Monday, August 10, 2015

Organizing a Homemaking Notebook #EraseStress #Ad #cbias

 This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #EraseStress #CollectiveBias
My family loves to tease me about my obsessive tendencies regarding schedules. Even (waaaay back) when we only had a couple of kids, I was really strict about meal and bed times. In my opinion, everything runs better on a schedule. I'm definitely the queen of organizational systems and even if most of them don't actually get implemented how I imagined them, even the smallest amount of planning and prep goes a long way. I love to use different colored pens when writing out my schedules. This helps to keep me on track, but the downside is that pen isn't as easily corrected as pencil. With Pilot's FriXion Erasable Pens, I can organize my notebooks and charts how I like without having to worry about messy scribbles.

I like to keep a homemaking notebook---something to keep all my important daily notes and tasks in one place. As time goes on, this will serve as a record of my years at home with young children, chronically many of our special memories and reminding me how I did certain things. I have it set up like a student's binder with tabs for easy reference and a zippered pouch to hold my pens, crayons, and other necessities. 

Last weekend, I took Selah and Lynzie (AKA: Link) out to do errands with me. We stopped in at Target to grab a package of red, blue, and black FriXion Erasable Gel Pens. I love using gel pens and the fact that they erase completely is a huge bonus. They can even be removed from fabric so I don't have to worry about messes in my purse or the pocket of my apron. There's even an upcoming deal for them, only at Target. August 23-29, save 20% off 3 packs of FriXion clicker pens in assorted and black varieties.

I like to create "at a glance" calendars to hang near my desk where I work and make additions and changes to our schedule. I use the red pen to write in activities for which we need to leave the house and the blue pen for activities that we'll stay home for. This helps keep me from overlapping activities during times that we'll need a grown up at home to watch the littlest kids.

A second place I use a color-coded system is on my daily menu plan. The blue ink indicates items that are in the freezer and will need to be thawed ahead of time. The red ink is for things that go in the slow cooker and will need to be prepared first thing in the morning. The black ink is for things that can be made shortly before meal time. I'm notorious for having a great dinner idea, only to find that I'd forgotten to thaw it out so this solution works great for me!

Thirdly, I use a color-coded system for the kids' school work. Red ink means they need to deal with things they've done previously like correct assignments from the day before or reread chapters. The blue ink gives them their assignments for the day and the black ink designates notes I've left them and want them to acknowledge. I'm now up to six kids doing daily homeschooling assignments so this system helps keep things organized and moving steadily for all of us. 

Besides all the great ways these pens help me stay organized, there's an even better perk to purchasing them. With each purchase of Pilot's FriXion Erasable pens, you can help Pilot support STOMP Out Bullying programs to erase negative bullying behaviors and replace them with productive solutions.
Through 2016, Pilot will be making a minimum of a $125,000 donation to STOMP Out Bullying. STOMP Out Bullying, the leading national bullying and cyberbullying prevention organization, helps build awareness and funds educational programs designed to reduce bullying in schools across the nation.

Let me know how you keep yourself organized for a smoothly running home. I'd also love to hear if you give FriXion Erasable Gel pens a try.

Spending a Weekend Playing Cars with Liam #DisneyPixarCarsToGo #Ad #cbias

 This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #DisneyPixarCarsToGo #CollectiveBias

One of my goals is to be more intentional in spending quality time with my kids. They're all growing up so fast and I don't want to have any regrets that I didn't make a point to enjoy them at each stage of their lives. This weekend, 5 year old Liam and I made several fun memories together playing with his new Disney Pixar Cars toys and the Cars Daredevil Garage app. We enjoyed a fun craft and some snacks that we made together. We even made a short video. It's been a great weekend!

Liam and I shopped at Toys "R" Us for some fun Cars toys. We found two die-cast cars, Ramone and Lightning McQueen, as well as the Route 66 Speed Trap Launcher. The launcher can be attached to some of the other pieces in the Radiator Springs Story Set series to make a whole play town for kids to enjoy.

One of our favorite parts of the Cars movie is when Lightning McQueen takes his drives in the desert. We drew a desert scene on a piece of poster board with lots of dirt roads for Lightning and Ramone to drive on. I found that using a drafting compass helped me keep the roads looking (somewhat) neat and proportionate. Liam colored in a house, some horses, and several trees, while I added sagebrush, pine trees, and a barn.

On Saturday, Liam and I made some race car and stoplight cookies using fudge covered creme wafers, frosting, and candy. He loved the addition of the candy eyes as it made them look like Cars characters.

This morning, as we were getting ready to make his tutorial video, I introduced Liam to the Cars Daredevil Garage app. It's available in the Apple iTunes store as a free download for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. It's a fun way to build a virtual car collection and send them twisting, jumping, and turning on a fantastic race to the finish line. My favorite part is using the yellow, green, and blue buttons to make the cars do awesome stunts.

You can also scan die-cast cars from purchases with the special "free download" sticker and add them to your virtual collection.

The memories we made this weekend are so special to me and I know they are to Liam, also. Make sure to check out his little tutorial on using the Route 66 Speed Trap Launcher and then let me know how you make inside play fun for your kids.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Bronco to the Rescue: How a Dog Helps with Grieving

I love this sweet story from my Mom about a new blessing in her family. Check it out and thanks for linking up!

"To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:"   Ecclesiastes 3:1

My sister recently lost her husband due to Agent Orange which he was exposed to in Vietnam. Last week, God led the way to help her heal and have hope. She bought a dog.

Bronco, my sister's new German Shepherd pup, came to the rescue. He is a sweet dog who will grow up soon to be a perfect companion for her in her grief.

The return of hope and the healing of our hurts can come about in amazing ways if we have love in our hearts and trust the Lord. I believe this is exactly what God's plan was to fill my sister's need in this season of her life. Bronco was born three days before her husband died, and she feels as if he is a Godsend.

"For to him that is joined to all the living there is hope:" Ecclesiastes 9:4

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