You Know Your Home is Organized When…

  • …the clutter is under control, the stuff is subdued, the kids know where things should go.
  • …a basic weekly schedule is in place for chores, schoolwork, shopping and other family activities.
  • …household routines are predictable so family members know what to expect most of the time.
  • …important household and home-school items can be easily located and are kept in a dedicated storage area.
  • …important information and papers are readily accessible.
  • …incoming information is quickly handled with temporary and permanent files.
  • …meals are on the table in a timely fashion.
  • …children are ready for bed at a reasonable hour.
  • …you are in bed at a not-too-unreasonable hour.
  • …you have 15-30 minutes for tea in the afternoon. 🙂

This is from Educating the WholeHearted Child by Clay and Sally Clarkson. I thought this list was particularly telling in regards to what one should expect from oneself.

And I highly recommend this book. It’s jam packed with encouragement, books, resources, information, ideas, and ideals along with whole hearted support (pun intended). It helps you see where you can do better in your realm of keeper of the home, and challenges you to do better. I can’t even begin to list all the benefit I got from this book so do yourself a favor, read it, and see for yourself.

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Making Memories

At MOPS on Tuesday, we had a speaker I really liked. Her topic was near and dear to my heart, and I enjoyed her talk, and got some great ideas. Maybe you will too.

Various Ways to Save Memories

Journal–She kept a journal for each of her four children in which she recorded their pregnancies, birth stories and the day to day moments that fill up our lives, but don’t stick with us unless you write them down. Maybe you’d like to see my journal?

It’s at

Calendar–She recorded the first year of each child’s lives on a calendar–I did this too, but I’m most proud of Cadrian’s since I made it myself. I started working on it before we had decided on his name–it’s weird to look back at that!
Photo books from Shutterfly or other online photo developers
Accordion File Boxes-She suggested you use these to save school work. Just keep the creative and original works.
Video taping

–Get them put on DVD so you can actually watch them. Be sure to tape the every day play, and not just the birthday. We have those little tapes from the camcorder and can only watch them when we hook up the camcorder to the TV. Someone told me if we get a “fire wire” we can transfer them to the ‘puter. We’re going to try that.

Scrapbooking –I love this!! Here are a few of Cadrian’s pages, But I do have many, many others.
Quilt boxes–wrap your baby’s clothes in blue tissue paper (this tip is actually from a fellow MOPS mama) and they won’t fade

To My Daughter with Love is a fill-in-the-blank memory book for a daughter that would make a gorgeous graduation present.

She had a lot of other suggestions as well:

Supply Companies
Exposures (acid free page fillers, photo boxes)
Light Impressions (acid free boxes)

Devotionals-great for dinnertime

A Faith to Grow On
365 Manners Kids Should Know
Taming a Liger (If you liked Napolean Dynamite, spiritual)
The Intellectual Devotional (subjects broken into days)

Adolescent Books-These are good to each read individually and then discuss

Preparing for Adolescence-Dr. Dobson
Every Young Man’s Battle-also has workbooks

Good Read Alouds for the Young-Summer Reading Books Chapter a Day)
Boxcar Children
Farmer Boy-Laura Ingalls Wilder
The Moffats-Estes

I have a lot more to add to this list, but Kevin is waiting to watch a movie with me…

Other ways to make memories with your Kids
For Birthdays offer a birthday party or dinner alone with Dad and Mom
Pray every morning before school
Travel/Vacations-can make great memories, even close trips)

How about you?
How do you make memories? How do you preserve them?
I know you are all so creative, I can’t wait to read your suggestions!

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My Box

I present to you one of the most helpful tools I’ve ever used. Of course, like everything you see here, it’s an idea I read about somewhere and implemented as my own.

This is an ordinary index card box, for 3×5 cards.
Within, are card dividers, labeled 1-30, the days of the week, and daily. Every morning when I have my quiet time I pull out that date’s, that day’s and the daily.

Behind each date is a prayer for my husband from Power of a Praying Wife–(one of my goals is to get Power of Praying Parent and put those prayers in here too)–along with a couple of inspirational verses.
Then I go to the day of the week. I read or write the verses I have tucked back there over and over again. I’m working on memorization, but they are ones I already pretty much know, so I don’t have to go over them every day; it’s kind of like review.

I also have a goal here of putting prayers here as I have heard of some people doing, like prayer for our leaders on Mondays, prayers for family on Tuesdays… This is a work in progress.

Daily is my current passage I’m memorizing, and prayers I want to be sure to do every day.

Just a simple system–I think it may be Tim LaHaye I have to thank for it–but it sure does work well for me.

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Name That Photo Contest Winner

90% Adorable
10% Ornery
Machine wash warm with sister.
Tumble dry low.
Do not iron if decorated.
Wear with love.

The winner is Audra! What a lot of terrific entries; you all are so clever. Be sure to go back and read the comments –I especially liked: Wash-n-Where?, Redneck Jacuzzi, When a bath just doesn’t cut it, try “Heavy Duty” and an extra rinse!, and of course, Farm Fresh Laundry!

My own was “See what happens when you don’t let them watch tv!”

You may have noticed I left my blank daybook up all day. Ahem. Amid the chaos that is the life I love, I didn’t even realize!

It’s fixed now, although of course it’s a bit anti-climatic. Not that my daybook is ever really climatic. But anyway. You can read it now if you want to.

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Mama’s Daybook

For more daybooks, and to join the fun, click on the image above…

My Daybook ~ 16 February

Outside My Window … sunny and bright, warmish for an Iowa February

I am thinking … how thankful I am to have had such a productive morning

I am thankful for … coupons

From the learning rooms … Little House on the Prairie, Twenty and Ten, reading practice

From the kitchen … I’m making my menus today, but I made Shipwreck Dinner for lunch and some cinnamon bread

I am wearing … jeans, Skechers, and a pink sweatshirt

I am creating … Little House on the Prairie dresses (the blue one, only in red calico)

I am going … scrapbooking store, fabric store, grocery store

I am reading … my Goodreads list


I am hoping … my baby has as good a day tomorrow as he’s had today!


I am hearing… Cadrian razzing and my mom laughing at him

Around the house … it’s clean for now and I’m semi caught up on laundry! We just got a loft bed for the girls, so we need to get that up.


One of my favorite things … my sister


A few plans for the rest of the week … MOPS, a purity conference and a homeschool group (for the first time)


Here is a picture thought I am sharing~

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My Sweet Baby A

Yesterday she put together a care package for our neighbor, and lifetime family friend, one of the kindest people you’ll ever meet. Aviana drew a picture, made a design with sparkly stickers, and put in a Twizzler, two “dwaduation” hearts (conversation hearts) and five lemon drops, ” four betuz I wuv her and one just extwra”.

Dada wanted to tell her that classic joke, “What’s a henway?”

You know, and then the recipient is supposed to say, “A henway? A henway? I don’t know. What’s a henway?”

And then the teller says ” About two pounds, HAHAHAHA!”

Aviana answered right away, “A hen ways eggs!”
Kevin was cleaning the corn stove because it was starting to go out. Normally it doesn’t have any odor at all, but when it starts to go out, it burns dirty and smells like a fire. Strong on the scent of burn.

Aviana was helping him. Due to her four year old speech, she replaces the “sh” with “s”.
Seesells by the seesore. You get the idea.

When he opened the door, she meant to say, “It smells like ASH!” but instead uttered a phrase she has never heard before in her life, “It smells like A$$!”

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Fancy Tea Party

You’d never guess I’d been up since four…Cadrian looks like he’s being possessive doesn’t he?

My nephew Titus and little friend Sydney

Reading some Valentine stories
Cora enjoying her snacks

Aviana being cooperative with the camera

All the fanciness

Homemade pretzels
London Bridge and dancing
Aviana and Ella counting the booty after the heart hunt

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Last night, Brielle and I made the most delicious cake in the world. It’s called Mocha Layer Cake. It’s about the only kind of chocolate cake I can honestly say I love. I love chocolate, but generally, I don’t like chocolate cake or chocolate ice cream. I know, I’m an odd duck. Anyway.

The cake doesn’t turn out so well if you forget to put in flour. Pretty key ingredient that.

In other, completely unrelated news, I’m looking for a tee shirt to buy that reads:
I used to have a mind, but now I have small children.

I did manage to salvage some semblance of the cake however, and oh yes, we’ve been eating it.
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