Cleaning Day….

27 05 2010

I have had a lot of people ask me about my cleaning day.  For those that don’t know, I clean my entire house in one day and then just do “damage control” the rest of the week.  The reason for this is two fold….it helps sooo much with homeschooling.  I know what needs to be done and when, but it has also helped my marriage.  It ministers to my husband when he is home on the weekends…..he doens’t want me cleaning the whole weekend.  But he also likes his home to be clean and orderly.

So for those that care…here is how I do it.  You can do this lots of ways, this way just works for me.

Start:

I have a basket in the room I am cleaning with me.  I first fill it with anything that doesn’t belong in that room.  I de-clutter all counter tops and put away anything on them.

I fill both my sinks with cleaner and hot water ( I use Lysol Multi formula). I take apart my stove and put all the pieces of it in one of the sinks of cleaner and water.  I let them soak while I continue with the kitchen.  I then use a rag and the other sink of water to wash down all the cabinets in the kitchen.  (pay close attention to the door knobs and inside too).  This will usually take off any sticky fingers and drips from cooking.  I then clean all the counters with the cleaner.  I use a spray bottle mixed with vinegar and water to clean the outside of the oven, dishwasher, microwave  (also use to clean the inside too), refrigerator and stove. 

I wash and dry all the pieces to the stove and put it back together.  I then sweep the kitchen (do not wash yet).

I then move onto the bathroom.  I spray the tub with Lysol foaming cleanser and leave it to soak for a minute.  While that is soaking I use the spray bottle (mixed with vinegar and water) to spray down the toilet. Now if you have little boys (or big boys…LOL) that sometimes miss …..this will take out the pee smell!!!!!  I spray the entire area…including the wall behind the toilet. I then wipe it down with paper towel.  I clean the tub (that has been soaking in cleaner).  I then take down all towels and hand towels and remove all rugs.  These all go down to the laundry and I start them in the washer.  I then clean the mirrors and sink ( I use the spray bottle for all these).  I then sweep the floor and move onto the next room.

Next, I move onto the bedrooms.  Now, these are already straighten up (the kids have done with while I was doing the kitchen) so I just dust them ( I use the same water that I did the cabinets in the kitchen with) and swiffer the floors ( make sure you clean under each bed too)  Everything else has been done by the kids.  I also make sure I wash down the window stills etc. 

Then I move onto the school room. I don’t have to clean up much in here because the kids did it while I was cleaning the bathroom.  I do have to first straighten the 2 adult desks.  I de-clutter and put all papers away etc.  (This doesn’t take as long as it seems to do….if you do it every week the work load is light.  If you haven’t done it in a while, I would do it the night before the big clean, so you don’t get slowed down.).   I first dust the whole room…this room has sooo much dusting….it drives me crazy…LOL.  Then I sweep the floors and swiffer them.  (Do not wash the floors yet).

I then move onto the Family Room. I first dust the whole room. I clean the door wall glass (always full of little finger prints).  Don’t forget I am bringing my basket with me to every room and filling it with ANYTHING that doesn’t belong in that room.  I make sure all DVDs are put back….children’s games etc. (This also doesn’t take long because you have been cleaning up the toys at the end of every night).

Now it is time for the floors. I have already swept and swiffered each room. I now fill up my bucket and mop all the rooms.  I start in the kitchen, move to the school room and bedrooms. The bathroom is always done last in my house…I don’t like to use the water after doing the bathroom floors. I then vacuum the family room. ( Pulling out couches etc. to get under them, pulling of cushions and cleaning under them).

I now move to the basement.  The children have already cleaned up all the toys so I just do a quick dusting and vacuum.  I only clean the basement bathroom every other week.  So if that needs to be done, I do it.

I now put away all the cleaning supplies and things in my basket. 

Things to remember….if you have ciling fans, don’t forget to dust them.  If you have mirrors, make sure you clean them.  If you have rugs in other rooms, make sure you take them to the wash.

Now, put on a cup of tea and sit down and relax!!!  Enjoy your clean house for about…..15 mins. if you are lucky. 🙂





Summer Schedule……

26 05 2010

Wow!  It is almost Summer! WOOO HOOO….can I get some shout outs!!!  Come on mamas!!!! and Papas!!!!!  I LOVE summer. I love almost everything about it, there is so many things to do and see…….and the kids make it so much fun. 🙂

So, we will soon be switching from our school year schedule to our summer schedule.  This is always so hard to figure out….we want to just be out in the sun and in the water ALL day long….but I know that isn’t always best for my little ones. 🙂  So, this is very tentative!  But this is what I have so far….

8 am wake up time/ breakfast/ chores

9 am playtime

10 am Ethan morning nap/big kids do table time (summer worksheet books to keep up with school skills)/reading time

10:30 playtime/T.V time

11:30 Lunch Time

noon Ethan wakes up/ outside time for big kids

2:00 Owen rest time/ big kids play in basement or if they were swimming they can continue

3:00 snack time/ craft time or outside time ( if they have already been playing in basement at 2, then they will head outside)

5:00 Dinner (we eat early in the summer, so daddy has lots of time with us before his second job)

6:00 Family Events (bike rides, tee ball, church etc.  Depends on the night)

8:00 bathtime/storytime

9:00 bedtime

I know this schedule is VERY vague, but it is something that will give me some order in the home.  We do lots of swimming and going to the park.  So if we decide to head out for the day then we will change things around!!!

This is how I do my chores etc…..

Monday: Wash Sheets and Dave’s work clothes

Tuesday: Clean the whole house (takes about 3.5 hours) and wash all rugs and towels

Wednesday: Wash all of adult clothes

Thursday: Wash all children’s clothes (about 8-9 loads), plan out menu for next weeks meals.

Friday: clean and organize one area of the house (school room, closets etc.) Wash anything that needs to be done before the weekend. Also, I do the shopping for the next week.

*wash diapers as needed

Saturday and Sunday is family time, I try to keep cleaning to a minimum.  Just what needs to be done (kitchen, baths and toy room).  This way we get to really spend time with daddy.  I do a lot of baking on Sunday nights after church.

If I plan things out right, I can get most of my chores done before lunch (except for my big clean day, I do that from about noon to 3:30).  So we stay home that day, but the other days we can be gone by lunch if needed. 🙂





Life has changed…..

21 05 2010

After being on the Feingold diet for almost 5 weeks…..our life has changed.  Changed in ways I NEVER thought I could handle….but God is so good and He has given me the strength!!!  For those that don’t know, we have put our sweet Owen (age 2) on the Feingold diet.  His behavior is 100 percent better, he is able to have control over his body and his emotions.  His speech has improved.  His eczema is almost 50 percent gone on his arms. 🙂  We are very pleased with this!!!

Well, you maybe thinking….how has your life changed?  Well, for starters you can take all your coupons (for food) and throw them in the trash and still keep the same budget.  We keep a very tight hold of our family’s food budget, but with this new diet we have had to add so many different things.  He can eat VERY little store brand foods (they can change who they get their stuff from and not change the label, also  they don’t have to add all ingredients they add to the food.  For example, they can add MILK, but not tell you that the milk has Vitamin A Palminate in it… a preservative).  So, food is pretty pricey that he can get.

On the other hand….it has cost so little too!!!!  I make everything…and I mean everything by hand.  You name it I have made it I think……LOL.  I have cupcakes in my freezer frosted and ready to be pulled out at a moments notice.  That is the thing that has been so hard to adjust to!  I have to be ready and prepared for everything.  I have made cinnamon rolls, cupcakes, brownies, frosting, popsicle, smoothies, bread, whip cream, bread crumbs, bread, hamburger buns, all kinds of muffins, sweet breads, granola, pancakes, french toast etc.  The list goes on and on and on and on.  God has given so much patience to prepare for all these things.  I give him all the credit for this…there is NO way I could be home with 4 young children and home school and do this diet. 

I have also had to be prepared for things.  If we are going to be out and about I have to bring all his food and drinks.  I can’t count on him being able to eat anything at the place we go to.  This also means I have to be ready for the other kids too.  I try not to buy anything that all the kids can’t eat.  This can be hard when “easy” snack foods go and on sale….and are free or almost free.  We just pass by them now.  After going out to eat….we almost always have a reaction.  I know the next 30 mins to 48 hours are going to be very hard.  I can now see a reaction and have figured out ways to handle them better than before.

We are all eating healthier now too!  At the end of a bad day I lay down and think about how much healthier I am making my little boy. I am taking out all the stuff that was making him “sick”.  I am taking out all the stuff that was hindering him from being the boy he could be.  I am so thankful for this program. I am so thankful to those that have gone before me and have done this before.  I am thankful to my VERY wonderful family and church family, they have supported us in this 100 percent.  People call and let me know if I need to bring anything special for him to eat etc.  My family won’t offer my children anything that Owen can’t have!  That is a HUGE thing to me. I want him to feel loved and by them doing that it shows us that they LOVE him too!!!!!

Things have changed, but I am praising God.  It maybe harder for me at times, but we are so happy with the outcome so far.  Thank you to those that have been praying for us during this time.  🙂





2010-2011 School year….

13 05 2010

Yes, it is already that time of year 🙂  The time when I get to figure out what our next year of school will look like.  My goal is to have it all figured out before the end of the school year so that it isn’t hanging over my head during the summer.

So, we think we have it done.  It isn’t in stone, but it is pretty close 🙂

For Grace and Isaac we will be going with Sonlight Core 1 for their History, Geography, Reading and Bible.  This was a hard choice for us.  We prayed over it, talked about it and finally decided this is the best fit for our family.  Now Grace will be 5 and Isaac 6 at the start of the school year, so this is pretty advanced for her. So we will take 2 years on this core….so that when we do Core 2 she will be 7 and Isaac 8.  We think this is the best plan for our little ones.  Grace will be doing the Readers Level 1 and Isaac will be doing the Readers Level 2.

For math we are sticking with Math U See.  We really love the way it is taught!  We are going to be on Alpha. 🙂

For Science we are starting Answers in Genesis.  We are very excited about this choice.  We love how it is set up!  We go through the 4 different science books twice between 1st and 8th grade. You have all the worksheets on CD so you just print what you need for each child.  That is a huge help with this growing family. 🙂  We will be studying Plants, Animals and the Human Body this year.

For language arts we are going with First Language Lessons for the Well-Trained Mind.  This is an easy book that comes with a CD to help your little ones learn the different parts of language.  We also love that this one book covers two years worth of school…..so very cost-effective!

Some extra things we will continue to do are…

1. Explode the Code.  I LOVE these books, it is amazing how well they teach concepts in reading and spelling.  Isaac will be doing books 4, 5 and 6 next year.  Grace will be starting books 1, 2 and 3.  Hint: if you want these books try getting the at Rainbow Resources, so much cheaper.

2. Hooked on Spanish.  So far we are very happy with the approach to teaching Spanish in this easy to follow format.  They children do it all on the computer and it tracks their progress for me.  We are very happy with this and will continue it for next year. 🙂 Hint: We bought ours at Borders on the “bargain book” shelf for ten dollars.  Check there before buying online.

For Owen (age 3) we will be doing Five in a Row volume 1.  The current plan is to do this for 2 years in row.  This way Ethan can do it with him when he is 2 and Owen is 4.  Then we will get them schooling together 🙂  We will add in fun preschool stuff for Owen.  Isaac and Grace did this when they were 2 and 3 and it was great.  It gave them some organized reading and play time with mommy.  It isn’t like “school time” more like some one on one “mommy time”.  That is how we school until they are 5 years old, we try to make it fun and organized.  (More for me than for them, it makes sure I am giving each of them some love and attention).

So far that is our choices for next year.  We are still unsure about spelling (for Isaac) and how we should teach that.  So if you have some ideas please post them for me!  Thank you so much.





Life….Mother’s Day

7 05 2010

LIfe…..it isn’t always easy….it isn’t always fun…….it sometimes the most amazing thing…..sometimes you are at a loss for words…..sometimes you just don’t know what to do….sometimes everything just comes so easy…..sometimes life is just plain HARD.

Yes, it is Mother’s Day weekend!  Now, why would I start a post off like this on Mother’s Day?  Well, that is how I am feeling.  It has only been about 2 weeks sence Brigette was buried.  Her life is so fresh in my mind.  Her children’s faces are still etched in my mind.  Holding sweet Maryland is so fresh in my mind, she is such a sweet baby let me tell you.  It was looking in Brigette’s face!  Oh, what a joy that was.

Life….is well, life.  There will be some very hard days, weeks and years at times.   This year is one of those.  Tears flow from my face as I write this.  Brigette’s death will be a moment in my life…it will be a sad time for me.  But for her children it will shape who they will be!  It will become an event that will mark everything they ever do!  They will always wonder what she was like, her smile, her laugh, her joy.  This Mother’s Day I can only think about what it must be like for them.

This moment in my life is pushing me to be a better mommy.  Brigette’s memory is living on in my children as well.  She was one of the most amazing mamas I have ever known.  She loved her children more and did soooo much with her little ones.  She was kind and gentle.  She was sweet and loving.  She was fun and creative.  She loved being a mommy!   This makes me wonder about myself as a mommy.  Do I show how much I love it to my children?  or do I complain about the laundry or the chores?  I want my children to know they are the most amazing gifts from God. I want them to know that I love them, that I care of them ( not because I have to, but because I love doing this job called mommy!).

I wanted to post some pictures I took at Brigette’s funeral.  I wanted her children to see how many people loved their mommy, who still love her so much.

HEre is sweet Georgia and her papa.  25 pink balloons were released, one for each year of her life.

Montana, an awesome young man!  Brigette’s oldest.

I love this picture of Georgia.  She is skipping at the burial site with a flower from her mama’s casket, an angel from the casket and a ribbon that said “mommy” on it.  What a picture of innocence.

Sweet baby Maryland with 2 flowers from her mama’s casket.

Life is so hard.  But let me tell you something….my God is great.  My God is faithful.  My God is good.  My God is comfort.  My God is a healer.  My God is amazing.  My God is the father to the fatherless (or motherless).  My God will take care of His children.  My God will provide.





Worth your time reading.

5 05 2010

My friend Kacie wrote a great post on Socialization.  Check it out here.