Wednesday, August 29, 2012


{September 6}

Safeway :  Spent $65.78
Coupon/ card savings: $55.12
Percentage of savings: 46%

{September 12}
Safeway: Spent $75.06
Coupon/ card savings: $33.06
Percentage of savings: 33%
(This day I got really sick at the grocery store so it was a miracle I saved anything!)


Last night I went to a free couponing seminar at the local community college.  The event was sponsored by our local newspaper {which makes sense since the coupons come from the paper!}.  Anyway, it was the kick in the pants I needed to get back into couponing.  

A couple of years back {before I started up daycare and my husband was the only one bringing in income} we really had to reevaluate all expenditures.  Groceries were our biggest money drain.  So I set out to figure out how to lower the spending in this category.  Enter couponing!

My early adventures were encouraging but not anything noteworthy.  And then I discovered that my local store would take competitor's coupons too!  Oh happy day!  After that I was saving $60-$80 a grocery run!  It was so much fun!

And then the fateful day when corporate headquarters of said neighborhood store decided to stop accepting competitor's coupons.  I almost stopped shopping at that store in protest.  So I continued to use coupons and sadly was only saving $10-$15 a trip.

When I began my in-home daycare I found myself with no time left to coupon and so it went by the wayside.

Well, after hearing a new technique and becoming remotivated last night, I am ready to dive back into the blissful world of couponing.

I most likely will not become the next extreme couponer.  That's not my goal anyway, my goal is to save my family money so that we can save for a trip to Mexico to visit our family down there.

As this blog is my journal of sorts, I intend to keep track of my savings for each shopping trip.  My goal is lower our groceries by $50 a month in the next month.  Currently we are spending approximately $650 per month on groceries.

Can I do it?  You'll have to come back and see my updates! ;)

Friday, August 24, 2012



Miss A turned five today.
{Can I really be that old, that my baby is now five?!?!}
I love watching who she is becoming.
She is my loud little ray of sunshine.
Exuberance and enthusiasm personified.
She is such a joy and blessing!
I am so proud to be her mama.

Happy birthday sweet girl :)

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Supercharged Science

Last week I found a link to an online science class in my email in-box.  Since I love all things science, I read a little further.  A complete science curriculum designed for homeschoolers?

I was intrigued.

Even more intriguing, it was to be taught by a REAL rocket scientist! (So this lady really knows her science stuff!)

So the kids and I gathered around the laptop and quickly found ourselves engrossed in the world of Supercharged Science.

Teacher extraordinaire, Aurora Lipper, has a contagious love of science that spills out of the computer screen into your own homeschool room.  She has a wonderful, fun, understandable way of introducing your children to the amazing world of science.  And she breaks down the more complex science terms into bite-sized pieces for your kids (and sometimes you!). 

Aurora has fun experiments to go along with each lesson.  And guess what?  No expensive science equipment is necessary!  She uses everyday items and turns them into great hands-on experiments.  My kids were begging me to buy a highlighter so they could make a glow in the dark bouncing ball!

Our first class we learned about different states of matter, the chemical makeup of water, atoms, molecules and the periodic chart of the elements!  Even my four year old was glued to the screen! ;)

{It's like having your favorite science teacher in your living room!}

We are a science-loving family and Supercharged Science gets us all fired up! ;)

Monday, August 20, 2012

Meet the AGErs

On the {Not} Back to School Blog Hop, this week's theme is show off your students!  So meet the AGErs:

L- R: Miss A, Mr. J and Mr. I

Miss A is almost five {her birthday is in four days and she keeps reminding me}.  Her biggest desire is to learn how to read.  And we will be working on that this year.  For now she is content with audio read-along books from the library, or a snuggle-read with me, Papa or one of her doting older brothers.  She is full of energy, loudness and sweetness!

Mr. J is going to be 10 next month {where does the the time go?!}.  He is a a prolific artist and will draw on anything doesn't move. ;)  Mr. J used to be my reluctant reader, but he soon found out the adventures that awaited him in a book and now it is hard to pry one from his hands!  He is compassionate, confident and inventive!

Mr. I turned 8 a couple of months back.  He too loves to draw, but his love is math.  You can find him calculating problems for fun or curled up with a good book.  He hasn't met a math problem yet that he hasn't been able to conquer with some perseverance!  Mr. I acts kind of tough around others because he is so tender on the inside. He is curious, has a great sense of humor and is highly creative!

And last but not least, you can meet our "classroom" pets! ;)

They've gotten much bigger, but let me introduce you to Sunny Delight (big white one, a Pekin), Einstein (black and white one, a Swedish duck --as far as we can tell), Sunflower (small brown one, a brown Swedish duck) and Big Bessie (she used to be bigger than all the others but Sunny is giving her a run for her money-- she's a Golden 300).  We have raised them from ducklings (about two weeks old) and we are having so much fun.  It is a great way for the kids to learn responsibility and animal husbandry.  We can't wait until we have eggs!

Thanks for letting me show off my three treasures and reasons for why I homeschool!

Check out the {Not} Back to School Blog Hop for more student photos :)

Friday, August 17, 2012

Just for fun...

The Parent Rap...I think you will recognize yourself in a couple of these descriptions ;)

Monday, August 13, 2012

Our "Not" School Room

This morning I am joining in on the Not Back To School Blog Hop, and this week we get to show off our school rooms!

We aren't quite NOT back to school yet. ;)  We ran a little longer this summer because I was prepping my  third grade son for his state testing.  The first week of September we will be starting up again!

So while we are getting a much needed break, I am taking advantage of the time to organize!  And so what better time to share our "school room" with you all, than when it is organized! ;)

Welcome to our living room/ school area!  We just bought the desks and big bookshelf from Ikea and I am in love.  My intention was to have a designated desk drawer for each child (three total) which would leave one for me.  So far it has only worked out that we are storing crayons and paper supplies in one and then
all my office supplies in another.  As I get more organized, I will utilize the space better!
This is our library bookshelf.  I try to keep all the books corralled here so that we don't rack up library fines for overdue items...it isn't working very well.  This is the first thing you see when you walk into my house.  I also do daycare (yes, I am all kinds of crazy to do homeschooling AND daycare) so the fabric boxes house different daycare items.

Here is a different angle shot of the desks.  They look out over our front window.  I want to get different curtains to make it a brighter, cheerier spot.  And please excuse the disaster under the far corner of the desk.  That it is my "I'm still organizing" spot.  I want to put up L-bracket shelving on the wall to help out with all that! 

And here is the most treasured learning spot of all...our couch.  We read here, do math here, watch science shows on TV from here, and ask lots of questions from here.  The couches (we have two in our living room) are where the majority of learning time happens!

Thanks for touring our "school room"!

{I apologize for not sharing the button, but for some reason the image wouldn't load on this post!  You can tour more awesome rooms at the Not Back To School Blog Hop}


After hopping all over at the {Not} Back to School Blog Hop, I was so inspired that I rearranged our "school" room again!

The desk that is parallel to the wall is the kids' and mine sits perpendicular to theirs.  It creates a really nice flow to the whole set up!

{Sorry for the dreadful lighting!}

And here is my little corner of the world! :)

Rearranging furniture makes me happy {smile} and the kids love the new look too!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Planning {Without Planning}

As the month of September draws ever nearer, I find my thoughts turning to curriculum and planning.  Only, what do you do when you don't follow a plan very well at all?  In fact, I am a planning failure.  I have planned out whole school years gleefully, but then the rigidity of the plan sabotages me. Scheduling out my days leaves me feeling suffocated instead of motivated!

We are definitely interest led in our learning.  And so this year, this third year of homeschooling, I am going to embrace this unique learning style rather than struggle against it!

I read an inspiring blog post about recording versus planning and I decided to adopt that mindset for myself too.  There won't be any lessons plans...eeek!!!  I will be recording what we have learned each day in a simple notebook.

So without further ado, the school year plan {without planning}:

Bible:  As a good friend of mine observed, Bible shouldn't be something that is relegated to just school.  We want to instill a lifelong love of the Word in our children, so we will be reading and observing the scriptures each day of the week.  I want to have at least one day of the week that we do a study together as a family. We will be focusing on practical application in our lives and memorization.

Math:  I have yet to find a suitable math curriculum for my two boys.  Mr. I (age 8) loves math and is quite proficient.  Mr. J (age 9) struggles a little in math and doesn't enjoy it as much.  I want to find a curriculum that I can do with both of them but allows them to learn at their own pace.  Is that too much to ask for? ;)

Language Arts:  We will be doing one lesson of Write Shop a week as most of our writing will be utilized with notebooking.  Reading will be done in large volumes because our history curriculum is largely based on reading well-written historically accurate literature.  And simply because the our family loves to read! ;)

History & Geography:  This year we are trying out TruthQuest History and we are loving it!  We will be reading wonderful accounts of real history regarding the United States' early history.  Currently we are studying the Revolutionary War (as per my children's request). Geography is a natural partner with history,  and so we will be learning about the United States primarily, but American history is wrapped up in European geography too!  

Spanish:  Even though Papa is completely fluent in Spanish, our children are not.  And I am only conversant.  So we will be using Hooked on Spanish to learn more!  This particular program is geared towards the younger set.  We might surpass that learning level quickly so I will have to be researching where to go from here!

Science:  This is our most favorite subject as a family.  Science creeps into casual discussions all the time, so I won't be putting a huge focus on this one.  We are raising ducks and starting a garden, so I figure those practical applications will keep us busy for a while. ;)  Astronomy is also a favorite of ours, so we will be sure to include some of the starry heavens in our studies too.

Art:  See the Light caught my eye recently.  Papa and I are blessed to have extremely artistic children (we run out of pens and paper ALL the time).  So I haven't focused on art in the past years.  But I want to cultivate this unique gifting in my children and to teach them new art techniques and concepts.  See the Light is done from a Christian perspective, which I love!  And she makes it simple and approachable for those of us who are not Da Vinci's by nature. ;)

So that about wraps up my plans {without planning}!  I am excited to see what we learn this year and how this new learning style meshes with our family.