Feb 27, 2013

Happy Chinese New Year!

Yes, I know Chinese New Year was a few weeks ago. We celebrated it with some friends (Ranita and Shiwen) - the first time I have ever celebrated Chinese New Year! Oh, Ranita makes some wonderful food, let me tell you. Well, let me show you!

I don't know what everything is called but that's chicken soup in the bowls.
Notice that we have forks and they have chopsticks? hah!

Dumplings and some delicious tofu.

Ribs on the left; fish on the right.

A party gift!
We are so spoiled to have such wonderful friends :). AND we got to take home extra dumplings. YUM!
Oh, did I mention that Ranita is famous? She was a guest on a cooking show in China and has a popular Chinese food blog. Motivation enough to learn mandarin!

Happy (belated) Chinese New Year.
Welcome, year of the snake!! .

Feb 18, 2013

Organizing my home, organizing my life

If you know me at all, you know that organization does not come naturally to me. When I do try to organize or clean it takes forever because this is what happens: I see the messy bed, while making the bed I see the laundry pile, while doing the laundry, I look at the disorganized shelf above, while organizing the shelf I'm reminded of birthday cards I need to mail out, I sit down to write the cards but the table still has breakfast on it, I put the food in the fridge when I notice some food went bad, I throw it away but the garbage is full, I take out the garbage and come back inside to a still messy home, feeling frazzled and like I haven't accomplished anything though 30 minutes have passed. Some people I've talked to say this thought process is normal and there's nothing you can do about it. Well I respectfully disagree because I know people who don't think this way, they have a clean home, and I want to be like that. I want to change.

Some (semi-painful) self-reflection left me with these thoughts:

If I can't manage these 854 sq ft. with one child (and one husband...) how will I manage a real house with more children? And let's take this a step further, how can I expect Heavenly Father to trust me to manage even more? It boils down to three things. 1. I see managing my home as an undesirable task. 2. I haven't learned how to keep up with my home. 3. I'm being a lazy bum. So I'm going to fix this. I'm going to fix this because I'm happier when my house is clean and my home is organized. I'm going to fix this because it is an attribute I feel necessary to gain in this life because it will be necessary in the next. I'm going to fix this because this is my garden and I'm going to dress it and keep it (Moses 3:15).

Here's my game plan. I have assigned a chore and a room to each day of the week. In February it is only mandatory for me to do Mondays chores on Mondays though that doesn't preclude me from doing more. Each new month I will add a new day. By the end of the year, I will be doing each day's chores, every week.   Steady and slow wins the race, right?

Monday: mop/ master bedroom/ plan meals
So on Mondays I will mop all floors that can be mopped, spend 15 minutes deep cleaning or organizing some area in the master bedroom, and plan meals for the next week.
Tuesday: tops/ TV room
Tuesday is the day to dust or wipe down the tops of all surfaces and spend 15 minutes deep cleaning some area in the TV room.
Wednesday: walls/ windows/ washroom 
You get the idea.
Thursday: thorough/ closets
Thorough means I clean under or in between sneaky places. I can't think of how to alliterate closets or kitchen with Thursday or friday so they're just tacked on... please forgive me.
Friday: fridge/ kitchen
Saturday: spare room
This is Ben's room.

So I think that covers every area of the house and every chore that doesn't need to be done more than once a week. Did I miss something? Can you think of more fun alliteration?

I'd love to hear what you do to keep up with your home. What are some tricks you use? What sets you back and how to you get back on track? How do you not be lazy?! Okay, go!