Thursday, March 15, 2018

Penny Smart #4

This a place where I share how I've stretched a penny, saved a penny and in many cases spent no pennies.

Graciously accepted five oranges from a friend.
I've been enjoying my free magazine subscription.  I'd love to share how to get this magazine, but I don't remember where I signed up.  Sorry! 
Accepted a free sample as I was walking out of Sam's Club. 
It had two packages of dish washing detergent, a bottle of degreaser, and a bottle of glass cleaner.  All things I will happily use. 
Scored some dish washing detergent from the clearance rack. Each bottle has 32 oz for $2.79.  The regular price was $3.99.
As I was going down the cleaning isle I looked at the shelf and noted that the current $3.99 bottle of Dawn has only 28 oz per bottle.  The new shopping game... same price, same product, less quantity.  They're sneaky if you aren't watching!

Accepted a discarded dishwasher to add to our scrap pile.

Wealth gained hastily will dwindle, but whoever gathers little by little will increase it. 
Proverbs 13:11

It's a great reminder to tackle our financial goals bit by bit.

So there you go.  I hope this encourages you to do things to save money.  The old adage that every penny counts seems to apply more and more these days.  I find it's much harder to stretch my pennies into nickles. *smile* I find it encouraging to hear about other frugal adventures and I hope you do also. 

May your day be filled with joy in the journey!

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Homeschool Update

 It's been a while since I have chatted about our homeschool journey.  We are starting to wind the school year down.  We have about 6 1/2 weeks left.  Give or take a day or two.  I need to sit down and do the the final count to ensure that we have our 180 days completed. We tried not to take lots of breaks.  We ended up taking time off around Christmas and then a day here and there as needed.  

The flexible schedule is one of the things that I really enjoy.  We hadn't planned to take time off for fall break.  Megan was invited to join her cousins for the day at her grandparents.  Which led to her spending the night there.  She ended up missing two days of school.  No problem!  We added in a Saturday morning school day here and there when the weather turned cold. 
There are tons of options for schooling.  Parent led is the best option for us.  I love that we are in control.  Megan didn't want to do the chapter in science on bugs.  She can't stand spiders and I was fine with skipping.  The thought of a few weeks looking at and learning about bugs didn't appeal to me either.  Yuck!  

It has also allowed us to speed up or slow down as needed.  I can see her weak spots and can adjust things to help her.  I knew that her previous school didn't spend a ton of time on grammar.  Their focus was more on writing.  There are severe gaps in her grammar knowledge.  I've been able to slow things down to make sure she understands the concept.  She now loves to diagram sentences! 
Since I'm always curious about what curriculum others use I will share what we use.  A beka parent led.  It is what her previous school used so our intent was to start with that and then make changes as needed.  I have looked at other curriculum and we are sticking with A beka.  It's familiar and I worry that if we moved to another program, a different teaching technique that it might be frustrating.  This is working and there is no reason to cause unnecessary frustration. Megan has also expressed that she likes workbooks and not working on the computer.  So, I need to take that into consideration.  

My only hesitation about A beka is that is set up as a curriculum for a tradition Christian school.  When reading the lesson plans I have to take that into consideration and take out the busy work.  They plan the work to stretch for a 7 hour school day.  Honestly, we are done in two to three hours most days.  Some day we will hit that speed bump, usually math, and it seems like we'll never get done. 

 I do sometimes feel like the homeschool stuff is taking over!  As most of you know we have a smaller home.  That means we don't have a dedicated space for our homeschool things.  I am able to hide the teaching manuals and extras such as flashcards in a cabinet.  

There is a cart in the a corner of our living room with daily supplies and day to day lessons.  I admit that there are times I wish could hide it.   It's not meant to be so it's something I accept.  
Besides the living room there is poster board in several places in the kitchen.  I guess that is just part of small house home learning. *smile*
 It's been fun to add in the extras, like the solar system project.  There were plain white balls in the kit and the instructions said to paint them a certain solid color.  Megan took the initiative to look up the planets and to paint them more realistic.  Another one of the perks is that we don't have to conform so that a classroom of twenty children can stay on schedule.  I know that doing this project in the classroom would have meant painting each planet a solid color per the instructions. 
Like I said we are usually done in a few hours.  This has led to a much more relaxed home.  Chuck no longer has to come home to chaos where we rushed through dinner so we could do homework, shower and get ready for bed.  It made for some unpleasant evenings.  
Megan also has more time to be a kid.  The afternoons are free for playing outside, drawing, and pursuing her interest.  

I'm not going to paint a picture that everything is smooth sailing.  There are days when there are bad attitudes (both hers and mine!).  There are occasional tears and frustrations.  I'll be honest and tell you that I don't know everything. *smile* I'm learning right beside her. 

It's like everything there are pros and cons.  In this case the pros certainly out-weigh the cons.  We're growing, learning and this is working well for our family.  So well, in fact, that we are already making plans for next year.  

My advise for anyone that is considering homeschool is to pray a bunch and if you feel peace then go for it!  I know it's not for everyone, but you'll never know unless you try. There is no shame is saying this isn't working and going another route.  

 If you do try, then do what is best for your family.  There is always going to be someone to tell you about the best curriculum.  If you're happy with what you have then you need to look no further.  There is always going to be someone to tell you that you need a co-op or an art class or this or that.  Only you can decide what extras you can afford financial and time wise. There is always going to be someone to tell you that homeschool isn't the right choice.  You know your child, you know yourself and you need to be true to that.  What works for one family might not work for another.  So you do you and what works best for you, your child and your family.  Most importantly take it all to the Lord.  Only he can give you the knowledge, strength and peace you need to make all of your decisions.  

May your day be filled with joy in the journey!

Sunday, March 11, 2018

A Little Sunshine

 This was posted on FB and pretty much sums up my prayer life recently.  
I'm thankful for a weekend that left me feeling restored.  My thoughts are now clear and that overwhelmed feeling is gone.  I didn't cook one meal this weekend.  Chuck made dinner Friday night and then he ran through the drive thru for breakfast Saturday.  

He did that since I was busy making dessert for our evening plans.  
Saturday afternoon we headed over to visit with Chuck's cousin.  This is the family where I babysat their boys, Abe and Eli, for six years.  You often hear about friends that are like family well this is family that is like friends.  

Besides the dessert we all took the easy route.  Angel picked up fried chicken and sides.  I was suppose to bring rolls and Chuck suggested we pick some up from a restaurant chain.  Worked for me!

The kids had a blast playing and the adults had a nice time catching up.  We all decided we must get together more often. 

Sunday was another relaxing day.  We didn't make it to church.  Chuck didn't wake me up in time.  He figured I could use the extra sleep.  I admit, it was nice.  I suggested we head out for brunch before we went to visit the in-laws.  

All of the cousins showed up while we were visiting.  The kids had fun playing while we were able to chat with the adults.  When we left we ran a quick errand and headed home.  I had plans for dinner, but we ended up running out for a quick bite.  We can't dine out like this often, but I sure felt spoiled not making meals.  Not to worry I'll be back at it tomorrow! 

I only picked up my camera twice this weekend.  The second shot was of my silly girl.
She said, "Hey Mama! My, what big eyes I have!" 

My little sunshine always makes life better!  I'm thankful that I was able to recharge this weekend.  Now I say, bring on Monday!

May your day be filled with joy in the journey!

Friday, March 09, 2018

Let's Catch Up

Life has been in full swing since my last post.  I've sat down to make a post a few times and didn't have the words nor really the desire.  You see a week ago a neighbor contacted me to ask about homeschooling.  She then went on to tell me that the school drama (private Catholic school) has become too much for her daughter.  Her twelve year old daughter tried to commit suicide.  What!?! She said that K is adamant that she is not going back to school.

This little girl use to come down and play.  She stopped coming because she was more mature than Megan.  The things Megan wanted to do she found boring. I find it hard to wrap by head around the fact that this happened.  There are many things I could say, but I won't.  I'm trying hard to love. I left an open invitation for K to come down anytime and craft with Megan.  Time will tell if she accept the invitation.

This week I feel like I have been on the go non stop.  My dad made two trips to the ER within three days.  The first trip was an ambulance ride from my home on Monday. Yikes!  Thankfully he is doing much better.

That threw my week off.  My grocery trip planned for Monday was shifted until Tuesday.  Then Wednesday it was back to the ER.  Thursday I had an eye doctor appointment.  The running plus some late nights have left me tired and my home in need of some TLC.  I'm thankful it's Friday!

Today I will work on laundry and we will catch up on school.  What I don't get done around the house today we will all tackle together Saturday morning.  I wish I could say that the weekend would be slow.  We have some things planned for Saturday evening and then Sunday is church and we will go visit my father-in-law.   It should be good though.  A day of rest today and getting things back on track should help.

Since we haven't had a visit since March began I'll update you on my no spend February.   HA! HA! HA!  Does that tell you how it went?  It seemed to be one thing right after the other that required spending.  Not little spending either.  Things such as Chuck had his truck into the shop twice.  We still need to get the leak fixed on the van.  It was suppose to be dropped off at the shop Monday evening, but that didn't happen.  Hopefully next week.  Two trees were cut down.  They were both dead and one was becoming a danger.  The area it was in would have caused damage to structures when it fell.

I feel like this post has been all doom and gloom.  Honestly, even in the rough patches there is good.  K didn't take her life and can now get the help she needs.  My dad is feeling better and will continue to seek treatment to ensure that he is healthy.  Although we didn't want to spend it, I'm thankfully we had cash to cover the truck expenses.  The trees are down and when the strong winds come with spring storms we won't have to worry.

Spring is coming!  Oh yes, this one makes me super happy.  It is staying lighter in the evenings.  The grass is starting to green up a little bit.  There is a warmer day sprinkled in here and there.  The robins are back.

See, there is always a reason to be grateful!

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Joy in the Ordinary

Look around, really look around and you will find joy... joy in the everyday... joy in the ordinary things.

A sure sign that Spring is coming is daffodils pushing through the ground and seed packets in the stores. 
We've enjoyed a few warmer days.  Being able to go outside makes Megan very happy. 
One afternoon we had record breaking temperatures.  I love having all of the windows open. 
A treat from a favorite bakery. 
A rainy Saturday was spent working in Megan's closet.  
Everything was taken out and Chuck helped me move shelving.  Megan has grown so much that her skirts and dresses hit the lower shelf while hanging.  You can't see it but the middle shelf was cut behing the door so that the skirts can hang free from the top shelf.  

I love it!  Things were purged and sorted.  Megan struggled a little as she said she didn't like making hard decisions to let things go.  I pulled out summer clothing.  I sorted things to have play clothing on the bottom and nicer/church clothing on the top.  I've been buying clothing for our beach vacation and this will prevent them from becoming stained before our trip. 
A breakfast love note. *smile*
I love having fresh flowers on my kitchen table.  
May your day be filled with joy in the journey!

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Loving One Another

Hello Friends,  I haven't been online much.  I've been trying to break my habit of getting on the computer first thing in the morning.  This morning I was passing time until Megan was ready to head out to the grocery story.  I jumped on and saw that I had a new comment on my last post.  It was from Donna at merryheartcrafts.

Dear Sweet Sister, PLEASE pray for me and my family. My sweet Julie was killed in a car accident yesterday morning on her way to college. I feel as if I am shattered in thousands of pieces and all that is holding me together is the arms of Jesus.

Donna lost her husband to illness a year ago and now her beloved daughter, Julie.  One of the things I enjoy most about the blog community is how supportive we are of one another.  How we cheer on others in their triumphs and cry together when there is deep sorrow.  I would appreciate it if you, my friends, would lift Donna and her family in prayer.  If you feel led maybe you could stop by her blog and leave an encouraging word on her last post.  I know she needs all the love, encouragement, and prayers we can provide. 

This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. John 15:12