Today the little man and I made a compost bin out of an old garbage can.

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Don’t mind the grumpy face child. He’s 3 1/2 with a mind of his own. I think he was sad that the safety glasses wouldn’t stay on his face AND it was a like someone had died.

Moving on……. We also took out daddy’s drill to make loads of holes all over the garbage can. Don’t forget to do the very bottom for drainage.

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It’s a pretty simple design with loads of holes. Nothing fantasy, but cost nothing.

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what do you put into your trash can composter?

  • Fruit and vegetable peels and cores
  • Leftover cooked veggies (as long as they don’t have salt or butter on them)
  • Produce that’s past its prime
  • Coffee grounds
  • Tea leaves and tea bags
  • Egg shells
  • Shredded newspaper
  • Weeds, leaves, and spent flowers from the garden
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This week I couldn’t wait to post my results form the 24 day challenge. Not so eager to show you the physical results.

Why I am pretty comfortable in my own body, showing others it’s just not my thing. I felt like it took me courage to risk failing in front of others. My readers. I promised myself that I would post those before and after pictures NO MATTER what progress. And there are lots of people who talk big but don’t have the nerve to risk that. 

There might be a chance I won’t be successful.

It takes gall to be okay with openly failing.  

To put a number up there and tell everyone, “I’m going for that and I think I can do it.”

It’s real! 

The discipline, work ethic, humility, and bravery this requires is beyond impressive, numbers or not.  Good day or off day with my progress, the only one I’m really testing, challenging, competing with, is myself. This is why I risk failing.

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So I took the 24 day Challenge through Advocare.

Here is my break down of stats to start:

  • Weight    156.8 lbs
  • right arm    11 1/4
  • Chest     39
  • Waist     38
  • Hips     41 1/2
  • Right Thigh     23 1/2
  • Right Calf     15 1/4

Here is after 24 days of the Challenge:

  • Weight    151.8 lbs
  • right arm    10 3/4
  • Chest     37
  • Waist     36 1/2
  • Hips     40 3/4
  • Right Thigh     23
  • Right Calf     14 1/2

2014-03-24

 

Good Bye 6.5 Inches and 5 lbs.

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It’s been over 6 months without a dryer. Yes I’m counting. While I moaned and complained a little at first, I’ve got the hang (pun intended) of life without a dryer.

Our dryer is broken. Long story short, we don’t have funds for a new dryer, yet. It wasn’t in our budget. We finally have made a budget to replace the dryer, but for now, we are still without. IMG_6501

We’ve been hanging our clothing on drying racks. Three of them to be exact. We also hang things from our rafters, like work shirts, pants and dresses.

This might all seem complicated and annoying at first. Trust me, I was less then trilled to HANG dry my clothing, but it does become second nature. You’ll soon learn how to hang things like a pro, arranging items so they fit and dry perfectly.

I’ve also learned that:

-hanging laundry is therapeutic

-I stay on top of my laundry and don’t let it pile up too high.

AND that’s about it. I am ready for my dryer back!

Posted in Accidental housewife, Home Improvement projects | 6 Comments

One of my favorite non-scale victories is making time for me. I often get asked how do you have time to do all this training for a half marathon? How do you have time to sew? How do you have time to run for 2 hours.

Simple.

I make time.

Why? Because this is important for me. Running moves me forward is so many way. Literately yes, it moves me forward, but it also moves my mind forward and keeps me over all in a  healthy state. I make time for being healthy.

Of a mom in my 30′s, it’s really important for me to keep up with my kids. It’s important for me to feel sexy and running does this for me. I remember when I ran my first 5k and the thoughts that went floating in my head after I was done.

I’ve met so many inspirational people through running. I’ve spend loads of time with my running partner on Sunday mornings. She listens, she makes time, we do it together, I make time to show up. I PUT IN THE TIME because it makes me happy.

When I became a mom, I thought it was over. Life was all about my kids. Don’t get me wrong, life is still about my kids, but I find that I need me time.
RUNNING has allowed me to take that much needed me time. Time to run with the drama I need to sort out of my head. Running keeps the shit in between my ears sane. Running puts fire in my step. Running brings me soul and joy when I need it the most. Running gives me power to motion through the day when I feel drained and defeated.  All these emotions and actions of running brings me peace and joy.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s hard work. I’m not floating on clouds while running. It’s not easy. But I make time to do it, for me.

Today I found a saying that helped me get through my 4.5 mile run:

It’s a Journey…. no one is ahead of you or behind you. YOU are not more “advanced” or less enlightened. You are exactly where you need to be. It’s not a contest….

It’s Life We are all teacher and we are all Students.

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Oh Coffee!

It’s been a while since I tasted you. It hasn’t been 100 years, but I’m getting there.

Yup, I did it finally!

I am starting to kicked my bad habit. Back in November of 2013, I talked about my bad coffee habit and what it’s doing to me.

I can’t say its been easy. With lack of sleep from 2  kids and training for a 1/2 marathon, a 15k, a 10k and a 5 miler, some days I am way more tired then others. I’ve found ways around it. I currently started the 24 day challenge and there is no coffee allowed. SAY WHAT?

Yes, no coffee. I caved in on day 3 and drank one cup. Well I made one cup of coffee with non fat dairy creamer and drank only about half of it. It wasn’t very satisfying like I remembered before starting the challenge. It’s day 8 of the challenge. And that means I’ve gone without for 5 days straight!

Who’s muffin top is dissipating? Mine! Why?

You’ve probably heard that coffee helps you lose weight but in reality, coffee spikes our blood sugar leading to higher levels of insulin in the body. After the spike in insulin, our blood sugar crashes and thus the nasty cycle begins. The blood sugar roller coaster and high levels of insulin send a signal to store excess sugar as fat. This is one of the reasons I had a muffin top .

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Happy Almost April!

It’s my Birthday month.

Last year I set out to do 30 things before 30, so that makes me 31!

Recap on March Goals:

40 miles- CHECK

I’ve never felt more strong in my life. 30′s rock. Speaking of 30′s………look at my Run this Year mileage report for the month of March. I actually RAN/walked 57.76 miles for the month. (the last 5 miles hasn’t been included yet). The last 5 miles will be my race tomorrow.  57.76 MILES my friends!! I almost made it to twice my new age. Okay do the math!!

Clean out my closet- CHECK

Actually my husband is the one to give all the props to. He helped me sort and organize my closet and also reminded me of just how many articles of clothing I own. Well they are staring to fit me again, so I have more to wear!

Post more Recipes- work in progress

I don’t want to say I failed at this, but it’s so time consuming to write recipes. So while I have a huge data base of my photos of my masterpieces, I still need to jump on the bandwagon and write the recipes out.
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April Goals:

1.  continue to eat correctly. I’ve been really good about what goes in my mouth since I joined the 24 Day Challenge. The food I put in my mouth is mostly whole foods, not processed. While its been a challenge, its been working on my weight loss. Down a total of 12 lbs.

2. Continue to RUN. I have a 10 K race at the end of the month, a hard hilly 15k race in the beginning of MAY, and I think I might sign up for a half in JUNE. I have lots of training miles to conqueror here.  I am getting out of the house AT LEAST 3 times a week. I’ve now incorporated a run in between my work schedule on weds. As much as it tuckers me out, it’s so needed.

3. Start taking the boys outside now that its above freezing. We need the fresh air! I say no less then 2 days a week.

4. I might start planting seedlings for the garden too. It’s all dependent on the weather! THINK SPRING.

 

 

Posted in Fitness, Gardening | 3 Comments

Last week I talked about searching for new job opportunities. Every day I log onto various sites to search for my criteria, “art teacher”. Yet I am always disappointed with the same jobs that come up. A friend gave me the idea to search with in Craigs list. BINGO. The first on the list was a Painting Instructor. I am always a little sketchy (that’s an art term) about things on Craigs list, but this was perfect . art on tap

I open up the link to find that a local Art business is looking for instructors.

It got me thinking that once upon a time I wanted to attempt something I knew I couldn’t fail at. That was running my own Art Studio where you can come paint and create while sipping on  spirits, beer and wine. I have had a great passion for creating and making art, teaching and I always enjoy a cocktail. You would grab a drink, an apron and take a seat! A local artist (me) would instruct you step by step through an original piece of art.  At the end of the night you’ll take home a one-of-a-kind painting and hopefully a new found talent!

See why this is a perfect fit?!! I’ll keep you posted.

Posted in Art & Crafts | 2 Comments

The little things in life really get to me. The kindness of a complete stranger exhibits always gets me, right in the heart. Currently it’s the kindness of a friend whom I shared may great college days with.

She made a huge effort, and unexpected to me, to give me a shout out about how hard lately I’ve been working out.  Here is what it said:

I’d like to give props to the mama’s I know that are losing weight and staying healthy. I know I was never a real mom, but I know it is so easy to let yourself go with kids. Your mind, your body. I’d like to let AP (names have been changed) and Janelle know you are in inspiration and I’m proud of your ambition and achievements. Glad to know great gals like you :0)

I nearly cried. Well to be honest, when I told my husband about the kind words of inspiration, I did.

My college friend and I haven’t spoke much since college. A few chats on facebook now again, but that’s it. This post where she tagged me was a huge motivation and it was perfect timing. Lately I’ve been just going through the

1st 5k take 2

motions of excising, but not really completely enjoying the journey. Sometimes, I need validation from others to lift me up and keep me going. THIS IS just what it did. Thanks for noticing. It truly means more than words can express.

After ready this yesterday, I banged out my personal best time for a 5K!

 

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3 more months till the academic school year ends. Bring on the summer fun.

Firs,t I am updating my resume and scouting out new jobs. Why yes I do work PT as a school teacher in a local private Catholic school now. While I love where I work I am branching out for something with a little more dinero (Urban Dictionary:Slang for money). Let’s not get into inflation and the price of fruit and milk.

That leaves me to updating my Resume for future employment. I’m a bit lost when it comes to writing a resume. It’s like, “lets talk about yourself and your achievements”, “all the awesome skills you gained”, and the “stupid places” you’ve work.

While I’m not going to post all the details of my resume, here is a list of places I worked: (some names may be changed to hide my identity)

 

Art & Computer Teacher 9/12-Current Grades N-2nd

Art Teacher, Tapping Into the Arts 9/13- Current

Substitute Elementary Art Teacher, School District, 6/10-7/10

Site Supervisor, YMCA , 2/10- 2/11

Preschool Teacher,  5/08-1/10

Nursery School Teacher, 9/07-4/08

Substitute Teacher, 3/07-6/07 Grades 5th-12th

Student Teacher, 1/07-3/07 Grades K-6th

Art Teacher Intern,  9/06-1/07 Grades 6th-8th

Office/Customer Service Manager 6/05-3/07

Resident Assistant, 6/03-5/05

Student Mentor, 5/02-5/04

Creative Arts Instructor/Operations Director

and the list goes on!

As you can see, I’m really passionate about ART and Teaching. So as you guessed it,  I will be applying to a few summer camp art positions and art related positions. While I enjoy staying home with my two boys, I really love being in the working field too. Not sure what opportunities exists, but I am giving it my all, and adding to my resume.

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My house is less clean than it should be but there are always telltale signs that a drunken midget dinosaur is roaming about somewhere.

No, I am talking about the silent snitches. The ones a last-minute vacuum cleaner scan can’t eliminate.

Cheerio Landmines: My house is covered in Cheerios. Those tiny round circles of deliciousness lodge themselves in every orifice of my home. From closets, to toilets, to couches, to bras, those little bastards are everywhere. I crush these tiny circular landmines under my bare feet with every other step I take. I then come up with powdery shrapnel that I spread all over the house, only to walk on it again later. Though Cheerios covering the house are the bane of my very existence, The Quiet Contemplator thinks finding a dusty, three-month-old Cheerio between the couch cushions is a complete and utter score and immediately shoves it into his tiny little mouth. Gross.

I will ruin your life, and your carpet.

Milk. It does a floor, bed, couch, wall, plant, etc. good: There are milk stains all over my house. Try as I might to keep up with the wrath that is the leaky sippy cup, I still find dried puddles of the stuff EVERYWHERE. From splashes on the back of the couch, to tiny puddles in thebathroom room, day-, week-, month-old milk covers every surface of my home.

 


What IS/WAS that? Not only is my house covered in Cheerios and milk (sadly, not bowls of the two combined) but it is also covered in random “mystery” substances. Sticky smears of god-only-knows what can be found on anything three feet or less from the floor. Is that jelly, some sort of mucus, food, pancreatic fluid, motor oil, or what? And why is it on the dishwasher, toilet, carpet, TV and cat? Try as we might, we just can’t seem to eliminate all of the sticky patches from our home. A floor-to-ceiling cleaning jag only results in us collapsing on the couch only to get up and find that some sort of sticky goo is stuck to our butts. Seriously, what IS that?

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Accidental housewife, Parenting | 4 Comments

We teach our kids to walk and talk and then we teach them to sit down and be quiet.

Recently Calvin Rogan has started to crawl. Don’t mind the confusion of kids name, the forgetfulness has set in. Soon enough I’ll just say ” hey kid”. Any who, With all the crawling and added mobility has made me a mover too. I no longer sit idol at play dates like I once had with a non- mobile infant. Of course sipping any type of coffee wouldn’t be practice. I am up, I am down, I am here , I am there.

But I would rather he sit down and be quiet because all this mobility means my little guy is growing up.  Here is a cute video of my little butt scooter turned crawler. Although he still prefers to butt scoot.

And don’t worry if your kid is a butt scooter. With time, they will discover the  coordinate to propel them-self forward. Just wait.

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Don’t freak out yet.

I’m not going any where.

No one is leaving except…………..

 

 

 

…Baby clothing. I’m donating a bunch to a friend who is having her 3rd baby in April. Her first were both girls, so that leaves her a bit stranded. Since I had a gazillion boxes of boys clothing from 0-12 months, I thought it was time to purge.  Weeding out clothing for my keep pile was hard, and even harder to say goodbye to it all. Saying goodbye is hard to do.IMG_6384Why is it so freak’en hard?

Well, I do plan on having another baby. Yes baby #3. I’m either really insane or just a little, but either way we are waiting for a while. Try 2+ years of waiting. I don’t want to invest in a new wardrobe come baby #3. But in the mean time, I don’t NEED a gazillion boxes of boy clothing hanging out in the 4th bedroom, where I currently hoard more baby things.  I sorted those gender neutral clothing out and saved them into a pile for later use, JUST IN CASE ITS A GIRL. I also kept those clothing items that I just couldn’t part with. Those itty bitty clothing is just so adorable and makes me want to dress my cabbage patch doll with. (who’s in the 4th bedroom, hoarding mess).

With two boys later and a gazillion boxes of clothing, something has to give. I choose clothing obviously and it feels really good to have done so.

I constantly think to myself, ” by giving these clothing away, does it mean I am subconsciously done with have kids?”

Despite the voice, de-cluttering this house and letting things go, doesn’t mean we will never have more kids  again.

 

Posted in Home Improvement projects, Parenting | 3 Comments

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I’m beyond ready to see the snow leave! I am not sure by the end of March that it will be gone either. The month of March, I feel, will be one of those months that I become a grouch. The cold, the snow, the sickness in the house, I am over it! I welcome the warmer weather with open arms. Please come soon. There is Gold at the end of the Rainbow right?

March Goals:

1-Cleaning out my closet. Anyone need size 7 to 7 1/2 shoes? They don’t fit me any longer thanks to pregnancy and the’re sitting, collecting dust. Purging is the best feeling ever.

2- Run 40+ miles this month. Last month was under 25 miles. I plan to step up my running, even if I do shorter distances, more often. I conclude the month of March with a 5 mile race- Shamrock Shuffle.

3-I really want to start posting more of my recipes on the blog. I love to cook and do it every single day. I take pictures of EVERYTHING I make. I just need time to upload them to the blog and write a recipe to go along with it. I plan on doing at least one new recipe each week.

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We played outside today! Did a little snow shoeing and snow play. IMG_6294 It was a great time. Got to love Calvin’s silly faces.IMG_6295

Because my 3 1/2 year old refused to nap lately, this is what I walk into the room to find. You know your tired when you fall asleep like that!IMG_6344 And just because cookies! Just because we can and will. We decorated and tasted cookies.IMG_6349 IMG_6372

Posted in Baby Pictures | 1 Comment

It’s been almost 10 months of breastfeeding. We have had our issues at the start, but we are at the beginning of the end. 966511_10151438717454220_247958578_o

I wrote about his discreditably and his refusal to sit and nurse. I pumped through it, and didn’t nurse him. Frankly I hate pumping. I hate sitting there waiting for 20 minutes to pass while my milk was extracted from my body. So I stopped pumping last week. Little man was just down to a few nursing sessions anyways. It killed my supply not pumping.

But I know it’s the beginning of the end with breastfeeding.

I’m the one having  a hard time letting this go, but I hate pumping. If baby doesn’t nurse, my supply dries up. I get it. We have never been exclusive breastmilk from the beginning, so the formula issue isn’t whats bothering me. I want to say we are gently weening.

The verb “To Wean” comes from a Hebrew word meaning to ripen.  So when the time is ripe the child no longer needs to nurse. That process is designed by Mother Nature to be an organic, natural one, like any other kind of ripening.

Breastfeeding to me is a relationship, which requires both people, baby and I. I’m ready to end that form of relating, eager to find other ways to meeting my child’s needs. But will I ever get that again?

I think my issue is just that. I can’t wait to breastfeed another “little” person. One that needs me again.

So here is just a little pat on my back to help me muster through this time.

Janelle you did it, and you rock. Be proud of what you accomplished, whatever that was, and don’t let anyone else’s breastfeeding yardstick make you feel like you fell short. Baby Rogan loves you regardless of what or how you feed him. It’s not over, but just the beginning.

Posted in Breastfeeding, Parenting | 5 Comments

It was a busy weekend for me.

Friday started out busy.

We dug our-self out from a massive snow storm. 12+ inches of snow had fallen.

Rogan had a doctors appointment.

Swim class for the little’s on Saturday.

Sunday I ran in a Relay Marathon.

It was the first type of Relay that I have ever ran.  I am not ready for 26.2 mile run. Nor do I think  I will ever been (and don’t try to convince me either) . The relay was a perfect fit for our team. We all got to run a leg in the race that fit or slightly challenged our abilities as runners.

I ran the 5.6 miles leg as I can comfortably run that amount at any given time. I was so proud of our team as each lady took on 9. ish and 10.ish miles to complete the race.

I should also mention 16 degrees with 24 mph winds for the weather that day. It wasn’t nice at all and I questions why I was subjecting myself to this weather.  I try to run with no regrets, and I certainly don’t have any for this race. I JUST REALLY wished the weather was better.

And here is my team mates. These ladies rocked it!relay marathon

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Yesterday I jumped on the scale. I am so enthusiastic about stepping on the scale lately, and I should be. I work out 4-5 times a week and feeling pretty trim these days. By my surprise I am down again for a total of 10 lbs. Lets have a party I am so excited. My pants fit better, I run faster and farther. It’s those non scale victories that really make me feel like a winner, and it shows.

So this takes me to February Goals:

- Continue to schedule my runs and work out time.

  • Sunday- long run 5+ miles
  • Monday- x-training
  • Tuesday- Rest
  • Wednesday- Short run 2-3 miles or x-train
  • Thursday- run 3-4 miles
  • Friday x-train
  • Saturday- Rest.

- I am starting to really look at my nutrition. I am about to embark on eating clean. At least a 80/20 rule for now. I do have to say that I already feel like I do this, but I am lying to myself if I believe that. I am giving myself a week of experimenting with it and tracking what is 80 clean and what is 20 not. I figured if I track it I can see what is not clean and figure out why and how to make it.  I will post more about this at another time.

-Keeping the kitchen clean. It’s not gross or dirty, but the dishes pile up, a lot. My husband doesn’t do dishes unless asked, so really the mess falls on me. The other morning I woke up to a clean kitchen and it felt so great. Things were tidy and in there place. It made a world of difference on my mood.  TO keep it clean I need to run the dishwasher once a day at least, and clean up all remaining dishes after dinner.  Continue to have Calvin put away the silverware, as it’s part of his chores. I will post more about this at another time too.

 

I am keeping it simple this month, as its a short one!

 

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What is happening on the home front

 

“What is happening on the home front” is a  quick way to inform you all what is going on in life. At times, I feel the need to spill everything out there and this is the  perfect opportunity to do so.

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The Happenings:

As some of you know I am training for a few different races this year. My ultimate goal of running my first EVER 1/2 marathon. The marathon that I have my eye set on doesn’t take place till October. So why all this training before hand? Well I have other goals in mind for my fitness. I enjoy the trill of going more miles and pushing myself. So who just banged out her first EVER 8 miles?

ME.

I was beyond excited for this mile stone for a couple of reasons. First its only 5.6 miles away from the distance of a 1/2 marathon. It makes it seem way more obtainable then ever imagined. Secondly, I skipped the 7 mile marker and headed straight to 8. Some running gurus might think this is a horrible idea, as they caution not to do more than 10% more. While  I am still sore from my run, I feel great. I have a FULL marathon RELAY in two weekends and I am running the 5.8 mile leg. I got this!

I made my first ever banana Bread in the bread maker. The bread maker came from my mom who insists that I take her junk. While I am not very familiar with this type of junk, I did a little research on what else you can make in the bread maker. I have ONLY done pizza dough, which comes out AWESOME and now the banana bread. I think I will hold onto this junk for a little longer.

I enjoyed my conversation with Calvin the 3 year old this morning:

Calvin-I love you mom.
Me- I love you more
Calvin- I love you one
We go up to 10 and then Calvin says “mom I love you all the numbers”

It’s the little things that I love that make my heart grow.

I have officially stepped down from running my mommy group. As I know longer make decisions on where the group is going, I still participate in helping it run, for now. I was feeling overwhelmed with having to put so much time into the group, I just completely shut off from doing ANY leadership task. I was done. A fantastic new leader is now in place and she is also a great friend of mine making it easy to communicate ideas and thoughts.

I got a hair cut, and I am not overly enjoying it. I am trying to grow my hair and get it trimmed every 7 weeks. Last week she took a little too much off. SIGH… it will grow back I know, but still. I feel like i have a mullet. If you see me, don’t comment on my hair.

Is it February break yet? I am ready for a week off of teaching. Better yet, is it summer?

I am freaking down with the weather. It’s going to snow again. Probably another foot.

 

Posted in The Blog | 3 Comments

I can’t state how important it is to have routine in a child’s life. They depend on the structure for adults to guide them through the day with what is happening now, in a few minutes and later that day. I decided I would help reinforce this structure with a more independent approach for learning expectations through a schedule for kids.

I did a bit of research and found a daily schedule chart with awesome “button activities” that I used. A Daily Schedule can help you plan every part of your day, from the moment you wake up to the moment you crawl into bed at night. While my child  has a super-structured day at school, it’s equally as important that he have a daily schedule at home as well.

Creating a good schedule for kids at home is an easy way to help your child feel secure and understand daily events and expectations.

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I posted about where to find them in a blog post in November when I was gathering ideas for the schedule chart. Feel Free to navigate there so you can print your own out too.

Of course I was thinking along the lines of an independent approach for learning so I decided to morph the original idea into something that worked for us as a family. I used an old magnetic, wipe board, that I turned into a chalk board a while back. You can see how I did it here.  While my idea was awesome I slowly got sick of using chalk on it. It really wasn’t all the pretty, so I let Calvin use it to draw upon.

Here are the finally Results of the Daily Schedule Chart for Kids that I made.IMG_6269IMG_6249

 

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