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The Prudent Homemaker Blog

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Recent blog posts

Leaving On a Jet Plane

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Octavius and I are taking a trip to St. Louis to attend two graveside memorial services. 

I'll be seeing relatives that I haven't seen for 17 years. 

Octavius Airplane The Prudent Homemaker


Octavius Airplane 3 The Prudent Homemaker


Octavius Airplane 2 The Prudent Homemaker 

I'm not taking my computer, and I don't have a cell phone, so I won't have internet access until I return late next week. I'm looking forward to seeing your comments on all of the posts I've shared this week when I return!

Tagged in: Baby
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Baby Boy Blessing Outfit

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Octavius Blessing 1 The Prudent Homemaker

Since we blessed Octavius in September, I thought short sleeves would be in order.

I used the same pattern as I used to make a blessing outfit for Cyrus and Ezrom.

This time, I used a linen and cotton blend fabric that I bought several years ago (at 40% off).

Octavius Blessing 4 The Prudent Homemaker

For the bodice, I cut a piece of fabric longer and wider than I needed. I then marked and sewed the tucks  and sewed the lines with a wing needle.  I then traced an "O" (from here) on with a wash-out marking pen and embroidered it with pearl cotton. (I love using pearl cotton for white work; it's easier than using embroidery thread as there are no strands to pull apart. The thread is about the width of 2 strands of embroidery thread, which is perfect for whitework.)

Then I pinned on the bodice pattern piece and cut it out from the prepared fabric.

If you've never used a washable embroidery marker before, I highly recommend them; they work especially well for embroidery as you don't rub off the design when stitching like you would with a chalk pencil. You need to rinse out all of the blue with plain water before the item is washed (any remaining blue will turn brown and become permanent when it is washed with soap). 

I modified the collar to change it to an Eton style.

Octavius Blessing 2 The Prudent Homemaker

The entire outfit, including the buttons and snap tape, cost about $10 to make.

 Octavius Blessing 3 The Prudent Homemaker




Tagged in: Baby Sewing
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Our Chore Assignments

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Chore Assignments The Prudent Homemaker

There is no way I can do it all. 

With a big family comes big messes, and lots of laundry and dishes. 

The secret is . . . everyone helps! And because everyone helps, they all learn how to do the things they will need to do to keep their own homes running when they are adults.

We've made some recent changes to our chore assignments.

I've assigned more to Ivory, who is now 4 and can do quite a few things to help.

I also added a few new chores, such as wiping the kitchen cabinets and counters. The job to wipe the kitchen cabinets is to do just one section a day, so that within a couple of weeks, everything will have been wiped down. I added this after reading how Yvonne at Stonegable wipes down all of her kitchen cabinets once a week. She says it's a fast job. I've never been able to do it quickly, and I certainly don't get it done that often! They could use it more often, though, so I added that chore. One section takes about 5 minutes to wipe well.

I also ended up with a few gaps in the chart; four, to be exact. I had nothing for those times. After discussing it with my husband, we decided to create a new chore that we named "Special Assignment." I choose something that needs to be done (but not done every day) and the child will work on that. I choose jobs that take 5-10 minutes to finish. A few things I've chosen so far for this are:

Organize a drawer

Straighten the pantry for 5-10 minutes

Dust a specific piece of furniture

Dust a ceiling fan

Clean the toaster

Wipe door handles


My children are Winter, 14, Cyrus, 13, Ezrom, 11, Liberty, 9, Wren, 8, Elsa 6, Ivory 4,  and Octavius, who is 4 months now  (and whose only job is to look cute). 

On a normal day, we have 4 loads of laundry, run the dishwasher after every 2 meals (because that's 18 plates/bowls, etc.!) , and wash a good number of pots and pans. I wash the pots, pans, mixing bowls, and do the laundry washing and drying, cook, clean, garden and sew (and everything else mothers d0).


Here are our new chore assignments:


Before Breakfast:


Get dressed, brush hair and wash face

Make bed

Straighten bedroom

Sort dirty laundry

Winter: Help with Breakfast

Cyrus: Wash two doors

Ezrom: Put away clean dishes

Liberty: Take out trashes

Wren: Pick up living room

Elsa: Pick up and Sweep East hall

Ivory: Pour waters and Set Table


Fold and put away laundry

After Breakfast:


Clear Spots

Brush Teeth

Winter: Sweep under table

Cyrus: Wipe table and chairs

Ezrom: Wash dishes

Liberty: Sweep and mop kitchen floor

Wren: Special Assignment

Elsa: Tidy mudroom

Ivory: Pick up living room

Before Lunch:


Put away school books and pencils

Winter: Pick up by front door and Vacuum kitchen rug and rug by front door

Cyrus: Sweep and mop wood floor by piano

Ezrom: Special Assignment

Liberty: Pick up living room

Wren: Set table and pour drinks

Elsa: Help Mom with lunch

Ivory: Pick up Library

After Lunch:


Clear Spots

Winter: Wipe Kitchen counters and cabinets

Cyrus: Special Assignment

Ezrom: Clean Bathroom

Liberty: Wash dishes and Run dishwasher

Wren: Sweep and mop under table

Elsa: Clean girls' Bathroom

Ivory: Wipe table and chairs

Before Dinner:

Winter: Pick up and sweep West hall

Cyrus: Put away clean dishes

Ezrom: Sweep under the table

Liberty: Pick up and Vacuum living room

Wren: Tidy backyard

Elsa: Special Assignment

Ivory: Wipe table, set table and pour waters


Clean and vacuum rooms

5 Minutes cleaning in the Library


After Dinner:


Clear Spots

Put on pajamas

Brush teeth and wash face

Winter: Sweep wood floor by piano

Cyrus: Wash dishes

Ezrom: Clear and wipe table

Liberty: Sweep under table

Wren: Vacuum Library

Elsa: Sweep and mop kitchen floor

Ivory: Wipe chairs

Looking for more chore ideas? You can read about some of our past chore assignments here.


Tagged in: Chores Organization
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My Schedule

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My Daily Schedule The Prudent Homemaker

My schedule has not changed much since I posted it 2 1/2 years ago, but I have made some small changes. I also have a nursing baby now. I can count on him waking every morning at close to the same time (Can I just say "hooray!" that it's usually around 5:30 a.m.? My poor mother; I woke every day at 4 a.m.!)

I usually have 4 loads of laundry a day to wash Monday - Saturday. My goal is to get them done early in the morning.

On Saturdays, we have a bit of a relaxed schedule, and we sleep in just a little. We don't have school on Saturdays, but chores, laundry, and meals generally follow the same schedule. When it's cooler, I'll often spend most of Saturday out in the garden. Sundays I don't do laundry. We have church and spend a relaxed day together, playing board and card games together.



4:45 Wake and prayer

4:50 Move laundry from the washer to the dryer; start a new load in the washer

5:00 Shower and dress

5:30 Nurse baby

6:00 Wake children 

6:05 Move laundry to dryer and put another load in the washer. Move laundry that is dry to couches for children to fold.

6:10 Put away large pots and pans. Encourage children with chores. 

6:15 Brush girls' hair. Start breakfast.

6:50 Move laundry from dryer that is dry to couches for children to fold. Move load of laundry to dryer and put another load in the washer. 

7:10 Plate breakfast

7:15 Breakfast

7:30 Encourage children with after-breakfast chores

7:45 Move laundry to dryer. Wash pots and pans; tidy kitchen

8:00 School with children 

11:00 Start making lunch

11:30 Lunch

12:00 Encourage children with after-lunch chores

12:15 Wash pots and pans; tidy kitchen

12:30 Continue school with children

1:30 Garden, make bread, sew, take photographs, blog (usually one or two of these). Children's nap time/quiet time in their rooms.

3:00 Household chores

3:30 Snack time

4:00 Wash snack dishes. Start dinner.  Children's playtime.

5:00 Work on dinner. Have children do before-dinner chores

5:30 Liberty piano practice

6:00 Wren piano practice

6:30 Dinner

7:10 Have children do after-dinner chores.  Put a load of laundry in and program it to wash in the morning to be done before I get up (using the delay start option). 

7:30 Scriptures, songs, and family prayer

7:45 Wash pots and pans; tidy kitchen

8:00-9:00 Work on blog and website; spend time with my husband (talking, playing a game, watching a show on the computer together, etc.)

Bedtime sometime after that, but usually before 9:30 (later if I'm posting on the site, like tonight!)

September Garden The Prudent Homemaker


I'll sneak in a bit more time in the garden, in the sewing room, or cleaning the house if I have a dinner that takes a bit less time, or if I'm making a more hands' off meal where the dinner is in the oven instead of on the stove. I've been finding myself using the oven and the solar oven a lot more recently; it's nice to put something in and walk away, giving myself extra time to work on other tasks. 

For our homeschool schedule, see here.

Tomorrow I'll post our current chore schedule.

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Last Week's Frugal Accomplishments

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September Harvest The Prudent Homemaker 

I cut cucumbers, pears, basil, grapes leaves, oregano, and butternut squash from the garden.

I mended an item of clothing.

Cemetery Flags The Prudent Homemaker

We took a little trip to the cemetery to see the flags; there were almost 3000. Each one represented a person who had died on September 11, 2011, and you could read about each person. It was very sad (I found myself crying) but an important history lesson.

I worked on (but did not yet finish) sewing a dress for myself.

I made a double batch of laundry soap.

We needed to get another computer, as the children are now spending more time on it for school with typing, foreign language, and math studies. My husband found one at Walmart that included a disk drive (many do not anymore). He loaded all of their math dvds onto the computer, which will prevent scratching damage (and keep me from having to replace them if that had happened). Rather than buying Microsoft Word, he downloaded Open Office to the computer. It's a free program that I have been using for several years and it works well. 

Butternut Squash Harvest The Prudent Homemaker

I used a $10 off coupon for the local nursery. I had to replace a valve that had cracked. I also picked up some white mums on sale, as well as some herbs for the garden.

September Garden Urns The Prudent Homemaker

I have been watching soil temperatures every day, as it is close to planting several items. I took a chance and planted a few seeds in the garden, including green onion and lettuce seeds that I collected from my own garden. It's a bit early for lettuce, but soil temperatures are dropping at night, so I am hoping that they will germinate. This may be frugal if they germinate; if not, it was a waste of seeds. I started them in the white garden, which is fairly shaded and cooler than the rest of the garden.

Cucumbers and Basil The Prudent Homemaker

Armenian Cucumbers, almost 2 feet long

I figured out 4 Christmas gifts that I can make for my children, using fabric I already have. I will make these in November as part of my Gift a Day series.

I went to the thrift store with my 13-year old son. We found several items of clothing for him. Thes best deal we found is a pair of Scout pants for him in the new "zip off" style (they convert into shorts by unzipping at the knees) for $6. These are on sale for $45 online (regular $50 online) and are $75 at our local Scout office. The pants we found are just his size and he is thrilled!

When we were done looking for him, we went over to the women's dress section. I didn't find anything for myself, but Cyrus found a dress for Winter in her size that is exactly her style (for $6). I bought it and since she was babysitting, Cyrus put it out on her bed for her to find when she came home. She absolutely loves the dress and wore it to church on Sunday. I was touched that he paid enough attention to what she wore to see a dress with a bodice very similar in style to one of her blouses.

I used my solar oven to cook a pot of beans one day and to cook a meal another day.


What did you to save money last week?


Just a note: Please save your frugal accomplishments from this upcoming week and the next week to share on October 2nd. 

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September's Grocery Shopping Plans

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American Flag

Since I've lived here, September has always felt like the last month of summer, though we'll continue to run the air conditioner well into next month. With 5 months of over 90º weather, running the air conditioner is normal here from April through October. It's going to be 97º today.

The garden is not yet cool enough for me to direct sow seeds for lettuce (the soil temperature is 85º). We are getting pears, butternut squash, apples, a few cucumbers, a few tomatoes (very few) and some herbs. 

Smith's is having their case-lot sale this month. I'll pick up 24 cans of green beans ($0.50 a can when you buy 12), some shredded Tillamook cheddar cheese ($12.99 for 5 pounds), and brownie mix ($1 a box).  Pasta usually goes on sale this month for $0.49 a pound; if it does, I'll  stock up.



Cheddar cheese

Mozzarella ($2 a pound on sale this week in 8 0unce blocks, when you buy in multiples of 3)

Green beans 

Cream of mushroom and Cream of chicken condensed canned soup (I'd stopped buying cream soups but my husband loves them for sauces and asked me to put them back on the shopping list; these are on case-lot sale in cases of 48 cans for $.0.90 a can).


Ice cream (the Kroger Party pail is on sale $3.99 for 1 quart)

Boneless pork roast (on sale for $1.59 a pound)

Eggs ($3.99 for 5 dozen large)

Brownie mix







sour cream






I've already been to Target and Smith's (both last week). I'll go to Winco later in the month.

At the very end of the month, it should be cool enough for me to start sowing seeds for lettuce. I'm looking forward to it!








Tagged in: Grocery Shopping
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