A Steady Pace

     My husband is working again today, the second consecutive day of overtime shifts.  Praise God!  I miss my husband.  Lots!  Yet we are so grateful to God for providing this much-needed extra work.  He is so faithful to provide for us.

     Our days are finally beginning to normalize after all the changes we’ve recently made.  The homeschool changes necessitated changes to the household routine, but we have, I think, hit our stride with that.  I don’t say that with a prideful heart, but only in thanksgiving to the Lord for showing me the direction we needed to go and then allowing us to slowly make our way along that path until it became familiar.  The stability of the days this week has allowed us to resume not only our more rigorous homemaking schedule, but also to begin picking up some of those extra things – sewing, knitting, more reading time, etc.  What a delight it has been!

     I have already noted several wonderful benefits of our all working from the same chore list, rather than each having his own list.  All of my children are now capable of the daily bathroom clean-up, and I think all of them could manage the once-a-week scrubbing of the bathrooms as well.  No one is stuck with the same chores, day in and day out, or week in and week out, as we just work our way down the list each morning.  I assign things to the boys, trying my best to keep variety in their work; and Dani and I work our way down the list, too.  We’ve had a few “oopsies” – most notably when Dani and I both pulled the dirty towels from the bathrooms on the same morning.  Needless to say, one of us pulled down clean towels and put them in the dirty basket, but if that’s the worst thing that ever happens, we are blessed!

     Tuesday is the day for the weekly cleaning of the parlor, entry way and front hall.  As with our daily chores, I try to divide up the weekly chores, too.  This was the first week that I’ve done the dusting and Webstering of those areas, and I have to say, my boys have been doing a pretty good job of it the last couple of weeks.  I am looking forward to the last week of the month when we do the concentrated monthly (and less frequent) cleaning in the parlor.  Since I took the desk and tea cart out, it looks rather bare and I’ve not had the opportunity of really sprucing that room back up yet.  It’s nice to know that the time for that will roll around in due time.

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     This week is the week that we work on that scheduled (monthly, semi-monthly, quarterly, etc.) cleaning in the kitchen, dining room, back hall and laundry room.  The list for that cleaning is on my clipboard, tucked right behind today’s print out from my planner.  As we were finishing up the daily and weekly chores this morning, Dani and I were able to grab a few chores from that longer term cleaning list while the boys finished up with the daily chores they’d been given.  Dani straightened up and wiped down all the shelves in the cabinets over the washer and dryer in the laundry room, while I emptied out the silverware drawer and scrubbed the plastic drawer organizers that hold the silverware in the kitchen.

 

 

 

 

 

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      In the process, I found some missing soup spoons that had managed to climb over the back of the organizer into the back of the drawer where they were out of sight.  Just in time for soup weather!  The drawer next to the silverware drawer (the very necessary household junk drawer) was also emptied, picked through, straightened and wiped clean before replacing all the……well, junk! 

     I asked Aaron to take down the light fixtures in the back hall and laundry room for me.  He can do it without a step stool.  I love having a tall son to help with such things!!!  I washed up the light fixtures while Aaron dusted the bare bulbs.  Once they were washed and dried, Aaron rehung them for me.  I try to wash these quarterly, and I have to say that a lot of dust accumulates in these in that length of time.  The light seems much brighter back there this evening!  Will pitched in by taking on the monthly task of wiping down the baseboards in the kitchen, dining room, back hall and laundry room.

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     A good portion of our days, of course, are spent homeschooling.  Though we have made significant changes there, some things just don’t change.   Will, in shorts and bare feet, covered in a blanket, doing his math on the front porch with the dog close at hand.  Some things never change, and I am delighted that this is one of those things! 

 

 

 

 

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     Later on Dani and Aaron made a quick trip to town to pick up Aaron’s retainers.  As I was putting away some laundry, I found Dixie sound asleep in one of the front windows.  I wondered what she had been so intent on keeping watch over before falling asleep.

 

 

 

 

 

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     I should have known!  The boy!  She was quite happy to be allowed outside to “help” with school again. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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     We’ve not had any measurable rain in over a week and there is no rain in the forecast,  so Aaron and I are making sure that everything gets a good soaking this week.  I went out to turn the irrigation lines off in the orchard late this afternoon and enjoyed watching a small group of seven turkeys forage in the vineyard and orchard.  They are beautiful this time of year.  With our garden tilled under and only a few over ripe grapes still clinging to the vines, they really are not any trouble.  In fact, I appreciate the fertilization they do as they stroll through. 

 

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     I spent a bit of time this afternoon doing a bit of ironing – dress slacks and shirts for my husband, shirts for my boys, and every day napkins.  While the iron was hot, I patched up a pair of jeans for Aaron and a pair of shorts for Will.  These iron on patches are a wonderful thing for mamas of boys!! 

     I also sewed up a couple of  ripped seams in a pair of store bought pajama pants for William.  Again.  I could see the places where I had repaired them before.  I am delighted by the fact that my boys love their homemade pajama pants!  Once the current store bought jammies are outgrown or worn out, we will have no more of them in the house.  The quality of what I can make at home is so much better, and I can make the better quality pants for the price of the cheap ones fro the store.  I am blessed to be able to make these things for my boys and they are pleased with them as well! 

     I am trying to spend thirty minutes (or more when I can) each day doing some sewing.  I won’t accomplish that every day, and it will likely be little snippets of time caught here and there throughout the day.  It’s not much, but at the end of a week, I’ll have spent three hours sewing! 

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     In fact, I’ve spent the last couple of days washing up yards and yards of wonderful, soft 100% cotton fleece FLANNEL between our normal loads of laundry.  (Hat tip to Debbie in KY for pointing out that I said fleece instead of flannel!  Thanks!)  The last of it was finished up this evening just before dinner.  I count the necessary pre-washing of the fabric as sewing time!   The laundered FLANNEL is so soft and colorful and lovely, I just love looking at it!  Here, in these stacks, are future winter pajama pants for my boys as well as quite a few Christmas gifts.  I was blessed to buy most of this over the last few weeks with either 40% off coupons, or on a wonderful recent sale for $2.99/yard with an additional 15% discount taken at the register.  Those coupons and sales have helped me stretch our clothing and Christmas monies significantly!!

 

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     Dani spent some time this afternoon doing some sewing, too.  She’s trying a new apron pattern and is using some fall fabric I purchased on sale last year.  She’s using two complimentary fabrics; and so far, the pattern is going together nicely. 

 

 

 

 

 

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     I’ll be sure to have a picture of the finished project (and the pattern info) once the apron is finished.  My friend, Bren, (who comments here as tjsnana) made some beautiful napkins and a table runner for her Thanksgiving dinner last year from these fabrics. 

 

  

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     Though my sewing time has just started (and I’ve not accomplished anything more than prewashing a lot of fabric), I have been doing quite a bit of knitting.  I always take my knitting basket with me in the car, and it sits by my chair in the living room the rest of the time.  I’ve knit a few hats, using Soule Mama’s favorite hat pattern which she offers as a free pattern on her site.  Scroll down a bit to find it on her left side bar.  I’ve finished two in adult sizes and have one more on the needles.  I’ve finished one in a child’s size, too; and I’m ready to cast on a second.  I have knitted sweaters in various stages – completed, on the needles and not yet begun, with other knitted projects on the needles and finished as well.

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     I’ve had several of you ask, or wonder aloud, how we accomplish so much in our days.  In all honesty I have to tell you that we really do live our lives at a rather leisurely pace.  We rarely rush around.  When we do find ourselves rushing, it is such an unfamiliar state for us that we all become quite frazzled by it!  My friend Elizabeth says that she works like the turtle, and I think she might have the right idea!

    We work here at a steady pace all day long, and rarely have completely idle moments.  There is rest for our bodies from time to time, but generally that time is not “idle” either.  I sit down and rest my body at various times throughout the day, with my Bible in my lap to be read, or one of my other devotional books.  I might pick up my knitting for a row or two.  I might even lay my head down for a few moments once in awhile, too; but true, much-needed rest is not the same thing as idleness.  We do, quite obviously, enjoy some recreational, instructional and/or encouraging reading on line, too; but that time is kept carefully in check.  A steady pace.  Working.  Learning.  Enjoying one another’s company.  Reading.  Admiring and appreciating and thanking God for the wonderful property and animals that He has placed in our care.  Steady all the day long.  At day’s end we can look back over the course of our days and be thankful for what the Lord has given our hands to do!  He gives the work and we are blessed to do it!

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     Today was Veteran’s Day here in America.  A day set aside to honor the men (and women) who have served our country in the armed forces, and to remember those who paid with their lives to protect our freedom.  My dad was in the Army Air Corps during WWII.  I love this picture of him!  So dapper with that Bing Crosby tilt to his hat.  My dad was 50 years old when I was born, and I delight in having this picture of him taken many, many years before I was born.  It’s fun seeing the young man that your mother fell in love with.  This picture was taken in Bakersfield, California.  Mom and Dad came to California from Kansas when Dad was stationed here, determined to return home after the war.  When the war ended, the jobs in the midwest were gone and they returned to California to stay. 

    My dad was a hard working man, but I never saw him rush around or hurry.  He accomplished a great deal by working hard, yet at a steady pace, all day long.  Perhaps that’s where I got the notion.

God bless you as you look well to the ways of your household!
Proverbs 31:27
 

P.S.  My e-mail account is not functioning properly, and it appears that the problem has been developing for several days.  One or two e-mails make it through from time to time, but they are always at least a day old.  I know that some e-mails sent to me are being returned as undeliverable.  I’m still here!!  My outgoing e-mail isn’t working correctly either.  Due to the holiday today, we were not able to get in touch with tech support.  I am hopeful that this situation will be cleared up quickly.  Messaging through Xanga is, of course, a good option, too.  Thanks for your patience. ~ Cheryl

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13 comments to A Steady Pace

  • So glad to see another post from you.  You always inspire me.  I have always wished I could sew!  Hubby bought me a machine years ago.  The only thing it ever made was bean bags for a bean bag tossing game.  

  • Cheryl, I’m not sure why, but your blog brought tears to my eyes.  Maybe it was just the restful way in which you describe your work.  It is sorely lacking in me.  Seems I rarely know how to create an atmosphere of peace and calm in my home.  When work is done, it’s at a lightening pace, to get past it before the next mess attacks.  There is little working together” and more crowd control. 

    I look at the photos on your blog and my heart is warmed.  What a welcoming home you have, but more than that, the contentment seems palpable.  My husband and I were discussing that very thing this morning.  What hit me was that so much of what I seek is really within my hands.  Not coming from a hard working, steady, Christ following family, I’m still learning, even at my advanced age, to become a woman with a quiet and gentle spirit to run the race with endurance and joy.  I would greatly appreciate your prayers.  Thank you for being faithful and for showing us what God’s grace is capable of producing in our family life as we cooperate with His work.

  • Cheryl, I’m not sure why, but your blog brought tears to my eyes.  Maybe it was just the restful way in which you describe your work.  It is sorely lacking in me.  Seems I rarely know how to create an atmosphere of peace and calm in my home.  When work is done, it’s at a lightening pace, to get past it before the next mess attacks.  There is little working together” and more crowd control. 

    I look at the photos on your blog and my heart is warmed.  What a welcoming home you have, but more than that, the contentment seems palpable.  My husband and I were discussing that very thing this morning.  What hit me was that so much of what I seek is really within my hands.  Not coming from a hard working, steady, Christ following family, I’m still learning, even at my advanced age, to become a woman with a quiet and gentle spirit to run the race with endurance and joy.  I would greatly appreciate your prayers.  Thank you for being faithful and for showing us what God’s grace is capable of producing in our family life as we cooperate with His work.

  • Good Morning Cheryl,

    Looks like you have been very busy. I have found the slower I go I get more done. Rushing only frazzles me and then I get over whelmed and my day is shot. It has been raining here all week. Please say a prayer for us today. The adjuster from the Flood insurance is coming out to write up our claim from Ike. It is so wonderful that Cooper is getting overtime. God is so good. Have a very blessed day.

    Elizabeth

  • Is that a Janome I see? You are a busy woman! I love your pics of your son schooling. Mine could be found outside too when it was warmer. Now they are all on the couch.

  • I think we might have the very same silverware!!  What a nice reminder of steady work throughout the day!  I will look at it that way.  I love to be able to sit for a long period and knit or sew, but with 5 young ones running around the house, my time for that tends to be more limited.  I love knitting for that reason, because it is so easy to pick up and knit a few rows at a time.  Blessings to you today!  I’m off to bless my home!

  • I’m glad you’ve posted some more entries on here! I love your line…”He gives us work and we’re blessed to do it!” Thank you for such a godly perspective on work. I’m still a newer reader and couldn’t help but tell you that I live in Bakersfield, California. Of all the places! Your dad was a cutie. 😉 Anyways, have a lovely day. 

  • Cheryl,  thanks for mentioning about keeping a steady pace!  I need to remember that.  🙂  I get very caught up in what I want to get done and tend to “hurryscurry”.  I have been trying to make it a practice to not overplan my day, and balance between enjoying the jobs and my children, and going slower so I don’t wear out before the day does.

    Your knitting is fabulous!  I do a lot of sewing myself, but am trying to learn the art of knitting in my very limited time.  The flannel you bought looks so cozy, and Dani’s fabric choice looks very pretty.  Can’t wait to see the finished projects.

    Praise God for His provision for you and your family! In Christ, Lisa

  • I understand & applaud your steady pace at household chores, with some breaks added in for renewed energy.  I noticed that you do not mention sitting down to watch hours of your favorite Soap Operas or mindless drivel on the TV.    I agree. 
    It’s always a happy day at my computer when I see a new post from you. 

  • I had hoped to catch up with you at church today but, alas, *sniffle* something caught hold of me.  I am so ever grateful we did not get sick prior to this!  It could have happened last month during the move and I just can’t even fathom the thought of it.  But I digress…  (as usual)  The reason I was going to catch you was to tell you that I had a blog post running thru my mind (there are many right now as I haven’t blogged in forever) and taking some sort of poll about the Junk Drawer.  I am really trying to eliminate and streamline and organize and whatever else might fit in to that category and I got to thinking that I was going to try to not have one.  But I keep coming across little things and I keep thinking, “what do people do with this little stuff”?  But I’ve got my answer!  If Copperswife has a Junk Drawer, well, then I’m having one too!!!    Thanks for lifting this burden, friend!

  • @heykristigirl – LOL!!  You HAVE to have a junk drawer.  If it makes you feel better, how about calling it the “utility drawer” or the “drawer of specialty items”…..yeah, I like that last one!  Hope you feel better soon!

  • Isn’t it amazing how dirty those silverware holders can be? Ours is constantly getting crumbs and little bits in it.

    Your picture of your Dad reminds me of my picture of mine. He was 50 when I came along as well. His is the “Army picture” that most people have. Just the closeup in his uniform. The WWII generation was definitely filled with some special people.

    Blessings

  • Hi there!

    I just wanted to say that I’m really enjoying your blog!  I have three littles (ages 5, 3, and 11 months), and we are just beginning our homeschool journey.  I found your blog while searching for a cleaning schedule.  Any chance you could point me to a post that outlines your weekly/monthly schedule?  I can’t seem to find a search feature on your blog.  
    I also wanted to say that I love your goal of sewing for a half hour a day.  My goal was to sew for one hour each day, but with the kids so small and in so much need of my attention, it just wasn’t happening…  maybe I’ll try 1/2 hour a day or even 15 minutes…  that seems so much more attainable!  I’d love to at least put a small dent in my ever-mounting mending pile.  ðŸ™‚
    Thanks also for the link to Soule Mama’s favourite hat pattern!  It’s beautiful…  and I think it might make a good birthday gift for my soon-to-be one-year-old.  
    Take care,Alissa