Triple Clicks

Friday, August 11, 2017

Confessions of a Mom

I have been rolling this post around in my head for quite some time now... Trying to figure out how to word it without offending somebody.  

But let's face it, somebody is always offended no matter how nicely you say things.   It is not my intention to offend anybody with this post, simply to ask you to think about it.  

So. Here goes it. 

You know that Beatles song?... Was it the Beatles or somebody else... my song guru is sick in bed this morning (hubby).  The one that goes "for everything, turn, turn, turn".  My mom always loved that song, one of the few songs that wasn't Christian I can remember her singing to.  The words are from the Bible.  

(Ecclesiastes 3:1-8) "To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:  {2} A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;  {3} A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;  {4} A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;  {5} A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;  {6} A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;  {7} A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;  {8} A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace."

I completely understand the feeling of 'ugggghhh why won't the kids go play!!!'.  It seems I've been uttering that phrase more and more myself.  And I feel guilty every time.  Yes, we buy them toys to play with-but sometimes they want to be near us-not upstairs with the toys.  

While on one hand, I can understand the parents who public school wanting the chaos out of the house and the kids back in school, every year it gets under my skin a little bit.  

This year I encountered the attitude in a home school group.  One place I thought I'd never hear it.  

As a momma with littles, I hear a lot "cherish the moments, they will be gone all too soon".  And it drives me a little batty.  When all four kids are grumpy and just want held, or when I don't feel good... I just want them to be a little older so I can rest.  And then I get reminded, in one form or another.  To stop and smell the roses.  My children being at  home won't last forever.  My children WANTING me, wanting to be held by me-NEEDING to be held by me won't last forever.   

God has put me in this season of life and I love (almost) every minute of it.  I will fully admit that I have those days where I just wish there was peace and quiet.  But within the next few days at the most I get reminded that those days will be here all too soon.   

Through choices made, I cannot be a part of my oldest daughter's life as I should be, and it kills me to the core every day.  In almost every way it mirrors an abusive relationship... One person trying anything and everything to get the other to talk to them, the other person only throwing them a spare bone if they do something for them.   There's only so much I can do... so far I can go before I have to back out and cry myself to sleep every day because of it.  Because for me to be the mom I need to be, I cannot be the floor mat for that one child to walk on.  Because of this situation, it helps me to remember to cherish the mom-kid relationships I do have.


Weary momma, I know how tiring it is to hear this.. But please, please read those verses in Ecclesiastes and take them to heart.  Write them on a note card, hang them wherever you can see them the most so you can be reminded.  

There is a season for everything.  

Right now I am in the season of teething babies eating everything they can.  Dirty diapers. Crying, fighting, bickering.  And using the times to teach the  kids how to treat each other.    

I am in the season where I can't always stay up to have one on one time with my husband, but we have both agreed we would rather spend the time as a family and have sparing dates, than be out on a date alone on a regular basis.  While our kids aren't the center of the family, they will only want to spend time with us for so long... We need to nurture that and enjoy that.  

Enjoy the summer vacations when things are crazy.  You'll miss that.  Enjoy the homework times, because soon, they won't need our help.  


Confessions of a mom....  I am not the kind of mom who tries to hide from her kids.  Have I been known to strongly suggest they go play outside for a bit? YES.  But the quiet gets to me after 45 minutes.  I do love the mornings where I actually get 10 minutes with nobody else awake.  It makes me enjoy them all the more when they do wake up. 

I am not the kind of person who can't wait to get out of the house.  Yes, I have found lately that if I can get out and take a walk I feel much better-mostly because the kids feel much better.  For me,  being able to stay home is a gift.  I've been that mom who had to work 40-50 hours a week... I don't like it.  I don't look for excuses to get out.  I want to be content being at home.  I want to teach my kids, especially my girls, that you can be content being a stay at home mom and wife.   You don't need a career outside the home, you don't need something else.  

I have God.  I have my husband.  I have most of my kids.  That is enough.  Everything else is just icing on the cake. 


Have a good week! 

~Tabitha

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

This and That

I have nothing to write about this week. 

No, really, I don't...  I'm out.  Nada.  Not a thing... So I'll ramble a bit and catch you up on news around here.   

The big news (for our 7 year old anyway).. I have a cyst on my foot.. It's about an inch in diameter... SO I get to go get it aspirated.  Andrew has been trying all week to weasel his way into going.  Nope. Not gonna happen kid.  He's convinced he needs to see what it is EXACTLY.  

I just want the day over with and my foot to stop hurting. 

We are in our third week of school.   Andrew is doing awesome in first grade.  He's really liking it and is, mostly, working hard.  Eva is breezing through Kindergarten.  I'm trying to take it a little slow I know she is learning what she needs to be learning.  Grace is loving doing her ABCs 'just for daddy'!!  She is almost done with her 'c' week, so she'll get to be a bit ahead, but that's ok.  Hannah just isn't sure why she can't tickle Andrew while he's sitting on that chair! LOL  

I am working on some bags for my sister.  She's a doula in Nebraska and needed some bags to help keep her doppler, fetascope and stethoscope organized.  This is something I've never done, but I'm figuring it out!!  

I also am planning out a few different quilts... Hopefully soon.  Superhero fabric is EXPENSIVE!!!   

Other than that, things are pretty well normal around here.. We are still adjusting to Dennis being on a 4 day schedule..  Hopefully soon things will slow down so we can spend one of his Wednesdays off at home.   Seems since he started it, we've had to be going somewhere.  

Dennis and I are both working on getting healthy.  He is trying to make it to 2400 steps a day and usually making it.  Which is awesome.  I try to make it to 4000 steps a day...  The days we can't walk I try to do some sort of aerobics program through the Roku.  Which of course the kids have to help with.   Though I quickly figured out I just can't do something with heavy exercise every day of the week.   So I'm aiming for 4 days out of the week and if I feel up to more then I walk laps in the house.   

Well. That's all there is to report on.  


Have a great week!

~Tabitha

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Monkey Bread!

Andrew volunteered me to make monkey bread, my mom is coming up for the Sculpture Walk in Sioux Falls.  

I found this monkey bread recipe from Little House Living.  We loved it when I made it a few weeks ago, so we made it again.  It's for breakfast in the morning, but making it ahead all we have to do is warm it up in the morning.  

I did change the recipe a bit.  I used warm milk for the yeast instead of warm water.  And instead of the dipping in butter and cinnamon sugar mix, we did two different flavors.  Caramel and cinnamon sugar.  





Dough resting 



Caramel Sauce!!! 

The cut pieces of the dough after it's rolled out

Butter the pan and toss the pieces in

For the caramel, I just poured the caramel over the pieces.  For cinnamon sugar, I sprinkled sugar and cinnamon. 


Caramel monkey bread 

The done monkey bread. LOOKS GOOD!!




I doubled the monkey bread recipe... because we are pigs lol.  My caramel recipe, also doubled-I didn't have enough last time, this time I had too much-but leftover caramel is yummy. 
Caramel Sauce

1 cup brown sugar
1 cup corn syrup
1/2 cup butter


Melt all together, bring to a boil, boil for 5 minutes then cool.  Make sure you keep stirring or it will burn! 



Have a good week!!!

~Tabitha










Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Cowboy Hash and Coffee

Cowboy Hash... skillet meal... call it what you will-it's YUMMY, extremely versatile and customizable.   The kids were begging for lunch (imagine that! lol) and the ham still hadn't thawed for sandwiches... so I started searching my other ingredients.  And Cowboy Hash it was!


So here's what you need.  While you can easily do this in one skillet, I used different ones to make it go a little faster.  I have my 15 inch skillet, 6 inch skillet and 4 inch skillet (Grace can't have eggs).  This served 5-maybe even 6 as a few of my kids were pigs.  And definitely more if you combine with cinnamon rolls or something.  
Butter or bacon grease
8 eggs
about 1/2 pound sausage
about 1 cup of hash browns
about one cup of cheese (I did two handfuls until it looked like enough) 




Melt your grease-about 2 tablespoons there


 Start your hashbrowns




 Here's the rest of our skillets.  The smallest is Grace's portion-hashbrowns, sausage and cheese. I also have the grease melting for our eggs.




I had cooked the sausage yesterday, so when the hash browns were half done, I added the sausage.



Cooking the scrambled eggs.



Sprinkled the cheese on


I put the big skillet in a 350 degree oven for about 5 minutes to melt the cheese.  The little melted the cheese just from the heat in the skillet after it was shut off.



Ah the coffee. Gotta have the coffee!!

Iced Chocolate Coffee (Blended)
Tray of coffee ice
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup of coffee
3 tablepoons chocolate syrup
Whipped cream if you have it

I made my ice yesterday.. Put those cubes in your blender.  Add the milk, the chocolate, the coffee. Blend until smooth.  Enjoy!  
You can leave unblended, just mix it all together-but I wanted it blended today.  


Have a Great Week!!! 

~Tabitha 

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Furniture Shopping

One of the things we are working on around here is getting some nice furniture, last year we bought a couch and a bunk bed. We were impressed with the place along with the comfortable and great quality furniture.  

So we went back to Conlin's Furniture in Sioux Falls.  They listened to us, they didn't pressure us, and while they did show us some things that weren't on our list, it did make us think about other options.  We were also impressed with the prices.  


So first of all, let's start at the beginning.  Dennis is a pretty big guy, so we need furniture that will hold up to the big guy standards.   Our old mattress just wasn't cutting it anymore.. Since we had to re-home the cat, it opened us up to other possibilities other than a traditional mattress.  So we bought an air mattress.  And now we have a guest bed-not that we ever get guests....lol Dennis had found a website with recommendations for furniture for bigger people.  So many there recommended an air mattress, so we found Fox Air Mattresses and got an almost 3 foot high air mattress for $200.  On top of that we do have our egg crate foam topper for extra comfort, we found that through at friend at The Foam Factory two years ago and it's still going strong.  After three weeks on the air mattress we are starting to regret it, while it' helping Dennis' back it keeps developing holes.  We were able to use the warranty and the company is sending us a replacement, but it has us looking at other options.

After the air mattress, we quickly realized Dennis would need a chair to be able to sit in the bedroom....  So that was on the list.  And the last half an Ashley Furniture mistake sectional is falling apart after only 5 years, so he also wanted a chair for downstairs.   We found both of those on clearance-last year's floor models-at Conlins.  One chair was originally marked at $1300, marked down at $313.20.  The other was original price at $599, marked down to $359.  

Since we were at a furniture store we liked and trusted we decided to check out bunk bed prices... Let's face it, we are blessed with many children, and with many children comes the need for many beds.  So bunk beds are a must, while we weren't looking to buy today, we changed our mind when saw the deal.  A wooden bunk bed, twin over twin, can be taken apart to be two separate beds, with Conlin's special mattresses (well I've never seen mattresses like this before anyway, memory foam with neon covers) all for $510.  

Conlin's delivered and set up everything for an extra $75.

With the exception of the troublesome air mattress, we are enjoying our new furniture.  

Have a great week!

~Tabitha

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

When All Else Fails......

Some days, it's just been one of those weeks.  One of those weeks where you just want to curl up in a ball and hide from everything.  

I spent an hour this morning cooking, filming it for a vlog. (Ha! Did I just date myself?? lol)  After watching it on the computer I realized it was useless.  Now, I'm glad I got the cooking done, I was going to do that anyway... But the vlog was useless.  Why? Because I spent more time keeping the kids out of the flour (they eat the flour I use to roll out the cinnamon roll dough), the cheese for the lasagna and Hannah out of well.. everything... And I failed with the Hannah part.  

I can't put that on YouTube.  Why? Because if I put that on YouTube, I KNOW, I JUST KNOW somebody will send CPS knocking, or make some nasty comment.  Because once you put anything out there, people can't just disagree and move on, they have to stick their nose into everything.  Because, as I saw in another video... My toddler TODDLES (EGADS!!!) Because I forgot to put something away and she found out... She brought it to me, but she found it and attempted to make a snack out of it, and quickly learned it was not snacking material.  Because my son was being forced (no outside or else, how DARE I!!!) to do his cursive (which he did very well at). Because Eva got too close to the hot pan and said "Oh no, that's hot!!!".... the list goes on and on.. and it dawned on me... I can't put that on YouTube.  Because in this age of social media everybody overthinks everything and they don't think before they type.   Normal kid stuff-the behavior kids learn from, is now something we lose our kids over.  

I do the same thing.  I typed out a Facebook status and my husband says "woah, think about that for a minute".   I deleted it, but I know enough about computers to know it's out there, floating around somewhere.  Because I didn't THINK before I started typing.   

When all else fails... When I feel inadequate.... When I feel like I'm failing as a mom because I just want them to go outside, or I just want Hannah to take a nap for longer than 10 minutes.   When I feel like I'm failing as a wife because I want to go get frozen pizza for supper (boy are we glad there are no delivery places in town!!), or when I don't get the house clean... Because it's my JOB, to take care of our babies (ssshhh don't tell Andrew I called him a baby), because it's my JOB to keep the house clean.   

When all else fails... God doesn't.  That little voice inside you saying, I'm here, I'm here for you.  That's not your imagination.  People so often say, "God won't give you more than you can handle".  Wrong.  God won't give me more than HE can handle.   He is teaching me to lean on Him.  He is teaching me that when I'm utterly exhausted from one thing or another, there are more important things.  Teaching our children how to react when they get stressed or tired... They won't learn from me singing the "Be Patient" song from Psalty.  They will learn from watching my reactions.  They will learn from Dennis' reactions when he comes home and Hannah is still in the same outfit three days in a row because it's not dirty so I didn't bother to get a new outfit out.  Or when the carpet doesn't get vacuumed... Or the bathroom didn't get clean (there's that bathroom again, I HATE cleaning the bathroom.. can I hire a maid just for the bathroom?) He is teaching me, when I don't feel like I can go any farther,  that's when He carries me.  That's when He gets me through.  Not me. HIM, it's all Him.  

This morning I made cinnamon rolls and lasagna.  Two loads of dishes (because cooking takes more dishes)... I've ignored laundry, but fed the kids!!!  lol  I need to go clean upstairs.  Desperately so.  But all I want to do is sit here and play games.  I had 6 cups of coffee this morning.  And I'm still not awake.  (I think I hear my 9th grade English teacher sobbing into her tea somewhere with all these sentences starting with prepositions.)   I just can't bring myself into getting off my tush and cleaning.  This couch is just too comfortable.  Yeah. Let's blame it on the couch. That sounds great.  



When all else fails..... turn on Sermon Audio, find a good pastor (personally, I'd recommend something from Dr. Marc Monte from Avon, Indiana) and spend some time absorbing the word of God... Because there's nothing else that will lift you out of a depression faster than that.  God is the great healer.   So find a way to spend some time in the Word.  Sermon Audio or our hymn channel on Pandora is really the easiest way for me because... well.. kids.   

When all else fails-God never will.

Have a great week!

~Tabitha 

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Shopping Trip 5/13 and Vlogs

When I looked at the sales ads last Wednesday I was a little worried about my budget.  There wasn't much there for sales.  

But I planned out my meals and did my best to find foods that would stretch.   By the grace of God we made it home in under $500.  


Aldi's had some great prices, eggs last week were $.49 a dozen. WOW Hyvee was racing them at $.59 for 18 count.  So I got the max I could get with the fridge space I have and came home with 6 dozen-I still had two dozen left from the week before.  

I got most of my meat at Sam's.  While that is the case most months, I can't always say I'll be spending $10 on 10 pounds of chicken legs.  This is because the packages are by weight.  The average is $5 a package, but it varies either way, so I always over estimate, just in case.  I was also able to grab meats that were on their way out the door.  You can save a lot of money if you can figure out when your local grocer puts the meats on sale to get them gone by a certain date.  Some of our easy lunches this month are chicken and cheese quesadillas-so I needed chicken.  I decided to spend the $10-$15 on a two pack of whole chickens at Sams.  Usually I just get the cheaper one, but they had organic chickens on quick sale (nearing the 'date').. So I got those and I'll throw them in the crock pot tomorrow to get them cooked.  Watch my video on my repackaging the meat.  

At the bread outlet I spent over $9 (12 loaves+pop tarts-hey they were $1 a box!!), so I got a free loaf of bread.  So.. $10, 13 loaves of bread and a box of pop tarts.  

We are working on getting some vlogs out there.  Check me out on YouTube, for now my YouTube name is the same as my blog "Tabitha H Stay At Home Wife and Mom".  If this keeps working, then I'll get a separate YouTube channel just for my vlogging.  I'm really enjoying-when it does work anyway.  

We just added the road trip to the city to grocery shop, but we didn't think about the music in the background and aren't sure about the editing.. Because technology and I do not get along lol.  So YouTube is editing out audio because of copyright infringement.  I have figured out I need to use my husband's tablet, because my kindle just doesn't like that stuff.  I'm hoping we can get a GoPro to make it easier.  

I'm also working on monetizing the blog to help us with finances, but yet again, technology and I do not get along.  My attention span is almost nil right now, Hannah has grass and pollen allergies so sleep seems to be almost non existent.  I grabbed some Cafe Bustelo today, so I see homemade coffee drinks in my future.  I'm figuring out quickly that if I can find a picture to add to put this on Pinterest, that has been helping my reader content.... Thank you all SO MUCH!! I love writing, and being able to share the little things, it's fun!  

Also today, I grabbed  the folders I needed to finish organizing the school stuff, so I'll get some blogs and maybe even a vlog out about that.  

Have a great week! 

~Tabitha 

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Confessions of a Horrible Housekeeper

I have a confession to make. 


Photo Credit-The Busy Mom blog .... I love this poem


I'm a horrible housekeeper. Horrible.  I know I am.  I'm trying to do better.  But it seems like every time I get a cleaning routine down somebody gets sick and it throws the whole thing off. 


The house is a mess.  I know it's a mess.  I know it's embarrassing.  I also know, most days, I try my hardest to make some sort of headway.  But I also know with young kids there's going to be a mess.   


Quite honestly, there are some days where I watch YouTube videos of the families that live in RVs and I'm almost envious.  They moved into an RV and were forced to sell pretty much everything but what's needed.   But I know we can sort through the things and get rid of stuff without buying a $70,000 RV that would fit all of us. 



Part of me wants to rip all the carpet up (Thank God my husband stops me lol) because then it would just take a towel to wipe up messes and not worry about whether it soaked into the sub-flooring or not. 



...And yet, every time I clean the stove I promise myself I won't let it get that dirty again.  And it does. Then I spend an hour scrubbing on a stove because I didn't take the ten minutes a week to clean it good-or the few minutes every night to just wipe it down from the day's messes.   



I hate cleaning the bathroom, but it's a necessary evil-I know.  I cringe every time I clean it.. But I promise myself the same thing I do with the stove. Every time I clean it I promise myself I won't let it get that far again. But I do.   



I thank God that my husband is so understanding.  That he understands and he doesn't get mad when the house is a mess.  I am blessed that he understands and knows that even if the house is a mess, it doesn't mean I've been sitting on my bottom all day-it simply means the kids needed me more that day.  



I'm a horrible housekeeper.  It's not a strong point for me, I will readily admit that and gladly take any help offered when it comes to cleaning the house.  My house is a mess, though rarely 'dirty' mess (I am getting better at vacuuming every couple days instead of once a week), it's a cluttered, toy filled mess.  



We're working on the clutter.  We're working on getting rid of stuff we don't need. It's a work in progress.  As am I.  But in the meantime, if you come, please excuse the mess as I'm doing the best I know how (except maybe for the bathroom, I hate cleaning the bathroom).  



As I'm sitting here typing, I'm looking at a popcorn filled floor.. We had popcorn last night and the baby tried to share with the dog, I need to pull the vacuum out.  I'm also avoiding the half clean stove.  IT'S ACTUALLY WHITE!!...except for a few spots of burned on who-knows-what because I'm a horrible housekeeper. I might have to take a picture to mark this momentous occasion.  But then my horrible housekeeping skills would be documented.



I feel like I'm playing a balancing act and I keep dropping everything.  My wonderful husband helps when he can, but there are only so many hours in a week and he needs to de-stress from work, too. Other than the normal housework, I'm sewing some new clothes, putting our store back on Ebay, getting ready for a new school year, cleaning out the office, creating a school corner in the dining room and we have added playing round robin with the beds. 


That, in itself, could probably be a two page story but-so I'm not leaving you in suspense-I'll let you in on it.  Dennis and I need a new bed, we ordered an air mattress.  It seems to have the best reviews for overweight people to help with their backs.  We also decided this winter that Andrew is getting old enough to stop sharing a room with the girls.  Now, we have king size traditional mattress now.  There is a bunk bed in the kids' room along with the toddler bed.  The third bedroom upstairs is rather little, so our king size mattress will not fit... SO we have to disassemble the bunk beds, move them across the hall (Can we just knock down the wall? lol) reassemble the beds.  Move the mattresses. (that's after shampooing the helpless carpet).  THEN we have to vacuum the girl's room, I will BEG again to remove the carpet though I'm sure to no avail, it's not shampoo-able.  We don't have the money to replace the carpet right now and with as rowdy as the kids are, we're worried about extra bumps and bruises on a hardwood floor. Move the king size mattress to the girls' room.  Then back to our room, vacuum and shampoo the carpet, get rid of the head board, and set up the air mattress... The last two steps have to be done in one day.  The bunk beds could be done a different day.  But it could prove interesting.  



As I'm sure you can tell by now, I'm rambling.  I'm typing this over a course of a few days... Because. Well. Kids. These verses keeps coming to mind so I had to look it up.  

Colossians 3:23-24 23And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;24Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ. 


God knows if I'm doing my best or not.  What I do, I need to honor him in doing it.  

I do hope I didn't confuse you with my rambling on... But every once in awhile I like to do a blog that wasn't preplanned. ;) The next post will be back on what's going on with school planning and such.


Have a great week.

~Tabitha

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Family Memory Quilt!

While planning for our trip I decided I wanted to make something for my father-in-law.  We finally settled on a family memory quilt. We got the kids to stand mostly still for pictures and sent them off to these wonderful gals in International Falls, Minnesota to get them printed on fabric.  

In the meantime, I went through my fabric stash and found the backing-a sheet just waiting for a repurpose project.  We went online to JoAnn's and found some wonderful complimenting fabric.  It just struck me yesterday that I made a sunflower quilt.  Hm.  Oh well. 

I cut my pieces 12 by 12... But then I realized my photos were only 5 x6.. This is only my second quilt, bear with me here!!! But that is why some of the pieces are a little uneven. 

After I sewed all the squares together we realized we wanted a little more.. So I printed off some pretty font, traced over it with a sharpie, laid that paper behind my yellow fabric, traced over it with pencil, then hand embroidered the kid's names and birthdays.  That was really the hardest part.  I kept looking on Pinterest to make sure I was getting the stitches right, I'd never done any actual embroidery work before.  I don't think I did too bad-though it would have been  A LOT easier if we had decided on that BEFORE the squares were sewn together. 

So my pictures are from the piecing together stages.



Back layer-it's a dark brown color 

Quilt batting layer. Smooth everything out then we are ready for the top layer. 

Top layer.  Smooth it all out, make sure the layer edges line up. I pinned the corners to start off with the keep it still then proceeded with the tying together.

No, that's not a fish hook, that's a curved needle.  I tied Hannah's quilt with a regular needle and was SO SO grateful when a friend gave me this.   That is wool yarn cut for a latch hook rug, but it works for this.  It was really thick, so I was able to take the strands apart.  

All tied up! You can see my uneven square.  Leave it up to Eva to be difficult! lol

Close up of the ties.


 Next came the binding.  I tried to use my scraps I had... but there wasn't enough.  So I found this tutorial on YouTube on how to make your own binding and did it mostly that way with leftover material from the brown.


All done and ready for grandpa!!! 



A close up of some of my embroidery work.  

Front Binding

Back binding in a corner.. Definitely need some help on mitered corners... but it's not that bad!!





All in all, not too shabby!!
 Grandpa loved the quilt!

Have a Great Week!

~Tabitha



Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Next Year's Curriculum!!

I think I got more excited than the kids.  Which is saying a lot as the kids are still jumping up and down, two weeks after getting the first box.  

Andrew (he's be 7) will be starting first, Eva is starting Kindergarten and Grace will be starting worksheets to learn the basics and make sure she knows them.  We use the Abeka program.  We all love it.  It's also easier to organize for me, and the kids' already have my organization system down.  I'll share that when I take care of getting everything ready to go. 

You might think I'm crazy for ordering so soon (ordered in March), but there are some advantages.  We like to start in July.. Just a bit at first once the weather gets so hot the kids can't play outside in the afternoons... That leaves us free to do 4 day weeks and take longer breaks here and there without being stressed about being done before my oldest comes in June.   This year we are pushing a little, because I didn't want to take too many books with us on our vacation so I wanted to get done. We took handwriting with us, which was only done a few days anyway.  Another advantage, because so many Christian schools use Abeka, by ordering during the normal school year, we beat the order of those schools and therefor any back order problems.

We found most of our books used on Ebay, so those came a few weeks ago.  There are many teachers manuals I wouldn't have ordered new, and the flash cards, but the set so was so complete I decided we could use them after all.  We just had to get some of the consumables from Abeka and we're ready to go!   My pre budget (just books) was $600.  Abeka does throw some discounts in there, so that would have come down to around $550.  We spent $250 on ebay then $100 from Abeka on the consumables.  Which is an AWESOME discount-especially for barely used books. 
So here's my stash!!  From the back left we have all my books-teacher planning and keys.  Then Addition and subtraction flash cards.  The readers for the year, Arithmetic.  In the front we have the 'extras' science, social studies.  Then the cursive books,  the blue is Andrew's while the red is Eva's. 

Andrew's cursive

The 'extras"  Health, Safety and Manners, Discovering God's World, My America and My World, Aesop's Fables, Community Helpers

Phonics!! 

Arithmetic

The readers.  This should prove interesting. Andrew is really excited: "You mean I get the read THICK books??"  Made my heart melt, we have our struggles but that saying with the look in his eyes, I know he loves school. 
My stack of books.  I doubt I will use them all, but I may stand corrected. 



The flash cards.  I hadn't planned on buying these, I figured we could just get sets at Dollar Tree or make our own if needed, but these were in the set from Ebay and Andrew is already enjoying them.


So that's our curriculum haul.  I will still need some organizational things and a Bible curriculum.  But we will delve in after we get home from vacation.  Grace's will be printed off, I have all the worksheets together, just have to print and organize.  

Have a good week!!

~Tabitha


Friday, April 21, 2017

Vacation!!!

I think we're utterly crazy. Utterly and completely crazy.  

14 days.  5000ish miles. 4 kids. 3 adults.  

We went to visit and meet my husband's family in Florida.  We hate flying, so we drove-plus it was cheaper.  


Gotta love the ocean! 



I'm honestly surprised we didn't go crazy. Honestly, I am.  

My handsome husband had to drive the entire time because of how car seats were situated, it's the only place his tall self could fit.  My mother in law was in the passenger seat, and therefore deemed the navigator.  I was in the back with the kids... Partly because I'm short and could fit in the space, partly because Hannah is a momma's girl.  

Most people when you think of driving cross-country you think of pulling a camper behind or driving/renting an RV.  Both options were considered, but it was too expensive.  It would have taken our entire budget just for the rental.  

We left in the rain, proceeded to drive half the route in the rain-so the pictures, not so great.  My husband found some crazy roads to drive us on.  We much prefer back roads, the scenery is better (and there's more bushes to hide behind given the inevitable 'I GOTTA PEE!!!!' from the back seat.)  Plus we find little gems along the route.   There will forever be a running joke of 'at least it's not Pine Lick Road!!!!' though... you see, we were traveling between Glasgow, Kentucky and Gainesboro, Tennessee.  The GPS said 'take a left turn onto Pine Lick Road'... by the time we realized this was very much a BAD IDEA, there was no way to turn around.  This was one of those mountain roads that only locals travel.  Barely wide enough for the van, with a river twisting and turning.  Absolutely beautiful-but even the baby was holding the sides of her car seat.  Would we do it again? I'm sure.  Would we have done it without the GPS telling us to turn there? NO WAY.  But roads like that are what makes things fun!  

The kids were more than happy when we finally made it to grandpa's house.  We swam (well, the kids did there, it was cold according to grandma and grandpa... 70 degrees lol).  We sight saw, we went to the beach where the kids collected shells.  We went to the alligator farm.  Most of all we visited with family.   

We also went down to Miami and visited even more family.  It was so great to finally meet all these people I've been hearing about and talking to via email and we had a blast.   I had talked to an aunt and told her it would be Andrew's birthday while we were on the road.  I also said how much it would be appreciated if we could do a cake or something.  I got way more than I expected and it made my heart melt.  The family loved my kids and I with no questions, no reservations.  I can't tell you how good that felt.  

The trip home was pretty uneventful.  We drove up the west coast then pretty much straight west until we got to Texas, then straight north.  Very unlike our usual driving pattern-which is zig zagging.  But at that point, we wanted to get home.  


Oh!! Total cost of a 14 day vacation for 7 days(now, keep in mind we did stay with family in Florida or had family help with hotel cost). We also ate breakfast at most of the hotels, but the rest was eating out.  One meal we did full meals, one meal we got the kids meals (because new toys distract!) and the adults sandwiches.  $2600.  I think that's a win.  And that also includes the touristy things that cost money done in Florida. 

It was great fun, and we are hoping to go back soon! 

Have a great week! 

~Tabitha

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Wallet

My wallet is falling apart.. Literally, just falling apart-it's only 10 years old, I wouldn't know WHY it's falling apart. 

So I went in search of a pattern I could use and found this gem from Modest Maven blog.  

This is a super simple pattern.  It took me 30 minutes with help from Hannah and Grace-and interrupted twice for diapers.  Now, I did mix up my inner and my outer...so just make sure you mark clearly when you cut and you'll be fine.  

Last time the kids and I were at Walmart I checked the scrap fabric bin that had a lot of quilt quarter bundles in it. :D So I got this pack.  I was thinking little shoes for Hannah, but I'll have plenty for those still.  I just got my circle cutter from GVS and the mat, too.  I LOVE THEM. lol 



Here's all my pieces cut-two inner, two outer, one tab, two strips for card pockets.  Have I mentioned how much I LOVE that circle cutter-IT WAS SO MUCH EASIER!! 

So the tab, inside out, turn right side out and top stitch, leaving one end raw

Sew the inner-make sure you get the inner..instead of the outer like I did.  You are basically just sewing the two corners, leaving the top side and three inches for turning later at the bottom.

Sewn, now put it aside.

Because I had so much helpful help from Hannah bugs I couldn't use the iron... so I just pinned. This is the pockets.  Fold back four inches.


Both of these pictures are making the pockets.. I got a card from my wallet and used it as a guide. If you are ironing, make sure not to iron the card-they are plastic and we all know what plastic does with heat. 

The sewn pockets.

Attaching the pockets to the liner... See... I knew something didn't look right... but it didn't click that I had mixed up my inner and my outer until I got further along....by which time I had already trimmed everything else to fit
 .
Center the raw side of your tab, pointing in (you'll be turning this inside out in a bit), again the raw side of the liner and sew, also sew on the outside half the liner, leaving the top edge raw, turn right side out. 

Now you are going to put the right side out main part of the wallet,  INTO the inside out big pocket and sew along the raw edge, then turn right side out through that three inch hole we left earlier. 

Everything right side out,  Here is where I realized I screwed up. Tuck the pocket in and top stitch.   




That doesn't look THAT BAD, does it?  I added a snap and voila! I'm done.   A new wallet in less than 30 minutes for less than $5.  Not to shabby! 


After a few weeks of using it...  You need the stabilizer in the original pattern.  Trust me.  Get the stabilizer. ;) 
Have a great week!!

~Tabitha