The Rumley Family

Loving Jesus, Loving Life

Before and After

Crystal over at Biblical Womanhood (and Money Saving Mom) does a regular post about making your home a haven. Yesterday, our house was anything but a haven! So, for some reason, I’m going to share some unsightly pictures with you. (I.e. The “before” pictures.) I guess I must feel like making you all feel much better about yourselves – and your housekeeping skills! (For you, Kathy!) 🙂

Notice the trash all over the floor and lid of the trash can. It was take-the-trash-out day yesterday, and we obviously hadn’t quite gotten to that job yet!

And now, the afters! These were actually taken today, because yesterday ran out before I had time to finish cleaning. But it’s done! *Sigh of relief.* Now, does anyone have any tips on how to KEEP it clean with three little people around?

It’s amazing how a messy house will weigh on me, and conversely it’s just uplifting to have a clean home! Now, my goal for the day is to have dinner cooking, the kids happy and clean, and myself presentable before my wonderful, hard-working hubby comes home.

Just call me Lacey Homemaker! (Susie Homemaker is my mother-in-law!) 🙂


  1. You are amazing! When I had the first four children home all the time we NEVER had a clean house. Since then I have learned that you clean as you go. BUT, I didn’t say that I kept up with that rule – just a good thought. You do an amazing job. Half the fun of having a house is messing it up – right?

  2. lol…susie homemaker…you are so funny!

    Wow! Your house looks amazing! I’m befuddled at how to keep it clean too. I’m struggling with only 2 people in a 1 bedroom apartment! You’ve got much more to tangle with. I’m curious to see how I manage in a house. I’ll let you know if I learn anything!

  3. Clean spaces are unstable portions of the universe waiting to suck junk in and restore equilibrium.

  4. my advice…have your husband stay home from work. that’s what i do, and the house looks fabulous! i must admit, he’s cleaner than i am. neat freak. 🙂 i wonder what’s going to happen when we both start working. sigh.

    your house looks wonderful! grace could probably help you out now…but caleb and ava, not so much. it’s alright, they’re super cute in this stage, so the mess is worth it….riiight? 🙂

  5. Hey,Lacey-homemaker, I do believe that YOUR HOME is a haven, messy or clean! Talk to those adorable babies and let them see what happens to our messy hearts and lives if we don’t let Jesus clean it up for us;even messy places can be teaching tools—yes, that’s my story, and I’ sticking to it! On the last note, don’t put TOO much pressure on yourself, June Cleaver, or it’ll make YOU a mess and we can’t have that cuz we love you just the way you are now! 🙂

  6. My wife get stressed when our house gets cluttered. There’s a big difference between dirty and cluttered. Clutter is only couch ddep, but dirty goes to the carpet. 🙂

    I always tell her that living is what clutters a house. Families clutter a house. I’m all for cleaning it up and making it nice again, but a house that is NEVER cluttered isn’t lived in. It’s just a house.

  7. josh and michele

    August 1, 2008 at 11:39 am

    ha! the kitchen pic made me laugh out loud at work…very funny. you’re a supermom 🙂

  8. Lacey – Really for having 3 kids, I didn’t think it was as bad as it could have been. You had no stains on the carpet and nothing spilled, so I think you were doing pretty good 🙂 Good Job, Mom!!

    My suggestion – Like a previous poster said, clutter is ok and I agree that it makes a house looked lived in. But my addition, is that I understand that we don’t always want our houses to be so cluttered. I would suggest to get the kids involved. Grace is definitely old enough and so is Caleb to set them on a task (even if it is doing one specific thing) and having them help. I am sure they would love to have the privilege of helping mommy clean up the mess they helped to create, especially when there is fun/loud music involved and some silly dancing!!

    Have fun with those kiddos!

  9. Ryan and Sandi

    August 2, 2008 at 9:16 am

    Wonderful job! I LOVE the Biblical Womanhood site, and check it out all the time (it’s in my Google Reader!). As a not-yet-mom, but having been a nanny for 9 years, and needing the homes to be clean by the time the parents arrive home, my big tip for having kids help clean is to use their favorite music to your advantage. The last kids I watched loved the soundtrack to Shrek and had the whole thing memorized. (Which I wouldn’t recommend since one song actually curses! Their mother bought it for them…) We would clean for one song, then dance and play for the next. Then clean, then dance. Sometimes the little boy would remember that his favorite song of all was coming next, so he’d clean for 2 songs then dance for his favorite. 🙂
    Thanks for asking Mom about us. We’re really hoping to get to your church soon; it’s a challenge, though, since we are caring for Ryan’s aunt’s 3 children for the next 2 weeks. They go to Calvary’s Special Needs Sunday School and we also need to make it to our ‘home’ church, but we are planning to leave for training in Colorado in just about 3 weeks. It’ll be busy, and some things (maybe even our visit to your church) will have to wait until we return in November. It sounds so far away, but it’s only as distant as the first of May! 🙂
    I love to see your photos and read your posts. Hope to see you soon!

  10. Tim & Andrea

    August 2, 2008 at 6:47 pm

    Way to go Lacey Homemaker! You’re amazing. =)

  11. Lace,
    Thanks for the real life update! I think you’re house looks amazing with three little kiddos running around. Then again, you were always a little bit cleaner than I was 🙂 tehe

  12. Lacey,
    What’s my excuse? I have no kids and my house is much worse than your before pics. Could it be that I work well over 40 hours a week? Maybe if I had little ones running around I would keep it clean for their sake? Someday it will be spick and span. Someday soon I hope since I just started my new job that already seems less stressful than the previous one. I will say that I do feel so much better when all the kitchen counters are cleared off and germ free… it can just make my day! As for advice… looks like you are doing pretty good when you take some time to gather it all up again!! Your home is so nice! Is it still on the market? Just wondering. Talk to you later!!

  13. Lacey
    After 36 years of marriage, here is the best advice I have found regarding stressing over a messy house.
    “Cleaning the house while the children are still growing is like shoveling the walk before it stops snowing.”

    I read that in a book once. I think it was written by Phyllis Diller, one of the great role models of all time. (?!?!?)

    She also gave this advice in the same book: “when the children draw in the dust on your furniture, don’t let them write the date.”


    The point is, do what you can and don’t fret about the rest.

    Stop by my house sometime and you will see I take my own advice! J/K

    (And I’ll try to get Ryan and Sandi to visit church sooner than November!)


  14. OK, Lacey – You didn’t make me feel any better. . . your house wasn’t THAT bad. 🙂 Seriously, though, I appreciate your openness and honesty about our role as mothers!

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