Getting back in the groove

Well, to say that 2020 was a challenging year would be an understatement. It was a year full of surprises (both good and bad), unbelievable stresses, and so much more than I could have ever imagined.

On top of everything we had just gotten married (we celebrated our 1 year anniversary on December 25th!!) and found out that we were expecting. That in itself can be quite stressful but we were also dealing with our new house issues (which seem to be never-ending) and it felt like things kept hitting us one right after another.

In January of 2020, we learned that our pregnancy was extremely high risk and the odds of making it to term and having our baby survive birth were very grim. I also began experiencing some pregnancy-related issues with my thyroid and blood pressure which I’d never had issues with before.

I seriously felt like I was losing my mind and felt completely helpless about everything. I was doing my best to ‘hold it together’ and kept myself busy working on our new house so we could get moved in.

Then the COVID pandemic took over and so many restrictions were put into place. We moved into our home during the beginning of it and all the hopes we had of celebrating our accomplishments with friends and family were dashed.

Continue reading “Getting back in the groove”

Colds, a collapsed well, and some deep cleaning

It’s New Year’s Eve and I, along with many others, will be glad to be putting 2020 behind me. It was a rough year in so many ways. We did have quite a few good things that came from it, like our beautiful baby girl, but it seemed like something new and even more ominous was lurking behind every corner.

Such a cutie!
Continue reading “Colds, a collapsed well, and some deep cleaning”

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 things first…

First, we need to get our priorities straight and make sure we are getting the things are 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 every day.

Click here to read about 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…

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 gone 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!

Check out the Positive Parenting Solutions to learn how to stop the YELLING!

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”

A New School Routine For The New Year

Continue reading “A New School Routine For The New Year”

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?”