Friday, January 27, 2017

The Scout Binder...

I am SO excited to share my new creation!'s not exactly new.  I have been using this organizational system for about 4 years, but I am now sharing this organization and selling this fantastic scout binder!

When my oldest joined cub scouts I had NO IDEA what I was supposed to keep and what I was supposed to throw away.  I had no idea what was important and what I would wish I had years later. As the years passed (keep in mind I have 4 boys) I started to get a better idea of what was important to keep...usually everything! Since I love to organize I knew I needed a way to keep everything organized for EACH of my boys.  That is where the creation of this binder came along. GUYS... This binder saves my sanity! It will keep you organized from Cubs to Boy Scouts...Bobcat to Eagle! I call it The Scout Binder

Each binder will have a custom cover page and side binding with YOUR scouts name on it! I love seeing all my boys binders lined up on my shelf. To purchase The Scout Binder click HERE. Enjoy a sneak peek inside the binder!

To see a video of how the binder works click HERE then click on the video tab on the left hand side.


Thursday, June 16, 2016

memory boxes...

Part of getting my house summer ready involves going through all the school stuff and either trashing it or saving it.  For years I had no way to really store my kids stuff. A few years ago I saw some clear hanging file folder boxes on sale at Costco and I knew I had found my answer!

Each one of my kids has their own box with their name on it.  Inside are hanging folders for each grade. Early Years, Preschool - 12th Grade.  All papers and projects from the year go into the folder.  School pictures, report cards, my favorite artwork or homework.  There is also enough room that I also can keep things like their baby book, and other items too.

I scan all these items for scrapbooking purposes and then store them in their boxes.  I try to do this each month.  It is amazing how things don't pile up anymore when you have a place to put it!

a heart a day...

Every once in a while I come across an idea and think "hey now THAT is something I can do!" I have also learned that my kids have amazing memories when it comes to traditions.  So if I start something...I better plan on doing it for the rest of time...  This idea is so easy and fun!  It is fun to see how excited they are each morning to read their new heart!

Starting February 1-Valentines Day they wake up to a new heart added to their ribbon. My husband and I divide up the kids each night and try to make sure we are switching off. It's been fun to end each day thinking about something I love about each one of my children.

I bought some chevron ribbon at Hobby Lobby and it was enough for me to make them for all 5 of my kids. No sewing involved...I literally cut 5 strips of the ribbon about 2ish feet long each.  At the top I cut circles out of white yardstick and hand printed their names.  I also stuck a bit of pink and red tulle behind the circle and then just stapled it to the ribbon. I picked up a few small command hooks from the store and used these to hang the ribbons on the outside of each of the kids bedroom doors.  Next I cut a bunch of hearts out of pink, red, and white cardstock.  I have a Fiskars cutter that has a heart stencil so I used that to mass produce enough hearts for the whole time. 14x5 (or however many kids you have).

I make a new ribbon each year so we fill out our hearts and staple them to the ribbon each night.  So fun and meaningful!

Sunday, June 12, 2016

chore charts...

I made these chore charts 3 years ago and they work great! You know it's a keeper idea when I use it multiple years in a row! 

Each year I usually do a bit of tweaking because they are all 1 year older.  I have a summer time version and a school time version.  This is a picture of our summer charts. Each kid gets their very own half sized clipboard with enough charts to last the summer.  1 paper lasts 1 week. Taped to the back of the clipboard is the cleaning chart of what I expect when they clean their bathroom and bedroom. And yes...for the "help Mom" chore I make them come up to me and say: "How can I help you today mom?" 

I have found that having a chart is extremely helpful for my kids.  Even my older kids sometimes need a reminder of what is expected each day.  In our house you don't get paid for chores.  You do your chores as part of our family to help our home stay nice and clean.  Also, no one can go play with friends (or hang out if your older than 11 yrs old lol) until after 10am and not until your chores are done.  If they dink around all morning and then their friend shows up at the door ready to play....sorry kiddo...not until your chores are done!

With 5 kids all trying to get chores done and me also trying to get my stuff done is another reason I love the charts.  I need the charts!  There is no way I can remember all of their stuff! If they say their chores are done I usually respond with: "okay, bring me your clipboard."  I run down their list of chores and ask if each thing has been done.  Lots of times there are a few things "forgotten" that need to be completed.

I have also found that most kids need structure and routines.  Summertime is the hardest because they go from the structure of school to nothing unless you provide it for them.  These chores take most my kids about an hour to complete.  That is just a drop in the bucket of a beautiful summer day!

Organization makes me happy!

Friday, November 28, 2014


My friend Mandy posted this idea and I loved it:
"My mom gave me the idea last year to start a new tradition on "Black Friday." We are calling this new tradition WHITE FRIDAY. If you are a religious person, consider kicking off your holiday season with goodness and joy in purity and reverence for the gift of our Savior's life on the Friday after Thanksgiving. We will do this by enjoying the peace and quiet of one of the temples dedicated to our Heavenly Father, rather than the chaos of retail stores. Maybe if lots of people start this tradition we can make this a thing. A good thing. ‪#‎whitefriday‬ ‪#‎holidaykickoff‬ ‪#‎bethegood‬
White Friday instead of Black Friday....Brilliant!!  I have never been into the craziness of black Friday shopping.  I think the mister went once about 12 years ago in hopes of getting a DVD player on sale for only $100!!  The thought of staying up late, battling crowds just to save a few dollars never made sense to me.  So when my friend suggested this idea I was on board right away.  I am always on the look out for doable traditions to enhance our holidays and this one totally fits the bill.  The mister and I and our oldest son went to the temple this morning. We are totally making this a tradition in our family!! I created the button to post. Feel free to share! I echo her thought...what if our temples were just as packed as the retail stores the day after Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

show me the money...

Years ago as my oldest 2 were starting to become aware of money I scrambled to come up with a plan...."When do we start paying allowance?...Do we pay allowance for chores? How do we keep track of their tithing?  Who keeps their spending money?  Do they need wallets? "

To answer these questions I devised a system that worked for the last few years.  First we decided that we DO NOT pay our kids for chores.  Doing chores is a part of living in our family and we are all expected to help out.  Next I purchased pencil pouches for each kid that had 2 zipper pockets.  One was for their tithing and one was for their spending money.  We kept these pouches in a cupboard in the kitchen but they were usually loose and shoved.

The older they got the more they just helped themselves to their spending money and eventually they just kept their spending money in their rooms or in their wallets. This has been working, but lately has been falling apart.  First I must admit that I haven't been as diligent in paying them their allowance at the first of the month.  So for weeks and weeks they keep asking and asking and usually the Mr. pulls the allotted cash out of his wallet and hands it over.  Tithing getting paid... but not in the "lets figure out what 10% is" kind of way, but the "a dollar or two should cover it" kind of way.  I really want my kids to understand the concept and knew that this wasn't going to achieve that goal.

Combine all that with  my older boys approaching teenage hood and the possibility of earning more than just the allowance that we pay them I knew that it was time to revamp the plan.

Here were our new needs:

  • still providing a place for them to store their tithing until they fill out their slips and pay it (10% of all income)
  • get the kids started on adding to their own savings account instead of just us (10% of all income)
  • teach them about saving up money for more expensive items they want while still having quick spending money
  • teach them how to keep track of their money by learning to fill out a bank register

I saw a picture on Pinterest that sparked my new idea.  It was the idea of a Family Bank!!  The idea behind the bank is that all our kids would have a central place for their money.  They will have a place to store their tithing, to store their savings until we deposit it into their real savings account, and a place for spending money that works like a debit account.

One of the troubles that my boys have been having is that they really want to save for things that cost more, but when that blasted ice cream truck comes around they quickly blow through any money they have access to with out thinking.

Time for a change...

First I went to the store and bought a binder and after a little searching I found the type of pencil pouch that I needed. I wanted one with 3 separate zippered pouches. These particular pouches have 3 ring grommets to put into a binder and have 2 pockets on one side and a larger one on the back.  I purchased one for each of my kids including the younger 2 (they don't need them yet, but how many times have I found the PERFECT thing and only purchased what I needed for the older kids and then when I needed it for the younger ones I can't find it anywhere!) I labeled each one with the kids name and then labeled each pocket. The front two pockets are for tithing and savings and the back pocket is labeled spending.

Here is how it works:

We pay our kids $1 for each year they are old, once a month.  So my oldest is 11 and receives $11 a month.  When it is time to pay allowance I get it all in cash and even get the necessary dollars in coins so that they can pay their tithing and savings exactly.  So for my oldest I set out $11.  $10 in dollar bills and $1 in coins.  We sit down together and open up the Family Bank binder.  He puts $1.10 in his tithing pouch, $1.10 in his savings pouch and then the remaining $8.80 is left for spending.  He then decides how much he wants to put into his spending pouch and how much to put into his wallet.  This can be different each month.  The idea behind this is that the money placed into the spending pouch works like a debit account.  The rest is wallet money that can be spent willy nilly on all the ridiculous ice cream or otter pops from the corner stand he wants .  Before withdrawing from his spending pouch he has to come to me (his "debit card" mom) and request to take money out.  I created sheets that look like a check register where they record all deposits and withdrawals. This extra step helps them think first if they REALLY wants to spend it.  If they do it is their choice.

Because all deposits and withdrawals are recorded my kids are really able to see where their money comes from and where it goes.  Every time they earn money they go through this process....tithing, savings, and dividing up their spending.  Sometimes they want all their spending money to be wallet $...that is totally fine.

My hope in doing all of this is that by the time my kids are ready to be on their own they will have the knowledge they need to manage their money wisely through paying their tithing, saving, and learning to spend properly!

I love love love this!!!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

staying organized...

I just LOVE being organized!

I am also a firm believer in putting things where you normally use them too!

I don't know how many times I used to walk up stairs to get lotion after doing the dishes before I realized that I could just put a small bottle in my kitchen cabinet, or how many times I would go into the nursery to grab a diaper for my 2 year old (yes..I have 2 in diapers) when I never change him in the nursery...before I finally decided to make another bin and put his diaper stuff on top of his dresser (yes...I change him on the floor).

One thing I have learned about being "efficiently mommy organized" is that sometimes it means having multiples of the same thing... just in different places!!

the mommy pouch...

Do you have childhood memories of your mom's purse? I do! It seemed like my mom had just about everything in her purse...need a nail file? a cough drop? how about headache medicine? or a pair of scissors? She seriously could have had a hammer in there and I wouldn't have been surprised!

I have discovered that becoming a well organized mommy isn't something that happens the moment you have a baby...or happens as needs arise and you look for a way to solve that problem in a way that works for your family.

Like I have said before...sometimes being an organized mommy means having multiples of the same thing just in different places. (I don't know how many times I have needed something and thought, "Oh! I have that...just not with's at home!)

As my kids started growing older I noticed that when we were out and about I found myself needing things that I didn't have like a band aid or a wipe for sticky hands. So a few years ago I made these awesome pouches...

I made a list of things that we often need all the time.

Pouch contents:
  • lotion
  • hand sanitizer
  • tissue pouch
  • chapstick
  • Band-Aids
In the pouch I keep in my purse I also have:
  • Tylenol
  • hot hands

I made 3 of these pouches. One is in my is in our church bag...and one is in our family car. The great thing about having it all zipped up in one little pouch is that you can move it where you need it...are you a gal that changes purses often? Now you just move your pouch over too instead of needing to empty all your purse pockets!

We tend to go through the lotion and tissues the fastest! ; )

hair buckets...

I have a "girl" hair bucket and a "boy" hair bucket. My girl hair bucket I keep upstairs in my bathroom because that is usually where I do her hair. I could put it in the kid bathroom...but I believe you should store stuff where you actually use it.

In keeping with this pattern of thought is why my "boy" hair bucket is in my kitchen pantry..."Why the pantry?" you might be asking yourself...well because I usually do my boy's hair after they eat breakfast right before they walk out the door. So to be "efficiently mommy organized" I don't put it in their bathroom...I put it where I use it!

Boy Hair Bucket...

Girl Hair Bucket...

bath time bucket...

 I can't believe that it took me almost 9 years of bathing children to finally create this bucket!! 

After years and years of gathering all the things I would need to use to get the kids clipped, brushed, and lotioned EVERY SINGLE TIME I bathed them I finally thought, "why don't I just put it all in one bucket and stick it under the sink!"  In the past I would grab MY  clippers and brush, grab the lotion off of the baby changing table and some Q-tips out of MY drawer...then I would have to put it all back again when I was done.  To create this bucket I bought a cheap new brush, clippers, and a bottle of lotion.  I used a disposable kid cup to hold a large handful of Q-tips and voila instant bath bucket.

Bucket contents:
  • Brush
  • lotion
  • nail clippers
  • comb
  • cup
  • Q-tips 

    Also here is a picture of one of my favorite bath time MUST HAVE items.  It is a huge bath cup that I bought at Wal-Mart a few years back.  I makes washing out shampoo super easy! (It also makes filling up a baby bathtub a breeze too!)