Saturday, August 30, 2014

Cleaning Inspiration

Happy Saturday!

What's on your agenda for this holiday weekend?  

I'm looking for a fun little mix of work and play.  As in, today I will work and hopefully Monday we will play.  I've got a list of projects a mile long.  Most of my family members are going in different directions today.  It won't do me any good to write out honey-do lists as not many of my honeys are going to be around. It's a busy season of life where I am.  I bet it is where you live too.  

I heard someone talking just yesterday about how hard it is to keep everyone's schedule straight.  When school starts so do a lot of other, music lessons, AWANA, etc.  Kids take gymnastics, participate in clubs, and so much more.  The mom I heard talking said her children had even missed a few things because she was having trouble keeping everyone and everything on track.  Her comments got me thinking and I've started working on a post with tips to help schedule your family.  I will try to have that up in a couple of days.  

There is not enough coffee in all the world to help me today.  I slept a whopping four hours last night.  Which brings me to my next question - How's the Bedtime Challenge going for you?  I'm not sure if anyone (other than me) is working on it.  I dropped the whole thing when my honey was in the hospital and I left you hanging.  I'm sorry about that but I suppose you understand.  My blog took a backseat when my honey's life was in peril.  If you are still interested, I'd like to know how you are making progress in getting to bed earlier.  I'm not, (so far), but hope to in the coming days.  I do have a really neat prize to give away if anyone wants to pick back up on the Bedtime Challenge.  Your comments serve as entries into the drawing.  

As for me not sleeping last night, that comes from a long list of the "cons" of my life.  I'm speaking of pros and cons.  Let me show you what I mean - 

PRO:  I made it to church on time Wednesday night.  Not just on time, early!  I got to see a friend who just had a new baby (she's precious!).
CON:  Seconds after my friend walked in with her new baby our youngest threw up in the floor.  Vomit literally landed next to the baby carrier that had just been put down.  We went home.

PRO:  Our sweet Pastor gave one of our sons a set of golf clubs.
CON:  Said son promptly busted out an entire window of our neighbor's house with a golf ball.

PRO:  We've been blessed with six precious children.
CON:  Raising six children is very hard work.

PRO:  Of our six children, four are male.  All of those males are adolescent age.
CON:  Adolescence is tough! (x 4) 

PRO:  We have indoor plumbing.
CON:  Cleaning boy bathrooms is about to kill me.  (and my cleaning comes after theirs!)

PRO:  We are not naked.
CON:  Doing the laundry for eight people is keeping me up half the night.  

There.  You get the idea now.  :)

My to-do list is calling me, the children are too.  A lot.  I will leave you with a little link for cleaning inspiration.  I liked it and thought you might also.  It inspired me - for a few minutes.  (Perhaps it will not wear off so quickly on you.)

May your weekend be cozy and blessed!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

50 Days of Home School

Have you started school yet?  I made the executive decision to start my high schoolers but let my others wait until after Labor Day.  I needed just a bit more time to get organized.  After our family's summer of doctors, surgeries, and even a hospital stay, I wasn't quite ready to jump into school when I thought I would be.  My plan to start during Shark Week got all busted up when my husband developed a post surgery infection.

I have always preferred to start after Labor Day - that just makes the most sense for us - but since I have a senior this year, and graduation is in May, I kept telling myself we needed to start earlier.  Finally I realized he needed to start earlier, not necessarily all of us.  Duh.  :)

It's remarkable, the peace (and productivity) that comes from giving yourself the space you need - especially calendar space.  With this one additional week I've been able to get our school closet organized, finish the paperwork for our umbrella school, order some of the books the kids need, help our oldest get going with college, practice our new schedule, finish reading our summer book to the kids, entertain company three different times, catch up the laundry, and work on some projects around the house.  We will be in a much better place when we start school next week rather than if I had pushed and tried to start sooner.  (Plus the kids have spent their time visiting the library, reading, coloring and making art projects, doing some math practice tests, working on stuff for co-op, and learning verses for AWANA - most people would call that school anyhow.)

I wrote this sample of schooling a while back and I thought it might be useful to you.  You are welcome to it and can tweak it however you want.  There may be things your children already know or things they are not quite ready for.  Use it in a way that fits your children and your school.  I hope you enjoy it.

50 Days of Home School
  1. Teach your children the difference between then and than.
  2. Show your children how to write a thank you note.  Choose someone to thank and put it in the mail.
  3. Pick a passage of scripture to memorize (large or small).  Begin learning it with your children.
  4. Have the children draw self portraits.  Frame them and hang them in your home.
  5. Bake up something fun in the kitchen.  Have the children double the ingredients for fraction practice.
  6. Have the children learn The Pledge of Allegiance.
  7. Begin reading The Boxcar Children.
  8. Teach your children about to, too, and two.
  9. Choose an insect and learn all about it.
  10. Go on a run/walk with your kids today.  Drink lots of water when you get back home.
  11. Teach your children the correct way to set a table.
  12. Practice math facts today (addition, subtraction, multiplication, division).
  13. Have the children pay for their breakfast, lunch, and dinner using play money.
  14. Learn all about the Pilgrims.  Read a book, make a craft, etc.
  15. Teach your children about they're, there, and their.
  16. Visit a museum.  Have your children journal about something new they learned.
  17. Have a Spelling Bee (with prizes).
  18. Complete a jigsaw puzzle.
  19. Have your children write a one page essay on what they want to be when they grown up.
  20. Learn about the life cycle of a frog.  Get some tadpoles if you can.
  21. Teach your children what a noun is, and a verb, and an adverb and an adjective.
  22. Make sure your children can correctly write their full name, address and phone number.
  23. Talk about Stranger Danger and come up with a special code word today.
  24. Choose a President and learn all about him.
  25. Read a book about a missionary.  Write letters to a missionary also. 
  26. Visit a zoo.  Have kids journal about what they saw and heard (and smelled). 
  27. Start memorizing Periodic Table of the Elements with your children.  It's fun!
  28. Have a tea party and practice table manners.  (No elbows or talking with food in your mouth!)
  29. Learn the names of the planets.
  30. Plan and practice for a Family Talent Show.  Send out invitations if you'd like.
  31. Paint pet rocks.
  32. Teach your children about your and you're.  (You're welcome!)
  33. Practice telling time with an analog clock.
  34. Visit a nursing home.  Show love and compassion to the older folks there.  Bring smiles!
  35. Begin reading Heidi.
  36. Have the children make up a Math test for you to take.  They have to grade it too.
  37. Read the story of Creation in the Bible.  Make creation posters.  
  38. Choose a country and learn all about it today.  (People, food, clothing, customs, etc.)
  39. Visit the Fire Department.  Go home and study all about fire safety.
  40. Have the children write stories to read aloud after dinner.  Extra credit for illustrations!
  41. Schedule a cleaning at the dental office and learn about teeth today.
  42. Hike.  Have the children write about what they see when you reach your destination.
  43. Teach your children an old hymn.  Together find out all you can about the author.
  44. Begin reading Where the Red Fern Grows.
  45. Study how Christmas is celebrated in different countries.
  46. For today, put together kits to give to the people at stoplights and gas stations asking for help.
  47. Spend the day outside with a magnifying glass.  Have the children journal about each thing they observe.
  48. Have your children learn The Star Spangled Banner.
  49. Bake muffins, share some with a neighbor, and read If You Give a Moose a Muffin.
  50. Visit a Recycling Center.  Help the children set up a recycling station at home.
If you have any questions about my 50 Days feel free to ask.  I will be happy to help you in any way I can.  This is part one of three.  I will post another one in a month or so.  If you follow along you will have 150 days of homeschooling taken care of.  The only request I have is if you use this will you let me know?  (And if possible share it with someone - thanks!!)

Have a cozy home school year!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Fall Schedule 2014

It's Monday!  Yay!!

How was your weekend?  

Ours was wonderful!  If you don't count me breaking my crown and stuff like that.  (My $1500 crown ended up in my mouth in a different location than my dentist planned for it to be - but that's another story.)

Remember when I told you on Thursday we had family from Virginia come for a visit?  Well, we had another family member come for a visit on Saturday.  Three family members in one week- such a blessing!  We don't live anywhere close to our extended family so them stopping by for a visit is not an every day thing, but this past week it was an every other day thing!  We were so happy to see the ones we love so much.  I'm still smiling about it!  

Today, I've got our Fall schedule to show you.  It's pretty much finished except for a tiny bit of tweaking that may come when a couple of things are added.  

I've posted several schedules over the years.  We usually make one in the Fall (when we start school) and a new one for Summer.  I know everyone feels differently about scheduling.  Some mamas don't like a strict schedule, and I can understand that, but for me, there is absolutely no way I would get everything done that has to be done if I did not schedule.  We could talk for weeks about doing something but if it doesn't have a slot on the schedule it won't happen. 

Our kids are Colin (19), Ethan (17), Nicholas (15), Eli (12), Olivia (8), and Clare (3).  I do not schedule our oldest anymore.  He has a job and is taking college classes.  He's in charge of his own time now and actually does a great job with that.  Obviously, I don't schedule my honey's time either.  He works 55 to 60 hours per week at his job and I simply put things on the schedule as he requests.  My job is scheduling the remaining six of us.  

Here's the schedule I've got so far.  I'm still waiting to hear about soccer practices and piano lessons.

6:00   Mom shower, dress, make bed, start laundry, Bible time
7:30   Kids up, dress, make beds, chores
8:00   Breakfast, Read Psalms aloud while children eat
8:30   Clean up breakfast (Ethan), finish up chores, move laundry
9:00   Math
10:00 Writing (IEW)
11:00 Language Arts
12:00 Lunch
1:00   History/Science younger kids, Nic - Biology, Ethan - Personal Finance
2:00   Read aloud (Clare - nap) 
3:00   Rest/Read time younger kids,  Nic - World History, Ethan - Economics
4:00   Play time (kids), Mom - laundry/other chores
5:00   Mom - dinner prep, kids play (Eli/Olivia - set the table)
6:00   Dinner 
7:00   Dinner clean-up (Nic), younger kids - baths
7:30   Family Bible time
9:00   Bedtime (kids), parent time!!
11:00 Bedtime Mom and Dad

Every other Tuesday 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m. we have our home school co-op,  Thursday at 11 a.m. - guitar lessons, Wednesday nights we have AWANA.  We're still waiting to hear which nights will be soccer practice and which day we will have piano. 

Shoot me any questions you may have - email ( or comment below.  I'd love to know about your schedule too.  Share it with me if you are so inclined.  :)

Have a happy, cozy Monday!!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Some Monkeys and a Crab

Today my little monkeys made Monkey Bread.

Mmmm mmm good!!

We had family from Virginia come for a visit.  Oh what a blessing that was!  I cut up some fruit to go with the girls' Monkey Bread and made a pot of coffee (and lemonade for the kids).  It was a special time and it was good for my heart!  A gift from God, for me, today. 

God is so good to us - things seen and unseen!  Just a little while ago we found Olivia's crab who had been MIA.  This was another blessing from our Lord.  That little crab, while not important to me, is a great big deal to our eight year old.  She brought him home from vacation a few weeks back. 

Last night as we were heading out the door for AWANA a big storm was picking up - heavy rain, strong winds, thunder and lightning.  Somehow our friend, Sebastian, got left out on the deck in his box without a lid.  When my honey got home he noticed the deck had been turned inside out in the storm.  The furniture was blown around and things were askew.  As he was picking up and putting back he found the crab's box, blown over, upside down.  He flipped it over.  No Sebastian!  He searched for a long time.  Not wanting to upset our little gal we didn't mention it to her last night.  Our older boys searched under the deck and all around with a flashlight after Olivia had been tucked into bed, unaware.  When no one could find Sebastian we knew we would have to give her the bad news.  

This morning when she woke up, I told her.  I had to.  She recently added to her chore chart "feed Sebastian".  Before I let her get to that part of her checklist I sat her down and told her the bad news.  She cried and cried.  Then, this afternoon as I was doing some cleaning up, I went outside.  Lo and behold there was Sebastian walking through the backyard!  I called for Olivia to come and get him.  She came running and rejoicing.  God is good to us in all things.  In every way, God is good.  It is especially touching today that He brought her crab back to her.  It's a little (maybe to some - unimportant) thing but it sure did lift her spirits (and mine!).  

I'm thankful for God's blessings today.  The great big blessings like my honey's progress and the little ones, like Sebastian.

How has God blessed you today??

(Here's our Monkey Bread recipe if you think your little monkeys might like to try it.)

Very Yummy Monkey Bread
  • 4 tubes (10 each) Buttermilk Biscuits
  • 1 c. white sugar
  • 2 tsp (divided) cinnamon
  • Pecans (optional)
  • 1 1/2 sticks butter
  • 1 c. brown sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Quarter biscuits with scissors.  Mix white sugar and 1 tsp cinnamon and put in plastic bag.  Shake each biscuit in sugar and layer in greased bundt pan with pecans.  Melt butter and add brown sugar and 1 tsp cinnamon.  Pour over biscuits and bake 30 to 40 minutes.  Cool 10 minutes in pan and turn upside down on large platter.  (Just so you know - we use way more cinnamon in ours than what this recipe calls for.  We love cinnamon.  You can add more if you love it like we do.)  

As you can see, I've taken it upon myself to get an early start on Fall.  I've been doing a little decorating around the blog.  I couldn't help myself.  Fall is my most favorite time of year.  If I was going to do some sprucing up around here I figured why not go ahead and add a little pumpkin goodness?!  I'm rarely early for anything.  Consider me early for Autumn.   :)

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

I Have a Dream

I feel like I've forgotten how to blog.  I've lost track of my blog so many times in recent months I'm no longer in my groove.  We've been in the strangest season, and every time I write what I think is my final post about it all, another chapter unfolds.

My husband is right now sitting beside me with his laptop.  He has earphones and is listening to Geoffrey Botkin talk about practical courtship.

Big deal, right?  (No, it really is.)  It's the biggest deal ever.  

There was a time not so many days ago when I began to fear he wouldn't ever be sitting here next to me again. We have just come out of a battle with an infection that scared my socks off.  After his last surgery (on his leg - I think I mentioned it) he developed a post surgical infection.  His doctor prescribed antibiotics.  When the antibiotics didn't work, another doctor doubled the dose and prescribed daily antibiotic shots in the hip along with bed rest.  When he got worse another doctor decided to add a sulfa antibiotic on top of the daily shots and original antibiotic.  As his fever soared and his pain became unbearable he was admitted to the hospital.  MRSA.  

More antibiotics (this time in an iv) and yet two days in and the infectious disease doctor says he's not happy with the progress.  Finally there is improvement and after five days in the hospital he is sent home to recover.  And now, he sits next to me.  Thank you, Lord!  

We've had a good scare.  The kind that makes you forget everything you thought was important and only care about one thing.  The kind of scare you don't soon forget. 

I'm working tirelessly to get life back on track.  There's a span of about two weeks that are a complete blur to me.  

If you feel like hanging around here for just a bit longer I will return to the lighter side of this blog - the recipes and crafts that used to be so fun to chat about.  

In the meantime, I'm chasing my dreams...  

I have a dream.

I have a dream that one day I will get up out of bed on time and not exhausted from too little sleep.

I have a dream that one day everyone in our family will be able to find clean undergarments folded neatly in their drawers.

I have a dream that one day all of our school work will be finished on time, dinner will be on time, and the children will be tucked sweetly in their beds, on time.  

I have a dream that one day I will buy a Sunday paper and I will sit down and read it.  On Sunday.

I have a dream that one day my six children will live in a house that is clean and organized with a smiling mother who combed her hair.

I have a dream that one day our home, as loud and messy as it is right now, will be transformed into an oasis of peace and quiet.  

I have a dream today!  :)

Saturday, August 16, 2014

You probably thought I fell off the face of the earth, didn't you?

I'm still here.  (Barely.)  A wrinkled wad of a mess, but here.

My husband developed a bad infection as a result of his last surgery that landed him in the hospital for a while.  I'm happy to tell you that he is home and recovering well.  Thanks be to our Lord Jesus for the healing in him.

Our world has been turned upside down and inside out, and for right now we have to work on putting it all back together.  I'll just be honest with you - I could use your prayers.

Thanks for checking back here.  I'll be writing soon and filling you in on all the details.  One of these days life is going to settle down and get back to normal.  Or so they tell me. 


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...