A week in review, June 23 to 29

A fun week. A full week. I hope not every week is this busy.

We built a fort from ‘craft sticks’. Yes, Little Man wielded the glue for most of the building.

Glue!

Glue!

Concentrate...

Concentrate…

Towards the end, I just let him build it himself. It has a very creative design, I must say.

The fort.

The fort.

He decided at one point that he didn’t have enough blocks.

Look at what I built!

Look at what I built!

We tried some ‘giant bubble solution’. It might be because I wasn’t using actual blue Dawn, but they most all popped as soon as they came off the bubble blowing device. The string-straw device didn’t work all that great, though perhaps my straws were wimpier than the ones another blogger used.

string and straw bubble blowing

string and straw bubble blowing

The PVC pipe made the best bubbles and was easiest to use. I knew I was keeping that short bit around for some reason!

PVC pipe bubble blowing

PVC pipe bubble blowing

Standing on ones hands has become a key skill to be developed in our house these days.

I LOVE standing on my hands!

I LOVE standing on my hands!

I finally got *both* of my sewing machines in for repairs. Though while checking them in at the store, I found that one machine didn’t have a pressure foot. So, back the next day we went to drop off the pressure foot. We had some time, so we stayed to look. I was totally eyeing up a serger and the gal offered to demonstrate it for me. Little Man wasn’t being the most cooperative, so she said to an early-teens-or-so gal to go get the box of toys. Then the gal sat down and played with Little Man while her mom, turns out, demonstrated the use of the serger. When the gal got bored, her brother stepped in and he and Little Man built trucks, trains and buildings from duplos. And I got to see a new serger in action. If you are in Waco, and are in need of sewing machine service or are wanting to buy a machine, go to the Bernina store on Waco Drive. I was very impressed with their service.

I ended up tossing the water bottle. I found a crack along the bottom, which sealed its fate. :::sigh:::

A Eulogy to a water bottle

This water bottle has been with me for 15 years. I purchased it, emblazoned with an OMF International logo on it, in June 1999… on my way to mainland China for the summer. In Hong Kong, I scratched the logo off, for, hopefully, obvious reasons.

the beloved bottle

the beloved bottle

I love this water bottle. I like the small neck and the short size. It is easy to drink from, and fits in most bags easily. The fatness of the bottle makes it hard to fit in cup holders, but that is more a nuisance than a problem. Yes, it was full of BPA, but noone new any better back then, and the bottle has been through. (Though I heard via my sister that I someone decided that BPA-free bottles aren’t good for you either. I like the idea of glass, but not for my three year old.) And finally, it has suffered a fatal injury — at the hands of a three year old. Its amazing what else this water bottle has survived, but, apparently, the rough housing of a little boy was too much for it.

The fatal injury

The fatal injury

This crack leaks, and has been leaking lightly for several months. But now it now leaks rather copiously, as I discovered at the zoo today from the amount of water in my bag. If you happen to drink with the crack down, it will leak water down your chin, which is just no fun. I hate to throw out such a loved item, so I’m trying hard to think of an alternative use for it, since it just won’t work as a traveling water bottle any more. I know I need to give myself a deadline… if I don’t figure out a use before [set a date], it gets thrown out. I think I’ll give myself a week. I’ll let you know what I come up with. ūüėõ

Cycles in daily life

I have a post about unschooling and its underpinnings brewing in my head and in evernote, but that’s going to take a bit of work to finish. And a bit more reading.

Today, I realized that my life (daily life, weekly routines/rhythm) runs in a predicable cycle. Something like this….

life cycle

Now, this more reflects my feelings and my own perception of the situation, not the true fact of the situation. I suspect that someone who is not me would say that nothing actually changes.

Usually, there is some event that precipitates the change from ‘coasting’ to ‘ugh’. Perhaps it a busy week or two, or an illness that slows us all down. It could even be as simple as me forgetting to do something, or a day when I just want to read all day and do nothing else… anything that ‘throws me off my rhythm’.

Having realized this (yes, just today…) I’m thinking I need to figure out how to take the throwing off moments in stride, or working through those stages of ‘ugh’ in the matter of an afternoon (or, be all kinds of supermom and work through the ugh stages in my head in a matter of minutes!).

I’m interested to hear if others experience this kind of cycle or rhythm in their lives and how they deal with it (or perhaps you don’t — oh, to be able to live in such a natural state). How does one deal with children who’s demands don’t fluctuate on the same schedule? Is this a product of my own personality or the way to do things?

and of course, it could be that I’m over thinking all of it.

This week’s ‘science’ activity

I mentioned in my last post that I hadn’t figured out a good ‘science’ activity for this week, yet. Well, one sorta got sprung on me. See if you can figure out what ‘science’ is going on here:

a bit of sand....

a bit of sand….

carry it carefully...

carry it carefully…

put into water

put into water

observe effects on how the water pours

observe effects on how the water pours

see how the water falls on the sand in the water....

see how the water falls on the sand in the water….

Good thing sand is 'cheap'! (at least I'm not buying it, Mom-mom is.)

Good thing sand is ‘cheap’! (at least I’m not buying it, Mom-mom is.)

That evening, I told Hubby “Our science activity today just happened on a whim. We observed the effects of sediment on the flow of water.”

“You mean you made mud?”

Yes!

turn your back for one minute….

We are still finding our summer rhythm… 5 weeks into our ‘summer’. The Hubby finished with his teaching duties back in the beginning of May, but with moving people out of houses and apartments and just general life, we never found ‘normal’. This week is finding a ‘normal’. And its so refreshing and nice.

Apart of finding normal is figuring out our daily rhythm when we are at home all day (Little Man and I, that is. Hubby is going into school to read and write that dissertation — home stretch!). This morning, Little Man declares he wants to finger paint. I’m totally good with this — fine motor skill development, creativity, a sensory experience and who-knows what other benefit is to be found in finger painting. He started smearing the paint up his arms (yes, I can handle this…) and I decided we’d go outside to clean up. I step away for about a minute (maybe 2) and come back to find….

Look what I can do!

Look what I can do!

Paint in his hair and all over his face. :::sigh::: After I took the picture he says “I want to see it!” Its a bit scary how much he knows about how the camera and phones work.

Last summer, we spent a lot of time out under the trees. These are huge Live Oak trees and they tend to sprawl outwards as much as upwards. And they cast a deep, deep shadow on the area underneath, which can easily be 5 to 10 degrees cooler than the areas in the sun. After the rain we got on Sunday morning and 2 cool nights, the breeze is still cool, which makes sitting out under the trees a very enjoyable experience.

Summer days

Summer days

I’m thinking through what ‘science’ activity we might do this week. Maybe we will just focus on the general experience and less on any sort of discovery. I picked up to browse “The Well-trained Mind: A guide to classical education at home”. Its been good to read and remind myself of what is come and general expectations (knowing it could easily be a year or two off for any one child). At the same time, I picked up Natural Born Learners (free from amazon kindle last week. $3.99 now), which is a series of essays on unschooling. I’m philosophically attracted to both theories, and there seems to be one, very important, underlying assumption that is different between the two. In fact, I think its the assumption that sets unschooling apart from every other educational philosophy. The assumption is about how children learn (of course!), unschooling assumes that a child will learn. You put the information out there, you provide some interesting question and a child will learn. No teaching needed, no special methods needed, no formal sit-down-and-work needed. Children will learn whether you want them to or not. Every other philosophy assumes that if you (or someone) doesn’t “teach” it, the child won’t learn it. How you “teach” it varies from theory to theory. I put ‘teach’ in quotes because in some theories, its not what we imagine when we use the word ‘teach’, but its some form of active presentation of the material to the child. I suspect that I’m drastically simplifying the assumptions here and it might be that this basic assumption creates a continuum along which philosophies lie — some at extreme ends of you have to beat it into a child and the other end of not being intentional about presenting any new material. As I explore this, I hope to write about it. I feel like there is plenty written about all these things so I don’t need to add it, but I have this quite voice in my mind saying I can present a different view point which might help someone. Who knows… though we will find out!

Of course, the book I’m currently devouring is ‘The History of the Renaissance World’, but S.W. Bauer (same author as well-trained mind). I totally plan on purchasing all her history books… Ancient, Medievel and Renaissance is out. I’m hoping “modern” or some version is to be out soonish. Though it will take me a while to get through these three. The Renaissance book is *fat* at about 2 inches thick and 688 pages of text. The last 1/2 inch is notes, works cited and index.

And, if you are on goodreads.com, look for me (https://www.goodreads.com/friend/i?i=LTM2MDQ2MTUzNTg6MzY1) and if you aren’t on goodreads.com — you should be as its a great way to keep track of what you’ve read, what you want to read and what you are currently reading.

Summer

 

You might say that summer snuck in and surprised us. We knew it was coming, but we didn’t reach 100′ at all in May. And now, several days into June, and no 100′ days yet. Yes, we are seeing mid-90s regularly…. but is that summer? We are in central Texas after all, where our non-growing-seasons are July and August (not Dec – March, like most areas of the country) and its for the heat and sun, not the cold and snow. But when the a/c kicks on at 11 am, you know it must be summer, even if the thermometer is still suggesting that its spring.

The last several months have been busy and good. We traveled, we garage saled, we saw friends, we said good-bye to friends (both¬†permanent-for-this-life¬†and moving-away goodbyes). We helped friends move/pack up a truck. We are looking ahead to say good-bye to more friends as they move off to new jobs (ah, joys of grad school). We continue to wait. We are in the ‘approved and waiting’ stage for adopting an infant domestically, which means we wait. We are trying to wait well: with intentionality and expectation, while still living in this moment not in some future possible moment. The March, April and May in my flylady calender have very little white space left on them. June still has a fair bit and I hope to keep it that way.
I do have a few goals/hopes for the summer. First to work faithfully through “The Well-trained Mind: the classical education you never had”. I found that I really miss academics, so I decided to bring academics to me. If there is anyone interested in working through this with me, please let me know! I’d love to have a friend to talk with about the material (I’m delving into the history/politics chapter right now).
Second, I want to be more intentional about doing *stuff* (some might call it ‘school’, but my plans are so loosy-goosy, I’m not willing to use that word. Maybe ‘activity’ is a good word?) with Little Man. He turned 3 (!) in May, and is asking so many questions about so many things. He is all kinds of interested in stars, dinosaurs, what things eat, and what/who is a person. Its so exciting to see him exploring these various ideas, and I want to give him the fodder for further explanation.
For our first activity, we read a book about digging up dinosaurs and putting them together again (from the library). I had seen this activity as a pre-schooler fun activity, and a week or so ago, I froze 5 plastic dinosaurs in a bucket of water. I set Little Man up in the back yard with the block of ice in our water/sand table (emptied of water and sand!) with some water and salt (table salt and rock salt). I showed him how the salt causes the ice to melt and how the liquid water helps the the salt do its thing, and set him free. It was nearly 2 hours later before we got the first dinosaur out, and the others came quickly after. At the end, Little Man asked “can we dig more dinosaurs out?” He enjoys the activity, gets some good sensory and thought provoking play and I get a bit of on-my-own time to read or do my own thing. I’m always looking for these win-win activities.
DSCN3851

Getting started.

DSCN3853

salt.. and more salt... and more salt. Mommy, can I have more salt?

salt.. and more salt… and more salt. Mommy, can I have more salt?

DSCN3855

This little thing doesn't hold much water....

This little thing doesn’t hold much water….

Almost there

Almost there

Free at last!

Free at last!

Quite the week

There are weeks when I’m thankful the weekend has come, and then there are weeks, like this one, when I recognize I NEED the weekend to recover from the week.

–The Hubby-man dashed up north to visit his family. Found a great ticket price with car rental, and it seemed quite worth it. It just meant dropping him at the airport (almost 2 hour drive, one way) then picking him up. It just meant a late night Monday.

–Tuesday Hubby-man and I went to the Mission Waco Banquet. It was great to hear the stories of how people have turned their lives around, gotten off the streets, have become ministers themselves. We left Little Man with a… wait for it… babysitter! At someone else’s house, no less! He had a great time, we had a great time. But, another ‘late’ night. (around here, ‘late’ means out past Little Man’s normal bedtime)

–normal day Wednesday.

–On Thursday, Little Man and I did what only crazy people do. Drive to downtown Austin at 5 pm. We ventured down that way to attend the book signing for “Notes from a Blue Bike” by Tsh Oxenreider, founder of theartofsimple.net. It was a ton of fun, nothing like what I expected.

Driving into Austin, at a crazy moment

Driving into Austin, at a crazy moment

Can you see my "I'm meeting a published author!" look?

Can you see my “I’m meeting a published author!” look?

The Palm Door, where the book signing was hosted.

The Palm Door, where the book signing was hosted.

–Today, we are taking it easy. Watching a bit too much TV. Tomorrow will be the same. Rest. Then, into the next week!

Finding my stride

This is a major thing for me these days… finding my stride. I’m not a runner, yet this running analogy really seems to work for me. I’ve¬†run enough to know what it feels like when I¬†find that¬†stride or pace that lets me get in the zone. I do swim, or at least try, regularly, and I know that feeling of ‘the zone’, where I’ve found the pace, the rhythm that I can let just take over my movements.
I pick up a new work project and I need some focused time to ‘find my stride’, which means I’ve figured out the paradigms of the project, I’m able to move through the steps easily and smoothly.
I’ve nearly completely lost my stride in writing, shown by how sparse my posts are. More on this later.
I’m always thinking that with a bit of focused time I’ll find my stride in scheduling, housekeeping, parenting (which includes getting Little Man to sleep, or play on his own, or not scream/yell at me, or whatever), exercise, sewing, and anything else that life brings along. It took a few years of focused effort to find my stride in menu planning and cooking daily dinners.
But, of course, something happens, my stride is broken and the process of finding it¬†starts over. Most recently, Little Man decided to sprout some new molars. At least, I can see buds on the bottom jaw, though nothing on the top, and this clingy, weepy, grumpy boy has been around for several days already. Or I have a few crappy days (or just one), or we get a bit busy, or someone gets sick (croup cough at 2 am… yeah, that not just breaks my stride but knocks me on my butt) and the stride is broken.
I don’t think this is a bad process or a misguided analogy of living life, but I do think sometimes I lack perspective on it. Most things in life are cyclical, think sweeping the floor, vacuuming or laundry. As soon as its done, it needs to be done again (esp with a 2 1/2 year old running around the house!). And the rest of the things in life are ‘this too shall pass’ kinds of things (good or bad). A little focused time and finding my stride for the daily ins and outs of life and life just runs better.
And then there are the really important things: reading the Bible, praying to the God of the universe, seeking Christ-likeness, loving Hubby, loving Little Man, loving people. And these are not things that are put down on the to-do list, nor checked off in a ‘I’m done!’ kind of way. These things don’t lend themselves to finding a¬†stride in.¬†These things are not about moving forward… they are more about standing still and being fully present in the here and now.
Finding my stride in the dailies (or weeklies?) does seem to help me stand still for these really important things. Maybe this is a part of living intentionally, or living simply. Or maybe its that the ‘stride’ for the really important things is of a different kind than the ‘stride’ for the dailies.
I’m still exploring this, thinking through it, and trying to understand this dynamic of daily ins and outs.
How about you? Does this even feel like your life?

2013 reflections

Well, my hopes at getting back to blogging didn’t pan out. But its my own fault, I just had no initiative to write. I know that something like writing is some thing you do when you want to and when you don’t want to, but at the same time, I’m writing this blog for friends and family… not to generate income, or create a business base, but to encourage, enlighten, and inform. And sometimes, you just gotta let it all lie dormant for a bit.

I started to look back at my 2013 posts, but there are an awful lot of them. The first post of the year, however, was a fun one, and I thought I’d do something like that. A few pictures, a few reflections…

G&G Younger Visit

Feb 2013

March 2013

April 2013

May 2013

June 2013

July 2013

August 20131

Sept 2013

Oct 2013

Nov 2013

Dec 2013

 

2013 was a good year in many ways. We’ve had a ton of fun with Little Man as he grows and develops. It was also a hard when we lost Kiddo in June (an early miscarriage), but we have great hope to comfort us in that loss.

Its exciting to look ahead at 2014. I see the potential of lots of exciting things! Or perhaps normal things… I plan to do laundry today. ūüėõ

Christmas Shorts

Taking a cue from another blog-friend, here are a few tidbits of our Christmas.

–We took it easy this season. Put the tree up, did the advent train, and a single manger scene on the mantel. And a candle on the dinning table with a runner under it. I made cookies with Little Man on Christmas Day (or was it Christmas Eve? no, Day of, I think). No guests. We didn’t travel. It was so nice. I’m realizing I’m not sure how I feel about decorations, per say. I think manger scenes, angels, shepherds and wise men about are quite appropriate, and I do love putting up and having a tree up, but I’m not sure I’m interested in the rest of the hoopla of the season. Though, based on Little Man’s love of the various displays of lights around our neighbor, we might put up a few more lights around the house next year.

DSCN3272

Christmas morning, before anyone else was up.

— We mainly did stockings for each other. Not sure why, but I *love* stockings. Hubby did a great job for his first time doing stockings and got me The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Mammals. Yes, I can google, but having ¬†book is so much for useful when you know its a fox, but you don’t know what kind. I decided I’m pretty sure it was a Grey Fox that came through out yard last May. And that we have Fox Squirrels running around.

–Little Man has become very interested in letters and spelling lately. He can form a recognizable “H” now, which I think is pretty impressive for 2 1/2. He has begun ‘spelling’ things, though most of the time the words are all p’s, g’s and a few c’s. I’m seeing how fine motor skill development really opens a whole new class of activities for a child. (see about the sewing card below)

— I’m thinking and reflecting on goals, habits and 2014, of course. This is just part of who I am! I think, based on my failure to finish any of my 2013 goals, I ought not do ‘goals’ right now. I think its just time of life, really. So, I’m going to focus on ‘habits’. First up, the daily routines habits, like ‘morning routine’ and ‘evening routine’. More on the details of these later…

–I’m still finishing off the Christmas gifts for the niece and nephews. I’m now declaring them ‘Epiphany Gifts’, since I think I can get them to the kids by Jan 6…. I hope. 15 mins of work a day, and they will be finished in 2 or 3 days, but Little Man doesn’t like to let me work unless its what he is doing also. I did create a ‘sewing card’, and he really enjoyed it. I need to remember to pull it out for him more often. I think road trips got easier with this activity. Maybe its time to explore putting together some ‘busy bags’. Might make ‘afternoon rest time’ easier.

working hard on his sewing card

working hard on his sewing card

— Little Man appears to have mostly given up the afternoon nap. I’ve maintained an ‘afternoon rest time’ for my own sanity (and patience), but that has its own learning curve. He is getting better at it, and is understanding better that its as much for me, as for him. I’ve also realized the ‘quiet time boxes’ that I’ve put together are woefully inadequate, so they will get some revamping soon.

There are more things I could talk about, but I think this is long enough! Again, I have intentions of getting back to blogging, but we will see. I’m working to make the internet and the computer a smaller part of my life, but I’m still working to find the right balance, I think. I’m not back on facebook, and I’m still thinking about when I might open that can of worms. I miss some of the interactions of facebook, but I’m also enjoying that I have one less thing to bother with on the computer.

Until next time….

Getting back to writing

I see that its been a LONG time since I put up a new post. Life got difficult, then busy, then better, then busier… but that’s just life isn’t it? Here is a brief run down of the last 2 months…. (in mostly-chronological order)

1. We realized I was dealing with postpartum ‘blues’ after the miscarriage, so I started being more intentional about getting exercise, good social contact and some time away from Little Man. All that has helped quite a bit.

2. We went camping at Lost Maples State Natural Area. Wow, its beautiful and perfect for testing new equipment and general hiking ability. I got to use the ‘new-to-me’ external frame backpack and I LOVE it! And I learned that Little Man is about as heavy as a pack as I would carry. That might have been the last hike I carry him on.

Image

Little Man had his own backpack for this trip, and its still being used. He really likes it, even if it is hot pink.

3. HubbyMan went on a backpacking trip to Big Bend National Park. He had a ton of fun and we hope to get back there as a family next spring.

4. Little Man has decided that sleep is for wussies. He has wonked up his sleep schedule with napping some days and not napping other days, falling asleep easily at night some nights and struggling for an hour and a half (or more) on other nights. He’s hit some developmental milestones in various areas, and his energy level has skyrocketed. His outside-time need has also gone up rather significantly. Talk about wonking up my schedule!

4. We are excited to host a lot of family this November. We also hosted another family of 5 one night in October. Its the most activity our guest bedroom has experienced in a long time.

5. I hope to be back on the blog post bandwagon again. I’m taking a facebook sabbatical for a few weeks, which should be a lot of regained time. Yep, gonna have to contact me the old fashioned ways: email and phone calls!

My own homekeeping strategies

Here it is… how I organize my own meta-homekeeping. (can I say it that way?)

I’ve tried a lot of different¬†techniques… how to organize your house, how to organize your time, how to keep your home running smoothly, etc. Also remember that I am quite the tightwad, so I didn’t pay for most of them (I purchased one book, and 2 tools). I have the general attitude that its not worth it if you have to pay for it (except a few really good books).
The main thing I’ve learned in all this is…. know thyself. Are you a naturally organized person? Are you a visual person? Do you like pen and paper? Do you have an iphone or such device that you keep about you all day? This is where the rubber meets the road and as you work through different methods you will find what you like, I’m sure of it. This is my personal progression….

Flylady

¬† ¬† ¬†I was a dedicated flybaby for several years. What I really took away from that time is routines and zone cleaning. She’s got other good stuff, but this is what stuck.
¬† ¬† ¬†If I keep going with my basic morning and evening routines, life runs so smoothly. As soon as I get tired, skip steps, add a few steps because I feel ambitious, get overwhelmed with trying to do too much… well, you get the idea. But routines are what I always come back to. ¬†Flylady recommends 3 basic daily routines… morning, afternoon and evening/bedtime. I have found I work best with 2… morning and evening/bedtime. I’ve learned (still learning) to keep it to a few steps/items. E.g. for my morning routine, I’ve got a few basic things I do… get up, bathroom, brush teeth, get dressed, coffee. If I’m trying really hard, I have breakfast and read Bible on the list, also. Evening tasks include things like set up coffee maker (no compromise here), get out clothes for next day, get bags together for next day. At times, I’ve striven to have ‘sweep tile floor’ on that list, but that doesn’t last long. The idea is to use your evening/bedtime routine to get ready for the next day. The morning routine is to get ready for that day. My routines have regularly shifted around to include different tasks or different ordering at different stages of life, but I always come back to thinking about my routines. Keep in mind that you *do* have a routine, even if its not written down, or well defined. By writing it down, its easier to make it more refined and more efficient.
¬† ¬† ¬†Zone cleaning is about dividing your house into ‘zones’ and focusing on one zone each week. I used flylady’s basic zones to define my current home and the tasks related to each zone. If done right, this becomes a part of your basic routines of life and you just know when to do what. If you do it my way, its a helpful way to not feel too overwhelmed as you think about what you need to deal with this week. You’ve got your tasks that need to be done weekly (vacuuming for one) and then tasks that don’t need to be done but once a month (or less), like cleaning windows or switch plates. I listed cleaning tasks for each area of my home (living room, kitchen, guest bath), then lumped those areas into 4 zones. defined 4 zones for this current house and then listed the cleaning tasks for that zone. Now, I have 1 zone to focus on each week. Not that I actually do this all the time, but when I do do it, the house is nicer.

Large Family Logisitics

      I have really enjoyed Large Family Logistics, also. I use/like her Day of the Week plan, where one day is laundry day, one day is town day, one day is kitchen day, etc. I do better having a day focused to a particular set of tasks, though when I take this too far, I give myself more tasks than I have energy for. In all of this, there is a balance act to perform.

Confident Mom Planner

¬† ¬† ¬†At the New Year (i.e. Jan 2013) I picked up an ebook bundle from bundleoftheweek.com¬†that included ‘The Confident Mom Planner”. This is a planner that you can print up that has each week laid out with repeating tasks assigned to particular days. I love the idea here, but I’ve found that I don’t like the way she spreads the tasks out over the week. E.g. when I vacuum, I’m going to vacuum the whole house. My house isn’t big enough to¬†warrant¬†only vacuuming children’s room and hall way on one day, then the living areas on another day. Perhaps if I had a bigger house, this might make sense. She’s got a good generalized task list, but I’d rather (theoretically, at least) create my own list with my own tasks that are personalized. You might not care. See… know thyself!

Planning Worksheets

¬† ¬† ¬†Now for the specifics of the actual day to day running. I LOVE planning worksheets. I’ve used who knows how many styles and structures while looking for the perfect planning page. I’ve not found the ‘perfect’ one yet, but I’ve found several that work quite nicely. You just have to use them. ūüėõ I’ve found planning worksheets to be quite customizable, flexible, but they provide some basic structure to the planning. I’m sure that if you google ‘daily (or weekly, or monthly) planning worksheets’ you will get some huge number of hits. I’m currently using the weekly planning page, the weekly menu planning page and the daily planning page from Organizing Life as Mom, an ebook I got in the ‘ultimate homemakers ebook bundle’. You can get these from here (http://lifeasmom.com/organizing-life-as-mom-redesigned-and-updated-ebook).
¬† ¬† ¬†She, author of Organizing Life as Mom, ¬†suggests laminating the pages you want to use and getting them spiral bound. I’m perfectionist enough that I’m working towards that, but not yet there. I’ve laminated the planning pages I’m using, but I’m waiting to laminate my pantry stocking pages (a whole ‘nother topic!) till I think they are truly completed, then I’ll spiral bind them. Of course, that might be years away…. For now, I’ve got the pantry stocking pages in sheet protectors. The sheet protectors work much the same way as laminating… you can write on and wipe off, I’ve just found that lamination works a bit better. The wiping off is a bit cleaner and the writing on is more crisp. If you are using sheet protectors, use the matte style, not glossy. Glossy ones are hard to write on as the glossy plastic just doesn’t hold the ink. I use wet erase pens to write (I’ve read you can use dry-erase, but they don’t clean as well, I think). You can use the basic Expo wet erase pens, which work just fine. I, however, use Staedtler Lumocolor non-permanent pens. The point is significantly finer than Expo pens, so you get a much smaller mark and the colors don’t run at all. The pens are such that there is a bit of drag so it feels more like you are writing on an actual sheet of paper, which is something I really appreciate. If there are any teachers out there, these pens are great overhead pens… the fine points and sharp colors let you get so much more detail on overhead drawings and the sharp, crisp lines are great for viewers to see clearly what you’ve written. Can you tell I love these pens?
So, there it is. I’ve come up with a few more ideas, but what questions do you have? Other aspects of home keeping that you want to hear about?
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