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Monday, March 25, 2013

Stress Less and Live More

We are merely moving shadows, and all our busy rushing ends in nothing. We heap up wealth, not knowing who will spend it. Psalm 39:6

As you know, one of the reasons that I started this blog was to share about our changing lives and
priorities.  In that journey, I have learned a few things about what makes me feel stress and how to manage it in a better way. I will be starting a regular feature here about how to live with less stress, or rather, how to keep from creating more stress in your life. 

Don't get me wrong! I have plenty of stress and often let it get the best of me, but I am much more aware of what stresses me and how I can turn it down. And, you want to know what my secret is?


There, I said it. That word that is popping up all over the blogosphere with more speed than a teenager's acne.

I am no where near being an organizing expert and probably never will be.  Trust me, it is not in my genetic code.

But, I AM trying to be a bit more "together". (As my husband smiles kindly and nods his head as if to say, "Of course, you are, dearest.")


Baby steps here people. Baby steps.

Meal Planning

For instance, I do my best to create a weekly meal plan.  Some weeks it's fly by the seat of my pants, but others I actually have a set plan.

And, if I decide I want to switch up some days, I do it.  I'm not a set in stone kind o' girl.

There are some meals that are sort of a no brainer. Like, spaghetti.  Everyone loves spaghetti.

I'll even throw in the occasional chili dog night to keep the troops happy.  I do try to dress it up sometimes by going with smoked sausage links and Chicago sauce to top it off. 

Really it's only about 3-4 meals to plan, because of church nights, fend for yourself nights, and out to dinner or bring it in on Friday nights. So, not too much to figure out.

I have lots of go to sites where I get recipes and of course...Pinterest.

In the photo above, I have a corkboard on one side of the pantry and a dry erase board on the other.  There is a marker laying just inside the pantry so that the kids can write down any requests that they have.  I keep all of my coupons tacked up to the board, so I can quickly go through them to see if I can use them for that weeks meals. 


Since all of my kiddos are in school, this is a big time suck in the evenings.  Even the littlest who is in First Grade has a lot of homework. The kids know that homework gets started as soon as we are home and there are designated areas to do it.  The little one works at the kitchen desk and the older 
boys work at the bar. It's nice because we are all right there together as I get a meal ready. 

I think homework is much easier to tackle when there is a designated space to get it done. and it doesn't have to be anything fancy. It IS important to know where all your supplies are located and have them handy where you can get to them easily. 


There is always upkeep to be done around the house.  The dishwasher needs to be unloaded, trash taken out, etc. And this is where my loving children come in. They are all assigned chores to do and the ones that are done on a daily basis are on their lists.  Even the little can help out with those chores, just not in as big a way. 

Prep for the next day

This is really important and one that I neglect often.  (I told you, baby steps.) Laying out clothes and ironing anything that needs it saves at least 15 minutes of work in the morning.  Maybe more. And, that isn't 15 minutes of extra sleep. Just getting out the door on time or a few minutes early is worth it. 

On my good days, I lay out clothes for the little and myself.  The older boys take care of their own, as does the hubs. (Hey, he even does his own laundry. Yeah, he's a keeper.) 

And, recently the garage sale helped with clothes prep.  There isn't so much to dig through to find what I need for the kiddo. 

My routine isn't anything elaborate or complicated, but it works for me.  Everyone knows the routine and what is expected.  The kids have chores to do in the evening, as well, and that gets thrown in the mix.  

We all have responsibilities to the family.  We all belong and we all help out.  

Do the kids grumble about it? Sometimes. Do I grumble back at them? Sometimes.

But, are we finished with everything that needs to be done and get to spend some time with one another before the end of our day? Yes! There is nothing better than a good snuggle from a 7 year old.  I need those.  

If you have any questions about how I plan my meals or assign chores, ask away!

Below, I have added a few of my favorite recipe sites:


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