you an observer of the relationship. You are no longer participating in the relationship. You have frozen the other person out of the relationship.

If this continues over the course of months or years, it gives your relationship the death sentence.

Some people take the silent treatment on as an art form. Eventually, it will spread to others. Then both of you have removed yourself from the relationship. It is not one-sided at this point.

If you find yourself the recipient of the silent treatment often, I suggest you find a counselor and make an appointment. This can just be for yourself, but eventually, you need couple’s counseling if you are going to work through this and communicate normally.

A once happy and talkative person can become adept at giving the silent treatment back. When it becomes the norm for the talkative person to not talk or communicate, the death sentence is all but carried out on the relationship.

Why do people use the silent treatment on those they profess to love? It is not a loving act for those in the relationship.

If you have read about the limbic system of the brain, we all have Flight or Fight instincts. I think those who use the silent treatment often are using the Flight instinct instead of trying to talk the problem out.

If you are the person who is giving the silent treatment to someone in your family, make a step today to talk and start healing. If you are the one who is getting the silent treatment, find a Christian counselor and talk to them about it. You do not have to live this way.

Today’s Zone Mission is to detail dust the China Cabinet.

Your Home Blessing for today is to empty the trash, sweep, and mop.

My menu plan for Friday is pizza and a salad.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Is there too much screen time in your home?

Getting Organized:
In your home and homeschool

Dear Friends,

Recently, I have been seeing how using computers, tablets, and smartphones has become a distraction to the things going on around us. While they “connect” us virtually, they can disconnect us from the people we are in direct contact with on a daily basis.

Videos, games, social media, and Internet Surfing all take us away to places in our minds. Sometimes this is good and productive, and sometimes it is not. Our society has a big problem with pornography. The internet brings it right into your home with a few clicks or taps. Do you regularly check browser history and your children’s devices?

Screens can become an addiction to some. They can numb the mind and cause personality changes in someone.

People can get caught up in a virtual world and completely forget they are actually in a real world. I almost wrote “living in a real world,” but they really are not living a very enjoyable life.

Gaming on computers or devices is a time waster, and it can consume a large portion of one’s day easily. Limit your screen time, and limit the screen time your children have each day. It is one thing if you are using a computer or tablet to work or use for school, but if screen time is a significant part of the day with games and social media, you need to set limits and use a timer.

Playing video games shortens your attention span. This applies to children and adults. I know I have a little ADD myself, and a couple of my children have been diagnosed with ADHD. I have found that gaming really makes their symptoms worse. If I balance their game time with large muscle activities, it helps balance them out.

Serious gamers tend to not get enough exercise, so use exercise incentives for screen time privileges. This will help their minds and their bodies.

When you are stressed, do you go to a screen to self-medicate? This is not an escape from stress or your problems. If you are stressed, find a way to relieve the stress and don’t reach for your smartphone, tablet, or computer. Go for a walk. Talk to someone in person or call them. If you notice your children using screen time to “escape” help them find other ways to relax and unwind.

If your family has a problem with games and screens, get a basket to put them in. You can put the basket away for certain periods during the day. In the evening, don’t allow screen time after 8:00 pm. Charge all of the devices in one area. We do this in our living room, but you could do it in the kitchen. Do not charge them in your room. Do not let your children and teens charge their phones or devices in their bedrooms.

What are some safety precautions you take in your home for Internet safety and limiting screen time?

Today’s Zone Mission is to clean under the dining room table.

Your Home Blessing for today is to declutter paper and magazines.

My menu plan for Thursday is chicken and a salad.

Have a great day!

Time Management for Homeschool Moms

Getting Organized:
In your home and homeschool

Dear Homeschool Mom,
You do a lot of different things every day. You have to figure out how to fit in school with your kids, cook, clean, do laundry, direct children, and much more!
Do you feel like you are treading water or drowning most of the time?
If you are feeling this way, I want you to step back and think about some things.
Are you too busy with activities outside of the home? If so, cut back on them.
Are you doing more than you should around the house and not involving your children in Blessing your home? Make the Home Blessings a game and involve your children!
Are you eating well, drinking water, and exercising? Menu plan and eat healthy foods. Drink your water daily. Get in 15 minutes of purposeful movement a day.
Are you on the computer or your phone too much? Close the computer. Put your phone down.
Do you have friends or family who need your help a lot? Learn to say, “No” when needed. No guilt either. Just say NO.
Do you use a timer to help you focus on a task? Use your timer regularly.
Are you homeschooling a large family or have special needs children? Get help if you need it.
You may be managing your time very well for the amount of things you are doing, but you may be too busy all of the time.
It is not failure to ask for help.
It is not failure to hire help with cleaning the house or in caring for the children.
It is not failure to ask your family to pitch in and pick up behind themselves.
You can homeschool and have a clean home and not go crazy. Delegate. Hire help. Cut things out of your schedule. Establish your routines.
Love yourself and love your family. Take care of yourself. You don’t have to push yourself to exhaustion. Use the Do Not Disturb feature on your phone and feel no guilt about it!
I am so proud of you!
Your Zone Mission today is to declutter and dust the dining room.
Your Home Blessing for today is to wipe your windows and mirrors.
My menu plan for Wednesday is pulled pork BBQ. (I am thankful for a son who loves to cook!)
Have a great day!

How’s Your Laundry?

Getting Organized:
In your home and homeschool

 

Dear Friends,

Happy August 1! Today we start practicing a new habit of the month – Laundry. Some of us with large families get to practice this habit a lot.

When you think about your laundry, what is the first thing that comes to mind?

Besides practicing all 5 steps of doing laundry this month, I also want you to practice having a good attitude about doing laundry.

What are the 5 steps of doing laundry?
  1. Sort
  2. Wash
  3. Dry
  4. Fold or Hang
  5. Put Away
Which step is hardest for you?

I use plastic baskets to sort laundry as we take our clothes off. The teens have their own baskets to sort laundry. I teach laundry sorting from a very young age because little ones like to help. So teach them how to separate darks, lights, towels, etc.

Figure out how many loads of laundry you need to do per day to stay on top of your laundry. We do three loads a day. During the week, we do a load of darks, towels, and sheets per day. On Saturday, we have a load of whites and usually a load of towels.

The three teens do their laundry and bedding on a different days of the week. This spreads out getting all of our bedding washed. My bedding is usually washed on Saturday or Monday.

Start a load of laundry first thing in the morning. Use a timer on your phone to help you remember to move the laundry from the washer to the dryer. Set your timer again to go back and fold or hang that load when it is done. It will have a lot less wrinkles if you hang it immediately. Then put it away. Have a goal to have one load completed each day before lunch.

But what about your attitude?

Believe it or not, your attitude about everything spreads to your children. If you have a bad attitude about laundry, guess what? Your kids will develop a bad attitude about it, too.

I find folding laundry to be peaceful and quiet. Of course, it was pretty loud around my house when my kids were little. It was not as quiet and peaceful to fold laundry back then, but I made it a game to fold clothes with their help.

Little ones can help you move laundry from the washer to the dryer, and they can hand you laundry from the dryer. It’s a great time to talk or sing with your little ones.

Work on having a positive attitude about laundry. Start a blessing list that you can review while you are folding laundry. Post prayer requests on your laundry room walls and pray. Put scripture verses on cards and post them in the laundry room. Commit verses to memory while you fold laundry.

If you procrastinate putting laundry away, set a timer and see how long it takes to put your laundry away. If it is difficult to put laundry away because your closet or dressers are too full, start decluttering clothes.
Teach your children to put their laundry away. It is not your job to do every single task in your home.

Teach your children life skills. Laundry is a life skill.

You do not have to live with Mount Washmore OR Mount Foldmore. You can do this!

Your Zone Mission today is to declutter your Entryway.

Your Home Blessing for today is to dust and vacuum.

My menu plan for Tuesday is lasagne and a salad.

Have a blessed day!

Fitness for Homeschool Moms

Getting Organized:
In Your Home and Homeschool

Dear Friends,

As we are ending the month of July, I have been reflecting back on this month and the first half of this year. I have committed myself to taking care of myself daily.
As a mom, I know how hard it is to have a regular fitness routine. For years, I would start and stop with exercise routines. Little things and big things would derail my plans. Sometimes, I would be doing great, and then I would get derailed one day. Before I knew it 6 months or a year passed, and I was not exercising at all.
Four years ago, I decided it was time I put my exercise plans into my daily routine and keep it there. I had several health issues, and I wanted to feel better. I also wanted to be a good example for my children.
Over the years my children had seen me exercise infrequently, and I wanted to model for them that exercise was a choice that I was going to make each day.
Exercise can be done in many ways. You can walk, run, do exercise videos, use a fitness app, or use a fitness tracker to track steps. You can play with your kids for exercise. You can use resistance bands or weights. You can go to a gym or fitness class.
The main thing is that you need to pick a time of day that you can consistently use for exercise. For me, I have to exercise early in the day. If I wait until afternoon or evening, I put it off and never get around to it.
If you have not exercise in a while, it is going to be hard. You need to use your small baby steps and have small progresses. You can track information on a calendar. I am pretty serious about my training, so I have a training notebook. I track a lot of data. It helps me see the small progresses.
Remember that you are doing it to take care of yourself. Put in some rewards for progress. Write down your goals. Each day is a new beginning. You cannot give yourself a guilt trip for the past. Start fresh. Start small. Just start now. I know you can do it!
Your Zone Mission today is to declutter and sweep front porch.
Your Home Blessing for today is to wash sheets.
My menu plan for Monday is take out chicken after a long afternoon of appointments.
Have a great day!

 

Daily Grocery Shopping is not a Savings – Getting Organized

Getting Organized:
In your home and homeschool

 

Dear Friends,

A few weeks ago, I was on vacation at the beach, and I typically cook while on vacation. While planning my meals, someone suggested I only buy what we need for a day or two at a time instead of doing a big shopping trip on the first day. The suggestion was made, so we would use leftovers better.

What I found was this system was not efficient for me. I had to go to the grocery store each day to buy that evening’s food. So instead of one long grocery trip, I had multiple shorter trips. The small grocery store was 15 minutes from our house, and the larger store was 30 minutes from our house. I spend a lot more time and money on gas with this daily commute.

I did use the leftovers, and on Thursday, we had a big leftover night. We still needed a few things from the store that day, too. The multiple trips also meant, I was not as efficient with my budget. I spent more money on these smaller trips than if I would have just done a big shopping trip at the beginning.

Many of you are living day-to-day on your menu planning and grocery shopping. It does not get any better for you when you start back to your school schedule. When you are really tired, it is easy to justify in your mind that it is okay to do take-out food just that once.

If I am describing you, I want you to start somewhere with your menu planning. Pick two or three days in a row and write down a menu. Make out a shopping list. Then either go shopping or schedule a pick up at the store. So many stores offer this service now, and it is a big time saver. It can also save you money, since you are not inside the store impulse shopping.

If you are doing your own shopping and not picking it up, shop the fresh produce section first, then shop the ends of the aisles. Do not go down any aisle just to go down it. Have a purpose. I am fairly single-minded when I am grocery shopping. I am mission oriented. Get the food and get out is my motto. Ask anyone who has seen me out grocery shopping.
Teach your children to cook and follow a recipe. This is a big time saver for you! It is also giving your children valuable life skills.

What holds you back from menu planning?

Today’s Zone Mission is to move the furniture in the Living Room and clean under it.

Your Home Blessing for today is to empty the trash, sweep, and mop.

My menu plan for Friday is pizza and a salad.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Giving Your Children Wings – Getting Organized

Getting Organized:
In your home and homeschool

Dear Friends,

Today is my youngest son’s birthday, and I thought I would share an excerpt from my book, Giving Your Children Wings Without Losing Yours.

My house has not always been neat and tidy. I didn’t always have a menu plan, but we always had an abundance of love. What I found is that I can raise my children, and we learned a lot together. Instead of losing parts of myself, I am giving my children the skills they need as adults. I am giving them their wings to fly. My children are now 24 down to 8. I have raised two children who are young adults and love what they do. I helped them find their joy in life.
 
The biggest asset you have in blessing your home is teaching your children to love their home and bless it with you. I have raised, educated, and graduated two of our six children from our homeschool. Both of them are currently working full-time and running their own homes. Each of them has thanked me for teaching them how to care for a home and helping them to be prepared for adulthood.
 
Your perspective sets the tone for your home. If you have a positive perspective on life and the obstacles you face in life, you will be a much happier person. This means your husband will have a happier wife, and your children will have a happier mother. We have all heard the saying, “If Mama ain’t happy, no one is happy.” You can turn this around to, “If Mama is happy, everyone around her is happy, too.” A positive mood is contagious.
 
Do you view home keeping as a chore and drudgery? Is it something you have to endure? Is it something you ignore? Any of these perspectives will hold you back from receiving the blessings that come from having a clean and orderly home. Look at keeping order in your home as a blessing to you and to your family. Change a negative perspective and look for ways you can bless your family with a clean home.
   
A natural result of the amount of time we spend at home is that we work together to bless our home and keep it orderly. I start including them from young ages to help around the house. A two-year-old can fold washcloths and pick up things, especially toys they got out to play with. Teaching children in small steps to clean up behind themselves is a habit that they will carry with them. You want to do it in a positive way so they carry a positive attitude with them, too.
   
You have to let go of your perfectionism and let children learn; but, in the end, they can learn alongside you if you include them in everything you do. My goal has always been to raise my children to be independent, productive adults. I want them to achieve their dreams, and I give lots of opportunity for them to learn, make mistakes, make messes, clean up the messes, and grow.
My book is available on Amazon in print and for the Kindle.
Today’s Zone Mission is to go sofa diving.
Your Home Blessing for today is to declutter paper and magazines.
My menu plan for Thursday is beef stroganoff for the boys and chicken and a salad for me.
Have a blessed day!

Monthly Home Maintenance – Getting Organized

Getting Organized:
In your home and homeschool

 Dear Friends,
How do you do with monthly maintenance around your home? The FlyLady has a Control Journal to help you establish routines for monthly maintenance.

My grandfather was a mechanic, and I grew up in his home. I was taught to care for certain things around the house every month from a young age. I have passed this knowledge on to my children now.

I use the first of the month as a touchstone for monthly maintenance. Air filters for our heating and air conditioning system are changed during the first week of the month.

Every three months, the dryer needs to be cleaned with the dryer lint cleaning kit. I put a reminder on my digital calendar.

The smoke detector has back-up batteries, and these are checked every six months. I also put this on my digital calendar.

Light bulbs are changed as needed, so that is not on my calendar.
During our Zone Missions for the Kitchen, I wipe down the stove and ventilation hood. Once a year I clean the oven (usually in the dead of winter).

The refrigerator needs to have the drip pan emptied once a month and the coils needs to be wiped off.

By using the digital calendar and The Home Maintenance Control Journal, I have established these habits. By teaching these habits to my children, not only do I have help, but I have also passed on valuable life skills.

What home maintenance projects do you need to do?

Your Zone Mission today is to dust along the baseboards in the Living Room.

Your Home Blessing for today is to wipe your windows and mirrors.

My menu plan for Wednesday is hamburgers and mac and cheese.

Have a great day!

Lots of Moving Parts to My Days – Getting Organized

Getting Organized:
In your home and homeschool

 

 

Dear Friends,

Most of you reading this homeschool your children, so you know exactly what I am saying when I say I have lots of moving parts to my days.

Even though my schedule has been busier than normal this summer, I am not stressed or worried about how I will get everything done. I do my basic daily routines. Then, I do three simple things from my To Do List. This gives me forward progress, and I don’t feel like I am juggling 10 balls a day.

I am in charge of how many balls a day that I juggle, and so are you! Take a look at your calendar this summer. Have things crept onto your calendar that you can take off?

Do you have some quiet days in your week? Resist the urge to fill your calendar up. You need quiet days where you are not going, going, going. Some call this white space on your calendar.

Honestly, if I did not have white space on my calendar, I would have been very overwhelmed this summer with the addition of my son’s appointments.

I have used the two-letter word, “No” this summer when needed. I do not have to say, “Yes” to every opportunity that comes my way. I do not have to volunteer for everything that comes my way.

My days are full, but they have down time within each hour listed below.
Here is an example of how my day went on Monday:

5:00 am – Get up, make bed, read Bible, eat breakfast, get dressed down to shoes, brush teeth
6:15 am – Run
8:00 am – Swim laps
9:00 am – Shower and get dressed for the day, Morning Routine
10:00 am – Start Laundry, check on the boys’ routines, do my morning Facebook video
11:00 am – Lunch prep, dishwasher, reboot laundry, sip water, check emails
12:00 noon – Lunch
12:30 pm – Host Online Weekly Home Blessing Hour for FlyLady Premium
1:30 pm – Tech stuff on the computer and phone calls
2:00 pm – Afternoon Routine – Laundry, dinner prep, paperwork, decluttering
3:00 pm – Sort mail and file bills, update son’s notebook on medical care
3:30 pm – Dinner Prep with my son
4:00 pm – Writing time while dinner cooks
5:00 pm – Family dinner at the table
6:00 pm – Host Online BINGO Decluttering Game for FlyLady Premium
7:00 pm – Tech stuff and emails
8:00 pm – Before Bed Routine, Hot Spots, and down time
9:00 pm – Go to bed

This is pretty much my summer routine. My FlyLady Premium game hosting and mentoring fits in daily.

In August, we will add back homeschooling. Mostly, I explain new concepts, and they do independent work. Then, I go over their work with them when they are done.

Your Zone Mission today is to detail dust along the ceiling, the ceiling fan, and across the door tops.

Your Home Blessing for today is to dust and vacuum.

My menu plan for Tuesday is Taco Tuesday and a salad.

Have a blessed day!

Swishing and Swiping Every Day – Getting Organized

Getting Organized:
In Your Home and Homeschool

Dear Friends,
The FlyLady Habit of the Month is Swish and Swipe. Last week, I talked about this in a video, and you would be surprised at the questions I was asked about Swish and Swipe.
First off, do you Swish and Swipe your bathroom daily?
If you do not, I want you to do it the next time you go to the bathroom. Go ahead and drink that water sitting next to you, I will wait.
OK, swish and swipe is so easy, even a child can do it. I keep a plastic vase of water with a squirt of shampoo in it next to each toilet in my house. The Rubba Swisha sits in it all the time. I change the water out once a month. Just flush, refill with water and shampoo, and drop the brush back in.
I keep FlyLady purple cloths folded and stacked on the back of my toilet. I use one a day to wipe my shower walls, tub, sinks, and counter. Then I swish the toilet, and wipe with rim with a piece of toilet paper.
I take the FlyLady purple cloth to the boys’ bathroom, and one of them does swish and swipe in their bathroom.
Last week, I talked to someone who found herself doing swish and swipe while traveling.
This is a habit that I do not think about it. I just do it every day after my shower. It takes less than 2 minutes including wiping the shower walls and tub.
One of my friends has incorporated swish and swipe into her evening routine after her bath. That makes the most sense for her.
Another friend has three bathrooms and drinks water all day, so she does swish and swipe in a different bathroom each time she goes.
Do you have any questions about Swish and Swipe? I am happy to answer them.

Have you seen my YouTube Channel? I am posting encouraging videos there.

Your Zone Mission today is to declutter the flat surfaces in your Living Room and detail dust.
Your Home Blessing for today is to wash sheets.
My menu plan for Monday is BBQ pork and salad.
Have a great day!