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Good Friday Meal, An Easter Tradition


When Charly was just a baby we started a fun yet very simple Easter week tradition. We start on Palm Sunday and talk/read about what happened each day the last week of Christ's life. We also enjoy finding videos about those same stories. And there is this Because of Him Easter site that was started this year that we have already been using.

Then on the evening of Good Friday we like to have a meal that may have been similar to what Jesus may have had for passover. We even sit on the floor to eat it. The kids love this simple little tradition.



Our meal typically consists of a lentil dish, dried fruit and nut mix, flat bread, hummus and grape juice. So simple but the kids look forward to it every year and always ask if we are going to do it again!

On Saturday the kids get a few fun small healthy "treats" in their Easter baskets. Usually there is something very practical like socks or flip flops and books. And then sometimes a very small toy like a yo-yo or lawn darts or something fun like that.

We hunt eggs and spend the day together and try to spend as much time together with family as we can. On Easter Sunday we go to church some of us sing in the choir as part of the Easter program. Then more often then not we have a spring type picnic meal with extended family and just enjoy being together and being grateful for our Savior.



Curried Lentils Over Rice
1 large onion, chopped
4 medium carrots, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons Olive oil
4 Tablespoons Curry Powder
3 cups brown or green lentils
6-8 cups water, divided
1 1/2 cups hummus
1 heaping teaspoon Vegetable Broth Powder
1 teaspoon Real Salt or to taste
pepper to taste
3-4 green onions, sliced
1 lemon cut into 8 wedges
cooked brown rice

Crock pot instructions:
In a warm crock pot, place the first 5 ingredients stir well and let warm up while preparing the rest of ingredients. Add lentils and 6 cups of water. Let cook on high for 3 hours or until lentils are tender. Add hummus, broth powder, salt and pepper and add more water to get desired consistency. Season to taste turn down crock pot and keep warm until ready to serve. Top with green onion just before serving. Serve over bowls of cooked brown rice, squeeze a wedge of lemon over each serving.

Stove Top instructions:
In a large pot heat olive oil then saute onion, carrots and garlic together. Add Curry powder and stir just until fragrant. Add lentils and 6 cups of water. Cover and let simmer for about 20-30 minutes or until lentils are done. Add hummus, broth powder, salt and pepper. Add more water if needed for desired consistency. Turn down to low and let heat through, stirring frequently. Season to taste. Top with green onion just before serving. Serve over  bowls of cooked brown rice, squeeze a wedge of lemon over each serving.
recipe adapted from Curried Lentil Soup

You will find my Totally Homemade Hummus recipe here.


Dried Fruit and Nut Mix
50% dried fruit
50% nuts

I just make a mix of about 50/50 dried fruit to nuts. I like to use what maybe would be maybe more traditional foods and that we don't very often eat in our other nut mixes. For fruit I will do figs, dates, raisins, apricots. Sometimes I will do dried cherries and cranberries. Usually I try to work with what I've already got. For the nuts I like to use walnuts, pecans, almonds and sometimes hazelnuts and pistachios.


Flat Bread

You can take about any dough and roll it into the flat shape you want and cook it like a pancake in a hot oiled pan or griddle. I have used My Best Yet Whole Wheat Bread recipe for this (I know not very traditional with the yeast and all;) or even this tortilla recipe just not rolled so thin would work.

This year though, since I have a sourdough start I am going to try a sourdough flat bread recipe. I have tried a few and they have all been eaten up but I haven't been super excited about any of them. So instead of posting an actual recipe I found this very cool sourdough flat bread link up that looks like it has lots of fun options. I'm going to choose one of those or a mixture of a few of them. ;) Hopefully I'll find something we love.

Rejoice for He is Risen and have a very Happy Easter!


My Weekly Meal Plan


My Weekly Meal Plan
First I want to be sure to remind you that today is the Encore Day of the Mom Conference! Where for free you can listen to the favorite presentations from last week. You can click here to sign up.

I was able to listen too and/or watch a lot of the Conference and let me just say I was so inspired and motivated by much of it!  I felt it was very much worth my time. And came away ready to tackle one of my favorite roles......that of being a Mother.  If you missed all or some of the conference or are like me and would like to study and re-listen to some of them you can purchase the entire conference if it's in your budget!

Speaking of budgets don't forget about the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle flash sale that will be coming your way a week from Wednesday. If your budget is pretty tight like mine you may need to choose only one or something just FYI.

Mom Conference

The cool part is that there are lots of amazing bonuses (My Simply Scheduled plus Cook Book Bundle) included.......I was thrilled to be selected to share this bonus with you. We did have a few "technical difficulties" with the coupon code not working this weekend........so very sorry about that! It is working now so I hope you will try again. If ANY of you have more troubles please feel free to contact me and I'll help you out.  Again I'm really sorry for any hassle.

Go Here to check out all the bonuses and to purchase......from what I understand the price increases tomorrow so today is probably the best day to do so if you are interested. Just want to be sure you knew about it.

Now a little about our week! Oh my goodness it was like summer last week. We had a storm Sunday morning and things cooled off a lot. Spring can be so unpredictable but I managed to get a little sun kissed last week.

It was a fun busy type of week. I think warmer weather just brings us out and wanting to do more. Missy spent a lot of time with friends......she has a great group of friends and I have to keep reminding myself that she is seventeen and it's a good thing to do with her time.

Matt had a scout camp this weekend where he took first place in the knife and tomahawk throw....who knew ;) and third in skeet shooting.....again I never knew he must have some of his grandpa in him we haven't spent much if any time doing those things. I found it kind of funny.

Homemade Smores

Matt knew there were going to be smores  made around the campfire at the camp-out he also remembered me making these at Christmas time. So he asked if we could figure out how he could have some too.

Here is what we came up with:
We made the marshmallows like we did here. I happened to have a box of whole grain pretty good ingredient graham crackers in food storage so we put a few in a baggie for him along with the homemade marshmallows and some carob chips. He said they were super tasty so of course last night we had to try it out too.  It was cold and windy so we improvised with the "camp fire" They do remind me of the smores I remember and my kids who mainly have not ever tasted such things were quite impressed to say the least. ;)

Healthy Marshmallows!
Alright now for our menu this week. Since it's the week of passover we like to spend a few minutes each evening talking about each night of the last week of Christ's life. And then on Good Friday we like to have a meal that we think may have been similar to one Christ may have had. We even sit on the floor to eat it. The kids love this tradition I will share the recipes we use for it later this week.

On Saturday we do the Easter basket, egg hunt type fun traditions and then Sunday we will be involved in a Easter program at church and then spend the rest of the day with extended family and being full of gratitude for our Savior. It is one of my favorite weeks of the year!

The rest of the week will be Simple. Healthy. and Tasty. as usual. With some fun new recipes from around the web we want to try too. I hope you have a great week and a very Happy Easter!

Veggie Lasagna
Crock Pot Lasagna


Our Weekly Meal Plan:

Monday:
Creamy Roasted Cauliflower and Artichoke Soup

Tuesday:
Chilaquiles

Wednesday:
Sauteed Garlic and Tomato Lentil Salad

Thursday:
Crock Pot Lasagna

Friday:
Curried Lentils over Rice with flat bread, hummus, dried fruit and nuts and grape juice

Saturday:
Leftovers

Sunday:
Hogi Sandwiches, Pasta Salad, Potato Salad, Blondie Brownies and maybe even some Berry Lemonade or Limeade


Healthify it Tammie.....Pinterest Board!

So a lot of times when I'm on Pinterest or looking for a recipe I come across some amazing looking food that I would love to try. My little sister likes to call this "food porn" you have to know my sister. ;)






Many times the ingredients in the recipe don't exactly fit our Simple Healthy Lifestyle. So I bookmark it and think, "Hey I'll come back to it and healthify it one of these first days." Well if you saw how cluttered and disorganized my bookmarks are (not too mention the shear number of them ;) you would know that I have a better chance of happening across it again and remembering to work on it then I do ever finding it among my bookmarks.

Why I bother to bookmark anything is beyond me. I haven't wanted to use pinterest to pin these recipes onto a pinterest board because 1) I didn't want you to think I was pinning these recipes to make for my family.....I live by the mantra example is the best teacher and although I'm far from perfect I didn't want to come across as a poor example, especially when we weren't even eating that stuff. ;) and 2) I didn't want to add to the much temptation that you see on your pinterest feeds.

I have debated about a secret board but then I came up with this really fun solution! I have created a Healthify it Tammie pinterest board. When I come across something that I think would be so fun to healthify I'll pin it there where it will be safe and where I will easily be reminded about the things I wanted to make healthy.





The Healthify it Tammie Pinterest Board

Also.....and here's the fun part: When you come across something that you would like to make but wish it was healthier you can tag me just by adding a comment to the pin with @SimpleHealthy Tammie and then I'll pin it to the board.

All the recipes that I want to try to healthify will be easy for me to find and then if I am able to perfect them I will post about it and then either pin the post on that same board or maybe create another one I haven't decided yet. We'll see how it goes.

In the mean time be sure to follow The Healthify it Tammie board and/or all my boards at http://www.pinterest.com/simplehealthy/

In other fun announcements:

There is another ultimate bundle ready to launch in 2 weeks that my newest ebook My Simple Health Life will be in along with more than 80 others. It will be a homemaking bundle this time and it is AWESOME so get ready for that......there will be more details soon.




Also one of my favorite books from the healthy living bundle is on sale now through the 13th. Get 25% off by using coupon code CRUMBS25!

High Protein, No Powder:  Protein Bars and Smoothies Made with Real Food

And last of all even if you missed the first 2 days of the Mom Conference be sure to catch today. It looks like there are lots of healthy type presentations that I'm going to be sure to catch.




I hope you are having a fabulous week!




My Weekly Meal Plan



Right now I'm listening to the Mom Conference. It's the first day and today is full of lots of fun info I'm especially excited to listen to Lisa Leake from 100daysofrealfood talk about tips from packing lunches without processed food but all of them look fun!

Mom Conference


We got through Pow-Wow, debate and activities I even managed to get the book read and make it to a new ladies book club started in my neighborhood. Even though I connect with lots of Women and Mothers online I struggle to get enough face to face time with them.

Especially since moving....it takes me a while to get to know and build relationships with new people. I'm not one who likes having a lot of superficial relationships. I like to have deep relationships so it takes me some time to build friendships.

Being an introvert I don't really love getting out and being around large groups of people.....it tends to drain me. I still do it but it's not my favorite thing to do and I'm not really able to get to know others in that way. So a small book group or a Mom's group with no more than 5 or 6 women is a better way for me to really get to know others and build lasting friendships. Which are the kind I prefer.

Quiet


Anyway our family spent the weekend together listening to General Conference. It was wonderful and I came away renewed and strengthened. I was reminded that I can love and respect all people even those who think differently than me. But in doing that I don't have to compromise my standards and beliefs.

I also was reminded that I don't need to compare myself with others and I don't have to try to be and do everything.  A perfectly clean home, putting kids in lots of activities, sports and music lessons and all the other things we feel like we must do to be a "good mom" really are not essential. They are optional.

Landeelu

What is most important to remember to spend time EVERYDAY in prayer, in the scriptures both by myself and with my family.....and being sure to take time to spend teaching my family during times like weekly Family Home Evening and daily Family Meal Time.

Speaking of family meal time.....I like to spend more time eating and sitting down at the table with the family then cooking the meal. So as usual dinner is simple and won't take up a lot of my time fixing.

With Sweet Potato and Black Beans


My Weekly Meal Plan


Monday:
Curried Cauliflower with Sweet Potato and Black Beans

Tuesday:
Baked Potato Bar

Wednesday:
Split Pea Soup

Thursday:
Mushroom Stroganoff

Friday:
Taco Sundays

Saturday:
Leftovers

Sunday:
Lentil Sloppy Joes


Food Photography

Just a quick reminder that the Mom Conference starts in 3 days! Have you seen the line-up of speakers and presentations? I think it will be a lot of fun I love learning from other Mothers!

Mom Conference

For some time now I have been trying to be a little better with the photography of my food. I'll be the first to admit that a photographer I am not! It's not really something I enjoy doing. But I do love and appreciate a good quality photo and I don't think a good recipe is complete without a good photo of the finished product.

A few years ago I saved up money and got me a nicer camera. Notice it's still a point and shoot I needed it to be simple or I would really hate using it. It does have some manual settings and has been a camera I am very happy with!

I still felt like most of my food pictures didn't do justice to how good the food was. So a while back when I came across the Tasty Food Photography book at Pinch of Yum, I knew it was something I should read. I didn't expect miracles but I was hoping to at least improve.

Tasty Food Photography eBook


I still don't love taking pictures but I do think putting some of the advice from the book into practice has helped......A LOT!  My biggest problem has been getting enough natural light. (Which I didn't really understand until reading this ebook) Since this blog is a hobby that pretty much pays for itself I don't make dinners in the middle of the day just so I can have good lighting.

I don't cook for my blog I cook for my family and most of the things I make and quickly take a picture of are just before we eat dinner and usually light is not the best at that time. I realized lighting was the biggest factor in the quality of my pictures.

So I started looking for something that would help me bring more natural looking light to my pictures. Like a mini studio or something but it had to be compact and affordable. Hobby remember. ;) That's when I found and ordered this.

So to try it out I thought I would do a retake a couple of  couple least photogenic foods that I have posted. (You know those ones that are just really hard to make look good especially if you are a total amateur like me.) Be sure to click on over to the recipes to see how the other pictures came out.

The first one was my Creamy Vegetable Soup:

Here is the before picture:

super fast vegetable soup

And here is the after:

Super Easy Whole Food Soup

The other was Mac and Cheese:

Before:

No Cheese Mac and Cheese


After:

Vegan Mac and Cheese

Now remember least photogenic. It would probably help more if I got some props or garnish or something. I'm still working on what props might help non-photogenic foods look good. But I still think there is quite a bit of improvement and I'm excited to be able to at least get decent lighting no matter what's going on outside my window. I'll keep practicing. I don't see me ever becoming a pro but I hope at least that when you see one of my recipe pictures you will think, "Yummy I want to make that!"


Tasty Food Photography eBook

My Weekly Meal Plan

My Weekly Meal Plan

Last week was extra busy with something going on nearly every evening. I don't really like it when we have weeks like that but they do happen at times. I work hard to avoid it but sometimes.....what can you do. The boys all had BSA Pow-Wow two evenings last week then there was youth night and of course Ry and I wouldn't miss our date night.

It just makes dinner time more rushed. To me family meal time is more then just sitting down to quickly eat and then moving on to more important matters. I like to think of family meal time as the most important matters. Yes having a good healthy meal is important but even more so the conversation that happens especially when we aren't rushed and don't have to be somewhere else.

Simple Healthy Scouts

The clearing of the table and getting the dishes done is often put off for obvious reasons. We will just linger at the table and I love to sit there for as long as everybody will and just visit. We talk about all sorts of things and I love this bonding time that we can just connect as a family.

Missy has been working really hard for a debate that she has tomorrow, it seems to be stressing her out a bit. I reminded her that it was just another debate and to not obsess over it too much. It seemed to relieve some of her stress when I reminded her to not let her schooling get in the way of her education. She kind of let out a sigh of relief and smiled and be and said, "Good point Mom."

I hope no matter if she wins or looses that she will feel good about her performance. Not sure why she even enjoys debate I'm way too sensitive for that sort of thing.

For a few months now Charly has been in a whistling mood and is whistling a tune nearly all day every day. It annoys her siblings quite a bit at times. But mostly I love it. I feel like it brings a cheerful happy mood to he home. It makes me smile. I know it won't last so I'm enjoying every minute of it. She's really good a whistling by the way. ;)

Even though the weather likes to switch from warm to cold frequently this time of year, I really start to get in the mood for picnic type food. You will see some of that along with some soups still on the menu this week. It's just the nature of springtime!

Quinoa Patties

My Weekly Meal Plan

Monday:
Pizza Casserole

Tuesday:
Chickpea Salad Sandwiches

Wednesday:
Mac and Cheese

Thursday:
Minestrone Soup

Friday:
Quesadillas, with Quinoa Salad

Saturday:
Leftovers

Sunday:
Quinoa Burgers

The Mom Summit

It's Now Called the Mom Conference

Okay remember when someone told me I couldn't call my Chia Recipe what I was calling it. Well I guess that has happened with The Mom Summit oh ah I mean Conference. But I only had to change the title and a couple little things.

Poor Desi and her team has had to change domain name, logos, adds, etc. pretty much a re-branding. But they are doing a great job and are only going to be a week behind. I want to be sure to help out and keep the positive energy of this conference going.

The Mom Summit

The Mom Conference is going to be more fun than shopping in PJs and fuzzy slippers, and more educational than having brunch with Dr. Oz, Dr. Phil and Dr. Spock! And, better yet, it’s ONLINE and FREE from April 7 – April 14, 2014!

Desi Ward, host of The Mom Conference and creator of The Unconventional Kitchen, created this educational and entertaining event because no mom is perfect. That’s why we MUST share our strengths! You know the whole idea “I’ll do your laundry if you do my dishes?” At The Mom Conference we’ll gather together to learn from each other because we’re our greatest resource!


It only takes about 10 seconds to register for FREE at this link!

WHY ATTEND?
Being a mom can be overwhelming at times, right?! The Mom Conference contains 30+ online classes to make motherhood more enjoyable. 30 rock star bloggers (mostly moms) will be teaching classes on topics incredibly important, like:

- Cooking a month’s worth of dinners in ONLY a couple hours!
- Getting kids to listen without yelling, nagging or reminding!
- Making sure there’s not just heat in the kitchen, but how to put the sparks in your marriage,    too!




Sounds amazing, right?


Here are a few of the incredible presenters:

Get Kids to Cooperate Without Yelling or Nagging
with AMY MCREADY from positiveparentingsolutions.com

Knock Out a Month’s Worth of Dinners in One Day
with TRICIA CALLAHAN from onceamonthmeals.com

Feel Connected in a Disconnected World
with HANNAH BRENCHER from moreloveletters.com

I Lost 60 Pounds & Kept it Off: YOU Can Too!
with JEN GROTHE from jen-fit.com

Get & Stay Organized: A Fail-proof System
with JENNY LAYTON from thehappygal.com

Healthy Marriage: Top 3 Successful Marriage Tips
with DINO & SHANNON WATT from bizofmarriage.com

… along with 20+ additional presenters sharing their wealth of knowledge. This invaluable (and FREE) resource is intended for moms everywhere!

Better yet, if you register today, you’ll have access to the following FREE GIFTS as soon as your registration has been completed!

- FREE Video 1: Creative Ways to Get Kids to Love Fruits & Veggies
- FREE Video 2: Tips & Tricks for Awesome Hair
- FREE Video 3: Make Foaming Hand Soap in One Minute
- FREE Video 4: Find Jeans That Flatter Your Body Type
- FREE Video 5: The Best Tasting Green Smoothie

Come listen ONLINE and be inspired from April 7 – April 14, 2014!

Mom Conference

See you at The Mom Conference from April 7 – April 14!

Egg Replacer, Make Your Own

I have bought energy brand egg replacer for a lot of years now. Not too long ago I wondered if I could make it myself. I had bought some tapioca flour (and for the life of me can't remember what I was going to use it for but that's okay cause I found another use) which was one of the main ingredients on the box. The other was potato starch. So I went to the Azure website to see if by chance they sold it in bulk. And sure enough there was potato starch.

At more than seven dollars a box I figured making my own should save me some money. So I did the math:
5 pounds potato starch = $8.35
5 pounds tapioca starch = $8.00
I already had the baking soda and other ingredients on hand but I figured that cost in there too.

So my best calculations tell me that to make a pound of egg replacer will cost me not quite $2.50. A one pound box of Energy Egg Replacer is $5.75 right now through Azure. That's a savings of over half!

At more than 50% savings I say it's worth it to make my own. I will be making my own from now on.

This obviously would make more than just the one pound box so the upfront costs would be more. But then you have plenty in your food storage and you are never out of eggs so to speak. ;)

I'm pretty excited about this because I use this in a lot of my baked goods.  Like these Snicker Doodles, Blondie Brownies, Ginger Bread Cookies, etc. A lot of times I will use a ground flax or chia seed paste as an egg replacer but certain recipes don't hide their flavor and/or texture well enough so that's when I opt for this.

It took a few tries to get the recipe to where I felt it was "right" but I have been using it for well over a month now and find it works every bit as well as the stuff you buy.




Make Your Own Egg Replacer
2 1/2 cups potato starch
1 1/2 cups tapioca flour
1/3 cup baking powder (non-aluminum)
2 Tablespoons baking soda
1 teaspoon cream of tarter (optional)
1 teaspoon guar gum (optional)

Mix all ingredients together into a jar with a lid. For the replacement of one egg use 1/2 Tablespoon of powder to 1/4 cup water. May add more or less powder depending on consistency you want.


The Mom Summit

Okay so it looks like they may have changed the date for the Mom Conference. I'm sure those of us who have signed up will get notification about it and if you haven't signed up it looks like you may have an extra week to do so. But why wait if your like me you might forget if you don't just do it now. It's free and it only takes a few seconds!

My Weekly Meal Plan

Simply Scheduled

It was so nice to spend a weekend at home. Ryan and the boys had scouting for food Saturday morning but it didn't take long they were able to go pick up our Bountiful Basket. I had seen dragon fruit before but we had never tried it. I thought it was pretty good not super flavorful, reminded me a lot of kiwi only a more mild flavor. We added it to our Mango Salsa with dinner it went well with it.


Dragon Fruit

We worked in the yard. Got the garden tilled up and amended the soil. We are hoping our garden will be much improved this year.  Peas and Kale and some lettuces will be planted withing the next week or two. I think I'm even going to try planting a few cabbage seeds outside soon and see how they do. I have always started them indoors first but I know they are pretty cold hearty so I'm going to give it a try. Not sure it it will work.

Next I will plant onions, carrots, beets, and beans. Then once danger of frost is past I will do tomatoes, peppers, squash, basil and whatever else we think we want.  I'm so excited for planting season.....actually what I'm really excited for is eating fresh picked yummy things from our garden again! There is just something to be said for GARDENING.



The kids seemed to be a bit congested this week like they all have a bit of a cold. But they are about better now. I have been impressed with how well they have done this year. We didn't have any sickness all winter except for a little cold here and there. None of the stomach flu that was going around or the strep or anything like that.

Homemade Elderberry Syrup
I'm so grateful. I feel like having Elderberry Syrup on hand and having them take it all winter really helps. We have done that for a couple of years now and I just wish I had done it sooner. I also feel like as they get older they all have more developed immune systems and things just don't get them down as easy.

THE BODY SEEMS TO WORK WELL WHEN GIVEN THE CHANCE. Each child is different and some of my definitely seemed to have a stronger immune system at a younger age then some of my other children. But I really feel like if instead of running for a drug of something to stop symptoms every time they start......that helping support the immune system with healing herbs and foods really helps it to develop into good strong system that helps protect you from disease.

Obviously there can be exceptions and each person is different, but my experience has been that when given the chance NATURE WORKS! Having good health is just so important to me I feel I can't truly be who I need to be if I don't feel good.

Okay sorry a bit of a ramble but speaking of health here is our menu of healthy dinners for this week.

Lettuce Wraps
My Weekly Meal Plan:

Monday:
Chili Cheese Fries

Tuesday:
Chimmy's

Wednesday:
Artichoke Tomato Alfredo

Thursday:
Lettuce Wraps

Friday:
Quinoa Burgers

Saturday:
Leftovers

Sunday:
Taco Sundays


Mom Conference

Chores, My Favorite Method

So I finally found a moment to sit down and share my very most favorite chore system I have ever used. I had tried many different little systems. We had a "chore store" once, that lasted maybe two weeks, I have tried a bean jar, many different types of charts and I even had Ryan make up this awesome wood board with lots of little hooks to move chore tags I had made around.

The last one lasted the longest at about a month (then we tried to make it work for quite a few months after that but it was really hit and miss when we would use it) but only because we had worked so hard to make it I didn't want to see it fail. But oh it failed. I think I tried about every program out there. Until one day it dawned on me that it wasn't that they weren't all good programs it was just that none of them fit my personality.

I'm not a hovering type of Mom.....I believe that freedom and responsibility brings more freedom and responsibility and that natural consequences seem to bring the most learning and growth. Don't we all remember things better and grow more when we learn from our mistakes.

Just yesterday it was a beautiful day and the kids were all excited to go to the park. When it was time to go there were a number of chores that had not been finished so they missed out on the opportunity to go to the park on a nice wind free day (those are few and far between around here this time of year). Kids are fast learners and they catch on pretty quickly when it comes to learning what it takes to get what you want.

So I started to think long and hard about what type of system would fit my personality as a Mom and teach my children responsibility. It took my quite a while of thinking and planning but I eventually figured out a system that has worked and we have maintained it for over 7 years now.

Every six months to a year I update it and change things around but this only takes about 30-40 minutes. Once the initial time commitment and planning are taken care of it takes very little of my time to maintain. My favorite part is that we don't count up points or keep track of silly little motivational gimmicks.

I'm not the kind of Mother that follows through with such things. I like natural consequences. Like if you don't do your dishes well on your dish day you get to do dishes again the next day on someone elses day. Or things like the park example above. They seem more natural to me and there is no bribery or allowances involved.


Alright here it is my favorite method:

Years ago I sat down and listed all the household duties that needed to be done to maintain order and cleanliness in our home. Then I divided them up into Daily and Weekly items. It went something like this:

Daily Items

These first few are fairly self explanatory they all do them every day.

Make Bed
Get Dressed
Comb Hair
Brush Teeth
Read Scriptures
Say Prayers

Clean Room – I used to be more of a stickler about this being a daily thing. But now that they are older and their bedrooms are in the basement so I kind of let them be in charge of how they want to keep it picked up. They don’t keep toys in their rooms so usually it doesn’t usually get too bad. They are required to clean their rooms up really good at least once a week before we vacuum.

Dishes – Each child has one or two dish days a week, depending on age and ability. On their day they are responsible for keeping up with the dishes and keeping the kitchen in order. Of course everyone helps but it is mainly that child’s responsibility.

Sweeping and Mopping – This also needs to be done frequently so each child who is able is assigned one or two days a week. We sweep more often then we mop. We mopped a lot more often when the kids were younger.

Garbage taken out – Again this is done often I have assigned this to the boys and they basically take turns taking it out.

Basic Picking up – This can’t be done often enough. I used to assign different rooms out to each child and rotated it every time I changed up the chore chart. Now that the kids are older I don’t have this assigned they just know it is up to them to keep stuff picked up. Sometimes they are better at it than others. If it gets bad I can usually just ask one or two of them to pick up a certain room that needs it and they can pickup really quickly.

Weekly Items

Laundry – Yep I’m one of those who has a weekly laundry day and we dig in, do it once a week and get it over with until the next week. It works for me! Each bedroom has a laundry basket that they put their dirty clothes in. They are each assigned a bedroom to get the laundry basket from and take it to the laundry room and sort it. On their chore list they are each assigned specific loads of laundry they are in charge of. They take care of that loads washing, drying and folding. Then they all put their own clothes away.

Dusting – I change this up sometimes I have one child in charge of it all the time. Right now each child has a week that they are in charge.

Vacuuming and Bathrooms– This happens every Friday. One Child does the upstairs one does the basement. Then the other one with the help of the youngest (who can’t quite use a vacuum yet) cleans the bathrooms and vacuums the stairs with the little vacuum. This just rotates every week.

Less often items are part of Thursday Rotation. Which I will explain below. Thursday Rotation is a concept that I came up with that I love! It takes the pressure off spring cleaning and the like.

I just take this list and divide everything up and make a list for each child that looks something like these:

Some of the seasonal type chores are included in the Thursday Rotation. But there are others that are so unpredictable that I just assign as needed. Like mowing the lawn or snow shoveling, weeding, garden chores etc.

Thursday Rotation

This is my favorite part of my system. I know if the kids are following their chore charts and then we take a little time once a week (obviously we chose Thursday) to do what I affectionately call Thursday Rotation....then I know that our home is staying pretty well maintained, cleaned and even for the most part deep cleaned without much time or effort on our part. 

Here is a link to my list in Word or click on Icon Below. I will take and assign (by putting their name in bold in front of each item) each job. Even Dad has his name by a few items on this list. I have deleted our names but this is the current list we are using. At the bottom of the page you will see our family motto and this years scripture.



Thursday Rotation Document

That pretty much covers it. As you can see it's nothing fancy and very practical but I have found it works really well for me. I hope I explained it well but if you have any questions please feel free to ask in the comments below!






 

I love learning things like this and other hints, time savers, healthy ideas, beauty tips, and things from other Mother's. So I signed up for The Mom Conference. It starts April 7th....you can sign up too if you are interested!

Mom Conference

My Weekly Meal Plan

Meal Plans Made Easy

This past week I knew we would be traveling come the weekend so I prepared. I made a big batch of High Protein Granola and some Chewy No-Bake Granola Bars that we could take with us.

Ryan took the boys Friday up North with him to help clean up the Northern Branch. I took the girls and went South to my Aunt Renee's funeral. The funeral was perfectly wonderful and Aunt Renee will be greatly missed but I know she is not far and that she is no longer in pain. I am grateful for my knowledge of the plan of salvation.

Ginger's Garden Cafe
photo credit


The boys had a fun time and I was jealous that they got to go eat at Ginger's Garden Cafe (my most favorite healthy place to eat in Utah County). The girls and I were able to stay with my parents so of course Mom made sure we had good food to eat. Mom's are always so good that way!


We were also sure to pack whatever we had in the fridge like apples and oranges and a few leftovers. After all these years of practicing eating healthy while On The Go we find it's really quite easy to stick with eating healthy even while traveling.

This week I'm feeling a  little behind because of the busy weekend. We are also getting low on food in the fridge because it's been over 2 weeks since I have been grocery shopping. So I will try to meal plan with what I've got. I may need to get a little creative and I will probably need to make a shopping list and at pick up at least a few things.

Orange Veggie Stir Fry


My Weekly Meal Plan

Monday:
Barley Soup with Irish Soda Bread (I'm going to search recipes and try to find or come up with a heathified version.....I have never made this before or even tried it so it should be fun)

Tuesday:
Fajitas

Wednesday:
Orange Veggie Stir Fry

Thursday:
Flatbread Falafel Sandwich

Friday:
Veggie Pot Pie

Saturday:
Leftovers

Sunday:
Baked Potato Bar

Environment is Key

environment_key

Today I'm taking off my food blogging hat and blogging with my Homeschool Mom hat on. (Not something I do very often.) But with almost 15 years of homeschooling under my belt. I hope maybe I have a few things to offer.

Many of my thoughts and ideas have and still do come from Leadership Education, The Phases of Learning. I can't recommend it highly enough to ALL parents homeschooling or not.

Check my post out over at The Laundry Moms!
Please feel free to show your support by sharing, liking and commenting. Thanks a bunch.