Our Morning Chore Routine {and a free printable!}

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Our Morning Chore Routine. Instead of cycling through different chores every day, we have a set routine we follow everyday and it work out great!

Our daily chore routine has taken trial and error to see what works for us. However, we’ve finally settled on a good schedule that has been working out well for about a year now.

Our household requires that chores must be done before school begins. I tried changing the schedule to where chores were done after school, but we only made it one day that way! I just can’t do school with a messy house. It helps all of our attitudes when the house is clean. :)

I really struggled with keeping my children focused on their chores each morning. That is, until my husband graduated college and was home in the mornings more. He came with up with a creative way to motivate our children and since we started it last year it has greatly improved the chore performance.

Before when we required chores to be done, breakfast and school just got pushed further and further back. Our children had no incentive to complete their chores and get on with their school day. We finally decided to set a firm time for breakfast – in our case 9 AM.

Teaching children to be diligent in their morning chores is crucial to how the rest of the day will go for the whole family! A clean house is a much better start to our school day.

If our children decide to dawdle and not to get dressed and complete their chore by 9 AM, they miss breakfast and have to continue working until they are finished. What a difference this made!

Now they (usually) get up and hurry to get their chores done! It isn’t perfect, but it has been a big help in motivating them each morning.

I will be quick to add that we give them grace in this. If we are up late, we let them sleep in and just tell them to quickly get started. If they had an extra big job that morning, we give them grace. But the general rule is for chores to be done by 9 AM, and we normally eat and get started with school around 10:00. Oftentimes I’m wrapping up business work from 9-10 each morning.

So what chores do our children do each day? We stick to a very basic routine. Each child has around one chore they have to do each day. We don’t alternate much and we change chores about once a year as the children get older.

Here is what our children do each morning:

11 year old boy – unloads and wash dishes each morning. I have a bad habit of leaving dinner dishes to be done in the morning. When Sean was in college we ate late and I was tired and not up to doing dishes. The habit has continued, though I hope to change that one day. :)

9 year old boy – Right now he alternates one morning sweeping the dining room floor and cleaning it, and the other morning he does a light cleaning job in the bathroom and normally brings up a load of laundry for me from the dryer.

6 year old girl – She alternates chores with our 9 year old. She does such a good job with her chores and works hard to get them done properly.

5 year old girl – She is in charge of cleaning the girls room each morning, and a few times a week she cleans the outside of the kitchen trash can with some natural cleaning spray and a rag. I don’t require her to get their bedroom totally clean, as that is a big job for her alone. But she has to work on tidying it up each morning.

3 year old girl – She floats around the house during this time, and I sometimes come up with a simple job for her to help with. :) A few of the jobs she does is pick up toys and she cleans the front of the oven with natural spray (sometimes LOTS of natural spray, lol).

If our children wake up and get started on their chores without being reminded about it, they receive a diligent check on their Character Badges chartWe try to encourage them as much as we can in their chores, and reward them when they do a good job. If they do an especially good job and go above and beyond what is required, they get a hard working check as well.

Character Badges Charts | Themodestmomblog.com

**For the month of March only you can get the Character Badges program totally free! Just click here to find out how!**

It’s helpful for me to have visual reminders of what the children are capable of doing. I especially lose focus on what my little ones are capable of doing when I have older helpers around. This age appropriate chore chart is helpful to print and put somewhere (like your refrigerator) for a quick reminder of a chore you can assign to your child! I hope you find it helpful!

Age Appropriate Chore Chart for Children!

Download the list by clicking on the link below. 

child_chore_list

I would love to hear how your household handles morning chores! 

 

DIY: Make Your Own Liquid Hand Soap Tutorial!

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When it comes to cleaning products, I don’t take the time to do a lot of DIY projects. I try to find natural cleaning products on sale, and stock up when I can. But when I saw different tutorials online to make this liquid hand soap, out of a bar of Mrs. Meyer’s soap I knew I wanted to try it!

DIY: Make your own liquid Mrs. Meyer's hand soap!

I love using Mrs. Meyer’s soap, the smell is amazing and it’s all natural. But at $5.00 a bottle, it is a splurge. I tried making my own liquid hand soap, and made a gallon of liquid soap for about $5.00 on supplies! That gallon of liquid soap is worth $50.00 of Mrs. Meyer’s hand soap. I find the savings to be worth my time in making this!

Grating soap for making liquid hand soap

All you need is one bar of Mrs. Meyer’s bar soap, some liquid glycerin, and a gallon of water! Some sort of hand grater is needed as well. I used the Lemon Verbena scent.

You need one bar of Mrs. Meyer's Hand soap to make your own liquid soap!

Open up a bar of Mrs. Meyer’s bar soap in your favorite scent, and admire how pretty it is. :) It’s your last look at this lovely bar of soap!

Grate your bar of soap using a hand grater!

Grab a hand grater, and start grating that lovely bar of soap into tiny shreds.

Grate your whole bar of Mrs. Meyer's soap into shreds.

Once you have the whole bar of soap grated up, stop and enjoy the smell for a minute. :)

Pour your grated bar of soap into a gallon of water

Pour your grated bar of soap into a gallon of water. Add 2 TBS of liquid glycerin as well.

Melting soap in a gallon of water

Stir your soap and liquid glycerin together over medium to high heat. Stir occasionally as you wait for the soap to melt.

The soap is all melted!

The soap is all melted! Now just turn off the heat, and let it sit on the stove for 10-12 hours, or overnight. I let mine sit overnight and preferred that. You are waiting for this soap to thicken up as it sits.

The soap is nice and thick!

After sitting overnight, the soap is nice and thick!

Mixing up the soap after it has sat overnight

After the soap has sat overnight, mix it up using a hand blender. This helps breaks up the thickness and blend it together well, before you put it into a container.

Make your own liquid hand soap with a bar of Mrs. Meyers soap!  You can save so much money through this DIY project!

Pour it into a gallon container, label it, and you are all done! It really doesn’t take very long to make this, and the cost is a huge savings!

I haven’t tried making this with any other brand of bar soap, so I can only recommend using Mrs. Meyer’s bar soap for this recipe to work.

If you are looking for more DIY inspiration, check out the DIY Ultimate Bundle that is only available through Monday! 

 

In other exciting news, Lilla Rose is having a one day Flash Sale today!! You can save 25% off everything on the website! The sale is only on until 8 PM, PST tonight, so don’t delay in getting your order in!

Lilla Rose One Day Flash Sale!

It’s Ok To Be A Mom And Be Creative!

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DIY projects. If you’re like me, you alternate between having a huge list of them that you look longingly at as you think “someday”, or you have completely given up on them.

At some point I gave up. What was the point of trying to start a project when you’re interrupted constantly by little children, the demands of life, and more responsibilities that require your immediate attention?

One day I realized what I was missing. I had lost my creativity and I really wanted to get it back.

That desire to sew, make some amazing Pinterest projects, try out a new recipe, or even just paint with my children. Of course, all of this still has to be balanced with real life. And real life is messy.

Messy House and trying to balance DIY projects as a mom!

Yes, that is my actual living room. This is what it looks like after a school day is over. I could let this defeat me, and honestly some days it does. I have to choose to be creative, or I can let the mess of life squash that creativity and my children will be in college before I ever touch a sewing machine again!

I have to make choices. I can call my children in and we all clean up the living room and dining room in 10 minutes together, or it can take me 45 minutes by myself and I lose any extra time I had to work on a project.

Please understand I don’t want to be creative just for my sake. I want to bless my family, sew my girl’s clothes and make our house a pretty and peaceful place. I’m not off at crafting classes learning how to decorate cakes or fire pottery simply to fulfill a need in myself (though I have nothing against cake decorating or pottery).

I still have to balance this creativity with the fact that I have young children and a home to look after. I have to make sure that when I find an outlet for all my pent up creativity that it blesses my family.

It's ok to take time and do a DIY project to bless your family!

So far this week I’ve taken some steps in the right direction. I got my serger out (it’s sitting by my rocking chair in the picture!), I sorted through some fabric and made a pile, I purchased paint for a project and bought Chalk Pastels to try an art project with my children. Baby steps..one day at a time, and before you know it, I’ll have a project completed!

Thankfully there’s an exciting new product to help  me quickly and easily get into (or back into) the creative projects I’ve been desperate to start. It’s called The Ultimate DIY Bundle, and it’s a collection of carefully curated DIY and crafting eBooks and eCourses from the world’s leading authors and bloggers in the industry.

I am so looking forward to diving into this DIY Bundle, and I hope you will join me!

For the crazy low price of just $34.95, you get access to a carefully curated library of over 76 eBooks and eCourses. And let me reassure you that this really is great value: the Ultimate Bundles team (who produced the resource) has spent MONTHS seeking out the most respected experts in the industry and asking them to contribute their premium-quality eBooks and eCourses. These really are the best of the best when it comes to DIY and crafting advice and information.

Topics in the bundle include:

Home decor

Furniture painting

Photography

Chalk pastels

Handmade gifts

Homemade skincare products

Cake decorating

Photography and photo-editing

Paint colors and interior design

…and a whole lot more (76 eBooks and eCourses in total) – to help you be inspired or get started with your next DIY or crafting project!

Here are just a few resources I’m excited about:

Click through to see all the other amazing resources that are included!

Hurry though! The Ultimate DIY Bundle will only be on sale for 6 days – from 8am EST on Wednesday, January 21 until 11.59pm EST on Monday, January 26.

You can buy with complete confidence because you’re covered by the Ultimate Bundles 30-day money-back guarantee. That means you have a full 30 days to enjoy all the eBooks and eCourses in the bundle, and if you don’t think they provided enough value, you’ll get a full refund.

Not only that, but The Ultimate DIY Bundle comes with 4 awesome bonuses, worth over $118. That’s 3x the price of the bundle alone! These include…

A free $15 Store Credit PLUS 8×10 Art Print from Hope Ink ($43 Value), a free online class from Craftsy (up to $60 Value), free $15 store credit to Fawnsberg.com, and a free sewing pattern PLUS a Premium Video Class from UpCraft Club ($19.99 Value).

Plus, when you order through our blog, you receive additional bonus offers!

DIY Bundle Bonus Offers Exclusively from The Modest Mom Blog!

To redeem these extra bonus offers available only through The Modest Mom Blog, order your DIY bundle and fill out this form:

So, don’t miss your chance to grab The Ultimate DIY Bundle, and get 76 incredible eBooks and eCourses for just $34.95. All you need to do is take action by midnight on Monday, January 26!

This amazing deal ends in just…

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Pick up your copy right now, before it’s too late. Or, learn more here.

 

Disclosure: I have included affiliate links in this post. Read the fine print about this bundle and read the answers to frequently asked questions about the bundle.

 

 

 

Getting the Creative Side of Me Back

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I’ve never been a super crafty person. I can sew, but not craft (there really is a difference). The more time goes on, the more I realize something.

I’ve lost the creative side of me.

Getting the Creative Side of Me Back Again!

The last two years of our life have been a blur. In order to get Sean through college and make it all work without going deep into debt, we all had to work super hard. Sean worked night and day on homework, and  any extra time was spent helping with Deborah & Co. The children pitched in and did extra housework so I could work on the business and blog.

As for me…my hobbies disappeared. All my energy went towards homeschooling, sustaining Deborah & Co. and this blog, and getting food on the table. When I would burn out (which definitely happened, especially the last semester of college in 2014), I would turn to fluff to distract myself briefly. A Jane Austen movie, an easy to read novel, or browsing Pinterest, dreaming of projects I would love to do but had no time or energy for.

This is the year of change. Sean is currently working on building his graphic design business, and I’m feeling the freedom to step back a little. I have our employee for Deborah & Co. coming more hours as needed, because I want a life back, and I need to carefully nurture the life that is inside me.

I read a book that dramatically helped me see what I’ve been missing. I’m not sure when a homemaking book has effected me so deeply. One night I was actually crying (of course that could be blamed on being pregnant and hormones!).

The Nesting Place Book.  I literally cried and laughed while reading this book.

The Nesting Place book is written by the blogger behind The Nester. I felt like she had peeked into my life and was writing out some of my story. She has lived most of her marriage in rental houses and somehow has managed to transform them into actual homes; places she loved living in.

When we moved to our rental house I looked at it as a survival house. We have lived here for two years now, and while we hope to move at some point this year, we are waiting on the Lord to bring the right house along and are hoping to save more money before purchasing.

In the meantime, I want to work harder on turning this house into a home – a place that we enjoy living in, even though it’s a small house (1000 square feet on the main level, and 200 hundred in the basement that is for business purposes).

I want to actually sew some projects, like I used to. That means getting my serger out and getting it threaded again. Not a fun task for me, but once I do that I can actually work on something!

…and make simple crafts with the children.

…and create an adorable space for the baby in our tiny bedroom,

…and make a fabric scrap banner for my girls.

Fabric Scrap Banner

I just purchased some Annie Sloan Chalk paint and I’m going to paint an end table that is in our living room.

I want to create a functional, yet beautiful house. Another book that is inspiring me is called The Comforts of Home. I love the ideas found here!

Two wonderful books on creating a lovely home!

I’m going to be creative again.

I’d love to have you join me in this journey! The timing couldn’t be more perfect, because starting next week the DIY bundle will be coming! This is put together by Ryan and Stephanie Langford, the same amazing people that do the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle. Since I’m married to an author that is in the bundle, I’ve been able to see all the resources that are coming, and I’m excited!! I’m actually going to Hobby Lobby tonight to purchase a few supplies for some projects that are in the bundle, and do them with the children. :)

If you can relate to this post, and want a chance to be creative again, you will want to sign up for this free four step email course that Ryan and Stephanie are offering. It has some printable worksheets and encouraging words to read through, and will provide you with some helpful tips and ideas.

Next week I’ll be sharing with you some ideas of how I’m fitting in time to be creative. It’s not easy, but if I don’t stop and take the time, my children will all be in college before I ever get creative again! :)