Friday, February 13, 2015

Bedtime stories

 My kids have had the very same bedtime routine their WHOLE lives.

It started out when Harmony was a baby and continued until last night.

We do skip on the weekends some times but other than that, it has remained...

Bath, pj''s, teeth and 2-3 stories. Depending on length.

Right now, I have 3 books that I have been reading over and over. And over again. Sometimes I hide them, so that we can read other things. They love them.

These three books are totally and completely 100%  Ivan & Mason approved.

image taken from Google

1.  "Chicka Chicka Boom Boom" by Bill Martin Jr. is an "oldie but a goodie".
After reading Mason's very first report card, and noticing that he needed to do some work on his letters, I purchased it. Again. My first copy of the book, after being read numerous times to my older children, was toast. My second copy, purchased in late January, is headed the same way! We don't just read this book. We recite the alphabet. We sound out the letters. We think of people's names who start with every letter. And at the end, when "a" gets out of bed? I tickle them like crazy on the "boom-boom".

image taken from

2. "Goodnight Ipad by Ann Droyd". It is a cute & contemporary parody of the classic book, "Good Night Moon." The boys love this book. They love when the book talks about You Tube and Facebook. They laugh when, after it is announced that it is time to turn all gadgets off, it is the Dad who replies, "do we have ta'?". It is a fun read!

3. "The Book with no Pictures" by BJ Novak. I bought this book for the boys as a Christmas gift, and have pretty much read it every night since. The book really doesn't have pictures, but it is colorful. This book, has the person reading the book, say funny things, sing silly songs and call themselves a monkey. BJ Novak, who was hilarious in "The Office" is just as funny as an author.

So there you have it. Three books that my boys are totally digging right now! What about you? Do you have these books? Do your kids like them as much as mine?

Sunday, February 1, 2015

"Just get me to the church on time..."

*** This is part 1 of a 4 part series! Each Sunday in February, I will be sharing something we do to get organized and out the door for church. On time.***

 This song from My Fair Lady, often runs through my head,  on my way to church.

My big boys, including my husband, have to be at church by 8:30 in order to set up chairs. Harmony, the younger boys and I, leave a bit later.

I often wonder, why we are late to church. We are never late to school. Which starts at 8:10. It is a good question right? Maybe because we don't get tardies for being late to church?

Growing up, if we were late to church (after we had our drivers licenses) we would get the stare down from my Dad as we made our way to our seat. It was even worse if I/we had wet hair, "because if you were going to be late, you might as well be fully ready". My Dad's motto? "If you aren't 10 minutes early, than you are late!"

I don't follow his rule, but I don't like to be late either.

So how do I get to church on time? By doing as much at night as possible!!! For the kids I:

Baths---> I only have one child who is allowed to take a shower in the morning. He is up by 6:00 every morning, so I never have to worry. Everyone else takes one on Saturday. No matter what.

Church clothes---> Before my kids are allowed to play video games on Saturday, they have to have their church clothes ready. We don't take them at their word, they have to physically show their Dad or I, their white shirts, ties, socks, shoes and make sure their pants are clean. Harmony has multiple church outfits (benefits of being a girl!) so I generally don't worry about her.

Church bag---> Yes, I still take a church bag. Many people don't. Many people do. Some it depends on the ages of their children. My two youngest, for my sanity, are still allowed to bring a few things to church. Everything is prepped the night before, including a water bottle and a bag with a snack.

Breakfast---> simple & easy only. Cereal. Toast. A yogurt. Also, no syrup. Its too messy. I don't need that mess to deal with! Aprons work too!

Do you have any ideas or suggestions? I would love to hear them! Stay tuned for next week when we talk about how to get yourself out of the house on time!

Wednesday, December 31, 2014


There was a time when I wanted to have the perfect Christmas picture, card and letter. Now I settle. For whatever I can get.

One day, after pulling into the garage after church, I told the kids to not change clothes and to stay in the yard.

I ran in, got my camera and ran back out.

My threat bribe? As soon as you smile nicely, you can go take your church clothes off and eat. Worked like a charm.

However, I still got some cute ones...

Tuesday, December 30, 2014


In all my life of blogging, I have tried to fit my blog into a little box.

Just a coupon blog.

Just a homemaking blog.

Just a challenge blog.

Just a family blog.

But it just isn't working for me right now. I keep thinking & wondering why, if I miss blogging so much...why don't I do it more often?

Yep, I am busy. But that is mostly in the evenings. Yep, I am tired. Yep, I have a lot on my plate.

No, I am not always exciting. No I am not the top Mommy blogger in the world.

But I want to get back to sharing a little more of my WORLD. Not just one or two parts. I have a lot of other things that I do. That I am interested in.

It amazes me that very frequently, I am asked for advice. Maybe because I have been married for almost 17 years (how is that even possible?!), or maybe because I have raised babies & toddlers and have now moved onto teenagers. Maybe it is because I have a child with special needs. Maybe it is because I am just cool like that.

Whatever it is, I am making some additions to my blogging life. More about family life, my continuing journey to becoming organized, more about the traditions that my family has, and I am also going to *gasp* add videos!! *gasp* keep talking about menus, my new obsession with the Dollar Tree & the .99 store, saving money and couponing, and all that homemaking stuff that I love.

2015 is going to be awesome!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Back to School & Back to Work...

On Aug. 27th my life changed. A lot. For the first time, in my 15 years as a mother...all my kids are in school.

I now have a good FIVE hours to myself! Woot, woot! I get to do whatever the heck I want during that time.

So far, I have filled my free time with shopping, binging on Netflix (Hell on Wheels, Longmire...) and occasionally throwing a load of laundry in. Such is the life, right?

Except that, doing nothing is not very...fulfilling.

I took a huge long break from blogging and couponing (at least heavily) and enjoyed the break but at the same time, have missed it! I have missed having fun packages arrive on my doorstep to review, the high that comes with getting a great deal, online friendships, and sharing my life.

Now it is time to one again  fill those hours with those things that I have enjoyed. I haven't made the decision of whether to have my coupon blog be separate or not, so I will keep you posted.

I read a blog post about not giving up and just following your dreams. It's time. My time.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

My green thumb...or lack there of...

I have dreams and desires of a garden. Beautifully colored flowers in pinks, purples, yellows and reds. A vegetable garden with plump red tomatoes, yummy cucumbers, plentiful herbs...

It is, at this point, still just a dream. If it is not one of my children, I apparently can not keep it alive. Yet every year, I keep trying.

And then I hear Yoda's voice in my mind, "do or do not, there is no try".

Luckily for me, my husband has a green thumb. He is just gone. A lot. So I have to pick up the slack while he is gone. Which hasn't happened yet.

Saturday morning, Ben and two of my boys headed out to Home Depot. We grabbed dirt, seeds and plants.

So far, I have managed to keep my flowers alive. A whole 4.5 days! It is so exciting. Maybe this will be my year?

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Getting organized

Here is the situation...

One day while wasting time being very productive on Pinterest, I came across a pin that interested me. No idea what it was but...I clicked. Which led me to You Tube.

Now, I am not a You Tube girl. I have watched the random video here and there but that is all. I actually had a "no you tube" rule for awhile b/c I caught one of my children watching something they shouldn't have.

I clicked anyway. Walking on the wild side, what can I say?! And it was an organizing/cleaning video.

I loved it. So I watched another, and another and...I eventually was downloading the You Tube app to my phone. I have now become an addict. But, everything I have watched has completely inspired me!

I started decluttering, cleaning, organizing, labeling...I was doing awesome. Then...I got sick. Just an annoying cold. That got worse and worse.

My kitchen one day when I was SICK, how scary is that?!
Later, I realized that I had had a sore throat for about 4 weeks. I went to the DR. and was put on antibiotics and am now feeling 1000 times better!

I got back to watching the videos and being inspired again. I have a lot to do but am loving the direction that I am headed in.

Just today I got rid of 52 magazines and 25 cookbooks/magazines. Ahhh! That felt good!

A bit ago, I shared my planner with you. I have a section in there for inspiring quotes and thoughts or even just practical ones. One of my favorite "you-tubers" or "vloggers" was talking about her night time routine. How by the time she got to the end of the night, she was whining and didn't want to do it. She just wanted to watch tv or read or sleep. What did she tell herself? What was it that she said, that inspired me? Wait for it..."suck it up Princess, you are an adult". Talk about tough love right?!

She was saying this to herself, but I really resonated with it! I am an adult. As much as I want to just sit around and do nothing, I am an adult. I have things that need to be done, whether I want to or not.

I am tired of my house being in a state of chaos. No more!!

Are you considered organized? Got any tips? Do you have any You Tube channels you watch? Let me know, I would love to hear it!

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