Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Chores and More Chores

Hmmm, so it seems this blog is in my good graces lately. I'm not sure why, but this is the one I'm keeping up with right now. Probably because my life is revolving around my home even more than usual.

I'm trying to gear up for fall and that involves establishing a chore schedule and lots of advance planning for meals. Our fall is going to be a busy one and if I'm not ready, things will go spectacularly bad spectacularly fast. The pressure is a bit overwhelming, but I'm doing my best to just do what I gotta do!

My mind has been focused on developing just the right method for keeping my house tidy and hygienic. Not perfect and sanitized, but healthy and livable. I'm taking on piano students, field hockey season is upon us, and all of us are joining new activities through our church this year. Red Headed Snippet starts Youth Group, Man-Cub is doing Pioneer Boys, and The Viking and I are doing an in-depth bible study called Design For Discipleship. Fortunately, these all meet on the same night so we won't be running out to church 4 times a week! But getting there on Wednesdays won't be easy with the Snippet's hockey schedule so I need to PLAN! I need crockpot meals that are easy to transport! I need to be on top of my laundry so I don't wake up with it on top of ME! I need to keep the living room clean and clear so we don't hurt ourselves running through it on our way out the door! I need to have lunches packed so we're not late for school in the morning. It's going to be crazy. Oh, and I almost forgot, I'm the Recording Secretary for the Home and School Association this year, and I have NO IDEA what that entails. I might be in for a nervous breakdown this year!

But I think I've finally settled on a good plan. It was a bit like a logic problem, but I think my weekly chores are sensibly scheduled. How's this sound?

Mondays: Strip and remake the beds (I need something a bit less strenuous as this is a piano lesson day)

Tuesdays: Bathrooms and take out the trash (ugh, that's today)

Wednesdays: Dust and plan my weekly menu and grocery list (I babysit on Wednesdays so I planned chores that I can accomplish with an 18-month-old imp following me everywhere--Merlin's Pants, I love that kid!)

Thursdays: Sweep and mop the upstairs (this is another piano lesson day, but the upstairs is mostly wood floors so it's mostly dust-mopping and the rooms are small)

Fridays: Sweep and mop the downstairs and go grocery shopping (this is the only day I'm not sure of. Sweeping and mopping are my LEAST FAVORITE chores. And grocery shopping can take a lot out of me. So, I'm not sure about combining them into one day. But, I'm making vacuuming the living room and sweeping the kitchen and dining room a daily chore, so this chore should amount to sweeping the laundry and powder rooms, both small, doing a cursory sweep of the other rooms, and then mopping four rooms. I envision myself mopping the floors then heading out to do the shopping while they dry and coming home to a sparkling clean kitchen with lots of groceries. We'll see if this works)

Saturdays: Clean out the car, tidy the yard and a monthly chore. This is the day the whole family gets involved so I won't be on my own.

So, as long as I keep at it, this should work. I'll have 8 hours a day to get this stuff done (in addition to my daily chores of making beds, tidying rooms and doing laundry) so I'll have no excuses!

Now for the food department, I've been making lists of our family's favorite meals, and I think I'm going to make a file of them for easy reference. I've also made a separate list of make-ahead and crockpot meals because I'm going to need one each and every Wednesday. The most time I'm going to have on any given Wednesday afternoon in which to get my children cleaned, fed, changed and out the door for church is 30 minutes. That's not long. I'll need to be able to dish the food up as soon as my Snippet returns from hockey, whether it be a practice or a game.

This is the first time I've fully realized just how far I've come in the cooking department. I don't know when it happened, but I've gone from being almost completely inept in the kitchen, with no clue how to plan meals let alone preparing them, to being able to handle all of the cooking and making 90% of it from scratch. If anyone had told me 5 years ago what our meals would be like today, I would never have believed them. I am truly thankful that I've accomplished so much and take great pride in what I'm providing for my family.

Okay, speech over. I apologize. Anyway, all that to say, I'm really thankful I've finally gotten some skillz I can actually use! My other skillz don't really help me much: singing, writing, making awesome Halloween costumes, being witty, they don't really help a lot in running a household. It used to make me very frustrated. But now I see there is hope, that I can learn. If I can learn to run my kitchen, I can learn to run my house!

Now that I've gotten all that out of my head, I feel all deflated. Oh, wait, there's those other things popping up: school supplies, school clothes, school gear. Both kids are in need of lots of things this year and I have no idea how we're going to get them. We're trying desperately not to go any further into debt, but I don't how else we're going to afford the things they need. And I'm not talking about the latest fashions and super-cool gadgets. They both need shoes, at least 2 pair, Red Headed Snippet needs all new jeans, both need backpacks (and the Snippet needs a very good-quality one that will last through the year), and don't even get me started on the list of school supplies the junior high requires. I think Man-Cub has enough jeans and pants for fall, and I know they have jackets and coats, but they both need good clothes for church. Man-Cub has maybe two pair of pants that aren't jeans and Red Headed Snippet has a few skirts that are suddenly way too short. Sigh. This would be a good time for someone to drop off a bag of hand-me-downs! I know God will provide, He always has, but this is the time I start to get a little nervous. Do you think maybe I need to take a bit of the advice I was dishing out to Red Headed Snippet last night about not worrying and trusting God to handle things? Yes, I think so, too.

Well, I must cut this short. I really do need to tend to my chores and I promised the Snippet some computer time after she finished hers. I have to make my bed, clean my room, clean the bathroom and powder room and get to the grocery store (I'm a little behind today). And for those interested? Tonight's dinner is Bangers-n-Mash! I have apple sausages from The Dutch Wagon to throw on the grill! Mmm-Mmm-Good!

As you were...


deputyswife said...

Good luck to you! If you click on this site and scroll down to her menu plan mondays, there are about 100 different people who post their weekly menu, including me. (Though I did not get it done this week.) It should help you out for easy to prepare and GOOD food.

robiewankenobie said...

freecycle is a good way to get hand-me-downs. there should be one near you. i just did really well in our local consignment shops. you wouldn't believe all the things people consign...and goodwill? geez, people donate some really nice clothes there. plus? all the money goes to goodwill industries. double score!

also? your schedule makes me exhausted just reading it!

Angela (Cottage Magpie) said...

This is so funny--just yesterday I was saying to Hubby, "Hey, we need to assign chores to days of the week so we can get organized around here, instead of just waiting until everyhting's a wreck and having to devote two straight days to cleaning it up." His response? "Sure, honey." But I'm going to try anyway! Thanks for the boost! ~A :-)

Becka said...

I use for an incentive in helping my kids help me do chores. we have used it for a month and we love it. Totally worth the free charge;)

And I can relate to your change in cooking abilities. When I got married I could not even cook mashed poatoes (they were crunchy), I am continously amazed when I churn out a dinner that looks 9and tastes) gourmet.

Meg said...

Having a game plan about household chores makes me feel so seems to help ease some of that worry about "how will I get it done" - because at least you know there's a plan (and an end in sight!)

I feel for you regarding the clothes and new supplies. Have you tried ebay? Especially for things like coats. People sell things that are in wonderful condition, and I have found this to be a great way for getting the labels that I like (i.e. good quality) at an extremely afforable price. Good luck.