Posts Tagged ‘tips’

Special Boxes


Everyone is always so concerned about our children…

  • How do theyone on one get enough  time with you?
  • Why do they have so much responsibility?
  • Isn’t it unfair how you have to spread out your love?
  • What about the kids privacy when they have to share so much?
  • What about their personal identity?

What everyone is saying is why don’t you just have one child…like me!  Well, I think part of what’s wrong in our culture and country is that for too long we have had a lot of spoiled “only children”  running around!  I can say this, because I am a member of the club.  I am still learning how to share my toys.  Having a house full of children under 8 and homeschooling have been an awesome teacher!

Privacy is at stake in our home and we do feel like it is important for our older kiddos (say 5 and up) to have a secret place to put their special things, tucked away from the “littles” and a Momma who is quick to throw away things with intrinsic value.  So we have invented the SPECIAL BOX.

We make a big deal about their SPECIAL BOX when it’s their time to go looking for one.  We try to find old luggage that has straps or compartments inside or even something magnetic so they can tack things to their lid.  The little ones know just how special these boxes are and never bother them.  They too are looking forward to having a SPECIAL BOX one day and will not want others digging through their things.  Lee found a red piece of luggage at an Antique store a few years ago, red is his favorite color.  When it came Grady’s turn for a box…he requested a zebra one, try finding that.  With a little creativity we turned an old tool box from the 70′s into a zebra box with just a little spray paint.


It’s really no secret what’s in their box, they love showing us and their family what they deem SPECIAL, but the things inside are “hands off” unless they are showing them.  Its very interesting what they deem special, these boxes have become a window into their world that we are greatful to have.

Although Jo Anna won’t get her box for a few years, she has already requested a pink princess one!


Decluttering…One Bag At A Time!


Needless to say, when you have 7 people living in a 3 bedroom home…there will be clutter.  You can call us the Clutter Family.  I like to call myself frugal, and with that disease also comes the clutter bug.  If you have found yourself saying the following…you might have a clutter bug too!

  • Oh, I could use that for…(insert ANYTHING!)
  • I might need that one day.
  • You could make (anything) with that.
  • Oh, they are FREE, I’ll take 20!
  • I was planning on using this.
  • This would make a great gift.
  • Only 50 cents…get out of my way.
  • We could put it in the storage unit.
  • I just need to get more organized!

The truth is you can’t organize yourself out of clutter.  There is NO Way!  I have tried it!  I have just come to a point in my life that I am tired of cleaning stuff and finding room for things!  These things are material and don’t matter to me!  My children and my sanity do matter, however and I am CLEANING HOUSE!

A busy homeschooling mom of 5 little ones barley has time to take a shower, so how am I doing this you ask?  ONE TRASH BAG AT A TIME!  Each day my goal is to at least get rid of one trash bag full of needless things!  I have at most gotten rid of 12 bags, but even on the busiest day I can manage one.  Since beginning this venture I have rid our home of around 40 bags of “clutter”.  Some made it to our yard sale stash, but most went to the burning barrel.  My motto has been burn now, think later!  So far absolutely nothing has been missed………..and the real shocker…………I can keep the house clean!!!!   Getting all the laundry put away, that is another issue! 

I encourage you to the BAG A DAY challenge!  Buy a box of 80 trashbags, and don’t stop until you have used them ALL!

“I work for a King. He has put me in charge of his home. When He comes to see how I have managed His possessions and His children, I do not want to be found wanting. I want to do my best. Everything I have is on loan from Him. I have room and board and a job to do, but it is all for Him. Therefore I want to dress my best and do my best in all my work. I also want to be creative, for this is a sincere attempt to glorify Him and His beautiful creation. How I manage my home is a form of worship to Him.” –Lydia Sherman


Kitchen Tips

Mother and Children in an Interior


Mother and Children in an Interior by Bernard Pothast


  • A dampened paper towel or terrycloth brushed downward on a cob of corn will  help remove the silk.
  • For cutting corn off the cob try a shoe horn.
  • To determine whether an egg is good, immerse it in cool water, if it sinks it is fresh, if it floats, throw it away!
  • Fresh eggs are rough and chalky, old eggs are smooth and shiny.
  • To determine whether an egg is hard-boiled, spin it on it’s side. if it spins, it is hard-boiled, if it wobbles, it is raw.
  • Eggs will beat up fluffier if you let them come to room temp before beating
  • Egg shells can quickly be removed from hard-boiled eggs if you quickly rinse them in cold water first.
  • Fo a never fail, never weep meringue, add a tsp of cornstarch to the sugar before beating it.
  • Butter your knife before slicing your pie with meringue on top.
  • Butter your plastic wrap before covering your meringue pie and it will not stick!
  • No “curly” bacon for breakfast if you dip it in cold water before frying.
  • You will get more juice from a lemon if you slightly warm it in the microwave or roll it briskly between your palm and counter.
  • A sack of lumpy sugar won’t be if it is left in the refridgerator for 24 hours.


Kitchen Clean Up Hints

To clean a blender…fill it part way with water, add a drop of detergent; cover and turn it on for a few seconds, rinse and drain dry.

Scorched pan…fill the pan halfway with water and 1/4 cup of baking soda, boil untill burned portions loosen and float to the top.

Using a double boiler…add a few marbles or a canning jar lid to the bottom pot of water, when the water gets low it will rattle, so you can add more water before scorching your pan.

To remove lime deposits from tea kettles, fill with equal parts vinegar and water, bring to a boil and let it stand overnight.

To clean that stuck on food in a casserole dish, fill it with boiling water and add 2 tbsp of salt or baking soda.

Before washing fine china or crystal…put a towel in the bottom of the sink first.

To Clear a sink basin or drain…pour 1/2 cup of baking soda followed by a cup of vinegar down the drain…let the mixture foam, then add hot water.

When a drain is clogged with grease…pour a cup of salt, a cup of baking soda and follow with a kettle of boiling water down the drain.

When baking fruit pies, does your juice runneth over?  Shake salt on the spills.  They will burn to a crisp and can easily be scraped off.

Grease spatters and dried food on the stove can easily be cleaned  by sprinkling dry baking soda on the spots and rubbing them with a damp cloth.  Rinse with clear water, then dry.

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Top Ten Homeschool Moneysavers


  1. TEXTBOOKS – Buy textbooks!  you can re-use them.  For younger grades you use alot of workbooks, but even they can be re-used if you get creative. (Write your answers in a color coordinated note pad or a divided binder.)  You can even fing great used textbooks online if there are not any homeschool conventions near you.This is a great site and another is obviously , .
  2. INTERNET- The internet is a great tool for homeschooling.  Not only can you use it for reasearch and much needed encouragement from other homeschool moms, but there are thousands of free worksheets floating around out there!  Even customizable ones. , here is another and anoter .  We really like this one, it is custom tracer pages for pre-school.  All our kids learned to write their name this way!
  3. LIBRARY – Go get a free library card!  The kids love the field trips there.  We live in the country and go to a country church, but the BIG baptist church in our local town also has a free library.  There you don’t have to worry as much at the content they are seeing.
  4. CLOTHING – When you homeschool, you don’t have to stay in fasion with the latest trends (Who wants to any way – they are not very modest).  We purchase about 75% of the kids clothes at thrift stores and consinment shops.  And I am currently learning to make dresses for our little girls ( It is getting encreasingly hard to find skirts and dresses long enough.)
  5. WORKBOOKS – For Pre-k and Kindergarten we use age appropriate workbooks we buy at Sams Club.  There is no need to buy expensive cirriculum.  Just add some flashcards and tracer pages and you are good.  (We start our phonics program in Kindergarten too)  So far it’s made it thru 2 kiddos.
  6. SCHOOL SUPPLIES - We buy the whole year’s supplies when stores have the anual back to school sale.  This saves alot!  Markers in our home somehow loose lids!
  7. CHILDCARE - Childcare is replaced with Mommycare and it’s FREE!
  8. GAS – Everyone stresses about gas these days!  When you homeschool – the van prettywell stays parked!  You could schedule field trips and library around grocery  days and if your that worried about it just go out in the back yard!
  9. CO-OPS and BLOGRINGS – Be members, you will hear about more insider deals.
  10. WHO REALLY CARES when it all comes down to it!  I mean, I know we care about money, God had instructed us to be good stewards.  What I’m saying is Homeschooling will always beat the alternative!  Families are to raise and teach, they are to bring there children up in the nurture and admontion of the Lord!  And any sacrifice, any price is worth it all!





Verse of the Day
“And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.” — 1 John 5:14-15 Listen to chapter Public Domain. Powered by
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