Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Getting ready for the Holidays

I am not a year round shopper. I am just not that fond of shopping. Shopping is a chore to me. But I do start the beginning of October getting ready for the holidays. My hubby bought me a new used sewing machine last month so I will get busy on sewing some stuff for the kids for Christmas. I make them all a blanket every year or the little ones quilts. I am going to make all the little ones quillow pillows this year. I will take $25 each check and allocate it to holiday stuff. I start with food items that are on sale that week that I know I will need for the holidays. I have my menus all worked out and a list of all the food items needed. Listed Thanksgiving dinner, Christmas tree decorating night, Christmas decorating night, Christmas eve, Christmas morning, New years eve, New years day and then I have a baking list. We are complete creatures of habit so I know already exactly what we will be having. Then I have a list of all items needed for each one, down to a spice. I do this from years of having hubby have to run out and try to find something at the last minute because I forgot to buy it. (One year I can't believe I forgot stuffing mix and If you have ever had to go out on thanksgiving and find a box of stuffing mix, it is imposssssssible). Holiday coupons will start coming out very soon. Baking stuff I leave until the two weeks before Thanksgiving because these are when flour, sugar etc go on sale, and with the price of sugar right now we are on a sugar diet!!!!
I cannot stress how much stress this takes off of the holidays having all this stuff already done and not having to run to the store during the mad mad days just before. Cooking it all is stressful enough. I would say to give this a shot this year and see how much of a difference this makes for you this year. My next post will be more on getting ready for the holidays gifting. Happy Tuesday bloggers, Michelle

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Hooked on phonics

I very very very rarely spend much money on home school items at all. Over the years I have learned to get everything I need mostly free or for very little. I love Enchanted Learning I have used them for many years. I pay $20 a year for membership, But you can use the site without paying. I just like the convienence of getting the files in pdf. I also use This is also $20 a year, And is completely awsome for using with small kids thru high school and have wonderfully put together lessons plus much much more. I decided to try hooked on phonics because of the price I could get it for last month plus I really wanted to try it with my boys. I bought the prek and the toddler edition. I got both sets for $37.95 shipped. This was originally over $100 for the two sets. The toddler edition comes with a nice parents manual, a bath book, 4 hardbooks , and 6 picture cards that go with the books themes, It also came with some other things including a music cd of learning songs. My toddler lovesssssss this and he is hard to keep his attention with most things as he is only almost 3. He loves to read the hardcover books which he starting to memorize and the best thing is the picture cards that come with. For example there is one that is of a kitchen. You go over the picture several times getting them to say the names of the items, toaster, sink etc. Now he always wants to take the picture to the room that it depicts and find each one of the items in our kitchen that match the picture. I am really glad I decided to get this for him, If anything it is teaching him to love books and learning.
The set I got for the 5 year olds is prek. Being adhd I had decided to start slowly with them. They are loving theirs too. It has a dvd which we watch, Then we do the 2 pages out of the workbook then read the books then do flashcards and activites. It is all structered to take about 20 minutes from start to finish and I can already see a difference in their regular schoolwork. I would say if you had thought about maybe purchasing this in the past but were not sure I would give it a try. They also give you access to their members only website free when you purchase a product to get extra worksheets online games etc. Happy Home Schooling all Michelle

Getting ready for Winter Weather

Getting ready for Kansas winter in an all electric house with no heat can be tricky and expensive. Our electric bill last year for the winter months was disgusting. Unfortunately with a new baby we have to have it warm inside.
Since we sealed the floors last year and that helped, We are going to purchase some room rugs for the living room and dining room and kitchen. We also wrote down the cold spots we felt on doors and walls last year so we can prepare better this year. We already know that we are going to purchase some envi heaters. They are wall mountable and only cost 4 cents an hour to run. We will purchase 2 for downstairs and 1 for upstairs. They are $100 each. We also have a kerosene heater for extra cold days if needed. We need to purchase 2 more rolls of heat tape for the basement pipes as we still froze up last year. Which cost us money to replace pipes. My goal is to make the house warm and cut our costs from last year by half. Although we caulked and caulked the stairs last year, it did not keep them warm as the basement is directly under them so we are going to purchase some indoor outdoor carpet and carpet those this year. The expense is minimal but should help alot. We will also plastic all the windows again this year , I can't stand the plastic that hangs on the outside of windows. Last year we used the inside window kind that is super clear and you use your hairdryer to seal it to the window. I really liked it but it was super expensive with all the windows we have. Luckily at end of season last year at Walmart they blew this stuff out at $.50 a pack and I bought enough to do all the windows. So for the price of 1 pack at original cost I can do every window in the house. We had originally wanted to put a wood stove in this year but time constraints and money just aren't gonnna happen this year. We will try to shop end of season sales this next year for that to have for next year.

Start preparing now and you won't be "caught in the cold". Farmers almanac for this year says although snow levels for most of the country will be less then last year, temps will be much colder for longer periods of time. Good luck bloggers and stay warm. Michelle

Friday, September 10, 2010

Pregnancy update

Had my 33 week check up today. Lost another 5 lbs, although I felt like I was eating more. I just for some reason lose weight when pregnant. Go figure cause I don't have that problem otherwise lol. Dr. set my next appointment for September 27th but was unsure wether or not I would make it that far. Baby has dropped and is in head down position. And since I have had so the braxton hicks everyday for a month now and my history of having babies a month early he is not sure I will make it to October. But he said because of my having no health problems and no problems in the past with the babies or the delivery everything will be fine. He did say to walk as less possible and just cut down my activity somewhat to help me get further along. I was certain this baby was humongous lol But with the measurements and him feeling the baby he said if I have the baby this month we are still only looking at a 5 lb baby. If I can get to around the 10th of October we could be looking at a 5 1/2 to 6 lb. So I am aiming for the atleast the 10th of October. Anyway that is about it. I have everything ready just in case. Crib is set up, Dresser is set up and house is babified. I went today and put a few things I needed on layaway at Kmart which is just across the street. I put all the stuff for the cloth diapering I would need as it was bogo 50% off. I also got 4 small glass bottles just in case I have any troubles breastfeeding I can pump and use the glass bottles which are BPA free and easier to clean and sanitize. I always get every new baby a new blankie ( or as we call them here a pretty)(not sure how they got nicknamed pretty but oh well). And I also got a pack n play that was the cadillac of pack and plays on clearance for $70. It is a Winnie the pooh and has the removable bassinet with mobile and one whole side has storage shelves. Really nice. Anyway that can be picked up quick and brought home with us if the baby comes earlier then expected. My oldest did an awswome job of scavaging the Resale stores and friends and came up with a gorgeous sleigh crib for $100 including mattress, complete bedding set for boy, matching mobile, matching wall decor, matching lamp and a few other odds and ends thrown in. She also found the cadillac of high chairs which I wanted this time, That lay back all the way almost like a car seat for $35. And a $150 dollar car seat looks brand new for free. Anyway gotta run I am really tired from today. Have a great weekend bloggers. Michelle

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Random acts of violence

Last night we had an experience that we have never seen before. Although my 14 year old is home schooled she went with a friend to the local high school football game. She apparently and unknowingly "eyeballed" a girl and the girl did not like it. As my daughter was leaving she jumped her from behind and beat her. Smashing her head into a car and beating and kicking her. She was checked out by ambulance and she was banged up but okay. Okay physically. It scared her...alot. It scared me. We had a houseful of police at 10pm last night. We filed charges against the girl. She is 14 years old and has been in alot of trouble before, has been in juvenile hall several times before. According to police this is a family of around 100 all "Known" in this town. Not to be messed with. That we could have repercussions for pressing charges. They said it will take a few days to find the girl because the family will hide her out and she will not go home.
I was angry last night really really really angry....beyond angry. I am still angry this morning. I am angry that my daughter had to experience this. That she is now afraid. And angry that I could not protect her last night. I am angry that no one, not the security guards according to witnesses wanted to help my daughter, but instead turned a blind eye. That adults from this town did not step in and help her. I am NOT afraid of this family, I will protect my family from this point on.
Along with my anger this morning, I am also sad. I thought all night about this 14 year old CHILD. What was she taught through her life. Did no one tell her that she could seriously injure someone or even kill someone and ruin her life being this way? Why did she not get the attention or direction or discipline she so desperately needs? From what I understand from the police that this is this girls last straw and she will be going to juvenile detention for a long period of time. I also understand that when this child acts this way, she gets the belt from a parent then is free to roam the streets again. So the pattern is she is beaten then released to run more, or goes to juvenile hall where she is most certainly mistreated and/or beaten more. Do we not see a cycle that is in no way benefiting or helping this child. I understand I am naive. I spend my days with my children canning food, or things like yesterday where my 14 year old before the football game made mm cheesecake for the family. In my naivety I can't understand how this will help this child, Other than keep her in a system that does not work or continue the cycle of abuse. This makes me sad. So today I ponder my anger and sadness. God bless to all of you. Michelle