Friday, December 7, 2012

A Snowglobe Cake

Tomorrow is the "Retiro de Damas" for the Pomasqui church and my MIL and I are in charge of refreshments. I offered to do cupcakes and a cake. The rose frosting is always fun to do and turns out pretty too.
 But this cake was WAY fun to make! Dan spotted the little tree at the store the other day and it's just perfect. The snowman is a pepper shaker -- his friend, the salt-shaker, is still in the package!
And this is what the rest of my family worked on today:
I don't know how many buckets they helped fill, but I'm sure there will be some thankful ladies later this month!

Days 17-20

I'm not very good at blogging every day. Could it be that my to-do-list is already kinda full?!

Day 17 The bathroom didn't need 15 minutes of cleaning. The "new" little blue tote system from Day 9 is working great and keeping our things in place. I only needed to swipe the sink and wipe the dust off the shelves.
I cleaned out the "fire place pantry" instead of a kitchen cupboard for two reasons: one, it needed it, and two, the Christmas dishes need a temporary home! It's nice to have the Christmas dishes nearby and easy to get at since we have fun using them this time of year.

Day 18 I didn't vacuum since that job is taken care of for me on most Mondays. I cleaned out my shoe area of our closet and passed along four pairs that I haven't worn in ages. I didn't work in the kids' closets since that's a weekend-type project!

Day 19 We don't have trim around our windows nor do we have baseboards, so I skipped today. There are ledges under our windows, but they weren't dusty. (That's a miracle!)
Today was a holiday here -- Quito Day! Some of us wore red and blue in celebration, though the two nationals I greeted with a "Feliz Dia de Quito" looked a bit confused. Maybe it's a custom thing.
Today was December 6, which means there were goodies in the stockings this morning! We cut out some cool paper snowflakes after school.

Today was Day 20 -- the last day! -- of the Organized Home challenge. I skipped cleaning out the medicines since I did that back on Day 9 when I majorly cleaned my bathroom. This morning Dan and the kids helped put together buckets for the Quito Prison Ministry. They were gone until after lunch, which worked great since I had cupcakes and a cake to make. Pictures coming soon!
I also cleaned the other 3 bathroom vents so that's done now too. I guess the challenge now is to keep things neat through the holidays!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Day 16

I'm not quite done with today's assignment of cleaning the vents, but the first one really needed it! Who knew?
I wasn't too excited about this job and it wasn't easy using a toothbrush above my head, but it's nice to know that all that dust is gone. I have three more to go before I can say it's done.
By the way, we don't have heater/air conditioner floor vents in our house because we don't have either heat or air conditioning. So I'm cleaning the bathroom vents -- most of which are on the wall above the door!
Better go see how my sister is doing at catching up!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Organized Home Days 12-15

Yikes! I'm a little behind schedule, but some areas are looking better than they did a week ago!

 Day 12 I don't remember what I wore, but I'm pretty sure it was khakis and a t-shirt! I didn't vacuum, but I did clean the microwave, the top of the stove, and the oven window.

Day 13 Swiped the bathroom, cleaned the dust off the top of the fridge, and wiped down some of the kitchen cupboard doors. It wasn't on the list, but I cleaned everything off the fridge door to make room for our countdown calendar tins.
Day 14 Carolyn helped me clean mirrors and the glass doors in the kitchen. I think I'm glad I don't have any other interior doors with windows! She took pictures of the utensil drawer and included "during" shots.
 (I like the blurred look -- it makes the "after" look even better!)
Day 15 The computer got feather-dusted today and I took care of a number of e-mails in my inbox. There's still a lot of work to do on that, but Windows 8 is killing me! My 15 minutes of doing something you enjoy was spent with Carolyn making a garland with the Cricut. (This is the 2nd of our 3 countdown activities!) We decided we liked the ornament pattern best, so most of the garland is made of that. Inside each of the tins in the picture above is a bit of candy and these Bible verses. After we read the verse, we glue it on the garland.
We had a nice vacation at the coast and enjoyed fish for our Thanksgiving lunch! It was a special treat to spend time with Dan's parents.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Organized Home: Day 11

Today's challenge was easy -- especially since I skipped the picking up part! We spent Thanksgiving at the coast and arrived back home yesterday afternoon. After 5 loads of laundry, I didn't feel like cleaning up much today! I did go through my silverware drawer though and it is a bit cleaner and neater now. Sorry for the shiny pics -- I didn't take time in adjusting them because it was already after 9pm!
You probably can't tell, but I got rid of the steak knives that aren't sharp enough to cut the meat here (is any knife up to that task?!), three "jungle" spoons, a plastic fork, and 3 plastic spoons. I left 4 of the 10 Sharpies there since that's what I use on my calendar. I'm hoping I remember to use the chopsticks the next time we have BeNi rice!
As far as Day 10, the kids feather-dusted all the light fixtures in the house and that's as good as it got!
Even though I didn't organize a whole lot today, I did sew for 2.5 hours! That was fun and now Carolyn's stocking stuffer is ready! I'll get a pic of that next week.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Days 8 & 9

It's still early today, but I better update now and the rest of the day gets busier!

Day 8 basically didn't happen. The kids did wipe down the door handles and that was pretty  much it! We did go into town for lunch, got groceries, and picked up toner for the printer. Dan planned to get my car registered, but on the way there one of the windshield wipers quit working. There was no way the car would pass the inspection with that, so he picked us up earlier than expected at the grocery store. My car is now at the shop and will hopefully be ready tomorrow.

Day 9 Assignment
::Get dressed in something that makes you feel great. Wanna guess? Khakis and a t-shirt!
::Sit down with a cup of coffee or tea, refer to your list of weekly goals, and make a list of no more than 5-7 specific things you want to accomplish today. I had two big cups of coffee this morning but didn't make a new list. I'm still working on the really long list I made on Sunday.
::Set the timer for 15 minutes and do a quick-clean of your bathroom. It took longer than 15 minutes, but it's less dusty now and a little less cluttered!
::Clean your light switch plates. I better get the cleaning rags ready and call the kids!
(The Christmas spirit has hit!)
(Several years ago I took the doors off the sink cabinet and changed the hinges. Ever since then,
the left door won't close all the way. So, the above is as good as it gets!)
 Off to check on my sister's blog  and make some locro for dinner!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Day 7

Well, there's not much to write about today. Going into Quito took over 3 hours this afternoon -- blah. This was the day's assignment:

Day 7 Assignment
::Get dressed in something that makes you feel great.
::Sit down with a cup of coffee or tea and create a list of weekly goals.
::Set the timer for 15 minutes and vacuum the main living areas of your home.

I did not vacuum today and I did not make a list. Somehow I did manage to get dressed though -- and in one of my favorite blue t-shirts! We're about to sit down and watch a movie, so maybe at the same time I'll work on making a list for tomorrow of things that should have been done today!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Days 5 & 6

Well, I fell a bit behind in posting about the More Organized Home challenge. Day 5 (Friday) was couch diving and doing something you enjoy for 15 minutes. The kiddos LOVE to couch dive (keeping any money they find is a good bribe incentive!) so that was easy. The afternoon was full of baking -- a big batch of cinnamon rolls, banana bread, chocolate chip cookies, and pizza. Dan set up the video projector in the living room so I spent more than 15 minutes watching a movie on the wall that evening.

Monday's challenge and how I did:
::Get dressed in something that makes you feel great. My normal khakis, t-shirt, and Keens!
::Sit down with a cup of coffee or tea and create a list of weekly goals. I’ll be posting my weekly goals later today along with a link-up so you can share yours, as well. I made a long list yesterday and finished a couple of things on it today.
::Set the timer for 10 minutes and run through your home and quickly pick up everything that’s out of place and put it away. Some of the things that are out of place just need to leave my house! That pile is still there, but pretty much everything else is okay. I could spend another 10 minutes or more cleaning papers off my computer desk, but I'm not sure where I'd put them!
::Set the timer for 10 minutes and clean out the inside of your vehicle. Remove all trash and clutter. If you have time, use a vacuum attachment to vacuum all the seats and floors out. Guido is my best friend today! (He's a third-year student of Dan's in the Bible Institute. He works for us on Mondays to help pay his school bill and cleaning my car is on his to do list!)
Tthe video projector stayed set up all weekend, so my girl and I watched the rest of the Anne of Green Gables videos. "I don't want sunbursts or marble halls..." She doesn't quite get it yet, but that's okay. We had fun anyway!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Day 4

Here's the BIG before and after of the day!
 Oh, wait! That's too far before! But wasn't he cute?
A more recent Before:
I did clean out under my bed a bit, but there is a reason I have a bed skirt! I found three glass blocks under there and they'll soon be ready to use as Christmas night lights. Also found some framed photos that need to be cleaned and hung up soon. Swiped my bathroom, but it gets a pretty good cleaning on Mondays.

The roosters next door woke me up at 5am today, so I had a list made before coffee and breakfast. Three things are done so far and hopefully three more will be taken care of before bedtime. Money Saving Mom's challenge of getting dressed isn't a challenge for me, but I'm glad she doesn't say anything about how early I can put my pj's back on!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Day 3

Day 3 Assignment

1.) Get dressed in something that makes you feel great. T-shirt, khakis, and Keens! And exercising this morning helped too.

2.) Sit down with a cup of coffee or tea, refer to your list of weekly goals, and make a list of no more than 5-7 specific things you want to accomplish today.
Again, I skipped this and kept working on the list I made on Monday.

3.) Set the timer for 10 minutes and do a quick-clean of your bedroom: Do a quick clean-up, make your bed, and vacuum, if you have time.
I worked on the major stacks in my bedroom -- these two areas seem to get out of control quite easily!
 I made room for a chair! (And now I have another project -- recover it!) I put my morning routine items in the bag that's hanging there and am hoping it becomes an inviting little spot.
4.) Set your timer for 10 minutes and do a quick clean-out of your freezer.
My girl helped with this job and she was pretty good at it!
Not a lot of difference, but I did notice that I freeze stuff in baggies a lot! I'm sure containers with matching lids would look a lot more organized.

Today was another busy day and my kitchen counter tops don't look as nice as they did in yesterday's pictures. Maybe I'll have time to do a quick clean up in there again. Does anyone else have a kitchen that gets cleaned up and dirtied three times a day?? My girl and I went to the grocery store and Corfu today. There are still some washed, cleaned, soaked veggies on the counter waiting to be put away, but it's good to have some fresh stuff around.
The boy just came in and informed me that all together the four of us make a "100 year old" -- that will be true until my girl turns 9 next month!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Day 2 of Our Organizing Challenge

Today's task of wiping down kitchen counter tops is something I normally do three times a day anyway, so that much was easy. That's what happens when you live in a very dry and dusty area.

1.) Get dressed in something that makes you feel great. A Life is Good shirt is always good!

2.) Sit down with a cup of coffee or tea, refer to your list of goals and make a list of 5-7 specific things to accomplish today. I didn't make a new list, but checked things off yesterday's list as I did them. I only crossed off 4 things, but I also had a boy's birthday to celebrate today!
(This boy is now 13, but I love this picture of him with the walrus tusks!)

3.) Set the timer for 10 minutes and do a quick-clean of your kitchen.
(There are dishes in the sink -- but they're clean! And the pies are still cooling on top of the microwave. The shrimp is defrosting in the sink and the rice cooker is waiting for dinner!)

4.) Set the timer for 10 minutes and do a quick clean of your refrigerator. I took more than 10 minutes doing this because there was a lot of dust on the top of my refrigerator! I cleaned off all the magnets, recipes, and artwork and put back just a few of the important things -- like the measurement conversion magnet! I didn't get pictures of this assignment, but the baggies you see in the pics above have been put away.

If you're wondering why in the world I'm showing you my messy kitchen, take a look at Money Saving Mom and her nifty plan. And then go check on my sister's progress!

Monday, November 5, 2012

My sister made me do it!

Ok, so maybe it was my idea to work on this challenge together. But it was her idea to blog about it! We're organizing our homes together even though we're 5,618 miles and 4 time zones apart and separated by the equator.

Today's challenge and the results:

1.) Get dressed in something that makes you feel great.
I read the challenge after getting dressed, but I was comfy so didn't change. Capris and a t-shirt are pretty standard around here.

2.) Sit down with a cup of coffee and make some goals for the week.
It was too late in the afternoon for coffee, so I had iced hierba luisa tea. Yum! I did make a list of almost a dozen things to do this week -- that's pretty much the same as goals, right?

3.) Set the timer for 15 min and clean the main areas of the house.
I am blessed with more than I really need and have two major stacks to take care of in my bedroom. I'll get on those right after I post this.
But I did straighten up the living room -- which is more of a school reading room!

4.) Clean out your purse or diaper bag.
Whew! This one was done on Saturday so I guess that leaves me a few extra minutes to put things away in my room.

We have a big birthday here tomorrow -- my boy turns 13! I did a lot of food prep this afternoon so I can have more fun time tomorrow. And, no big cake to make like in years past since he requested pumpkin pie!