7 Housekeeping Shortcuts

If you're a regular around here, you already know that I'm not the best housekeeper. However, I have a few philosophies of housekeeping that I've developed in recent years that have been tremendous time (and sanity) savers. I'd like to share them with you, because I'm pretty certain that I'm not the only mother of small children who finds that keeping up with the messes that kids make while also trying to keep up with the kids is impossible.

And discouraging.

Someone once said that cleaning your house while your children are around is like trying to brush your teeth while eating an Oreo cookie. So here's to enjoying your Oreo cookies–or something like that. Continue reading

Housekeeping Tip #1

20120726-171611.jpgThis post is about housekeeping. Now, I've admitted several times that I'm not the best housekeeper. (Here and here, specifically, if you're interested.) So, if you're one of those moms whose floors are never sticky, whose bathroom fixtures are always gleaming, whose windows and mirrors never look dingy, and whose laundry never sits in an unfolded pile on the couch for a day and a half before finally finding its way into the appropriate drawers and closets, then this post is not for you. You might want to stop reading right now and just go read this post. Or this one. (By the way, you have my deepest admiration. I really don't know how you manage it!)

For the rest of you, I wanted to share something that has helped me maintain my home (and my sanity) in the hectic months since the birth of our third child.  Continue reading

Come On In!

Boys creating chaosI just had an epiphany. Why is it that it bothers me when guests drop by unexpectedly, and I haven't had a chance to clean the apartment beforehand? I've never questioned the embarrassment that fills me as I hastily move piles of unfolded laundry to make room on the couch, while clearing toys off the floor by kicking them toward the wall, before I run to the bathroom to make sure that no one has peed on the floor or left traces of poop in the toilet bowl since the last time I was in there. I've never questioned that embarrassment, until today. After all, what in the world have I got to be embarrassed about? I have three preschool boys at home, for crying out loud! Of course my home is a perpetual mess! Who am I trying to fool?

And that's when I had my epiphany. Continue reading

The House is for People

We recently had lunch at the home of a friend. When we entered she told us that we didn't need to take off our shoes, because her floor wasn't very clean. She said this matter-of-factly, without a hint of embarrassment or apology. When we still removed them because we felt awkward about wearing shoes inside, she suggested that we don houseslippers. We did, and she immediately gave us a tour of her house, making us feel at home. We enjoyed a leisurely lunch while our kids and her 5-year-old son played inside and out in the expansive yard.

The house and grounds boasted two cats, three kittens, one dog, a pen of chickens, and two flocks of geese, including a bunch of goslings. After we finished eating, our hostess showed us her chickens and collected ten eggs to send home with us, then she walked us to her vegetable garden, where she harvested some radishes and green onions for us. It was a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon, and we didn't mind her dirty floors one bit. As we were leaving, she said something that has stuck in my mind. Continue reading

Ranting and a Bit of Vinegar

I promise this post will get around to being pertinent to mommies, but first I just have to get a little something off my chest? Okay? I guess I just need a sympathetic ear. Thanks.

Two nights ago an acquaintance called my husband and asked if he could see us. Though it's not unusual for people to want to come over and talk (my husband is a pastor, after all), this guy attends a different church, so we were curious and maybe a little puzzled. It's not like he doesn't have his own pastor. When George asked why he wanted to come over, he said that he just wanted to "bless us." We were a bit nervous, since he was so vague about his intentions, but we set a date and waited.

He came this morning. He started by giving us a thoughtful and valuable gift, and I relaxed. Then he began to tell us, sometimes with tears in his eyes, about different ways that God had worked in his life and about how we had been a blessing to him. He even shared a few Bible verses. I had just settled back in my seat for a leisurely and pleasant conversation, when he said it.

"I'm a businessman, and there's this company . . . "

Continue reading