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Midnight Cutting or Sew Tired

Well, I know, I could've just went out and bought my daughter a princess costume, but ... I love to sew and it's more special this way. Plus, it's a way I connect with my mom. I remember many times she would stay up late to finish a costume or that special Easter dress. I'll post pictures of my princess when the dress is actually finished ;)
We're going to be Cinderella, by the way ;)


Dollar Store Homeschooling!!!

Yay!!! There's not much I love more than a bargain, and there's no better place for bargains than the dollar store. Yup, and I found that our local Dollar Tree and Dollar General essential places to find plenty of homeschool supplies and inspiration beyond the obvious things like pencils, paper, and colorful craft supplies. We also have local stores that have a dollar section inside, like: Target, Michael's, and Ben Franklin.

#1. Preschool through Elementary workbooks. These not only have age-appropriate, skill building, activities, but many come in your child's favorite characters. I make black and white copies (see your local office supply store, because it's still way cheaper than using your home printer/copier/scanner). Making copies allows me to use the same pages again for reviewing of skills we need more work on and can be saved for future kids (like the baby in my belly). Shelby now wants to take a folder of worksheets with her everywhere :)

#2. Flash Cards and Learning Card Games. My daughter absolutely loves these. They come in a variety of skills and characters. These are good for reviewing as well and can be a much less structured time. Again, a favorite at our house.

#3. Manipulatives. I have also found counting blocks and sorting shapes, sponge cutouts of letters, numbers, and shapes, as well as foam cutouts of a clock, the human body (only because I loved anatomy in college), the solar system, and lamenated mats with numbers, letters, dinosaurs, and more. So far we haven't used these as much, but mostly because we haven't gotten much past basic counting, shapes, and colors, but I couldn't resist getting them for the future ;)

#4. Teacher Supplies. I'm not sure this is a dollar store staple or just something ours has, but I'm loving it! Everything from bulletin board borders and cutouts to banners, reward stickers, award certificates, and even lesson planning books and grade record books. (My mom was an elementary school teacher before and after our preschool years, and some of my favorite memories are of helping her make decorations and decorate her classroom.) I realize these aren't really essentials for homeschooling, but I like them, and it's a way for us to set up themes and showcase our work that's cheap, easy to use, and fun for Shelby to help with. Plus I can easily switch themes. The only foreseeable problem so far, storage and organizing and only this because I know it will mean more time needed for mommy's planning.

#5. Craft and Scrapbooking Supplies. Not essential either, unless you're like my daughter and love to make things. At a dollar each, I don't feel overwhelmed with the expense and I can do alot more projects in our lessons, which again is Shelby's favorite part!

#6. School Supplies. All the lined writing papers from preschool to high school, folders, binders, markers, crayons, scissors, glue, poster boards (less than $1 each!), construction paper, fat pencils, rulers, and more stickers than ought to be allowed.

All in all, the dollar store is and most likely will be a great source for all our homeschooling needs without bankrupting us! However, one of my favorite things so far about homeschooling so far, is how many things can be done either with what you already have on hand or with little expense and effort.
Happy Homeschool shopping! :D


Pregnancy Craving #10

Mmmm! Midnight cheese and mayonnaise sandwich! Yes, for some odd reason I have been craving a cheese and mayonnaise sandwich in the middle of the night for the last few nights. (But only on nights when I haven't eaten much supper earlier). All I can say is Duke's Real Mayonnaise, and lots of it, mmmmm! Yes mayonnaise was a staple when I was pregnant with my daughter (mostly in the form of mayonnaise thickly spread on saltine crackers), but I didn't know about Duke's then. So, a shameless product endorsement for those who love mayonnaise: Nothing is close to Duke's when it comes to mayonnaise!!! (Or maybe I'm just pregnant and hungry :p)
(I know it's backwards, but I'm iphoto illiterate)


A Husband's Gift

I realize that this may seem like nothing to most people, but meant a lot to me. You see, we recently took a camping trip to the Smoky Mtns. It was the first time Shelby had been camping and we only had to drive about an hour and a half to get there.
While we were there, they were having a Craftsmen Fair in Gatlinburg, so we stopped by. Here's where I wanted to cry (yes, it could be pregnancy, but I might have anyway). See, I'm not like most women. I don't ever ask for jewelry or perfume or am even big on shopping for clothes, shoes, or purses. I don't wear makeup without a reason and can get overly excited about going to the grocery store with my mom. I can't stand the thought of wasting money on things I deem frivolous for myself, and throughout our marriage and even while dating, my manly, quiet, and serious husband occasionally surprises me with something frivolous I really wanted, but would never ever spend the money on it for myself. This was one of those times.
There was a booth where a lady was selling handmade pottery and dishes. They were beautiful, but there was one mug that immediately caught my attention. I know, I know, I have mugs, I have plenty of them! Why was this one so special? I'm not really sure, but I just knew I really felt as if this was a luxury and a thing of beauty *sigh*.
It was $25! For a mug!?! Maybe to some people this seems fine, but was too extravagant to believe for me.
To make a long story short, Jeremy bought it for me. He bought it for me in spite of my protestations of it's outrageous price and the frivolous extravagance of it. He bought it because he loves me and wanted to give it to me.
I have since used it almost every day, and love the way it feels and just to admire it's beauty while I drink from it!
I know, it's no big deal to most people, but to me it made me aware once again of God's great love for me. My husband as the head of this home is a representation of Christ to our family. And God's grace was shown to me again, when my husband bought me a gift, a completely unnecessary and unmerited gift for no other reason than his love for me. Just like God gives with no intention of anything in return because I am unable to give anything suitable, I couldn't repay Jeremy for something that was just a thing I didn't need but admired. And as God gives us not only what we need, but often exceeds our expectations in His grace toward us, Jeremy gave something only I would care about but did so to exceed my expectations and took joy in doing it.
I saw my God and my Savior in the seemingly small act of my husband buying me a mug, and I can only thank and praise God for such a husband!


It's a BOY!!!

So, we found out we're having a boy! I am both excited and scared (especially of his older years), but we can't wait to welcome our little Jonah Elisha!
 Shelby has told us for weeks it was a boy, because she is THE girl, and turns out she knew best.
There are some concerns about the changes to come, though. Now my husband has someone to back him when arguing why there's no need to put the toilet seat back down. Shelby's ultra frilly and girly clothes will never do. Our princess movies will be inadequate. No more tea party days. Lots more dirt. The clothes really aren't as cute, but I'm sure our little man will make up for it with his innate cuteness!
But,....finally a mommy's boy! I have three brothers, and they are all still very partial to their mom, willing to do anything for her and at any expense. Not that they don't do the same for my dad, but there is something different there. And the part I think daddy is looking forward to the most, more fun toys for daddy. (I think he was growing slightly tired of princesses, bows, and all things pink, even though he's still Shelby's preferred tea party guest). And, they'll be someone to drive away and threaten prospective suitors for Shelby. Oh yes, my brothers were my best defense against scoundrels, and protested even my husband's worthiness for a long time.
Yes, our home is about to change with a good dose of added testosterone, but it's a change for the best. After all, right now, one princess is about all we can handle, but as my sister-in-law reminded me, every princess needs a prince!