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A Day in My Life: Daily Lists, Lord of the Rings, purse clean-out, and the allergy appointment that wasn’t!

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As a family, we’ve been collectively working on going to bed early and getting up early. When we follow our plan, it’s always amazing the difference it makes! Today was such a good Monday and I think a big part of that was because we went to bed early, got a great night’s sleep, and all got up early.

I think it’s also helping a LOT that I’ve been following through with my #Choose30 Challenge to get up and exercise, shower, get dressed, and read my Bible before doing anything else. No more wearing my PJ’s at 10 a.m. in the morning!

When I get dressed in something that makes me feel great, it always helps me have an extra spring in my step and more focus and productivity.

If you’ve been feeling like you don’t have any energy and are just spending your day running around in circles, I encourage you to try getting up a little earlier, exercising and getting dressed, and making a simple plan for your day. Sometimes, something as simple as a few tweaks like that can make a world of difference!

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Meet Lillian. Kaitlynn spent a lot of time with her today and made her a collar and leash. 🙂

This is totally my kind of pet — no messes to clean up and no allergies to worry about (Silas and I are both really allergic to just about every animal. As a result, much to my kids’ sadness, stuffed animals have to suffice for our family in the pet department!)

After getting up early, exercising, showering, getting dressed, and reading my Bible, I spent some knocking out some blog projects, answering emails and comments, and scheduling some blog posts and social media posts.

Screen Shot 2015-02-09 at 4.42.29 PM(Photo courtesy of Silas — he wanted me to show you all  his list so he took 20 pictures for me to post!)

Then I got the kids up to eat breakfast and work on their morning chores. We are still loving the Daily Lists idea… and now that they’ve gotten into more of the routine of doing these, the kids get so much done, the house is staying so much cleaner, and everyone is happier all around. I highly recommend this idea!

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Kathrynne started reading The Lord of the Rings a few days ago and she is lapping up the first book. I wasn’t sure if it would be above her reading level, but she keeps telling me how interesting, exciting, and engaging it is.

I’m finding her with her head stuck in the book almost every extra minute she has… and I couldn’t be happier to raising such a voracious reader!

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After morning chores and breakfast were done, we sat down for Morning Time. We’re loving The Cricket in Times Square so far. It’s a fun and light read, but I think we’re all going to want to visit NYC after reading it!

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Jesse got home near the end of Morning Time (he had been at the gym, running a few errands, and in a business meeting) and brought me a Starbucks coffee — Pike Place coffee with lots of cream, just as I like it! I love that man!

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Kaitlynn was afraid Lillian might run away, so she made sure she stayed put during Morning Time. 😉

After Morning Time, I gave instructions to the kids to start working on their independent work and I gathered up my bag, coffee, and made a sack lunch before heading out for another string of allergy tests at the allergist.

Right about then, Kathrynne came to me worried and reminded me that I’d taken my meds last night and wasn’t I supposed to be off of them for the week before I did the allergy patch testing?? I completely forgot that the doctor had told me at my appointment last week. Whoops! Thankfully my kids are more on-the-ball and paying better attention than me! 🙂

So I called the allergist and they were so gracious to let me reschedule. Oh well, I wasn’t really looking forward to wearing patches all over my back for the next two days anyway… especially since I wasn’t going to be able to shower until they took them off on Wednesday!

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So instead of heading out the door, I hung out with Jesse for about 20 minutes and we talked about life and did some business brainstorming. And then I took 15 minutes to clean out my purse.

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I was thrilled to realize that my purse wasn’t at all as bad as I thought it would be. I’ve been trying to make a habit of always thoroughly cleaning it out when I return from a trip and it seems this habit is helping quite a bit.

I dumped everything out of my purse and here’s what was in there. I happy that there was so little trash and very few things that weren’t supposed to be in my purse!

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I also cleaned out Purse Emergency Bag. This little bag is filled with everything that I often find myself needing or wanting — lip gloss, tissues, essential oils, tampons, breath mints, Advil, hand sanitizer, lotion, and so on.

I use something from it almost every single time I go somewhere and love that when someone says, “Does anyone happen to have ____?” I often do, thanks to my Emergency Bag.

After my purse was cleaned out, I left Jesse with some instructions for the kids, told everyone goodbye, and headed out to work at our shared office space for the afternoon. I spent this afternoon getting caught up on email, working on projects, scheduling social media posts, and writing some blog posts.

And now I’m headed home for dinner, to work with Kathrynne on getting caught up on the laundry (she’s been doing most of the laundry, but I help her out when it gets a little behind like it often does over the weekend), and to hopefully do some knitting while Jesse reads aloud to us (he’s recently started reading aloud to us in the evenings and we all love it and so does he!)

How was YOUR day? Did you get any cleaning done? Tell us about it in the comments!

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  • Victoria says:

    We have used lists with our kids for Homeschooling for years. I love how it keeps them on task without my help and that frees me up to mark and teach.

    • I’ve been so impressed with the difference it has made!

      • Victoria says:

        Another thing we do that really helps, is that we use an old iPod as sort of a “school bell” it rings when the kids should be getting up, it rings when it is time to settle into their school work, it rings when it is time to break for lunch, it rings when it is time to get back to their books for the afternoon and it rings one more time when it is time to put the books away for the day. It sounds a little drill sergeant to some but for our family it is a HUGE help. As I tend to get so engrossed in things that I don’t notice time passing and so it helps me realize it is time to switch to school mode. It helps my kids as they all like having a routine each and every day.

  • Need A Nap2 says:

    We’ve forgotten about the allergy testing too, thankfully our office understood we had to reschedule! 🙂

  • Lana says:

    I dusted all of the upstairs including windows, chair rails and doors. I did the laundry and I did quite a bit of packing for heading out to our house on the lake on Wednesday.

    I love Lillian tied to the chair. There was a Simba at our house who had to be tied up to a kitchen cabinet knob when he misbehaved. He often got haircuts too and we could never convince the child who loved him that his hair would not grow back!

  • I accomplished all my goals today!! Got all my laundry done (we have “days” in our home, and Mondays and Thursdays are my days), got all our schoolwork done, and got groceries. I even wrote a blog post!!
    So we did have pizza for supper….I still call it a good day. LOL!!

  • It sounds like a nice quiet times in the evenings to sit and listen to someone read aloud.

    I took up your challenge this morning with cleaning out my purse. I took pictures but the day has been kind of busy so I won’t post them. Let me tell you though I found 11 ink pens, $3.00 in change, and threw away a few things. It took me approximately 5 to 6 minutes but it’s cleaner and lighter.
    Well worth the small effort it took me today.

    We have a fire built tonight to ward off the cold Michigan air so I’ll go get warm by it. Have a good night.

  • Jen says:

    I always feel great when I clean my purse and school bag out, too! Now if I could just get more motivated to keep my car clean! ha!!

  • I just finished my daily post, which included my purse cleaning! 🙂

  • Kelly A. says:

    I think it’s so great that you’re teaching your kids (or they’re just learning from seeing, right?) to make lists, budgets, and other responsible tasks. I think it would’ve been nice to learn these things at a very young age.

  • I love the idea of the emergency bag, I’m going to have to steal that idea! 🙂

  • Pamela says:

    Is that the old blue Trinity Hymnal in your picture?!? I recognize the font. Hymnals are my favorite books!!!

  • Susan says:

    Lord of the Rings is at the reading level for late elementary school — grades 4-6 or age 9-11. It wouldn’t be too advanced for your 10-yo if she is reading at grade level.

    • It seems to be at the perfect level for her — stretching her a little bit (since the chapters are longer and there are a number of different characters to follow), but also completely engaging her!

  • Patty says:

    I was amazed at how productive I actually was yesterday! For once, I made it a point to be up and ready for the day before my kids were up, and we were able to start school on time as well as have the bulk of it done before three of my kids left for track. While they were gone, rather than peruse facebook, I did some school planning, worked on laundry, plus was able to get a chicken in the crock pot for dinner. During the afternoon, I was able to sketch up a revised daily schedule that will hopefully help us have more productive days and less chaos around here. By the time dinner rolled around, I was amazed at all I had accomplished just by starting the day earlier and not spending so much time on FB!

    I love the daily lists idea!

  • I cleaned out my spice drawers. I found lots of spices that were expired, including one spice container that had expired before we moved. I guess I should have cleaned it out before we moved or sometime in the last 5 years. 🙂

  • Sarah says:

    We just finished The Cricket in Time Square as part of my daugther’s “One Book Blitz” at school. The whole school read it together. She really liked it and also wants to go to NYC now!

    I’m considering my yesterday a success because my hubby is out of town and I had to take over Getting-the-First-Grader-to-School duty which means leaving the house with both girls and myself ready for school and work almost an hour earlier than normal. And I did it!! We were even a little early!

  • Sara says:

    When my sister had her daughter tested they took a blood sample. No marks on the back. I guess this is a new way to have the test done you might want to look into this. Sounds like a lot less mess and pain

  • I love Lillian! 🙂 Isn’t it so fun when they get creative and imagine things like that? And I have one of those emergency bags in my purse too. I used a little pouch that came loaded with free samples from Target several years ago and filled with all the stuff that I find myself needing or wishing I had. The biggest challenge is remembering to restock it!

    And thanks for The Cricket in Times Square recommendation. It looks like a book that my kids would love!

  • Leslie says:

    I’m so sorry you have to wear those patches for allergy testing! Have you asked about the Immunocap test?? It’s a blood test and they can test for an array of allergens. One tiny pin prick and off you go.

  • Suzanne C says:

    Sorry to hear you have to do an allergy test- I have to do some heart tests and I am not looking forward to them, either. I’ll share my secret for an always-clean purse: The best $3 I’ve ever spent. I always know where things are and I can change purses in about 5 seconds.

  • Jennifer says:

    As I follow less than 10 blogs, I always think it a little odd when the blogs I read start crossing over. I’ve followed Amongst Lovely Things for a couple of years now and our homeschooling has benefited from several of her ideas.

  • Jenna says:

    Hi Crystal,

    Can you tell me what’s on Silas’ morning list? Just curious as I have a 5 yr old and our morning has way too much “free time” which lends itself to trouble… Thanks 🙂

    • Here’s his current list:



      Brush Teeth

      Comb Hair

      Clean Up Room

      Empty Trashes

      Math & Language Arts with Mom

      15 minutes — watch Leapfrog DVD

      Morning Time

      Main floor bathroom: wipe down sink & toilet, check toilet paper supply/hand towel

      30 minutes iPad

      If extra time: 30 minutes Legos/Audiobooks

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