Author Archives: gretchen

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Summer Chore Charts

From the fruit of his mouth a man is satisfied with good, and the work of a man’s hand comes back to him.  Proverbs 12:14

By: Gretchen Speer

In my Summer Schedule post a couple weeks ago, I mentioned that I see summer as an opportunity for teaching my kids new chores.  During the school year we are really busy, so I don’t usually add much to what they are already familiar with.  However, when long summer day days are stretched before us it seems only fitting to use some of that time to teach my kids a new skill or two.  What I’ve been doing this year is keeping a lot of the same chores, but having them do more with it. Continue reading

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Dwelling Place

God is in the midst of her, she will not be moved; God will help her when morning dawns. Psalms 46:5

By: Gretchen Speer

067Every time we drive into a parking lot my kids get the speech.  “Wait for me to get out.  Stay close and hold hands.  DO NOT run away from me.  Listen for my voice.”  My older kids nod and shake their heads as I’m saying it.  I’m sure they are saying it with me in their heads, as they have heard it many times.  My younger ones barely acknowledge that I’m talking.  Either way, I still say it.  I still try to get the message across.

I am the Mom, I know what’s best and when I say to stay with me, it’s because I know that is what’s safe.  It’s what’s best for them whether they choose to acknowledge and obey…or not.

I want to give you my very best parenting advice today.  It’s the only nugget I have, it’s the one thing that I KNOW for sure is the best 055thing you can do for your kids, husbands, friends, extended family.  It’s a very simple thing, but so hard to do sometimes-and that is… Continue reading

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Summer Schedule: Take Two

Your mother was like a vine in your vineyard planted by the water; it was fruitful and full of branches because of abundant water.  Ezekiel 19:10

By: Gretchen Speer

I first made a summer schedule three years ago.  I was almost 6 months pregnant with my fourth child and was a little anxious about having a 2, 4 and 7-year-old at home all day all summer!  Knowing that the “I’m bored!” declarations were soon coming and wanting my kids to retain the things they had learned in school I came up with this schedule.

It worked really well for us for that summer and the next two summers.  We followed it only when were were at home.  If we were out and about in the morning we would just hop right into it when we got home.  When I first made it I wasn’t sure if the kids would like having a schedule to follow, but my kids really seem to prefer to know how their day will be layed out.  I think it also helps the transition back into school in the fall.

Now that my kids are a few years older I decided to tweak it just a bit.  Here is what I came up with: Continue reading

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The Inevitable

He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season and it’s leaf does not wither; and in whatever he does, he prospers.  Psalms 1:3 NASB

By: Gretchen Speer

I rearrange my furniture almost every week.  My husband left the living room for a few minutes tonight and when he came back everything was on the opposite side of the room from where it started.

Derek: “Why?”

Me:  “Why What?”

Derek:  “Why did you change it again?  I liked how it was!”

Me:  “Because I like change!  This is a creative outlet for me.”

Derek:  “I just want peace in here.”

My poor husband, I do like change.  I change my purse several times a week, even if I’m perfectly happy with the one I’m carrying.  Change is good; it’s a fresh start, a new adventure…right?

Right.  Well, Sometimes. Continue reading

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Chore Charts/Menu Planning Take Two

This entry is part 4 of 4 in the series Gretchen's Menu Planning

Entrust your efforts to the LORD, and your plans will succeed. Proverbs 16:3 (GW)

By: Gretchen Speer

Is it just me or is time FLYING by these days!  We moved into a new house last fall.  (For a funny little story about settling in click here🙂 )  While I have had time to get us unpacked and somewhat settled, we are still a little out of whack where our routines are concerned.  After months of chasing my tail trying to keep our house clean it finally dawned on me that I had not done new chore charts for the kids since the summer.  I knew I wanted to try something a little different that I had done before, and after looking through my office this is what I came up with:

182Frames I found on clearance at hobby lobby for $2.99 a piece, card stock, stickers from the dollar isle at target, dry erase markers, and of course, a sharpie.

These came together in just a few minutes since I knew what chores I wanted each kid to have.  For some ideas on what chores work best for what aged, and how to implement them here is my chore charts post from last year.

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Since I had four of these frames I decided to make a menu board too.(Eventually my littlest will need one, but not yet!)  My kids, and my husband,  are always asking me what’s for supper.  It drives me a little bit crazy, so I was hoping this would remedy that.  For the most part they refer to the menu board now, and if they ask me I just point to it:)  I still like to plan my menus two weeks to a month at a time, but I do like having this weekly one up to remind me daily what I’m fixing.

180For some more detailed help on menu planning and grocery shopping, click here.  For a more in-depth menu planner click here.

If you are wanting a quick easy chore chart and menu board these are definitely worth a try.  My kids have done really well with them.  Actually, they have done better with these than they did with the ones I was making before.  I think simple is better for now. 🙂