Tag Archives: schedules

Finding Time With Routines And Schedules

I know how busy life gets and we all… ok, most us… feel like we need more time every now and then, right? Well, there are only 24 hours in a day and we can’t make more time no matter how hard we try so that means we just need to find ways to use our time more wisely.

First we need to get our priorities straight and make sure we are getting the things done that need to get done like feeding everyone and making sure they have clean clothes to wear. We should probably make sure we clean the house from time to time and if you homeschool you gotta have time for that too. Not to mention that there are so many other things like appointments, grocery shopping, and other obligations that happen everyday.

Click here to read about our our Google Home Hub has helped this busy Momma keep our routines and schedules organized.

Sometimes it seems like there is no time left for the fun stuff but I promise that routines can help. I have written many a post about our routines here. Our routines help keep us running smoothly most of the time. The routines work when we follow them and sometimes we don’t but we quickly realize how much we need them. As soon as we get back on routine our lives get less chaotic.

I have included some pics and screenshots of our different routines and schedules below but please don’t think this is complicated. Ours are far more complicated than most as we have a lot of things going on here and I need these to keep myself and my household organized. Every family is different and every set of routines will be different What works for us may not work for you but feel free to use these as a guideline for setting up your own routines and/or schedules.

Continue reading Finding Time With Routines And Schedules

Wishes To Reality Update

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!

Continue reading Wishes To Reality Update

Large Family Planning Calendar For The New Year

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

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:

Continue reading Large Family Planning Calendar For The New Year

Why I Quit Homeschooling My Kids

**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.

Missing Materials

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

Homeschooling Through The Unexpected

**This post does contain some affiliate links which could possibly earn me a small commission if a purchase was made through them. These links help to support our blog and our family.

We’ve all been there… or some of us have. I was once a very efficient, organized, multitasking homeschooling Momma. I still am for the most part but I have learned that you also need a lot of flexibility and patience.

There will be times when your plans go perfectly and everything seems to be so easy. But then there will be times when your homeschool is complete CHAOS! This can happen in the blink of an eye and without warning. Continue reading Homeschooling Through The Unexpected

Homeschool Manager Giveaway

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If you read my post ‘Homeschool Organization. Simple. Flexible.‘ then you can only guess how excited I am to be announcing this giveaway! If you haven’t read that post I encourage you to go check it out ASAP.

Click Here to Enter To Win One Year of Homeschool Manager for Free!

The only requirements are that you need to signup for Homeschool Managers Free 30 day – No Card Required – Trial  and comment below to let me know that you have done so. Also please be sure to enter your information in the Rafflecopter form in the link above or the one below!

Click Here to Enter To Win One Year of Homeschool Manager for Free!

Deadline to Enter is 8/18/18 @ 12:00am!

Good Luck!

Be sure to share this awesome giveaway with your friends and on your social media also keep an eye out for another giveaway coming soon on one of our Facebook pages.

Homeschool Organization. Simple. Flexible.

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.

Portfolios are so EASY with Homeschool Manager!

Continue reading Homeschool Organization. Simple. Flexible.

Simplify Your Life: Step 5 Get Organized

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

This post is part of a multi-section post in honor of National Simplify Your Life week which is the first week of August. The original post wasn’t as short and simple as I had wanted it to be so I decided to break it down into a few shorter posts.

Step 5 Get Organized

Whoa! I know this one may be not be easy for some but you can do it! I know you can. Did you that the average person spends about 12 days every year looking for things? I think a Momma spends twice that amount. That’s at least 30-45 minutes a day wasted because you aren’t organized!

Imagine how much money you could save if you had a system for organizing your bills and getting them paid on time! This tip goes along with Step #6 and should come after you have completed Step #4.

Please don’t try to organize until you’ve declutter because it may get too overwhelming. I recently decluttered and organized our whole house and let me tell you that it has made a HUGE difference in our lives! Everyone can find anything at any time and everything has a place.

Getting organized can include things like setting reminders for birthdays, appointments, paying bills, or important events. We have reminders set for just about everything else like library due dates, semi annual bills, some chores, etc. I even have reminders for the due dates for our club’s newsletters and updates.

The easiest tool I have found to keep me organized is my Cozi calendar. I have it on my laptop, my phone, and my tablet. I have also installed it on Mr. Awesome’s phone and my ex husband has access to our calendar as well. That way everyone knows when we have upcoming appointments and events. Cozi even sends out email reminders!

This makes my life so much simpler as I don’t have to worry about forgetting important things, as long as I have remembered to enter them into the calendar. I also use Cozi for my meal planning so I if I forget my grocery list, or if I forget to make one, I can quickly check my phone for what I need to get. Cozi also has so many other great (FREE) resources to help you organize and simplify your life.

If you don’t have a smart phone or don’t want to install another app you can still use most phones to set reminders. You can also use paper and pencil, post its, or find a nice planner to help you organized. I used to carry a small one around in my purse but now I just use my phone which can be aggravating if the service isn’t great.

For keeping our homeschool schedules straight I like to use Homeschool Manager which I believe is coming out with a mobile app. This has helped so much with keeping track of what needs to be done and what has been done. Not too mention the fact that we can instantly print our attendance reports and report cards which is great. So simple and easy!

These ideas may seem like I am contradicting Step #2 but I think that technology is a great thing if used correctly.

In addition to these ideas you may want to work on setting up systems/routines for handling the following:

  • mail/paperwork
  • housework
  • filing
  • bill paying

Keep your systems simple and work on them to make them easy and efficient. Being organized can keep you from forgetting things and save you so much time and money! This can help to reduce your stress and simplify your life. The next step will have more about routines. 

Need ideas to get started? Check out these books here and here. You can also get my FREE printable bill organization spreadsheet by clicking on the link provided.

You can also check out Make Over Your Year for more ideas.

Be sure to check out the other post in this series for more simple ways to simplify your life.

Click for Step 6.

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Anybody Else Have The Day After Christmas Blues?

We survived Christmas! However the house is a complete wreck. I’ll post some pics below. This Christmas, actually this whole year, has been unlike any other before. That’s not necessarily a bad thing but it has been hard because we’ve been knocked out of routine so many times. However we always get back on track, eventually, and find our normal again. (Our normal varies from day to day with so many kiddos and their special needs.) Continue reading Anybody Else Have The Day After Christmas Blues?

Defeating the Dirty Laundry Monster

I think we’ve all been there at one time or another. Whether it resulted from a vacation, a sickness, or possibly even just laziness. We come face to face with an hideous monstrous pile of dirty laundry and the task seems undefeatable. We put it off or just pick through and pull out a few items that we want to wear. Maybe the kids do the sniff test and decide it smells OK enough to wear again.

How do we handle this ever growing task and make it not seem so daunting? After finding the FlyLady I have started doing a load, sometimes two, a day. At first it seemed like I might never get this monster under control. By establishing my routines and with a little persistence I did eventually tame the beast.

Let’s face it even if you don’t have kids you will still have dirty laundry, unless maybe you live in a nudist camp. Even then I think you would still have some dirty laundry. When you have kids you are definitely gonna have dirty laundry. I mean you will have dirty clothes showing up to be washed that you didn’t even know your kids owned. When you move the couches or the beds you will almost certainly find dirty socks.

When you multiply the kids factor by 7 or 8 you will find that this supercharges the monster and it can quickly grow out of control. You need a plan of attack to get this monster under control and defeat it once and for all.

First you need to decide how you want to sort your clothes. I have a hamper in my bathroom for the whites. There are also separate hampers in the bedrooms for the little boys  the little girls. The older kids and I each have our own hampers in our rooms as well. We don’t really have space in our laundry room so this is what works for us. This may or may not work for your family. You may want to set up a laundry sorting area for lights, darks, and whites.

Next you need to decide on when you are going to wash clothes. Here each person is assigned a different day of the week. Mondays are for the little boys, Tuesdays are for DS14, Wednesdays are for the whites and the sheets, Thursdays are for Momma, and Fridays are for the little girls. The older kids wash on the weekends or whenever the washer and dryer are free. Sometimes, especially when a nasty bug hits, we do have extra loads to wash but for the most part we stick to this schedule.

Again this may not work for your family especially if you don’t have your own washer and dryer. You may not need to wash every day either. If your clothes are out of control you will want to wash at least one load a day until you get it under control. Make sure you dry, fold, and put away every load you wash or the clothes will end up back in the dirty pile before you know it.

While you are folding the clothes go ahead and get rid of things that your kids don’t really like to wear or things that don’t fit. Decide how many outfits they really need. My kids have 10-20 outfits for everyday wear. They also have a couple of nice outfits for church and special occasions. The younger kids have 7-10 play outfits as well. If you feel like you can’t part with that many maybe you can just put some in totes or boxes to swap out when some get a little worn. That way they will always have something ‘new’ or ‘fresh’ in their wardrobe.

Make your kids and other family members responsible for their dirty laundry! You shouldn’t have to fold clothes for anyone over 7 years old. They are more than capable of folding their own clothes. They are also capable of putting their clothes in the hamper, toting them to the washer, and loading/unloading the washer and dryer. Mommas do not need to wear themselves out doing things that others can help with.

Go ahead and teach them to put the clothes in the hampers right-side-out and that will save a lot of time later on. I don’t fix the clothes for them. Even the little boys know that if their clothes are not fixed right Momma will call them in to fix them before I hang them up or fold them.

The kids know that on Wednesdays we change our sheets. Each child has a second set of sheets to put on when they take off the dirty ones. The kids know to take the dirty sheets to the laundry room in the morning and one of the little girls will usually help the little boys to get their sheets off the bed. One of the girls will also gather up the bath rugs and dirty towels that may be hanging in the bathrooms as well as any wash rags lingering around.

I fill the detergent and softeners in the washer before the kids bring the clothes to load. I also place a dryer sheet in the dryer for them. When they load the washer they go ahead and start it. Then when the chime goes off they know to load the clothes into the dryer. No stinky, soured, or mildewed clothes allowed here.

I have shown them how to shake the clothes out before putting them in the dryer to help with the wrinkles. They can then start the dryer. Our laundry room happens to be right off the kitchen so they can leave their school work and swap out the clothes with little interruption and I am always right there to supervise.

When the dryer finishes they will grab a basket and unload them. They will also clean out the lint filter and throw away the lint. (Ok, sometimes they throw the lint at each other but it does eventually get thrown away.) The little boys take the basket to my bedroom, the girls take the basket to their room to work on after lunch, and DS14 leaves the basket in the kitchen.

I fold the little boys clothes, but they help with the whites for now. It is easier to show them how to fold wash rags and towels before we progress to shirts and shorts later on.They can match up their socks though. I hang up outfits for them, one shirt and one bottom per hanger, and then fold the rest of the clothes. They can put away most of their clothes except the ones that need hung up.

The little girls, 8 & 9, are pretty much independent now when it comes to folding and putting away their clothes.For DS14, I hang up his shirts and bottoms separately as he has a lot of trouble with the hangers but he is responsible for folding the rest of the clothes and putting them away. They all complete these tasks fairly well as they know that I will be checking them. I do not expect perfection just progress. The clothes are not going to look neat at first but as long as it looks like they gave it a good try then I’m satisfied.

This is a learning process and it does take patience to get these routines and habits developed so don’t give up. You will be teaching them important skills that they will need as adults. (I count this as ‘Life Skills’ in our homeschool.) Trust me I wished so many times that my ex husband would have put his stinky socks in the hamper instead of hiding them under the bed or sticking them in the drawer of his nightstand!

Well, I better finish up this post as I have a 3 year old asking for some turned over cake… aka Pineapple Upside-Down cake.

Note: In the summertime we use the clothesline which is also great practice for fine motor skills and can be a way to teach the kids how to save money, energy, and how to use natural resources. We have even made a mini lesson on this subject and researched various things from the benefits of air drying clothes to how to properly hang out clothes. Make it fun!

Getting Routines Started 101

‘Your first obligation as a parent is to not bring chaos into your kids’ lives.’

OK, I should’ve written this before I started on the other posts about routines. I didn’t realize, until I was writing another post, how complicated and daunting routines can seem. Truth be told we all have some kind of routine already.

**Please note this post does contain affiliate links to which I may, possibly, earn a small commission from if you click on and purchase an item. For full disclosure click here. Continue reading Getting Routines Started 101

Laundry Routines

As you can imagine with house full of kids we have a lot of laundry! There was a time where we didn’t have an inside washer and dryer. All we had was a washroom outside with the washer hooked up. This usually meant that I would do one massive wash day. Boy was that exhausting!

The many hampers placed throughout the house would be overflowing. There was the never ending dilemna of not being able to find anything clean to wear. Not to mention my kitchen would be covered in stinky socks and dirty underwear on wash day. Ewwww!

I am so thankful that we now have an indoor laundry room with a working washer and dryer. At first we kept to the one wash day method but it really wasn’t working and I was so tired at the end of the day. The FLyLady says ‘A load a day keeps CHAOS away!’ and she is right. Now it might take you a it to ‘catch up’ but you can do it.

Sometimes we aren’t in the position to do a load a day so just do the best you can! Below is our current laundry routine:

Sundays: No laundry

Mondays: DS3 & DS4 (1load together)

Tuesdays: DS14

Wednesdays: Sheets & Whites (2 loads today)

Thursdays: Momma’s laundry

Fridays: DD8 & DD9 (1 load together)

Saturdays: DD17 & DS21

Each person is responsible for bringing their laundry to the washer and loading it up. I take care of the soap for the littles and I will also go ahead and throw a dryer sheet into the dryer so it will be ready for a Laundry Check.

In the Summer we will often use the clothes line and I have the younger ones help me to hang up the clothes and take them down.

Each person is also responsible for folding and putting away their laundry with the exceptions of DS3 & DS4 right now. They do put their clothes into the washer and then load them into the dryer. They will also unload the dryer and bring the basket to the kitchen. Momma usually folds the clothes and hangs up their outfits for them.

I do have a press in the laundry room but I am the only one who really uses it. I will teach each of the kids how to use it as these are all skills they will need to have for when they leave home and venture out onto their own.