Wednesday, August 30, 2006

A Busy Home School Mom's Laundry System

Schedule your laundry! This has been the biggest life-saving tip that I can give. I will share my system with you. If my system can keep a family of 9 from having laundry pile up, then it can certainly work for you too!

–There are three basic principles to my system.

1) Keep the dirty laundry pre-sorted. (more about this below)

2) Teach everyone in the family who is big enough to reach the machine how to properly do laundry. (All my kids help load, unload, and fold. At about age eight or nine, I will trust them to actually run the machine.)

3) Designate days of the weeks for different “zones” to do laundry.

–As an example, here is how it works in my household: The “zones” around here are GIRLS, BOYS and PARENTS. Each zone contains at least two dirty clothes hampers — one is for lights/whites and one is for darks/colors. In the boys zone, there is also a hamper for towels/linens. Even the youngest person in my house knows that their dirty clothes go into the proper hamper. We no longer spend time sorting laundry. It is pre-sorted for washing!

–My laundry schedule runs like this:

On Monday and Thursday, the girls must do all the laundry in their zone. That means wash, dry and fold and put away! They are also required to change their bed linens on one of those days.

On Tuesday and Friday, the boys must completely do all the laundry in their zone, including all the towels. They also must do their bed linens.

I do laundry on Wednesday and Saturday.

Even if your family is not as big as mine, making a laundry schedule and following it may revolutionize your life!!!

For more Works-for-Me-Wednesday tips, visit Rocks In My Dryer.

Kim, Are You Reading This???

I have a friend named "Kim." My old blog used to be listed on her list of blogs that she reads. But my old blog is dead and this blog is not on her list. It makes me sad. I feel left out. It may be an oversight, or it may be on purpose in an effort to make her list more concise.

I don't know what I need to do to merit getting listed again, but hopefully flattery will work!

Kim is smart.
Kim is witty.
Kim is pretty.
Kim is nice.
Kim has cute kids.
I like Kim!!!

Monday, August 28, 2006

Can You Smell It???

My wheat finally came in last week! So today, just like the Little Red Hen, I ground the wheat and made the dough and baked the bread. Mmmmmmmm! Can you smell it??

Photobucket - Video and Image HostingPhotobucket - Video and Image Hosting

And just like the Little Red Hen, plenty of folk showed up once the baking was done, happy to help me EAT the bread! Truly, it took less than 60 seconds for the entire first loaf to disappear!!

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Wednesday, August 23, 2006


A good friend of mine is participating in this and so I thought I would jump on the bandwagon. The concept is simple: every Wednesday, post an idea or system or recipe or helpful hint...something that makes life easier!

Maybe in the next week or two I will tell you about my laundry system...a life altering plan that I developed that has made doing laundry for nine folks manageable. But for today, I am sticking with something very small and simple.


I can not tell you how many solid t-shirts and turtlenecks I have **ruined** by splattering something greasy or oily on them in the kitchen. If you have spent any time in a kitchen, then you know how cooking oil, or any type of fat will leave a dark spot. Well, I have found that if I use Dawn dish detergent on the spot followed by scalding hot (preferably boiling) water, the oil stain usually comes out! In fact, you can just boil some water in a pot and then plunge the offending shirt into the water and let it soak a bit. (I recommend taking off the shirt first!)

Of course, wearing an apron is a good option, but some of us who are messy cooks need something more like full body armor!

**NOTE--"ruin" means that they become worthy of wearing around the house only. If worn out in public requires quick action when sighting someone who you don't want to think you are a total mess. The duck and hide technique, or the quick-pick-up-the-youngest-kid-to-hide-your-stained-shirt technique are options.)

For more WORKS FOR ME WEDNESDAY tips, go to Rocks in My Dryer here.

Now, if I could just figure out how to get her handy little banner up! Kim, please help! EDIT: Hey Kim! Thanks! I did it!

Monday, August 21, 2006

THANK YOU, Secret Pal!!!

I have a lovely secret pal! This Saturday, after waking at 5 a.m. and spending a hot and tiring day at an open-air artisan's market, I came home to find a package waiting for me! Woo! Hoo! Of course, I ripped into it and found these lovely things: hand-crocheted dish cloths, a crochet pattern book, a cook book and a nice card. The red in the dish cloths matches the cranberry color on my walls in my dining room and kitchen perfectly. Later in the evening I sat down and browsed the Gooseberry Patch Taste of Autumn cookbook and now I have a bad case of autumn fever! I can't wait for cool weather, crisp leaves and autumn colors!

Thank you, Secret Pal! You are a real sweetie pie!

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

And here is a close up of one of the cloths. Isn't it pretty???
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Who's the Busy Bee??? Me!

I like photos in blogs. So, here is a photo-rich entry.

I have been busy, busy, busy the last week or so. Just look at all that I have made! (For those of you who may be wondering what some of these are...they are earrings, of course. And the ones with beads sitting atop wood are beaded hairsticks. Most of the metal is sterling silver. The glass beads are either Swarovski crystals or fire-polished Czech glass. The ceramic beads are hand made and one-of-a-kind by a local artist. So, although they may not be "perfectly" symmetrical, I think that adds much interest. Her glazes are to die for!

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Note to Self...

Dear Me,

In the future, please remember that when going out for a special dinner with your inlaws, deciding three hours before departure to knit a bag to match your wrap may not be the brightest idea! You will create un-needed extra pressure on yourself. Also, you will run out of time and not be able to sew a proper lining in the the bag. In fact, you will find yourself seated in a limo tying the shoulder strap to aforementioned bag and trying to explain it all to the others who will of course think that you are loony.

Much love,

Friday, August 11, 2006

Here is another completed project!

I seem to be going through a "wrap" stage. I am inspired and motivated to make wraps! Why? I don't know. I guess because they are fun and versatile to wear and relatively easy to make.

Here are some pictures of my latest. I knit it using Patons Evita, a funky, variegated ladder yarn. It is incredibly soft!

I apologize for the photo quality. My camera and my skills are not equal to those of my dear son. However, he is not here at the moment, so these will have to do! The photos look mysteriously like they are taken in black and white...but nope! It is only because everything in the pictures are black, white and shades of gray!

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

And a close-up to better show the texture of the yarn.
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

I can not decide whether to add fringe or not. What do you think?

Oh, and I would like to say that I have actually completed several projects in the last week! (1 wrap, 2 crocheted head bands, 1 crocheted circle pendant necklace, 11 pairs of earrings and 3 pairs of hairsticks!) How's that for productivity?? Now I just have to get photos of it all edited and up on my Blue Moon Artistry site! (((sigh))) No rest for the weary!

Monday, August 07, 2006

I'm Famous!!

Well, no. Not really. However I have been published in another blog! Work at Home wanted moms who have businesses at home to write a short article about themselves and how they get it all done.

I jotted off a not-so-short email with some little household and time management tips I have learned along the way. Lo and behold, it has been posted on the site! So, if you want to know how I manage laundry with 9 people, or feed a family this big, or other similar fascinating information, go to and enjoy!

As for me, it is too painful to read...I just see all the things I would edit if I had it to do all over again!

Thursday, August 03, 2006

It's THAT time again!!

Warning: This is a post about home schooling. If you do not home school, nor have any interest in home schooling, please move on because I will probably bore you to tears!

Another warning: My mind is running in 10 different directions at moment on this subject. I apologize ahead of time for any incoherence!

It is that time again. Time to start planning for the upcoming school year...and I am floundering!

Here is what people on the outside see and say: "Wow! She really must have her act together. I can't imagine juggling 7 kids and home schooling them too! And they are all so smart and accomplished and polite. I don't know how she does it!"

Here is what I think on the inside: "I am a miserable failure. Yes, my kids are smart, but I should have done so much MORE! They are fine by the world's standards, but I should have pushed harder, been more disciplined. If I had been more pushy and not allowed them to be so self-directed they would have more accomplishments by now. They could be fluent in a foreign language or studying nuclear physics by now or playing an instrument at Carnegie Hall. The older ones got all my attention and zeal because I was younger and excited when I started to home school them. The middle ones have fallen through the cracks. I can't believe that I have compromised all my ideals and haven fallen back on boxed curriculum for my older kids so that I can get it all done. If I was more self-disciplined we could be doing more creative stuff."

Here is what people on the outside say: "You've been doing this for 13 years? You must have a lot of experience and wisdom. You probably know exactly how to do it all now."

Here is what I think on the inside: "I have NO IDEA what I should be doing this year with my 5th grader!! I want her to be more excited about learning. During her beginning school year I was pregnant and miserable. Then I got distracted trying to figure out the whole high school thing with her older siblings. Her last year was a big mess. She is so bright in all areas and even natural to math and yet she says she hates math! ARGH! I don't want her to think learning is a drudge...something to get out of the way so she can move on to what she enjoys. And my 7th grader...I certainly have not spent enough time with him. He is definitely the neglected middle kid. It isn't fair! And what about my 4 1/2 year old? She is so bright and eager. It doesn't seem fair to hold her back when she is so ready to learn, but really, I had not planned on starting her until after her oldest brother graduated this coming year."

Honestly, I was more self-assured in the beginning than I am now. I guess there is something to be said for being young and foolish and believing you have all the answers. With maturity and wisdom comes the realization that I do NOT have all the answers, that there is not just one way to do it, that I should not look down my nose at folks who use a "boxed curriculum," that what worked great for one child may be a total flop with the next.

When all those nagging doubts plague me, this is what I have to tell myself:

~My children are people. Yes, people. They are not empty boxes to be filled. They have unique personalities, abilities and needs.

~It is not necessary for me or my children to meet other people's standards. We must do our best to follow God's plan for ourfamily. NEVER compare ourselves to others.

~My children are happy and content with who they are. Most of their accomplishments are their own...they pursued their own interests and were not pushed by some over zealous parent who needed to be fulfilled by having a child prodigy to brag about.

~My children have had the good fortune to be allowed to be children. They have not been pushed by the media, pop culture, or peers into dealing with adult issues before they are old enough.

~My children can relate to and converse with anyone of any age. They do not require that someone be within 12 months of their own age to be able to communicate. They can talk to folks decades older and younger than they are. They do not look at adults as if we are aliens and they do not treat younger folk with disdain.

~My children know that in our home, relationships with God other people come first.

~My older kids all know the satisfaction of hard work and earning their own money. They also know that money and possessions will not bring happiness.

~My kids may not know everything, but if they are interested in something, they know HOW to pursue it and learn more about it.

Well, I guess I am not such a failure after all!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Love it? Hate it?

Here is a WIP (work in progress) that one can't feel ambivalent about. It is a scrap afghan and you either love it or hate it! My goal was to use up a bunch of scrap yarn I have lying about. At first, I must be honest, I hated it. I am not good at being truly random. I want to work with color, play with it, arrange it. But this is supposed to be an easy project where color placement is random and does not matter. The only rule I imposed is that every 4th row is black to offer a bit of continuity.

If I was making it for myself, it would have been ripped long ago. Sometimes I like it. Sometimes...ehh. However, it is for my teenage son, and he likes it. In fact, all my teenagers like it!

So, whaddaya' think?? Love it? Hate it?

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting


Related Posts with Thumbnails