The Day I Got Mad and Stopped Doing Laundry

Well, it happened; and I’m done. For years I have had a system where I have a “clean” laundry basket for each member of our house. I had a large laundry hamper divided in three sections. Each section was coded: white, black, colors – simply put the right color in the right section. The laundry fairy (me) would clean the clothes and put them in each family members’ clean basket. Pretty simple when the kids were little.

They aren’t so little anymore. Things aren’t as simple. Clothes get thrown on floors, in closets, in the bathroom, sometimes close to the laundry hamper. Sometimes, even in the hamper (score!). Clean laundry baskets start overflowing, not getting put up. Socks are often scrunched up, turned inside out, etc. Undies are stuck in jeans and shorts. Clothes don’t make it into the proper section of the laundry hamper. And, my biggest aggravation: clean clothes put into the dirty clothes pile because someone is in too big of a hurry or too lazy to put his/her clothes up.

So…..I’m done. I’m not doing my kids’ laundry anymore. My oldest daughter at home already does her laundry, and the two others (ages 11 and 13) are now responsible for their own. The two younger ones are handling it differently. My youngest is a boy and he thinks it is fine. His plan is to wear everything he owns and then once a month do laundry. My 13 year old daughter thinks I have handed down a horrible punishment. She’ll get over it.

So, I realize we feel different on different days; but for me, this feels good. So, I am going to roll with it and see how it turns out. I might even finish the book I’m reading since I won’t be doing laundry today.:)

Fun Finds From the Web

Did you see the supermoon lunar eclipse last night? So cool. I don’t remember ever being able to see details on the moon. My kids got out binoculars and a small telescope, but I could even see craters with the naked eye. A Facebook friend posted this: lunar eclipse. One of my daughters told us this would not come around again until 2033. It was really fun to watch.

Speaking of nature, one of my favorite things to do is to watch sunsets. Did you know that Kansas is in the World’s Top 7 Places to Watch Sunsets. Yes, it said World!!

I love being outside, and I am thankful I was able to enjoy some of the awesomeness of nature this weekend. On Sunday morning I took the dogs out for an early morning walk in the country. I could hear the birds singing in the fields and it was so soothing, peaceful, and uplifting. I recently found this interesting article: How Walking in Nature Changes the Brain.

When the weather permits, I prefer to exercise outside. I found this site the other day – The Perfect Playlist For an 11-Minute Mile. There are different sites out there for how quickly or slowly you wish to run.

Last week a friend shared this with me: Life advice from dad. This article is intended for males, but I could relate to it – fun to read and think about.

Have a wonderful week and enjoy these last few days of September!

 

 

 

 

 

Friday Book Review

the wedding book

Darn you, Nicolas Sparks. You did it again. Yes, I cried. I thought maybe I wouldn’t it, but I did. This was another recommendation from one of my daughters.

Most of us are familiar with the book The Notebook. In essence this is a sequel to that book. Wilson Lewis is the protagonist. He is the son-in-law of Noah and Allie Calhoun (of The Notebook). Wilson is married to Jane (Noah and Allie’s daughter).

As can happen in real life, Wilson and Jane have been married for almost 30 years when Wilson realizes that his wife might not be in love with him anymore. He’s an estate attorney who has spent most of their married life working to support their family. He absent mindedly forgets their anniversary, and when his wife leaves for New York for several weeks, he decides he had better come up with a plan to win back her love.

Wilson does everything he can. He starts making romantic dinners, he is attentive and really listens to her when she talks, he starts becoming more involved with their children, and he even takes time off work and helps plan, organize, and assist in his daughter’s upcoming wedding.

During his year long attempts to bring the love and romance back into his marriage, he also demonstrates is love and respect for Noah, who is now in a rest home and sometimes just needs a friend to understand his grief of losing Allie and how he goes about dealing with that grief.

Will Wilson win back the love of Jane? Will there be a happy ending? You’ll just have to read The Wedding to find out.

 

How To Manage All Those Photos

I did it! The first of the month came along and I did what I knew I needed to do. Why I keep dreading this process, I don’t know. I think my brain still associates ordering photos online as a negative experience. When in fact, it’s not a bad experience at all anymore. It’s actually quite simple.

With our smart phones and digital cameras, it seems we now have more pictures than ever. I wanted a way to manage all these photos, so I came up with a system. It’s really quite simple.

  1. Choose the last day of the month or the first day of the month. Be consistent if you can. Upload your pictures to a service. I use snapfish. They are always having sales. I have used them for years.
  2. I select only the pictures I want to put in albums or give to others.
  3. When the photos come in the mail, I put them in a waiting album as soon as I can. I have years of chronological albums. I give or mail copies to people who I have made extras for. (This doesn’t happen every month.)
  4. I relax and then do the process again on my chosen date.

It works! I can’t say I don’t still have a little dread when the date rolls around. I think it’s because in the past I let too many months go by and then when I went to do order the photos it was time consuming. Not to mention when the photos came in they weren’t always in order so I had to try to figure out which month or day was the right order.

I hope this helps you if you aren’t sure how to manage all the pictures you have on your phone and memory card of your camera.

Fun Finds From the Web

You’ll never believe where I spent the weekend….. Chicago!! Years ago my mom, who is a realtor, had a conference there and she asked if my sisters and I wanted to go with her. We started going every year. There was a lot that happened during that time, lots of changes in our lives: moves, engagements, divorces, pregnancies, career changes, etc. We still went. I have always joked that all we do for a couple of days is walk, talk, shop, and eat. We usually go to a museum or two as well. We always stay on, or right off of, Michigan Ave – the Magnificent Mile. It’s very manageable because it’s just a mile.

I read an article right before my trip that talked about how experiences make us happier than things: Researchers studied the ways spending money can affect happiness. The results are eye-opening.

A close friend of mine sent me a picture of the little standing library they now have in their front yard. At first I thought it was a bird house, but it’s much grander. Theirs stands on a single pole and has stained glass surrounding the structure. It’s so neat! She lives in Seattle and their neighborhood is participating in a lending library program. I think it’s wonderful. Little Free Library.

I found this app gives you a virtual security guard to walk you home. I think this is very timely for all the kids (especially college kids) who are now back in school.

Whenever I do yoga I am glad I did, but I am usually reluctant to get started. If you don’t have a lot of time, and you don’t know much about yoga, I think you will like Morning Yoga Poses For Beginners.  It doesn’t get much easier than this. I thought the stretching was great!

Baking cookies is one of my favorite things to do. It has been since I was a teenager. I know this may sound strange, but I can feel happy just at the prospect of making them. Family and friends always seem to get a kick out of the fact that I almost always have the ingredients on hand to throw a batch together. I thought everyone did! Here is one of my all time favorite recipes: chewy peanut butter chocolate chip cookies. They are easy and delicious!

Have a great week!!

Friday Book Review

let it snow

If one of my daughters tells me I should read something, I do. Let it snow is a book of three holiday romances from three separate authors. The one my daughter asked me to read was “The Jubilee Express” by Maureen Johnson. I will definitely be checking out other books by this author. I love her voice.

Jubilee (there is a story behind her name), is a likeable, sharp, down-to-earth teenager who is looking forward to spending Christmas Eve with her boyfriend and his family. However, her parents become involved in a Black-Friday-type-shopping fiasco and get put in jail. She is informed by her neighbor, who happens to be a lawyer, that her parents want her to catch the evening train to Florida and spend Christmas with her grandparents. Due to a severe snowstorm, the train is delayed in Gracetown, and Jubilee ends up finding adventures there she never imagined.

This delightful piece was 117 pages and an easy, fun read. I recommend this book!

Girls and Weight Lifting

We are fortunate in that where we live a free weights and conditioning program is offered to all girls 7th through 12th grade. The training is offered year round, but the main concentration is during the summer. Girls meet at the local high school and work out approximately two hours a night, four times a week. It’s pretty intense, and the girls who participate take it seriously. One of my daughters, who is part of the program, informed me that she needed to make up the sessions she would miss while she was at track camp this summer. I was surprised by this and told her that she would be running and working out at track camp, so why would she need to make up missed weights and conditioning sessions? She told me she wanted  to make them up. That is how dedicated these girls are to this program.

The program we have started several years ago when the school’s hired athletic trainer saw a gap in the girls’ athletic program. Football is big where we live, so the boys here work out pretty much all year round. The girls, however, weren’t working out or lifting much. He started a program that the school board approves, but doesn’t pay for. He volunteers all his hours, including driving one way approximately 30 miles. The program has been a huge success with the high school girls going to state several times in several different sports.

For us, personally, it’s made a big difference in our daughters’ lives. My older daughter was reluctant to start lifting and working out. I think it was intimidating working out with older girls. She went a few times her 7th grade year, more her 8th grade year, and now I can’t get her to stop going! Lol. Even my husband now sees the merit of the program. He’s seen our older daughter get quicker, stronger, and more confident. My younger daughter has started going and I hope she starts to enjoy it as much as her older sister.

I am just sharing this because I think it’s wonderful. I think we all strive to do and be our best. It’s never too late for any of us. I hope you find this video inspiring.

Fun Finds From the Web

Good morning, happy Monday? I hope so. Those who know me well, know I am always talking about the need for balance. I recently read this article and wanted to share it: How To Lead a Well-Balanced Life.

A friend of mine said this was one of his favorite music videos. It’s sure to put a smile on your face. Please check it out. It’s an instant mood uplifter.

Speaking of that, here’s another article I found: Improve Your Mood in 5 Minutes.

And, if none of that works, this is sure to make you laugh.

I found this new website enjoyable to surf through: www.purpleclover.com.

Have a great week!

 

 

Friday Book Review

the surrender experiment

The title alone piqued my interest. Although I had heard the title before, I wasn’t familiar with the author or his previous bestseller, The Untethered Soul. I found this book quite interesting and thought-provoking. It’s a true life story of one man’s journey. I don’t think anyone can read this book and not taking something worthwhile from it.

Michael Singer was a graduate student in the 1970s when he had an experience that begin to shift his mindset and send him on a journey he could never have imagined. He was sitting with his brother-in-law and there was a lull in the conversation. He states, “Instead of simply being uncomfortable and trying to find something to say, I noticed that I was uncomfortable and trying to find something to say. For the first time in my life, my mind and emotions were something I was watching instead of being.”

He set out to figure out why this voice talked incessantly and how he might quiet it down. He hoped with yoga and meditation he could feel and experience pure silence and peace. He was able to purchase a small tract of land and build a cabin. His wish was for solitude, peace, and an understanding of how to let go of self. No matter how hard he tried the mental noise was still there. He realized most of his thoughts stemmed from his personal preferences. He said, “I clearly remember deciding that from now on if life was unfolding in a certain way, and the only reason I was resisting it was because of a personal preference, I would let go of my preference and let life be in charge.” Thus, “the surrender experiment” was born.

He proceeded to live by his new rule and life expanded in ways he could never have imagined. When life presented opportunities that he didn’t feel he wanted or asked for, he simply got his personal opinion out of the way and went forward giving his best effort. His life became bigger and bigger and moved in ways he never planned. As stated on the back cover of the book, “As Singer takes you on this great experiment and journey into life’s perfection, the events that transpire will both challenge your deepest assumptions about life and inspire you to look at your own life in a radically different way.”

*I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.
More info.

Author Bio.

Children, Sports, and Perspective

I believe I may have shared this article before: The Only Six Words Parents Need to Say to Their Kids About Sports — Or Any Performance. However, now that school is back into full swing and games have started, I needed the reminder. I just love this article. It makes such good points. I can’t imagine the relief kids would feel if parents implemented the practice of only saying these six words. I wonder how many parents could actually even accomplish this…..Or, if they even want to.

When I was at a recent get-together with some old high school friends, I asked a friend how teaching and coaching was going for him. He said teaching was going well, but he hadn’t coached for several years. He said, “I miss the kids, but I don’t miss the parents.” He went on to tell me how countless times kids would come up to him and say they didn’t care if they got a scholarship and played football in college, but their parents cared very much. The kids felt so much pressure from their parents that it took the joy out of the game for them.

Last weekend the kids had some friends over and the talk went to sports and how competitive some parents can be from the side lines. Two of the kids have a brother that competes in swimming, and they told us that we wouldn’t believe how competitive some swim parents are. They would see out of shape, overweight parents just screaming at the kids during their races. These kids had witnessed this first hand, and I could tell it left a negative impression on them.

I am competitive by nature. And, by the way, I think that’s fine. I think being competitive can push us to make our goals and to accomplish things we might not otherwise. I think there is nothing wrong with encouraging our kids to be competitive. It’s just when things get taken too far. I remember watching an interview with a former Olympian. She said, “It’s the coach’s job to coach and the parents’ job to support.” I love that. I am not saying that it is always easy, because sometimes keeping my mouth shut is almost impossible. (As hard as I try, if I am watching a volleyball game and I see a ball from the opposite side lobbing over the net, and I think someone in the front row can spike it down hard, I will yell, “Get up there!” I just can’t help it. I think I revert back to when I played and that was my favorite play.)

One of the things I try to instill to my children is that you should always be competitive with yourself. Especially in track, I tell them, “just beat your time from the last meet.” Just keep improving.  My son made it to nationals in track this year. I told him my hope was for him to beat his time. He did! That meant more to me than anything. He worked all summer and he beat his time. He had a PR (personal record) that was 46 seconds off the first time he ran the 3000m at the beginning of the season.

I will mention as a side note, that I have this amazing friend who doesn’t get riled up when her kids play sports. I don’t know how she does it. She was a college volleyball player, so she was good enough and competitive enough to play at the college level. However, you wouldn’t guess it by how she talks about her sons. One son doesn’t play high school sports and she completely supports him. Although he would probably be a good athlete, he is more into farming and ranching, and she supports that. One time when talking about another son she said, “I don’t worry if he is on JV instead of Varsity. I just figure he didn’t work hard enough to get a varsity position.”  She doesn’t make excuses, talk to the coaches, or bemoan how unfair things are sometimes. I’m impressed with her attitude. We could all learn from her.

I am certain from time to time I will lose my perspective as the years go by and my children finish up middle school and high school sports. But, just like I tell them, I will push myself and I will do my best. I will implement those six words whenever I can. And, I might even just be silent sometimes. Now, that’s going to be a challenge!