Saturday, August 23, 2008

ABCs of Homemaking

This was on The American Homemaker, and I thought it was cute.

Aprons--y/n If y, what does your fave look like?
I have a few basic aprons but they don't fit around my growing belly.

Baking--Favorite thing to bake?
Many things. Muffins, biscuits, tortillas, pancakes, desserts, and on and on

Clothes line?
No, I don't have or use one.

Donuts--Have you ever made them?
My uncle gave me two recipes but I haven't used them.

Everyday--One homemaking thing you do every day?

Freezer--Do you have a separate deep freeze?
Yes, but we don't have the space for it. It's in storage until we get a new garage built.

Garbage Disposer?

Handbook--What is your favorite homemaking resource?
Internet is all I really have.

Ironing--Love it or Hate it? Or hate it but love the results?
I hate ironing. I prefer to toss it back in the dryer and call it good.

Junk Drawer--y/n? Where is it?
I think the tops of counters and dressers is where my junk accumulates.

Kitchen--color and decorating scheme.
Primary Red and Cobalt Blue - a modern look.

Love--what is your favorite part of homemaking?
Doing things on my own schedule.

Our floors have to be hand scrubbed, not wet mopped. They are far overdue.

Nylons, machine or hand wash?
I don't wear them. I hate them. In the winter I wear long skirts and boots.

Oven--do you use the window or open the oven to check?
both. Usually I turn the light on to keep an eye on stuff. Then when the timer goes off I open and check.

Pizza--What do you put on yours?
Peppers, onions, and some meat.

Quiet--What do you do during the day when you get a quiet moment?
play game boy Dr. Mario or Tetris.

Recipe Card Box--y/n? What does it look like?
I have an apple covered cook book I write recipes in. I try them 2 or 3 times and if everyone loves it I write it in the book.

Style of house--What style is your house?
Small and cozy. Decorated in a modern style throughout. Lots of red, blue and abstract paintings.

Tablecloths or Placemats?
That's just more laundry.

Under the kitchen sink--organized or toxic wasteland?
Organized. I have racks attached to the doors for plastic wraps and foil. Everything is in order.

Vacuum--How many times per week?
Probably once on average. Some weeks MORE and some weeks not at all.

Wash--How many loads of laundry do you do per week?

X's--Do you keep a daily list of things to do that you cross off?
No not really. I have a running list of things that need to be done.

Yard--y/n? Who does what?
Peyton mows and that's about all we do to it.

ZZZ's--what is your last homemaking task for the day before going to bed?
I don't think I do the same thing regularly before bed except check my email.

Anyone else want to play the ABCs?

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

A day in our preschool

Here is our preschool schedule...


Calendar Activities - month, day of week, date,weather
Reading - 15 minutes of reading
Letter of the Week - various activities, work on letter book,
Math -number of the week
Bible - read, story, songs, verse, practice hymn
Pre-writing - work in wipe off books
Postcard Learning - choose one post card per week

Most of her activities achieve more than one goal. For example, working with the calendar teaches number recognition, days of the week, weather, sequence (what comes next), and so on. Reading usually has fiction and nonfiction. We read about baby animals or read I Spy books themed with numbers. Bible is usually combined bible verses from Sunday school or practice hymns she will sing for the congregation. Also, her writing books are more than one subject as well. She is essentially learning to hold her pen right. However, they are themed with numbers, letters, colors, shapes, etc.
So here is a break down of our preschool...

Calendar - We sing days of the week. I always ask her "what comes next?" We put up one of our weather elements. Sometimes she likes to read all the letters on the days of the week. We just play with the calendar until she's ready to do something else.

Reading - We have a dozen of our favorite fiction books, but we usually save those for bed time. Reading during the day is usually structured towards whatever we are learning. Right now she has titles like, Ten Apples up on Top!, Dr. Seuss's ABC, Fairy Numbers, Five Little Bunnies Hopping on a Hill, Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed, The Alphabet God's Way. She also has some very basic board books that show the alphabet and things that start with those letters. I took a picture of her reading this at her desk though we usually read on the couch or in bed. She likes these books because they are similar to the game she plays on the computer.

Letter of the Week - Each week we focus on a new letter. This week is C c. I focus on her learning the "big" and "little" letters as well as the phonics. This has been a BREEZE with I have to limit her time on the computer and she has learned nearly all the lower case letters on her own. Last year we learned the big letters. So I wanted her to learn lower case this year as well as phonics. But while playing the computer games, she learned lower case in no time at all. So we are basically working on phonics and reinforcing lower case.

We are also making a letter book. I make a large letter on the page and she glues things onto it. We also post the letter on her learning board and practice it throughout the week. Another activity we do is walk around the house and look for the letter.

Math -Math at this age consists of counting, ordering, sorting, or recognizing numbers. Math is probably the easiest to slide in with other areas. At the dinner table, she likes to count how many boys and how many girls. We read lots of books with numbers. We practice the calendar numbers. We find numbers in the house. She has an I Spy board book based on numbers.

I have created a caterpillar out of numbers. Each week we post a new letter on the learning board and move the old number to the growing caterpillar.

Bible - We don't have this one nailed down. I have gone back and forth on which bible stories to read. We do well with learning verses and practicing songs. I write her verses on construction paper and hang them on the learning board.

Pre-Writing - This is Breesa's favorite thing to do. Sometimes she disappears and I can find her at her desk doing her workbooks. She is so proud of herself when she finishes. She usually gets a sticker as well.

Post Card Learning - When my grandma passed away she left me a shoe box full of post cards. Being a homeschooler, I couldn't toss them. So I have decided to let Breesa pick one card or group of cards per week. Then I find movies, books, or activities to teach her about that subject. So far we have done the king crab, foxes (snow fox and red fox), and this week it's light houses. We will actually go to see one so that will be exciting. She really gets a lot out of these and it's like a science lesson when we study animals or history when we study something like light houses. We post these on the learning board also.

Learning Board...I am sure by now you are wondering what her learning board looks like. It was inspired by the Letter of the Week curriculum. We post everything we are working to the learning board. When we are finished we move the items to a specified location. The bible verses go on one wall. The numbers go with the caterpillar and the letters go down the side of a book shelf. I haven't decided on a place fr post cards but I may put them in an album to look through. I also keep a sticker chart on the board so that we can keep track of what subjects we are getting done. I don't focus on getting it all done every day. But at least with stickers I know when we did it last. Plus she likes them!!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Baby Registry

Here are the things I want for the baby...we technically don't need anything except diapers.

Netted Washing Bag-for all those tiny baby things like socks, bibs, etc
Changing Pad-a contoured pad for the top of the changing table
Baby Carrier-go to to make a Moby Wrap..nuetral colors
Stroller-undecided on this but I guess I will need one..single,double-I don't know...
Booster Chair-We never used a high chair, a boost seat will do and is much cheaper. There is a blue/green or red/yellow.
DIAPERS-Any kind all sizes
Diaper bag-I have one I sewed for Breesa but I need one a smaller "tote" type bag.
Boppy-nuetral color like green or yellow
Breast milk bags


Nail Clippers

Pacifiers -a few would be nice to have on hand.
Baby Book-Ok I am dying to buy the Suzy's Zoo BLUE baby book.
Other Suzy Zoo stuff-Boof the Bear accessories like passy clip, fork and spoon, stuffed bear, anything Suzy Zoo...
Ok I actually registered at Wal-Mart.

Monday, August 4, 2008

The 4 o' clock panic

Ever get the 4 o'clock panic? You know, the one where you realize you don't have anything ready or planned for dinner. You end up with frozen fish sticks or ordering out. I have been working on avoiding this chaos. Tonight was our first night back in town. I didn't have much for groceries. Pierce was on his way in town so he was picking a few up for me. We were on the phone while he was in the store trying to think of something to cook tonight. Anyway, we decided on baked chicken wings and no sides. I was irritated because I hadn't planned anything and still really hadn't decided on anything for dinner.

After we hung up, I was searching around on the Hillbilly Housewife website and came across a recipe for easy bread sticks. I decided I could make them. And coincidentally, I had lasagna on the menu for this week. So Pierce was bringing home a few things I needed for that. I had Peyton start browning meat and I went ahead and started the bread sticks....SO EASY!! These bread sticks weren't that hard and they were SO DELICIOUS!! Anyway, we finished up the bread sticks and meat, mixed the sauce into the meat, and laid the first layer of noodles by the time Pierce got back with the groceries. All I needed was the cottage cheese and mozzarella. I finished the lasagna and popped it in the over. At Pierce's request, I boiled some corn to go with dinner. TA-DA!! I outsmarted the 4 o'clock panic AGAIN!! Dinner was so good. Check out the link for the garlic bread. They are made with a bit much butter and white flour but sometimes you just gotta live a little!!

A Bittersweet Goodbye

Another chapter in the book of my life is closing. This was my last weekend in the Missouri Air National Guard. I served eight years between activie duty and the National Guard. I think it's a bittersweet good bye. On one hand it is something I have been a part of for 8 entire adult life. On the other hand, there are so many other pursuits in my life. I feel like I am at an exciting point in my life. I can do many things from this point on.

I traveled many places because of the military. I lived in Tokyo, Japan for almost three years. I visited Okinawa, Guam, Hawaii, 20+ states. I earned an Associates degree in Logistics/Transportation. I am due to complete my Bachelors in Psychology in May. The Air Force paid all but seven classes of my degree...that's one big "scholarship". I wouldn't have gotten a degree if it hadn't been for the Air Force. I am excited to achieve that.

The Air Force provided me with many opportunities to succeed. I found the love of my life in the military. We have been married now for 6 years. Being a soldier brings many burdens into a family as well as the soldier. Having two soldiers in one family is a difficult task. While he continues his career in the Guard, I am going to serve my country by supporting my husband.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

What's For Dinner??

Tonight I made a new meal. We are celebrating getting renters into our old house. We also are celebrating our great budget last month. I made ribs, the ones I got on sale...they were 30% off because they needed to be froze that night. I also made a fresh cucumber and tomato salad and cantaloupe. We will be having caramel apple pie for dessert...after a while I am stuffed now. Here are the recipes for our meal. I searched until I found recipes that matched ingredients we had. I was going to run to the store for BBQ sauce but instead found the recipe that had all my ingredients. So I didn't have to spend any extra money...

My meal costs
Free cucumber and 2 tomatoes from the garden
$5.29 Ribs
$1.00 (estimated) One large tomato
$0.57 1/4 Cantelope (A huge canteloupe; been eating it 2 days; original Price was $2.28.)
$1.16 1/2 of an apple pie

Not bad for a family of four and this was an "expensive" meal. I usually try to get more for my money but wanted to make this a special meal.

All the ingredients for the sauces I had in the fridge or pantry. I used dried seasonings. I am not patient enough to calculate a tablespoon of this and a tablespoon of that. I also used one giant cucumber (you wouldn't believe the size of that thing) and two smaller tomatoes from my dad's garden. Then I used one large tomato I picked up from the Farmers Market.

It's amazing by keeping a few select things on hand you can make a world of dishes.


2 pkg. country style ribs
1 c. catsup
2 c. water
1 onion, diced
1/8 c. Worcestershire sauce
Dash celery salt, garlic powder, seasoned salt & pepper
1/2 c. brown sugar

Mix together all the ingredients except the ribs. Put the ribs in crock pot. Pour the mixture over ribs. Cook on low 8-10 hours in crock pot. Good with baked beans and corn bread.



1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sea or kosher salt
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
10 fresh basil leaves
5 fresh oregano leaves
3 small fresh cucumbers (pickling or thin slicing)
2 large beefsteak tomatoes, vine ripened

Mince garlic or press through a garlic press. Let garlic stand in balsamic and wine vinegars for 10 minutes (this takes the "edge" off). Discard any garlic which has green sprouts in the center, as the flavor is too sharp and bitter for this salad - use for another purpose.

Wash basil and oregano leaves (pick at noon time on a sunny day for best flavor). Roll up leaves and slice into little strips (chiffonade). Chop and add to your best olive oil and allow to stand in oil while garlic marinates.

Meanwhile, prepare salad ingredients. Wash cucumbers and tomatoes. Peel cucumbers, leaving a scant amount of peel (helps with digestion). Slice cucumbers into 1/4 inch coins (circles).

With a sharp knife, remove stem and blossom end from tomatoes (a very small amount). Slice tomatoes into wedges, being careful not to crush and lose juice.

Place tomatoes and cucumbers in salad bowl and sprinkle with sea salt or kosher salt.

Combine olive oil with vinegars, whisking together well. Use to dress tomatoes and cucumbers; serve at room temperature.

Variations: Add 1 thinly sliced red onion, pitted oil cured black olives and fresh mozzarella, sliced (or use the small bocconcini).

Frugal Lunch and Dinner

I decided to write out some things I did this month to slim the budget. I reviewed my shopping lists, my meal plans, and recipes.


My first week of menu planning was originally from I used her suggested menu. I had many of her ingredients on hand. I added a few of my own. I will go into detail on the menu in just a second. This was a good start for me. This lady is has a phenomenal meal plan on her site. She gives you the menu, recipes, shopping lists, and daily jobs to keep the kitchen flowing. It was an eye opener. This first section is breakfast.


Here are meals that I cooked this month. I wanted to add that I make a meal plan with three meals a day and add snacks in the notes section. However, I rarely cook what is scheduled for the day. I may not be in the mood for pancakes for breakfast so I have muffins and a smoothie instead. I just cross off what I ate and save the pancakes for another day. But having a menu plan ensures I have the necessary ingredients and I don’t have to wonder what I’m going to make. I have choices.


Lunch and dinner tend to be the same types of recipes. Since Pierce’s schedule is hectic I always make sure he has a hot dinner before work…even if it’s at 3 pm. I will post both lunch and dinner recipes.


MAIN DISHES (click titles for recipe)


Lentil and Vegetable Soup with Dumplings ~ I have made this a few times.


Pinto Beans ~ Not really one of our favorites but worth a try.


Butter Beans ~ I cooked half a pound of bacon to go in this soup. I also added a little of the bacon grease to flavor the beans. I also used baby Lima beans. I LOVED THIS SOUP!!


Creamed Tuna & Peas ~ I don’t like tuna or peas, but this wasn’t so bad. I have it on the menu again.


Black Bean Soup ~ You can add whatever taco toppings you like. We actually load up the soup and it's more like nachos. Sometimes I add a little hamburger (or ground turkey) to make it a complete protein.


Pot Roast ~ I made pot roast one night. The next night I used the leftover meat to make Shepherd Pie.


Shepherd’s Pie ~ This is another recipe that you throw together and can easily alter. There are two ways to make this. The first is to cook the veggies on the stove top, mix them with the meat and gravy. Or put all the ingredients in the dish and cook the veggies in the oven. I prefer to cook them on the stove because it takes less time in the over.


Shepherd’s Pie

Left over Pot Roast

Bag of mixed veggies (the stew mix or diced veggies)

Brown gravy seasoning (or homemade gravy)

6-8 Potatoes

I combined a bag of mixed veggies (or any other half bags left in the back of the freezer), diced pot roast, and gravy (made from a packet or left over pot roast broth.) Spread it in the bottom of a casserole dish. Then top with homemade mashed potatoes. I used to put the potatoes in my Easy Accent Decorator to make pretty scalloped potatoes on top of my dish. But I typically just spread the potatoes out over the mixture and dot the top to make peaks. The potatoes brown better and taste better.


Ramen Stir Fry ~ I got inspiration for this dish from Pampered Chef. They had a ramen noodle recipe though I never looked at it.


Fajitas ~ We made homemade tortillas. I didn’t have any fajita seasoning on hand. I usually use McCormick’s seasoning packs. But I pulled up a recipe for homemade seasoning and I had most things to make it.



2 Chicken Breasts

1 Green Pepper

1 Onion




Any other toppings you like

Sauté the chicken and add in sliced peppers and onions. Cook veggies to desired tenderness. I like mine to be a little crunchy with flavor left in them. Add the seasoning and some water. Wa-LA!! Fajitas!! I have been making these since we first got married. The recipe is on the back of the seasoning pack if you need more instructions.


Biscuits and Gravy ~ I made this a few times. I used the cream sauce from the Creamed Tuna dish. It's basically a gravy. I made these biscuits.




Scalloped Tomatoes ~ An instant HIT!! Everyone loved it.


Southern Batter Bread ~ Breesa is the only one who was crazy about this recipe. We ate it anyway.


Corn Bread ~ I have yet to find a homemade recipe I like…


Cottage Cheese


Sliced fruit ~ Usually cantaloupe or watermelon.


Potatoes ~ I make these in a lot of different ways.


Fruit Salad ~ It’s from a can but way better than fruit cocktail and thrifty too. The only thing I change is draining the fruit in a colander (rinsing if it has heavy syrup).



Snacks are a necessity with kids and a pregnant mom. Here are some of the snacks we eat…


Graham Crackers with peanut butter ~ sometimes I top with sliced bananas.


Fruit ~ sliced apples, bananas, cantaloupe, etc






Sliced cheese from a block


Cheese Quesadillas (if we have homemade tortillas)


Cookies ~ homemade with WHEAT flour and SOOO good.


Baked goods ~ I usually have something on hand: muffins, biscuits, cookies. I also have been experimenting with homemade bread…which I cannot resist snacking on.


Popcorn ~ We pop it on the stove and add a variety of seasonings: sugar and cinnamon for a vaguely sweet snack, parmesan, salt, garlic salt, anything really.





Frugal Breakfast Ideas

I decided to write out some things I did this month to slim the budget. I reviewed my shopping lists, my meal plans, and recipes.


My first week of menu planning was originally from I used her suggested menu. I had many of her ingredients on hand. I added a few of my own. I will go into detail on the menu in just a second. This was a good start for me. This lady is has a phenomenal meal plan on her site. She gives you the menu, recipes, shopping lists, and daily jobs to keep the kitchen flowing. It was an eye opener. This first section is breakfast.


Here are meals that I cooked this month. I wanted to add that I make a meal plan with three meals a day and add snacks in the notes section. However, I rarely cook what is scheduled for the day. I may not be in the mood for pancakes for breakfast so I have muffins and a smoothie instead. I just cross off what I ate and save the pancakes for another day. But having a menu plan ensures I have the necessary ingredients and I don’t have to wonder what I’m going to make. I have choices.


>Oatmeal – We don’t eat this very often. I keep it on hand for quick a fix or baking.


>Bran Muffins – These are called 30 Day muffins. I had these as a child and decided to look up the recipe. I use to find recipes. This recipe will make about 5 dozen muffins. You can keep it in the fridge for thirty days and make them as you go. I need my bowl on a regular basis so I half the recipe. I cook all the muffins, which makes about 2 dozen in my Pampered Chef stones. They are a little bigger. I have switched out a few ingredients as well. Here is my version of the recipe…



2 c. 100% bran cereal
4 c. All-Bran flakes
1 qt. buttermilk (can be substituted with milk and vinegar)
1 c. butter
2 c. sugar (or natural sugar)
6 eggs
5 c. sifted white flour (I haven't tried wheat yet)
5 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt

Combine cereals in a large bowl. Add 2 cups boiling water to dry cereal. Let stand for several minutes. Stir in buttermilk. Cream shortening and sugar together in bowl. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add bran mixture to shortening mixture. Mix well. Sift flour, soda, and salt together.

Stir into bran mixture until mixed. Cover. Refrigerate until needed. Will keep up to 30 days.

Bake muffins in 400 degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until muffins test done. (Add nuts and blueberries for a special treat. Allow mixture to set for at least 1 day before baking any muffins.



>Smoothies - I make banana smoothies with the muffins. This is probably the most common breakfast for us. The smoothies consist of frozen bananas. I freeze a bunch of bananas. When I am ready to make smoothies, I put the banana in some cold water long enough to make the skin soggy. If you leave it too long the banana thaws. Too short, and the peel is a pain to get off. A frozen banana makes a smoothie. A thawed banana makes “banana milk” as the kids call it. Either way it’s good. I put one banana, milk (probably about 1-2 cups), a few dashes of vanilla, and a teaspoon of sugar. This will make about two 8 oz smoothies. *Note-portion control is a big issue. I use small tumblers that are approximately 8 oz for most drinks. I serve water in the larger glasses.* An 8 oz smoothie and 1-2 muffins will serve an adult. For the little one, I use a tiny, kids coffee mug. It might be a 4 oz. Sometimes I pour one glass and mix a little extra milk to make it go farther. It just depends on how many I am serving.


>Bacon and eggs – I will make this once a week or so. I only cook 2 – 3 half slices of bacon each. We used to cook the whole pound of bacon and split it four ways. I know; that can’t be good for us. Anyway, one or two eggs, a few slices of bacon, and wheat toast are a great start.


>Pancakes – Now I copied this recipe from the Hill Billy Housewife site, but changed it again. I never thought my family would go for wheat pancakes but they all liked them...more than me but I am adjusting.


  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 medium egg
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 cup wheat flour
  • Dash of cinnamon

Get out a medium sized bowl. Measure in the milk, egg, oil and sugar. Beat well with a fork or wire whisk. Add the salt, baking powder, flour and cinnamon. Beat again, mixing until the batter is smooth. Cook on a hot, well oiled griddle or skillet. I use about 1/4 cup of batter per pancake. I heat up my iron skillet over medium-high heat, and melt a spoonful of butter. I drop in about 1/4 cup of batter. Brown it well, and lay it in a plate. Repeat until all of the batter is used up. The recipe as it is written will serve 4 people with average appetites.


>French Toast – We have French toast on occasion. There is a recipe for over baked French toast though I haven’t made it. We have tried to cut down our starches to a healthy amount. So we don’t make this often. But it’s an option.


>Juice – I usually keep juice in the fridge. I make it from concentrate. The only thing I do is add FOUR cans of water instead of three. I water it down a little and no one notices. There can be a lot of sugar in fruit juices so I feel better watering it down a little. I only serve juice for breakfast (unless we are having breakfast for lunch or dinner.) I serve 4-8 ounces.


>Egg Surprise – Sometimes I scramble eggs and throw in whatever left over veggies are in the fridge and toss with a little cheese. Sort of like an omelet but scrambled.


This is our basic breakfast menu. Muffins and smoothies are common for us. Since I can spend an hour making the muffins, once a week and have both breakfast and snacks on hand. The smoothies only take a few minutes as well. This works well for rushed mornings since it can be eaten in the car.


As far as shopping goes, there really aren't many ingredients used for the recipes above. Here is what I have come up with to keep on hand...

Canister of Oatmeal

Bananas (in he freezer)





Baking soda

Baking powder (I use this a lot for many different recipes. I had no idea!!)


The ingredients for the muffins have to be considered. I don't use the bran cereals for anything. So I keep them on hand for the muffins. The ingredients go pretty far with this recipe. I have made about 6 dozen muffins off the same boxes of cereal. The only thing I need to remember is the buttermilk. I buy about 1 qt every two to three weeks. I hope this is helpful in planning your breakfasts.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

My Home Organizer

I was initially inspired by Fly Lady, but Candy's blog got me moving. Here is my Home Organizer, also called many other things by other ladies. If you want more information on starting your own, check Candy's Home Management Binder University or list of other women's binders. Her web pages is The links are in her side bar.

So here is the tour of my binder...

Here is the cover. I decorated it with scrapbooking stickers, cute quotes, and Thomas Kincaid stickers.

The pocket of the binder hold mail, usually bills. There also happens to be a paint sample for the front porch, stickers from my daughter, and some other junk I have yet to file. My pencil holder has a few pens, pencils, a highlighter, and post it notes. I use the notes all over my binder to remind me things to update or create. The first page in my binder is a page of notes from a book I am reading. It includes 10 things to pray for everyday in regards to my children.

The tabs in my book are
Red - Calendar
Purple – Daily Routines
Yellow - Cleaning
Green – Meal Planning
Blue – To Do
Red - Budget
Purple - (empty)
Yellow - Social
Green – Home School
Blue - College

The first tab is my calendar section. I printed these from Donna Young. Pretty basic stuff.

The next tab is our daily schedule. I break it into blocks. Rise & Shine, Morning, Afternoon, and Bedtime. The morning and afternoon blocks are done in any order really. Just get it done before lunch or before dinner. The Rise & Shine and Bedtime are done first and last in the day. I find it easier to keep this sort of schedule because days are hectic and at least I know I have a basic list to get things finished. A minute-to-minute schedule is not easy for me to follow.

The next section is least used section. Ok I'm still working on this area. I made these sheets in Excel. The first is a list of chores that only need to be done weekly, such as mopping, cleaning glass, etc. I like this because if I need to skip something at least I have a record of when it was done last. (I can skip something different this week...should I repeat I am still working in this area??)

This page is a list of chores to do every day. It mostly includes quick cleaning, wipe downs, emptying trash, straighting type stuff. The days 1st-15th are on the front and the 16th-31st are on the backside.
Also in my cleaning section, you will find a laundry list of which load to do on each day. Homemade Cleaning Recipes and Age Appropriate Chores.

The next area is my To Do List section...perhaps my favorite section. I love to make lists...I grew up on them. Anyway, I didn't feel a need for pictures of this one. But I keep loose, leaf paper in this section and my many to do lists. My husband is working so hard on all our projects, that I recently re-wrote the lists. My lists now include To Do: Around the House-my list of things that need done. I have a To Do: Projects on the House-a list for Pierce and I to stay on the same page about the direction we are moving in remodeling our house. He is working on the list as I type...yay! The next list is To Do: Decluttering. Since we are remodeling and unpacking, there is always somewhere to declutter. I might make other lists and keep them here but that is all I have for now.

The next tab is my Budget section. I didn't include pictures because most pages have personal information on them. Anyway, I get a lot of printouts from They are a great financial resource. I keep a list of financial goals and a percentage guide for family income. This is a page that has many income brackets and lets you know what percent of your income should be spent on each area. For instance, housing expenses for a family of 4 range from 39% to 29% of net income. I use this to make sure we are spending our money in the right areas. It has been my inspiration for getting our food budget down. Gas is next!! I printed it from the Crown website. I also keep a list of debts to pay. If there is someone who can't be paid when the bill comes in, I list them on this page.

Ok back to visuals...

This is my meal planner. I plan three meals a day for most days of the week, unless we are out of town or busy that night. I rarely cook what I have listed for that day. But I have to make this or my meals are a mess. Instead, I cross off what I make. I may not be in the mood for something so I steal tomorrow nights meal plan and cook it tonight. Then I just cross it off. Some days I plan lunch and write "leftovers" beside it for dinner because I know I can make enough to last for both meals.

I also keep a list of meals we like make. This way I have ideas when I am planning my menu. I will ask my family what they want. I jot the ideas down at the top of my meal plan. Then I head to the store. I try to match what's on sale with their requests. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. I use this system to keep the budget down, instead of buying what they want regardless of the price. I also have a master grocery list I printed from online at Donna Young. But I have a sticky note to make a new one. My list is much different than hers and it took me FOREVER to get my shopping done using this one. Needless to say, I only used it once. I keep the old one in there to remind me that I need to make a customized grocery list.

The next tab is yellow and I called it the Family Yellow Pages...ha ha. Anyway, I keep phone numbers here. Also, there is a page for birthdays and anniversaries. But I never send cards so I don't really know why I have it. I guess I intend to get around to it.

The second to last area is Homeschooling. I love this section because I am currently working on it. The first page is a list of Breesa's Daily Preschool Tasks. This is what it looks like...


Calendar Activities
Month, Day of Week, Date

15 minutes of reading

Letter of the Week
Check daily activities

Read story
Verse for Sunday School
Practice hymn for church service

Number of the week
Activity or Game

Pre-writing books

Personal Care

It is more or less an overview of my ideal day with her. I blogged a whole post about this. It's in the side bar. Anyway, we don't always get to everything but when she needs an activity to keep her busy I try to pull from this list first.

This is a handout from her Sunday School teacher with the bible verses on it for the next few months. We post the current verse on her learning board.

This page is a list of things typically taught in preschool. You can find the list at World Book. They have all grades listed. I copied this to a document and customized it by adding a few things of my own and deleting a few. I try to keep this fresh in my mind. That way, if we stumble upon a learning opportunity, I can remember what she still needs to work on. Daddy likes this area too. He loves to teach her things and I can let me know what she needs to work on. I highlight the tasks when I think she has learned it. Most are easily taught while going through daily activities.

I also have a list of activities for my kids. Activities are things they like to do and are mom approved... boredom breeds trouble. Here are some of their things to do..

Jenga Blocks
Moon Sand
Finger Painting
Game Boy
Water colors
Crayons or Markers Drawing
Playing Outside
Bowl Matching Game
Foam Book
Baby Einstein
Pom Pom Animals
Hide n Seek
Tea Party
Pet Shop
TV or Movies
Hi Ho Cherry-O
Fly Pen
Play with rock collection
Dress up
Board game

This list is handy for when they are bored or I need to keep them busy so I can get something down. It also helps if I want to spend time with them we can do something they will enjoy.

I also have some pages going into this section for Peyton. She will have a list of books to read this school year. I will have a page to keep track of her ACE paces at school. Some handouts from school may go here. I have quite a few of her old homeschool books she likes to work in. We have Home Ec, Typing, Photography, and I am ordering the Prairie Primer. So I will keep anything for her in this section as well.

The last section is our College area. Pierce and I both take classes online. I keep our paperwork in this section. The page shown is a list of classes needed to graduate. I keep track of our classes and which ones to take next.

That's all there is to my binder. I wanted to add that I keep loose, leaf paper in the back. Whenever I am brainstorming a new page, I make it on the notebook paper first. Then type it when I get around to it.