Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Pardon the interruption.....

...A horrible cold/cough/sinus thing has been hanging around our house and most specifically with me for the last 3 weeks.  I have lacked motivation or energy to do much blogging.  Add to that the kids are not sleeping well and hubby being gone a few nights, you get the idea right???

I will be back in a week or so to begin Advent and the new year with a plan.  Until then rest assured that I am working on something.  I hope to have some real work done.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.  I will be cooking with my kids this year.  I am thrilled. 

Monday, November 22, 2010

Thanksgiving Menu

Since making the decision to stay home for Thanksgiving we have been discussing what we are going to do to make the day special.  We have a "family feast" every New Year's, so the kids know the drill.  They are expecting turkey, mashed potatoes (and gravy) and cranberries.  My husband likes the canned stuff, so we are getting that too.  I found a recipe for gluten free green bean casserole and my kids love squash.  I want to make some gluten free biscuits (cheesy ones, says Kid #1).  We will have a complete menu together in a few days.  We are also going to get the table decorated and ready.  If I trace one more hand turkey...

Most importantly, we are talking about what we are thankful for, really talking about it.  I think the kids are sometimes surprise at what my husband and I are thankful for at the end of the day.  Things like Kid #1's drawing, having everyone together at the end of the day are really what matter most.  I really want to spend the day together giving thanks, having fun, and cooking and eating together.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Budget Update

We have made a few sacrifices for the sake of the budget since I last updated the budget.  I am still not buying formula (7 more weeks X $20 = $140).  I will soon see a return on the cloth diapering and wipes.  I also sold the small gDiapers on eBay and made a little of the expense back.

 I have also posted some other items on eBay and Craig's List.  My "profit" has been $285.  I have other items listed and continue to go through drawers, closets and plastic totes to find other things we had to have, but now don't use.  I had a love affair with collectible baskets when I had dispensable income and now am slowly listing those on eBay.  I also thought my daughters needed a "playdress" in every color and have sold a few of those (I did save some of those for #4!  They are too cute, but not cheap!)

I have saved $83 in coupons since my last post.  I also have cut back on the number of trips to the grocery store.  We are making due with what we have and avoiding the extra that goes in the cart.  We have opted out on Thai food (a savings of $40) once and have eaten homemade pizza twice (a savings of $35).

The most difficult change was that we cancelled an annual family holiday trip.  The kids were disappointed, but are now looking forward to planning the weekend at home.  The cost of lodging has been inching up over the last couple of years.  We had been spending money on a large buffet dinner, all other meals out, a trip to the Christmas store, quarters for video games and the outlet mall.  When I sat down and did a rough estimate, the cost was around $900!!!!  I couldn't believe it!  The kids know we are on a plan and I promised them we reach our goal - a goal they have helped plan - it will be worth it!!!

Savings since last update: $1483
Savings to date: $5277.93!!!!  I made it to $5,000.  I will keep track through December and then January 1st I will begin a new budget challenge.  Next year $5,000 more.  This will be tougher because I can't count the cable downgrade, vacation cancelling, etc.  What else can I sell on eBay?

Friday, November 12, 2010

This Moment

This is a moment, without words, I want to take time, savor and remember!!  For more visit Soulemama.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Wrapping up the Week

Kid #1 says there are fewer pictures of him, so I am adding one with this post. 

Mom:  I am happy to say I got a few organizational things done this week.  I straightened and organized the front coat closet.  I took inventory and ordered winter boots for #1 and #3 (#2 can wear a pair we already have!).  I also took all the 0-3 month clothes out of the girls' room and replaced them with all the 3-6 months.  I also am beginning to formulate a plan for the Christmas card.  I didn't do one last year and need to get one together soon. 

Kid #1: He spent the beginning of the week preparing for the Space Derby for Cub Scouts.  He is finishing up Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing and was excited to see Sam Bradford on the cover of Clubhouse magazine (From Focus on the Family).  He and my husband went to the state capitol for a field trip.  They also went to a Michigan history Museum.  When they returned, my husband told me he had a new insight about my desire to homeschool full time.  (Hooray!!) 

Kid #2:  We have been doing some tray work.  She is also trying out a wheelchair she can drive herself.  Hopefully, that decision will be made next week.  She is also talking a bit more and pulling herself up to standing everywhere.

Kid #3: She was a bit under the weather this week.  She had a horrible cold and was less than interested in official schooling, so we took a bit of a break.  That is the best part of homeschooling is that we didn't miss a thing!!

Kid #4: She has moved into the next size (as mentioned above) and is staying wake for longer portions of the day.  She smiles so sweetly. 

I am hoping to get a few more things organized this week: the learning room/office, the basement, and the kitchen.  I also hope to get the Christmas Folder together and be closer to figuring out the holidays.  I also want to get the lessons planned through the end of the year. 

I am linking to foreverforalwaysnomatterwhat.com

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Packing a Shoebox

At my son's last Cub Scout meeting a member of a local church came to discuss Operation Christmas Child.  This is a great program where you and your child fill a shoe box with trinkets and toys, wrap it (box and lid separately) and then drop it off at a local drop off center.  The boxes are sent to countries all over the world.  It is the first or only gift a child gets each year.  For a $7 donation along with the box, you can track your box and will know where it goes.  We were told that if we write a letter the child might write back.  We are going to do one box together as a family and the kids might have a fund raiser or two (lemonade stand, or something) to fund raise to fill their own boxes next year.  Go to this website for more information.  We have to have our box filled by November 21, so if you are interested you need to act soon.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Target Practice

Let me first say, weapons make me nervous.  We have always had a "no weapons" policy at our house.  My husband and I feel that guns, knives, bows and arrows are tools and once the kids were old enough he'd teach them how to use them.

Kid #1 was introduced to archery and BB guns in Cub Scouts.  He was hooked! (And my husband was thrilled!) 

Recently on a trip to my parents' house in northern Michigan the kids had the wide open space to shoot target practice.  Everyone got in the act.

I am not sure how many shots hit the target, but it was a wonderful way for the kids to spend a fall afternoon with their dad!