Even though it’s hard to accept, summer is nearly behind us and the days when our family needs to be more structured and organized with their time are fast approaching. I used to be so good at that – juggling all the necessary “mom” hats and staying focused. The older I get, the more their seems to be to organize, though, (or maybe it’s just another attack of menopausal Jello brains!). But, believing that every word He breathes is truth, I know that the Lord will never give me more than I can handle, with His help. “I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me. – Phillipians 4:13”. I LOVE that verse. It always calms my spirit to remember that I’m not being asked to figure it all out and do it in my own steam. If I’m called to do something, it is through Christ’s help that I will accomplish it. I decided to ask Him to develop my focus in the areas where I was falling short. I needed to quit just plowing through and trying to do anything and everything as fast as I could, as often as I was asked, and start letting the Lord show me the best way to organize my time, (Yes, letting. Isn’t it funny that we forget He doesn’t force us to do anything? We have to consciously and willingly give over our burdens and struggles to Him.) my family’s schedule for home and school and balance it with time for blogging, outside activity and a date night or two (remember those? 🙂 to keep our marriage strong and us on the same track. ) What started developing in my mind was a calendar system that was large enough not to be overlooked and to have space enough to write EVERYTHING. It is still an evolving project and after I have shown you how I made it, I will share my plans for expanding it. The key to being able to be flexible within a plan is to first have a plan. Just doing whatever comes up, willy nilly, is not being flexible. It’s being burned out!
So I decided to get my Cricut Craft Cutter out of the box it’s been in since we moved and put it to good use on this project. (Remember, I shared my last Cricut projects with you, HERE.) Using it and an Elmer’s Tri-Fold Board, I was convinced that the organizer tool being laid on my heart was going to be a cinch to create. I was right! The end result was fantastic! I’m so excited to put it to good use. I hope this project can inspire you to invest in the best uses of your time for you and your own family.
The first thing I needed to do was visit my local Wal-Mart and get the Elmer’s Tri-Fold Board and a few more items on my list. You can view my ThisMoment slideshow about the shopping trip, HERE. Here’s how I assembled the Schedule Board/Organizer for our family, when I got back home.
- Elmer’s Tri-fold Board
- Elmer’s Dual Tip Glue Pen
- Cricuit Expressions Craft Cutter
- Cricut Cartridges: A Walk in My Garden; Plantin’ School Box; Tags, Bags, Boxes and More and Animal Kingdom
- various cardstock scraps, sheets and supplies I had on hand
- sticky-backed velcro dots and strips
- self-stick laminating pockets
- clear contact paper
- I laminated my Elmer’s Tri-Fold Board with clear Contact paper. This board is going to get USED and handled. I wanted to protect it from sticky fingerprints and give it even more strength. It will be easy to wipe clean, now, if it does get smudged up.
2. The next thing I did was make the Month Title Strips. To cut the shapes I used a pad of long cardstock sheets that I had. They were 12″x24″ and several different pastel colors. I loaded a green sheet into my Cricut Craft Cutter, used my Tags, Bags, Boxes and More cartridge and cut these strips.
- To cut the letters for the Title Strip, I used some glitter paper I had on hand and my Plantin’ Schoolbox Cricut cartridge. I also cut slightly larger black letters to add a “shadow” to my glittered letters.
- For the Days of the Week, I used my Animal Kingdom cartridge to cut 14 small rectangles — 6 gold and 6 peach. I used the Plantin’ School Book cartridge to cut black letters. I glued the gold rectangles onto the peach and then centered the black letters onto the gold rectangles.
- Next, I wanted to create individual “cards” that would represent each date on our calendar. I used the Tags, Bags Boxes and More cartridge in my Cricut and created the cards, then I cut the same pattern on the Cricut’s “window” setting and cut frames just slightly smaller than the cards. I used different pastel shades of cardstock to create the “cards”.
- Sticky-backed velcro strips to hang everything on the board were my next steps in this process. I want to be able to move the numbers around as the months change, as well as remove and replace the cards to write on or erase them. I added one strip to hang the Month names on and five strips to hang the numbered cards from. Once the strips were attached to the board, the Month and Day names and the individual date cards each got their own velcro strip on the back and everything was put into place.
- I wanted the two side panels to be used for 1) the kids’ school assignments (Since we homeschool, this would be especially helpful.), 2) the kids’ chore assignments 3) my blogging schedule and 4) a personal schedule. These side panels are still a work in progress, with the ideas swirling and congealing in my mind. In the meantime, I wanted to create name title cards for each of the kids and give you an idea of how the side panels can be used.
- To create the kid’s name titles, I used my Plantin’ School Books cartridge to cut out the letters and shadows for the letters, for each of their names. Then I used the A Walk in my Garden Cartridge to cut a large flower border to put Larissa’s name on and the Plantin’ School Books cartridge to cut a big zigzag to put behind Michael’s name. I added a dark brown border around Michael’s completed name. Both name tags were covered in clear contact paper and had velcro strips added to the back.
- I typed up an assignment sheet and a chore chart/ special activities sheet for each child, covered them in clear contact paper (This is how I found out dry erase doesn’t work on contact paper.) and mounted them onto the velcro strips I had placed on the two side panels of the Elmer’s Tri-Fold board.
I absolutely love the way this schedule/organizer turned out. It is reusable for as long as we want, because everything is laminated and easy to wipe down, not to mention extra sturdy. Each month, I can simply change out the month name strip and replace it with the next one, since they are all mounted with velcro. The numbered date cards will be easy to shift, as the month changes, on their handy velcro strips and I can erase and re-write our appointments and important dates on them as they arise.
The side panels are still evolving in my mind, but you have an idea of what you can do, now. Elmer’s Tri Fold Board was perfect for this project!
This project has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Elmer’s #gluenglitter #collectivebias. As always, views and opinions about the products used are wholly my own.