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Manner’s Party

Here is another post for a Girls Scouts Activity, but could be used anyone.  We had a Manner’s Dinner Party and taught the girls how to set the table, proper etiquette and other good manners.  It was really fun to see the girls trying their hardest to be polite, and I have seen a big difference in my own daughter’s manners since the Manner’s Party.

Part of the activity included a quiz that we gave to the girls.  I thought I would share the quiz, since I put a lot of time gathering the information from different websites.  I hope someone else can benefit from my time and effort.

http://mayhemmanaged.files.wordpress.com/2011/12/manner-quiz2.pdf

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Quick Tip: Making Better Decisions

Hindsight is 20/20. –Unknown

Looking back on things, you can almost always see perfectly where you went wrong and how you should have approached the situation.  Wouldn’t it be great if we could see things more clearly before hand?  That we could get the knowledge we gain from the experience prior to finalizing our decisions?

There are a few ways we can have better foresight and make better decisions.

  • Think First, Act Later:  This is advice my daughter gets every week at her violin lesson.  So simple, yet it yields great results, and can be used in all aspects of our lives.  From thinking before you speak, thinking before you commit to taking on something new, thinking before you walk out the door, and so on.  If we take the time to think before we do, our lives will run so much smoother.  Sometimes we have so much on our minds and our lives are carrying us in a million different directions that we think that we just don’t have time to think.  But consider this; how much time is wasted due to your lack of thinking before you act?  This can be done as just taking a brief moment to think things over, or it can be done through meditation and prayer.  I know that when we take a moment to think before we act, it will benefit us in countless ways.
  • Trust Your Intuition:  How many times have you kicked yourself for not listening to your inner self?  Once we start to take the time to think, you can better connect with you intuition.  We have been given this great gift as a tool to use in our decision-making process.  Take advantage of it, I’m sure you won’t regret it!
  • Ask for Advice:  We are not in this alone.  There are so many that surround us that have the answers we are looking for.  Learn lessons from those who have already been where you are.  You can ask people you know and trust, or even search for advice in books, magazines and on the internet.  Just don’t forgot that every situation is a little different and so you need to be sure to use the prior two points as well.  Don’t totally depend on others advice unless you know it is right for you.

These devices are best used in our decision-making process, but don’t be afraid to use them even when you have already made decisions that don’t seem to be working to your favor.  All of our decisions are investments into our lives.  You wouldn’t keep throwing money at something that was obviously failing, right?  Likewise we shouldn’t waste time on something that isn’t benefiting you and your family.

When we use these three tools, this mayhem that we call life will be easier to manage and result in happier people.

Here’s to Achieving Our Goals

“A project is complete when it starts working for you, rather than you working for it.” — Scott Allen

After starting several posts this month and not finalizing one, I thought perhaps I should focus on completing projects.  I like to start each of my post with a quote and while I was on the search for the perfect quote, I found this article and thought that it summed everything up so nicely.

http://www.pickthebrain.com/blog/why-youre-not-reaching-your-goals-and-what-to-do-about-it/

An idea is nothing if you do nothing with it.  So hears to achieving all our great ideas.  Good luck!

 

Back to School Craziness

If there were no schools to take the children away from home part of the time, the insane asylums would be filled with mothers.  ~Edgar W. Howe

Now that my oldest is in 6th grade, I feel very comfortable with our school routine.  Looking at my calendar for the next few months might be overwhelming to some, but to me, it just feels right.  I love my colorful calendar, even if there is little time to add any new events!  Maybe it makes me feel important, or perhaps makes me feel like I’m actually being productive, whatever it is, it just feels right.

My key to success is keeping my calendar up to date so I don’t over-schedule myself. With smart phones, it is very easy.  I love that it reminds me and can even sync with my husband’s phone to remind him where I’m at when I’m unavailable.  The one thing I haven’t quite figured out yet, is how to fit my blogging in, hence the huge gap in posts.  Perhaps I should add it to my calendar.  No need to worry, I got plenty of Mayhem Management ideas in the works.  Now if I could only find some extra time in my mayhemic life to implement those ideas into reality:)   Maybe it’s time for me to do some weeding.

Have you been able to get back in the swing of your school craziness?  What works for you?  Carpooling?  Limiting your children’s activities?  Please share, I’m sure others would greatly appreciate your input!

Quick Tip: Meal Planning

It pays to plan ahead, it wasn’t raining when Noah built the ark. — Unknown

This is my absolute favorite organization tip!!!  It is super easy, only takes about 10 minutes tops and saves money, time and headaches.  What’s not to like about that?

Once a week or every other week, take a minute and plan a dinner menu (and if you want breakfast and lunch).  I prefer doing two weeks at a time, and have even done a full month.  I just find that I stick to the plan better when I do it every other week.  I print my google calendar for the month, then I can see what activities I have going, this helps me plan which days to eat out.  Then I just write on that calendar what’s for dinner, but even just throwing it down on a scrap paper works.

The perks of meal planning . . .

  • I better use my produce because I have a plan, saving us lots of money!
  • It is a great way to push yourself to try new recipes!
  • You’re not constantly eating the same thing, this makes my hubby very happy:)
  • My kids complain less, because they have plenty of forewarning of what is coming:)
  • It makes it super easy to check if I have the needed ingredients for the recipes I’m using, so I also do my grocery list at the same times, which also saves us money, not buying un-needed items!
  • I can easily pull any frozen meat out the night before to defrost.  I usually pull it out after we finish doing dishes the night before.
  • It saves me from the daunting question of “What’s for dinner?”

Believe me, once you try it, you’re going to love it!

Weeding Time

Don’t water your weeds. –Proverbs

As I was weeding this past week, it got me thinking about what things in my life need to be weeded out.  These weeds can be a little more difficult to recognize and can vary from clutter to obligations to bad habits.  But once we spot them and remove them from our garden, it really can help our lives flourish.

Too many of us have burdened ourselves down with over-excessive dreams and wants.  We can gain much by letting go.  It is time for some simplification and new-found FREEDOM!

Evaluate your life over the next few days.  Where do you spend your time, and is your time spent where you really want it?  What items around your house haven’t been touched or used for years, and do your really plan to utilize them in the future?  Do you feel that your life is benefitting from holding onto to these things?

Find at least two things that you really think are holding you back from where you want to go in life.  Maybe it’s the back room of your house that you have been avoiding to clean and have been feeling guilty about all the while, or perhaps an obligation that you used to profit from, that now is a liability.

Once you find two things that you are ready to rid yourself from, make a plan and liberate yourself (and perhaps your family too)!  Give yourself adequate time to conquer these weeds.  Once you have your simple plan, put some safety nets into place to ensure you follow through.  I always like to make myself accountable for my goal, either by putting it on my calendar or asking a friend to check up on my progress.  Once these weeds have been removed, enjoy the freedom you have gained!

In simplicity there is freedom, freedom to do less and enjoy more. –Katrina Kenison

Following the Laws of Inertia

An object will stay at rest or stay in motion unless acted on by a net external force  –Sir Isaac Newton

I clearly remember learning about the laws of motion in middle school, doing some experiments to see exactly what it was all about.  At that point, I thought it only pertained to balls, but I have now found it can go way beyond that.

Have you ever noticed yourself following the laws of inertia?  You get going, and ain’t nothing going to stop you!  Then just a few days later you find yourself having a hard time pulling your butt out of bed.  Why is this?

MY HYPOTHESIS:

When we have places to go and things to do, we go into SUPER PRODUCTIVE MODE and follow the objects in motion portion of the law.  We might not do everything that comes to mind, but the results are pretty impressive.   On the other hand, when we don’t have much to look forward to or work towards, we find ourselves dragging ourselves out of bed late in the day and almost accomplishing nothing.

This all goes back to the idea, if you want something done, ask a busy person to do it.  If you find that you follow this pattern in your life, use it to your advantage.  Pick a “day of rest” and enjoy a good book, spend time cuddling with your loved ones, or spend time meditating.  Then makes some goals to work towards on the other days of the week and get going!

And don’t forget if someone asks why you did nothing but read a book one day, you can always use the excuse, “I’m just following the laws of inertia.”  It’s one of my favorites!

Work Hard, Play Hard

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy –James Howell

With all these posts about planning and getting the most out of your day, let’s not forgot the importance of devoting some free time to ourselves and family. It is important for our health and longevity to make sure we give ourselves some time to relax and have a good time.

If you keep a calendar, remember to block out time for yourself and/or family and don’t feel guilty doing it.  These moments are what make for good memories and happy people.

As a self-employed working mother, I know it can be extremely difficult trying to find a good balance between work time and free time, but both are important parts of our lives.  When I first started working from home, I felt guilty no matter what I was doing; working, cleaning the house, spending time with family or trying to make time for myself.  We have to remind ourselves that each is important and that when we give that aspect of our life attention, it is because it is important.  Finding the right balance is difficult but very important so that each is getting the time that is needed, and that all depends on each individual and their priorities.

Life is meant to be enjoyed, and it is possible even if you have a heavy work load.

Planning Day

If you want something done, ask a busy person to do it. –Lucille Ball

Why do you think this saying is true?

As a working mother of three, I have found that my weeks are generally packed pretty tight.  Trying to juggle all my obligations can be a real challenge.  That is why I started a planning day.

Every Sunday, I try to sit down, look over my calendar and make a list of everything that I need to accomplish for the week.  After I get my list together, I divide them up by which day I need/want to accomplish the tasks.  If I didn’t complete anything from the prior week, I add it to my new list.

I like to use a Weekly Planner notepad that I purchased from Michael’s, similar to the one seen below, but it doesn’t have to be fancy (if you consider a $1 notepad fancy).  I love to see it all down, and just love when I cross off all my tasks for a day.  And I’ll admit, sometimes, when I don’t get to the things on my list, I add some tasks that I did do that day just so I can cross them off:)

I have found that writing down what I need to do helps me to think clear, accomplish more and helps me from over scheduling myself.  It generally only takes 10-15 minutes a week, but saves me a lot of time and headache.  I encourage you to try it, you’ll be amazed how much it can give you such peace of mind!

Nagging Mom Solution

Children aren’t happy without something to ignore. And that’s what parents were created for. — Ogden Nash, The Parents

This post if for you parents out there.  Not too long ago, I was struggling because I had become Nagging Mom.  Something I had promised myself while young that I would never become.  But no matter what I tried, it seemed like anytime I wanted my kids to do something around the house, I had to become Nagging Mom.

Then I stumbled upon a simple solution that has helped cure my Nagging Mom problems.  The solution has had other added benefits for both child and parent alike.

I purchased a couple of small dry-ease boards, one for each child, positioned them in a central location in our home and when there are things to be done, I simply write down a list (my kids like to have check boxes to mark off).  Sometimes I make the list once a day, sometimes more.  For my beginning reader child, I draw pictures next to the words to help him determine what is on the list.  We usually go over their list during breakfast or after they get home from school and I give them a time frame that I want the chores done by.  Free-time always comes after they have completed all the chores.

Since I have started the chore list, I have found that my kids are a lot happier to help around the house.  Here are some of the other benefits I have found from using the chores list;

FOR THE KIDS

  • It makes them feel important and needed
  • Gives them clear expectations, no more “I didn’t know I had to do that”
  • It boost their self esteem, they really enjoy crossing off the chores and are always proud when their list is complete
  • Helped them become more organized
  • It has helped my beginning reader with his reading skills

FOR THE PARENT

  • Helps to cure Nagging Mom/Dad
  • The house seems to stay cleaner

FOR BOTH

  • We generally have more family time because the children stay focused while doing their chores and they don’t need constant reminders, saving us both time!

It can be done a variety of ways, but I like the flexibility I get with using the dry-ease board.  If I want my kids to do their usual chores, I put that on the list.  If I want my kids pick up something they dropped on the floor, I put that on the list.  The possibilities are endless with this solution and it is easy to keep up on, but I know that we all have to find something that works for us.

Since I have found this solution, I wanted to spread the message to everyone I knew because I had brought so much peace of mind to our home.

If you have found any solution to helping you stay more organized, please share!

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