I don't remember a time that I haven't played the piano. My parents--neither of them with any kind of musical background--started me with piano lessons when I was four years old, and it's been an enormous (and wonderful) part of my life ever since. It taught me at a very young age how to work hard to learn something new, dedication, responsibility, and getting over some of my fears. I performed and played all through high school, and then into college on a piano scholarship. I taught piano lessons for many years--all through college and up until my last baby was born two years ago. The ability to play the piano has given me many opportunities--to play, perform, serve in my church and community, and to teach. It helped support us through college and graduate school, and then helped with the extras when we were finished with school. But even more than that, it has filled my life with immeasurable joy, and our home has always been filled with the sound of music. How grateful I am that my parents gave me this gift!
Why do I tell you all of this? You may be wondering what the real-life benefits of piano lessons are, and I could probably go on for much longer if you needed me to! If you have been considering lessons for your child, you may be asking "how do you know if your child is ready for piano lessons"?, and I'm here to give you a little guidance. I get this question a lot from people in my real life, and I thought I would pass on that information here.
Oh, how I love having a clean home. But life is crazy busy, and there are always a million things to do all of the time, and it can be tricky to keep up on housework. Whether you work out of the home or in the home, to-do lists and responsibilities can be a mile long, and you might feel like you just don't have time to do what needs to be done.
Years ago, I developed a method that really worked for me, and I've been able to maintain it through six kids, working, staying home, and now working/blogging from home. I've found that I can just maintain a clean house, the daily chores just don't take as long, so I can fit a lot more in. There are seven things that I do on a daily basis, and those things can help you keep a clean house in just about an hour a day!
I don't always do everything in one straight hour--most of the time it's some in the morning and some in the evening--but the great thing about these things is that they can be done any time of the day or night, based on your personal circumstances. Except making your bed...it really makes the most sense to do that in the morning. :)
Let me show you...
Looking back over the years since I've had my first baby, there have been countless lessons learned, wisdom gained, and knowledge acquired--and I'm still learning. There have so many times I've muttered to myself "I wish I knew that the first time!", and with some things, wondered why in the world no one ever filled me in beforehand!
So...I'm going to do that for you. Six babies later, I'm sharing not only some of the truths I've learned, but also tips on some baby basics and advice for new moms, and maybe--hopefully-- you'll glean a little something that will help you on your motherhood journey. And while you're in the thick of it, you'll know that someone else has been there, and understands.
When my oldest was around five years old, we started a little list of unofficial "family rules". My husband is a pretty funny guy who likes to nickname everything and everyone, and he started make up silly rules based on incidents that happened in our family. Over the years we've added to it, but they now have to go through a serious vetting process in order to make it on the list. Since then they've become more official than unofficial, and we refer to them all the time.
I love having these silly rules, because it usually evokes a more positive response than it might otherwise, and more often times than not, I get a tiny smile. Most of the time, I don't even need to finish my sentence, and all I have to say is "What's rule #1?"
We take following rules seriously at our house, because it keeps order, lessens the chaos, and teaches a lot of life lessons. We do have regular rules that govern how our house runs, like when to make your bed and pick up your clothes and do your homework. But when it comes to behavior, these five rules pretty much cover all the bases!