My Birthday, Christmas, and a Happy New Year!

I had to sing the title as I typed it. Well, at least that last part.

2013 was a wonderful year. I met and exceeded many of my goals. I wrote a book, attended a writer’s conference and ended the year with a clean kitchen.

Those who were following me at the beginning of last year might remember my word for 2013 was “determined”. I was determined all the way to the end to finish the year out strong.

Here are a few blog posts of note in 2013:

Why I Started the New Year with 1000 Kicks (We’re doing this again this year.)

Conquering the Chore Monster

How to Baby Proof a Kitchen in 8 “Easy” Steps I need to do another post like this with Elisabeth as a toddler. We have not put a baby gate up at all to our kitchen this year.

Finding Beauty in Imperfections

These are just a few to show what we have been up to during the year.

I also wrote a book “Don’t Quit: Build a Legacy of Commitment” which you can download for free here. You can also read the blog posts I wrote to go along with my book. I plan to finish the 31 Day Building Commitment series and write a more in depth book from that theme.

December was a very busy month. Our children were sick the week before Christmas. I caught it the day before my birthday. 

IMG_20140101_233637

Birthday Presents from My Husband and Kids

I shared this on Facebook about my Birthday.

“Thank you, everyone, for the Birthday greetings! I had a wonderful day. 

My younger children gave me one roller blade and a floaty.  Now I can skate on one foot in a swimming pool without drowning.

My oldest son gave me a beautiful necklace. And my husband took me out for dinner and bought me a Keurig.

When we came home we had birthday cake made by my kids, ice cream, and coffee made in my new Keurig.

I couldn’t have asked for a better day! — feeling loved with Scott Maness

I had quite a few comments asking, “What’s up with the one roller blade and the floaty?”

I promised to write a post about that and then immediately the busy-ness of the season set in and I never stopped to post the rest of the month. So I will now give you that explanation. 

My children have sweet, caring hearts even if at times they are a bit misguided in their efforts. They believe that a Birthday is not complete without a gift being given some time during the day.

My younger children felt bad that I didn’t already have a gift so they ran to their rooms and grabbed probably the first two things they found on their floors as a present to me. It just so happened that those two gifts were a roller blade and a deflated floaty which they wrapped in a baby blanket. 

They brought it to me and when I opened it I smiled and with all the excitement only a mother can give for such a gift, I exclaimed, “Wow! Now I can skate on one foot in a swimming pool and not drown!” I gave them all hugs and thanked them for the gift. 

My 15 year old son later in the day gave me a necklace he had bought a month earlier. I was very impressed by his having thought to get me a gift that far in advance. It was very sweet and a sign of his growing up. 

My husband took me out to eat and we shopped for Christmas presents and bought a Keurig for my birthday. I have only been drinking coffee off and on for about a year and a half now. Two years ago I would have never dreamed I would want a Coffee Maker for my birthday. It’s amazing how much we grow and change in just a few years.

We spent Christmas with my family and enjoyed seeing my sister and her family as well.

Did you have a good 2013? Are you as excited as I am about the things to come in 2014? What type of posts do you like to see on my blog? Is there anything you would like to see more of? Feel free to share your thoughts with me in the comments or if you follow my blog by email just hit reply if you would like to talk with me privately. 

It took me long enough to get this post written. I have quite a few goals for this year. My word for the year is “organize” and I’ll be sharing more about that soon. I will also tell you about the goals I have for this year. I’m looking forward to a lot of great things to come. 

Have a very blessed and productive New Year!!!

~~ Anastacia ~~

EmailShare

How to Maintain a Clean Kitchen in 6 “Easy” Steps

20130123-214100.jpg
I spent a day this week with just my 4 younger children. Joshua and Ruth had gone to a nearby farm to help with their animals and to have riding lessons.

I had to drop them off. Leaving the younger 4 by themselves is a disastrous proposition not even worthy of consideration. (Okay, I admit I enjoyed putting that many big words into one simple sentence.) In other words I’m not leaving the little kids by themselves for even a minute.

I got them all up and the older children ate breakfast while the younger ones were scrounging around for their shoes.

We dropped their big brother and sister off for their riding lessons and I took the younger ones to a local store for honey buns and hot chocolate mix.

That was a fancy breakfast in their minds.

20130123-214128.jpg
After breakfast I decided to let them have a little free time while I worked on some lesson plans.

Jonathan and Hannah were pretty creative. Hannah made herself a mop lady and Jonathan a broom man.

Hannah named her new friend Jennifer. Jonathan said his was grandpa with a Mohawk and a cowboy hat.

20130123-214243.jpg
Elijah has been working on potty training. I have also been having to teach him not to be rough with Elisabeth.

In the above picture of Elijah and Elisabeth they are playing on our kitchen floor.

I’ve been managing to keep the kitchen clean. I try hard to keep every dish washed up after each meal. Sometimes there are a few left to be done before bed but not nearly as many as there used to be.

I have learned that there are a couple of things that help in being resolved to keep the kitchen clean.

1. You can’t expect anyone else to do it. I can tell my children to help but unless I show that I care and put forth some effort myself then no one else will.

2. Be determined. I tell myself that I’m not going to bed until every dish is clean. If I want to get to bed at a reasonable time I have to keep those dishes up throughout the day or I’d be up all night doing dishes.

3. Don’t make excuses.That popular saying going around that I used to listen to. “The dishes can wait they’re not going any where.”

That is true but unless you want those dishes to multiply into an embarrassing mess you better catch it while there is just a few. Otherwise you’re stuck playing catch up and believe me that is no fun. Keeping it up is much easier than catching it up.

4. Numbers don’t matter. Cleaning with 2 versus 6 kids? I’ve had only 2 kids before and now I have 6. I can actually speak from experience on this question.

With 2 children you don’t have as many helpers. Of course, they don’t make as big a mess either. Technically clean up is about the same with both.

With 6 kids there may be more dishes but you can assign them jobs that you would normally have to do if there were only 2 children.

5. Make it quality time. The same saying about the dishes not going anywhere is usually followed by “…but your children are only young once.” In other words, you should spend that time doing dishes and cleaning house with your children instead.

Okay, I’ve followed that advice before. I actually liked it. I much preferred spending quality time playing with my children to housekeeping. That’s why I had a messy kitchen for the past 2+ years.

I now have a new outlook on quality time. This year I’ve determined that I’d have even more quality time if the kids and I cleaned up the kitchen before we do other things.

And who says cleaning the kitchen isn’t quality time? If you think about it we are all in the room together. Why not teach my kids a new song while we’re cleaning.

Now with little ones particularly of the potty training years then I may have to leave the dishes for a moment to take care of an emergency.

If it’s a 6 month old wanting to be held. A clean floor with a pot lid and plastic spoon is a very fun toy. More fun than a brightly colored toy in fact.

6. Give the excess away. If I haven’t used a dish in over a year then I probably don’t need it. Give it away! Think of it as one less dish to wash. It’s also one more spot in the cabinet freed up for those dishes I do use.

Do you have any advice on keeping the kitchen clean? Or do you have a housekeeping question that you’re struggling with? I’d love to hear from you. Tell me what you think.

I’ll be posting again in another day or two. In that post I’ll be answering the frequently asked question, “When do you find time to write?” :-)

If you don’t want to miss any of my upcoming posts, please sign up for my free email updates.

EmailShare