Super Busy at Home

Family blog about homeschooling, autism, saving money, mom blog, travel, vacation, budgeting.

Week 7 Recap of our No-Spend Challenge

Well this was the first week that I heard serious complaining about the no spend challenge. 

Emma was hilarious when she said "we had a good two months of this no spend challenge.  Now I think it's time to be done.  Let's order Chinese food." 

And believe me I was feeling the same way!  I was ready for Chinese food and not cooking too, but we didn't cave and had frozen pizzas instead. 

Can you picture me with my head hung low and pouting?  Because that's what I was looking like. 

Thankfully I am realizing that when one of us is weak and ready to give up (usually me) then there is the other person to stay strong and diligent (usually Nick). 

Valentine's Day was a bit hard with the no spend challenge. 

We are not huge spenders for Valentine's Day.  I've never gotten Diamond anything.  I do usually get roses.  But this year I knew I wouldn't be getting anything.  Still there was this TINY part of my brain that was just wishing and hoping that he would come home with something that I would act upset he spent money for but secretly was delighted he brought home. 

You know what I am talking about! 

But he didn't buy anything.  Well I take that back he did go to the store and bought crab and oysters to go with our beef tenderloin stay-in date meal. 

However I had had the same thought of a little surf with our turf and bought lobster tails. 

So it was a huge seafood feast. 

Nick also came home with an old fashioned love letter. 

It was my first one ever and it made me sob.  Big, ugly tears, sob.

It was perfect.  It helped me to realize that some of the most beautiful things in this world are free.  They don't cost money, they aren't big and flashy, but instead are simple and true words that mean the most. 

The days before Valentine's Day I was prepared that we wouldn't be buying the kids a ton of fun Valentine's stuff like we normally do. 

Valentine's Day on the No Spend Challenge

I had purchased Emma's Valentine's Day gift last year before we started the no-spend challenge.  So I purchased a small lego set for Calvin so he would have something soon. 

To make their special day a bit more special we made some sweet treats with things that we already had at home so they didn't cost a lot of money. 

Valentine's Day on the No Spend Challenge

We made cookies which was lots of fun! The kids took a cookie decorating class last year so I whipped up a batch of royal icing and we had fun decorating cookies for our friends and family (and for us, of course!)

Valentine's Day on the No Spend Challenge

We had fun breakfasts!  For this I made toast and used a cookie cutter to carve out a heart from the center.  I then put Peanut butter on the heart and strawberry jam around the outskirt of the toast.  We had strawberry milk because strawberry milk makes everything better.  And I love these napkins that I bought last year from Marshalls. 

Valentine's Day on the No Spend Challenge

And of course we had fun lunches!  The kids' favorite lunch is a muffin tin lunch.  I bought these sweet 6 cup muffin tins from the Dollar Store, and then I put fun things in them!  For this lunch I gave them strawberry flavored string cheese, vanilla yogurt with sprinkles, strawberrys, grape tomatoes, more strawberry milk, and some heart shaped sweet tarts. 

I love giving them fun lunches, it really helps to break up the homeschool day and make things more exciting. 

Valentine's Day on the No Spend Challenge

A special part of Valentine's Day was someone sending me a gift!  I love colored pens and someone sent these to me with a sweet Homeschooling Momma card.  I have no idea who sent these to me but it was just the sweetest thing! So if you are reading this and it was you, thank you!

All in all it was a great Valentine's Day and week. 

It was really nice when it was all said and done to not have the guilt that I spent too much on the kids or spoiled them more than I should have.  It was a great day and we loved spending time with one another which is the best part of Valentine's Day! 

I hope you all had a great Valentine's week.  Please let me know how you are doing on your own no-spend challenges. 

Love to you all! 

Guest Blog: Emma's Perspective on Homeschooling

Emma came to me last night and requested to be a guest blogger on the site.  How can you say no to someone so cute?   So without further ado, I bring you Emma writing about all things homeschool:


Homeschooling from a 4th Grader's perspective.  Super Busy at Home.

Home schooling- one of the marvelous things in this world.  When you home school you get to learn about anything you want. 

That's right you can learn about sheep, whales, space, you can even learn about toaster ovens!  If you want to learn yep, this is how you do it.   I am home schooled and I have to say it is really cool. 

You can name your school anything.  My schools name is the Acadamy of Excellence. 

Our everyday subjects are, Math, Grammar, World history, Science, And Foreign languages.  We also do way more than that. 

In the morning, after breakfast I love to go to the classroom and clean out my desk, Sharpen my pencils, and to top it off get a good long book, snuggle down in the book nook and just read my heart out. 

My brother and I love world history. We think that Rome is the most interesting.  We love coloring sheets of Gladiator fights, Roman homes, and of course market places.  We have the exact same rules as normal schools though. the raise your hand and the stay at your desk are the most important.

I am so bummed out that we have to do school in the summer. The good side is that we do get longer holiday breaks. But I guess school is really fun if you think about it. 

I hope that westudy Zebras this year. I find that Zebras are interesting.

Well I hope that everyone has a good summer vacation.

Our Fresh Start Began with Popsicle Sticks

Homeschooling sometimes gets hard, y'all! 

This year I had the amazing idea of making our homeschool year last all year round. 

No long summer break for us.

I really think this will be a good idea but with no end in clear sight things are starting to get a little sticky around here.

Bad attitudes.

Crankiness.

Procrastination. 

And if you think those sound bad you should see the kids. 

Ha!

Truth be told it's been all of us. Just not into it.  Doing the bare minimum of work required.

It's been a good day if we get all of the worksheets and problems done.  Forget fun projects or artwork. 

As the sun was setting on the end of our yet-again horrific attempt at homeschooling last week I knew we had to do something.

Something had to get turned around or we were headed off the edge of a cliff in a car.

So I spent all weekend planning.

You know, like I'm supposed to every week .

How Our Fresh Start Began with Popsicle Sticks. Super Busy at Home

The thing is, I spent MONTHS last spring preparing for this school year. I have a notebook with everything detailed that I need for each week.  Every book I need, art supply, everything. But some of it I had decided not to use and for some reason in my mind that meant that I wasn't going to use it at all. 

Which just is absurd.

So I went back to the notebook and ta-da!  most everything was already planned out for fun activities. 

With the help of that, pinterest, and just simply getting things ready for the week I was able to get started this week with our ducks already in a row.  Everything was planned out and ready to go.

So that was done but I was also faced with the problem of all of the bad attitudes.  I had managed to get myself out of my funk but how was I going to get the kids okay-ish with doing school again?

The answer, like always, practically jumped out of the Bible and smacked me in the face.  I love when my help comes from the Lord.  Which is pretty much all the time. 

Our Fresh Start Began with Popscicle Sticks. Super Busy at Home.

Calvin had to memorize this verse the week before to complete his Awana book so it was a perfect jumping off point for this week.

Our Fresh Start Began with Popsicle Sticks. Super Busy at Home

To enforce or rather to encourage this, Sunday night Nick and I sat down in the living room with a bunch of popsicle sticks.

And we made chores.

Glorious chores.

It wasn't anything too hard.  Or anything that will take too long. But they are things that will definitely help out.

How Our Fresh Start Began with Popsicle Sticks. Super Busy at Home

Clean the bathroom sink.

Put random lost socks in the laundry.

Things like that. (And as a total side note, can you figure out which of the popsicle sticks was written by me?  Nick totally has Doctor/Architect handwriting.)

And to think, our fresh start Began with Popsicle Sticks. Super Busy at Home

I introduced the popsicle sticks to them in the morning while they were still in bed.  We had talked about the verse the night before so I reminded them of it and told them about the chore sticks.

I told them that all of their complaining and arguing just sucks the life right out of me.  And then I am too tired to do all of the chores so they will have to help.

It's only the third day but we've only had to draw out a popscicle stick twice.  Which means there's only been complaining two times

Which for me is like drawing a popsicle stick from the mom lottery.

Two times complaining in three days is a total win.

And every day we've been able to get our school work done.

Another win.

Our Fresh Start was three days ago and it's only just begun. 

Happy day friends! 

What do you need a fresh start on? Brainstorm, switch things up, and get going!

Β