Category Archives: Organization

Operation USE IT UP Underway

used up products

Operation USE IT UP Underway is going down!  Have you ever thought about your cleaning supplies, what all do you have going on in there?

Let us focus on your pantry, fridge, freezer, and other places you store food?

I am embarrassed about what all I see in these areas of my life.  Seriously, embarrassed.

Looking around, I see a lot of stuff I have that is just useless, and I bought a bunch because I had a coupon.  There are also things that, sadly, I forgot that I had, as well.

Focus Squirrel Girl, Focus

Just focusing on my bathrooms is going to be a beginning for me.  My first goal is going green within all areas of our lives.  The secondary objective is to minimalize those belongings because, in reality, we do we really need 3 hair dryers, 35 sets of sheets, or 500 bottles of dried up nail polish?

Focusing on one area, at a time, is helpful for me.  I tend to have SQUIRREL moments.  One primary reason for that is because when I take something out of the bathroom, to put it where it belongs…I tend to start cleaning up the place that it belongs.  Thus leading me to forget about the fact that I was, indeed, already cleaning the bathroom.  Does that make sense?

Bathroom Tips and Tricks

  • Tame Your Squirrel:

    • One way to tame my squirrel is diffusing my Squirrel Blend recipe from doTerra.  It smells amazing and it, honestly, keeps me moving right along.  If you are interested in a sample bottle (free) or want me to make you a 10 ml prediluted bottle (cost + shipping), send me an email to thebarefoothomeschooler@gmail.com
  • Laundry Basket:

    • Another trick I use is that I get a laundry basket and I put it in the bathroom, with me.  This way, when there is something in the bathroom, that needs to go to another place in the house, I just throw it in there.  I take the basket downstairs, and I have each kid get their stuff out of it and put it where it belongs.
  • Using it all up

    • Let’s say I have 8 bottles of facial cleanser, that I bought because I had a coupon.  Now, let’s say that I have tried said facial cleanser and it is merely not my jam.  If you can imagine now, that I have given my daughter’s this facial cleanser and it breaks them out.  Now visualize that 7 brand new bottles of facial cleanser are continued to be stored in my bathroom for no particular reason, yet, like a chipmunk, I hoard it.  That’s where DONATING comes to play.  Take it to a Needline, a church food/hygiene pantry, a women’s shelter, or find a friend who likes this brand and gift it to them.  The point is…is get it OUT of your bathroom.  I know that I will never use this and I refuse to throw it away.  It is brand new, that is like flushing cash down the toilet.
  • Makeup:

    • Recently, I went into our local department store, and I received a free makeup makeover.  It was so much fun.  There is so much I do not know (or care to know), but what I did find out is that makeup can go wrong.  Yes, I’m aware that you probably already knew that, but I didn’t.  So, I bought my “colors” of makeup, and I came home, and I threw away a lot of my old, broken, or nasty makeup that I already had.  I also threw away brushes that I had had for 10 years (I didn’t know they were supposed to be washed…sick, I know).  I figured if I invest in new stuff now, I would remember to clean my brushes and how old things were…new beginnings are always good.makeup
  • Medication:

    • For the love, do not keep expired meds.  I don’t care if they are antibiotics, cold/cough meds, antacids, or tubes of cream.  Please, look at the dates and get rid of them.  There are expiration dates on the product for a reason.  These medications can lose their efficacy and could harm you.  Be wise.  We are going all natural with our medications.  I will be posting on our medication journey tomorrow, so be sure and come back!
  • Bathroom Cleaning Products:

    • My daughter was deep cleaning her home, one day.  She texted me, in the meantime, saying that she suddenly started vomiting aggressively and that she couldn’t stop.  Well, what’s a mama to do?  I high tailed my butt over there to help her.  I had no more gotten to her front door, that I started coughing.  It was like something was caught in my throat, and it wouldn’t dislodge.  Once I opened the door, this fog hit me, and I started coughing, uncontrollably, until I almost puked.  Come to find out, she had bought/used every cleaner known to man.  In her mind (and most peoples minds), if it is name brand, then it is going to a great job cleaning.  NO.  Just NO.  We were inhaling boatloads of unnecessary chemicals.  We all had headaches and were coughing.  It was pitiful.  We opened her front door, opened all the windows of the apartment, and we had to have a fan blowing out to draw this stench and chemical fog out of the apartment.  Once that happened, she quit vomiting, I quit coughing, and headaches subsided.  All you need to clean with are these essential items:  Vinegar, Water, Castile Soap, Blue Dawn Dishwashing Liquid, OnGuard concentrate, baking soda, and any of these essential oils:  Lemon, Melaleuca, Onguard.  For more information on how I make cleaners or if you want the oils, yourself to create your own green cleaning supplies, be on the lookout for a post on Friday.
  • Organization:

    • Another tip is to go to the Dollar Tree or Dollar Store and buy those clear shoeboxes with a lid.  Also, get some labels and a sharpie.  I like to keep all “like” things together.  I have all nail polish in a box, all toothbrushes/toothpaste, all travel sized bottles, etc. in these boxes.  This is a lifesaver, but only if you put the labels on them.  I made the mistake of not doing that, and one of my kids pulled every box out, opened every box, and made a mess…all looking for fingernail clippers.
  • First Aid Kit:

    • Organized, cleaned out, complete first aid kit is a must.  You can buy premade ones at Walmart or on Amazon.  You can also make your own.  I do keep mine in a red bag to make it easier to identify in high-stress moments.  Those moments can range from if a child throws a set of hedge clippers down from a tree and they landed point down on another child’s head to cutting your toe off while walking a pug or a head-on collision at the end of your driveway.  You know, simple things in life 🙂  For more on my First Aid Kit:  Check out Saturdays post.
  • Donate, Throw Away, or Use Up:

    • Be sure and clean out your little shoeboxes.  Throw away things that are old, broken, used, or not worth giving away.  If it can be donated, DONATE!  Help another person out.  If you have a smidge of something, use it up, don’t waste it.  Do not use a full product when you have 12 products that are 1/2 used.  Use those products up and don’t be wasteful.

doTerra Oils Choices:  3 Ways to Buy doTerra Essential Oils

To buy any of the essential oils that I mentioned, you can head over to My doTerra Website and click on the SHOP tab.  From there, you can order whatever your hearts desire and it will be shipped directly to you.

If you find that you are going to spend around $100, it would benefit you to become a Wholesale Member (these members do not sell the product.  They receive the benefits of getting 25% off of retail costs, plus if you get 125 PV (product volume, not cost), and you order before the 15th of every month you can receive the free product of the month, as well.  If you get 200 PV, you get another free product.  For the month of October, that product is a FREE car diffuser with 3-5 ml citrus oils! To do this, you will click on the “Become a Member” tab.  From there, you will click on “Wholesale Member”.  There is a fee of $35 that will give you all these great benefits for a year!  Each year after, you will have a reduced yearly fee of $25 plus a free bottle of oil.  You will then choose your region and your language.  Lastly, you will fill out your information, the oils you would like, shipping, and so on.

Now, if you are interested in becoming a Wellness Advocate, then that is fantastic.  You will continue to click on “Become a Member” and then you will click on “Wellness Advocate.”  By becoming a Wellness Advocate, doTerra waives the $35 fee!  You can also choose from any of the enrollment kits at a HUGE discount.  Once you become a Wellness Advocate for doTerra, you are eligible to receive commission :).

Debt: Money Making Tip

Image result for money making tip

As I am decluttering my mind and working on my FACTORY RESET, I am also physically decluttering.  I do not know why my mind is working this way, but as I look at my attic, my garage and just the stuff around my house….I think I do not want my kids/husband to have to go through all this crap and make decisions for me when I die.

Morbid, I know.  LOL

Maybe, the older I get, the more I think about mortality.  My sister just lost her mother in law.  Granted, she was in her 80s, but still….it still hurts even though we know she is with Christ and would never want to come back to this Earth again.  Maybe it is the fact that my son took a nap and then woke up to our lives changed forever.  Maybe I just want to live a more minimalistic life.

I don’t know.

I love Jesus 🙂

Anyway, as I was decluttering my bedroom, I decided to go through my masses of books.  Bibles, school books, devotionals, kids books….so many books.  I read once, that your bedroom (couples bedroom) should be free of clutter, have nothing under the bed, only peaceful things on the walls, and no sign of your kids LOL…no pictures or anything.  I can’t quite go that far, but I did clean out from under my bed.  I even vacuumed under there (nasty).  I gave away 2 pieces of large furniture that we do not use.  I condensed the entertainment system to just a tv and our router boxes.  I hung up some things on the wall (we are planning to paint and get a new ceiling fan).  I’m working on the closet.  I have decluttered and gotten rid of SO many things from the attic.  I organized all of that and now I have this massive bookcase full of books and books in my closet.

I have homeschooled for 18 years and I have decided to get rid of all my old schoolbooks (with the exception of the math books).  They are all gone.  Glorious day.  Next, I tackled that bookcase.  I kept all my Bibles and some devotionals that I matriculate to quite often.  The other books…just collected dust.  I didn’t read them and there they sat, helping no one.  Someone else could get use out of those.  I donated 98% of them to our local library.  The other books, I sold on a website called BOOK STORES.  You put in your ISBN number and then they give you a price they will pay.  It is free shipping (on a refund of $35 or more) and money in your pocket.  Not a lot, but it is better then taking up space and collecting dust.

As for the mass of DVDs that I had and didn’t want anymore, I sold some of them on DECLUTTR.  They also provide free shipping (no minimum refund).  All you have to do, for both sites, is print off the shipping label.  I ended up making almost $80 on stuff that was taking up space.  I took a van load off to the local consignment shop, so I will, hopefully, make some money with that. All the extra money is going towards debt!

It feels SO good to have this stuff done and gone.  The more I declutter, the more clear my mind is.  Isn’t that crazy.  Just too much.  My kids have too much and they have SO much that they don’t even know what to do.

I have finished the kitchen and the living room. The pantry and the laundry room are done.  I have done my bathroom, my van, and attic.  I think I have the garage left, the downstairs bathroom, and the kids rooms’.  Onward and upward….tomorrow, I shall tackle the school closet and the game closet.  If I have enough moxy, I will work a bit on the garage.  Everything is in the middle of the garage, I just do a little bit at a time because it is hotter then Satan’s armpit outside and I don’t like to sweat.

Happy Decluttering!

Organizational Tip: Let’s Talk Pinterest

Pinterest.  I do not necessarily enjoy it.  It is overwhelming.  I do not spend hours upon hours scouring the pinterest boards.  I only follow my family, cause I feel like I have too. To me, it is a stressor.

BUT.

I have realized that I can actually use this to my advantage.  I tried this about a year ago, maybe and it was just too much.  Too many colors, options, ideas, thoughts…..my mind could not handle anymore information.

I have come up with a plan.

And I love it when a plan comes together.

We shall try this again.

This time, I shall SUCCEED.

There are 52 weeks in a year.  Yes?  Yes.  I created a DIFFERENT board that started at Week 1 and ended on Week 26.  That is 1/2 the year.  I thought I might have to stab myself in the eye with a used q-tip if I had to come up with the entire year, but 1/2 the year is doable for me.

Week 1 Menu – Week 27 Menu (same board and same menu)

Week 2 Menu – Week 28 Menu

Catch my drift….all in all I have 26 boards and it covers all 52 weeks.

Now, there are 7 days in a week.  I cook on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday (unless we are at church), Friday, Saturday.  I do not cook Sundays.  I went ahead and marked Thursdays as pizza night, as this is tradition, so I cook mark that off.  To help with my sanity, I allotted Fridays as EITHER hamburgers/dogs/fries night or taco night.  I altered those days, so have the year was hamburgers and half the year was tacos…..are you still with me?

Next, I chose Saturdays as soup days (my obsession is real and I am a soup whore, if you please).  I cook 2 soups for my crew cause 1 just is not enough (also we eat leftovers for lunch until it is gone…hence saving us money).

I went through the soup recipes that I had.  I reached out on fb (you can click on the FB button on the right of this page to follow me there) and from there, I compiled a list of 52 soups.  They are all different, cause I like to try new things.  I have made nearly all of them of though cause I’m always making soup.  As I picked 2 soups, I would drop them into my already made board of Week 1 Menu and Week 27 Menu…I continued on till all 26 weeks were covered.

In short, we have Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday accounted for.  All I had left was Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.  The existing boards I had left, with recipes was Chinese, Pork, Steak, Mexican.  I divided those out. So I had “X” amount of each to fill up my weeks.  My last big feat was to have equal amounts of Italian dishes and Beef dishes.  By the time I got done, all 26 boards had main dishes for the nights of the week that I cook.  After I got my main dishes done, I added in my side dishes.

With these boards, I will transfer over to my blog and I will comprise a detailed grocery list of what I need for my Week 1 menu.  What I will also do, is get my freezer aluminum pans, double the recipes and freeze the second one.  So by the time week 27 comes around, I will A) know what I am cooking thanks to my pinterest board and B) I will have already cooked it.  It is a win win.

There are no two recipes or weeks alike.  I have done all different stuff.  I will post my honest opinion on whether it was good or not.  I do, however, tweak most of my recipes.  I add too or take away from, so I will notate that as well.

No, I am not bored.

Yes, I do find the time.

No, my children are not neglected during this.

Yes, I truly enjoy doing things like this.

Feel free to look at my boards (again you can find my pinterest boards if you click on the icon in the right side bar and you can follow me on any social media) and use them.  My hope and pray is that this works out.

I can always take a picture of my grocery list, online, and send it to Big Daddy and he can pick up my groceries on the way home….I’m telling ya….WIN WIN.

Why Does It Feel *So* Good….

When I consolidate things in my house?  I mean…I feel like I’m almost euphoric overtaking my bazillion little bitty trial size hand lotions and mixing them with the 7 large things of hand lotion that I already have.  I threw away a trash can FULL of little empty containers and let me tell you….it feels GOOD!!!!!!!!!!!

There may be something wrong with me LOL.  I’m not a clutter bug.  I do not collect things (I was a huge couponer, and I still have bottles upon bottles of conditioner, lotion, floss, and mouthwash.)  I do have a goal, though and this goes along with us saving money.  I’m going through our household cleaners, and what I had, I’m replacing with all natural things like baking soda, vinegar, castile soap, Onguard, and essential oils.  I’m using what I have until it is gone and then I just make more because I already have bought the bottles.  As for my bathroom, I’m doing the same thing.  I’m forcing myself to use lotion more, to use all the leftover deodorants, soaps, conditioners.  I have a habit of running out of something, and then I put it on my grocery list…run to the store to get it and then realize I had 7 bottles that have never been touched.  What a colossal waste of money.

Them days are OVER, I tell ya!  O.V.E.R.  It is time to use it up before I buy.  Then, maybe, if I can do really well at it, I will start couponing again for ONLY the things I need or are not necessarily a need for me, but things I can donate to food pantries or people in need.

I seriously may not even be able to sleep because my mind is flooded with “what else can I consolidate and organize.”

I think I may need therapy……….

Organizational Tip: Let’s Talk Pictures

In my quest to get my life together, my next thing to tackle are my pictures.  Good gravy, I have a billion pictures.  My mother in law is HUGE into scrapbooking, so she has given me lots of books, pages, stickers, etc in hopes that I would scrap all these pictures.  I simply have not had time.

In my defense, I do have a baby scrapbook for each of my children and one large scrapbook for each of them as they have gotten older.  I also have a baby scrapbook of Big Daddy that his mom made for him and one for me, that I made.  There is also a wedding one and another random one…so I have done scrapbooks in the past.  I’m just not in a season to do them regularly.

One day, when I was cleaning out the masses of crap in my bedroom, I came across a drawer that I believe had not been opened in about 10 years.  There were MASSIVE amounts of old, loose photos just hanging out…not hurting anyone….just there.  My OCD said, let’s pull out some of those scraping gifts from my sweet mother in law and I will make them look fantastic.  My other side thought…I have no time for this and shut the door and move on.  Neither side one.  My logical side stepped in and I thought….lets kill two birds with one stone.  I pulled out those photos and I did separate them by child.  I put those separated piles into baggies and I labeled them.  Next, I pulled down my scraping supplies, set up a card table, hollered for my 2 big girls and let them at it.  Was it as nice as I could have done?  No, not really LOL.  It certainly was not up to par with my pro MIL.  BUT they stayed occupied.  All my pictures are nicely placed with added cute things and it all has my girls handwriting in it…which I will cherish forever.  My OCD did not win.  I did not redo anything.  I simply smile every time I pull them down for someone to look at.  These are some of my prized possessions.

Once I got the masses o pictures done, courtesy of my girls…I had a new set of pictures that had inundated my computer.  Over the course of time, I have added new files under my pictures section.  The main file is the year and the subfiles include things like Christmas, Family, a file for each child, pets, misc, etc.  Since there are dates on 99% of my pictures, I first just sorted them out, via the computer, into the proper year.  From there, I put the in the proper subfile and from there, I went and deleted the duplicates.  I crap you not, in 2015, I had 10000 duplicates.  So there was a ton of space taken up by having doubles, and sometimes quadruple the pictures.  I have not edited them because that is just not high on my “super fun” list of things to do.

This process takes time, but I do it at night when I’m watching a movie or when the kids are outside.  I do not put any pressure on myself, at all.  One thing I invested in was an external hard drive, so I have not only saved my pics on a CD and flash drives (that are safely tucked away in my fire safe box), I put them all on my external hard drive and I deleted them off my computer.  Let’s face it…computers crash and my pictures were not going to crash with them.  Sorry, Charlie.  Not gonna happen…not on my watch.

Big Daddy and the children love to sit down and watch me sort things out and look through these pictures.  It is fun and it is definitely a conversation starter for those kids who are not so apt at chatting with me all the time.  Take your time.  Enjoy the views and the memories.  Remember to save them to multiple devices and always store in a fire safe box or safe in case of fires!

Cleaning and Organizing: Laundry Room

I am going to do a little series of organizing my house.  I L.O.V.E. to organize.  Love Love Love it.  I believe, in one of my earlier posts, I stated that I had been in a season of depression.  A long, sucky season of depression and I’m working hard to pull out of it and to reclaim what I know is True.  Those Truths come from the Word and I have to remind myself that I’m not worthless….that I am a princess of the King.  He knew me before He created the world.  He knew my name….my beginning…..my middle….my end and all the stuff in between.  How awesome is that?

So…with school beginning with the kiddoes….I decided to reclaim my house, one room at a time.  Now, I have decluttered quite a bit.  As I have had good days, I’ve been able to go through a few things at a time, so it may not look like I have done much, but much has been done behind the scenes.  Keep that in mind 🙂

I wish I had gotten a “before” picture of the laundry. Now, bear in mind, that our next agenda is to repaint the laundry room and the ceiling.  We’ve had to do some remodeling of things due to a leaky roof.  I am also wanting to knock out the closet.  It is a home for many mice and I’m over it.  I want a new main door and a storm door on the back.  I also want a white door to put on the entrance to the house.  Our goal is to get the AC working out there.  I would love to put my utility sink back out there, but we have to find the long lost clog that is obstructing life.  We are, eventually getting new windows.  These windows do not open or close all the way and the outside of the window is rotting because of that blasted leak.  In an ideal world….I would love a new light in there…we shall see.

I will go through my progress and I will tell you that all the chemical agents I have hoarded over the years are now gone and I’m making new cleaners to replace the old cleaners and I’m doing it the essential oil, all natural route.  Pretty pumped about that.  I will put my recipes down, as I make them and I will be completely honest with if they work well or not.

I need this laundry room functional and not an eye sore.  It was such a lovely room before the roof leaked and ruined it all…oh and the air not working.  Noah got under the house and he did his best, but alas, his best was not quite good enough.  I’m not sure what we will do.  I know once the windows get replaced, I can put a fan in them and draw out that hot hair and utilize that more.

I would like a tension rod or a makeshift clothes line to hang up things that do not need to be dried.  I am also going to have Big Daddy make me some shelves to go behind my washer and dryer to add some space for the laundry detergent.  I purchased this lovely broom/mop holder.  Love it.  I also moved my washer over a bit and bought a small space saving cart.  It currently holds all of our cleaning supplies, so we were able to get them out of that wretched, nasty closet.  You can click on the picture for a description of the what you are seeing 🙂

Organizational Tip: Tackle the Kids Artwork

I have a lot of kids…that is no secret….my kids like to color, draw, paint, make sculptors, and then there are the awesome Sunday School creations that they bring home every Sunday morning, Sunday night and Wednesday….with the added bonus of VBS week.

If each of my kids at 1 tote per year of arts and crafts until they turn 18 (remember I homeschool and I have chose to keep everything from their school years)….I would have 126 totes FULL of stuff that I would have to store in my attic, garage, mancave, or storage unit.  That does not include all their baby things and toys etc…this is just artwork.

When I was going through my nesting phase (though I do not know what I’m nesting for LOL), I came across about 30 containers with all this stuff.  Sentimental things.  Things I cherish and want to remember forever.  Realistically, it was a bit of a fire hazard…or a lot of a fire hazard.  I had Big Daddy breathing down my neck to throw these treasures away and then I had my kids on the other side crying because when they saw something in the throw away box…they felt I didn’t love their art.

Quite the conundrum.

I had a couple of awesome ideas.  Maybe three.  I have a small wood chest my daddy made years ago….I also had a box that my mom got me when I was a child.  The first thing I did was I went through the attic (and garage) ALONE.  Second, I emptied my 2 chests and cleaned them all out.  Third, I got binders….2 per child and put their names on them.  I separated out each and every paper and craft (luckily most things had their name on it).  So, each child had a pile.  The treasures that I would not part with, I used my three hole puncher and then I added them to that particular childs’ binder. With the larger items, I placed them in my 2 chests.  That still left me with A TON of treasures.  Once I had the binders and the chests full….I still had 7 piles of treasures for each child.  These were items that were sweet, but I did not necessarily want to keep (fire hazard, remember). I took out my camera and I took pictures of the pictures.  I downloaded those photos on my computer and I gave each child a file. Those pictures are now saved on a flash drive, disk and my external hard drive.  I can look at them whenever I want.

I cut down on so much clutter.  I was able to preserve their sweet drawings, yet keep my sanity and live the minimalistic life that I love so much.  Now, I still have boxes of old toys, but I did part with 98% of them.  Some things are worth the clutter.  I was able to clean out an entire closet from the garage and free up all that space.  It all went to the attic where it is properly labeled and gone through.  I hope this is something that can help others.

Good luck and happy organizing.

Getting It Done

Getting It Done

Today, my goal is simply getting it done.  I slept in, which was glorious.  It is a rainy day, and I love sleeping in on rainy days.  We have one child dog sitting for the week, one child on a church retreat, one child at a friend’s house, and three children home just watching movies and playing.  I’m trying to sit here and ignore the fact that school starts back up on Monday.  *Sigh*  I need to let that resonate…….School.  Starts.  Monday.  Ugh.

My goal, this weekend, is to get my house put back together.  Christmas stuff has been LONG put up (I begin taking it down Christmas Day and finish up the day after), so that is not the problem.

The problem is that in 2014, I have slacked in the organizing/cleaning/keeping stuff put where they belong department.  I was aware of it all last year, but chose to ignore that still small voice that said: “get your stuff in order.”

Eventually, I will get it done.  It is wise to keep a trash bag/can and a giveaway box handy to help out.  Once the boxes are full, I put the giveaway box in the truck to drop off at a local needline and I take the garbage to the garbage.

A Few Days Ago

I tackled all but one of my kitchen cabinets. There was a point where I got them all cleaned out and reorganized them.  One drawer, however, needs to be finished.  Also, the drawer under the stove.  Then, I refilled my homemade spices (seasoning, enchilada, taco, spaghetti, ranch, onion soup mix mixes).

Some of those recipes can be found here.  This is one way that I save money.  While I’m doing that, it depletes my spices, so I made a detailed list of the things that I needed to buy in bulk at Sams.  I also need to organize/sweep out the pantry, but that is pretty much it for the kitchen.

Today

I started in the laundry room and went through every nook and cranny.  It was an intentional moment when I put every tool back in its spot.  Also, I wiped every surface and underneath surfaces and did all the laundry.  At some point, I still need to clean out the dryer hose, deep down the lint tray of the dryer and then that will be done.  It feels good.  Really really good.

All the floor mats and blankets/sheets need to be washed.  The pillows need refreshing by throwing them in the dryer on fluff with a sponge made with my homemade dryer sheets.  I will have the kids (after they strip their bedding and bring me their pillows) spray Febreze on their mattresses and flip them, if necessary.

Once their bedding is all done and smelling good, it is a good start to deep cleaning their rooms.  I also replenished all of my homemade cleaners.

Big Daddy’s Job

Big Daddy is running all my mundane errands.  He is a jewel-like that cause he knows I don’t like to get out, especially in the rain.  Furthermore, he is working on refinancing our home to get us a fixed rate.  Also, he is also picking up a kid, medicine, and doing most of the grocery shopping. We will do the rest tomorrow night at Sams.

The living room is pretty well organized and straightened. I still need to dust and clean the windows.  Also, I need to brush off the dog hair from my furniture and clean one piece of furniture.  At some point, I am going to move everything to sweep/mop underneath and make sure the school closet is done. I went on a quest to organize Big Daddy’s movie obsession and I’m thrilled that he is parting with some movies.  We still have a TON, but I got some new shelving and have them all pretty and easy to find.

I also hung pictures and set up pictures that I have been meaning to do for a while.  I have a pile on my mantle of things that people have left here, by accident.  I’m thrilled to have got rid of most of that stuff.

The dining room is the same way…just needs a good sweeping/mopping.  I want to tackle my appliance closet and the boys toy closet.  The little boys will help me with that.  It is their stuff and they need to learn how to organize their stuff so it is easier to find.  I will also wash all of their play clothes because they STINK.

Bedrooms

I cleaned the carpet upstairs, so I just need to dust and vacuum up there.  There is a deep need to rehang my curtains and put my books back where they belong instead of haphazardly stacking them everywhere.  Recently, went through my filing cabinet upstairs and shredded a lot, threw away a lot and then organized the rest.  Finally, I have all my appliance booklets in a binder to make them easier to find.  That has helped a ton.

The kids’ bedrooms need their carpets cleaned and vacuumed.  They also need to be dusted.  We need to go through and find all the socks that are mismatched or don’t have a match.  I do this frequently. We throw away holey socks and holey underwear and when there isn’t a match, I have a small laundry basket in the laundry room that I can put it in or look through.

The girls’ socks are pretty easy to weed through.  They already wear mismatched socks so that takes off a lot of pressure for me.  The boys, however, go through socks like water.  We don’t have to try on/go through clothes again because we just did that, so we are good in that department.

Schoolwork

The kids’ schoolwork is ready for them.  They each have their own buckets that house their personal stuff in it.  All the tablets are powered and ready for us.  The computer has been cleaned off and virus protection has been scanned.  Schedules are already done because I do it a year at a time.

I’ve got this…………….really, I do!!!!!!!

Off to work.  I’ll be posting my menu for the next few days tomorrow.  Don’t forget about my giveaway for THE IDENTICAL movie.  Leave a comment, with your email address, in the comments section below for a chance to win.  The drawing will happen on January 5th!

I. Am Tired.

Wowser what a day!  I haven’t been sleeping well for the past few nights and last night…I just didn’t feel well.  Nothing major just a lot of minor blechs.  Big Daddy let me sleep in till 10:00 🙂 Yay him and yay me!  Once up, my feet hit the floor with correction for one child (enter go to Canada looks, pouting, stomping, deflecting, and whining)…those choices landed this particular child in the realm of cleaning out my vehicle, writing 3 chapters of Proverbs, and writing “Honor Thy Father and They Mother” many many MANY times.  It seemed to calm said child and the chores were done without complaining.  Score one for me!

Today was the day to switch out clothes (screams of horror and terror).  The little boys were first because, though they are 2 years apart, they wear the same size.  They have grown tremendously, yet they still have clothes to wear.  We had several bags of good…too small…clothes that we will donate.  Once we got their stuff done; I moved onto Boo.  He is fairly easy because he can try on clothes quickly and he accepts the “too small; too tight; too big” comments with grace.  Once the clothes/drawers were done…Boo pulled out the sterilite containers from the attic and we went through those.  I hate doing this.  Gigi was the last to go.  As we were shuffling through her MOUNDS of clothes and I observed the scowls and bad looks because these were “not her style” clothes…I told her to get over herself and she would wear what we had because these are good clothes and money does not grow on trees! While going through her things…we did find all of Bug’s missing underwear.  Why Gigi had them…I don’t know.  I don’t care.  We returned them with strict instructions to watch what she throws in her dresser and to return clothes that were mistakenly put in her clothes basket.  She doesn’t pay a lot of attention….to anything…ever.  She whined a lot during the clothes trying on session.  At one point, about 8:30 we all (Big Daddy, me, Peach, and Boo) got the giggles every time she walked out and therefore she started giggling…this made the time go by so much faster.  We were laughing over stupid things and frankly, I’m just slap happy because I’m so tired.

My kids get a few pieces of clothes for their birthdays and Christmas.  We live by hand-me-downs and consignment stores.  The thing about now is that Peach (child #2) is taller than Bug (child #1) so they can’t switch out clothes.  Gigi is lightyears away from how tall Peach is, so we are storing clothes for what seems like forever.  Boo is hard on his jeans/shoes/socks so none of that can be handed down.  It’s hard, but we do sales and we buy off season in hopes that something will fit someone at some particular time.

Peach did her own thing with her clothes and so did Bug.  Peach decided to move her furniture around and as she moved her bookcase…there we found a lovely mouse nest.  That pesky mouse that would run between Bug’s room, Peach’s room, and the bathroom…yep…it lived under her bookcase (nasty nasty nasty).  Though, now, I’m chuckling a bit.  This is a picture of what a mouse nest looks like…not the one we found in her room.

As the boys were playing in the garage, Little Man came flying in and said “guess what guess what guess what???”  Big Daddy and I said “WHAT?”  He threw something at my lap and said “Look what I found in the garage by those things that are big in the garage!”  I looked and it was the hearing aid that he had lost almost 5 mths ago!!!!!!!!!  I am THRILLED!  We had a replacement made, but still, this is a backup and when you have a kid with complete hearing loss, unilaterally, a backup aid is EXCELLENT.  Bonus…it totally still works.  We popped it in his ear and made him turn around.  We were whispering “can you hear us?”  He had no response, so I turned him back around and I said “is it working, can you hear better?” and he said “yes” because that is what he always says, but we knew that wasn’t the truth because Boo was talking to him and he couldn’t hear him.  About 5 minutes into the “can you really hear me?”  His eyes lit up and he said “Holy Crap…it popped and NOW I can REALLY hear you better!”  It was hysterical.

Thanking God for miracles and provisions!

The mantle is cleaned off.  A Christmas present arrived.  The clothes have been gone through.  The laundry is done.  I made a PHENOMENAL supper (pork chop and hashbrown casserole, mac & cheese, lima beans, and garlic bread).  My kids are groomed and bathed.  The dogs are asleep.  Big Daddy is cackling to the show Chrisley Knows Best.  Big Daddy also put up our MOUNDS of clean clothes (my personal pet peeve).  Peach asked if she could write Scripture on her wall…I said YES!  She is happy.

I am tired.  Life is good.  Never dull or boring, that’s for sure!

My Wheels are Turning!

I love to cook. There are times when I will plan my menu, for a month, and cook all of it and freeze it.  This works well for me when we are especially busy (read “everyday that ends in “y”).  Sometimes I freezer cook for 2 weeks and there are other times when I cook every night.  My latest “see how it pans out” project is organizing my pantry and putting items together in a little basket labeled with that night’s dinner.  By doing this (and adding the recipe when necessary), it takes some pressure off of me in regards to what am I cooking?  Do I have all the ingredients?  I don’t feel well or I’m tired and I don’t want to cook feelings.  This system has worked well for me the past few months. It has helped control my grocery bill and it has given me to the freedom to tell my older daughters or husband to pull a meal out of the pantry and cook dinner for me tonight.  It has main dishes and sides.  I like system, so I’m sticking with it.

DSCN4092

 

There are times, though, when we have no leftovers or an abundance of leftovers.  They never go to waste. I can either freeze them for a future meal or save them and that is lunch for the next day.  When I make roasts (I always make 2), we eat one, I tear some off and freeze for soups/enchiladas/or another meal.  Make the most out of your meals.  Stretch it as far as you possibly can.  It seriously helps with lowering your grocery bill.

While thinking about dinners and organizing my pantry, today, I had a brilliant idea (well, I saw a 3 minute snippet on The Pioneer Woman’s tv show).  Why not go a step further in stretching that buck.  I have decided to go and get some freezer quart/gallon baggies, aluminum foil, plastic wrap, and some different sized (on the smaller side) aluminum pans (disposable or can be washed and reused).  What I’m going to do is while I’m putting together our suppers, I will throw one portion to the side and label/freeze it.  At the end of the week, I’m going to get a little basket together and take it to my mother in law.  She is a widow and she does not cook much anymore.  I worry about her health and her eating well.  I know that she is on a limited income.  Why not help another person.  We try to have her over for dinner a couple times a month, but this is going to cover her daily.  It will be homemade and nutritious.  It will take little effort for her to thaw it out and there will be no waste.

I’m so excited!  This week, on the menu is, chicken and rice enchiladas, baked spaghetti, chicken alfredo, roast, and I’m feeling some kind of soup…just haven’t nailed that down.  The beginning will cost a bit more money because of the starting up items I will need, but who cares.  I just want to bless her and take care of her.  That is what we are called to do…to take care of the widows and orphans James 1:27

Take a look around your neighborhood, your church, or your family.  How can you step up and help another.  Be aware of any food allergies or intolerances because that is important to note as well!  Bake a loaf of bread…whip up some rolls and freeze them.  Make a mess of pancakes and take over a big bottle of syrup.  Make up an extra batch of cookies.  Removing one serving out of your serving of 10 (in my case) is not that big of a stretch.  As I make my enchiladas tonight, I’ll just put one to the side.

I’ll be posting some recipes as I make them and let you all know how this is working out.

« Older Entries