Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Family Closet

Over the last weekend, we turned our spare bedroom into a family closet.  We had a small family closet in the laundry room at one time, but deconstructed it.  Man, that was silly!!!

Clothing and laundry are an ongoing struggle.  I have systems for it all, but at the end of the day  .. there are often piles of clothes on bedrooms floors.  Is it clean?  Smell test!!  Brother!! 
We did not have the problems with clothing and laundry when we had the family closet before.
So, rewind   ... family closet time again.
We started by clearing the room and then moving in racks.
I developed a plan   ...  kinda   ...
At some point we realized the Container Store Elfa rack we had was junk  -- bungee cords could not hold it together any longer and went to IKEA for some other drawer systems.   (Note: the other white racks are The Container Store's Intermetro line and they are fabulous! Some of these racks we have had for 10 years)
IKEA is so great   ... and easy to assemble! 
After getting the IKEA racks assembled, we finished up loading the clothes!!!
These wire drawer units hold little girls pants, pajamas, under garments, diapers and wipes.  The dresser holds the big girl pants
I could not fit this into one picture.
The rack on the left holds ~~~  Top - middle girls shirts, and bottom - little girl shirts
The center hanging section has big girls shirts and dresses on the top and little girls dresses and skirts on the bottom 
The rack to the right has big boy shirts on the top and little boy shirts on the bottom.
The garment rack is for unused hangers and processing adult laundry. I also added some clothes hampers under the bottom section of the racks so we have a place for dirty laundry.
The wooden dressers hold boys pants and girls pajamas.
The wire rack is on the other side of the room and holds linens on the top two shelves.  The bottom two shelves have empty tubs that are being used to hold pajamas that can be re-worn.
(In the picture there are some damp pants drying)
This was not a small undertaking  -- It took us the entire weekend, but my hope is that it will ease our clothing related chores!  Time will tell  -- we are on day 3 and so far so good!  I do plan to print picture cards for the little ones along with a picture of them and add those to the drawer labels -- I wish I would have thought of that ahead of time for my non readers.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Colossal Cooking

I did a "big" cook and tried something new - using my roaster, pressure cookers and crock pots as my sous chef.  They cooked the meats and beans that were the backbones of the dished I made.  It was pretty fabulous.  I will use this method again.  I love the pressure cooker. I can cook beans from dry in about an hour, big beans take a little longer.  I made bone broth in the crockpot (I actually started that on Sunday) In my big roaster, I made 12 pounds of ground beef.   It was such an easy process, that we left in the middle of the day to go make ornaments with friends. 


Fun with ornaments, popcorn and leaves!

TA DA!  The finished dishes
White Chicken Chili
Beef Barley Soup
Roasted Pork Loin

Taco Soup

Chicken bone broth, pork broth, shredded pork shredded chicken, ground beef.

This is my favorite pressure cooker.  It serves as a pressure cooker, rice cooker and slow cooker. 

I use a large variety of Pyrex glassware to freeze them in for future use.

Saturday, December 6, 2014


Today, we sorted shoes.  We put away the summer shoes, got out the winter s
hoes and made lists of who needs what shoes for winter.
We wear a lot of Crocs in this house!!

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Jesse Tree Advent Celebrations

Last night we started our annual Jesse Tree Advent Celebration.

We read from The Advent Jesse Tree by Dean Lambert, color a coloring page and then hang an ornament on our Jesse Tree.
We have used this book for 4 or 5 years now.

"This book offers 25 devotions for each day from December 1st to December 25th, Christmas Day... the day Christians celebrate that God's purpose was finally revealed in the coming of the savior, Jesus Christ.  Each devotion traces the heritage of Jesus through the stories and prophecies of the Old Testament. 

These daily Advent devotions are written in two versions (one for children and one version for adults) including a scripture, a story & commentary, questions to ask, a prayer, and a song.

* The Advent Jesse Tree -  ORNAMENT CRAFTS
Each devotional story is paired with a representative symbol that traces the heritage of Jesus…such as a lamb, a dove, a rainbow, a heart, a star, etc.   Children and their parents can utilize the symbolic line art printed with each daily devotion to craft meaningful ornaments.   These symbols coincide with the prayers, a memory verses, questions for children, and songs found in the devotions for that day.
Finally, on Christmas day, your tree will be filled with reminders of 25 Bible stories that led up to Christ’s birth." ~Amazon description
This Kindle book is available for immediate download if you have the urge to start an Advent
Devotion today.
I see Ann Voskamp has put the Jesse Tree into a book also. 
 ALL links are Amazon Affiliate Links

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Crib to Toddler Bunk Bed

We converted a crib into a very low toddler bunk bed.  We used a convertible crib and an extra rail from another convertible crib we have. 


We cut the legs down by about 6 inches so the horizontal rail was even with the top of the bottom mattress.    

This is the completed conversion.  The little girls are in the first picture, my tow seven year olds are in the second picture and the last photo is showing the lowness of the top bed.  It is actually lower that the bed we have in the master bedroom.  

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Super Frugal DIY Give Save Spend System for a Large Family

I wanted to buy the divided banks to set up a Give, Save, Spend system for the kids.  Those banks average about $20 each.  For seven of them, I was looking at big bucks that I did not want to spend.

Instead of purchasing something, I repurposed pencil bags we had on hand.  Using a zigzag stitch, I sewed three sections into each pouch, labeled them with the child's name and Give, Save, Spend.  Then I put them all in a binder and tucked it away above the stove to keep little hands out of binder.

It took about 30 minutes from getting the sewing machine out, until it was put away and I did not have to spend any money.  Win!!!

Here is a set of binder pencil holders similar to what I used.