Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Menu Plan Monday (on Tuesday?)

Just be prepared...the next few weeks are going to be complete chaos for me, and there's no telling when I'm going to have time to get my blogging done...hence the reason I am doing Menu Plan Monday on Tuesday.  PS.  I'm typing this really fast, and it's kind of funny that I worry that I seem as though I'm also talking extremely fast....which is a huge pet peeve of mine.  Anxiety abounds.  :)

Here's our Menu...please know that I have something to do every night this week.  It's going to be super busy, so I'm making it super easy on my nerves and taking the easy way out.

Sunday:  Steaks on the Grill, Fresh Corn on Cob, Baked Potatoes

Monday:  Pot Roast with Carrots, Potatoes, Corn

Tuesday:  Meatball Subs

Wednesday:  Chicken Nuggets

Thursday:  Pioneer Woman's Grilled Chicken Salad with Feta and Blueberries

Friday:  Breakfast for Dinner (waffles, bacon, eggs, homemade biscuits - true and legit breakfast, folks!)

Saturday:  Make Your Own Pizzas using Leftovers!

I'm linking up to I'm an Organizing Junkie for Menu Plan Monday - come take a looksie at what everybody else is serving up!  :)

Thursday, July 11, 2013

What I'm Wearing

I realize this is a day late - but better late than never, right?  Yesterday I was out of town for work training and barely got back in time for church last night.  I was whooped by the time I finally got home. 

So here's a peak at what I've been wearing this week (or at least very similar). I went ahead and posted what I've worn all week and what I'll be wearing tomorrow.  Tomorrow (Friday) will be ultra casual because I'm taking off at noon to drive to Fayetteville to help my daughter move into her apartment.  It's a long drive, and I want to be comfortable.  We'll be staying the weekend, so I'm bringing along a tote bag.


Navy & Sunshine Yellow


K-Mart Smart? Budget Work Wear


Comfy Casual


Zebra and Turquoise


Starting the Weekend Early


How do you dress for a weekend away? 

Monday, July 8, 2013

Menu Plan Monday - July 8

July is going to be an incredibly busy month for me.  I'm directing my church's VBS this year for the first time ever (gasp!), I'm horribly busy at work, we're moving my oldest daughter into her first apartment in Fayetteville, AR (about 6 hours from here), my middle daughter will be leaving for church camp (which means sooo much laundry before and after camp), and to top it all off, it's my month to host the monthly Pinterest Party group I founded (more on that later). 

Whew - I'm tired just typing all that! 

By the way...if you've never directed a VBS before....it takes a lot of planning...and hours and hours of meetings...and organization.  Which is why I'm so glad I found I'm an Organizing Junkie...without it, I wouldn't be the well-prepared super-mom I am today (haha...super-mom indeed. NOT!) 

Anyway...back to the menus!  We're eating easy this week.  By easy, I mean I'm cutting myself some slack, and my children will be eating chicken nuggets one night.  And you know what....shh....don't tell anybody this....I really, truly, honestly....don't. care. one. bit.  I'm a horrible mother, I know.  Hey, at least I'll throw some veggies in there to make it a little better!  :) 

Here we go: 

Saturday:  Sloppy Joes, Fries

Sunday:  (church night) Pioneer Woman 's Grilled Chicken Salad with Feta, Fresh Corn, & Blueberries (I'm testing out this recipe to use for my Pinterest Party on the 18th!)

Monday:  International Invasion:  Mexican Lasagna, French Bread, Salad with Italian Dressing

Tuesday:  (Meeting at Church)  Chicken Nuggets, Corn on Cob, Green Beans

Wednesday:  (church night)  Ham Steaks with Peach Salsa, Grilled Squash/Zucchini

Thursday:  Chicken Parmesan, Roasted Red Potatoes, French Bread with garlic, 3 cheeses, and olives

Friday:  (Leaving for Fayetteville!)  Probably Eating Out

I'm linking up to I'm an Organizing Junkie's Menu Plan Monday linky party.  Come join us! 

Friday, July 5, 2013

Frugal Friday Refashion

Disclaimer:  I've said it before, and I'll say it again:  I'm not a photographer.  I tried this time, though!  I really did!  I got out the "good camera," even!  I don't know...jeezz...I have no camera talent at all.  Sorry!

A couple of years ago, a family friend gave us a huge box full of clothes that their daughter had outgrown.  Hand me downs!  SCORE!!  Now, these clothes were a LOT more expensive than I typically ever buy for my own kids.  And a few of the pieces didn't really suit my middle daughter's tastes...she's more of a t-shirt and jeans type. 

So...I put them back in the box, hid them away with the intention of pulling them out one day for Lindsay (the youngest), and we waited.

...and waited...

and we're still waiting.

But occasionally I'll get that box out of the closet and go through it; hoping that I'll finally be able to find something that fits her.  NopeNada.  But when I pulled this little skirt out of the bottom of the box, I knew it would be a perfect re-fashion project! 

I didn't take a before picture, but really and truly - there wouldn't be much to it.  You see, I didn't sew a darn thing on this dress.  I didn't cut it, hem it, or otherwise alter this skirt in any way.  It had a simple draw string sewn into the front half of the skirt, and the back was elastic. 

I simply cinched it up around Lindsay's chest, tied a knot, and then tied it around her neck in a halter-style.

I think it turned out darling!  :) 



I think this is just about as frugal as it gets, folks, so I'm linking up to the Frugal Friday linky party over at The Shabby Nest!  Stop by and share your Frugality with us!   :) 

Life Lessons

Today's Life Lesson was Sewing.  I have the day off (whoop! whoop!), and decided to get busy on some sewing projects that I'd been wanting to start for a while.  I'll save those for another post, but as I was sewing, it hit me that this was a teachable moment! 

Addie already knows how to sew pretty well - she's made blankets and clothes for her dolls, and even a teddy bear!  But Lindsay has always been just a little too little...ya know?  Maybe I just wasn't ready for her to grow up enough to learn.  That sounds horrible, I know.  But it's probably at least a little true.  :( 

Anyway, I looked up from my machine to see Lindsay watching TV, so I invited her over.  Her eyes lit up, and I knew we were about to have a good time!  She loves to sew!!  Yay!! 

I gave her a piece of paper for her first lesson....her assignment was to sew straight lines by keeping her needle in the middle of the "road" (the lines on the paper really helped her visualize that.)

 Look at those straight lines!!!  Her next lesson will be to sew around basic shapes, and then I may even give her a very basic coloring sheet to sew around...not sure yet. 

Hope everyone has a great weekend! 

PS...if anyone has any ideas on fun sewing projects for kids, I'd love to hear about them! 

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Quick Tip for Staying Cool and Smelling Sweet...Despite the Heat

Happy 4th of July!  It is so hot out there today!  We've spent the majority of our time by the pool today.  The hubby was off work so we all slathered up with a gallon of sun-screen (ok, maybe I'm exaggerating slightly) and jumped in!  I love summer because our family always makes a point to spend time together outside by the pool, being goofy & enjoying each other.  Fall will come soon, and we will spend our time together watching football games on the ginormous flat screen that my husband bought for our family room.  And while I do love that (I'm a football freak), I just love how we spend our summers!  Wouldn't trade it for the world!

Here's how I keep my family cool in this Texas heat:  It's so simple, I'm almost ashamed to devote an entire post to it. 

Get your favorite body spray (I love all the philosophy scents; my favorite is Unconditional Love, but I can't seem to find it in the body spritz version anymore. ).  And here's the trick....

Stick it in the fridge! 

When you come in from a hot day, you just grab it out of the fridge and spray it on, and it instantly cools and refreshes you!  We have a small fridge in our pool house, so I always keep a bottle in there and also in the house.  I've been thinking of trying to find a body spray that has some SPF in it...I don't even know if they make that, but I think it would be a good alternative if you're going to be in direct sun. 

Anyway...Hope everyone stays cool and has a safe 4th of July!  Leave me a comment and let me know how you stay cool during the summer.  Does anyone know of a body spray with SPF?? 


Wednesday, July 3, 2013

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What I'm Wearing - Budget Friendly Mom Clothes

I had a lot of fun with last week's What I'm Wearing post, so I thought I'd do it again this week.  My office will be closed on the 4th and the 5th of July this year (hooray for a short work week and lonnng weekend!)

This week I'm sharing 3 outfits that I wore to work...again it's very casual there except when I have court. 

Here was Monday's outfit...

Summer Business VERY Casual

And Tuesday.... (I realize this was a little fall-like, but I try to use everything year-round if I can.)
Summer at Work

And Wednesday....(ready for my weekend!)  My dress is shorter (right below the knee)- but this one is very close.  I found mine at Wal-Mart, oddly enough...same colors, and only $15!  I put a white bandeau top under mine for work so I'd feel more covered.

Budget Casual

I'm linking up to Style Elixir 's Weekly Fashion Link Up and to Works for Me Wednesday, hosted by We are THAT Family.  Hope everyone enjoys their Independence Day celebrations!  Have a fun and safe holiday! 


Monday, July 1, 2013

Menu Plan Monday ~ July 1

Welcome to this week's installment of Menu Plan Monday, hosted by I'm an Organizing Junkie.  She's hosting a Give-away this week:  the lucky winner will win this A Taste of Home magazine with all sorts of yummy looking recipes in it, so link up your menu plan and get entered. 

summer slow cooker meals

I mentioned in an earlier post that I've lost a few pounds recently.  Actually, I've lost 89 lbs.  I've been eating a low carb/high protein diet, walking like a mad woman, and working full time has limited my access to Little Debbie Snacks. Oh - and I got a lap-band a few years ago.  I had some allergies and sinus drainage that got "stuck" in my band a couple of years ago, forcing me to have most of my fluid taken out.  Weight loss was slow going ever since then, and because I was a little ashamed of gaining weight, I never went back in for a fresh fill.  So I've been operating on empty for about 2 years.  The good news is that I didn't gain all of my weight back, just a few pounds (about 10).  The bad news is that I didn't lose any more either. 

Well, a couple of months ago, the Hubby and I decided to get back with the program and now we're doing really well with the low-carb/high protein thing.  He went cold turkey (losing about 20 lbs. the first month!) I have to ease into it.  I have done away with most sweets and breads (I do allow myself an occasional treat).  And I've lost about 15 more lbs. (included in my 89 total lbs. lost).

Anyway, a couple of my girlfriends and I walk every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at a cute little park-like track at our local college.  So on those nights, I'm using my crockpot - it's so much easier to already have dinner ready when I get home.  I'm usually hot and sweaty and it just makes it easier for me (and probably more appetizing for my family).  Another plus is that I don't have to get hotter by heating up my kitchen. 

Here's what's on the menu board this week:

Sunday - Fried Chicken (no skin/crust for Hubby and me)
MondayCrockpot Rootbeer Pulled Pork (made with very little BBQ sauce, and diet root beer)
                 In lieu of buns, we put ours on carb-balance tortillas with some sour cream. DIVINE!)

Tuesday:  Spaghetti / Lasagna Peppers

Wednesday Crockpot Italian Chicken, Salad

Thursday:  Burgers/Dogs/Brats on the Grill (I REALLY want to try this Oopsie Bread recipe for "buns"!!!)  Found it on Baby Granny's Chronicles via Pinterest, and I really can't wait to try it!  I'll let you know how it goes!

Friday:  Pizza / Low Carb Crust Pizza for Us

Saturday:  Leftovers

That's about it for us this week, food-wise.  Hope everyone enjoys their week! 



Friday, June 28, 2013

Life Lessons and Chore Chart- Week of June 24-28, 2013

This week, Trey decided to spend some time at his grandparent's home.  They are building a cabin on the lake and have quite a bit of work to do, so Trey offered to go help out with whatever they needed.  Turns out a 13 year old boy is pretty handy to have around!  :) 

I've started the girls on a mini-unit on Independence Day.  I'm trying to get the point across that we celebrate Independence Day, and it's more than just the 4th of July... it's not just about hot dogs and fireworks! 

I set them up with various materials to work on during the day, and then I go over it all with them at night.  Fireworks will be part of the ending celebration, but they will also know why we are celebrating in the first place. 

I've found a few different resources that I'm using online, but I'm also using some of the homeschool materials to work from.  Nothing too stringent...this is fun learning time.  I'm stressing the importance of history...of voting...of exercising our right to free speech...of standing up for what you believe in.

First I went onto YouTube and found the Liberty's Kids show (#13) that deals with the first fourth of July. 

I also printed out some coloring pages for Lindsay to work on (she loves to color!).  You can find some here.

We're also planning on doing the Mentos in the Diet Coke experiment tomorrow.  I know I said Independence Day isn't about the fireworks, but it is part of our tradition of celebration, and I thought this would be a fun way to get them excited about the real fireworks we will be also watching this weekend.  (See?  I don't spoil all the fun!)

Anyway....That's about it for the life lessons this week.  Unless you count the new chore lists that I made for them.  I'll post mine below, but I want you to try my best to back track the history of this chart.  I saw a cleaning list on Pinterest.  I followed that link to this blog:  Tips and Pix.   When I read through there, I found that she had adapted that list from idea she found on THIS blog:  Kalanicut, who had adapted it from THIS blog:  Little Green Notebook, who originally got the idea from her friend who is a mom of boys, who thankfully doesn't have a blog (that I know of anyway...lol...I was tired of copying links.)
So this list has been around the block a few times.  I adapted it so that all my kiddos would have chores to do this summer.  I tried to work it so that each of the kiddos have ample free time, but not so much that they do nothing but sit around eating and playing video games all day.  As you'll see, Mom does her fair share of chores as well....most nights I do waaayyyy more than what's on the list.  I basically just put myself on there so that they would see that I am also holding myself accountable and "pulling my own weight" so to speak.  Here's my list: 

Yes, I color-code EVERYTHING.  I have a problem, I realize this.  Hope everybody has a great weekend! 


Wednesday, June 26, 2013

What I'm Wearing

So I've lost a few pounds recently, and that's gotten me thinking more and more about fashion.  As you may know, I'm no longer a stay-at-home mom, which means that my typical wardrobe of buffet britches and t-shirts will no longer suffice.  I am a legal advocate and do need to dress professionally for court a couple of times a month, but for the most part, my office is pretty casual.  We can wear pretty much anything besides jeans with tears/holes and t-shirts....and I've even gotten by with a plain white tee dressed up with scarves, etc. before.  I figure if the boss lady tells me how nice I look, I'm good.

I've decided to start trying to post some of the outfits I've been wearing lately.  A little disclaimer...I can not afford expensive clothes.  I have 4 children (one of whom is in college), and I work for a non-profit.  That alone should shed some light on just how skim my clothing budget is.  :)  So most of my posts will feature things that are extremely budget conscious.  For instance...this entire outfit was less than $80.  If you leave out the bag, it was only about $42!  I used a comparable bag on the polyvore site, because I have no idea where I got mine, but I know it was less than $40.  :)  It's pretty similar to the one listed here though.  :)

(P.S.  I'm doing this via my polyvore boards because I'm not brave enough for cameras just yet.  We'll see how it goes...maybe one day!)

Monday, June 24, 2013

Menu Plan Monday - June 24 - 29, 2013


It has been a terribly busy summer.  Silly me, I thought that since school was out, we would have more time to get things done.  I had dreams of coming home to find that my wonderful children had done their chores and had cleaned their rooms and would be ready for evenings of lounging by the pool, eating smores and catching lightning bugs.  Bahahahahahaaaaa.....funny.  I really crack myself up sometimes.

Our summer so far has consisted of my children wasting their entire day on video games and snacking on junk food.  I come home to a messy house, and end up yelling and screaming about how unfair it all is that I have to work all day and come home to a pig sty (yes I said it...and sounded just like my mother).  I think I even accused one of them of being raised in a barn.

Enter Super Mom to the rescue.  I occasionally get into these fits of cape-wearing, swiffer-wielding Mom rage, where I vow to rescue my children from the error of their ways.  First, was the vow to continue teaching them from home (which I am still trying to do, albeit not near as often as I'd like - but we DO have learning moments, and I take full advantage of every learning opportunity that presents itself).  And now, I will add to that vow....Menu Planning (to save my children from some sort of Junk Food induced coma by the end of summer), and Chore Lists (which I will get to in a later post, I promise).  I'll let you know how it goes...

I used to do the Menu Plan Monday over on I'm an Organizing Junkie, but I fell off the wagon....not in planning, but in posting about it.  I've always been a menu planner.  I enjoy it...really.  What I need to fix is the constant supply of Little Debbie's and Hostess products that seem to find their way into my pantry week after week.  I've become a lazy planner and thus a lazy shopper, and I realize that I need to get a handle on it.

My husband and I have been following a Low Carb diet - trying to lose a few pounds ya know.  But I realize that my kids don't need to be on that sort of restriction, so I usually fix stuff for them, and stuff for us.  Here's how our dinner menu looks this week:

Bacon Wrapped Chicken with Spinach, Cheese, & Mushrooms.  (The kids will eat this, so I only have to cook once!  Hooray!)
Turkey Tacos for the kiddos / Taco Salads for Hubby and Me
Homemade Guacamole and Oven Baked Pita Chips
Almond Parmesan Crusted Tilapia (Hubby and Me) from Peace, Love, Low Carb. For Kids, Chicken Strips, Mac n Cheese, Green Beans.
Chef Salad and Baked Potato Bar (hubby and I usually eat a small potato or ½ of a medium one – IF we have the carbs to spare.  J 
Pizza & a Movie Night (we’re watching ParaNorman).  Hubby and I will have these Pepperoni Pizza Stuffed Peppers (also from Peace, Love, Low Carb – can you tell I love this blog?)
We’ll either grill out or have leftovers… whichever!  J 

Hope everyone has a great week!!  With our new menus and chore lists, I'm sure our bellies will be filled with good things, our rooms will be cleaned, and we'll have time left over to lounge by the pool and catch those ever elusive lightning bugs!  :)

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

This morning, I woke up and it took everything I had to let my kids go to school.  Not because I think the school isn't safe or the teachers can't take care of them.  It's just that when something so catastrophic happens like what happened in Oklahoma yesterday, I feel an overwhelming need to spend as much time with my kids as I can.  As in giving thanks to God for allowing me to have them one more day. I experienced a very similar feeling after the Newtown shootings.  I was physically ill over that one.  I can't imagine what all those parents must be going through.  Don't even want to.  I just can't deal. 

Anyway....this is what we've been doing.  I was very sick with a stomach virus for a good week, and then we've been so busy with end-of-the-school-year projects and "stuff" that we haven't done a whole lot of lessons after school.  But we have been spending a lot of family time together. 

For instance... my nephew graduated high school!  He's attending the same small-town school that I attended.  It was bittersweet to go back after all these years.  I go home often, but I usually just go to my mom's house or around town.  I have only been up to the school a handful of times....usually for an occasional football game.  But this time, we got to see the inside of the school for the first time in almost 20 years.  It's sad how money runs out, buildings get older, and some folks lose their pride in their town and school.  But I was soooo very proud of my nephew, Daniel.  He has worked so hard and I was filled with pride as he received his diploma. 

Small town graduation.  The funny thing is that Daniel had more people in his graduating class than I did!  :)  
Loo and our Graduate! 

In other exciting news..... we have 2 award-winning musicians in our home!  This week, Trey and Addie were asked to participate for their school in a solo contest at a neighboring school.  They each received a medal and the highest score possible in the contest.   So proud of my little musicians! 

Addie with her medal for playing the flute.

Trey with his medal for playing the trumpet (sorry for the poor picture quality - I'm the worst photographer ever, I know.)
So there you have it - our month of May in a nutshell thus far.  We will spend the rest of the month finishing up at school, attending awards ceremonies and class parties.  They get out of school June 7, so I need to start planning some lessons for the summer.  I'm also co-directing VBS this summer, so they will be learning and helping quite a bit with that. 
Hopefully, I can keep up with my posts and continue to update.  For now, I'm going to go snuggle-buggle with my sweet babies.  Hope you all do the same.  Blessings...

Stomach Bug

In the wise words of my grandmother, Good Land of the Living, that was a bugger!  It has been a few days since my last post, and there's a real good reason for that.  I almost died.  The stomach virus hit me, and I thought I was going to die.  Fever, chills, muscle and body aches, and well, you can guess the rest of the symptoms.  It was atrocious.  I've never experienced pain quite like it.  My hair hurt....the hair on my LEGS even hurt.  Seriously - I had to shave them and everything.  Have you ever tried to shave your legs and vomit at the same time?  TMI, I know...sorry.

Anyway...all is well (at least for the most part).  I am still weak and hungry.  Of course, I did lose 5 lbs in 2 days (I admit I did a little happy dance on my way from the scale to the toilet.)  

Friday, April 26, 2013

Pink Moon?

So I heard there was supposed to be a pink moon the other night. Having no more information than an obviously photoshopped picture that I saw on Facebook, of all places, we all went outside to try to see it. But we have a lot of mature trees in our area, and we couldn't get a very good view. So we set out in our PJs and flip flops, and got in the car to go find this Pink Moon.

This is what we saw ...

I'm sure that if we had been able to view it at an earlier time, it would have been more spectacular.  We drove for a while, found an empty field, and pulled in. Thankfully, we weren't met by an angry landowner. Not quite pink, but beautiful nonetheless. We will spend the rest of the week and weekend researching this pink moon phenomenon.

Score another one for our little "not exactly" homeschool! :)


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Meteor Shower Watch Party

Last night was supposed to be the best night to view Lyrrid's Meteor Shower.  So the kids and I loaded up a blanket, Trey's telescope, and some lawn chairs and sat in our driveway in hopes of seeing some truly spectacular sight.  We saw 2.  lol...

Forgive my photo quality - as I've said before, I'm NOT a photographer by any stretch of the imagination, and my iPhone doesn't really cooperate when I try to tell it otherwise.

We may not have seen the spectacular show that we were expecting, but we did have a good time trying!
Lindsay was super excited at the prospect of staying up a little past her bedtime and being outside at that time of night is a little magical to any child.

Trey searched and searched for more meteors, but they just didn't come.  Maybe we'll go out again tonight...He worked so hard to get it set up just right.  It would almost be unfair to not get to see anything!

The shower is supposed be going on through Friday night, so if you have any youngsters (or oldsters) who are interested, go look in the northeastern part of the sky and see if you can find one or two.  :)

Learning about Money

Please forgive the horrid condition my bed is in - I swear I made it that morning, but something happened after 3 kiddos and 1 tired mommy got home from school/work and needed some cuddle time.  :)

Friday's Life Lesson mainly involved Lulu...I know they've already introduced the concept of money in school, and she knows how to count bills and change.  However, I can't help but see a need for improvement when it comes to understanding the concept of budgeting and saving.  For some reason, my children hate to save their money.  I have tried everything I know to do.  They just don't get it.  I know I sound like my mother - "Money doesn't grow on trees!"

In an effort to begin learning how to budget, I began with the little one.  Last week, I started introducing her to a time/money kit that I bought when we were homeschooling.  It has the standard play money/coins, but it also has a dry erase marker and board, as well as a clock with movable hands.

We're going to start with the basics.  Just getting used to counting our money.  Then I'm going to start taking some of the money away to "pay" for things like dinner, groceries, etc.  When she sees that money is disappearing, I'm going to introduce a checkbook style system so that she can learn to keep track of where her money is going.  Not sure if this will help matters or not, but I thought it was worth a shot.  I plan to do this over the next several months - nothing too grueling.  I'm being sneaky about it - we're learning by playing.  :)  My hope is to involve the older kids as well - but I have to be sneaky about that as well.  As much as they like to think they are all grown up and beyond the "baby toys"....I see the way they eyeball that play money!!  We're one game of "Store" away from a full fledged learning experience!!  :)

Hope everyone has a great week!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Baking Cookies!

Today Loo had a dentist appointment that left her mouth very sore. I took her for a milkshake afterwards, but by the time dinner rolled around, the numbness was starting to wear off. So to take her mind off of it, I suggested that we bake some cookies. Chocolate fixes everything, right?? Her dentist probably wouldn't agree with that assessment.  But we got a good lesson in measurements, and it cheered her up to help Mommy in the kitchen, so what the heck, right?

Anyway, halfway through the cookie making process, Lindsay was in excruciating pain. I felt so bad for her - I hate to see her hurt like that. It just breaks my heart.

I went flying to Target to retrieve all the Orajel they have in stock, and I heard the funniest conversation going on over on the next aisle between a man on his cell phone and a person whom I can only assume was his wife:

"Tampons AND hemorrhoid cream? Seriously? What are you DOING to me??!"

Bahahahaaa!! Poor guy!!

It took all I had to keep my composure - of course I couldn't stand not to peek around the corner (acting like I was looking for heartburn medication of course). He was in his 40's and ha an extremely red face. Haha!! Anyway, I collected my toothache medication and sped home only to find my sweet angel-baby asleep. She's feeling MUCH better this morning, Praise the Lord!   She was a little sad that she didn't get any cookies last night, so I snuck (that's how we say "sneaked" in Texas) an extra one in her lunchbox while she wasn't looking.  That ought to make her smile.  :)

If the sun is still shining after work/school, I think we'll go do a little nature walk and enjoy spring!  :)

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

What I Want to Avoid...

Yesterday I mentioned that I see differences in my kids since they started public school. They're small differences so far, and I suppose that a lot of parents would even consider this to be normal, but they bother me nonetheless.

Here's what I'm talking about:

As you can see, Lindsay is now a TV Zombie, and Addie has an iPod super-glued to her hand. (As you can also see, I'm NOT a photographer - or a housekeeper evidently.)  It drives me crazy! TV, Xbox, and YouTube have taken over our home, and it's spreading like an infectious disease. Trey couldn't even be captured on film because he was barricaded in his room with some awful video game that he plays online with his friends from school - some sort of military game. He is super serious about it - he has headphones and other "gear". ::Sigh:: I'm not sure how this even started.

Well never fear - MOM is here! I'm going to start working on my lessons for different Life and Social Skills, and we're going to work! I hope they love it as much as the iPod! :).  The good news is that at least Trey still loves to read as much as ever - and often times will choose a book over the xbox, so all is not completely lost.  There's hope!!  Hooray!!

Hope everyone has a blessed day!!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

How My Life Has Changed in 2 Years...

2 Years since my last post.  That's really sad....for a number of reasons.  Mostly, because we are no longer homeschooling, and as I look back on this blog (and my previous blog, www.angelbugbaby.blogspot.com), and reminisce of a time when life was slower and I got to enjoy my babies all day every day, I can't help but be ashamed of myself for being "too busy" to chronicle the last 2 years here.  I guess I took it for granted that I would always have the option to homeschool my kids, and that the only reason we would ever stop would be if the kids themselves asked to go back.

Things have changed...a lot.  All of my kids are now back in public school, and while they are excelling at it and making straight A's, I see changes in them, their personalities, their spirits.  I hate it.  But the fact is that life happens.  The economy took a nose dive, and when your husband works in retail, that's not a good thing.  We went from living comfortably to living paycheck to paycheck.  I started couponing, babysitting, mending clothes instead of buying new, shopping at Walmart instead of the mall...you name it, I tried it.

So when it became clear that a full-time job was the only option, I cried.  For weeks.  Truth be told, I still do.  But we're going to be ok.  I'm trusting that God has a plan for us.  I have faith.  I do love my new job.  I am back to working in the field of Domestic Violence, although not at the police department as I was before.   I am now a legal advocate at a local non-profit agency.  I worked very closely with this office at my previous job, and so I already knew a lot of people.

The only opening they had at first was in Atlanta, TX - about 40 minutes or so from my house.  I started in August, and by the end of February, I was moved to the local office in town...which I love.  I love my boss, I love the folks I work with....but my heart is still at home.  I've come to terms with it - I'm here for the long haul, and I made a commitment to do a good job.  I'm helping battered women, and I feel like my work is important.  I am so thankful for that.  Otherwise, I'm not sure that I could get up every morning and send my kids off on that big yellow bus.

I have to admit that I was a little nervous about their placement tests for public school.  I knew we were doing grade level work, but I was worried that we were doing different things at different times.  The good news is that my worries were for nothing - they all passed their placement tests with flying colors.  Their teachers are constantly bragging on them - they are usually the only kids that raise their hands with the right answers, and actually participate in class.  Trey loves the library and the various elective classes like photography and video, business venture classes, and athletics.  Addie loves band and all the friends she's made.  Lindsay loves her teacher (we were so lucky), and the science and computer labs, and PE.

I really just wish I had done a better job of chronicling our last 2 years.  I did put quite a bit of stuff on facebook, but I wish I had some way of going back and laying eyes on specific lessons, and fun times that we had during school hours.  I wish I had prepared them better for the possibility of reentering public school.  I always told them it would be their choice.  This wasn't their choice, and they felt a little blind-sided.

But this is what I've decided to do.  Just because we're in school and at work all day, doesn't mean we can't do little mini-lessons at home.  I am going to do a better job of spending our time together being productive as a family.  I don't mean chores or constantly running around.  I simply mean teaching them life skills.  Schools don't do that.  Schools don't teach them manners.  So I am going to step up my game.  From here on, you will see posts relating to Homeschooling the Public Schooled Child.  They may learn Math and English at a public school, but Mom is going to continue the lessons at home.

Stay tuned... :)  Hope everyone has a blessed week...