Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Organizing our busy life *Part two: The calendar

Part One - The mail
Part Two - The calendar

This simple calendar system was conceived the day my husband and I both had separate events the same evening and no babysitter.

I will first tell you about my situation. Your situation may look different, so you may need a different system.

I am the person in our household who arranges all school pickups, school drop offs, therapies, doctor appointments, after school activities and sitters. My husband schedules baseball.

My husband and I are teachers, so our lives are very busy and without wiggle room August through May. We have three school calendars: my husbands from xyz school district, my kids from their private school and mine from the city college.

In May I purchased this wall calendar. It runs July to June.  It lives on the refrigerator. You can purchase these at any office supply store, Target or Walmart.  Size 81/2 by 11.

I transfer ALL dates from the three school calendars to this calendar.

Since I also participate in 4+ committees at work and I am President of a local organization,
I transfer the dates to my personal planner so that when I am in a meeting I can see what I have going on.

The calendar on the refrigerator is used for the following reasons:

1. So my husband and I know when there are before and after school commitments. Example: if the youngest has a therapy session at 8am, then my husband will need to take the kids to school. If I see he has parent conferences on a Monday night, then I need to take my oldest son to baseball or have him go with a friend.

2. All of my youngest son's therapies and everyone's doctors appointments are penciled in here.

3. Carpool schedule is here.

4. Weekend activities are here.

5. All of my work commitments are in my planner and only placed on the refrigerator calendar if it means that I will need a sitter or if it means that I will not be able to transport the kids or I will be out of town.

6. PTA commitments are here.

My husband uses a planner and his iPhone to set appointments and reminders.

I have thought about using Google Calendar, but I like the feel of a physical calendar. I also benefit from looking at the refrigerator every morning and night.

Well, that is all for my calendar system. How do you set up your families calendar system?

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Organizing our busy life *Part One: The mail

Part One - The mail
Part Two - The calendar

About three months ago, I found a great post from A bowl full of lemons blog on pinterest on how to organize mail.

I did not have a good way to organize the mail and papers the kids brought home from school. I also spent a lot of time trying to find certain information that I should have had in one place. The only thing I had going on right was a good calendar system.

So here is how I organize my busy life and that of my family. Starting with incoming mail and papers.

Here is my version.

This basket is on top of a little table next to the kitchen.  The organic feel of the basket and folders makes this very appealing to me.  I liked it more than the wire or plastic filing storage containers.

I purchased these pretty folders from Target. They came with labels and an online template to print. Since the labels were not on a whole sheet of paper, I taped the labels to a whole sheet of paper for ease of printing. Just tape them to a corner of your 8.5x11 sheet of paper.  Print on plain paper to see how to tape and feed the paper.

I made the following categories:
- To pay
- To file
- To read
- Coupons
- One for my daughter
- One for my school age son
- Return to school

In the 'to pay' I put any bill even if it is auto paid. This way I file all of the statements at the beginning of the month.

I use this little file for the monthly bills and only keep one year worth of statements.

In the 'to file' folder, I place anything that comes in that I've read that just needs to be filed in my bigger file system. Not bills and not children's work. (retirement statements, tax papers, medical letters, insurance papers, etc)
Here is where I put the papers that need to be filed.  It is a small hand held plastic file storage that I can place under my desk.  Also purchased at target.

In the 'to read' folder I have things like newsletters, brochures and papers that I need to read for the kids school.

The 'coupons' folder contains all coupons and discounts that come in the mail or I get when shopping. I am not into heavy couponing so this is a simple system.

The 'kids' folder. Completed school work and art work that comes home I will put it in their individual folder. We take pictures of all of their artwork. A few special pieces get framed, but most goes in the trash after a picture has been taken. I will be making a digital book of their artwork by year.
Other work and a few pieces of artwork will go in their school file. One file folder per child per year.

'Return to school' - the kids Thursday folders and anything else that goes back to school and fits in the folder.

This system has worked so great. I've had it in place for over five months and it has cleared off my counter and kept me sane!  I no longer shuffle papers endlessly thinking about what to do with them. YAY!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Ice Skating and Swim Team

This summer the kids are taking ice skating lessons and participating in our local swim team.
It gets so hot in the Dallas/Ft Worth area that we have to participate in activities that keep us cool!

They both absolutely LOVE these sports and wish to continue. If I only had a personal driver for them!

Here are a few pictures.

PS- My first post with Blogger App. I hope this is my solution to post easily.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

New work for Baby

Baby is two now and  I need to come up with a blog name for him.  He is not a baby anymore.  :(  I'll work on that!

I got this idea from his physical therapy session.  They use this to distract the child so he or she will stand without assistance and play and not notice they are standing by themselves.  It also works on muscle strength having to bend each time to place the puzzle piece in the basket.

Taking off the puzzle piece.

Taking another piece off with the other hand so now trying to balance.

Putting piece in the basket.   Still holding on for support.  He will sometimes let go and bend without wall support.

I had all of the materials, so this project cost me $0.


  • Small white board
  • Puzzle pieces
  • Velcro circles
  • Small basket


See how high to attach the whiteboard to your desired location.  I did it so that my sweet baby has to get on his tiptoes to get the top puzzle pieces.
Place velcro circles on the white board and velcro circles on the back of the puzzle pieces and you are done!

Hope you enjoyed and can make one for your toddler!  So much fun!