Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Have you tried any recipes from this book? Which ones should I try?
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Monday, September 21, 2009
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Monday, September 14, 2009
Last week, we didn't do too much for Tot School. I had a few apple books, but didn't do any of the activities I had planned. I will probably re-visit apples again this fall.
This week, I gathered some farm books that we had at home including Big Red Barn, Barnyard Banter, and Mr. Brown Can Moo. We enjoyed reading these books a lot. My daughter also loved her Baby Einstein Baby MacDonald DVD this week. She is getting better at putting together her Melissa and Doug farm puzzle, too.
I was also surprised that she really enjoyed these Farmer in the Dell stacking cards I got for her a few months ago. She likes to look at the cards and tell the story herself and requested that we sing the song often this week. We also listened to the CD On the Farm With Ronno quite a bit this week.
Yesterday, we went to a pioneer days festival and she got a chance to see some cows and several roosters. Plus, she loved the ladies who did clog dancing.
This week, storytime at the library starts again, so I should have a booklist next week for our "Harvest on the Farm Theme". For more Tot School, check out 1+1+1=1!
Sunday, September 13, 2009
On the home front, we've been spending a lot of time thinking about whether to buy a new house or add on to our 1000 sq. ft. home. After much deliberation, (I'm talking months...I don't make decisions lightly!) we have decided to stay where we are and have hired a contractor to add on a second full bathroom, making our room a master "suite" ... as much as a 12x12 room can be a suite! We are looking forward to the second bathroom and walk-in closet, and are trying to make decisions about all of the items needed for the bathroom. I want to find quality items that are priced reasonably, so we are becoming regular visitors to the home improvement stores in the area. Any tips or tricks for staying within a budget on this project? I'd love your input!
This week, I was also asked to become our church's choir director as part of a job share position. This happened really quickly, so the latter part of the week was spent selecting music, hashing out responsibilities, and sprucing up the choir area at church. I will try to get a picture of the bulletin board and framed verses I put together...the power of a bit of fabric, a hot glue gun, and some ribbon! This position is a big leap of faith for me. I don't have any formal training as a director, though I do have a lot of music background.
My husband also job shares the church organist position, so we are trying to figure out the logistics of who will take care of our little one during service. We do have a nursery, but there are so few little kids at church, it is not regularly staffed. In this area, I am feeling called to try to begin a preschool "class" down in the nursery. Once a month (to start), I would organize activities around a Bible story. Do you have any free curriculum to recommend? This would only be for 2 children to start, with the possibility of others being added in the future. Do any of you go to really small churches with only a few children? Do you offer classes for those that are there?
So...change is in the air! What changes are going on in your life? Drop me a line - I'd love to pray for you during these changes and would appreciate the same for me!
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Monday, September 7, 2009
Saturday, September 5, 2009
Thursday, September 3, 2009
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Typically, I shop about 2-3 months ahead. We have a spreadsheet containing all of the known family birthdays, anniversaries, etc. written out for each month. When I shop sales, I have these events in mind. However, we all know that surprise retirements, babies, marriages, and more may be gift-giving occasions we don't even know about. That's why if I see something nice at a really great sale price, I usually pick up one or two, put it in our gift box, and hold on to it until a time arises to give the gift.
Christmas is quickly approaching also, and I have started to get some items that will be gifts at Christmastime. I also am hoping to do some handmade gifts this year, and have started crafting as well. Another way that sales can be great near the holidays is for various charitable giving. We stocked up on school supplies for Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes and bought clothes at Old Navy's extra 50% clearance sales to use for our local Salvation Army's Angel Tree.
A few tips that work for me when I buy gifts ahead:
- Remember to check your gift box before shopping to see if you have something appropriate before buying anything new.
- Regularly get out the items in your gift box and inventory them. I usually mentally assign items to various occasions.
- Try not to buy too many things ahead!
One of my favorite sources (in addition to the blogs on my list) for great shopping deals is the Pinching Your Pennies Screaming Deals Online Forum. I just got some amazing clothing and gift deals from Kohl's at 85-90% off from a thread in this forum.
Do you buy or make gifts ahead? What are some of your shopping and saving strategies?