Back-to-School Supply Shopping Tips {Thoughtful Thursday}

I am often annoyed that Hobby Lobby has fall decor out before 4th of July or that Christmas decor is everywhere in stores before Halloween BUT I might be in the minority when I get gitty when school supplies show up in stores. Eeeek The smell of sharpened pencils, clean new binders, shelves upon shelves of crayola colorfulness!


I have been preparing my school supply list for the 2-16/17 school year already. Part of my prep included scouring the internet for the best prices on the items on my list. Here's a quick overview of what I've found that might save you some time and money::

  1. Staples price matches 110% of any {even online} sale price. This is #1 because I feel like it could cut down on shopping time by going to a single store. They will not only match a price but give you 10% off on top of that. example: Staples glue $2, Walmart glue $1, Staples glue now $0.90
  2. 7 ways to save with Staples, stack them all!
  3. Walmart's app has a "Savings Catcher".  This means you scan receipt on the app and if competitor advertises lower price, they'll give you the difference.
  4. Target cartwheel app has tons of great coupon deals AND Target Red Car saves you 5% every time you use it and it connects to your checking account, acting just like a debit card. No more forgetting to pay that store credit card you have just for the discounts.
  5. Walmart vs Target cheat sheet to get the best prices {if you don't have a staples to match their prices 110%}.
  6. Tax Free Weekend! Arkansas' will be Aug 6th through Aug 7th. HERE is the list of qualifying items for Arkansas.
  7. Homeschoolers can register your "school" with Office Depot for their 5% cash back. You can have anyone you know use your school name to put their 5% cash back towards. If you don't have a school you use yet, ROTHACHER ACADEMY of Vilonia Arkansas would love your support. 😉
  8. Homeschool moms can register with Staples for teacher discounts.
  9. Christian Books website has a $1 sale right going on right now through Aug 18th. It includes some books that would be great for homeschool.
  10. Deals from several store that you need to grab up This Week!
Share Button

Post to Twitter

Seeds Family Worship new Lullaby album {review and giveaway}

Congrats Hannah on winning the Lullaby Album!

Our family owns several Seed Family Worship CDs. They are on a mission to get God’s Word through Seeds into as many homes (and hearts) as possible around the world.

Seeds Family Worship

It's fun to listen to this music while we're doing school or in the car. The songs are so catchy that they're not distracting but can be amazing background that sinks deep into everyone's hearts. All Seed Family Worship music is pure scripture. No interpretation, no false theology. Just plain Bible verse to music. An amazing way for you AND your children to memorize scripture together. On top of that, the music is quality, variety of styles, repetitive {in a good way}, and rarely cheesey. I have to be honest, every once in a while it's a bit cheddar, but it's kids' music so little bit is expected. It's upbeat and fun. There are kids singing {again still quality} and encourages my kids to sing along  and dance up a storm. 

Recently, we were given their new Lullaby album to review. Logically, with new foster babes in and out of our "guest" room, it was nice to have more "sleeepy time music" for bedtime in their room as well as in the car for dreaded car-naps on long rides. But on a deeper level, it is an amazing thought to know that scripture is sewing into them, no matter how long or short a stay they have with us.


Along with my album, they are offering my readers the same album for one of you to enjoy! To Enter To Win:: click through this link and fill out the Rafflecopter. I'll use this secure system to choose a winner and announce it on Monday {3-15-16}.

seeds lullabiesa Rafflecopter giveaway

winner be ready to communicate via email about shipping 
within 24 hours or I'll have to choose the next person

Who knows, maybe it will even get to you in time for Easter. 🙂 Maybe. Speaking of Easter...Seeds Family Worship has an Easter ep. Check it out HERE as well as click around to find more goodies including FREE scripture wallpapers. {NOT AN AFFILIATE, JUST A FAN}


Congrats Hannah on winning the Lullaby Album!

Share Button

Post to Twitter

Fit Chips {nothing to do with fitness}

Do you have lots of littles? Or even just a single little who knows how to throw a fit about Every. Tiny. Minimal. Pointless. Non-life-threatening. Thing? Yeah, me too!
Fit Chip [has nothing to do with fitness] Strategy to minimize Fit-Throwing, tantrums, melt-downs, whatever you want to call them within families with lots of littles and Lots Of Fits

Currently, we have 6 littles under the age of 7 years old. Besides the tattling, fit-throwing is the most common offense in our home. While we are still using our "Rocking Behavior" chart to handle most of those, I decided today that FITS were gonna have to be treated like a sacred thing. Before you tell me that fits can't be limited, I once grounded my daughter from her imaginary friends during nap time. Absurdity in parenthood is my forte.

Do you ever catch yourself ignoring the screaming your child is doing because they've 'called wolf' too many times and it doesn't mean anything anymore? I often "change my name" for the same reason. In my opinion, fits should be reserved for worth-while circumstances. Like death.

You throw a Fit, you pay a Chip.

How to create and follow through with this system:

  • I created cups to hold each child's chips as well as a Fit Chip Collection tub. For about 5 minutes, I was going to use empty baby food jars but So we ended up using an old frosting tub and 6 laundry detergent cups. Cut up index cards and packing tape took care of the labeling and I cut a giant hole in the lid for easy deposits.
  • Next came the budgeting and consequence/reward system: I used plastic gold treasure coins we already had. Every one of my homeschool kids got 3 chips and those who attend public school got 2 because they were here way less of the day.
  • For any reason, if a child screams, cries, hollers- as soon as it happens, they go pay me a chip, then we deal with the event {exception is actual blood is involved or assistance is needed for injury}. Our first day actually solved this problem pretty quickly. As soon as they thought about screaming because they didn't get the color plate they wanted they would laugh because they didn't want to give me a chip.
  • If they run out of chips, simply say, "NO! You can't afford to throw another fit. You're out of chips." If they continue, create consequences and follow through. For us, they will drop their clip on the "Rocking Behavior Chart".
  • If they have chips left at the end of the day they get to move their clip up for every chip they have meaning it pulls them out of consequences or pushes them into fun rewards.

Example 1: My children were playing in the backyard when Mags (7) came in screaming. Assuming she was hurt, but not badly because she was walking, I said, "Go pay me a chip." When she responded, "But I'm really hurt." I said, "That's what they're for! I'm sorry you wasted them. I hope you don't get hurt again." She went and paid me a chip and then we discussed how she got kicked in the head on the slide but was really trying to get someone in trouble for the accident.

Example 2: J the man (4) lost all his chips {because he's exhausted and threw fits about Everything} so he ended up falling off the behavior chart, lost his iPad time, movie, AND earned a slightly early bedtime. Although devastated, he's healthier for each of those consequences in my opinion. LOL

Example 3: Iz (5) has a chip remaining which earned her 5 extra minutes of iPad time tomorrow.

Example 4: El {almost 2} has no clue what's going on yet but when she threw a fit because I wouldn't give her the drink she screamed for, I told her "Nope. Pay me a chip. {snicker} Pulled a chip from her cup and said, "That just cost you a chip." She stopped and stared at me confused.

Example 5: M and P (4 and 6) thew fits about having to clean up toys and all the other children shook their heads and said, "Sorry. You have to go pay mamma a chip."

I don't know how long it will last but its fun and kinda working for now. What kinda of shenanigans have you pulled on your kids that get results?!

Share Button

Post to Twitter

Educational Tips for Using Halloween Candy And a Fun Ways to Get Rid of It!

Hello mamma with loot of Halloween candy you desperately need to make disappear! It's not even Thanksgiving/Christmas season yet and we are all gaining poundage by the minute with all this "fun sized" candy laying around. To start with, use the candy for fun "educational" tools. This will get this kids thinking of the candy as more than just for eating as a snack. Then I've got some ideas to help you sneak out that candy or to get the kids excited with you about all the "opportunities" you have to share it in fun ways.

Examples of HARD Halloween Candy that you can get rid of by using in Operation Christmas Child Boxes

Education Uses for Halloween Candy:

  • Math Sorting: by chocolate vs fruity, by type, by size, and then you can break them down into color for things like MnMs and Skittles.
  • Math Graphing: learning about graphing by creating lines of candy next to one another can create bar graphs and you can discuss greatest, least, same, most popular, grossest, weirdest, etc.
  • Science experiments: this can run from anything like "which melts fastest" to "which one dissolved in _____ the fastest". This will be fun but the candy still won't have to be eaten.
  • Language Lessons: alphabetical order according to name of candy, mad libs, compound words, etc.


10 Ways to Rid The House of Halloween Candy:

  1. Operation Christmas Child Boxes: our number one way to "share" our bounty is by sorting out the hard, non-melty, non-chocolate candies for kids who don't have any candy much less an entire loot
  2. Cookies for Friends and Neighbors: MnM cookies, monster cookies, better than anything cake with candy toppings,
  3. Nursing Homes: make your candy a good excuse to go make some new friends who may need a visit
  4. Stockings: we've totally done this! Put back a little bag of each child's favorite candy and scatter it into their stocking.
  5. Birthday Party Pinata: smacking a pinata is always fun but can be expensive to stuff if you don't already have the candy laying around
  6. Party Favors: if your kids birthday {or a friends kids'} are near Halloween, make up some stuffed goody bags Full of candies.
  7. Neighbor Treats: holiday themed treats like Turkey cookies
  8. Work Candy Bowl: loose the pride and hose all your work friends by placing a bowl of goodies out that they can't resist.
  9. Waitress Tips: add to your generous cash tip for your waitress with a little goody pick-me-up for the night
  10. Bribery: forget the same and call it what it is, keep a few treats as school bribes for good, on-task, fast work.

I am SURE there are lots of other educational uses for the candy stash as well as creative ways to Get. Rid. Of. Candy. Boom! #mommied

Share Button

Post to Twitter

Public School “Specials” for Homeschoolers

Today I was THAT mom. Nearly in tears meeting school teachers, learning procedure, and praying my baby made sweet friends as I closed the door on the public school art classroom.


Did you know that public schools have many resources to offer homeschool families?! Our community calls the resources we are utilizing this year "specials". "Specials" here are art, music, library, P.E., enrichment, and computer. For now, Maggie will only be going twice a week for art and music. She's beyond pumped. They also offer a variety of therapies if your child needs them.

When I called them last Friday I was pleasantly surprised they spoke to me as if they were expecting me and had a plan in order. This is their first time with this particular process which is kind of a relief since it's ours too. The principal placed Maggie with a 2nd grade class so she will stay with the same kids each day she attends. There was also much though put into which class. Since they offer 6 "specials" and there are only 5 days in a school week, the principal made sure Mags was with a class that had 2 of the "specials" one after the other on Friday so I could just drop her for a full 80 minutes instead of coming twice in one day for 2 separate 40 minute classes.

She was also understanding when I ask if we could just come for 2 of the "specials" rather than every day. This is kind of a trial period for us to see how well it works with our schooling schedule and if it would be possible for my other children to attend "specials" in the future.

We walked into the school office today to finally meet the staff I'd spoken with over the phone. They were welcoming and all smiles for my little nervous 7-year-old and a visitor's tag for me. The principal walked out of her office, introduced herself and the assistant principal, and then walked us to art class to meet the teacher.


Along the way my girl would graze my hand making sure I was still beside her. We met the music teacher she would have tomorrow, and despite being called "Maggie, the homeschool child" most greeted us with welcoming looks {unlike the first set of phone calls I had before school started}.

I was nervous about starting a week after all the other students but everyone, teachers and students, seemed to still getting the hang of things and in the early stages of getting to know one another. They ask that I call them at the end of the first week when everything calmed down for them. I was a little discouraged thinking they were trying to brush me off and sad because we didn't get to participate in open house, meet the teacher, and the first week of school where basic rules and standards are explained.

Points for knowing your neighbor and having a God big enough to put them in the same class as your little! As the students entered the room, one by one they all stared at us. Sparking my nerves, a little girl asked slightly snarky, "Is that a new student?!" A sweet child who attends the valley with us occasionally walked in and stared at us confused. Then, as we were waving at him, our neighbor-friend walked in stunned as he looked at Mags. I could have kissed that small child on the mouth. God is in the details!

The kids gathered on the carpet, ready to learn about "The Dot". Another child, I took it upon myself to immediately deemed Maggie's Best Friend Forever, was humble little girl who scotched over next to Mags on the back of the rug and just sat next to her. A sweet little comfort dawned in a braid. Swoon.

I'm sure I'll have more to share on this as the year goes on and other's have questions about how it works. For now, I'm just gonna snuggle my over-excited child who RAN down the sidewalk to me for pickup and wasn't the least bit embarrassed to jump into my arms in front of her new class of friends yelling about how much fun she had and be thankful I get to have her the other 90% of the day!



Share Button
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Post to Twitter