Sunday, March 1, 2009

Thursday's Blog Party Post....Keeping the Home


Welcome to the Titus 2 Blog Party


Thank you to all of you who participated in

Wednesday's Mini Give-Away Question


Congratulations to
Busy Mom of 10!


Who won a copy of

Mission of Motherhood by Sally Clarkson

and a very generous gift from my good blog friend Kelly from Generation Cedar



(please email me, which can be found in my profile)


Each day this week we are having a mini give-away!

All you have to do is leave a comment answering that day's question.

I will have a random drawing the next morning.




Today's Topic.........................Keeping the Home




I love this topic too. It has become a joy and great area of fulfillment for me. I had to learn most everything pertaining to keeping the home from the ground up. I must add though, I am still learning and hope to never stop!



I think I have just enough strengths to keep me going and plenty of weaknesses to keep me desperately needing His wisdom.



Keeping the Home entails so many areas. It is so broad and is constantly changing. We live in a very modest home which poses its own set of challenges, especially because we have a slightly larger than average family. ;-) While there are times I am completely overwhelmed by the sometimes daunting tasks, over all it is a great source of joy to be the keeper of our home.



We have a choice ladies. Our homes and all that is involved in keeping them can be a burden, a drain, and dull. We can receive this gift of keeping the home and take pride and joy in it, by realizing it is for the Lord that we labor so. We need to recognize that He has given each of us gifts and talents to use specifically for our homes. It is for His glory!



While it can be indispensable to glean from one another, we must not compare or lust after another's gifts, circumstances, ect. God created you and your own unique set of gifts and talents perfectly suited to manage your home! Comparing only leads to discouragement! So Don't! Okay?





Recommended Resources:


There are obviously numerous topics within 'keeping the home' that make providing a comprehensive list of resources almost impossible, especially for this tired mama! Not to mention, I have to admit, that I can't even remember them at this time. So rather than struggle to come up with a list, I'll just encourage you to read my section on Keeping the Home ,and stay tuned for future posts as I have a gazillion buzzing around in my head.



Which brings me to the question of the day and opportunity to win a mini give-away:


List one or two resources pertaining to keeping the home that you have found helpful.


Suggested areas frugality, organization, nutrition, cleaning, scheduling, decorating, cooking, baking, gardening, health, ect.



Remember to answer by midnight tonight.



Also, don't forget the GRAND PRIZE DRAWING to be announced on Friday Morning.


25 comments:

Karinann said...

Since I have no one but me to be responsible for in my home~keeping it is sometimes a challenge. But what I find are an absolute must for me and keeping my humble little abode are:
1. Planning and cooking meals for the week on the weekend, do that I eat healthy during the week.
2. Keeping to a set schedule for cleaning and doing it first thing~usually on a Friday since that's my day off from work.

Thanks Michelle~this blog party has been a blast.

Josh and Kelly said...

The one thing that really jump-started my faithfulness in keeping the home is FlyLady.net!

I have always had a hard time getting everything done, and done well- she is helping me whittle away at the clutter and feel good about my progress even though its just baby steps!

It is not a Christian resource, but it is very practical and helpful!

Amanda Sikes said...

I have found three things that are an absolute must for me right now in my home.
1. Sticking to our budget and cutting expenses where I can. I found www.budget101.com a very helpful site. It includes recipes, cleaning products, and organizational tips.

2. A routine! With my husband pastoring a schedule set to the clock just never worked for us. If we have a late night I want to be able to let my children sleep until they are ready to get up. But we have a LOT of structure around here. This helps me get more done and helps the kids know what to expect. When a child knows what will happen when it will limit whining, nagging questions, and discontent.
3. Praise Music - I play it in the background most of the day. My children hear it while they play, I hear it while I work, and I hear it while I am training/disciplining. It totally saturates our day and keeps our minds focused heavanward and not selfward.

These things have proven to change the task of homemaking from chore to priviledge for me. I am posting about this on my blog so stop by for a visit.

Traci Best said...

My best resource for getting anything done, especially house work, is my timer. Tasks that seem overwhelming are suddenly much easier in my mind if I'm only spending X amount of time working on it.

My kids love this idea...they will rush around and try to beat the clock and get a lot more done than they other wise would...with lots of giggles to boot.

Following a schedule is the only way I get routine tasks done. Otherwise it just does not happen. If I have a list to accomplish I am much more likely to attain them. I don't know, is it the check boxes that intrigue me so? LOL ;)

Buildeth Her House said...

Well, I have many resources that have helped me stay afloat in homemaking. http://www.cozi.com/ has been wonderful. It is my online organizing tool. I can get my shopping list right to my cell if I forget it, appts are reminded by screensaver etc...
My home management binder is also my saving grace. I could not keep up with everything without it. Here is my post on Simple living http://buildethherhousej.blogspot.com/2009/03/simple-living.html If you click home binder in number four, you can see pictures of my actual binder.
Next would be http://budgetsimple.com/ to keep track of all my finances. I can know within minutes where we are financially, what's due etc...
Last but certainly not lease is the Bible. It is filled with encouragement and uplifting motivation that keeps me focused on God's role for my life. Last night I was reading proverbs 31 and wrote in my prayer journal, click the link to see http://buildethherhousevje.blogspot.com/. I also keep a copy in my home binder to read when I get discouraged.
I used many links here so that you can get a personal look at what helps me on my journey in the home. Homemaking is my most important job as a wife and mother and I take tremendous pride in being trusted by God to manage my home!

Tina said...

I love cooking (esp. baking) and have in the last few years have begun to grind my own flour and make a good bit from scratch (esp. breads). It's something I enjoy and my family appreciates. My favorite resources for recipes and ideas are www.urbanhomemaker.com, www.suegregg.com, and www.breadbeckers.com.

I also began using Amy Knapp's Christian Family Organizer, which I absolutely love. It's a planner where I keep my most used phone numbers, our plans for the week, and (my favorite part) a menu planner that sits beside my weekly schedule. My husband get paid every two week, so I plan my menu two weeks at a time. (I also try to only shop for groceries once every two weeks.) I write it in my planner next to the days of the week (which helps me see which days I have less time to prepare supper and which days I have more time). The opposite side of the menu is a detachable grocery list, so I have a running grocery list in my planner also. Planning my meals and having a running grocery list all contained in my spiral planner has really been a blessing to me.

I love reading all your ideas. Thanks again, Michelle, for hosting this blog party.

In His love,
Tina

Nancy said...

My husband is incredible. When he sees me cleaning, he often joins right in and has the kids help as well. Often after I cook supper, he cleans it up without me asking. He is more organized and more efficient than I am so I have learned a lot from him, and am still learning. I also find that if I play praise music I move faster and enjoy my work more. Whenever I don't want to do something I should, I remind myself that I have a chance to bless my family and glorify God.

Linda said...

This has been fun to have a Blog Party Michelle. Thanks for your efforts!

As far as homekeeping ideas: A pretty home is much more fun to keep clean. Your house can be "pretty" even if you don't have much money.

Make it your own with little things around you that you love,...and that have meaning. Group pictures of your family and friends in different frames and put them somewhere you can see them each day. This makes me happy.

If you collect anything,...don't scatter them around the house but keep collections together for more impact, and a less cluttered look. Use restraint,...only keep the things you really like the very best. And weed out things as you find new items that speak to your heart more.

Flea markets, garage sales and thrift stores are places I have found many treasures over the years. And sale items at discount stores too. Things don't have to cost a lot.

Keep your favorite books, but do most of your reading from library books so that they don't clutter your house. (This goes for magazines too,...you can read them at the library for a restful few minutes while your kids look through books,...and it is a place that teaches the kids to be quiet.) Just a couple of books sitting on a table look better than cases,and cases full, and you don't have to dust them as much.

Have a color scheme,(Neutrals are a good backdrop for a few colored items scattered around,..and that way you can change your accent colors as you wish to give a new feeling to a room.)

Fresh flowers can make you feel special,...even if you have to pick them,...or buy them for yourself.

Soft music when your nervous has a calming effect,...and peppy music when you are cleaning, gets you in the mood. And kids like to dance around and be silly when the music is fun,...so do that with your kiddos now and then.

Make the bed first thing and your room will look pretty the rest of the day. Plus you are less tempted to get back in it! (:>)

Always pick up items when you leave a room and put them where they belong so that your house will remain orderly. Also have storage baskets and pretty boxes that have lids to store away clutter. (An orderly home looks clean even when it needs dusting and vacuuming, or scrubbing).

Let the light in by opening the curtains and shades in the daytime,...and use the lamps and candles at night to set a cozy mood. A dark house is depressing.

Change things around from time to time to give a new feel to your home. (But not too often as you might feel like you don't know where things are). My husband used to travel a lot, and he would often come home to a house that was all changed around because I would do it when he was gone and I couldn't sleep! Ha!
(But it does give you an opportunity to clean behind and underneath things when you move things around).

Have small parties which motivates you to clean,...and then you can enjoy a clean house for several days afterwards. (:>)

Enjoy your home,...dress it as you do yourself.

Linda

Mrs.B said...

MOTIVATED MOMS
That is the absolute best for me. I have tried many things, flylady, and other email list.
But when I sarted using Motivated Moms my hubby wondered what happened.

The other thing is a timer. Use it!!! I lose track of time so quickly and then find I have wasted time, mostly on the net.
~In HIS Keeping,
Mrs.B~

CristyLynn said...

My mom is a great housekeeper, but somehow, I didn't pay enough attention to her growing up, and I had to do a lot of hands-on learning! I haven't used any of the sites mentioned about, but I'm going to check them out! Thanks ladies!

What work for me are things that several other people have mentioned:

Meal planning! We plan our meals one week at a time (Mon-Sun). We have very little storage in our kitchen for buying in bulk, so I try to plan my trips to the store for every other day. This is also helpful since I have to carry whatever I purchase.

Cleaning schedule--when we lived in the States, I cleaned certain rooms on certain days. Now that we live in a much smaller apartment, I can basically do the cleaning all on one day, and I chose Fridays for our schedule and because we often have guests on the weekends, so that helps me stay motivated!

The other thing that I'm trying to do is to involve my son as much as possible. He's not able to walk, but he follows me around and keeps me company. I've taught him how to pick up his toys and put them in the toy box that he can reach on his own. He has his own cabinet in our living room that is just for his toys, and he actually has grown to enjoy putting things in his box or in his cabinet. It's been fun for me to teach him and do this together. It's always more fun with 2!

Civilla said...

This year, I haven't done much, since I am recovering from major surgery which had me in the hospital 8 days from a badly infected gallbladder.

When going through something like this, or having a newborn, or many guests, or things like that, you must choose what is important as far as keeping your home goes.

This year, due to little physical strength, I had to choose between my house and my yard. Since visitors rarely come to our house, but everybody in town passes by our yard, I chose my yard.

I re-did a lot to make it less labor intensive with less hand work like weeding.

I didn't let the house "go to pot", but did what my grandmother taught me: make sure your bed is made, your dishes are done, and the place is picked up. The basics. If anybody comes in, they won't notice things like dust behind the stove. I took that advice this year and concentrated on the yard, which everybody sees.

As resources go, I LOVED Edith Schaeffer's books (Mrs. Francis Schaeffer) on homemaking and family: The Hidden Art of Homemaking; L'Abri; The Tapestry; and What Is a Family? She has others, like Affliction, A Way of Seeing, and The Ten Commandments. She is in her 90's now. She raised 4 children and she and her husband (Americans) had a ministry in Switzerland, which ended up going all over the world, L'Abri ministries, dedicated to promoting the Bible as the fully-inspired Word of God.

Also, I liked decorating magazines. After thumbing through one, I couldn't leave my house dirty! Unless they inspire you to envy, try looking at some for inspiration.

Miss Paula said...

Routine is good. Kids actually do well with a routine! Eating dinner together is a must. I have two that have moved out but the ones at home still sit at the table with us. This is why kids can't sit still at a resturant, they are not taught to eat at a table but instead in front of a TV!!

Christie said...

I've found that planning a menu and coordinating grocery list not only conserves on time for me, but also cuts down our food budget.

Another thing, small as it may be, that really helps me with cleaning is to put on music while we clean. We always seem to be much quicker at our tasks while we have uplifting music playing along with us.

busymomof10 said...

Michelle,

I just see that I have won the give away!! WOW! What a surprise! Thank you! :) This blog party was a great idea! Thanks for organizing it!!!

I love all the great ideas that your readers have been leaving here for keeping the home. This is a great topic, one I love to study and learn more about!!!

One thought that I would share here is that "Order breeds order, and chaos breeds more chaos." What I mean is, if your house is already a mess, you leave things lying around, and don't bother to clean up little messes, because, after all, it is a mess anyway, right? But, when you have just cleaned house and have everything in its place, you are quick to put things away where they go, and clean up little messes, so they don't spoil the effect. So, if we can learn to put our house in order and then just work to keep them that way, it does make our jobs a lot easier!

Actually, I have been working on a post about "keeping the home" off and on all morning, in between tending my little lambs that are in bed with the flu! I'm afraid that I got carried away again!! I guess I need to work on being more concise! :) I did list some recommended resources and included some inspiring quotes from some of my favorite books. (Can you tell that I LOVE books??) So, come on over and check it out:

http://yes.theyre.all.ours.blogspot.com

Blessings,
Elizabeth (who cannot even be concise in a comment!!!!!!!)

Charlene said...

I just found the blog party today, through a link to a link to a link--disappointed I missed it, I hope to come back and read some of the links from other posts this week.

Wendy said...

Since I was never taught how to keep house it has been the struggle of my life. I may come naturally to some, but not me. I have bought every book, tried every system there is. I would recommend only two. The book "Confessions of an Organized Homemaker" By Deniece Schofield and the Flylady on line.

jamers said...

Keeping house is one of the areas I really struggle. I did not use to but since homeschooling, I just don't seem to find the right thing to get it all done. So, with that preface, know I am gleaning more from this topic than I can share...but here a couple thoughts.

I have found getting the kids involved helps a ton. Chore charts, rewards, zone cleaning have all worked for us.

Secondly, learning to let some stuff go helps me too. I know how I desire our home to look, I also know just how much time I would spend accomplishing that goal. To be honest, I choose to play with my girls instead. So if that is my choice, I have to cave on some of my expectations. Does that make sense? So instead of sweeping daily, bathrooms cleaned twice a week...etc. Now I know we will get the bathrooms deep cleaned once a week and clean surfaces once. We will sweep every other day and dust as needed. It has freed me up to be the mom I want to be at this time of their life.

I so struggle with letting the messes go though. I sit here knowing I have a pantry and two closets that need my attention terribly...which brings me to my third help. I found a meme called Tackle it on Tuesday. That has helped me focus on those type areas the past few weeks. What a blessing. Just making it a priority for a day helps. Then keeping it that way is so much easier. I agree with Mom of 10. Once it is clean...keep it that way. So much easier.

Buildeth Her House said...

I have just suffered a huge blow in my family. Read my post http://buildethherhousewithlove.blogspot.com/ called broken hearted. I really need prayers to help us get through this.

Gombojav Tribe said...

I will second Civilla's recommendation for The Hidden Art of Homemaking! Inspirational!!!

Lady Jen said...

I love Don Aslett's books and Flylady.net.

Bethany Hudson said...

My biggest resource (and sorry, y'all can't share my specific one) has been learning from wiser women who have been doing it longer: my mother and grandmother topping that list.

Second resource: It's a tie between "Passionate Housewives Desperate for God" by Jennie Chancey and Stacy McDonald and "Graced and Gifted: Biblical Wisdom for the Homemaker's Heart" by Kimberly Hahn.

The first "resource" has been the most beneficial for the nitty-gritty "how to"s. The second (and third?) have been great for keeping perspective--and some useful tips, as well.

~Bethany

Muthering Heights said...

Personally, I have found that other ladies are the greatest resource for ideas on homemaking.

Because each person is unique, there are so many fresh ideas out there that may not have ever occurred to me....but in sharing with others, I have come across so many inspiring things that have made keeping my home much easier!

Amy said...

The one thing I seem to stay on top of the best is laundry, and that's with five of us. I have a simple laundry basket system that works well for us--everyone sorts (or is able to sort) their own laundry, even the almost 3 year old with a little help. Basket #1 is for jeans, basket #2 is whites, basket #3 is for everything else (generally washed on delicate since that tends to be what the tags on these clothes say. I may or may not sort this basket further into light and dark, depending on the mix of clothing that's there at the time). When the basket is full, there is a load ready to be washed. Now if only we could keep on top of putting all of the clean laundry away... :)

For Their Future said...

I must admit I have my ups and downs with finding joy in keeping the home! But I know it is my high calling and try to find joy in it!
I have found Elizabeth George's book "A Woman's High Calling" ( can you tell she is one of my favorite authors?!) to be Very helpful!
Also listening to music! This keeps my mind busy and makes the time go by faster, the children love the music too and I can praise the Lord while I work!
Praise God for all things! Even keeping the home! Pray with out ceasing! And remember "with God all things are possible"! Thank the Lord for your home and all you have!
God bless you in your high calling as a homemaker!

Lainie said...

I love my schedule! We all get more done and the day flows so much more smoothly when we follow it. I've been using the Managers of Their Homes book for 9 years and re-read it every time a new baby comes along.

I also plan out my breakfasts, lunches, and dinners 2 months at a time. On Sunday evening I look over the meals for the week, note if we need anything at the store, and pull items from the freezer. It is one less thing to think about during the hectic week.