Friday, July 25, 2008

What's working for me...

So now that I have 3 kiddos I am doing everything I can to simplify life and keep things going smoothly. Parenting 3 kids, homeschooling a 9 year old who's first day of school EVER was a year and a half ago, helping run RLC.... well let's just say I need to cut corners when I can. So I am always thinking about what will make our lives run more efficiently. So I just thought I would share a few things that are working for us right now.

This is our new schedule. I found that remembering what 3 different kids and 2 adults should be doing at any given moment was more than my poor little brain could handle. This schedule was made in word. It is just a guideline and hardly ever gets followed to a T but it really helps.

I can take one glance at it and get a general idea of what we should be doing. YAY for that! Any time the schedule changes I can just go in a make a few changes. Then we just print out new ones. I have them posted all over the house so we can see them whenever we need to check something.

On the tutoring side this handy piece of software is wonderful. It covers grades 1-5 in all subjects... math, reading, spelling, phonics, social studies, etc.. Kaitlyn and Zoe have been using the program every day. It has all kinds of interactive exercises. They think it's fun. I think it's AWESOME! ;0)
Here is the girls work station. That is my old lap top. The screen went out on it. So for Kaitlyn's birthday we bought a nice monitor to hook up to it and it works fine for their school stuff. NICE!
Love these bags. My buddy Ilene gave me this hint. My family loves steamed veggies but momma hates cooking them and washing the dishes involved. So just stick your fresh or frozen veggies in this handy bag then stick it in the microwave. TA DA!!! Yummy veggies and no mess. Ahhhhhhhh..... nice. Yes, I know it's not the best solution to stick my veggies in plastic and zap it but work with me here. It's better than no veggies.
This idea I got from my mom in law. I got SOOOOOO sick and tired of dealing with the constant mess in my kids drawers. I also got tired of the discussions about what matched and didn't match. UGHHHH!!
SOOOOOO now when I put laundry away it is put away by outfit in bags like this. Each bag is an outfit down to the undies. I also do swim suits and pajamas that way. NO MORE ISSUE! The girls have all their bags and they can choose whatever they want and it's ALWAYS cute. This also makes packing for trips a snap. I say, "Girls, go grab 7 bags with clothes, 4 with pajamas and 2 with swimsuits." DONE! Ohhhhh yeah.

This is our new little friend. We have named her "Rosie" after the robot maid on "The Jetsons." This is our roomba. One of the things that was driving me nuts and taking up a lot of time was sweeping and vacuuming. NO MORE! Rosie does all that for me now. Just push go and she scoots all around cleaning my floors. LOVING IT! I use her twice a day most days. She can go on my hardwoods, rugs and tile without help. She does my whole downstairs. She doesn't get sticky stuff that is really ground in but gets almost all the crumbs. I just go with a little wet paper towel for any stuck on yogurt or such. They have one that will mop and scrub tile and hardwood.... oooohhhhhh.... maybe from Santa???

The other thing that was driving me crazy was dishes. I have resisted paper stuff cause of the cost and trash but I have given in. We are doing paper everything right now. It saves me about an hour a day of rinsing, washing and putting up. We went to Costco and stocked up. I am LOVING this. I don't know how long we will do this but for now it is helping big time.

The other thing that was driving me nuts was that Kaitlyn could not serve herself well with the way we were set up. So we cleaned out a lower cabinet and put a baby lock that Kaiya can't manage easily. Now Kaitlyn and Zoe can easily get lots of things for themselves. We also have a stool in the kitchen that helps Kaitlyn be able to reach the microwave and sink to wash hands and dishes or get water.

So anyway... there are a few things that are working for us. What's working for you? If you have a great idea you want to share with us other mommas why not post about it?? You can link here. Can't wait to hear your ideas for how to make this momma thing work.

:0) Angel


Brandi said...

oh you crack me up! Guess what. . 5minutesformom does this as a meme every week. It's called Works for Me Wednesday. . .

So. . do your clothes get wrinkled? And. .do you reuse the bag? . .oh yes, love the roomba. . ours doesn't work any more, but it was great while it lasted!

Love you,

Darlene said...

OH, I LOVE your outfit by the bag idea. SO perfect. I am totally stealing that. Ya know... I bet it helps your hubby pick out cute outfits for the kids all the time, right? Perk.
What works for me??
Oh dear. With an 8 month old and a 3 year old, I will really have to reflect on whether or not I do ANYTHING that works. hahaha

Amy said...

I love the zip lock baggie idea- we do that for vacations in the suitcase but never thought of it at home! ♥Amy

Anonymous said...

Wow, so many cute pictures. I always love looking at them! You have so many great organization ideas. When I have kids I will be stealing some of those :D

Greta Jo said...

What great ideas. Thanks for the tips. I love visiting your blog.

Billie said...

wow.. you are making me feel so much better...with 3 kiddos i'm constantly trying think of ways to hold it together. from the look of my house right now, those ways are not working. i always have to choose, fun or house. it is HARD to keep up with being a mom, being a blogger, keeping a decent house and ministry.

i love the bag idea...i may think of doing that! i don't know...i have too many tops for each pair of shorts! maybe that is a sign that i don't need so many tops!

i have to get on the ball with schedules. i have them but have absolutely NO self discipline in following them! i stay up way too late and don't want to get out of bed! speaking of I will go to bed!


Billie said...

oh i forgot to mention...i am so wanting to try that roomba! we have all hardwood floors...i never bought one because i didn't think they would actually work. holy cow...i don't care if i'm adopting or not...i think i need to make an emergency purchase!

Lynn said...

Hey Angel, Love all your fun mommy ideas! You are doing a great job with 3

Anonymous said...

hey i am from Malta (a tiny island in the south of Europe) i found this on our local newspaper and thought that it might interest u:

HoustonMamaJenn said...

This is so funny because I have always had a schedule for the kids but I've decided that I work really well if I have a Schedule for Me too so Ryan is going to help me make one on Excel. So it sounds like you premake your meals and then thaw them?

My kids read before bed also!!

I have never seen the bag idea...very groovy. I made days of the week flannel covers (one for each day of the week). The kids put these over their clothes every Saturday to plan out their week. Very similar (I got the idea on It makes getting dressed in the morning a snap.

I will have to show this to Ryan!

The Wright Family said...

I love the ziploc bags. i have a 14 yr.old daughter and 1 yr old son. this would be great as he gets older for him!!
I want a Roomba now!!!

I posted my kitchen organizing!!!!
Thanks for having this!! I love reading other people's ideas!

Jennifer W.

Sarah said...

The bagged clothes idea is great! My boys don't care a bit about what they wear and I rarely have time anymore to match outfits. I've been pairing them in their drawers when I fold clothes but everything gets to be a miss and all mixed up again within a few days.

We went through a few years of all paper products when the boys were toddlers (I promise to someday buy an acre of rainforest to make up for it!). My oldest went to visit a relative and when she handed him a glass plate, he promised her over and over again that he wouldn't break it. He thought you only got to eat on glass plates at fancy, adult restaurants. It took me close to a year after we switched back to get them to stop throwing away our silverware. :)

Thanks for sharing!

Ellie said...


so many great ideas! Thanks :) I think you should do a before and after challenge . . . . :) I have been organizing since I read your post, now if I could figure out the spreadsheets I might type our schedule heehee, my kids can teach me I guess!



Recovering Noah said...

Amy B. emailed me and told me I had to check out your blog post about getting organized. I think my lack of organization skills are legendary.
I am definitely going to do the outfit in the bags things. It'll also help us weed out their closets. And I'm going to check out the roomba ASAP. Most days, I could literally just give the kids a spoon and tell them to eat off the floor. Of course, I don't! But that tells you the state of the floors. :-(

Kristen said...

My friends and I started a mommy blog called "mama manifesto" with shortcuts for moms. I am LOVING the outfit in ziplocks idea! My husband can't match an outfit any better than my three-year-old can. This might just be the solution!

I am having roomba envy . . .