Thursday, March 31, 2011

Pillow Linky Party!

Not your grandma's SPRING CLEANING!

Okay, so cheesy title I know but I couldn't help myself. I am speaking at a mom's group today about this very topic so I thought I would share with you too. I did professional organizing for a couple years and I still love to tackle clutter and simplify anything that I can. That's why I love this time of year because it seems like everyone is (trying) to organize or redecorate. BUT WHO HAS THE TIME? I have a few ideas that I have used over the years that are fast and easy. (WARNING: starting these things may make you want to do more, and more and more and you may end up possibly enjoying it now and then!)
 So when I say it's not your grandma's spring cleaning, I mean we aren't turning the house upside down and doing it all in one day. Again, WHO HAS THE TIME? But here are 4 things you DO have time for.

1. 100 ITEMS OUT! I found a great example of that here. But no explanation is needed really, you have to donate/yard sale 100 things in your home. You can divide the items up between family members so a family of four would purge 25 items each.

2. Simplify your cleaner. I use VINEGAR for everything, really I do. It is super cheap and cleans anything! Check out these facts here if you don't believe me. It is safe for children and think of all the cabinet space you would save if you just had ONE bottle for the whole house! (The only dislike I have is the smell but it goes away quickly.)

3. 15 minute pick up, notice I said PICK UP, not CLEAN UP. Every night the family should spend 15 minutes putting things in their place. Catchall baskets are great to throw things in and then carry them around and put things away. Make it fun for young ones by setting a timer and making it a game or offering a bedtime treat for doing it (without arguing I might add).

4. LABEL LABEL LABEL! Did I say it enough? I can't stress it enough! Everyone will be more likely to help put things away if they knew where they went. Never assume they know! They can even be educational by using flash cards, teaching sign language or a foreign language. (Another WARNING: this can be extremely addictive.)

So I hope you find some inspiration to spring clean and the best part is you can do these all year long!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Snack Time!

Even though we homeschool we stay on the public school schedule so when there is a Teacher Workday we can see all her school friends. So yesterday was a gathering at our house! At snack time I put out my muffin tin with choices of foods and let them serve themselves. We also did this with dessert but it didn't stay around long enough to get a picture! (But it was YUMMY!) The idea came from Muffin Tin Mom. There are great ideas and I plan to use them for learning colors, shapes and sorting with my youngest.
Share your ideas!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Monday, March 28, 2011

Place Mat Sham Pillow

I had a hard time finding throw pillows that matched my living room but I DID find some place mats. So, I went to a bargain store and bought two inexpensive pillows in any pattern and with my AMATEUR sewing skills (really I have used a sewing machine about five times in my life!) I sewed together two place mats to make a sham pillow cover. The total cost to make for me was less than ten dollars and about half an hour to make. Not bad for a rainy night project huh?

Here is my $3.99 pillow I bought to cover. You want a rectangle not a square pillow.
I pinned two place mats together right side out and sewed three sides with an inch border. You may need to adjust to fit your pillow, or you could use batting. I stuffed the pillow inside and sewed it up.
Again, I am not a seasoned sewer by ANY means, but they look great on my chairs! If you have any advice on ways I could have done the sewing please share! I am always open to ideas.
Linky Party

Friday, March 25, 2011

Helping Kids Eat Healthier

 This week we talked about eating healthy and making good choices. Here is Addy's Food Pyramid that she made to help her make those choices. With the help of Google searching we looked at several different food guides and even played some games online. Oh and it also helps keep mommy and daddy in check as well!

Sananda's Designs

I know so many of us are working on room makeovers! Here's a link to my Facebook page with my painting projects on them for some ideas on kid's spaces and decorating.Sananda's Designs

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Make The Most of Your Garage Sale!

It’s that time of year to clear out! Here are some quick tips to make the most of your garage sale…..

  • Plan ahead and advertise in the local paper and hang signs and flyers

  • Be specific about date, time, address and key items for sale

  • Post signs in high traffic areas leading to your address

  • Clean up and wipe down items

  • Set prices and clearly label items

  • Have a grab box labeled $1.00 items or .50

  • Have a group garage sale, ask neighbors or friends to participate

  • Display items by spreading them out to make them more visible

  • Hide or put away items that are not for sale in the garage

  • Make sure you have enough change to break large bills

  • Play music in the background

  • Keep grocery bags handy for multiple purchases

  • During slow times, reorganize and straighten up before the next rush

  • Put electronics near an outlet incase someone wants to check if it works

  • Put children’s toys and furniture out on the lawn to attract people

  • Contact a charity organization to pick up items at the end of the garage sale

  • Take down all signs

  • Keep a box in your closet or garage to put items in throughout the year that you want to sell in the next garage sale

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

First Year of Homeschooling

WOW! I can't believe it is March already! This school year has gone by so fast and guess what?......Addy and I survived AND may have learned something! Okay, even though I am being silly right now, there is some truth to it. 
     I started off this first year of homeschooling with so many dreams and visions of all the wonderful things we will do that she didn't do in public school. Well, it didn't take long to realize that REALITY was waiting to take those visions and destroy them. I have gone through pages and pages of lesson plans and countless new schedules and I lost count of the times that I have rearranged and changed our "classroom". So many nights I would go to bed and wonder, "Did I teach her enough, did I teach her too much, did I fuss too much, did I give her enough one on one, did I give her enough independent time, did she play enough, am I doing the right thing,........", then I would cry a little, pray a lot, and sleep. That was usually followed by me coming up with ANOTHER change in our day and getting excited again and then let down again. Needless to say, this has been an exhausting year! Oh, and did I mention that during all this I bought a house and had our second baby?
     I say all of that to get to this, as I learn in this new adventure of our lives I have discovered more good than bad. I have grown as a mother, woman, wife and teacher. Somewhere along the way God showed me my purpose. It is not how much I teach her that is important but the way I teach her. My job description as her teacher is to show her how to LOVE TO LEARN!
    Don't get me wrong, I still have those stressful nights and struggle with whether I did all I should have done that day. But those days are now fewer and fewer. I make an effort each day to be led by the Holy Spirit and not led by my own agenda. I am so proud to be a homeschooling mom! My goal is to show my children how to find joy in the little things and have faith in God. As we begin to wrap up this year and plan for next, I will always remember this year as the best because it is the year that Addy and I found a new relationship with each other and with God.

So I have decided to start this blog as a way to journal about my daily experiences to use as a tool for growing and learning.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Eeeeasy Wreath

Okay we are all on a budget right? I am so proud of my less than $5 wreath, YES 5 DOLLARS! I used a 40% off coupon to get the bag of moss and I already had the wreath and ribbon, but the wreath is less than $4 at  many places. There is no certain way to place the moss, I just played around with it before hot gluing everything in place. You can always add a butterfly or other decoration in too but that just did not fit my fancy $5 budget. 

Monday, March 14, 2011

Inexpensive Spring Decorating (kid friendly)

I asked my 8 year old to decorate my porch for Spring on Saturday. She went digging in the recycling box for ideas and.....VOILA!! It didn't cost a penny and she is so proud of it. We used acrylic craft paint and empty cans. Then we went on a nature walk and picked some beautiful flowers. You could also modge podge different colored tissue paper or scrapbook paper.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Homeschool TRUTH

Curriculum Blues
By Mardy Freeman

I had found the curriculum that we should be using.
It was fun. It was bright. And it wasn't confusing.
But just as I started to write out the check
I discovered a new one was much better yet.

I had written that check when I suddenly read
That another new program was better instead.
So I dutifully researched and found it was true.
This one was better – yes, all the way through!

"This one looks perfect!" I said to myself.
"Not a piece of this resource will sit on the shelf."
It was simple, yet timeless. Its methods were flawless.
With only one glitch – it cost nine thousand dollars.

I had thirty-nine dollars and fifty-three cents,
So off for curriculum fliers I sent.
And they came on one day – all four hundred five.
I answered the door and was buried alive!

My children revived me and gave me a kiss
And it suddenly dawned on me what I had missed!
It matters less what they know than it does who they are!
With strong moral character, my kids will go far!

Determination and courage are worth much more than talents.
So teaching them character will keep them in balance.
Then encouraging them to reason, to ask and to think,
To wade through the waters of knowledge and drink.

Education's not just what I pull from the shelf;
It is in giving my children a part of myself!
I see now they'll learn it – one way or the other.
But, lately my kids are in need of their mother!

The fliers I saved for a few weeks from now
When I know I'll be desperately wondering how
To implement all of my newfound ideals
And scrambling again for incredible deals.

In the meantime...should you find the one that beats all
And stumble across it some time before fall,
If it teaches me how to do all these things –
Please pick up the phone and give me a ring!

Here I GO!

I am officially blogging now! I have had a off and on relationship with blogging for about three years but I was not attracted until I recently found I had an addiction to other mommy blogs. I am daily getting into crafting, painting and DIY-ing and I realized that I had a ton of my own blogging information to share. I am homeschooling my third grade daughter and keeping up with my 5 month old daughter and my new (but old) house that has a million projects of it's own to share down the road. So here I go, sharing my home with you and hoping to inspire you to create, organize and save money anyway I can.