Tag Archives: cleaning


The hour before a party is prime time vacuuming time at our house.

Seeing Ed vacuum is a rare sight…look at Emmy watch at her daddy!
Do you think Ed had a Tom Sawyer scheme going?

Look at Emmy go! She’s a blur!

This lasted for about two minutes, then the vacuum got a little too heavy for Miss Emmy. 
Ed resumed his cleaning duties. (Unlike Tom Sawyer!)
And then…people came over, ate and drank, Lily tore wrapping paper off of birthday presents, pizza and brownie ice-cream cake was consumed, and our house was turned into a wreck!
Seriously, why do we clean before parties?

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First Sunday in Advent

Preparation. It seems like I’m always preparing for something. I’ve got to prepare for work, I need to prepare dinner, I have to prepare the house for company.
December is almost here. It’s time to prepare for the holidays. Time to get out the ladder and hang the Christmas lights on the outside of the house. Time to put up the Christmas tree and get the Christmas cards ready to send. Shop for gifts and the Christmas ham. Bake some cookies and prepare the menu for Christmas Day.
 In the midst of all our preparations, we need to remember to prepare our hearts to receive Jesus, our King.
“Prepare the royal highway, the King of kings is near!”

I Found Treasure!

Remember those piles from yesterday? The pile in my bedroom is getting smaller, like a snowdrift in January…which is to say that only I can tell it’s shrinking!

A few layers down, I found treasure. Not a forgotten $20 bill or check from a long lost cousin; what I found was worth more than money to me. (Although a tiny sum would have been a nice find, don’t you think?)

My treasure:

There’s a story behind this drawing. In March of 2009, my sister and I took Lily and Emmy to visit my mom in Iowa during Spring Break. We were going to leave Ed at home for a whole week, so Lily requested that he draw picture of himself. She wanted to bring the picture on our trip so she wouldn’t forget him. (Maybe I’ll discover that drawing next!)

We had a great week. Mom was feeling stronger, and we were all hopeful that she would recover from her radiation treatments and that her cancer would be held at bay. My sister and I took her to the mall on a search for dresses for my little sister’s wedding in May. Grandma read, sang, and cuddled with her favorite granddaughters. The week passed by quickly.

When it was time to leave Iowa, Lily requested a self-portrait from Grandma. However, as we were about to get into the van, Grandma didn’t have time to draw a picture. She drew, scanned and emailed a picture to Lily the next week. (Mom was a computer-savvy Grandma!)

I have a plan for this treasure. I’m going to frame it and hang it on Lily’s bedroom wall. Right next to this picture:

Grandma and Lily in March, 2009

Hopeful I’ll find more treasures in that MONSTER of a pile,

Piles ‘n Piles of Stuff

Under our bedroom window, there is a short and squat wooden cabinet. On top of this cabinet is a pile of paper. A mountain of paper. There are paintings and school projects; receipts, magazines, catalogs; coupons, junk mail and brochures. This pile resulted from cleaning. For the past year, (or longer?) whenever we had company, I would move paper piles from the kitchen to that bedroom cabinet. My kitchen counters would be cleared, but that pile in the bedroom kept growing and growing. I can close the door on that pile, but every time I go into the bedroom, the pile is there, taunting me.

This week, I’m determined to get rid of that pile. Every day, I’ve been whittling away at it, filing and recycling and throwing out. It’s taking a long time…I have the handicap of two little girls who seem to constantly need attention these days.

Piles of stuff are my nemesis. I’ve got piles of laundry in the bathroom, piles of old teaching things in the basement, piles of toys in the living room, piles, piles, piles.

And then there’s the figurative piles, piling up in my brain. The shopping lists, financial worries, my volunteer work, my to-do lists, all piling up, along with stress, anxiety, and fear. I’m feeling cranky and tired. I’m wondering if I’m stretching myself too thin…but which responsibility should I give up? I enjoy teaching Sunday school, I love serving on my Mops steering committee, and while Vacation Bible School is a lot of hard work to lead, that week itself is always a joy.

If I can just keep chipping away at all these piles, and try to relax and have fun along the way, I’ll feel such a sense of accomplishment when all is said and done.

Then new piles will start growing, just like the junk mail on my kitchen counter.

Just call me Tortoise,

(Slow and steady wins the race…)

Sticky Little Hand Prints

Late last night, the girls were asleep, and while I was in the master bedroom, I heard some furious whispers coming from the stairwell. I crept out to investigate, and saw no one there. I knew it had to be Ed making those noises, but at the same time I wondered what in the world was making him talk to himself?

As I wandered downstairs, Ed soon appeared with a spray bottle of Formula 409. Now I knew exactly what he was up to. There were several sticky little hand prints on the wall going up the stairs, and Ed had spotted them.

About a year before Ed and I were married, I brought up the idea of adoption. After having breast cancer, chemotherapy, taking the drug Tamoxifen for five years, and then having huge, orange-size uterine fibroids removed along with part of an ovary, I feared that I wouldn’t be able to have children. Ed and I agreed that if it turned out that I was infertile, we would go the adoption route.

When Ed and I started trying to have a baby, it didn’t take long before we found out Lily was on her way. I was unable to have my regular mammograms when I was pregnant and breastfeeding, so we didn’t try to have our second baby until I had that mammogram and everything checked out okay. Emmy was on her way three months after my mammogram. My fears, obviously, never came true.

And so when I saw those sticky hand prints on the wall last week, I was happy to be in my own, toy-strewn, chaotic house with sticky hand prints on the wall. This is the kind of house I’ve always dreamed of having. I resisted cleaning off those sticky little hand prints. A house full of little ones with sticky hands and mouths, runny noses, and giggles is exactly what I want.

Being sentimental about those sticky hand prints didn’t cause me to stop Ed in his tracks, however. Eventually, I would have gotten out the Formula 409 myself. Sticky hand prints on the wall can only be sentimental for a limited time. Plus, I have a rule…never interrupt your husband when he is in cleaning mode, or he might never be moved to clean again!

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