Saturday, March 31, 2012

Why We Homeschool

I grew up being home schooled. I don't mean that I was home schooled for a year or two, no I was home schooled from 1st grade till I graduated high school. When my husband and I started talking about having children, one thing we both felt God was leading us to was home schooling them. Now, I'll be honest, I didn't like being home schooled; especially in my high school years. I wanted to be with my friends, at school; so the thought that I was being called to home school my children was a little frightening. The more I prayed about it, the more I knew that it was what God was wanting me to do. Even though I know it's what I'm supposed to do, it's nice that God is always sending people along my path to confirm what He was spoken to my heart, but more on that in a minute.

When my oldest was born, I had accepted the fact that I was going to home school my children. I still don't know if that will include high school, but I know that the Lord will lead me in the right direction, when that time comes. When my oldest was 12 months old, he was already showing signs that he wanted to learn, so we started with his ABCs, went on to numbers 1-20, then colors and shapes. By the time he was 18 mon. old he knew all his letters, his numbers, the colors and shapes. I remember my husband telling me, as Jackasaurus was pointing out his letters for daddy, that there was no way we could send our son to public school. If he was this smart already, he would be bored to tears by the time he got to school age!

Fast forward to our 2nd being born. She had the good fortune of watching her oldest brother learn all the new stuff, and watch him. By the time she was 1 year, her vocabulary was thru the roof. She learned everything that her brother did, and more.

I'm not writing this, because I want to brag. Sure, I'm proud of what my kids have accomplished so far. Every day they continue to impress me. My 4 year old, the other day, correctly told me what inertia was! I mean, what 4 year old knows this stuff? I guess mine does. Obviously, I'm doing something right.

As I said before, the Lord is always bringing confirmation that the path I'm going is the right one. Whether it's my son telling me what inertia is, or the Kindergarten teacher telling me that she is so impressed with my 2 year old and her intelligence, or the teacher who is amazed that my 4 year old is teaching himself to read. We believe that God has given us our children, and that He has a huge plan for their lives. We believe that as the parents, we are accountable for what our children learn, and that sending our children to public school is setting them up to fail. I, in no way, am saying that sending your children to public school is bad, or that parents that send their kids to public school are bad. Not at all. This is just what we believe for our children.

I know that there are lots of parents that home school their kids, because the public school system is failing, and they believe that their children will get a better education at home. I say if you have the patience, go for it! It's a huge amount of work, and it's not for those who can't devote the time required. It takes a lot of studying, a lot of research and a lot of time. If you're thinking about home schooling your kids, I would really suggest that you sit down and make a list of pros and cons. Ask yourself, why do you want to home school? Do you have the time to devote to really educating your children? Do you have the patience? And, do you have all the resources? One great thing about being home schooled my whole life, I know what I need to get and where to get it.

Some great links to help you get started  Home School Reviews has a lot of reviews of different curriculum. Alpha Omega has a great Bible based learning. We love their Life Pacs. Titus 2 is a great home schooling resource for parents.World Book is a great resource for families, as well. Home School Inc has great info on planning and keeping transcripts. List of States where you have to register your Home school In the state of Kansas, you have to register your home school with the state, as a private school. It costs nothing, and it lets them know that you're children are being educated. Most states have the same laws. Not registering your home school can lead to the SRS being called on you, and lots of home visits. Trust me, my mom registered our home school over 20 years ago, and we still had lots of people calling the SRS on us. It's a lot better now for home schoolers, but you still need to be protected and informed.

I hope that if you're considering home schooling, that some of these links help you out. If you have any questions, I would love to help you in any way that I can!

Until Next Time,
In2Kermit

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

List of chores for Toddlers and Preschoolers


I am a firm believer that your children should be helping around the house. I think a lot of parents do their children a huge disservice by not having them help around the house. Is it any wonder that there are lots of adults who can't cook a meal, can't do a load of laundry, can't sew on a button, can't clean a home? Their parents did everything for them, never teaching them how to do it themselves. I refuse to raise children who don't help out, who don't help keep the home clean. Now, my children are 4, 2, and 6 months. I, obviously, don't expect the 6 month old to clean anything, yet, but once he's walking, he'll be cleaning too. The oldest 2 know better, though. There are very simple things that you can have your child (no matter how small they are) help you with, to teach them how to clean and care for the home.

1. Pick up their toys. From the time they started walking, they were picking up their toys. I never expected them to be perfect at it, but now that my oldest has been picking up his toys for about 3 years, he's a pro at it! My 2 oldest know that before every meal, they need to pick up every toy and every book, and put them where they belong. I have had them pick up their things before every meal, since they could walk. Now, it's not even an issue; they know they have to clean up before they eat.

2. Wash their own dishes. Get a step stool, and help them wash their own dishes. We have a dishwasher, but I still make them wash their own dishes. They also help load and unload the dishwasher. Sometimes it's just easier to just load up the stuff yourself, and get it over with, but my job as a mom isn't to do things the easy way. I'm here to teach them to be independent human beings. They need to learn how to wash the dishes, and when they are older, they will load the dishwasher by themselves. The only dishes I don't have them wash, by hand, is the supper dishes; they want to play with daddy before bed, and then have daddy read to them.

3. Help sort the clothes for laundry day; help fold the clean clothes and put the clothes away. I set out  my baskets, and give the kids a piece of clothes, telling them which load to put it in. They are to small to go down to the washing machine, in the basement, yet. But when they are bigger, they will be going downstairs to learn how to wash the clothes. When the clothes are clean, they help fold them. They are a pro at folding the wash rags! They also help put up their own clothes. My oldest is a pro at hanging up his shirts!

4. Help clean the house. I have 2 dusters that I got at the Dollar store, that they use. Every room in the house, they help dust it. They might not do the best job, but they are learning! They wipe down the lower cabinets, the fridge front and the stove front. They help wipe down windows, to remove their fingerprints. They help me vacuum the floors. They can't do everything, but by the time they are old enough, they will be pros at how mom wants things cleaned!

5. Put their shoes away. I have baskets, near the front door, where they keep their shoes. They know where their shoes go, and that they should be putting them there.

6. Help sort the recycles and help throw the trash away. On our trash day, they help me get all the recycles together, and put them in the recycling bin. They also help me throw away trash.


Really, anything that I do, I try to include my children in. True, sometimes it's a lot of work for me, but I would rather have them help and learn how to do it properly, then have them never learn at all. Start with something simple, have them help pick up their messes. It will save you tons of time, and teach them to be responsible around the home. We pay our children an allowance, for the extra chores they do, but cleaning up their toys and rooms is expected. Like I said, my job is to raise 3 people who can take care of themselves. I think if every parent took the time to teach their kids to care for the family home, family life would be a lot better!

Until Next Time,
In2Kermit

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

1 Samuel 1:27 Free Print


I can remember seeking the face of God, while I was pregnant with each child. Not only had I wanted each one, I know that they will do something with their lives that is for the Kingdom of God. Now, that being said, there are plenty of times that I get frustrated with my children, especially when I'm breaking up the same fight over the same toy! It's those times that I am reminded that asked for these children, before they were even conceived, and that God, in His great mercy, granted that request. So, I made a printable that I want to share with you. Feel free to print it, share it, just make sure to give me the credit for the artwork.

Background design by PascaleA
Until Next Time,
In2Kermit

Monday, March 19, 2012

Sure Cuts A Lot and Your Cricut Machine


So, I've made no secret that I have a Cricut machine, and that I love to use it for everything! The one thing I really hate about it is buying those expensive cartridges. They can range from $40, for the Cricut Lite, all the way up to $80 and up, if you get a specialty one! That is WAY to much! While looking online the other day I found an amazing product that I had to share! Sure Cuts A Lot is a program you can buy, that allows you to cut SVG and PDF files, on your Cricut machine! For about $75, you can have the program that will allow you to NEVER need to buy another Cricut cartridge again! Worth every penny! Especially, when there are so many great websites that have free SVG files! A couple of my favorites are  Shery K Designs   Free SVGs and  My Time to Craft . I bought the program last week, and have spent many naptimes looking and downloading all the free SVG files. I'm so excited to cut them out and get back to my scrapbooks!

Until Next Time,
In2Kermit

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Cricut Condolence Card

There is nothing more devastating then the loss of a child. For reasons, beyond our knowing, God sometimes calls our child home, before us, leaving a hole that only He can fill. While nothing can fix that hole, knowing that someone is praying for you, and standing with you, can help. A dear friend of mine suffered such a loss recently, and I made her a card. With her permission, I am showing you how to make the card.

You will need:
Cricut Lite Bloom
Cricut Lite Lovely Floral
Cardstock in the colors of your choice
Pop dots
glue
stamp and stamp pad (I used the Martha Stewart wedding one. I threw the packaging away, so I don't know the exact name)

Directions: I cut out the butterfly and cage, from the Bloom cartridge, at 3", and glued the butterfly together. I then cut out the back pattern at a 4", using the Lovely Floral. Taking white cardstock, I adhered the border design to the cardstock. Then, using pop dots, I popped the butterfly, making it stand out. The cage was glued using a liquid glue .I stamped the pattern on, but the ink didn't go all the way thru, so I hand drew the pattern in black, to make it show up a bit better.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Kittie Franz Print


I love this saying by Kitty Franz "Remember, you're not managing an inconvenience, you're raising a human being." It really speaks volumes to me. I mean, what mom doesn't have to be reminded of this at least once in awhile? I love my children, but there are so many times when I'm playing referee that I need this reminder. So, I made myself some printable art, so I can remind myself of this very thing. And, I'm sharing! All you need to do is right click on the picture and save the art. If you do use this art in your own blog, or Pinterest, please put my link so that it comes back to me!



Special thanks to Cathy K Designs for her free digital scrapbook designs Backyard Boy and Boy oh Boy.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Spring Cleaning Check Lists with Ideas to Get the Kids In On the Fun!




Today, it was a gorgeous day! I opened the windows to let the breezes in, rushing out the sick germs that have been in our house the past few days! I love Spring. The smell, the feel, the new life, and the CLEANING! You heard me right, I LOVE to Spring Clean! I get the kids in on the action (they are the perfect size to clean the baseboards!) and we have a blast! We listen to books on CDs while we work, making it go much faster! Below you will find links to my extensive lists on what to clean, how to clean it, and most importantly how to have fun while you're doing it! I, myself, will start our Spring cleaning at the end of March. I would start it now, but there is so much on my plate right now, that I have to push it back a bit. It's only a few more weeks, and then we can get ready for Spring! Who's with me?!

Kitchen Cleaning List
Bathroom Cleaning List
Living Room Cleaning List
Bedroom Cleaning List
Outside Cleaning List


Until Next Time,
In2Kermit

Outside Spring Cleaning List


Ah, the beauty of Spring! The fresh air, the plants coming up, playing outside and planting our garden! All these things I look forward to, and SO much more! But, every year, the wind and snow make for a very messy yard. I swear, it never fails that the winds of March bring people's trash into our yard, to get trapped in our fence! Before you can really enjoy being outside, you need to clean up! And luckily, that's one of my favorite things to do! Grab the kids, head outside, and get the place cleaned up!

Wash the sides of the house with a power washer Paint any areas that need to be touched up. Spray some cleaning solution on the windows, and power wash them clean. Take care around any outside lights. Power wash the driveway and sidewalks to.
If your kids can handle it, let them help with the power washing.

Clean out the flower beds; remove all weeds and trash. Re-mulch if needed, taking care to not disrupt blooming plants.
The kids can help with weeding, just make sure to help them, or they might take up the baby plants too!
 
Clear yard of any debris and reseed yard if necessary. If you can burn, get a permit and burn your debris. If you can't, maybe you can put the organic debris in a compost heap. Recycle any trash that can't be burned or composted. Please don't just throw it away, especially in a black trash bag. I mean, come on! Does the landfill really need something that could be broken down naturally, in something that can't be broken down like a black plastic trash bag? Save the earth, people!
The kids can help with every part of this, with the exception of burning. 

Fix anything that needs to be fixed. This includes clearing clogged gutters, fixing sliding screen doors,
replacing exterior caulking, fixing concrete walkways, and repairing stucco. Take the time to make it all look nice and fix it right!
Depending on the job, your kids can help. Whether it's just holding the hammer and nails while you fix it, or they actually help with the job, they are learning the valuable lesson on taking care of what you have. 

Clean anything that is left. This includes cleaning the barbeque grill (you'll be using it soon enough!), the garage, greasing the bicycles, cleaning the gardening supplies, etc. You don't want to wait until you want to use it, then have to take time out of your activity to clean it! Do it now, don't put it off!
Once again, the kids can help with all of this. Does it take time? Sure. Can it get annoying waiting for the little fingers to do what you could have done already? Absolutely, but I would rather take the extra time to teach my kids the proper way, so they learn how, then do it for them all the time and they never learn. 

Having a clean house, inside and out, just feels good. After a long winter of being cooped up inside, who doesn't look forward to spreading themselves out in the sun? Take a week, and get it all done. If you do a room a day, you'll be done before you know it, and it won't take as much exertion then doing it all at once. Space yourself, and you'll be just fine! Just remember to have your kids help you. They want to spend time with you, they crave it. It may take a little longer to get things done, but the looks on their faces is well worth it. Pretty soon, they won't need your help to get the Spring Cleaning done, because they will know exactly what you want done!

Until Next Time,
In2Kermit

Thursday, March 8, 2012

A Spring Time Art Project



I saw this idea on Positively Splendid , and I thought it was the cutest ark project ever! The only thing is that it was all sewn. Now, I can sew, and I sew well, but there was no way I was going to have time to make this, having to sew every little piece! But, the more I thought about it, the more I was certain I could do a really cute paper version of it. So, yesterday during nap time, I did!

You will need:
Photo Mat that has an opening for 5x7 picture
Piece of paper to cover the hole on the mat
Orange and green craft paper
Glue
Pop dots
Acid free writing pen
Cricut machine and the “Savory” cartridge (you can cut out the pieces by hand. You won’t get the detail, but you can make something pretty cute by hand, too)


Using my Cricut, I cut out the carrots, on a 4 1/2” size. Couldn’t be simpler! 



After I cut out the carrots, and the green tops, I cut out a polka dot paper, from Paper Studios collection, to fit the mat. Glue on the paper to the back of the photo mat. Let dry.


 Glue the tops on the carrots; let dry.

Cut out a zigzag pattern, to make it look like a cute little bunny took a bite out of one of your carrots!




 Taking pen, draw dashes and dots along the right side of the photo mat. Add bunny and the word ‘YUM’, if desired. 



Put pop dots on the back of carrots, and adhere to the polka dot paper.


 Put finished product in a frame and display your artwork! When the weather warms up, I have to spray paint that frame. The color doesn't go with anything! But, it will hold my new art work, until I can paint the frame! A simple nap-time craft!

Until Next Time,
In2Kermit

Bedrooms Sping Cleaning List


I don’t know about you, but I love to slide into bed, after I’ve just put clean sheets on the bed! I love that crisp feeling, so much so that I change my sheets quite often. Spring Cleaning your bedroom is a great way to declutter your life. It will make your rest more tranquil, and make getting ready for work, school, or where ever you need to be, a snap! Grab those kiddos, get the book on CD playing and let’s clean!

Dust down the ceiling and corners of walls. These walls should only need a dry dusting, with either a microfiber cloth, or Swiffer dusters. If there are scuff marks on the walls, then use a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser to erase them!
Kids can take a microfiber cloth and help you dust the walls! Make is a game. See who can get the most dust bunnies, or make their cloth the dirtiest the fastest! It will also help you, because you won't have to get down on your knees to clean the bottoms of the walls.

Dust and clean all art and photographs along the wall. Use caution when cleaning framed pictures. Don't spray the cleaner on the art, as it could seep behind the glass and destroy your art work. Spray your cleaner on a microfiber cloth and clean.
Kids can help you dust the pictures, too. If you're worried about them breaking the glass, then have them help you squirt the solution onto your cloth. Remember, you’re not just trying to Spring clean your house, you're also trying to teach them to clean and spending time with them!

Dust and clean the ceiling fan. I find that taking a pillow case, and sliding the blade into the pillow case, and gently rubbing the pillow case against the blades is enough. You don't have to worry about the dust going everywhere; it's all trapped in the pillow case! If you need to wash the blades, pouring something like Lysol multi-purpose cleaner in a bucket, and diluting with water is perfect too.  Take down any light fixtures and gently wash and dry them before replacing.
Obviously, there really isn't much that the kids can do on this one. Having your child on a ladder, trying to help clean the blades is not a good idea. But, they could help you dry the light fixtures, or hand you the towels to dry them (if you don't want them helping around the glass).

Take down draperies, curtains, and blinds to wash or have cleaned according to the manufacturer's directions. Vacuum and clean windowsills and corners. Wash the insides and outsides of the windows. Take down and rinse off screens, before replacing.
Kids love to help vacuum. If you think they can handle the attachment by themselves, then let them! If they don't have the dexterity to handle it, then help them do it. Spray some glass cleaner on the windows and let them clean it off!  
Wash all bedding, comforters, mattress pads, pillows, etc.  Flip and rotate your mattress. Sprinkle some baking soda on your mattress and vacuum to freshen. Spray some lavender water (1 c. of water and 5 drops of lavender oil in a water bottle) on the mattress and let dry. Clean out under the bed and clean floors. Put clean sheets and blankets on.
Kids LOVE to spray things out a squirt bottle! Let them have charge of spraying the lavender water on, just make sure they don’t spray too much!

Dust down and clean all accent lamps and knickknacks.  Dust, using a microfiber cloth or Swiffer duster, all the lamps, their shades and stands. Use a vacuum and it's attachment to clean the shades if necessary. Clean all the knickknacks on the tables and shelves.  
Your kids can help you clean any non-breakable items. 
Dust down all dressers, chests, and nightstands. Clean any mirrors. Polish or wax any wood that needs it.
Kids can help you dust! Have them clean the mirrors, after you’ve sprayed the glass cleaner.

Clean flooring. Dust and mop for hard floors. Professionally clean carpet, or vacuum and spot treat for mildly soiled floors.
The kids can help you vacuum and mop
Use a 4 container method to go through your closets. The bins (or bags) should be Trash, Give Away/Sell, Storage, and Keep. Really go thru your clothes. If it’s too ratty and torn to wear, then throw it away! If you haven’t worn it in a year, then give it away (if it’s in good condition!). Put the seasonal clothes that you don’t need right now in storage and put away the stuff you’re going to wear in the keep pile! Your keep pile shouldn’t be the largest one, though.
Trust me, your kids will love helping you go thru the clothes! They can help put the clothes in the proper piles, help put stuff away and clean out the closet!

Do this to all the bedrooms. It may take longer to do the kids’ rooms, because they will want to play with EVERY single piece you clean, but that’s OK! Tomorrow, I’ll detail how to clean up the outside!

Until Next Time,
In2Kermit


Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Living Room Spring Cleaning list


There is nothing quite like sitting down and relaxing in a freshly cleaned living room! I know, because it only stays clean once the kids are in bed! In our house, we have a living room and a front room that is as large as the living room part, so I do this list twice; once for each room. Now, because these rooms are so lived in, it will be important to have a 'clean slate' to start with. Meaning, get the kids to pick up their toys, get the junk put up in its proper place, and then you can start with the deep cleaning! I know that cleaning the living room is my kids' favorite place to clean, because they love finding all the toys that they've lost in the hidden cracks, the past week. So, get that book or dance music going, and let's get started!

Dust down the ceiling and corners of walls. These walls should only need a dry dusting, with either a microfiber cloth, or Swiffer dusters. If there are scuff marks on the walls, then use a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser to erase them!
Kids can take a microfiber cloth and help you dust the walls! Make is a game. See who can get the most dust bunnies, or make their cloth the dirtiest the fastest! It will also help you, because you won't have to get down on your knees to clean the bottoms of the walls.

Dust and clean all art and photographs along the wall. Use caution when cleaning framed pictures. Don't spray the cleaner on the art, as it could seep behind the glass and destroy your art work. Spray your cleaner on a microfiber cloth and clean.
Kids can help you dust the pictures, too. If you're worried about them breaking the glass, then have them help you squirt the solution onto your cloth. Remember, you’re not just trying to Spring clean your house, you're also trying to teach them to clean and spending time with them!

Dust and clean the ceiling fan. I find that taking a pillow case, and sliding the blade into the pillow case, and gently rubbing the pillow case against the blades is enough. You don't have to worry about the dust going everywhere; it's all trapped in the pillow case! If you need to wash the blades, pouring something like Lysol multi-purpose cleaner in a bucket, and diluting with water is perfect too.  Take down any light fixtures and gently wash and dry them before replacing.
Obviously, there really isn't much that the kids can do on this one. Having your child on a ladder, trying to help clean the blades is not a good idea. But, they could help you dry the light fixtures, or hand you the towels to dry them (if you don't want them helping around the glass).

Take down draperies, curtains, and blinds to wash or have cleaned according to the manufacturer's directions. Vacuum and clean windowsills and corners. Wash the insides and outsides of the windows. Take down and rinse off screens, before replacing.
Kids love to help vacuum. If you think they can handle the attachment by themselves, then let them! If they don't have the dexterity to handle it, then help them do it. Spray some glass cleaner on the windows and let them clean it off!  

Dust and clean out the couches and chairs. Vacuum the inside and outside of your couch thoroughly. Make sure to look for any hidden items before you vacuum. Clean slipcovers, accent pillows, etc. Use a rug shampoo machine's upholstery attachment to shampoo if needed.  If a light cleaning is needed use upholstery spot cleaner. Test in a hidden area first.
Kids can help vacuum the furniture, using the attachments. If you have to shampoo them, they can help you hold the attachments as well. Just make sure they aren't handling the chemicals!

Dust down and clean all accent lamps and knickknacks.  Dust, using a microfiber cloth or Swiffer duster, all the lamps, their shades and stands. Use a vacuum and it's attachment to clean the shades if necessary. Clean all the knickknacks on the tables and shelves.  
Your kids can help you clean any non-breakable items. 

Remove books from bookshelves. Take down the books and clean gently. Clean the shelves and roganize shelves.
My kids love to organize books, trying to put them in alphabetical order. If that's fine with you, let them help you reorganize the shelves.  

Dust down accent tables and the entertainment center. If you can get access to it, unplug your electronics and clean. Mine are built in to an entertainment center, so I doubt I could do it easily without my husband's help. Just dry dust here. You don't want any chemicals around the electronics.
If your kids can help here, great! They can help dust the tables, the DVD player, etc.

Clean the carpets and rugs. If your carpets and rugs are heavily soiled it may be time to rent a cleaning machine to use. Be sure to ask for one with an upholstery attachment. If your carpets are only lightly soiled, vacuuming and spot treating may be all that is necessary.
Depending on the level of cleaning needed, the kids can help vacuum the floors. Those cleaning machines are heavy and loud, and really shouldn't be used with a child around, just in case you lose control of the machine.

Take the time to clean the doormats inside and outside your doorways.  If you can wash the doormats, wash them and let them air dry. People aren't allowed to wear shoes in our home, but we have a pebble tray that people can put their shoes on, so that any dirt, mud, or water doesn't get on our hardwood floors. If you have something similar, clean it out. I would use an antibacterial spray on that, as you never know what people have stepped thru!
Depending on what you have, the kids can put the doormat in the laundry, or help you wipe down a tray for the shoes.

Now, sit back and relax in your clean living room! And hurry up and enjoy it, before the kids decide to bring their toys back in and mess it all up! Tomorrow, I'll detail how to clean the bedrooms!

Until Next Time, 
In2Kermit 


Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Bathroom Spring Cleaning list


It is in my experience that no room needs to be deep cleaned then the bathroom, especially if you have little boys. Now, depending on the size of your bathroom, this may not be easy to have your kids help. Our bathroom is small, and it would be hard to fit 2 toddlers in there with me, and get it clean. But, that doesn't mean that they can't help, we just have to get creative! Put on a book on CD, or some dance music, and let's clean the bathroom!


Dust down the ceiling and corners. Take a microfiber cloth and dry dust the walls. You could also use a Swiffer duster to grab the dust. Dust and clean all wall art. Use caution when cleaning framed pictures. Don't spray the cleaner on the art, as it could seep behind the glass and destroy your art work. Spray your cleaner on a microfiber cloth and clean.  
Kids could help dust down the walls. Those small hands would be perfect to dust the walls behind the toilet. You may have to take turns, if your bathroom is too small. Any knick knacks you have, that aren't breakable, would be perfect for them to dust as well. You could have them stand outside of the bathroom, and hand them the items, if there isn't room for everyone to be in the bathroom!  

Dust the vents and fans. Use a vacuum attachment, if you can't get in the tiny grooves. You may need to use a gentle cleanser mixed with water and a cleaning cloth. Take down light fixtures and gently wash and dry them before replacing.
Kids could help you wash any light fixtures, or help dry (if you don't want them to help wash).

Take down draperies, curtains, blinds, etc, to wash or have cleaned according to the directions. Dust down any blinds and other window treatments. Vacuum and clean windowsills and corners. Wash the insides and outsides of the windows. Take down and rinse off screens, before replacing.
Kids love to help vacuum. If you think they can handle the attachment by themselves, then let them! If they don't have the dexterity to handle it, them help them do it. Spray some glass cleaner on the windows and let them clean it off!

Scrub the shower and tub. Don't forget fixtures. Launder or clean your shower curtain and replace the shower curtain liner, if needed. You can wash the liner with vinegar, and it will remove any soap scum, mold, or mildew, and make your shower liner look brand new. Clean shower doors. Get rid of soap scum with a commercial cleaner, or use Mr. Clean Magic Erasers. It erases the scum right off, with little scrubbing, and no harsh fumes! Do not use lemons and vinegar or other acidic cleansers on tile grout. The cleansers will eat away the grout. Rub the faucet and other fixtures with baby oil to keep water spots from forming!
Kids can help polish the fixtures on the tub, after you're done cleaning them!

Scrub down the toilet. Don't forget the handle, crevices on the outside, underneath, and along the floor line. 
Depending on the age, your child could help scrub the bowel with the toilet brush.

Wash the inside and outside of medicine cabinets, linen cabinets, etc. Go thru your medicine cabinet and get rid of anything that is expired, including shampoos, lotions, and medicine. Please dispose of your medicine safely, and according to your state's guidelines for disposal.
Now would be a good time to talk about how certain medicine can help some people, but only if a doctor gave it a certain person. Tell them that it is never safe to take someone's medicine. Once any medicine is out of their reach, they could help wipe out the cabinets.

Wash down the sink and fixtures. Don't forget to thoroughly clean your mirrors. Use a toothbrush to get into the tight spots. Rub the faucet with baby oil to keep water spots from appearing.
Kids can help to! Let them rub the oil in, to polish the faucet, or help wipe out the toothpaste blobs from that day!

Change toweling, clean rugs. Wash bathroom rugs in vinegar, and hang dry. 
Kids can help change the towels and put up the new ones. They can also throw the bathroom rug in the laundry for you.

Sweep and mop the floors. Don't forget baseboards. One of the best ways to get a floor REALLY clean is to use a rag or towel while on your hands and knees. If you have a steam mop, steam clean your floors.
Why not use the power of kid’s labor! Give the kids the rags and have them scrub along the baseboards with the rags! You can mop up their messy water, and the floor's clean! Everyone wins!

Empty and wash out the trash can. Use a grocery sack to line the trashcan. Makes for easy pick up the next trash day.
Kids can empty the trash for you and put the liner in. 

A clean bathroom is something everyone enjoys! It's much nicer to get clean in a room that's clean from top to bottom! Tomorrow, I'll share how to Spring Clean the Living Room!

Until Next Time,
In2Kermit 

Monday, March 5, 2012

Kitchen Spring Cleaning List


Cleaning the kitchen can be a fun opportunity for you and your kids to really get things clean, and have ALOT of fun! Kids as young as 2 can get in on the action (just don't give them any chemicals) and it teaches them alot about teamwork and helping the family. We love to listen to books on CD, or you can play some fun music and dance your way to cleaning the room! I'll break down this room, and give you ideas on how your kids can help with each section! You'll have alot of fun!



 Dust down the ceiling and corners of walls. Spot wash, remembering air vents, doorknobs, doors, switch plates. Use a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser, to avoid removing paint and clean the walls without harming paint. Your walls will probably need to be washed more in this room, then anywhere else. Your blender (or whatever appliance) may have thrown bits of food and you never even noticed it! Clean the grease, grime, and spilled food from your walls.
Kids can take a slightly damp microfiber cloth and help you dust the walls! Make is a game. See who can get the most dust bunnies, or make their cloth the dirtiest the fastest! It will also help you, because you won't have to get down on your knees to clean the bottoms of the walls.

Dust and clean all art and photographs along the wall. Use caution when cleaning framed pictures. Don't spray the cleaner on the art, as it could seep behind the glass and destroy your art work. Spray your cleaner on a microfiber cloth and clean.
Kids can help you dust the pictures, too. If you're worried about them breaking the glass, then have them help you squirt the solution onto your cloth. Remember, you’re not just trying to Spring clean your house, you're also trying to teach them to clean and spending time with them!

Dust and clean the ceiling fan. I find that taking a pillow case, and sliding the blade into the pillow case, and gently rubbing the pillow case against the blades is enough. You don't have to worry about the dust going everywhere; it's all trapped in the pillow case! If you need to wash the blades, pouring something like Lysol multi-purpose cleaner in a bucket, and diluting with water is perfect too.  Take down any light fixtures and gently wash and dry them before replacing.
Obviously, there really isn't much that the kids can do on this one. Having your child on a ladder, trying to help clean the blades is not a good idea. But, they could help you dry the light fixtures, or hand you the towels to dry them (if you don't want them helping around the glass).

Take down draperies, curtains, and blinds to wash or have cleaned according to the manufacturer's directions. Vacuum and clean windowsills and corners. Wash the insides and outsides of the windows. Take down and rinse off screens, before replacing.
Kids love to help vacuum. If you think they can handle the attachment by themselves, then let them! If they don't have the dexterity to handle it, then help them do it. Trust me, the look of pride and accomplishment on their faces is well worth the extra time it took! Spray some glass cleaner on the windows and let them clean it off!

Apply oven cleaner to the oven and clean the refrigerator. Leave the windows in the kitchen open to avoid the overpowering smell*. Don't forget to vacuum the coils of your UNPLUGGED refrigerator. This is a great time to sweep and mop underneath it too if you can find some help to move it. Be careful of scratching your floor.
*If you don't want your kids around the smell, spray your oven before bed, and let it work overnight.
Kids can help clean up the floor space. They can help you sweep and mop the floors!

While the oven cleaner works, begin sorting through the freezer and refrigerator. Clear out anything that is expired. Take out the drawers and shelves and clean them with warm water and soap. Wipe out the inside of the fridge and freezer with vinegar to remove smells. When oven cleaner is done, wipe out the inside according to the oven cleaner directions.
My kids love to be the ones to throw out the stuff that's expired. I'll give them the stuff to throw away, and they race to see who can throw it in the trash the fastest! They can also help clean out the inside of the fridge. Just give them their own sponge or cloth!

Take the knobs, burners, burner covers, and spill catchers off of the stove. Some stovetops lift up to allow easy access to spills and crumbs. Wipe down the entire stove.
Kids can wipe the outside bottom of the stove with a moist rag.

Wipe down and clean the toaster, blender, and other small appliances. Clean the microwave. If the spills in the microwave are dried and caked on, try microwaving a cup of water (in a glass bowl) for about 5 min. . The steam helps break up the dried on food. If the microwave smells, boil lemon juice. Don't forget the turntable. Clean off other appliances; just make sure they are unplugged first.
The kids could help dry off the toaster, or other small appliances that can be easily put on the ground. Just make sure they are unplugged first!

Clean out kitchen cabinets. Reline the cupboards if needed. Remove mismatched lids and bowls and donate. Take out anything that isn't being used on a regular basis. Reorganize and wash down the insides and outsides of cabinets.
Kids can help you match up the lids, help you wash the dishes and dry them, and help get the dishes that are on the bottom shelves! There’s a lot that they can help with and it can be alot of fun!

Run the dishwasher empty. Pour some vinegar in a coffee mug and run the empty dishwasher. If your dishwasher has a food trap in the bottom, clean it out. Wash out the grooves that don't get washed by the dishwasher and down the outside of the dishwasher.
Kids can help wash down the outside of the dishwasher.  

Wash down the countertops in your kitchen. Don't forget backsplashes. Please clean your countertops according to the manufacturer's recommendations. There are so many different styles out there; I don't want to even attempt to generalize!
Kids can help wipe down the countertops. My little girl just isn't tall enough to reach the countertops, so I have a step stool for her. It makes her feel so special, because she can see and help mommy!

Wipe down and clean out any drawers. Organize your flatware. If you don't have drawer organizers, it's a great time to buy some!
Kids can help reorganize the flatware.

Wash down the sink. If you have a garbage disposal it would be a great time to run a lemon peel thru the disposal to freshen the drain. Rub baby oil on your faucet to keep water spots from forming.
Kids could help polish the sink, once you're done with the chemicals!

Sweep and mop the floors. Don't forget baseboards. One of the best ways to get a floor REALLY clean is to use a rag or towel while on your hands and knees. If you have a steam mop, steam clean your floors.
Why not use the power of kid’s labor! Give the kids the rags and have them scrub along the baseboards with the rags! You can mop up their messy water, and the floor's clean! Everyone wins!

Tomorrow, I'll share the list for the bathroom!

Until Next Time,
In2Kermit 

Friday, March 2, 2012

The Body of Christ

The past 3 days, I've been battling viral bronchitis. I woke up feeling fine, Tuesday morning, and by lunch time, I was down for the count. It's been 3 days of barely being able to cough, sit up, or do much of anything! Something I found interesting, though, was watching my children as I battled my illness. I got to see such a sweet side out of my oldest son, as he would rub my hands, stroke my hair, and try his hardest to make me feel better. I watched my daughter (sick herself no less) try to make mommy feel better, trying to squeeze in extra snuggles, and giving extra love. It really made me think. They could have tried to get away with anything, I was in no shape to stop them, but instead they decided to pour out extra love and attention; trying their hardest to help me. Without even hearing how the Christ's church should act, they modeled the love of Christ and tried their hardest to help me get better. As the body of Christ, we should be taking on the burdens of our brothers and sisters; helping them when they are down, feeding them when they are hungry, visiting them when they are sick or in prison. My 2 little nurses sure did help me out alot, and I would like to think that they got their kind spirits from their parents, but I know that I can't rightfully take credit. I know that Christ has already begun working in my children's lives, molding them into His image. I can only hope that they see the reflection of Jesus in me, so that they will continue to grow into His image.  "Having confidence of this very thing, that he who has begun in you a good work will complete it unto Jesus Christ's day:" Phil. 1:6

Until Next Time,
In2Kermit

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