The Holtom Family

The Holtom Family

Friday, February 3, 2012

Time Sure Flies!!!

The Boy is now a teenager!!
Yikes, but he's such a great kid.  Turning the big 13 today!!!

Happy Birthday to the best boy ever!! Love you Payton, You'll always be my special little boy!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

7 Habits of Highly Organized People-working on it, ok?

Had to post this, for myself so I won't LOSE it in my clutter!  Enjoy!

7 Habits of Highly Organized People

I have not always been a naturally organized person. Though I've always enjoyed the pursuits and positive effects of organization since childhood, it's required applied intentional effort and practice to achieve a truly consistent organized lifestyle.

Beginning my own family has probably afforded me the greatest opportunity to observe a few of the biggest benefits of managing a simplified and organized home and life:
  1. To find things when I need them {quickly}.
  2. To feel as though I'm being a good steward with my time.
  3. To have a general sense of peace and calm.

As I've grown in my knowledge and understanding of organization through real life experience, and intentional education over the years, I've observed there are a few habits that have helped me maintain an organized lifestyle:

1. Write Everything Down:

FREE your mind. Rather than trying to rely on your memory to recall when that appointment is/was, the name of the movie or book you'd like to check out next, or recall the phone number or address of that new friend or business contact - WRITE it down. I've learned to always carry a small pocket notebook with me to record various things throughout the day. Then, when I'm given some random bit of information that I know would be helpful to recall later, or if I'm struck with a personal bright idea I just jot it down quickly and return to my day as planned. Later, I'll 'download' these various notes to a more long term list or calendar.

2. Keep Flat Surfaces Clear:

{coastal kitchen image source:}
Clutter is magnetic. As soon as you place one random item on a counter-top, dining table, or work space, it will only attract more. Establish counter-tops as 'no dumping' grounds unless a particular item is used in that space every day (Like a coffee maker on the kitchen counter).

3. Find 'A Place for Everything'

{organized drawer photos courtesy of 'hello my dear blog'}

Eliminate the idea of a "junk drawer" where random items are tossed. Instead, create a defined space (with small containers or dividers) for all the little 'extras'. One of the reasons most of my clients struggle with clutter build-up is simply because there is not a clear place where things belong. Assign specific 'homes' for every single item. 'Homeless' items will instantly turn into clutter. It's also helpful to have designated spaces for your things so you can actually find them when you need them rather than wasting time searching or money buying duplicates. Find a specific place for loose change, keys, remote controls, office supplies, or even sunscreen. Do your children struggle with keeping their rooms clean? Help them find 'homes' for their toys/belongings as well.

4. Never Leave a Room Empty Handed

Let's face facts: there will always be something that needs to be returned somewhere else.
When heading to a new room in the house, glance around to see if there is something out of place {a coffee cup, piece of mail, toy, or rogue sock}you could gather up with you to relocate on your way.

5. File, Don't Pile

{image via}

Set up a command central or mail sorting system somewhere in your home. This space will serve to corral all the bills, mail, and other paper related information that comes in daily. Set aside a specific time each week to respond to and file documents where necessary.
{*note* a command central could even be set up in something as small as a simple file box}

6. Purge & Declutter Often

How many ________ does a person really need?
Strive to keep what you consider to be truly beautiful and/or useful in your home.
If you have limited storage it's especially important to not consistently accumulate more than will need to be stowed. Implement the 'One In, One Out Rule'. When you purchase something new for yourself or your home, or when a family member is given gifts on special occasions; make an effort to remove a similar item you already own. Resolve to declutter the common living areas of your home every evening (perhaps a few times a day if you're living with small children).

7. Make a Plan

{FREE PRINTABLE Daily Plan Courtesy of The Project Girl}

Sometimes you just need to tell yourself what to do in order to stay on track. Systems and routines save the day! Keeping a variety of running lists will serve as an external reminder of what needs to be done and when. You'll be granted a peace of mind knowing there is a plan to conquer all that needs to be done and feel the satisfaction of success when you're able to check off items they are completed as well!

Everyone in your family will appreciate having a menu plan in place:

{FREE PRINTABLE Menu Plan courtesy of The Project Girl}

A cleaning checklist will help keep the appearance of your home serene and welcoming:

{FREE PRINTABLE courtesy of: evelyn kate designs}

A family calendar will help show an 'at a glance' view of who needs to be where and when:

(Calender via ScriptureArt}

These habits are by no means a magic solution, but making an effort to adopt a few will surely aid to set you in motion as well as help maintain your organizational goals.

- Jim Rohn -

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Save your money!

How to Make Homemade Laundry Detergent

In the spirit of Laura Ingalls, with wash day being Monday, here's a little recipe for homemade laundry detergent you can use tomorrow, Monday!

wash on Monday
iron on Tuesday
mend on Wednesday
churn on Thursday

clean on Friday

bake on Saturday

rest on Sunday

from Little House in the Big Woods

* I use these utensils for detergent making only. They all stay in the pot until I make a new batch.

You will need:

1 bar of soap (any kind you want)
1 cup of Borax
1 cup of washing soda
a big pot ( that holds more than 2 gallons)
a grater
a funnel
a long spoon
2 empty gallon jugs/containers

Grate your bar of soap into your pot.

Fill one gallon jug and pour water into pot with grated soap. Cook until the grated soap dissolves.

Add the Borax and washing soda.

Bring to a boil. It will coagulate.

Turn off the heat. Add 1 gallon of cold water. Stir well.

Pour 1 gallon of your detergent into each container.

A funnel helps tremendously.

Now you have 2 gallons of homemade laundry detergent. I use 1/2 cup per load. With the prices of detergent being outrageous, I feel really happy every time I make a batch of this.

This won't make many, if any, suds. Suds don't equal clean. It took a while to get that into my head. This detergent cleans wonderfully!

Let me know if you make any or if you have any questions.

Happy washing!

****** edited 8/8/2011 to address those of you with the issue of the detergent becoming too thick. Try using 1/2 of a bar of soap instead.

***** edited 7/2011 to add that the detergent should thicken / coagulate when it cools. Usually within 24 hours! ****

* Edited 1/2011 to add comment from below about cost/savings!

estimated cost is $6.00 for 576 loads (depending on soap used and amount used per load, One BOX of Borax and Washing soda)
The savings is incredible.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


We love Yellowstone! Have to make at least a couple of trips a year to see the babies in the spring and the beautiful colors in the fall.  It's also a great way to beat the crowds-This is always one of my kids favorite places!  The stink pots!~ Mud pots/mini geysers.  They love to see the mud bubble/boil and feel the spray of the geysers on the boardwalk!

The Three Amigos

The Classic Old Faithful-
(Should have snapped a shot of the little old India man who was literally sitting on Payton.  We had to scoot over 3 times so he wasn't sitting on Payton's lap.  Always fascinating to see/hear people from all over the world come to enjoy this event.)
Love, LOVE, Love that we live 3 hours away from this amazing place!  Unless of course it decides to spout out volanic "stuff" then I'll change my mind.....

The kiddos call this one "The Stink Pot"

Tiny little sweet Bison, we love to see the new babies!
(Before they are giant, scary, beasts!)

A little coyote trying to beg for a fish from a unsuspecting fisherman.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Beginning Summer Adventures

Let the summer adventure begin!
We started off the next day school let out by heading up to Kelly Canyon to see what the water had done to the ski resort! Wow, canyon size run-off, they had 40ft. holes right in the middle of the parking lot!  It was pretty amazing how deep it was in places. Yikes!


They even had their own River that ran through it "literally" and a small waterfall. The kids had a blast hiking around.

The next stop was the Teton Dam Site.  We had never been over this far before, and took a few off roads to get around.  This was the original site where the Teton Dam washed out, because the engineers used rock/dirt to construct a massive dam, it had a breach in the side wall, and also washed out causing mass destruction to the Teton Valley.  I remember this day very well, as we drove to Rexburg to pick up my sister Debbie from Ricks College. Then we drove up to our cabin in Island Park and heard on the radio that the Teton Dam had broke, how amazing it was that we had been in Rexburg, then exactly past where it had flooded and how lucky we were not to get caught up in the flooding.  I wanted to show my kids a little piece of history, as we lived for several years in Rexburg.  They were fascinated at how high the dirt was, how high the water once was, and how big the wash out was in this valley.

Here is little Abbie running through the tunnel of victory with her little Yellow Lighbulb 5 year old soccer team.  This was a lot of fun, a lot of work, and tried my patience more than any other team I've ever coached.  These little kids are like teaching squirrels how to play soccer! Lots of energy, they run off, they pull their shirts over their heads, they fall down, they are hilarious!!!  (And they say the darndest things) She had a great time, and so did her mom.  I loved being with my little girl and sharing this memory with her!  Love you Abs!


Legacies are a wonderful thing.  They teach you about your heritage, your life, your reason for being.  We had a wonderful example of a legacy, our Grandpa Dave. It's hard to belieive it's been 2 years since he's past on.  But, the legacy that he's left us of with is one to be cherished.  Wonderful work ethic, devoted husband, father, brother, grandpa, friend. Uncountable service hours for the church, and community.  Being positive, and finding the "fun" in everything you do.  Being a great friend, and caring for those who are all around him.  Thank you so much for your Heroic Legacy Grandpa Dave.  We love and miss you very much!!