Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Discount Shopping

Just a quick note to the holiday shopping craze. I have a couple of favorite sites I use when internet shopping. First off is retailmenot.com - I find lots of discount codes to use. For example I ordered from JCPenney.com today. Using the code they offered on the cover of their catalog saved me about $25.00, but then I toggled over to retailmenot and found a couple of coupon codes. I tried each one and found that one of the codes saved me $50 on top of my original savings. So that's $75 off of my order. Pretty incredible, I'd say. Not all the codes work so copy down the top 4 or 5 and see what happens. Secondly, I've discovered magazinepricesearch.com - Here I've found magazine subscriptions at deep discounts. For example, I just ordered a subscription for my husband. The shelf price is $4.99. The subscription price on the card in the magazine is $2.13 per issue. I just ordered it for $1.16 an issue. Another great savings.

Happy Shopping!!!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

One of My Favorites

Each deer season we attend deer hunter's mass at a tiny country church near us. The priest always makes his best guess as to how many hosts he'll need to distribute. And each year he over estimates by a few. This brings me to one of my favorite things. Since the church is only used a couple times a year the consecrated hosts can not stay in the tabernacle, therefore after communion he consumes the remaining Body of Christ's. I always peek over to watch my kids' eyes open as big as saucers when he begins eating the consecrated hosts one after another. Not to show any disrespect, but he looks as if he's eating a bowl full of potato chips not wasting even a crumb. I love the yearning look on my kids' faces. Oh, how they wish they were the priest for that tiny moment.

Deer Hunting

Around here deer hunting is just as much a holiday as say Thanksgiving or Christmas. Yesterday was the opener for gun season; the day starts very early, around 4:30 am or so. DH requested I make cinnamon rolls for breakfast, so by 5 am I was saying, "Time to make the donuts". I think that qualifies as my good deed for the week. And for all those who think men and women are equal in all ways, I disagree. Here's why:

See these men, it's 5:30 am and they seem happy to have their picture taken. We all know if I was taking pictures of women at this early time they would be hiding their faces, holding their jacket in front of them or turning away, anything to stay anonymous.

We spent our day at music lessons, Christmas shopping (looking) and ice skating.

Getting in on the hunting fun, too.

Here's to a safe deer season. Have a great weekend.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Thanksgiving Curricula

We're just nine days from Thanksgiving which means a few plans need to be made. We'll be spending the day with my husband's side of the family. I'm to bring pies and mashed potatoes. More about my Thanksgiving food contributions to come in another post. For today, I'd like to share how Lou learned about the first Thanksgiving and the spirit of thankfulness. Have you read Thanksgiving at the Tappletons'? It's a cute story, pointing out that family is the greatest part of Thanksgiving. See, each family member is in charge of a different food for the traditional meal. And each person has their own reason as to why the food didn't make it to the table. Needless to say, the only thing traditional about their Thanksgiving dinner is that it's spent with family. Next I read aloud, The Pilgrims' First Thanksgiving. This is a nice book filled with info about the Mayflower, pilgrims, and the first year at Plymouth. Then armed with a pile of supplies including: paper, colored pencils, scissors, glue, old November magazines, and an atlas, she went to town making a poster.

We divided her poster into fourths. On the top left is a drawing of the Mayflower. Do you notice the perspective line? My knowledge of art is improving, thanks to Art Projects For Kids. The explanations there are really helping me to be a better art teacher for my kids. Top right are her drawings of a pilgrim and indian. She struggled with this quite a bit. She was so frustrated with trying to get the right proportion for her pilgrim woman that Lee offered lots of help with the indian. In the bottom left quadrant she searched through magazines looking for traditional Thanksgiving dinner foods and in the bottom right is a tracing of the lower 48 states with Plymouth labeled.

We have plans to make a Thanksgiving garland of some sort tomorrow. I'm thinking we'll cut out leaves from construction paper and then string them along a length of twine. Each night at dinner we'll all write something we are thankful for on a leaf. We'll do this through the month of November. I have a couple more ideas on celebrating Thanksgiving but those'll have to wait; I'm feeling a little under the weather today and best be getting to bed.

What She Won't Be When She Grows Up

Grace: If I'm ever a math teacher, I'll need a whole bottle of Tylenol on my desk.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

A Little R 'n R

I'll be taking the next four days off from blogging. It's time for a little vacation before the holidays and hunting. Have a great early part of the week.

But before I sign off, here's what happened at our home this morning, November 8. As you can tell it was very early in the morning, about 6:15 to be exact.

The snow has since melted, all except the snowman and lounge chair they made. Although early for a Saturday morning, it was beautiful. I wish I had captured the white glistening on the bare trees.

Friday, November 7, 2008


Just this week I started a "Letter of the Week" theme with Sam. I've noticed his letter recognition is a little, shall I say, lacking. With the other kids it seems we just lived life and they eventually picked up on the letters. I can't say I did anything in particular to actually teach the ABC's. We read alphabet board books and wrote family members' names. Of course we sang the alphabet song and watched enough toddler videos that the letters just became a part of their life. Now, maybe Sam just isn't ready to commit all the ABC's to memory yet. He does sing the alphabet song with only a few mix-ups, but letter recognition isn't his forte. So Monday, I dedicated some time to making a plan of attack. First, I pulled a book from my shelf titled: Learning Through All Five Senses: A Language Development Activity Book by Lois McCue. Twenty five years old and it's still relevant today, unlike my wardrobe from 1983. This book takes each letter in its turn and has activities to go along with it. For the letter A: apple, alligator, animal, action, America.

Apple - he cut an apple with a corer/wedger himself and dipped the slices in peanut butter, mystery smell (sliced apples under a paper towel), I cut an apple in half to reveal the star and he made painted apple prints

Animal - I had animals in a paper bag for him to feel and identify

Action - we made up as many actions as we could (raising our hands, jumping jacks, smiling, clapping, etc.)

America - we looked at the US wall map, found Wisconsin, and listened to and sang "America"

I really like this book, especially the skills that go with each letter. Next week we'll be focusing on the Letter B; he'll butter bread for a snack. For the Letter D I will set up a small dishwashing station for him. Maybe we'll start off with a tea party and then he'll wash and dry the dishes.

To go along with this book I use No Time For Flashcards blog. She has a post for each letter of the alphabet with a couple of cute projects to go with. Today Sam practiced dot painting, cutting, and gluing by making an Alien A.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Distracted by Candy

Today's lesson with Lou was about exchanging one set of coins for another single coin. We started simple with 10 pennies and 1 dime. My plan was to work up to exchanging dimes for 50 cent pieces and nickels for dimes. We never got there because candy won.

Me: A dime is worth 10 cents. A penny is worth 1 cent. 10 pennies is 10 cents, so 10 pennies is the same as 1 dime.

Lou: ok (her eyes were a little hazy)

Me: If you went to a store to buy a piece of candy and it cost 10 cents you could give the clerk....

Lou: How big is the piece of candy?

Me: Big! So you could give the clerk 10 pennies or....

Lou: Like a giant candy bar?

Me: Yes. 10 pennies is the same as 1 dime. You could pay with either....

Lou: Does Wal-mart have 10 cent candy?

Me: Probably not! Now listen. You could pay with either 10 pennies or 1 dime because it's....

Lou: I have 10 cents; I can buy candy.

It's official, Math is now over.