Browsing Category: Stay at home moms

Household Notebook Preview

A few weeks ago, I announced a project alert to let all of you know some serious crafting would be occurring over here at casa de phillips.

Serious crafting might be a stretch, but I have (almost) completed my household notebook.
Let’s take a tour, shall we?
Opening Cover.

I purchased one pad of coordinating scrapbook paper at our local craft store. I knew if I didn’t make my household notebook semi-cute, that I would not be interested in using it. I bought paper that coordinated with my kitchen (colors of red, yellow, and sage) so the notebook would not look too obvious in its resting place on the kitchen counter. Although it might appear that I got “scrapbook-y” while making this notebook, please note I made all dividers and the cover one night while watching Food Network.
Pocket of Useful Tools:

This pocket contains two Sharpie fine point pens, scissors, hole-punch, and a calculator. It could really use a roll of Scotch tape…but I am currently running low.

Divider One: To-Do Lists and Calenders

This is where I keep my daily to-do lists, my running list of things I need to do eventually, and my monthly calenders.

Divider Two: Menu Planning and Grocery

This section is where I keep my menu plan for each week. If you aren’t doing menu planning, you need to start. It is a great time-saver (no more moments of panic at 5pm when you wonder what you will possibly serve to your family and hope they don’t notice you are eating PB&J again) and money-saver (no last minute trips to the grocery store in search of needed items…only to return home with such items plus ten more). I menu plan for two weeks at a time and do our major grocery shopping every two weeks as well. I do have to get milk and sometimes fruit/bread every week simply because we don’t have the freezer space to buy such items in bulk.

I also keep a running list of past meals that were big hits in this section as well as a list of recipes I want to try out. Nothing fancy here…just a list I can add to when needed.

Below is a photo of my price book, every thrifty shoppers friend. I keep a running record of what I pay for certain items (milk, cheese, meat, diapers, etc.) so I make sure I am not forking over too much money for our neccessities.

Divider Three: Emergency Information and Family Info

This is an important aspect of my Household Notebook. It has emergency information for all members of our family should an outsider need these details quickly. It has doctor’s phone numbers, emergency contacts, medical releases for each child in case someone else needs to give consent for their care, etc. Such forms can be found on the Internet…simple Google it!

Divider Four: Kids

In this section I have all information related to Isaac and Evelyn. This includes schedules for each, rules for each, basics of what they like/don’t like, and suggested activities in our area for them to participate in. At the back of this section I also keep ideas that I have stumbled across that I would like to try out with the kids (crafts, activities, educational things).

Divider Five: Cleaning

I wish this divider did not have to exist, but I never want my home to be submitted for Clean House. Therefore, I clean on a schedule each week. This divider has a check-list that I can use each week of chores that need to get done…some are daily, some weekly, and some monthly or seasonally. For example, each day I make beds, sweep, clean counters (multiple times), put away stray items, and pick-up toys (before nap and before bedtime….kids help with this one). Each week, I do a good basic cleaning of all the standards: mopping (actually do this about three times a week because I live with toddlers), vacuuming, dusting, cleaning bathrooms, washing linens (Tobe does all our other laundry), etc. Each month I attempt to clean baseboards, dust fans, and find those odds and ends that need to be cleaned but seem to get skipped.

Ah, cleaning…the task that never ends.
Divider Six: Contact Information

(This picture is missing and I only have about ten minutes of blogging time left…hopefully I will get it on here soon. Until then, use your imagination)

This is where I keep a list of close friends phone numbers and addresses so I have quick access to them. We keep an extensive address book on our computer as well, but I wanted a place to keep those that I use on a regular basis. I also have a section for business numbers that we use frequently (Pharmacy, pizza, library, etc).
Divider Seven: School

Isaac’s preschool sends out a newsletter each month along with various handouts. This section serves as a base for such paperwork. Because I will immediately know where to find his newsletter, I will never miss out on knowing the letter of the week or what item he needs to take for show-and-tell.

Divider Eight: MOPS

My MOPS group has excellent newsletters filled with important, useful information. Rather than letting the papers pile up in my purse, I now have a great place to keep them organized. If you haven’t joined a local MOPS group yet, I strongly encourage it.
Divider Nine: Library

We are frequent patrons of our local library. I like to keep our receipt handy to know exactly what we checked out each visit and when it is due. Also, I like a place where I can jot a note down to myself about a book I am interested in scooping up on our next visit.
Divider Ten: Christmas

This is the place where I keep a running list of Christmas presents purchased and a list of those still left to be purchased. We attempt to Christmas shop through the year to soften the financial blow (we haven’t been great about this since having Evelyn…probably because shopping is quite a bit harder with two kids in tow). I also keep a note of where purchased presents have been stored to prevent losing one before the holiday season arrives.

Divider Eleven: Blog

Sometimes blog post ideas strike me during odd times of the day…usually when sitting down at the computer is not convenient. This section is where I can keep a running list of potential posts or jot down a funny statement uttered by one of my children when I don’t have a moment to blog.

So there it is…my household notebook. Nothing fancy, but very practical. I do keep each sheet in a plastic protective cover to keep the papers from becoming stained or torn (remember, I keep this book in the kitchen which is similar to a war zone somedays).

Have you made a household notebook? If so, leave a comment with a link so others can see your work.

Interested in making one of your own? Here are a few links to help you out.

Simple Mom’s Household Notebook’s Household Notebook


Information on how to start a household notebook

Great source for FREE printables via Real Simple

That Old Box

(This post was originally written yesterday afternoon but I never found a moment to actually post it.)

This morning I walked into church for bible study with one child happily skipping next to me while wearing his backpack on the front (whatever works….later in the day he would enter JoAnn Craft and Fabrics with a Bass Pro Trucker hat on his head, plastic binoculars around his neck, and was carrying a lunch box filled with house shoes.) and another child screaming…SCREAMING…in my arms. Yes, we gathered quite the attention as Evelyn screamed “Bye Bye!” at the top of her lungs in protest over Mommy depositing her in class. Fortunately she is child number two and the embarrassment of the whole ordeal was minimal.

After basically tossing E. at her teacher and shouting out a word of “Good Luck” (shouting only to be heard over the screams as I normally do not yell at those caring for my children), I ran to drop Isaac off at his class. Once I was able to negotiate my way into the Fellowship Hall and find my seat in my own class, I was tempted to just put my head down on the table and take a nap. The Separation Anxiety phase children go through is a hard one and seems like my little girl has studied carefully on how to expertly demonstrate such characteristics.

Nap I did not. Rather I heard such an important message today and jumped on the computer to share it with you.

Currently our bible study is tackling how to hear the voice of God using Priscilla Shirer’s study (found here)….a difficult concept to say the least. A discussion point came up this morning over not becoming burdened over other’s personal convictions, meaning: God doesn’t call of us to do the same things. All though we are all made in his Spirit, we are different human beings with different talents and different callings. Women in particular tend to create this very binding box of what they believe they need to be based on examples of others around them/media influences/preconceived notions/ and the illusive Proverbs 31 woman. That box can be very restrictive and frustrating because no one really fits inside. Try as we may to cram ourselves inside, there is always a wayward leg or unmanicured finger sticking out.

The blog world has opened up the lives of others for us all to take a tiny glimpse inside. Sometimes that glimpse is enough to build a box based on what we have read about other woman and their families and desperately try to stuff ourselves inside, wanting to be just a bit more ideal and a bit more perfect. Try as we may, we aren’t gonna fit, girls. Proverbs 3:5,6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and he will make your paths straight.”

Great verse, huh? You’ve likely heard it at countless youth retreats and young adult devotionals in the span of your life and, if like me, have never really gone past the basic happy concept it provides.

Read it again and think about that box I mentioned, the box of being the perfect mom/wife/sister/friend/daughter/ect. Consider that box to be “your own understanding.” Scripture is telling us directly here that when we trust in the Lord and acknowledge Him…not just occasionally but always….He will make our paths straight. He will set us free and show us the path He has created specifically for each and every one of us. God is not a god of generics. He does not desire for us to be cookie cutter images of each other. Who cares that Random Mommy Blogger’s kids are reciting the Pledge of Allegiance each morning at 7:15am after scrubbing the kitchen floor to a high shine while your kids have barely managed to make it to the couch to catch a few morning cartoons? Press into God and you will understand the path he has for you, the gifts and talents he has bestowed on you, and the areas of life that just might not be your cup of tea (Household notebook, anyone?). Thank goodness God is telling us that there is no box, there is just freedom in a relationship with Him.

Toss that box out with the garbage tonight. Resist the urge to attempt to navigate life on what you think you should be/do/say. Trust God enough to experience the freedom He promises.

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