Thursday, December 31, 2009

40 Day Challenge: Desk, Day 33

Naomi had been playing with Brian's lunch box again... and I hadn't noticed before I took the picture. Oh well. :-) The top part looks good.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

40 Day Challenge: Desk, Day 32

Look how clear the picture is! :-) Brian got a beautiful new camera- I'm thrilled!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

40 Day Challenge: Desk, Day 31

This will probably be the last post with crummy pictures. That's right!! Brian is out buying a new camera right now! I CAN'T WAIT!!!

Monday, December 28, 2009

40 Day Challenge: Desk, Day 30

Well, for the first time in the desk challenge, I have gone to bed without tidying it up. I will say it's not horrible and compared to what the desk regularly looked like before the challenge... I just won't go there.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

40 Day Challenge: Desk, Day 29

We got some money for Christmas... so I think we're going to go shopping for a new camera! I am so excited! This one has at least been better than my video camera, but I will be very glad to get one with more precise settings instead of just a point and shoot.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Putting Away 6

I cleaned up the bedroom and then decided I wanted to sew... Then I brought up all my boxes. Silly me. I got them all out and then sewed 2 simple things and didn't touch it. So I got annoyed with myself, packed all the boxes up and kept out 2 projects to work on- one needs 2 more seams and then some hand stitching, the other is just 2 pieces of fabric right now. Brian took the sewing boxes back downstairs for me. He's such a tolerant man. :-)

40 Day Challenge: Desk, Day 28

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas! I didn't take a break from my challenge- but I did take a break from posting it. It's been good for me to do this through the holidays though, to prove to myself that even in the busiest time of year, I can keep something clean. :-)

Thursday, December 24, 2009

40 Day Challenge: Desk, Day 27

Well, there is no school right now, so at least I don't have to worry about school papers that end up on the desk. :-) I see I forgot to put away the dictionary that Naomi drug out though. Oh well- it was on the floor. :-)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

40 Day Challenge: Desk, Day 26

YAY for a clean desk. (Ignore the paper and lid on the floor!) I have to say this has just been really nice. It was such an eye sore before! I do find alot of stuff piles on it throughout the day though still. Stuff piles everywhere throughout the day. I need to change that. I know Flylady does "Put out a Hot Spot" or something like that, where you take 5 minutes a couple times a day to just attack a "hot spot". What do you guys do? Do you have a routine, do you out of habit just put it where it belongs?

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

40 Day Challenge: Desk, Day 25

The house managed to stay in one piece as I worked on gift boxes for Brian's bosses.
Alot of kids were out of town, (including ours) so Brian didn't have a boyscout meeting and was able to stay home and wrangle the kids while I finished working on the cinnamon rolls and Zucchini Bread. After the little ones went to bed we did all the dishes and sat down for a movie and packaged the boxes. The table is kind of messy, with wax paper, some candy, etc. I need to work on that now- but at least the desk, sink and living room looked pretty good!

Monday, December 21, 2009

40 Day Challenge: Desk, Day 24

So, yes the desk stayed clean because we were gone all day long! :-)

Sunday, December 20, 2009

40 Day Challenge: Desk, Day 23

Forgot to post this morning, but I have a good excuse! We drove the boys 400 miles away so they could spend 2 weeks with their grandparents. But I did manage to clean it up before going to bed the night before. :-)

Saturday, December 19, 2009

40 Day Challenge: Desk, Day 22

With there being snow here the living room looks bad... snow gear always laying around drying for the next trip out. We don't have a coat closet, though I do have a drying rack in the kitchen, so now and then snow pants are hung there. Since we don't have a coat rack or closet, Brian's coat finds it's way to the computer chair and each night I have had to put it in our room. Whenever we finish the house we'll have to put in something for coats/boots.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Getting Rid of... 32

Instead of going back into the bedroom, I thought I would clean the top of the piano today. It's been bugging me and we're having company tonight. I need to clean up my sewing table too. I worked on a few things and then started cleaning. Maybe I should just pack it up and put it away again...

I was able to throw a nice stack of papers away off this piano. But most things just needed to be put away. I dusted everything when I was done, so it looks pretty again.

40 Day Challenge: Desk, Day 21

In effort to keep the desk clean, I have kept up on the checkbook and paid bills promptly. It's been nice to sit at without a mess of stuff to do glaring me in the face.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Getting Rid of... 27

I was inspired to keep going-- so I attacked it again! I went all the way this time. I stuck Brian's scouting papers in his bedside table. Guess I'll have to ask him to sort that pretty soon, it's getting pretty full.

That crock is our "candy bucket". We don't eat alot of candy. I don't allow alot of candy. So then the boys get a "candy day" once a month. They'll watch a movie and get to eat as much of their candy as they want while the movie is playing. Once the movie is over I pick out any thing that is good if I want to and then throw the rest in the trash and they start over. Sadly, it fills up fast! They get candy from all over. I can't believe how much candy people just give to kids randomly!

I cheated in one area... that box. I put it in the pile of other boxes in the corner of the bedroom. It's one of those misc. boxes that has little bits of everything in it and I don't know where to put any of it!

Getting Rid of 20

Decided to attack the top of the dresser today. It's a catch all... and kind of a scary one at that!! I just got rid of 20 this time. Didn't want to overwhelm myself with saying I was going to clean it all off or anything.
Notice Brian's candy jar is getting empty? We had a Christmas Party and I needed one more gift. So I dumped as much as a could into a gift bag. :-)

40 Day Challenge: Desk, Day 20

Half way through the challenge and going strong!! Woo hoo!

So, in all of this have any of you been inspired to do any "challenges"? If so, what are you planning or working on right now?

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Getting Rid of... 6

I wrapped the Christmas Presents! I should have done it the first of December, eh? Oh well- it's done and it's still a week before Christmas. I didn't get Naomi's done, she was there with them, so I just wrapped the others that we had there. I picked up a bunch of kitchen sets when I was in Portland OR, at IKEA this last summer, so I have her Christmas, then birthday, then Christmas, then birthday again. :-) They are really nice and like the ones that we use in the kitchen- ceramic dishes, stainless steel pots, etc.
I should probably go downstairs and clean out the drawer to that dresser. It's just sitting there with stuff in it. I had to bring the dresser up for Titus' clothes/changing table.

Creatively Rearranging

This is just what I don't want. Yeah, and I did it. I want to get rid of things, not hide them somewhere else. But I decided it would help me in the long run. I put away/threw away about 6 things. The rest I stacked in the corner of the bedroom. Most of it is paper stuff and books, etc. I need to go through the boxes. I tend to get annoyed with the desk, so then stuff all the papers into a box and set them in the bedroom. So I have 3 boxes to go through. Now when I go to go through my 20 things, I can just focus on the one area. Might be a little more discouraging, won't see as much of a difference in the small piles, but now have more of a clean floor. Don't know what's better.

Getting Rid of 20

In the master bedroom. I just got rid of 20 here. It's kind of an overwhelming area to me. We have some Christmas presents here... maybe I should take them out and wrap them, since it is December. I've had them since June. I watch all year for deals and snatch up Christmas presents when I can.

40 Day Challenge: Desk, Day 19

Almost half way done with the challenge! I forced myself to stay up and do the dishes tonight. The livingroom didn't look the best though when I went to bed. We went Christmas tree hunting and there are hats, gloves, scarves, boots and snow pants piled in the livingroom. I need to bag them up and take them to the basement. I did get the ornament box put by the basement door though, instead of leaving it out in the livingroom.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Getting Rid of... 11

This is Brian's side of the bed. I just put away/threw away things that I knew I could and I left his things there. I'm not going to go through his papers. Some of them are Money Magazines, some are Boy Scout papers... I'm just not going to mess with it.

Getting rid of... 26

So, this time I went in and planned to get rid of 20... but I had alot of little things there beside my bed. I had a couple pairs of earrings, some of Naomi's hair bands, nails from when I took down pictures to paint, etc. 20 would have gone by way too fast. So I did either 1 big or 1 "unit" of small things. I was enjoying seeing it cleaned so I just kept going and counting until it was done. 26 things/units. Some things got thrown away, some just got put in their proper areas again.

40 Day Challenge: Desk, Day 18

I think the rest of the house has suffered today... but the desk looks great!! It seems to collect alot more dust since it's not covered with papers... lol I was using the swiffer (type) dusting clothes because the work so great at collecting dust, but it bothers me that I throw them away. It seems like a waste of money and a waste of space in the landfill. I'm not really an environmentalist, but I think we do need to be responsible and God gave us this place to take care of. What do you use for dusting?

Monday, December 14, 2009

Quiet Time

Each afternoon after lunch Naomi has a quiet time. We've done it since she was really little. When she started skipping her first nap she would be really grumpy and just plain have a bad attitude. So I started the "quiet time". She did great and played quietly and came out so much happier! So we have a box of toys and she has her quiet time on our bed because Titus naps in their room. She plays in there really nice and it's sweet to hear her talking and singing.

40 Day Challenge: Desk, Day 17

It was a busy day, I'm surprised we got as much done as we did on the house! And the desk still looks nice. I've been putting the bills into the basket above the desk. I think I need to plan a day each week or each month to file things that get put in there so it doesn't overflow. I have my planner for next year there too. I plan on leaving it out on the desk next year so I can see my schedule each day. Since having Naomi and Titus I haven't been as on top of things as I used to be. I remembered so much of what needed to be done. The "pregnancy brain" totally ruined me and I haven't quite got it all back yet. I'm hoping after Titus is weaned I'll have more of my brain... but one would think it would come back after the pregnancy was over... maybe I'm just doomed to be ditzy. lol

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Getting Rid of... 16

We pulled out some of the Christmas decor, not the tree stuff yet, but all the other things that we have around the house. I really like nativity sets, I have 2 and would like 1 or 2 more. There is one at Costco that is absolutely beautiful, it's quite large. I just figure, if I'm going to have Christmas decorations, they should remind us what what Christmas is all about! It's so humbling to think of our great Savior, mighty, glorious, amazing... down here on earth, born in a place where animals are normally born, as a helpless baby, pooping and peeing all over himself, just to show us how much He loves us.

So, here's a box of decorations that I have just kept, oh, because people have given them to me. I had thought they had put alot of thought into it, but was visiting another friend and she had a very similar decoration... from the same person. I realized then, that it was just a general gift, the giver must have found a bargain and stocked up for "all those people she had to give gifts to". I didn't look at those decorations so fondly afterwards.

RIght before pulling out the decorations my friend Suzanne had sent me this article: Friends Don't Give Friends Clutter for Christmas. How fitting!
So... I stuck them all in the give away box, asked the boys to look at them and make sure they were ok with giving them away. (Something about Christmas memories and decorations... I don't know!)
So, they were just fine with getting rid of those- out they go!!

40 Day Challenge: Desk, Day 16

Tissue box out... Poor Titus is so sick. The desk seems to be the most central location, so I left it there.
See Naomi's chair sitting beside the desk? I put it up in her room for a while. I'll take it down later and she'll enjoy it again. We'll keep it until Titus is done with it and then pass it on to someone else to enjoy. It's one of those big things that I've been happy about having, Naomi has gotten alot of use out of it.
As you can see I put up some Christmas decorations. Looks a bit better than an empty shelf. I do have regular decorations, I'll pull them out when I put Christmas stuff away.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Getting Rid of 20

When Brian and I got married I was following Flylady. She is great and I love her advice. She is spot on with everything. Talking about how the reason our houses aren't clean because we are such perfectionists. That's right, perfectionists! We know if we go in there it won't be perfect. We have maybe 5 minutes and that's not going to accomplish what we want, so we just give up before beginning and don't bother doing anything.

I don't know how I got out of the habits I had with her system. We moved, I got pregnant, I stopped. I shouldn't have.

Anyway, one of the things she has you do is get rid of 27 things each day and work on one area at a time. So I decided I would do something like that. Today I picked a corner of our bedroom and I got rid of 20 things. It actually made a big difference, didn't it?!
I didn't throw them all away, some I put where it belongs, some I put in the give away box and some I did just throw in the trash.

40 Day Challenge: Desk, Day 15

I think this challenge has been really easy. I'm still having to work at the kitchen/livingroom. Perhaps that challenge was too hard! I have been keeping up on it, but it takes alot more focus then this one! Brian was playing Civilization III here, he used to game all the time, but realized how much time he was wasting when he could have been doing something productive. He likes to make chain maille and is making a shirt. He made me a beautiful sterling silver bracelet for my birthday. I need to get some pictures of it... that will have to wait until I can use/buy a better camera.
Anyway, so this is one of the rare occasions where Brian was on the computer and I went to bed.

Friday, December 11, 2009

2010 in 2010

In 2008 I did this for the first time. You can read about it here.
Sadly, I didn't keep track of all the stuff when I cleaned out the basement, or I would have had the 2009 in 2009 chart filled out. I know I got rid of that much stuff.
Stephen loves numbers and so he will count stuff as he sees me taking it out the door and he'll mark it down. But the boys were visiting family for a couple weeks when I was working on the basement, or he would have done it for me. I was just in too much of a 'get it done' mode, I forgot about counting/charting.

The other day, Brian came home from work with this:

That's right. I guess he likes the way the house is looking and wants to get rid of more stuff!!! :-)
Here is the chart if you would like to download and use it for yourself.

40 Day Challenge: Desk, Day 14

I removed a few books/magazines that didn't need to be on the computer tower. The desk does tend to collect different papers and misc. items throughout the day, but at least hasn't been hard to clean off and most of the time I have a place to put them. I'm going to try to pay the bills as the come in. I had bought that basket on the shelf to keep bills in until I pay them, but I think it would be better if I just pay them as they come in and do the checkbook at the same time. Though, thinking of the checkbook... I've been doing it for so long, Brian doesn't even know what our budget is right now. I think we should change that, so maybe he can do it on Saturdays. Maybe I'm morbid (ok, I think of this as practical!) but if I died right now, I think he would be lost as to what bills get paid when, etc. So, I'm just saying, if something happens, I don't want him to feel completely lost looking at the checkbook.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

When I Cleaned Out the Basement

Back in August our toilet overflowed and it leaked down into the basement. On top of this:

Actually, it was worse that this picture. But the water only went on one quarter of this mess and thankfully it was mostly clothes and blankets that I was able to wash, only a few things needed to be thrown away. So I was forced into cleaning the basement. I had been wanting to get rid of a bunch of stuff for a long time, we are planning to remodel that (you know, after the kitchen is done) and I didn't want to have to "store" all of that junk. So some friends came over that are excellent at purging and gave me a hand. It's so great to have someone there that is not attached to your stuff and they can say things like this:

Them: "Really, you need to keep this broken tea cup you never use?"
Me: "Yes, but my mom gave it to me."
Them: "Hasn't your mom given you other things you like/use?"
Me: "ok- get rid of it."

Kristy and Laura- they are the engines behind this. :-) Kristy happened to be having a church garage sale where the profits were going to a Ukraine medical mission trip that our church does every year. So I gave her a ton of stuff. I kept a few boxes, sewing and scrapbooking supplies, winter coats/clothes to grow into, Christmas stuff and a couple trunks/cedar chest that I can't part with. I was able to fit all that underneath the stairs. It's about an 8' x 5' area. And the pile of stuff doesn't even go to the ceiling- I can see over the top of it!
I was able to get rid of so much stuff and I didn't count it- which is too bad, because I would have filled my 2009 in 2009 chart. *sigh*.

Here's some pictures of the carpet that was down there.

40 Day Challenge: Desk, Day 13

I am so stickin' pleased with how the desk is looking! I guess I could get to that pile on top of the computer there underneath the desk. That's where I keep the phone book. The desk drawer is full of pens, pencils, cords for cameras, stamps and envelopes. I'll just get rid of the other books and only keep 1 phone book. Sometimes it's helpful... like when the electricity is off and we need to look something up... hm. There have been times in the last couple months I've needed the phone book, though most of the time I do look it up online. What do you guys do?

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


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