Category Archives: Organization Tips

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Homemade Stain Remover

“Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.” Psalm 51:7

By: Dana Baran

Stains. They are an inevitable part of life when you have young kids. Beginning with spit-ups and leaky diapers, the battle of stain vs. mommy starts early and escalates quickly as solid foods are introduced and outside play becomes harder and dirtier. Soon it becomes an all-out war. I first realized I needed to up my game after I discovered a lovely orange ring around the neckline of one of C’s white shirts (my favorite, naturally) that was the result of her first experience with a clementine (delicious and oh so juicy). I tried everything, from hand scrubbing with baby detergent to soaking it for hours to spraying it repeatedly with my go-to stain remover, to no avail. Continue reading

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Packing the Car for Adventure

“Send forth your light and your truth, let them guide me; let them bring me to your holy mountain, to the place where you dwell.” Psalm 43:3

By: Dana Baran

I am trying very hard to get out of my routine and be ready for God to lead us to adventures as a family this summer. Part of the fun and thrill of adventuring is that it could happen any moment! But I’ve found with a one year old in tow it’s not so easy to be spontaneous, especially when it takes a good hour or two just to gather the supplies needed in order to go play in the water, take a hike, or spend the afternoon at the park. I decided there must be a way to both be prepared and have an unplanned adventure. It just takes a bit of organization, tucking necessary and handy items into the car so that they are all ready to go whenever we decide to take off for fun and excitement, instead of having to rush around collecting items and forgetting something vital (like a towel or a sippy cup). Continue reading

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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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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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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. 🙂