Thursday, February 26, 2009

Big Families- Saving Money and Time

Well a lot of people are always commenting on how expensive it is to raise children. Well yes it can be!! Of course if you are buying clothing at the Gap and dressing them for winter in a $200.00 snowsuit and then have a different color coded jacket for each week, yep that can can be pretty damaging to the budget! As for me well I have to admit I LOVE PLEASE MUM!!! The trick is when I do go there I am buying only from the clearance racks and a lot of time buying what I can in bigger sizes for the next year! I also do this in Walmart and Superstore. The last time we were in the bigger center I was in Walmart and looking for another pair of winter boots for my Danny, who wore the insides right out. And they were having the best sale on winter boots ever!!! Now where we are these things do not come cheap so at $5.00 a pair, yes 5 bucks, I couldn't resist. I was able to get 3 pairs for the 3 youngest, all a size bigger, for next winter. And let me tell you these boots were quality warm boots, Kodiak and Sorel brands. Yay. Now next time I go I will scour the racks for snow pants hats and mitts.
We have come home a few times to bags of boys clothes by our front door, greatly appreciated. I go through the bags, keep what we like and the rest goes on to another family or to a local thrift shop. Nothing wrong with secondhand clothes not at all.
And of course we have one box for each size for the younger boys, although there is a certain age they get too when pants are not very those ones have become a part of my jeans pile to be cut up and recycled into lovely quilts for my boys!!
One could have many many kids and still stay on a pretty nice budget. I just watched this show a few weeks ago where a family with 12 kids lived quite comfortably on a yearly budget of $40,000. The key is to plan and stay on the Budget!! We have learned many hard financial lessons, but we have learned is the key and we are still learning. One has to appreciate the learning lessons that Lord allows us to go through, He has definitely been our saving Grace.
So now I am working on revamping our budget and sticking to it!! We are planning a move in the near future and we will have to stick to our budget and plans.
Another thing I frequently do is menu plan!!! Some people comment that it takes too much time and effort, well it actually doesn't take that much time and the kids LOVE it!! We hang the menu on the fridge and they can just look at it and know what exactly we are having and did I mention it actually encourages them to help with meal prep!!! Yes if they see something on the menu that they can make themselves or help prepare they are on top of it. It's great, I think menu planning definitely saves money and time! And another thing I have been touching on a bit, but plan to do a lot more of in the near future is BULK cooking and baking. I have been very inspired to do this by many blogs but specifically one family's blog Beauty and Bedlam. She includes recipes and let me tell you the best waffles EVER!!! Yep I made them one evening for supper and I made a triple batch, plain, blueberry and chocolate chip. It was great, I froze a bunch and it was just like toaster waffles only healthier. I also did bulk cookies the other day so now we have fresh baked ones and ones that are ready to be pulled out of the freezer, put on a pan and backed, Voila!! It takes just as much time as doing a single batch. So I do encourage it, Mothers you will appreciate it in the long run.
Well my friends I must go now and get my boys to work, they just finished chopping wood and packing it in so now they are ready to sit and concentrate on our studies for today. God Bless all you wonderful people.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Yay we're almost done!!

Well we completed another successful week! Danny is so close to being finished his Dinosaur lapbook and the older two are still working in their Notebooks. They were on hold for a few days due to no ink in the printer but we are back in business. And it gave us time to focus a bit more on Social and get all their Prime Minister matchbooks done. By the way they really enjoyed this and learning about all the PMs!
We did take one day off this week to go on a road trip with Dad. It was nice but it threw the boys off a bit the day after!! Oh well it was nice just to go and be refreshed in the Lord through podcasts and listening to music, and it also makes way for a lot of conversation be
tween myself and Dad. We were also able to hit some great sales on winter boots and books!!
In math Mick is finishing up his unit on geometry and Joshua is finishing up his unit on fractions. Daniel and I will be putting together his Addition lapbook next week and starting his Subtraction Lapbook. I made him a Dinosaur adding/subtracting FFG and he really enjoyed that.
Noah wasn't too interested this week but he did do some of his number copywork pages and some more coloring in his Dinosaur pages.

We were very happy to announce that Daniel finished his Hooked on Phonics Kindergarten set and we have moved onto the Grade 1 set. To celebrate he decided to write his own book using all the words he learned in the first set.
We ended the week with learning about Paleontologists and we did a dinosaur bone dig on Friday. I had cleaned off some chicken bones and we decided to fill containers with snow and water then refreeze. It worked great and didn't cost anything! Always a plus.

Here is Noah working at his

Josh, he was very into this and worked very patiently at his

Here is Mick showing off his find.
They used screwdrivers as chisels and
paintbrushes for their tools

And of Course Daniel...He found 3!! Only when home schooled can you go to school dressed as Spider-Man.

And here is a close up of the whole thing in the container.
Well that is how our week went. Check us out in the next few days for more updates!!
God Bless

Sunday, February 15, 2009

What happened to the weekend??

Well I hope you all enjoyed the weekend and Valentine's Day!!!
As for us we started off the weekend taking in a local hockey tournament and Handgames Tournament, which the boys payed in. It was fun to watch them they always have so much fun....for those of you who are reading this and do not know what that is, it is basically a guessing game, 6 players on each team and each player has a rock or something small in their hand. They hide it and then one player from the other team will point a certain direction and if
you get caught then you are out. They play for sticks and when you win all the sticks 2 times you win the game and all this to the beat of the drum. The boys team came in 3rd place so they were pleased!!
On Saturday I woke up the family, presented them with a wonderful little Valentine's Day Breakfast. I made them Waffles with whip cram and blueberries and turkey was delicious!! After breakfast I gave the boys there Treat bags I made up for them and Dad his chocolates.
After that we headed out to the rec center for more of the hand games and hockey. The boys made a bunch of Valentine cards and taped chocolates on them. Some of the card said Happy Valentine's Day and some said Jesus Loves You and others had Bible verses on them. They just handed them out to random people and kids. The receivers were really happy to receive them and they added a bit of Joy to those who were lonely or down and out. It was so nice!
Now I am off to bed....a new week starts tomorrow. Hopefully I will feel good enough in the morning to get up and do my exercise!!I will write more tomorrow. Good night all and God Bless

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Yep you guessed it! This week was full of Dinosaurs. The older three boys finished their Dioramas and they did a great job. The older two have plans to do a short video, using still shots, with theirs.

This is Daniel's Diorama, we used clay to make the Dinosaurs.

This is Joshua's Dinosaur Diorama.

This is Mick's Dinosaur Diorama.
Mine and Noah's is yet to be finished!!

I had the older two choose 10 different Dinosaurs each to learn about and Daniel is doing the lapbook. I am also in the middle of creating more things for the older two, to fill their notebooks. Noah is still working in his Dinosaur coloring book which also focuses on letters.We left for the city on Wednesday and endured the 5 hour journey. It was nice though, to get out of here for a day. While there Mick, Danny and Dad took in the movie Inkhart and myself Noah and David got to enjoy a wonderful ice cream cone and a great adventure in Walmart..woohoo. They all enjoyed themselves. Josh decided to stay back and spend some time with his buddy.
Once home we then made Dinosaur eggs using balloons and paper mache. We then painted them.

And yes even Simba was I love the middle picture of David and I painting.

And the finished eggs.

And here are the eggs hatched! Noah named his Shasta the Dinosaurus...too cute. David's is babe, Daniel's is Meat Eater, Mick's is Adam and Joshua's is Rex!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Dads and sons

Did it ever amaze you just what a cardboard box could do for one's family?? It always amazes me. Get a good empty box and let the kids go nuts, they love it, more than any toy you could buy!! We have done castles, hotels, cars, and now even skidoos!!! Awhile back Dad showed Josh how to make a skidoo out of a laundry soap box (something he did as a kid) the kid loved it. Yesterday Josh asked Dad to show him how again, and 4 skidoos later the boys all had the greatest smiles and were all hyped to go outside (at 10pm) to try them out. Some of them had riders taped on and one even had a flashlight through the front as a headlight. But I think the best part was watching as Dad and boys spent this time together, creating!!! How wonderful.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

The end of one week and the start of a new

Well what can I say the week went by so fast!!! That is definitely not a bad thing, especially for those of us who were missing Daddy. And he came home a day earlier which was even better.
This week we began a unit in Science on dinosaurs. The older two boys are notebooking everything where Daniel is doing a lapbook and a bit of notebooking. Noah is practicing writing and recognizing numbers and I also made him a Dinosaurs A-Z coloring book, which he loves, and we will continue working on his tot book. I have many activities planned and I am so happy we are going to the city this week so we can get some needed supplies. We are going to be making dinosaur eggs using paper mache, dinosaur treats for snack one day, doing a dinosaur dig where the kids will be able to pretend they are paleontologists, and we have begun working on dioramas! The kids loved this idea and the older two are talking about making a short video using their dioramas, when they are done I will post the video they make. Noah and I will begin ours on Monday and we are doing a creation diorama and then a dinosaur one also. David, well he just likes to be at the table, we have been giving him various dino pictures to color or shall I say scribble, baby art work is so cute!! We bought him some of the crayola beginners sets and so far he loves the paints, I mean what baby wouldn't when you can get it in your hair all over your hands your belly and face, it's great.
We were blessed with some awesome warm weather this weekend, -2 yesterday!! and warming up to -4 today. We took the boys to the ski hill yesterday so everyone got to ski or snowboard, even Noah...he was so cute. David walked around and just enjoyed playing in the snow and watching the skiers and snowboarders coming down the hill. Hopefully today we will make it out to the lake to take in some sliding....we'll see, we are so far off to a very slow start today. Well I will update hopefully each day from now on or at least every few days as to what is happening in our world. Take care all and God Bless