Hey ya’ll its been a few days since I’ve checked in with you. I hope everyone is doing well. We are finally getting over these colds that have been passed around and around and around… you get the point. I’m tired of being sick and tired and of being around whiny kids who are sick and tired… yeah not a fun week at all but it has been productive even though I ended up getting this post out a day late… Oops!
We have been sticking to our goals and our Plan of Action that I made earlier in the month. The kids are listening and behaving better, well for the most part, even thought they’ve not been feeling well. We’ve been working on keeping the noise level down and I’ve found that my little friend Google has been AMAZING at helping me with this. I have been asking Google, ‘Hey Google, can you play me some music please?’. Note that I do use my manners and she really appreciates that. When the kids can’t hear the music they know they are getting way too loud.
As you probably know from reading our latest posts we have been staying CRAZY BUSY in 2019 just like we did before. However even though our schedules have been busy I have been trying to work in some changes, a couple at a time, to help us turn those wishes into realities.
My first wish of having the kids to listen better seems to be going along fairly well. I have been making it a point to work more one on one with each of them as I can. I have also not had to speak to them as much because I’ve went over what I expect and given them a list of rewards for when the goals are met or some consequences if they aren’t met.
I had also noticed that I was yelling more… ok, I felt like I was yelling. People sometimes laugh when I apologize for yelling because my yelling doesn’t seem like yelling to them… anyways I was having to talk much louder than I preferred and I didn’t like that. Did you know that yelling makes it seem like you aren’t in control? Well that was definitely not the message I wanted to convey to this little army I have here!
I also know that yelling doesn’t fit into the overall picture of wanting to create a more loving and peaceful home. We have a small home so when one or two people start yelling it begins to sound a bit like a busy coffee shop in NYC!
**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:
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…
We also got a few more books that everyone is excited to read like this one here:
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!
**This post does contain affiliate links to products and/or services we use. These are included for your convenience at no extra cost to you however we may receive a small commission
**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.
Hey y’all! How have you been? It’s been a little CRAZY here as usual but crazy seems to be our normal so I am becoming used to it. However I have been really trying to make some changes to reduce the amount of stress our craziness can bring. If you missed my Plan of Action post you should really check it out HERE to see what changes we are working on around this little cabin.
While I have been working on my list and trying to come up with some ideas to make my wishes become REALITY there have been a few unexpected hiccups already. One was thisongoing Fibro Flare I’ve been dealing with. Living with chronic pain is NO FUN and then when it seems like the pain is UNBEARABLE then something else happens to push you almost to the brink of a breakdown. Howevere GOD is GOOD and HE is always there and manages to keep me from free falling over the edge of insanity.
There have been several days where I’ve done pretty much NOTHING or at least as close to NOTHING as I could get by with. However last Friday was not one of those days. I walked into the closet to get something and realized that the kiddos had been playing with my crinolines AGAIN… sigh… and they had torn apart the shelving unit that held them AGAIN. Well, there wasn’t a lot I could do about it when I found it as we were getting ready for a dance. Then a bit later I walked in to find that the girls had pulled the middle section of their unit apart… GRRRR! I was ready to pull my hair out but I just helped everyone to get what they needed and instructed them to STAY OUT of the closet until I could fix it.
It’s the 3rd already! Where has time gone? I’ve not been feeling up to par the past week or so and today it dawned on me that I need to pay bills… Oops… I apologize to my creditors in advance. When I finally sat down to get to work I realized that I needed a new sheet printed off. (See this post HERE if you missed my post last year about how I keep track of my bills.)
Well, that was easier said than done as my worksheet was saved on my old laptop… the one the kids killed last year. I had worked on it a bit last January and gotten it to come back up but I have only used it 3 or 4 times during the past year and each time was tricky as the laptop doesn’t act right and still shuts down frequently. Luckily for me (and you) I was able to get to the files I needed and get them saved on my portable drive (which was originally another laptop that a couple of the kids killed a few years ago)… yeah, lesson learned as they are no longer allowed to play on Momma’s laptop.
If you haven’t read the ‘Keeping Up With The Bills‘ post you may want to check it out so you can see how I use these worksheets to keep our bills organized and paid on time. Since I know that many of us have made resolutions to get more organized I am including links to FREE printables for anyone to use.
**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 short list 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.
Now I’m not talking about anything drastic like selling everything you own and moving into a small secluded cabin with no electric. This actually sounds like a really good idea to me right now but my kids wouldn’t really like that. The tips below will not only help you to simplify your life but they will help you to be more efficient.
Click on each link for more information and helpful tips.
**This post does contain affiliate links to products we use in our home.
I’ve been promising pics of the newly rearranged house. I know it seems like I’m always rearranging something around here but it has been awhile since I’ve posted house pics so here they are.
Many of the pics show the before we moved in and the after… which is now. It has been quite challenging getting to this point partly because having a large family means you have a lot of stuff.
Another part is that we need this small space to function in a variety of ways. We homeschool and do a lot of arts and crafts. I like to cook, sew, and blog too. Not to mention the kids need a place to play and we need to eat, relax, and maybe sleep a little bit. Previously trying to find a spot for some ‘quiet time’ has proven to be a bit difficult as well.
I think we’ve finally found an arrangement that allows for everything we need. With our new furniture pieces we can make more room when needed and move things around quite easily to accommodate whatever we might be doing. This new arrangement has also allowed the house to feel much more open and it seems like we have so much more space while still being nice and cozy.
This is the bedroom area and the view from the bedroom:
Not much has changed in the bedroom since I moved the king sized bed in here earlier this year and moved the two bunkbeds to the Main Room. I can say that having my ‘room’ has been really nice and occasionally I come in here to get a little computer work done while the kids play in the Main Room.
**This post contains affiliate links to products we use.
I’m always so excited when I see my box from Grove Collaborators come. This month was a small order as we are pretty well stocked up on supplies but I wanted to share with you what we did get:
Since we are in the midst of the Christmas season I thought it only fitting to get the Peppermint scented soaps. We got one Mrs. Meyers Hand Soap and two of the Mrs. Meyers Dish Soap. We really love both of these products and when we use the Walnut Scrubbers they make dishwashing a breeze.
The cleaners come in a wide variety of scents and I really enjoy trying out the different scents depending on the season.
I know most of us are probably not ready to think about the New Year as we are in the midst of holiday choas right now but with as many kiddos as I have I am always looking ahead. There are doctor appointments, dentist appointments, birthdays, and so many other events that I need to keep organized.
Our calendars keep our day to day activities running smoothly and help to keep us prepared for upcoming events. They are vital to keeping this Momma sane!
What features do you look for in a calendar? I know I like it to have enough room to write things in the blocks. I also like to have the moon phases and holidays on the calendar.
Do you like the stickers or not? I kinda like the idea of stickers and it helps me to tell at a glance what we have coming up if there are stickers on it.
While I absolutely love my Cozi mobile app and I always have it pulled up on my laptop. I keep everything from appointments to recipes on my Cozi calendar and my family members all have access to it as well. I still like to have a wall calendar as well so that I can refer to it quickly if I’m on the phone or if Mr. Awesome needs to double check something he can refer to it as well.
This led me to check out Amazon for some new planning calendars today. There is such a selection to choose from I’m really not sure which one I want to get yet but here are a few of the ones I’ve found:
**This post does contain affiliate links which help to support my blog and my family.
As a Momma of 9 I am constantly looking out for my kids. I worry about them, like all moms do, and try to be there for them any way I can. I am also constantly looking for new ways to encourage them and keep their curiosity and eagerness to learn alive.
They really do love learning however sometimes they get bored with what we are learning or the way I am teaching it. I admit I get bored sometimes too but I love homeschooling because I am learning right along with my kids. Seeing the look on their face when they finally ‘get’ something is priceless and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
On the other hand I often feel frustrated and tired because things don’t go as planned. We also experience A LOT of interruptions in our day to day life and that can cause some frustrations too as I feel like we just aren’t GETTING ENOUGH DONE in our day.
Not to mention how exasperating it can be when you plan a lesson or activity only to have your kids totally HATE IT! Hours and hours down the drain on what you thought was going to be such a FUN LEARNING EXPERIENCE.
**This post may contain affiliate links to certain products we use in our home.
It’s true! I’ve quit homeschooling my kids… at least temporarily. We’ve had a busy hectic schedule here and everyone is off routine which means total CHAOS here. We originally planned to start back this past Monday, and we did, but things just didn’t ‘feel’ right. I don’t know if it’s because I’ve been so stressed with everything going but I am just not in the right mindset at the moment.
I didn’t have time to plan like I had wanted so Monday and Tuesday felt so ‘rushed’ and ‘chaotic’ that I was ready to cry several times. We had planned a ‘First Day of School’ video but that didn’t turn out well either as partway through the video I realized we were missing some important pieces to our ‘Morning Table Time’. Sigh… it wasn’t pretty as I went digging through drawers and folders to find everything and then trying to find a place to put it back up was another matter.
I do have most of the first few weeks planned out on our Homeschool Manager app but I still had a few blocks that I wanted to ‘fill in’ with some fun activities. If I couldn’t find something I wanted to use I had planned on making a couple of things. Well, with my trip to PA that hasn’t happened. I just really haven’t felt like doing much of anything since we got back and it has really shown this week. Continue reading Why I Quit Homeschooling My Kids→
This post is sponsored and includes affiliate links, yet the opinions are my true opinions, as always. We really do love using this program in our home and I feel that you will too!
‘Scheduling and planning that’s flexible and organized.’
Has the idea of keeping track of lesson plans and schedules got you feeling overwhelmed? The thought of keeping records for report cards, transcripts, and attendance can be enough to make anyone second guess their idea to homeschool.
Just a few years ago I was overwhelmed with the task of record keeping for my large brood. I had one child who needed transcripts and several others in multiple grades with different needs. I was suffering from an informational overload trying to sort it all out and make everything work together without losing my sanity.
Then on October 8th of 2015, with the help of my friend Google, I found the perfect app for our family. It was Homeschool Manager. It sounded so easy and I decided to give it a try.
They had me at the Free 30 day – No Card Required – Trial period which was more than enough time for me to know that this was just what we needed. This one tool IMMEDIATELY brought order to the homeschool chaos we had. (Our Cozi app keeps the rest of our life running smoothly.)
Homeschool Manager completely changed my life and has allowed our homeschool to be the productive and fun learning environment I had envisioned!
Homeschool Manager also gives us the flexibility to adapt and reorder our school year as needed when life throws us an unexpected curve ball or two. We can also easily rearrange our schedule to fit in time for new learning experiences that pop up. We have been able to be more spontaneous and have had the ability to incorporate so many more spur of the moment activities into our homeschool which has allowed our children to have a much more fulfilling and enriching learning experience.