29Aug2008 Filed under: blah-blah-blog

I just got back from grocery shopping. We get paid twice a month, and except for milk and fresh produce, I buy enough each payday to last ’til the next one. But holy cow, is it expensive to feed a family these days! I do what I can to cut corners…use coupons, cook most everything from scratch (even our bread), try to double up coupons and sales. Still, it’s hard to get out of there without going over what I intended to spend. (Tonight I went nearly $30 over…and I didn’t even get everything on the list!)

I went to Aldi first, for a few staples. I was really surprised to see how much their prices have risen since the last time I went. They’re still a better deal on lots of things, though. It used to be that I’d go to the commissary when I could, but that was before gas cost an arm and a leg, negating any savings.

You’ll notice a few frugal links in my “Favorite Peeps” bar to the right, sites like Hillbilly Housewife  and TipNut. They’re worth checking out if you’re also concerned about trying to save a few bucks during this “economic correction” as the optimists like to call it.

My biggest gripe about grocery shopping these days? How manufacturers are charging the same price for goods but making the packages smaller. I understand why  they do this, yet it still smacks of dishonesty. Raise the price if you need to, but don’t try to trick us by shrinking the box. We’re not stupid, and I don’t like it.

I was looking at shampoo tonight, when these three teenaged girls breezed by me. They were giggling and gabbing and as they walked by, one said, “Oh sure, like I’m going to buy my hair stuff here!” and I just rolled my eyes. Ah, to be so young and dumb. Ten years from now, she’ll be in my comfy shoes, with nothing better to do on a Friday night than leave the kids with the hubby and enjoy a few hours of shopping alone. :lol:


27Aug2008 Filed under: blah-blah-blog

Two things have wowed me so far today.

One, Eli hopped out of bed, made his bed (without being asked), put his dirty clothes into his hamper, begged to feed the cats, and asked if there were any other chores he could do before breakfast. 8-O

I picked up the phone, dialed the Alien Abduction Hotline and reported a missing child. Because that creature, despite looking exactly like Eli, could not possibly be my offspring. I just know that at this very moment, in a galaxy far, far away, my Eli is demolishing the interior of a UFO and the aliens are wringing their hands over what to do with him.

Ok, all joking aside…this chore-reward system is what made the difference: Handipoints Chore Charts Can’t really explain what it’s all about, but my kids love it and you just have to give it a try.

And now to the second WOW! moment of the day…the Today show did an awesome segment about how much our kids need free time and unstructured play. Watch the video here.

As I watched this clip, I couldn’t help thinking that it explains why my kids are so much happier, more creative, and better-behaved now that we homeschool. They do their 4.5 hours required by law, and the rest of the day is theirs. I am just so thankful to be able to teach them at home, and provide them with the unstructured free time they need to reach their full potential.

I know my kids have their moments, as all kids do, (see post below!) but overall, it truly is a blessing to live this homeschooling lifestyle. I just wish we’d have started when Zachary was small…it’s been so good for all of us.

Where did I go wrong?

25Aug2008 Filed under: blah-blah-blog

Whine. Gripe. Moan. Complain. Weep. Gnash teeth. (Repeat)

At what point, and how, did I teach my kids that these were acceptable responses to requests such as “Eat your beef stroganoff” or “Unload the dishwasher”??? Because they seem to be pretty convinced that it’s the only way to respond to something they don’t like.

I must’ve missed the memo that today was Complaining Day. Living with Zach today has been like living with Eeyore, squared. I am sooooo tired of it.

I remind them that they don’t always get their favorites for dinner, that starving kids around the world would be grateful for something that good to eat, that all of us have to help out for our household to run smoothly. All of this falls on deaf ears.

Most of the time my boys are pretty good, but when they get on these whining kicks, I want to buy them a one-way ticket to Siberia.

Life with Boys

23Aug2008 Filed under: blah-blah-blog

The other night, I’d just finished reading the kids a story in my bed, when Zach started giggling. He asked if I’d noticed anything different in my bedroom. Judging by the mischevious expressions on both kids’ faces, I knew they’d been up to something.

I told him that I hadn’t, at which time he lifted my pillow and showed me this:

And I screamed, because I don’t like bugs and it didn’t immediately register that it was a plastic spider. The boys laughed until they cried.

Fast-forward two days, to yesterday, when I went to change the sheets. I picked up my pillow, and…

Yes, this time it was a plastic mouse and I couldn’t help cracking up. I don’t know what was funnier: their being sophisticated enough to pull pranks on their old ma, or the fact that I sleep so soundly that I never noticed (twice, mind you!) a hard plastic animal underneath my pillow!

Guess who’s NOT getting any new creepy creatures for Halloween this year???

Stop the car!

20Aug2008 Filed under: blah-blah-blog

Donnie climbed back into bed with me this morning and grinning broadly, said, “Happy 40th Birthday Eve.”

Smarty-pants. He’s lucky I didn’t smack him.

I grimaced, moaned, and rolled back over. “Don’t remind me. I already feel like I’m dragging my feet in my Flintstone-mobile but the brakes just aren’t working.”