Mom, What Do You Want for Christmas? – December 2016

December 18, 2016 – During the week the kids have off from school, I have asked every kid to give me 1 hour between 10 and 1pm; and me and one child will work on a room in the house for 15 minutes, then go their own room for 15 mins, then go back to the 1st room for 15 minutes, then sit down and have a drink of water with me for 15 minutes and talk about what was done or anything else. Then I get the next kids for 1 hour. This way, I still get 3 hours of solid cleaning in (which I am going to do anyway), but I am also getting some buy-in from them. The hope is that after 5 days (from the 19th to the 23rd) they see the value in spending time with mom, and see what I do basically all-day-long; with the hopes that they may appreciate/help out a little more around the house.

My plan is mainly to get their rooms organized; I cannot just go in and toss clothes anymore; and for me to organize their room, only to see it all tossed around later, is aggravating and a waste of my time. I try to give them tools and organizers, but I need to know how they work to help them too.

I also want to organize the common areas: game room and kitchen. So, when I ask them to put something away, they will be more respectful in how they do it and so I can actually find it later!

So, I asked for service for Christmas. That’s what fills me up.

December 24, 2016 – The week has past and how did we do?  Well, surprisingly, the child that put up the most stink about actually “helping” was the biggest help of all!   Heather had no interested in giving up her time, but not only did she give me “15” we mostly added 5 minutes to all of the times and on the last day we worked tirelessly on the game room to finish it up during a solid 3 1/2 hours!  She had to go to work after that, and I was exhausted!   We sorted through old costumes, games, toys, dolls, and lots of miscellaneous stuff that had been gathering in the game room.  Removed most of the cabinets and paired down everything!  Harrison helped me on the other side of the couch, where the tv and XBOX meet; getting rid of duplicate equipment, cords, sorting old games out to make room for new ones!  We clean out the kitchenette area, which is a constant battle, but organized it so it works.  And we had a little fun on the way!


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I love it when the floor is visible!



In addition to the game room, Heather’s room got cleaned, as well as the girls bathroom (which is a constant disaster), and lots of the household laundry (towels) and each kids’ clothes moved along.   Both Harrison and Holly made progress on tossing some outgrown clothes, but their rooms need a lot more work.

December 25, 2016 – Because I didn’t get much time with Holly this week; we will continue our 1-hour daily event starting again this week.  Maybe even later today! 🙂

Hoping to go through her room, continue with Harrison and his room, plus finish up the laundry room and hallway.  Yeah, the hallway has become the staging area for things that will be moving out of the house, donated or stored.20161230_154012

December 31, 2016 – That’s it, it’s a wrap.  End of the year, end of vacation.  The hallway got cleared, by moving items into a donation pile downstairs, now that the tree has been removed, and most of the attic stuff is being staged to go back.

Holly’s room got some time, but it needs more, a lot more. 20161229_171756-3










But the week continued to be busy:

Monday, Dec. 26th – Holly and I hiked Duthie Hill Mountain Bike trail / Coal Mine Loop with the girl scouts.  Cold but dry day.   Making a hot lunch on the trip.


Holly attempts to strike a match, that just would not light!










Tuesday, Dec. 27th – Harrison and I did our annual Nutcracker performance at McCaw Hall in Seattle, with the Nutcracker Suite intermission.  Yum!


Took Harrison for the first time when he was 6; the next year he said, “Are we going again?” And we’ve been going ever since! Pictured here, 15-year old











Wednesday, Dec. 28th – I did a cardio class and then my weekly Pilates class (moved it to Wed this week so we could all go out on Thursday to Seattle).  Then Greg and I had a wonderful Christmas lunch at Bia Tong.

Thursday, Dec. 29th – After I went to get a relaxing, early morning Christmas gift facial; we took the whole family plus our visiting daughter, Kamilah, to the Pacific Science Center. The Sherlock Holmes Exhibit was a fun, interactive exhibit where you come to your own conclusions about a murder mystery.  We made most deductions correctly; but in the end the mystery was that there was not a murder!

Friday, Dec. 30th – I completed the week with a cardio/weight class and decided to take a Pilates Reformer class to see if I want to do it for the entire month in January.  (I am not super interested in going to crowded cardio classes when the new year starts).  And this class will only have 7 people in it.   See what I’ve been doing the last two months. We even managed to squeeze in seeing a movie: Rogue One.  Finally!

We ended the night with the Vargas’ Annual Christmas/New Year’s Party – but it was held on the 30th, because they got tickets to a concert on the 31st this year.  Fun times with White Elephant gift, children’s gift exchange and kid’s musical performances.










Saturday, Dec. 31st – Heather and Kamilah invited several people over for a New Year’s Eve Party; we talked with the grandfolks from Massachusetts and Harrison started the process of getting his license; as we signed him up for driving lessons (for 2017 summer). In the meantime, a nice drive to Snoqualmie Falls did not disappoint!









20161231_174418-3Happy New Year 2017!

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