Jul 052011

Here I am, smack dab in the middle of an annual habit of purging. Since I find myself in the overwhelm of this task, I thought there might be some of you doing the same – and feeling the overwhelm too? The habits I’m sharing today from the archives not only help with clutter busting, they are the basic housekeeping ones for our Hodgepodge. The ones that rescue me when I’m surrounded. The ones that even bless children. (A five-minute room rescue sounds better to a child than ‘go pick up your room’).

These are the habits – with rewards – we turn to daily. Yes, we’ve tried other housekeeping, picking up and cleaning up strategies. But these are the ones that stick for us. What is expected by everyone. So here are links to what has worked for years:

1. Flylady- Tools Not Rules:
Are YOU living in CHAOS? (Can’t Have Anyone Over Syndrome) Do you feel overwhelmed, overextended, and overdrawn? Hopeless and you don’t know where to start? Don’t worry friend, we’ve been there, too. ~ Flylady

You knew it was coming. How could a blog be devoted to happy habits without a post on Flylady? Her tools are a chief resource on habit formation. Read more….

2. Jurisdictions:

“Time to pick up jurisdictions,” I call.

There is honestly no way I could possibly follow behind five children and keep our home straight. And homeschool. Since we are all part of a family, all should contribute. Carving the big job into smaller parts makes it easier for everyone. Read more… Continue reading »

The Word Within Sight

 Posted by on November 2, 2010  13 Responses »
Nov 022010

Practical Prayer Part Two

Remember that praying without ceasing verse? And Kerri’s Pocketful of Sunshine? Sometimes I turn around and see this. Just. Exactly. When. I. Need. To.

One weary morning last week, my eyes rested on this framed scripture. The one my eldest decorated when she was a baby. And because of that, my mind turned to…

Mount up with wings as eagles… and we made it through Math.

After lunch, when I really wanted to holler, I saw… Continue reading »

Jul 102010

Part Three of Chores or Service Opportunities?

We have a system of Service Opportunities in place for our children to earn money.  The system allows us to pay a pre-determined amount of money for common household chores. (See The Habit of Rewarding Service)

A common problem with this method is that a child will perform a Service Opportunity, and then tell Hodgepodgemom about it.  Hodgepodgemom would keep the tally and pass it on for me to calculate the amount of money earned by each child.  Sometimes, though, Hodgepodgemom was busy with other things and would forget to record the task in the child’s Service Opportunity tally.  The fact that the task was done thus gets forgotten.

Knowing that this was a problem, we set out to develop a new way to track Service Opportunities.

Enter the Service Opportunities chalkboard and accompanying tally clipboard. Continue reading »

The Sunday box

 Posted by on April 6, 2010  9 Responses »
Apr 062010

The habit of making Sunday the best day of the week

It’s nothing fancy on the outside. A plastic storage tub. Permanent marker on the lid labels it Sunday Box. It’s what’s inside that makes Sunday family time memorable. That, plus only getting to peek inside once a week.

Because the goal is for Sunday to be the best day of the week – a day of worship and rest. You’ve planned ahead to get out the door on Sunday morning. You’ve enjoyed your fast food from the slow cooker. Maybe you’ve all had a bit of Quiet Time.

Now it’s time to pull out the Sunday box. So what’s inside that makes this box special?

  • Notecards for writing family, thank you notes
  • Veggie Tales characters for free play
  • Board game
  • Biblical paper dolls
  • Paint-with-water books
  • Dress ups and The Mighty Acts of God
  • Bible stories on tape along with cheap, battery-operated cassette player with headphones
  • Floor puzzles of Noah’s ark, space scenes
  • Answers in Genesis DVDs
  • Answers for Kids – Volumes 1-4 (Christmas gift for each of the older four)
  • Veggie Tales DVD
  • Something borrowed from the library
  • Long forgotten worship songs CD
  • Bible coloring books picked up on sale
  • A coupon for a family walk or picnic at a local park
  • A surprise envelope for a Daddy destination


  1. Maybe you don’t have this exact list of things but you likely have plenty on your bookshelves and closets you could pull from. Often a long-forgotten CD is a new Sunday afternoon favorite. Use what you have.
  2. Occasionally pick up new items while you are out. Once you get into the Sunday box habit, you’ll be on the look out for surprises to help make Sunday the best day of the week.
  3. I do try to rotate items in the box so that there is something new each week. But it doesn’t always happen.

This is our interpretation of Doorposts’ treasure box for Sundays. The Doorpost folks suggest decorating your box up like a treasure chest.

“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.” Exodus 20:8

This week following Easter is a great time to commit to or renew a Sunday habit. How about you? Which habit will you choose to help make Sunday the best day of the week?

-Tricia homeschools five children from preschool to high school. She’s forsaken life in the drive thru lane for the road home. She’s saving bucks and her sanity with the frugal recipes and sock it away strategies of her Southern roots. You can find her facing that daily dose of chaos at Hodgepodge. Tricia is a.k.a. Hodgepodgemom.

Fast Food for Slow Sundays

 Posted by on March 16, 2010  15 Responses »
Mar 162010

We all want peaceful Sundays, right? So, you’ve gotten into the habit of being ready a little at a time throughout the week. You’ve planned for the unexpected. Let’s say now that you’ve gotten your family to and from church. Everybody is all loaded back in the car, on the way home. “I’m huuun–greee! What’s for lunch?” You have choices. Let me offer a solution. One that has become habit.

We used to go out for lunch on Sunday. Fast food after church. Or even a nice restaurant. Before Dave Ramsey. Before we toted two epipens. Now, we still have fast food. We just cook it slow.

A little pre-planning it all it takes. Continue reading »