15 ways to motivate yourself to clean the house when you don’t feel like it

We’ve all been here right? Ever wake up and not feel like Mary Poppins or is that just me? Here’s a few strategies of mine for getting the work done.

  1. set a timer. Pick 5, 10 or 15 minutes. Clean until the timer goes off and then be done.

2. get dressed. It won’t get anything picked up but it will improve your mood and give you energy

3. make the beds. There can be clutter all around in a room but if the bed is made it creates a clean surface that makes the rest of the room look tidier. It may also motivate you to make the rest of the room look just as inviting.

4. clean something that has been bugging you just to make you happy, not because it is a priority. Example, every time I’ve walked into my bedroom lately I’ve noticed all the dust built up on the dressers. I haven’t been dusting because there are so many more important things to do right now. But taking the 5 minutes to do it made me feel good.

5. clear off the kitchen table and counter tops. Clean surfaces make all the difference! You will have a spot to sit and eat or work and once you do get around to doing the dishes it will be much easier to have them all in the sink. The other day our water was turned off so I just gave up on cleaning the kitchen. It became overwhelmingly messy. When I decided to just clear off the surfaces even though there was a mountain of dishes the kitchen actually didn’t look that bad.

6. open the shades and let in the sunshine. Light is energizing.

7. Drink a glass of water and take your vitamins. If you want your body to work for you, you have to give it what it needs.

8. think about making your house smell amazing and how much you will enjoy it. Take out the trash and lights some candles.

9.view folding laundry as a chance to sit down and rest your feet

10. put on some upbeat worship music and sing while you do the dishes! Feel the warm water on your hands, enjoy the smell of the bubbles and then lotion your hands afterwards.

11. pick a job that needs done and then pick a way to reward yourself when it’s completed

12. Think about different activities you have coming up in the next week and what clothes you and your family will wear. Do laundry so that you will be ready to enjoy those times

13. listen to a podcast. Have a particularly boring job that needs done? Give your mind something interesting to think about while your hands are busy.

14. call someone you’ve been wanting to talk to and visit while you pick up

15. prepare dinner earlier in the day and then load up the dishes you used to prepare the food and wipe up and messes so you can get a head start on being done in the kitchen and enjoy eating dinner in a clean kitchen

 

You can do this! Let me know in the comments, how do you motivate yourself to get to work on days when you don’t feel motivated to clean up the same messes all over again?

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Snow family winter fun bucket list 2017

This week is Thanksgiving but I’m already looking forward to the things I want to do with my family over the coming up cold winter days. Here’s my very random bucket list. Hopefully it inspires you to plan some fun and make some memories with your family.

  1. buy “winter” scented candles to put replace our fall ones that are mostly gone
  2. take down fall decorations and put up greenery and lights- specifically on stairway banister
  3. remove pumpkins and make a snowman snow family front porch decoration using wood and paint
  4. put up lights on porch
  5. if it snows go sledding (purchase a couple sleds ahead of time!)
  6. make scented play dough
  7. make new years resolutions
  8. buy me and the kids matching pajamas (I won’t be able to convince my husband to join in on this one ha ha!)
  9. have a dessert night- make a few special low carb desserts to enjoy
  10. go to Christmas parade downtown
  11. go to boat parade
  12. purchase a gift for a foster child
  13. build a fire in the wood stove and make some sugar free marshmallows to roast
  14. do a snowman or snowflake craft with the kids
  15. learn to sew- pick a project to complete over the winter
  16. learn to knit kids hats
  17. send out December birthday gifts and cards for relatives who have December birthdays
  18. go caroling
  19. have a pajama day and play board games
  20. buy new slippers
  21. try and make low carb cinnamon rolls
  22. write a Snow family year in review
  23. hang up a mistletoe to kiss under
  24. either host or attend a New Year’s prayer meeting
  25. drive somewhere to look at Christmas lights
  26. decorate cookies

 

 

2017 100 Things To Be Thankful For

This is something I did on this blog two years ago https://snowinlove.wordpress.com/2015/11/28/2015-thankful-list/ .  I encourage you to take a moment before the business of Thanksgiving day sets in to take a moment and reflect on how good God is and what things in your life you are thankful for.

O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. Psalm 136:1

  1. God’s presence all around me
  2. The Bible
  3. Church fellowship
  4. friends
  5. my husband
  6. my children
  7. a cozy bed
  8. a safe and warm home
  9. clean water
  10. healthy food
  11. my husbands job
  12. our homeschool co op
  13. living in a free country
  14. my van
  15. money to buy gasoline to drive places
  16. books
  17. this blog
  18. the ability to learn
  19. to be able to stay home with my children
  20. family vacations
  21. time spent in nature
  22. fresh air
  23. the stars
  24. the comfort and cozy smell of a campfire
  25. a safe yard for my children to play in and woods for them to explore
  26. coffee
  27. hay rides
  28. animals
  29. my children’s health
  30. insulin
  31. love
  32. heaven
  33. the promise of the new earth
  34. the hope of the resurrection
  35. clothing for me and my children
  36. music and singing
  37. laughter
  38. board games
  39. exercise
  40. a body that can move
  41. mountains
  42. eyes to see
  43. our compassion children
  44. for my family in law
  45. for salvation
  46. for peace from God
  47. for my husbands truck
  48. for plants
  49. life in a safe small town
  50. for the grocery store
  51. for my sons sweaty smell when he wakes up
  52. for my daughters curiosity
  53. for the ability and freedom to teach my children
  54. for a clean environment to live in- a trash service that comes and picks up our trash
  55. cell phones to keep in touch with loved ones far away
  56. prayer
  57. the internet to connect with people an learn new things
  58. the library and it’s free programs for my children
  59. for the financial means to give to others
  60. to get to worship God
  61. for the hope of a new and healthy resurrected body
  62. for the joy of the Lord
  63. for new days
  64. sunrises
  65. sunsets
  66. work
  67. sleep
  68. birthday parties
  69. celebrations
  70. people to celebrate with
  71. God’s mercy
  72. God’s faithfulness
  73. beauty in God’s creation
  74. access to education and educational material
  75. a home heated with electricity
  76. lights and all our electrical appliances that make life easier and safer
  77. hot showers
  78. bubble baths
  79. the physical senses created to be able to enjoy these things
  80. date nights with my husband
  81. time on the ocean this past summer
  82. the ability to make memories and cherish good times
  83. strength from God in times of weakness
  84. comfort from God in times of sorrow
  85. eating out at restaurants
  86. enjoying home cooked meals
  87. new experiences
  88. leaf piles to jump in
  89. pumpkins to pick, carve and eat
  90. the ability to taste and savor good food
  91. for freedom to pass out gospel tracts
  92. bike riding
  93. for all the times God has kept us safe from harm
  94. for angels that minister to us
  95. for God’s sovereign plan and work in my life
  96. for the cross
  97. for the resurrection of Jesus
  98. shoes
  99. disposable diapers
  100. for how very easy this list was to make because my life is so very full of blessings from God!

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. James 1:17

 

Have you heard of this missionary?

My mother in law told us about Otto Koning several weeks back. We since have listened to these videos of him telling about his experience of being a missionary to a cannibal tribe in Papua New Guinea in the 1960’s-1970’s. It’s really amazing to listen to him! We listened to these while driving different places but it’s also entertaining to actually see his facial expressions while he talks because he’s funny!

Be amazed at the way God moved when His people trusted and obeyed Him!

 

 

 

One of my best parenting moves ever!

Last night while washing the dishes I listened to this inspiring podcast on powerofmoms.com

https://powerofmoms.com/cleaning-whole-family-episode-330/

This was a podcast I really wanted to listen to because it’s an area I struggle with. It is so much easier to not involve the kids when I clean and to just clean up after them rather than teaching them to clean up after themselves.

I want my kids to be responsible though and I want them to have a good work ethic and a right attitude towards work. I know that starts when they are really young.

One idea mentioned in this podcast was “Mr. Gunny Sack.” I named ours “Mr. Chompers.” Last night the kids watched as I transformed a towel into a hungry looking monster. I folded a towel in half, drew a hungry face on it, then sewed it up to make it into a bag. I introduced Mr. Chompers to the kids then explained that he was going to live in the hall closet. I told them when the house gets messy he can smell everything that’s not in it’s place and that makes him hungry! I told them with much drama in my voice how the only way to rescue our stuff was to put it where it belongs. Mr. Chompers can not eat anything that is in it’s place. If Mr. Chompers eats an item he won’t give it back until the next day! Dun dun dun duuun!

I couldn’t believe how much fun the kids had with this. They were laughing and squealing and picking up stuff as fast as they could. I would say in a funny voice, “Oh delicious! A stuffed teddy bear on the living room floor, my favorite!” I would make it like he was flying towards the teddy bear and E would scream and rush the bear to the bucket that stuffed animals go in. Mr. Chompers would then act sad before going onto the next thing. After everything was picked up I told the kids they had to say, “Go home Mr. Chompers!” three times to make him go back in the closet. At the end of picking up the only things that Mr. Chompers had been able to confiscate was a dirty sock and an ear plug. The kids had really gotten into it! When E needed help getting a coat hung up I told her, “You beat up Mr. Chompers while I hang it up- keep him back!” It was so silly and it turned picking up into a really fun time!

When everything was picked up E cried because she wanted to keep playing the game! When she woke up this morning the first thing she asked was, “Can we play Mr. Chompers?”

I figure I’ll leave him in the closet and only take him down once or twice a week so he doesn’t loose his appeal.

If you have young kids who need some pick up motivation I highly recommend your family adopts a Mr. Chompers!

 

 

 

 

A Morning Self Care Routine

The last meeting we had for our homeschool co-op a woman spoke who had homeschooled for over 30 years. One of the things that she pointed to as to her success as a long term homeschool mom was regular self care.

Early on in my parenting I realized that I had to do everything in my power to wake up before my children so I could meet my needs so that I would be ready to meet theirs.

Some seasons of life come with exceptions such as having a new born but once I was through that stage I had to get back to taking care of my needs first thing in the morning to maintain my health and be happy.

I chuckled to myself when the woman at our co-op shared what her morning routine looked like all those years because it was so similar to what I have been practicing and refining for the last few years in my career as a stay at home mom.

This is what mornings look like for me every day outside of being sick or a family vacation or something.

5:00 a.m wake up, make coffee, sit and slowly drink it while I read my Bible and pray. This takes around 40 minutes. I also check my blood sugar and take insulin first thing in the morning but I know that’s very specific to me. Other people take medication or vitamins though so working them into your morning routine may help you remember.

I then do a 15 minute stretching routine using a youtube video. Nothing intense, I’ve just learned that it is absolutely impossible to stretch and relax with a 2 and 4 year old crawling all over me. If I want to stretch I have to do it while they are asleep. Stretching also helps gets my blood circulating in the morning.

I make my bed. It may seem strange to include that in self care but I have a couple reasons for doing this before the kids wake up. One, if they are up they want to help which means they jump all over the bed and pull the blankets off faster than I can get them on! Also, if I don’t do it before they get up I may not get to it all day and a made bed makes me feel like something has been accomplished. It’s a mental boost!

I get dressed and do my hair and makeup. I timed myself this morning and I have my hair and makeup routine down in less than 5 minutes.

Before leaving the bathroom I tidy it up. This enables me to be able to shut the master bedroom door and keep the kids out. They are welcome in there when they take a bath or when we are having family cuddles but generally I keep them out so they don’t get their dirty selves all over my bed and get into stuff. I like walking into my bedroom after a long day and have it be a toy free zone.

I’ll usually have a few (as in 5-10) minutes to check email and FB and write any texts I need to send out later in the day. My goal is then to not be on the internet or having my phone in hand until they are asleep for the night. I’m not perfect about it but my general guideline for myself is no surfing the internet while on the job!

I need to work on teaching my kids to stay in bed until 7:00. That was a point that the woman who spoke at the homeschool meeting brought up. Pretty often they start yelling, “Mama!” around 6:30 and it makes our morning more stressful because they have not gotten enough sleep and are still tired. Also, I would really like to know I was going to get a solid two hours to myself every day. I have heard of clocks that light up at a set time to let a child know it’s okay to get up. That may work for my four year old but I really have no idea how to teach a 2 year old to stay in bed. He goes to bed around 8:00-8:30 and I run him good throughout the day. My four year old rarely naps. I just have two very energetic kids!  If you have successfully taught a toddler to stay in bed until 7:00 share in the comments!

Doing this list of things in the morning makes me feel ready to meet my children with a smile and say, “I’m so glad to see you!” If I don’t have my needs met I’m usually thinking about me instead of them.

I view motherhood as my job so I view 7:00 a.m as “clocking in” and my aim is to be ready to clock in just like I would be ready to clock into any other job.

Easy and free fall decorations plus a neat video about the reformation

I love walking around Hobby Lobby looking at and touching all the fall decor and imagining where I would put it in my house. I realize though that that stuff is expensive and after the fall season it goes back up in the attic. I knew I could come up with something beautiful without spending any money if I tried, and I did! It’s not much but here’s what I came up with..

We don’t burn wood in our stove any more so I used it as an area to decorate. The gate around it makes it an area I can make pretty without my 2 year old pulling down the decorations. The kids were playing outside while I worked on it and E’s reaction of “Wow!” when she saw it told me that it was good enough. I did something I call “shopping around the house.” I look for every day objects that I have in various rooms and group them together to make something pretty. The glass jars were in the cabinets, the washboard was in the kitchen, the antique rug beater (?) was on top the fridge. And what could say “fall” better than combination of purple beauty berries and red oak leaves picked from the yard? I lit an apple scented candle which pulled it all together. The table runner was something that mom used to have that I asked for when I got married. With little children it’s not very practical for the table but it looks nice here.

 

I did this easy craft with the kids. It wasn’t exactly free, I spent a few dollars on the wreath base and something around $1.50 for a pack of 100 clothes pins. We already had the paint. You can’t see it in the photo but on every clothes pin there is written something different we are thankful for. It was neat to do this with E because last year when she was 3 she didn’t grasp the idea fully of talking about things we are thankful for. She understood it this year and it was exciting to recognize that growth in her.

I collected stones from around our property to make a fire pit. When I think of fall I think of sitting around a toasty campfire.

I cleaned up around the mailbox, set out a pumpkin and called it good enough. I want to try and spruce up the porch a bit before thanksgiving but currently it is covered with tools and boxes and stuff we are using to work on the new swing set.

Have your kids seen this video of the life of Martin Luther told with play mobile toys? It’s really neat and gives a solid gospel presentaion.

I learned about it October 31st when listening to this podcast by Amy from raisingarrows.net. She tells about how their family started a new way of observing halloween and reformation day that I thought was really interesting. I’ve never heard of anyone doing it the way she did.

https://www.raisingarrows.net/2017/10/halloween-reformation-day-podcast-030/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Pursuit of God A.W Tozer

I recently finished another Randy Alcorn book titled Hand in hand. In it and other of his writings he references the writings of Aiden Wilson Tozer. This past Wednesday at the library I checked out The Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer.

I just finished the end of chapter 3 so I’m not very far in but I wanted to share with you a few things.

One, his prayers that he ends each chapter with are really inspiring. Inspiring as in I want to make them my own prayers! At the end of chapter one which is titled Following Hard After God, he prays,

O God, I have tasted your goodness, and it has both satisfied me and made me thirsty for more. I am painfully conscience of my need for further grace. I am ashamed of my lack of desire. O God, The Triune God, I want to want you; I long to be filled with longing; I thirst to be made more thirsty still. Show me your glory, I pray you, that so I may know you indeed. Begin in mercy a new work of love within me. Say to my soul, “Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away.” Then give me grace to rise and follow you up from this misty lowland where I have wandered so long. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Chapter 3 is titled Removing The Veil. I won’t write a summary of it I just want to share a hymn it reminded me of. A brother in our church introduced us to this  hymn written by Charles Spurgeon. It is to the tune of “When I Survey The Wondrous Cross.”

Amidst us our Beloved stands,
And bids us view His pierced hands;
Points to the wounded feet and side,
Blest emblems of the Crucified.

What food luxurious loads the board
When, at His table, sits the Lord!
The wine how rich, the bread how sweet,
When Jesus deigns the guests to meet!

If now, with eyes defiled and dim,
We see the signs, but see not Him;
Oh, may His love the scales displace,
And bid us see Him face to face!

Thou glorious Bridegroom of our hearts,
Thy present smile Thy grace imparts!
Oh, lift the veil, if veil there be,
Let every saint Thy glory see!

Think about these words, read them slowly and worship The Bread of Life asking for your eyes to opened to see Him!

 

trying to trust God instead of panicking after seeing the podiatrist

I’m home after seeing a podiatrist this afternoon. I have a bunion on the outside of my foot that has become so deformed and inflamed I can’t put a shoe on. It’s been there for a while but I used to be able to wear thick socks and loose fitting shoes. Now, even the weight of the blanket at night touching my foot or laying with the side of my foot touching the side of the mattress is excruciatingly painful. I’ve been wearing flip flops in 35 degree weather and the last few weeks when my feet were icy cold I wore old lady looking slippers outside and to town. I tried ordering protective gel pads made for bunions but they didn’t help any.

The doctor took some x-rays and said I needed surgery if I was ever going to wear a shoe again. When looking at the x-ray the bone on the side of my foot looked mangled and he said even though I have no memory of it I must have broken my foo,t probably as a child. The area is really inflamed.

He told me I needed a pretty extensive surgery involving breaking the bone, reshaping my foot and putting in a screw. he said I would need to stay off my feet for 6 weeks and use a walker and crutches to get around the house. I had to hold back tears as I said, “That’s not possible! I have a 2 year old and a four year old and my family is out of state!” He asked me if I had any ladies from church who could help. Realistically even though I have helpful people in my life my children need all day care and there is no one who could come and help for more than a few hours. There is certainly no one who could drop every thing to care for my kids and home for 6 weeks! Recovery from a c-section wasn’t even that intense!

He told me since I can’t stay off my feet that long what he can do is shave down the bone which would provide temporary relief. I’d have to stay off my foot for a couple weeks but it would be a matter of just the flesh healing not a bone. He said it would only be a temporary fix that my foot would probably become deformed again in a few years but by then my children will be older and less dependent.

I’m still really overwhelmed. I told God I trust Him in this but it’s scary to let go of control. Maybe someone else would like the idea of having an excuse to let everything go for a couple weeks but not me! The idea of having my house a wreck and not being able to drive and not being able to take my kids to play outside for a couple weeks scares me! How will I get groceries? How will I bathe children on one foot? God knows I am a control freak and I see a big hurdle of sanctification coming my way!

Pray for me. Pray I will be able to figure out the details of child care. My husband is in a work situation where the time he will be able to take off will be extremely limited. I don’t have a date set yet, they are going to call me. I want to get it done before the end of the year because our insurance has a deductible but apparently every one else is wanting the same thing and they are pretty booked.

Also pray for me that I can get my blood sugar under control. I recently started back on the insulin pump after a year of using shots and it’s been a big adjustment. It will take a while to figure out how much insulin I need when. I started on it a couple weeks ago and have not been able to sleep through the night one time since. Last night my blood sugar was so unstable I was up almost every hour. The doctor said day of surgery they might cancel it if my blood sugar is high. Also steady blood sugar will be imperative for healing. I will have to take antibiotics and pain killers and both will affect my blood sugar and health.

After I get a surgery date I have to find a primary care physician who can do blood work. The thought of one more doctor appointment is just kind of overwhelming. If I wasn’t in such awful pain and if my feet weren’t freezing cold I’d just say forget it! I wish I could!

I know that’s a lot of ramblingly but I need prayer. Most of all I need to trust God and be okay to let go of control for a little bit. I need to understand that if the kids have to watch movies for a couple weeks they will survive. I feel awful anytime they watch T.V so thinking about them just laying around watching T.V for a couple weeks freaks me out and already preemptively brings on the mommy guilt. “If they have to watch T.V and eat peanut butter sandwiches for a couple weeks they will survive,” I’m trying to tell myself.

Tell me, have you had a surgery while your kids were little? How did you make it through? What worked and what didn’t? Even if you haven’t had surgery has there been a time in your life when you had to let go of control and that was difficult? What did you learn?

 

Oh and here’s a little trivia for you- a bunion on the outside of your foot is called a tailors bunion. I read that tailor’s used to sit cross legged as they worked and sitting in this position so long would deform their foot. After reading that I read the kids a Beatrix Potter story about a tailor. In her painting he is sitting cross legged on top of a table sewing. I guess that was a thing!