Family Organizer

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I need a system that organizes all of our schedules, that I can take with me, doesn’t require the all my sticky notes, and can’t be wiped off at the end of the month.

I need a system that I can access from my phone and my home computer.

I need it to be easy for me to use, and doesn’t require a lot of thought.

I have tried apps in the past with no real luck…….

Opus Domini was maybe my most successful app. You could build your personal mission, visualize and set your course, define your goals, have a daily blueprint of your life, categorize into four area how important a task was, have multiple planning views, and  had a tasks, calendar & events, notes,  growth tools, and cloud back up & sync. But it is only available for Mac, iPod, and iPhones, I have an android and I am perfectly happy with it.

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Planner Plus is ok as it is the closest to Opus Domini. You can create tasks, events, notes, has different views, and is color coded.

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CalenMob is a Google Calendar app with intuitive design. I am trying this for my home business but not liking it. 

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Schedule Planner this actually has something I wish Opus Domini had “Planned” vs “Actual” day planning interface. But honestly the whole thing is a little confusing on how to do everything. Like an information OVERLOAD!

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Cozi and everyone raves about this one. Maybe I just haven’t given it a fair enough shot.  It has a family calendar, shopping lists, to-do lists, family journal, and meals. But honestly it looks overwhelming and like an overload of information. I do like that my husband and daughter can have it on their phones and we can all be connected. Not too sure after that.

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What are your thoughts and opinions? Do you have an app that you love and can’t live without?

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Now, I have Home Management Binders and I love them. But I am not lugging them all over! I made these back in 2013, after my mother-in-law died and I went through her paperwork for two days!

I had been looking for months for home management system that fit me. No luck! I mean what could possible fit a person as complex as myself. I could make the sheets but I knew there was blanks out there waiting for me to find. Than I started piecing one together…….. what a pain! I mean each had a different theme and I like everything to flow. Besides things started to mix and nothing was clear-cut.

I found most of my print of at Life Your Way , it is an awesome site and is worth you checking out. No, really go! I will wait right here, take as long as you need, I’ll wait……………

Oh, your back? Are you as impressed as me?

Anyways they have over 200 printables! Than there is the whole article about how to use a Home Management Notebook, which you can find here.

I made four of these FABULOUS binders! I thought of making one huge binder, but then I decided against it. Some things are laminated so that I don’t have to make a million copies and burn through ink. If it is something I need a record of I will scan it.  First, I went to Wal-Mart and bought some file folders for a $1 for three and found some old 3-ring binders downstairs that were in great condition. Next, I printed off all the copies I would need for the four binders. Then I laminated the ones that I needed to. If you don’t have a laminator I recommend you buy one, it is worth the investment of $20-30. Last, I three-hole punched everything and put them in the correct binders.

Binder #1 – Is my household vital information. This binder has a section for all five members of my house. Each person has a personal information sheet, basic medical information, and a medication information sheet. For the three of us over 16 years of age we each have a wallets contents sheet. The two younger kids also have a school information, medicine checklist (laminated two-sided), and a usual day in our home sheet. After all those tabs I have a cars tab and a car maintenance sheet for each of our cars. Next is our home inventory, home maintenance, dvd inventory, book inventory, and pet info tabs and sheet.

Binder #2 – Is my everyday binder that has everything an outsider or my husband would need to run my household if I was not around. This binder has the following sections in it: calendar, cleaning, menu planning, to do, contacts, and holidays/traditions. Most of these pages are laminated. I laminated pages like Our House: Week at a Glance, My weekly cleaning routine, cleaning checklists, 3 laminated monthly calendars for meal planning, weekly meal plan, pantry inventory, freezer inventory, daily action planner, weekly action planner, and my daily docket.

Binder #3 – Is my financial binder that has our budget, and account information. I have all our utilities information in one place. I also keep our current bills in the back, along with any coupon books for payments.

Binder #4 – Is all for my father-in-law and my sanity. After his wife died we needed to keep this information in a place that we knew where it was. This book has his personal information, medical information, and his finance information.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this subject! Let me know!

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Shannon

Quiet week

Last week was a very quite week……….. school wise!

Two of us in the house have come down with a sinus infection.

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This is what we feel like.  I have a Netty Pot but just can’t bring myself to use it. I also have essential oils and need to break them out and start using them.

If you are new to oils or have trouble figuring out what to use for what this is a great site, Essential Everything.

I use DoTerra Oils and love them!

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Last week ended on us busting out the legos and doing some math and then having a creative jam on the living room rug.

This week looks like this for us:

Language Arts: Writing a Research Paper, Outlines, Prefixes, and Roots

Math: Adding Mixed Numbers, Subtracting Mixed Numbers, and Multiplying Fractions

Science: Fungi Kingdom, Protist Kingdom, Prokarayotes, and Taxonomy

Social Studies: Michigan Florida, John Brown & States’ Rights & Secession, Lincoln Elected, Fort Sumter, War Begins, Robert E. Lee & Confederacy

Reading: Finish Celia, A Slave and start Will at the Battle of Gettysburg

Spanish: Continue learning about people and greetings

We need to work a bit more to get caught up to where we need to be before the extra week off.

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Lastly, I spent an hour Friday chalking this into creation! We have a split foyer and when you walk in if you look down the steps, this is what you see. I love it, I even hair sprayed it to keep it safe.

Peace, Love, and Cupcakes!

Shannon

But baby it’s cold outside

 

 

 

I really can’t stay. But baby it’s cold outside. I’ve got to go way. Whoa, but it’s cold outside. This evening has been, In hopin that you’d drop in, So very nice. I’ll hold your hands, they’re just like ice

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oh cos it’s…  cold outside.

It is freezing outside! Absolutely FREEZING! Heck even my chickens want nothing to do with coming out of the run or the coop.

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Fresh Eggs? If we can get to them in the 20 minutes it takes them to freeze solid and start to crack.

I admit that I pushed Humpty Dumpty, I let the dogs out, and I am the fool always praying for a blizzard. But I like my cold in the positive numbers and more in the 20s. If it has to be this cold I like snow on the ground. I like a nice warm fire, but we have no fireplace and sitting out in these temps around the fire pit is not an option.

Yesterday we baked in an effort to help keep the house warm.  And boy did we bake!

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Love the smell of chocolate baking in the morning!

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Some Apple Pie Cupcakes and some chocolate hazelnut cupcakes.

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Some cupcakes for a customer, his company packages and distributes the hazelnut spread that I use.

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Made my new Valentine’s Day cupcake for kids. It is called a warm fuzzy and it has bubblegum flavored icing and white chocolate.

We even made a natural yeast starter for part of science and math. He also helped me convert a bunch of recipes and learned that 8oz doesn’t always mean a cup!

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B-man: is yeast a living thing?
Me: Yes, sir!
B-man: I will look it up to see what classification it is in……. it is a fungi! We eat fungi!!!
Me: Afraid so
B-man: Fungi tastes good!!!! We shall call the starter Francis Bobbio
Me: Wonderful

Here is how you start the Natural Yeast Starter: (The numbers are the days)

  1. 5oz organic whole-wheat flour & 5oz water; stir together and ferment overnight at room temp.
  2. 5oz starter from day one, 5oz organic whole-wheat flour, and 5oz water; discard 5oz of the starter add remaining 5oz of starter to the flour and water and mix to incorporate. Ferment overnight at room temp.

I will give you the rest of the instructions tomorrow for day three!

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I found some interesting learning material since most of the nation is stuck in this cold weather pattern.

NOAA has this webpage about changing seasons

KidsHealth has this one on Cold, Ice, and Snow Safety

CalTech has this webpage on a Guide to Snowflakes

USGS has put out this on the Water Cycle

NOAA has a site called SciJinks and has this on Why do we have Seasons?

We found this PDF on how to become a Weather Wizard

NOAA puts out this Winter Storms pdf

NASA has Climate Kids and has good links too

Frozen snowflake patterns

Lego snowflakes

Make a snowflake

If you are suffering through this frigid cold weather might as well make it a hands on learning experience.

Found this quote and this is where I leave you today:

If snowflakes were kisses, I would send you a blizzard!

 

Peace, Love, and Cupcakes!

Shannon

 

2015

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2014 is gone and while it was a year of firsts, I am looking forward to 2015. I always say don’t walk backwards and don’t do the Cha-Cha in life. I may skip and I may walk fast but I will enjoy this year and all it has to bring.

Several blogs I follow, have been asking about your word for the year.  I have never had a word for the upcoming year, but thought I might just give it ago. The word I chose is “Brave“. Yep, like the song!

Everybody’s been there, everybody’s been stared down
By the enemy
Fallen for the fear and done some disappearing
Bow down to the mighty
Don’t run, stop holding your tongue
Maybe there’s a way out of the cage where you live
Maybe one of these days you can let the light in
Show me how big your brave is

I even found a book on Amazon to help me out

Do One Thing Every Day That Scares You (Journal)

I plan on keeping you informed on the progress I make in the journal and my progress to be Brave everyday of my life this year.

Eleanor Roosevelt said “Do one thing that scare you”.

Last year we had a phrase that we lived by “As for me and my house, we will serve the lord”.  We make a chalkboard of this and reminded ourselves of how we were trying to live life.

This year we  are turning to Dr. Who for our phrase to live by this year.

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This goes with our “Brave” theme.

What will be your?

Peace, Love, and Pies (no longer cupcakes)

Shannon

Smiley360

I belong to Smiley360! My first mission was NesCafe with Coffeemate I was going to receive the following in the mail …..

  • One canister of NESCAFÉ® with Coffee-mate® – choice of flavor (French Vanilla, Hazelnut and Sweet & Creamy Original)
    • Three VIP coupons
    • Link to a $0.75 digital coupon

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My box finally came!

I got my Smiley360 Nescafe Hazelnut creamer pack today! Super excited to have my coffee in the morning!

I was super excited to get this and told my husband about this. Then I read the ingredients and my heart sank, coconut oil. I am highly allergic and couldn’t try this new product! My husband said he would try it and tell me what he thought. He said the flavor was great, he had to add a bit more the bottle suggested. Later in the day he said he felt as though the coffee was wearing off, compared to his normal cup of coffee. He said he would drink it again on the weekend or a day off work. My oldest son took one to work and loves it!

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Creamy coffee made easy!

Peace, Love, & Cupcakes

Shannon

O’Christmas Tree

We have Always done a traditional Christmas tree.  ALWAYS!

2008 tree

2008, our artificial tree.

2009 tree

2009, our same tree.

2010 tree

2010, our first real tree.

2012 tree

2012, another real tree.

The last few years though our trees are not lasting and the are making a horrible mess. I am also highly allergic to them but the family wanted a real tree and I gave it a shot.

Last year I was miserable for a month and every time I touched the tree I broke out in hives. This year we gave the tree thing some heavy thought. We didn’t want to go with a real one and put me through misery. Buying a nice artificial one would cost a couple hundred dollars and money is tight.

What to do what to do?!?

I asked the kids if we HAD to have a tree. The 22-year-old could care less. The Monster Child (11 years old) told me “mom, it is not about the tree”. The one that threw the fit was the 16-year-old Diva Child. She said it would not be Christmas without a tree. I think she is stuck on the materialistic side of this.

We need a tree, but not spend a fortune and make me sick. Our answer…………….. Lowes and Pinterest.

I searched Pinterest and came up with a few idea for nontraditional trees. We narrowed it down to these.

Light Tree

Wall Tree

Tomato Tree

Alternative Tree

We settled on a design (the last one) and went to Lowes to shop.

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Everything we needed to make our tree was in this cart. We decided not to do the bottom like he did and had to come up with an alternative. That took up almost an hour at Lowes. Finally we settled on landscaping tubing and sand.

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First we had to cut the tubing to the right size base we wanted. Monster Child helped with the math.

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Next came the sand, did you know that at Lowes the bagged sand is half off? Yep! We filled the tube with sand and moved it around so that it was even.

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That left us with ugliness. How was I suppose to make this pretty?

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A nice roll of gold mesh will do the trick.

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We wrapped it and put our tree skirt under it, to make it feel like a tree according to the kids.

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Next we had to figure out the center of the circle. Once we did this we screwed in a plant hanger hook. From this we hung a small embroidery hoop.

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Next we screwed in 16 little hooks to string the lights.

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Then we started stringing the lights, started at the back. We went up through the hoop and back down across to the next small hook and back up to the hoop. It took 12 strand of lights to do this all the way around and another trip to Lowes. I recommend using the smaller strands as you don’t have to try to pull a large strand through the hoop.

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This is the end of the light part. I know there are two different colors of lights but a few years ago the stopped making the lights in pure white and went to a dim yellowish light. Deal with it.

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Our tree topper has been a bow for a few years and it worked nicely to cover the hoop at the top. It lights up too.

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I felt the tree wasn’t done and went and bought garland.

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I strung the garland in between the light strands. I like the finished look.

Only thing is that we can’t hang ornaments per say from the tree. I have a  Rubbermaid full of pretty ornaments. What to do?

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I made a wreath!

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I couldn’t get the ribbon to work, so I cheated on the bow and hot glued it together.

Peace, Love, & Cupcakes

Shannon

 

 

Break is over

We took a break for Thanksgiving, yes we took the whole week off.  Today we started back with fractions, commas, pre civil war, more chemistry, and Pocahontas.

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I have a small baking business I do for family and friends out of my house.  I needed that week to get out all of my pies I had promised to people. It took me a whole day to prep, make, and bake 9 pies.

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Did you know that you need two different types of pie dough? One for the top and one for the bottom!

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This is a mealy pie crust bottom. You need a pie crust bottom that absorbs the juices of a fruit pie so you don’t get a pie with a soggy bottom.

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Your top crust needs to be more flaky.

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That way you get a pie that is perfectly balanced.

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Pumpkin pies are a bit different but I still use a mealy bottom crust to avoid soggy bottom. I like that phrase………. “soggy bottom”.

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I used fresh eggs from our chickens for the pie and it was amazing!

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We went to my mom’ house for dinner, she has a much bigger house to fit all 8 of us.

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We had ham, not turkey. My husband has a gallbladder issue and turkey triggers it.  Yes, that was my plate and the deviled eggs were mine too.

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We played Monopoly Star wars edition. It was good money counting practice for Monster Child.

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I was Princess Leia and spent 90% of the game in jail. But that didn’t stop me from winning the game.

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The game ended over a debate on if the gourds were real or not. I finished that debate when I put my thumb through the bottom of one. It was real! We took them home and fed them to the chickens. That was their Thanksgiving Day feast.

Peace, Love, & Cupcakes

Shannon