Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Grocery List

I like systems.  I like organization.  I am a bit type A that way.  I think it has something to do with being a first born.

Anyway, today I am sharing my grocery list with you.  I print off a few of these at a time and put them on a clip board which hangs next to my kitchen sink.  Anytime I notice that I am running low on something I mark that item on this list so I make sure to get it the next time I go to the store. Right before I go to the store, I look over the list and make sure there isn't something that I forgot to mark.  There is another column to mark as I put things in the cart.

This list works for me.  Everything is organized so that when I am in the dairy section at the store, I get everything in that section (it keeps me from criss crossing the store a bunch of times), and I normally get home with everything we need.

A Year of Dates

I love going on dates!  I like flirting, giggling, and holding hands.  I like carefree fun.

I also have 5 kids.  My job is the kids and the house.  The work is never ending and I have a hard time compartmentalizing my life.  If the house is a disaster, I can't relax or even think about stopping.  We can schedule a date, but I normally end up spending my whole day running around cleaning and I never get around to making a plan for something interesting to do on our date.  By the time we leave the house, our dates end up being dinner and a walk....which is fun, but not really memory making fun.

So, I sat down for a few hours this week.  I scoured the internet for date night ideas.  I picked some that were good for at home after the kids go to bed.  A few that required reservations to be made and ahead of time, and a bunch that could happen whenever we get a chance to get out, just the two of us.

I made 43 different date ideas, typed them up on post cards and stuffed each card in it's own envelope.  Now whenever we get to have date night, we can just walk out the door and have an adventure!  I am super excited about making some fun memories together this next year.

I am guessing that I am not the only wife out there looking for some fun new date night idea.  So, I would like to share my post cards with you.

Happy Dating!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Summer Days

Summer can be a bit brutal on a Stay At Home Mom.  No matter how much you adore your kids, the lack of routine and constant togetherness can drive mamas and kids crazy.  So, this summer, I decided to try something.  Now, we haven't been super awesome at sticking to the agenda, but the days that we do are so much more pleasant.

Here is our Summer Daily Agenda:


Get Dressed
Chore Time
---Free Time---
Fun Activity
---Free Time---


---Free Time---
Reading Time
Music Practice
---Free Time---
Writing Seminar


Family Reading Time (as supper ends)
Computer Time
---Free Time---
PJS and Bed

Science and Fun Activity ideas come from the internet.  My pinterest board is where I keep all my ideas easy to find.

My kids are participating in a summer reading challenge from their school.  For every 15 minutes they spend reading, they get to color in a square and when they fill the whole sheet they get to go to a ice cream party the first week back to school.  Sooo, I let them read whatever they want and we normally read for about 45 minutes (because my kids love reading).  Oh, and I let the big kids read out loud to the little kids.  That lets me clean while they read AND it lets me hear them sound words out so I can help if they get stuck.

Music practice is just that.  My husband has a music degree and has taught lessons for years.  So, the idea was for him to give a lesson to each kid once a week and then let them practice daily for the rest of the week.  We haven't been super awesome at that yet, but my kids are still pretty young so we let them write their own music and give a show when they are done.  

Writing Seminar is flexible based on my kids age/ skill level.  I gave them each a note book to write a story.  Then we are illustrating it.  At the end of the summer I plan to have them type up their story, do a final draft of the illustrations on plain white paper, and then I will have their books bound.  I personally think it will be a fun token to show for their summer.

After supper, we read a chapter out of a classic book.  Right now, we are reading the Hobbit.  We will move on to the Lord of the Rings books and then the Chronicles of Narnia.  Even the two year old asks daddy for the Hobbit as soon as dad finishes his dinner now. 

Computer time at our house is not screen time so much.  It is actually a lesson in computer programming.  Our kids are making their own computer games.  My husband is the one that runs this time and he is using Scratch.  It is free and was put together by MIT.  My kids LOVE IT.

So, there it is.  My plan to survive the summer.  Like I said, the days we stick to it are a lot smoother than the days we are just lazy and do whatever.  And my kids loooove reading the agenda and knowing what is next.  

Best of luck!!!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

One of those days...

I spent the first 2 hours of my morning as a short order cook. My kids have now eaten a 7 course breakfast. Of course, while I was cleaning up the baby, 2 of them filled the toilet with toilet paper and...well lets just say that their bathroom is all clean now. Then I came downstairs to start a load of laundry (I now have a lot of dirty rags), only to slip on a bag that had been left in the middle of the floor. while I was down, I figured I should just tidy up the shoes that were next to, but not in the shoe cubbies. It was at that time that I noticed the ants marching into the garbage can...must be time to take out the garbage. Oh yeah, the laundry still needs to be started. It is almost time to start cooking lunch, but there are no clean dishes (note the 7 course breakfast we had this morning). So I started a load of dishes and wiped down the counter quickly. The cat was following me like a shaddow, and that was when I realized he hadn't been fed yet, so I went to feed the cat, at which time I realized his cat box needed some attention too. Why do we have a cat??? Finally, I headed back to the kitchen to start making lunch. OH DEAR GOODNESS...Make it stop!!!!!

Saturday, June 2, 2012


I may have gone a bit nuts today.  I just posted a bunch of posts on the things that our family makes for ourselves.  The recipes were developed out of a need to cut back on our budget, but I have to say that I can't imagine switching back.  After seeing how fast and easy these things are to make for yourself, not to mention how much money you can save and how much safer a lot of these things are for our children, we are pretty happy with making our own household cleaners.

These are all just the recipes I use, but if you search online, you will find plenty of other options too.  I am so happy that our need pushed me to learn more about the things we were using for our home.

All Purpose Cleaner

I don't have time to mess around with a ton of cleaners at my house.  I want something that will clean up a mess and disinfect.  I want my kids to be able to help me clean without me being afraid they will breath, drink or get it in their eye.

So here is what I use for an all purpose cleaner.

1/2 Tablespoon Baking Soda
1/4 Cup Vinegar
1 Teaspoon Dish Soap

Mix the soap and vinegar together first in the bottle.  I put them in and then swirl the bottle until it is pretty well mixed. Then drop in the Baking Soda.  Yes, this will react for a little while.  Just set it in your sink until it is done bubbling over.  Now, add water until the bottle is almost full.  Swirl it around a bit.  Put the sprayer back on.  Clean away!

Window Cleaner

Have you also found that just because it is blue, doesn't mean it leaves your windows and mirrors clean and streak free?  And while Windex is better than most brands, I was still never all that impressed.
I have found that I do appreciate this easy cleaner for washing windows and mirrors.  It is also not a bad way to go for cleaning stinky messes up.

1 part water
1 part vinegar

Pour the water and vinegar into a spray bottle.  Put the lid on. Shake it up.  Clean away!