02 February 2015

2015 Reading Challenge

So I have not written in forever.  Life got in the way.  Actually, I have posted my artwork to my Michelle's Musings Facebook page instead of here.  I kind of like that immediate response you can get when someone hits "like", it's very good for your self-esteem.

Today I decided to come back to you, Mr. Blogspot.  No promises I will be here all the time, but I will work on it. If you have ever read this junk that I put on the internet, you know like to read.  Every year I set reading challenges for myself.  Usually, the overall goal is to read 100 books and I add other elements in like so many non fictions, and not so many Hollywood bios.  This year while wasting some time on Pinterest, I discovered this PopSugar reading challenge.  It was a wonderful collection of stuff.  Varying stuff to get me to think out of my box.

http://www.popsugar.com/love/Reading-Challenge-2015-36071458I  thought I would share the books I have read in the hopes to inspire you to pick up a good book.  I had to tweak the list, just a tad. I will update this list every few weeks.  I hope to finish by the end of May....we shall see.

1.   A book with 500 pages---Encyclopedia of Dead Rock Stars by Jeremy Simmonds
2.   A classic romance--- Special Delivery by Ginny Band
3.   A book that became a movie---Serena by Ron Rash 
4.   A book published this year---I was here by Gayle Forman
5.   A book with a number in the title--Million Dollar Mermaid-Esther Williams
6.   A book written by someone under the age of 30: Call of the Wild-Jack London
7.   A book with nonhuman characters--Pen & Ink: Tattoos and the stories behind them by Isaac Fitzgerald
8.   A funny book-The Jerk by Steve Martin
9.   A book by a female author-Anything but Normal by Melody Carlson
10. A mystery or thriller----Gray Mountain by John Grisham
11. A book with a one word title---Frozen by Sarah Nathan
12. A book of short stories ---The Caretakers by Matt Jaeger
13. A book set in a different country---Rubber Soul by Greg Kihn
14. A nonfiction book---Disney by Rees Quinn
15. A popular author's first book---Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green
16. A book from a author you love but have not read: Family Room-Mia King
17. A book a friend recommended---El Deafo by Cece Bell
18. A Pulitzer Prize winning book: Goldfinch
19. A book based on a true story---Romance is my day job by Patience Bloom
20. A book at the bottom of your to read list: Cup of Murder
21. A book your mom loves
22. A book that scares you: Christopher Walken from A to Z (he freaks me out)
23. A book more than 100 years old: Call of the Wild (sorry for the cross post)
24. A book based entirely on it's cover: I'm so glad I did - Cynthia Weir
25. A book your were supposed to read in school but didn't: By the Shores of Silver Lake- Laura Ingalls Wilder
26. A memoir---Seriously, I'm kidding by Ellen Degeneres
27. A book you can finish in a day----Maleficent by Elizabeth Rudnick
28. A book with antonyms in the title: Seriously, I'm Kidding -Ellen DeGeneres
29. A book set somewhere you have always wanted to visit Tinseltown:Murder, Morphine, and Madness at the Dawn of Hollywood by William J Mann (Always wanted to visit 1920's Hollywood!!!!)
30. A book came out in the year you were born Freaky Friday by Mary Rodgers
31. A book with bad reviews: The Way I see it-Melissa Sue Anderson
32. A trilogy---Just one day, Just one night, Just one year all by Gayle Forman
33. A book from your childhood: The Long Winter-Laura Ingalls Wilder
34. A book with a love triangle: The Beautiful American
35. A book set in the future: Birthmarked -Caragh M O'Brien
36. A book set in high school: The Duff
37. A book with a color in the title: Man with the Golden Gun-Ian Fleming
38. A book that made you cry---This Star won't go out by Esther Earl
39. A book with magic: Life and Death-Stephanie Meyer
40. A graphic novel---Baby's in Black by Arne Bellstorf
41. A book by an author you have never read---Winter in Sweetwater County and Spring in Sweetwater County by Ciara Knight
42. A book you own, but have never read--- Sweet Memories by Steena Holmes
43. A book that takes place in your home state---Love finds you in Miracle, KY by Andrea Boeshar
44. A book that was originally written in a different language
45. A book set at Christmastime
46. A book written by an author with your same initials---Double Take by Melody Carlson
47. A play: Twelve Angry Men
48. A banned book: Face on the Milk Carton 
49. A book based on or turned into a TV show: I read every Little House book for a class
50. A book you started but never finished: The Story of the Von Trapp

01 February 2015

My organization system

I am not sure how all my stuff will translate to a blogpost, but I am going to try.

 I am Michelle, and I have a problem with schedules.  I like making them and I like following them. I don't like FBSP (fly by seat of pants), but I can do it.  I prefer my spread sheets, my detailed junk and most importantly a schedule.  I have told you before I have a strict schedule that I follow.  I am going to post it for you here today so that you can see what I do during the school year to keep my sanity (the little bit that I have left).

I have said before and I will say again, I am not a great housekeeper, but the work gets done.  My motto is, "you know you have to do it, do it now, get it over with then you can do whatever you want later."

First I have my written down chores. I keep these on my computer in case my family ever needs it.

Remember this is my school year schedule.  I don't have to make all the lunches during the summer!!!!

Sunday-the fridge is basically empty.  Today I do shopping and meal prep for the week.
Sunday afternoon-make all lunches for the week.   Trevor takes his lunch every day so I make them for the whole week.  Yes, he has 5 lunch boxes. I have a shelf set aside for the kids lunchboxes.
Sunday afternoon is also the meal prep day.  I do the calendar for the week and if something can be made ahead I do it today.  Lasagna, chicken for meals, etc…that can be premade is and either frozen until the day we eat or put in the fridge. I have two shelves to accommodate prepped meals. Trevor has one day a week where he cooks hamburger meat, either for tacos or for hamburger helper. 

Laundry days-Wednesday am, Friday am and Sunday afternoon
Ironing-done Sunday afternoon.  All outfits are planned in advanced and written down so that the pants can be ironed and ready to go.
Dry Cleaning dropped off on Wednesday usually picked up on Friday

Cleaning-Friday am
                Both bathrooms (john uses the daily shower thing in his shower every day….I clean my tub on Tuesday and Friday)
                Laundry room
                Sheets changed on all beds. I change mine  that am.  Kids take their sheets off (they have for years) and turn in Friday afternoon.  I wash them on Sunday.  We make their beds together (Hannah mostly does hers on her own now)

Cleaning-Saturday am-
                Bedroom (kids responsible for theirs)
Kitchen is cleaned every day (deep clean on Thursday)
Floors are mopped as needed in between but every Saturday am. I have hard woods this takes a while J

Living room is vacuumed as needed but also Wednesday after work

Lists are made for things that need to be fixed and I try to assign a time to get this done. (usually it is a break from school). I buy the supplies to fix before the scheduled day and then on the day get it done.  Over break I have to change the flapper in a toilet, change a wax seal on a toilet, see what is wrong with leaky faucet, clean out kids closets and touchup kitchen cabinet paint.

We keep the hall closet cleaned out enough so we can store bins. One bin for items to sell, one for donate, one for gifts purchased (I Christmas shop all year).  On breaks (days out of school) I price items to sell and place back into bin until consignment sale time, donate items and the Christmas I don’t touch. I do keep a notepad there to write down what is for what person when I put it in the bin.

Kids have unloaded dishwasher for years.  They put dishes on the counter if they can’t put them away.  I fill the dishwasher after dinner every night. I run it when I get up in the am, while I am exercising.  Kids empty dryer and load dryer. Delegate to help you out! 

I go to bed later than I used to 9:00-10:00 but I still get up around 4/4:30.  I can get up at 5 and get my work done but there is no exercising.  On weekends I sleep in until 7ish, my body won’t let me sleep late.  I don’t do outside work, but do 90% of inside work.

I can miss a day and put it off, but it is very hard.  I do not clean the house before we go out of town because we destroy it within ten minutes of coming home. 

I do not sit down much at home.  I have too much to do.  I like being busy if not fall asleep.  Ha ha

First and foremost, I am NOT a great housekeeper.  It is not a showplace. It is an organized mess.  I find that we can be functional, messy and still clean.  It works. I figure I will really clean the house when they are gone. 

I rarely get the dusting done.  And in recent years  I have limited knick knacks to a minimum. I do have photos/scrapbooks/art things everywhere…I just don’t always clean them. 

I do have laundry rules.

1.     If it’s not in the basket it doesn’t get cleaned
2.     Everyone has a basket in their room, it is their job to turn it in or it doesn’t get done.  Everyone knows the schedule so it is good
3.     There are family baskets in the hall, large bathroom and utility room, they can also put their clothes there.
4.     I have 3 laundry baskets (small) for clean clothes.  As the clothes are folded the laundry goes in there.  Each person is responsible for putting away their clothes and turning in their basket before laundry day.  Often Trevor empties his basket after the Sunday laundry day…no not often 99.9% of the time he does that.  His drawers are a mess!  But I can’t go behind him and straighten them.  He and I do it good over Christmas break and sometime in the summer every year, so twice a year his drawers look good.  He started doing this in Kindergarten.  Before that we did it together. 
I read fly lady when I started but I thought, I am very organized with our trips (we have a rigid schedule at Disney world, but we see a lot), and in my crafts so I thought “I can do this” so I jumped in with both feet. 

I would get the laundry caught up before you start anything.  Unless, I am sick, out of town, or washer is broken. I stick to laundry/cleaning schedule.  I have explained to everyone, once that is done I am free to do whatever.  It is hard, but you get behind if you don’t do it.  If I miss a day, the next day I wash and stay on my schedule all the other days.

Oh and as to storing things or leaving things lying around, I often say to myself “who’s going to pick that up?  Just do it now and get it over with”.  I don’t let piles  happen,  yes, I have to be very disciplined.  I don’t like it, don’t want to.  Get it done now, so you can play later. 

You may do better to do your cleaning at night. I am a morning person so I like to do it in the am. I get up running every day.  My sister is trying my method and she does it at night. 

My cleaning the kitchen means I put the dishes in the dishwasher, clear the table, wipe the cabinets, and general straightening.  Only on Thursday does it get a good clean.  I run the dishwasher every day. I cook meals most nights (most are prepared on Sunday pm I just have to heat/cook). 
The pictures below represent....a Wednesday laundry with the family baskets, a week where Trevor wanted tacos everyday, and my family boards. 

Lunches (prepare all 5 of Trevor’s lunchboxes for the week)
Clean kitchen
Clean kitchen
Laundry(wash and fold)
Clean kitchen (deep clean)
Laundry(wash and fold)
Clean bedroom (kids clean their own-won’t be perfect)
Laundry (wash and fold)
Declutter living room (make kids put away video games)
Sweep floors (I have hard wood floors they are mopped as needed swept every Tuesday)
Drop off dry cleaning

Clean day (this is the day you clean bathrooms, dust, change sheets….etc…)
Clean kitchen
Prepare supper calendar for the week
Clean hall bathroom

Clean kitchen

Clean kitchen
Mop Kitchen and baths
Make a couple of meals for the week

Vacuum Living room (and as needed)


Clean kitchen