Wednesday, September 23, 2009

It's beginning to look a lot like....

Well, maybe I am not quite ready for Christmas yet, but I feel like it's been on my mind a lot. I was lucky to get an extra 30% off at Kohl's this week - AND they were giving out Kohl's Cash too! So guess who did a huge part of her holiday shopping???? Our family has lots of celebrations in the fall and winter - birthdays galore! So I managed to buy birthday gifts for all my fall birthdays and was also able to cross a number of gifts off my holiday list too! Plus, I earned Kohl's Cash, so I can shop for "free" next week!

When I am not busy shopping at Kohl's I've been

  • Working on Drama Club curriculum - it's our first attempt at a club for grades 1-5, and I wrote all the curriculum. I am crossing my fingers that the club runs smoothly when we start in October!
  • Planning our Brownie meetings through the end of December - some fun outdoor events, lots of crafts and a party or two!
  • Signed Ryan up for Boy Scouts.
  • Enjoyed my first morning ALONE - Jacob attended his first solo preschool session yesterday!
  • steam cleaning my carpets (it was on the to-do list for this fall, but I had to start due to a nasty, leaky trash bag!).
  • Homework, homework homework! It takes so much more organization to get TWO kids to sit down and complete their assignments after school!
  • Got to have a nice visit with an old friend - and meet her 3-month-old little man!
  • I am helping my mom plan a "sprinkle" for my sister (who is due with her 2nd baby in December). She's been blessed with a boy, and is now expecting a little girl!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

So Sad

I heard some very sad news today. A friend from high school lost his 2-year-old daughter after a long battle with serious complications from illness. Emma just turned 2 on September 9th. She contracted meningitis as a very young infant and suffered massive brain injuries because of her illness.

Less than one month ago, I learned that another high school classmate lost his 3-year-old daughter as well. She suffered from some medical conditions as well, but both of these precious girls were not expected to leave this world so soon.

I have another (closer) friend whose daughter was diagnosed with a terminal illness last year. Follow-up genetic testing confirmed their younger son has the same disease. Neither child will live to see their 18th birthday.

I know that these children are indeed angels and have gone on to be in peace,but it's still so heartbreaking.

I am on the reunion committee for our 15th High School Reunion this fall - the event truly has a dark cloud hanging over it.

Please go hug your babies tightly - they are miracles.

Monday, September 14, 2009

School Days

(sorry no pics - I am bloggin' from work tonight, where I am covering for someone's vacation)

School started last week for my older two kids. What a change for us all! 3rd-grade is a lot more intense than 2nd grade - Maddie seems a little overwhelmed with the homework so far! Ryan is having a tough time with fullday school in 1st grade. So we are very slowly adjusting to our new fall schedule.

Jacob starts preschool tomorrow - he can't wait!!!!! I am so happy that he will finally be able to go to his own school. It's all he's been talking about for weeks!

I am trying to adjust to the schedule changes as well. This summer, we were very blessed to be laid-back and LAZY for nearly the whole 3 months. September has found me once again scheduled for PTO and Brownie events, as well as trying to find time to volunteer in the kids' schools.

I will admit that I love being home with just Jacob during the day. He loves being my little helper and we get so much done during our mornings. On Wednesday, we will be taking a Mommy & Me Music class together - I can't wait!

AND - since Jacob still takes a nice, long nap in the afternoon I have found myself with some Mommy-time! I have been using that time to sneak in some exercise - and I plan on sticking with that new routine! I also made plans to start walking with my neighbor on the mornings that Jacob is in school.

Blogging may be infrequent for now - I am just so busy with the school year STUFF. Hopefully we'll be back on track soon.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Bargain Alert - CVS

I have no idea if this is at all CVS stores, or just mine, but I need to mention it. I went in for toothpaste, but found 90% summer items today!

Water Wings/Floaties for the pool - $.29!

Boogie Board - $.79!

Womens/Mens Flip Flops - $.99

"Crocs" (not real ones) - $.79!

I bought several pairs of the Crocs, since the boys love to wear those. How can you go wrong for $.79?????????

America on Wheels

Yesterday, we visited the America on Wheels museum. I am not a "car buff" by any means, but I enjoyed seeing the exhibits. The kids are so into cars right now (even Maddie!), so they enjoyed their visit a lot!

There was a Photo Op Spot to be driving a race car!

And a huge display about Mack Trucks - including a cab where you could "drive."

Throughout the museum there were plenty of "hands on" activities for the kids to learn and explore.

And I enjoyed the nostalgic presentation that went along with many of the displays.

On the second floor, we found a room just for kids - complete with license plate rubbings to make! We also found a neat education room too (which is perfect because we are considering a Girl Scout field trip there this fall!).

There was even a working jukebox - 5 songs for a quarter! We enjoyed The Lion Sleeps Tonight the most!

Friday, September 4, 2009

10 Percent

I have had something weighing on my heart lately, and I think I found a way to feel good about myself and help others in need. It's all about 10%

I have been concerned about how much my family consumes - in all areas of our lives. We eat out too much, we buy too many things and we have been taking less time to enjoy the important things in life. I don't like that I do it, and I don't like the lessons it's teaching my impressionable children. I care about financial future, our planet and people in need - I really, truly do. But my actions have been speaking louder than my words lately.

Today I heard some stories about homeless families in our area. My sister teaches in an inner-city district less than 10 miles from my home. Last year, that school district (just minutes away from my suburban neighborhood) had over 600 homeless children enrolled in its schools.

600 children.

And I sit in my home complaining that I need more storage space because our clothes do not fit into our closets and multiple dressers in the 3 spacious bedrooms (not to mention basement and garage) that we have.

Yet, it's really difficult for me to simply get rid of our things - things that we can (and do) use. So that's where the 10% comes in. I used this technique with Madeline once, while she was cleaning her room. She has too many stuffed animals, yet never wants to part with them. The last time we cleaned her room, I asked her to choose 9 animals to put back in her toy box - and then asked her to select ONE animal to give to charity. We did this until we went through all her animals. She still had tons of toys left, but pulled 10% of her toys to donate to charity. 10% doesn't seem like a lot, yet it's something.

I have decided to put 10% to work in other areas of our home too. Tonight, I tackled Jacob's closet. I pulled 10% of his clothes to give to charity - and he still could go weeks without wearing the same shirt twice! But his closet is less crammed, and I was able to fill almost an entire laundry basket with donations. I will be going through everyone's clothes - as well as our books, toys, media and household items - and giving 10% to someone who truly needs it. I won't miss that 10%, but I am sure it will make a HUGE difference to someone else.

Can you find 10% to give?