This and That  

I haven't sat down recently and written out what is going on in our I thought a "This and That" post would be fun for today. This morning we head out to get groceries, so this will be quick. Here we go...

1. I have been trying to get our big freezer cleaned out, making our menus from our freezer stock as much as possible. Well, I found a couple gallon bags of blackberries from last summer (from our berry vines) that I never got made into blackberry jam yet. So, I pulled them out yesterday to thaw. I have enough berries to make 8 pints of jam! I'll do that later today!

2. I started making kefir again. As I already mentioned, I have been making kombucha and we went through a gallon of it this week. Most of my kids love it flavored with orange juice. I want to experiment with some different flavoring soon. Back to the kefir...I had bought some starter a while back and still had some in the refrigerator. Kefir is like a drinkable yogurt. It is SO good! Last night I made us some berry smoothies using kefir and milk, then adding some vanilla, honey, and berries. They were SO good!

3. Yesterday was also my day to make bread. We are going to be grilling hamburgers and sausages on Saturday night, so I made 3 loaves of bread, a pan of hamburger buns, and a pan of hotdog buns. They are all in the freezer ready to use when we need them. I would love to make a video sometime soon of how I make my bread. It is 100% whole wheat, using the 2-stage process of soaking the whole wheat flour in buttermilk overnight. This bread is so soft and good! I hope to get a video some sometime soon and loaded on my blog here.

4. I mentioned in a previous post that I set up my cleaning schedule using the program at Over the school year we had gotten out of the habit of doing a little bit of cleaning each day and ended up doing it all on Friday or Saturday (or not at all...ugh!). This was our first week using our cleaning schedule and it went wonderfully! The kids loved being able to go to the refrigerator and cross off items as they got them done. If you want to see my cleaning calendar, you can find it here: Maybe that will give you an idea of how I have set things up. I spread out our weekly cleaning over the week, keeping Fridays for deep cleaning projects. I made up a list of the deep "spring cleaning" items that needed to be done for each room, then divided up the rooms over the year (except December). Then I divided up those deep cleaning items over 4 Fridays of the specified month. For example, May is the month to clean the front porch area. If you go to my calendar, you will see items regarding the front porch area divided up over 4 Fridays in May.

5. This past week I spent some time wrapping up our school records for this past school year. I keep a Microsoft Word file for each year. As I plan for the new year, I type out everything I would like to do for the new year. I start with a page of the things we will be doing together. We like to have a daily read-aloud time, so I include a list of books I want to read aloud to the kids. I also include any educational videos or games I want to include. Next comes a page for each child. I list the subjects to be covered, then the curriculum or materials to be used for each subject. I then use this list to figure out what I need to buy for the new year. I place these lists in my Intentional Planner in my homeschool section. At the end of the year (which is what I did this week), I go back to this Word file and edit it to show what was actually completed during the year. I then print this out and keep it in a manilla folder, along with my lesson plan pages, and file them away. This year I am also going to buy tubs, one for each of my children, to put their completed work in from each year. When I do that (I am going to be buying tubs today), I am going to go back and print out the individual pages for each child for each year and include those in their tub as well - probably keeping them all together in a folder. That way each child will have a nice record of what they completed each year. After I completed this for the past school year, I was amazed at how much we actually accomplished!

6. We are going to continue our read-aloud time through the summer. We all enjoy it so much that we don't want to take a break. So I decided we are going to read through the Little House series. We read through them when my oldest was younger, so it is time to read through them again so the rest of the kids can enjoy them. We completed Little House in the Big Woods and are a ways through Little House on the Prairie. I am always amazed when I read these books at how resourceful they were. They used EVERYTHING and didn't waste ANYTHING! So, while we are reading these for entertainment, we are learning lots in the process as well about resourcefulness, thankfulness, and contentment. What are you reading this summer?

Well, I am out of time for now. I pray each of you have a wonderful weekend!

Love, Sheri

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  • Mom with the best job in the world!  
    May 29, 2009 at 12:40 PM

    Wow. I am amazed! You are so organized and have so much energy! I have a hard time putting two thoughts together.... then I have to take a nap. I look forward to the days when I can do that fun stuff with my little ones. Right now they are 3 and 1. We do have fun ... just not organized fun. Thanks for sharing your life with us... and motivating us!

  • guardling  
    May 29, 2009 at 10:03 PM

    wow, what a great way to get everything scheduled and organized. Iv'e been looking for something like this. Now, if by chance something doesnt get done that day, do you move it to the next day?

  • Sheri Graham  
    May 30, 2009 at 6:02 PM

    Regarding my cleaning schedule...if we don't get something done that day then it doesn't get crossed off the printout on our refrigerator. I can then try to get it done on another day. All "not done yet" items can then be caught up on the weekend if needed. Does that make sense?

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