Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Day Three: Whew!

Well, I got 19 jars of jelly made, and I still have currant juice in the fridge to be made into more.  The apricots still call my name.  However, working on this "plan" has caused me to neglect other duties (mainly because I'm a tired pregnant woman and so if I do all the tasks on the main list, I tend to put off other things--like laundry).  Luckily, with the canning, the kitchen/dishes are all caught up because you can't can in a dirty kitchen.  SO, it looks great, and will look even better when the canning supplies are not all over the table.  And I did mow the lawn today.

Due to my neglect, tomorrow morning is going to be a "zoom through the house and tidy up/vacuum each room just so everything goes at least back to normal before it gets worse" day.  I don't think that following a plan to organize your home does much good if you let the rest of it go by the wayside while working on the task at hand. 

I also realized that I'd been letting meal planning slide (again), but this time worse!  I wasn't just putting it off til we got our produce baskets on Wednesday (not a bad plan, really), but I was flying by the seat of my pants, and things have started to go to waste.  EEEWWW!  What was I thinking?!?!  Obviously, I wasn't.  So, Monday, I'll be posting another meal plan--even though it's a holiday.  Muahahaha.  I'm even exploring a few batch cooking sites (because that's part of holiday planning, too, right?

Adding a Few Things...

Day Two, Week One.  Our little one is sleeping a lot lately, due to icky tummy.  I hope that she improves soon, as I really love her little cheerful self & miss our fun conversations. 

It dawned on me while going through the planning worksheets that I printed off yesterday, that I could turn my canning extravaganza into some very thoughtful gifts.  Especially for teachers that work so hard for our kids.  Usually, I'm the teacher.  This is the first year we've used a school.  It's a charter school, and they are using the same curriculum I did while homeschooling, so given that I know the work that goes into teaching one of my children that curriculum, and then multiplying that by 25...makes me shudder to think about it.  There are also music teachers and art teachers, so this will make a nice, inexpensive gift.  I'll probably buy some fancy tiny jam jars (like these: Ball Quilted Jelly Canning Jar 4 Oz., Case of 12) while I'm at Stuff Mart getting canning lids (yeah, I know, but Stuff Marts are the cheapest place to buy the tiny odds and ends for canning).

So, How's it going?

Today was Day One of the first week of the holiday prep.  Step one is going well...decluttering the office area.  It was a little crazy given my youngest came down with a tummy bug yesterday and has been feeling icky all day (and the extra loads of towels I've had to wash due to said tummy bug).  I have 2 gallons of cherries to juice and turn into jelly, and a gallon of currants to do the same with.  THEN, my husband's amazing aunt gave us 16 C (2 gallons) of apricots to turn into jam.  Whew!

 I've started printing off the pages for the Holiday Planner, and I'm excited to think about getting some of the gift buying out of the way soon.  In all reality, I've already purchased a few things, because Christmas comes every year.  I wonder why so many of us are surprised by it each year?  It's sort of like, "Wait!  What?  It's December again?!?"  (Or October--Halloween, November--Thanksgiving).  They sneak up on us, but yet, if you're like me, you've lived through around 30 of each of them.  It should be old hat by now.  But, if you're like me...it's not.

OK, back to dumping the--stuff.  Oh, and on a side note (speaking of "stuff") my husband and I were discussing how if we call big box stores "Stuff Marts" then shopping there (and buying unnecessary items) seems less appealing.  It's all semantics, but think about it. "Honey, I'm going to Stuff Mart to get more, uh...stuff, that we can throw away later..."  That's about when the 'Oh never minds' start & you stay home and enjoy each other and your hard saved cash. 

The Holiday Plan is brought to you by

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Week One: Here Goes Nothing!

Well, here we are!  August 28th.  School has started (more on that in another post), and I'm sitting here with a calendar in front of me.

It's what they call Planning and Paperwork week...

Mainly, I'll be thinking about and planning my holiday adventures--and cleaning up my office space!  This is actually very good.  If you saw it, you'd wonder how I get anything done.  Actually, I wonder it myself.  Maybe I don't get as much done as I could, and if getting things done with four children is harder than with three, I need to work on making getting things done possible.  So, I'm looking forward to this week, and having a goal.  It will be fun to include the cute little toddler I have in our holiday plans.  She's my cleaner, and knows how to put things away.  (Her siblings do too, however...)

Are you joining in?  What do you think? 

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


I know, I know.  Don't mention the holidays coming...we're barely getting back to school!  However, it has come to my attention that our dear new baby is going to be coming right in-between my two favorite holidays!  The ones that involve the most prep and family time!  Yikes! 

At first, I thought I'd just say, "Oh well, no celebrations this year!"  but then I looked at the adorable faces of my other children and realized that I had to make something happen.  In my brainstorming, I remembered a plan I'd read about years ago but never stuck to (well, at least not concretely) because my memory worked just fine and I had the stamina and time to do all I wanted right around the holiday. 

Well, given that "placenta brain" has kicked in (more blueberries needed, perhaps?), and I don't think I'll be getting much sleep towards the end of October or most of November (or December, now that I think about it...sigh), I'm going to attempt to follow along with some uber-organized folk over at the Houseworks Holiday Plan.  (It covers Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas, though you could substitute in your December holiday of choice there). You can join me, or you can just follow the blog here, cheer on my victories, laugh at my failed attempts, and cry with me when I get really tired.  I think it will be fun. 

Each week focuses on cleaning/de-cluttering one room in the house AND one holiday task (ie.: making cookie dough and freezing it in pre-measured balls, putting together holiday cards, preparing freezer meals, finding and wrapping stocking stuffers PRIOR to December, etc).  I will probably increase the number of freezer meals on the list (they recommend them for busy December days, I'll use them due to baby snuggling!).

The big START DATE for such a feat is August 28th, and you can follow others via facebook as well (I think I will, for encouragement).  I'm excited...I think...

Friday, August 12, 2011

Ohhh...Look what I found today!

My dear husband was so good to me today.  Even though he had to work, I still got to nap and go to the thrift store for a much needed break.  Sigh.

While there, I made an amazing find!
With it, was the entire Tales of Canterbury in Old English, as well as an un-used record (yes, I said RECORD, not CD, or tape!) .  I was giddy.  I also brought home

Both for much less than any other used price I've seen.  I happily snatched them up.  Hmmm, I suppose once a homeschooler, always a homeschooler.  ;)

Oh, I found this for $1, but didn't bring it home...

Monday, August 8, 2011

Two Things of Note

Hello!  Oh, dear readers.  I had no idea I'd been away for so long.  I suppose it has much to do with the move.  It'll get better when we are back on a routine (i.e. schooling starts!).

But I do need to ask a question.  Some of you who read my blog are wonderful homesteaders--with children.  Some of you homeschool, some drive for school.  Here is my question:  We are house hunting, and have found some beautiful properties about 20 minutes outside of A town (not the town we live in...they are 40 minutes from this town).  My choices are a very small local public school, or to continue to homeschool.  However, I'm used to homeschooling with a city (note: LARGE city) nearby, with many private lessons in multiple topics available.

Yet, the properties have beautiful land, out in the country, with homes that fit our desires (they go a bit beyond our needs, but in this market, our price range is happy!).  So, I'm asking--if you are currently living out in the country--how do you like it?  My only concern is the extra stuff for schooling, I know I could cover beyond the basics in math, history, science, reading, etc...with my kids.  AND there is always the internet.  AND when they get older there is a satellite location for Utah State University only 20 minutes from the area we are looking at (USU offers dual enrollment for homeschoolers...college credit from home during the high school years).

Speaking of kids...it looks like our 4th little one is going to be a boy!  His siblings are very excited.  Our oldest (a boy) is very happy to have a brother, and the two little girls have been begging for a little brother.  So, they all got their wish.