alwayswithme, a Weblog

where I keep my thoughts together

My Name is Julie and I Am Organizationally Challenged March 10, 2010

Filed under: Blog Parties,Decorating,DH,Explanations,Family,Household,Organization,Try This — alwayswithme @ 2:01 pm

My sister, who is also organizationally challenged, recommended a professional organizer whom she had used before to help me with my “issues”.  After putting it off for nearly a year because I just knew I would stumble upon THE system that would finally make everything make sense in my home; I hired her. 

She charged $25.00 an hour with a four hour minimum.  She worked with me for four hours on Monday and is coming again Friday for four hours.  She had me take her through the house showing her all my problem areas.  I could have only done that with a stranger.  She asked what my priorities were.  She asked what our hobbies and interests were as a family.  Then we went to work. 

I now have a Christmas closet that ONLY contains Christmas items.  I now have a home decor closet so that when I want to change out seasons or colors I can do that. Our home only has a tiny linen closet, a tiny closet in the foyer, a walk in closet in my husband’s office, small closets in the other three bedrooms.  The basement is unfinished but broken up into three rooms that have poles in the middle of them (I assume they are holding the house up so they are important) a sump pump hole in the floor of one of the basement rooms (good for those times it rains so much the water comes into the basement and needs to be funneled out not so good for looks or storage)   and the furnace/water heater in the middle of another basement room.  Not a good storage situation.  Useful mostly for exercise equipment, DH’s workshop and extra acquarium supplies.  My husband loves freshwater fish and what started out as one tank for our son is now nine tanks in various rooms in the house. 

We are down to our last child living at home, he is 12, so we will have an extra bedroom after his new room which is now the playroom is finished.  Two of the three older kids that have “moved out” still have stuff left here at our home that if put altogether probably would fill all of the “open” space in one of the the basement rooms easily.  Of course, it isn’t in one place it is in many places.  She suggested that we gather up each boy’s stuff (when I say boys I mean men 28 and 24 who have been gone for 3 or 4 years) and put them in two separate areas of the house – one for each child- and tell them to come and get it by X date or the charity truck is coming to take it away ah ha.  I don’t have a problem with this plan.  My husband, on the other hand will.  I’ve been trying to convince him of this for a  l  o  n  g  time.  My organizer is hoping that once he sees how much stuff each of them really has and how much space it actually takes up when accumulated in one space that he will see the light and make the call himself.  Perhaps even offer to carry it out, perhaps even load it in his truck and perhaps even deliver it to them.  I really don’t care how it gets gone, I just want it gone.  Love them, not all their stuff.

She also suggested that once our remaining son moves into the bigger bedroom (the room awaiting weatherproofing, new carpet and a new paint job) that instead of making his old room into a dedicated guest room that I turn it into my studio.  My current studio is what is supposed to be the formal living room.  It is very small and contains my piano, my library, my scrapbooking supplies, my rubberstamp supplies, my quilting supplies including fabric, my yarn for my crochet projects, our household files and bills as well as a small TV, a rocking chair, a small desk and a round side table with lamp.   Itisveryverycrowded and really unusable with piles of stuff everywhere.

That would leave the piano and my bookshelves plus the rocking chair and the side table with lamp in the formal living room.  Our 11 year old could practice his trumpet in what would now be the music/library room.  I had told the organizer that I always wanted to have a library because I love books and my mother has a library.  It is always something I wished I could have but didn’t think I had the house for.  I am actually receptive to this.  I had been looking forward to having a real guest room so I’m not sure how I’ll feel about not having a designated “guest” room, but the studio could probably serve as a guest room with one of those inflatable beds or even a rented bed if you can rent beds for the time a guest would need it.  Our 12 year old offered to let guests use his room if we needed to from time to time.  We actually don’t ever have that many guests as the older boys live nearby.

So her suggestions could work, if I get most of it done and then work on convincing DH that it is a good idea.  That is the hardest part.  Pray for me.

I’m rather excited about this.  I’ll keep you posted on what really happens.

UPDATE:  Today is September 1, 2010

  • The items the older boys wanted have been moved out of the house.  What remains needs to be sold or given to charity
  • Instead of the room exchange ideas above, DH agreed to move his office to the room my studio is in, which he will share with our son and his video gaming equipment (this will leave our son’s room as video gaming free which I feel better about)
  • My studio will be DH old office (it is upstairs so if it is in shambles, as I am prone to have it, it will not be out where everyone can view it)
  • We have begun the room exchange process.  It is a huge job.  We will all work on it tonight in celebration of my birthday
  • We purchased an inflatable bed which worked well for the guests we had over the summer.  When we get DS moved to his new room, I think his old room could serve as a library/guestroom just fine.  It would also be a good space for DS to practice his trumpet.
  • We have decided to give the piano away – need to put it on Craigslist

Seven Quick Takes February 5, 2010

Filed under: Blog Parties — alwayswithme @ 3:08 pm
  1. It is snowing yet again.  BIG, HEAVY, hard to walk in snow.  The kids are out of school today so DS, the younger is having fun with a buddy.  Our driveway has been shoveled twice thus far and if I hadn’t just told you that, you would have no clue.
  2. I’m really sleepy today, this is need a nap weather.
  3. We are supposed to have our portrait taken for the parish pictoral book tomorrow – the last day to get it done.  I have no idea what we will wear.  I’m thinking of seeing if our freebie can be a black and white image so that wouldn’t matter so much.
  4. We have new gold rams in our fish tank.  I hope these survive.  This is our fourth group.  We also have lemon tetras, which I’ve been wanting but we’ve never found before.
  5. Parent teacher conference went great.  I can’t believe he’ll be in middle school next year. 
  6. Christopher Hitchens, I posted about him today as well.  If anyone has a link to an article where a christian, preferably a catholic christian, effectively debates him, I would love to read it so puhleese let me know.
  7. I lost this week so I remain in the black at TOPS thus far.  Yeah!

To read other Quick Takes, go see Jen at Conversion Diary.


Printable Online : Chart Jungle January 31, 2010

Filed under: Blog Parties,Organization — alwayswithme @ 10:33 pm

OMG Go Check Out This Cool Site, It Has Gobs of Very Well Done Printables!  Seriously!

Free Printable Calendars : Free Printables : Print : Printable Online : Chart Jungle.


Seven Quick Takes January 30, 2010

Filed under: Blog Parties — alwayswithme @ 3:58 am

7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 67)


1.  Glad to be back.

2.  Been listening to books on tape from the library and enjoying it very much.  I listen to one upstairs and one in the car.  As long as no one messes with the buttons, everything is okay.

3.  DH has been uber busy.  I am trying to pick up some of the slack of things he does around our home but we keep falling behind.

4.  Going to training on the changes in the Mass Saturday morning.

5.  It snowed again today.  Enough to shovel and make the roads messy.  DS will enjoy getting to play in it in the morning.

6.  I’ve been enjoying getting back into rubber stamping and scrapbooking.  Figuring out what I like and don’t like is a big part of it.  That whole process can be overwhelming and I think I felt stuck because I didn’t have MY vision.  Now I do so this should be fun.

7.  Had a heady conversation with 11 year old DS.  Let’s just say that it was all physics related and he knew what he was talking about and I had no clue.  I had to come home and google words he used.  It took me about three hours to calm down after him talking to me for two solid hours about all these ideas and theories that he had, that he had read about or that he had discussed with his tennis coach.   He’s done this before, but not with this intensity. Gotta figure out how to nurture that passion.

Head to Conversion Diary for other Quick Takes.


I’ve Been Away January 28, 2010

Filed under: Blog Parties,Explanations,Organization — alwayswithme @ 10:29 am
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I’ve been so busy with LIFE that I had stepped away from my blog and reading blogs in general.  I’ve just recently started reading favorites again which, of course, leads to finding new favorites and I am loving it although it does eat into my time for personal Bible study, personal prayer, housework, and crafting.  I feel, however, that I am being enriched in so many ways by “meeting” such cool people via their blogs.  Something I would, in no way, have time for IRL. 

So, I’ve been subscribing to blogs via Google Reader – please everyone get this subscription tool!  I’ve also used the Press This feature to link to posts that have impacted me in one way or the other.  Right now, they look pretty bland and I’ll have to figure out some way to liven them up, however things are being placed in one place which is one of the main purposes for my blog.

Anyway, this works for me right now and I am thrilled to be back.


Seven Quick Takes September 10, 2009

Filed under: Blog Parties,Dates to remember — alwayswithme @ 5:35 pm
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1.  I am 51 years old and my youngest son is 11.  We both went to our first political rally on Saturday.  It was held at Theis Park in KCMO.  We couldn’t get there until it was almost over, but we had a great time and met some good people.  I’m excited at the candidate running against Dennis Moore.  Her name is Patricia Lightner.  I’ve also been contacted by the Kansas City Tea Party reference a conference call for tomorrow night.

2.  My husband and I pushed back at our school and school district reference the curriculum the Department of Education wanted the school to use surrounding the president’s speech.  We were polite and respectful but I am sure the school feels like we are so close to the right edge we will fall off.  Oh well.

The school district ended up saying show the video (fine) don’t do the curriculum (fantastic).  I showed up at school to watch the video with my son and it was so soooo “chilly” in the normally “warm” school.  Oh well.

3.  I had a Premier Jewelry party a week or so ago and got my jewelry  on Wednesday.  So totally cool.  If you haven’t had one before, go for it.  The hostess plan is great and the jewlery is really pretty.

4.  My sister’s MS episode continues to drag on.   What a cruel disease; what a brave sister.  I learned yesterday that she is going to start the process to get on disability.   She so didn’t want to have to do this yet.  Her goal was to make it 20 years at her job but it looks like 19 is it. 

5.  Chili’s Restaurant is having a month long promotion for St. Jude’s Childrens Hospital.  On September 28th, the entire corporation is donating their profits to the hospital.  At some restaurants, the wait staff is donating their tips that day.  I’d encourage everyone to visit Chili’s this month, color a pepper and donate some money to St. Jude’s – they print you a receipt right there at the restaurant!   If you can make it to the restaurant on the 28th, consider doing it.

6.  I got an e-mail from a Catholic friend and leader of our rosary group reference a postcard campaign blogger Katy at freedombites has suggested.  I think it is a great idea and am passing it on for you to do with as you like.

7.  Today is September 11th, eight years later.  God bless America, God bless the souls on board and God bless their families.

For more quick takes visit Jen at Conversion Diary


Ideas I Found From WWFM September 9, 2009

Filed under: Blog Parties,Books — alwayswithme @ 10:09 am
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A possible idea for Aunt Kathleen

The whole darn website, holy cow!

Getting up early this blogger is Catholic and regnum christi.  I need to read more on her blog.

A fun, happy video


What One Person Can Do

Filed under: Blog Parties — alwayswithme @ 9:17 am
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A Texas blogger name Katy who blogs at freedombites has come up with this idea.  I received it in an e-mail today.  It is not too late to express your opinion to your representatives, etc.  about anything.  Whether you agree with the conservative viewpoint or not, you probably have an opinion about they way government is run.  This includes local, state and federal.  Consider doing what Katy suggests.  This is what works for me.  Katy has some interesting and education information on her website so stick around and read it.

“I believe that the majority of Americans are good, hard-working people. For too long we’ve been silent because we were going about our business raising our families and making the country work. Now everything that we’ve worked for all our lives as well as our inalienable rights guaranteed by God and inscribed in the Constitution are being stolen from us by the current Administration and Congress. It’s time to DO something!

We are NOT an angry mob! We are NOT un-American! We just want the government to follow the U.S. Constitution. In our own way way we are doing what the Patriots in 1776 did, fighting to stop a tyrannical Government. I do NOT want anyone to be violent or ugly or disrespectful. What I AM asking is that you do a very simple, easy act that will have a great impact.

Each of you buy six postcards and six postcard stamps (which are 28 cents). Send one to your U.S. Representative and to your two U.S. Senators. If you don’t know their addresses (ours are printed in the daily paper) you can find them at: for your Congressman

and for Senators

Even if your Representative and Senators do not support Obama’s plans for our future, (ours don’t, thankfully) they need to know that we are behind them to give them courage to stand up to the loud hateful voices that the Axis of Tyranny getting ready to unleash.

Also write Obama,Pelosi, and Reid. That uses up the six postcards. 

Their addresses are below:

President Barack Obama
1600 Pennsylvania Ave
Washington DC 20500

Speaker Nancy Pelosi
235 Cannon House Office Building
Washington DC 20515

Senator Harry Reid
522 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington DC 20510

Keep it short and simple (a requirement on a post card) but don’t delay! They will soon be back in session after Labor Day, so mail it between August 31 and September 4 so you can FLOOD THEIR OFFICES with a Tsunami of mail!  Snail mail makes a huge impact on elected officials, but letters take too long since the anthrax scare in 2001. They go through a quarantine of several weeks.  Postcards are faster and cheaper to mail, too!

God Bless America

Katy Jones
Kerrville, Texas”


Small Successes April 16, 2009

Filed under: Blog Parties — alwayswithme @ 10:08 pm

“It’s important for moms to recognize that all the small successes in our days can add up to one big triumph. So on Thursday of each week, we do exactly that.”

1.  I did not gain weight this week.

2.  I tried a new vegetable – kale this week and will likely have it again.  My son liked it too.

3.  I started my research on flowers for the front flower bed this year – going to go with mostly regional friendly flowers.

For other small successes head here.


Seven Quick Takes

Filed under: Blog Parties,DS, The Younger,Family — alwayswithme @ 9:51 pm

Seven Quick Takes  is hosted here

My quick takes for the week are:

1.  Roasted veggies cut in bite size pieces are delicious – just ask my 10 year old.  He actually apologized for eating so many vegetables!

2.  I didn’t get to go to a TEA party but I am glad they were held.  It is good to know there are others out there who are against taxing our children into poverty.

3.  I love spring time.  Everything so fresh and green.

4.  Playing BUNCO with a group of girlfriends is great fun.

5.  Going to a jewelry party with a group of more girlfriends is great, great fun.

6.  I am so glad we did not owe more taxes this year.  I don’t know what we would have done.

7.  I watched my son practice tennis on Wednesday.  He got the opportunity to volley with an older boy who is really good.  There was such a peaceful rhythm to it and he was clearly enjoying the heck out of it.