I promise, I'm not going to talk about cleaning and organizing for the rest of the year, I'm just a girl on a mission at the moment. This weekend, I was once again confronted by the fact that I am very hindered by mess. This isn't to say I have a clean house, it's the daily struggle to get things in their place, put away, cleaned and dealt with that hinders all other aspects of my life, especially my ability to be ready for anything, ready to jump into a project or activity with my children. If my kitchen is messy, I don't want to bake cookies. If the living room is messy, I don't want to go in there and teach you how to knit. I have to clean first. It's pretty pathetic, I know. Especially when I feel like I'm never completely on top of the cleaning, so it is a daily struggle.
This weekend, I spent a good chunk of Saturday morning cleaning and putting away things in the kitchen. Things that had been sitting out on the counters, things on the shelves, dishes that needed to be moved to a giveaway box, etc. And having a clean kitchen got me excited to be in there–I baked, I made a good dinner, I even broke out the dehydrator–something I've been wanting to experiment with for awhile now. (Dehydrated apples? Big time, yum. Before you know it, I'll be dehydrating their lunches and storing them in airtight bags.)
As I cleaned on Saturday, an old saying came to mind: "A place for everything. Everything in its place." It's our new family theme, I've decided. Our mantra. What we're talking about this week in school. What I'm reminding myself and my husband.
In the meantime, Emma and I embarked on a little experiment this afternoon. We wanted to figure out which would freeze faster–salt water or fresh water. Our discussion about fresh water (lakes, ponds, streams) and salt water (oceans) made me realize that Emma has never been to the ocean, though we live just a few hours away now. She tells me she'll never swim in the ocean–the sharks, the jelly fish, how deep it is, and now that she realizes it's full of saltwater, it's even more reason for her to turn up her nose. Just wait and see, Emma…
With the absence of two thermometers we had to modify our experiment and began checking our water samples in the freezer every ten minutes. It was a great excuse to use my new TimeTimer, which I love. The visual aspect of the countdown is so helpful for children. Especially my daughter, who needs to know how long until every next event in her near future. "How many more minutes until my riding lesson? How many more minutes until lunch? How many more minutes until Daddy gets home?" The concepts of minutes and hours and seconds have always been difficult for her to understand. But I'm thinking this nifty little timer will help with all that. Plus it's just plain fun to turn that big red dial and watch it disappear.
So the experiment was generally a success. The freshwater froze first. Elizabeth drank the saltwater and spit it out all over the kitchen floor. And tomorrow we're going to race to melt ice cubes with the salt shakers.
Sounds like a good time.
If I can just get the dinner dishes cleaned up. Kidding.