Friday, September 24, 2010

Our path of Frugality

In May 2009 my husband lost his job.  (Like so many others.)  He was layed off from a job that he loved.  A job that he was very good at and one that looked to be promising; career-wise.  It was a real blow to us.  So unexpected.

We immediately put our house up for sale.  (We had moved there specifically for the job.)  We started purging and had a yard sale.  We started scouring the Internet for jobs.  It was a tight market and a difficult time.  

God blessed us with our house selling within a little over 3 months.  It was truly God.  We lived  in the middle of rural Kentucky with about 7 houses for sale in a two mile stretch.  We also got a fair price!

We had no job to go to at this time.  We put most things in storage and some stuff  with our parents.  Meanwhile my husband continued to look for a job.  He had an interview in Kansas and one in North Carolina.  He was blessed with the job in North Carolina.  That is the short, very condensed story of how we ended up here.

We are living on less money and still recovering from moving expenses among other things.  Needless to say, we try to cut corners on things and live more frugally than ever before.  I have always used coupons and tried to be frugal but now it is more necessary.  

We have learned so much during this time.  We've grown closer as a family.  We better appreciate the things we have.  We've tried to teach our kids to be thankful for what we have and the blessings that God has given us. 

I play the coupon game at CVS, Walgreens and Target.  I love Aldi and it is only 2 miles from my house! I have stocked up on some nice little surprises for my kids and saved us quite a bit of money.  It does take time and sometimes I don't do all that great and other times I hit a home run!  It all helps though.  I am learning daily to be a better steward of the things God has blessed my family with.

Below are some of my favorite saving money sites:






Hope you enjoy these.  Do you have any money saving sites to share?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Some of our favorite curriculum

I recently had a friend ask what some of our favorite curriculum has been.  She is starting a folder for future ideas.  So I thought I'd share with her and you at the same time!

  • Explode the Code - these books are great for teaching phonics.  They are also inexpensive!
  • Apologia-  My oldest daughter has used Apologia since 7th grade and although challenging,  it is very thorough and well-planned.  We love the creation view and how evolution is also presented as a theory.
  • Considering God's Creation-  I used this book over a 2 year period with Samuel and SarahAnne.  It is across between lapbooks and unit studies.  They enjoyed it.  We stretched it out to cover some topics more in depth.
  • My Father's World-  Although we are still new at using this curriculum, I must say I do like it a lot already.  We are using Exploring Countries and Cultures and have already gained so much geography knowledge.  We also like having the Bible all planned out and the mission emphasis.
  • Latina Christiana-  Emily has used this for a couple of years now and has really loved this.  It is below her grade level, but she had no prior Latin.  She has pretty much done this independently.  She will soon progress to the next level and wants to add Greek.  So it must have been inspiring as well.
  • Wordly Wise-  Emily only used this one year, but I really liked the vocabulary building!
  • Teaching Textbooks-  Again, another new one to us this year.  Emily is using the Geometry curriculum and is really liking it.  She is again pretty independent at this.
  • Notgrass History- This is another new one for us this year.  We examined this at the Mid-West  Homeschool Convention and we were impressed right away.  Excellent!  This is very well researched and  written.  It also includes English and Bible credits as well as world history.
  • All About Spelling-  We are using this one also for the first time.  We have a struggling speller and  I can already see some progress!  I pray this continues.  I have high hope for this based on reviews.
  • Library-  We have such a big personal pile of books (Don't we all?)  that we use for school.  We also scour the public library for books, cds, dvds.  Some libraries have teacher kits that you can check out with tons of books and resources.  (We used one in the spring on the human body with skeletons that worked like a puzzle.)
  • Usborne books.  Great quality books.  We also like DK books.
I have used Abeka, Bob Jones, Math U See, and many other curriculum.  I am probably leaving out some that I really liked.  (There are so many!!)  I choose not to speak badly about the ones I did not like.  They just didn't work for us, but may for some!  I am sure that our list will continue to change.  This is one of the perks of homeschooling, our kids are not bound to continue with something that does not work for them.

Some great Homeschool Websites:

  • The Homeschool Lounge-I can not tell you how I love this place.  If you have a question, a concern, a prayer request or just need to talk with another mom, then this is the place! 
  • Homeschool Share- tons of resources from other homeschool moms that share!  Unit studies, lapbooks, etc.
  • Free Homeschooling 101-  nice site that list all kinds of free websites.
  • Spelling City- my kids love to play these games with their spelling words.  It is FREE!
  • Star Fall- great phonics games for little ones.  FREE.

Again, this list is not complete.  I have lots more on my favorites file.  These are just a few.  Maybe some will be new to you!  Do you have any sites that you love too?

Monday, September 20, 2010

A full weekend

This past weekend was full!  On Saturday, we attended the Oceania Naval Air Show in Virginia Beach.  It was awesome.  The power of the jets, the knowledge and skill of the pilots, and the history of planes made it a great outing.  We were surrounded by military and military history.  It was good exposure for us and our kids.

I kept thinking throughout the day of a friend of ours that gave his life for our country just 2 short months ago.  He was just a couple of weeks shy of turning 24.  He was killed in Afghanistan.  I hope I never take for granted the freedom we have in this country and all of the blessings God gives us daily.

Sunday was Emily's birthday.  She had spent the weekend with her aunt and uncle and Matt picked her up late Sunday morning.  We had a birthday celebration Sunday afternoon.  We were all tired from the road trips, so we enjoyed some football on TV.

Today we had a slow start, and some whiny attitudes.  We all have those days.  Our day did get much better.  We finished school with a celery experiment and crafts and reading!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

My Sweet Emily

Today, I am blessed to celebrate 15 years of knowing, loving and caring for my daughter Emily!
I truly have one of the most mature and sweetest girls whom I am very proud to call mine.  These are some of the things I love about her:
  1.  She loves Greek and Latin. 
  2.  She enjoys cooking!  (Which I must say, I enjoy!) 
  3. She makes coffee almost every morning. 
  4. She listens to a wide variety of music from classical to bluegrass and including rap and contemporary Christian. 
  5.  She would love to travel to Europe.  She especially would love a trip to Greece. 
  6.  She is a huge C.S. Lewis fan.
  7.   Emily has for years been in love with sea turtles.  We have enjoyed watching her light up at aquariums when she would spot a turtle! 
  8. She helps me in so many ways:  with her brother and sister, with cooking, and with chores.
  9. Emily has a talent for beading.  She has made quite a number of bracelets, earrings and necklaces that are very nice.
  10. She LOVES the beach.  She is happy just to sit and watch the waves roll in or to play in them.
  11. Emily is organized.  She plans her lessons for school.  She is keeping track of most everything this year!  (YEAH, for me!)  She has calendars, planners and she has it all together!  (She does a great job of this!)
  12. She plays the violin. (and a little piano.)
  13. She is a good friend to her friends.
She is my sweet Emily, she is my daughter and she is my friend too!   I know, I've read those books and articles that say we are not to try to be friends with our children.  I will say to them, that I am the parent, but at some point that starts to change when our children talk with us and laugh with us and share with us.  We have long talks and share laughs and that to me is friendship! 

All of these things make up who my daughter Emily is, but the list is not complete. She does have some faults, we all do, but I am focusing on the good things today! She is still growing and changing.  She is still experiencing life.  My dream for her is that she is grounded in her beliefs and that she always knows that her mom and dad love and support her!   I want her to travel and to see the world that God has made.  I want her to have great strong friendships.  I pray that she has a wonderful and loving family of her own one day. I want her to be all that God wants her to be.
My prayer is that God will lead her and guide her as she grows.  I  pray that He protects her.  I believe that He has great plans for her!  Matthew 6:33

Friday, September 17, 2010

Our week

This week was planned.  I had everything ready!  My workboxes were planned, all of our group work ready, our calendar was filled, but then a little stomach bug came to visit on Tuesday night and I have just felt awful.

Monday and Tuesday went pretty well.  We started our journey to Canada.  We visited the library on Tuesday after the girls had homeschool group Bible study.  At the library we attended a presentation from the North Carolina Museum of Science on Reptiles and Amphibians.

On Wednesday, however it was slow going for me.  Thankfully,  the workboxes were easily ready.  The kids did them and had a pretty relaxed afternoon.  Matt took them to Awanas that night.

Thursday morning was a little better.  I felt so much better.  We accomplished a little more school  (although, not everything), ran errands and had a pretty good day.  The kids played with friends in the afternoon. 

Friday (today), I had an early morning Dr. appointment.  We had a light day of school only getting the basics. Although we did not accomplish everything I had planned, it wasn't a total loss.  The kids stayed pretty busy this week. I must say that the workboxes helped and having the plan finished to work from. 

Sunday, is Emily's 15th birthday (I can not believe it!).  She is going to visit my brother and his wife for the weekend.  They are taking her to a concert Saturday.  She will have an awesome time.  We will pick her up Sunday.

The rest of us are going to Virginia Beach to the Oceania Naval Air Show on Saturday. It is a big air show that Matt has been wanting to go to forever.  We are only about 3 hours away, so this year we are going.  He and Samuel are so excited.  I am looking forward to it also.  When we first were married we went to a couple of smaller air shows and I really enjoyed them.  SarahAnne is not so excited.  She just can't imagine how it will be fun.  I think she will be surprised.  We will see.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

My First Blog Award!  Thank you so much Lynda for givng this award to me.  I am so new at this and it was very unexpected. I am excited and hope that my blog will enable me to share some of our life stories and encourage others in the journey along Wildflower Paths. Please visit Lynda's very nice blog (My Heart's Desire) at http://lynishiskid.blogspot.com/.  Thank you again Lynda for this encouragement to me!

The Rules for accepting the Award are:
1. Accept the award! Post it on your blog with the name of the person who has granted the award, and his or her blog link.

2. Pay it forward to 15 other bloggers that you have newly discovered.

3. Contact those blog owners, and let them know they've been chosen.

So, I am passing this award on to the following great blogs: (in no particular order)

  1. Teresa-  Life with the Matz'  http://lifewith5monkeys.blogspot.com/
  2. Kimberly-  Raising Olives   http://raisingolives.com/
  3. The Adventurer-   http://lifesadventures-amb.blogspot.com/
  4. Joyce -   Joyful Creations 2 Honor Him     http://joyfulcreations2.blogspot.com/
  5. Monica-  Discover Their Gifts     http://discovertheirgifts.blogspot.com/
  6. Mrs. Mandy-   Mrs. Mandy's Musings  http://emptymelord.blogspot.com/
  7. Adventures of Arbor Creek    http://www.arborcreek3.blogspot.com/
  8. Jolanthe-  Homeschool Creations   http://homeschoolcreations.com/
  9. Mary-  Homeschool Success     http://homeschoolsuccess.blogspot.com/
  10. Jimmie-   Jimmies's Collage    http://jimmiescollage.com/
  11. Anna-  Passionate Motherhood   http://passionatemotherhood.blogspot.com/
  12. Walking By The Way-   http://walkingbytheway.com/blog
  13. Mama Jenn-   http://mama-jenn.blogspot.com/
  14. Amanda-    Life of the Mom of Many     http://lifeofthemomofmany.blogspot.com/
  15. Maranda-  Sassy Down Home Mama-  http://onesassydownhomemama.blogspot.com/
Please give these blogs a visit and I'm sure you too will gleen a little something that will enrich your homeschool.  Thanks again Lynda and to all of you bloggers that we meet on our journey.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

This week started with a holiday and with me not feeling well.  We did manage to accomplish some school and start some activities.  Overall, it was a good week.

On Tuesday evening, Matt took Samuel to his 1st Cub Scout meeting.  Samuel was so excited about this!
He did not know anything about it, until Matt came home from work.  We could not have stood to hear about it all day!  Needless to say, he came home from the meeting overjoyed.  He called his grandparents and my brother who went all through Scouts, to become an Eagle Scout.  This will be good for Samuel.

Wednesday morning, we had  school and spelling was my highlight of the day!  I was very pleased with this lesson for both Samuel and Sarah Anne.  We recently began using All About Spelling and we are now starting to get to the "meat" of it. 

On Wednesday night, Samuel and Sarah Anne had the 1st meeting of Awanas for the year.  They came home psyched for the year! 

Thursday, the girls started a homeschool Bible study group that will meet twice a week.  It is a small group, but they seemed to like it. 

We are finishing up our study of Mexico this week.  We had our Fiesta tonight!  We had taco salad and chips earlier in the week, but on Thursday, we had Southwest  Rice Bake and Chicken Enchiladas.  We also had Sarita's.  Which is just Kool-aid and Sprite!  It was very good though.  (Our flavor was tropical punch.)

Friday was a lighter day and we finished our Mexico study.  We made Apple Enchiladas for desert.  These were very easy.  You just need apple pie filling, tortillas, 1/3 cup butter, 1/3 cup brown sugar, 1/3 cup white sugar, and cinnamon.
Lay a tortilla out and sprinkle with cinnamon.  Place apple pie filling on top.  Roll this up and place seam side down in a casserole dish.  Repeat until dish is full.  Melt butter and mix with sugars.  Heat in microwave and stir.  Pour over enchiladas.  Sprinkle with cinnamon.  Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.  Serve with ice cream. These were good, but I prefer old-fashioned apple pie. 
Anyway, here are some pictures....

Our Mexican Fiesta!
Apple Enchiladas

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


I feel like I always give excuses for not blogging more and I am sorry.  I have not been feeling well this weekend and did not accomplish everything I had hoped.  I did get a good start, and will be posting later this week about that. 

I went to the Doctor today and left feeling frustrated.
I have high blood pressure and hypothyroidism.  Lately I 've been feeling very tired and  for the last day or so my blood pressure has been pretty low. That in turn, made me feel a little off balance.
So today, my Doctor spent more time typing into the computer notebook than actually talking with me and doing any type of exam.  This frustrates me and makes me wonder why I am seeing him.  I guess,  I need to start asking around for Doctor references.  I hate going through all the medical/ prescription history again, but I'd like a Doctor that has some interest in his patient.  I have only seen this Doctor for a year in December.  We have only lived in this town since last fall.

I understand that in today's medical world, patient care is a business.  I've argued with insurance companies and changed medications at their bidding.  I've put off and rescheduled appointments due to cost.  Why must health care be this way?   Why must we wait 45 minutes to see the Doctor for 15 minutes?

I apologize for rambling and posting all of my frustrations. ( Can anyone else, relate?)  I hope to rest and get back to business real soon!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

We've had a slow school week, so far.  I really haven't stuck to the program at all.  We had no school on Monday because my parents were visiting.  They ended up staying until @ 10:00 am Tuesday.  The kids and I did our Bible and handwriting, had lunch and then read some.  We had some chores to do and that was pretty much Tuesday.

Today, ( Wednesday) we concentrated on Bible, geography and science.  This is supposed to be our first week of Mexico (ECC) and we are having delays with our passports and airline tickets!  LOL  I think we will take off tomorrow! 

We did get caught up on chores today.  That always makes me feel better.  Even when we have a week that things don't go as planned, it's ok.  I used to (sometimes, I still can) get stressed out about it, but things will work out.

I am planning to work on a few things this weekend around the house and on the blog.  I know I need to post pictures and I will, I promise!  My husband is going to help me.  He can do those things so much faster than I can!

By the way, have you checked out his blog? He started a blog for homeschooling dads.   He has really surprised me with it!  He also, would love to have some other homeschooling Dads follow him!  Spread the word!
His blog is  http://dadshomeschoolgarage.blogspot.com/

Tonight is the kick-off and sign -up for Awanas.  The kids are excited.  They are happy to start at the beginning of the year.  So, I need to get going and get them and myself ready!  Until later....