Wednesday, May 25, 2016

A Career in Homemaking



Unemployed.
Stay-At-Home Mom
Stay-At Home Wife

All of these are terms that I have heard at one time or another to describe my current profession. My chosen career path.

But I like to think that there is a better term.

Homemaking

Dictionary.com defines homemaking as 
homemaking
[hohm-mey-king] 
noun
1.
the establishment or management of a home; duties of a homemaker.

The establishment or management of a home.  The Bible clearly tells us that we, as women, are to be working diligently in our own homes. Proverbs 14:1 tells us that a wise woman builds her home but a foolish woman tears it down with her own hands. The woman described in the last chapter of Proverbs works day in and day out with her home and family at the center of her motivation. She is busy at home. (Proverbs 31:27)  All throughout the Bible there are examples of women working diligently for the sake of her family, fulfilling the duties of wife and mother.

It is no wonder then that Paul instructs women to be teaching and learning such things. In his letter to Titus he instructs the older women to be instructors, teaching the younger women what is is good. He then goes on to explain to the younger women what they are to be learning: "to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands."  He then ends that with the reason behind the education: So that the word of God would not be reviled.

One of the things that my mother and my grandmother made sure I was prepared for was to run a household. They made sure I knew how not only to cook, but to cook well. They made sure I knew how to do laundry (even if I hate that particular task). And they made sure I knew how to clean a room or two. Of course growing up I was sure this was all in an attempt to torture me, but now that I am a wife and a mother I am thankful for the opportunities I was give to learn these things from my mom, my grandmother, and even for a time my great-grandmother. I knew going into my marriage I had at least the basic tools needed to manage a home. And I was right, I had a basic knowledge. However, the further down the road I get in my journey of marriage and motherhood the more I realize just how much I don't know.

Its for this reason that when the Homemaking Concentration program was brought to my attention here at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary I jumped at the opportunity. I realized that I have talked A LOT about classes and homework assignments but I have never really shared much about the program itself so now I would like to introduce you all to the Homemaking Concentration program as well as the facility I have the pleasure of calling my classroom.


Homemaking Concentration in the Terry School of Church and Family Ministries

The Master of Arts in Christian Education (MACE) Degree with a Homemaking Concentration at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary is designed as a comprehensive degree for fulfilling God’s plan for the home and those who dwell therein. Dedicated to training the total Christian woman … spiritually, academically and professionally, it provides both the theological base and the practical knowledge to understand and implement that plan. BiblicalWoman.com

The majority of the classes offered in the homemaking concentration are taught out of the Horner Homemaking House. This facility is meant to be used as a management model to teach and train women on how to set up and manage a home to the best of her ability in an attempt to glorify God each and every day.

The house itself is huge and beautiful and more than I could ever dream of living in. But it does provide the teaching and training I need on a large scale to then turn around and implement in my small student housing situation.

All Photo Credit from SouthWestern Baptist Theological Seminary

Each room in the house is dedicated to special women who have made an impact on families through their duty and calling as homemakers. They are honored through picture and having their favorite scripture verses placed around the rooms. Each woman or her family donated the funds and/of the furnishings needed to provide and excellent learning environment for all of us to use.

Photo Credit Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
The Textile room is one of my FAVORITE rooms of the house. This room is where I was finally able to get over my fear of all things sewing. It is also the room where I have made some of my best friendships here at Seminary. There is just something about fighting with unforgiving fabric that brings women together. This room is equipped with 10 sewing machines, 2 sergers, and 2 monogram machines. It also contains everything needed to complete a clothing project. If you take a tour of this home within the next 6 months you might even see my picture up on the wall in this room along with the other women I was in class with. I look forward to having the opportunity to spend more hours in this particular room of the house!




The library is my very favorite of all the rooms in the homemaking house. This room also doubles as the classroom for all lecture style learning. I could spend HOURS in this room just digging through the various resources offered in there. The bookshelves are jam packed with books covering subjects such as biblical womanhood, parenting, marriage, clothing construction, and even cooking. And the great thing is that these books are available to the Seminary students. It has been said that there are times the men of the Seminary use this library for resources more than the women do. However, I am hoping to change that!

The program is run by Distinguished Professor of Homemaking, Dr. Pat Ennis. This woman is amazing. She has degrees from San Diego State University and Northern Arizona University. She has also been integral in the development of several homemaking programs. But more than her credentials Dr. Ennis has become a friend and a spiritual mother. This last semester I have had the pleasure of one on one instruction from her and the wisdom and insight I have gained over the months has been nothing short of wonderful. I look forward to more class time where I can sit and learn from this wonderful woman.

There is much more that the house as well as the program has to offer, however, if I were to go into every detail here this post would never end. So I will end it here. If you are interested in more information about the school, the homemaking program, or any of the other things Southwestern might have to offer feel free to leave me questions in the comment section.

Are you interested in learning more about the homemaking program? I would love to talk with you!


Monday, May 23, 2016

A Testament To Our Faith

Yesterday I had a big plan to write today's post all about how I intend on getting in enough water this summer. More of a "how to" post if you will.

But then, in the evening, while we were hanging out at the church just passing the time with a friend a conversation was started and it got me thinking. Our pastor is out of town currently for his annual week long vacation. This means that my awesome hubby was given the opportunity to preach.



Now, I may be a bit bias BUT, I just love hearing him share God's word with the people that have come to really be like family for us. I also love how real, and raw, and genuine he gets when it comes to his sermons. Every time Dusty preaches he always draws examples from our life to use. The best advice he was ever given, way back when he first started preaching and constructing sermons, was that often the best preached sermons were the ones he needed to hear himself rather than what the congregation needed to hear. And he has taken that to heart and now, when he gets the opportunity to preach it always seems to be the message he and I need to hear and the rest of the people just get to come along for the ride.

And this week was no different.


Recently (like just over a week ago) Dusty quit his "real' job. The one that was paying our bills and putting food on the table. After several months of both of us being miserable with his work schedule as well as working with individuals that just sent up red flags more than once the time finally came. The straw that broke the camel's back so to speak. And just like that we were back on the job market having to make the little bit of money I bring in from caring for 2 kids during the week and the little bit of money we get from the church cover our bills.  This isn't the first time we have been in this position. Actually, lately it seems like every year or so we go through the job hunting process. It's not that we want to be bouncing from job to job but that is just how things keep working out.
However, for the first time I wasn't afraid. I didn't go into panic mode. I didn't automatically begin picturing every worst case scenario of how Dusty not having a job was going to be our downfall.

I just knew we would be ok.

This brings us back to the conversation we were having with our friend at the church. Dusty shared about this recent experience and how it was a conversation between the two of us and me, for all intents and purposes, giving him permission, to quit his job. And this friend said that he saw this action as a true testament to our faith as well as the strength of our marriage. The way that we could come together as one and make a decision and just jump out into the unknown was "really something". 

"A true testament to our faith"

This statement caught me off guard and I really had to stop and think about it for a bit because, in my opinion it was just another day. Another day of trying to navigate our way through life and doing it to the best of our ability with the tools we have been given. And then I realized that it is only through my time and learning here at the seminary that I have managed to grow and change to be able to change my reactions. After taking time to think this over I realized there are 3 important things that I see differently this time.

1.) I am not going through this alone. 

Solomon tells us
"And if someone overpowers one person, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not easily broken" Ecclesiastes 4:12
Not only do I have my husband to go through this struggle with me but I have God to rely on. Often, when we would go though these moments before I would make my husband into the enemy. I would shift the blame on to him and accuse him of not caring, or not wanting to do what needs to be done for the family. But ultimately, in all the job changes we have had it hasn't been his fault. And each time the Lord has lead us into the exact thing that we needed at the time. Each new job has provided what we needed when we needed it and the we are open to move on to the next adventure God has in store for us.

2) Worrying won't do me any good anyway.

Jesus talks a lot about where we should put our trust and what we should be concerned with. And one of my favorite passages is in Matthew 6 where he talks about worrying too much. I even presented a devotion and wrote about it here. This passage has just always spoken to me. And I think it is because worry has always been an area that I struggle with so much. 

Jesus reminds us that we are not to worry about tomorrow because tomorrow will worry about its self. Jesus has already seen tomorrow, He already knows what is coming and He already has a plan. The next job is just right around the corner but we just have to stop, look, and listen, getting out of his way before we can see it. 
"Therefore, don't worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." Matthew 6:34

3) God has the plan so who am I to freak out and question it?

God reminds his people in the book of Jeremiah that even though things look dark and it seems as if he has forgotten or forsaken them that he really is in control and that he has big plans.
"For I know the plans I have for you"-this is the Lord's declaration-"Plans for your welfare not disaster, to give you a future and a hope" Jeremiah 29:11
This one little verse is used to make all kinds of promises to people out in the world. But the long and short of it is this: If we get out of God's way and we let him do what he needs to do he has good plans for us. That may not mean today or tomorrow. In fact, for the people it was written to originally it meant a very long time down the road. But the truth is, the plans God has for me, the future and the the hope he is offering doesn't exist in this world or this time anyway. These plans are for a life everlasting with the Lord. So how we are going to pay our bills, or how we are going to buy groceries will all be worked out. One way or another. But I know that its all temporary anyway.here today and gone tomorrow. So what is the point in in freaking out.

Does this mean that it's a "True testament to our faith"? Maybe. I know that most days I feel like I am falling down flat in the faith area. But I know that when I look back at my footprints in the sand, it is these times that there will only be one set. And that is because I am being carried by the one who's arms are strong enough to hold all the weight of the world so I don't have to.

What passages do you go to in the hard times? Let me know in the comments!


Friday, May 20, 2016

Sifting Through The Pages: How We Choose Our Home-School Curriculum


Making the decision to educate our children at home was not a decision that we made lightly. Conversations were had, research was done, and a lot of questions were asked.

Ultimately, the decision was made, long before our children were born, that we would be home-schooling. With the government taking control of the education in public schools and the cost of private schools home-schooling is just the best option for our family.


Choosing the Curriculum

Once the decision was made to school at home the task of choosing a curriculum that best suits our family. 

Preschool

Both of my children have been excited about learning and eager to show me new things from a very early age so I was excited when I stumbled across a free preschool program online while I was scrolling through Pinterest. 


Research

The ABCJesusLovesMe Preschool Curriculum is a comprehensive, research-based preschool curriculum focusing on Bible, academics, and development. Each curriculum contains goals and objectives to gauge the child's learning and growth. Beyond the weekly lesson plans, ideas, and materials are provided to support parents and teachers along the way.

Why I Love this Program: 

I loved this program because it is so hands on. The whole principle behind it is helping the kids learn through natural play, which is exactly how a preschooler should be learning! This is less or a curriculum and more of a guideline to help busy moms who want to be intentional plan out their daily activities. There are great Bible stories, coloring and craft activities, and read alouds that give your day direction.


Grade School

There are so many options for finding the right curriculum for your home and your family. There is secular curriculum, Christian or Bible based curriculum, online only programs, and more traditional pen and paper type programs. 

There are programs that are heavy reading and programs that are more activity and hands on based. There are programs you piece together on your own and all encompassing programs. 

So how do you choose what is the best one for you?

The first thing I would suggest is getting your hands on a copy of Cathy Duffy's 102 Top Picks for HomeSchool Curriculum

This book walks you through the various homeschool methods as well as outlining and reviewing the best homeschool programs out there. 

While I can't go through all 102 for you here I will highlight some of the programs I have looked into as well as sharing the program we will be using starting in the fall with both our kiddos and why we chose that particular curriculum.


Veritas Press

"Our approach is an ambitious one. Yet using the method of classical education from a Christian worldview makes our approach possible. Classical education takes a three-fold approach. This trivium, which it is frequently called, is Latin for 'where three roads meet' and lays out three stages of learning: grammar, dialectic (or logic) and rhetoric. The genius of classical education- why it works so well- is because it teaches 'with the grain' of how children develop. When they're young the enjoy memorizing and learning lost of things. The junior high years find them interested in challenging, arguing, and wanting to understand how things might relate to each other. During the senior high years, they become more concerned with ow they are perceived, wanting to be articulate and persuasive in winsome ways. Teaching according to their God-given tendencies proves to be remarkably effective, not to mention that it trains children to learn for themselves- as lifelong learners. 


Sonlight

"Sonlight has designed comprehensive grade/age level programs with carefully selected resources. "Open and teach" instructor’s guides outline lessons for each day using specific pages within the materials provided. All guides, whether for Core Packages or individual subject areas, include week-by-week lesson plans with record-keeping calendars, thorough instructions, student activity sheets, answer keys, and much more. The easy-to-use guides are one of the best and most important features of Sonlight Curriculum."  Cathy Duffy Review

Sonlight offers 2 curriculum options

Option 1 comes with a core package that has a focus on history with language arts built in as well. You then make your own choices for science, math, and electives. This option really leaves your child's education up to you.

Option 2 is a complete grade level package. These packages include everything you need for the entire grade level. This is the type of package that best suits the home-school parent that needs more guidance when it comes to making curriculum choices.





My Fathers World

"My Father’s World (MFW) offers complete or almost complete grade-level programs for preschool through twelfth grade. MFW embodies methodologies from unit study, Charlotte Mason, and classical approaches with a strong biblical base (Protestant) and missionary emphasis throughout all levels. Each program centers around a single guide and uses a mixture of real books and hands-on activities along with a few textbooks. Basic or deluxe packages are available for each level. Basic packages provide essential elements. Deluxe packages include additional resources for art, music, read aloud, etc. A Bible (not included) is required for every level." Cathy Duffy Review
This curriculum is designed to be a whole family approach. It begins with a foundation from pre-school through 2nd or 3rd grade depending on the ages of your youngest and oldest children. The lessons are easy to teach all together with less complicated concepts being taught to younger children and more complicated or complex thoughts being taught to the older children.

Math has to be added in once the 2nd and 3rd grade begin

The My Fathers World curriculum is the program that we are currently using for our family. The units are set up to be done in 6 days but for me that is a nightmare. The idea of starting a new unit in the middle of the week drives me crazy. Fortunately, we are able to condense it down to just 5 days by adding the read aloud times to the rest of the week. We really like this program because it has everything we need and I only have to make one purchase. We will be finishing up kindergarten with one of my kiddos in June and starting 1st grade with my other baby stepping into the kinder role in August.  When its time we will begin looking into math programs that suit our family.

Do you home-school? Have you considered it?  What programs do you use? Let me know in the comments!



Wednesday, May 18, 2016

My Summer Reading List


The semester is over and that means my brain is officially off duty for the next 2 and a half months.

Ok, well maybe not off duty. But I do finally get to dive into the HUGE stack of books I have been acquiring over time. Some I have purchased because they looked interesting, some because they came highly recommended, and some because they were given to me and I liked the few words I have been able to read so far.

Normally, when school is out I gravitate toward mind-numbing activities like Facebook, on-line games, and mindless TV shows. However, this summer I have made a commitment to read when I find that I have a bit of extra time. 

Why I Want To Read More This Summer

When I was growing up my mother and my grandmother really instilled in my a love of reading. I have always enjoyed being able to sit at home on my couch and take a trip to almost any time and place in the world. For this reason I have always been a fan of fiction.

As I grew I began to see the importance of reading non-fiction. Books on topics that will help me to grow as a person, a Christian, a wife, a mother, and even as a student. Digging into these types of books with a note book and pen and maybe even a highlighter with the hope of pulling out gems that will help me improve my life for myself, my family, and those I interact with on a regular basis. 

This summer, I want to find more of those gems. And I want to be able to pass them on as well! I want to share what I am learning and how I am growing when I read from authors like Jill Savage and Jen Hatmaker, and Vicki Courtney. And I want my children to see that reading is a gift and help them to love to read as much as I do.

Books I Want To Read In June, July, and August.


Chamomile Mourning by Laura Childs

This is my one piece of what I like to call "brain candy" on my list for the summer. This book comes from a series called "The Tea Shop Mysteries".  I just LOVE all things tea and would spend all day in tea shops and tea rooms if I could so this little bit of fiction helps me to go there in my mind. I also LOVE mystery books. I like trying to figure out who all in involved and help the hero of the story solve the crime.

I was given this book by my grandmother who has read through The most of them herself so I know it's going to be a good one. And to top it off it contains some great recipes and other tea time tips. It really is just all I could ask for in brain candy!






The Best Yes by Lysa TerKeurst

"Are you living with the stress of an overwhelmed schedule and aching with the sadness of and  underwhelmed soul?"
"Lysa TerKeurst is learning that there is a big difference between saying yes to everyone and saying yes to God."

This book is one I looked at on the shelf several times. And then I read several reviews as well it coming highly recommended by someone here at the Seminary that I highly trust and respect. I know that I am a people pleaser and I don't want to let others down by telling them no or that something they need done doesn't fit into my schedule. I am praying this book helps to give me a better perspective on how to give my best yes to God and not to the world around me.

The Daniel Plan: 40 Days to a Healthy Life.

"God designed our bodies to be healthy, providing everything we need to thrive and live abundantly.The Daniel Plan: 40 Days to a Healthier Life by Rick Warren, Dr. Daniel Amen, and Dr. Mark Hyman is far more than a diet plan. It is an appetizing approach to achieving a healthy lifestyle where people are encouraged to get healthier together by optimizing the key five essentials of faith, food, fitness, focus and friends."

I have had this book in my collection for quite some time. And I have picked it up to begin reading it a number of times. And life keeps stepping in the way. I also purchased the cookbook and there is a 40 day journal that I own that go with the book. One of the big areas we are hoping to improve upon this summer is our diet and exercise. I am hoping that I will be able to come at my goals not only from a logical and scientific perspective but also from a biblical perspective.

When Leaders Live Together by Larry and Devi Titus & Ever After by Vicki Courtney


"Maybe you have one of those strong personalities...or perhaps, you are married to one. More than likely, both you and your spouse have strong personalities even if that strength shows up in differnt ways. Then this is a 'must read' book for both of you." (When Leaders Live Together)

"Most women dream about having a family and building a home. We grow up on a steady diet of fairy tales and chick flicks that drive our dreams-- and leave us with a sugarcoated version of reality. We want it all: the prince, the kiss, the proposal, the ring, the castle, and eventually, the kids in smocked rompers playing cheerfully on the perfectly manicured lawn. Our hopes and dreams are pinned on the world's version of happily-ever-after." (Ever After)

Both of these books came from "The Art of Homemaking" conference that was put on here at the seminary in February of 2015. Both of the authors were keynote speakers and I also sat in Devi Titus' break out session. To say it was a wonderful experience is and understatement.  The Leaders book is one hat my mother read first and has just gushed over time and time again (In fact the copy that is in the picture above is her copy that she lent me to read. I promise I will get it returned mom!) The Ever After is also my mom's book I just happened to have it come to my house before it came to hers. This is another one that I have picked up to read time and again and just haven't had the time to finish it. This summer it will happen!

Better Together by Jill Savage and Anne McClane 

"Being a mom is hard, but it doesn't have to be lonely."

Recently I found Hearts At Home while I was searching through either Facebook or Instagram and I fell in love. I just love how they tie in home and family with the biblical lifestyle I have been trying to lead. During that time they were in the process of creating a launch team for their up coming book. And I was one of the 400 women chosen to be part of it. I was given early access to the book in PDF format as well as access to a closed Facebook group where we could interact with one another as we read through the book.

Unfortunately, the semester got the better of me and I wan't able to finish reading the book or be very involved in the online interaction. But one thing I was able to do was keep up with the "Photo-a-day" challenge they put out. And I was blessed enough to have been chosen as the "Photo-a-day' challenge winner for the month of April. My prize? A signed copy of "Better Together" the very book I was looking forward to read but just couldn't fin into my busy student mom schedule. So this summer I am going to dive in and finish what I got started!

Blogging for Writers by Robin Houghton

"The world of words has undergone a revolution, with everyone from authors to publishers affected by the explosion of digital media. Today, a blog is one of the most powerful tools a writer has at her or her disposal. Whether you want to connect with a potentially huge new readership or showcase your work and get published, a well-written, well-presented blog is essential."

While out with my hubby a few night ago we were doing one of our favorite activities....wandering around Barnes and Nobel. (We just love book stores and strolling though them is a favorite date night activity for us!) And we happened to come upon this book. Both of us are aspiring writers, especially with everything that we want to do within the ministry God has called us into so we just decided this would be a good place to start. I have already skimmed through a few of the pages and I am looking forward to diving in more and finding out resources and ways to make this blog, my little corner of the internet, a place where I can express the things going on and help provide practical application for readers out there. 

God is My Strength by Pat Ennis

"Women of the twenty-first century are faced with a myriad of issues. God is My Strength: Fifty Biblical Responses to Issues Facing Women Today offers an abundance of responses that challenge her to become biblically wise (Titus 2:1-5) as well as a 'doer of the word' (James 1:22) in the critical areas of her life: Her God, Herself, Her Relationships, Her Home and Her World."

This is my text book for the class that I took during the Spring semester. It was written by my professor and I am truly blessed to be able to sit with her and discuss the issues found in the book. I am halfway through this book, due to the fact that I was assigned to read thorough that much during the semester. I will be taking the second section of the course in the Fall and will be required to finish the content of the book. However, in an effort to give myself a head start I am going to do my best to read the remainder of the book over the summer and have that portion of the class completed. 

The Seven Experiment by Jen Hatmaker.

"Do you feel trapped in the machine of excess? Are you finding that more isn't always better? Is abundance holding you back from something greater? Fight back against overindulgence, materialism, and greed by joining Jen Hatmaker in The 7 Experiment."

This is actually a 9 session (or 9 week) Bible study that I will be diving into starting this evening. My mom and her Wednesday night ladies group have been going though this study and they are LOVING it. And I love me some Jen Hatmaker so I believe this is going to be a huge win for me. I have already started the fight back with my massive decluttering mission that I wrote about over here so I am excited about jumping in with both feet on this one. 



WOW! Looking back through this I have to say that I have an ambitious goal for the summer. I am so excited to get diving into all of these books.

What books do you have on your summer reading list? Let me know in the comments!



Monday, May 16, 2016

Operation De-Clutter


School is out for the summer and I am so excited to have some time to not have to think about reading or writing papers. I get a chance to just be home and spend time with my kids doing all the fun things I wanted to do over the last 3 months.


But that also means I finally have time got through my house and make some serious changes.

The biggest change is making this house a livable place. And to do that I need to get rid of  A LOT of stuff!





One thing I have learned is that making changes is easier when you have someone cheering you along the way. I have been fortunate enough over the past few months to begin a wonderful friendship with one of my neighbors here at the seminary. With her encouragement and drive the process of de-cluttering and organizing my home began in the kitchen.

Boxes were sorted though, trash was taken out, and items that I no longer need or use were taken out of the house and on to a place where they can find a better home.

Once all the de-cluttering was done the organization began. I stopped off at Walmart and grabbed up a handful of  $0.94 storage bins.
This isn't the exact type but they are similar and do the same thing.



And just like that the school and craft cabinets are clean and functional! Just in time for me to start looking at new curriculum for the next year. (But that's for another post!)

And the last stop on the organization train for the kitchen was the dishes. I can not tell you the number of glasses and cups that we had that we just didn't need any more. Those are off to a new home as well. And with a little re-organizing I can finally get to everything I need to get to and do everything I need to do.





Drawers and the cabinets under the counter were done last.
I snagged this idea of Facebo we ok. It still needs some
work but overall I like how it turned out.

The next stop on our tour through the house was the living room. The good thing is that in there we didn't have to do much in the way of de-cluttering. That room mostly consisted of getting the toys back upstairs where the needed to go and cleaning off book shelves and underneath furniture. I do my best to keep that room organized because that is the room where our company spends the most time when we have people over.

From there the master bedroom was tackled and I have to say I am really really glad to have this particular room done. I have always wanted my bedroom to be a sanctuary....a place I can go and hide and just rest and relax. So now that I finally have all the junk out of the closet I am one step closer to making that happen.

I won this book shelf at "Project Graduation" the nigh I graduated from High School
I used it all of 2 months after high school and then moved and had no more room for it.
I am excited to finally get to put it to use.

The closet. Everything I need within reach. Now I just need to straighten
out the clothes a bit.

The book shelf is on my side of the bed in our bedroom so I tend to sleep facing that wall. Other wise this is what I get to wake up to in the morning:
 
The sanctuary is still a work in progress but at least I can say I am on the right track.

The last thing done was the kids room and the bathrooms. All 3 of those required minimal work since there ins't much storage to de-clutter from the bathrooms and the kids bedroom was just done at Spring Break. Their toys will be sorted through again in another 2 months or so after their birthdays and then again before Christmas. I will also be going through their clothes on a more regular basis so as to not have that build up like it has been.

So not I can say that, at least for this moment, I have everything that is no longer needed or loved residing in my home. I am sure that the next time I go through my house my feelings will change but this is probably the biggest purge I have done since we moved. 

Now the next step is to develop a functional cleaning schedule. I am looking forward to feeling like my home is lived in but not so out of touch that I can't have company over at a drop of a hat.

My goal is to begin implementing more of the FLY Lady system (if you don't know what that is check it out here) just with a few alterations to fit my needs.

The first item on my summer TO DO list is check off!

Do you go on de-cluttering missions?

What type of cleaning systems or schedules do you use in your home?