Surviving a Sudden Side Job

I'm excited to announce that the Homemaker's Challenge is switching things up from now on! Rather than themes for each month, we are moving to a "collum" based contributor site where each writer will share out their wheel-base. I bet none of you will ever guess what my collunm will be about! {sarcasm} Life with Lots of Littles! So, for all my mamma friends with a load of lots of littles, the 3rd Tuesday of every month, I'm hear to talk straight to YOU! This months:

Surviving a Sudden Side Job with Lots of Littles

When you are raising lots of littles, finding "spare time" to have an extra side job to meet financial goals can be tough. Today I am sharing from my failed attempt at this. Here are my 7 tips for Surviving a Sudden Side Job with Lots of Littles.

Share Button

Respectfuly Ignore Ignorant Banter

Respectfully Ignoring Ignorant Banter {when it comes to your children}

After visiting my father-in-law in the hospital, we all headed to the potty before leaving. My children begin taking turns using the one empty stall of the three while Aunt Meg held the door shut and I changed Ellie's diaper.

Pretty standard stuff. No screaming, hitting, or giant 'accidents'.

One of the women who occupied one of the other two stalls came out as two kids rotated out and the third went into the stall the stranger just exited. Said women began to wash her hands all while watching us like we were a circus. My kids finished and germX was dispensed.

As Meg took her turn in the restroom the women realized all the children were mine {the name mom a gazillion times in reference to me might have been a good clue}. She looked at me with eyebrows raised, "Are ALL these your?" I politely said yes with a smile. With a peasant look plaster on my face, I made sure everyone was buttoned, snapped, tucked, and clean as the Charley Brown "wamp wamp wamp wamp wamp" played in the background.

We were walking to the car, after Meg allowed me a private bathroom break as she and the kids waited in the lobby, and Meg ask, "What did that woman say to you?"

I hadn't thought much about it..."Something about, are all these yours?" I responded. I had to laugh when I realized she had said more and I couldn't tell you what.

I had to confess to Megan that after years of verbal abuse from strangers about my chose to love having multiple children, I learned to respectfully ignore their ignorant and insulting banter after the initial snarled comments about the number and or close age of my children.
It started when I just had three and hasn't gotten any better.

It's so sad that our society hates children so much that we make people feel inappropriate, irresponsible, or crazy for having more than two; especially if they are any less than 2 years apart. This doesn't stop with that, somehow, as Americans we believe we have some sort of right to determine perfect age in which to have or stop having children, how many to have, how you have them, how far apart you plan your blessings.

Just for the record, it is none of our business! Wither a woman is a teen mom, single mom, married mom, chosen or not chosen mom of none, an "only" child, the perfect number two children, or double-digit multiple children. If you aren't sipping a soda with a friend as your families hang out and it just comes up, its none of your business if someone's children are biological, custodial, adopted nationally or internationally.

If you are the target of such uninvited backlash, consider it an invitation from God to interact with someone you might not have otherwise met. Respectfully ignore or disregard their unintentionally hateful comments and seize the opportunity to love them. Keep your cool and maybe engage them in conversation about Who gave you these little blessings. I'm not saying do the cheesy, "I know my hands are full but you should see your hearts" reply. I mean be real. Since they began the taboo conversation about your littles, refocus the conversation on another taboo topic, Christ. Keep in mind, your children are obviously right there with you {hence the stares} so make sure your example is that of love toward your child's existence as well as the rude person's in which you are encountering. Both where creations of God and have a purpose- to bring glory to God. Take the time to help them accomplish that purpose.

Here is an article about 10 Things You Really Shouldn't Say to Mom's of Multiples as well as a little video that can help you determine if what you are thinking about saying to someone is appropriate:

IF YOU WOULDN'T SAY IT ABOUT A BOOB JOB... from Rain City Church on Vimeo.

Share Button

K5 Learning {Review}

We just finished our trial period using K5 learning. Both my girls (5 & 4-years-old) tried this out and loved it!

K5 Learning is an online reading and math program for kids from kindergarten through grade 5. Our intent is to help kids build reading, math and study skills through independent study. K5 is designed for home use and can be used for after- school, weekend and summertime supplemental study or in conjunction with a homeschooling program.

We started by complete and online assessment with 8 key reading and math skills. From there, the girl work independently at their own pace. They offer over 3,000 online lessons and activities. The lessons have cute animation and are simple enough for my four-year-old to interact with them by herself {after showing her how the first round}. K5 learning automatically chose lessons for the girls (based on their assessment and past lessons), track their progress and provide reports for me about their progress.

In the short time we tested out this program, I did see my girls begin to learn essential reading and math skills, develop good study habits, and reach their academic potential. This supplemented what we were already doing in 'school' and gave my girls one more tool to practice these skills with the added benefit of learning basic computer skills.

It did require me to walk them through some of the basics of the program but after that they could navigate most of it by themselves. With my girls being 4 and 5, I'm not quite ready for them to have this much independence. Eventually, that will be a great benefit of the program but I noticed they were slightly irresponsibly independent, getting off track, being lazy going through the lessons, and guessing just because they wanted to click around like it was a game rather than actually listening, learning, and answering as if it was a lesson.

In general, we enjoyed the program. It did seem a bit like handing my kids a smart phone to play "educational games" but I feel like this was much better at teaching my children actual lessons in a way that I wasn't able to. I liked that it wasn't costing me tons in printer ink to create workbooks.

The girls loved being able to "play on" my computer but I was uncomfortable with that. For this program to be used to its fullest potential, they should be doing the lessons on a regular basis. Since we only have my laptop, if they are using it for K5, I can't work at the same time and it made me nervous the machine would get torn up some how rendering me unable to work. If we had a some sort of tablet or simple computer for them to use for school, I would be much more likely to allow them to use the program more often.

At this time, we won't be purchasing the program at its monthly rate although it would be a comparably inexpensive price for the reading and math curriculum.

The K5 program includes:
  • an initial online assessment of each child’s math and reading skills,
  • award-winning, curricula based reading and math content,
  • over 3,000 online multimedia activities, personalized for each child based on his or her assessment,
  • a highly structured environment which allows the student to proceed through the lessons in a logical fashion at his own pace,
  • ease of use which allows even 4 or 5 year olds to work independently,
  • attention to child safety with no external links, advertisements, chat or similar,
  • comprehensive reporting to parents,
  • 24/7 availability and no downloads
Program Costs

K5 Learning is available on a subscription basis for $25/month or $199/year with substantial discounts for siblings. Each subscription includes a free math and reading assessment and unlimited use of each of K5’s four programs, K5 Reading , K5 Math, K5 Spelling and K5 Math Facts. A 14 day free trial is available.

Share Button

Easter Neighbor Gifts {Thoughtful Thursday}

Thoughtful Thursdays on as Jules is going

If you've been here any time at all, you know we LOVE a good excuse to do something fun for our neighbors.

Bucket-O-Summer

This week, my kids were wanting to make "Easter baskets". I'd already been considering making something to celebrate summer for the neighbor kids around us who are almost out for break. With summer for school-aged kids still over a month away, we thought we'd try to do both mixed together.

Bucket-O-Summer contents bucket, shovel, bubbles, sunglasses, jumprope, germX, chalk

Buckets-O-Summer

Contents we used:

from the Dollar Tree

  • bucket and shovel
  • germX {pack of 3 Christmas themed- I pulled off the winter-esk sticker}
  • jump rope
  • sunglasses

from home {originally mostly from Wal-Mart}

  • sidewalk chalk in a large box
  • little bubbles that came in a pack of 8
  • assorted Easter grass
  • See Jane Work labels {on wicked sale at Office Depot}
  • blank note cards
  • post card invites to your Church's Easter service
  • pipe cleaners and rubber bands {we used the rubber bands to told the 7 pieces of chalk together in the shape of a flower and then made lil leaves around it}

How-to Make:

  1. collect bucket and gift items
  2. add grass to the bottom making it about 1/2 full
  3. place larger items in 1st
  4. mix in smaller items {dividing like colors from one another}
  5. *we color coordinated each bucket using ~2 colors for fun
    green and pink and purple and yellow for the neighbor girls and orange/red and blue for the boy
  6. create label {print our FREE LABEL here} using Avery Label Template 5450 in Word
    Bucket-O-Summer Label
  7. color in lettering for extra fun {sharpies worked the best without smearing the print}
  8. cover original cheap sticker on the bucket that wouldn't com off with new label
  9. write a cute little note about Easter linking items in the bucket {or print our cheesy FREE NOTE here}
    Easter Bucket-o-Summer
    I wrote out the note in yellow marker in a card and let my almost 6-year-old trace it {so it would all fit in the little cards we had}
  10. throw in a postcard invite to your church's Easter service hand-deliver with smiles :D

Delivering Neighbor Gifts

Happy Easter!!!

Share Button

Double Your Juice and Prevent Cavities {Thoughtful Thursday}

I have always heard you should dilute your kids juice to reduce the amount of sugar they're getting. Even all natural 100% fruit juice has lots of natural sugar that isn't good for their diet or their teeth. Since the first time my oldest had juice, we always done 50/50 water and juice. Starting them this way has always guaranteed they didn't know the difference. When my daughter had non-diluted juice for the first time she hated it and told me it was "spicy". On the other hand, the first time my niece had our diluted juice she was concerned and told me "Uhh, Aunt Julie. You juice has lost its flavor." LOL

Not only is this healthier for them but it double the juice and saves money! I use the large jugs to fill 1/2 way with water and then, most of the time, I combine different flavor juices to fill it the rest of the way. Turn

Double Your Juice and Prevent Cavities

Having always done this as well as fed them healthy diets and assisted them in brushing their teeth daily, I took my kids' for their first dentist visit feeling pretty confident about the condition of their teeth. Boy did I leave mortified. After the dentist let me know my 1st and 3rd had an embarrassing number of cavities and my 2nd had none, I talked with the dental hygienist for a long time trying to determine what made the difference. The conclusion?

Chugger vs Sippers

Yep, I always thought it was a good thing that my 1st and 3rd would slowly sip their drink throughout the day and it drove me nuts that my 2nd would chug the beverage like it was going out of style. Now, if you already knew this, please don't leave "duh" comments. I had never been told this and maybe someone else hasn't either.

Sipping on {even diluted} juice slowly throughout the day keeps a constant film of sugar on your teeth. Chugging it allows your natural saliva to "wash" off that film even if you're not brushing after each drink.

The new rule in our house is: the kids are allowed Milk and Juice at meal time only and they can drink as much Water as they want the rest of the day from the fridge door and are allowed to get themselves in their cool new {dollar spot} water bottles.

Prevent Cavities by giving littles their own water bottles and allowing them to get their own water

I am one of those parents who still has all of her children using sippy cups/lidded cups to cut down on the clean up during the day. I found these awesome water bottles in the Target dollar spot. I took Maggie to pick one as a reward for doing so well while they filled her first cavities and then Jamin. Izzie got to choose one as a reward for having NO cavities. Then the larger ones we got for my niece, nephew for a week with us during spring break.

The great thing about these water bottles are:

  • They are simple for them to pull the lid off to fill but easy to put back on to avoid spills.
  • They can tote them anywhere.
  • If they get left in get left in the car, there isn't soured juice or spoiled milk to stink up the car.
  • If they get messed up or lost, they only cost $1 each.
Do your kids love juice? Are they chuggers or sippers?
Share Button
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...