January 27, 2015

Daily Schedule of a SAHM & Homeschooler

Daily-Schedule-2015

A new start with homeschooling means I had to come up with a new schedule. The great thing about homeschooling is that there is flexibility in our days so this schedule is not strict by any means. It just gives me a guideline of how our day(s) will go.

This is for Monday through Friday.

6am: Wake up, Quiet time, Get ready for the day

8am: Wake up Girls, Breakfast

8:30am: Get girls dressed for the day

9:30am: Appointments and/or Errands  (We have speech therapy twice a week and I have bible study once a week)

11:30am: Lunch, Free time

1pm: School time

2pm: Snack time and free play for the girls, Chores, blogging, work for me. If I need to run other errands like go to the grocery store, We do it then.

4:30pm: JMac home from work, Start Dinner

5:30pm: Dinner

6:15pm: Free time (Sometimes we'll watch a show while the girls play or we'll play a board game with the girls)

7:30pm: Girls' bath time/getting ready for bed.

8pm: Story time or a show for the Girls.

8:30pm: Bed time for the Girls, relax time for Mommy & Daddy

11pm: Bed time for Mommy & Daddy.

With the exception of our standing appointments, our schedule is pretty flexible. The good thing about homeschooling is that we can do it on the go or in the evenings so if something comes up, we just adjust. Having this laid out though, helps me stay on task and keeps me from losing my sanity. Do you have a schedule for your days or do you fly by the seat of your pants (like I used to do)? :)

January 26, 2015

The Return of Couponing 101

Happy Monday!

How many of you made a New Year's resolution to save money this year? I bet most of you nodded in agreement, huh?

If you want to learn how to save money with couponing, the not so extreme kind of couponing, then you've come to the right place!

When I revamped my blog, I accidentally left out the Couponing tab in my menu (so I'm bringing it back! You can find the link by clicking on the Couponing 101 picture below or over to the right in my sidebar under 'Popular Posts'

Couponing-101-Sidebar

In the days/weeks to come, I'll be tweaking some of the posts. If you have any questions that aren't covered in the posts already published, please comment here or shoot me an email and I'll be sure to cover them in future posts!

January 25, 2015

Weekly Meal Planning 2015 + Week 4

I've been debating for a while now to do Whole30. The thought of it is soooo intimidating for me because I love my sugary beverages and I have texture issues with a lot of fruits and veggies.

However, changing our way of eating has been on my mind A LOT lately so I think it's time to do something about it. I'd like to start this new eating plan the first of next month. That gives me another week to plan.

With that said, here's (hopefully) our last meal plan before taking the plunge to healthier eating.

2015-Week-4-Meal-Plan

Recipes

January 23, 2015

Five on Friday + Random Thoughts

I can't believe it's Friday already!

ONE
JMac goes back to work on Monday! He's ready but not ready to go back. I think he's just ready to get away from the three crazy girls he lives with. Ha! His foot is healing well. He got a walking cast this week but still isn't allowed to walk on it for another two weeks.

TWO
For some reason, getting blog posts up at the end of the week is hard for me. I usually have posts planned but getting them done during the week? Practically impossible. It doesn't help that they usually require taking pictures which in turn means at least one room or at least corner of my house needs to be clean and tidy.

THREE
Something happened to my neck and upper back on Wednesday morning. I don't know what caused it but sometime during the night I went to roll over and something popped in my neck and my muscles tightened up from my neck down to my shoulder blades. It was so painful and I could not get comfortable. I managed to get up and get Tensley to speech and run a couple errands. When I got home, I got on the couch with the heating pad and a massager and didn't get up for the rest of the night. Yesterday the pain was gone but I was still very stiff/sore in my upper back.

FOUR
I have the decorating/organizing bug right now. Bad timing seeing that we're in a no spend month. The good thing is, I'm getting a pretty good game plan together for what I want to do in the coming months.

FIVE
These girls of mine are changing so much lately. Despite the trials of age 3 (and there are SO many) they really are fun to watch and the conversations are amazing and hysterical.

012215-Hugging-Sisters012215-Posing012215-Seesters

January 22, 2015

Thoughts on a Thursday

Master Bedroom Décor
I have been working on a mood board for our Master Bedroom for a couple weeks. I actually had scheduled a post for it today but I'm having this problem of not being able to find what I have pictured in my head. This has been a recurring and very frustrating issue with trying to decorate this house.

Schedule Schmedule
I'm so glad it's Thursday. No appointments or anywhere I have to go. Our new schedule? It doesn't look like a lot on paper but I feel like I'm going non-stop from the time my feet hit the floor until the time I lay my head down to sleep. Of course it's only week one (again) so I'm still adjusting. I foresee some tweaking of the schedule in our future.

Whole30
I've been going back and forth on doing Whole30. I just don't know if I have the will power to stick with it. Right now, as I type this, I'm all in (insert teeth showing smiley face). I've been looking on Pinterest for recipes and I'm pretty excited about some that I've found that make this whole30 experience doable. My biggest concern is giving up my beverages. I'm a real Coke, southern sweet tea and coffee with all the cream and sugar kind of girl. Gimme all the coffee! Also, I HATE water. Water to me is gross (and don't tell me it doesn't have a taste because it does). When I do drink water, I add the Crystal Light squirty stuff. See my problem here? Can we say addicted to sugary drinks? Reason #395 why I need to do Whole30.

Crazy Weather
We break 2 temperature records here in Oklahoma this week. On Wednesday, we broke a 102 year record with a high of 77 degrees and yesterday we broke a 122 year record with a high of 79. I'm kicking myself for not making our master closet bigger….because there is no packing away your "out of season" clothes because in this region, there's no such thing as "out of season"! I have totally enjoyed the warmer weather though. It's been a nice break to get outside and soak up as much Vitamin D as I can in the dead of winter.

January 20, 2015

Preschool Homeschool Take 2

Back-to-Homeschool

Remember this post back in September? Well, we had a good run until my grandma passed away in October and then I just couldn't get caught up enough to prepare lesson plans. Then Thanksgiving, JMac's surgery and Christmas came and there seemed to be no hope to get back.

We didn't put off learning completely though. I am always looking for opportunities to teach just in our every day routine. That's the good thing about homeschooling, you don't have to have a structured setting to teach

Lately, the girls have been voicing their desire to have school again and since they seem to be struggling a little with their abc's and numbers, I decided now was the time to get back to homeschooling.

So, we started back this week with numbers and counting. The girls for some reason skip the same numbers every time we count…"one, two, fwee, six, seben, nine, ten!" I decided to go back to basics and keep it simple this go round.

This week we are using these counting bears and this printable from Confessions of a Homeschooler. Since the counting bears set we have wasn't enough bears (the girls were fighting over who could fill their worksheets first…before they ran out of bears), I ordered another set and then more of the bears.

They will also have number themed coloring sheets, counting themed board games and books about numbers.

Once we get the numbers down, we will go back to the alphabet.

So that's it. We are back to homeschooling….for now.

 

*Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.

January 19, 2015

Cheesy Tuna Casserole

Cheesy-Tuna-Casserole

I grew up with tuna casserole and then when I started making it as an adult, it never really tasted as good as I remembered it. A while back I decided to see if I could amp up my tuna casserole recipe.

Cheese.

It was cheese.

Cheese was what it needed.

Not-So-Skinny-Cheesy-Tuna-C

January 18, 2015

Meal Planning 2015 | Week 3

Despite our no spend month, I had to make a big grocery trip for the last half of the month. If you saw my Wednesday Random post, you know we were down to pretty much nothing. I was good with this grocery trip though and only bought exactly what we needed. No extras.

I still did my best to plan this week's meals using items still left in my pantry so we still saved more than usual.

Here's this week's menu:

2015-Week-3-Meal-Plan

Recipes

January 15, 2015

Piano Gallery Wall

Just Wait til You have Kids | Piano Gallery Wall using Hymns

There is a wall in our formal living that used to be the TV/media wall before our rebuild. When we moved in, I wasn't sure what I was going to do on this wall and then one day, JMac's grandmother told us she wanted to give us her piano.

Just Wait til You have Kids | Piano Gallery Wall-Before

Once we got the piano, I knew I wanted something music related on the wall and then I thought it would be neat to have a gallery wall using old pictures of family members.

We had a lot of picture frames in storage so I went digging and found all the black frames I could find. Once I brought them in and got the frames cleaned up, I started laying them out in the floor in front of the wall where I wanted to hang them. I tried a couple times before I came up with the perfect layout.

Since I already had the It is Well piece that I had picked up at Hobby Lobby, I decided to incorporate some other hymns into the layout so I designed 3 prints. After going through tons and tons of pictures and thinking about the hymn lyrics I chose,  I decided that I wanted a few pictures of the girls on this wall along with the old family photos.

I love how the wall turned out!

Just Wait til You have Kids | Piano Gallery Wall

Just Wait til You have Kids | Piano Gallery Wall using Hymns

Just Wait til You have Kids | Piano Gallery Wall Close Up

Just Wait til You have Kids | Piano Gallery Wall - This is my story...

January 14, 2015

Wednesday Randoms | Vol. 1

I kind of miss doing weekly randoms so I'm going to start back up. It probably won't be weekly though. It will be more like Random Wednesday Randoms. Ha!

  • I saw this  in my Instagram feed and it totally applies to me right now. Actually it's been applicable for quite a while.

photo 2 (11)

 

  • I finally moved the boxes of Christmas decorations to our "holiday closet". Sounds so fancy, huh? It's actually just a closet out in our garage. I'm so glad we have it so I don't have to depend on JMac to get it down for me or lug it down myself. I went ahead and organized it how I want it to.
photo 3 (57)

 

  • No spend January is going pretty good. I cheated a little when my car had a mind of it's own and pulled into Target on Monday. No worries though, it was a cheap trip and within our normal budget. Also, this is what the refrigerator of a no spend family looks like. The rest of the month is going to be interesting…..
photo 4 (32)

 

  • For months, I've been looking for a rug for our sitting area next to our formal dining room and when I saw this rug at Hobby Lobby I got excited! The colors in it are PERFECT! Too bad it's not a 5'x8' area rug. If you've seen an actual area rug with these colors, please let me know where!

photo 1 (84)

 

  • We are almost 4 weeks into JMac's recovery and have 2 more to go. However, until he's allowed to walk on his foot, he can't go back to work. He had surgery on his right foot which means he can't drive and I AM NOT dragging my children out of bed at 6am to take him to work so he may be working from home.

 

  • With JMac being home we've been getting our money's worth out of Netflix. I actually sat down to watch Sherlock with him and I'm hooked! If you're looking for something to watch, this series is one to watch! I must warn you though, each episode is like 2 hours long.

January 13, 2015

Potty Training Update #3

So…….

Remember back in August when I announced that we were starting to Potty Train?

And then I posted this update back in November?

Well here I am with another update. Unfortunately, it's not a "We are Potty Trained!" update.

So just a little back story…..most of you know that JMac had surgery the week before Christmas. Then the week of Christmas, Tillie got sick and then the day after Christmas, I got sick. Then in true Tensley fashion (and by that I mean she has the. worst. timing), the Saturday after Christmas, she insisted demanded that she wear big girl panties. And of course Tillie has to do everything that sissy does.

So here we are, JMac is unable to walk, Tillie is sick, I'm sick (very sick) and taking care of EVERYONE and now I'm, once again, potty training. The last thing I wanted to do right then (or even now) was potty train. To me, potty training has been the worst form of parenting torture….like equivalent to waterboarding. Ok, that might be a little dramatic, but still. Torture.

We haven't turned back this time. Well, not all they way. After washing 24 pairs of panties every other day for a week, I instituted a 2 pair a day rule. They are allowed one accident and if they have a second accident, they go to pull-ups for the rest of the day. So one step forward and a half step back?

They are slowly starting to come around. We had one particularly bad day (after a very good day) and so I did what any mom at the end of her rope would do. I consulted Dr. Google. After a little bit of research (and cursing those who have had success within days and not months) I'm pretty sure the girls have what is called Potty Training Resistance. So I've backed off a little but am still encouraging them as much as possible but without making a huge deal of it. We are all more relaxed now and we are seeing more initiative from the girls but we're still not quite there.

Potty Training Update #3

Don't even get me started on poo. Having to clean that up is just about to make me ok with the idea of them wearing diapers….or depends to college.

To be continued………………………………………………………………………………

January 11, 2015

Meal Planning 2015 | Week 2

Week 2 of our no spend month and and my grocery list is very short again this week since I'm planning meals based on what we have. It's looking like I'll have a longer grocery list next week though as we weren't really stocked up on meat and we don't have much to go the meatless meal route.

2015-Week-2-Meal-Plan

The Fiesta Turkey Tortilla Soup and Mongolian Beef that I had on last week's menu were both delicious! The girls cleaned their plates of the Mongolian Beef. They even ate the broccoli! I'll be adding both to our regular rotation.

Recipes

January 9, 2015

Five on Friday | Small Updates

I just thought I'd give a quick update on how we are doing around here.

Hello Antibiotics!
At the beginning of the week, I finally got some antibiotics for whatever respiratory crap I had. I'm glad to say my energy is back! The coughing is hanging around but it's not near as bad as it was.

JMac's Recovery
He's doing well but going stir crazy. He can't drive and he hates walking around on crutches so the only time he's really left the house (because he can't drive) is for his post-op appointments. While we are all driving each other a little crazy it's been nice to have him home to help keep the girls busy when I really need to get something done. I'm also so ready for him to get better because I hate doing some of the things he does like haul our trash cans to the curb (we have a long driveway) in the freezing rain. Seriously y'all. That was NO fun. I will never take advantage of the things he does ever again.

BRRRRRR!
I know just about everyone else is freezing with these cold temps. We seem to have a heat distribution issue in our house though because our bedroom is getting down to 64 degrees at times! For reference, we have our thermostat set on 70-71 degrees. If I could, I would skip the rest of Winter, leap over Spring (for obvious reasons if you've been a loyal reader) and sprint straight to Summer.

Bye Bye Christmas!
Now that I'm feeling better I decided to start taking down Christmas décor. I started yesterday with the tree in the girls' playroom. They were a little sad at first but when I told them I was going to put their new Frozen tent in it's place, they were ok with it. One tree down, two to go. Maybe I'll finish getting it all packed up this weekend.

Back to Normal
We start back on our normal schedule next week. I'm kind of looking forward to it but at the same time I've been kinda spoiled with not having to do anything or be anywhere if I don't want to. I haven't even wanted to leave the house! I'm such a homebody now. I know the girls will be more than happy to get out of the house though.

Linking up for Five on Friday!

January 8, 2015

Monthly Goal Setting

January-Goals

Instead of making yearly goals this year, I was inspired by Laura from EveryDayJoys to set goals each month. Honestly, I'm so ADD that I should probably set weekly goals but I'm going try out monthly goals then maybe I can break them down into weekly goals.

So without further adieu, here are my January goals:

  • Take down Christmas decorations
  • No Spend Month
  • Organize recipes
  • Eat healthier
  • Exercise at least twice a week
  • Plan at least one daily (weekdays) activity for the girls
  • Finish one of the many books I've started

If I hadn't gotten sick the day after Christmas, the décor would be down and packed away right now. I'm on the mend and am about 90% better so it's coming down soon!

We went a little spending crazy last month so we declared a no spend month for January to recoup some of the money we spent. Not to mention we have medical bills coming in from JMac's surgery.

I have a ton of loose recipes that need to be contained and organized into one location. I'm thinking I'll type them all up and put them in a binder or something.

Eating healthier and exercising are big on my list for this month. The eating part is going to be (and has been so far) a bit challenging since we are in a no spend month. Portion control is the key to this goal this month. My exercise goal shouldn't be too hard. We have a treadmill in our garage that I've already used twice (while I was sick, I might add!)

TnT have been going a little stir crazy since Christmas. I don't blame them since we have barely left the house in the past 3 weeks. So in order to try to contain some of the chaos they tend to create, I am trying to plan a little activity each day whether it be making treats or doing a craft.

Last year my goal was to read 5 books. I think I came close with 4.5 books. Reading is a luxury around here with said chaos mentioned above. In addition to those 4.5 books, I also started others. That could possibly be the reason I didn't make my goal. LOL! Anyway, I want to finish that 5th book this month.

I think these goals are pretty doable, don't you think? Have you set any goals for this year? Month? Week?

January 7, 2015

My 2015 One Little Word

A lot has happened in the past 4 years….big things…..sad things. So. Much. Loss. Things that have affected me greatly. Things that I've had trouble getting past. Things that apparently I'm still grieving.

All of these things have accumulated and have turned me into a Negative Nancy.

I am aware of it (and have been for quite some time) and I don't like it. Starting this year, I want to change that so my One Little Word this year is:

One-Little-Word---joy

I've had this word chosen for a while now but wasn't clear on why I couldn't get it out of my head. It wasn't until very recently that I had my aha moment.

In researching the difference between happiness and joy, I came across this definition of spiritual joy that really struck me…

"Joy is the settled assurance that God is in control of all the details of my life, the quiet confidence that ultimately everything is going to be alright, and the determined choice to praise God in every situation."

Wow. These are things I know and recite to myself (and sometimes to others) frequently. The question is, do I really believe this. The answer is a resounding "YES!"  The problem is, it's more head belief than heart belief.

I have joy. I feel joy. Those that know me (or think they know me) may not believe it because they can't see it past all the negativity that often comes spewing out of me. I know I'm blessed, I know my situation(s) could be worse. NONE of that is lost on me. Trust me.

So going forward….starting here and now….I want the joy to outshine the negativity. This is not going to be easy for me and for those who are closest to me, I ask that you give me lots of grace in this area. After all,  I've been stuck in this pattern of negativity for a long time. I've allowed it to consume me and getting rid of it is going to take quite a bit of work. However, there's no way I can do it alone. There's only One who can get me through this.

I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace and confidence. In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]! For I have overcome the world. [I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you.]   -John 16:33 AMP

 

…..the JOY of the Lord is my strength.     -Nehemiah 8.10

 

But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness & self control.          -Galatians 5.22

 

So that's my One Little Word and my main goal for 2015.

January 5, 2015

Looking Back

In working on my One Little Word and 2015 Goals post(s) I thought I should first reflect back on 2014. Overall 2014 wasn't a bad year.

The first part of the year we were still living in an apartment and I was anxiously waiting for the day we could move home. We pushed and pushed our builder to finish one time but didn't move in until a month after our initial completion date.

At the end of April we finally finished the rebuild of our house and moved back home.

06 08 14_7197

Our first celebration in our new home was in July when the girls turned 3!

07 05 14_9260

In August, after we got a little more settled, and a little over a year after closing up, I finally officially re-opened my Etsy shop.

2013 Shop Banner

Five months after being back home, we finally finished decorating a room, the theatre room. I hope to have more home tour posts this year.

09 19 14_8459-7

In November, my sister and I planned and pulled off Thanksgiving by ourselves for the first time. Sadly, I have no pictures to document the occasion. I hope to get better about that this year.

December, of course was a busy month for us. You can read about that here.

So that was our 2014. We had some tough moments, but overall it was good. Looking forward to an even better 2015!

January 4, 2015

Meal Planning 2015 | Week 1

We are doing a no spend month this month so I'm making an extra effort to meal plan from what we already have on hand. I am proud to say that I only need to buy 3 ingredients for this week's meals!

Just Wait til You have Kids | 2015 Meal Planning-Week 1

Tonight's meal looks really healthy, huh? LOL! Pizza and macNcheese was a staple when I was in college.

I'm trying a couple new recipes this week…The Fiesta Turkey Soup and Mongolian Beef. I'll try to remember to post next week how they turned out.

Recipe Links:

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