School Supplies for Moms

The school supplies my boys needed for elementary school were pretty standard.  Other than the white construction paper needed the kindergarten year, we could usually easily find all school supplies in the back to school section at Target.

The school supplies needed for middle school were only slightly more complex.  I’m still not sure why G needed 500 spiral notebooks for his entire middle school career when he used perhaps 10.

This year as I found myself again in the back to school aisle at Target (many times…turns out each class in high school has its own supply list), I found myself thinking what they should really give us is a list of school supplies for moms.

Luckily, I compiled a list of items needed for moms (or dads) as our kids head back to school.

school supplies

    1. 180+ cups of Coffee

    2. 1 Alarm Clock with snooze button

    3. 1 extra-large size of Patience

    4. 500 Pens (color of your choice) because 499 will disappear

    5. 1 pair of tennis shoes

    6. 3 calendars, one paper, one in a planner, and one in your phone

    7. 1 BTDT friend (at least)

    8. 500 reassuring smiles

    9. 1 extra-large container of Clorox wipes for cleaning out and off backpacks and lunch boxes

    10. 180 package of Eggo Waffles or other quick breakfasts to pull out of the freezer

    11. 500 Sharpies (see #4)

    12. 1 Guilt-Free Pass for all the things you will forget and papers that will be signed in pencil or purple Crayola (because you won’t be able to find the 1 remaining pen or Sharpie when needed)

I’m sure I probably forgot a few that you’ll need to pick up as the school year progresses, I often find I run out of patience and need to find more.

If you’re a crying mom, you should probably add tissues to the list.  I’m more a Freedom singing mom myself (although I was certainly a crying mom during the start of kindergarten for both boys, I got over it).  If you are a Freedom singing mom, make sure you share those reassuring smiles with the criers, they need extras!

What school supplies would you add to my list?

Instead of blogging, I’ve been…

Instead of blogging, I’ve been adjusting to a new school year as well as doing a few other things.  I promise I haven’t forgotten this space.

I’ve just been doing other things instead of blogging about my lack of organization.   Maybe if I were more successful in those organizing attempts, I’d have been blogging as well and finishing and publishing all those rough drafts about back to school.

Instead of blogging, I’ve been…

  • Doing a few of the things on my back to school bucket list.  Not all of the things and certainly not the ones that involve cleaning!  Mostly, the one that involves watching too much Netflix.

  • Working at the preschool.  It was just half-days all last week.  I thought I’d be home in plenty of time to get other things (like blogging) done.  However, I confess I mostly wanted to come home and nap.

  • Buying MORE school supplies for my high school student.  I’m not sure when this madness is going to stop.  We still have to find him a backpack big enough to hold the entire contents of his locker.  (Locker is on the 3rd floor & all classes are on the 1st floor with very little time between them.)

  • Trying to figure out when and where we all need to be each day.  My oldest has band practice that starts at 6:30a.m. two days a week.  And just for fun, practice one night each week.  This week is open house at the high school and a back to school night at the elementary.  Apparently, all the schools like to schedule these things on the same day, at the same time.

  • Preparing for a trip we took to Oklahoma for the boys’ great grandpa’s 96th birthday.  It was a fun but much too short weekend trip.

    instead of blogging

    Cool park we found in Augusta, KS

    instead of blogging

    View from inside the park

    instead of blogging

    Can you spot the white crane in the tree line?

  • Yesterday, I thought I’d get right back on track by linking up with Sandra over at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom for Happy Homemaker Monday (yes, I know yesterday was Tuesday)  but instead of blogging, I opted to mow our lawn.  The crickets and cicadas were starting to sing Welcome to the Jungle so I thought it was time.

Just a small glimpse of what I’ve been up to the first full week of back to school for my boys.  Be thankful the post was titled Instead of Blogging, I’ve been… and not Instead of Cleaning, I’ve been…

That post would have been much longer.

Doing those other things does have a great effect.  I have all kinds of ideas for posts I want to write and share with you.   Look for the following posts* coming soon:

  • School Supply List For Moms (Why should the kids have all the fun?)
  • Go Away, Summer Guilt!
  • Random Tips And Tricks For the School Year
  • Pleasing Picky Eaters Without Losing Your Mind or Menu Plan
  • My Pinterest Persona vs. The Real Me
  • Teenagers Are NOT Terrifying

*All titles subject to change.

If you want, you can go re-read this old post about lunchbox tips (I had to re-read it at the beginning of the year for myself) while I go finish my Lost marathon on Netflix instead of blogging some more.

My Back To School Bucket List

I have a back to school bucket list.  And it is not for the kids.  I know summer bucket lists are in thing.

However, I like to make my own personal back to school bucket list of all the things I’m going to do once the boys are back in school.

Since they’re older now, I don’t get quite as excited about a few of the items like I did when they were younger.  I mean if I wanted to go somewhere by myself this summer, it really wasn’t a big deal.  Still, I have some items on my back to school bucket list that I just can’t quite enjoy unless I have the peace and quiet of an empty house.

Here are the items on my back to school bucket list:  

back to school bucket list

  1. At home spa day.  Basically, I plan to put a facial mask on and not worry about any “What is one your face?” questions.  I also plan to shower without anyone beating on the door to ask me questions or tell me I have a phone call.
  2. Clean the house and enjoy the fact it will remain clean for 3-4 hours instead of 3-4 minutes.
  3. Watch Netflix or sit on the computer without the nagging guilty feelings that I should be making my kids have some screen-free time.  Added bonus, I won’t have to share our wimpy Internet service with any other devices so my stuff will load quickly.
  4. Clean out the boys’ bedroom closets (with trash bags…)
  5. Go on a lunch date with my husband.  We could, of course, do this any time now that the boys are older but not without still having to worry about whether to bring back food for the kids or feed them ahead of time.
  6. Meet a friend for coffee during the day without worrying about what the kids are doing.
  7. Enjoy grocery shopping again.  It is just not as much fun to grocery shop in the summer.  I can never figure out a good day.  The bill is always twice as huge since they eat all the time.  Now, I can get back into my grocery routine and not have to buy such a surplus of snacks.
  8. Shop for organizing and office supplies for myself.  I’ll wait until they go on clearance though.
  9. Go to work either on this blog or at the preschool.  I enjoy working a lot more when I know my boys are occupied with school.
  10. Try out some new organizing ideas.  I don’t know why but I do better with my attempts at organizing when the kids are in school.

Do you have a back to school bucket list?  What is on your list?


Back To School Time: Homemaker Monday & Menu Plan

It is back to school time!  Normally, I might be writing that with enthusiasm.

However, it is much too early.  I’m not even sick of the kids yet.  They are still (somewhat) getting along well.  The weather just turned to the true August “I can’t breathe” when stepping out the door hot.  Going to bed early?  It’s not happening over here although it will have to happen on Tuesday.

How can it possibly be back to school time already?

Where did last week go?  I can’t believe it is already time to plan my week and link to another Happy Homemaker Monday hosted by Sandra from Diary of a Stay At Home Mom as well as come up with a back to school menu to link over at Menu Plan Monday hosted by Laura from I’m An Organizing Junkie.

The Weather This Week

Highs in the upper 80s and low 90s all week.  We woke up to thunderstorms this morning and yesterday but I don’t see anymore in the forecast.  Of course, we didn’t think it was supposed to rain yesterday morning either.  And it’s HUMID out there.

Things That Make Me Happy

a kitchen table clear enough that we can eat dinner as a family, seeing my boys get along with each other so well, and a little gray cat that keeps us on our toes and has decided her new place is directly on top of me at night.

Weekly Menu

I did an okay job of following our menu last week but we did vary from it a bit and go out.  I’ll probably have to be a bit better about planning and following our menus for back to school time.

Tonight is Meet the Teacher night for J and both kids start school on Wednesday.  I also have a middle of the day hair appointment today.

MONDAY:   Sesame Ribs in the crock pot.

TUESDAY:  Salt and Pepper Turkey  (This is just what J calls smoked turkey I buy at the store.) and sweet potatoes

WEDNESDAY:   Chicken Strips, homemade potato chips, salad

THURSDAY:   BLTs and French Fries

FRIDAY:  Pizza!  Probably from out somewhere.

To-Do List

  1. Make sure the kids have all their school supplies
  2. Organize the art supply cabinet into a homework supply cabinet/kitchen cabinet.
  3. Get things together for charity truck coming on Friday
  4. Go to grocery store (this should be number one on the list really)
  5. Find a new welcome mat for the front door
  6. Figure out a time to get together with a friend
  7. Laundry (mainly, just folding it)

On the blog

I’m bringing this category back to see if it will motivate me a bit.  I had fun last week with a vacation week theme. I think this was my favorite post of the week.  It seemed to inspire me to post a bit more so I’m declaring this (wait for it)…back to school week on the blog!  Original, huh?  It will at least be from a perspective of having somewhat older kids.

Books, Movies, and Television

I read another one of the Amazon prime book selections over the weekend.  While The Good Neighbor by A.J. Banner wasn’t a bad read, it was another mildly predictable mystery that left me wanting to go pick out a book more my own style.   I think a visit to a book store or the library may need to be number 8 on my to-do list.

The boys and I (plus one of their friends) all went to see Pixels last week as well.  The reviews were awful but we all loved it!  I think the point of movies like that is to be stupid and fun and in slightly poor taste but not to be taken seriously.  My 10-year old enjoyed it but I do think that’s about the age cutoff for this one (my opinion only…note the movie is rated PG-13) regarding younger kids.

In television land, my husband and I are still slowly working our way through The Americans.  We binge-watched a bunch of episodes Saturday night while our kids were out with their cousin.   Pathetic.  I do see some new shows coming out this fall that intrigue me especially Limitless (I loved that movie).


J and I went with friends to Powell Gardens, a local botanical garden, to see a Lego Connects exhibit.  We were also able to see a small part of their butterfly festival exhibit (my favorite).

This blue morpho butterfly liked me!

This blue morpho butterfly liked me!

I used the zoom lens for this photo!

I used the zoom lens for this photo!

I prefer this creature.

I prefer this creature.

J's favorite Lego sculpture

J’s favorite Lego sculpture

 Looking forward to this week

Hearing all about the boys’ first days of school, not fighting over the computer or television or Internet usage, reconnecting and catching up with friends, and spending a bit more time with this blog.

Homemaking Tips and Trials

I read this one in a library book, Coming Clean: Dirty Little Secrets from a Professional Housecleaner by Schar Ward.  Give your cleaners time to work.  Don’t just spray them on a surface and wipe them right off.  Let them sit there a few minutes.  It really does make a difference especially on greasy kitchen surfaces and in the bathroom.

Lessons Learned the Past Few Days

Even small commitments are important to keep sometimes they do turn out to be the more important ones.  I need to remind myself that no is a one syllable answer, no explanation required.

Thoughts for the Week

 Do not worry about tomorrow for tomorrow will bring enough worries of its own.  (Matthew 6:34)

Things that matter most must never be at the mercy of things that matter least (Johann Wolfgang von Goethe)


Is it back to school time for your family as well?  Or are you still enjoying a few final weeks of summer vacation?

Post Vacation Blues, Go Away

I came back from South Dakota with a pretty bad case of the post vacation blues.  I would have gladly turned the car around and returned for another month, until winter arrived, week.

While I’ve resigned myself to physically being at home, I’ve had a much harder time making my mind focus on what I should be doing instead of gazing longingly at photos from our trip.

Hmmm….that sentence up there and this space looks like another good place to throw in a vacation photo:

post vacation blues

View from Sky Line Drive in Rapid City, South Dakota

Here are few ways to slowly get over post vacation blues:

  • What’s that saying about an ounce of prevention?  This post over at The Water Wife has great tips to make coming home easier.  My goal is always to have the sheets changed, the house spotless, and everything organized before we leave.  I usually manage to pull off somewhat clear kitchen counters and an empty dishwasher but when we went to Colorado a few years ago, I did leave a super clean house and it was great to come home to it!

  • If you didn’t manage to clean up before you left home, clean up now.  A clean house makes everyone feel better.

  • Missing the beautiful views?  Work on improving your own views.  I am never going to have a view like that photo above but it doesn’t mean I can’t make my own outdoor areas a bit more pleasant and enjoyable.  My husband power washed our front porch and I painted the railing that was in much need of a little TLC.  I now smile when I see the freshly clean porch and painted railing.

  • Plan an outing to a tourist type place in your own hometown.  This might help you remember there is beauty within reach where you call home as well.

    Lego Monarch, Powell Gardens in Kingsville, MO

    Lego Monarch, Powell Gardens in Kingsville, MO

    Post Vacation Blues

    Lego Ducks in A Real Pond, Lego Connects Exhibit at Powell Gardens

    Plus, it’s easy to invite friends along to make it more fun!

    J checking out the view with a friend

    J checking out the view with a friend

  •  Get together with friends and family!  Just getting together with friends and family can remind you how much you would miss them if you stayed on vacation forever.

  • Make sure you are eating healthy and getting enough rest.  Vacations throw us off our regular routines in a lot of ways.  It is hard to get back into eating healthy if you’ve been having donuts for breakfast every other day and eating in restaurants.  And it is true, a good night’s sleep is an amazing cure.

Doing a few of the items on the list up there has certainly helped me cope with my post vacation blues.  I’m finding myself ready to focus on making our home a bit more pleasant and inviting plus craving the routine of a fall school schedule.

How do you battle the post vacation blues?

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