image from ollibird

We are officially gearing up for school to start August 11th.  I saw a link to this weekly meal planner on a friends blog and thought I'd share it.  I love the idea of framing it and writing on the glass with a dry erase marker, you could also do the same thing by putting it under a sheet protector and hanging it with a magnet on the fridge.  I'll be posting more ideas on how to stay organized and sane while prepping for another school year.  I'd love to hear your ideas on creating order.


school supplies.

I love this time of year, it means school supplies are on sale, and I get to stock up.
I'm not sure what it is about a new box of pencils or a stack of spiral notebooks but I love it all, don't you?



One thing we have been trying to do more of around our house is gossip.  Now wait a minuet it's not what you think.  Anytime we see our kids within earshot of us we (my husband and I) let them over hear us gossiping about them.  All good things of course.  It's just another small way you can let them know you love and care about them.  Try it sometime, spread some happiness!


family mission statements.

A few years ago I began the process of writing a family mission statement.  I had to think about what was really important to our family, what we wanted to teach our kids, what kind of people we wanted to be in the world, and what kind of family we wanted to be.
It took some time but it has made all the difference to our family.  Opportunities have presented themselves that have helped us accomplish the things that we had said our family is all about.  Like serving others and opening our home up to those in need.
I think it is such a good idea, after you write it place it in a spot where you will see it.  It's also something that you'll want to update often, as your family changes and grows.
For inspiration just google family mission statements and see what you find.



(image from pioneerwoman.com)

At first I thought the pioneer woman was all about recipes but I've recently realized it's so much more.  One day I was checking out her home and garden section and found this post about making multiple beds after guests leave.  And let me tell you her solution is genius, when you take the sheets out of the wash put them directly on the bed, and smooth them out, let them hang and air dry (which happens quickly), and you end up with crisp, clean sheets.  Love it, it's the only way to go!



After writing this post, we did end up planting a small garden. We bought seeds and put them in the ground not really expecting much to happen, but we've been happy with the growth and the kids have loved it.

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I spent some time with my family this past weekend and my sister told me about 71 toes, a blog I just had to read.  It is worth looking at.  I'll admit at first glance I felt like I could never be like this woman, but after I got over that I just felt inspired like I can do better and be more for my family. 

I noticed nienie posted about emersonmade too. 


so pretty.

I saw this on these favorite things the other day, and after taking a closer look at this site I'm in love.
I'll be dreaming about having one of everything.
Emerson even makes things for the home and will soon have a clothing line.
Brilliant, and so pretty!



Summer should be about escape.
We should all be able to get away, even if only in our minds.
This summer my husband and two older kids will be escaping to Yellowstone.
I on the other hand will find other ways to escape.
Like mentally escaping to Prince Edward Island.
What do you do to escape?



Yesterday we found this cookbook at the Library.
So today we will be in the kitchen making yoda soda and wookiee cookies.
YUM! Now that's what I call love.



Who knew strep throat could have you in bed for 4 days?
Let me just say I now appreciate my good health.
The to-do list is long.
After I'm done with everything on my list,
I want to make some of these for my bed.


the dad.

We are thinking about Father's day at our house.
We want to make it a great day for the DAD.
We found these labels at marthastewart.com,
they would be great to use on all the DAD's favortie snacks
or to just print out for a card.
Here's the pdf file.
There's an on going debate at our house on what is better
No. 1 Dad or Worlds Greatest Dad.
You Decide.


chore charts.

We are working on getting things cleaned and organized
 before the summer craziness sets in.
To help keep things clean I found this on etsy.


friendship bracelets.

Today we are making friendship bracelets.
Here's a beginner how-to.



It's the last day of school and we are excited to kick off summer
with a backyard campfire and smores.
Let the summer fun begin!


ice cream.

One of the things I love best is to share my childhood favorites with my kids.
A favorite childhood memory, a favorite story, a favorite movie, a favorite song, or a favorite book.
It unites parent and child like nothing else.

While looking through my country living mag this month, I was reminded of one such favorite memory.

Spending summer nights in my grandma's backyard, sitting on the old churn-style ice cream maker, while someone else churn the ice cream by hand. And then getting to taste whatever amazing flavor my grandma had whipped up that night.

Anyway, there was a spread on homemade ice cream.  Full of recipes and pictures.
That's when I decided I've got to not only share this memory with my kids but recreate it for them.

After doing a little research this ice cream maker seems to be the best for the $$.


teacher appreciation.

My two school age kids have had a great year thanks to their teachers.
Here are a couple of ways we found to say thanks.
I love that both these ideas involve the kids making something.
Not only does it encourage creativity, it teaches kids gratitude.
So, this year instead of the mom doing the gift, leave it to the kids.



I think cupcakes have magical healing powers.
My kids feel the same way.
So we've decided to bake once a week this summer.
This is my favorite place to stock up on all things cupcake.
They have something for everyone.
From cupcake liners, to wrappers, to kits, to sprinkles, even recipes.
Happy Baking!


summer crafts.

Our summer will be filled with glitter, glue, markers, crayons, and lots of paper.
Here's a sampling of what we want to make.
This is perfect for all the kids' collections.
We love this one enough to keep it on display all year round.
And finally we'll have something to do with all those rocks my kids bring home.
Happy weekend!


plant something.

Something else I want to do with my kids this summer,
plant a garden.
I found the homestead revival blog a few days ago.
It inspired me to get started.
We have never planted anything together, so it'll be a first.
Maybe it'll become a summer tradition.
We are going to start small, and there are a ton of great ideas out there.
I love this diy garden bed and this would be fun for younger kids.
I just want to be part of the homestead revival, don't you?


create a nook.

Something I'm hoping to do for my kids this summer,
is turn a small space I have in the playroom, into a reading nook.
I want them to fall in love with reading all over again.
Here's a couple of inspiring ideas. 
I love the bookshelf in the top pic & the hanging books in the last one.
I definitely think it will help make our home the happiest place on earth.


almost summer.

Well another school year is wrapping up.
It's almost summer.
When you live where there are seasons, you look forward to summer.
I've been thinking about ways to make this summer happy.
Maybe a party to celebrate the end of the school year.
I'll be scouring the Internet looking for ideas to share.
If you do something fun each summer I'd love to here about it.


dinner time.

A few years ago we moved from the big city to a small town.
We wanted to simplify our lives and create slow-paced childhood for our kids.

It was a good move for our family.
There are things we gave up in the way of opprotunities for our kids.
The flipside is that we have gained so much more.

Living a few miles outside of "town" means that you can't just run to the store,
or grab something from a drive-thru.
Consequently, I have been forced to plan and prepare meals for my family.
(which seems to be a growing trend)
We eat dinner as a family at least 6 times a week.
Believe me it's not gourmet food, or stimulating conversation.
Most of the time we are laughing with each other or sometimes playing an informal game of "guess what I am".
But it turns out there are benefits to family meal time.
According to TIME magazine, family meals can act as a vaccine for your kids against destructive behaviors.
Not only do family meals nourish body and soul they can improve communication between parent and child, and improve a child's grades.
All good things in my book.

Looks like dinner time can help make your home the happiest place on earth.