Sunday, October 5, 2008

Organizing my Home and Family - Step 1

All of you, that know me, understand that I am not sharing this process as a know-it-all.... I am allowing God to creatively help me one day at a time.So, where did We (God and me) start? The Kitchen!

The old order -

Life prior to new changes:Kitchen is open philosophy. Growing Children need to eat when they get hungry. Provide lots of nutrious snacks in drawer, refrigerator, and always have juice and milk on hand.

With boys, growing tall and muscular ( [:))] ), they honestly do need lots of calories... it is healthier to eat 5-8 little size snack/mini-meals that to fill up on 3 heavy hardy meals. So the microwave stays sticky and messy inside(although I clean it a few time a day), and so does the refrig!

There are crumbs on the floor at all times...and on the table, counter etc.(although I am running my sweeper over and over). The table is a mess...littered with boxes, bottles, jars, and dishes.

And my all time favorite, empty boxes or bags are found in the pantry, freezer, and refrigerator. There is nothing so special as I reach for the Mint ChocChip Ice Container, salivating with the thought of a nice cool bowl of a creamy treat, to be totally let down by the empty weight of container replaced in the freezer after the last scoop has been taken.

And let's not even get to the sink.... let's just say, it was not regularly smiling back at me!

(Now for all of you who wonder what in the world I was doing doing those precious preschool and early elementary training years... I was living life as best as I could day to day on very little sleep...constant ringing off the hook...silly me, trying to lead Bible Studies and Prayer groups.... training my children... running around the house after three active playing children.... and nearly losing my mind by being bombarded with wicked messages from the enemy on what a terrible mom I was and on the worst possible suggestions of what to do in response to any problems that arised.

You see Satan [>:)] was trying to get me to dunk my children's head in the toilet, choke my children, throw them out the back door, slam them against the wall (yes,these thought went continually through my mind because it was the way life was dealt out in my childhood).

Now comes the emotional drain/straining.... resisting these evil thoughts and instead trying to remember God would have me do by recalling what this book or that book or this video tape or that lecture said to do in each case. Talk about worn out! [:((]

So bite your tongue, if you think of saying...well, I know where you went wrong... or I know what you should have done or do... until you walk in someone else's life... don't think you know how that person messed up. [:-&]

Maybe, just maybe, the person was doing exactly what God wanted them to do... learning/experiencing day by day the hard way (possibly the only way) how to be a loving mother, wife and homemaker the best she could with very little experience, background,and no family assistance) Whew, thank you for baring with me so I could get that monkey off my back!

The New Order -
Back to step one- the kitchen: Kitchen after implementing the new plan: Kitchen is closed between main meals.

Snack center is set up with three cups (each child's name on them) and juice/drink. Snack tray has nutritious snacking items that can be eaten at any time throughout the day. Trash can is also provided in snack area, with napkins, forks or spoons as needed for certain snacks.

Kitchen entry way is blocked off to help remind children that they are not to enter with snack center and chair.

Everyone does a job(s) at main meal time to help clean up go smoothly..... such as empty dishwasher, load dishwasher, sweep floor,clean tables and counters. Children are reminded to put condiments back where they belong and to put their trash in can and dishes in sink. Being at the Kitchen table is a welcome privilege and not a junk collector/ snack-n-go spot.

I also get assistance with setting table or prepping meal if I invite a child to come in the kitchen before meal time. Eventually I want to turn different meal times over to each of the children on rotation of days. I want them to total be in charge of fixing meal and setting table (but at first I will give the daily meal list).

This may sound real controlled but it is what we need. We need lots of structure and discipline for the kitchen to run smoothly! I can not tell you how much I breath easier to go toward the kitchen anytime of the day and to see that it is still clean. It is working!

I will update you on what we do next, as God leads. We may be still working on the kitchen next week... just expanding duties and fine tuning the system.

Just last night I took a pause at the entrance to my kitchen and was able to take in a deep knowing breath, that I had accomplished something this week. I went to bed with peace that my kitchen was no longer a place of chaos. Mom had gained control of one zone in the home! And as I walked down the hall feeling like Queen of the Kitchen, I knew I would need to be consistent in the weeks ahead to not give up this victory ground. I was learning to manage my kitchen.

There is so much more to tackle in just this one room, but this week had been a positive start in becoming a homemaker!


  1. Great stuff. My wife has had chronic back problems, and I have noticed how little things like a picked up house enhance her mood. I used to get upset... Now I try to get engaged in picking things up. I have also found that my 10 year old daughter doesn't mind doing the dishes so much if she has an empty dishwasher, and my 8 year old son doesn't mind cleaning the main bathroom. I try to let them choose the cleaning time. "Ok kids, it's 2:00, what time do you want to clean today, I need about 2 hours". "Dad, how about 4:00."

    No problem. When 4 comes, they picked the time and it seems to go much smoother.

    I'm glad you are breaking those family cycles of grabbing and yelling. Mine parents didn't grab much, but dad drank alot, and subsequently I R A R E L Y have anything to drink. Probably a glass of wine every 6 months and never in front of the kids.

    I'm liking your blog! I may have sent this to you already, but I wrote a story that you may be able to relate to:

    Have a great week.

  2. Oh yeah, the empty boxes and containers back in the pantry/refrigerator/freezer...we come across those too - it's hilarious!


  3. Hi Linylou, Tagged you for a blog post "7 Random or Weird Facts About You".

    The tag is on my blog...


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