Wednesday, August 31, 2011

My Entertainment

Just in case any of you have forgotten what it's like to have a two-year-old in the are some samplings of this morning's conversations. Mind you, this is a very opinionated and slightly bossy two-year-old who speaks quite fluently and with much emphasis on getting his way.

No! I not a Doggy, I Zane!

Don't sing dat, just put my shorts on now! (Evidently he doesn't like my singing.)

You go on airplane Mommy? I go on airplane too.

I want cereal, not cheerios. Dose cheerios have milk? Oh, okay.

I DONE! Take my tray off! Take my bib off!

Me: Do you want shoes on? Zane: No, I fine. Me: Okay, just stay on the porch (shutting door). Zane: NOOOOO! (stomping feet & getting upset) I need shoes on!!!

I run way now. (Was sitting down to get shoes on...)

I funny. He he he he he.

Where are you Mommy? Oh! I find you!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Countdown to Bliss

I'm counting down the days until our trip to Sestri Levante, Italy, and it truly still seems unreal! Almost too busy with the other "stuff" of life, I needed to give myself a visual of the lovely resort area we will be staying so I clicked on over to the hotel website....ahhhhhh. Yes, friends, I have high hopes for a lovely week on the Italian Riviera.

Until's back to the checklist, though I did get the "purchase skimpy bikini" done. Besides the whole "actually using my passport" that is probably the most unusual part of getting ready to go! Arrivederci!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Bathtime @ Our House

I think I'll leave this one as a Wordless Wednesday post...

Monday, August 22, 2011

My Home-Clean-Home Plan

This is it! What I should be doing (bare minimum) each week to keep this home going. I'm guessing that those of you who were born organized never have to think this hard about keeping up the house, but for us scatterbrains...well, it's like trying to cram a square through a round hole. (And there's gotta be a better metaphor but it's all I've got right now).

Morning Chores
-Everyone gets dressed, makes their bed, brushes teeth & puts away their pj's BEFORE coming downstairs.
-Breakfast together (7:30)
-Unload the Dishwasher (possibly the most important daily chore...the whole kitchen falls apart if it doesn't happen!)
-Put away breakfast dishes
-8:00 School starts!

Laundry Day: Wash, dry and put away all clothes
Cooking: Prepare snacks for the week (boil eggs, make granola bars etc.)
Kids: Vacuum their rooms, Fold & put away their laundry, bathroom wipe-down

Errand Day: Groceries, appointments etc.
Cooking: Crock Pot dinner
Cleaning: Wash Towels & Put away any leftover laundry
Kids: Fold Towels, Take out Trash

Kitchen Day: Baking, clean out fridge, mop, wipe down appliances & backsplash
Kids: Clean Glass Doors & Mirrors, Strip & make beds

Cleaning Day: Dust, vacuum, bathrooms
Laundry: Wash Sheets
Kids: Dust rooms, Tidy Playroom

Planning Day: Shopping lists, menus, weekend prep, next week's activities
Kids: Tidy Entry, Tidy Schoolroom

Now I just need to find several hours to embroider all that onto daily tea-towels! Ha.

The chores assigned to the kids help out more than I imagined. They are not hard by any means, and purposely do not take a long time to them a sense of accomplishment and hopefully teaching them to keep up on work at home to avoid a huge, un-tameable mess! They get a little bit of a reward for helping...I think I need to come up with something to reward myself if I check everything off my list too! Hmmmm...well, gotta go switch the laundry!

Friday, August 19, 2011

The Mommy Schedule

In the spirit of back-to-school week, today I'm sharing my personal "back-to-household order" plan for this year. Eric says I'm always looking for the next best thing. Yup, I'm still in search of the magic wand that makes homemaking happen with out hard work. (Actually, I KNOW what it is...a maid & cook...but doesn't Eric already work hard enough without taking on the three extra jobs it might take to employ them?) So I'm sticking with hard work on my part...and going to tweak methods until I finally find one that works for me!

I've shared before some of my favorite homemaking resources...from FlyLady to Inspired to Action to the books Large Family Logistics and anything by Don Aslett. My favorite resource is, however, my friends!! And although I may never achieve the seemingly effortless efficiency of MJ, I have high hopes that this time I've found something doable and easy to implement for the whole family. Jodi (my sis) started me on this plan by making one for herself...printed out nicely and just a few basic chores for herself & the girls per day. Brilliant.

This is our family chore chart (tweaked from Erica's @ Confessions of a Homeschooler)...the kiddos earn tickets for each chore they do and get a prize when they have 25 tickets. I have assigned chores for each day for myself and them and wrote them on the daily cards across the top. Before, I was just picking some things that sounded good and sticking them in their that there is a plan, the system is much more efficient.

So take Tuesday for instance:

It's my errand day, so I need to put dinner in the crock pot before we leave in the morning, plus start a load of towels. Once we're back home, I have to finish putting laundry away from Monday (that's the day I wash all the clothing) and the kids take out the trash and fold the now clean towels. That doesn't sound too bad, does it? I think we can do this! And I might even mop my kitchen every week--fabulous!

So adding in the essentials like a daily schedule, house rules and a reminder about what obedience is and looks like:

And we have a happy crew in a semi-tidy and clean home! (Please pay no attention to the pile of stuff on the entry bench in the background :) !)

The boys doing school on Tuesday...Zane likes to wear his goggles while playing...go figure.

Next time I'll share exactly what makes up my chores each day. That is, if I'm done doing them and can sit down to blog. Naaah, I'll probably write before I do them, it's more fun.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Back to Home-School!

Yay! Yesterday was our first day of school for the year. This is the first time we've started before Labor Day so it feels a little strange to me, myself, and I but we're thinking it will work out fine and dandy. Obviously the children are...well, what are they?? Goofy? Silly Rabbits? Funny Bunnies? Something.

The new schedule has them freaked out--especially the room check before lunch and the starting time of 8 a.m. I suppose they're the only ones who realize it's just a schedule on paper...and real life doesn't always follow the plan.

Ooooohh! I LOVE new school books and supplies! Elena is in 3rd Grade and Kai is in 1st. Here's our line up for this year:

Bible/History/Science/Literature/Reading: Adventures In My Father's World (American History for 2nd & 3rd graders and their younger siblings)

Spelling: Spelling Power for Elena (This program starts in 3rd grade and can work all the way through 8th. I have high hopes.) Kai will start spelling next year.

English: Elena-Primary Language Lessons (2nd half) Kai-Language Lessons for Little Ones, book 3

Copywork/Drawing: Draw Write Now books 2 & 6

Math: Elena-Teaching Textbooks 3 Kai-Horizons 1

Electives: Discovery Homeschool Academy (YAY for Tuesdays!!) They cover music, art, PE, keyboarding, Spanish, science, social studies & tons of fun.

Wow, that all seems so nice and tidy. If I had time to go on and on I could tell you the process of making all those decisions. It's a lot of work!

Our office is still providing a lovely area for school...we rearranged the walls a bit and still have some tweaking to do.

Oh, some more B2S poses:

Aren't they sweet?

Here's our timeline wrapping around the walls:

A close-up:

And my favorite framed print...(my new camera has a fish-eye option...kind of strange, but okay!):

Happy Back to School or Home-School week to you all! Enjoy the Adventures!!!