Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Downsizing Christmas

Christmas is just around the corner and I wanted to give you a little update on Project Downsize.  We moved again in the middle of November and did some more purging.  I would recommend purging every time you move, regardless of how often that may be.  I feel like we are doing a good job of keeping the "stuff" out of our home, but Christmas is almost here. How do you downsize Christmas?

Lucky for us we started this process last year without realizing it.  As I have mentioned before our kids have plenty grandparents, 3 grandmas, 1 grandpa, and 1 great grandma.  Like all grandparents they love to spoil their grandkids and go all out for Christmas.  Last year we decided things were getting out of control and decided to make Christmas less about the gifts.  I was inspired by this pin on Pinterest to only give each child 4 gifts.
The 4 Gifts of Christmas
Something you want.
Something you need.
Something to wear.
Something to read.
 It went over surprisingly well with the girls.  This year I took it one step farther and explained to the grandparents how we are trying to simplify our life.  I gave recommendations for magazine subscriptions, lessons, or activities.  Come Christmas morning we will see how it goes.

 In case I don't get time to post again until next year:

Until next time,
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Saturday, December 20, 2014

The Homeschool Weekly Buzz - December 20, 2014

Join me and Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers as we recap our week.

In my life this week...This week we tried a different church.  We stayed for maybe 10 minutes.  The people were not very friendly or helpful.  They had the kids in service with the adults and as far as I could tell they didn't even have nursery available.  Bug was being her usual active 3 year old self and Mr. Mister was not happy about being contained.  I was feeling very frustrated when a dirty look from the woman behind us became the straw that broke the camels back. I believe kids should behave themselves in church, but I also feel that options for children should be provided.  I gathered up the kids, all their stuff and left.  We went back to the church we attended last week, even though we were an almost an hour late.  The girls enjoyed themselves. Mr. Mister did better in the nursery, but I still had to spend all of my time with him.  I have attended the church for two Sundays in a row, but never hear the sermon.  I may have to ask more specifically about a place that I can at least hear the sermon. 
     I finished the Christmas shopping this week.  I have a few gifts that I'm working on, but I'm proud of how much I've accomplished.  The girls helped with some of the gifts.  I would like to tell you what they are, but it will have to wait until after Christmas.
     We have also finally started all the Christmas cookies.  We make peanut butter, snicker doodles, and sugar cookies.  The girls are pros at rolling them in sugar.  It's a little stressful to have a toddler and a preschooler in my kitchen while the stove is on.  I'm hoping next year will be easier, but I'm not holding my breath.
In our homeschool this week... Bee has been working really hard to get two weeks of school work done in one week so she can have a longer holiday break.  Sometimes trying to get extra accomplished causes problems, but this time it went fairly smoothly.
My favorite thing this week was... My favorite things this week was getting the call from our old place telling us it had been subleased!
My kiddos favorite thing this week was... The girls loved helping with the sugar cookies.
Things I'm working on... I'm finishing up the homemade Christmas gifts. I'm also working on wrapping them and getting some of them mailed out.
I'm cooking... I'm finishing up the Christmas cookies.
I'm praying for... I'm praying for a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year for everyone!
I rewarded my kids this week by... I let the girls sample some of the Christmas cookies.
A photo, video, link, or quote to share...
Until next time,
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Saturday, December 13, 2014

The Homeschool Weekly Buzz - December 13, 2014

Join me and Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers, as we recap our week.

In my life this week...This week feels like it flew by. We are in the process of trying to find a new church in our new town.  Finding a church where you fit in and it meets all your needs can be tricky.  We were hoping for a church with a Saturday or Sunday evening service so Mr. Daddy could attend with us.  One of the down falls of his promotion is he has to work Sundays.  Honestly, it can be stressful for me to take all three kids by myself.  The girls did great, but Mr. Mister doesn't like being away from me, so I end up spending my time in the nursery with him.  I was hoping for a church with a room for parents to take fussy kids and still be able to hear the service.  Maybe I just missed it this week. 
     Mr. Daddy found out late last week that he had to attend a meeting in Kansas City.  He was going to leave Tuesday morning and not get back until very late Wednesday or early morning Thursday.  We discussed the possibilities of the whole family going, but we couldn't afford the cost of gas.  I was disappointed that we wouldn't be able to visit with family and friends, but was glad he was able to have a bit of a break from all the working he has been doing.  The kids did fairly well, but Bug asked me several times a day if Mr. Daddy was coming home soon "for Christmas."  It was bitter sweet. 
     When I did research about the homeschool community in this area I was excited at the prospect of a large homeschooling community.  After being here about a month, I feel disappointed.  I joined a local Facebook page, but they never seem to post any information about activities.  I guess I'll have to get way out of my comfort zone and start asking more questions.  I believe the kids will do better when they have more activities to keep them busy.
In our homeschool this week...Bee continues to slowly work her way through her school work.  She goes through days where she does great and gets done quickly.  Then she has days where it's a constant battle just to get through the day. 
     I have made more of an effort to find some extra activities for the girls.  I have looked at the local library, parks and recreation, and the YMCA.  I'm running out of places to look.
My favorite thing this week was...I enjoyed the short amount of time I was able to spend singing Christmas songs in the church, before Mr. Mister threw such a fit I had to go spend the rest of my time with him in the nursery.
My kiddos favorite thing this week was...The girls really enjoyed getting to meet new friends at the church we tried out.
Things I'm working on...This week I'm working on three things:
  1. Finding extra activities for the kids.
  2. Planning meals out in advance.
  3. Getting ready for Christmas.  My goal is to have a gift plan of action. It's very late for me to be starting but the move and job promotion has put me off my normal schedule.
I'm cooking...I need to start baking cookies this week. Mr. Daddy wants his favorite peanut butter cookies and the girls want sugar and snicker doodle cookies.  I also may bake some banana bread.  I may do some research and try some new recipes.
I'm grateful for...I'm grateful for the friendly people we meet at church this week.  It's so nice to have people just come up and introduce themselves when you are new.  There was one gentleman that just made the Bee's day by showing her pictures of his horses.
I'm praying for...I'm praying our old home is subleased soon.
A photo, video, link, or quote to share...

Until next time,
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Saturday, December 6, 2014

The Homeschool Weekly Buzz - December 6, 2014

Join me, Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers, and The Homeschool Mother's Journal as we recap our week.
In my life this week...This week we had to make the hard decision to not go across the state to Mr. Daddy's Parents homes for Christmas.  This year was the first Christmas since my mom moved to North Carolina and we had originally planned on spending Christmas with Mr. Daddy's parents.  After we sat down and tried to figure out the logistics of all the driving, not sleeping in our own beds, and the over excitement that always comes with the kids spending time with their grandparents, we decided it wasn't possible to do and still have our sanity in the day and a half  that Mr. Daddy had off.  The kids were a little disappointed but glad to not have to do the really long car rides.  The grandparents were upset about us not coming, but we set up Skype appointments so that they can see the kids on Christmas day. 
     The girls and I have started thinking about the baking we love to do this time of year.  Mr. Daddy got excited when we pulled out the cookie books and wanted to make sure we had everything we needed to make his favorite Peanut Butter cookies.  The girls are really looking forward to helping mix and roll the cookies in sugar.  I love how wonderful the house smells when we are baking.
     I have been on a mission this week to find jeans that can hold up to Bee.  I wouldn't say she's a big tomboy, but she has managed to put holes in all of her jeans.  I asked for recommendations from friends and family and started looking for a brand that will work.   I looked at the Tractor Supply store, JC Penny, and ended up at Wal-Mart.  I don't know what's wrong with the people who design little girls jeans, but their jeans just don't work for us.  Jeans have too much stretch, low rise and not enough sturdy material.  We had to go to the boys department to even find some Wranglers.  We found their Rustler collection and bought Bee four pairs of pants.  The only problem with these jeans is they didn't have an adjustable waist band.  She will be wearing belts for a little while.
     The girls have been on a mission to find postcards to send to family and friends.  In our old town we could find postcards at Wal-Mart, but no such luck here.  I  believe we will have to go to a truck stop to find some here.
In our homeschool this week... Bee has Christmas fever and is really looking forward to her break.   We are finally getting in a routine well enough for us to start thinking about extra activities.
My favorite thing this week was... Bee lost one of her baby teeth while she was eating cotton candy.
My kiddos favorite thing this week was...The girls loved going out to eat for lunch.  We don't go out to eat that often and we went to their favorite place.
Things I'm working on...I'm working on starting the Christmas gifts I'm making.
I'm cooking...I'm not cooking anything that exciting right now, but next week we will be baking cookies.
I'm grateful for... I'm grateful for how well the girls accepted that it will be just us for Christmas.
I'm praying for... I'm praying our old place gets subleased soon.
Something I am ogling or have my eye on...I'm trying to find a messenger bag for Mr. Daddy.  He has talked about maybe wanting something to take stuff to and from work and I would like to find a nice one for him.  One that has a touch of geek would be awesome.

Until next time,
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