PB+J Finances

One month down of super tightening of finances and my budgeting and – drum roll – our Visa bill this month was HALF. Less than half if you discount A’s volleyball registrations this month. Whew!

Which begs the question, what on earth was I spending money on before?

Of course I HAVE been living off PB+J’s for lunch for an entire month… OH, wait – groceries! – THAT’S what we’ve been missing!

What helped:
– fewer (but, yes, still many) trips to Starbucks
– bigger weekly grocery trips rather than daily smaller ones
– less eating out
– eating up some of the stock around the house that’s been in cupboards for-ev-er!
– no new shoes 😦 or boots 😦 *sigh*
– no Toys R Us! actually, no malls in general!
– less driving (it’s been “off season” for the girls sports for a month)

I’m takin’ those holidays if I have to eat PB+J for an entire year, man.

Maybe I’ll just mix it up with PB+B once in awhile…
(PB + Banana)

.blog-signoff-24

Advertisements

Food Photos

Until I can find some better sidebar widgets AND figure out how to use ’em, I’ll post some photos here in this neat-o slide show. You can even attach music! Although my speakers aren’t working, so I have no idea if I attached a good song or not.

Naturally, the photos are all of food.
Unfortunately they’re not staged, or well-lit, or anything fancy, taken with any one of the many cameras floating about here, so some might be fuzzy.

But does your mouth not water?!
And they all bring to me the memories of meals shared with my family.

Suddenly I can’t believe it’s only 10lbs of middle girth I’m at war against – I really should weigh much, much more with all the food we eat around here.

blog-signoff-23

New Look!

It was time for an interior reno ’round here. (Yes, I design houses for a living…). I think it’s kinda perky!

Now I just need to work that exterior-almost-40-reno on myself…

blog-signoff-22

Crafting Time – Part 1

The most “random hits” I get here are people looking for either things to do with teenagers (see post) or homemade craft ideas, so I thought I’d post some of our oldie but goodies.

When the girls were young, we used to do 1 or 2 crafts a week together. They thought I was sooooo smart to know all these crafts just “outta my head”, but frankly I’d just buy a Martha Stewart Kids mag once a month and figure it out on the fly… (They still think I was just being real smart!). WELL, thank goodness for scrapbooks – here are some photos of a few of our efforts:

.

dsc_9144aBeady critters and people and things of all kinds were a favorite past time for awhile. We even had a big book of all kinds of things – including little 3D shoes! They could become keychains, car mirror hangy things, earrings – you name it. B made this one, and I kept it in the scrapbook.

.

dsc_9147aA bit of a fuzzy pic of a pic from my plastic-covered scrapbook, but they’re soaps. We made them for Cmas gifts one year with molds we found at Michael’s (where else?!).

.

dsc_9149Gingerbread houses DEFINATELY count as crafty – especially when you turn it into a contest ;-). We did a few back then, and now I started doing them with the boys (see blog). We even have a cast iron mold from Lee Valley.

.

dsc_91521

One day A + I decided our “craft” would be to plant some mini flowers in a bunch of molds. They all died, but she went on to plant many a bulb with Hubby, even though she confessed she does NOT like bugs. Or dirt.

.

dsc_9153We didn’t get a photo of the actual craft – this is the drawing that’s in our scrapbooks. We did little bejewelled t-shirts! They were a lot of work even for B + I, and prompted A to say (in fun) “This is the WORST day of my life!”. Such a drama queen.

.

dsc_9159aThere are always other family members willing to craft, too! Aunts + Gramma all have their own interesting stamping and card-making materials that are fun for crafty visits.

Stay tuned – more to follow!

blog-signoff-21

Homeschool #010 – Math Worksheets!

Worksheets now available for homeschoolers or not!
Tt’s had fun learning his numbers with these. I write in a few random numbers here and there along each line, then he fills in the rest.

I try to make a new sheet up every now + then to keep him interested. Next up is Scooby Doo…

No laughing at my little drawings allowed.

math_bugs

Bugs, etc: Butterflies (good for counting in 2’s), ladybugs, ants (count in 3’s?), suns, frogs (ok, no laughing – they’re hard to draw!!), raindrops (yes, I ran out of ideas…), and a giant caterpillar.

math_transp

Transport vehicles: train, cars (apparently in a traffic jam), UFO’s, scooters, space ships, a massive bus (with only 2 wheels?!), and pirate rafts.

math_swIs it me or are the stormtroopers all leaning a little? Hmmm. In case the drawings are difficult to figure out (lol): stormtroopers, spider droids, super droids, yodas on his floaty thing and AT walkers. Ok, so some of them need a little imagination…

Here is one of Tt’s “finished” worksheets:

dsc_0119

***I don’t know how to .pdf from either laptop, and I don’t know how to do a d/loading link, so I hope this works ok for d/loading to print by right-clicking, save-as’ing and print’ing.

**** See also Homeschoolin’ Activities for more Math / Spelling / ?? Worksheets. I mean, ACTIVITY sheets. I should try not to call it “work”.

blog-signoff-25.

.

.

.

Other posts you might enjoy:
Lego Math Worksheets
Math / Spelling Worksheets

Photo Blog Photo Blog

I’ve been trying to check out more and more blogs lately from “Moms who blog” websites and links to other cool blogs. Just poking around in my one or two precious hours of late evening time, looking for new homeschooling ideas, other peoples fun travel or teenager ideas, interesting things.

dsc_0043(it snowed today…)

But I’ve realized I have the attention span of a gnat.
(I don’t actually know what it is, but I’m assuming it’s low to non-existent since they’re so tiny).

dsc_0051(apparently Boo didn’t like “snow” as much as he liked that piece of chocolate he had just before we headed out the door… mental note – clean child’s face before heading out in public, or at least before snapping photos)

I can’t focus on text without the regular interruption of a well shot photo to keep my mind in line.

dsc_0054

Now blogs with great photos ARE apparently hard to come by. So far, and by far, the best I’ve come across is The Pioneer Woman. By the by, she is also nominated for all kinds of blogging/website awards. If you check out her brag bit here (ok, couldn’t get it to link more directly – look for Squirmy Jan 26, 2009)  you can also search through the “comments” below it and try to find other interesting blogs. I’ll get through it bit by bit, maybe, but I hope she posts a “best of the best” rather than making people read through the 11,000 comments she attracted on this piece alone!

dsc_0077(Tt was at the camera helm… These are my legs…)

I’m suddenly wondering if they make picture bibles for adults…

dsc_0079(Then he got the rest of me. I guess I forgot to wear makeup today.)

Well, thought I’d post some nice snow shots between my rambling text since we’ve been hit again today. Enjoy!

dsc_0065(Boo did eventually warm up to the snow! Although apparently Momma never did clean up his face…)

Homeschool #009 – Jammies Days!

Granted, we’re only in “K/pre-K” and not quite as “busy” as many older h.schooled kids, but we’re sure enjoying one of our traditions from as far back as… 6 months ago! Jammie Mondays.

Mondays have become JAMMIES DAY and we love it! What better way to end a weekend and start a week than relaxing…

dsc_99201

reading lots of books…

dsc_99231

enjoy a nice, relaxing latte…

dsc_0001

playing a video game or two…

dsc_9978

(Ok, so Momma was playing SW Lego while the boys battled and played… I just HAD to finish those last few levels!!!)

doing a craft…

dsc_99471

dsc_99561
dsc_99701
(In case anyone’s wondering… that’s Tt’s gum. Painted. Oddly enough, that isn’t the first time chewed gum has been used in a craft ’round here.)

or two…

dsc_99971

having peaceful naps that AREN”T in a carseat…

dsc_99921

having an imaginary war or car race…

dsc_9926

dsc_9925
or teaming up against some imaginary “bad guy” stuffies…

dsc_00061

Ahhhh, Jammies.

Momma even got a few things done (in her jammies!) – I completely reorganized the boys books and craft/drawing supplies…

dsc_00121

and my homeschool shelf!

dsc_0029

(We won’t get into the lack of 2008 scrapbooks sitting nearby. I’m totally behind for the first time EVER! It stresses me out to see this shelf.)

Jammie days are EXHAUSTING. 

dsc_0017