Monday, August 31, 2009

Friend Makin' Monday -- Just for Fun

I thought I would participate in this blog carnival, just for fun. You might not ever wonder about the Amy Ellen who writes the posts for Health Begins With Mom... but just in case you do... here twenty somethings about me:

1. Do you cook every night?
Pretty much. I try to cook enough during the week for leftovers on the weekends, but we rarely eat out. I am the sole cook in the house, although I have a nine year old helper.
2. What kind of laundry detergent do you use & why?
I use Shaklee Get Clean laundry products because they are non-toxic and realio, trulio work. With my four children, I have not met a stain I couldn't remove in the three years of using Get Clean.
3. Do you do laundry every day or loads at a time?
I do two or three loads on Tuesdays and two or three loads plus sheets on Fridays. Not everyone's sheets every Friday, but half one week and the other half the next. Call it a sheet rotation plan.
4. How often do you eat out per week?
Ummm... we don't. When we have the occasional gift card or for my birthday we go out, but it's definitely not a per week thing.
5. Where do you usually eat out?
My fave restaurant for my birthday is Carraba's... and my dad took me there this year! I also like to get burritos at Moe's on occasion. It's not totally healthy, but it is fresh and much better than some eat out options.
6. What is your favorite retail store?
Honestly, I can't associate anything retail with favorite. I just don't shop. But I love a good bookstore, just for a quiet afternoon.
7. What's your favorite thing to drink?
Hmmm... I love limeade, but hardly ever drink it. Remember my limeade fiasco? I mostly drink water and pregnancy tea (which I'll post a recipe for later this week).
8. Do you take vitamins? What kind?
Well, you all know I take Shaklee vitamins. I blogged about why in my three part "What Is Health Anyway?" series found on the left sidebar.
9. What percentage of the household chores to you do?
I actually only do about 30%. My children have really gotten efficient at our daily chores. We work at the same time and get a job done really quickly.
10. Do your children do chores?
Well, I answered that already. It took a lot of time and patience to work with them in the beginning, but it sure is paying off now! It's paying off for them too, in dividends of good attitude and diligence.
11. Do you go to church?
Yes, I go to a really great family integrated church. I am so thankful for it! Here's a website if you wonder what a family integrated church is.
12. Do you have a housework schedule?
Yep. It works like clockwork, but keep in mind it has only been minorly tweaked a few times over the last four years... so it's basically habit. I wrote specifics about it in the comments on this post.
13. Do you keep a working budget?
My husband keeps the budget, but I am in charge of the grocery budget. Yes, I work the budget.
14. What do you do at night as a family?
We eat supper together. My dear husband, Greatest Dad Ever, plays with the kids while I clean up. Then we have family worship time... sometimes it's simple like just singing and praying together. Sometimes my dh leads us in Bible Study. Sometimes we go over the outline from Sunday's teaching at church. We are usually reading a family read aloud at this time too. Currently we are reading George Mueller's autobiography.
15. How do you prepare yourself for a new week?
I have a homeschool planning time on Sunday afternoons where I write in my homeschooling journal, think over the week, put books on hold. At this time, I can plan for other things that need to get done too. I think about the children's training and if I am connecting with their hearts... things like that. It helps me start the week with more than just a to-do list, but a proper perspective on what really matters in our house.
16. What do your mornings look like?
Up at 5:30. Exercise. Quiet Time. Getting myself ready for the day. Meal prep in the kitchen while Rainbow serenades me on the piano and the children get themselves ready for the day.
17. What time do you get up in the mornings?
I already answered that. :)
18. What time do you go to bed at night?
I have been conditioned to think of 10-10:30 as my bedtime. BUT I need to change my thoughts and put myself to bed by 9:30. I feel like I should stay up longer, but this pregnant body needs more sleep! I need to make a bigger effort to get to bed by 9:30. Really, I do.
19. How do you manage all of the paperwork that floods into your household?
Not very well. I keep a stack of "deal with asap" papers by my computer. And a stack of "deal with later" papers on my desk. But I don't always look to see what is in the stack. Paperwork is not my friend. I do keep a filing system. But my husband is much better at keeping on top of things than I am.
20. How do you keep your household organized?
OOOh. This is a big question. Everything has a place. Everything goes in its place. If it doesn't have a place, we come up with a good place for it or get rid of it.
Happy Monday,


Jonesey said...

That was fun Amy Ellen :)

Andrea Manor said...

So, what age do you start teaching your children how to do the chores? I have a similar cleaning schedule, but I've been waking up early and getting most of it done before kids are up. Any ideas about age appropriate cleaning tasks for a just turned four year old? Good idea to rotate bathrooms quick clean/deep clean, I like that. Thanks for sharing more about yourself!

Tonya said...

You know this, but I'm SO jealous of your organization and discipline!

travelingstacey said...

I really enjoyed reading this! It was fun and challenging to me! There are so many areas that want to grow in. You've given me so many things to think about and I'm already starting to make small changes in our family. The Lord is using you to challenge me as a mom and household manager! Thanks!

Amy Ellen said...

Hi Andrea... I didn't let the kids clean with me until we got non-toxic cleaning products. That was when Rainbow was five. Before that, she would dust and unload the dishwasher, set the table, make her bed and clean her room.

When I felt safe with the cleaning products, I had all of the kids join me with a spray bottle and a microfiber rag. I think Spiderman was nearly four at that time. It took about two years until they could do the job well. But I was right along side them the whole time.

When each of my children was about three I made them a little picture chart with a few small tasks they could be responsible for. Putting out napkins and spoons for breakfast, sweeping under the table after a meal, making their beds, putting their clothes in the hamper, putting clean clothes in their drawers. I always had them join in the chore time in whatever small way they could. What they can do just grows.

My four year old can help mop, dust, fold washcloths, napkins and towels, put away her laundry, make her bed and keep her room clean, organize our scrap paper box and her "school" basket, set the table, unload the silverware from the dishwasher, wipe out the tub, scrub the toilet. She is trying to push the vaccuum, but it is still a big job for her... there are probably other things I'm not thinking of.

My seven year old sweeps daily, takes out the trash, wipes down the vanity, keeps the games closet clean, keeps his room clean... things like that.

The only jobs I do completely by myself are our master shower, the dishes after meals, watering the plants and big jobs like cleaning on top of the fridge, in the oven, vaccuuming blinds and air vents and crown molding... and some of these are just because I don't want to give it all to the kids!

Hope this helps! ae

Andrea Manor said...

Thanks, that's very helpful. I've been using homemade cleaners from a book called, "Clean house, clean planet" for about 4 or 5 years. Mostly uses vinegar, baking soda, dr. bronner's soap and club soda. I'd be open to trying a Shaklee product. If there was only one you could pick to have, which one would it be? Maybe an All-purpose kind of product?
I think I'm going to try still getting up early and doing the bulk of the work, but saving a small part of the work to train her. If I know my purpose it to be training her to do it, I think it will go much better. I'll have to do that while little one is asleep. He likes to play in the toilet. Yuck! : )

Amy Ellen said...

Hi again, Andrea.

Ewww... play in the toilet!

Yes, do keep in mind that it is training. It takes time, but you are teaching much more than how to clean... you are addressing the character and work ethic of your children.

One cleaning product. Basic H2 will do 95% of household cleaning. I use it for nearly everything. It's actually cheaper than mixing up your own cleaning products at home... I can email you a cost analysis if you'd like. And one bottle lasts for years... literally. Cut/paste this link to get to the product info page:

: ) ae

Jenelle said...

Hi Amy!
Looks like a fun blog carnival and I enjoyed reading it. :)
Things are starting to slow down here some, so hopefully I'll be back up blogging more and I'll write you soon to catch up on some things. Have a good Friday and weekend!