30 June 2011

My House Rules

I hope after you read the following 12 rules that we uphold in our home that you get a better sense of who I am and what we stand for as a family.  Every house has rules, whether stated or not, there are unwritten rules and mottos we live by.  I just decided to really think about ours and lay them out here, so one day we can look back and smile and maybe my kids can tease me about a few of them (all in good fun of course).  Every home maker has a set of standards that she lives by to keep herself sane and she molds her children by the way she shows them how much she loves them by all the ways she serves and is willing to sacrifice for those she loves.  If you haven't ever thought about your house rules, take ten minutes today to jot some down and either share them with your spouse or ask your kids what they think they are.  It'll be for a good little discussion for sure!  And I bet some of them you say often and others are just understood.  Families and households are like that.  But aren't they just wonderful?

Rule 1. Many hands make light work!  Isn't this so true?  I found myself teaching chores to Julia even before Mark was born.  She was 17 months old and putting her clothes in the hamper and helping me with the laundry in the washer!  Kids love to help and they should be an intricate part of our daily chore life.  How else will they learn to respect the home they live in and responsibility?

2. Work hard at whatever you do!  Whether it's setting the table, writing a paper, your career, or your ministry.  Whatever task is before you give it all you got!  Always do your best!  When people see how much you give of yourself your enthusiasm and work ethic will be contagious, I promise!

3. Before leaving the house the beds are made and the kitchen sink is empty.  I don't know where this came from, but it's just how we function.  I can't leave the house without those things done!  And I can't prep a meal or cook a meal in a dirty kitchen.  Counters and sink must be cleared!  Thank goodness for a spouse who agrees!

4. Everyone, big and small can put dirty clothes in their hamper.  Case closed.  It makes life easier for mommy and it teaches everyone responsibility and neatness!

5. First words when you wake up should be SWEET!  For example, "Good Morning, Mommy!"  I constantly remind my children that our first words upon waking up should not be filled with demands, like, "I'm hungry! Or Where's my milk? Or Can I wear this skirt today?"  Our first words should be loving and respectful.

6. There's never a reason to be unkind.  Never.

7. Use your words, whining will get you nowhere!  Have you ever heard an adult whine, and you wondered, why didn't their parents teach them not to whine?  Yes, it's a part of home training.  Don't whine.

8. Brush your teeth before bed.  And don't forget to dental floss, or as Mark calls it: Foo Foss! 

9.  Everything has a place, so please put your toys, clothes, books, and what have you away.

10. We don't leave the table until EVERYONE is done eating.  And even when everyone is done eating, there should always be something to stick around to talk about.  Family time is really important to us.  Even if it is practicing what verse we learned for the day, or talking about what books we read or things we learned, sharing our day is important.  And staying at the table proves that each person is valuable.  This has to be taught young.  And sometimes you have to make it really fun to keep everyone willing to stick around, so mom and dad have to be FUN!!!

11. When you get something new, whether it be a trinket or a new dress, prepare to give something away to someone who needs it!  John used to make me do this when I would come home from shopping, and it really got me to thinking if I wasn't willing to part with anything in my closet perhaps I didn't even need to shop!  Generosity is taught!  Teach your little people to enjoy giving things away and sharing.  Make it special.  We choose toys that we are done playing with to bring to Good Will and we drop it off as a family.  It also helps me to keep our closet clutter to a minimum since I have to find things to donate or give away.  And I find the more you bless others, God continues to provide and bless you!

12. "What can I get you?"  These simple 5 words make other people feel loved and important.  It shows your family and your guests you are here to meet their needs and you want to make them happy!

"Is anybody happier because you passed his way?"

"Does anyone remember that you spoke to him today?"

Spend your life doing things that will last FOREVER.

Invest in people, take time to enjoy the life God has blessed you with.  We sometimes forget that people won't remember what we wore, or how clean our house was, but they will remember if we are loving, kind, and available.  I love a neat home, but I'd much rather a home filled with lots of love!!!

Excuse me while I go hug my hubby!


  1. Your words are inspiring! I love your rules :)

  2. I love your rules too, but especially because I see how you live them out....this IS the way your household is run. And all of you, including your children, are gifted at hospitality. Your kindness, generosity, and sensitivity makes those who spend time with you feel loved. xoxo C

  3. This is so lovely. I have very similiar house rules for my children aged 4 and 2. I think these simple rules are so important.


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