John and Irene

(the story as told to me by Grandma Bindel, June 2010)

She had graduated high school, and her parents were sending her to business school in Wichita Falls. There wasn’t a lot of money, though, so a family with just two kids with parents both working took her in as a boarder and she helped get their kids off to school. After she’d get them off, she’d go to Mass, and then to her business classes. She became friendly with some other girls who were attending Mass, and one Sunday, they invited her for dinner at their house. She got to know their brother, too, and joined the family often for meals over about a month. John asked her to the pictures, and they had a couple of dates. Then one day after lunch, he asked her to go for a walk and asked her to marry him. And then told her he’d be going overseas. She wondered what she would do with him leaving, but he told her he really wanted to marry her. She told him he’d have to ask her parents, so she called her mom and her mom said she’d fix them a nice meal, to come on over. She could tell he was nervous, but John finally worked up the courage to tell her mom he wanted to marry Irene. Her mom told him he’d have to ask her father, so Irene waited in a bedroom where she could watch and saw her father reading the Sunday paper. John had to say “Mr. Mengwasser” at least three times before her father put his paper down, but she could see the grin on his face the whole time he was playing this little game. When John finally got the words out, after asking if he was Catholic, her father said he’d have to ask her mother . . . and John explained that he had. Then he said he’d have to ask Father Bender. Off they went, John and Irene, to the priest’s house in the country. They knocked on the door, Irene introduced John. Father Berber asked if he was Catholic and then invited them in. When they explained they wanted to be married and that John was about to go overseas, Father Bender said he could marry them the day after tomorrow.

And he did.

Happy Birthday to me!

Happy Birthday to me! Let’s examine these two pictures and all the clues to the fun and joy that is my life. First, Caroline and I baked and iced the cake ourselves. I did not have a seven candle, so Caroline used her Wiki Stix to make me my own custom cake topper of a three and a seven. My darling girl is wearing a shirt that says “Birthday Girl.” It would be more appropriate if it said “Party Girl” because that is how she interprets it. She wore it to her own party, and she’s since worn it to another friend’s birthday party (but it was a swimming party so she only wore it on the ride there, don’t worry about her stealing anyone’s thunder!) Mary Elizabeth loves cake! Selfish mommy wanted a picture of her and her girls on her birthday, though, before cutting the cake. That did not make Mary Elizabeth very happy.

Caroline did really enjoy the cake. In fact, she told me it was the “best cake ever!” which, in an immature way, makes me really happy since just a few months ago she told me that she loves birthdays…”everybody’s birthday…except mommy’s.” A little probing brought out that she didn’t like mommy’s birthday because we never have cake on mommy’s birthday. We sure fixed that! I’ll just recruit my little bakers to bake me a cake from now on!

Thirty-seven isn’t a very dramatic age. I can hear 40 creeping up, though, so I have added eye cream to my beauty regimen.

Motivated Moms

I like lists.

I like having a clean house.

I like things that make my life easier.

I have discovered Motivated Moms, and I like it!

I have had my housekeeping routine for a while, but with two kids, volunteer work, freelance work, and our social calendar, it was getting harder to keep up with. I had based my system on Fly Lady’s Zones — cleaning one area of your house each day. For example, Mondays, I’d clean bathrooms; Tuesdays, one of the bedrooms; Wednesdays, one of the living areas; Thursdays, floors; Fridays — catch-up or work on an organization project. It worked great when I had one easy-peasy kiddo at home. But, like I mentioned, with two plus life, there’d be days I’d look at the bedrooms and think “good enough” and skip them. And with my system, it’d be another month before I got to that room on my rotation again.

I read about Motivated Moms on a message board and decided to check it out. It’s $8 for the year — one calendar per week of tasks for each day, plus tasks for every day. I bought the version with daily Bible readings, too, though I have not implemented that yet. The reviews I read, in comparing it to Fly Lady, noted that it was much more mom-with-kids-at-home friendly. Fly Lady is a fabulous system, but it is easier if your kids are older or at school. The genius of Motivated Moms is that each task can be done in just a couple of minutes. Rather than cleaning the whole bathroom once a week, on Mondays, you scrub the toilets. On Tuesdays, you clean the mirrors, etc. From the two weeks I’ve been doing it, it looks like you have some daily tasks (laundry, wiping kitchen counters, reading to the kids, etc), some weekly tasks (cleaning toilets, vacuuming living areas, mopping kitchen, etc.), and some occasional tasks that I assume may come up once or twice a year (cleaning the ceiling fans, washing walls in certain rooms, etc.) It’s nice to know that if I miss mopping the kitchen one week, say because I’m busy cleaning up vomit elsewhere in the house, the mopping had been done the week before and will be done again the next week.

I’m enjoying the lists so far, but I am a list person. I’d make one myself (and I actually just add to hers with my errands and activities for each day.

If you decide to splurge and fork out the $8 to buy the year of lists, use my link, please. 🙂

Click here to visit Motivated Moms.