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i like thursdays because they are close to fridays.
i used to love thursdays because of must see tv… but i don’t really watch much anymore.
Parenthood is over and i am feeling like I’m through with series.
greys will finish up soon.
madmen is almost done… and i think I’m done.
is it my age?  what is it?
is it the new era of dvr and internet where i can pull-up anything whenever i want?
i don’t love anything like i did when i loved my fave shows.
it’s probably just that i miss those too much.
Seinfeld… Friends… ER…. Office… 30 Rock…

everything else is just those same stories over again.

moving on…
annie started piano lessons again.
by choice.
talby starts this week.
i love hearing them practice.
(although if i hear “All of Me” by john legend one more time i may die)

the other night annie was stalling before bed time and i walked in and caught this:IMG_2200IMG_2195
i love her rainbow room so much.
(and she loves stuffed animals a little too much!)
but to be sure i am always “keeping it real” over here she told me recently that she can’t wait to re-do her room in a complete basketball theme because she is going to play in the WNBA and wants her room to look very sporty.
i can remember my first lesson in humility regarding room decor with lauren.
she was probably 8 and we had painted her room just the prettiest way i thought it should be.
yellow floral Martha stewart bedding… matching curtains… i even painted plaid on the wall!
and then… she taped magazine photos of animals all over the walls.
and that did not match.
i tried to tell her how these pictures did not flow with the look i was going for.
ha ha ha
but SHE thought they looked really nice.
she chose her favorite animals and knew why they were here favorites.

i think that’s when i learned that it was going to be ok.
(it probably took many more lessons but i do recall that night)
my home should reflect all of us… not just MOM’s idea of pretty.
everything doesn’t have to look like a magazine.
and no matter their style is… it’s OK!  it’s GOOD to have an idea!
it’s GOOD to know what you like!
if you like animals… GREAT!  if you like basketball… GREAT!
i hope someday annie gets her dream room.
although it’s pretty darn great right now… maybe we should switch bedrooms…. what do you think craig?  want to bunk up in the rainbow room with me?  ha ha ha

wednesday likes to sit in the sun… especially on the hood of my car.

i made Marta’s meat muffins the other night at 8 pm.
(the recipe she shares now is a little different… eggs, zucchini and lots of spices… maybe she will blog it?)
i make them for me… not the whole family.
i COULD feed it to them…. but then i don’t have my stock.
i freeze all but 6 and then eat two at a time for meals during the week.
when my 6 in the refrigerator are gone i pull another container from the freezer.
it’s great protein when i want to eat cookies.  🙂

and then when i was done… i made pumpkin waffles at 10 pm.
i used this recipe by
they are definitely gluten free & dairy free as far as taste but i am trying to eat that way so when everything tastes that way then you get used to it.
i freeze these also except for a few.
i heat one up and spread a little almond butter and strawberry jam on them.
i make strawberry jam by putting strawberries in food processor.
nothing else added.

so those are two things i am eating to help me stay on track with my health.
remember my 2015 word was ACTION.

although… this week i have been sleeping like a bear in hibernation.
im not sure what the deal is but i am so tired.
hopefully it will go away soon.

this was yesterday morning at our house.
i just said “enough!”  (not in a mad way… just exhausted)
i am feeling tired and this does not help.
i mean… this is normal when 6 people share a space.
this is 6 people each leaving one or two or five things out.
and if it doesn’t get picked up… it multiplies.
and this is with the dishes done.
it’s so much worse when the sink is overflowing with dishes.
so i made a new chart.
it was time.
we used to have a whole system when the kids were younger just for sanity
but when we moved to the farm i never made it again.
now it’s back in a newer simplified form.

annie’s charts are her own personal movitation charts.
she gets to choose a treat of her choice when she completes it…not just the .99 ice cream cone.
yesterday was the first day.
i walked in at 9 pm from the garage and the smell of bleach was overpowering.
so i learned that i had to teach HOW to do these jobs.
we went over which cleaners to use… tools to use… what “put stuff away” means…. and how a counter top FEELS when it’s clean.
and this morning it was so happy to walk out to a clean kitchen.
they agreed that it felt nice to have it clean too!

so if you got your kids started on their laundry…. maybe the kitchen is the next place.
your kids are going to hate that “Meg from Whatever”

my kids also load and unload the dishwasher.
scott & sean alternate loading and talby & sean alternate unloading.
(i step in and wash pots and pans… and load or unloadload when kids have been busy and having it done is better than waiting.)
no one likes this job at our house.
but who does?!
this is good for them.
we’ve been doing this for YEARS too.
it used to be lauren & scott loading and talby & sean unloading.
annie was too short.
but when lauren moved out… annie moved up.
it’s working.

chores are good.
they are!
i love being a mom so much.
but i don’t want to wait on them hand and foot.
my kids are able to help and we think they should.
they still have so much time for fun.. this is just life & helping each other out.


misty - I’d LOVE to know your breakdown on teaching kids to do laundry. I have a 6 1/2 year old & she wants to help with everything 🙂 I LOVE that, but how did you start with Annie doing laundry??

Renee - i love seeing the piano ones 🙂 I teach piano lessons VERY part time (like 7 students only part time) just for fun on the side. so so so fun to see glimpses of when kids like it 🙂

Kristi - I love reading your posts! They are so refreshingly real! And can I just say that I can’t wait until my kids are old enough to clean on their own?!! Can.not.wait!! Hope you get your pep back soon. I am being spring will put a bounce in my step. No more jackets weighing me down.

Lisa - Love that your systems aren’t complicated. I need to revamp our chore list and your post was the reminder I needed to just keep it simple. 🙂

Jenni - Meg, you’re awesome in so many ways. And, interestingly enough, my husband is applying for a job in Lawrence, KS. We currently live in California. When I think of life in Kansas, one of my first thoughts is , “how could I become friends with Meg Duerksen? If I have to move to Kansas, hanging out with her would make life easier. ” 🙂

Lisa - Great! I love the chores. I do the same (I’m a mom of 3 soon to be 4). Any way to get them involved is good and worth it in the long run. Laundry & toys need to be put away before they get to watch their show at night. Works for us.

Loved your comment about Lauren changing her room, too! My oldest (almost 8) does the same thing and hangs posters and tiny pieces of paper that are oh so important all over her room and it secretly drives me crazy! I am regularly reminding myself to chill out… House Beautiful is not coming to photograph my home. Perfectly imperfect, right? 🙂

Carrie - My girls are 4 and 7. It is the small toys and my 7 year olds books ( she reads 3 to 4 chapter books a week, guess I should not complain about my voracious reader). That stuff I pile on the stairs and threaten them. I wanted to start my 7 year old doing laundry and she was on board but she still can not reach down into the washer to get her clothes and I need to problem solve it. Quite honestly I need that chart for my husband!!! The girls help to unload the dishwasher, clear the table, clean toilets, and make beds. My 4 year old loves to make her sister’s bed!

sharon / - A clean, beautiful white kitchen makes Everything better, -in every department 🙂

Kathi - Your counter looks similar to mine just add a bunch of tools the hubs didn’t put away and you’ve got mine.

Amy Woods - I agree! It’s great the kiddos help with the chores. Their future roommates and families will so appreciate it. My poor son is an only. He thinks he has too many chores. I say whatever. What does he think, that I took him to raise? Oh. wait.


Alice H - I miss ER!! Oh George Clooney!!

My 5 year old LOVES to help unload the dishwasher. He also likes to do laundry, mainly the towels and washcloths. He has a helping heart for sure. And I am doing a lot better at encouraging him than I did with my 14 and 16 year old back then. Ha! They have to do their own laundry, help clean up after dinner, and they are in charge of the upstairs (their bedrooms, bathroom, and hall). If it isn’t all cleaned up and presentable by Friday, they don’t get to do anything during that weekend. It works!! Love your kitchen chart and I have a chalkboard, may have to do that too!

jennibell - Agreed! On everything. . .except the eating part. Meg, you look GREAT and I know it’s taken you a lot of time and sacrifice and YEA FOR YOU!!! I just *can’t*, no matter what, get on the “eat food I don’t like” wagon. I got a FitBit and when my calories are up, they are up. . .I’m not being picky about how I use them. Exercise is key anyway.
Youngest does the trash every single time it needs to be taken out. Next youngest unloads dishwasher (expectation is that it is to be done by 7 a.m. every day) and 2nd oldest loads. Oldest is in charge of the yard, taking trash to the dump. . .he gets of “easy” in the winter months but works very hard spring/summer. It works for us.
The kids have naturally begun to do their own laundry. Things weren’t getting done as quickly as they liked (ha!) so they will, many times, do their own. I’m glad they know how. And every one of them (ages 11, 12, 14, 16) can make a meal for the family. So. . .parenting is the *greatest* job ( and I am so happy that God blessed me with the challenge!!
Enjoy your weekend 🙂

crissy - i love that you keep it real! it isn’t any less inspiring – but it’s hopegiving 😉

do you make your strawberry jam when you want it or do you make a jar and refrigerate it? i love the idea of making it and am wondering if that is one less thing i can buy from the store – and less sugar. thanks!!

Nanette - Thanks for the motivation! We are struggling right now with chores and responsibility. And I’m going to try those meat cupcake/muffin things.
My boys decorated their shared room the other day by taping over 100 hockey cards to the wall. At first I wanted to make them take it down…but they love it. And they actually did a good job by getting them spaced and straight. I figure someday they will talk about it when they are old…”hey remember when we taped all of our hockey cards to the wall? That was the best!”

Julie - My dishwasher has just died on us, so each morning the sink is filled with hot soapy water, and we all wash our breakfast dishes and leave them in the rack to drain while we are at work and school. Then in the evening my two children have to wash and dry all the dinner dishes. Certainly won’t hurt them, that is what I had to do as a child.

Heather S. - Our girls have quite a few chores and expectations around the house (dishes, mopping, laundry, cat care, etc). They have to – I homeschool them! I can’t be their teacher AND the lunch lady AND the bus driver AND the janitor as well as being mom. They have to pitch in. And they do. Like champs. You are SO right. You have to actually TEACH them how to do these things first, but then it reminds me of potty training. A bunch of hard work up front for a few days, but then sit back a bit and enjoy watching them grow up. I always say I’m not raising children – I am raising future adults. It takes constant training to get there, but every once in a while we get to just admire their growing responsibility and maturity. That’s what being a mom is really about – training them up, not waiting on them hand and foot.

kassondra - The end of this post almost sounded like you were defending your reasons for having your kids do chores. MEG, stop that! Our kids chores are much easier than when we were little and a thousand times easier than generations past. Your not causing damage to your children your teaching them valuable lessons in this chore system. Keep it up!

Necole@seriouslysassymama - My 11 year old does her own laundry. Her job is to also keep the bathroom clean. My younger two have to put away their clothes and keep their room clean. I give them each a list of chores to accomplish every Sat. Otherwise I do everything else. I find it cathartic when I clean my home. That, and I may be a little OCD.

Michelle Deckert Richmond - Welcome to my life…..I hear yah.

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