Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Keeping it all together

Good morning to you all.  Actually, I didn't really want to put the "good" part in front of my morning.  I am staying up way to late and getting up way to early and I am so tired!  I should have started putting myself to bed earlier when I started doing that with the kids to get back into the school routine.  However, I am stubborn needing to unwind at night and when when Dan tells me to go to bed I don't listen....and the next morning I am mad for not listening to him.  So it is only 8:30 in the morning and I am ready for a nap.  I am really re-thinking this "not drinking coffee" thing.  I just have never liked the bitter taste of it or really the smell of it, but I think some of you with way more energy than me might have figured something out by drinking coffee!  
Ok so enough about my tired state, I wanted to share with you guys a little bit about how I stay organized.  So very many people always as me "how do you do it all?" or "how do you stay organized with 7 kids?"  So I wanted to show you guys some of my "lifesavers"
First of all, I just want to put this out there...I always always always shop with a coupon or a discount.  I HATE paying full price for anything.  In fact, I almost never will pay full price.  I will either wait until it goes on sale, google for a coupon, ask the store if they have any extra coupons, or put the item/s back.  Dan puts up loves this about me ;)  Right, Dan?  There have been many many times when we are shopping for over an hour at a store and I have my items all picked out and then I either can't find my coupon or the store doesn't have any and I will leave all my items and not get them.  It is just the way I function.  I also despise having to pay for shipping.  Like a lot.  So, I will wait for free shipping deals or google for a free shipping code.  Or I will call the company I am ordering from and ask for free shipping.  Oh, yes I will.  You would be surprised at what discounts you can get if you just ask.  I think the most important thing I have learned that everything always goes on sale.  I just have to be patient for the sales.  In fact, I did some shopping a little over a month ago with two of my co-workers (and friends of course) and they wanted to buy 3 of these neon ball things for $9.99 for our store at church.  We had a coupon for one and then I checked out separately to use a coupon for the 2nd one.  However, we didn't have a coupon for the 3rd one and it is still bugging me to this day! ( Brie and Danielle, we could have gotten that half off some how! )  Okay, rant over....I just wanted you all to know that I am hard core super cheap.  Do we have nice things?  Yes, we do, but they are NEVER paid for full price!  Okay, moving on. 

Alright, so I use one particular webiste lady for keeping my life organized.  Her name is Erin Conderen and she started this company which has just totally taken off!  I have used her life planner for 4 years now and I take it with me everywhere.  Everything is written in that book.  On the full month view in the planner I have our bills written down on the days they are due.  On the week view pages I have everything else.  Kids actives, school reminders, work reminders/meetings, birthdays and so on.  There is room for meal planning and other things, but I am not that organized :)  Then on Sundays, I take and open my life planner up and transfer all of the actives/appointments/reminders for that week and transfer it on to my "Oh! What a week" sheet.  This goes on the side of the fridge so the kids can see what we have or what they have to get ready for.  Ideally I could put my meals on that as well...ha,  maybe next week.  This week is pretty light because school just started, but normally the days are filled!  Those two tools help me stay organized with our schedule.  I didn't have a life planner for a couple of months over the summer and I hated every day of it.  When you find something that works stick with it!  I know this won't work for everyone, but it totally rocks my world here at the farm!  

This week we also started back up with our chore chart.  The kids are pumped...I am being serious here.  They have been asking when we are going to start this up again.  Since we moved in the house Dan and I have been mainly maintaining the household, but it's time for them to help out again so the chore chart has been hung on the wall and filled in!  This is from Erin Condren as well.  You can visit her website if you want more details and to watch a video on the different ways you can use her tools.  Oh, and just so you all know, I am just a super fan of hers....she has no idea who I am and is not paying me at all to say any of these things!  Ok, back to the chart.  I write the chores down and then fill in who has to do them each day.  They are responsible for doing the chore and filling in the circle when it is done.  At the top on the ring are the kid's reward card.  For every day that they have their chore done, they get a punch on the bottom of their reward card.  When the 10 punches are completed, they get the reward written on their card.  When I talk reward here I am talking a small reward.  They can pick something small.  Ideas were: a pack of gum, a candy bar, and extra snack one day, a playdate... etc.  Nothing fancy, nothing big.  Just something out of the ordinary that I would usually say no to.  3 kids picked a playdate, one picked a pad of paper to draw on and one picked a bottle of orange paint.  I know, my kids are so deprived, paint and paper, right?  I did offer $2 for the reward card if it was filled out as well, but the kids would rather have friends over which is totally fine with me!  (oh and side note....there is a place for meal planning on this as well...which is totally blank for our family...again.) 

 I was also having trouble keeping the kids school papers all together.  They each have a spelling list and memory lists and class lists, and on and on.  So I looked and looked and found a lady on etsy that made this spiral bound pocket folder.  It has 8 pocket folders so I have one folder for each kid.  In the front of the pocket I put  all of their school papers and in the backside of the folder  I put their activity papers.  (game schedules, sport calendars...)  The kids know if they forgot their spelling list at school or memory sheet that I have an extra copy in there for them.  It really has worked out well for our family.

So that is "how the Wilke's" do it!  Do I forget things?  You bet I do!  Are we on time for everything?  That would be a big fat NOPE.  It sure does look pretty on paper, though!  

Ok and now a few random things.  Something everyone should know.  DON"T TAKE A SELFIE AND PUT IT ON CANVAS!  There, I said it..you have all been warned!  Dan and I were able to take a vacation work trip to California in March or April, I can't remember which month now.  Anyways, Dan attended a training out there and I went along.  He spent his days in classes while I explored California. Long story short, we took a selfie on the beach at sunset one night and it looked really good on my small phone screen so I thought it would be sweet to put it on canvas.  Yeah, not so good.  Now I have this 16x20 canvas with our faces looking HUGE.... I mean Dan looks good, no doubt about that, but my head looks ginormous!  From now on, the canvases are for the kid pictures only.  

Another random side note...the bathroom is almost done.  Dan says it is WAY to girly for him...so I am going to pull in a little more light blue and a darker green, but I really really love it.  I am SO happy with the way it turned out! Just a few minor touch ups with the paint and some cleaning and it will be good to go!

Oh I almost forgot, this is how we keep the children's coats and backpacks organized.  Dan bought a super long board from Home Depot, we painted it, slapped their handprints on it, put some hooks on it and hung it on the wall.  I had grand plans of writing a Bible verse on it and "cutesying" it all up, but that didn't happen.  We eventually want to remodel our mud room which I think is next on the list for Dan (hey, he suggested it) so I am super excited to rid our live of the ugly tan smelly paneling walls in that area.  Not to mention the super smelly carpet.  But, for now, this is hanging on the paneling and keeping life just a little less messy.

And for something cute....one of our 10 cats we have at the farm right now.  Free to a good home...come one, you know you want one.  Or two.  Seriously, if you want one, let me know.  Best part...they are free.  And you all know how I love a good deal!  This is your chance to get an amazing deal https://www.erincondren.com/referral/invite/susanwilke

Here is a link to Erin Condren's website...if you buy something through me, I get a $10 credit!  Boom!  More to put towards giveaways at the farm!  :)

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