Focus Challenge

 

A focus challenge is when you focus on a few task.  You start out by making a list. Example: 1. Make bed  2.Clean night stands 3.Clean up floor 4.Sweep.  It is important to keep the list small, all you need is 4 to 5 task to focus on at a time.

Then you set the timer, you can set it for 5 minutes or for 10, for each task.  The focus challenge is meant to pick task you can complete within a 5 to 10 minute time frame. It is important to complete each task at hand before moving on the next task.

Some things that help me focus and not get distracted:

  1. Have all my materials in the room with me.
  2. Have two Walmart bags, one for trash and one for recycling
  3. Have a dirty clothes basket
  4. Have a empty basket for items that belong in other rooms.
  5. Have my broom, vacuum, and Swiffer with me.

I usually do this when I am feeling overwhelmed and don’t really know where to start.  This also helps me get rooms cleaned up quickly.  To get my momentum going I usually start in the smallest room of the house. Then when I see progress I keep the momentum going by moving on to the next list of task to focus on.

-Pamela Henry

 

 

 

 

 

5 Minute Pickup

What is a five minute pickup?  Good question…..

Well five minute pickup is just that. Pickup as much as you can in a five minute time period.

  1. Your start by setting a timer.
  2. Get 2 to 3 baskets and a trash bag, you can use as many baskets as you need
  3. Get your children involved
  4. Pick an area you need cleaned up
  5. Give each child a Walmart bag

Once you picked your area. Get your baskets set up: one for clothes, one for toys, and you can put anything else in the third basket.  Have your trash can by the baskets. We like to use our extra trash bag for recycling.  The children can use their Walmart bags as a trash or recycling bag too.  Get your children excited about helping. You can give a prize or have a special treat. I like to make it a race to see who can pick up the most stuff, me or the children. Set that timer and then get to work.

You will be amazed how quickly your children will move to pick up stuff off of the floor just so the kiddos can beat you. This method isn’t about getting your room spotless, it is about cleaning up. I like to do this throughout the day so we can keep a handle on the messes.  Because my house can get messy and dirty throughout the day. This helps me keep my sanity, because I am a bit of a neat freak.

I will post some more this week on a few of my cleaning tips.  Not that I am a expert but I do have to clean a lot…..

-Pamela Henry

 

 

 

Yes, They Are All Mine

imageEver since I was a little girl I always wanted a large family. So for those that truly know me best are not surprised at all that I have six children.  To me I don’t have a very large family. I don’t see myself as having “so many” children.  The truth is I had always planned on having way more than six, but I decided to be content with how many children God gives me.

I am always amused when we go out in public.  From peoples stares and reactions you would think we drove up in a bus and 30 people stepped out of it, lol.  I have gotten so many different questions and comments from people that I am kind of use to it. I always think it is funny when people start doing a head count to see how many children we have.  Sometimes we get the famous question, “Are they all yours?” I always respond with a smile, “Yes, they are all mine”. Then comes the comments about how full my hands are.

Well, I am busy. My hands are full. I always have a lot going on even if we don’t have a lot going on.  I really am just a typical mom, just like every other mom.  I don’t have extra patience. I don’t have some hidden super power. I don’t have it all figured out.  I had my hands full after I had my first child, and I just keep adding to it. No matter if you have one child or nineteen we are all on this journey of Motherhood, so be helpful and kind to each other.

-Pamela Henry

 

 

 

Embracing My Life

Yes my life is not perfect, but I am learning to embrace the imperfections and just enjoy my life.  I am learning that everything doesn’t have to be picture perfect.  I am learning that everything doesn’t always have to go as planned. I am learning to just embrace the moment, to embrace my life.

Embracing my challenges.  Everyone has challenges. Each and everyone of us faces day to day challenges. Are all our challenges the same? No they are not the same, but the truth is we all have them. Challenges are good for us. Challenges help us grow. Challenges do just that they challenge us, they help us to reach higher, to go further, and to do better. I do not want my challenges, my weaknesses, my obstacles in life to stand in the way of my happiness. I don’t want my challenges to become impossible obstacles that I let stand in my way. I want to be an overcomer. I want to be a person that sees my challenges, my obstacles,  and my weaknesses and figures out a way to overcome them, to find solutions, and grow stronger.

Embracing motherhood. Now I have to say motherhood is different than I thought it was going to be.  I am still not the mother that I want to be. As my children are growing, I am growing as a mother.  I am constantly learning. Being a mother has magnified my weaknesses and my strengths. I am learning to just embrace the ins and outs of motherhood. I am learning to embrace the ups and downs of motherhood. I am learning to just enjoy my children’s unique characteristics.  I am learning to embrace each child for who they are, and celebrate it.  I am learning to embrace each part of motherhood.

Embracing the mundane.  I learned along time ago to live today. I learned to enjoy today. I learned to celebrate  today, because there might not be a tomorrow.  I do not believe in skipping over the week days to enjoy the weekends. I do not believe in skipping over the every day to get to a holiday.  I believe everyday is a special day. I believe everyday is a day to celebrate. So embrace the housework and be thankful you have a house to clean and work in. So embrace the day to day task and be thankful that you are able to do it.  Embrace the mundane, because that is where majority of our time and life is. That is where all the little things in life are.  Embrace the little things in life, because they add up to be the important things.

Embrace differences.  One thing that I love about my husband is our differences. We complement each other.  I embrace those differences. I do not let those differences become a wedge between us, I use those differences to help us grow stronger as a couple.  I found that the things that made me attracted to my husband was our differences.  Our differences are what makes us unique, make us who we are as a person.

Embrace Life. Life is always changing. Children are always growing. We are always meeting new people and making new friendships.  I am learning to embrace each moment in life, the good and the bad.  I am learning to embrace each new chapter in my life, and I am learning to embrace the closing of each chapter in my life with grace.  I am learning to embrace the unexpected, because life is full of unplanned adventures.

God sent His Son so we can have life and have it more abundantly. God wants us to have joy. God wants us to embrace everyday.  So, as we head into the weekend remember to find joy in each day. Embrace each day as a gift, because that is exactly what it is.

-Pamela Henry

 

Seasonal Cleaning

Four times a year I do what some call “Spring Cleaning”.  If I did one major cleaning just once a year my house would get bad, really bad.  Towards the end of each season I like to do a seasonal cleaning. I also like to do a really good cleaning before putting up Christmas decorations.

What does my seasonal cleaning consist of you may ask. Well, I will share with you what it consist of.

  1. Deep cleaning the kitchen.  Well that is wiping down the inside and outside of the cabinets.  Cleaning the stove, inside the eyes, and cleaning the oven.  Cleaning the fridge and the freezer, I actually do this once a week.  Organize all the cabinets, get rid of anything broken, go through junk drawer and throw away junk. Just going through my stuff and organizing it.
  2. Wipe down the walls. Yes, I mean wipe down the walls. Get a bucket of hot water and get the kids involved. Also wipe down the baseboards and moldings.  My house this is a necessity with all those little dirty hands constantly touching the walls.
  3. Go through closets.  See what fits and what does not fit. Yes, I do this for all 6 kiddos. It is quit the chore but has to get done. Go through shoes, see what fits. Also just clean out the junk. My kids can accumulate a lot of junk.
  4. Bathrooms: Well, wipe down the walls. Scrub everything. Organize the cabinet.  Basically make sure you clean that bathroom spotless.
  5. Children’s bedroom. This is the time to get rid of stuff. Let them help you. Clean and organize. Make sure they wipe down their walls and baseboards. This is a time you can teach them about giving to others that is less fortunate than you.  Pick out toys that they no longer play with and donate them.
  6. If you have ceiling fans, wipe them down. You can use a dryer sheet, a wet rag, or both.
  7. I like to use this time to organize my laundry room and other rooms in the house also.

On my next post I will talk about how I clean the rooms quickly and efficiently.

Please leave any of your ideas and things you do for your seasonal or spring cleaning. This is just the basics for people that might need help with starting a Seasonal cleaning.

Before I’m 40

As life changes some of our goals change too. Some goals stay the same, some goals are no longer applicable to our life, some goals are on going, and some we can scratch off our list because we accomplished what we set out to do.

We all have goals and we all need goals. So, as another chapter and another decade is about to close in my life, I have really wanted to evaluate, to really think about what I want before this chapter closes. I also wanted to set some goals, develop some good and healthy habits, and get ready for the next chapter of my life.

So the next 5 months I really want to work on me. I want to work on my attitude. I want to work on my heart and my spiritual needs. I want to make sure I am healthy. I want to make sure I am keeping my mind sharp and healthy.  I have a few goals, some habits I want to make stronger , and some habits I want to implement in my life.

  1. I want to restart a prayer journal.
  2. I want to start scripture writing.
  3. I want to add more water to how much I already drink.
  4. I want to restart my exercise routine, I kind of got off track with this move.
  5. I want to restart reading aloud to my children.
  6. I want to read more books.
  7. I want to go out on more dates with my husband.

These are the first of my goals, the things I want to become a habit, a part of my routine.  I always want to be working on myself, to be a better wife, mother, relative, friend, Christian, and just a better person.

So, what are some of your goals? What good habits do you want to establish? What are some habits you want to let go of? I would love to hear them……

-Pamela Henry

 

It’s Monday Morning

I am drinking coffee. The house is quiet. Not because I sent all the children away on a school bus, but because they are asleep. In the quietness I got to  pray for some church members at our church that need prayer at this time.  I got to think and reflect on the day ahead of me. I really do enjoy this quiet time in the morning.

I do not know about you but Sundays are kind of crazy at my house. Sundays are not peaceful and quiet at all.  Monday is kind of a recovery day from the weekend and Sundays, well for everyone but my husband. He has to go to work.  So this morning I will let the kiddos sleep in and we will do school and tackle cleaning the main living area together.

This weekend was busy and wonderful. I got to go to a women’s conference with my church. The theme was Apple Red Happiness. It was all about choosing happiness, and joy. Even through times that are not so happy, Choose Happiness!!!!  So, now it is Monday Morning, time to put those lessons to the test!!!!  Will I choose joy even when things get a little crazy, and they will at some point today? Will I choose joy when the 2 year old starts to cry, and the five year old needs me, and I just really have to go to the bathroom?   Will I choose joy when my children are not being obedient? Will I choose joy when I am trying to accomplish a task but have to stop to help one of my children? Will I choose joy when the children are dragging their feet and really don’t want to finish their school work for the day? My prayer is that today I will choose joy and I will choose to be happy, no matter what comes up in my day.  I pray that I do not let circumstances predict if I will be happy or not.

My joy, my strength, my endurance, my peace, my encouragement, and my ability to have happiness through any circumstances comes from the Lord. Does that mean I will not have moments of sadness? No, it does not mean that. It means God will hold me and carry me through those moments of sadness. Does it mean everything is always quiet and peaceful at my house? No, it is certainly not quiet after my kiddos get up and not always peaceful when they are fighting amongst each other. But I can point them to Christ the source of peace even when life is stormy. Am I always strong and able to endure everything in life? No, I have to lean on God, I also lean on my husband and friends. I am able to push ahead because I know that God knows what is ahead. Am I always happy about everything that happens? No, I cry about lots of things that has happened in my life. Some circumstance are not always happy ones. Allowing God to take the broken pieces of my heart. Allowing Him to do a work in my heart. That is how I am able to find joy and happiness in the storms of life.

So It is Monday. Let’s choose happiness.

-Pamela Henry

Motherhood

Life is an unpredictable adventure. It is kind of like a rollercoaster ride. You have highs, you have lows, you have twist, you have turns,  and life can certainly throw you for a loop.

Motherhood was not what I expected. It is a lot harder than I thought it would be. It has been an amazing adventure that has brought out the best and the worst in me.

Thirteen years ago in August I found out I was expecting. I was so excited. I was scared. I was thankful. I was happy that God has answered our prayers.  This was the beginning of my journey in Motherhood.  I had no idea of the road that was before me.

Being a mom has changed my whole life. Just the weight of the job is humbling. The child that was growing inside of me had an eternal soul. Each child needs to be pointed to Christ. I need to live my life in such a way that I am not a stumbling block to them. Motherhood, being a mom is more than what I do, it is who I am.  I do not take motherhood lightly, I know what a blessing it is and I know the significance of my role.

You might ask if I have it all together, if I am a great mother? I must confess that I have to apologize to my children often. I fail everyday. I get up the next day and point them to Christ. You see, He never fails. I get back on that horse every morning. I fall and get back on, way to many times to count I might add. I am a sinner and I am not perfect. I have made many mistakes in my journey as a mom. I try to learn from them and I try to grow from them.

Motherhood is an adventure and I have learned so much from my children. All 6 of them are so different.  They make me laugh. They say the funniest things. Children are brutally honest. They look at life through a different lens. Their faith is unshakable. They live life to the fullest every day.  Everyday is an adventure. Their imagination has no end. My children have taught me to embrace each day, and embrace the adventure ahead.

From the moment I found out I was pregnant I was in love, each and every pregnancy. Each one of my children stole my heart way before I even got to hold them. Through the good times and the bad, through every adventure we take I count my blessings to be their Mother.

-Pamela Henry

 

 

Changes

Life seems to always seem the same and sometimes it seems as things are always changing. I know this is a complete contradiction, an oxymoron. While some things never change, somethings are always changing. Some changes are so small and steady that you barley notice the change. Some changes come quickly and are so drastic that you can’t miss it at all.

Life at the Henry Home has seen its share of changes, some were great and some where heartbreaking. Some changes were so small that no one really even noticed. In the last 14 years we have lived in 5 different cities. My husband graduated from College. He started working for Sherwin Williams. He has gotten several promotions. We have had six children. My children are growing, slow and steady.  We  lost my mom in an accident. Then we lost my husband’s brother in law in an accident. Several loved ones have passed away in recent years. Last year my mother in law passed away.

In some ways some things have stayed the same. God’s love is never changing, and never ending. God never changes. His Word never changes. It is a constant in our life.  When the world around me seems to not know up from down. When life seems to get crazy and a drastic change comes, I just look to the one that is Higher than I.  I am so thankful that God never changes. I am thankful that He is my anchor, He is my calm during a storm, He is my refuge, He is my Rock, and He is my Salvation.

So as you look around and see the piles of laundry, the dishes that need to get washed, children that need to eat once again, and you can’t see past today remember it won’t always be this way.  So don’t get lost in the mundane.You may think I will be in this season of life forever. You won’t!  Don’t let today slip by. Don’t wish this season of life away.  Don’t let your joy slip away. Don’t think your kids will be little forever. Believe it or not, your children are always growing and changing.  Embrace today. Drink some tea or coffee. Read your Bible. Enjoy a good book. Play with your children. Do something fun with your older children. Tell people you love them.  Embrace the mundaneness of today. Remember that no two days are alike, every day is a new day.

So keep on keeping on. Your work is not in vain. Lean on God who never changes. Embrace the changes with God’s wisdom and grace as they come your way.  Embrace today with love and joy in your heart.

-Pamela Henry