Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Earth Timeline and America's Cheapest Family

I haven't posted in a few days because we've all been sick here with some icky cold, sorethroat, coughing thing. I think we are all on the mend. So-lots to catch up on. This post is kind of a catch all of everything that's been going on here.
Yesterday, I had the pleasure of being a guest speaker for homeschooling for the Natural Mom's Group of RI. There was about 15 moms and their kids and myself and two other seasoned homeschool moms spent about 2 hours answering questions about homeschooling. It was a ton of fun and the mom's had really great questions. Last evening, I headed to church for a ministry meeting, then it was home to finally sit and spend some time with the husband. Things are beyond busy here and unfortunately I needed to give up a church volunteer position that I've had for two years. But things change and it's time for moving on.
I find homeschooling is taking up a huge portion of my time. It's all good as my homeschool group grows, there is talk of forming a co-op, our UU newsletter was released, work on the Capital Campaign for our new church building continues and mostly with me trying to find time to make the homestead work. My dwindling nursing career has taken a back seat to my family. That's all well and good. Things have a way of working themselves out.

There are not enough workbooks on this earth to keep Tae happy. He's practicing his numbers here. He's a great counter until he gets to firteen and fourteen.

Patrick deep in Algebra land.

He's been working on graphing coordinates.

This graph paper is great for laying out garden plans too.

Wednesdays are Science day at our house and today Patrick was working on a drawing of the Earth's timeline starting with the Precambrian Era. I had to dust off the cobwebs to remember that one.

Morgan thought it was a pretty cool project and joined in. Patrick was a big help in teaching her all about Geologic time. One of the things that I love about homeschooling is to see the kids really excited about something and then share it with a sibling. Morgan's in fourth grade and probably wouldn't have learned about this for several more years. Instead she picked up Patrick's science book and read the chapter.

Morgan decide that she would work on the Cenozoic Era and drew some really cool pictures.

My yard is in full bloom and just beautiful.
The very fat frog was sunning him(her)self today.

Our very fat cat and all mousing champion, Moonlite, enjoyed the brief sun today.

Our Apple trees that we bought from Stark Nursery are beginning to leaf out. We don't expect apples this year but maybe next year.

My flats of Marigolds are waiting to be planted. They will go all around my vegetables as an insect repellent. The bugs hate Marigolds and will leave most of the vegetables alone if planted with them. The Farmer's Almanac has some great information on companion plantings-which plants grow well with other plants. My whole garden was planned this way this year.

Some of my vegetables and herbs waiting to be planted. They'll go in this weekend.

My Spinach and lettuce is doing well however it looks like I was drunk when I planted them.

A large Robin nest in our Weeping Mulberry Tree.

This is a new book that my husband just bought for me. It's called "America's Cheapest Family" and I am devouring this book. Since I've been reading all the money savings sites-their coupon and grocery shopping section isn't much news to me but I'm still amazed that they can feed a family of seven on $350.00 a month. While I'm doing well with coupons I've come to the realization that running to three different stores to get the best bargain just doesn't work for me. My schedule and life are too busy to keep up with that. Considering I've already been able to cut my grocery bill by about 54%, I think I'm doing really well.
One of their suggestions is to do meal planning. I did this for quite a while and will make an effort to try this again. With meals planned out, pantry inventory in check and stockpiling the necessities it should help greatly in reducing the grocery bill even farther.
I'm also trying to do shopping every other week instead of weekly. We have our milk delivered each week and get produce each Wednesday through my husband's work and that helps cut down on trips to the store. Last week I went shopping and my bill came to $178.49. After coupons, store specials and discounts I was able to get it down to $119.22. Since I did not go grocery shopping the week before that was well within my $100.00 a week budget. This is a splurge week (Mother's Day on Sunday) so the extra savings will come in handy.
Tomorrow the kids have their last sign language class for the year and our homeschool coop meets. It's been very rich and full days for us. Looks like it's going to be a great summer.


Kate in NJ said...

Being really cheap myself,lol, I requested this book from my library.
Probably my last "request", as they are going to start charging for "holds" after this week due to budget cuts. :-(

Glad you are all feeling has been hard to get computer time lately, garden season being in full swing here too,
but it is always nice to visit with you.

Sweet Serendipity said...

We just planted a garden and the kids had a great time with it. Looks like fun times at your place! You are lucky your little one likes workbooks. My son HATES them. My daughter will do some pages. They are handy to have around when you need some extra time. Unfortunately my son is having none of that, lol.
Have a happy Mother's Day!