Shopping For Time - BOOK CLUB!

Posted by  | Monday, August 18, 2008  at 11:16 AM  
This week's topic is "Balancing Life as a Mom." This is an area that I have been desperately trying to figure out for the past two months since I became a full-time stay at home Mom. I felt pulled in a hundred different directions between taking care of my home and my family. (How in the world did I ever find time to work before?) First I went back to some POH posts on "housekeeping tips." I prayed about how to best manage my house and for some practical ways to do it.

I finally decided that I needed to implement the same organizational strategies that I used in my classroom - just in my home. I am a very visual person and need the accountability of having things written down and scheduled. Otherwise, they just don't get done! I keep a notebook (think lesson plan book for all you teachers out there) for managing our house. Here are the sections that I have:

Schedule: Includes a copy of our (very general) daily schedule and a copy of Adeline's more detailed schedule. These are helpful for when others take care of the kids.

Chores: Includes a copy of my cleaning schedule (chores for each day), checklist of items to clean in each room of the house - otherwise we get dust hanging from ceiling fans and covering our vents...gross.

To do: I write a weekly to do list instead of daily. This way if I have a busy day - I can postpone some of the items to the next day. By the end of the week, I've usually found time to get them all done. I also keep a running list of "projects" I want to try with the kids. Currently includes making crayon shapes from melting old crayons! I also put any paper or forms needed to complete a to do list item (ie. insurance papers that need to be filled out TODAY!)

Grocery: This is where I keep a copy of my grocery list, the sale fliers from the paper, my grocery game lists and my shopping plan for Harris Teeter and CVS.

Forms: This is where I keep extra copies of Will's sticker charts (for potty training and staying in the bed), blank grocery lists, etc. These are files on the computer - but it is nice to have some already printed and ready.

Budget: Our entire budget, plus individual sheets to keep a tally of the categories I spend in. (Grocery, clothes, etc.) I'm considering making this section entirely on my computer. A friend gave me a spreadsheet that she uses to manage their finances. My husband is the one who pays the bills and balances the checkbook, but it is my job to be sure we stay within budget on categores from which I spend!

Info: This includes a copy of our important phone numbers, copies of insurance cards, credit cards, account numbers, social security numbers, etc. We keep copies of all this in a safe as well, but this is for me to have. How many times have I needed an insurance number, but couldn't find my wallet to get the card? Obviously, this information should be kept pretty secure. But since this notebook doesn't leave our house - I'm ok with it.

Addresses: A paper copy of our spreadsheet of addresses.

Gifts: A list of who we plan to buy Christmas/Birthday gifts for. The birthday list also includes their actual birthday - something I am terrible at remembering! I write on it as I find things throughout the year (on sale!) so I don't have to wait until the last minute or wonder what I need to buy. This prevents me from storing (or hiding if its for my family!) something I've bought for a gift and forgetting about it! I also keep lists from years past so we don't gift the same things!!

By keeping these things organized and staying ahead of the game - I feel like I have more time to just spend with my family not worrying about how much is left to get done.

Around the same time I was praying about how to balance my life as a Mom, I read about this book, Shopping For Time. It is written by the authors of the Girl Talk blog - the wife and daughters of CJ Mahaney. When my sister-in-law also mentioned this book to me as one of her favorites, I decided it must be time for me to read it! I was so encouraged by this book and gained so much practical advice. This book is so relevant to balancing life as a Mom and getting our priorities straight! It is based around five tips and to whet your appetite a bit, here are the chapters (it is a very short book - which I need!):

Chapter 1 - Shopping For Time
Chapter 2 - The First Tip: Rise Early (Joining the 5am club)
Chapter 3 - The Second Tip: Sit Still (Sitting at Jesus' Feet)
Chapter 4 - The Third Tip: Sit and Plan (Taking a personal retreat)
Chapter 5 - The Fourth Tip: Consider People (Evaluating Relationships Carefully)
Chapter 6 - The Fifth Tip: Plan to Depend (Being Productive in Daily Life)

It is for these reasons that we are going to use this book for our first ever POH Book Club!

We will spend the month of October discussing the book - in addition to other scheduled topics as normal. To get prepared, go ahead and get a copy of the book and read it! It is such a short (seriously, 90 pages), easy and FUN read - so no reason to procrastinate! Towards the end of September, we'll post more details about how we'll format the book club discussion.

Where to get the book:

You can check your local library - although our library here in Wake County does not have it. They may order it if you ask, but it might take several weeks!

The cheapest and easiest way to get the book is It costs about $10. Tip to get free shipping: If you purchase $25 of eligible items you can get free shipping. You can also get free shipping if you temporarily upgrade your Amazon account to prime. The free shipping has no minimum purchase! When you check out - select the option for upgrade to Amazon Prime and your shipping will be free on this book! (Be sure to go into your Amazon account and cancel the upgrade immediately - or at least before the one month trial is up - otherwise it will charge your credit card the $79 annual fee for the prime service.)

We are really looking forward to trying this out on POH. We hope that you will get excited too and join as we use this book to become better "shoppers of time." Let us know if you plan on participating in the book club!


The Eckerts said...

Awesome tips Christina!

I definitely want to join the book club. What an awesome idea!!!

Shannon said...

#1 Can you come to my house and get us organized? Think "Take Home Chef" or "The Nanny"... but you could be our personal "Take Home Organizer!"

#2 If not, can you post a video of you going through your "lesson plan" book for the home? I just don't even know how to get started on that.

#3 I'm so getting the book!

Thanks for a great post.

Ashley said...

sounds great. i look forward to the discussion. you girls are doing a fab job and i keep thinking of ladies to recommend the blog to!

ChezDeshotels said...


Wow that is awesome I never thought to use like a lesson plan book but I do the same kinda of thing (I love to organize) in our house and every Sunday night I sit down and work on the "plan" I can't wait to get the book!


Christina said...

I do all my planning on Sunday too! The only "chore" for Sunday is to plan the week. I try not to do any laundry or cleaning chores - but I'm not perfect. This Sunday we had to do diaper laundry that I forgot about on Saturday! I've also decided that the crock pot is my favorite thing on Sundays. I'm aiming to do a crock pot recipe every sunday morning so I don't have to worry with dinner after church! We'll see how that goes...

Trey and Cheri said...

Great tips! I'd love to join the book club as well. Looking forward to reading the book and discussing it.

Mallory, Amy & John Mark said...

Hey, I'd love to join!

I also wanted to let you know about Paperback Swap, a great FREE website where you can swap your old books (not just paperback) for new ones- they have a lot of kids books, too! I've gotten a lot of books you guys have recommended from this site, and been able to keep my bookshelves clean at the same time!

Go to my blog and click on the link in the right sidebar!

Christina said...

I love PBS....but I haven't had good luck getting rid of our books! I have had at least 10 on there for a while and no luck. I think I've shipped one or two maybe?

I guess no one wants my books! I never thought to look there for these such books. Let us know if you find Shopping for Time! I have gotten books for my son...

Great recommendation!

Mallory, Amy & John Mark said...


I think the key to PBS is patience. I know I have some books on there that were snagged instantly, and others that take a LONG time. I keep telling myself that SURELY someone wants this one!

I didn't find Shopping for Time right now, but I did put it on my wish list, so maybe it will be available soon. I recently got A Mother's Heart (Fleming) that you guys recommended during one of the book weeks. Can't wait to read it!

Shannon said...

Okay, I have to tell you... I took someone's advice and ordered the book on Amazon. I did upgrade to a "prime" account, and got free 2-day shipping. I ordered it after 2pm yesterday, and it was on my doorstep at 11am this morning. That's almost instant gratification! :) I just laid the girls down for their nap, and I can't wait to dig into this book!!

The Simple Shepherdess said...

I'm SO doing this!

Curt, Mariah, & Carli Badura said...

I would love some more details of your "lesson plan". I have a 22 month old and am 25 weeks pregnant. I am so tired and have many days where I feel like I only got us dressed and 3 meals in us!

I would love to do the book club!


Mallory, Amy & John Mark said...

I would also love more details of this lesson plan. Could you post a picture of it? What a GREAT idea!

Shannon said...


Oh, and I'm almost finished reading the book.... when does the book club start??? :)

Anonymous said...

For those of you with Prime memberships, here’s a good website for searching for Amazon Prime items:

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