Monday, June 23, 2014

Summer Schedule 2014 - (for nine children: ages 15, 14, 11, 8, 7, 5, 4, 3 & 3)

I have consistently received requests from readers to see my current schedule for our family of 11. *smile*   And I'm so happy to oblige!  So I now have a topic in our home page "Topics" list where I will post our new schedules as I create them for the beginning of each school year in the fall, and one for the summer of that year.  So here is our Summer 1014 schedule if you're interested to see it.  Hope it's helpful, and I'm happy to answer any questions you have about it.  


(Click to enlarge once or twice)

Friday, June 6, 2014

Making Sweatshirt Capes!

Our 4 boys always love to play the hero! Strong, victorious and mighty!  *smile*  I saw this idea for making capes on a boy at a local park near our house and thought it was brilliant!  I purchased used sweatshirts for our boys and turned the sweatshirts into capes. There is no sewing involved and it was very simple. I only needed a pair of scissors and some Fray Check... Here's how I did it. *smile*

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Managing My Time, part 1 of 2


Do you ever feel like you're just jumping from one thing to the next without time to think? Without being able to keep track of planned events and making sure that you're energetic and ready for them when they happen? Do you have a place for important papers and information where it can be located quickly and easily? Are you able to utilize those 5 minutes that you suddenly have, without wasting them just trying to think of how to use them? *chuckle*  Do you manage things like grocery shopping so that it can be efficient and easily manageable; and home maintenance with vitality and the help of the family? Well these things are very possible...and so much more.  *smile*

So far I have written over 47 posts for you on the organization of home and family.  *smile*  Amongst these I have been asked many time how I manage my time at home with a large family.  So in this post I'll share with you t why it’s valuable for moms to manage their time, and then how I do that using my desk, a calendar, a day planner, how I organize reading material, grocery shopping & errands.  After I published this post the first time a dear friend asked what my strategies are for organizing bills, mail, and coupons, and I realized I should have included those as well!  So in part 2 I cover those additional ways I manage my time.



Friday, May 2, 2014

Scheduling: What To Do With Summer?

Summer begins in June here in Washington and most parents are probably thinking ahead to it with eager anticipation.  *smile*  It's tempting and common for parents to approach this glorious season with these thoughts, "It's summer!  *woo-hoo!*  Let's throw all structure to the wind and wing-it for 3 months!"  But I personally have found that the wing-it plan was not very much fun at all - especially if one has a large family and the chaos is multiplied by 9.  *chuckle*  Those "wing it" summers were stressful, chaotic, and extremely frustrating because my expectations were then that I would have all kinds of time to do what I would like and the child would "Just go play" (as well as, "Let's go play!").  This plan does not work well during the school year - and I discovered that it doesn't work well for summer either.  So I had to learn what to do with our time during the summer.  I sought out and the Lord helped me to find answers for our family to these questions:
  • How can we have a routine while still having enough time to play outside in the sunshine?
  • What should we do on rainy days?
  • Should I fill the children's time?  Don't they need a break completely?
  • How long of a break should we take for summer?
  • What if it's an extra hot day and water play is just about the only pleasant thing for the kids to do?
  • Here's what our summer routine looked like in 2012

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Character Training For Children - A Core Aspect of Discipleship

Announcement - Character First Curriculum has recently greatly improved the way that they make the curriculum available to homeschooling parents!  It's wonderful!  We have modified the way that we teach this curriculum in our home now, and I will share that with you...
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Have you ever told your children that you expect "patience" or "orderliness", "diligence" or "gratefulness" from them, only to have them look at you with a mystified expression on their face revealing that they have no idea what you're talking about?  Or maybe when you tell them that you expect this type of character they ask you "...Why?" and then find that you can't actually explain that character trait to them in a way they can understand and apply it?  I certainly found this to be true for me!  I began to discover how vague descriptions of character traits were to children and how that made character very difficult  to understand.  Let's look at,
  • What is "character" exactly, anyway?
  • Why should we care about character?
  • One of the ways we teach character to our children
  • Our monthly plan
  • How our own character can re-enforce or undermine our teaching efforts

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Modest Dress: The Heart of the Issue Surrounding Clothing, Sexuality & Biblical Femininity

Our family had always tried to dressed as modestly as we could in our pants, however I wondered why some Christian families had all of their ladies wear dresses or skirts.  I couldn’t find a scripture that said, “Thou shall always wear dresses or skirts”, and yet we continually saw beautiful, conservative families dressing this way exclusively and intentionally.  We’ve watched clothing trends moved towards less and less material especially for women and even worse, less and less clothing for young women and girls – and disappointingly, the church is less and less a haven of refuge from these trends. 

I'll share with you,
  • How and why we began wearing skirts exclusively
  • My 4 Original Objections to Exclusive Skirts
  • Creating My New Look
  • Changes of the Heart 
  • Online Resources
 (A sweat pants skirt and sweatshirt - one of my favorite outfits *smile*)

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Spring Schedule 2014 - (for nine kids: ages 15, 14, 11, 8, 7, 5, 4, 3 & 3)

I have consistently received requests from readers to see my current schedule for our family of 11. *smile*   And I'm so happy to oblige!  So I now have a topic in our home page "Topics" list where I will post our new schedules as I create them for the beginning of each school year in the fall, and for this school year here is one additional new one for us since we have made some big changes in our family recently such as no longer having any nappers (for the first time in 15 years!).  Eliminating naps required us to then rework our whole morning activity plan for the youngest 4 kids, as well as adjust bed times and wake up times for all of the kids. So here is our Spring 1014 schedule if you're interested to see it.  Hope it's helpful, and I'm happy to answer any questions you have about it.  

(Click to enlarge once or twice)
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