Zone Cleaning for the Whole Family

Zone Cleaning for the Whole Family
As we gear up for a new school year, it’s important to be sure we don’t let other areas slide…like keeping our house reasonably clean and in order. As homeschoolers, we’re here during much of the day, messing things up as we go along. It’s easy to focus on school and let the house slide…but that is not what I want for our home. I want it to be a pleasant and comfortable place to be. A messy, cluttered, dirty home is not a sanctuary for my family. I’m not interested in having a spotless house, but I do want a reasonable level of orderliness and cleanliness. My time is at a premium, especially during the school year, so I need an efficient method of keeping things in order.

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Summer Garden!

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Summer is here and our garden is in full swing! There’ve been a few bumps in the road, but I think that so far it’s the most successful garden we’ve had. We’re beginning to see the results of all the hard work that my hubby and Karate Kid have put in over the last few months. It’s amazing what can be done in a suburban backyard with a little thought and effort!

I think a lot of the success could be due to the nice, rich compost we have going. My hubby has been doing a great job of turning it and making sure it’s maintained. Another thing that’s worked well for us are the raised beds we’re using that are designed to be the same size and shape as our chicken coop, so we can use them to help prepare the soil.

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Compost ready to go in the beds!
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A bed ready to be planted, while the chickens start another one for us.

Our cherry tomato plants are huge, with literally hundreds of tomatoes on them. We also have zucchini and cucumbers, and hopefully soon we’ll have yellow squash, bell peppers, okra, and more!

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Happy cherry tomatoes!
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Karate Kid’s pumpkins were doing beautifully, but squash borers struck, so we harvested the three he had going a little bit early and pulled up the vines. Thankfully they were far enough along that we were able to salvage them, so I have pumpkin puree in my freezer already! He plans to replant in another location and try to get a few more before the summer’s over.

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The sweet potato slips my friend Angie from SchneiderPeeps shared with us are growing beautifully. My hubby read online about growing them in pots and they seem to be thriving in them! In a few more weeks we should have plenty of sweet potatoes to eat!

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Sweet potatoes in pots

My herb garden is going wild too, and I’m really enjoying the ability to step outside and cut fresh herbs while cooking. Nearly everything we planted last year came back. My Italian parsley flowered, reseeded, and almost tried to take over, but is still producing plenty!

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Prolific parsley!

We’ve also got a lovely wild dewberry vine growing on the back fence that’s beginning to produce nicely, although the birds are really enjoying it too.

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A wild dewberry vine

What’s going on with your garden? Are you doing anything different this year?

If you haven’t already, I highly recommend you check out my friend Angie’s “The Gardening Notebook“. It’s a fantastic way to keep yourself organized, and full of great information to help you be successful in your gardening adventures! 

Paperless Home Organization: A How-To Guide to Creating a Digital Homemaking Binder (Review Crew)

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I love home management binders and planners.

I’ve tried various different formats, from store-bought to totally made from scratch, and have used them with varying degrees of success over the years. In recent years, I’ve gotten away from using paper planners in favor of using my laptop, iPhone, and iPad, although at times nothing beats good ole’ pencil and notebook. Still, I’ve never really come up with a complete system that mirrors a physical binder like I used to keep. I’ve tried various apps, some that sync between devices, some that don’t. So I was excited when I received a copy of Paperless Home Organization from Mystie Winckler at Simplified Pantry to review. [Read more…]

Spring Gardens and Chickens!

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We’ve had an unseasonably cool spring, but I think warm weather is finally here to stay! We’ve been spending a lot of time in the yard and garden, especially Karate Kid. He’s definitely got a green thumb, and just loves working with his plants, keeping up with the chickens, and doing whatever he can outside.

We’ve got beans, zucchini, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, and more in our one small garden plot and my hubby is planning to get another one going in the next week or two, as soon as he can move the chicken coop over. Last year, Karate Kid planted one pumpkin vine and grew one beautiful pumpkin…this year he has several going and has 3 or 4 pumpkins doing well so far!

The chickens are loving getting to roam free around the yard most of the day, although one has decided to go broody on us, which really cuts into the egg production when you only have four hens! Our shepherd mix is the self-appointed chicken-herder…it’s quite entertaining to watch him herd them around the yard!

Here’s a few fun scenes of a typical day in our backyard right now…

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The chicken-herder keeping close watch.
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Happy hens!

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We have a jungle of cherry tomato plants…soon we’ll have a bumper crop!

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A baby pumpkin!

If you work outside in your garden and yard at this time of year, how do you handle sun exposure? Here’s what I discovered about the role our diet plays in how our body reacts to the sun and healthy alternatives to sunscreen:

Also, watch for another Real Food For the Next Generation update soon. We’ve been spending a lot of time outside in the garden, but we’ve been getting some things done in the kitchen too! 

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97 Essential Tools For Every Home Manager: The Ultimate Homemaking eBook Bundle

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Managing a home is a huge task that encompasses multiple different areas: cleaning and organizing, budgeting, healthy living and eating, and child training and discipline, just to name a few. And then there’s finding time for our own personal growth and development, taking care of our own bodies and health, and making our marriage a priority. It can all seem overwhelming at times. I know that, for me, hearing from others who have been there or are right there in the trenches with me is something I really need. That’s why I’ve always tried to equip myself with books, blogs, and other resources to encourage me and give me tips. It’s also why I invest time in this blog, sharing my own knowledge and experiences with others.

This bundle sale is over, but I invite you to take a look at the books included in it and see if there are any that interest you! There’s a wealth of information here!

This library of homemaking helps include topics such as mothering, organization and cleaning, recipes and kitchen helps, home education, spiritual growth for both moms and kids, home décor and DIY, pregnancy and baby care, frugal living, health and fitness, and even work-from-home and financial tools.

I’ve used and loved several of these eBooks (including one I’m actually featured in!) and there are a whole list that I can’t wait to dig into!  My teenage daughter is even excited about the beauty category! Some of my favorite bloggers are included in this sale, like Stephanie at Keeper of the Home,  Sarah Mae, Wardeh at Gnowfglins, and Kresha at Nourishing Joy, just to name a few.

Creative Uses For This Bundle

  • Give it as a Mother’s Day gift…to yourself or a friend you’d like to bless. Or both!! You can keep the titles that most interest you and gift the others.
  • Challenge yourself to read and apply a couple a month, rotating through the categories. 
  • Pick the area you’d most like to work on or that is most applicable to your current situation and work your way through that list. If you blog, blog as you read.
  • Use one (or several) in each category to go through with your teenage daughter as a “life skills” or “home management” course…and a special mom/daughter time! 

So What Exactly Is Included in the Sale?

When you purchase The Ultimate Homemaking eBook collection, you will get instant access to all of the 97 eBooks and eCourses listed below.

PLUS over $140 of FREE Bonuses

Each The Ultimate Homemaking eBook collection comes with more than $140 of FREE Bonuses from 10 companies that we know you’ll love. More on these bonuses below.

Please note: This collection is only available from 9 a.m. EST on April 29th to 11:59 p.m. EST on May 4th. There will be no late sales offered.

Home & Property {Cleaning, Organizing, Decor}

Educational Children’s Resources

Budgeting {Finance & Time}

In the Kitchen {Recipes and Cooking}

Pregnancy & Baby Care

Holidays & Special Events

Spiritual Growth

Marriage & Romance


Health & Fitness


Working from Home & Blogging


PLUS, You will receive FREE Bonuses from these companies…

A FREE Two-Month Membership to Fit2B Studio, where their wholesome workouts for the whole family are tummy safe and particularly target Diastasis Recti (split abs). ($19.98 value. No shipping restrictions.)

A $15 store credit to TruKid. With products like their aware-winning sun care, they are dedicated to providing all natural skin and hair care for kids, babies, and now pets. ($15.00 value. Standard shipping applies. International shipping available.)

Your choice of incredible natural products like sea salt and clay for FREE. Choose from the Redmond Trading Earthpaste Bundle ($24.90 value) or the Facial Mud Bundle ($26.90 value). (Standard shipping applies. Continental US only.)

Your choice of a FREE heirloom sourdough starter or FREE yogurt starter from Cultures for Health, the leading supplier of starter cultures and supplies for making cultured and fermented foods ($12.95 value. US & CAN addresses only. Standard shipping applies.)

Your choice of: a FREE 3-Month Subscription (for new accounts) or 30% off a One Year Subscription. Plan to Eat is an online menu planner that uses your recipes, scheduled for the days you want them. ($15.00 value. No shipping restrictions.)

A FREE Culinary Herbs Assorted Seed Pack Check just in time for spring planting from, a living whole foods company. ($11.95 value. Standard shipping applies to all US states and territories- no international shipping for seeds.)

Get $10 off Union28’s original “my husband rocks” tee. Their marriage apparel lets you celebrate your spouse in style. ($10.00 value. Standard shipping rates apply. International shipping available, but free shipping only available within USA.)

A $10 store credit plus 1 FREE lip balm from Bee All Natural. Their whole body products nourish and heal, and are made using only the highest quality, food grade, organic ingredients. ($13.49 value. Standard shipping applies. International shipping available.)

A FREE 2 oz. bottle of your choice of liquid herbal formula from TriLight Health. They specialize in fast acting, great tasting natural herbal remedies. ($12.95 value or more. Standard shipping applies, within the USA only.)

Your choice of 3 FREE ePlanners OR a 3-Month FREE Membership to ListPlanIt, whose mobile lists will help to organize your life. ($15.00 value. No shipping restrictions.)

The fine print:

Bonus Offers

  • Each bonus offer can be redeemed once only per eBook Bundle purchase.
  • For each bonus offer, transaction numbers or proof of purchase may be required at the time of redemption.
  • All bonus offers are free gifts from the bonus sponsors, are their sole responsibility to provide, and are subject to availability.
  • All bonus offers expire at midnight on May 19th, 2013 (2 weeks from the last day of this sale).


  • It is your responsibility to download and back-up your purchase within the 1-month download time-frame. With proof of purchase, we can renew download links up until August 1st, 2013. After this date we will no longer have access to the books and will not be able to provide any new links to download.
  • Due to the nature of this sale, there will be no refunds available. However, we would invite you to read our Frequently Asked Questions page to learn more about the file types, the download process, how the bonus offers work, etc.

Please note: This collection is only available from 9 a.m. EST on April 29th to 11:59 p.m. EST on May 4th. There will be no late sales offered, so make sure that you get your bundle right away!

Particularly for those wanting to read these ebooks on their mobile devices (iPhones or iPads, Android, Kindle, etc.) you will want to learn more about the file types, how to download them correctly, and how to transfer them to your device.

I’ll be highlighting some of the included resources on the blog this week, so keep an eye out!

This post includes affiliate links, and I make a portion of the sale of each ebook bundle. Thanks for your support of Home With Purpose!

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Weekly Focus 3/11

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Well, we made it through the busy drama performance week, and actually managed to (mostly) keep the house in order and stay on top of the laundry! Not perfectly by any means, but things aren’t as chaotic as they could have been. This week is spring break for just about all of our area schools. We’re not taking the week totally off, but we have a day trip and couple fun things planned later in the week. So, I’m going to take a break from my weekly focus and just call it a catch-up week as far as getting stuff done around the house. Next week we’ll hopefully get back on schedule and tackle another project!
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