By the Shores of Silver Lake Adventure Adventure Weekly Guide Links

Click Here for By the Shores of Silver Lake Adventure Weekly Lesson Plan Links Only

How we use these lesson plans:

Our school week is usually completed in 4 days. We use a Loop Schedule where we work for a designated amount of time on each subject before moving on to the next. After their work is completed for the day the kids are allowed to have independent studies were they can study whatever their little hearts desired.

Our 5th day is an optional day that we use to complete unfinished work or for other activities as we choose.


Please click HERE for a list of resources that we have purchased from Amazon and other suppliers.

Click on the links below for the series you would like to view/use. I will update these links as we get them finished.

Tip: If you want to go to a certain week/chapter or topic simply push the ‘ctrl’ and the ‘F’ button down together and a small bar will pop up. Type in the week number or chapter number you want and it will take you to it.


1. By the Shores of Silver Lake Week 1 Lesson Plans

2. By the Shores of Silver Lake Week 2 Lesson Plans

3. By the Shores of Silver Lake Week 3 Lesson Plans

4. By the Shores of Silver Lake Week 4 Lesson Plans

5. By the Shores of Silver Lake Week 5 Lesson Plans

6. By the Shores of Silver Lake Week 6 Lesson Plans

7. By the Shores of Silver Lake Week 7 Lesson Plans

8. By the Shores of Silver Lake Week 8 Lesson Plans

9. By the Shores of Silver Lake Week 9 Lesson Plans


**BE SURE TO SAVE A FEW SAMPLES OF YOUR WORK FOR YOUR  PORTFOLIO!  TAKE PICTURES OF BIG PROJECTS!

As always we try not to charge for any printables or resources that we offer but we do appreciate any donations that you may feel like giving. You can use the ‘Tip Jar’ link on the Home Page or send a donation via Paypal to ‘happy2bmyownboss@yahoo.com’. Thank you so much for your support!

**This post may contain affiliate links to products and/or services that we use. If a purchase is made through one of these links we may make a small commission which costs you nothing extra and blesses our family so we thank you! For full affiliate disclosure please click HERE.


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Make Your Home a Chemical Free Zone Today!

 

Pinterest BTSOSL Unit Study

Life Update: A Jacuzzi, A Boy’s Night out, And Why We Don’t ‘Do’ Halloween

How’s the weather where you are? It’s been a bit nippy this weekend and I actually plugged up one of the heaters yesterday morning because it was so chilly in the house. It’s looking like I’m gonna need to dig the heavy blankets out of the shed soon. Luckily today has been quite a bit warmer and seems like it’s gonna be a nice day… which is a blessing as I really don’t like hanging clothes out when it’s cold! We’ve had a pretty busy and interesting weekend! So busy that I’m feeling a little like this right now:

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New House Update

We’ve also been dealing with yet ANOTHER SNAG as far as our NEW HOUSE goes… we’ve already closed but now the bank (and the county) are asking for a NEW SURVEY! We did ask about this beforehand and we were assured that it wasn’t needed. Now we get the ‘this has never been required before‘ and ‘we’ve never had this happen before‘ from the dealer… sigh. Honestly, I’m really quite sick of the whole mess and I’m gonna give real-life updates about the situation from here on out and not hide the messy part of it because I know if we are dealing with all of this there will be others as well. Maybe reading about our ordeal will help prevent someone else from having the same issue. Continue reading “Life Update: A Jacuzzi, A Boy’s Night out, And Why We Don’t ‘Do’ Halloween”

Monday Message: Seeing Your Blessings Through The Tears

I had planned to just ‘chill out’ this weekend and maybe work on our next Little House on the Prairie Adventure but lately, things rarely go as planned around here.

Friday had been rearranged for a very important event that didn’t happen because of a HUGE misunderstanding. To say I was disappointed would be a HUGE understatement but this event has been rescheduled for Wednesday, so fingers crossed that everything goes as planned.

Friday evening I had been binge-watching some Fixer Upper when a text came through. It was from Southwestern Produce to let us know that they had rescheduled the veggie pickup due to bad weather… well, that threw a little wrench in Saturday’s plans as I had already scheduled a few other things around the pickup but I quickly got to work a rescheduled things so I wouldn’t have to get up quite so early… yay! I still need to figure out a plan for next weekend as I already had plans for Saturday morning… Continue reading “Monday Message: Seeing Your Blessings Through The Tears”

When the rainy days just don’t seem to end

**This post does contain affiliate links to products and/or services that we use. We may earn a teensy weensy small commission (at NO EXTRA cost to you) if a purchase is made through these links. These links help to support our family, our blog, and our homeschooling mission. You can find a full list of our affiliate links HERE.

 –Thank you

Do you ever feel like you have a dark cloud over you that you just can’t shake? Well, it’s been that way for a bit here. We’ve had more downs than ups but I know that it won’t last forever.

A few months back I mentioned that we had tried to get a house and it just didn’t work out. We haven’t given up but things have been quite a bit tougher than we ever imagined during this process and honestly, I’m about to lose my ever-lovin’ mind with paperwork on top of paperwork. (I’ve been hinting about a big surprise and was hoping to have some major housing updates by now but so far NADA.)

This quaint little cabin has some major issues and we have been working on them a little at a time but sometimes I just wanna throw my hands up in the air and quit. Seriously, it’s hard living in 600 square feet with 7 people and a doggie. I do love this little cabin and its location but in all honesty, it’s not been an easy transition for me. Continue reading “When the rainy days just don’t seem to end”

On The Banks Of Plum Creek Adventure Weekly Guide Links

Click Here for On The Banks Of Plum Creek Adventure Weekly Lesson Plan Links Only.

How we use these lesson plans:

Our school week is usually completed in 4 days. We use a Loop Schedule where we work for a designated amount of time on each subject before moving on to the next. After their work is completed for the day the kids are allowed to have independent studies were they can study whatever their little hearts desired.

Our 5th day is an optional day that we use to complete unfinished work or for other activities as we choose.


Please click HERE for a list of resources that we have purchased from Amazon and other suppliers.

Click on the links below for the series you would like to view/use. I will update these links as we get them finished.

Tip: If you want to go to a certain week/chapter or topic simply push the ‘ctrl’ and the ‘F’ button down together and a small bar will pop up. Type in the week number or chapter number you want and it will take you to it.


1. On the Banks of Plum Creek Week 1 Lesson Plans

Continue reading “On The Banks Of Plum Creek Adventure Weekly Guide Links”

Weekend Wrap Up: April 20, 2019

Hey there! It’s been a bit of a crazy week here. Last weekend I had a crazy reaction to some gun cleaner… crazy like I thought I was going to need an ER visit but thankfully a double dose of Zyrtec did the trick. However, after that, I was pretty much useless for a couple of days as I really truly felt like a walking zombie mom. This was truly not something I had expected or planned for so it kind of threw a wrench in my carefully laid out plans.

I had so many things planned that I wanted to get done before Easter and almost none of them have happened. The ones I did manage to get accomplished, like weeding the flower bed and picking up the yard, have been messed up and really don’t look like anything had been done. Instead of getting stressed like I sometimes too I’ve really just tried to go with the flow this week.

After resting Saturday afternoon and most of Sunday morning I did manage to muster up a bit of energy as we had an appointment to go to. We went to visit a place that does a lot of activities for the community. We may be doing some square dancing there next month and we needed to give it a quick look over so we knew what to expect. It was so cool and the kids really enjoyed the huge swing set that they had there.

Then we had our usual Monday dance but I was not able to go to that because my back had been bothering me and I was having some old issues flare up. My feet and hands were just so numb and tingling that it made getting around a bit difficult. I pretty much sat in the recliner most of the day. I was so glad that I had been able to do as meal prep as I did on Saturday morning. For dinner, we had some Red & White Pasta with some diced grilled chicken added into it. The kids loved it even more than the normal version.

Tuesday afternoon I did manage to get dressed and head to a dance where Mr. Awesome was filling in. I was glad that we went because it was so much fun to see all the young dancers. My kiddos also had a lot of fun watching them and it motivated them a bit more to want to take lessons soon. My lack of activity really showed through as I could myself getting winded after a tip. For dinner that night I had made a Shepherd’s Pie in a Skillet which was super easy to throw together with the browned hamburger from the freezer.

I don’t even remember what we did on Wednesday. Hmmm… what did we do on Wednesday? I know we had Tortellini Soup and some Quick Garlic Bread that Mr. Jacob had helped me prep for the freezer last week but I don’t think anyone did a whole lot of anything. That combination was so good together! I might have caught up on some email but I couldn’t sit at the computer for very long so getting any work done was almost a lost cause.

I didn’t even get to the washing until Thursday because I couldn’t lift anything and walking out to the wash shed seemed like an impossibility if I had to carry a load of laundry with me. Although the kids were kind of enjoying the lazy zombie mom, I was ready to get something done around here. I mean Easter was fast approaching and we had a small dinner planned but I hadn’t been able to do much of anything.

I finally decided that something seriously had to get done around here so I just had the girls bring me some laundry baskets and I sorted the clothes in the house and carried the baskets out one at a time with was a lot less strenuous. Once I finished up my laundry the kids did a load and we were back on track. Feeling a bit ambitious, I decided to make a Chicken Cordon Casserole which was more labor intensive than I had remembered (or maybe I’m just getting lazy with all the meal prep) but it was so good!

I also made a phone call that I hadn’t expected to make and cleared the air between a family member. There had been an incident last year that had really hurt me and I had chosen to distance myself and my family from the situation. Now things seem to have calmed down a bit and we are taking things slowly to see how they go. Christmas and Easter a couple of times in the year when most of do seem to have softer hearts and people seem to be able to forgive easier. It wasn’t that I wasn’t able to forgive, I just didn’t want to forget what had happened. All that did was to keep the hurt going.

So Friday we had a visit from this same family member and everyone got caught up on the past few months. The kids really enjoyed the visit and probably overwhelmed then with Minecraft facts but it was a good visit for the most part.

Midway through the visit, we had some terrible storms come through and we were under a tornado watch. We also lost power for a good while. The scariest part came when the winds were howling around our little cabin and all of a sudden there was a loud bang. The back door flew open and the wind was blowing pond water all over the bedroom. Things were swirling around and flying off the walls… it was crazy! I kept pushing the door shut only to have to fly open again. Then while I was dealing with that the front door burst open and the kids rushed to shut it.

The worst part of the storm passed quickly and we were able to keep the doors closed without assistance. My bedroom still has a ton of peacock feathers scattered here and there but things are almost back to normal in the house. There is a ton of stuff to get cleaned up in the yard. The picnic table had been thrown across the yard but seems to be okay. A neighbor had a big tree come down but we only had a bunch of branches. Whew, I know we had someone watching over us and I am so thankful for that.

After all that excitement, I was ready for an easy meal. We had some Sweet and Sour Meatballs, boxed mac n cheese, and some Super Easy Power Cooker Potatoes. Mr. Awesome, however, wasn’t feeling like having meatballs and had brought home a couple of steaks to cook. (Click here for my recipe.)

This morning has been super busy as I’ve been making up for lost time earlier in the week. I have in fact been so productive that I’ve amazed myself. Before 9:00 am I had already picked up my vegetable order from Southwestern Produce Company and my grocery order from Walmart! I was so happy that the frozen veggies are back as our freezer supplies were getting low and as always our Walmart grocery pickup went smoothly. Chad was super helpful and got my order out to me quickly and loaded it up all up like a pro!

I even managed to sneak into the store alone, as Mr. Awesome was keeping an eye on the kiddos, and grab a few things for the Easter basket. Yes, the Easter Basket, only one basket for everyone to share and it’s not going to be chocked full of candies but it does have a lot of fun things like bubbles, slinkies, and even some Hatchimals that they can play with together. I did grab a couple of packages of candy for them to share but I know that other family will be bringing candy so I don’t want to deal with meltdowns after the overdose on sugar-laden treats. Trust me, we’ve been there several times this week and I’m not wanting to go there again anytime soon.

Honestly, my kids don’t really miss the sugary treats and such because this is what we’ve pretty much always done. Their favorite part of Easter is the Empty Tomb Rolls and the story that I tell them along with it. They do like to help make the Chocolate Covered Eggs to give to family and friends too but most of all they remember the time we spend with family and the conversations we have about Jesus which, to me, are the most important things.

This week I’ve seen, once again, that even though things haven’t gone as planned and/or my plans have not happened because of one thing or another, that God has a plan and His plan is always so much more than what I could have ever imagined. I just want you to remember this too because I know how much we can stress sometimes when we really want things to perfectly and they just don’t. Remember that your kids are watching and looking up to you. They are learning so many valuable lessons from you and everyone that they are around.

That’s all I have for now as I have a few more things left to get put away. Plus we have some chocolate eggs to make and I’m praying that my ham thaws out in time for tomorrow’s dinner as I forgot to get it out of the freezer earlier in the week. That’s how life goes though so I won’t let it get me discouraged because I know it’ll all work out in the end.

Happy Easter from our family to yours!

Have a blessed weekend!

**This post may contain affiliate links to products we use. We may earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you) if a purchase is made through links. These links help to support our family, our blog, and our homeschooling mission. Thank you!

 

 

 

And Now He Calls Me Momma

Hey ya’ll I know we’ve been really quiet here at Kirby’s Kabin but we haven’t forgotten about everyone. Things have been really busy and crazy. We have a couple of BIG things going on and hoping to share some big news soon… so please say a prayer for us as we are awaiting some news to let us know which direction we will be taking in the future.

I realized a while back that I’ve never really told our story to you and I have posted it on another blog I started a while back… that one hasn’t gotten very far at all with our crazy schedules but here is a quick start to our craziness…

First published August 2, 2018

kids swing

What you are about to read has never been published on any site before. It is not meant to be a pity party or anything of that nature just a background of who we are and how we came to be where we are now. It is a bit lengthy so be prepared.

 

Our special needs journey began in the Fall of 2010. We had just learned we were expecting after being told by a doctor I would never carry another baby again because of health issues. It was late one evening when I got the call saying that Child Services needed a place for my nieces and nephew to stay.

‘It is only temporary’, the voice on the line said, ‘just until she can get herself straight’. I took a deep breath and agreed to let them come stay with me not having a clue of the chaos I was getting my family into.

I informed my four children ages 11, 13, 15, and 17 of what was going on so they would know what to expect. The girls were super excited as they loved their little cousins. The boys were not so excited but were happy that we were in a position to help. I was a little unsure that our house was even big enough to ‘pass inspection’.

Later that night the worker appeared with 2 of the 3 babies and some McDonalds in hand. It was kind of a blur as she went through form after form and so many instructions! I signed and initialed and signed some more. I added contact numbers to my phone and wrote down many reminders before she left.

Then later that night I had to break the news to my husband who wasn’t quite as excited as I was as he had been through this scenario a time or two before. (I wasn’t able to reach him beforehand as he was at work.) The next few days and weeks were full of running here and there, filling out more paperwork, going to doctor visits, specialist visits, and many interviews of all sorts.​​

Let’s just say that the next few months (and years) have been a roller coaster in more ways than one. The oldest, William, was born with Down’s Syndrome and had been diagnosed with ADHD along with several other issues. He was 8 at them time and had not been potty trained and was not very verbal at all.
The next in line, Caitlyn, was 3 at the time. She was diagnosed with ODD (Oppostional Defiant Disorder) and later diagnosed with ADHD like her brother. She was not immediately placed with me for reasons unknown but eventually made her voice known and was reunited with her siblings on full time basis later on.
The littlest of the bunch, Isabella, was just shy of being 2. She was extremely shy and labeled as ’emotionally disturbed’ by some of the specialists. To say we had our hands full was an understatement. Then we had to deal with a lot of emotional relatives while trying to keep the children’s best interest in mind at all times. It did get quite confusing, stressful, and overwhelming at times along the way.
Just a couple of months after having the precious kiddos placed in our care I suffered a miscarriage which was the fourth one I had had since my then young child had been born. This was a very traumatic event as EMS had to be called and I spent a bit of time in the hospital but my older kids all pitched in and helped out.
We made it through that event and lo and behold a few months later we found out we were expecting again. All the while I was so busy trying to figure out the special needs of our special needs children. I had to take a crash course and gather as much information as I could from the doctors, teachers, and specialists.
With a lot of hard work and dedication we had some major triumphs in helping each of the kiddos flourish. William became Mr. Personality and was potty trained in a matter or months.
Ms. Caitlyn became a very spunky young lady which earned her the title of Ms. Attitude. Little Bella quickly found her voice and we couldn’t get her to stop talking!  The changes in just a few short months were unreal!

Then in early 2012  I delivered a baby boy who we call Joey. This again proved to be a very trying time as we spent several days in the NICU which was over an hour away from where we called home. Soon enough he was able to come home and join his 7 other siblings. Somewhere around this time we were offered the chance to officially adopt the three little ones who were now calling me Momma.
During the Spring we worked hard to get all of our paperwork submitted for adoptions. There were more doctors appointments, specialist, psychologists, and tons of interviews to complete before were could be officially approved. We also worked hard on the place that was to be our home for the next several years.
Then in the Summer of 2012 all three of them were made official members of the ‘Kirby’ family. We were all so excited. It was a very special occasion for us but a sad event for others.
There were some family members who didn’t agree with our decision and made it known. Part of the reason we moved before the adoption was due to circumstances related to the way some relatives felt.
While this event brought some of others closer together it also caused a huge rift with some of our extended family.
Looking back on it I know that we did what was in the best interest of my children, all of them, and I wouldn’t change a thing. OK, well maybe I would have changed a couple of things but we won’t discuss that here.

Making Time For Devotions

If you’ve been following along with my blog you probably have seen that we are really trying to make some positive changes around this little cabin. I will be the first to admit that towards the end of last year I was not a very happy Momma. We were in the midst of a very rough parenting phase with my two special needs kiddos who are 16 & 11 (going on 30)… their attitudes and behavior were at a point that I really doubted my parenting skills and abilities. Something had to change, actually, a lot of somethings had to change.

Personal Devotions

One big thing that I had gotten away from was my daily devotions. I wasn’t having my ‘quiet time’ in the mornings before the kids woke up which meant I wasn’t having any one on one meetings with my LORD. Boy have I missed those sessions!

Well, 2019 is the year for me to stop wishing for CHANGE and to start making it happen! I’ve been posting a lot about some of the things we’ve been working on and one of those the past couple of weeks has been to start making time for devotions.

Not everyone may feel the same as I do but I really do need some time to myself. I need time to plan, to organize my thoughts, and talk to my LORD. I also have things I want to do like blog, arts & crafts projects, and I have a ton of reading to catch up on.

First things first though is making time for my daily devotions. I’ve been trying to get back into the habit of getting up early before the kids so that I can have my ‘quiet time’. I’ll admit that this hasn’t been easy especially on cold mornings like this today. Then yesterday I got up early but I had issues with the coffee maker and ended up not getting to my ‘quiet time’. I like to get comfy when I study or read so I like to have a drink with me. Sometimes I will snuggle up with a warm blanket and other times I might like to sit outside on the porch just depending on the weather and how I feel.

I also keep a notebook with me to jot down notes and also to keep track of different things I am praying about or people/situations I am praying for. One of the really important things I really try to include in prayer is our homeschool journey because without GOD’s help I can’t do this. This is a good way to keep myself organized and I can look back through my notebook to see just how much GOD has done for me and my family through the year.

Before we moved I had transformed part of my closet into a place where I could find some ‘quiet time’ even in the middle of the day. I kept my BIBLES, devotionals, and prayer journal on my desk there. It was so easy to ‘find’ time because I had everything organized. However here, in this little cabin, I don’t have a dedicated space so it has been more of a challenge for me.

Secondly, I never seem to know where to start when it comes to reading my BIBLE. Sometimes I’ll go through a phase where I just open it up and read wherever and then other times I try to follow along with a book like one of these here:

First Light Women’s Daily Devotional & Journal

Starting Your Day Right

I have started both of these books at different times but have never completed either one of them… sad but true. This year I am determined to finish one of them!

**This post may contain affiliate links to products and/or services that we use. If a purchase is made through one of these links we may make a small commission which costs you nothing extra and blesses our family so we thank you! For full affiliate disclosure please click HERE.if a product is purchased through one of our links.

I also like to keep some of these FREE booklets in my bags so that I have something to read when waiting at appointments or such:

Our Daily Bread

In Touch

There are also a wide variety of email devotionals and apps that you can use from your phone which make it so much easier to do this on the go. I have also found this site HERE which has many plans to use and I am going to try to read through the BIBLE this year… even though some of it may be more listening than reading. This is a goal I have had since I was young and I’ve never completely read through the entire bible yet. The site has several other FREE plans to help you with your spiritual life and you can even join as a group with friends to encourage each other.Y

Many people think that devotions need to be an in depth study but that’s not true. Your devotions should be what feels right for you. The LORD will lead you to more in depth studies when HE knows you are ready… and HE will make it all POSSIBLE.

I do have a couple of Proverbs 31 studies that I’ve bookmarked to work on this year as well as some others that I’ll share as we go through the year. I don’t want to overwhelm anyone with too much information. If there is something specific that you FEEL led to study then you can always do a GOOGLE search on the subject (ex: becoming a proverbs 31 woman bible study) and find many options to choose from.

If you aren’t sure how to set up your prayer journal you can find lots of useful ideas and printables HERE or some more great ideas HERE.

Family Devotions

I feel that not only do I need to do my personal devotions but I probably need to start including more time for family devotions as well. Now we do have some BIBLE studies and such worked into our homeschool routine but sometimes we may need to add to it.

We may try to start having a scripture reading at a designated meal time or maybe just have a certain time of day to read scripture… I’m not really sure about my plans for this additional devotion time yet but I am working on it. Sometimes we have BIBLE discussions in the van when we are going places so really it could happen anytime and anywhere.

I have found a few different ideas for family devotions HERE and HERE. If you don’t like either of those you can check out this GOOGLE search. My kids and I really enjoyed using this book here too:

Our Daily Bread for Kids: 365 Meaningful Moments with God

Couple Devotions

This is another area that I think is important but we don’t really do this yet. We have discussions on occasion but never anything set or intentional. Now for this to work it has to be something that we both can agree on and something we can work into our schedules.

Many other people may find it difficult as well but remember that you don’t have to physically be in the same place at the same time. You can decide to them via phone, FACETIME, or SKYPE or maybe just have a designated time each day to spend on your devotions.

I’ve found a few ideas for couple devotions HERE and HERE.

Not married or don’t have a partner? You can always spend a little time praying for that special person. I know I prayed for Mr. Awesome before I even met him and I am so glad I did. I loved these books HERE and HERE for this.

In the end, I don’t think you will regret any time you spend on your devotions. You should definitely start out slowly and work your way into this new routine. It takes a little while to get a new habit started and if you happen to be like me this will be a habit that will grow on you and get easier as time goes by. This one habit can make such a BIG difference in your whole LIFE… I know it does in mine.

If it seems that you are having trouble getting it started then pray for GOD to lead you in the way you should go. Maybe you are trying to do too much? Or maybe what you are trying to do just isn’t what is best for you or your family.

Have a blessed weekend!

A Fresh Start In The New Year Part 2

**This post may contain affiliate links to products and/or services that we use. If a purchase is made through one of these links we may make a small commission which costs you nothing extra and blesses our family so we thank you! For full affiliate disclosure please click HERE.

So if you read my post yesterday you know that we had some unexpected work that had to get done around the house. What you didn’t get to see was the post holiday mess the rest of the house was still in… yep, I’m gonna show you some really messy pics of our cabin because LIFE is MESSY at times and we aren’t PERFECT so our place gets just as MESSY as everyone else’s house, and probably more at times.

One thing I know is that you can’t truly organize CLUTTER! Boy oh boy was it in abundance around earlier this week. I’m kinda embarrassed to show you all these pics but I really want to show everyone that you CAN change your LIFE one little step at a time. The important thing is to remember that the CHANGE must start somewhere and I know that LIFE can be so OVERWHELMING at times… these pics can prove that… but we can’t just sit around and wait for someone else to do something that we aren’t willing to do ourselves.

On the other hand I want everyone to know that our house has not looked this BAD in a long time. I know that HOARDING tendencies seem to run in one side of my family and that scares the crap out of me! Part Most of this was MESS was due to the post holiday chaos we had and the total LACK of ENERGY I had from not feeling well … but enough with the EXCUSES as I was determined to get past the PROCRASTINATION.

Over the weekend I had made a short To-Do List to work on and a couple of the first items to tackle were the kitchen and the bathroom. However the closet became number 1 priority when the kids demolished some of the shelving… you can read about that project HERE. Here’s the BEFORE of the kitchen:

You can see breakfast prep was ongoing when I took this and it was so hard to accomplish anything with the CLUTTER laying around. Mr. Joey wanted to help with breakfast so I did a quick tidy to make room and let him work on some Pancake Poppers for a quick breakfast.

We made one batch of blueberry and one batch of sausage… yum!

After breakfast I did a quick cleanup and had the kitchen back to a semi-normal state within 20-30 minutes… YAY!

Then I tackled the bathroom which took another 10-15 minutes. I could feel myself running out of steam really quickly though. I crossed off those two items and another as the kids had helped change sheets and tidy up the loft area as I cleaned in the kitchen and bathroom. Then I attempted to tackle the next area which was in the Main Room

This pic was actually from Thursday before I got to work on paying bills but honestly there wasn’t a whole lot of change from then to Sunday. I did start on it but got interrupted with something or another and that was pretty much the end of the cleaning for the day.

However on Monday I had a new PLAN OF ACTION. We needed to get started back to school work but I knew that there was no way I would keep anyone’s attention with all the stuff sitting around just begging to be discovered.

So I made an executive decision that for now our group studies will be completed Tuesday-Thursday. The kids can work on independent or one-one tasks on Mondays and Fridays. This change also included a temporary change in our Laundry and Cleaning Routines as the majority of those tasks will be completed on Mondays and Fridays as well. So far so good with this change and we’ve actually been able to accomplish quite a bit more in the cleaning and school areas.

Our first task of the day was to get this tree put away…

Most of the other decorations had already been packed into totes the week before so we just had to make room for the tree decor. Then everything was taken to the shed and neatly put away.

Then to get the table put back up. I put Joey to work on bagging up the random grocery bags around the house so we can reuse them.

I set to work on straightening up my bedroom… this is what it looks like after getting back from a dance. I usually have the little boys in here to change and the girls use the closet to get ready. This means I can’t get in there to put away anything so it ends up piled on my bed… sigh.

After a bit it looked much better except for the basket of laundry sitting there… but hey, at least it was clean laundry. I went ahead and checked the bedroom off the To-Do List as well, but as you will see in a bit that may have been a bit premature.

While I worked in the bedroom the kids cleaned up the floor where the tree had been. They also worked on organizing their school cubbies so we could have a fresh start for the next day. They also put away some of the items that had been cluttering the table. Things actually seemed to be getting MESSIER instead of cleaner!

They also worked on straightening up the TV area as there were dirty dishes, controllers, toys that needed put away.

We were on a roll and our next mission was to get rid of all the boxes sitting around. Most of these held Christmas gifts that needed homes. Now that we had straightened up most everything this would be an easier task to accomplish. But first Jacob thought everyone should have a quick snack of candy canes from the tree… lol.

Again things seemed to get MESSIER before they got better. This table became a sorting place for EVERYTHING. I opened a box, sorted out what needed to go where, and then we took care of EVERYTHING we had out at the moment before moving to the next box.

Here is another pile that had to get sorted as well.

It might have been a bit time saving to have sorted all the boxes at once but we had William helping out and he gets OVERWHELMED easily and then it gets a bit HARD for anyone else to get anything accomplished as you have to keep redirecting him.

I had received a ton of new school supplies from Santa… he knew just what I need, right? We also got lots of new books and William really wanted to read all of them. In the process I lost a book I had pulled off my bookshelf earlier in the day… my mistake, as I should’ve waited until we were finished with the clean up. You just might laugh, like Mr. Awesome did, when I show you the book I lost:

The Organized Homeschool Life

But anyway as I sorted the kids carried things and put them away but some items got piled on my bed… it appeared that my bed also had become a playground at some point in time. This time the MESS actually looks worse than it was.

Once most of the items had been sorted and carried to their new homes, or at least in the general area of their new home, Ms. Bella made some yummy PB&Js for the crew. As you can see everything was looking much better.

Even the bedroom looked pretty good…

As I was carrying things out to the shed I noticed something in the pond…

I had to call the kids out to take a closer peek… such a cute suprise!

I had a couple of more things to get organized and look at like this organizer I had gotten for Christmas:

And these new books that we got for our homeschool…

I’m so excited to start using these in the future!

We also got a few more books that everyone is excited to read like this one here:

Soft Rain

As I worked on setting up the organizer and putting away these items the girls wasted no time getting to work making some headbands, bracelets other items now that they had room to work at the table.

Then the UPS man brought my Grove package… another pleasant suprise!

I am really loving the Mrs. Meyers cleaners and have started to try out some of the other products which you can also get on AMAZON. Once I got all of these put away I worked on a little redecorating as everything looked so BARE.

I pulled some of the peacock decor out of my bedroom for now…

The gold peacock was something Mr. Awesome bought for me last year and that little pig was one I painted many, many years ago when my older kids will young.

I moved the flowes basket from the kitchen to this window. This is where my new napkin holder is sitting as well as the new globe that we got for Christmas.

It also lights up to show the constellations which is so NEAT!(I don’t know why but this made our homeschool seem so much more ‘official like’… lol)

In the kitchen I took down the cornice that was up there and put up this really cute tray I found with the after Christmas clearance at Walmart.

All in all we had a really good day and with the kids helping out as much as they did I didn’t get too overwhelmed nor did I completely wear myslef out as I have been doing a lot lately.

We didn’t do a deep cleaning or major reorganizing. We did find a HOME for EVERYTHING and we did PURGE some items as we went along. There are still things that need to be done but the HOUSE feels so much BETTER now and I’m not constantly looking for things… other than that book that hasn’t resurfaced yet.

That’s OK as the wonderful UPS man delivered me another copy today… so maybe if I find the old one I can BLESS someone else with it.

The biggest thing with all of this was to just get STARTED. Another big thing was to not get sidetracked with the fact that everything wasn’t being ‘cleaned properly’ or organized exactly the way I wanted it. If we had stopped to rearrange and/or clean every book shelf and cabinet along the way I would still be working on this project.

Now that we have everything situated we can get back to our regular cleaning tasks, even though we have changed the routine the tasks are still the same, and EVERYTHING will get clean in its own time. My main FOCUS was just to get a bit more organized as I couldn’t find anything over the past couple of weeks. Even though I lost my book and it still drives me a little batty wondering where it might have went its not that big of a deal in the BIG PICTURE.

We accomplished the GOAL that we set out to do and we can create a new PLAN OF ACTION for our next GOAL. For us this wasn’t a HUGE task to deal with as our house isn’t that BIG to start with. The MESS really did look worse than it was once we got started on it. If you have a bigger house then you might just need to FOCUS on ONE AREA at a time… not the whole house. If the task is still too BIG then focus on a smaller area at a time… break that elephant down into small pieces and work on them one at a time. A little progress is BETTER than doing NOTHING at all.

If you need a little motivation or encouragement then be sure to reach out to me via email or on Facebook in the Kirby’s Kabin Blog Group I’ve just started.

Have a great day and stay tuned for a look at our first couple of days with our new homeschool schedule!

A Look Back On 2018

So I’ve been posting quite a bit about my goals for 2019 but let’s not forget about all the good times we had in 2018. Sure, there were some sad times and some hard times but remembering the good times can help ease the pain of the not so good. Here’s a quick peek back on some of our pictures, posts, and activities from 2018:

Continue reading “A Look Back On 2018”

A Plan Of Action For A New You In The New Year

So a few days ago I posted about my goals for 2019. I’m not waiting until the New Year to get started because there is no time like NOW to get started on these goals. You don’t have to wait either and you can follow along with me on my journey to finding a simpler, happier, and better functioning lifestyle here in our little cabin.

It’s so easy to get discouraged with LIFE at times, I know because I’ve felt myself falling into a HUGE pit of discouragement lately. It feels like I just keep hitting walls in so many areas of LIFE and I just don’t know how to get past them. The one thing I do know is the GOD is in control and if there is something in my way HE can help me overcome it.

I also know that a lot of times our failures come from inside of ourselves. We get unhappy with things and want to change them but sometimes the change must come from us first. This can be hard to do and sometimes it can be hard to admit that we aren’t PERFECT.

Over the holidays so many people are posting pictures of their families. Many of these pictures seem to show PERFECT homes and families but behind the scenes can be a different story. In reality LIFE is MESSY in so many ways. I can tell you that my LIFE is MESSY for sure with so many kids and special needs not to mention that we HOMESCHOOL and LIVE in a TINY CABIN. Boy can it get MESSY. Don’t let those pictures get you feeling depressed or down. You can follow along with me, a normal (well, somewhat normal depending on you definition of normal) Momma, as I tackle some of this crazy mess we call LIFE.

Continue reading “A Plan Of Action For A New You In The New Year”

7 Easy Steps To Simplify Your Life Today

**This post may contain affiliate links which help to support our blog and our family.

I had originally written this series of posts in honor of National Simplify Your Life Week, which falls during the first week of August, I decided to make a shortlist of 7 easy steps that almost anyone can use to simplify their life starting today. With the New Year fast approaching I thought it might be helpful to post this again for anyone looking to simplify their life and have more FREE time. Continue reading “7 Easy Steps To Simplify Your Life Today”