Sunday, October 16, 2011

Day 16: Reaping the Rewards, Evaluation & Goals for Week Three

While we await more news on my mom's test results, we have been distracting ourselves by reaping some of the fruits of our labor. As I'm rediscovering, it is really nice to have a clean house and a less-cluttered brain. Both afford a fair amount of spontaneity.

Friday night, before I got the call about my mom's heart attack, I invited a friend over to talk adoption stuff and help me do some online research regarding agencies. Get this, chaos comrades: I first had the thought of inviting her over at about 5 PM, called her immediately, and set up a 7 PM date. That was all the advance time I needed to feed my family and get them out the door to their various activities while she did the same. And I could have done it in much less, because my home was in great shape. After I received the call that my mom was going to the hospital, I considered calling my friend and canceling, but I realized that I would love to have her company during this stressful time, and she would gladly pray with me, so I kept the appointment. It was great to have her here, and my peaceful, relaxing home--clean and candlelit--had a calming effect on my spirit while I waited for news.

Saturday, we were invited to the home of some friends for dinner, but we realized that we always go to their house, so we called them back, accepted the invitation, but changed the location to our house. How nice that visit was! With six noisy kids running about, in and out of the back bedrooms and all the doors, the four of us adults lounged about in the very clean--again candlelit--living room. We lingered over good conversation and I completely enjoyed every minute of it.

Today after church we enjoyed leftovers from last night's homemade pizza and then Andy and I took an absolutely lovely nap. A nap! Nothing was pressing. Nothing was crying out for attention. We were tired; it was the day of rest; we took a nap. So nice. To top off an amazing weekend, another set of friends invited us to their home tonight and we accepted, spending another wonderful evening in good conversation while wild banshees (our seven kids between us) darted hither and yon. We just got home, later than planned, which is why I am so late in posting.

It was such a wonderful weekend (aside from wondering about my mom), but best yet, I am not starting the week feeling behind and with a huge, overwhelming mess to clean up. There are benefits, friends, from emerging from the chaos.

Let's keep going.

Here's the bad news: I really didn't do well on achieving my goals for Week Two. The rain continued to fall all week long and I didn't get to go running at all. If I were a little more hardcore, I would run in all kinds of weather, but I'm just not. I didn't get the business loose ends attended to that I really hoped for. I returned a few things to their rightful owners, but not all. I did not get to organize the upstairs closets (the linen closet and the bathroom closet). A little bit of the firewood was brought in, but not nearly enough. I cleaned out a little bit of my Gmail inbox, but hardly enough to make a dent. I didn't read to my daughter at all. Blah.

On the other hand, we did sell another item on Craigslist and I did pray for one of my Twitter friends each day. Oh, and with great pleasure, I spent five to ten minutes every day sweeping my now bare floors.

As a result, I will not be adding much more to the list of goals for this week. I hope to still accomplish what I missed this last week, start on organizing and cleaning the basement (the worst of our in-house chaos), begin preparing ahead of time for our Masquerade Ball (a costume party the kids asked for this year, which will take place on Oct. 29--another reward for emerging from the chaos), and order some documents that we will need as we move forward with our dreams of adoption. Here is the list, as it now appears on my refrigerator:

Looking over the three lists now posted there, I am very happy to report that the following things are well on their way to becoming established habits, thanks to the accountability of you, dear readers of this crazy 31 Days experiment:
- Breakfast is served every weekday at 8:00 and is an event that the entire family sits down to together. Every day except Saturday of this entire month, it has consisted of lots of protein, carbs and fiber. That's a huge step for me. Cold cereals have become a snack food item and a Saturday morning fend-for-yourself meal. We are all very excited about this improvement.

- We have family Bible time every weekday after breakfast, pretty much without fail. This is a great start to the day, and school starts right afterward.

- My kitchen has been clean since October 1 with only one exception. There was one night that I went to bed without cleaning it, but it bugged me so much that I did it first thing the next morning. My family has even gotten into the habit of cleaning up after themselves, for the most part, as no one wants to face The Wrath of Mama. My kitchen is now my happy place! Can you believe that? What a transformation.

- The family eats well at dinner time, even on busy nights when I am not around at dinner time. I have been working ahead on casseroles and slow-cooker meals and everyone is pleased.

- The kids are getting to bed at better times, I am relaxing in the evenings with my husband, and I am getting to bed a little bit better, too. Still need to work on that one, but an average of 11:30-12:00 is sure better than the old average of 12:30-1:00!

We have a long way to go, but we are doing it, friends. We are emerging from the chaos. How about you? I'd love to hear how things are going on your own quest for the same.


The Taskers said...

I've just discovered your blog through the Nester's 31 Days - in fact, beside her, you're the only one of the 700+ I'm following! I just love your down-to-earth approach to writing and sharing and I'm excited that just over half-way through this journey you're doing so well.

Prayers are being sent your way as you begin the adoption process. This is something my sister and BIL are just starting as well - no doubt both of your children are out there somewhere (or one their way) and you'll be brought together through Him.

God Bless.

Sherry C said...

Thanks, Ms. "Tasker." I've been wondering who my Australian readers are (I have at least three), so I'm glad you revealed yourself. Thanks for your encouragement and your prayers and I'm glad you're enjoying following along. I glanced at your blog and your family is beautiful. Enjoy them today. May God bless you and yours.

alison said...

This is great, Sherry. I'm so excited for you and Andy and the kids. I can't wait read what's next.

Cindee said...

Great job! It's been fun seeing your progress even though I'm a little jealous. It's just not on my plate now to emerge from my chaos but the time is coming. I've added a 4th homeschooler to our schedule this year and the 3-year-old wants school work too. Sigh. Plus there's a 6th schooler brewing that no one (except hubby) knows about yet! In any case, I'm inspired to do something (later!) and it's been a joy to see the results you're reaping.

BTW, the word verification is 'arfater'. Sounds funny. Maybe the first part of the Lord's Prayer or someone who's been eating beans!