Some great news to share with you

Getting Organized:
In your Home and Homeschool 
 
 
Dear Friends,
Happy Friday to all of you! I have big news to share with all of you. If you follow me on Facebook, you might have read my news already.
A couple of years ago, I did DNA testing with 23andMe to discover any relatives I might have. I was adopted as a baby in 1968, and I did not have information on my birth family. The only people I knew that I was related to biologically were my children.
Prior to the 23andMe testing, I did the DNA testing with another company. It did not reveal a lot of information on relatives, so I went ahead with the second test with 23andMe. They have a much larger database of people registered.
For a long time, I only had distant cousins on my DNA matches. I never really learned a lot from them. But all of that changed last week. Someone in Minnesota got a kit for Christmas, and when she got her results, she found me listed as a half-sister.
She messaged me, and it turns out that I have her and three younger half- brothers. They did not know about me, but they have been very welcoming to me. I have messaged and talked with them. Now, I know who my birth father is, and I hope to talk to him soon.
My main goal through the testing was to learn about my biological family to see if there were any big health concerns I should know about. So far, nothing has turned up that I didn’t already have an idea about based on my health.
It’s been surreal learning about them. We have lots of parallels in our lives. Some of my children have family names that I knew nothing about when I picked the names.
This is a little off topic from my normal articles, but I wanted to share my good news with you!
It’s Friday, so finish up you routines, missions, and home blessings! Have fun this weekend!
Today’s Zone Mission is to wipe your bedroom windows.
Your Home Blessing for today is to empty the trash, sweep, and mop.
My menu plan for Friday is take out.
Have a great weekend!

How can you help others?

Getting Organized:
In your Home and Homeschool 
 
 
Dear Friends,
Yesterday, I shared an idea on my Facebook page, and I wanted to share it with you today.
If you have a purse that you are not using any longer, consider putting some items for a woman in it who is homeless. Then donate the whole bag to a homesless shelter, a women’s ministry, or give it to a lady in person.
In my city, we have a mission that works with homeless ladies, and they give them necessary items in trade for learning skills and working toward goals. They call it a hand up and not a hand out.
Each day they pick up several ladies from the homeless shelter and take them to their facility. They have staff who help these ladies find jobs and housing. They provide training for those who do not have computer skills.
They set goals with these ladies and work with them daily on their goals. At the end of the week, the ladies have earned points and can chose items from the supply closet. Personal care items, such as feminine products, soaps, lotions, toothbrushes, toothpaste, makeup, and other toiletries are available to them.
If they have a need during the week, they help them find a way to earn it. They provide transportation to job interviews. They help them navigate the resources that are available to them to obtain housing.
Another component of ministry within this organization is reaching out to women who are working in men’s “entertainment” industry. (That was the hardest sentence I have ever typed.) I am thankful for a ministry that goes out and shows God’s love to those who are often overlooked by other ministries.
It was a blessing to me to see this ministry in action, and it gave me ideas on things I could do to donate to the ministry.
Take a look around your town and see if there is a ministry that helps women who need a hand up. You can be a blessing to them through your donations.
Your Zone Mission today is to declutter the stuff that is cluttering your nightstand.
Your Home Blessing for today is to toss paper and magazines.
My menu plan for Thursday is chicken and a salad.
Have a blessed day!

What are you putting off today?

Getting Organized:
In your Home and Homeschool 
 
 
Dear Friends,
Are you looking forward to Wednesday each week? On Wednesday, we do something we have been putting off for anti-procrastination day. As you start working on these things, you should start feeling like you are conquering the world!
The first step to starting something you have been putting off is the hardest step. Once you make that step, the next steps are easier. As I look back on some of the things I tackled on anti-procrastination day, I realize that I built some of it up in my mind as something that was too hard to do.
Several years ago, I started exercising daily. Many mornings it was hard to just get myself motivated to do it. Now, it is just a part of my morning routine, and I don’t think about it. I just do it. Hopefully, you are starting to see your routines become more solid and have a great flow to them.
Many times the things we procrastinate are not difficult. They may be time-consuming, but they can be broken down into smaller steps. Our mind builds things up. You are winning just for starting!
Have you procrastinated your zone missions this week or your Home Blessings? Set the timer for 5 to 15 minutes and start one of these. Don’t let it drag out. Just jump in and do what you can based on the timer.
Do you have an area in your home that you have avoided decluttering?
Are you procrastinating preparing the paperwork for your tax return?
Are you procrastinating making doctor’s appointments?
Are you putting off menu planning?
Are you delaying your budgeting and bill paying time?
Are you taking time to take care of yourself?
The list of things we put off is endless. Today, I want you to pick one of those things and start the. Then, email me and tell me what you did for anti-procrastination day!
Your Zone Mission today is to declutter old cosmetics. Check your Master Bathroom drawers and baskets for anything that you can toss.
Your Home Blessing for today is to wipe windows and mirrors.
My menu plan for Wednesday is soup, sandwiches, and a salad.
Have a blessed day!

A Bedroom Makeover on a Budget

Getting Organized:
In your Home and Homeschool 
 

Dear Friends,
When you walk into your bedroom, how do you feel when you look around? The Master Bedroom is often a collection point for things that do not have a place. It becomes the repository for laundry. It gets cluttered.
Now, I want you to think about how your room would look if you decluttered and made it your retreat. What would you do to make your room look like a place you would stay on a relaxing trip?
You can make your room look better and less cluttered and not spend money on a makeover. You just need to focus on decluttering, and you can accomplish this.
Do you have a chair, treadmill, or other flat surface that is a catch-all in your bedroom? You might consider moving that item out of your room. Treadmills and elliptical machines are popular places to put clothes or boxes when you have them in your bedroom. It becomes a clutter magnet really quickly.
Do you have a sitting chair or reading corner that has turned holding spot for a pile of clothes in the corner? Do you have things that you need to put away but haven’t?
Get serious about removing the clutter. Find a place to put the items cluttering your surfaces or get rid of the clutter. Make decisions and stop agonizing over what to do with the stuff.
Your zone mission today is to get rid of clutter that is on the top shelf of your closet. Don’t pull everything down for this mission. Just set the timer for 15 minutes and pull down anything you know you need to donate or toss. Are you holding onto things for your children? Find another place to store these items.
Use your master closet for your things that you need. This is a good place to keep off season clothes in plastic bins for some of you. For others, this is a good place to keep shoes or hats that are in boxes.
Maximize your storage in your Master Bedroom and declutter the stuff that is taking up precious space on your flat surfaces. Turn that reading corner back into a reading corner.
Make a little list of things you can do a few minutes at a time to make your Master Bedroom feel like an oasis.
Your Zone Mission today is to declutter items from the top shelf of your closet.
Your Home Blessing for today is to dust and vacuum.
My menu plan for Tuesday is sloppy joes and a salad.
Have a great day!

Happy President’s Day

Getting Organized:
In your Home and Homeschool 
 

Dear Friends,
Happy President’s Day! Spend a few minutes teaching your children about President’s Day. You could also spend time as a family praying for our government leaders and write them a note. Writing notes is still an important social custom that our children should be practicing regularly.
Think back on your first memories of realizing who the President of our country was at the time. Use a list to name all of the Presidents with your children. There are many simple ways you can incorporate President’s Day into your school day without a lot of research and preparation.
Your zone missions take you into the Master Bedroom, Master Closet, and Master Bath. As you go about your routines, give your children specific missions for their bedrooms, too. Use your timer, some music, and have fun! If you have a fun attitude, your children will pick up on it.
Here are you missions for the week:
Zone 4 Missions: The Master Bedroom, Master Closet, and Master Bath
Monday – Clean off the top of your dresser, throw away trash, put away items, and dust.
Tuesday – Declutter the top shelf of your closet. Do this in small steps. Don’t drag out more than you can sort in 15 minutes.
Wednesday – Toss old cosmetics and straighten your area where you do your hair and makeup.
Thursday – Declutter your nightstand area.
Friday – Wipe your bedroom windows and mirrors.
Set your timers for 15 minutes and then take a break when it goes off!
Weekly Menu Plan
Monday – Lasagna and Salad
Tuesday – Sloppy Joes and Salad
Wednesday – Soup and Sandwiches
Thursday – Chicken and a Salad
Friday – Take out
Enjoy your week! Keep your routines simple.
Since I mentioned writing notes to government leaders at the beginning of this article, here is the address for the President of the United States:
The President of the USA (or write the president’s name)
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20500
If you have young children, they can dictate a note to you or draw a picture. If you have older children, perhaps they can thank the President for something specific to his administration. A prayer or Bible verse could also be written out.
You can research how the White House handles the mail for the President and share that with your children. Since today is a Federal Holiday, you will have to wait until tomorrow to mail your cards and letters, but don’t let that hold you back from doing this activity with your children.
These little lessons really have an impact on your children, and it helps them build a base of current events while learning together about history. We have a tendency to follow lesson plans and not take too many rabbit trails in learning, but sometimes it is good to follow a few rabbit trails.
Another way to teach your children gratitude for those serve and protect our communities, is to do something for your local firefighters, first responders, or law enforcement. Teaching your children when they are young about appreciation and respect for those in authority is important.
These life lessons will go with them into adulthood.
If you have not done a lot of community service as a family, I encourage you to find a way to serve your community. I read daily about the lack of community service in young people’s lives. It is a great way to show love to others.
Your Home Blessing for today is to wash the sheets.
Your Zone Mission for Monday is clean off the top of your dresser. Toss the trash. Put away items. Dust.
My menu plan for Monday is lasagna and salad.
Have a blessed day!

Reply to this if you are ready for the weekend

Getting Organized:
In your Home and Homeschool 
 

Dear Friends,
Happy Friday to all of you! Are you as ready for the weekend as I am? It’s been an eventful week for me. I don’t have adequate words to share just now about some of the happenings of my week, but it has been astounding in many ways.
Today is the day to finish off the Home Blessings and Zone Missions for the week. Don’t put these off to catch up on tomorrow. Reserve your Saturdays for family fun day.
Remember that even if you do your missions in a hurry today, it’s better than not at all. Take a look around your house. What is out of place? Set the timer for 15 minutes and put things away or get rid of them. Just this small thing will make a huge difference in how your home looks.
Your Zone Mission is to take out all of the trash. Since this is something I normally do on Friday, I am also going to take a quick trip through Zone 1 to put anything away that has landed in my entryway.
Here’s a quick reminder of your Weekly Home Blessings. If you have not finished them, make it a game with your kids and encourage them in their efforts.
Wash bedding
Dust and vacuum
Wipe windows and mirrors
Toss magazines and paper
Take out the trash, sweep, and mop
If your children have slacked off in getting their beds changed, get those going this morning. If you have extra bedding for the beds, quickly remake the bed with them. Children need to learn this routine, so they carry it with them when they move out. So many young adults have not learned this important life skill.
As we are in the middle of the month, check your supplies and pantry for the basics that you like to keep on hand. Add items to your shopping list for the next time you do errands.
Send me pictures of your progress in your zones this week.
Today’s Zone Mission is to take out all of the trash.
Your Home Blessing for today is to empty the trash, sweep, and mop.
My menu plan for Friday is take out.
Have a great weekend!

Happy Valentine’s Day

Getting Organized:
In your Home and Homeschool 
 

Dear Friends,
Happy Valentine’s Day! I am thankful for all of you, and I count it a privilege to write and encourage you in your journey. You are a blessing to me.
What are you doing today to celebrate Valentine’s Day with your family? It does not have to be elaborate or expensive. Some of my favorite Valentine’s Day memories include making cards at home and baking some cookies. Tell your family that you love them and write little notes.
Do something for your husband. Cook something he likes if you are not able to go out on a date tonight. Have some quiet time together tonight after dinner and talk. Tomorrow night is date night, and if it has been a while since you went out, make plans to go out as soon as you can arrange it.
Another fun thing we have done for Valentine’s Day is a verse search with the word “love” in the verse. We talk about how we are to love God and others as we looked up the verses and read together. For handwriting practice, your students can copy a verse or two.
Yesterday’s email about lists had responses from many of you. Some of you said I nailed it on the head with re-writing lists, and I heard from a few who stress out about making a list and do not have one at all. I love the variety among my readers!
For those of you who wing it without a list, I encourage you to build a notebook for your home routines and things you want to accomplish. It will help you find a focus each day.
Today’s Zone Mission is to wash your bathroom rugs and wipe down your washer and dryer.
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!

Are you making a list and checking it twice?

Getting Organized:
In your Home and Homeschool 
 

Dear Friends,
Who are my list makers who read this regularly? Yes, I know there are a lot of you out there. You love making lists. You love paper and pens and planning. You love the smell of new crayons and buying office supplies.
You also spend more time re-writing lists and making them pretty. Where you struggle is in execution of the list. You put so much stuff on the list. You get overwhelmed just looking at the list. You don’t know where to start.
Today, I want you to just choose something small on your list to focus on. It might be a step to completing something on the list. It may not be the whole project. I want you to start it and spend 15 minutes on it.
The other thing I want you to do with this massive to do list is to use it as a guide, but each day pick one or two things from it to work on. Don’t try to knock off a lot of things at once, but start using a consistent approach to your list.
Your list will start to come down in the number of things on it as you do something daily. If you want the feeling of a checked off list, then write a little sticky note for the day and check it off.
As you complete things on the big list, just cross them off. Resist the urge of your perfectionism to re-write the list and make it pretty again. Just keep it handy in your notebook. It’s not supposed to be a work of art. (smile)
Progress is progress. Small, short steps will get you where you want to be. Remember the story of the tortoise and the hare. You do not have to do it all at once in order to be successful.
Tell me what you are doing today for anti-procrastination day!
Your Zone Mission today is to take stock of your bathroom supplies. What do you need to purchase or order?
Your Home Blessing for today is to wipe windows and mirrors.
My menu plan for Wednesday is soup, sandwiches, and a salad.
Have a blessed day!

Life Changes and Routines

Getting Organized:
In your Home and Homeschool 
 

Dear Friends,
Who has had a big life change in the past year? Life changes happen to all of us at different times. They do not have to disrupt our lives and routines completely. The daily routines are what helps us navigate through the changes in life.
For the past 18 months, I have traveled some hard roads as a parent. The journey is not complete, and there have been changes to my family during the last 18 months.
My family grew in the last 18 months. A child moved out and got married. That is a big change for our family. Another child moved from one state to another. This was another change for our family.
One of my children has been dealing with some big issues in the past year, and he knows that his family is the foundation that is strong for him.
In the past 10 years, our family has suffered significant losses, and it was hard walking through the valley of grief. But we found love, joy, and steadiness within our family.
Today, I learned of some important things about my past that will bring people into my life that I previously not known. My family has expanded again, and I am happy and blessed to be going through this journey.
None of the changes in my life are a surprise to God. He knew all of this before I was born. I have been contemplating this a lot lately. I was born in the late 60’s and put up for adoption. My story could have ended before it ever began, but God ordained my steps.
When it seems like things are crazy, and really right now they are pretty crazy. I have my faith and my family. I have the important things.
My routines keep me moving forward. I don’t have to think about them on a crazy days. They just get done because I have built that muscle memory on what to do next.
If you have been resisting the routines and structure of the FlyLady system, I really want you to try it. It is only 6 basic steps for each of the daily routines. You can do it! I know you can because I do it.
Your Zone Mission today is to declutter in your home office or your desk area.
Your Home Blessing for today is to dust and vacuum.
My menu plan for Tuesday is pizza and a salad.
Have a great day!

Taking Care of Yourself

Getting Organized:
In your Home and Homeschool 
 

Dear Friends,
Happy Monday to all of you! What’s your perspective today about the week ahead? Some of you have been going through a trial, and you are weary. Some of you have been enjoying a peaceful time and are energized and ready to take on the day.
No matter what is going on around you, I want you to tell yourself that this is going to be a great week! You get to make each moment count, and your attitude will spread to your family.
Here are you missions for the week:
Zone 3 Missions: The Main Bathroom & One Extra Room
Monday – Wash the Shower Door or Shower Curtain.
Tuesday – Declutter in your Home Office or your Desk Area.
Wednesday – Check your Bathroom Supplies.
Thursday – Wash your Bathroom Rugs. Wipe down your washer and dryer.
Friday – Empty all of your trash cans.
Set your timers for 15 minutes and then take a break when it goes off!
Weekly Menu Plan
Monday – Corn Dogs & Tater Tots
Tuesday – Pizza and a Salad
Wednesday – Soup and Sandwiches
Thursday – Lasagna and a Salad
Friday – Take out
Enjoy your week! Keep your routines simple.
At the beginning of this newsletter, I talked about how your attitude spreads to your family. This is such a true concept for all of us. I wanted to elaborate a bit with you on how you are modeling the things you want to see in your children.
Are you taking care of yourself? A great deal of your attitude has to do with how you feel physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. You have to take care of yourself in order to take care of your family.
Are you eating healthy, resting, exercising, and drinking water? If you are struggling with any of these, I want you to pick just one of them to work on this week. If you look at my menu plan for the week, it does not look extremely healthy. What you aren’t seeing is that I eat chicken and a salad almost every day of the week. I may have red meat once a week for the blood and muscle building that I get from it.
Are you struggling with mental roadblocks? Our minds play such games with us, and sometimes we have to take some time away from the noise of our lives to quiet our minds and relax. We have that little voice in our heads that berates us for our lack of perceived perfection. You need to quiet that voice and remember that you are doing fantastic one baby step at a time.
How are you emotionally? I remember my years of being a mom to many young children. It was draining emotionally for me. I had to find ways to take care of myself emotionally. You have heard about pouring out to everyone and not restoring yourself.
How are taking care of yourself spiritually? This was not put in order of importance. I wanted to put it last, so it stays with you. Your spiritual nourishment is extremely important. You cannot minister to your family and others at the expense of your spiritual wellness.
You need time in your day for prayer, Scripture, and quiet with the Lord. You need time in the fellowship of other believers. You need to have that time where you are filled and nourished by the Spirit. If you neglect yourself spiritually, you will find that the other areas really struggle.
If you feel like you are drowning in the demands of your life, I want you to take a look at your calendar. Block off time to take care of yourself. You have to put your self-care down as an important thing on your calendar.
Some of you are going to see this as selfish. It is not. Taking care of yourself enables you to take better care of your family.
Email me today and tell me how you are doing in taking care of you. Tell me your plans of what you can do this week to take care of yourself. This is your commitment to you.
Your Home Blessing for today is to wash the sheets.
Your Zone Mission for Monday is to wipe the shower door or wash the shower curtains.
My menu plan for Monday is corn dog and tots.
Have a blessed day!