Tuesday, October 8, 2019

SUNSHINE - Daily Report 10-08-2019

The sun on these fall leaves are giving me LIFE today! Fall is my favorite season, for sure. My mental wellness that last 5 years would beg to differ, though, when it starts as gloomily rain as this year did.

The gloomy beginning just means that I'm even more pumped that this week is SUN every stinking day until Saturday!

Anywho...daily report time...

This morning I spent time with the account of Jacob and Esau's sons and family tree and the beginning of Josephs hardships being sold into slavery by his brothers. That was part of my TAWG (Time Alone With God) time this morning.

After the all over the place day of yesterday, today needed to be a "get things done" day at home.

When I opened the dishwasher after breakfast, I was greeted with unwashed dishes. A quick assessment tells me that I forgot to press "start" last night after filling it. Happily, there was enough space to add the breakfast dishes and get that going.

During the weekend I didn't get our school week planned out, so that was my task during the kids PBS time this morning.

This past weekend I did my seasonal inventory of children's shoes and coats, leading to a massive declutter of outgrown things. I also was able to go through 2 of my 3 kid's closet's as this summer has been the summer of growth spurts. This morning my mom picked up the billions of bags I had and she graciously took them to work with her (to the Family Resource Center that we have locally).

Since this is my daily report, I also am excited to report that I've begun reading my second of the 7 Chronicles of Narnia books. That series is on my 30 Before 30 list!

I was also proud to be able to get out of the house and walk to the hardware store. If I have to do cardio at all, walking it is.

My laundry is languishing today. I'm heading to bed with one load in the basket to be folded, one in the dryer, one in the washer to be rewashed tomorrow, and one in the other basket waiting to be washed. But tomorrow is another day, and another opportunity for laundry to be conquered.

Kitchen is closed up, and I'm heading to bed. Goodnight!

Mrs. Troyer

Monday, October 7, 2019

KICKOFF - Daily Report 10-07-2019

It's October, fall, 2019. How is that possible?! I feel like I'm loosing time and I'm struggling to focus. The lack of focus and normal motherhood-induced struggles in memory has me feeling like I'm loosing time. I wake up, accomplish daily tasks, fall in bed at the end of the day, and can't tell if I'm getting any closer to goals or any better at my habits.

(Photo by Debby Hudson on Unsplash)

So here is the outset of some daily reports. 

Will they be interesting to read? Who knows? But I know just the act of reporting what's happening in my day and with my goals should help me see progress more clearly. I'm hopeful it will also, even in a small measure, allow me to grab on to some time so it stops zooming so swiftly past out of my memory.

Today, being Grocery shopping day, is naturally a low production day for me. But it started well.

Actually it started well last night, when I went to bed AND TO SLEEP by about 10 PM. I'm a natural night owl, so it's a daily struggle to get in bed when I should for the time that I have to be up each day. So having all lights and electronics off before 10 means that when I got up just before 6 this morning, I wasn't tempted to fall back asleep.

I am dreadfully "behind" on my cover to cover reading of the Bible for this year. The way I have it set up, my readings are scheduled for Mon-Fri so I am able to slowly catch up, little by little, if I just read everyday including the weekends for a couple months. So this morning I read/listened to my next day's passage while eating my breakfast.

A snippet of history for you, menu planning, grocery list making, and grocery shopping has literally caused me to have panic attacks/anxiety attacks in the past. That bit means that I had a win today, I made my menu plan and grocery list without freaking out. The shopping process was a different story, but that was mostly out of my control. 

I have Alexi emptying the dishwasher right now as I bath the younger two. So I should set to fill the dishwasher and close up the kitchen before the kids are in bed. (and I did as you'll see below, complete with a shiny sink - as the FlyLady tells me to)

Those are pretty much the wins from my day
Mrs. Troyer

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Reading the Bible Cover to Cover

I've been a Christians since I was quite young, and had a desire to grow in my faith since I was a teenager. That's enough years that you might be tempted to think that spending time in the Word has become second nature to me.
It hasn't.
I struggle everyday, every week, every month, to properly prioritize and savor time spent with God in His Word the Bible. And some months, weeks, days, I fail miserably. Growing up it was ingrained in me that I needed to spend time in daily in the Word and that having some sort of plan was more useful than reading on a whim. What do you do, though, when you have a high failure rate on being daily consistent with ANYTHING in life?

I found my solution a couple years ago when I followed a reading plan by a YouTuber, Anna Willemstein. She created a reading plan that had readings only on week days, leaving the weekend for either making up for missed readings or doing a separate reading. It was awesome!

When I added "Read the Bible Cover to Cover" to my 30 before 30 list, I knew I was going to have to do something similar. A google search later, and I found a great site to customize a reading plan for my time frame and reading days!

So it's a little less than a year, reading on M-F only. On August 4th, 2020 I'll have finished reading completely through the Bible.

This site even has a the option to download it in an ical format (that I then imported into google calendars) for an easy way to keep track.

Hope you find this tool as helpful as I am!
Mrs. Troyer

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Massive Final Bathroom Update

If you've followed the blog for a little while, you know we spent about 8 months slowly chipping away at a massive bathroom project. I'm super excited to say that it's been complete for a few months now! To show you a snapshot of the process I need to take you back to May of 2013.

Unfortunately this is the only photo of this bathroom I have from before we moved in. The light fixtures kept burning out bulbs. The sink took up 1/3 of the bathroom. The tub shower took up another 1/3. It had a patterned wallboard and built-ins.

The plan sounded straight forward:
1. Take out the tub
2. Put in the washer and dryer
3. Replace the window
4. Replace the toilet and sink

And if you have ever done any home improvement, you are laughing at us right now

Fast forward to August 2018. We were preparing to have our windows replaced and wanted to have them install our new window in our new wall. Que the bathroom demo.

While doing demolition, we uncovered some pipe issues both under the sink and under the tub. But at this stage we just capped the pipes and called it a day. We were on a time crunch to get the drywall up on the one wall for the window.

Fall of 2018, windows went in, I painted 75% of the exterior, and we were officially living as a 5 tush family in 1 toilet house.

Next order of business was to get a light working so we could finish the walls and fix the plumbing issues. That was something of an ordeal. It included renting a concrete saw to use in the house, and I have no desire to ever tackle a plumbing problem like that again (to be clear, Chad and his dad tackled the plumbing problems).

Somewhere along the way, I hit my breaking point. Hours of mudding and sanding, mudding and sanding, mudding and sanding, only to discover we were using a subpar product. I found myself crying over a bathroom, yup.

Finally, the walls passed hubby inspection for smoothness, time to paint!

Compared to the previous step, I flew through the painting and we were reading for flooring and fixtures!

With the ceiling up, the insulation would finally stop falling on us while we worked.

We had a little trouble getting the washer and dryer to fit through the doorway (should have measured first). But my dream of having laundry on the main floor was coming true!

All that was left was trim.

And it's done! We have some smaller home improvement projects we are in the middle of currently, but nothing as big as this bathroom project. I think the take away for me is that our next house needs to have the laundry room on the main level already and maybe have 3 toilets not just 2.

I also think from here on out I'll be a bit more timid in our DIY home improvement endeavors. If you made it to the end of this massive post, congratulations!

Mrs. Troyer

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Grateful List - August 5, 2019

The day is officially over, I'm 29 years old. I have a tendency to get moody and frustrated when I realize that time is moving at an ever increasing speed and it doesn't feel like I'm keeping up. When those feelings surface, one of my most effective weapons is gratitude. Here's my list for today, in no particular order.

  1. Small town libraries
  2. Frozen mini Reeses cups
  3. The piano arranger Victor Labenske
  4. My momma, coming to spend my birthday afternoon with me
  5. Days that Chad is able to come home at a decent time
  6. Pup snuggles while my parents dog sit for my brother
  7. The hope of the homeschool year to come
  8. Lori Wick books on our library app (particularly the English Garden series)
  9. Children's books with silly words and phrases
  10. The passing of time as it relates to my kids
  11. The unique construction of our house that lends itself to keeping in the cool air
  12. Also the lone air conditioner in our living room
  13. Tennis shoes that keep my sciatica from being terrible
  14. Dishwashers....always
  15. Classico pasta sauce for having the perfect shape and size jars for drinking glasses
These are the small things that as I look back on today were bright spots. There is so much to be thankful for in my life, home, town, country, faith, etc. Sometimes to realign my daily attitude, it helps to examine the smaller things.

Recognizing these small blessings may not hold the key to catching up to the life that is speeding by. But maybe it can help to slightly slow down the speeding life just a smidge.

Mrs. Troyer

Sunday, August 4, 2019

30 Before 30

Tomorrow I turn 29 years old.
Age is one of those common threads we have among the entire population. No one wants to believe the numbers that come at the increasingly quicker rate each year. I know I'm not alone in being almost 30 and frantically looking around and wondering if I accomplished anything in my 20s. (Don't worry, I know I did.)
For my final year in my 20s, I've decided to be a little more intentional about what I accomplish. So I've written a 30 before 30 Goal list. I've spent over 6 months working on this list, writing it, adding to it, scribbling things out - trying to make sure the things included are doable and specific to me (not just found on someone else's goal list). Not everything is big, somethings are silly, one is even pretty much a gimme because it's already planned. In no particular order here's my list!

30 Before 30 Goals

  1. Spend one night away alone
  2. Complete intentional blogging for a year
  3. Make a blanket for Northern Michigan Relief Sale
  4. Teach Alexi to make a complete supper
  5. Explore 3 active activity
  6. Compile 30 go-to meals
  7. Read 30 books for me
  8. Reread Chronicles of Narnia
  9. Reread Lord of the Rings
  10. Pick and hang decorations
  11. Finish kids' birth-to-year scrapbooks
  12. Read the Bible cover to cover in a year
  13. Visit Dow Gardens
  14. Write a personal missions statement
  15. Commission a custom art piece
  16. Get a perm
  17. Finish and hang the Star Wars puzzle
  18. Learn to write left handed
  19. Relearn Euchre
  20. Journey to toe touching
  21. Watch a sunrise and sunset
  22. Read Little Women
  23. Memorize 30 Hymns/Worship Songs
  24. Go to Disney World
  25. Finish the hand-me-down crochet blanket
  26. Individual date with each kid
  27. Finish watching Castle
  28. Finish watching Bones
  29. Host 6 get-togethers with friends
  30. Get to know my family tree (learn my legacy)

Can't wait to get to work and accomplish some fun goals!
Mrs. Troyer

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

August Blogging Goals

Welcome to my birthday month!

I'm aiming low and prepping for success this month with some blogging goals.
My output goal is one post per week.
My input goal is setting aside 30 minutes Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday to work on posts.

Check back here August 4th for some more ambition goals!

Mrs. Troyer

Sunday, July 28, 2019


Follow my blog with Bloglovin August is almost here and changes are a'comin'
Check back here often to see all the thing and hear all the things and know all the things. I'm excited!
Also, if you prefer to follow blogs on Bloglovin' ... I've claimed my blog there! Feel free to follow and share with your friend-oes from Bloglovin' if you prefer.

Okay that's all.

Mrs. Troyer

June Stay-cation 2019

It may be almost 2 months later, but I wanted to share a peek at our little staycation from this year. Because we have a large vacation planned for this winter, we decided to go low-key on our summer vacation. In it we included taking the kids to their first race;

family shopping trips to pick out new Lego sets;

a trip to the local school playground;

bubbles and campfires;

lots of downtime together at home;

and the wedding of a dear friend!

10/10 would highly suggest taking a stay-cation!

Mrs. Troyer

Monday, July 22, 2019

Monday, July 1, 2019

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

FlyLady Basic Weekly Plan

It looks like all of my life is consumed with FlyLady if you were only reading on here...I promise it's not! School plans, Staycation plans, posts on our June break, and VBS will soon be written here, but not today. Today, I have big FlyLady news!

Still going strong on my routines, but this week I'm adding in some elements of the Basic Weekly Plan.
My weekly plan deviates from FlyLady's a bit so it better fits my needs and our family schedule, so here is what mine looks like.

Yesterday, being Monday, I had my meal plan written out and grocery list already in my purse. It was not the best mental or relational day with my kiddos, but life still had to go on. Despite my poopy attitude and the kids not really listening, we ran the 2 errands we needed to run and got our groceries home.

This morning began much better than yesterday. I didn't really plan on doing a weekly home blessing, but as I was marking the last thing off my morning routine I peeked at the Basic Weekly plan written in the bottom of my control journal. With the kids happily playing, the weather kind of gloomy, my morning routine complete, myself dressed to shoes, and trash needing to be taken out tonight, I decided to give it a try.

Out came my timer and I busied myself gathering my supplies (vacuum, dust cloth, window cloth and spray, mop). When I wrote out this list I wrote it straight from the FlyLady website. Not all will always apply to me, so I took a moment to make a plan.
15 minutes - mirrors and doors
5 minutes - dust surfaces
15 minutes  - sweep and vacuum high traffic areas
15 minutes - mop
I just recently went through our magazines, so they were set. Sheets will be changed on the next day that I don't have a full load of clothes (probably Thursday). Trash cans will be emptied right before taking the cans out to the road tonight. I was ready and then I was off.

Surprise, surprise, I did it. I finished, sweaty but with extra time. Was it perfect? No. Did I get on my hands and knees and scrub anything? No. Could someone find lots of dust and dirt hidden around my house? Yes.
But, the pollen is off my front door.
The bathroom mirrors no longer have water spots all over.
The entryway floor actually looks like a floor again.
Around the kitchen trash can actually doesn't look disgusting anymore.
There are no more crumbs under the dinning table.

Who knew I could write so much about one of my most hated tasks....cleaning ;)
Looking forward to writing a post about something else next.
Mrs. Troyer

Thursday, May 30, 2019

FlyLady Baby Steps Recap

Somehow I made it to the end of the 31 days. Not sure how that happened, but I turned the page and it said "Congratulations" at the bottom! So here's the recap of how the Baby Steps helped, didn't help, what stuck, hasn't stuck, and will still be worked on.

First off, I've always known that I'm a sucker for a list. Give me a functioning check list and I am a happy happy lady. I honestly believe that is a main reason why I had more success this time around than last time. I'm highly motivated by missing check marks. I haven't fallen in love with my time yet, though; and I really need to.

Just going down the list (mostly Fly Lady routines, a couple with my wording). I've been much more consistent or perfect at having my Morning Devotions, Getting Dressed to Shoes, Making my Bed, Rebooting my Laundry (completing a load a day), Rebooting my Dishes (completing a load a day), Knowing what's for Dinner, Closing up the Kitchen (shining my sink), 5 minute PUPA (Pick up put away) and Laying out Tomorrow's Outfit.

What hasn't stuck yet is pulling out the timer to attack a hot spot daily, or to declutter daily. I have been frustrated with my lack of progress on that, but not motivated enough to action. And one of the last routines added in the 31 days is the Swish and Swipe. I think I have completed it a total of 2 times.

So, time to move on, and here's what I'm doing next. I've taken the FlyLady's morning, afternoon, and evening routines (in the FlyingLessons section of the website) and customized to what I need to continue working on. Cue the newly created checklist with said routines.

For the next 30 days (the month of June) I am focusing on concreting these routines and adding decluttering and swish and swipe. June is a crazy, crazy month for us (staycation, close friend's wedding, and the church VBS that I lead music for) so I'm trying not to be too ambition with starting things. So even though I have written out the FlyLady basic weekly plan, I'm not holding myself to it. I do plan on trying to declutter in the weekly Zones, but not adding any of the other parts (detailed cleaning or missions) at this time. We'll see where we are sitting come July.

Mrs. Troyer

Monday, May 20, 2019

A Test of My Routines

This week will be a test - will my basic routines fall away in the face of stress?

Chad is away for work this week, my parents are gone this weekend, and my sister-in-law graduates from high school and has her graduation party this weekend.

This is the perfect storm that in the past has had one of two results. Either everything falls apart and the house is a disaster when Chad gets home, or I'm extra motivated without the distraction of having my favorite person ever home in the evenings.

As far as how I'm doing on Day 22, it's just okay.
I said at the beginning that I had attempted numerous times before and some of the habits had stuck. So starting back at the beginning built in many days where I'm not actually adding in a new habit, instead just continuing. In some ways I'm feeling a bit bored and wanting to jump in to other parts of the system. But I know that there are some habits that I'm just barely getting a grasp on and some that I'm still fighting with (*cough cough* decluttering).

So that's pretty much my goal for this week.
I need to continue with my basic routines (laundry, dishes, getting dressed, making bed, laying out the next day outfit, knowing what supper is, putting out a hot spot) and try to be more consistent with my 15 minute timer to declutter.

Mrs. Troyer

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Saturday, May 11, 2019

School Year Wrap Up

I wrote a curriculum pick post at the beginning of this school year. It simultaneously feels like forever ago and like we just started. No matter, time goes on. As I am gathering my thoughts to start planning the 2019-2020 school year I filmed this Wrap-Up video as a "this is what we actually did", so enjoy!

Mrs. Troyer

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Beyond the Shiny Sink

The FlyLady babysteps include more habits than just a shiny sink, so I thought I'd bring proof of some of the other habits.

I'm laying my clothes for the next day out each night.
I'm making my bed first thing.
I'm getting dressed to shoes (or slippers that stay on my feet) each morning.
I've done at least one load of laundry each day: washed, dried, folded, and put away.
I've ended each day with no dirty dishes and started each morning with emptying the dishwasher.
I've begun decluttering and tidying by using a timer.

I'm on day 10, still going.

Mrs. Troyer

Sunday, May 5, 2019

Day 7 - Weekend Accomplished

Weekends are my cleaning downfall.
I never want to clean on the weekend.

So the kitchen gets used and not clean.
The kids play outside and get dirty, but no laundry is done.
We eat 6 meals and who knows how many snacks and nothing gets vacuumed.
I'm not cleaning so why would I enforce cleaning on my kids.

Now you see why I need help...this happening every weekend makes the week days feel terrible.

This weekend was an uncommon one, we actually had plans!
Chad and I had a night away (Friday) because he bought us tickets to see John Crist on his Human Being tour. Which meant that Friday morning I was trying to accomplish normal morning stuff, plus packing up our kids for their night at their grandparents'. And, SUCCESS!

Saturday, we returned by lunch, meaning I had unpacking (a task would normally would consume my whole next week, despite the fact that it was just one night away) and the normal day stuff. I also needed to prepare a salad for the next day for church potluck. I was exhausted and slightly grumpy by the end, but still relieved to see a shiny sink at the end of it.

Sunday (today) was a normal busy day at church, potluck after church, then supper at Chad's parents. All this means the kitchen pretty much had the day off (minus a few odds and ends I did as a side project this afternoon and evening). All in all, I still checked all the boxes on my checklist, including setting my timer and doing a 5 minute pick up and 2 minute hotspot this evening.

Huge sigh of relief, one weekend down and didn't fall off the wagon!
Wish me luck on the week!

Mrs. Troyer

Thursday, May 2, 2019

No Burnout Allowed Here

One of the things I most appreciate about FlyLady is how the system avoids burnout. The idea that your mess didn't get there in a day so it will take more than a day to handle it is one I wish I had learned earlier in life.

3 days.
My kitchen has been a disaster again (a reoccurring pattern) for close to 2 weeks.
3 days of simply forcing myself to spend a little bit of time in there every morning and evening intentionally has led to a clean kitchen once again.
It didn't take 6 hours one day. (I've done that before, then refused to step into my kitchen for 3 days.)
Because this doesn't happen often, I had to take a pic.
I decided I'm going to continue to take a pic of my sink every night until it seems ridiculous because my sink is clean more than it is dirty.

On another note

Mrs. Troyer

Monday, April 29, 2019

Starting It Over Again

This isn't the 1st, not the 2nd, not the 3rd, not even the 4th time I've started with the baby-steps of FlyLady to try to gain control of my house. Each time has a different level of success, but never once have I finished the 31 days. But each time, something new has stuck with me. Making my bed daily. Getting out of sweatpants daily (even if I'm not going anywhere). The power of 2 minutes, 5 minutes, and 15 minutes. Etc.

So it's worth trying again. 

I have a specific goal this time. A motivation if you will (beyond the obvious of I'd like to live in a clean, decluttered home that doesn't make me lose my mind).

I have hopes, dreams and plans for this upcoming year--my last year before I turn 30. I'm working on some specific goals I'd like to accomplish between my 29th and 30th birthdays. But I know, I won't have the energy, the mental space, or the sanity to complete even half of them with my home in its current state.

So I'm here again.

My laundry isn't completed, my floor needs vacuumed, not all of my dishes are done (though a huge dent was made in that today). But my sink is shined.

For the next 31 days I have a checklist. I've done planners in the past, I've done checklists all over the place, I've done bullet journaling. I just need a place to keep in straight. So I spent a little less than an hour last week creating this checklist system. When something is added to the things that I already have as habits I added it to my daily checklist. (in the FlyLady world, this would be a version of the control journal)

Wish me luck.

Mrs. Troyer

Monday, March 18, 2019

Little Thoughts... 03-18-2019

Doing drywall is nothing like I expected. I never expected that it would be a such a nit-pick, small detail project. The perfectionism that Chad and I both tend to has driven me nuts.

2 days until spring!!

I'm thankful Chad's job is not primarily a night shift job.

Homeschooling is this weird mix of confidence and anxiety. It's so easy to get caught up in the "are we at the same level as the kids' peers?" and "does this curriculum actually teach all of it?"

Any day now I will have a new niece or nephew!! I love everything about new babies!!

Singing gives me equal amounts of joy and anxiety. I love to sing and I love to perform, but as is normal in the human experience I'm scared to death of what other people think (especially knowing what I think of hearing myself after the fact). Will I ever grow out of that?

I'm ready to send the kids outside daily without coats and everything.

Podcasts are getting another chance in my life. Currently listening to The World and Everything In It and the Trim Healthy Mama Poddy

That's all for now.

Mrs. Troyer

Friday, March 8, 2019

The Promise of Spring

It's March.
It goes on forever.
We still have a ton of snow.

This winter has been the best I've had in quite a few years, on the emotional front. It gives me hope that as we are transitioning our family from the little years to the early elementary years my emotional well-being will swing to the positive with it.

But let me say again...it's March.
We still have a ton of snow.

The winter has finally caught up with me and I have all of the mood swings, lack of concentration, scattered and foggy brain to go with the depressed lack of activity and sun I've gotten.

How did you hold up?
Just checking in.
I have some fun things coming up; you should hear from me soon.

Mrs. Troyer

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

From My FB Page

The best encouragement you can give to a mom when you walk into her chaos:
Don't looked shocked and horrified at the mess, or the naked children.
Don't judge her attempting to finally get into the shower at 11 AM.
Encourage her with the words "You're doing great!"

Had a world class motherhood encourager enter my home today. She smiled and laughed with me as my half-naked children ran around "obeying" my command to get dressed. She put her hand on my shoulder and told me I was doing great...even as she could hear the shower running and I desperately should have taken a shower first thing this morning. I handed her the music she was picking up and she left, but the joy and encouragement has lasted.

Please hear me! It doesn't take long to pour into the lives of mothers. You don't need to invest hours into long visits, make 5-star meals for them, or do the piles of laundry they have. Pop your head in to say hi. Share a truth with them in a facebook message that the Lord has shown you. Recognize how good it is to see them out and about if by some miracle she is out of the house with her kids.

It can bring a lingering smile to her face the rest of her day.

Mrs. Troyer