Homemaking 101

Encouragement for B.O. (Born-Organized) Moms … yep, you need it too!

Last week I shared some words of encouragement for moms who, because they are gifted in relational ways (people oriented), tend to be less task-oriented and therefore, less organized. However, they are not the only ones who need a good word. B.O. moms do, too!

Being naturally more organized (though at times I can be really efficiency-challenged—“Oh, look, there’s a great book I haven’t read to my kids yet!”), I often wished I could be more like my husband, who was people-oriented—in a big way. He loved being around people 24/7.

When Cookies Go Bad | What I Did on the First Day of Summer Vacation

Meg finished her last workbook on June first. June second arrived, cold and raining all day, and I had to clean house for company. By the time afternoon rolled around things were kind of under control – not clean, of course, because a house is never clean when kids are awake, but at least the backlog of dishes was gone and a couple of rooms were pretty good -- so I agreed when Meg asked to make cut-out cookies and use the cookie cutters. Cookies are good for a rainy day.

Home Organization – Encouraging Words for Messy Moms

I just got back from the Wisconsin CHEA homeschool conference where I gave several workshops, one of which was entitled, “Order in the House! Peace vs. Chaos in the Home.” At the end of my talk, I always try to give an encouraging word to moms who are Messies.

I was Born Organized, but during several years of sickness—mine and my late husband’s—I became a survival Messie. I didn’t want to be disorganized; physical clutter is a serious, mental distraction for me...

Life in the Margins

Presently, I am in an extremely busy season of life. Our family life is full of the joy of a granddaughter, launching my youngest into the adult world and preparing for my younger daughter’s wedding. We are in the midst of our busier time of year at work and it seems that in completing one task, simultaneously two new ones are added to the list. My husband and I have launched our own little fledgling business in our spare time, and it seems to have taken off. Sometimes life is so busy that the goodness of it all escapes me.

From Launch to Finish

Rose talked the other day about how she delegates chores among her children. I’ve seen her kids in action—it’s a pleasure how she and her children get things done.

Guess what doesn’t even begin to work in my household?

My personality package doesn’t include much in the way of administration. If it were up to me to teach my kids how to run a household, their skill set would consist of ...

Trimming Time

Happy June! Summer is not quite officially here, but we are finished with school for the season. Hooray!

The approach of summer means many different things for us ... More outdoor activities, little girls begging to go swimming, and (this year anyway) major haircuts for the girls and me. After growing out our hair for quite a while, Daisy, Sweet Pea, and I recently took off several inches each.

Getting from More to Merrier

One of the greatest and oft-touted benefits to homeschooling is the flexibility it provides. In fact, I myself praised the freedom to set our own pace in a previous post. It’s undeniably a great advantage of the homeschool lifestyle, and also one of the more obvious ones. However, during my parenting career, I’ve learned of quite a few more subtle benefits to homeschooling.

The Challenge With Chores

Many families seem to struggle with getting a good chore system to work. Chore charts, rewards, stickers, pocket organizers…there are so many good systems out there that it can be overwhelming!

In our case, I’ve never actually had a problem with chores not getting done. My biggest struggle is ensuring that the chores are assigned appropriately. Delegation comes pretty easily to me: with so many young children in the house, it became essential to find a good way to share the load, and outsourcing was the logical choice.


Putting Down Roots

Once again, the changing of the seasons decrees that it is high time to prepare the ground for planting. This isn’t new territory for us; I’ve made at least some sort of attempt at a garden every year since I got married, even if it was as feeble an attempt as putting a few tomatoes in buckets on the patio. Our plans for the summer, my energies levels at planting time, and the ages/usefulness of the young helpers all play a role in how elaborate the garden can be.

The Glass Catastrophe - A Good Lesson Learned

Recently my sweet and helpful daughter offered to fetch me a drink of water. Somehow in the course of things, the glass slipped from her grasp and shattered on the kitchen floor. Fortunately, it was an otherwise low-stress moment, and I had the patience and presence of mind to assure her that it was fine. While I gave her comforting platitudes about how this wasn’t the first dish to be broken in this house by children, nor will it be the last, she brushed tears from her eyes, clearly far more upset by the incident than I was.

Crunching The Numbers | Part 2

Previously I shared how I slowly came to improve our family’s diet by upgrading our grocery budget. Although it was difficult at first to reconcile my frugal nature to spending more money than we absolutely “had” to, I came to appreciate the benefits of eating better quality food. There will always be more room for improvement and learning, but I felt we had achieved a good balance.

Crunching The Numbers – Our Meandering Journey Toward Healthy Living | Part 1

When I was growing up, my family had a pretty standard healthy diet, at least according to the common wisdom of the times. We grew our own produce—or at least as much as we could raise—in our vegetable garden, we tended to avoid junk food, and we ate whole grains.

Before the Internet, our sources for information were gleaned from the library, from resourceful friends, and of course from common sense.

The Resurrection and Homeschooling

As we look forward to celebrating Easter this Sunday, my thoughts have turned toward the resurrection. 

I love celebrating holidays and sometimes I can get carried away with the frills and fun. I like to plan Easter outfits, maybe even matchy-matchy ones, since my 9-year-old hasn’t yet complained about that. Although, I feel like this might be the last year she happily agrees to do matching outfits, now that she is entering that tween phase.

But We’ve Always Done It That Way!

Some time after we were married, my husband remarked on how much he appreciated good home cooking, thoughtfully-packed lunches, and fresh baked goods. He especially liked the chocolate chip cookies, which I made faithfully for him because I knew they were just about his favorite dessert. However, he did wonder whether I had found a new recipe for them, because he didn’t remember chocolate chip cookies tasting quite the way I made them. Was I using the classic Nestle Toll House Cookie recipe, he wondered?

Cooking Up Appearances

Much has been written—on social media and elsewhere—about the prevalence of social media in our lives.

A common lament is that an overindulged obsession with online life tends to swallow up the reality of our actual life, leading to discontentment, unfair comparisons, wasted time, silly fads, and the like. On the other hand, failure to document our lives leaves no record of them, ensuring that our legacy will disappear into a forgotten void and possibly, through the cumulative loss of information, spawning another dark age.


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