Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Our countdown has begun!

We will be leaving for Disney World in 30 days! We have made a chain link out of paper with tons of Disney characters on them! Each day we will cut one link off to give Brayden an idea of when we will be leaving. This will be his first trip to WDW! Actually this will be both of my kids 1st plane trip also! I have had so much fun planning this trip...my OCD has gone wild! I have made shirts for the kids plus I have made a couple of shirts for Hank and I since it will be our Anniversary that week also! I am so ready to leave now!!!

Some deals...

So much for me blogging on a daily basis. We have been so busy!

I have to say this week I have gotten a lot of great deals at Kroger with their Mega Sale. When you buy 10 certain items they credit your bill $5. On top of that most of the items had coupons that I used. I was able to buy 30 items and got $15 off not counting the coupons taken off. When you look at your receipt it will state how much you have saved. Usually mine says anywhere from 10 to 20%, but this week it said 44%!!!

Here is an example of what I go::

Cereal (6 boxes) $1.99 sale price - $.50 (Mega Sale discount)= $8.94- $4 off in coupons= $4.94
That is $.82 a box!

Here are some other bargains I got today:
Office Max: 3 pack of filler paper $.20 each
Total $.65 with tax

Office Depot: Scientific Calculator $6.99
2- 5 pk Sharpie markers $4.49 each
5- 2 pocket folders FREE
Out of Pocket: $15.97 - 15.97 mail in rebates= Everything FREE!!!

On another note, this morning I took the kids along with one of Ashton's friends to Jones Orchard to pick some more peaches and pears. I hope to post pics tomorrow.

Now off to get kids ready for soccer and softball practice...Ugh! We never stop running!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Yard of the Month

I came home this afternoon to find another sign in my yard. I honestly had to take a double take. My Homeowner's Association selected my house for "Yard of the Month." Here are some pics. My grass actually needs to be cut and my front bushes need to be trimmed. I have lived here over 11 years and this is the first time we have gotten this award. The sign looks real good next to my For Sale sign! Maybe this will help me sell my house!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Lately, Brayden has been dressing up in his costumes I got him last year when they all went on sale after Halloween. I got them dirt cheap. He loves his Army costume that has the big muscles. Instead of getting dressed for the day, he goes and gets it on. Here is a pic of him doing some puzzles during school time.

I went to check on Ashton while she was doing her school work. She hates getting her pic taken. I usually try to sneak up on her, but she is so fast! What am I going to do with that girl!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Happy Birthday, Hank!

This past weekend we have been celebrating Hank's 34th Birthday. I literally mean all weekend! He deserves it, though! Friday night we went to the Melting Pot with some old friends, Richard and Johnna. I wish I had taken pictures. The food was delicious!

Then Saturday we went out to eat with my sister, Kim and her boyfriend, Sam. Here are some pics we took in the car. Afterwards we went to see the movie, The Goods. (No comment on the movie, he definitely earned it's "R" rating.)

Then Sunday after church we celebrated his actual birthday at my mom's. We had grilled steak, squash casserole (by Hand's request), baked potatoes, lima beans, and rolls. Yum!! We ended it with Hank blowing candles out on top of his carrot cake! Happy birthday, Hank! This is to many more years of celebrating your birthday together! We love you!!!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Just a relaxing Wednesday for us...

This morning we played outside before it got too hot. I got out the camera and played around. (Yes, we like to play outside in our pj's!lol!)
Brayden playing with his sand/water table.

I was taking pictures of flowers and turned around to see Brayden sitting relaxed in his tractor driving with one of his feet. Crazy boy!

All of my crepe myrtle trees are blooming!

When it started to warm up outside, we decided to pull out the playdoh.

Ashton joined in the fun!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Happy Birthday, Mamaw!

Happy Birthday to my precious grandmother who is celebrating her 88th birthday today! We love you!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Girls Only Eat Soup!

Our Current Book List:

Be Rich (Study of Ephesians): Gaining the Things That Money Can't Buy
by Waren W. Wiersbe

The Ministry of Motherhood: Following Christ's Example in Reaching the Hearts of Our Children
by Sally Clarkson

by J.K. Rowling

Lots of different preschool books

Today we were sitting at the table together eating lunch. We made grilled cheese sandwichs with chicken noodle soup. Brayden said he didn't want any soup. I always try to make him try everything once. I asked him why and his response was "Girls only eat soup!" Brayden is always coming up with excuses for not trying different types of food. Ashton and I just giggled. This was definitely a new one!

Friday, August 7, 2009

My Rite-Aid Deals

This summer I have been so lazy when it comes to buying grocery and household items. I stopped using coupons and searching for all the free deals. One of the main reasons was Walgreens stopped their rebates. It was so easy to find a Walgreens and then claim the rebates online. I would really get some great deals! I was really disappointed that they stopped the program. Then Rite-Aid really didn't have great deals this summer, so I just stopped it all together.

I have heard rumors lately that Walgreens is going to start their rebate program back in September. I have my fingers crossed.

I noticed in this Sunday's paper Rite-Aid had some free rebates items on their front page. The only thing with Rite-Aid is that if you don't go early Sunday morning, everything is will be gone. They only have a small quanity. Of course this week, I did not make it to the store until Wednesday and I didn't find one item that was free. Well, today I was in the area of another Rite-Aid store and checked it out. I was able to find 2 items!

Renu Multi-purpose (2 pack) contact solution $9.99
Garnier Fructis Conditioner $2.99
Coupon: Garnier Fructis -$1.00
Out of Pocket Expense: $11.98

Contact solution $9.99
conditioner $2.00
Total: $11.99

Profit: $0.01

Thursday, August 6, 2009

The busy schedule has begun...

Our August calendar is filling up fast! With Ashton playing 2 sports this fall and Brayden playing one, I think we are going to have practice every day of the week. Hank is going back to school this semester, taking 2 courses, plus he is leading a men's bible study at our church. Now he is debating on coaching a middle school football team for a private school. With us all running around going from practice to practice, we are also trying to sell our house. Do we need anymore stress? Life is just going by so fast! I was hoping this school year would be slow and enjoyable.

Lately, I have been attending a Zumba class 2 times a week. I have really enjoyed it! I just hope with all this running around I still have time to fit it in! I need to lose all this baby weight. (Can I still call it baby weight if my baby just turned 4? lol!)

I just got back from working out...off to take a shower and hit the hay. Another busy day tomorrow!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Christmas Carol Train Tour

Yesterday we took our 1st field trip of the year. Disney is promoting their new movie coming out in November, "A Christmas Carol" starring Jim Carrey. The train began in LA, California traveling across the US which holds a museum inside. The kids and I were so excited that my parents took a half day off of work to join us! We had to wait in line for about 2 hours to finally board the train. It was a very HOT day, but we had lots of fun!

Brayden looking at the models.

Mom, Dad, Ashton and Brayden
Ashton and I sweating to death as we waited in line!
You can see Central Station behind mom, Ashton, and Dad.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

1st day of school!!! (2009-2010)

Brayden was so excited about starting school today!

Ashton was pretending she was excited about school! I had to remind her at least she doesn't have to get up at 5am to catch a bus at 6am! She smiled for me then!

We started off sharpening his new Transformer pencils. He has the funniest expressions!

We did a little writing, but I knew he would not have much interest. He at least tried for a few minutes writing an "A" and tracing some straight lines.

Ashton knew where to start in her studies. We already went over everything last week, so she was ready to go! She found a comfy spot on the couch and went to work!

We then worked on some motor skills. He was playing with rice, practicing on filling different types of cups and bowls with out overfilling or spilling. He definitely liked this game! (His face is orange from eating spaghetti for lunch!)

I hope to have some great pictures tomorrow. We are visiting the Christmas Carol Train Tour downtown! More to come!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Menu Plan for the Week

Monday: Cube Steak over white rice, bacon ranch green beans

Tuesday: Grilled Brown sugar pork chops, sweet potatoes, grilled asparagus

Wednesday: BBQ Chicken, twice baked potatoes, honey glazed carrots

Thursday: Cheesy Ham Hashbrown casserole, english peas

Friday: Loaded Potato Soup, Broccoli cheese cornbread

Saturday: Leftover

Sunday: Luncheon at church

Saturday, August 1, 2009

New School Year is about to BEGIN!!!

This coming Monday is going to be the first day of school at Smith Academy(our homeschool name). The past couple of weeks I have been planning and organizing, just not homeschool stuff but household stuff also. I have my menus planned for the next couple of weeks, routine printed out, school lesson plans for the next 2 months, etc. It is a lot of work, but I love the organization part of it. (OCD!!!) I have a 3-ring binder with 10 pocket dividers that is full of everything important to keep this household organized! You should see it!
I have several goals that I hope to accomplish this school year with my kids. Ashton will be entering the 8th grade and Brayden will be starting Preschool. This might be the last year to homeschool Ashton depending if we move into a better school district. I have really enjoyed having my sweet daughter home with me for the past 2 years. I plan to homeschool Brayden all the way through middle school and then we will figure what we plan to do about high school. I want to give my kids the decision to go to public school or homeschool during high school. I feel like they will have a strong Bibical foundation and shine like a light into this secular world. Of course if I made the choice I would want them to homeschool all the way through. I have really enjoyed the experiences and joy of watching my kids learn.
We have changed curriculum for Ashton. We used Bob Jones, but I feel like it has been boring and not challenging for her. So, I have done my research and this is what we are using:

Physical Science- Apologia w/a co-op lab
Language Arts- SOS

Ashton is a very fast learner and speed reader(definitely gets that from her dad). She is very strong in Math, so she completed Pre-Algebra in 7th grade and plans to get high school credit for Algebra she takes this year. For science, I am glad we changed to Apologia which is a Bible based curriculum. She will be doing the experiments with a co-op that we signed up with. They will be doing weekly labs and are required to keep a journal recording their data. This will also carry over as a high school credit. I hope I made a good decision on using SOS for her other 3 courses. It is a computer-based curriculum which is really neat. I will be posting in a couple of weeks how it is working out. One goal I have for her to get her ready for high school and college is to work on a research project. We will start at the basics of note taking, summarizing, and gradually work towards researching and getting our ideas together and put down on paper. Please pray for both of us during this since this is not something Ashton nor I like to do. I feel like it will be very beneficial for her in the end though.
For extra-curricular activities, Ashton has decided to play softball for MHEA (Memphis-based Homeschool Education Association). Their season begins in January, but they have already starting practicing 3 days a week plus about 3 tournaments are scheduled before the season starts. On top of that, she will be playing soccer for a church team.
Brayden is a totally different than Ashton. He learns different than her. I have been reading books from the library trying to learn how to teach him the best. He is a kinesthetic learner. That is when a person learns not by visual or audial, but hands on learning. He does not sit still for very long. He is not into coloring, writing. He rather go play outside all day if he could. He is a very active little boy! He keeps me on my toes. I did not buy a particular curriculum for him. I have found several books that have tons of ideas how to teach kinesthetic learners. Mostly games and hands-on projects to work on together. I plan to start the school year on his motor skills and gradually work him to want to write. Luckily, Ashton's work will be mostly independent work and I will have more time to work with Brayden. I have also decided to put Brayden into a local Preschool for 2 half days a week. This will give Ashton and I time to work on things that she needs help on such as her research project.
I hope to blog more this school year so I can look back and see what we have accomplished through out the year. I will be documenting our learning experiences, field trips and tons of photos of us having fun!

Be sure to check back! Monday I will let you know how our 1st day of 8th grade and preschool went! Until then...