Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Save $25 from Schola Publications!

Phonics Road and Latin Road Customer Appreciation Day!

In appreciation of you, Schola Publications is offering a flat $25 off any online order of $200 or more! This is beyond what they will offer to the general public, so make sure you take advantage.

Take advantage of this offer - ONE DAY ONLY!
TOMORROW July 31st, 2014

Coupon Code: AppreciateYou25OFF

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Easy & Healthy Breakfasts For Kids

When I brought my daughter to the doctor the other day for an 8:30am appointment, the nurse asked my daughter what she had for breakfast. When Hadassah told her she had eaten an egg and banana, the nurse acted shocked and said, "wow, good job mama! that is a healthy breakfast!".

You know, you do not have to serve cold cereal every morning, even with a lot of little kids! There are simple, easy, AND healthy options! Here are our favorites!

  • Hard boiled eggs. I make a batch every evening and my kids each have one almost every weekday morning. They are easy to grab out of the fridge, even on busy mornings when we need to get out of the house early!

  • Rolled oats or bananas. My kids alternate between a bowl of old fashioned oatmeal with maple syrup or a banana to go with their egg. Easy enough for my big kids to get for themselves and the littles!

  • Smoothies. I make these for the kids about 1-2 times a week to take the place of a banana for each kid. If we are low on bananas and there aren't enough for each kid, I will whip up a smoothie using canned coconut milk, banana, raw honey, and frozen blueberries (and I'll add protein powder if we have it). I then rinse out my blender, add a squirt of soap and some water, pulse for a bit to "wash" it, and then do the same with just water to rinse it. Easy clean up!

  • Coconut-flour protein waffles. These are very quick, easy, filling, and provide protein since there are so many eggs in it (which are needed when using store-bought coconut flour). I make this once a week. I have tweaked the recipe to our liking and blend it all up in our blender, pour onto the waffle iron, and serve with real maple syrup. I wash the blender as stated above. Very easy and the kids feel like mom actually makes them breakfast once in awhile, lol! P.S. these are a THM - S and delicious served with real butter and some sugar-free raspberry jam!   

What are your favorite easy breakfasts for kids?

Monday, July 28, 2014

6 Daily Chores That Must Get Done

Whenever I tell a stranger that I have 7 children aged 9 and under (after they ask how many kids and their ages), I usually get asked "how I do everything". (I never know how to reply to that, btw!)

I do not do "everything" (what does that include, anyway??)... but I do manage to keep my house in decent order, though far from the cleanest on the block! You just can't help but learn a few things as a mom to a bunch of littles (I learn something new everyday, and I ain't kidding!). It is all about priorities in the end and learning what household chores must get done to help your family get through the day. So, in addition to my weekly cleaning done on Mondays, there are 6 chores that must get done every day (except Sundays) to keep MY home running smoothly. This will (most likely) be different for you & your family.

1. Make my bed.
It's one of the first things I do every morning. I love having my bedroom look tidy throughout the day (especially if I need to go in there for a few-minute break from the kids) and I absolutely can not go to bed at night without the bed made first! (is that a little OCD??)

2. Empty the garbage.
Having kids big enough to help out, I get to assign chores and have things get done with little thought on my part. Josiah (9) takes out the kitchen garbage every day after breakfast.

3. Laundry.
I wash/dry 1-2 batches of laundry every day. No matter that they rarely get folded, at least we have clean clothes and towels (which is no small feat in a family of 9)!

4. Vacuum.
Josiah vacuums the kitchen floor everyday after lunch and Hadassah (5) often vacuums the entry way floor, too. I need to start including the carpet in daily vacuuming, as well.

5. Dishes.
They get done at least once every day. I usually have Josiah unload the dishwasher every day right after lunch and then I load the dishwasher in the afternoon. That way my husband comes home to an empty sink where he can wash away the grime of his long, hard workday. I do not do the dishes after supper, but I clean up the counters and table. I also rinse off the supper dishes and put them in the sink. Our pre-planned breakfasts and easy lunches, dirty up very few dishes during the day. And we are able to go to bed with the kitchen looking tidy, though not spic and span.

6. Pick-Up.
Whenever things start feeling crazy, I tell the kids to put their toys back into their rooms. This clears up our small living space for awhile and helps me stay sane, even though the toys are sure to come out again soon. Also, when Joey texts me that he is on his way home from work, I have the kids put their toys back into their bedrooms, so that Joey can come home to a tidy-looking house (and not trip over toys). At 7pm everyday, the kids pick up their bedrooms and put their toys away in their toy boxes (they are allowed to keep 2 toys and/or books out to keep on their beds for bedtime).

How do you keep your home running smoothly?