Monday, May 27, 2013


I have always loved to sew and this month I have been involved in a sewing stash buster for kids clothes with Ellie inspired. It came at a great time and I've sewn more in the last month than I have have in a LONG time. Plus the best part of it is, that I am FINISHING outfits!! :)

 YAY for finished projects! I'm going to try to make myself something now :)

I dug through my tshirts and found a pale pink shirt with a bright cotton knit and I'm going to try my 

hand at the following tutorial by The Renegade Seamstress!

I don't often make things for me, so this shall be an adventure!! :)

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Routine May 2013

Routines are important to our family, however I CANNOT follow a rigid schedule. It just doesn't work for me. But for some it does. Perhaps if I had more kids I would need to. Thankfully my kids are fairly flexible and while they like routine they like surprises or "adventures"as we typically call them :).
We tend to have different schedules based on the different needs of our family. This is the current routine. Right now we have no babies. When we have night wakings the schedule shifts later. We currently start at 6 because the kids want to see Daddy before he leaves. That's around 6:20.
 Our basic is:
Get up (generally around 6- I let the kids wake up on their own.) I get up at 6, but have a hard time with it unless I'm asleep by 9:30. I need lots of sleep :)
School/field trip/play outside(if it will be a hot day and too hot to play later)
I keep up with the laundry through out the morning- usually 1-3 loads. We do family chores together at meal times.(set and clear table, load dishwasher, sweep floor)
lunch (generally 11-11:30)
 "rest time"which really means we all have alone time- that's either laying down or reading or audio books. It doesn't always happen, but when it does it recharges us.(generally 12-1-ish)
 Then we do outdoor time if it's nice and we haven't already. Sometimes we do park day or nature studies or swimming, and sometimes it's the backyard. During the summer or routines switch adn this is when we do school if we have spent the morning outdoors.
We also do projects and play with public school friends in the afternoon.
Then it's tidy the house, get ready for dinner and daddy home and then dinner family time and bed for kiddos, then either me time or couple time (sometimes it's errands) if my husband isn't studying. Monday he will be DONE for a week :) SO that will be a nice break! :)
Our routine has changed over the years as well. Right now we're getting up SUPER early (for me) because the kids want to say goodbye to Daddy before he goes to work. So they are up at 6. The positive is they are generally asleep by 7.
That never would have worked before a year ago when I was up with kids throughout the night!  But for now it means I have a lot of time at night to get my things done. I just have to have a good attitude about getting up early and that means I NEED a shower :) Getting dressed completely(including earrings and a necklace help me feel like I have my "uniform"on and I'm ready for my job as mother/teacher/whatever-else-comes-up-that-day.
What's your routine/schedule. I would love to hear!
(this is my 100th post! :) Yay for one baby step at a time!)

Friday, May 10, 2013

Including cleaners etc in the Food budget

Many people have two sets of shopping lists- Food and other. The other often include cleaners, paper towels, toilet paper, shampoos and toiletries etc. I don't It's too many lists for me. I have one shopping list. It works easier for me. I often buy shampoo at Trader Joes along with my groceries and it's too difficult for me to separate and figure out which money is from which list. So I combine. Works for us.
 For both health and finances we have simplified our personal care items. I will cover personal items now and cleaners in a future post.

 The kids and I use Curly girl method and only use conditioner. We buy one from Trader Joes. It's $2.99 and lasts 1-2 months for the 4 of us girls. It has worked for us for 3 years on all variety of hair that the 4 gals of us in the family have- fine, thick and medium hair- straight and curly. DH still likes his standard products, I used to coupon for them, but I currently buy his personal products in bulk once a year for Christmas- he's happy getting his name brand and his family gave personal care items for gifts all the time. YAY! Love that's he's not picky about that! I keep trying to get a more natural cheaper product for him, but haven't found one he likes yet.


Razors are a Costco item. Again- once a year. We usually pay $40 for a year supplies of razors. I could do better couponing, but as a homeschooling, husband in school, cooking non allergen foods from scratch mama, I don't find it worth the effort any more. Once upon a time I did. It's a different season for me. But if I could get some coupons and pay 13 cents for  shaving cream again, I would do it in a heart beat! :) We bough 20 and it lasted us 3 years- and we gave a bunch as gifts!

Toilet Paper
 Each Jan/February, I try to find a FABULOUS deal on toilet paper and buy a years supply. That has happened two years. The other years, I buy in bulk. Most recently though I have found the best Price for toilet tissue at Amazon. My buy price is 50 cents a roll. I won't buy toilet paper unless it's under 50 cents a roll- or we are COMPLETELY out- that's happened once. Amazon subscribe and save has it for $20.75 for 48 rolls. That works out t o be 43 cents a roll!  My buy price!
Often though I can find it in January at Staples or another Office store for 30 cents a roll. I buy a years supply and we eat more beans that pay period :)


I buy the kids one every 6 months. Their Dentist recommended Squigle Enamel Saver with Xylitol. They share it and get a small teeny bit on their tooth brush. This is also a Christmas stocking gift. I can't stand toothpaste so I use baking soda- or just  brush well. I still have a few tubes from couponing years ago for toothpaste for the Hubs. I need to start looking for toothpaste deals coupon wise. I haven't paid for toothpaste for the grown ups in 5 years because of couponing.

Please let me know if you have more questions! I have been toying with making my own toothpaste, but haven't found a recipe I like quite yet.


Goal setting with kids in mind

One of the things I've been striving to do better with is goal setting. Setting goals and following through with them. I love having a plan, but also flexibility of following the plan- or not. I like to have the ability to change that plan on the fly- or as directed by a prompting or a gut instinct. I started to sit dow tonight to write about the things I need to do for school this next quarter. (we tend to do 6 weeks chucnks of school- not always- that's the tendency between breaks though).
As I did, I sort of  stumbled on a form that I think will really help me to plan for my children specifically and then be able to follow through with a plan of action.
In my head when I goal set I say a prayer, sit down with quiet time and have a carefully laid out plan I turn to daily to evaluate and use. In reality, my goal setting comes in the midst of my days when there are bits of quiet moments, followed by the loud chatic reality that is family life. I have learned to use those nuggets to really move me forward.
However I write down the goals they are typically lost or not referred back to.
It's actuality quite ok to only write them down- Even just writing them down is found to be more effective than not writing them down.
I have been thinking that I want a record to look at to help me see that I am helping my children move forward- to prove to me that I am doing the things I want to with my children and truly helping them to be educated, God loving, people servingmembers of society and that I am not solely taking the easy way out schooling wise- In my not so humble opinion Public School is waaay to hard on moms with driving and all the other stuff I would have to do! And on someone else's schedule no less! ;)  That's a whole other post though! :)
So here's what I came up with. I will try to figure out how to post a document, but that's a challenge for another day. Here's the basic set up and reasoning. I hope it helps you and yours move toward your family goals.

Goals for__ Child’s name______    _____Date_____ :
Goals for learning, social, physical, spiritual.







Child’s strengths-  (learning style, reading level etc)
How to get there- Specifics
What to focus on
Specific ways to do that
Resources needed/people to contact
Follow up notes