Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Working Right Now!

It's so easy to think of the things that aren't working for us - but today I thought it would be fun to think about some of the things that are working!

Here are some things working for me right now -

* eating dinner on the early side and then having a longer evening to enjoy and linger over slowly - there is something wonderful about having dinner prepared, served and cleaned up by 6!
* setting my vitamins out the night before: I've had trouble over the summer staying faithful to regularly taking vitamins. One day recently I decided to set the next day's vitamins out the night before and wow, it was so great to reach for them so easily throughout the day. I found a cute tiny dish in my china cabinet that makes it pretty too!
* setting the breakfast table the night before: I've mentioned this one before, but I always have my dinner clean-up helper wipe off the table and then set the table for breakfast. It is such a gift to wake up the next morning with the table ready and waiting!
* emptying the car trash when I get gas: I learned this great trick from my Mom and making it a routine has been such a help - while my gas is pumping, I take a quick peek through the car and gather anything I can get rid of, trash cans are handy too!

* staying home: this is a repeated theme for me, but it holds true. The more we stay home, the more smoothly things run in our home and with school. I know this may not be true for everyone, but I've definitely found it to be true for us.
* salad toppings prepped: I've set a goal for myself to eat salad for lunch on most weekdays. Having the meat measured and in small canning jars, carrots and onions chopped or whatever I'm planning for that week - it makes it super quick to pull together a delicious salad on busy school days. My favorites right now are taco meat and pulled chicken from Wal-Mart.
* using the Bookmobile: I've long struggled with making the library work for me until about a year ago when our local library resumed their Bookmobile service. The ladies who work on it are so friendly and have even taken to coming on our CC days twice a month so I can get my library books picked up and returned without even taking a separate trip.
* Wal-Mart grocery pick up: this has also really helped me. I've loved how it helps me stay on budget and typically pick up our groceries after CC on Thursdays. So, by the time we get home on Thursday, we've had a great school day with our CC Community, had the library brought right to us and gotten our groceries for the week. Definitely working for me. As a lovely bonus: the ladies who work at our WM grocery pick up are so kind and friendly, and since I go so regularly, it has been nice to see a familiar and friendly face when picking up!
* setting my clothes out the night before: are you sensing a theme - I like to work ahead, plan ahead and be prepared for the next day. Just these little things take a few minutes off of my morning tomorrow that is a busy time of getting the household moving and going on a new day.
* chocolate bars: in my effort to eat less sugar, but still wanting a little sweet after lunch - I've been enjoying having a nice chocolate bar on hand. My favorite is Ghiradelli Sea Salt Soiree which has almonds in it and is a nice dark chocolate. I recently bought a bar that was TOO dark - so will save that for pie! One square is the perfect sweet after lunch and is not overly sweet plus only about 60 calories!

* new chore chart: this summer one of my goals was to streamline our chores a bit more. I needed something that offered consequences but also rewarded blessings to those who were willing to work hard and be diligent. This has been a tremendous help in our home and overall has been quite a success. I used paper copies at first thinking I may need to tweak something but now I have one laminated that we just dry erase and use again. Each of our kids help David greet at church on Sunday mornings in rotation, so they rotate through on the chart which has been nice for not always doing the same jobs. We had also had some trouble {ahem} with them deciding who sat where in the car, so I assigned that too. Honestly I tried to think of every problem area and then assign it all on one chart!

That's what I can think of for now and I'm eager to hear what is working for you right now - I hope to learn a new tip that will be a blessing!

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Tina said...

Monica, I’d like to know more about how you make the Walmart Pick-up work for you. That would help me, I think, but I can’t imagine someone else picking things out like my bananas or my milk (one with the longest expiration date). Maybe I’m too controlling. Thanks for sharing.

*carrie* said...

Great list, Monica, and way to focus on the positive!

One thing that comes to my mind is that I almost always sleep in workout clothes so that I am ready to walk first thing each morning. Like you mentioned with some of your plan ahead things, it feels much more convenient to not have to change out of pajamas into workout clothes, and it makes me more likely to get my exercise.

Jen said...

I keep a small basket "lined" with walmart bags in our car. I "layer" the bags so that when one is full, it's easy to "peel" off the top/full bag and the next one is ready to go. I always empty when I'm getting gas. Makes it so much easier!

Our closest WM hasn't started pick up yet but when it does, I'm eager to try it. My only issue is that I do most of my shopping at Aldi, so I'll need to tweak things in order to be organized about WM. Our youngest son goes to college tomorrow, and we'll be "empty nesters" so I'm looking forward to our grocery bill going way down. ;-)

Mary Ann said...

This is a great post! It has helped me to think about what works right now in this season and to accept that what works one season may not work the next.

This summer has been super busy for us! I've simplified a LOT and these are some things that have worked great for me.

--Walmart grocery pickup has been great. To answer a previous commenter's question about produce: I have been happy with the perishable items they've selected. That being said, I've been getting marked down or sale priced meats at another store as it is better priced and I have more control over package sizes, etc.

--At the beginning of summer, I picked out 5 outfits for work and hung them in outfits on hangers. It is hot here and I need modest and appropriate clothing for the work I do plus I am outside some every day. I wanted to feel nice and be comfy and modest without lots of layering. This has worked fantastically for me. After washing, I just assembled the outfits again and done! I did have a couple extra pieces I could pull from if needed and I did that some if something got stained before I left for work or as a backup. I'll definitely do this for the fall/winter as well.

--Thursday nights have been hectic. For a while we went out to eat but that required a decision plus it was so late. I got a great deal on frozen pizzas at the end of July and got enough for each Thursday in August. It's easy and I don't have to think about it.

--I do a load of laundry nearly every day which keeps it from piling up.

--I do a 2 week menu and shop every 2 weeks. I've been recycling the menu a lot to keep things simple. I've been doing meals as easy as possible (lots of Instant Pot, Crockpot or sheet pan meals) while still keeping them as whole foods and healthy as I can. (Frozen pizza not counted in this. LOL)

That's all I can think of right now! Your earlier dinner sounds great; not feasible for us right now but later on I hope to implement that as I can. I'm still working on a good routine for home management; it is a work in progress!

Have a great day, Monica!

Mom said...

A great long list - I'm so glad these things are working for you! Cute photo of Scout! :)

Anonymous said...

You are an inspiration to so many homeschool moms.

mysweetbunch said...

What works for us is setting a timer before school to have all chores done before a certain time. Also my kids have a laminated list with a magnet on our Big Dry Erase board(e use for scripture verses or quotes). They just mark off the chores as they go. It's kind of a game for all of them!;) However, I would love to see your chore laminated list for any additional ideas, if you could share?

Monica Wilkinson said...

Ooooh - I absolutely love all these ideas! What a great topic!

Tina: Overall, I have had great experience with the WM grocery pick up. But I will say that if I wasn't happy they have definitely made it right. For example, one time when I went, my produce was frozen - I took it back and got to exchange for new. Another time, I had nectarines that were mushy/moldy and I took them back and got my money back. This is two times in a year of going once a week almost. When they first started they told me that they chose produce/milk from the back where things were fresher even than in the store - I don't know if that is still true but I'm still pleased with my orders.

Like Mary Ann, I have gotten some mark downs cheaper elsewhere but that takes more time so I just do what I can!

Monica Wilkinson said...

@Tina: another idea is to just pull over right after picking up your order in the parking lot and take a peek through your groceries to make sure everything is fine before you leave. It would give you peace of mind and potentially save you a second trip.

Tina said...

Oh thank you! I appreciate all of these and you know, I’m going to try the Wal-Mart Pickup for sure. Home management can be your next topic Monica. 😉 Thanks.

Mrs. Chrissy T said...

I do some of things you mentioned. Trash when I get gas, and some others. I love the ideas of prepping some things for salads. Great ideas. Blessings! I also just like the positive twist you did. Besides focusing on what is not working but what is.

becka said...

My children are now grown with families of their own, but I well remember the squabbling about who would sit where in the back seat of the station wagon. We had a little circular chart for the three children which got turned every week. The car seating and the pre-and post supper chores rotated each week. This eliminated a great deal of grumbling from the back seat. :)