When Do I Sit Down?

Modern mom just trying to make it!

Home Summer School May 30, 2013

 

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This year K is going to summer school. This will be the first year normally we do it at home.  She is excited because she will get a jump on 3rd grade (and she cried on the last day of school because she did not want it to be summer….something is wrong with that kid.) E will still go to daycare most of the time. I still have to pay to keep his spot for the school year and he loves playing with his friends. I do not send him all the time. This week he only ended up going two days because of family activities and make up dance lessons. The baby is home all summer. He is changing child care providers so we saw this as a good way to work on his development with some one on one time and to save some cash! I still need to have some activities for the kids to do so they are just not in front of the TV or trying to get on my iPad.  K summer school only goes until the end of June so I still have all of July and August to work with them.

We have some busy bags that I need to get out so we all remember they are there. I am going to make them Summer Binders with work book pages and make an award to put at the back and a coupon to get an ice cream at the Dollar General. We also have rehears for a production of South Pacific that the big kids are in. It is an hour drive and it is a professional theater so it will be a good learning experience for them.  They are not in the show much so there will be some down time and the Summer Binders will be a big help with that I think.

Like I said in my post yesterday we do the library and Barnes and Noble reading programs. (We got the Barnes and Noble one for K yesterday and she had completed it).  I look for other activities for us to do as well. I have pined some things on Pinterest that I am going to look at too.

I read this blog post by   called Do-It-Yourself Summer Camp. It had some good ideas and some were like things I have done in the past. I love keeping journals. One summer we had a food journal, a field trip journal, and a nature journal. This was when K was in preschool so she drew all of her journals.

I will post updates as I get things done. I plan on starting this Sunday or Monday. Sunday starts the 42 day stretch that my husband is gone so I will need all the structure I can get.

 

 

Penny Pinching Patio Project – An Update – Here Comes The Rain Again May 29, 2013

Well I have gotten next to nothing done on the patio because it WILL NOT STOP RAINING!!!!!!!! (the fact that are basement floods makes this even worse…ugggggg).  I did move the flower pots out to the patio and then had to move them back up to the house because the rain un-potted some of the plants. Yep, pushed them out of the pots roots and all. I did take some photos!

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Not much yet but it is getting there. I moved the kids bench from the deck but I still need big people seating. My middle child just turned 4 so I asked for a swimming pool for his birthday. If it EVER stops raining we will get it put up.

For mothers day I got a nice little pot with my babies feet on it. I think it is a sweet little touch.

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Summer Savings – Free Play Day!!!

We had to go into town today because my 4 year old had a dance class that he needed to make up. With school being out I was able to take him on a weekday. I had all three kids with me and because 7 year old starts summer school tomorrow I thought we should have some fun. I did not want to spend any money (I did by lunch and I could have done that cheaper but I wanted to get vegetables so I splurged at the food court at bit). The first thing we did was go to the play place (or as I call it the pink eye play place) so the big kids could play and I could feed the baby. We played for about 25 min and headed off to the food court for lunch. We also made a stop at the family bathroom to wash hand and I would like to thank the person that decided that the family bathroom was a good idea.

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We love the pink eye play place.

After lunch we hit Barnes and Noble to play with the train and to pick up the summer reading handout for my 7 year old. The summer reading program is free!! Kids in grades K-6  read 8 fill out a  reading journal  and they receive a free book.  You can pick up the handout in store or print a PDF from their web page.

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Photo is a little blurry because the baby hit my camera when I took it – sorry!

The baby is napping now, big kids are playing, and I cleaned house some. The next part of our free play day is the local library. We will check out some books and play a bit before I have to make dinner and go to my church job. Remember to check you library for free summer reading programs as well. We do the activities we can at the library in the small town we live in and at the library in the big town next door.

The best part about this day, other then being free, is that it saves time. The first two activities and lunch were all at the same place. The faster we go from one thing to the next the less wining I here and the less I have to pack, unpack, and repack kids. The library in our town is only 3 min from the hose so making the run out there is no big deal.

What is your favorite free activities?

 

Penny Pinching Patio Project – Flower up date May 20, 2013

Just thought I would give you a quick update on some of the flowers that I posted about that I got for cheep.

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They look wonderful. This weekend I am going to move them over to the patio now that Missouri has decided it is spring.

Behind the big pots there are some small containers of flowers that I need to plant. We got pansies for teacher apperception week at school and the red flowers are from Mother’s Day. I also got a cute pot with my babies’ foot prints on it.

I also planted so pole beans that I though would be fun for the kids. I need to add a trellis still.

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They have come in even better then this the last few days. I am starting to get excited to see things start to come together.

 

Gift cards….how should you spend them? May 19, 2013

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When I was a kid, or any time before I had kids, and I got a gift card I knew I was going to blow that money on something I wanted. Anymore that is not the case. Now that the big kids are old enough to know that they got a gift card we give them the joy of blowing the money. We do try and teach them to make good choices with the gift cards.

For example my daughters birthday is in October. She got a $25 Amazon gift card. She wanted to spend it then. We talked to her and we all decided the best thing would be to hold on to it until after Christmas. That way if she did not get something she wanted she would have the gift card. It turned out she got another $25 Amazon gift card for Christmas. We talked a lot about what she could get with her $50 at Amazon. My 7 year old loves to read and thought it might be nice to have an ereader. We looked it up and for $60 she could get the bottom of the like Kindle. With her gift cards and giving us $10 of her Christmas cash she got her self an ereader. I was impressed with the thought she put into it.

My husband took my 3 year old to Target to use a gift card one time. He said that they looked at toys for along time. My son found a $25 toy on clearance that he was able to get with his $15 gift card (I think that mom and dad did pay the tax on that one).

Now how do I spend my gift cards….most of the time….on food. If the card is to my husband and I we by things we need for all of us. An extra $25 in the food budget can go a long way (use some coupons with that and it can go really far!!)  or be that special thing that you don’t normally spring for. If it is a gift card for the baby or as a shower gift I spend it on the baby. I have gotten nipples, formula, and diapers. It has helped our bottom line and they where things that he truly needed…not just stuff I thought was cute or fun.

Do I miss the fun stuff….yep. Have I found other ways to put fun in my life…yep. But in the end teaching my child to make a good choice with money (or a gift card) or knowing that my son has formula for the next month helps me sleep at night.

 

 

Penny Pinching Patio Project – Outside toy storage

One of my goals was some outside toy storage so the kids can get to a few toys with out me having to let them into the garage. This way I can send them out if I am working on something in the house or doing something with the baby that will not let me go out. They can stay in the back yard and be far from the street and I can still see them from every room. We had been using a Step 2 plastic toy box in the garage for years  but it was not working well for us any more. I had my husband drill several holes in the bottom and then he attached three pieces of 2×4 so it was off the ground so it would drain and would be heavy enough to not blow away.

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This solution is by no meas water tight. It did rain some last night and when I checked it today it was nice and dry. The real test will be tonight. We are on the edge of a massive thunderstorm right now and then there is another one about 30 min behind it. Everything we have in it will be fine if it gets wet so I am not that worried.

I got the toy chest used about 6 years ago for $25 but for the sake of this project it was FREE because we had all of the things already. You just have to think outside of the toy box and get a bit creative with the things you have.  Any other good ideas for outside toy storage??

 

Summer Saving – Door Snake

Saving money on electricity is always a big thing at our house.  Everything we own is electric (no gas or propane). The last few days we have had to run the AC due to the humidity and the fact that my son has been sick and was having a hard time breathing.  We do all the normal things they tell you to do….keep the hose has warm as you can handle (for us that is about 75 during the day and 73 at night)…we turn it up to 78 or so when we are not home….the normal stuff.  We also still use the door snake. In the winter you use it to keep the cold air out…in the summer to keep the cold air in.

This past winter I made a door snake from an old towel and some rice.  I had an 16 lb bag of rice that I got for $8 just for projects like this (and heating pads….but that is another post!)

I measured the bottom of the door that I was going to use the snake on and then added 4 in. This would give me room to sew up the ends and have the snake be longer then the door. I made a tube by sewing three ends shut. I turned the tub right side out and with the help of my husband and a funnel filled it with rice. I then sewed up the other end.

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