Tuesday, September 21, 2010

$150 contest - -making 7:30-8:30pm the magic hour and not the witching hour **contest closed**

This is sponsored content from BlogHer and the makers of One A Day Multivitamins.



In the past, bedtime for three young boys has been something of a disaster. It went a little bit like this:

"Ok, it's a commercial, go brush your teeth!"
2 out of 3 kids go running off.

"Get your clothes out for tomorrow!"
1 might follow this one.

"Go potty one last time!"
("but Mom, I haven't finished brushing my teeth yet")

"Who brushed their teeth? You left the toothpaste out!"
("I haven't done mine yet")

"Where is your backpack?"
("Mom, I forgot I was supposed to have you fill this out and send in $5")

(crash)
"What was that?"
("I dropped all the cups when I went to get a drink of water.")

"Did you guys take showers tonight?"
("Can't I do it in the morning?")

"Whose toothbrush is still dry?"
(silence)

"Whose clothes are all over the floor?"
(silence)

"Why are you in the backyard???!"

"Shoot, the show's back on, let's finish at the next commercial..."

And so on and so on.

The first thing I learned these past few months, is for heavens sake, to shut the TV off. With kiddos' bed times at 8 and 8:30, there's just no way to get invested in a show and still get everything done that needs doing.

As soon as school got back into session in August, and bedtimes became more stringent, we started a new schedule that works really well.

We start at 7:30. The TV goes OFF. While child #1 takes his shower, I work with the younger two on brushing teeth, bathroom visits, last drinks of water, and then with remaining time, we read fun books out loud. This is also the time for getting clothes ready for the next day and putting backpacks in place (with snack if I remember).

The longer they take, the lesser time for fun reading. It's really up to them how they want to use their time. Once they're done, the three of us sit and read, sometimes for 5 minutes, sometimes for 20, but up until about 7:50.

With the younger two prepped and the oldest out of the shower, we all gather around for some scripture study and family prayer. This is a staple. If nothing else, we do this every night. Sometimes we read 10 verses, sometimes it's a chapter--whatever we're needing at the time, but we won't skip. We take turns each day saying the family prayer. We kiss, we hug, we say personal prayers, and kids #2 and #3 are done for the night. No excuses, stay in bed, 8:00 curfew.

Then Child #1 gets some reading time. Normally I'd let him read silently in his room, but he really likes reading together with Mom, and he's happened to pick a rather lengthy book at present that I prefer to edit slightly, so I'm reading out loud to him too. At 8:30, he too gets kissed and sent off to bed.

After 8:30, I can look around my house and see that backpacks are ready, kids are in bed with clothes ready for the next day, and I take a few minutes to otherwise clean up. I get the dishwasher started, maybe fold a load of laundry, and the Mommy day is complete.

In the past, that hour of bedtime prep has been done with a lot of yelling, reminding, scolding, whining, and otherwise going-to-bed-angry--from me and the kids. Having this routine and evening schedule, the kids know what is expected of them and things run smoothly. We stick as close to the routine as possible, and it's made going back to school time much smoother and effortless. When the kids wake in the morning, clothes and backpacks are ready and there's not too much to stress about, which makes the 6:30-7:30 am hour much nicer as well.

We all have more or less stressful times in our day, whether it be the dinner-prep hour or the immediate hour after school gets out, there are times when everything is happening at once, and all of a sudden the living room can look like the remains from a fallout shelter. We are creatures of habit, and as a rule, generally like knowing what to expect each day, know what is expected of us, and so on.

How do you plan your days? Some people use planner books or agendas, have big wall calendars or to-do lists. I've seen families use giant white boards to detail the hours of the day and what is expected when. One such tool that can help you keep organized and on track, especially during this busy back-to-school season, is the My Tree Tool from the makers of One A Day Multivitamins. The site helps you make goals and outline when you're going to accomplish them, be it daily, weekly, etc.

I used this to prioritize 3 things at the start of this Fall: Spirituality, Health, and Relationships. I can schedule and track how often we read our scriptures together, how many times a week we want to exercise together as a family outside, and set a plan to read to my kids every night. The tool offers some really insightful suggestions and ideas to implement your plans and goals. It may be just the thing you need to get life on track this season.

What do you use to keep your days and weeks on track? Answer in the comments for a chance at a $150 Visa gift card! Contest runs 9/21/10 through 10/21/10 and winner will be randomly chosen and contacted by email, so make sure you leave a valid way to contact you.

There are 5 chances to win plus a chance at a bonus $100 by checking out the Exclusive Offers page. :) Read official rules for more info.

Don't forget to check out my blog, Life with the Boys.

195 comments:

Abhishek Duggal said...

The calendar on my iPhone

forsurveysonly at gmail dot com

keri said...

Am I suppose to keep my days and weeks on track?? Oh....

No really I would have to say the calendar on my blackberry, its always with me and I feel like I check it 400 times a day!

You are much more organized than I am in the evening... and I have only 2! Well 2 I have to worry about anyway ;)

2petes3repetesatcoxdotnet

Teri said...

if I didnt have my calendar on my phone I would be lost..It reminds me of the million things my kids have going on on a daily basis!!!ALso about bed time.. we have it staggered..2 and 6 year old goes to bed at 7...9 year old goes at 7:30 and 10 year old goes at 8...It usually works unless we have pack meeting!!!!

leaner said...

Google Calendar keeps us, sort of, together. I have mine synced with hubby's, the girls' and my mom's.

We have a white board and printed schedule of chores. I have been seriously slacking the last few months, but coming out of the 1st trimester is allowing me to get more done.

Our bedtime routine is lacking, too. At 7 the girls go upstairs and get ready for bed. Rhayn has lights out at 8. (If she doesn't she'll be up until 10.) We really need to work on it, just like all of the other parts of our life. We are still working on it.

Lorie said...

We have to stick to the routine! If we try to alter it even a little things spin out of control!!

Kids have to be in the bath by 7, then jammies and teeth, then scriptures and stories, then bed by 8pm. The older kiddos can stay up and read for 30 minutes but then light out.

Same in the morning. I wake them up a little earlier than they actually need to be so that there is room to make up for trouble!

Ami said...

I have a calendar that I write everything on but I probably need to get with it and do something electronic since I don't always have it with me.

Stephanie said...

We have a family planning meeting on Sunday nights, and write down everything that is going on for the week.
taufers at yahoo

Delfina said...

Calender on my Ipod. Check it daily! Then take it one step at a time. Also I'm a list person and have to scratch them off as I'm going.

Jenna said...

I have a good old-fashioned calendar on the wall. We also have family calendar time where we go over the week ahead. As far as routines go, I lay out their clothes the night before, and same as you, they know the faster they get ready for bed, the more time they have for stories!

jinxi~ aka angi said...

Boy o Boy have we found that routine is very important.

During no school we use a chore chart that I got at Target. We go over the chore chart, going down the list listing things Hunter is to do from sunup to sunset/bedtime. If he hasnt done them {example-pick up toys} we have him do it real quick making it a game.

During school we start early with the bathtime ritual, slow down, daily talk and prayers. We do the school work and book bag together while I am fixing dinner. We usually read sometime after the homework, but only if the tv is off. One day a week we play *school* and I teach him lessons that have to do with our family.. like responsibility, respect, good vs evil and what is expected in our family. His agenda helps me with this as well.

I know it is important for routine or itd be a 3 ring circus around our house for sure!
angi @ toddandangi@yahoo.com

Jennifer said...

My kids are not in school yet, so I don't really have to keep my days on track! lol

Ashley said...

I write everything down on the calendar and have 3 'lists' on white boards & on the fridge. I have a weekly to-do list, a daily to-do list, a to-buy list, and the best is a 'goal list' where I have an hour by hour schedule of how I hope a general day will go. It keeps me from getting distracted by the tv or internet so I have more time to spend doing more important things!

Dyl's Mom said...

I use a dry erase board in the kitchen to write down a daily schedule for everyone to follow

Melissa Z. said...

Getting back into routine is made easier by adjusting in increments. If the kids have been staying up later during the summer, then the week before school starts it is best if they start by going to bed 20 minutes earlier than they have been each day until they are back on their school sleep schedule. It makes for a lot less of a fight than suddenly switching back to their "old" schedule in one day.

melissa_76(at)hotmail.(dot)com

Lolli said...

This is a tough one! I finally found an app that I like on my itouch. Not only can I plug in all of my calendar items, but also my to-do and shopping lists. And I get email reminders. It has helped so much!

Kelsey said...

chore charts are key

Sarah McKnight said...

How we got back into routine was going to early about 2 weeks before school and getting up earlier and doing my errand for the day!

Mommy2nevaeh05@aol.com

Kelsey said...

chore charts are key!
nosolicitingme@gmail.com

The Clothspring said...

We always try to eat well and not get out of the routine. One thing we do is to never buy anything we do not want the kids to eat. So if it is not in the house we dont have to worry about it. We also always have the middle drawer of our fridge filled with things the kids can snack on, so they know where to look and so do I.

Christine said...

If I didn't have my agenda app on my phone I'd be lost most days. I have alarms and alerts for almost everything (feed the baby, start dinner, bath time, leave for work, etc). And since a sister wife/personal assistant is not an option that's how it's going to be for a long, long time.
But at least with this work schedule I don't have to deal with bed times ;)

Christine

Ellen said...

Calendar on the kitchen wall is best.
elliebunny@hotmail.com

The Kauffman Family said...

I do all of my shopping on the weekends, and take time on the weekend to cook up/prepare food so that breakfasts and lunches are easy to grab in the mornings.

*Tanyetta* said...

We have a magnetic chore board and a family calendar posted to keep us all on track!

Bethany said...

By far, the calendar on my kitchen wall is what keeps us on schedule. I really ought to have something more portable, probably, since when I'm not at home, I don't know what's on our schedule.

when I am weak, He is strong said...

Being organized helps, and making sure everyone knows the expectations!

Danielle said...

We have a magnetic dry erase calendar on the fridge, and every event is listed on it with a time on the correct date of the event.

Jill said...

Routine is important and planning is super helpful to me - I plan out weekly meals, grocery lists, to dos, appointments, etc. on a dry erase calendar in our kitchen so I always know what's going on.

SFHoneyGirl said...

Ever since my son was 6 weeks old and started sleeping for 11 hours at night, I haven't broken my routine with him. It's adjusted over the past 18 months, but consistency is key! I'm sure with more than 1 child that will change, but right now I do everything and anything I can to keep his schedule consistent - even on vacation. So important for his sanity as well as mine!

Sashafras said...

Big calendar in the kitchen that has everybody's activities on it.

Catherine said...

My daughter isn't school age yet, so we don't have any major schedules here. I just try and keep to a fairly regular routine with her, but it's all in my head, I don't have to write it down. :D

pets@ critterhill . com

Megan said...

I keep a set bedtime, and don't fall for excuses! :)

Shannon said...

We have a family Calendar on the wall by the phone. We write down appointments, deadlines, and school related activities. It keeps us all going in the right direction.

peachykeen817 said...

Big family calendar in the kitchen for everything. We also have a whiteboard on the fridge that lists our weekly dinner menu so everyone knows what's for dinner, and white boards on the dresser fronts in my son's room for fun notes.
Katherine
peachykeen817 at hotmail dot com

Lisa said...

When school hits I assign more jobs to all the family members. Everyone has chores they are responsible for doing.

Regina said...

I keep a journal and try to document what i do so i can look back and see how productive i was or if i need to work at something more

Mami2jcn said...

Keeping our schedule organized on a dry-erase calendar helps us a lot.

mami2jcn at gmail dot com

stephanie said...

lists, calendars and a spot for each kids school work...and strict bedtime!

boymomx4@gmail.com

DensieD said...

I plan (and sometimes cook) my meals in advance for an easy & early dinner.

Lauren said...

I use a Google calendar that I share with the hubs for appointments, travel, etc.

Everything else is in my head (not the best system, I'll admit).

lauren.losavio@gmail.com

Tuesday Girl said...

We have a calender that is color coded for each kid so they can see what is coming up for the week.

Jessica said...

I have a planner that I call "my brain." Everything goes in that planner. When a child brings home a paper from school with information or a date on it (and we check the agenda as soon as she gets home from school), I immediately write that information down so I can recycle the flyer. This way we don't have loose papers everywhere. I do the same with emails, phone calls, etc. As soon as I have information, it goes in "my brain" so I can see it all line up by date.

Crystal said...

I am a planner, but also a little absent minded at times. I make daily & weekly lists of what I need to and what I want to accomplish. It really helps me keep things in mind and I love checking something off my list!!

Shannon M said...

My phone! It's my lifesaver to help me keep track of whats going on! I use the calendar and free apps (like notepad) that helps me keep track of all that is going on and even gives me reminders in a nice annoying way so I don't forget!

Kendra said...

I have a written hour by hour schehdule. I am not to strick with it if something comes up, but It is really nice to have!

Kristie said...

I have to have a calendar to keep track, and definitely to do lists everyday. checking things off as I get things done feels fantastic!

Christi said...

Making daily lists & prioritizing to ensure everything gets done.

Alyssa said...

I keep track of my days by using a calendar on the wall and putting apts on my phone calendar. I also e-mail myself if it's really important.
mcvey1326(at)hotmail(dot)com

Lael said...

keeping kids on track is no easy feat, but we do try by using schedules and charts of what should be accomplished each day and an estimate of when it should be done. it helps the kids know the plan.

Anonymous said...

As soon as I know about an event or appointment I write it on the family calendar that hangs on the fridge. I couldn't live without it! I have alot of help from my husband and my 17 year old keeps track of his own activities and reminds us of them. As soon as one of my boys gets home from school/practice they have a snack, then start the homework. Once homework is done they have free time before dinner, dinner, showers (or activity), some more free time and bed at 9:30 for my 13 year old and my 17 year old goes around 10-10:30.

Amie R

Pamela said...

Our girls know that everyday that have to do their homework, reading, practicing, and clean their room. After that, it’s free time. It puts the ball in their court. I have a weekly calendar to keep track of it all, and they do their weekly chores on Saturdays.

I completely agree that a bedtime routine and consistent bedtime is key.

Anonymous said...

What day is it today? I don't even know. I don't keep track of the days and weeks at all and it's about to be an issue, with me working now and a little one on the way I need something better than I'm doing. For crying out loud I went without wearing a watch for 5 years! I'm stuck on island time!

B

Linda said...

I'm starting a new schedule at work and actually trying to establish a new routine. Still trying to figure out the best one.

Liz said...

WEll I have a new thing on my phone and a calendar so I put it all there that's how I stay and on my computer beeping I use to have a better memory....
No young ones so it's just me and DH
javaortea4me@yahoo.com

lvh said...

I live in Alaska time, work in Mountain time and frequently have to deal with clients on eastern time. Plus having grandkids on Mountain time and a daughter on Pacific time it's all confusing. I'm just glad I don't have kids at home I'm trying to keep on track too. To keep myself on schedule for work, I keep my work computer set to mountain time and use outlook calendar. For my personal life, i use the calendar on my iphone and try to keep reminders in both places. Life was much simpler when I just had a big calendar hanging on the wall and everything was written on that where everyone could see who was doing what and when.

Shel said...

We have a dry erase calendar in the kitchen and it's my 14 year old's job to keep it up to date. We consult the calendar every day and I also have a set routine posted on the fridge with instructions for each day's work and chores that need to be done before the weekend. If chores aren't done by Saturday, there's no staying up late and no t.v./video games.

shel704 at aol dot com

bdiane34 said...

I make sure that the kids have set bathtimes for boys and girls, we have a set dinner, homework and bedtime as well. Alarm goes off same time each morning and they head to the bus at the sametime everyday.

sweokgrl@gmail.com

harasarahxo said...

To get my family back in routine we prepare ahead of time whether it be back to school, a crazy weekend or coming back from a family vacation. I take time out each day to pick outfits, prepare dinners in advance and snacks for lunches. I usually plan meals ahead of time and I always make lists and notes on what to remember. It usually takes some time for things to get back to normal but we always settle quite nicely.

allysmama said...

We keep things on track as well as possible by making sure we check and double check our calendar! I am in charge of maintaining the family calendar, and every night at dinner, we discuss our day and I add any new items to the calendar!
bleatham*at*gmail.com

feedemright said...

We try to make the dinner routine the same everyday. We all get a chance to share about our days and the coming together helps everyone unwind making bedtime easier.

erin m. said...

Staying clear of the computer during free time.
Your sense of time AND bedtime schedule will fly right out the window!


panicxduh[at]yahoo[dot]com

amandawk said...

We use a weekly planner to write down things that need to be done.
amandarwest at gmaildotcom

Jemma said...

The calendar on our fridge has a column for every family member and everything gets written on that. I also have file folders for everyone in the kitchen to keep important papers in. No more missed field trips because things didn't get turned in on time !

Amber said...

Calendar in kitchen, calendar in my cell phone, and we make a weekly chart. Thanks!

shevilkenevil1 at aol dot com

fostertam said...

I have a work calendar and home calendar and a memo board on the fridge. When an event on the calender is getting close, I put it on the fridge memo. I also have reminders that pop up on my yahool email to keep track of birthdays etc.

fostertam said...

http://twitter.com/fostertam/status/25440201329

Kimberly said...

I'm a big fan of using an egg timer to help my daughter stay on-time. I find it to be a huge help!
kimberly.reuter (at) yahoo (dot) com

sodahoney said...

My kids are grown. But while they were growing up I had a plan and they shared the responsibilities

sodahoney said...

tweet http://twitter.com/sodahoney/status/25445557366

Nicole said...

I don't have any children, but I find the easiest way to stick to a routine is to try it out for a few days, and if I don't like it, try something different.

Kosette7@gmail.com

Susan said...

The easiest way for me to keep my days on track is sticking to the same basic routine and putting any appointments I have onto my calendar.

rsmstahley @ adelphia dot net

The Sunshyn said...

I find that writing everything down and making sure each person's responsibilities are understood. No sudden shifts in wake-up and sleep times helps a great deal too.
chainmail(at) iwon(dot)com

T @ The Happy Clipper said...

We stick to a bedtime schedule and everything runs smoothly.
huffychic@gmail.com

Grace ~and~Shane said...

Consistency is key with anything. If you have this everything falls into place. Because everyone in the family knows what to expect. Two calendars in ours house keeps everything on track one in the kitchen and one on our phones and everyone has the same info.We have a weekly Sunday family meeting to know what the up and coming week events are. Works great for us.

grace_lee124@comcast.net

Lady DragonKeeper said...

I have a scheduler/notebook and the greatest back up in the world --my Mom, J/K.

jafuchi7[at]hawaii[dot]edu

makeetis said...

I have to start my kids about 3 weeks early into getting into routine. I started by putting them into bed about 10 the first two nights then 9 the other nights. After about 6 days they were doing great with going to sleep shortly after 9. I would get them up early like they were going to school and have them go through all the motions because they needed to know if they needed more time getting up instead of rushing around. I have to do it a few days to get the timing right on it..lol.
brewerchickey78@yahoo.com

Emily N. said...

google calendar

Anonymous said...

To keep track of what day I am on I keep a pocket calendar and to do list just in case.

MCantu1019@aol.com

Stephanie said...

I like my good old planner - paper and pen. It has my calendar, lists...everything I need. I could use the one on my phone, but I'm the type that needs to write it out! It's how I process and remember what I need to do!
stephcrs339 at gmail dot com

Just call me b said...

We try to get things together on Sunday night...to help us have a better, organized week!

Natalia said...

I have a list of chores on my wall board and when I finish one- I cross it out.
natatheangel at yahoo dot com

John said...

Outlook on my PC.
jdrombo AT yahoo DOT com

happyenchilada said...

I know I should make something up here to say how I keep track but honestly it would be almost blasphemous to say I do. It's sad to say but I rely on my mother in law to keep me up on track..she's actually used to be as scatterbrained as me but somehow living with a schedule freak (my dad in law) she's come to terms with it and usually keeps a copy of my kids stuff and is nice enough to call and remind me most times..perhaps by the time I'm her age I'll be doing the same for my daughter in law!
kessandcrystal(at)aol.com

Some Lucky Dog said...

We put up a large wall calendar and we each have our own color to list school events, work schedules, etc. It's helped so much to be able to plan ahead by looking in one place!

someluckydog at gmail dot com

Liz said...

My organizer, i have a calendar and a to do list that together keep me on track

lizgiver at gmail dot com

katklaw777 said...

Sticking to a routine helps me the best.
Empty, sort and discuss contents of book bags as soon as the kids are home having their afternoon snack.
Get homework done and repack book bags.
Do NOT wait till the morning to find homework, sign permission slips or locate show and tell.
It is better to get your kids off to school on a nice calm note by being prepared.
I do use a GIANT calender on the wall to help with planning too.

The Bluths said...

Taking turns. I'll put pajamas on, you brush their teeth. and Vise versa. We strongly dislike bedtime craziness.

The Bluths said...

I also tweeted: http://twitter.com/budicheeks/statuses/25718964192

Aly said...

If I did not have my Droid X cell phone I would be lost! Luckily I can link it up with my husbands since he has the same one.

Aly at infertilityoverachievers dot com

wigget said...

i have a monthly calendar at work that helps me stay on track

Gretchen said...

i write everything down in my agenda which has daily, weekly, and monthly calendars. yes, i'm still doing this the old-fashioned way with pen and paper but i love it.

gretchen.kingsley at gmail dot com

Krafty said...

During the summer I had the kids work on their summer packets at approximately the same time they would be doing their school year homework.

Charity Donovan said...

We keep it constant through the summer. Everyone is usually so tired from outdoor activities so it just works out easier.

charityd AT centurytel DOT net

stacythemagnificentmommy said...

i use a whiteboard calendar, old fashioned paper/pen, cellphone calendar tasks and my head. i really should put it all down to just a couple things instead of spreading it all out!
hancoci_s at msn dot com

gmissycat said...

We make list of the things we need for the next day, list of school lunch request and get to bed early. The only way, LOL!
gmissycat@yahoo.com

gmissycat said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
gmissycat said...

Tweeted your giveaway here
http://twitter.com/gmissycat/status/26031908954
gmissycat@yahoo.com

shirley said...

We use a chart, to keep on track.
We do allow one mishap per week.
supergrand2009@yahoo.com

Gosfam said...

The calender on my phone keeps me on track. It is so nice to have.

amandawk said...

We keep a calender on the fridge to keep track of everything.
amandarwest at gmaildotcom

Tracy R said...

I write a list for myself of things I need to get done during the week. I like checking off the tasks as I finish them and being able to throw away the list when it's complete.

Kristen said...

The most important thing is to put all appointments on my phone calendar...couldn't manage without it!

couponboss at gmail dot com

Amanda said...

I have a little weekly schedule I keep in my purse, and I am trying to start entering things into my phone so that I can keep up a little better! We typically start the bed process at 7:30, but when my husband is out of town I have learned to start at 7:00!!
winnieayala at yahoo dot com

jakiesmom said...

i keep a calender in the kitchen cabinet thats big and bold and easy to read


nannypanpan at sbcglobal.net

Night Owl Mama said...

I have a magnetic calendar on the fridge most days I know what comes next so it's really not a hassle. We try to keep it simple

nightowlmamablogs at gmail dot com

katychick said...

I make lunches at night and I lay out clothes for the whole week- by staking them in the drawers- we pack the backpacks in the car at night also.

tcogbill at live dot com

bepoia said...

I have a calender with lines that I write in everything that I need to remember
bepoia(at)hotmail(dot)com

Deb said...

tweeted http://twitter.com/tnshadylady/status/26183402297

Deb said...

blog post http://tnshadylady.blogspot.com/2010/10/one-day-and-blogher-help-you-get-back.html

Amy said...

We have a chore chart that changes weekly so that the kids get different jobs each week and we use a calendar that seems to do the job for us.

Kr4zi said...

I don't use much ... only my iPhone to keep my updated lol. I have a specific vibration for hour in the day and "ringtone" for an 1 hour early wake up.

akahenry@live.com

floating said...

I write things on the calender. keep school newsletters on the fridge and get the kids in bed at 9.

LAMusing said...

To-Do lists! I like the feeling of accomplishing something when I get to check off a little box :)
adrianecoros(at)gmail(cot)com

LAMusing said...

tweet! http://twitter.com/LAMusing/status/26326016765
adrianecoros(at)gmail(cot)com

Norma said...

I keep a purse size calender with me at all times. I check it every morning and night without fail.

bingomamanorma(at)gmail(cot)com

Mom2anutball said...

I keep everything written down on a dry erase board so that they know whats going to happen on which days, and there are no surprises.
Thanks!

racergirl1313 said...

All upcoming important dates go on the chalkboard in the kitchen. We also have a printed calendar which is posted on the fridge.

Thanks for the chance!

ms-texas said...

strictly adhere to bedtime schedule -also lay out clothes to wear for the next day

debbiebellows[at]gmail[dot]com

ms-texas said...

tweeted

http://twitter.com/bellows22/statuses/26512661659

debbiebellows[at]gmail[dot]com

kari jasus said...

we have about three calendars around the house and one on my iphone and on my laptop. we 'try' to stay organized! :)

2kidsand8cats said...

I use a daily planner and a dry erase board to remind me of events and other activities to do
amyfedorchak1 AT gmail DOT com

2kidsand8cats said...

tweeted
http://twitter.com/highlight4u/status/26681794295
amyfedorchak1 AT gmail DOT com

Betty N said...

Maintain a good routine. Bedtimes to allow for plenty of sleep, start the day with a good breakfast, pack nutritional lunches, allow time for play and family activities, prepare for the next day before going to bed (clothes laid out, homework completed and in backpack,lunches packed, etc)

Betty N said...

tweet
http://twitter.com/#!/Grandma3710/status/26726963596

Leah @ A Butterfly In My Stomach said...

We have chore charts in each one's room. They check off the chores completed. We don't start school until they have done their morning routine.

leahforlove(at)aol(dot)com

Kelly Massman said...

Our routine seems to be to get up in just enough time to take a shower, get dressed, eat, brush teeth and get in the car and go! No spare time. Sleep as long as you can! :-) kmassman gmail

Danielle said...

I have two calendars hanging on my fridge.. One for my sons preschool and the other for appointments,etc... They both really help me keep each day organized.
dgoodridge84@yahoo.com

Mel4Him said...

I use the Calendar and To Do list app on my iPod. I also use my family calendar which stays closely connected to the family bulletin board.

Mel4Him777{at}gmail{dot}com

Tammigirl said...

We use Google calendar. I don't have any idea how we survived before this. We each have our own personal calendar & color and a family calendar as well as colors for the different schools with their events. We can access it from any computer or mobile device, so it works great for us.

Angie said...

My daughter isn't in school yet, but our routine is quite similar each night. When she is in school, I think it will be a little more structured!

angienic(at)juno(dot)com

janetfaye said...

To keep my family on track,I have a large wall calendar that we write the important things we need to do and remember. Each of us has a different color marker to write with, so that it is easy to see each day sand keep on our routine.


janetfaye (at) gmail (dot) com

JC said...

Dry erase board and checklist charts are my best pals.

darlanpaulsmamma said...

i have a planner i carry in my purse love it i would be lost without it
melissa.barnes76 at yahoo dot com

Ellie said...

I use a big calendar that I hang from the fridge. I write everything from dr. appointments, to playdates, to bills that are due on it.

hendy said...

I don't know that we do a great job of that but we post a calendar in our kitchen and I record notes in my cell phone in case I'm not at home then when I get home record it on the calender.
hmhenderson At yahoo DOT com

BrendaLea, the Prpldy said...

I use both a write on/wipe off calendar that is on the fridge as well as a calendar book. Works pretty well for me,

prpldy (at) comcast dot net

Anonymous said...

My goal is to never get out of routine during the summer. I try to keep everyone at the same bedtimes and wake-up times. I fill the afternoon with learning activities and then have dinner at the same time as usual. Of course...this doesn't always work. Things come up, plans change...but it try to stick to it to make the fall routine go more smoothly.
mmburdette22@yahoo.com

Racingjourno said...

I use ReminderFox and the Palm Desktop to try to keep things under control.

scoopster(nospam)at yahoo dot com

Queen of the Click said...

We use Google Calendar to share all with our entire family. Everyone adds their upcoming shows, events, parties, etc. so the entire family can see what is going on. The calendar keeps things together around here and makes me look a lot more prepared than I really am.

Deb said...

I try my best not to let my kids get too far off schedule during the summer so it's not such a shock when school starts again. We definitely have to use our dry erase calendar in the kitchen to keep track of all the important dates and events.

Kerry said...

Well, communication is our biggest key. Our schedule is pretty much the same each week, so we just stick to the schedule and make sure we all know what is the plan for the day.
nuthouse(at)centurytel(dot)net

Kerry said...

tweeted: http://twitter.com/KerryBishop/status/27295553150
nuthouse(at)centurytel(dot)net

tattgiff said...

I don't have any super mommy tricks.
I have a huge calendar and we MUST mark off have-tos before we get to the can-we stuff.
http://alittleknickknack.blogspot.com/

slehan said...

I use a program called Time & Chaos that keeps me on track.

Thanks for the contest.

slehan said...

Blogged: http://slehan.blogspot.com/2010/10/win-150-from-blogher.html

Leah @ A Butterfly In My Stomach said...

We go to bed early and I have posted chores that they are to do before school...

leahforlove(at)aol(dot)com

Leah @ A Butterfly In My Stomach said...

http://twitter.com/#!/leahforlove/status/27540139715

leahforlove(at)aol(dot)com

Debbie said...

We the number of people in my family (6) and the ages, google calendar has been our life saver. Everyone can enter things on their own calendars yet they pop up on everyone else's. It's great!

aurorafedora said...

i use a LARGE wall calendar and lists, lists, lists!!!

Reflections of Heart said...

I use a small tri-fold calendar that goes in my purse and everywhere I go. I write everything in it, including, when my children get sick, symptoms, medications the Dr. orders etc. I have two children with chronic illness and if I didn't have this small calendar with my itsy bitsy tiny writing in it, I would be lost. I use it and transfer more important info over to my computer/calendar, but when I lose my pink calendar...I am lost. FYI- I give my kids the goal of getting everything they need done for bed by 7:30. If they are ready for bed by that time then we get extra reading time together...(after scriptures)they love to be read to, and I like to pick books that they would never read themselves....too long...too difficult etc. It is a highly motivating treasure at our house.

OneHappyfamily said...

This is old school I am sure, but I live by my Outlook calender. LOVE it!

*lindsey said...

I need a better schedule...but my kids are too unpredictable. I missed the bus! I projectile vomited all over your new car! I lost one of my shoes...in every pair! I took off my diaper and pooped in my crib! I dumped out a half-gallon bottle of syrup! And that was just this morning.

Carca said...

I use a good old fashioned to-do list that gets rewritten/updated everyday! Eventually everything does get accomplished, but usually not all on the same day!:)

Leah said...

I have a notebook- it all goes in there.

Christy said...

I couldn't survive without the giant, dry erase calendar that hangs in my kitchen. It has all the comings and goings of our busy household.

Amber said...

With my health the way it is after the car accident, and the head trauma sustained, I have to put all appts in my phone. There were days I feel like I wasn't a mom, but a patient ALL DAY. So I started scheduling "mommy & daughter time", where we read, play outside, go for a walk, get the mail, whatever. So my phone has become my calendar - I still write stuff down on a paper calendar, yet my phone reminds me to ignore everything else except for my daughter.

Stephanie O'Dea said...

Amie, I love your turning off the tv thing. We *always* do better when the tv is off, but I began slacking when the baby was born because it's really boring to nurse without watching something. now that she is easily distracted I've been keeping it off and the bigger kids behave much better in both the morning and the evening with it off.

xoxo

Heather gregson said...

I use an oldfashioned calendar that hangs on my fridge, and my constantly updated to-do list on the counter!! I "usually" remember all of our activities this way

Carly said...

I love your idea...I will have to try it! I use my phone for everything. I always have it with me, it alarms when something important should be happening, and I love the calendar setup. iPhone you think? Nope, just an LG, but it works for me :D

cheer_doll@hotmail.com

laurie b said...

we use a family calendar, lists, and we write notes or text each other with reminders. i can't say this is always proficient and it is my ultimate goal to get organized so i am up for trying some of the other great ideas i've read about here.

Hannah said...

One thing that I have to keep track of and is easy to forget when things get busier, is the dreaded task of paying bills!
Since I'm on the computer so much in the evenings, I have a document that stays on my desktop. It lists all the bills that have to be paid, the amount, and the date they are due.
This way it stays fresh in my mind and I can pay them online ahead of the duedate, while I'm doing other activities online.
It works for me!
aigcanada7 at hotmail dot com

BethW7372 said...

I use google calendar on my ipod touch to keep my days on track. I also use my cell phone calendar & alarm when needed

coriwestphal said...

I've got to have a schedule. Every Sunday, I use my whiteboard calendar and write what we need to do for the week: homework, errands, and sometimes a dinner plan. It's how I stay on track. If I don't have a list, I forget!

coriwestphal at msn dot com

Emily Ballantyne said...

We have a big white board calendar and at the beginning of each month I sit down and write in the things happening in that month. It's easy to add and erase all the things going on! We hang it in our hall so we see it often to remind us! It works well for us!

zerofloats said...

IPhone calendar and MS Outlook Calendar for work.

Courtney said...

I use my head. It has seemed to work so far, but with the kids getting involved with more activities and me wanting to accomplish more I think it is time to invest in a good system, calendar seems to be the popular choice.
courtney.jay@cox.net

Liz said...

Mine is carrying day runner with me I have calendar with mag on refrig.. and I also have the outlook on my computer yup otherwise forget it...

Heather said...

We have a wall calendar that is in the kitchen that we look at every night to see what is going on and I also use my planner that I have with me at all times. I try to keep the wall calendar up to date because my daughter likes to review it every day to see what events she can look forward to throughout the week! This has so far kept us on track!!

sunshineperri said...

We have a desk calendar that I have attached to the side of my refrigerator. Every person has a specific color and we can tell at a glance who has an activity that day by the color. I let everyone choose their own color, dd is green, ds is red, dh is blue, dog is black, family is orange and I am purple. I also keep a planner for myself with me at all times. I bought it from Levenger and love it.

amandawk said...

I use a calender that's hung on the fridge.

angie lilly said...

The best thing we do is to be sure and go to bed at the same time EVERY night, even on weekends. That way we are all on the same schedule and are sure to get plenty of sleep for active minds!
Angie
one 4 earth at aol dot com

angie lilly said...

per official rules I tweeted for a bonus entry:
http://twitter.com/#!/FotoMacro/status/27937306163
Angie
one 4 earth at aol dot com

Scott said...

One thing we do is to pack lunch after dinner the day before. Lunch is usually left overs from dinner, so it just makes sense and saves time to put the leftovers into lunch containers. Then, come morning, you can grab and go!
Scott
nynekats at aol dot com

Scott said...

my tweet per rules
http://twitter.com/#!/RePurrPussed/status/27938497498
Scott
nynekats at aol dot com

Casey Lu said...

I use a combination of a dry erase calendar and my calendar on my cell phone. Between the two, I hope to keep on track. I do leave room for things that come up unexpectedly, so I do try to be flexible. At bedtime we always keep with our routine no matter what. Things are picked up after dinner, teeth are brushed, clothes laid out for the next day, scriptures, prayer, and tucking everyone in.

PauleyD said...

We try to do as much as possible the night before. We get the kids' snacks ready, put their clothes out. Most importantly, we get a good night's sleep the night before. Sunday nights are always the hardest.

pauleyd68 (at) yahoo (dot) com

EMAIL ewalsh40@gmail.com said...

The first thing that we do, about two weeks before school starts is getting a good bedtime routine going.

Going to bed earlier and setting the alarms to go off earlier during the week. That way the body starts getting back into sync.

ewalsh40(at)gmail(dot)com

Julie said...

I use cork boards quite a bit-one by the computer,one in each of our bedrooms and one in the kitchen...helps us keep track of events,impt papers etc.
aunteegem@yahoo.com

Karine Traverse said...

*blushes* We are far from being on track. We let the girls tell us when they need/want something. Since I am a SAHM and we are just beginning to Pre-K homeschool our oldest (turns 4 in Jan.) we don't really have any structure. I am trying to juggle being mommy, teacher and starting up a WAHM business (that keeps getting pushed to the back burner), that I can't seem to get some kind of routine down.
sahmofdq@gmail.com

jillyrh said...

I have a calendar I keep with me at all times and everything goes on it immediately

jillyrh said...

Tweeted

http://twitter.com/jillyrh/status/28009623263

MomOnTheEdge said...

We keep our days and weeks on track by getting on a schedule, sticking to it, and making sure we plan more than enough time!

MomOnTheEdge said...

http://twitter.com/rmgm/status/28012632967

Tweet!

deb126 said...

We have a calendar that hangs on the back of our kitchen door, which is where everyone passes by and sees anything that is important or needs to remember,

Thanks for the Great giveaway

deb126 said...

tweeted

http://twitter.com/#!/deb126/status/28016668393

Susan C. said...

I am tied to my planner, which has all of my lists, appointments, events, you name it!

susan1215 said...

I have a calender to keep track of appointments and everyones schedule. We also have night schedule so the kids know what they need to do and when they need to do it.

s2s2 at comcast dot net

susan1215 said...

http://twitter.com/susan1215/status/28041197244

Betty C said...

I have a big calendar to list all the scheduled activities so we can see immediately if we need to reschedule because a day is just too packed full. Even so, unexpected things come up that we have to work around. Leaving a little "wiggle room" in our day gives us some flexibility in dealing with those extra things we have to fit in.
After school routines stay the same so homework and play time are fair treatment.

Betty C said...

Tweet - http://twitter.com/willitara/status/28046197731

T @ The Happy Clipper said...

We keep everything on our google calendar! I would be lost without it.
huffychic@gmail.com

carolpie said...

We have a set schedule and we always stick to it! Have to to make it work!


spencer1953 at gmail dot com.

Anne J said...

I use a detailed schedule with the kids activities color coded so I can keep track.
ajolly1456 at gmail dot com

JJ said...

I syncronize my Iphone calendar with my husbands Iphone calendar.

JWalkers said...

We have a giant monthly calendar that sits on our kitchen counter. Each family member has their own color to keep track of events and activities. We review the calendar at breakfast and again at dinner. It has greatly helped us to stay on top of work, school, church, and family activities.

Donna said...

Find something we like to do and stick with it. But we really don't have a routine.
donna444444@yahoo.com