Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Making Your Home A Haven Challenge

I don't know if any of you have been following Crystal's challenge over the past week - but it has been really great! I wasn't able to participate last week - but am going to try to do so this week.

Here is what we are encouraged to do:

1. Refresh your spirit.

* I start out my day before the girls get up by having my quiet time. During December, I always read this book and started out that way this morning. When the girls are up and we are eating breakfast, I read a Bible story to them - but again, this month we're doing something a little different. Our verse for this morning from the girls' book was:

Psalm 95:1, "Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord..."
2. Do your morning routine.

* Here is what my morning routine normally looks like.
6 am - wake, start quiet time and talk to David while he gets ready for work
6:30 am - have completed quiet time, get up and shower, get dressed for the day and make bed
7 am - check e-mail and post blog for the day, read various other blogs
7:45 am - get girls up
8 am - breakfast
8:20 am - clean up breakfast and empty dishwasher
8:45 am - change girls and get dressed for the day
9 am - start daily to-do list

3. Take time to plan.

* I do this the night before for the coming day. I think about what my daily chores assigned to that day are and the other tasks I'd like to accomplish. I rarely ever accomplish everything I write down - but it helps to have it written down so I can just move it to the next day. She suggested a short list of five items or less. Honestly, my list is usually like 20 things - so I won't list it all here! But, here are some pictures of our morning ~

We started the day with a blueberry muffin breakfast! I had mixed all the dry ingredients last night and had everything prepped as far as I could get it before this morning. So I mixed them up and put them in the oven while I read blogs. After breakfast, I finished my morning routine.

Bath time: (during bath time, we sang Sunday School songs to carry through on our theme verse from this morning)

Emily's project including marshmallows for the letter "M" and a snowman for Christmas fun!

We also made banana bread...

And, had a tea party for lunch. After hosting a baby shower on Saturday for my friend, it was easy to pull out leftover food and make a cute plate just from that! We also split the last cupcake!

4. What's on the menu for dinner?

I had planned roast chicken, green beans, twice-baked potatoes and applesauce. So, to prep in the morning, I started the chicken brining. I also set out the bacon to thaw for the potatoes and had the green beans cut and in the pan before I took Emily to ballet. It was a delicious meal!

5. Project of the day. Today's project was the kitchen. Also, she encouraged us to put on some uplifting music, an apron and light a candle.

I'm sure you can imagine that once Emily saw me in my apron, she wanted to wear one - so we donned aprons all around!

Then, instead of a candle, I put these spices in a pot on the stove to simmer - very yummy smelling!
On to the Kitchen - here is the before picture taken right after breakfast:

And, here is the after picture taken at about 2:30 in the afternoon! It took me that long to get to cleaning it and actually accomplish it! Monday is my usual day for cleaning the kitchen anyway, so this was perfect for my normal routine! I cleared the counters, cleaned them, cleaned out the sink and disposal.

It was a great day here and I'm thankful that our home was a haven to me and hopefully to all who share it with me!


*carrie* said...


I loved reading this post! Like you, I read some other blogs that were participating and thought it was a great idea.

Those apron pix are classic. I admit I never wear an apron. The only one I have is Christmasy so perhaps I'll pull it out. It would've been a nice touch yesterday while I made my cookies. What spices do you simmer on the stove? Sounds festive!

Love you.

Liisa said...

Looks like you had a wonderful day! Thank you for sharing it with us!

Anonymous said...

Everything looks lovely, Monica! Now to get off the computer and get started on my morning routine!

Amy @ http://hopeistheword.wordpress.com

Anonymous said...

Monica, thanks for sharing your day with us! Love the photos! :)
Love, Mom

Anonymous said...


I love your blog. I read it daily. Today I am going to attempt to do the Christmas ornaments you posted about last year!! I would also love to start blogging myself - maybe one day! I would like to know what spices you simmer. Thanks so much.


Anonymous said...

Oh this is wonderful! I am following along and being inspired! I think I will participate this week!
With so much to do, I don't want to forget WHY I do it!

Oh, and YOU LOOK DARLING - all pregnant! Just a gorgeous Mommy!

Tell me, where did you get those kids aprons? Also, how do you clean your disposal?

Katy said...

What a wonderful day!!!! I will have to check out Crystal's blog!!! Thanks so much for sharing!

Katie said...

So much joy in your home! :-) Thanks for sharing with all of us!


Wendi said...

You were one busy girl! Your dinner looks delish. I love the tub picture. I will have to try bubbles in the tub, I am sure Megan would love that!

I have been following along with the challenge, but have felt too overwhelmed the last couple of weeks to participate. You make it look like such fun!

Charlotte Cushman said...

I read that post yesterday too. I loved your post today Monica! char

Carmen at Old House Homestead said...

I love the post! Thanks for the inspiration! I have 6 and 1 on the way so it's a bit harder to go according to my set plans that I lay out, but we're flexible and get a few things done in a day! Glad to hear that I'm not the only one who doesn't get it all done in a day!

I would love to know where you acquired the beautiful tea set? The tea pot is so cute! My girls would love it!

I have put an apron on my Christmas wish list. I get so sloppy when I'm cooking and cleaning up after dinner!

Thanks again for the inspiration!


Anonymous said...

Wow! What a FULL day you had! (I'm sure they ALL are!)
Thanks for sharing your routine AND the photos. They are adorable.
You all look SO cute in your aprons.
Yes, I'm curious about the tea set, as well. It's darling! Right down my ally, of course! :)

Love you, Grandma

Barbie @ Mamaology said...

Thanks, as always, for encouraging me to be a better home maker;)I too would love to know where you got that tea set.... it's so adorable and my girls would LOVE it!

Many blessings to you Monica:)

Mrs. Taft said...

How fun is this :D This was a great post to read, looks like you got a ton done!

Kelly @ The Barefoot Mama said...

Oh Monica, you guys look so adorable! With a messy eater on my hands (my 17 month old little gal), I've quickly found that little aprons are a wonderful way to keep her clothes from looking ravaged after mealtimes, LOL!

Thanks for sharing you day with everyone!