Monday, December 30, 2019

Homemaker's Journal: Monday, December 30, 2019

Joining Sandra over at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom for Happy Homemaker Monday. 

THE WEATHER THIS WEEK...

It is a warm but rainy day. Temperatures will get up to 75 this afternoon--very unusual for the last week of December. Tomorrow will be sunny with a high of 60 and temperatures will drop from there until Friday when a high of 76 is expected. I don't know what is going on with the weather!

AROUND THE HOME...

Usual disarray from the weekend, but worse because my foyer is full of Christmas garland that my husband took down from outside yesterday and the children and I took down the Christmas tree this morning and hauled it out to the road. My youngest son is spending the day with my parents so it's much more quiet around here.

AGENDA FOR TODAY...

Clean. There is a large empty spot in the living room and pine needles everywhere. The baby is asleep so the pine needles will have to wait. I also need to get a grocery list ready for the week. Laundry is already in progress. 

A PEEK INTO MY DAY...

"Goodbye Christmas 2019"

A FAVORITE QUOTE FOR TODAY...

 "I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year." 
–Charles Dickens

ON THE MENU...

Monday: Corn Chowder
Tuesday: New Year's Eve party foods
Wednesday: Black Eyed Peas, Collards, Cornbread (A Southern New Year's Day tradition of Pennies, Cash, and Gold for good fortune in the coming year)
Thursday:  Peanut Butter Noodles
Friday: Cheese & Herb Pizza
Saturday: Vegetable Fajitas, Refried Beans, Mexican Rice
Sunday: BBQ Jackfruit Burgers, Coleslaw, Sweet Potato Fries

I AM READING...



PLANS FOR THE REST OF THE WEEK...

My oldest daughter is on her last week of vacation from dance so our week is pretty open. We are starting back to school lessons on Wednesday because we're still trying to catch up from the time we took off for baby. I have an appointment on Friday. We have a new year of gospel curriculum beginning this week, which is always exciting.

LINKING UP WITH...


Sunday, December 29, 2019

Capellini Pomodoro


Capellini Pomodoro


Ingredients
16 oz. angel hair (capellini) pasta
½ c. olive oil
6 cloves garlic, chopped
16 fresh basil leaves, chopped
4 vine ripened tomatoes, cut into ½" pieces
salt and pepper, to taste

Directions
1. Prepare pasta according to package directions.
2. In a sauté pan, add cooked pasta and olive oil. Toss until pasta is well coated.
3. Toss pasta with tomatoes, garlic, and basil until well combined and heated throughout.
4. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Moving Forward With a Happy Spirit

It was not until welcoming our fourth child that I realized how we have not had the time to just be for awhile. We took a break from our school lessons to get to know the new baby, but now that we've started back up again with only our core subjects, I wonder how I got it all done before baby arrived. There are meals to cook, a house to clean, school lessons to be done, and a new baby to care for.


It is easy to feel like I've failed when I don't get everything completed, but I know that I am doing what the Lord wants me to do. When I remind myself of this, I can slow down and feel more at peace. I can take the time to love my children, to nourish their spirits. In turn, my spirit is rejuvenated and I can continue forward, on even the most difficult of days.

“Those who move forward with a happy spirit will find that things always work out.”
–Gordon B. Hinckley

Monday, December 16, 2019

Homemaker's Journal: Monday, December 16, 2019

Joining Sandra over at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom for Happy Homemaker Monday. 

THE WEATHER THIS WEEK...

It will be warm this afternoon and tomorrow, then temperatures will drop again. Thunderstorms on Tuesday. Thursday is expected to be the coldest with a high of 41.

AROUND THE HOME...

Dishes, dishes, dishes. We went to bed without loading the dishwasher last night so the kitchen is a mess. The living room has books spread out on the floor and I don't know which child is to blame.

AGENDA FOR TODAY...

Our usual Monday with piano and homeschool lessons. My oldest has a therapy appointment this afternoon.

A PEEK INTO MY DAY...

7-year-old contemplating life as he warms his toes by the fire

A FAVORITE QUOTE FOR TODAY...

“And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of thy children.”
Isaiah 54:13 (KJV) 

ON THE MENU...

Monday: Spaghetti w/ sauteed mushrooms and zucchini, garlic bread
Tuesday: Split Pea Soup
Wednesday: Beefy Bean & Green Chili Burritos
Thursday:  Portuguese Bean Soup
Friday: Pizza
Saturday: 
Sunday: Hanukkah Meal: Latkes, Applesauce, Balsamic & Herb Tofu, Couscous, Jelly Donuts, Rugelach

I AM READING...



PLANS FOR THE REST OF THE WEEK...

Activity for the 10-year-old on Tuesday. Two-month check-up for the baby on Wednesday. Church cleaning on Saturday. Our week is pretty bare with dance lessons and other activities over for the year, though I am glad to have a break.

LINKING UP WITH...


 

Saturday, November 30, 2019

Sausage Cheese Puffs

My mother made these sausage cheese puffs around every holiday season. Over the years, I've had to modify the recipe to fit the dietary needs of my family. This is one of our favorites that we look forward to every Christmas season!


Sausage Cheese Puffs

Makes 48


Ingredients
1/2 bag of Gardein crumbles (or other brand)
1 8-oz. bag of vegan cheddar cheese (Follow Your Heart is what I use)
3 c. Bisquick mix
15 Tbsp. of water

Directions
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
2. Prepare veggie crumbles as desired. I pan fry them in two tablespoons of oil and add ground sage, sea salt or soy sauce, and maple syrup. 
3. In a mixing bowl, combine Bisquick, sausage, and cheese. Mix with a wooden spoon until well combined.
4. Adding only a few tablespoons at a time, combine water with Bisquick mixture until it is doughy and holds its shape.  
5. Using a tablespoon or a small cookie scoop, spoon 1" dough balls onto a greased cookie sheet.
6. Bake for 10-15 minutes.  


***

Original recipe:
1/2 lb. Jimmy Dean sausage
1/2 lb. cheddar cheese
1 1/2 c. Bisquick mix
7 Tbsp. water

Follow the same directions as above.

Monday, November 18, 2019

Homemaker's Journal: Monday, November 18, 2019

Is it Monday already? This last week went by too quickly. I'm back again with another Monday journal entry to give you a peek into our daily lives. Joining Sandra over at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom for Happy Homemaker Monday. 

THE WEATHER THIS WEEK...

Currently it is 45 degrees and cloudy. Rain is expected for this evening. Highs will reach the low 60s this week, but other than that it is another chilly week in the South. No snow or ice is expected for us here, but I am keeping those who live in the Northeast part of the country in my prayers.

AROUND THE HOME...

The kitchen is mostly clean but we have yet to start on the laundry. We're keeping warm by the fire in the living room and the baby is in the swing, snug as a bug. My clothes have cold and wet patches from the baby spitting up on me. I'd change, but she's just going to do it again. This is my life now.

AGENDA FOR TODAY...

Homeschool lessons, laundry, get an early start on the falafel batter and tahini sauce so it can chill in the fridge. Piano lessons are this afternoon. If I feel up to it, we may make a trip to the library.


A PEEK INTO MY DAY...

Reading by the Fire

A FAVORITE QUOTE FOR TODAY...

“Let him make the living while you make life worth living.” 
–Helen Andelin

ON THE MENU...

Monday: Baked Falafel w/ Pita & Tahini Sauce, Cucumber, Tomato, Hummus
Wednesday: Teppanyaki-Style Tofu & Vegetables w/ Yum Yum Sauce, Brown Rice, Salad w/ Ginger Dressing
Thursday:  Brunswick Stew
Friday: Pizza
Saturday: Balsamic & Herb Tofu, Couscous, Roasted Vegetables
Sunday: BBQ Jackfruit Sandwiches, Coleslaw, Fries


I AM READING...

 


PLANS FOR THE REST OF THE WEEK...

Homeschool, dance lessons, and a 6-week follow-up appointment with my OB (I can't believe baby is that old already!).


LINKING UP WITH...


 

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Daily Chore Chart: "Bake on Saturday"

Happy Saturday! I dropped the ball and failed to share Saturday and Sunday's chore charts. Having a newborn in the house keeps me busy and a bit forgetful! 

Over the past few weeks, I have shared our MondayTuesdayWednesday, Thursday, and Friday chore charts. This week I am sharing our Saturday chores. 


I love Saturdays! There is a primary song that goes "Saturday is a special day, it's the day we get ready for Sunday..." Naturally, our chores do just that! I co-teach the 4 year old Sunday School class at church and so I need to prepare a lesson every other week (not lately though, as I'm on a break after having a baby). 


As far as zone chores go, my husband is off of work and we get to work together on the list. The Saturday chores do tend to be more seasonal and we won't need to mow the grass or do any other yard work in the winter. 


HAPPY CLEANING!

Be sure to check back, as I'll be sharing our daily charts in the coming weeks. Hopefully they can provide guidance and blessings for your family as well!

 

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Smokey Cheese Pasta

When I created this recipe, I wanted something different than plain macaroni and cheese. I added some basil for extra flavor but it still needed something more. After I added smoked paprika, I knew I had it. The recipe came out perfect the first time I made it and my family has loved it ever since. 

Smokey Cheese Pasta



Ingredients
16 oz. cavatappi pasta

2 Tbsp. butter
1/4 c. flour
2 c. unsweetened almond milk
1/2 c. nutritional yeast
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. sea salt
2 tsp. dried basil
2 tsp. smoked paprika

Directions
1. Prepare pasta according to package directions.
2. In a saucepan, melt butter over medium heat.
3. Using a whisk, stir in flour to make a roux.
4. Add almond milk, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, sea salt, dried basil, and smoked paprika.
5. Stirring frequently, continue to cook the sauce over medium heat until the sauce thickens.
6. Stir the sauce into the cooked pasta and serve!


Monday, November 11, 2019

Homemaker's Journal: Monday, November 11, 2019

Keeping a journal has always been a challenge for me, and not something I grew up doing. Posting something positive on a Monday may help me look forward to the rest of the week.

THE WEATHER THIS WEEK...

Highs this week are only in the 60s with freezing temperatures at night. My husband kindly remembered to bring my potted lemon and lime trees into the garage a couple of nights ago. It's too cold for me to do much of anything outside. Rain is expected tomorrow and later this week.

AROUND THE HOME...

Things are pretty quiet this morning. Laundry is started and the boys and I are working on a birthday cake for my mother. We're having a family dinner tonight to celebrate her birthday, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. She'll be having a major surgery later this week (two days before her birthday) and will not be able to eat solid food for months as she recovers. I'll be preparing her holiday meal favorites for dinner tonight so she won't miss out too much this year.

AGENDA FOR TODAY...

Clean the kitchen, prepare holiday dinner, and finish making cake. Piano lessons again this afternoon and my mom's birthday celebration dinner tonight.


A PEEK INTO MY DAY...

"Kitchen Helpers"

A FAVORITE QUOTE FOR TODAY...

“And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.”
 –Colossians 3:17 (KJV)

ON THE MENU...

Monday: Mashed potatoes and gravy, green bean casserole, stuffing, and turkey legs for my parents to eat. Black forest cherry cake for dessert.
Tuesday: leftovers
Wednesday: Capellini Pomodoro
Thursday:  Japanese Curry w/ Brown Rice
Friday: Pizza
Saturday: Sesame Tofu, Brown Rice, Chinese Green Beans
Sunday: Cheeseburgers and fries


I AM READING...




PLANS FOR THE REST OF THE WEEK...

Dance lessons, a well-care visit, and a dentist visit for my older daughter. Mom's surgery is on Thursday. The boys have nothing going on this week and will just be along for the ride.


LINKING UP WITH...


 


Monday, November 4, 2019

Homemaker's Journal: Monday, November 4, 2019

Keeping a journal has always been a challenge for me, and not something I grew up doing. Posting something positive on a Monday may help me look forward to the rest of the week.

THE WEATHER THIS WEEK...

The temperature is currently 57 degrees and it's sunny outside. Tomorrow we may be getting some rain. Temperatures will be cool all week, with Thursday having a high of 72. Fall has finally arrived in eastern North Carolina!

AROUND THE HOME...

The children have been practicing piano and the baby is in the swing. My husband did more work on a home project this weekend and I'm hoping it will be finished soon. Until then, our school room continues to be a mess, as many things in there are going to be moved to the living room once the project is finished. I have been going through the children's drawings and school work, trying to organize them and throw away what we don't need to keep.

AGENDA FOR TODAY...

Clean the kitchen, do laundry, school work, and piano lessons. It's a typical Monday around here. I'll also be collecting library books that need to be returned tomorrow. If we get all those things done, then maybe we'll put up some fall decorations. 

A PEEK INTO MY DAY...

Sister love.

A FAVORITE QUOTE FOR TODAY...

“The world’s greatest champion of woman and womanhood is Jesus the Christ.”
–James E. Talmage

ON THE MENU...

Monday: Macaroni & Cheese, Baked Beans, Broccoli
Tuesday: Grilled Cheese Sandwiches & Tomato Soup
Wednesday: Balsamic Tofu w/ Couscous and Roasted Vegetables
Thursday:  Smokey Cheese Pasta w/ Garlic Bread
Friday: Cheese Pizza
Saturday: Chickpea Filets, Mashed Potatoes, Asparagus
Sunday: Cheeseburger Wraps, Tater Tots, Corn on the Cob


I AM READING...


PLANS FOR THE REST OF THE WEEK...

My older daughter has dance class and it is parent observation week. Our church is also having a chili cook-off, though I'm undecided on whether or not I'll be attending. I love chili but because I am breastfeeding a baby who has acid reflux, chili may not be a good idea. As much as I love the fellowship, it'd be torture to go and not eat anything.


LINKING UP WITH...


     

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Mushroom and Herb Stuffing

This dish is a must for our holiday table! 


Mushroom & Herb Stuffing

15 cups Italian or French bread, 1-inch cubed
4 Tbsp. olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
8 oz. mushrooms, sliced
1/4 tsp. ground sage
1 Tbsp. fresh thyme, finely chopped
1 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. ground pepper
3 1/2 c. vegetable broth
1/4 c. fresh parsley, chopped


1. On baking sheets, toast the cubed bread in the oven at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes or until toasted and crunchy.
2. In a skillet on medium-high heat, heat olive oil and cook the onion and celery, until soft.
3. Add the mushrooms and cook for 3 minutes.
4. Add sage, thyme, salt, and pepper to the vegetables and stir until well combined. Turn off heat.
5. In a large bowl, combine toasted bread and vegetables. Add the vegetable broth and mix well until bread is softened and well-coated. If bread is still dry, add a bit more vegetable broth.
6. Add fresh parsley and stir until well combined.
7. Pour contents of bowl into a 9x13 baking dish.
8. Bake at 350 for 30-45 minutes, or until the top begins to turn golden brown.




Note: The vegetables can be prepared in advance and stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Before adding them to the bowl with the bread, heat up in microwave for a minute or two to "loosen up" so that they can be mixed in well.

Monday, October 28, 2019

Homemaker's Journal: Monday, October 28, 2019

Keeping a journal has always been a challenge for me, and not something I grew up doing. Posting something positive on a Monday may help me look forward to the rest of the week.

THE WEATHER THIS WEEK...

Mother nature is still trying to decide if it is summer or fall. Currently it is sunny and 62 degrees. Highs this week are in the 70s, with the exception of Halloween, which is expected to be in the low 80s. Temperatures are expected to drop to a high of 60s by the weekend.

AROUND THE HOME...

The kitchen floor is a mess and desperately needs to be swept and mopped. The children had popcorn yesterday and kernels seem to jump right out of the bowls, so the living room needs to be vacuumed as well. The children have just barely finished their breakfast and are upstairs finishing their morning chores.


AGENDA FOR TODAY...

We're starting back to school this week after taking a few weeks off to get to know the new baby. We'll start off slow, as baby sister hasn't gotten into a good routine of eating and sleeping yet. We also have laundry to do today, and the children have piano lessons. We're still trying to find a good balance for our household. It's been so long since we've had a little one to care for. 

A PEEK INTO MY DAY...

Enjoying her morning swing time.

A FAVORITE QUOTE FOR TODAY...

“As you create a home, don't get distracted with a lot of things that have no meaning for you or your family. Don't dwell on your failures, but think of your successes. Have joy in your home. Have joy in your children. Have joy in your husband. Be grateful for the journey.” 
― Marjorie Pay Hinckley

ON THE MENU...

Monday: Spinach-Mushroom Lasagna, Garlic Bread
Tuesday: Grilled Cheese Sandwiches w/ Tomato Soup
Thursday:  Austrian Goulash
Friday: Taco Pizza
Saturday: Minestrone, Bread Sticks
Sunday: Sloppy Joe's, Tater Tots, Corn on the Cob


I AM READING...


PLANS FOR THE REST OF THE WEEK...

We finally have a slow week now that baseball is over for the fall season! We also don't have any doctor appointments. We do have dance lessons two days this week, and Halloween is on Thursday. Our neighborhood is very busy on Halloween and I'd prefer to not pass out candy and watch movies instead, but I don't think the rest of the family will go for that. Other than that, we've got a pretty laid back week, perfect for getting back into a homeschool routine.


LINKING UP WITH...


     

Friday, October 25, 2019

Daily Chore Chart: "Clean on Friday"

Happy Friday! Over the past few weeks, I have shared our MondayTuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday chore charts. This week I am sharing our Friday chores. 


Folks used to give their house a good cleaning on Fridays in anticipation of visitors during the weekend. While most of our guests visit during the week, I still felt Friday would be a good day to stick to tradition. If anything, it provides a clean home for my husband who is off work most weekends. I also enjoy a clean home on the weekend, as it gives me a much needed break. If the weather is nice, the children wash our vehicles with Daddy's help. We're fortunate that he doesn't work all day on Fridays and can do some "fun" cleaning with the kids.

On Friday evenings, we often have a family movie night. My husband and children pick a movie, and we either have dinner or popcorn as we enjoy the movie in the living room. This does require a quick vacuuming on Saturday morning to clean up whatever popcorn pieces were left behind, but it's a small price to pay for an enjoyable evening with the family.

The children also clean their bedrooms in anticipation for Saturday morning, the only time during the week they're allowed to play the Wii or a computer game. However, if the weather is nice I tend to push them outside and away from the television. They do not get "chore bucks" for cleaning their room, as I feel that this is a responsibility all children should have and need to complete without reward. The task does not come without its battles, but they're a lot happier once their room is clean. We all are.


HAPPY CLEANING!

Be sure to check back, as I'll be sharing our daily charts in the coming weeks. Hopefully they can provide guidance and blessings for your family as well!

 

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Daily Chore Chart: "Market on Thursday"

Happy Thursday! Over the past few weeks, I have shared our MondayTuesday, and Wednesday chore charts. This week I am sharing our Thursday chores. 


This schedule works well for us because my daughter has dance class across the street from the grocery store. I prepare a list the day before and do my best to stick to it. To be completely honest, this is not the only day we ever go grocery shopping. My husband will sometimes go to the store on his way home from work to pick up essentials like milk, bread, apples, or bananas. The store I go to on Thursdays is a little more expensive but their produce is much more fresh (and there is more variety) than at other stores. 

The children also help to clean the dining room, and as our school week ends on Thursdays, we put away our school supplies in the school room (unless we have catch-up work to do on Friday). Lately, however, as soon as the weeks school supplies get put away, my "I need to declutter and organize this stuff" piles come back out for the weekend. 


HAPPY CLEANING!

Be sure to check back, as I'll be sharing our daily charts in the coming weeks. Hopefully they can provide guidance and blessings for your family as well!

 

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Corn Chowder

A dairy-free take on a classic chowder.


Corn Chowder


Ingredients
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 onion, diced
4 stalked celery, diced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
3 c. diced red potatoes
8 Tbsp. flour
4 c. water
4 c. unsweetened almond milk
2-15 oz. cans cream-style corn
2 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper

Directions
1. In a large pot, heat vegetable oil and add onion, celery, carrots, and potatoes. Cook until they just begin to get tender.
2. Add flour and coat the vegetables.
3. Add water to cover the vegetables and bring to a boil. Cook for 10 minutes.
4. Add creamed corn, almond milk, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer until it reaches your desired chowder consistency.

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Daily Chore Chart: "Mend on Wednesday"

Happy Wednesday! Over the past couple of weeks, I have shared our Monday and Tuesday chore charts. Now we've arrived at Wednesday!


Wednesday is fairly simple for our home cleaning routine. The zone areas are smaller and overall kept tidy throughout the week (we do try to put away our shoes in their bins as soon as we come through the door). The most difficult task is the stairs, and so the children get more chore bucks for this. I will typically vacuum them as the children to other chores, but they take care of the baseboards (which since they are dusting anyway, this also includes the railings).


It feels good to have a simple day of chores in the middle of a busy week.


HAPPY CLEANING!


Be sure to check back, as I'll be sharing our daily charts in the coming weeks. Hopefully they can provide guidance and blessings for your family as well! 


Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Daily Chore Chart: "Iron on Tuesday"

Last week I shared what our Monday chores look like. Today, I'm sharing what we do on Tuesday.


Monday is the day we wash our clothes. Most of the time, we catch the clothes as they come out of the hot dryer and can avoid ironing, but sometimes they need a little extra care so we do this on Tuesday. Most clothes that do not need ironing have already been hung up the day before, so there is very little to do with this on Tuesday.

Each day we also focus on an area of our home, which I call a "zone". The zone that we clean on Tuesday is the bathrooms. We have three full bathrooms in our home, which include 3 bathtubs, a large tile shower, and a total of 5 sinks, so it can be a large undertaking. This is also the day we wash towels, as I like to change the bathroom hand towels on the same day we clean the sinks. 

With young children, much of the bathroom cleaning falls on me. The children are able to do some cleaning of the mirrors, baseboards, and the bathroom sinks (without chemicals---I'll follow behind to sanitize it once they've been scrubbed clean), but anything that requires harsh chemicals I prefer to do on my own or with the help of an older and more responsible child.

When we work together, we can get it all done during one of our breaks from school work. The children love this opportunity to help.

Be sure to check back, as I'll be sharing our daily charts in the coming weeks. Hopefully they can provide guidance and blessings for your family as well! 


Monday, September 30, 2019

Making Birthdays Special

Birthdays are a special time, especially for children. For them, it's a huge milestone that they've waited for all year long. While many parents like to throw large and sometimes very expensive birthday celebrations for their children, which is fine for them, it is not something we do in our family.



After we had our first child ten years ago, we did not have much of a plan when it came to birthdays. We didn't throw parties, but we did have cake and the grandparents came over to celebrate. Much of how we celebrated then is still the same ten years later, but with one difference: presents. The amount of presents coming into our home every year became too much, and had also become a way to "out-shine" the other gift givers. I had also noticed that the child paid little interest to the gifts after a week or so, and I was left cleaning it up and finding a place to store it. A change needed to be made, and so that is what we did.

Today, birthdays are simple. The birthday child selects a special birthday cake for me to make. The younger ones select "fun" cakes like baseball fields, trains, tractors, or layers of every color of the rainbow. My oldest, who doesn't care much for frosting, prefers something unique like a pie or trifle. 

We also serve a meal to our guests, and it is typically the birthday child's favorite food, like spaghetti, pizza, or tacos.

Our guest list is very small and is typically just our family plus grandparents. I'm an only child and my husband's sister and her family live two hours away, so our family and guest-list is not very big to begin with. With just grandparents schedules to consider as far as a time for the celebration, it makes the planning much easier. 

When it comes to gifts, we have asked that the grandparents refrain from giving presents. This was a hard one for my mother especially, who put up quite a fight about it (and still strongly opposes it), but we stood our ground. This rule was not intended to be mean, but was made for the sanity of our home. It has been quite a few years that we've done it this way and there are still no regrets. My children understand it, and they are completely happy with it. My husband and I do give the birthday child a gift, but it is often something that they need. Sometimes it is new underwear, and other times it's new pajamas or a church outfit. Again, the focus is more of what they may need rather than what they want. 

With the simplicity of planning and of the day itself, birthdays are more enjoyable and keep the focus entirely on the child. The day really is all about them and of the love we have for them, and I know that they feel it more in a quiet and more personal setting without all the bells and whistles usually associated with children's birthday parties. 

What works for us may not work for someone else, but I wanted to share how we do things in our family. 


Monday, September 23, 2019

Daily Chore Chart: "Wash on Monday"

Due to the upcoming changes in our family (a new baby on the way in October, specifically), and changes in the children's ages and skill levels, I have recently updated our daily chore charts and I wanted to take the time to share them.

I came up with the cleaning plan after reading Laura Ingalls Wilder's book Little House in the Big Woods with my children. In the book, she lists the homemaking routine of her family. It was so simple, traditional, and old-fashioned that I had to apply it to my own homemaking, with a modern twist of course.


I titled each chore page with the schedule from the book. Monday is simply "Wash on Monday". No longer do we need to wash our clothing down at the creek, or in a large basin by hand. We utilize our modern conveniences (and save a lot of time). Each day has a special area, or "zone", that I focus on. I clean the kitchen on Mondays because after a busy weekend, it could use a good scrubbing. Our neighborhood trash collection is on Tuesdays, so on Monday I have the chance to clean out uneaten leftovers from the refrigerator and throw them away without it sitting in the garbage bin for days. 



As the homemaker in my family, it is my role to take care of the home and all of the household chores, but it is also my responsibility to teach my children those same responsibilities. For many of the various chores, there is an option for the children to help out and earn some money that we call "chore bucks". I shared this system in a previous post titled "Cleaning With Children - Our Family Reward System".


The children absolutely love to help complete each daily chore chart. They have their favorite chores, but I do try to make sure they rotate or share the chores so that they can all be trained to keep a clean home. My sons help with the chores just as much as my daughter (maybe moreso, as my older son takes after his father in his eagerness to serve).


We are able to complete Monday's chore chart easily, in between school lessons and piano lessons, especially when everyone chips in. It has been a blessing to our family and to our home.


Be sure to check back, as I'll be sharing our daily charts in the coming weeks. Hopefully they can provide guidance and blessings for your family as well! 


Thursday, September 19, 2019

Encouragement for the Homemaker

We live in a society that frowns upon women staying at home and taking care of their husbands and children. We're being told by radical feminists to get a paying job or pursue a career. If we can't find a good one, go back to school! Put our young children in daycare! Put our older ones in public school!


It's difficult when we hear these voices, and we may question if we've made the right choice. We're being portrayed as failures in society. The truth is, our Heavenly Father gave women a divine role in the raising of families. While we are to work alongside our husbands, this doesn't necessarily mean outside of the home. We can support him in his career while easing his mind on the caring of his home and children. It's a huge responsibility, often overlooked, but one of the most important we'll ever have.

“The woman who makes a sweet, beautiful home, filling it with love and prayer and purity, is doing something better than anything else her hands could find to do beneath the skies.” 
―J.R. Miller