A Sane Woman’s Guide: one more giveaway

Just to prove that perfectly moderately sane women sometimes go a little insane, I submit today’s to-do list– the part that actually got completed (with major help from kids).

–Went to the bank, post office and Home Depot with 5 kids. Returned one item and picked up 15 other items that were all in different corners of the store, many of which required color/style selection, much to the dismay of the bored children (who all had BEGGED to come along, I might add in my defense).

–Fixed two broken closet door latches, and sternly warned children to treat the new hardware more gently.

–Installed a new rod for our shower. Was shocked at how smoothly it slides compared to our old one.

–Supervised an 11 year old as he fertilized the lawn (It would have been easier to do myself, but he knows how to do it now!)

–Primed a double-car garage. We’ve lived here since 1993 and finally decided to paint it– my husband was thrilled to come home and discover this had been done, mostly by our 14 and 17 year old sons.

–Threw out 6 ancient dust-covered houseplants — with only a small pang of regret. It will be soo nice not to have to water plants on that high shelf any more.

–Rinsed out and bleached several hundred plastic seed starter packets. This job was done by my 11 and 13 year old daughters, once I got them set up. Hubby was equally thrilled to see this done, since it is TIME to start our tomato plants!

–I’ve got lots more to do tomorrow– spring fever seems to have bitten my to-do list. However after a week and a day of spring break, I think we’d better also get some math and reading done tomorrow.

How about you? What’s on your to-do list? Anyone who shares an item or two in comments below will be automatically entered into a drawing to win a copy of my book A Sane Woman’s Guide to Raising a Large Family. I’ll be selecting a random winner on Friday morning!


  1. My to do list includes math and geography, a baseball game and then pure torture – shopping for shorts with my 13 year old daughter- anyone want to trade!

  2. Dishes, always dishes. Chicken tortilla casserole for dinner.

    Research for an article I’m writing about the history of a neighborhood in my city.

    Rotate baby’s toys. Play with baby. That doesn’t have to go on the list 🙂

    Other people’s lists make me glad we’re renting–just hearing about scraping, priming, and all yardwork makes me want to crawl back into bed.

  3. Awesome. Kewl. says:

    I must must MUST get a garage sale done! Can barely park a bicycle in there, much less a car! And – ahem – there are boxes and piles of garage-sale-designated-stuff inhabiting said garage since I moved in TWO AND ONE-HALF YEARS AGO. Urgh.

    April is the target month! Wish me luck!!

  4. We have the most horrible storage packed garage in the world. Like every time I see an episode of Clean Sweep….I cringe at the thought of them showing up at my house. I’m afraid they’ll find out I’m for real “white trash”!
    So……that is on my TO DO list! And…..as soon as it gets warm here in Indiana….I’m cleaning it out!

  5. To do: Read all I can about large families. We are a family with 3 daughters right now (and soon) will be adding 4 daughters (a sibling group of 4) through adoption. This book is on my list of must-reads.

  6. 1. Emerge from the dust after the ceiling-fixer guy finishes the ceiling project which has derailed us for the past week.

    2. Attend a phone conference for God’s World News while silently supervising my kids to finish their school work and for pity’s sake, please be quiet so I can hear!

    3. Hopefully take a shower. Hopefully before my seminary class tonight at 6:15.

  7. I love your site! I need to disinfect from sick children, also, I am planting my first ever garden this year and need to prepare and begin the fun!

  8. I get to go to the dentist today…….yippee!! (oh, and this isn’t related to the dentist trip………..but I baked your brownies the other day…….and OH. MY. GRAVY!!! THANK YOU!!)

  9. “Rinsed out and bleached several hundred plastic seed starter packets.”

    What is this??? It sounds like what we need? We have those little bathroom cups and they are starting to collapse 🙂

  10. organize a toy closet
    buy some pea seeds so I can finally plant those peas!

  11. Tanisis R. says:

    I have to go through clothing for 6 kids to see what still fits and what doesn’t. Start shopping for summer clothing. Working our way through the thrift stores first then to the department stores. We have these sliding closet doors that never seem to stay on track that needs fixing. We are getting the kids involved with our spring cleaning from top to bottom. We have therapist and dr. appts scheduled every week for someone. The first place i need to hit is the Laundromat. We need to move so we can do laundry at home. What is there not to do. The list goes on…

  12. 1. Drive to school with insulin pump that son forgot.
    2. Take car in for oil change and blinker bulb replacement; find out I need a $1100 repair.
    3. Realize that today is the deadline for submitting VBS ad to quarterly newspaper; go to church and create one in a hurry.
    4. Stop at Walmart for a few necessities.
    5. Rush home to beat the refrigerator repair man.
    6. Download glucose meters and organize medical records.
    7. Do laundry and dishes.
    8. Pack overnight bags.
    9. Wait for the clothes dryer repair man.
    10. Drive out of state for tomorrow’s six medical appointments.
    11. Relax by the hotel pool; try not to fall asleep by 8:00 p.m.

  13. Do you have posts somewhere about how to start seeds? I have never had any luck with starting seeds indoors and then moving the plants outside. My timing is always off and I always manage to kill them either indoors or once I get them planted. I need help : ).

  14. 1. Fold the 3-day-old laundry

    2. Buy groceries

    3. Call the doctor’s office

    I’ve already gone to the dentist today with a 5wko in tow. Go me!

  15. Mine:

    *continue dividing rhubarb plants…which should triple the size of our rhubarb patch, yumm!
    *mark out spot for our strawberry bed so dh can shovel out the grass.
    *prune raspberry canes and the concord grape arbor.
    *laundry, laundry and more laundry.
    *move the toy area to a less “in the way” corner of the house.
    *run to local discount store to get diapers, dish soap, etc.
    *make rolls for dinner.

    That’s the “official” list, to be done around schooling, naps, diaper changes, housework, and dinner.

  16. NOT go crazy from the foot of snow we got yesterday.
    Shovel snow.
    Keep the bird feeder filled.
    Maybe start some plants in the kitchen window.

  17. Well, my to-do list starts now. I just finished working for the day and am off for the next few days for “spring break.” (the thought behind that being that I might spend some family time with some family. Except I think they have plans.) So…the list. Well, the master bedroom closet needs to be cleaned out. There’s papers to shred. Grocery shopping. Meal planning. (which should happen before the grocery shopping. We’ll see how that works out.) Driving practice for the teen boy. (Ick.) Uniform shopping for the teen boy. (Um…driving practice is looking better and better.) Some wedding planning for eldest child. The dogs need baths. Then there will be the cleaning of the bathroom after the dogs have their baths. Oh, and I want to mulch and put out some flowers and start my herb garden. And if it stays warm enough, I’ll probably move the lemon and orange trees back outside. (and in a perfect world, there would be a nap or two and a couple of good books thrown in for fun.)

    Enjoy your day!

  18. I wish I had days that were that productive a lot more often. 🙂
    I have to scrub the showers, mop the kitchen and bathroom floors, and help to replace the door that was damaged by my husband and brother-in-law who were wrestling in the hallway (why, we’ll never know…)

  19. The rest of this week’s to do (if I had done this yesterday it would have been much bigger):
    -take care of baby after he gets tubes put in
    -go to BSF
    -encourage hubby to make and put up new curtain rod
    -meet with a girl from church who wants advice
    -start making Resurrection Sunday sunrise service plans

  20. Lets see, today I have to….
    1) drop oldest at school
    2) Drop old clothes at charity shop
    3) choose lighting for the bathroom
    4) buy some colour for the front flower bed
    5) photocopy papers for a meeting next week
    6) attend play date for youngest this afternoon
    7) take oldest swimming after school
    8) pick up husband from work
    9) cook dinner
    10) have a girls night out! Actually just going out for coffee and dessert, but at least it is some time out

  21. The real question is, what’s NOT on my to-do list!!! I guess my top ones, though, are:
    1. Buy spring clothes for myself, my hubby, and our children.
    2. Take the dog to the vet for his (several months overdue) yearly check-up.
    3. Get rid of all the stacks of laundry and papers sitting in various places around the house.
    But first I think I’ll get the baby in the bed early and take a nice, hot bath : )

  22. Mary — you do fantastic work! With home management, with words, with hearts.
    Standing ovation, wise woman!

    The Fringe Hours To-Do list — just for the slim margin hours after the *real* to-do list is done! :
    ~ Prepare handouts for workshop for homeschool conference this Saturday
    ~ outline workshop for women’s retreat in two weeks
    ~ outline next chapter of book….

    And yes… still get a good night’s sleep every night! ~smile~

    You inspire, Mary!

    Every, every blessing, and again, WARMEST congratulations!
    All’s grace,

  23. Mary — you do fantastic work! With home management, with words, with hearts.
    Standing ovation, wise woman!

    The Fringe Hours To-Do list — just for the slim margin hours after the *real* to-do list is done! :
    ~ Prepare handouts for workshop for homeschool conference this Saturday
    ~ outline workshop for women’s retreat in two weeks
    ~ outline next chapter of book….

    And yes… still get a good night’s sleep every night! ~smile~

    You inspire, Mary!

    Every, every blessing, and again, WARMEST congratulations!
    All’s grace,

  24. Mary — you do fantastic work! With home management, with words, with hearts.
    Standing ovation, wise woman!

    The Fringe Hours To-Do list — just for the slim margin hours after the *real* to-do list is done! :
    ~ Prepare handouts for workshop for homeschool conference this Saturday
    ~ outline workshop for women’s retreat in two weeks
    ~ outline next chapter of book….

    And yes… still get a good night’s sleep every night! ~smile~

    You inspire, Mary!

    Every, every blessing, and again, WARMEST congratulations!
    All’s grace,

  25. before bed:

    -wash dishes
    -check seedlings (again)
    -prep brooder for chicks’ arrival tomorrow

  26. The to do list is long, but here are two on the top of mine for tomorrow:

    1. Call the orthodontist to make an appt. for my oldest to get braces.
    2. Find someone who can fix the toilet in our second bathroom.It has been out of working order for over two weeks, and I am tired of having everyone share mine. DP tore it apart, but he cannot put it back together. Time for the pink tools to show up. : )

  27. Jennifer says:

    I’ve been married for nearly a year now and that year mark is looming at me…as in – we’ve been married a year and we still haven’t done X (and X and X). So I’ve tackled a full-length closet in the past few weeks and gone through all of it, photographed and posted dresses to sell on Craigslist, created a new filing system for important papers in 2009, and sorted through more boxes for organization/reducing. What’s left? Oh, where do I begin? Finish going through my husband’s clothes (with his help) to give the ones he doesn’t wear away, post the rest of my items to sell and put the rest in my mom’s garage sale, tackle our study room in our apartment to put it in order for the first time, and many projects I can’t name!

  28. Well…today I homeschooled 4 little ones, folded laundry, made chicken/asparagus/rice for dinner, took one to karate, read….that’s about it…a slow day around here. Thanks for your inspiration!

  29. it is tiring just reading all those lists, I have to get ready for a visit from my Dad, his first trip to Oz from the UK, his first big trip without my dear Mum, the builder wants to come in and finish the work he did creating a new spare room, the day after dad arrives from a longhaul flight, so I guess I am also getting youngest sons room ready for Dad to stay in for a day or so, house needs a good tidy, daughters bedroom is better than usual since we started a reward chart, but needs a few things removing so she can see more of the floor ;o) baby bunnies need feeding and cuddling, tea needs to be drunk, mostly I need to stop reading blogs and get on with the rest of my day as I have to be at work in and hour and a half. ooops


  30. Yay – a contest for people who don’t blog!

    My to do list for tonight:
    -sweep the living room
    -clean the kitchen
    -edit the staff guide for the program for foster kids that I run
    -send a few emails
    -continue reading a book about childhood trauma

    Fun stuff – going to go get started.

  31. Paperwork, laundry, post office, dishes x 3, school work supervision, taxi duty…..all the regular stuff. I do need to get to the spring cleaning list though.

  32. Jennifer — the seed starting packets are available in seed catalogs by mail order. You can also save seed packets from plants that you buy– you know, 6-packs of petunias or whatever.

  33. Tina in IN says:

    okay to do list…ugh I hate these things, it never seems to be getting done quick enough..in no particular order:

    1, kill weeds off of garden area, get it tilled (got a friend bringing a tractor)
    2, finish cleaning up bank areas
    3, build bridge to other side of land
    4, get chicken coop ready before they get here (expected delivery date is may 10th)
    5, get through school stuff, no spring break due to illnesses earlier in year and being behind
    6, clean the camper, inside and out
    7, wash the big dogs, bring in, move microwave stand to make room for crates, groom small dogs (german shepherds and shih’tzu’s)
    8, finish baby blanket, by easter baby shower
    9, make shirt for son, been putting off for months
    10, finish dress for daughter, all left is straps and hem
    11, finally wash the new sheets for my bed! Keep waiting to get laundry caught up
    12, put up clothes line
    13, move whirlpool pool we were given to our house..(YEAH!) and get level
    14…..oh man there is so much more, paint barns, burn burn piles, cut more weeds to make trails, etc…all in Gods time, never in mine…but there is tons and tons more…

  34. Hmmm…my list is pretty long.

    1)Switch out our clothes from winter to spring attire (I’m completely ignoring the fact that it SNOWED today. Denial is my friend).

    2)Write out the birth story of my now two month old daughter (Obviously right on top of things…)

    Thanks for the giveaway opportunity!

  35. I need a to-do list to get through my to-do list! My biggest project looming is finishing my step-daughters picture books. She graduates in 4 weeks and I’ve gotten through about the first 6 months of her life. I definitely need this book to help me become more sane!

  36. the Zookeeper says:

    Go to the library and return books before we get charged for overdues!
    Go to grocery store.
    Put button back on my favourite pants so I can wear them again!
    Make sure the kids actually do some school today (homeschool)
    Laundry, dinner, dishes, vacuum… oh boy.. I’ll stop!
    I’d love to read your book!! Love your site. thanks for the opportunity.

  37. 1. Driver’s Ed
    2. Make dentists appts. for me and 4 kids
    3. Send out bday cards
    4. Stain front door
    5. Research missions trip for dd

  38. Debbi Busack says:

    1) Try to win Mary’s book.
    2) Pray I’ll win Mary’s book.
    3) Search couch cushions for $$ in case I don’t win Mary’s book.

  39. My to do list is relatively short, but seriously yucky!!!!!!!

    1 – prepare tax return

  40. Unpacking boxes, smaller house means more creativity.
    Loving on my kids.
    Cleaning up screened porch and moving all the furniture back in.

  41. As a time challenged mother of 6, I find the number one thing on my list is always

    1.Focus on the task at hand, otherwise a million things distract me.

    But for today my list was

    Take the youngest 2 with me to get the emissions testing done on the van.

    Haircuts for me and the 5 year old

    Shop for Snacks for my husband and 9 year olds road trip to Utah

    Get my 11 year old ready for 5th grade camp tomorrow

    Rearrange the furniture in 4th child’s room so that it is easier to make the bed.

    Laundry for all those leaving on a trip

    Give the 8 month old a bath for the second time today because she threw up all over herself.

    Go visit a lady I go to church with.

    Monitor 9 year old’s efforts to finally get her room clean.

    Make bread

    I’m tired just reading my own list!

  42. Tomorrow’s to do list includes getting our boys ready for pinewood derby – and ourselves as leader ready too! And, finding my 2nd grader a new math book as he is beyond his current book. 🙂 Also, trying to convince 5 year old to finish his spelling words for one day of this week.

  43. Mary Rose says:

    I think that it will be good for me to write this all down and maybe I will get a few things on the list done!
    Let’s See….
    1. Open suitcases that arrived delayed from Ethiopia. Deal with it.
    2. Call husband that is still on the way home from Ethiopia with son 17 and new daughters 11 and 13. Pray they arrive in the states.
    3. Get 8 year old to school.
    4. Put 3 and 4 year old on bus for pre-school.
    5. Get t he dogs from where they were boarded.
    6.Write excuses for 14 and 16 year olds to get back into school after being in Ethiopia.
    7. Make sure college son was able to get his luggage from the airline transport folks.
    8.Hope husbands work place will give me his check, so I can:
    9. Pay bills: it is the first of the month!
    10. Call dad and make sure he turns in the checks for his bills that I gave him.
    11. Read a lovely blog by a mom with as many blessings as I have!

  44. – 2 loads of laundry, new sheets on bed
    – Pick up and drop off friends at the bus station.
    – make monthly trip to far away grocery store only to find it under construction but still open – yeah, that was easy.
    – update bank accounts online.
    – write up homeschool order for next year
    – check with the team sending the homeschool order to get the details of how to get it here.
    – update financial statement for March
    – back to the bank to make transfer to wheat flour seller
    – muck out mulch pile, water the grass
    – prepare list for handyman coming tomorrow.
    – bike ride with 4 yr old.
    – make hummus for dinner

    Now I’m feeling a bit better about myself. I did do something today.

  45. Most of my time is spent taking care of our two year old and 6 month old sons. All the feeding, changing, playing … etc that come with that. Making a grocery list for Friday and figuring out meals.

  46. I have got to do laundry. I also need to rehang the bathroom mirror and towel hook since I repainted.

  47. In my endless ambition:

    Pick up kitchen table
    Go for a walk
    Clean guinea pig cage (if baby naps)
    Make and eat lunch
    Many instances of feed the baby
    Make dinner
    Eat two healthy snacks
    Um… maybe vacuum.
    Put away dishes.
    Do some laundry.

  48. my list is huge, but with a baby it is rarely getting done.
    -clean out garage
    -figure out how to start a garden and how to protectit from the bear and deer
    -clean out kids rooms and make a system that will keep it tidy
    -organize baby clothes
    -make menu for month of April
    -review changing a tire ( I realized last week that I have only changed a tire once as a teen and if I get stuck I want to know how)
    -enjoy being outside with my kids

  49. To Do List:
    1. Dishes
    2. School with kids (homeschool)
    3. Lunch for kids
    4. MRI on my shoulder
    5. laundry
    6. laundry
    7. laundry
    8. supper

    and the list goes on and on… 🙂

    I love being at home with my family!

  50. To Do List:
    1) school with kiddos
    2) baby sit 2 year old
    3) Laundry
    4) Music Lessons
    5) Library
    6) More Laundry
    7) Strip beds
    8) Church tonight

    (as well as all of the other little things that have to be done each day!)