5 tips to stay organized

5 ways to stay organized as a Foster Parent
1. Color Coordinate
2. Buy a planner
3. Have a spot for homework and backpacks
4. Chore list
5. Filing cabinet

I know many people panic being first-time foster parents. I did! I decided to share some ways to stay organized. I hope it helps with those who struggle with being first-time foster parents or anyone who is needing help to get organized with kids.

 

COLOR COORDINATE

Color coordinating has been a lifesaver! I purchase everything from the dollar store when it comes to baskets and totes. I buy bulk toothbrushes, and brushes off my amazon prime account and make sure they come in all different colors, plus they come cheaper that way. A visit to Walmart and they have a variety of separate color towels and wash clothes. The pens I use for my planner I purchased at Sam’s club and bought the color bundle set. When it comes to their lotion and hair product I use my label maker to put their names on the items and highlight it according to their color. It may seem like a lot of work, but the payoff is so worth it. If children leave things laying around, I don’t have to search I just look to see what color it is. I have a closet that I put everyone’s basket including Dad and I we have all our toiletries in there as well as our towel folded in the front. Our closet is located right before the bathroom, so this has been very effective when it comes to staying organized. We also noticed that new placements aren’t so lost when trying to figure out what is theirs and where it belongs.

BUY A PLANNER

I use The Happy Planner to stay organized, it has a primary calendar, and it also has the day to day planning. I have a blog all about on my page if you want to know all the details. Whoever has an appt or school functioning I use my color coordinating system to manage my planner for their events or mine. Typically try to use sticky notes for reminders throughout the day so that I can stay focused. It helps with sports, visits, projects and so much more. This organization tip helps when you get a new placement in because Those next 48 hours are hectic. So being organized right off the bat will help with a smoother transition.

HOMEWORK AND BACKPACK SPOT

If you can find a spot in your house for backpacks and homework, I will encourage you to do so. If you are not able, my suggestion to you is set a homework time so that it stays organized where ever you decide to set the kids down to do homework. In our house, we have the backpack wall. I just used command hooks to hold the backpacks up off the ground and spray painted them to the color of each child. IF you don’t want a wall of bags, my other suggestion would be a spot in their room, so it is still off the ground and organized as well. Do what works well for your family. Everyone knows that Our homework spot is our dining room table! Every kid knows that if someone is there doing their homework, it is quite a time! I have extra pencils and paper laying out every day after school just in case. I use my cooking timer during reading to time the kids. Some of my children prefer to go into their room to read which is fine the timer is loud enough for them to hear it.

CHORE LIST

Every day after school everyone has a chore, they first do their homework and typically while I am cooking dinner they will start on chores. Mothers dream to walk out of the kitchen to a spotless house, right? If only but it is the thought that counts. You usually get kids who 1. Have never cleaned 2. They had to clean for punishment 3. They hate to clean and will throw a fit to get out of it 4. Love to clean.
At our house, we use an award system, and I am not talking like do a chore, and I will buy you a video game. NO! It is more like do a task, and we will earn our way up to a dessert from McDonald’s. I don’t want to just hand my kids a treat after one duty I want them to learn that when they get older, you must work hard and then comes the gift of life. I have had some many people roll their eyes, but I feel like in my household this system works! I get asked so many times how I raise my kids to be so respectful and well mannered. I don’t want to sugar coat life even with the smallest things like chores.
I made each child a magnetic chore chart ( I plan on making a separate blog on how I made them) It is labeled Monday through Sunday each day I change out their chores. I even have a “FREE DAY” magnetic that the kids try so hard to earn. They can earn it by helping mom without being asked or helping someone else as well. Using their manners while out in public or not fighting with their siblings. There are many ways to earn the “FREE DAY” I also included an everyday side, and I have magnetics made for showers, homework, brush teeth, put on lotion, do your hair, read, etc., everyday things.
The chore list has been a fantastic organization trick because the kids know what is expected of them. They just move they’re magnetic to the “COMPLETE” box, and all I need to do is go check the list and to see what they have done. It has improved our oldest son with being more responsible which I am loving watching this boy grow.

FILING CABINET

My good ol’ filing cabinet that I am quickly outgrowing. I am going to give you a tip just buy the medium size. I bought the smallest one because in my head I thought If I don’t have the room I don’t need it, and if it becomes cluttered it is time to organize it. Wrong! I need more space for filing. Utilizing my color coordinating tip I do it in the filing cabinet as well. So, each child has their file but I forgot I own business, a house and I also have bills! I went in only thinking about the kids. I purchased a bigger one keeping my organization tip in mind don’t go to big, or it will give me a reason to keep filing till I am knee deep in a mess of clutter. I purchased all my folders on amazon prime. It seems like anything that has a bundle of colors is cheaper which helps me in the long run. I use my label maker to stay organized with the filing system. I file by oldest to youngest as well. Now when they go home, I just send them back with the whole file. Any artwork or grades anything that you want mom and dad to have. I keep the things they have drawn me or written to me, and I put all of those in a separate folder for memories. Cause man oh man it is nice to go down memory lane to see just how far these kids have come.

I hope these 5 Organization tips have given you an idea of what may work for your family. If you would like to see any of these tips in a more detailed blog or have any questions, just let me know down in the comments below

– Momma K and the Bunch

Capitan Period Pants! #Momlife

“Mom, I can’t wait till I get my period.

I will grow chest hair and a beard like dad!

My voice will get deep,

and people won’t look at me like I am a little boy.”

This morning was a #momlife moment. Kyleigh and Nate came over this weekend, so that makes a total of 7 kids, this morning was busy and loud! In the middle of getting everyone their hot tea and breakfast, my ten-year-old approaches me, wearing his costume and holding a wooden sword ready to conquer the world. I am sipping on coffee listening to my girls argue in the back ground about how I am making them drink a vitamin C concoction because everyone was full of boogers. Anyways back to my son, he approaches me with so much confidence and determination. I ask him if he was on a mission and he replies “Mom, I can’t wait till I get my period. I will grow chest hair and a beard like dad! My voice will get deep, and people won’t look at me like I am a little boy.”  My oldest looked at me as if I had been keeping a secret from her and my two youngest daughters about rolled over in laughter. He looked at me waiting for a reply; I explained to him that yes one day he will hit puberty, but he technically would never have a period because he is a boy.  He asks, “well what is a period?”  In my head I am thinking, okay he is ten how can I make sure I don’t freak him out…… I could A. Sugar coat it, you know make it sound like the best seven days of our lives, so he doesn’t freak out. Or B. Lay it to him straight and be upfront and honest and pray I don’t traumatize him because at this age the imagination is in full force. So I went with plan B, I explained what happens, and to my surprise, he said well good thing y’all don’t die during that week, never mind I just want my puberty to come already so I can be like dad!  He runs away to go back to play. I look up at my two youngest girls, and the look of fear is on their face. Whoops! Surprise! Everyone learned about periods in our house today! #momlife

Numb

Numb

It has been one heck of a month……… I was trying to write a blog about our middle daughter going home with the family before her leaving. I typically write to prepare myself for what is coming, expressing my feelings and getting rid of all the negative thoughts. This time around I couldn’t help but feel numb.

Little S joined our family Feb 2017 with her sister. Her sister, unfortunately, had to go into treatment shortly after coming into our care. Little S was so shy and kind. Her smile would light up the room, and there was never a moment her kindness didn’t show. Her personality was amazing! She would melt your heart in a matter of seconds. I watched this beautiful child blossom. Little S found herself in our home.

There have been many obstacles I have had to deal with while being a foster parent, but no one can prepare you for what comes when a child loses their parent. May 9th, 2017, I received a phone call that unfortunately, Little S’s dad had passed away over the night. She was at school when I found out, and I knew right away I needed to get her. I would hate for her to find out during school about her dads passing. I arrived at the school, and she was so happy and thrilled to see me. I told her that we were going to do whatever she wanted to do today. Little S looked at me with tears in her eyes and said something is wrong isn’t there? I am going home, aren’t I? I just hugged her so tight and told her that she wouldn’t be leaving, but she will be visiting her grandma today. I explained grandma had something significant to say to her.

We ended up at target and went shopping of course! We went to the park, went home and did her makeup, and she put on her new dress that we had just bought. I asked her to tell me stories about her dad and what her favorite things about him were. Her memories were so precious and allowed her and I to connect on another level. Those moments will forever be cherished.

Over the summer she was growing more and more. The more she grew, the more I fell more in love with this precious girl. She came to us one day as we were folding laundry and looked at me with those beautiful big brown eyes, She leaned into me and whispered I just wish I could stay here forever. My heart was so content, but I also knew I needed to remind her how important it is to go home with family if it is possible to do so. She was so understanding but would occasionally mention us adopting her. Without a doubt, I would adopt her in a heartbeat, but again as a foster parent, I can’t stress enough how important it is for reunification to happen.

September 27th, 2017, her case worker comes over and gives us the news that her uncle and aunt will be the new placement. He gave us our ten-day notice. Inside I was broken, but on the outside, I showed her how excited I was, and we spoke about how important it is to go with them. They had passed everything they needed to do and how beautiful it was that they were going to take her and raise her. She was excited but nervous, which is to be expected. Little S leans in for a hug and just starts crying. She replies with “I would dream at night that you would forever be my momma K.” I replied, “and I will be!” No one will ever take that from me.

The next ten days just felt so numb; I am not sure how to explain the feeling. All I knew is that I had to prepare Little S for what was about to happen……. But how can I do that when I didn’t feel prepared for what was about to happen to us.

October 7th, 2017, the day has come to say See you later! She was excited at this point and couldn’t wait to get her stuff in her new room. Taking her belongings out to her relative’s car seemed like it took forever, I just kept talking to avoid anyone asking me questions. Seems like if anyone that asks me how I am doing, I completely lose it. I must be strong for her, and she should see that I am okay for her to be okay. Children feed off our emotions, and I didn’t want her to stress about my feelings. I wanted to make sure she was excited no matter what.

I will pray for her daily and pray that as a family we cope with this in the best way that we can but explaining this feeling has been difficult. Typically, I can express myself without any issues but this time around I just feel numb.

The happy planner: foster parent life

Create+365+LOGO

I use Create 365 The happy planner to stay organized with our busy life.

It has helped out so much and after many buys later I am very pleased with this one.

So I ended up paying a little over $21, which isn’t bad at all considering  I purchased the planner and sticker book.

The planner includes a box calendar and individual slot dates. Multiple other little features that can be utilized as well.

The Front

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It includes 18 months, notes, goal list, birthday list and so much more.

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The date slots Begin on Monday and end on Sunday. has additional space below for notes

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has the basic calendar in the beginning of each month

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I also purchased Stickers , I bought the Mom life addition. I was excited to see what stickers were going to be in there, I personally will be purchasing other ones. Only reason why is because I unfortunately wont be utilizing majority of those stickers. I enjoyed the purpose for them and it makes the planner fun and creative as well.

The Happy Planner- Sticker book: Mom life addition

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I am hoping to have a YouTube video up soon about the planner to give you all more detail on the planner.

https://www.amazon.com/Create-365-Happy-Planner-Beautiful/dp/B01NBJKTVM/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1505761033&sr=8-5&keywords=create+365

 

 

 

Teach them!

onion

Do you ever look at your kids and just think how blessed you are to have them in your life?

I have a 14 yr old daughter, and we are in the process of adopting. Lately, we have been teaching her how to cook and become more independent. We start to tell her the ingredients to our homemade chicken Fajitas. She seems to be understanding the process pretty well, so I give her a task to cut the onions. I ask her do you know how to put an onion and she immediately gets a little hurt and replies “yes!” I didn’t even think that it may offend her. My mom taught me, so I just assumed that maybe nobody had taught her.

As I watched her struggling with this onion, I knew she desperately wanted to show me she could cut this onion but you could tell she was having a heck of a time. I sat down at the table with her and said “would you like me to show you how your grandma taught me and how your great grandmother taught her?” she instantly handed over the onion with the biggest smile!

I showed her how I was taught, and that smile on her face was priceless. It wasn’t the onion that made me cry that night. It was that moment knowing I am now able to show my kids what my parents taught me. The simplest thing like cutting an onion can make you realize just how blessed you truly are. Given the opportunity to share what tools I had learned as a child too. I felt so blessed to have a mother who cared enough to know that the basic skills of cooking were needed in life.

She thanked me and said, “now I get to show my kids when I get older.” Simple things in life that make you appreciate everything.

I look at my children and know I am blessed to have them in my life. To be able to teach them what they need to do to function every day. We as parents are given an opportunity to show our children how amazing life is. Hopefully one day they can teach their own the same. Continue a positive parenting throughout each generation. It depends on us to show them now to make that happen.

 

 

*photo credit google*