I never met a cow I didn’t like. What I mean is – I really like eating beef. It is my favorite.
Rejoice with me, won’t you? We picked up one half of a cow last weekend. (I do not know which half. It’s better this way.) The cow came from trusted farmer friends who raise their animals in organic pasture. We also got a pasture-fed lamb (both halves) while we were at it. My grocery budget is completely wiped out for this month and next (though it all averages out in the end). Our freezers are bursting and we are so thankful.
I’ve spent time this week rearranging freezers to organize said cow and friend lamb. I’ve also been cleaning out closets and cabinets and throwing out/giving away anything that isn’t nailed down. Phew, it feels so good! Then I did something I’ve been wanting to do for about five years now:
I hired someone to help me clean my house.
Why have I put this off for so long? For oh so many reasons. It’s been hard to justify spending the money. My pride has been hesitant to admit that I can’t keep up. I’ve felt shy about someone seeing the places in my home that are filthy and disgusting after so much neglect. We still want our boys to take part in cleaning our home regularly so they’ll be prepared to be helpful husbands some day. So many reasons.
God finally made it clear that now is the time to reach out for help. (Or maybe I finally opened myself to listen better.) I feel overwhelmed almost daily while trying to juggle raising a houseful of teenage sons, love on their friends, keep up with their activities, work full time from home, school the boys from home, nurture my marriage, love and serve people from the community and church, put three healthy meals on the table every day, and take care of the house. Also?
I despise cleaning.
I always have. I do it because I love a clean home, but as the years have gone by and my days have become more full – much of the cleaning that needs to be done beyond basic upkeep has gotten pushed aside.
I don’t even know the last time I mopped my kitchen floor beyond spot cleaning.
With Matt’s blessing, I finally called someone. We believe we came away with a win-win after our initial visit. Our cleaning help/friend will come just once each month for a 3-hour time slot (and for a very reasonable price). She’ll do the cleaning jobs we never get around to: kitchen windows and woodwork (cabinet fronts too), the kitchen floor, the master bedroom, stairway woodwork, and she’ll thoroughly clean both bathrooms from top to bottom.
Hallelujah! In the meantime, our boys will continue their regular weekly chores of sweeping/vacuuming/dusting the living room, cleaning the bathrooms, doing the laundry, and all the other daily dishes/trash/compost/recycling/etc. duties we give them.
I can’t tell you how grateful I am that the cleaning tasks will not be constantly looming over my head any more! And when I showed my cleaning lady the areas I needed help with, she didn’t even bat an eye over the grossness. Bless her.
So let’s see…I shared about my cow and my cleaning confessions. Now to tell you about Malachi’s Lego Convention.
Our twelve year old, who loves Legos more than anything in the world, has been dreaming of and planning a Lego Convention for a year and a half. (He’s visionary like his daddy.) Matt has been amazing to help develop the idea with him over the past few months. They decided to go for it, and they named their venture NeBricksKa (because it is a convention held here in Nebraska and Legos are bricks – get it?).
They made plans, they made flyers, they called schools, they reserved our church fellowship hall. Matt deserves “Dad of the Year” for helping Malachi with this and truly, Malachi has astounded us with his dedication to take on such a huge project. He worked for months to create his display and promote the event.
It happened last Saturday morning, and it was fantastic. (Don’t even ask how we managed to squeeze in such a convention between Thursday night basketball games, Friday night basketball games, and Saturday afternoon basketball games. Nobody got much sleep last weekend, but boy did we have fun. Our schedules are further confirmation that I need help keeping up with housework – and why I’m declaring this the Year of Simple!)
Just over 40 people came with displays. The kids all walked around from table to table as each child shared what they had built. I couldn’t stop smiling. It was Malachi’s dream come true, and to be sure, he will be hosting this again next year with big hopes that word will spread and that the convention will grow bigger and bigger each year!
That sums up some of our family’s latest ventures in the new year! And now it’s your turn:
What blessings are you celebrating so far this year?