tips, tricks, and faves!

Renee tagged me in this fun post about her recent tips, tricks, and faves.

Hmmm. That kinda stumped me! I’m feeling pretty devoid of tips ‘n’ tricks these days, although I’m all ears if you’d like to share yours! We could use a little fresh pep in the routines here at the Dunphey house, you know? But I’ll share some favorites, and some things I keep doing because they seem to work.

So, in no special order:

:: Tupler! Yup, I’m still chipping away. I feel like I probably should do an “official” update blog post, but the quick version is this: I can’t seem to get over the Week 5 or 6 hump, at which point the exercises begin to take up some serious time. But I’m not terribly discouraged by that; since the entire program is based on the same exercises, I figure I’m just on the super-slow trajectory at this point. My DR has gone from 8+ fingers to -3, so progress! My splint is pretty worn out after 18 weeks straight of being worn, but I feel like my muscles are finally holding their own, and I don’t “need” it as much (it definitely leant support!)

:: This little routine, for when I need to just do something a little different, or add some movement in the morning (since more often than not, I wake up sore and stiff and needing to stretch!)

:: Laundry folded, and dishwasher/dish drain emptied before breakfast. The laundry room still sometimes looks like a disaster, but I know that if I just keep cycling the loads through during the day, they’ll get folded first thing the next morning, and evenutally that leads to a moment of having the laundry caught up. Also, starting my day with every clean dish put away somehow helps me to keep things washed and put away all day long. (This, of course, is what I aim for. Once in awhile, it doesn’t happen, and then I quickly see how important a habit it is for me to keep up! Ha!)

:: Granola, bread, and brown rice! Colorful, I know. We’re keeping food simple these days, and I’m surprised by just how simple it can be, while still being yummy and pretty healthy! Keep veggies in that mix, and ta-da. You have the menu for many of our recent days.

:: Justus Martin’s store. Half the fun of living up here “in the sticks” is knowing where most of your food comes from, and being friends with many of your providers! I love loading up on Prairie Gold Wheat and dark cocoa and so many great things, and supporting a family I truly admire. If you’re local, check him out!

:: The Pocket Docket. I am not one for bells and whistles when it comes to organization. If it isn’t simple, and if it isn’t right there where I can see it, I don’t end up using it. This nifty little sheet has been in constant use for years now. Best part? The “MIT”s — most important things. You can only pick three each day! I punch holes in them and keep it in a black binder, along with sections for shopping lists, garden plans, decorating ideas, sermon notes, home school objectives and resources, and monthly calendars. This scattered space-cadet is really trying!!

:: My Clever. The amazing flavor of French press without the, you know, sludge. (There’s gotta be a better word!) I love it. I like making it in the afternoon — taking a minute to slow down and stir and steep, and then divide between his and her cups. In case you’re wondering, I have to recommend trying any of these roasts. (The Peru is wonderful!)

:: The Chronicles of Narnia (out loud to the boys), Indian Captive (for fun, for me), and Psalms (for me.) These are the things being read right now. Also, along those lines, head lamps for the boys! We’re not always prompt enough with bedtime to allow for extra reading, but I do my best, because they love sitting in bed and just reading. I creep down the hall and hear them happily chatting away about this picture, or that passage. And Jameson pores over “his” Bible. He just loves reading it every night.

:: My Dutch oven. I just love chopping and mixing and throwing it in the oven for hours. Yes, I could use a slow cooker, too, but I’ve just never been a huge fan. This, though, I love. Do you have a favorite make-it-and-forget-it recipe? Pass it along!

:: Candles. If half the fun of living up here is the local food supply, the other half is cozy. (Cozy is NoCo-speak for “freezing cold outside, so honey, grab an afghan and don’t go anywhere.“) I love wool blankets and wool slippers and sweaters that layer and layer. But those are for feeling cozy. For looking cozy, there are candles. The other reason I love them is that right about 4:45pm, when I’m starting to feel like my little minions are losing it and we’re on the brink of loony-house, I quickly grab a lighter and create quiet. Go sit by the fire and read a book. Lay on the blanket with the baby. Help me set the table. Turn on Bach in the background. They all settle and calm, and we move into evening, that wonderful time of winding down the day. (Then comes bedtime. And the moment is over.)

:: Smiles and laughter. This is a tip I need to remember more often. Stop being the director and just dive in! Laugh and smile and exude joy! It is a gift available to us at every moment, regardless of the circumstances. I need a tip for remembering this tip!

:: Lastly, in light of how trivial these tricks may seem, but also impactful they can be, I read this post last night: Change is in the Oatmeal. How true that often is!

Tag! You’re it! What are some little things that are keeping the gears moving at your home and in your heart? Leave a comment here, or a link to your blog post. I love getting a peek into someone else’s world!

3 Comments tips, tricks, and faves!

  1. sam

    Thanks. I only drink one cup of coffee a day so this set up would be perfect (and allow me to ditch the Keurig) but I really didn’t want to get into paper filters. I am going to order one now and list my other one, with it’s reusable filter and leftover cups from Christmas, on Craigslist. Yay for less countertop clutter!,


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