Triple Clicks

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Starting School

Our school year has officially started.  And I have already smacked myself in the head more times than I can count. 

I copy everything. And I do mean EVERYTHING.  It's a way to save us money-and it really does (my husband did the math, please don't ask me to lol).  For our printer, a toner cartridge costs $50. Paper is something around $1 a ream.  I made 1300 copies between the 3 kids. That's about 3 reams. Now, after you get your jaw off the ground from imagining me standing at the printer making 1300 copies, let me tell you, I just kept reminding myself that I was saving us money. 

My copying corner.  Bankers box for files, Folder opened with the preschool stuff.

Just the curriculum for K5 was about $200 (you can check out my post on that), for K4 I am using the same thing I used last year as Eva didn't really start picking up on things until late in the year.  What we used last year was a combination.  We had a book from Walmart (I'm assuming) of preschool worksheets. Then we are supplementing with free worksheets from some awesome creative homeschool moms from around the web-Pinterest is a homeschooler's best friend, I'm absolutely convinced of that.  So really the price for K4 isn't much at all.  For Grace, she's just getting coloring pages, and I'll pick up coloring books at Dollar Tree as I see something interesting.  I did have a bunch already printed and I might print off some others that look fun, but for her i'm trying to stick to Bible story and alphabet print offs.  She also has a few educational toys that will go with the school stuff.  

So here's how I organized Andrew's.  When we first decided on Abeka, I started searching Pinterest for ideas.  I found this organization idea from Seasons of Life Blog and instantly loved it.  It's just a more detailed version of what I was doing last year.  The only book of Andrew's we didn't copy was the writing tablet.  The lines just didn't copy and that is something they need.  All the pages in the books have what lesson they went with, so after I copied everything I just had to get my folders and calendar in place (so I knew what lesson went in what week) and it was very easy to just put everything in the correct folder.  

For Eva's I did the same basic thing.... except I ran out of manila folders so I'm just using paper clips (lots and LOTS of paper clips) and sticky notes to keep things organized.  Each of her weekly folders also has coloring pages for Grace.  I'm still working on Eva's, trying to get lesson plans set out like they are with Abeka's to make it easier for next year-all of the preschool stuff is in a 3 ring binder.

I'll put an extra folder in each box to keep papers that need kept to show progress, after that I've been advised by experienced moms to put the important ones in a 3 ring binder.  

Bible, science and social studies we are doing all together.. Also creating a routine and still trying to figure out a chore chart..which we have been for 3 years.... You would think it wouldn't be that difficult...but it is...  Or perhaps I'm just overthinking things.  

So our overall routine for the school days.  We alternate weeks as to many we do-this way we can be done by the beginning of May, giving us about a month and a half off of school more for mommy to get things organized for the next year.  Abeka comes pre-planned with 170 lessons.  I plan on doing all of those, even if it's just a five minute review of what's there.  One week we do 4 days of paperwork, the next week 5 days.  Right now, we're still in review with the K5 curriculum, so the amount of time we are spending on school might expand in September-we'll see how Andrew does.  The kids are up by 5:30 most days... I need some time to get me and other things ready to start the day, so I shoot for starting school at 7:30. We brush teeth, go potty/change diapers.  Then Bible (which includes the pledge of allegiance), social studies, science (which happens once a week), then they split up for their own worksheets-Grace is usually playing with the animal counters but I have plans for some felt activities for her.  We are usually done by 8:30 right now.  

I'm still working on some of the organization, but for the most part I think we have it set. 

Our first day of school.  Sorry for the blurry photos, my Kindle and I are having an argument about who the boss is when I'm taking pictures. 

Have a great week!


Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Being a Stay at Home Wife

I think that when most Christian women are asked why they stay at home, what they strive to do when they stay home, they turn to Proverbs 31. Proverbs itself has so many great verses to reference for child rearing and marriage issues-as does the whole Bible for that matter.  But when it comes to being a good wife, I do think Proverbs 31 helps to sum up the majority of it. 

The description of a virtuous woman begins in verse 10. 
"Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies. The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life. She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands. She is like the merchant's ships; she bringeth her food from afar.  She riseth also while it is yet night and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens. She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard. She girdeth her loins with strength, and strenghteneth her arms. She perceiveth that her mechandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night.  She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff. She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy. She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet. She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple. Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land. She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant. Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come. She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness. She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness. Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her. Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all. Favour is deceitful and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised. Give her the fruit of her hands; and let own works praise her in the gates." 

Our marriage did not start off as pleasing to God.  But God forgives. We have both strayed and found our way back to God and thank Him everyday for each other.  

I have also learned that what stands out to me and what I take away from Proverbs 31 is not going to be the same as somebody else.  We are not cookie cutters and everybody needs work in different areas. The way we are the same is that we have to let God work through us, whether it's our relationship with our husband, kids or anybody else. Patience and understanding are the keys.  

What I take from Proverbs 31... 

God tells me I am supposed to do what I can to save our family money-from cooking from scratch, to either making clothes or buying used and saving the difference; learning to garden (easier said than done for me, I DO NOT have a green thumb, no where near it).  I am to serve others first, not me.  Serving myself first is the world's way and while we are IN the world, we should not be OF the world.  Why would unbelievers want God if my life doesn't show any difference to the way they live?  Everybody makes mistakes, we are human after all.  It's how we react to those mistakes that shows.  

Be humble. Think about what is going to come out of my mouth or my fingers in the case of the digital age before it comes out.  Be edifying. Calm down and cool that temper before I discipline my kids or speak out in anger to my husband.  As I heard on a TV show recently "Keep your bad day to yourself, I have enough to deal with."  I shouldn't take my bad day out on others, that's not fair to anybody and can ruin relationships faster than anything.

I need to submit to my husband. This has to be one of the most controversial ideals when it comes to stay at home wives.  When most people think of submission, it's along the lines of 'let him do what he wants while I'm imprisoned at home'.  In the case of a Christian marriage, that isn't it at all!! 
Titus 2:5 To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God not be blasphemed.
Ephesians 5:24 Therefore as the church is subject to unto Christ, so let the wives be subject to their own husbands in everything. 
1 Peter 3:5 For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection to their own husbands. 
The husband is supposed to respect the wife and treat her as God treats His church.  Not ruling over her like a king to his subjects. Listen to each other, respect each other.  The husband should have the final say and be respected to it.  The wife should counsel her husband, support him, advise him.  Take care of him, the house, their children.  

Do I struggle with this sometimes? Yes. I do.  I mumble under my breath, I get frustrated, I slam things around in the kitchen and grump at the kids.  Is it usually something stupid that's not worth the extra energy to be frustrated over? Oh my, yes.  I think one of my biggest struggles is down-talking my husband to others.  It is definitely one of the biggest struggles I have. Let's face it, I get frustrated beyond belief some times.. and those times I just need to vent.  I have a good friend that could attest to that! I do my best to not down talk my husband, that is not good for anybody, but I do confess that I do.  And usually just to that one friend who understands and knows and doesn't hold it against me.  I also confess that within 24 hours I'm usually talking to Dennis about it and then apologizing to my friend for my outburst. God is always after me to keep me in check and submit to my husband, not only by staying at home and taking care of things on the home front, but by submitting to him, counseling him, listening to him, comforting him, respecting him.  

God comes first. Always.  Then husband. Then kids.  If you put the kids first and not your husband, what are you going to do when the kids move out? You won't have a marriage anymore because it was all about the kids.  I know that putting my husband before my kids is a chore-because my mommy brain is wired to listen to them first. It's wired to hear and interpret cries or words from the kids no matter if they are in the same room, outside or upstairs and no matter if I'm having a conversation with my husband.  That's how I'm wired, and I think that's how moms are wired.. I have to WORK to teach them to be patient and wait while we are talking.  

There are some nights I have to work to not go to bed angry.  In many ways I am grateful that we have both had failed marriages.  We know what went wrong and we are both bound and determined it will not happen again. We work on talking things through (easier for him that me, but he's working on me).  We work on not going to bed frustrate or angry at each other. There's been nights I have to wake the poor guy up because I can't sleep, then we are both drinking coffee like it's water the next day to stay awake.. but we talked things through and we worked through TOGETHER whatever the issue was.  

Marriage is not easy. It's work. HARD work but it's worth every second of it. 

Have a great week! 


Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Being A Stay At Home Mom

I read a post that a friend shared the other day about how hard it is to stay home and be a homemaker. You can check it out here.  

I'm also reading a lot of advice from experienced home school moms. 

So here's a fair warning, my opinion will ruffle some feathers-because most people say I'm too antiquated and old-fashioned. Well. I like it way, and so does my husband.

It seems I have spent the last six years defending my choice to stay home, even though a few of those years I did work in a family business outside the home. 

When my oldest was young, I was the parent who worked 60 hours a week.  I hated every minute of it and barely made ends meet.  While I know there are other factors at play, I do think those few years are why I have such a horrible relationship with her. 

Because I have that experience, I feel so blessed to be able to stay at home with these kids.  Do I always show it? No, I know I know don't and I beat myself up over it when I get reminded to slow down and smell the roses. Do I get cabin fever? You bet I do.  There are days-especially in the winter, and now especially with only car again-where I just want to get out of the house, but not walk and not go to the park.  But I have these precious gifts from God that need me, and I have to take care them.  They are not burdens, they are my babies no matter how old they get. Do I have my days where I text my husband on break and tell him I'm going a little nutso?...I think I hear him laughing.... Honestly... I can't remember a day where I haven't told him the kids are driving me a little crazy. Then he reminds me to slow down, play a game with them and forget some of the housework because they are only little once. (What can I say, my husband is awesome.) Do I have days I just look at all the stuff that needs done, I rebel and just play Candy Crush or veg in front of Netflix all day? Yes, yes I do and I pay for it the next day, or even that night because we run out of diapers or we don't have any clean forks for supper.  

I am blessed to be able to stay home with my kids and take care of husband from here.  

Quite honestly, I don't know how you work out of home moms do it.  I have no idea how you can take care of your family and the house and work.  I can barely keep up with it and I get to stay home with my babies. 

I am blessed that the few friends I have in town understand that my family comes first.  And sometimes, even though I would LOVE to go see them, meet at the coffee shop or the park or wherever, I have to get housework done or somebody throws a huge fit and that means we can't leave the house as punishment (though who is punishes puzzles  But these friends understand because they live the same lifestyle.  

It is not a burden for me to stay home with my kids.  It's a blessing.  It's a chore, yes, but a huge blessing I wouldn't trade for the world.  Quite frankly, it gets under my skin when I see something that paints kids as an inconvenience.  

The next time you get frustrated, remember God gave you those babies, ask for patience, take a deep breath and go for it.  Because those same babies are going to remember how you reacted to whatever catastrophe (real or imagined) and mimic it. Slow down, smell the roses and enjoy the messes, non stop talking (and singing, dancing and just the chaos that comes with toddlers) and cuddles.  They won't last forever and before we know it the house will be clean and quiet and we won't know what to do with ourselves. (oooo I know!!! SEW!!! lol)

Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”

Credit: The Busy Mom Blog

Have a great week! 


Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Shopping July 2nd

I hope you all had a great 4th of July! We didn't do much around here.  We found a video of last year's fireworks show from New York City on YouTube...the kids lasted about 10 minutes.  And we spent the weekend consoling at least two kids a night from all the noise.  The cat and dog were a little worried, but they were content as long as they could see a human.  

As for my shopping trip, we did pretty good.  Went to Sam's, Aldi's, HyVee, Dollar Tree and the bakery outlet.. Oh and the honey place at Wall Lake. 

Sam's I spent 176.06
Bacon, cod, Vegetables (lettuce, tomatoes, avocado), cinnamon rolls, chicken breast, cheese, canned fruit and some cooking staples. 

Dollar Tree I spent 5.33
Soap. That's it. 

Aldi's I spent 77.89
Broccoli 1.69 each bundle (2 crowns) 4 bundles
Chicken tenders 7.25
4 pound bags of sugar 2 at 1.49 each
lemons 2.69
flour 4 pound bag 1.24 
Dressing 4 at 1.29 each
Miracle Whip 3.44
Tartar Sauce 1.29 (it doesn't taste very good in my opinion)
Green pepper 3 pack 1.79
Cucumbers 4 at 1.29 each
Mac & Cheese 10 at .33 each
Yellow Onions 1.59
Vinegar .79 (16 oz container to keep in the kitchen)
Olive Oil 32 oz 2 at 3.19 each
Protein Meal Bars 4 at 3.99 each
Garlic .89 (3 bulbs)
And some plastic bags since I forgot mine.  I think my favorite finds at Aldi's are the protein meal bars-mostly for hubby, but I eat a few-they are cheaper version to Slim Fast and the olive oil. 

HyVee I spent 94.90

HyVee has been rearranging and making my usual store more like the new ones.  So more organic, and more bulk.  While that's great and awesome, I kept going to HyVee (the one on Marion in particular) because they had a cheaper option of most things.  That brand is now gone.  While the store is not done rearranging, the shelves they are done with are not stocked with the cheaper version nor is there room leaving me to to conclude they are done with that system.  So next month, we go back to Fareway Foods.  Their prices were similar so the cost shouldn't be much-if any-difference.  Now, if you go to the new HyVee, stop at customer service and ask for a list of where everything is.  I asked for a layout as to which department is where, but they didn't have that. Instead, they had a list of what is in each isle.  Super helpful still if you don't know where things are. 

Have a good week!