Archive for the ‘Aspiring Domestic Diva’ Category

Knowing that the best way to get anything done around here is to do it with Meadow and Granite on my team, I sat them both down last week and pointed out that we really need to figure out a schedule that will help us do what we need to do each day. We talked about how life has been a little crazy since Canyon was born, how mama has been very tired and distracted, how the house has been pretty messy and the laundry stacked to the ceiling in the laundry room (I am barely exaggerating) and how a schedule could help get us back on track and make our needed tasks more manageable. So with a pen and paper in hand, I posed the question, “What should go on our schedule each day?” and then listened as they each gave me their suggestions, before adding my own ideas to the list. What ensued is a classic example of the contrast between my two oldest children, and so indicative of their personalities. There is never a dull moment in this house.

Now I just need to work on converting these lists into an actual schedule. In the meantime, I feel compelled to share…


As stated at our dining room table:

Meadow’s List:


straighten house

pump (Obviously, this one will be on mama’s schedule, not hers. But I love that she thought to list it!)

take care of Baby Canyon

spend time with our family

eat dinner/eat healthy


exercise to make our bodies healthy

wash hands


get dressed


Granite’s List:


king (He may not have completely understood the assignment…)

look at the stars until they are all gone


after drinks (???)


twinkle think…just like in Abby’s flying fairy school.

Me: Huh?

MG: It’s from Elmo.

Me: Oh.

G: I don’t like twinkle think.

MG: I do.

G: I don’t. Are we done?

Me: Can you think of anything else?

G: Done. Now let’s play the thankful game.


And added later (after playing the thankful game):

Mama’s List:

feed Canyon/change diaper/playtime/nap

make/serve/eat/clean up from breakfast, lunch, dinner

shower, get dressed and ready for the day

morning chores (unload dishwasher, start laundry, make beds)

activities with G while MG does school (games, books, learning activities)

afternoon chores (fold and put away laundry, clean kitchen, straighten house)

take walk

nap/rest/quiet time

playtime/outside time

bedtime routine (baths, pjs, brush teeth, read books, pray, sing songs)



read Bible

time with hubby (after munchkins are in bed)


I think between Meadow and I (and Granite??) we remembered everything that needs to be on our daily list. There will also be days of grocery shopping, errand running, doctor and dentist appointments, play dates, and random projects, but if we can make a flexible schedule for the above to stick to on “normal” days, I’m convinced that order will return and chaos will no longer reign.

Now if I could just get a good night’s sleep, the fog might clear and doing all of this might actually sound possible! 😉


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A Rare Good Night’s Sleep: Had.

Mug of Decaf Coffee: Savored.

One Year Bible: Read.

Sunshine: Admired.

Beds: Made.

Breakfast and Lunch: Served. And Eaten.

Blog Post: Posted.

Google Reader: Perused.

Grocery List: Started.

Phone Calls: Made.

Indoor Plants: Watered.

First Grade Bible, Reading, History/Geography, Math, Science, Writing/Spelling, and Piano Lessons: Taught.

Preschool Letters, Numbers, Colors, Shapes, Animals and Potty Training Lessons: Taught.

Most Dishes: Washed. Dried. Put Away.

Counters and Tables and Chairs: Wiped.

Living Room and Dining Room Floor: Swept.

Some (but Not Enough) Laundry: Washed. Dried. Folded. Put Away.

Toys, Games, Puzzles, Movies, Art Supplies, School Supplies: Picked Up. Put Away.

Piles: Er…Improved.

Crockpot Chicken and Potatoes with Organic Farm Fresh Squash and Zucchini Casserole and Giant Bowl of Organic Farm Fresh Watermelon: Prepared. Served for Dinner. Thoroughly Enjoyed.

Leftovers: Refrigerated.

Food Scraps: Composted.

Heat: Avoided.

100 Ounces of Water: Downed.

Pandora: Turned Up.

Baby (Still in Utero): Nourished. Held. Protected. Eagerly Anticipated.

Children: Hugged. Kissed. Held. Dressed. Fed. Taught. Trained. Reminded. Assisted. Reminded Again. Disciplined. Listened to. Read to. Laughed with. Snuggled with. Prayed with. Comforted. Adored. Enjoyed. Marveled At. Appreciated.

Husband: Missed. Appreciated. Kissed. Cuddled with. Enjoyed.

Friends and Family: Texted. Facebooked. Emailed.

Three Mile Walk: Taken.

Pregnancy Journal: Updated.

Labor: Anticipated.

Many Prayers: Uttered.

Blessings: Counted.

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Here is another simple, easy, and in my opinion, delicious recipe! I brought it to our book club meeting last Saturday. It makes a great lunch when served on croissants with pita chips and hummus and a serving of fresh fruit on the side! Thank you Meg for sharing this with me!

Yummy Chicken Salad


3 cups chicken (boiled then shredded)

1 cup grapes (sliced into halves or fourths)

1/2 cup celery (finely chopped)

1/4 cup slivered almonds

3/4 cup mayo

2 teaspoons Greek seasoning


Combine all ingredients in large bowl. Mix with large spoon until well blended. Chill 30-60 minutes. Serve and enjoy!

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I try to stick to pretty easy, simple, (but still yummy!)  recipes; otherwise I get overwhelmed and find myself dreading dinner time or just not cooking at all! If I can’t pronounce the ingredients or don’t already know what aisle to find them in the grocery store or if there are lots of steps that require perfect timing, probably not the recipe for me!

Easy Texas Chili is a recipe I found a few months ago at allrecipes.com. It has been a regular in our house this winter. Yum yum!


2 lbs lean ground beef or turkey, thawed

1 small onion, diced

1 bell pepper, minced

3 (15 oz) cans pinto beans

2 (28 oz) cans diced tomatoes

4 (8 oz) cans tomato sauce

1/4 cup chili powder

1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

1 tsp ground black pepper

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp garlic powder


1) Cook and stir beef, onion and bell pepper in large sauté pan, over medium heat until beef is brown and onion and pepper are tender (around ten minutes). Drain grease from beef.

2) Stir remaining ingredients (including water from the bean cans and tomato cans) into large pot over medium heat. Add beef, onion and pepper when cooked.

3) Bring mixture to a slow boil; cover and reduce heat to low.

4) Simmer chili at least 30 minutes, stirring occasionally so that it does not stick. (This chili can be simmered for several hours; the longer you simmer, the more flavor you will get!)

Let me know if you try this recipe and what you think! Happy cooking!

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I have come a long way since being a nineteen-year old newly wed entering the world of all things domestic; a long way since those early days of struggling to keep a one thousand square foot apartment clean (and with no munchkins under my feet! sheesh!); a long way since practicing the inefficient habit of stopping by the grocery store four times a week because I couldn’t seem to plan for anything more than two days in advance; a long way since feeling like I was trying to read a foreign language every time I picked up a cook book.

This May marks seven years that I’ve been married; seven years of growth, seven years of learning, seven years of figuring this whole homemaker thing out. I still have a long way to go in some areas but I am getting there and thankful for it.

So my Aspiring Domestic Diva series will include some of these things that I have figured out. I want to share them with you in hopes that all of you who have already earned your Domestic Diva Diploma (or anyone else, for that matter!) will give me some feedback on them. And with the hope that it will bless those of you that are still aspiring! 🙂

I welcome any and all thoughts, tips, ideas, suggestions, criticisms or affirmations you might have.

Thanks for reading!

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The following is a list of ten, kind of random things that I have been thinking about and trying to do, especially since the new year. They have all been a blessing to me. I challenge you to try each of them. I hope they are a blessing to you, however big or small!

1) Start your day thirty minutes to an hour before your children wake up with some sort of quiet time with God. This is a new one for me and it has been such a blessing. Thankfully my children don’t get up until after eight so doing this is not a particularly challenging schedule, but starting my day with a quiet breakfast while I read my Bible and write in my prayer journal affects me the rest of the day. My patience is improved, my peace, my attitude. Incredible!

2) Commit to some kind of exercise program! I know not everyone is crazy like me and enjoys exercising but I am more and more convinced that being active in some form, at least a couple days a week is invaluable, no matter who you are. (If you have no idea how to go about this or where to start or why this really matters, ask me!) And eat better! Not because you have to, not because you’ll die if you don’t…because you will feel better! (I have a lot of thoughts about this one too but I’ll probably write them in another post, another time…)

3) Make lists. I am a listmaker so I like this one but I have seen it bless non-listmakers too. I suggest finding a notebook rather than random slips of paper that get lost and thrown away. Keep this notebook with you always. Write in it ideas, goals, to-do lists, contact information, etc.; all the random things that you think of and are told through out the day that you will never remember. (The one exception I suggest is your grocery list. Keep this one on the fridge and write on it every time you run out of something and need to replace it. That way you don’t have to try and remember what all you need on grocery day. The list has already been written, just grab it and run!)

4) Turn off the TV; for your sake, for your childrens sake, for peacefulness sake, for creativity sake, for motivation sake, for relationship sake. This entertainment box robs us of our time, our connection to one another, our peace and quiet, our motivation to get off the couch. So just turn it off. And hide the remote! 🙂 It will be hard at first and weird and you will be very tempted to turn it back on…but turn it off anyway and see what happens!

5) SIMPLIFY AND DECLUTTER! We are a culture that believes more is better; more stuff, more activity, more money, more more more. Well I say, be counter-cultural! There are not enough hours in the day to do everything so be committed to only doing that which is important to you, that which will be a blessing to you or someone else. If there are too many important things in your life to fit in, then you may need to reconsider what really is important! And declutter! If you don’t love it or use it…get rid of it!!! The less stuff we have the less there is to clean, to manage, to find, to maintain, etc…and the more time there is to love our families, our friends, our God and ourselves!

6) Find something that you love to do and do it! So many of us grow up and become so consumed with what we have to do that we stop doing what we want to do, what we love to do! Find a hobby, make a little time each week, and enjoy! I believe taking a little time to do the things we want to do makes the time we spend doing the things we have to do more peaceful and manageable and even enjoyable. So I encourage you to find the balance between the two.

7) Wash one load of laundry every day and set it on your bed to be folded before you get into your bed. I have tried so many methods of staying on top of the laundry, so far this one is working the best. Avoiding laundry baskets and avoiding doing seven loads at once has kept our laundry clean and put away. I have been skipping the baskets, going straight from washer to dryer to bed to folded to put away! Ideally it’s folded and put away before bedtime but worst case you spend ten minutes right before you crawl into bed and its done! Voila! (You do have to be committed to not just setting it on the floor or dresser for tomorrow if you are particularly tired that night though…)

8 ) Go to bed with a clean kitchen. Waking up to a clean kitchen helps set a more peaceful, more comfortable tone for my day. Knowing that I am starting fresh in the kitchen has helped me feel less overwhelmed with the rest of the house. The two ways this has stayed possible for me are: doing a light cleaning after each meal or snack (this includes putting away all food, throwing away all trash and putting all dishes in the sink) and doing a final, more thorough cleaning right after dinner (including putting away all food, throwing away all trash, loading and starting dishwasher, handwashing any other dishes, wiping down all counters and stove and sink, and sometimes sweeping), while daddy plays with the kids and gives them their baths. Staying committed to this has been a challenge for me but sooo worth the effort! (I am still working on figuring out how to keep the rest of the house clean. Sigh.)

9) Get enough sleep! Seven to eight hours is ideal for me, less and I feel it the next day. Sleep for your health, your mood, your energy level, your attitude, your quality of life!

10) And lastly, though I believe that one through nine matter and are life improving, always remember that people are more important than stuff, than money, than chores, than hobbies. I am confident that when we are all old and life has slowed down, we will not look back and be glad we had all our laundry done each night or that we stayed in amazing shape or that we were never late or behind or forgetful. I believe we will look back and remember the laughter, the love, the forgiveness, the intimacy that we shared with our spouses, our children, our friends and our neighbors. Let us improve who we are and how we love before we improve what we do and how we do it!

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