Saturday, May 31, 2014

I Think We Are Charlotte Mason Homeschoolers (Week of 5-26-14)

It was Memorial Day this past week, which to me signifies the beginning of summer.  I have chosen to try to pursue year round homeschooling because it gives the flexibility of breaks when a child may be sick or sometimes when both Momma and child need a mental break. The summertime schedule is going to be more of a light curriculum for us and more to do with reading, field trips, and outdoor adventures.  I never would have believed it because of the student I was growing up but I do believe I am leaning more towards a Charlotte Mason homeschool.  Here is our homeschool week:
 
We ran into the "Thunder Bug" at a festival this past weekend!
 
Bible and Reading:
Wednesday - We read: "Where is Baby's Pumpkins?" by: Karen Katz
"Where is Baby's Birthday Cake?" by: Karen Katz
"Animal Alphabet" by: Kara McMahon
"Thank God for Good Health" by: Stan and Jan Berenstain
 
Art/Music/Physical Education:
Tuesday - B drew pictures of Ninja Turtles.  He used different colored crayons, which is big because he really doesn't usually enjoy coloring with crayons.
 
Grandma and Grandpa got the boys this awesome color in the book by: Eric Carle, which is one of their favorite authors.  The pages are not colored in but are illustrated so the boys had to color in the pages themselves!  Pretty awesome find!  Thanks Grandpa and Grandma!
 
 
Wednesday - What is summer without some Slip and Slide fun!  My Secret Sister from church got me this amazing gift for the boys!  She's awesome :)
 
 
Motor and Social Skills:
Wednesday - We made thank you gifts for the Awanas teachers since this was the last day until fall.  The boys each got awards at the Awanas ceremony; we are very proud of them for knowing their Bible verses and for being such good friends.

We made these thank you gifts and put "Thanks for teaching us about the Lord," on the back for their teachers.  Here is the link for the template from Kinder Kraze: Thanks a Latte Templates
 
I include the boys in things like this because it is important for them to not only know how but also why to thank someone.  My little one, G was happy because I let him use the little kid scissors to help me cut the strings!
 
Friday - We signed up for a Homeschool Support Group for this upcoming year!  It was cool because they had a used curriculum sale going on and the boys got to see that they are not the only ones who are taught at home.  It was at the local YMCA and it was jammed! 
Signing up for Homeschool Support Group!
 
Saturday - We went to a local festival where they were doing a free event for all the local businesses in the area.  The boys got to play in bouncy houses, play games to win prizes, socialize with other children, and of course meet the "Thunder Bug."
 
Bouncy house time!
 
Getting all set up to try out some Tae Kwon Do!
 
 
Math and Science:
Monday - Here is our outdoor garden. We are growing tomatoes, basil, trees, romaine lettuce, iceberg lettuce and celery!  The boys got to crush up dried out egg shells and place them in the soil to help fertilize the plants naturally.
 
Wednesday - After making thank you gifts with string, the boys had an ingenious idea to make their own Zipline Ninja Turtles with the leftover string.  I tied each end of the string to a door handle and chair, and I had the boys figure out how to balance the weight of the turtles with the string.  They put another chair to distribute the weight!


 
Thursday - While watching Sid the Science Kid, they learned about elasticity.  They learned a song and danced to it and bounced around.
 
Friday - They watched an episode of Peg + Cat and learned about the different equations that equal to 10 (5+5, 7+3, 6+4)  using the story of Jack and the Beanstalk. (Our learning does not usually center around TV shows but I thought these two shows did a great job of explaining things at their level and made it fun for them)
 

Saturday - While at the festival, the boys got to see a science experiment!
 
They blew up a balloon and did not tie it but taped the end of it.  Then they had to place the tape end on a string suspended in the air.  It was a balloon rocket ship!  So creative and lots of fun!
 
Other (ABCmouse.com and pbskids.org):
Tuesday - We went to Gamma's job because we had 3 house showings in one day!  The boys got to do some ABCmouse.com at her job, which they thought was great.  They learned about #1-10, O is for Ostrich, and A-Z music videos.
 
Wednesday - Today, the boys went over shapes and matching on Pbskids.org.
 
Thursday - The boys did Itsy Bitsy Spider, 10 Little Monkeys, and 5 Little Ducks songs on ABCmouse.com.
 
Friday - They learned about letter S,s, T, and t on Abcmouse.com.
 
How do you normally homeschool?  We had a bad week last week where Momma and the boys were sick for the whole week so I apologize about not posting.  We took that week off just to focus on getting better.  This week was crazy with lots of things going on but we still made it through!  I am glad to have the flexibility of not only homeschooling, but doing it year round.  Thanks for following in our adventures and have a great week :)
 
Blessings,
 
Kelly
 
#homeschool
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Free: ABC's of Marriage Bridal Shower Game

 
I am proud to offer my first ever freebie!  In honor of my sister getting married, I made a fun game and gift idea for her bridal shower!
 
It is a word unscramble that covers various fun phrases related to marriage using the letters of the alphabet!  You get the unscramble list, answer key, instructions how to play and the fun phrases to go with each corresponding letter of the alphabet!
 
This is a fun game to get everyone in the bridal shower involved.  It can even double as the bride's shower gift if you buy all the products listed.  For example, "A" is for "All" and the expression is "Give your marriage your All."  If you wrap all the gifts and put them in individual gift bags with each of the 26 letters, then the bride would open gift bag "A" and unwrap "All" laundry detergent!  
 
It's a great gift idea because it gives the soon to be married couple lots of household and personal products for their house.    
 
Here are pictures from my sister's shower!  It was extremely hard for my Mom and I to hide these items from my sister but we wanted it to be a surprise to her as much as her guests!  Everyone had a wonderful time!
 
Starbucks coffee cup favors with the Thanks a Latte tags. 

The theme was coffee with pink, yellow and gold colors.
 
 
We painted each individual letter on a white paper lunch bag.


Drink station with sweet tea and Peach Mango tea! 

 
 Leave me a comment and let me know if you like this idea!
 
Blessings and Happy Bridal Shower :)
 
Kelly
 
 #wedding #abcwedding #bridalshower #bridalshowergifts #bridalshowergames
 





 





 
 
 
 

Monday, May 26, 2014

End of the Year Homeschool Portfolio

 
"Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it." Proverbs 22:6

Congratulations!  The end of May brings Memorial Day weekend, beaches, barbeques, and quite possibly the end of your homeschool year.  The process of putting together everything your children have learned for a whole year may seem overwhelming.  Every state is different so be sure to check out your state's homeschool laws to see what is acceptable for your end of the year portfolio.  Some states also require that your child is tested by a standardized test or meets with a certified evaluator.  The homeschool portfolio makes it easy for the evaluator to see what you have taught your child for the year.  Today, I am going to share with you how a little bit of work each month helps that end of the year portfolio become a piece of cake!

1. The first step you want to do is make sure you are filling out a weekly planner or log of what your child has covered.  I separate mine out by days of the week on the left, and each column represents subjects such as:
 
~Bible and Reading
~Arts, Music and Physical Education
~Motor and Social Skills, and Critical Thinking
~Writing
~Math
~Science and Social Studies
 
This is also good because if I feel an area is too blank like this week, I try to put extra emphasis on those sections the following week.
 
It is also important to date each worksheet or project your child worked on and document that in the planner.  Just in case a paper gets loose in your portfolio or if the evaluator asks when this project was completed, you have a date on the item and it documented in your planner. 

At the end of the year, take out that same piece of paper you wrote at the beginning of the year and look at what your child has accomplished or areas you may want to work on for next year.  Every child learns at their own pace and this is not a competition or a comparison.  You are the teacher and you know how your child learns best and what they need to know.
 
2. Each month, keep a piece of paper for a reading log and document all the books and authors your child has read, or the books you have read to your child.
 
Each month I print out a reading log.  This helps me to keep track of the books I read with my sons.  It also is the top sheet for each sleeve I put into the homeschool portfolio so I know what month it is and all the worksheets, projects, and crafts I put into the sleeve behind the reading log.  I have a regular folder I keep the reading log in along with the worksheets for that month.  At the end of the month, I pack everything into a sleeve and put it into the homeschool binder.
I also have a teacher planner that a friend gave me from Abeka.  I label each area that I consider important such as Reading and Bible, Art/Music/Physical Education, Motor and Social Skills and Critical Thinking, Writing, Math, and Other (Science, Social Studies, Computer work: ABCmouse.com and Readingeggs.com).  Here is also a great Planner by HEDUA.  The planner helps me keep everything organized for what the boys learned that week.  You can choose to label the subject areas with the subjects you are comfortable with.  My sons are still young so I don't have a separate Science or Social Studies area for them yet.  We usually do one weekly activity in this section.
 
At the beginning of the homeschool year, write down what you want your child to learn for that year.  Write down important subjects or topics you want them to learn about.  This is a good tool to have when evaluating at the half way point in the year to see if you are on track for where you wanted your child's learning to be.  Also, write down their favorite things like color, subject, TV show, food, or toy.  It is amazing to see how different those items can be in a years time or less!  I am also the Mom who takes the first day of school picture and last day of school picture but that's not necessary for your homeschool portfolio, just a Mommy portfolio :)  Here is a link to The Life in Bloom and she has amazing free templates for beginning of the year questions and a cute place for your child's photo. (That's what's on the front of my sons binder)
 
3. At the end of the month, place all the projects, papers, worksheets, or anything you and your child have done together into a folder or a plastic sleeve.  Place the Monthly Reading log on top and label it for that month, such as August 2014.
 
4. When it gets to the end of the year, place all the plastic sleeves (or folders if you chose to do folders) together in a binder.
 
Where I live, it is required that the homeschool portfolio be kept for at least 2 to 3 years just in case the state decides to come in and audit what you have done.  In this case, it is good to also have legal representation for your homeschool rights, such as Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA).  I have a large plastic bin where I intend to keep all homeschool portfolios once they are complete for the year.  I also intend to keep most of the projects we work on together after this time has passed, because it is memories of all the work we did together.

*Some states require that you keep your child's portfolio for a certain amount of years so don't throw them out right away!  They make awesome keepsakes also to see how much your child has learned!*
5. This is what each of the months looks like out of the binder.  With a little maintenance each week or month, end of the year portfolio will be all done and after the evaluation, you can relax and enjoy the summer with your family! 
 
How do you keep everything together for your child's homeschool work?  I am a first year homeschool Mom and I found this system has worked well for me but I am always open for new ideas!  If you are getting ready to end your homeschool year or continue through to the summer, I wish you all a Happy Memorial Day and hope you have an amazing summer!
Part of this article originally appeared on Satisfaction Through Christ on 5/26/14, and was updated on 4/14/15.

#homeschool #Christian
 






 





 
 


Friday, May 23, 2014

Free shipping and Extra 10% off this Memorial Day weekend at Educents!

 
 
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 for my blog, Raising Samuels
 
 
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Wishing you all a happy and safe Memorial Day weekend!
 
#homeschool #raising10free #educents #education
 
 
 
*Educents is a proud sponsor of Raising Samuels.  I purchase many of the materials and products offered through EducentsEducents also provides me with a small percentage on any sales made that helps me to keep my blog up and running.  No purchases are required but I highly recommend Educents because of the amazing deals they offer!  Come check them out :) *
 





 



 






 



 





 

 

 

 

 
 
 
 

Friday, May 16, 2014

Learning about Samuel, Saving, and a Zoo Field Trip! (Homeschool week of 5-12-14)

Hello and hope everyone is having an amazing week!  We had pink eye hit our house this week but that did not slow us down!  Here are our adventures for the week:

Front row seats to the rhino exhibit with the Mommy and baby rhinos.
 
Bible and Reading:
Monday - "God Speaks to Samuel" from "Jesus Calling."  This was from Samuel 3 where God called out to Samuel and Samuel thought it was Eli calling for him.  Eli said it was God speaking to him and Samuel lived out his days listening, obeying and loving the Lord. 
     We did some outside learning today because it was so nice out and we read the Fisher Price Little People Lift the Flap books: "Let's Go to the Farm" and ""Let's Go on a Class Trip."  We did an Animal Baby magazine from February 2012 and learned M is for Mountain goat.


You wouldn't even know any of us were sick looking at this picture but we got outside and did some reading and I think it made us feel better.

Thursday - We read the Veggie Tales book, "The Fairest Town in the West" by: Karen Poth.

Friday - B did Reading Lesson #44 from "100 Easy Lessons."  (new words: tame, old, kitten).  We also read "Piggy Bank Blessings" by: Stan and Jan Berenstain.

Art/Music/Physical Fitness:
Tuesday - G helped B color and paste his math lesson.  I also taught the boys how to play Simon Says and Duck, Duck, Goose!  They had a blast being silly and also learning how to listen to the rules of the games.

Teamwork with father and sons of coloring, cutting, and pasting for a math lesson.

Wednesday - G made up a silly song while we were at the zoo.  We were going over letter F is for Flamingo and he started singing, "Flamingo, mingo, mingo sounds like mingo, mingo, mingo!"  I love their creativity!

G's "Flamingo, mingo, mingos!"

Friday - We went out for a walk and got to practice playing baseball and trying to hit the ball and run after hitting the ball.

Motor and Social Skills/Critical Thinking:
Monday - We played I Spy games out of the Animal Baby magazine and had to find a penguin, whale, seal, and white bird in the picture.  The boys matched the animals to their shapes, we made funny animal sounds, said the colors of animals, animal patterns, and a seek and find.  We also had to mimic a roly-poly walrus so the boys pretend to dive into water, shivered because it's cold where walruses live, pretended to sleep, and we rolled our hands round and round.

Tuesday - B cut out 28 jelly beans for his math lesson.

Math and Writing Lesson.

Wednesday - We didn't do Awanas tonight but we got out for a field trip to the zoo.

Sea lions

Crocodile

Monkeys and there were two baby monkeys! 

Thursday - The boys did a lot of pretend playing as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles!  They were starting to feel better today and of course that is the day Mommy started to not feel so well! 

Friday - Reading comprehension questions.

Writing:
Tuesday - B wrote twenty eight and 28.

Friday - We practiced writing and drawing skills in shaving cream!  I saw this one time in a Kindergarten classroom when I was a substitute teacher and the kids loved it!  B wrote letters o and k from reading lesson.

G having a blast with the shaving cream!

B trying to figure it all out!

Math:
Monday - We compared bigger to smaller footprints in the Animal Baby magazine and we found shapes in the books we read.  We also counted from 1-10 for the amount of animals found in the "Let's Go to the Farm" book and learned some baby animal names.

Tuesday - B counted 1-28 for his math lesson.

Other:ABCmouse.com, Readingeggs.com and Science):
Monday - B did letters g and G, and H and h on ABCmouse.com and he continued his lesson on learning weather terms.  He also went to the vet with me because my cat had a two lumps on her body.  He got to see what a vet does to take care of an animal by weighing her and evaluating her like a doctor does.  She unfortunately had to also get shots of medicine because her skin had broken out into an infection.  The doctor was very good about my son being there and took the time to explain everything in a way my son could understand, which was awesome!  I am hoping the medicine will take care of her lumps and that it is nothing more than an infection.  Hands-on learning day about being a vet today though!
     We learned about porcupines and that they like to eat plants, have sharp quills for protection, and sharp claws to climb from the Animal Baby magazine.

Tuesday - G did #1-5 on ABCmouse.com and B did some puzzles in his lessons.

Wednesday - We taught the boys about giving today.  There were many toys under the bed that hadn't been played with in months, if not a year so we had the boys go through their toys to see what they were willing to let go.  B helped Daddy put together the items and catalog everything and we went to drop it off at consignment.  We explained that the money could be used to buy new toys that they did want and also to save their money for something they wanted in the future.  We also had a separate pile of things to drop off at Goodwill and when we went, a woman who was there donating also, said how cute the items I was dropping off were.  I asked her if she wanted them and she explained that it would be great for when her grandson came over.  I gave her the items and the man who was putting my items onto the truck when into the truck and gave her the other items as well!  It was so amazing to see that and the boys got to see how happy it made the woman for her grandson.  We also have a separate pile to bring to church for the babies in the nursery. 
     At the zoo today, we saw a bird show where an owl ate a mouse and an eagle came out to eat a fish.  We saw crocodiles, alligators, snakes, sea lions,  a puma, black bears, flamingos, skunks, manatees, turtles, monkeys, rhinos, and sea otters.  We also saw a spider bigger than my husband's hand and Mommy was done in that section after that!

Black bear

Eagle

Thursday - G worked on letter N in ABCmouse.com and B worked on letters I and i, and letters J and j.  We were also blessed to get another free month of Readingeggs.com and the boys sang and danced to nursery rhymes like Humpty Dumpty, Wheels on the Bus, Five Little Monkeys, Five Little Ducks, Itsy Bitsy Spider, and matched animals to their shapes.

Friday - G finished up his lesson letter N on ABCmouse.com while brother did a reading lesson with Mommy.

Despite our sicknesses this week, we were able to finish our homeschool week strong.  Hopefully we all will be feeling better by tomorrow.  How is your week going?  Are you getting ready to wrap up your homeschool year or getting ready for a fun Memorial Day weekend coming up in a few short weeks?  Blessings to you and try to live like Samuel: listening, obeying and loving God.

Living for Him,

Kelly

#homeschool #Christian #fieldtrip










 











Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Affiliate Opportuity for bloggers from Build Your Bundle

 
 
Looking to make some extra income?  This is an awesome opportunity to participate in an upcoming event to build your own bundle of educational and homeschool ebooks for your family, and to make some extra money!  That sounds like a win-win to me!!!*

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Unlike overwhelming bundle sales with nearly a hundred ebooks, the "Build Your Bundle" - Homeschool Edition is a brand new concept that will allow homeschoolers to pick and choose what they want to purchase ~ all at a MASSIVE discount of up to 92% off!"



*Build Your Bundle is a sponsor of Raising Samuels and they are providing me a percentage of any sales or referrals made but it helps to keep my site up and running.  There is no need to participate or purchase but I think it is a great opportunity and a wonderful program so that's why I wanted to tell you about it!*

Blessings,

Kelly







 



 
#homeschool

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Romans 8:28, Butterflies, and Fire Safety (Homeschool Week of 5-5-14)

This week was purely amazing.  My husband and I each had a different devotional that went over Romans 8:28, "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."  Monday, the boys devotional went over this and then at LifeWay Christian store this week, we had to spend another $1 to qualify for a $10 gift card they were giving with a $50 purchase.  My husband grabbed a thing of mints called Fish Mints where there is a verse of the Bible inside.  Guess what verse?  Yep, Romans 8:28.  Think God was trying to tell us something?  I wanted to share that story with you all and here is our homeschool week:

My husband made this out of Playdoh for our lesson on Monarch butterflies!

Bible and Reading:
Monday - "Ruth and Naomi" from the Book of Ruth in "Jesus Calling."  Ruth traveled to her hometown of Bethlehem after both her sons and husband passed away.  One of her daughter-in-laws, Ruth went with her and helped to take care of her.  Boaz, one of Naomi's relatives sees Ruth helping to take care of her and they end up married and later have a son named Obed, who is David's grandfather in the Bible.  It went over Romans 8:28 :)

My G trying to "read" the Bible story for the day :)

Tuesday - "Little Red Riding Hood" by: Dubravka Kolanovic
                  "Fly, Monarch! Fly!" by: Nancy Elizabeth Wallace

Wednesday - "Jesus Feeds the People" by: Kelly Pulley
                      My boys discovered Veggie Tales at the Lifeway store and when we got home there was a Veggie Tales movie on about Jonah.  Amazing little videos and the boys, my husband and I have a new favorite thing to watch together!

Thursday - "Hannah's Special Prayer" from Samuel 1-2 and it covered Psalm 86:6, "Please listen,  Lord!  Answer my prayer for help."  Hannah prayed for a baby boy she would give back to God to serve Him.  Here is a link to an archived article about why I named my blog, Raising Samuels after this story: http://raisingsamuels.blogspot.com/2013/10/raising-samuels.html.

Friday - "Jesus and His Friends" by: Kelly Pulley

Art/Music/Physical Education:
Monday - G colored 27 crayons for B's math lesson.

The brothers working together as a team to finish up their work so they could play with their new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle toys!

Tuesday - We took a walk around the neighborhood and then went swimming.  We sang "The Ants Go Marching One by One" in the pool and they were both "marching" across the water in their pool floats! 

Motor/Social/Critical Thinking Skills:
Monday - B cut and paste math lesson.  We also talked about teamwork so that's why I had G color B's crayons so they could work together as a team.

Math and Writing lesson.


Tuesday - We played colors at the pool.  We also read an Animal Baby magazine and we had to mimic the motions that Mommy did by honking like a goose, shivering because we pretended it was cold and that's why the geese had to fly south (migration), flapped our arms like wings, and we pretended to have binoculars on to see the geese in the sky.  We also did an I Spy and found objects hidden in a picture and then got to compare and contrast between a red beetle and other animals and beetles.

Wednesday - Awanas.

Thursday - We had some Playdoh fun with Daddy and made a butterfly, tree frog, larva, and a pupa to go along with our Science lesson this week and of course, Peter Pan.  My G loves making Peter Pan!

B is getting really good at drawing!  This is a picture of an elephant from Africa and a camel from Egypt. 

We had a Daddy homeschool day so the boys got to play with some Playdoh after our Science lesson.

The boys working together to make a tree frog out of Playdoh!

Writing:
Monday -  B wrote twenty seven and 27.

Math:
Monday - We counted from 1-27 and then we counted 1-13 for 13 fire fighters in a Clifford magazine.

Tuesday - The boys counted to 8 for the 8 prairie dogs found in the Animal Baby magazine from November 2012.

Other(ABCmouse.com, Science):
Monday - We did a Clifford magazine on Fire Safety and Teamwork.  Fire fighters work together by washing the fire trucks, helping to put on gear, steady the fire ladder, and hold the hose together to get the fire out.  We learned if there is smoke to get down low and try to get out of the house.  It is a good idea to touch the doors to make sure it is not hot because there may be fire behind the door.  It also says to not hide from the fire fighter and to yell so that they can come to the rescue.  I pray this never happens to my family or anyone's family but it is good to know safety procedures.  The boys also learned what things are hot and not to touch like a stove, iron, or candle and they had the pictures with the words underneath so it helps B know how to read more words.

Tuesday - We learned about the four stages of a butterfly which are egg, larva, pupa, and adult and also that this is called metamorphosis.  We learned about migration again because the butterflies migrate to Mexico and California.  They lay over 400 eggs and drink nectar from flowers or milkweed plants for nourishment.  We also learned about tree frogs and that they have red eyes, bright green skin, orange toes, (great colors review) and small, sticky toes to climb on things. 

Wednesday - B learned how to read log, frog, fog, and dog on ABCmouse.com.  He also did story sequencing, cards, puzzles, weather terms (snowy, rainy, windy, warm, hot, sunny, cold and foggy); and he did number graphing for numbers 1-5.  G did #1-5 on the farm and learned about different kinds of animals.

Friday - We had an App Day and the boys played their favorite game on Gamma's iPad that teaches them directions like up, down, left and right.

I apologize for this post being late.  We had pink eye hit our house this week but we are still trooping through with our homeschool week and are excited to share with you our new adventures later this week!  Hope everyone had an awesome week and keep listening for when God is trying to speak to you!  Let me know if you have ever had an experience like our Romans 8:28 this week!

Blessings,

Kelly






 

#homeschool #Christian #butterflies #firesafety




Monday, May 12, 2014

10 Ways to a Healthier Home

 

10 Ways to a Healthier Home

  1. Read scripture everyday (aloud if you can).  I try to get my devotionals in in the morning with my cup of coffee.  It makes me feel good and I start my day on a better note. 
  2. Sing hymns or Bible songs while doing a project, cleaning, or cooking.  Sometimes while doing homeschool work with my sons, I sing and they either start singing along with me or always want to come up and cuddle.  This is also good around nap times!   
  3. Praise God for your many blessings, even on bad days.  
    My mother-in-law taught me this one.  She told me how she was having a bad day one afternoon and started cleaning her house and she thanked God for every corner of her home.  She said her bad day soon got better after this so I try to practice this while I clean or when I'm having a bad day!  It's good to praise God on good days and non-cleaning days also!

  4. Light a candle.  
    Candles are amazing.  Whether scented or not, it just makes the room feel so much warmer and cozy.  Can't go wrong with candles!

  5. White vinegar and Dawn dish soap.
    I have seen this on Pinterest everywhere, but basically you mix equal portions of white vinegar with Dawn dish soap.  You can combine the two together in an empty spray bottle and spray on the surface you want to clean.  You can keep it on there and wipe immediately or have it soak for about 15 minutes in hard areas like the bath tub.  It works cleaning wonders on everything like kitchen and bathroom sinks, toilets, and bath tubs.  I don't know what the combination does but it leaves everything sparkling clean! 

  6. Natural cleaners.  
    I am a couponer so I know that these natural cleaners like Seventh Generation can be more expensive but I feel better about my home and the environment when I buy them.  The good news is if you see a sale and have good coupons to go with it, you can buy the better stuff for your family and buy it in bulk so it lasts you and your family a while.

  7. Healthy foods.  
    Have fresh fruit laying around and chances are because it is in eye sight, it has a better chance of being eaten.  I also put refrigerated snacks like applesauce pouches and string cheese in the cheese drawer so my kids can have easier access to it.  Chips and cookies in my pantry are a little higher on the shelf but I keep a bowl of healthier items like popcorn, granola bars, and fruit snacks on a lower shelf.

  8. Cook in your home a few times a week.
    This one sounds like a no brainer for some of us, but I know how hard it is to have two people work in a house and have to rush home to figure out what to eat.  Picking up food or eating out is an easier option but not always the best.  When I was working before I had my sons, my husband and I ate out 4-5 times a week!  Now, we eat out or order in maybe once every 2 weeks.  You get to eat healthier foods and the house always smells amazing after a meal when you cook at home!

  9. Give yourself a timeout!  
    I know technology is supposed to make our lives easier, but some days I feel like I can't keep up with everything!  On days like this it is good to read a book, grab a coffee with a friend, run, swim, bike, do yoga or catch up on a magazine that you want to read. 

  10. Help yourself and ask for help.  
    You and your family are all geared up for the upcoming family vacation or some fun weekend plans.  If you can, during the week try to get something accomplished every day so you can relax during the weekend.  This has worked wonders for me!  I don't have a set schedule but if that helps make Mondays clean the wet areas day, Tuesday dust, Wednesdays vacuum, Thursdays clean bathrooms, and Fridays laundry.  If you have children who are old enough for chores, ask them for help!  Even ask your spouse!  I love when my husband does the dishes or folds that last load of laundry.  Do any combination that works best for you.
Is there something that makes your house feel healthier?  Leave a comment and let me know!

This post originally appeared on Satisfaction Through Christ on 5/12/14.
 

#healthyhomes  #happyhome  #Christian