Monday, July 29, 2019

34 Weeks of Clean 2019! Week 29- The Garage

Maybe I should have just named this week the Man Cave Edition.  Seriously, what is it with men and their garages?

If I was in charge of our garage this is what it would like like, I am sure of it! ;)

garage workbench makeover, garages, home improvement, organizing, storage ideas
 Or this...
MotorDeck 12 in. x 12 in. Diamond Graphite Modular Tile Garage Flooring (24-Pack)-G90024GRPH - The Home Depot

I am not in charge of our garage so this is what it looks like-

Just keeping it real, folks!

In my husband's defense, this is our first FOREVER home and we have had so many projects to do.  And we moved here in August.  Yes, it may be a dry heat but 110 degree temps outside equal infernos in a garage so we have had limited work time in that space.  But, hey, I can shut the door and, ta-da! out of sight, out of mind!

The garage is not an area that I feel all that comfortable cleaning out by myself.  If it were up to me, I would simply dump it all in the trash with the exception of about five things.  Really, I would.  But my sweet hubby might have a heart attack.  Luckily for him, I am nice than that.  Most of the time.  Don't ask him about the things I trashed when he was deployed, please.  I was under a lot of stress, just saying.

So roll up your sleeves and let's get to work on those GARAGES!

  • Empty it all out! Yes,  because we had recently done all of the Christmas buns, those did stay in place.


  •  Sweep and then hose down the concrete.  We used to worry about dirt after LONG winter of snow or just plain weather.  Now we have to content with the dirt that blows in during monsoon weather.  Who knew!  I hate to even think about how much junk we track into our home.  Another reason we leave shoes at the door!


  • Now is a great time to wash out your trash can and recycling cans!  Those things can get smelly!

  • Throw out any trash that has accumulated over the last year and sort out anything that is broken and not being used.

  • Now is the time to start putting back the things you are keeping-

Put like things together and organize.  Think outside the box here!  Can you hang bikes from the rafters?  Can you hang tools on a wall?  We use an old trashcan to store rakes and shovels and such!

  • If you have storage containers, now is the time to clean them out.  Throw away things that have not been used in years.  Most of the stuff we hang on to "just in case" never gets used.  It is just taking up space, I promise!  You CAN be prepared without being a pack-rat!

 Quick fun peek at our work in progress.  Now that we are staying put for a while, hubby wants to create a work space.  First project on hand was to make a tool wall and add a work space.  He had a little help, but they got the job done.  Now, on to phase two- organizing all of the stuff in the cabinets.  I will have to keep you posted on that one when we can actually work in the garage without risk of heat stroke!

When you are done, pat yourself on the back!  Or treat your hubby to a night out on the town!  Whatever works! ;)  Don't worry, we are headed back inside soon.


Week 4- Fridge, Freezer and Floors
Week 5- Recipes 
Week 6- The Stove and Loose Ends 
Week 7- The Dining Room 
Week 8- The Living Room 
Week 9- Books 
Week 10- Bathrooms  
Week 11- The Foyer
Week 12- The Family Room and DVDs 
Week 13- Pictures and Scrapbooks
Week 14- Arts, Crafts and Hobbies 
Week 15- The Master Bedroom  
Week 16- The Master Closet 

Friday, July 26, 2019

Let's Talk About...History

Welcome back to week 3 of our Let's Talk About...Series!

While Math and Science are not my favorites, History is something I can get excited about!

I have a household of History buffs (can you say millions of random facts?) that would rather spend the day in a museum than most other places.  While I admit I did not pay as much attention in my school day's history classes, I have since caught up and moved forward while learning with my kids through the years.

We have used lots of different programs through the years, but today I want to stop and highlight a few I think you shouldn't miss!

Sonlight- We use Sonlight most years as our jumping off point for school, to include History.  I love that the Literature provided as well as the read alongs are tied to the time in history you are studying and the actual History reading is a mix of texts, historical fiction, and numerous non-fiction books.  It is  A LOT of reading, but hey, that's why we love it!  My oldest two who have since graduated from college will pick books off the school shelves to read again and even get excited when they see their brothers reading an old favorite! 

Veritas Self Paced History-  This is one of those programs you just cannot stop talking about.  A friend exposed me to it at first, and then we had the opportunity to review it.  We ended up doing the full 5 year cycle and were so disappointed when we finished it last year.  It is online based and very interactive.  Be sure to read my review on this program and ask me anything you can think of!  THIS IS THE BEST OF THE BEST!

Notgrass History- We have used two of this series for the middle school age and was very pleased with them both.  Uncle Sam and Me covers government and America the Beautiful covers US History.  There are activity books you can use (we liked them) and you can also incorporate literature and Bible in as well.  Exploring Government is a high school level and a great 1/2 credit course as well!

Masterbooks- This year is our first year using this series and a week in I can tell you I like it.  The reading is good, the pictures help bring the information to life, and the accompanying, short workbook pages cover the information you need without becoming busy work.  Like Veritas, each book covers a period of time in History.

Some extras that just add to the fun-

Heirloom Audio Dramas- We have reviewed more than several and my boys love listening to them.  For an auditory learner this is a great way to get in your history!  They also come with study guides if you want to expand them as true curriculum.,
YWAM Books-  If you have readers in your house, they will love these.  There are two separate series- Heroes of Faith and Christian Heroes: Then and Now.  Both are equally good.  They are written more at a middle school level, but even high schoolers and adults will enjoy them.  I will not admit to how many we have, but here are reviews for a few we have used.

Drive Thru History- It is no secret that we are huge Dave Stotts fans!  There is just no one out there on video who is more knowledgeable and more entertaining!  He make learning history fun for the whole family.  Not only does he have regular history DVD series, but also several  Biblical history sets, and a new Adventures Series on FB and the web.  Check it out, especially if you are schooling multiple ages at once.  Another amazing resource for auditory and visual learners!

Again, I am not getting anything for recommending these products!  These are just some of our family's favorite that we wanted to share with you.  Enjoy the history search, but more importantly, enjoy HISTORY!


 Also in this series-

Let's Talk about...Science
Let's Talk About...Math

Monday, July 22, 2019

34 Weeks of Clean 2019! Week 28- The School Room

Welcome back to 34 Weeks of Clean!  This week is for all you homeschoolers out there.  If you are not a homeschooler, I invite you to stick around anyway- you can always just laugh at the mania. Trust me, there is plenty of it!

You can also use this week to catch up, just saying! ;)  Scrapbooks, anyone?

For background in case you are new here- we have been homeschooling our four kiddos for the past 21 years.  The two oldest have since graduated from college and the next is a senior in college.  I am down to two boys in case you are counting.  I began teaching my oldest when she turned four, giving myself some breathing room in case it did not go well.  I decided if it was a failure of a year, I could still put her right into public kindergarten and not bat an eye.  The year was not one of our best but we decided to stick it out and have not looked back once.  Well, we did question our sanity a time or two, and I have threatened to send them to the worst public school I could find, but that was mainly in our first few years.  I have since asked for forgiveness. ;)

So, what does all this have to do with cleaning and organizing?

Have you SEEN the curriculum that is involved with homeschooling?  Not to mention the supplies!

Each shelf holds two grades.  "Extras" we have are currently on the floor in front.

Yes, I have always had a tote for every year, and then one for foreign languages and art.  In our new home I have an extra closet so I have ditched the totes and put it all on shelves.  Makes it easier to get to for sure! There also used to be a rolling cart full of manipulatives, flash cards, and games, but I have since taken that down to one small basket.  I know, can you believe it?!  Since I am schooling our last and my daughters have assured me they will buy their own stuff eventually to school future grandchildren, I am not hanging on to tons of curriculum!

This year's reading and some "extra" history curriculum.
Then there is this-

Supplies we use daily.

Yes, my school room is also my dining room and we keep current curriculum in the hutch drawers. Don't judge.  It's just what works best for us at this stage in our life with one child schooling.

Now, keep in mind, I have homeschooled four kids, have done so for 21 years, and own a lot of curriculum.  Ok, probably too much!  Also, keep in mind that I am not currently operating out of a dedicated school room- just the dining room.  With no school room, I keep a bookshelf in the boys loft with all of our other educational books- ranging from readalouds to history and science reference books.  They are easily accessed and Colby can often be found sitting in front of it looking through them.  It's his own private little library.

We are currently operating on a summer school schedule, but it is just a matter of time before we get back to full time schooling, as I assume many of you are doing as well.  In preparation, here we go!

This week's assignment is to clean up and clear out the school room!

That is going to look differently for many of us but here are some things to think about-

  • If you have a dedicated school room, now is a good time to do a deep clean.  Pull as much as you can out and CLEAN!

               Windows, blinds, and curtains
               Ceiling Fans

  • Now's your chance to try out a fresh furniture arrangement and maybe some new decorations!  I have seen some of your schoolrooms- wow!  Beautiful! 

  •  Have your kids write their goals for the school year on poster paper and hang it up for a visual reminder.

  •  Regardless of where you school- go through the books!  If you are going to use it, put it back on the shelf.  If not, sell it, donate it, or trash it.  Do not hang on to things you do not need!

  • Go through all of the random papers!  If you like to keep children's work, I would encourage you to limit to it one file per child.  If there are things you just can't move out, take a picture of it first and then toss it.  I promise you, you are more sentimental than most of your kids and they will not miss it.  A few prized things from each grade are enough!

  •  Keep extra school supplies in one place.  This will help you know what you already have when the back-to-school sales start soon.  Yes, it is great to pick up supplies at rock bottom prices, but no, no one needs 100 spiral notebooks. 

These are currently our supplies other than what is in Colby's drawer.  Seriously, I was so done with stuff I got rid of most of it.  You can only use but so much stuff and I do not want to collect just for the sake of having it!  I bought a total of TWO notebooks this year (cost me .99), and one pack of pencils.  No joke!  It was freeing.  My best advice- if you really do not meed anything, STAY AWAY FROM THE SALES AND TARGET AND WALMART for a few weeks.

I am not even kidding will suck you in and the excitement (or frenzy) will take over and you will come out with stuff you DO NOT need.