Showing posts with label simplify. Show all posts
Showing posts with label simplify. Show all posts

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Slow down

I read a post on a friend's blog the other day.
Her words reminded me how lucky I was
to be a stay at home mom.

My boys will only be in my care for a short time
the dishes
the laundry
the cleaning
will always be there
and will come back again, and again, and again.

One day last week, I did nothing but lay on the floor with my
youngest and played.
"eye to eye" playing.
"really listening" playing.

It rained all day and finally cleared up in the evening
as I was making dinner.

Hubby was working a bit late on the farm,
so the kids and I ate on the porch on paper plates
to watch this........

A perfect day!

Slow down and enjoy what is in front of you!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


Some days seem too fast

When it gets like this, I take the boys for a walk.  

Most times, along with our water bottles, we take binoculars, pads and pencils
to take notes or draw pictures of our discoveries.

When we start out, the boys are running and very loud,
full of energy
but after a time
the only sounds you hear
are footsteps and breathing

I love our farm
Its so easy to disconnect

To step away from it all -
It calms the soul for all of us

I love my walks with the boys
Sometimes I get sentimental about them

How much longer will they want to take walks with me?
Look at how small their footprints are....
Watch how they stare in amazement at ants crossing a path....
He actually took my hand to hold....

It is a season isn't it?

Most days, I try to remember that fact.
On some days it harder than others to keep that in mind.

When we are having a day like that, I take them for a walk. 
I know its time to slow down - all of us.

To explore,
To discover,

To be still
To be present
To calm
To simplify

To remember that it is only a season

So I enjoy every walk......

Saturday, August 6, 2011

My Home Organizer Binder

I started this about two years ago and am SO glad I did.
  It is the one place I put my "important" papers so I can easily find them. 
 You can make one for your home very easily.  

I keep mine here.

Next to my kitchen sink I have my most favorite cabinet
It is the only one in my kitchen with glass doors
so for that - its my favorite

In in, I have my cookbooks and other binders:

Home Organizer
Cleaning Binder
Menu Planner Binder
Christmas Binder

Yes, I love office supplies too (can you tell?)

Today I'll walk you through making a Home Organizer Binder.

You'll need:
1. Three ring binder (I use 1 1/2 inch, but you decide on how much
paperwork will go in your's for your size.)

2. Subject dividers (I like the plastic ones with the pockets)

3. one pack looseleaf paper

4. Sheet protectors

Optional: a label maker

OK, let's get started.

In the front on mine, before any dividers I have several things in sheet protectors:

  • current school calendar
  • county dump / recycling hours
  • library hours / storytimes
  • credit report contact numbers (I'll get to that in a later post)

These papers I refer to often - whatever you refer to often should be put here.
For example:

  • Babysitter lists and numbers
  • stores / businesses you call frequently
  • you could put your address book info here
  • monthly list of birthdays and anniversarys
You get the idea

Side note on birthday / anniversary cards:
In January and July, I make a list of upcoming Bdays and anniversaries
for the next six months.
I go to the store with this list.  Usually buy several sympathy,
baby shower, blank generic cards as well.
When I get home, I put the person's name on a post it note
then stick it to the card.
I have a decorative box I got from Hobby Lobby that I store
all of my cards / stationary in and put them in there.
When I see on the calendar that someone's Bday is coming up,
simply go to the box, find their card and send it off.
Easy enough!
And I love only going card shopping twice a year and
also the fact that I don't have to run out last minute to
get one!

The first divider I have is "Kid Activities"

In the divider pocket, I have our chore charts for the fridge
Each Saturday night, we pay our oldest his allowance
and change his chore chart (which he fills with stickers)
FYI: $4.00 for taking out trash, organizing recycling,
food and water cats, bringing laundry baskets to mudroom when asked.
Pretty good deal, considering my allowance was a buck!  But
that was in the 70's - boy, am I dating myself??

In the Kid section I put any interesting craft ideas.
I just tear out of a magazine and punch holes in it or slide
it in a sheet protector, then pass along the
magazine to a friend or recycle.
I am a BIG magazine "sharer" by the way!!
Any info sheets about art / craft / sport activities in our community.

Mapquest directions to several out of town activities (so I don't have
to look them up again and again).

Carseat regulations for the growing kids

Educational website print outs / receipts that we order from frequently.

My second divider is "School"
  • bookstore hours / receipts from purchased uniforms
  • supply lists for current class
  • tuition price listing
  • standard testing results from each grade
  • AR reading test results from the end of the year
  • directory of classroom kids info

My third divider is "Projects" - my favorite

When I see a photo I like, I tear it out and punch holes
in it or slide it in a sheet protector and in the binder it goes. 
I don't have it organized like someplaces I've seen
by rooms / paints / furniture / craft ideas
It just all goes in this divider.
This is the "someday" that would be cool
to do/ make/ have/ buy, etc.....

My fourth divider is "Yard"

In this is guides on plant and tree care.
Composting ideas.
The care sheet from our deck finishing stain.
The care booklets from our Cracker Barrel rocking chairs - LOVE LOVE LOVE!!
Birdhouse ideas and suet recipes
landscaping ideas (again torn from magazines)
maintance list dates

My fifth divider is "Take Out Menus"

This one is pretty self-explanatory!

The last divider is "Trip Ideas"

This includes just "hubby and me" trips
as well as with the kids.
Again (from magazines) or websites.

This binder is a great place when you see something and it
triggers your mind, "That would be great for....."
It gives you an easy accesible place to put those
things - keep it organized and eases your mind.

I'm a strong believer in lists and things like that.
The best way to simplify your life is to ease your mind
and to ease your mind is to write stuff down or put something
where you can easily find it again.
The more your mind has to remember, the more stressed you will feel.

I printed out a cute "cover sheet" with a photo of hubby and the boys
and labeled it Alison's Home Organizer.
Pick a cute photo / pattern / color scheme
so you'll smile and feel good when you get it out! 
Its all about the simply things.....

Put it in a central place so its easily accessible
and start using it. 
You'll love it!!!


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