Monday, April 25, 2011

Couponing, emergency room, and next year's curriculum.....

I have my binder all ready to start couponing effectively.  I've decided to organize according to brand name.  The woman who runs recommends it and I think its a good idea.  She also recommends buying enough to last three months because that's when it goes on sale again, so that's what I plan to do.  Another good idea is to buy as many papers as you have people in your family.  I plan on buying 7, we get two sets of coupons a week in the base paper.  Another option without spending money is to hit your local recycle center and see if they'll let you go through the papers.

Princess decided to enjoy the fine weather this weekend by swinging.  She got really high and then jumped off.  Hurt her foot really bad, so off to the base urgent care clinic we went.  I don't know why I bother to go there.  She was on crutches all weekend because no one was around to read the xray.  It was just badly sprained.  She's turned it before, so now its easy to twist.  I spent last Friday night in the er with Monkey.  She decided to climb up the side of the crib while Kevin and I were at a retirement dinner.  I got the call and ran home, thankfully, we were only ten minutes away.  I took her in, but no break there either.  This Friday, all the kids are entering a bubble so we don't have to go to the er again!!

Awww, that time of year.  Time to buy some curriculum!!!!  Yeah!!  I love this time of year.  We don't have our curriculum fair here until June, the big one anyway.  There's a smaller one an hour away this coming weekend.  I'm debating about going to that one.  The larger one is almost a three hour drive and with gas prices that way that they are, it may be wiser.

So, have you decided on next year yet?

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Extreme Couponing

Anyone been watching this new show on TLC?  Some of these people are absolutely ridiculous.  Really, what do you need with 57 mustards?  We may use two a year and that's only because we keep one in the camper.  With a shelf life of about two years, you'd have to use 28 a year.  Hmmm, what could I make with mustard?  Mustard cookies, mustard pie, mustard milkshakes?

Others have huge stockpiles.  I can see buying something on sale and buying several.  I even listened to the one woman who said that the sales run about every three months, so buy what you need during that time frame.  That makes sense, and she had a pile for about that time frame. 

One man extreme coupons.  He gives alot away to the local food bank.  He also just make 1000 bags to give to the soldiers.  I can't complain about what he's doing.  He realizes that he can get it all for free and is happy to give away to those in need.  Like he said, he'd never be able to afford it otherwise.

Kevin and I have been watching the show in awe of the piles of money they save.  We've been discussing the last few weeks of the rise in the prices at the grocery store.....and we don't even have teenagers yet.  Something has to be done.  We just can't afford it and until I own my own land to plant a huge garden and have chickens and a pig, all I can do is buy what we need.

We shop at the commissary, which is the military grocery store.  Items are generally cheaper than out in town.  The problem is that nothing ever goes on sale.  The last two weeks, I've been watching the sale ads out in town.  With coupons, I could have stocked up on many items and saved alot of money.  Thankfully, the stores are all within a mile of our house and right around the corner from each other.  I can run in with my list and coupons and get exactly what I want.  I can also look into store brands, which are generally alot cheaper, but we don't have them at our commissary.  Hopefully, I can start cutting down our grocery bill.  Its getting ridiculous.

My first step is to make a master list of what I generally buy at the commissary and the price I pay for it.  With this in hand, I will be able to glance at the ads and know if there's a better deal out in town.

This will take time and preparation each week.  However, I don't work and we need to start looking into saving for a house and college for the kids.  Let's face it, military careers are not money makers.  And with the problems nailing down a budget in Washington, I'd feel a little better having a month or two of food in the house just in case we don't get paid. 

Have a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Mom Time

The past few weeks, we've all struggled with poor attitudes.  I've been praying on it because I've probably been the worst offender.

Today was a gorgeous sunny day, until an hour ago.  Now its cloudy and cold again.  Its been that way for weeks.  We've had alot of rain and its been cold.  That has really affected our attitudes.  Plus, I've been tired from lack of sleep and trying to do my homework.  Thankfully, I have only a few terms left and then I will be "edjumacated".  I hope to finish my bachelor's degree by December.

Today a lightbulb went off over my head.  Yes, I good hear the click and "see the light".  Not only were we suffering from dark and gloomies, my kids were really wanting some one on one mom time.  We usually do as much school as we can together.  I can see that its not working anymore.  I need to focus on working with the kids one on one more.

Today I did that.  I threw the schedule out the window.....we don't use it anyway.  Its more of a checklist of subjects to complete each day.  I focused on spending time with each child.  All but Princess, who believes that she really is one, I was much more successful today.  TL only really needs my help with a couple of questions, spelling (we use All About Spelling), math, and grammer.  Its pretty easy for  me to work with one girl, give him ten minutes or so and then work with the other and back to him for a few minutes.  I have to say, it worked out really well.  We didn't finish everything, but well, did I mention it was sunny today?  It took me a while to figure out what that giant yellow thing in the sky first I thought we were being attacked by space aliens. 

I'm hoping that as they get used to this routine, things will run much more smoothly.  Its hard to devote attention to one when the others are interrupting.  I think that once they realize it will only be a few minutes, they will learn to wait patiently.  (I can hope, right?)  Each will have assignments to work on while waiting and the big girls like to color and read to the littles.  It helps keep them busy and make the big girls feel like "teachers".

So, on Mondays, Thursday, and Fridays we will work on :

Tuesday are:
Library day
all the above but history and science

Wednesday are the "easy" days.  I have a crazy night of running around Tuesday night and everyone's usually tired on Wednesday.  So we do History, Science, Geography, Art, and Music.  Any projects/experiments are done on this day. 

I've also been alot better at reading aloud.  the kids  are really enjoying it and so am I.  TL and I are reading 39 clues and girls and I are reading Felicity.

I have also taken away Bible Study.  The kids just weren't getting what I wanted out of it.  Instead, I'm reading bible passages adn we're discussing them.  Its going much better.

Have a wonderful week!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Last week and TJEd

Last week was just crazy.  I had class on Wednesday night and again on Friday night.  Its a speech class, so I had to take it inseat.  The first speech was an introduction speech, I got a 5/5.  This last speech I got a 96/100 with two of those points being deducted because I went over my time.  I'm supposed to write a one to two page essay on things I can improve on.  I have her grading sheet to look at but I'm not realy sure that I can get a whole page written about saying a couple of uhm's. 

Saturday I went to an all day seminar regarding Thomas Jefferson education.  It was very interesting.  I can definitely see how I can install some of its concepts into our home.  I will not however, do it all.  Its a little too like unschooling to me in some ways.  I need to be in control.....type A and the need to ensure a good education does that to me. 

Yesterday I spent cleaning, doing laundry, and doing homework.  Not something I like to do on Sundays, but I ran out of time with this crazy week.  Have a wonderful week everyone!!

Monday, April 4, 2011


Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.  How many of us just make something quick or point to the cereal box and tell the kids to get some?  Making a meal every morning can be taxing and can be exhausting trying to find new breakfast ideas.  Check out Mr. Breakfast.  I've found some fantastic recipes for muffins, eggs, french toast......all kinds of new and interesting ideas.

I hope to really focus on making good breakfast food for my kids.  They really love muffins with hard boiled eggs, sometimes adding fruit or yogurt.  A well rounded breakfast to fill up my little munchkins and keep them full so halfway through the morning they're not looking for a snack.  Try it out and let me know of any good recipes you find!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Thomas Jefferson and high school planning

I was planning on doing half days this week because its spring break for the public schools, but we've gotten very little schoolwork done.  One day, I will not live two feet from my neighbors and have kids running up and down the street.  I can't very well force mine inside while their friends are out playing.

I did take this week to do some reading, my own homework, and some cleaning.  I spent about six hours cleaning out the garage.  yes, it was THAT bad.  I also finished the closets upstairs.  We've been blessed with boxes and boxes of hand me downs that were just getting ridiculous to keep.  I also decided that I don't have the room to hold onto clothes from Bug a Bug to Little Miss Trouble.  Its four years difference adn way too many clothes.  This house is too small and without adequate storage.  So, I sorted through everything and even went through all of our coats and sweatshirts (really my kids have way too many) and got rid of eight bags of clothes!!  My next step is to go through their dressers again and weed through the clothes there.  The girls probably have at least 15 short and 15 long sleeved shirts.  Way too many!  Even with putting some in the camper, its still too many.  I'm blessed with all the hand me downs, but its time to bless someone else!

TL's in 7th grade this year.  Soon, too very soon, we'll be approaching high school.  I need to start planning out our high school years, doing some planning, organizing, and researching on keeping records, making transcripts, etc.  I got the book College prep Homeschooling that I've started reading.  HSLDA also has a bunch of information on their website about homeschooling high school.  I'm a planner, so its good to know what I need to start doing or looking at.

Meanwhile, I've also been reading about Thomas Jefferson education.  If you are not familiar with it, I highly recommend reading A Thomas Jefferson Education by Oliver DeMille.  The Thomas Jefferson "theory" states that our country does not produce leaders because we don't have children read quality books and we only teach them to "take the test".  The quality books are classics.  They encourage you and your child to read alot of them and to discuss them so that your child can critically and analytically discuss a book.  By mentoring your child, you will help produce leaders.  Through away the workbook method of reading a book, with its grammer, vocabulary, and discussion questions.  There are several stages of learning and at the highest level, the kids help take ownership for their education.  They help decide and plan what they will study.  Yes, they'll still do math no matter how much they hate it, but as they get older they will be able to focus their learning on what interests them and towards their career and college goals.  I'm going to a seminar next weekend, so I'm looking forward to finding out more.

Well, I'm off.  The homeschooling teens are coming tonight to watch Lord of the Rings.  I need to de-fur the house before they get here.  Shadow sheds about a dog's worth of hair a day!!  lol