1. You and I are clearly sisters! My sanity-saving, balance-keeping ways are exactly the same as yours! Except for the whole Facebook/Bible thing. But it’s a good one. Really good. I need to consider changing my FB time-sucking ways.

    Also, I just LOVE me a good book! (Do you read much Karen Kingsbury? I know some have grown tired of the endless Baxter family books, but I just read her new book “Angels Walking” in 24 hours, and I wept through half of it. Every book she writes reminds me of how intimately concerned God is with all the details of my life.)

    1. We have always known about our Sisterhood. No surprises there.

      I have not read much Christian fiction at all. I tried it once or twice years ago, and have always been disappointed at the quality. Maybe I just haven’t found the right author. So…Karen Kingsbury?

  2. Sandy, I use those strategies as well; except, I am awful at email and I don’t leave my Bible out. It sounds like a small great idea though for staying in the Word! 🙂
    I live by my lists, and my favorite list app is called “color note”. I like.it better than evernote. I use color note on my kindle to keep track of 95% of my life (to do lists, bills to pay, progress on goals, recipes, meal planning, projects, shopping lists). I even have 2 list templates for recurring things so I don’t have to type the list from scratch each time. It does help me “put it out of.my mind” to know the lists are stored in my other “brain”.
    Love your blog. Keep it coming!

    1. I will have to check out Color Note. I am a paper girl, but I think it’s mainly because I haven’t found a virtual alternative that works for me.

      Leaving my Bible out has made all the difference for me. It is a visual reminder. I think I read the Word much more than I actually do. This helps me have a steady diet of it in my day.

  3. Oh, how I love this post, Scoop!!! 🙂
    Here’s what peaked me to respond:
    1. Timers! I will admit that I LOVE watching T.V…. all the while I very much dislike being unproductive. So, I find that if I just do housework during commercials… i can watch THREE shows and in the mean time gotten in 66 minutes of house work done. Also… a tad bit of cardio as 2 minutes is FAST!!! (swap laundry, make a bed, windex the bathroom, wipe it down during next commercial break…)
    2. Lists!!! Melissa LOVES lists!!! It does free up my brain and removes my: “Holy crud what did I forget” dreams! 🙂
    3. I clean out my emails twice a year. Currently I have 1202. Might be time!!!
    4. I agree that it is much easier to shop, prep, cook and clean up without people around me. It is more pleasant for me, and for them as well when I try to explain WHY WHY WHY a reduction takes 20 minutes!!! ha!
    5. No to good things. I have decided this year to NOT try out for Master Chef. It’s been a big year and I’m simply not feeling it. My parents are gone from me (meaning not in my back yard. I’ve had to move on my own. I’m just getting settled and having some nice trips with the man in my life. I’m just not feeling the “Eye of the Tiger” right now and spending that weekend at home (and I live in PARADISE) is a bigger draw. I LOVED last year and meeting the foodies and competing and learning new techniques… but I’m VERY happy to not participate this year and just spend the weekend at home, on the beach, with my people. 🙂
    This was a great one, Scoop. Thanks for all you do!
    Much love!

    1. Pasta, I remember before the days of DVRs and VCRs, my mom would watch TV in the evenings and do the exact same thing you describe. She’d run in the kitchen during commercials and wash 10 dishes. I also remember her setting up the ironing board in front of The Young and the Restless.

      I did that for a short time when I first became a stay at home mom…until I decided I hated ironing and refused to do it at all. And then I stopped watching Soaps.

      I love you, friend.

  4. I’m always looking for a good read! And thanks for the balance ideas. This is something I’m sure all busy moms struggle with.

  5. I am here because while sitting in the doctor’s waiting room scanning my emails, I thought to myself, “Maybe if I made cool lists like Sandy I could be balanced too ” That and I really want the book!

  6. My youngest just headed off to Kindergarten and I’m finding I’m wasting my afternoons away while the kids are in school. Your suggestions will be helpful as I find the routine and balance in my afternoons!

    1. Tracie, it may take awhile to get into the groove. Sending that youngest one off to kindergarten is a huge transition. Suddenly, you feel like you have endless hours. Except you don’t. Praying for God’s wisdom in using your alone time well.

  7. His Sandy,
    I am so glad I read this today. And I’m so glad I waited until I was sitting at home for a quiet few minutes, instead of reading it while waiting in line at Walmart. God used this post to specifically speak to me about a decision I am facing. And I am grateful. Thank you.

  8. I need to implement #7. Some weeks I’m at my church 3 nights (Bible study, choir practice, board meeting or ensemble practice). And that’s in addition to Sunday morning church. It takes me 20 – 25 minutes to get there. It rushes me in the afternoons and dinner on those nights is usually quick or something late in the evening. I don’t like that at all.

  9. I am a timer and list girl, too! (I have my to-do list right in front of me as I am typing 😉

    These are all great implementations…..thanks for the look into your life, I love your real-ness, as always!

    Blessings, sweet friend 🙂

  10. Sandy, thank you for your insights. I have a tendency to say “yes” to too much, making myself crazy. Thanks for the reminders of things I already knew to do, but have fallen out of the habit, and a few new ideas. You’ve blessed me. 🙂

    1. Thanks, Alicia. We all need reminders of things we know to do, but fail to practice. I mostly write all this stuff down for me and then hope it applies to someone else, too. 🙂

  11. I had 10 minutes yesterday, waiting for something to come out of the oven. I thought I could empty the dishwasher during that time. It only took 2 minutes, even putting the stuff away! In the full 10 minutes, I tidied the whole kitchen! It is amazing what focused effort will to in such a short time.

    I’ve managed to keep my house a lot neater by breaking it in to zones and only cleaning one zone at a time.

    Planning is a marvelous thing.

    1. Zone cleaning is a great plan! I love my house clean from top to bottom, but it’s completely unrealistic to think I could ever accomplish it or keep it that way. Breaking it into smaller jobs always works for me.

  12. Hi Sandy. I found your blog because I googled how do you care about kids who are mean to your kids. I am wanting to be more like Christ and thinking bad thoughts about sixth grade girls and eighth grade girls was not doing it! 🙂 Thanks for sharing your experiences and thoughts. I’m still struggling in this area and I’m praying that my heart would follow the godly wisdom and common sense that my comes from my head. Anyway, I clicked on your homepage and read a little more about you. Your bio cracks me up and encourages me. Thanks for sharing! I’ll be back…with a set timer of course! 😉

  13. Great advice. I’m always looking for ways to make my days run smoother and get more organized. Also I love to read a great book! Thanks!

  14. I am really trying to be much more organized this year with school stuff! I have gotten away from writing things on the home calendar and missed several things last year. I used to be so good about birthdays, anniversaries and little things. I am spending the extra five minutes to make sure I write everything down-not on a random piece of paper-but in the correct spot so I can stay on track. It’s been 2 weeks so far and I am feeling good, still. That is a good sign! I am also sticking with my meal planning which is a wonderful thing! After working and running home to my 3 boys on 3 different football teams with different practice schedules, we are in the season of late dinners and short conversations. However, I want to make sure they are eating better than hot pockets and pizza rolls everyday. Yet, sometimes that still happens. I have given myself permission to not worry about it too much and do the best I can in the moment 🙂

    1. I have this little voice that always says, “you don’t need to write that down.” Every time I listen to that stupid little voice, I regret it. Now I just tell that little voice, “Shut up.” It sounds like you are on top of things this Fall, Jen! I’m always so impressed with how you pull it off. You are amazing.

  15. This post is helping me to see that even though transition for me may seem hard, there are things i can do to make it easier and a positive transition. My daughter lives with my sister and her family, and my house is about to go on the market. My daughter’s wish is for me to enjoy life and do things I’ve always wanted to do, but began to go into a deep depression. The truth was, i didn’t know how to deal with the transition of carrying such a heavy load for so long, to not having the responsibility of carrying such a load and truley enjoying life. Now I see there are ways to make this transition work such write things down, feed myself with the Scriptures, and for me, plan for the future and do simple pleasures for myself. Thank you for such a wonderful blog.

  16. You didn’t specify the timezone for the cutoff…it’s 9:40pm CST right now…hope I made it :)! love your post on Mean Kid. The push-up contest cracked me up. I do CrossFit and admit to having thoughts that it will make Mean Kid think twice before messing with my 11 yr very Nice Kid. Thanks for the tips on balance. Now if I could only remember to write stuff down…:)

    1. Oh, and CrossFit…I finally tried that for the first time a few weeks ago. I’m not even kidding when I tell you those squats with the weighted bar? They KILLED my thighs. I couldn’t walk for several days. And I’m in really good shape. CrossFit is a whole different level. If I was a Mean Kid, I would NOT mess with a CrossFit Mamma.

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