Thursday, February 24, 2011

Ultimate Couponing

I've used coupons for a few years when I would make a trip to the store every pay day, but I became inspired by the Ultimate Couponing special on TLC. I would looooove to eventually have a stockpile like what was shown, but I am not willing to go dumpster diving for discarded Sunday papers or sacrifice time with my family. I would mostly classify this as a hobby. I guess I'm doing a good thing when Ryan both makes fun of me and expresses his appreciation for saving a few bucks.

I know I shouldn't call myself an "ultimate" couponer, since while I save quite a bit I'm not paying $5 for $100 worth of groceries.  I've had savings of up to 50% on a few occasions. I do take the time to try and match my coupons with sales, which makes items very cheap or even free!  I kinda wish I had taken pictures of my purchases, but maybe I will remember to do so next time. ;)

I get my coupons both from the Sunday paper and online, mostly at Other sites I follow include The Coupon Consultant , Coupon Queen , and Money Saving Mom.  They all have Facebook pages which are great at posting about limited coupons and deals at different retailers. 

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Week in Review #19: Potty Animal

Monday - Ryan and the girls came back from Clarksville this afternoon.  They only went for a night, and I got a little break. So refreshing! They were all beat after getting back, so of course no school.  As for myself, I picked up a few groceries and relaxed at home.  Ryan thought I would go out and get a pedicure and whatever else, but I liked just enjoying being at home in the quiet!
At a rest stop on the way
back from Clarksville

Tuesday - Back to the grindstone. :) Well, a little bit.  The weather was so lovely that all four of us spent a majority of the morning outside.  We didn't start schoolwork until after 3, but we completed reading, math, and spelling.  I even managed to make it to the gym while Ryan took the girls for more outside play!
My mom made this hat! Give
her a holler if you want one!

Wednesday - Angry Birds continues to be the best incentive ever!! Before 8:30 we did reading, math, and geography.  We finished lesson 10 in reading, introduced subtraction (with great success thanks to Inchimals!), and talked about the different parts of North America. We're also trying to bite the bullet and have Autumn only wear underwear around the house to see if this potty mess will start to click. One day last week Ryan asked her if she had to use the potty and she said something along the lines of "It's okay. I have a diaper." This may take a while.  Today was also library storytime and church. I'm finally feeling like we're getting in a routine around here since moving. Feels wonderful!

Thursday - We were a bit more lax on the potty thing. :-/ I've never seen a child look like she's being tortured over this. Of course I've only had two children.  If anyone has any potty horror stories I would love to hear them so I could feel better. :-p Ryan commented today how Autumn's language skills are really coming along. It's like out of nowhere Autumn is speaking in longer sentences, and even my sister said something about that when the three of them were in Clarksville this past weekend. Hannah started lesson 11 in her reading book, which is 'y' ('yuh' and 'eye' sounds) and 'oo' (as in 'moon') plus the sight words 'do' and 'to'. 

Found this game for $3.50 at Walmart!
Supposed to help with spelling, but the
polar bear was the selling point! ;)
Despite the look of fear on her face,
Hannah has been a great
encouragement to Autumn
Friday - Autumn wore pajamas with multi-colored hearts last night, and this morning she started pointing out some of the colors. "Boo art, Mama!" (blue heart, for those without kids :-p) She sat on her potty again, but it seems like overall she's not completely ready.  I guess the best I can do is keep encouraging her and not get frustrated.  Hannah was 3 and a half before she was officially potty trained.  All will be well. Hannah did only reading and math today, which is fine since I like that to be the minimum we do. The only thing we had trouble with was her remembering the months of the year.  We went over the first 6 until she had them down pat, and then started on the second 6.  If anyone knows any tricks or songs give me a holler!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Week in Review #18: Angry Bird Incentive

Monday - Snow just came out of nowhere! We got 3-4 inches! I am so indifferent toward it now. I just praise the Lord I don't have to worry about what the school system is doing! ;)  I gave Autumn a few little sticker sheets to put on paper and she counted them out of nowhere! "1...2...3...three stickers!" I know there are 2-year olds  who can count to 10 or whatever, but I had never heard her do that! I was giddy.
Tuesday - A new rule: no playing Angry Birds until school work is finished! Hannah has gotten to the point where she asks to play it on my phone immediately after breakfast.  Her attitude has also been a bit sour when I tell her it's time to get some work done. I figured this would be a good incentive. It seemed to work pretty well since counting by 2's finally clicked a little and she read 4 pages from her phonics (as opposed to the usual 2).

Wednesday - Everything we needed to get done was done before 9 AM. That's always marvelous.  Reading, math, Early Learner, and making valentines for family. Woot! We got more snow, too, and church was cancelled. Kinda bummed, but it was still nice to just stay home and vegetate. :)  Although I don't think it was anything compared to the snow Clarksville was getting! Thankfully everyone I know and love is fine.

Thursday - Ryan wore the kids out playing in the snow, so I didn't push school work today.  I assumed both girls would have an awesome nap, but they didn't.  I heard them giggling and talking.  I figured as long as they weren't destoying stuff I wasn't going to stress over it. At night Hannah stays up 30 minutes to a hour later than Autumn, and when Hannah went to bed she was actually disappointed Autumn was already asleep.  I guess she was looking forward to one of their chat sessions. :) I assured her that she would have plenty of time to talk to Autumn tomorrow. Too sweet. I'm definitely glad they're sharing a room now.

Friday - I can't believe it's Friday! My days are so mixed up now.  Since starting homeschooling I was already losing track of days, and now with Ryan's work schedule it's become worse.  Ryan is off Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday, so those days feel more like the weekend than the actual weekend.  Today was very productive school-wise.  I also told Hannah that she could not play any computer games until school work was finished, along with playing Angry Birds. The games she plays are educational, but that is just considered extra.  We get the main stuff done first and then do the supplements, if you will.  She is all about getting her stuff done so she could play her games, and I am all about making her redo her work if she gets in a hurry and it's illegible. :-p

Monday, February 7, 2011

Week in Review #17

Monday - Today was full of crafts with painting and decorating popsicle frames.  Autumn opted to decorate her frames with stickers which was thrilling for me since that's the cleanest route. :) We also finished lesson 9 in The Reading Lesson! Lesson 10 with be 'er', 'ir', and 'ur' sounds (which are obviously the same :-p).

Tuesday - We went to the Children's Museum of Memphis, which was awesome! See my previous post about that! ;) For school work we started learning about counting by 2's. Looks like I'll be singing that around the house, like I did when we were doing 5's. LOL

Wednesday - We started lesson 10 in The Reading Lesson. Just as I figured Hannah caught on real quick. :) The girls and I also made it to church.  Autumn didn't make a fuss when I dropped her off which I am always thankful for!

Thursday - For geography we started the new section on the oceans and continents.  I really need to get Hannah a globe.  You would think that would have been one of first thing I bought before the school year started. We are just learning where to find the different oceans and continents on a map.  I reminded  Hannah that pandas are from Asia and polar bears live in Antarctica.  She is always excited to hear about that, so  that should be a good trigger to help her remember. :) Hannah went on some errands with Ryan, so Autumn and I went over the alphabet using her magnadoodle (money well spent I should say!).  She also kept asking me to write her name, so maybe before she even knows how to write it she'll know how to spell it. :-D

Friday - We had 60 degree weather a good bit last week and now it's in the 20s again. Very uncool indeed.  With the wind chill the news said it feels like 7 degrees outside. Today was an indoor day for sure!  We went over the four oceans in geography and counting by 2's in math.  Hannah noticed the pattern so hopefully it should catch on quick.  We also made valentines.  I cut out different sized hearts from construction paper and the girls put on stickers and glued on little pom poms. Easiest thing ever! Love it!

This week seemed to really fly by for me.  If I didn't write down everything we do on a daily basis I would think we didn't get anything done. Looking through Hannah's notebook I am pleasantly surprised to see we accomplished quite a bit. I use a composition notebook for each of the girls, and I write in what we did for the day even if it's just a craft or an outing.  In Autumn's I will put down we either went over letters or a particular developmental milestone she has reached. It'll be nice to look back on.

Children's Museum of Memphis

We made a trip to the Children's Museum of Memphis today. It was wonderful! Everything was interactive so the kids were allowed to touch everything.  They had an exhibit for all kinds of different things--automobiles, going to the dentist, police car, fire truck, and a disco room called Times Square just to name a few!   Ryan and I are hoping from what we saw that Autumn will not go anywhere near anyone's teeth!  In the disco room they were actually playing "Girl You Know It's True" by Milli Vanilli! Ryan and I danced like a couple of goofballs for a few seconds, and I think Hannah was officially embarrassed by us for the first time! Aw! They grow up so fast! :-p A special exhibit they had was The Wizard of Oz, which was based more on the books than the movie.  Hannah put on a flying monkey costume and "flew" around the room. There was even a little grocery store, and it was a miniaure version of Kroger! Adorable!  Some psycho 5th graders there on field trip were almost ruining it by playing Supermarket Sweep meets Nascar.  The highlight of our outing was kid's karaoke, which they have only a couple times a week.  Hannah sang the alphabet and then she wanted to do it again (they let everyone have two turns) so she sang Mary Had a Little Lamb.  Autumn tried to get on the stage to be a back up dancer, I guess. :) They had different costumes and accessories so Hannah chose a shark costume.  Saying Hannah is random does not even describe it! She just thrilled me to pieces! When I was her age I would have NEVER done that!  I have a video of it, but I need redownload iTunes so it will play. Hopefully the computer will be kind.

Dressed as a flying monkey in the
Wizard of Oz exhibit

Let's hope dentistry is not Autumn's calling

picking out produce at the mini Kroger :)

Hannah the Shark

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Daddy Workout

Mothers aren't the only ones who put on the pounds during pregnancy.  Fathers can do exactly the same--probably due to the stress of an emotional expectant mother and then an emotional stay-at-home mother. ;) But I am here with an easy workout that will help fathers get back into the shape of their now extinct bachelor days .

First, cardio is very important for heart health and fat loss.  Simply attach ratchet straps to an old piece of fence, put on a spare tire, and have the kids hop on.  Put the ratchet straps around your middle and then go crazy in the yard! Your thighs will hate you, but your kids will love you for the ride. Weight of kids may vary.  These two have a combined weight of 70 lbs plus what ever the tire weighs.

Next, it's time to tone those abs! Isn't that what made your wife fall for you in the first place? ;) Said children will sit on your mid-section, depriving you of all oxygen.  Now is the time to do as many leg raises and flutter kicks as possible.
Last but definitely not least, it's time to work on the gun show! Push ups with the extra weight will provide a bit of resistance plus another fun ride for the kids. And no girl push-ups! Be a man!

Your cool down period will consist of distracting the kids will Nick Jr. while you take a cold shower because your dear wife has used all the hot water.

Here's to a healthier you!

Week in Review #16

 The photo uploader is being so frustrating! I have about three other posts I'm working on right now. Sheesh. :-p
Monday - A very mellow day at home. Hannah practiced her name and we caught up on The Reading Lesson.

Tuesday - We ran some errands and were most excited to find a Cici's Pizza in Memphis. :) It was definitely a favorite for us back in Clarksville. No school work was accomplished today, but I don't think any of us were feeling it.

Wednesday - We touched more on polar bears this morning and I am very glad Hannah was not traumatized in learning that they hunt, kill, and eat seals. I admit I was a bit stunned, but we all gotta eat right? The girls and I made it to church tonight which was wonderful of course. I love the Bringing up Girls class! 

Thursday - I decided Ryan needed to take the girls out for a little date (hopefully too make this a weekly thing to include one on one time) by going to breakfast at McDonald's.  I have a very relaxing morning, watching the Today show and drinking coffee.  Moments like that are priceless.  As far as schooling, we did a couple of math lessons.  I also got to thinking after the kids were in bed that doing school on a whim day to day just doesn't seem to work. I'm going to try having more of a set schedule again--at least a starting time in the morning.  

Friday - I found a bear craft on Teach Preschool, a Facebook page I follow, that gives a visual of a bear's den during hibernation.  Only three materials -- brown paper bag, shaving cream, and Elmer's glue. Such a cinch! If left up to Hannah we would have a whole hibernation village! The kids really enjoyed it, and Hannah made sure the paper bear she drew and cut out was place just right. :) This morning we also caught up on math and reading and went to story time at the library. The craft was painting chopsticks and I was thrilled that the girls didn't make messes of themselves! :)


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