Thursday, August 28, 2014

How to Save Money Raising a Family

I'm on vacation until next week, but in the meantime, I thought I'd share this article I loved with tons of ways to save money while raising a family! (Click the link below the picture) Have fun!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Mom's Need to Support One Another!

I would write a post on this, but this video says it all!  I love it!  This is why I started writing humor books about motherhood, so that everyone would know that we all have problems, and our own way of fixing them....and it's okay.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Loved this Video!

This is for all the moms who work so hard every day!  You are amazing!

Monday, August 25, 2014

My Recent Favorite YA Fiction

I read mostly YA fiction because I like to preview stuff for my kids, and this year, I read some great ones!  But there are two trilogies that stand out as my recent favorites.  Maybe because they both inspired me to want to save the world!   Here they are!

The following books are called, "The Queen of Attolia," and "The King of Attolia"


The following books in this trilogy are "The Runaway King," and "The Shadow Throne"

I just LOVED the hero characters in these books.  They were funny, yet noble in a way that drove everybody crazy.  For that same reason one of my all time favorites is the "Bartimaeus" series.  I really enjoyed the humorous main character of the genie who tried to be ferocious but was really just a softie.

What's your favorite fiction lately?

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Friday, August 22, 2014

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Save Money on School Clothes and Supplies


To save money and fight the sense of entitlement that children get at the beginning of each school year (i.e. I HAVE to have all new clothes, or I HAVE to have the latest, cutest, most expensive binder etc...) we have developed some traditions that really work.

As the beginning of the school year approaches my kids all start begging to go shopping for new clothes.  I tell them, yes, we can do that, but first you have to inventory all the clothes that you have, and take out the clothes that are too small for you.  This works ONLY at this time of year...because they are so motivated by the thought of new school clothes that they are willing to work hard to make it happen.  So I just do my other projects and wait for them to clean out their closets.  Sometimes I have to wait longer than other times depending on the child's temperament.

When they have sorted, and counted all of their shirts, pants, and shoes, etc...we sit down and talk about what they might need for the school year.  Usually this is MUCH less than they thought.  So we have really saved money over the years doing it this way.  It also helps that they have sorted it themselves, (instead of me), so they can see with their own eyes that they don't need as much as they thought, and I don't have to convince them.)


For school supplies, I have developed a system where previously on the last day of school I confiscate their backpacks with all their supplies and don't let them empty it.  Then when the beginning of the next school year rolls around, I just take out their old backpack and compare what is already in it to their school supply list.  (We like to get plastic folders that will last longer than one year).  We check things off and usually find that we don't have to buy as much as we thought.  This is really awesome because with five kids, little things add up to a lot.

Hope you are having fun getting ready for school!  We are having lots of pre-school excitement at our house!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

My Most Embarrassing Moment

(photo from

I just read about being more free with your blogging and so I thought I'd try it.  Let me just tell you about yesterday.  Yesterday I decided to clean up my room a little while the piano teacher was teaching one of my kids in the living room.  I cleaned for awhile, but suddenly I had a funny feeling I should check on my youngest son, coinciding with some evil laughter I heard coming from the living room.

Yeah.  Good thing.  I came out to find him hiding behind the couch shooting the piano teacher in the back of the head with this plastic gun which shoots little bits of potato.  The piano teacher was trying to teach patiently while wiping bits of potato off of his shoulders and neck.  I thought I would die.   The piano teacher glared at me while I confiscated the gun and made my son apologize.

Well, that was my day yesterday.   I thought I'd write about it to show, that no matter how badly you think your children behave, it could be worse.  Hope you're having a great day today!  I bet you are now!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Fabulous Kid Birthday Parties made Easy

We've used these books over and over and they are wonderful for inexpensive, yet awesome birthday fun!  The kids love to plan their parties out of these books.  They have been a favorite of our family.

Monday, August 18, 2014

How to have your house stay CLEAN for your family!


I have one word of advice:  Throw/give things away.  Each Saturday just take one drawer, closet, or room, and go through things to de-junk.  This is the SINGLE most helpful thing you can do to have a clean house with minimum effort.  You need to de-junk until everything in your house has a place to be put away.  I learned this from my Japanese sister-in-law.  Her house is always clean, and that's because she has very little junk.  She only keeps what she uses.  Here are some tips for de-junking your house.  I promise it won't take very long, or be overwhelming, especially if you do just one drawer/cupboard/shelf at a time.  Take it at your own pace.  Most people get endorphin rushes from getting rid of things.  It will really make you happy and your work load will decrease!

1. Give away all things that you haven't used in 1 year.  Exception:  Something expensive that you know you'll need again such as a laminator or an interview suit.

2. Give away most books and CD's/Videos.  You can get almost all books at the library through inter-library loan.  You can also get things through kindle.  You can get videos and music online as well.

3. Put all stuffed animals in a stuffed animal hammock or something to keep them corralled (get rid of ones that your kids don't care about).

4. Put all toys in sets.  Throw/give away things that don't fit in the sets.

5. Only keep 2 weeks worth of clothes.  Most people will wash clothes again before two weeks is up.

6. Toss/shred all paper documents over 7 years old.  When you get your mail, immediately recycle what you don't need.  Don't let it touch your counter or you will start to have piles.

7. Use reason.  I promise you really don't need 35 dish towels (that's how many I found in my drawer when I started to de-junk!  Ha ha!)  Only keep what you need, like maybe four.

8.  Get rid of baby toys if you don't have a baby.

9. Make sure everything has a home, or get rid of it.  Make each room/cupboard as bare as you can...only keeping essentials.  Get rid of things you can borrow from others when you need to every once in awhile.

10. Use a rake to clean toys out from under beds.  Saves lots of time and your back.  Use a broom and dustpan to pick up all the last odds and ends.  The broom and dustpan are also a GREAT way to pick up piles of legos!

Hope these tips help!  Don't stress about de-junking. Just do a little bit each week and you'll find your house easier to keep clean in no time!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Breaking News!

The publishers just sent me a copy of their design for the cover of my humor book coming out in March.  So excited!

Brilliant Idea! Ha ha!

I'm totally using this one!


Friday, August 15, 2014

Thursday, August 14, 2014

A Clean House with Minimum Effort!

I have to reveal here that I LOVE Flylady!  Before I discovered the free cleaning advice/system emailed daily by my house was a mess all the time.  (F.L.Y stands for: Finally Love Yourself!  Ha ha!  So true!)   But she has a system that makes it really easy to have a clean house.  I do "flylady light" because I don't have time to do a lot of cleaning, but it has made a huge difference in our home.  Here is the cleaning schedule I follow and it is minimum effort but the house is always guest-ready!  You can develop a similar schedule that works for you!  Basically if you develop a simple schedule and stick to it, you can't go wrong!

Every morning:
1. unload dishwasher
2. do one load laundry (start to finish and put away)
3. Wipe kitchen counters and sink.
4. Do a super fast pickup of each room of house.

Sunday: day off
Monday: Wipe bathrooms with antibac wipe and use comet on toilets and tubs.  Garbages from every room out. (You can save a step by cleaning the shower/tub sometime during the week when you take a shower/bath)
Tuesday: Dust, wipe down fridge, microwave and cupboard fronts. Wipe inside microwave.
Wednesday: Vacuum upstairs
Thursday:  Vacuum downstairs
Friday: Mop every bare floor including bathrooms.
Saturday: Day off!

I make the kids straighten their rooms and clean up after dinner each day.  It totally works with just about 20 minutes each day of cleaning for me.  Hardly any time at all!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Never Pick up Another Toy!


We've developed a system called the "Lazy Mom Cleanup" system...that ensures that I never have to pick up the kid's toys.  A friend taught me this when I was a young mother.  All you have to do is organize all your toys into sets in boxes. (Cardboard, plastic, whatever).  Then you get rid of all the miscellaneous toys that don't fit into the sets.  After that, you put all the sets neatly in a closet, and put a hook and eye lock at the top so the kids can't open it.  (or a room that locks).

Now you are ready.  When the kids want to play, you open the closet and let each one choose a set.  They will play with it, and then when they want a different toy, the rule is that they have to put the first set away and they can choose a new set to play with.  This really works because putting away toys is not so overwhelming for the child when they only have a small set to put away.  The locked door ensures that the kids don't get into all the sets and dump them all over.  I haven't picked up a toy in about eight years.  It really works! Voila!  A much cleaner house with no effort!


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Never Lose your Sunday Shoes Again!


I decided to start posting some of the great family tips we've collected over the years that help our house hold to run more smoothly.  If your kids wear sunday clothes to church...I've got a tip that will make your life way easier.  Just buy a dollar garment bag from Walmart or the dollar store.  Then every time your kids remove their shoes after church, stick them in the garment bag hanging in their closet.  After you wash their sunday clothes, hang them in the garment bag right away.  This way there is no crazy stressful search for the clothes or shoes every sunday.  It really works!


Monday, August 11, 2014

Replace T.V. with Books on Tape


It's our new summer idea!  It's working wonderfully!  When my kids try to watch T.V., I just re-direct them to the books on tape and they are very happy with it!  If they are not excited about the books we have, I buy them another one on kindle that they'll be excited about.  I figure it's about the same price as Netflix, since they share all the books.  It's the greatest coup ever!  Try it and see!

Here are some of our favorites:

Percy Jackson
The Ranger's apprentice
Harry Potter
Gregor the Overlander
Chickens in the Headlights

Saturday, August 9, 2014


Ha ha ha!!!  You can share this one with your kids!  Mine loved it!


Friday, August 8, 2014

The Power of Music

You can use music in your families to develop friendships, get work done, teach values, develop talents, and for family activities.  Playing calm, soothing music will set the tone in your home when you want things to be peaceful.  Here are some of our favorite musicians for family purposes:

My kids love them!  You can hear the first story free online. (click above link)

What's your favorite family music?

Friday, August 1, 2014


Loved these quotes!