about organization.

i have been asked by several folks how i “do it all” and wanted to point out that there is much that i don’t get done. right now, there is a game of risk strewn across the living and dining room floors, my kid’s room is the remains of an epic barbie/pet shop animals battle that took place this afternoon, and there is a houseplant sitting in my kitchen sink.

my mom said something the other day that shifted how i view housekeeping and homemaking. i was overwhelmed with how much i had to do, and she said “why don’t you make a list of all you’ve already done”? and i have been thinking of what i’ve accomplished, today and over the course of becoming a mother. i have done a lot!

so, i like lists. i like to write them, and check items off of them. what really helps me keep all i have to do in order is my big fat notebook.


i have divided it into several sections, and will discuss a little about each bit 🙂

1. homemaking

first i have our routines written down, we have a morning routine and a bedtime routine for the kids. in addition to that, i have a basic and very flexible daily schedule. there is a  list of tasks that need to be done daily, which would be different for each household. for ours, it’s: the dishes, sweeping and spot mopping the floors, a quick wipe-down of the bathroom, and at least 2 loads of laundry.

i have our chores broken down into a weekly schedule. again, this would need to be customized for someone else’s home. monday is our weekly home blessing in which i clean out the fridge, change and wash all the sheets, take out all trash, sweep/mop all floors, dust, wipe down walls/baseboards, appliances, trash cans, and wash the rugs. the other days of the week i work in a specific room and do a “big” task in there, in addition to normal tidying. i also have printed out a whole mess of these daily dockets. after that is my cleaning checklists from marthastewart.com. there are weekly, monthly, and seasonal lists.

next is the meal planning section, where i have made a list of our most frequently used recipes and the ingredients required. there is also a monthly calender where i write down our dinners for the month.

2. School

in the school section, the first thing i have is the parenting manifesto of joy. then i have a list of our good habits we will be working on, with corresponding memory verses i have put together. then we have the ‘formidable list of attainments for a child of six‘, which we are working towards. after that, i have all the things i need for each subject. and then our school schedule, which was such a blessing as a free resource from an ambleside yahoo group! after the schedule, i have our exam questions for the year.

3. spirit

this is most eclectic portion of my notebook, but also my favorite. first i have about 10-12 of my favorite prayers – my most favorite being ‘the litany of humility.’ after that is a study i did on healing, and about 3 or 4 pages of notes and scriptures about it. and then i have a lot of resources for sozo, an inner healing/deliverance ministry which i feel called to do. after that i have several different e-books and prayer books, and other random things i find helpful in spirituality. (mostly teachings/resources printed from IHOP or mars hill bible church.)

so! there’s that. hopefully it will help or inspire someone! xoxo!



i am not the best at accomplishing goals i’ve set 🙂 it’s my mischievous streak coming through, if i feel i “must” do something, i don’t want to anymore. therefore, no nablopomo.

just popping on while the kids are still sleeping- we are taking a family wide break from the computer. the girls want to watch shows far more than we are comfortable with. i realized i spend far too much time on the computer, modeling improper behavior. so we’ve stepped back.

not to worry- i am checking my e-mail and staying in contact with everyone, but it might not be as prompt a response as i typically send out!

i’ve been reading andrew murray’s “raising your children for christ”, this timeless book is resonating with me on so many levels. a few excerpts that have pierced my heart:

“the art of education is to bring pleasure and duty into harmony. both may be attained without the sacrifice of either.”

“this is the principle which lies at the root of all true education: what i am to make my child to be, i must first be myself. being an example is more than rules and teaching. what i am and do is more than what i tell him to be or do.”

“parental instruction must come from the heart. we all know that instruction has little influence on children when given by an apathetic teacher. it is only the heart that captures the heart of another. it is the loving warmth of interest and affection of the teacher that awakens corresponding emotions in the heart of the pupil.”

“when the work of instructing a child becomes a burden, you may be sure it is an indication of something wrong within your own heart.”

today my prayer is to see all through Jesus’ eyes…to love folks with Jesus’ heart. and to follow the promptings of the Spirit, when i am shying away from a place of love and into a place of selfishness.

nablopomo and menu plans.

in keeping up with all the cool kids, i am posting my menu plan for the week:

monday-meatloaf, mashed potatoes, and corn                                                                           tuesday- spaghetti + french bread                                                                                                     wednesday – brinner (pancakes or omelettes, game-time decision)                               thursday – red beans and rice one pot dish + chapatis                                                                  friday – lasagna + challah +  ‘effie’ salad (spinach + cubed mozz. + halved boiled eggs) saturday – pizza                                                                                                                        sunday – popcorn + snackies

it’s november- which means nanowrimo/nablopomo, i cannot commit to 50,000 words at this point, but i can aim for a blog post every day. not that i will succeed (hi, september!) but i will try my darndest!

halloween was fun, pictures coming soon.

at the moment, my brother has all 3 children occupied with designing a house on autocad. this is amusing me immensely.

time for tidying up and cooking lunch.

have a beautiful and blessed day, okay?

a typical day.

what a day looks like in the crandall household:

brady’s alarm starts going off around 5:15 and we snooze through til about 6 or so, i typically don’t get up until he’s already left, about 6:30. i cross my fingers that theodore will stay asleep and tiptoe down the stairs to start my coffee, if i haven’t already set it to auto-start. i’ll get dressed, eat a simple breakfast: granola bar, apple or yogurt and then turn on my morning music, have some time in prayer, check my email and print off schoolwork for the day. this is one of the highlights of my day, this time in the quiet, with music and the spirit and hope for a lovely day ahead. usually brady and i will be texting each other/ have a short phone call during this time.

about 8, the kids will wake up and wander into the living room with questions of what day it is and what activities occur on each day. for instance, today violette came out of her room this morning, sat in the rocking chair and said “oh, it is friday, challah day!”. (oh, funny little story – violette was confusing “holiday” and “challah day” and thought we were going to have challah on labor day. she is such a doll baby. ) after a bit of cuddles and talks of dreams and sleep, we will get dressed and sit at the table while they eat their breakfast. breakfast is usually when we have our deep conversations and the girls come up with a grand, albeit typically in the realm of fantasy, plan for the day.

9 is our official “school starts” time, and we do schoolwork til about 11:30-11:45, when we stop for lunch. we normally eat lunch outside at the picnic table, unless it’s raining or they are being difficult. after lunch, we do a quick tidy up of the house and violette will disappear into her room to play by herself. i will finish up any schoolwork emma has left, and then we have quiet time. emma will choose a movie and violette will either rest on her bed or continue playing quietly with her dolls and animals. i nurse theodore down while reading, or sometimes we’ll go lay down, he usually sleeps for 2 hours in the afternoon. then i clean or work on whatever project i have going.

of course, you’ll have to imagine that during all of this, my phone is abuzz with text messages/phone calls/e-mails popping up and teddy nearly always getting into some kind of mischief. interspersed through the day are also visits from my siblings and/or parents. they might pop in for ten minutes for a quick cup of coffee or chat, or come spend the afternoon with us.

around 3:30 or 4, i will mosey in the kitchen and wonder about supper, sometimes i’ll do a sink-full of dishes, or sometimes i won’t. brady gets home anywhere from 4:30-6:30, sometimes he’s out as late as 7:30 or so, depending on what round they are on. daddy coming home is a very exciting time for the kids, and me too 🙂 after he gets settled in, we usually have supper and then spend the evening talking and hanging out, or doing whatever we have planned.

the bedtime routine is perpetually being tweaked, but as for right now it looks like this. around 8, we start tidying up their room and any messes they’ve made in the living room/dining room. we put on jammies, read a chapter in whichever book we’re reading (at the moment, it’s peter pan), and then i’ll sing a round of our favorite bed time songs. twinkle, twinkle; you are my sunshine (or you are my bunny, or you are my door, or whatever funny things they come up with); all the pretty little horses; stay awake from mary poppins; and go to sleep. violette will be out before i’m done singing ‘all the pretty little horses’ and emma will ask for me to sing them through a second time, which i usually do. then it’s goodnite kisses, and i go lay theodore down, and breathe a sigh of relief. (remember, this is on a very smooth, and easy nite…probably once a week hah!)

brady and i talk, read or sometimes just go straight to bed. usually we eat some kind of sugary treat we don’t want our children to consume. when we go to bed, i like to lay there and note the things that happened during the day and take stock of the things i am grateful for and pray for people/situations that need it. i usually fall asleep singing a song in my head, and wake up singing it in the morning.

spring cleaning and balance.

i woke up this morning with a deep motivation for spring cleaning. i’m ready for open windows, the scent of freshly laundered cotton, & sunshine.

and instead of doing the normal effie routine of attacking cleaning head on: pulling out all of the contents in every cabinet in one day, getting frustrated & giving up by 4pm, i am going to try something different.

i’m going to pace myself and recognize that i am the mother of three small children! my default response of fierce determination and stubbornness to complete a task does not typically allow for making “snack plates”, kissing boo-boos, cleaning up spills, refereeing fights or comforting after a tumble. being an extreme gal, i’ve tended to give up on big projects since theodore has been here, since i can’t complete them in a way i want to.

and that’s not right either! so, today i’m going to try this new thing, and find balance.

balance has been popping up all over my life lately, and it’s crucial. there must be a middle path, & i’m going to find it. i’m determined to do so 🙂

change and worry and letting go.

i have a problem. my problem is that i make elaborate, detailed plans, and fully expect things to go as i plan them. and this rarely works out. and i’m learning that i cannot control things like the weather, and phones getting ruined, and lovey working like a madman.

this week is not going as we planned, not at all, and it’s not fun. but i can either be angry and let it ruin things even more, or i can breathe and let it happen. because i’m certainly not changing anything.

so, i’m going with it. i’m letting things happen. and i’m not going to have canker sores and knotted muscles because of snow. or because i’m concerned that someone might be mad at me. or because we’re all out of whack with our schedule and the kids are staying up to late and sleeping in too late. there is nothing i can do. i know the snow is out of my hands, i know i’ve done nothing remotely malicious to upset anyone and if they are upset, it’s their own problem. i know that the girls are missing their daddy and trying to stay up to see him. so i’m letting it all go, and it’s nice.

i miss my lovey. he is working from 3pm-3am everyday, which means he gets home around 3:45 and sleeps til he has to go to work. and the kids are missing him, violette climbed up on my lap the nite before last and said “i’m just lonely for my daddy”. me too, baby.

but this chaos can’t last forever. & i’m going to be overjoyed when things are settled back down.

i have hundreds of pictures to upload, but our computer freezes when i attempt to put them up, so it looks like i’ll have to make a day of it in february, when we get our new one. i’m still doing project: 365, there’s just no evidence 🙂

i’m off to go play with my new mixer & cookie sheets, i think we could all use a sweet treat!

thursday things and some.

it’s been the rainiest fall this year, and rainy days mean, for us, daddy is home. it seems like daddy has been home for the last 2 weeks, which has been 3 parts spectacular adventure and 1 part wreckage of our routine. things like housekeeping and big projects don’t sound nearly as much fun as tucking away for an afternoon nap, watching foggy drizzle slide down the window. or a cabin fever inspired jaunt around the block just before supper. or knitting, reading, and talking mornings into afternoons into evenings. however, today, daddy is back at work, and i’m staring at this mess… but it’s not horrifying me as it once would have. instead, i’m content with the playing that occurred. and grateful for the opportunity to thank the universe for each member of my family as i put away emma’s books and crayons and papers, violette’s teddy bears and dolls, theodore’s blankets and toys, lovey’s books, chewed up bottle caps, and socks.

my thursday things will be a bit different today, i want to remember this feeling of gratitude i’m basking in right now. so here are my thankfuls for today:

-the green-ness of green
-baby’s hands & affection
-my sweater, growing row by row
-lovey’s browns, lovey’s reading face, oh! all of lovey
-violette’s independence, rivaling rudolph’s
-emma’s all-knowing vocabulary (she told my mom the other evening, when mama was having a hard time with the carseats: “well, maybe you made the wrong selection”)
-good folk songs
-big laughs
-project inspiration
-our home
-drizzle and the word “drizzle”
-the gift of language
-the overwhelming scent of clove.
-pumpkin cobbler
-reading in bed
-tea, especially chamomile
paper maiche messes
-hopes of a handmade christmas
-approaching holidays and time with family and friends
-this feeling of being surrounded by love and goodness

poo-poo the naysayers, life is good and beautiful. it all depends on where you’re looking. i’m making this promise, right now. i will stop entertaining the ideas there are devils lurking around every corner, hidden mean-ness in uttered words. there is enough darkness out there without my creating new drama. and when i’m full of gratitude and light, there is simply no room for the darkness. (and we all know dark is just an absence of light, an illusion.)

blogging & narcissism & why.

while washing the dishes today- (i always have the best thoughts and conversations with myself and the divine while washing the dishes) i found myself thinking about blogging, and how it seems like such a tribute to ones self, writing all of these thoughts out for the world, as if anyone really wants to read my personal thoughts? and then i started wondering why do i have this blog? what are my intentions with it? because i certainly don’t need something in my life that could add to my self diagnosed delusions of grandeur. and it was going downhill fast, almost to the point where i break out with the figurative flogging…

and then i stopped the self deprecating attitude and the false piety, and thought… i blog because i enjoy it. because it’s a way to communicate and share stories and have a ‘snapshot’ of my day and what i’m feeling at any particular time. and because it’s fun. because it’s different from my “analog” journal, where i work out my mental kinks and spiritual crises, this is my place to be positive and peaceful.

so, there’s that.

admittedly, it’s a bit difficult for me, putting stuff OUT THERE.. i’m quite a private gal. and to be honest- it feels a bit immodest, what with all the pictures and ‘frivolous’ lists and links. (i am such a snobbish prude. seriously, i am!) i don’t even know where i’m going with all of this. i think it’s bed time.

but i’m curious to see, if you have a blog, why is it that you blog? and if you don’t, why not? any reason in particular? the internet fascinates me.

oh, & by the way! you should watch this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rOtEQB-9tvk

i had plans…

to write a long and lovely post about the end of summer and standing between the seasons and just how beautiful it all is. however, tonite is not the nite for that. maybe tomorrow.

tonite, i have a sink full of dirty dishes, a to-do list with absolutely nothing checked off, a husband and baby asleep and two little girls so full of piss & vinegar they don’t know what to do with themselves.

tonite, i’m feeling crabby, flabby, out of sync, and tired.

tonite, i had planned to sew, create, journal, and cook a fantastic meal of chicken & dumplings with rolls and veggies – we had pancakes.

tonite, i’m resolved to wake up early in the morning, & take care of myself first. because it’s not a pleasant feeling when it’s 5 pm, and lovey’s on his way home from work, and i realize i’m still wearing my pajamas.

tonite, i’m debating whether i should drink the last of the coffee and clean like a madwoman or go ahead and call it a nite.

tonite, i realize that this is the time when i need to be here now, and breathe in and out and let the fullness of the frustration flow through and out of me.

and emma just came running out the kitchen screeching “mommy, i learned a new trick”. and i’m off to put into practice breathing and being, as i’m 95% certain i will not be impressed with this “new trick”.

as of late…

i’ve been feeling very creative and domestic lately, it’s quite exciting. my brother hung up a clothesline for me, i’ve been wanting one for ages. it’s a nice little break, going out to hang up and take down the clothes, a little pocket of time to breathe and just be. and it’s nice have fresh smelling clothes, and no more button burns! (our dryer is the most HOT dryer ever, which is nice when you’re in a hurry, but holy moly metal buttons can get quite burny!)

i’ve also been sewing a lot: a purse for myself, bedtime bags for the girls, a clothespin bag, a felt block for the baby, and on today’s agenda is a camera strap and perhaps pillowcase dresses for the girls. the only downside is burning through my sewing notions quite rapidly!

emma has been writing her letters and numbers very well, lately she’s been making up words. today she’s changed her name to “ohib” and she’s writing it on everything. the other day she got down one of our bird books and drew a bird and copied down the word “bird”, so precious.

violette’s latest thing is sorting granny squares by color. she will play by herself for hours, making stacks and arranging lovely towers and castles.

theodore is trying very hard to roll over, he gets to his side successfully, but getting that crazy arm out of the way is quite a hassle for him. poor little bunny is having a hard day today, he’s very sleepy but refusing to sleep. it doesn’t help that his sisters think he needs his music box started as soon as he falls asleep!

well, it’s quiet time for now, off to get the girls settled in their room and the sewing machine out 🙂