Sep 072018
 

This post contains affiliate links.
Schoola.com
Looking to update your wardrobe for the season?  Realize you could do with a few more long sleeves or pants?  Schoola is a great way to help support schools while saving money on your wardrobe budget.

We have used them several times and have always been pleased with the honesty of the descriptions as well as the quality of clothing.  Even the packaging is nicely done.

Right now, it is even better with their Refer-A-Friend promotion – $10 for you. $10 for a new friend. 40% to schools. It’s a win-win-win! Refer a friend to Schoola.com!

So what will it be – warm sweater or comfy pants?

Jun 262018
 

This post contains affiliate links.

Schoola.com

Who ever is in charge of promotions this week must have known this is not the week for me to be going to stores with kids.  It seems that it is the week for shopping for kitchen items, scheduling grocery pickup, purchasing shoes, and stocking up on kids clothes while saving from the comfort of my living room.  (or dining room table or bed while waiting for little heads to go to sleep)

When I saw that Schoola was having a sale of 75% off, I knew I had to share.  It is too good of a deal to keep to myself.

Schoola has been a sanity and budget saver in the past, delivering quality preowned clothes to our door.  The clothes were even very neatly folded inside a bag, inside a box.  I am not sure who they hire to help package but they are welcome at my house on laundry day anytime they please.

The flash sale is on! Get 75% off your order with code HAPPY75 at Schoola.com. Offer is valid only 6/26-6/27.

And as always, FREE SHIPPING on orders of $25 or more on the first 10 items.

Valid 6/26-6/27 only. Limit one promotion code may be used per order. Not valid on previous purchases. Discounts and credits do not apply toward shipping or promotional minimums. Discounts are applied to the post-credit order value. New-with-tags items are not eligible for purchase with discounts or credits.

May 262018
 


Among other activities keeping me busy this spring is a new addition to our garden.  This is not something I had planned on adding, though always wanted. I had a “if we get this it needs to meet these criteria” list, mainly to explain to the kids why we didn’t have this and wouldn’t for a long while.

This list worked well for the past 6 years. I thought it was fairly fool proof.

About a week ago I decided to put aside my wishes, to stay home and garden, to be the “fun” mom.  I loaded up the kids, water, skateboards, helmets, book, and a hat. (It was hot after all.) Against verbal arguments of one who wanted to stay home and play on the computer, we headed to a local skate park for a free event. We were going to have fun whether they wanted to or not, me knowing that in the end they would have fun.

My plan was to let them skateboard, do some of the other activities available, have some snow cones, then come home with two tired, hot kids who were ready for bed.

It almost went like that.

See, as the kids were skating I wandered over to the dogs brought to the event by a local animal shelter in hopes of finding homes. We usually visit them as it is good for the kids to be around different dogs and for the dogs to be around different people.  However this time…this time I met one which actually MET my very specific criteria on the “if we get this it needs to meet these criteria” list: old, calm, laid back, not nervous around kids, doesn’t bark much, walks on a leash well, doesn’t scare the kids. The adjectives in bold were the major key ones on the list which usually disqualified every single dog we had met before.

Not only did I find a dog who meet the criteria, but he exceeded them. Turns out he is trained, rides well in a car, loves to be petted, is as social as George (has yet to meet a stranger), and even didn’t intimidate Jack, who isn’t as much of a dog lover as George.  When I walked over to the group of dogs, I had written him off right away due to size.  However, he very nonchalantly moseyed over to me, sat down, and waited to be petted.  He didn’t even need to smell my hand first, just waited like I should know what was expected.  So I did.  As other people and dogs went by, he might have given them a glance, but sat perfectly content (and quiet) being petted.

I talked with the workers for a bit, explaining what I was looking for in a dog and why.  We talked a bit about this particular dog.  Then I asked them not to say anything to the kids when they came over.

George gave the dog of wide berth while he went to a shorter dog.  However, after one of the workers suggest he walk the larger dog while she walked the smaller one that was the end of that.  Within  feet George had renamed him and fallen in love.  To my surprise, so did Jack.  He didn’t flinch when the dog came right up to him, he didn’t shy away from his head, instead giving him lot of pets and pats and loving.  Jack has never been this calm around a dog, let alone a dog this large.  It didn’t take too long for both of the boys to begin asking if we could adopt him.

The only two draw back – he is big and has long hair. For all his other qualities I can overlook those two.  He even keeps me company while I try various DIY projects.  I can even hammer and drill without disturbing his naps.

Soooo, we came home with two hot, tired, excited boys and one dog of trial run at our house.  That trial has since ended and he has become a permanent fixture in our garden.

As I have found out this week, he also LOVES to chase rabbits.  Excellent! I had been wondering how to keep them out of the garden.

In case you were wondering, I did NOT bring a dog home without asking my husband first.  I am smarter than that after all these years.

 

Jan 052018
 

Growing up, I was the kid in the house who loved when we had beans and cornbread for supper.  Loved it!

I was also the kid who was at the table two hours after supper was done because I still had the required 3 beans sitting, cold, on my plate.  Yes, I took only the exact number of beans I was told I was required to eat.

I HATED beans. (Though I did eat them when I was at other people’s homes because that was the polite thing to do.)

Yes, this meant I technically loved it when we had bean broth and cornbread for supper.  What can I say, apparently it was not the flavor which turned me off. (Yes, it was sort of a running joke as years went by and I never gave in to actually eating the beans.)

Once I was off to college and had begun to grow even more in my frugalness, I didn’t want to spend extra money on the few meals I needed to eat outside of the dorm cafeteria.  Sometimes I would spring for a pudding cup and pack of peanut butter crackers from the vending machine, but not regularly. After all, that cost me a whole $1.50!

My favorite money saving ideas were:

  • take the extra piece of fruit we were allowed when leaving the cafeteria, resulting in my first attempts at shakes for breakfast
  • skip breakfast and eat lunch early at the cafeteria where you could go back for more.  That way I only needed two meals in a day
  • to make the most of what I could get from the to-go cafeteria when I did eat there

 

Hummus was a new food for me.  Well, sort of.  I had heard of it, but it was not on anyone’s meal plan in the rural, Midwestern county I was from.  Less you think there were no culturally significant food options growing up, we had lovely cuisine choices, such as:

  • turtle soup – preferably cooked in a big pot over a fire, in the fall, with a gathering of friends
  • burgoo – preferably cooked in a big pot over a fire, till you could not distinguish what anything really was, in the fall, with a gathering of friends. Hey, what can I say?  If you are going to be cleaning out your freezer, may as well enjoy it in the company of friends.
  • meatloaf, with ketchup on top
  • green bean casserole

But, back to hummus.  I knew hummus was good for you, that it was nutritious.   I also knew that I liked the flavor but NOT the texture.  I knew I could get a fair amount of it from the to-go cafeteria and add it to raw vegetables for a lunch/snack while between classes.  What I did not know was what it was made of.

Imagine my surprise when I learned it was made from…well, chickpeas of all things. Yuck! Those plump, squishy, horridly textured chickpeas.  BUT, I was cheap and looking to eat somewhat healthy.  So, I sucked it up and found a way to each hummus – by putting it on the top of the vegetables so it did not touch my tongue as I ate it.  And that is how I came to eat hummus.

After I graduate and got married, I had not fully gotten into trying new meals, or meal planning. Nor was I very educated in the use of coupons and shopping sales.  My idea of keeping the budget in-line was to find the 5 or so meals I liked and rotate them.

I was okay with having pretty much the same thing for lunch every day.  For weeks.  No worries, there was variety – I would change the fruit I had with my sandwich and the flavor of yogurt.  See, variety.  🙂

My husband, who did NOT grow up in the Midwest, but actually came from a place that used spices beyond salt, pepper, and ketchup, requested I learn some new recipes.  Apparently he did not like the same 5 basic meals over and over.  Hmm.

Over time we came to find that we both liked particular beans.  Usually the same ones – black beans, lentils, baked beans, and limited amounts of chickpeas.  I do buy green peas because I love my husband who loves early peas.  However, that does not mean I also need to eat them.  Now that I am a parent, I silently say nothing as I spoon them up on the kids’ plates, while leaving mine void of any green orbs.

As for other beans, well ….”Grandma makes great lima beans.  Perhaps you can ask her to make you some next time you go there.”

to be continued…

Dec 262017
 

This post contains affiliate links.


This sale will be over in a flash! December 26th only, stock up on new faves for your family and save 75% off your order at Schoola.com with promo code FAST75.

Schoola has been one of my favorite ways to save money on clothes and save time by shopping from home.  With a kid who has grown, again, I will definitely be checking here today to see if I can help fill in a few current needs. This is also a great time to begin thinking ahead to spring and summer clothes.

Send a friend $10 off to shop the amazing deals on children’s clothes at Schoola.com and you’ll get $10 off too. Shop now!

And don’t forget, orders of $25 or more (up to 10 items) always qualify for free shipping!

*Fine print: Discounts and credits do not apply toward the free shipping threshold or promotional minimums. Discounts are applied to the post-credit order value. New-with-tags items are not eligible for purchase with discounts or credits.

Sale ends 11:59 PM PST December 26

 

Dec 172017
 

This post contains affiliate links.

You have fewer than 10 days till Christmas – are you still looking for a gift to get a kid on your list who seems to have everything? Or maybe they live further away and gifts would have to be mailed. These are hard positions to be in.

Have you thought of gifting an experience rather than a thing?

Kids Cook Real Food makes an awesome Christmas gift, and many grandmas are doing it already!! (They have printable gift certificates for them btw.)

Sunday, December 17 through Tuesday, December 19, Kids Cook Real Food is having a flash sale.  To make it even better – new members get a free $20 value set of extra videos!

Problem solved! Now, go. Finish up that list and enjoy some yummy holiday cookies.

Dec 132017
 

This is a visit to a post from a few years past.

With winter on the verge of being ‘official’ and not just determined by our thermometer, it seemed time to update some of our songs and videos in our YouTube favorites list.  I play these at meals times to add a bit of variety to our day.

Here are several I found and what I thought of them.  I went ahead and included all the ones we watched, which is not the same as all the ones our search returned.  Not every song is one I liked and while several are good, they probably won’t make our list.  The goal was to find winter songs, not holiday songs.  We do not believe in Santa at our house, so ones with him or Christmas referenced will not be added to our ‘Winter’ list.  However, you may feel different, so they are on here with a note added after the link.

Winter songs that also mention holiday related items

Winter Songs for children – a good song,  Does talk about Santa coming and bringing gifts

Fun Winter Song! (Winter is HERE) – mentions writing a letter to Santa, says “Merry Christmas and Happy New Year”

Snowman Song for Children (good for Christmas and New Year) – we actually did not like this one

The Colors Of Winter – Nancy Stewar – Children’s Song– I liked the use of the season to learn colors.  Also mentions a Christmas tree and decorative lights.

Winter Preschool Song – Wintertime is Here – Littlestorybug  – great pictures.  One is of Santa in a sleigh

Christmas Time! (December song for kids)

Winter songs (but no holiday related lines)

Little Snowflake | Super Simple Songs

I’m a Little Snowman Song for Children – to the tune of “I’m a little teapot”

Children’s song: Winter Winter

 Winter preschool songs – Let’s get dressed! – littlestorybug

5 Little Reindeer (December-themed song for kids)

Nov 252017
 

No worries, we did not go on a hike through the forest on this very popular hunting day. Instead, I said, “Teeth brushed? Good job. Now out we go!”

Kid #1 : “Where are we going, Mom? What are we going to do?”

Kid #2: “Why? I don’t want to go.”

Me: “We are going outside, to the yard, to…play.”

Kid #2 was encouraged a bit more than Kid #1 to go outside. In the end we all got out the door, Kid #2 followed my promoting/example to climb a fallen tree, played for about 10, then disappeared back inside.  Kid #1 would not climb with us, but stayed outside with me for over an hour, walking through brambles, and observing wildlife.

Most exciting moment? When Kid #1 almost stepped on a sleeping opposum.

We then proceeded to look closer at it, talk about why it was there, and discuss if it would live through the night. (Looked as if it had been in a fight.)

While walking around, I realized there were no older cousins in their lives who have challenged them to do things or show them what might be possible. I tried to think of how I used to play with my younger cousins and do similar things. Not sure it hit the mark, but the kids “explored” areas of my parents’ property they had never been in…while staying out of the woods.

Even though we were not in danger, it did feel as if our every move was being followed…

After our fresh air jaunt, we came inside and did what had to be done – cheer our alma mater on as they battled their adversary in a very important game.

Best pre-game show I have seen in a long time.

Nov 222017
 

Addition Help

A story about 9 wanting to be 10 (addition help).  There is more in this lesson, but this short story is a great way to connect the left and right sides of the brain to learn a new fact.  She goes on to talk about 8 “itching to be 10”, and so on.  What a great way to present this method of adding.  My non-apraxic brain automatically sees this, but I was never sure how to frame it in a way that George would get it.

I am not sure how the school has been teaching this, as they never told me, but I do know that the method they were using was not working for him.  Once he understood Touch Point and Adding On, he had trouble learning any of the other methods.  Memorizing doubles has not taken place, so that will be another area I will look for help with.

The video above also gives a visual representation I can use, in a physical form to add in sensory input, to find the answer to a math problem.

Here are the math facts set to music.