Monday, August 30, 2010

Motivated Monday!!!

I know, I know, I said I wouldn't be posting until next week. Then, I thought, WHY????? That is just continuing my Scarlet pattern of, "I'll start tomorrow." So with company and all, I am going to make some realistic goals for the week. These are baby steps, but none the less, steps toward a healthier life.

My worst fault right now is staying up too late. This complicates every other area of my life. I don't have discipline when I am tired. I am also unmotivated to exercise, play with the kids, cook dinner, have a positive attitude, etc.

The other area I want to work on is exercise. I know that when I start exercising, I will have more energy and feel much better about myself. Even before results start to show, I will just FEEL better, giving me more energy in all other areas.

Now, even as I read this, I am exhausted, desperately wanting a nap, and totally unmotivated. Despite this, I am committing to two realistic baby step goals.

1. Go to bed by 11pm (instead of 1or2am).

2. Exercise at least three times this week.

Okay, I said it!!! Are you willing to jump in with me? Do you want a healthier you? Link up!!! (First just leave a post, and if you know how to do that linky thing, please let me know! hehehe)

Saturday, August 28, 2010

A new healthier me needs to be found!

In May, I finally hit fed up and began eating better. I was (am) WAY over weight, feeling tired all the time, hurting and aching, etc. I felt and still feel 80 years old! I am only 35, though! I have five small children that I need to keep up with and want to enjoy! I have a husband that I want to enjoy! I need ENERGY!!! I little self confidence wouldn't hurt either. Plus, with my genetics, I need to be thinking about my health.

So, in May, I started. I was determined to make it this time! I lost 12 pounds and started feeling much better! Then, we went on a month long summer trip. That was the end. You see, I emotionally eat. So whether stressed, tired, overwhelmed, etc. I look for comfort. I completely intended to get right back on when we returned. An empty kitchen without a meal plan welcomed me home though. So did laundry, school planning, cleaning, reorganizing, etc. Long story short, my bad habits have continued.

Then, just as I was nearing fed up again, I ran across this blog and this blog. Now, I am wanting to start again! Before I get all excited, though, I need to plan. I have no meal plan or schedule in place for this. When will I exercise? School and running the home seem to be taking all of my waking hours. Plus, tomorrow, we will have a family of friends arrive and live with us for 2 weeks! I dont' know if I can start under those circumstances. We will see.

The second blog above was actually the first I saw. She began by simply exercising! Before anything else changed in her life or diet, she just worked in a regular workout routine. This will also be my first goal. I want to workout at least three times a week. She also did it in the evening, which will be difficult for me. She did this though, because she found she wouldn't snack at night when she did. Again, we will see. I don't know yet what the dynamics will be over the next 2 weeks. Hopefully, I will be able to start exercising, but it is possible that I will have to wait. So, this post might be premature. For accountability, though, I will post weekly on my progress. Anyone who would like to link up and share theirs is welcome! I think I will call my check in day, Motivated Mondays! This will count as my post for this week even though it is Sat. night. So, check back in NEXT Monday and let me know how your week has gone!

Go Broncos!!! A testimony of God's love!

I am a coach's wife, so on Friday nights (and sometimes Thurs. or Sat.), you will find the me and the kiddos all decked out in our orange and blue sitting in a football stadium somewhere. We have fun! In fact, this is an area where I can greatly see God's hand in my life. You see, I believe that I am to be my husband's helper, his greatest cheerleader and supporter. I am the one who believes in him, his character, and his abilities the most in all the world and makes sure he knows that I do. This has not always been true, though.

Just two seasons ago, I was a different person when football season came around. I was angry, resentful, suspicious, lonely, selfish, bitter, and so many more horrible words and ways. I was consumed by how hard MY life was when Chris was in football. After all, on his early nights, he gets home around 9pm. On game nights, it's like 2am. I have total responsibility of the house and the kids with no help. I used to lament about being a single mom from August until November (Dec. if they make playoffs). (This always hurt Chris's feelings.) I hated that I thought I was expected to be at games. This meant getting everyone ready and out the door right when I was normally putting them to bed. He works seven days a week, which means that there never is a weekend and I go to church alone. I would just close up and not even try to find time to connect with my husband. Year after year, we would go through this horrible cycle of becoming no more than roommates by the end of the season. Then, it would take a long time into his off season for our relationship to "heal." About the time things were good again, football season would come, and the cycle would continue. It makes me so sad to remember these days. What a waste of time!

As the years rolled on, I knew that this wasn't healthy and I began to pray. I prayed that I would love my husband. I prayed that I would have eyes for only him and that every part of me would need him. I prayed that God would show me again and again Chris's character, and that I would have peace in his love for us. I prayed that God would help me to see life through Chris's eyes instead of just mine. I wanted to appreciate his hard, long days, and see them as a sacrifice that he makes to provide for us. I prayed that I would be thankful that Chris has a job and that it is one that he loves and is good at. I prayed for God to reveal to me ways that I could help Chris, to love Chris, to serve Chris, and to pray for him.

Last season, I noticed that I was not angry. In fact, I was looking forward to the games! I didn't travel during the season like I used to because I didn't want to miss one! We were there cheering Chris and the Broncos on!! We had a GREAT season, and Chris and I never skipped a beat! We were a team and we supported each other.

Tonight was the first game of the season. As the new season begins, I already feel the loneliness creep in because of the long hours apart. I already feel overwhelmed as I teach my children and have a new baby in the mix. This season, though, I have HOPE!!! I know what God can do in my heart! I know how much better life is when I surrender to Him and His desires for me as Chris's wife. So, I continue to pray my prayers. You see, I am still the selfish person that I have always been. It is ONLY with God's grace that my heart can change.

Tonight was so much fun!!! I loved introducing our 8 month old to the excitement of football! I loved seeing his face all lit up with smiles and his little chubby hands clap when everyone else did! I loved the texts between Chris and me. I loved when Chris called me right before the game, excited and wanting to share that excitement with me. This is going to be a great season!!! You know why? Because we have a GREAT GOD!!!

Here are some pictures from tonight!
We unfortunately didn't get the traditional picture with Daddy at the end of the game, because Noah just couldn't last that long. We will try to make it to the end again next time. Maybe a really late nap would work!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Super cheap, but delicious meals...

I need your help! September is going to be a VERY  tight month in our budget. I kind of over spent getting ready for school (oops!). Soooooo, please respond with your favorite really low budget meal. Post the recipe on your blog and then give me the link with your comment! I will compile the recipes into a one month meal plan and post it! All you will have to do is click on the link on the calendar and you will be directed to that person's blog and their recipe!!! This way, when you hit one of those inevitable months, you just need to grab the plan and keep going!!! If you have any tips for eating frugally with a large family, feel free to write those too. I wish I knew how to do the linky thing, but I don't yet, so make sure you leave your address with you comment. THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!

In an attempt to research this, I have to give a shout out to Kimberly at Raising Olives. She has a TON of advice to living on a budget and raising a large family (even though mine isn't that large).

Monday, August 23, 2010


Some have asked how I am organizing my school year. This will be more applicable for the few out there doing exactly what I am doing, but I will share it with you all anyway.

The easy parts are for the older kids. I just have their books on our bookshelf. We do Abeka math K-3 and then will move on to Teaching Textbooks. For now, they each just have their Abeka book up there and grab it at their math time. I have gone through them the night before, grading them. I circle the wrong answers and they know to correct them first before moving on. Also, if I notice a new concept that is going to be introduced, I put a certain colored tab in their book letting them know that they need to come see me before proceeding. For English, we use First Language Lessons 1-3 and then move to Easy Grammar. We also do Writing With Ease and Spelling Power. Our music curriculum is easy to just grab and do the next lesson. I do look over it right before because every once in a while I will need to copy a page off for the kids. For music, I add a SQUILT lesson from Homeschool Success. All these books are on the shelf and easy to just grab and open to the next lesson. No planning needed!!!

Now, for the harder parts. I plan a week or two at a time. I spend the time going online or into my documents that I have already downloaded, print out everything I will need, cut and laminate what needs to be, and put all hand outs in page protectors in the section of MY binder (to be explained soon).

We are doing Exhibition Earth: A Journey Through God's World for Geography this year. I purchased this curriculum from Erica over at Confessions of a Homeschooler. IT IS WONDERFUL!!! Everything you need is there! I don't need a worksheet to plan because it is all there. I just follow her plan for each day. I put everything for one day in one page protector. So, I have each day of the week right there and ready.

For preschool, I first go to Raising Rock Stars Preschool and get everything for the letter we are doing that week. Then, I go to my downloads from Confessions of a Homeschooler and find the letter from her program that I am doing that week. I add her activities to the others. I then plan out which day I want to do what and in what order. I put all the pages for each day together in a page protector. The night before, I get them out and put them in the boxes with what ever supplies are needed. Then, I add activities of my own into the other boxes. (These are stored in my drawers in the classroom.) I use this worksheet from 1+1+1=1 to organize myself.

For Bible, I also go to Raising Rock Stars at 1+1+1=1 and look over her plan for the week. I follow the links given and work out what I want us to do during our time. I print everything I need out, plan it out on this sheet from Mama-Jenn, and then keep it all in page protectors ready to go.

Okay, my binder....This is my LIFE right now. It put our schedule in the front so that I can keep myself on track. Then, I have all the sections that I needed to plan for. Bible, Geography, and Preschool all have a section where my planning sheet is and everything I will need for that week. Here are more pictures than you need, but it goes through my binder.
Our schedule:
This is a month at a glance also from Mama-Jenn, just so I can see what is coming up.
You can see below the dividers for Bible, Preschool, (Letter of the Week), and Geography. The planning sheet is for Bible.
In the preschool section, I have each of the letters of the alphabet already printed out and cut out for our Chicka Chicka Boom Boom tree. Then, I have a divider that says "Letter of the Week." I put my planning sheet for the week in it and put all the activities I will do that week in protectors behind it.
Next comes Geography...

The blogs that play a part in my planning are:

There are actually tons more sites that I end up visiting, but these are the main ones that make up the curriculum that I teach.

How we get it all in...

Many are posting about their schedules and how they get everything in their day. I posted my PLANNED schedule that I wrote up before school began. Now that we have had a week of school, a few things have changed. So, this is more how our day looks now......

We wake up, get breakfast, and do our morning chores. This sometimes takes a little longer than desired. We are NOT a family of morning people. So, the 8am school starting time hasn't actually happened yet. So far, if I really get up and get going, it still seems like 8:30 or 9 (sometimes even 9:30!!) before we begin school.

School begins by me singing "This Is the Day." Everyone hears me and knows to grab their supplies and binder, and then head to our mat. Here, we do the calendar, patterns, days of the week, months, today, yesterday, tomorrow, weather, and place value. We then move straight into Bible time since everyone is together.

Right now in our Bible time, we are studying creation. Today, we began a lapbook. This is just a way to display what we have learned. We use a file folder folded in thirds. Today, we just made the cover. We will add content throughout the week.

Preschool and independent work: About this time, Noah is already fussy. He has been sitting, playing with toys beside me. So, I nurse Noah while I go through our preschool board with Kaiden. Meanwhile, Allison, Ashlynn, and Kevin are rotating through the piano, doing their math, and reading. When Kaiden's preschool board is done, he goes straight to his workboxes. Depending on the day, I may stay with Kaiden one on one. Most days so far have worked this way. Either way, I will be close to him to give direction, and keep him moving and focused.

When I am able, I have Kevin come to me and we do his English and Writing. This is done right there in the room where Kaiden is doing his boxes and Noah is either playing or nursing. Kevin works on his workboxes around the time that he is with me.

IF we have gotten breakfast at an early time, we may break here for a snack. So far, though, we have been eating so late that we just keep going. (Lunch is just around the corner, after all.)

Next we are SUPPOSED to do our Geography and other subject. Today, though, we were so late, that it was lunch time before Kevin was through with his Eng./Writing. So, we started Geo. after lunch. This is not ideal, but we got it in. Today, we began our unit on Asia by studying China. The kids did a craft where they made a dragon out of their hand prints.

As I write this, everyone is in quiet time. I went ahead and sent them there. They needed it and I needed it. It had already gotten pushed back until 2pm! Noah couldn't wait any longer. We were supposed to do our "after lunch chores" but oh well. Most likely now, the mess will just wait for the after dinner chores.

We didn't get music in yet. I still really want to, but it may just get pushed until tomorrow. After quiet time, I will still have English, Writing, and Spelling to do with the girls. Then, it will be time to get dinner ready, chores, baths, and bedtime!
The day goes by so quickly!!

My desire is to do Family Worship right after dinner every night. Right now, we are averaging once a week, which means it has only happened twice. This is a discipline I hope to continue to do and hopefully will become consistent in our home.

Well, that is our day in a nutshell! Day to day varies a little, but we basically stay to this pattern.

To see what others do in their day, visit Heart of the Matter!

To swaddle or not to swaddle...

I am a HUGE fan of swaddling your infant. I learned from my cousin, a wonderful way to swaddle where the baby still has arm movement. I also learned about a wonderful blanket that is so light and airy it even works down here in the Texas heat! I started swaddling Noah right away and he quickly learned that I meant REAL sleep every time he was swaddled. He never had any of the day and night mix up issues that my other 4 had. Here is a picture of him swaddled.
The problem I have run across is that at 8 1/2 months, he still wants to be swaddled or he doesn't sleep. He finally sits up, but HATES his tummy. He doesn't roll over and never even tries to move. I am not completely bothered by this. I am a pretty laid back parent and I realize that it will all happen eventually. I don't worry with comparing him to development charts. On the other hand, I have been tossing around the idea that I am creating this more than it being a personality thing for him. He never has the opportunity to practice movement when he wakes, because he is "tied" down within the swaddle.
Well, today, I nursed him to sleep for his nap and didn't swaddle him. Then, I layed him down in his bed ON HIS TUMMY!!! This has always backfired on me in the past. When I have tried, I have just messed up the nap time. IT WORKED!!! Right now, as I type this, he is sound asleep, on his tummy, in his crib! I am so excited!! Maybe now, he will get that upper body workout he needs as he wakes! Here is the picture of him asleep right now...(yes, I know, I risked a TON for your benefit!) Isn't he sweet!?!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

My first award!

Thank you, Mary, at Homeschool Success for giving me my first award! I appreciate that you take the time to read my blog and I am so glad that you have been blessed by it! I have loved Homeschool Success because it speaks to my music background (as well as my faith). There are great lessons posted and wonderful links to explore. I am using these lessons along with our music curriculum in our home school!

The Sunshine Award asks that I tell you 7 random things about myself and then give 7 other blogs this honor.
7 Random Things:

1. I don't like fish, but I do like fish sticks. The fried fish is also my favorite thing to order at Luby's.
2. If I didn't have the life I do, I would want to sing on stage or in a band.
3. I LOVE making all sorts of charts, lists, and plans, but rarely follow them. (I am getting better at this.)
4. I am not really that much of an animal lover, I just keep thinking I am.
5. I wish we could just live out in the woods in a log cabin like Little House on the Prairie. Ahhh, the simple life.
6. I dream of the country, but am really a city girl at heart.
7. I LOVE all types of music, but cannot tell you who is singing/playing or the song title. (I am terrible at trivia.)

7 blogs that I have loved and find worthy of this Sunshine award are:

1. 1+1+1=1 - I get sooo many great ideas for our homeschool here. There are TONS of free printables! She is so, so generous with all of her hard work and material!!! Our preschool curriculum is coming from her Raising Rock Stars Preschool too! WONDERFUL site!!!
2. Your Husband's Deepest Desire - Our calling as wives is to be our husband's helpmeet. This beautiful blog is all about how to bless our husbands and to grow into the wives that God wants us to be.
3. Raising Olives - This site has great ideas and amazing recipes! You never know what you will find here! This is a large family, blessed by God! You can find home school ideas, recipes, money saving tips, tutorials on several home making ideas, etc., etc., etc.!!!
4. Confessions of a Homeschooler - Never ending home school ideas and printables. This site is so generous with the information just handed over. Our geography curriculum comes from this blog!
5. Homeschool Creations - This blog is packed with great ideas for home schooling your little ones along with touching stories from real life. She, too, has great ideas that are downloadable!!! So many resources!
6. Our Family For His Glory - Sweet family who loves the Lord. I love reading about real life as a momma of little ones and walking with God.
7. Carried Through Grief - This is a beautifully written blog that testifies to God's glory and greatness as He continues to carry her through the loss of a child. This is written by a very dear and talented friend of mine. She also has a sister blog and business at She has an amazing talent as a writer and artist that God is using for His glory!

Thank you again, Mary, at Homeschool Success!!!!

Monday, August 16, 2010

First day of school!

School has begun!!! We got up this morning, ate our breakfast, did our morning chores, and went upstairs for school....just an hour late. We did end up getting everything done and in the correct order, just not exactly at the times I was hoping for.

I was very excited that my 4 yr old was into it all. I was actually expecting rebellion. He has never been a kid that liked to sit and color or anything like that. He is a rough and tumble, sword fighting, gun shooting kind of guy. I have really seen him mature in the last few months and had high hopes. He did soooo great with his workboxes!!!! The short activities were perfect for him. He loved them, felt accomplished, and did more than he normally would because the activity changed so often.

On the other hand, I had a baby for the first time in my home schooling career. Noah has been so great lately about sitting and playing happily with toys. He will play for quite a while before wanting a change, even longer if he is close by me. Not so today. Of course, when I want to begin school, he decides to be cranky ALL morning and demand to nurse CONSTANTLY. Oh well! It was hard on me, and I was exhausted trying to keep the energy level up while dealing with the baby, but the morning still went well.

Here are some pictures!

2010 School Room Pics!

YEA!!! We finally have an organized school room! Just in the nick of time!

Below are the boxes I am using for now, but I did find a 10 drawer cart for 1/2 off (!!!!!!) that will be here soon! Then, I will decide which works  better for us.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


I just had a breakthrough!!! I know it isn't much, but I tend to be an all or nothing thinker. Let me explain. I had really liked the concept of workboxes, but I couldn't figure out how to make it work with my older children. They share so much, that I couldn't figure out a good way to separate it out into their own boxes. So, I decided that the system just might not work for me and my family. There was also the issue of $$$. How was I going to afford the workboxes I wanted? Then, where were they going to go?

As I thought through my four year old's preschool, I was once again on the workbox mindset. It hit me then....get ready....THEY DON'T ALL HAVE TO HAVE WORKBOXES!!!! I know, my brilliance is amazing you right now! I don't know why it took me so long to realize this! I was just thinking they all have workboxes or no one has workboxes. DUH!! (Don't think badly of me, I was educated by the public school system.) Then, a couple of nights ago, I was in Target and saw the perfect thing! They had these Sterilite Large Clip Boxes (14 in L X 11 in W X 3 1/4 in H). They are the perfect size, durable, easy to open and close, and only $3.99. So, I got some to play with!

So, the plan right now, is that my girls (10 and 8) won't have the workboxes for now. My six year old will use the star boxes (explain in a sec.), and my four year old will totally use the workboxes. Below I have pictures of them. I will add numbers to the front of some to show the order I want my preschooler to do them in. I will do this with velcro dots. Then, some will have stars on them. I got the idea from 1+1+1=1. The numbered boxes will be activities along the lines of the theme or skill we are covering. They will have a definite beginning and end. The star boxes are to be done when the other boxes have been completed. They are open ended toys. I will put things like wooden blocks, zoobs, legos, etc. (This will also give me a great way to rotate out our toys to keep them exciting!)

We are almost there!!! School begins Monday, and we are all soooo excited!!!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

I have ink!!!!! (and a laminator!!!)

I am like a little kid on Christmas morning!!! I went to both Target and Walmart tonight for various things that I still needed in order to start school. Printer ink was a HUGE one! Sooo, it is 2am and I am still so excited I am blogging! (Tomorrow may be another story.)

I have five 3" binders ready to go, looking beautiful with their Raising Rock Star cover pages. Four are for the Bible curriculum and one is for my Raising Rock Stars Preschooler. I have printed out a lot of what I will need next week, but not all. I have decided that it is just getting too late. Plus, my computer decided to get bogged down and I was running out of patience.

Tomorrow, I will try out my new laminator, put up labels around our home (ex. chair, refrigerator, etc.), continue setting up the binders (adding page protectors and the inserts), and making our preschool board. I am so excited to see it all come together!!!! I can't wait to begin!!!

Make sure to visit 1+1+1=1's blog by either clicking one of the links above or clicking one of the buttons to the right of this post.

Here are some shots of our new binders!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Announcement: School will Not begin tomorrow

Well, I had originally wanted to start school tomorrow, but I am not ready. The older kids could begin, but I am not ready for my preschooler. I also still have books in different places all over the house. Sooooo, we will attempt to begin next week. The older kids have actually been doing their math on their own this whole week. I told them we were beginning next week, but they were excited to start! It is great to see such enthusiasm!

We have had a great week getting back into a routine and doing chores, although we lost it on the weekend. That is actually our tradition. I don't know why we can't just do our routine on Sat. and Sun.! We are now, once again, behind to start off our Monday. Oh well, we will get it, chore time will just be a little longer.

I will be purchasing printer ink. (Where is the cheapest place to do this?) I will be planning and printing off the preschool activities, and I will be trying to find a way to organize it all. I really wanted to do the workbox system, but I haven't been able to purchase what I wanted yet. (It is a 10 drawer organization cart for $45 each and we need four right now. Ouch!)

On a side note, I am excited to have just purchased a twin over full bunk bed on ebay for just $66!!! What a deal! We have been wanting this for the boys room. YEA!!!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Beyond Words Designs has done it again!!!

I am blessed to be friends with an incredibly talented and creative woman, Stephanie, who touches lives in so many ways. She is the creator of Beyond Words Designs. Her precious daughter, Amelia, was the inspiration for her first designs. They lost Amelia just before she was born. Through this pain, Stephanie birthed her business to keep these sweet children's names alive within their homes and families. She has now branched out to paint many other things.

We just received two paintings that will go in my daughters' room above their beds. We are about to get them new bedding and make their room like they have been wanting FOREVER! I am so excited about how the painting turned out! They are exactly what the girls wanted!!!!

Please take a moment and visit and look through Stephanie's gallery. If you don't see the paintings for Allison and Ashlynn up yet, go to her other site I also have her buttons to the right of this page. Enjoy!!!

What a precious daughter we have!

My 10 year old, Allison, just gave me this poem she wrote for us:

Roses are red,
Violets are blue.
When I think of you,
You are the perfect bloom.
You tuck me into bed,
And you help me whenever I am sad.
But most of all,
I love you because you are my mom and dad!

We have mice!!! UGH!!!- Warning, gross story

Okay, so I noticed that a pack of toilet paper that was stored on the floor of my pantry was chewed up and made into a nest. I cleaned that up and told Chris. Before he could buy traps, I had to throw away several packages of food/bread that had been nibbled through. So, I moved all open things into the cabinets.

Now for the catching of the mice. Chris brought home the traps which said to put peanut butter on them. The mice ate the peanut butter WITHOUT setting off the traps! So, I put some cheese on them. Soon we had a mouse! With the light on in the pantry, with us up and around making noise, he was out and about in our PANTRY!! YUCK!!!!! So then, Chris had another type of trap...a glue pad. NEVER, I repeat NEVER buy the glue pads. I knew it looked horrible as soon as I saw them.

A few minutes after I noticed the first mouse, we heard a tap, tap, tap coming from the pantry. I went in to find a glue pad bouncing around the pantry floor with a panicked mouse attached!! What are you supposed to do with that!!!????!! Luckily for us and for the mouse, he bounced himself over to another trap with cheese on it where he tried to get a snack and got himself caught in that trap too, ending his life. DISGUSTING!!!!!!

I have never had mice before. I don't even know how many to expect or how to know when we have all of them! I think we should just move.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Family Worship

We have known many families for a while now who hold family worship. Chris, my husband, has been reading Bible stories to the kids before bed for a long time now, but we haven't ever done anything formal. I will even read a devotional with them during the day, but again, not a formal worship time. Tonight was wonderful!!! Our church website now posts the portion of scripture that will be preached on and the hymns that will be sung the following Sunday. This is perfect!!! Tonight we sang three of the hymns, read the portion of scripture, took prayer requests, prayed, and did a devotion out of  Training Hearts Teaching Minds, by Starr Meade. It wasn't in that order exactly. The hymns were spaced throughout. Tonight we had to gather around the computer in order to read the words to the hymns. I will be printing these off as soon as I buy some more printer ink so that we can stay in our chairs at the table. Also, I hope to purchase several Trinity Hymnals in the future, when possible. I want to continue with these hymns and read this portion of scripture every night this week. Then, in church, hopefully the kids will pick up more of the service since it is familiar to them.

For those who don't know, we go to a reformed, family integrated church. This means that there aren't programs that separate the family. Everyone, birth - elderly sit together, enjoying what each other brings to the worship. No one stares or gawks when your 8 month old squeals out in delight. These are just some of the wonderful sounds of our worship service. If you would like to read more about our church, visit


Who know how to add tabs to the top of your blog page and then reorganize everything into those tabs? I managed to get one tab under the page gadget. I am so frustrated!!!

New schedule - school

This is the daily plan for our school that I am going to start with and hope it works....

Start together:
*calendar/days of week/month/weather/etc.
*place value chart for # of days
*100 chart
*Bible time
*songs (Mon.-Thurs.)

Then for the next hour or so.....
Girls (independently): Allison-piano, math, read
Ashlynn-math, read, piano
(approx. 20 min. each)
read books with me to start
Kevin (independently): piano, math
Kaiden - preschool activities with me

Kevin - Eng. with me
Kaiden - Independent activity

Snack/nurse break (approx. 30 min.)

All together between snack and lunch: (we will have art projects within Geography)
Geography and Music

Geography and Art Appreciation

Geography and Science (*science will be with our co-op right before the girls have piano @ 12:30pm)

Geography and Music

errands and play dates

For the hour or so after lunch chores: (Wed. we will have just come back from science/lunch/piano and will then do quick chores.)

Together - read aloud
Girls - Eng/Grammar/Writing/Spelling with me
Boys - play

2-4 (ish) Rest time

After dinner chores are done:

Family worship at around 6pm

New schedule - laundry

In an attempt at having less waste, we are trying to reduce the amount of paper towels we use. (I use a TON!) I find towels and sponges, etc. disgusting and prefer to feel like I am using a sanitary cloth each time. Alas, I am having to change my ways. So, I am using an idea I got from another blog, which I don't even remember anymore. We will use wash clothes for napkins and the kids are going to make napkin rings for each of us and some for guests. We can start the day with a clean napkin and then, if it hasn't really been used, just put it back in our ring for the next meal. If there is a mess to clean up, or the napkin gets dirty, that person gets a clean one. These wash clothes are blue.

We also have white wash clothes for all of our cleaning and dusting. Once again, I use a lot of paper towels when it comes to cleaning. We will need a lot of these, because I can't stand to use the same cloth twice. The good thing about these, is that they can be bleached. We will have dish clothes to dry dishes that have been hand washed.

So, in order to make this work, here is the laundry schedule:

Wash clothes:
white - every other night with bleach
blue - every other night with the dishtowels
dishtowels - every other night with the blue wash clothes

Towels - Monday
Sheets - Tuesday
Master hamper - Monday and Wednesday
Pantry hamper - Thursday
Upstairs hamper - Tuesday and Friday

*any catch up will be done on Sat.

New schedule - chores

Early Morning Chores (which may be combined with After Breakfast Chores):
*make bed, *get dressed, *brush hair and teeth, *straighten room if necessary

After Breakfast Chores:
Allison (10):
*put the food away
*clear and clean the counters

*unload dishwasher
*clean breakfast dishes

*feed the dogs
*sweep under breakfast table

*clear off and clean the breakfast table

*start a load of laundry
*fold and put away wash clothes/dish towels

After Lunch Chores:
*clear and clean the counters
*get the clothes out of the dryer
*fold and put away clothes

*put food away
*wipe down the bathrooms (fully clean on Mondays)

*rinse and load the dishes
*wipe down the cabinets as needed

*clear and clean the table
*clear off the couches and chairs in living room and straighten pillows

*sweep downstairs
*vacuum downstairs seating

After Dinner Chores:
*straighten game room
*straighten bedroom

*put away food
*clean and clear counters
*straighten living room
*straighten bedroom

*sweep under table
*pick up upstairs hallway and bathroom
*straighten bedroom

*clear and clean table
*clear the stairs
*straighten bedroom

Monday, August 2, 2010

Allison turns 10!!!

Allison actually turned 10 while we were on our big trip this summer. She has been celebrating all month! We finally had her party this past weekend and had a blast. She invited some very sweet girls over for a slumber party and everyone had a lot of fun. She also got to get her ears pierced, which made her look so much more grown up!