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Thursday, January 31, 2013

When the frustration comes

Yesterday I had an opportunity to help my husband.  Our car was stuck and he was going to pull it out with the truck.  Heading into it I knew there would be frustration and trouble.  I did not want to go. 

This past winter we've had a few experiences of being stuck.  Each and every time it turns out the same.  I think I know what he's meaning when he tells me which way to turn, but I don't and then, I'm stuck in a new place. 

I see him waving his arms to go a certain way and so I head that way and realize that I misread his waving instructions.  There have been times he's gotten out of the truck and come over to tell me the plan.  I think I understand, but no, when I'm done I'm far from where he needed me to be.

One of these times we're gonna get there, or I'll just give up and hand it over to my almost-driving boy who thinks like his dad and will probably intuitively know what to do.

I know this is a way that our marriage can grow, but when I was getting ready to go yesterday, I was dreading it.  Dreading the sinking feeling that would be in the pit of my stomach when I didn't actually help my husband, but made things worse.

We, as wives, aren't supposed to do that.  We are the helper.  But in this case, it wasn't a matter of sin, it was a matter of a brain that doesn't function in cases of slippery roads and under pressure.  I can't think straight, especially when I know I'm probably going to do it wrong.

I was thinking about this in terms of our communication with God.  Do you ever feel like He's waving His arms telling you to go a certain way and you go that way tentatively because you aren't really sure if that's what He's telling you?  There are two windshields between you and God and so you think you know what He's saying, but you're not sure. 

I feel like that a lot.  But you know, God's instructions are clearly spelled out for us.  Sometimes we make His will very blurry for ourselves.  He has given us freedom and yet we sit waiting, "What if we do the wrong thing?" 

As parents, we shouldn't have a specific goal in mind for our children's future.  We could cause a lot of problems if we decide at two, that Missy should be a doctor.  We don't pick for them the person to marry and yet, somehow, we think God does that to us.

Could it be that He just wants us to go with the guidelines He's set up in His word and then we get to pick?  He doesn't just have one person out there.  I went to mission's training when I was still single.  Anyone of those men were godly and specifically the ones that I clicked with as friends could have been options for marriage. 

I'm not saying God didn't have a hand in bringing Carpenter into my life and that He didn't orchestrate some parts of it - kind of like a parent setting up his child with someone who has a potential to be a good spouse for him.

But we sometimes get worried we'll be sinning if we don't get it right.  God's not hiding himself from us. We must believe that.  He has given us all we need.  I think it's our misconstrued ideas about God that mess us up.

So let's get into His Word and ask Him to change those things, and stop living in fear of doing the wrong thing and just get out and DO! 

Making the most of today
Steph

Day 31 - through Leviticus 3 and Psalm 6 and I'm working on Romans 1:11-12

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

A fun way to memorize scripture

I've been following Ann Voskamp's blog http://www.aholyexperience.com/.  She's challenged us to memorize Romans chapters 1, 8 and 12 this year.  I blew it off but as I've been reading her posts, I felt the urge and the need to do some memory work. 

The Romans Project - Bible Memory Group

She mentioned a site http://scripturetyper.com/.  So I decided to try it.  Oh, my is it ever addicting!  I just started yesterday and now have 10 verses of Romans mastered.  I'm not crazy enough to think I really know them, but each day I will review those verses before adding a new one. 

I also made the boys (the older two) a page with a special list from their Awana books.  They can practice their verses and their typing.  What makes it fun is trying to beat your words per minute. 

I would like my other typing-age kids to be able to do this as well.  The key thing is that they should already know how to use their fingers with typing.  It isn't for teaching typing.  It's mostly for memorizing.

So have fun, find something you want to memorize or find a group that you want to join there are a bunch of them.   Hiding God's Word in your heart while you're having fun - the best!!!!

Making the most of today,
Steph

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Granola bars

Next week I'll post about the beans I'm cooking up for the freezer today

Today, we'll look at granola bars.
I'm afraid mine didn't turn out, but that's because as always, I tried to improvise and use some ingredients that were different than what was in the recipe.

For instance, I thought using old-fashioned oats (rolled oats) would be better than quick oats.  We generally don't keep quick oats around here, so I thought I'd try it.  One reason I'd rather not use them is because it seems that they are processed more, but maybe not.  I don't know that for a fact.
 I started with two cups of oatmeal - next time I'll be using the quick oats or figure out a way to make what I have work.  I assume there could be a way, just don't know it yet.  Also the recipe calls for 1 cup rice krispies.  I didn't have that either.
 In a pan I put 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup margarine, and 1/2 cup syrup (instead of honey).  Bring to a boil for two minutes.
 Didn't. quite. fill. the. pan.   But they were sticky enough that they kept their form.
Sprinkle with choclate chips - mini are the preferred ones, but guess what?  Didn't have any. :)  We make do around here a lot.  These were gone before Carpenter got home from work.   They were eaten with sticky fingers.

Making the most of today,
Steph

Day 29 - brings us through Exodus 37 and Psalm 4.  I'm also reading Proverbs out loud to the kids each month - here's hoping I can be consistent with that.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Log cabin block and some "spicing" up in the kitchen

The log cabin block - their color suggestion was blues and creams or whites.  Red is the center because it means the hearth or fireplace of the home.



Final product
The next project I started was pre-mature.  I don't have enough baby food jars to do it yet, but I started it anyway.  So I will continue working on this until I have the spices in jars.  The Little Miss better start gobbling up her baby food. :)

Before and after pics - but the after ones are a bit decieving.  That is what it will look like in time.
before of the cupboard - I can't find anything!!!!!

before of the drawer - a bit of a mess

This is how I want it to look.  I can see everything that I have and don't need to rummage around in her and drop things to find what I want.

This is reality - this is actually how this drawer looks right now.  But I will be adding jars as I get them.
How to get there is simple.  The Pinterest board I found had chalkboard paint and a chalk marker, but of course, our teeny "W" store doesn't carry such things.  So I improvised.  I bought regular spray paint and a metallic marker.


Then we were to line the drawer with wrapping paper, but I couldn't find any, unless it said "Happy Birthday" on it.  So I didn't want that.  I found a plastic placemat and liked how it looked with my green lids, ignore the little red ones - eventually they will be gone and it will be just green in there.  Those little things just happened to fit in the drawer, so I brought them over early.
I happen to have a supply of baby food jars, so I used those, but four ounce mason jars are what the Pinterest idea called for.  That would make this project a little out of my range price-wise.  I spent $1 on the markers and $2 on the placemat and about $4 on the paint. 

The thing about this job was it was fun just to get something organized.  It took very little time.  Kids could even help some if they're outside doing the painting - and it was a great weekend for outside painting. :)
Now I can actually find stuff in my cupboards and I won't be digging in the drawer for things.  Baking and cooking will be much more fun!

Making the most of today,
Steph

Day 28 - Wow!  January is flying by.  We are in Exodus 34 and over the weekend I decided to add a Psalm each day to the mix.  It will give me something bright and cheery to add to my list of laws I'm reading as I go through Exodus and Leviticus.  Also it is more than 3 chapters a day, if I want to get through in a year, so this should help.  Have a great day!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Titus 2 Tea - Personal - Hobbies

Finally this month we'll talk about hobbies.  What are some things that you enjoy doing?  How do you find time to do it, or do you? 

I suggest that it may be a good idea to find 15 minutes a day that you can do something that relaxes you, and maybe you'll find time to fit it in other places as well.

I've been continuing to work on my block for quilt guild.  I enjoy hand piecing my blocks.  I can take them with me, though that is pointless at this time of my life, as I have little children to keep track of in the waiting room.  But I have found that I can enjoy a movie while I hand piece.  I don't quite get into the movie as well, but that doesn't bother me.

You may know that I've been working on "Grandpa's Home" for a few years now.  It's coming along.  I'm on my third block, but I took a break to work on the log cabin block. 
This is the first two blocks.
This is an overview of the field behind Grandpa's house, the pine trees are the dark colors, the lighter green is the grass, and the red is a maple tree in his back yard. 
Third block - unfinished.
I still have five more rows to go before this one is finished.  I am not sure how I'll get the view to pop once I'm finished.  Will quilting the blocks be enough or will it need more?  I don't know.  But I will have fun researching that step.  And I have plenty of time.  It's taken me four years to get this far, and I have three more blocks to go. 

In reality I could finish one block in a weekend, but I usually don't take the time to just sit and do this.  If I did 15 minutes on it  5 days a week.  I would have a block done in 2 1/2 weeks, or less. 

For those of us who continue to repeat the same tasks over and over, it's nice to have something that we won't be doing over, but we'll have a finished project. 

What are your favorite things to do?  Do you have time?  Maybe this is a season where you don't.  Don't give up, there will come a time.

Making the most of today,
Steph

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Discouragement sets in

Do you ever feel like a hamster running on a wheel each day?  You keep doing the same things over and over and when you turn around they all need to be done again.  Or you know you need to speak more gently and quietly with your children, but every time you turn around you're doing it again?

This is the place Satan wants us.  The more discouraged we are, the less effective we are. In fact,we aren't effective at all.  I find myself on a downward spiral, going further and further.  I feel like the things I'm thinking are truth, but when I stop and think, I realize...it's lies.

You're never gonna get it right.  All you do is slave, slave, slave away and no one helps ever.  You start speaking in absolutes.  Everything is always awful,and never good.  More lies.

The Father of Lies wants us to believe him.  He wants us to think he's right. 

"I will lift up my eyes to the hills where my help comes from.  My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth."
Have you ever really thought about that?  He raised the dead to life and caused the blind to see.  He fed thousands of people from one small basket of food and had twelve large baskets left over.  He created the universe.

And He cares about the tiniest sparrow and knows when one falls to the ground, how much more, Jesus asks, will He care for us?

I have found the need to stand up and think thoughts of truth.  I am nothing in and of myself, but in Christ, I am a daughter of the King.  I can choose to gripe about my lot in life, as a mother, and pass that discontent onto my children.  Or I can choose to joyfully take up the task and serve my beloved family. 

Whichever way I choose determines the way that my children will think that I see them.  Griping will make them realize they are just a hassle and the cause of all my problems.  Serving with joy will allow them to see that I love them and they are a welcome part of our family.

And that is where I left the post last night.  I climbed into bed and hot tears dripping down my face, I shared with my husband the struggle it's been lately.  I shared that I have to go to the orthodontist in a town 1/2 hour away and take two babies and one five-year old and the one who needs to go.... AND.... and I'm already super tired.  How will I be able to handle it, even if I am trying to do what's right?

My husband, lovingly and kindly, took me in his arms and shared with me some precious truths.  Some things I hadn't even thought of.  He said it's about believing God.  Such a simple statement and full, as I look at the struggle I face.  Am I believing that God has this for me and it's in my best interest?  Uh, I'm sure not acting like it.

The other thing he said pertained to my last question - How will I be able to handle it, even if I am trying to do what's right?  He said, "It seems to me that if you're walking in the flesh (trying to do it in your own strength) that yes, it would be harder; but if you're walking in the Spirit, it won't be harder, just because you're exhausted - it will be the same."  You know, I think he's right.  I have to think on that a bit more.

God has given us everything for life and godliness - that's in Peter.  So if that's true then we need nothing more to handle the situations of life.  Paul and Silas singing in a jail with their backs laid bare with wounds and bleeding.  I'm pretty sure that they were tired - try sleeping with your hands and feet in chains.  I guess I don't have too much to complain about.

Also I think of two women that I have known in my life - one briefly so I'm purely guessing about her, and one that I sat at the feet of and was discipled by - my mother. 

The first had MS and was in a wheelchair when I met her.  I didn't get a chance to know her well, but I'm pretty sure that her children were still in school then.  She couldn't serve them in the ways she wanted to - as a "normal" mother does.

My brother had just started high school when my mom got sick.  She may have been able to do some for him at the beginning, but toward the end, my dad was the keeper of the home.  I know that even though she couldn't serve with her hands, she was always listening and giving of her time. 

But I know in her heart she was wishing she could do the dishes and the laundry for her family - all of those things that I grumble about doing.  Soooo it's all about perspective, and the grass is always greener.  But I don't want to be like that.  I want to serve with joy - and I don't think that means that I have to love doing the dishes, but just that I'm thinking of serving the Lord while I do it.  In the end, I think I may end up loving it. :)

Making the most of today
Steph

Day 24 - through Exodus 22 - I can see that I've been like the children of Israel grumbling about my lot in life.  And just starting Esther 9

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Incentives for our children

I've been struggling with how to help the kids get their piano lessons in.  With babies in the house during the weekdays, and carting three of the them to the school at our church, it's a circus around here most days. 

The piano teacher was saying that they need to practice more, and asking how often were they practicing?  and I'm left pondering the answer.  I have no idea.  The piano was played and almost every day.  But who played and was it the same person each day?  I had no clue.

I thought about this problem for awhile and wondered how to keep on top of this in the midst of my circus life.  The one solution that I came up with, that has worked now for a few weeks is the notebook. 
A fun cover

Some words of wisdom - my picture doesn't show it but it's from the Time-Warp Wife at www.time-warp-wife.blogspot.com

Each time they practice they must put a check mark in the box for the day
But that didn't solve the problem of me needing to remember to remind them to do the job.  So I decided that twice a day they could get a piece of candy for practicing, but ONLY if they remembered to practice on their own.  If I reminded them, then they don't get a piece of candy.

This led to another problem.  Only three children practice piano, and there they are getting candy.  Four others are wondering if they can have a piece too.  Well, it seems like it would lose it's effect if I gave it to them for nothing so I had to come up with something.

Then I started thinking about the things each one needed to learn.  Some are needing to learn to consistently make their bed - who am I kidding?  that's probably each one of them.  But some are at the age that learning this is new.

So Tractorman and Jules are earning a piece of candy for caring for their laundry and their beds.  They don't forget these days, because they see someone else getting candy for something and they know how to get one.

Tank, Bugaboo and Waterman are earning it twice a day for two times of practice.  They can't double it and make it work for one session.  It has to be two separate sessions.

Jones and Sharpie are working on cleaning their faces and Jones needs help feeding his dog.  So Sharpie needs to clean his face twice a day, but Jones really doesn't (yet) and hopefully won't.

Each has something to work on and they are different things.  So we're working toward learning in these areas.   In a few months, or maybe less we'll switch to some other areas that we need help on.  There are quite a few. 

As it has been working since the beginning of the year, I think it will continue to work for awhile anyway.  And the piano teacher has been happy with how they are doing.   So I'm happy. 

Making the most of today,
Steph

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Homemade granola

You don't have to have a bunch of ingredients to make granola.  Sometimes all we have in ours is oatmeal and raisins (if we even have those), but my kids love it anyway.  We don't eat cold cereal, and this is cheaper than that even though it's more expensive than almost any other breakfast I make.
 
Here's the start of our granola.  It's a double recipe with 12 cups of rolled oats and coconut (we were given some but MIL and I haven't used it all yet) and 2 cups of flour.  The recipe calls for:
  • 2 cups of whole wheat flour,
  • 6 cups of oatmeal,
  • 1 cup coconut,
  • 1 cup wheat germ,
  • 1 cup of raw sunflower seeds and
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon to start.

Next in a separate bowl, we pour:
  •  1 cup of syrup,
  • 1 cup of oil,
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla,
  • 1/2 cup water,
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt. 
Even though it was a double recipe, I didn't double anything but the oatmeal, and cinnamon.  It wasn't very sweet, so I think 1 1/2 cups of syrup would be better, then we aren't adding heaping teaspoons of sugar to our granola.  I can ban sugar from the table if the cereal is sweet enough. 

Put the bowl of liquids into the microwave to heat it up - a couple of minutes.  Stir it in with the dry ingredients. 

Spread on greased cookie sheets.  Bake at 250 for one hour stirring every fifteen minutes.

When cooled, add fruit and nuts.  Some ideas are:
  • 1 cup of raisins
  • 1 cup of dried apricots
  • 1 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
Hope you like it.
Steph

Compost project - complete and something new

This is the post from yesterday.  My Carpenter man was sick this weekend and yesterday he was on the mend, but not ready for work yet.  So he was on the computer and I was only a bit, and we spent time talking about the direction our lives should go. Sorry this is late.

We're moving the compost project out to the garden.  It will be a bit more of a trek for us, but it's a better place for it, right next to the place we'll use it.

So we'll staple the chicken fence on the inside of the bin today and then move it over there.

Now, I'm starting something new.  Trying to get back into the quilt guild here.  The first job is to make a traditional log cabin block.  We're going to be doing a bunch of these log cabin blocks but in different ways. 
So that's what I'm working on currently.



Day 21 thru Exodus 13 - we're studying this in Sunday School, so it's kind of fun to read it over again during the week.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Titus 2 Tea - Personal - Food

This is not really a good topic for me.  I am not good at this.  We make as much as we can from scratch, not because it's healthier, but because it's almost always cheaper.   If I worked outside the home we would eat more packaged foods.

But I am taking the chance this year to "step it up" as I am trying to do in other areas of my life.  I think eating carrot sticks and fresh raw vegetables would be a much better snack for us, along with fruit of course. Generally, though, we don't have such things around because a bag of apples is maybe 2 snacks, if we're good and don't eat it all in the first one. 

So my goal is that when I buy milk on Wednesday for our double-punch day, I will grab a bag of carrots, (not baby carrots unless they're cheaper than the other) and a bag of the cheaper fruit.  If we can step it up further and I can get two of each all the better.

I think that it will not only be healthier but more filling.  I continue to try to make my mixes for stews and spaghetti etc.  I should even try to make my own chili mix, haven't gotten that far yet, but I have found a great recipe for chili beans. 

When we eat right, we are healthier, and more able to respond appropriately - not that that is a good excuse for sin, but it helps us think better.

My sister (step-sister) is so much better at explaining this and also has done a lot more research.  Her blog has some recipes at www.fiveintow.com so go check her out if you haven't been following her already.  She writes some great stories that have great application for mothers and wives.

Making the most of today
Steph

Day 18 brings me to Exodus 4 and I'm still in Esther 8.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

The weight which so easily entangles

A couple of years ago, I decided to quit playing games on Facebook.  It happened to be on New Year's Eve, but it wasn't a New Year's resolution.  My family was gone to the New Year's Eve party at church where we play games and eat yummy food.  I wasn't there because my baby was sick and I was messing around on Facebook while he slept.

There is nothing wrong with playing games on Facebook and certainly there was nothing wrong with doing it at the time.  But I have a problem.  It's a weight that entangles.  Hebrews 12:1"Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,"
I can't play one game, and if I get sucked into it today, I will do it tomorrow and the next day and the next day.  It's  a time waster for me and it accomplishes nothing for me, and usually ends up leaving me drained, not rested. But it somehow has the power to suck me in and keep me hostage.

As I said before it's not sin.  There is nothing wrong with playing a game or two or a lot.  But for me, it is wrong.  I don't have self-control with it.  Now, I don't play it for hours on end, nor do I ignore pressing needs in my home. 

There are other things that I enjoy when I'm taking a break, reading a good book, quilting, etc.  When I'm finished with those things, I feel energized and excited and I have something to show for it. 

A couple of times since that day two years ago, I have tried to do a game on Facebook, just a little thing, kind of like solitaire.  It doesn't work for me.  There are those of you who have no trouble with this, but this is my thing, my weight that bogs me down and I can't continue life without being held hostage by it.

So instead of continuing to try to find a way to make games on-line work for me, I'm going to read a book to relax, or pull out my material and make a block for a quilt.  I don't need this - being held hostage by a silly game. 

I see it with my boys and the Wii and the games they play.  If they don't set the timer they play for hours, thinking it's been a few minutes.  And they are all-consumed with the next time they get to play the Wii.  Not healthy.

The TV is a time-sucker as well.  Once turned on, it doesn't get turned off and we end up looking for the best of the worst.  Nothing good is on, but we'll watch the best thing on.  Really, do we need to be watching anything?  What about a game? or the radio?

This post is a bit related to yesterday's.  I want to be reaching and striving to see the gifts God gives.

Making the most of today
Steph

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Going against the flow


This past school year as I've been driving the kids to school, we've driven by the cows in the cornfield every day almost.  There is one particular cow - at least I think it's the same one - who has had me thinking a lot lately.

She gets down on her knees right by the electric fence, reaching as far as possible for the tufts of grass near the edge.  She reaches under the wire where she knows she won't get shocked for the sweet, green-goodness just out of reach.

My first thought was the normal, "The grass is always greener...".  All the other cows are fine with the dry corn stalks that have nutrition that they need.  The farmers know that a corn field harvested is a good place for cows to get some food, and even good food. So what is this cow's problem?  Why can she not be satisfied with the good things given?

But then I started thinking about the times in life where we go with the status quo, and everyone is saying, "We're all happy with where things are at.  Why aren't you?"  And life is a drag, and things are frustrating and we feel we're getting nowhere on this path to glory. 

And the other "cows" are saying, "These dry cornstalks are just fine for us, why do you have to go stretching and tugging and reaching for something that's too hard to get. Why do you have to make us think there is something better?  Why not be satisfied with the way things were and always shall be?" 
What's your problem?  My dry, brown corn stalk is fine.

And yet God calls us to the better, to the lovely, to the beautiful.  His desire for us is not that life whichwould be a drag, just something to muddle through.  He wants to bless us richly and in Peter (1st or 2nd, I'm not sure which) it says, He gives us all things RICHLY to enjoy.  So what's with this "muddling through"? 

I muddle through being a homeschool teacher, a babysitter, a mom and a wife.  I'm not intentional about my hats that I wear.  I'm working on it.  Remember the cow?  God does give us all things RICHLY to enjoy, but there is a cost.  The cost is walking with Him.  And sometimes that seems so hard.

It's bending, kneeling, reaching, striving, getting under the fence to reach the goodness He has for us.  Do we think that we can just grow in Him without kneeling (prayer) and reaching (time in His Word) and striving (apologizing when we do wrong) and getting under the fence (being gentle when others are harsh)? 

No.  We won't.  We know that.  We just want to be lazy, and sit back and do our own thing.  But when we go against the flow and go beyond what everyone around us is satisfied with, then we can reach that goodness that is the extra, the dessert. 

Please know that I'm not saying that we're to be disgruntled with the way things are.  No.  Paul talks of contentment with the easy and with the hard.  But that we wouldn't just accept life and not look for what God has for us.  "Well, church is just boring and reading the Bible is boring, and praying? Well, that's just hard."  But instead finding the joy in knowing God at a deeper level and understanding more deeply what Christ has done for us.

Finding the joy in the journey,
Steph

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Make your own spaghetti sauce

The ingredients I used
 My recipe this time
2 #10 cans of tomato sauce
1 #10 can of crushed tomatoes
2 T garlic
2 t pepper
2 t salt
2 T Italian seasoning
Put all ingredients in a bowl.

Label bags

Pour into bags and standing them up seems to be the best way to get the air out.  Simply pull the zipper part down against the sauce and close.  You'll have almost no air in the bag

Now that it's closed, rinse. 

It's very difficult to label at this point, but I should have tried anyway.

Lay flat in a freezer.
This recipe made 1 - 64 oz bag of spaghetti sauce and 8 - 32 oz bags of pizza sauce.  The cost for the cans for me was about $10.  So $1 for 32 oz of sauce, which is cheaper than spaghetti sauce here.  Also I know what is in the sauce.

Making the most of today
Steph

Monday, January 14, 2013

Project Day - organizing with binders

Why I do what I do
 I just had to add this picture of Tractorman.  His new haircut has me thinking of my dad's pics of when he was a boy, but this one just doesn't show it too much.  All that I do is so that I can raise him and his siblings to godly men and women, ultimately it is to bring glory to my King.



I had some binders left over from my Titus 2 group, and have slowly been filling them with things that need to be more organized.  They sit on top of my microwave next to the pens and pencils.

My piano binder
 We've been having trouble keeping up with piano, and who's done it and who hasn't.  And the piano teacher is asking, "How many times did you practice?"  and I'm thinking to myself, while my child is trying to formulate an answer, "I heard the piano, but don't know if it was you or not."

A page in each of my binders from the Time-Warp Wife's blog
 I need to keep this quote before my eyes and my children's eyes constantly, so it's in all of my binders.

A calendar behind the tab with their name
 A piece of candy twice a day.  You may practice as many times as you like, but only twice will I give a piece of candy for it.  Place a checkmark in the day you practiced.  Two checks show that you practiced twice. 

They never ever forget their candy, but they do forget to put the check mark.  But the point is to practice more faithfully and they are.

Day Care Planner
I love the pinwheels.


 A page for one of the kids.  Each child has a tab and each one has a page like this one above for an emergency - were someone needing to come in and take over for me.  The boys know the schedule, but not as well as I do.

 Then they each have a calendar page where I can mark their attendance and when they paid.  If they are not going to be here on their regular day or if they had to stay late.  You get the idea.

Holiday Planner
With all the ribbon swirls, doesn't it feel like a party?

I am currently using FLYLady's control journal for this.
 Favorite recipes go in here, good ideas of fun stuff we like to do, anything to keep me remembering what we enjoyed this year.

Garden planner

This hasn't come very far yet, but I always figure I have plenty of time...but I don't.  Spring will be here soon.  My plan this year is to mostly plant things that freeze well.   We'll see how this year goes.  I'd love to try square-foot gardening this year. 

And finally, school planners
Jones' planner
Tabs for each subject
It will be followed by a calendar page with assignments for each day.  As they finish an assignment they will mark off the day.  They will be able to work ahead and if they get behind they will not be able to mark it off till it's done.  I'm hoping it will work better than what we've been doing.

I want to be the best at what I do.  I wear a lot of hats and there are a lot of things that need remembering, so I need to have some place to keep all my info in one place and for me, this is the easiest.  I just used scrapbooking pages to put in the fronts of my binders to make them fun.

Making the most of today,
Steph

Day 14 takes me through Genesis 42 and I'm still in Esther 7.