Life, Motherhood

Don’t Forget to Take Care of You, Too!

It’s been over a week since my last post; its been too long, I know. However it has been much needed I was reading a post over on Quirky Workin’ Mom’s about putting yourself in timeout from the world of social media and other toxic areas in your life. Taking a timeout and giving yourself a time to relax, reboot, & get things done! I wanted to just take a few days off to begin with but then another day got added then another, it was quite nice to take that time off!
I was able to have family time with my husband who was off work for the last couple of weeks due to switching to a new job, which he started on Monday. I spent more time with my boys even though they were never in one place for more than a couple of minutes, enjoyed me giving a little extra time to them anyways. And finally I found time for myself! After weeks of rolling through this season of sickness, stress, anxiety, & all the rest of 2020 I needed some sort of me time.
It should have been a no brainer to start taking care of me but when you are a mom who takes care of kids, the house, most of the bills, the car, the cooking, the cleaning, remembering trash day, taking kids to school or doctors appointments (most online), making sure the animals get fed/watered, and so much more it can be so easy to forget to take care of well YOU!
To combat the sort of funk I have fallen into I have started a new diet that really is more of a healthier eating style controlling portion sizes and replacing a lot of unhealthy choices with better ones. When the days are nicer I opt to walk to the bus stop to pick up my oldest rather than take the car & even get in some extra walking before sometimes if its a really nice day. I usually will have my almost 9 month old with me so weather needs to be baby friendly to go for a walk outside. If a walk outside isn’t possible that day I will do my best to get inside chores done; cleaning the house mostly. Getting up and moving around helps out a lot with moods and how you are feeling.
I think that a lot of people have been in a funk lately with COVID and just 2020 in general. Giving myself time to get more things done and also take a break has been a nice change to my normal day of chaos. I will admit I have been so used to not posting it would have been easier to continue that but I enjoy writing too much to give it up so soon! I will also admit I have been battling against the faceless enemy of anxiety & depression that come to visit me from time to time. Taking time for myself has also been a great way to help with those feelings as well.
I guess the moral of the story I am writing to you about is that every person at some point needs to give themselves time that is reserved just for them and them ONLY! If you are always taking time for everyone else in your life giving your self and time to person after person you are going to get worn out physically & mentally. You need to STOP and smell the roses or rather take that deep breath and evaluate what it is that you need instead of what everyone else is needing. You may not be able to take a whole lot of time but a little bit of time for yourself goes a long way! It gives you a chance to relax and unwind. You just need to figure out what YOU time looks like for you & your needs!
There’s still going to be time for all of the others in your life who need you but only if you give yourself a break once in a while! Don’t be afraid to pamper yourself a little more and find that special time for you and YOU only!

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Lilly and Fin: A Mermaid’s Tale

Since joining Bookroo my family and I have received some really awesome books; I opted for the chapter books that way I can read to them for a fun story time. I always remember having books read to me as a child and wanted to be able to pass that on to my children. Also chapter books are something that they can read when they are old enough to read themselves and still be able to enjoy them even years from now. One of the books we have gotten in one of our boxes is a chapter book by Cornelia Funke called “Lilly and Fin: A Mermaid’s Tale”. We began reading this book for our homeschooling about a month or so ago; I believe sometime in September while simultaneously reading a couple of others that I plan to write about here in the future. Some where in September the idea of attempting to keep my four year old focused on schooling was just a pipe-dream and eventually let that go. I could tell he was just not ready for school at home and since his brother had gone back to public school the month prior I guess I just didn’t feel the need to push him. I mean he is 4 years old and a bit of a zig zagging all over the place kind of kid who has the attention span of a fly if you know what I mean. While schooling was over and all that didn’t mean that we couldn’t still read as that is something that we loved to do just because.
We finally finished our little book last week; it took longer than it actually takes to read the book because of life and only reading here and there but we did it! If you know anything about me as a parent you would know that I am really feeling great about getting yet another book under the old belt because I haven’t been much of a reader in a very long time. In a time when you spend quite a lot of time at home you more than likely like myself would pick up some new skills or hobbies to help pass the time. I have even started to read another chapter book that we received in a box myself or really whenever anyone will listen to me read it as my kids weren’t interested in a chapter book without pictures in it just yet. No worries I am quite enjoying the said book and when I finish it I will write about it as well.
To the book at hand “Lilly and Fin: A Mermaid’s Tale” it is a chapter book intended for ages 7-10 yrs & a reading level of 2-5. I don’t feel that just because a book is intended for a certain age group that it means it should be read by just that age group well depending on what that book is about would be the only reason I can think of to why a kid couldn’t read a book intended for a more mature audience. Otherwise I don’t see a problem! The book is a chapter book but it is a good read for kids or directed towards kids because it has a good amount of color filled illustrations intertwined throughout its pages. Within those pages are some fun activities that I will fill you in on here soon. Each chapter in this book doesn’t take too long to read and there are roughly 3-6 pages in each for reading amongst the other pages that are illustrated.

The book brings an interesting twist to how humans may be perceived by the underwater world. I think that this perspective is fun to see unfold especially from an entirely different world. Join two merpups (kid mermaid’s) on an adventure in their underwater world where they come to find that maybe their parents might actually know what they are talking about. They learn a lesson and meet some new and interesting figures; some friend & some foe. As you read you are taken on the journey that they will never forget and that will have forever changed their little lives.
Since both of my boys are still not readers for themselves and well my 6 year old is just now beginning to read but not ready for this level of book on his own I am the one who did the reading for this book. As I read through I learned a couple of things; one this was a great book for someone who was older than 4 which is expected. The second being that it was a little bit hard to get into the story line as an adult I should have been able to theoretically jump right in but for the first couple of chapters it was a bit hard to follow, but I was determined to finish it with or with out my listeners. I finished it with my 6 year old who soon decided he enjoyed it about half way through when it started to get a bit more interesting for him. More action & mystery I presume. My 4 year old wasn’t super into this one and that is okay as it wasn’t really for a 4 year old but still suitable for him to listen too if that makes sense. The first half of this book is all about giving a background about the characters both underwater and on land which is expected however the way that the book just jumps into the story makes it a little hard to get into it at first. Like I mentioned the real interesting parts weren’t until after a couple chapter’s or so. To help liven it up a bit I started making different voices to go along with each character because it was hard to get into the mind and that did seem to help the younger listening group.
I really wanted to love this book and it is great but about half way through in my opinion; I don’t love it but I like it. It has a good lesson for kids who don’t want to listen to parents or the rules teaching them that there are consequences for disobeying. Doing some things that you are told not to do can lead to danger and that there are reasons for rules. I would read it again so I did enjoy reading it, just not an easy one to get into. During the introduction of the characters I did enjoy seeing the different perspectives of the different characters for instance the Mermaid people see the humans so differently from the way most humans see the ocean and its creatures in it. Makes you think about things a bit more which is a good lesson to include in a book like this directed toward kids who are still learning.
Something I discovered while I was researching the author of this book Cornelia Funke is that the book was originally written in German and that this version I read was a translation from the original book; this may have a big part in why the book was a little awkward in the beginning. It could explain why it may have been hard to connect to the book. I assume it was translated correctly otherwise I probably would see more complaints on other reviews over the book when I researched it and the author. It is just that sometimes different language barriers can translate differently but correctly. I don’t have any idea if this is the reason why it was a little awkward it is just my opinion and would explain it a bit.

Earlier I mentioned some fun activities that this book has hidden in its pages; what did I mean is what you are probably wondering!? So at the very end of the book there is a section dedicated to activities that the author snuck into the book to make reading so much more fun for the kids. It includes a board game printed on one of the illustrations you see above. You add your own game pieces and use your own dice but the rest on how to play is located in the book ideally after you have read through it but I suppose you could just skip ahead. Also there are fun hidden objects through out the illustrations that makes a sort of I Spy game that could be played alone or with other readers just as well. This would be especially great on a long car ride or similar situation. I thought that these were a great way to interact with the reader/readers of this book which allowed to bring it more to life than just reading the words on its pages. I figured I would give you a sneak peek in the picture above but if you want to know how to play and what fun hidden objects to find in the books illustrated pages then you will just have to purchase it or check it out at your local Library.

That brings me to the next topic how much does this book cost new? As I mentioned above I mean way up there; my family received this book in our monthly Bookroo box where the books in the box is to be worth more or pretty much the same amount of the monthly box price by pretty much the books we have received have all been well worth it and always come to a total well above the monthly box cost which makes it so awesome! This book costs $9.99 US / $13.99 CAN brand new. I found it on Amazon for $9.59 brand new US hardcover or $9.99 US Kindle. The book we have is a hardcovered book. I supposed you could try to find it used for cheaper if you looked on the right site such as eBay or Facebook Swap. I think that if you have a kid who is into the creatures of the sea or maybe even just you and love reading fun adventurous stories/books this book would be worth at least checking out. Perhaps at your local library if you aren’t yet committed to buying it for yourself.

In a conclusion for my thoughts on this book I would have to say that I do think it is a good book to read and it does have some good lessons in it for young readers. I love that it takes you into a whole different world that kind of connects the world that us humans know but also gives a new perception of what the underwater world of the oceans may be like like if you ever think about what the sea creatures really think about us humans sort of imagination perspective! It is worth checking out; maybe you will find a fun new story that is a hit as a new family favorite!

Amazing books kids love!

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Books, Motherhood

Give the Gift that Gives Back: Bookroo

I am always looking for the perfect gift for the holidays for my kids and I know a lot of other people go through this same crisis. In our family we don’t have a whole lot of money to throw away on some random toy that is going to be loved for a minute then tossed a side the next. When looking for a gift for any occasion I always tend to look for gifts that the person I am gifting to (usually my kids) will get something in return whether that be a new skill or something else they learn from that gift; something learned or rather something useful is the key! What better way to give the gift of knowledge than to actually give knowledge in the form of a book or books. Books for kids don’t need to be filled with history lessons or math problems for them to learn something from them. A book can be filled with stories that bring their imaginations to life and that is a great gift to give. It allows kids to be kids by giving the ability to get their brains working and thinking but in a way that lets their imaginations run wild. They can read it themselves or be read to and no matter how a book is read it opens up so much more for a kid than any old toy would do. My 6 year old is just learning how to read; he loves books and enjoys trying to read all sorts of new words that he finds in his books. He will even read to his younger brother’s who will eventually start reading on their own someday. Books are a great way to teach in a fun way for kids and adults too as I have come to love reading chapter books to my kids. It brings out their imaginations and dusts mine off letting me remember that fun feeling of all of the characters in a story that seemed to disappear as I grew into adulthood.

I would like to introduce you to a great company Bookroo; they are a monthly book box service that sends books in the mail every month. They offer three kinds of books to be mailed depending on which is chosen for your subscription is the one you receive. They have a variety of monthly plans available as far as pricing is concerned. I have recently written some posts explaining the entire how to sign up for Bookroo at the links below. I encourage you to check them out if you are ready to give a great gift to your kids every month. Some great highlights about this company with out going into all of the details which will be linked below are: 1) that they wrap each individual book up in wrapping paper for your kids to unwrap when they are received they are always fun and different wrapping papers which make it all the more fun. I mean who doesn’t enjoy getting gifts to unwrap!? My kids love it and it makes the books we get all the more personal and special. 2) The books are well worth the price you are paying monthly. They don’t just put some cheap book in the box and call it good, NO , these books that are hand chosen by the way are carefully picked out. They do their research to find the best books to include in their boxes. They more than make up for the per box price which is different depending on the plan selection you choose. The per month box starts at $24.95 + Tax (for me tax is $4.99) which makes my moth to month box for the two chapter book selection I chose for my kids $29.94. However the price goes down if you choose to do the 3,6,or 12 box prepay. Check it all out here on my previous post all about Bookroo HERE!
If you would rather just go straight to the source check out their site here at BOOKROO.

For TODAY & TOMMOROW ONLY as this offer I am posting is only available until NOVEMBER 2nd 2020. Anyways Bookroo is offering a special promotion for a Black Friday deal since that is going to be a bit different this year for most; they thought they could still do something fun!

Click the Picture Above; don’t forget to copy the code below!

Use this code: EARLYBIRDBF for 25% off any multi-month subscription (and multiple new subscriptions!)
Valid through Nov 2 at 11:59 MST
Cannot be combined with other offers or applied to existing subscriptions!

Thanks for reading hope you check them out! I love being able to give something to my kids that gives them something in return and not to mention how fun books are in general! Drop a like below and follow my blog too if you want to stay up to date on new posts!

Meal Time, Review

Misfits Market

Imagine strolling through the grocery store your filling your shopping cart up. You start by getting the pantry items first, then you make your way to the colder items, & finally finish in the produce aisle. Time to gather fruits and veggies for your family so you pick and choose which fruit or vegetable is right for you. Thinking to yourself that one looks a bit funny so you grab a different one; after all they all need to be perfect, right? You leave the ugly fruits and veggies where they are you don’t want any part of them. You’ve become a produce snob; if it ain’t perfect and blemish free you don’t want it and that is that.
Now the question is what will happen to that ugly produce the answer it will more than likely be thrown away rather than donated if it has made it to an actual store due to that stores policies. Now some stores in the bigger cities have unique programs worked out to be able to donate ugly produce and old product; but not all have this option and that is just sad!

Did you know that the United States of America is one of the most wasteful countries in the world?

We as a people have the mind set that we can just get more, we can get something better because of the United States and their over production of product. A long time ago way back in my youth one of my major passions was to try to salvage unused products thrown away from grocery stores; so I happen to know a thing or two about this particular subject. Even though I don’t participate in dumpster diving anymore, I still feel very passionate about not wasting and trying to get every possible use out of something before I try to up-cycle it into something else.

When I discovered that there are companies on the rise to help with the waste of produce I thought well are they available in my area because this is great! One of those I was anxiously awaiting to come to my area was Misfits Market. A lot of the companies were not in my area but just so happened that I heard this one company was trying to come to Iowa, I just didn’t know how soon that was. Apparently sooner than I thought!

I am not being sponsored for this review over Misfits Market, I just wanted to share this company with you. I hope to be able to share other companies similar to this one some day and then have something to compare it to but lets just start with this one first!

Misfits Market

What is Misfits Market?

Misfits Market is a company that offers a flexible scheduled box of rescued fresh organic fruits and vegetables that can be delivered weekly or bi-weekly with the option to pause scheduled deliveries whenever you feel like it! They currently offer two sizes; The Mischief (their smallest box at approximately 10-13 lbs that according to the website will feed 2 people for one week). The Madness (their largest box at approximately 18-22 lbs that should feed up to 5 people for a week). Now you may wonder what I meant when I said they rescue this produce. Misfits Market sources out all sorts of fresh produce that is deemed ugly in the eyes of the people of the US and essentially rescues it from becoming compost or worse. They have taken that ugly produce and given it a new purpose. It’s kind of funny how something that is frowned upon by all sorts of people just because it is different can be taken in by the right people and be put to good use. I guess you can say its kind of cool to be ugly! All of the produce they source is organic and fresh. The price for the amount that you get it is a pretty great deal in my opinion.

How much does it cost?

I mentioned the two sizes of boxes that they offer earlier; but how much do they cost per box for each of the different sizes? The Mischief box; the smallest box starts at $22 plus taxes and shipping. If you were to buy this amount of fresh organic produce in the store it would cost you about $35. The Madness box; the largest box starts at $35 plus taxes and shipping. And if you bought this amount of fresh organic produce in the store it would be about $65. Plus with your very first box you get a 25% discount (COOKWME-JP3VPP) which saves you even more.

How to get started?

  1. Go to Misfits Market; Click Order Today!
  2. Then Choose Your Box.
  3. Enter Your Zip Code.
  4. Select Your Preferred Delivery Day.
  5. Select The Delivery Frequency.
  6. Then Proceed to Checkout.
  7. Enter this promo code for 25% off your first box (COOKWME-JP3VPP)
    (this is my referral code; it gives you 25% off your first box and helps me out in the future and helps me bring more fun unboxings to the blog!)
  8. Note: You can always change the frequency of your subscription and you can even pause it for a while even after you have received any amount of boxes. (This is great if you can’t necessarily do month to month payments or even weekly; it gives you some control of your subscription!)

Do they offer any extras?

Misfits Market has a neat add on program that to my understanding has just opened up to new customers so not just long time customers anymore. This means that you can choose to customize your order and get exactly what you want to get when that window of opportunity opens. You can also add on extra food items that could be paired with the produce such as “fresh herbs, spices, specialty produce, beans, soup mixes, and coffee” (according to their website). You can only do this when the literal window is open meaning that they will notify you by email when this shop is open and it is only open for a limited amount of time and with a limited stock on everything in it! You must also have an active account so if your subscription is on pause you won’t get this deal.


(This is not a paid or sponsored review)

The Packaging

I didn’t go crazy with pictures because its pretty much opening the box but I do have a comment on how they packaged everything. In my box (I assume every box is the same) anyways my box upon opening had a fun recycled insulation wrapped in plastic I assume they did this to help keep condensation from absorbing into it thus ruining the insulating properties. In my opinion I would guess this insulation serves as an insulator as well as a buffer to the outside of the box to help during shipping to keep the produce from bruising. I thought this was neat; I will be looking for some sort of use for this insulation as it is cloth and kind of fluffy almost as if it was recycled clothing or fabric of some sort. Next upon opening the box you find the produce and two ice/cool packs that are sink safe it also says garden safe but I only saw the instructions for dumping contents down the drain safely and would be curious to do more research on these as this company seems to take into consideration the packaging used instead of just slapping it all together.

The Produce

Quite a lot of produce for just the one box.

After opening the box here is the produce I found: 1 Bunch of Green Leaf Lettuce (live for replanting), 4 Large White Onions, 1 Ginger Root, 1 Jicama, 6 Pears (I believe they are Bartlett), 6 Gala Apples, 6 Lemons, 6 Potatoes, 1 Bunch of Celery, 4 Zucchini, 2 Mangoes, and 6 Roma Tomatoes. I went to my local grocery store (Hy-Vee) to add up how much this would have cost me to buy there, I found all but the Jicama. My total came to $41.48. I researched around my area that a single Jicama costs $1.33 on average. So if I added that in to my previous in store total my new total came to $42.81; that is roughly what I would pay to purchase all of this produce in person versus ordering through Misfits Market where I paid $31.75 for my first box. If I would have not had a discount my total would have been $40.10.

My Thoughts

If your only going to be purchasing the one first box you do save quite a lot of money so it is worth it however I don’t think that it is worth it in the long haul unless you are home bound or don’t like to visit the stores with everything going on. You would be saving a little money even paying full price but to me I wouldn’t think it is 100% worth it in the end but it does have its perks. I have done some shopping around to hopefully compare this box to another similar service I haven’t found any with a lower price. I looked into Imperfect Foods where you are required to pick a non produce option along side the produce option in order to become a subscriber that is not a fair thing in my opinion as I was only looking for a produce box and didn’t want to buy any extra junk plus this hiked the price total way up from the $16-$27 produce box price range depending on the size of your family. I definitely won’t be ordering from them as I feel it should remain optional for extra items. If they allowed you to only purchase produce they would have had the lowest priced boxes, but having to add an extra on still making the lowest priced item added only $34 before shipping/Taxes which wouldn’t be that bad but I don’t like being forced to buy something I don’t even want in the first place. Then you don’t get to even choose how often you want it until after that first box. Then I looked at Farmbox Direct and i’ll just say wow, super pricey compared to both Imperfect Foods and Misfits Market. I believe the lowest priced box was $43.95 per delivery. That price even comes above what I added up for my own grocery store list above when this is all you get in a box see pic below according to their website. This makes me wonder which one of these are made of solid gold!

Farmbox Direct Picture for Comparison

My Conclusion

Even though the amount of produce in the box I received was about two dollars lower in price compared to my local store I myself may not buy another box however from what I have researched for other similar boxes (unless I missed a box) I feel that Misfits Market is worth it compared to other boxes if you are looking for a produce box with the optional extras for a fair and decent price without being gouged! I recommend trying Misfits Market because they do have a great product in my opinion. I was able to try some fruits and veggies I wouldn’t have normally have purchased at my local stores. The quality was also pretty good in my opinion even if a couple of my zucchini were broken but that is just how companies like this one work. They take those unwanted produce and give them new life! I will probably buy them from here on out again as my family and I discovered that we enjoyed a lot of the newer (to us) produce that we hadn’t tried before. So yes check them out even if it’s just once. I may not purchase the large box again but I am curious what the small box consists of so look out for that one in a future post because I just need to know! It has been a neat experience.

Have you tried this company before?
Have you tried similar companies like this one?
What was your experience like?
Do you have any similar box recommendations that I missed?

Check Misfits Market out by using this code exactly as typed (COOKWME-JP3VPP). This will give you 25% off of your first box.

I do plan on purchasing the smaller box for doing a comparison of the two sizes of boxes and who know I may change my mind and fall in love with this company, I mean it is super nice that I don’t have to go to a store to get my produce!

Thank you for reading my post and review over Misfits Market. I hope you do check them out. I love what they do and what they stand for.
Drop a like below and follow my blog. Don’t forget to check out some of my other posts, just look around my site there is so much to see! Stay tuned in for more fun posts coming soon.


Suddenly Homeschooling

And just like that overnight I became a teacher on top of my other motherly talents. Like most of the suddenly homeschooling parents out there I am kind of nervous on how this year is going to go but also excited. I am eager to set up our new little classroom and eager for our new curriculum to arrive in the mail. It will definitely be an adjustment for everyone but I am not worried. I gave birth to them after all and being a teacher is basically what I have done all of their lives and continue to do everyday. I just hope that I can make it as much fun as possible.
I have a mental checklist that I am running through I feel like most days I seem to forget something but I am working diligently to get it all together on top of everything else I do daily. We fortunately already have a area that will be our learning room it is normally a play room but it will work perfectly for a learning space in the mornings or whenever the learning takes place. We originally ordered our school supplies through the school my kids would have attended if it weren’t for COVID so just gotta get them when they arrive. I ordered some nifty containers from Lakeshore Learning for holding their books and they will work great for storing them out of the way after school has ended each day. It is just a special space that is unique for each boy in a color that is his own. I want to make things fun and make it unique for each of them. We opted out of backpack’s this year because we aren’t going anywhere so other options for that seemed like the way to go!

Our set up so far is a long white folding table set up in the corner of our play/learning room with some folding chairs that can be tucked away when we are not using them. The room has a closet that will double as a pantry/school supply room as well. This will keep little people out of important things. We are currently trying to accomplish a whole bunch of tasks in our house and homeschooling just happens to be one of the many. We are expanding our pantry area from the kitchen to the closet I mentioned a minute ago and the basement for longer term food storage. There are quite a few things happening in our household at the moment and at times it just seems impossible to accomplish but we are doing our best. If I had any advice for other people in the same situation as myself I would say that you just need to do what is best for you and your family. The opinions of everyone else can easily cloud your judgement but in the end you need to do you! Don’t worry about having the perfect set up for a homeschooling environment if this is what you want to do just do it. Simply sitting at the kitchen table will do just fine. Our learning area is far from perfect, it is just me doing what works for our family.

Today I was asked why we chose to go the home school route and just completely take our kids out of school instead of opting for the remote learning through our local school. My answer is complicated because our decision wasn’t just made up over one simple thing. Instead there were quite a lot of factors. 1.) Remote learning for our school was something you could apply for but it was not guaranteed for your family to get it. 2.) If we were to get chosen I would wonder who did not get chosen because we did and those people may not even have the option to do full on homeschooling as a back up. 3.) If we weren’t chosen then it might be too far into the school thing to back out and just do homeschooling because in our state there are cut off dates for certain learning options. 4.) If we were chosen for remote learning we would also be at the mercy of the school in the fact that what if they decided to cancel remote learning because it wasn’t working for them; therefore we would have to attend in person school in the end. 5.) At the tail end of last school year when schools closed down due to the beginning of COVID-19 both my husband & I felt that the system in play for sending work home was super unorganized; so I question how organized would it be this year only a few months later. 6.) Would the curriculum be at your pace or would my 1st grader fall behind if we weren’t quite ready to go to the next assignment. 7.) They only offered remote learning for Kindergarten and upwards so my preschooler would not be apart of the school year and we would still have to find something for him to do through the year.
For all of these various reasons we decided that the remote learning option at our local school wasn’t going to work for us. We will miss our school but I know it is for the best; I also have a feeling that this is only the beginning for us and that just maybe we will not be returning back to an actual school anytime soon! If you too are having mixed feelings about taking that plunge just know that in the end you need to do what is best for your family. Weigh out the pros and cons if you really don’t know the right path to take. We are lucky enough to be able to do this but we sort of felt like we didn’t really have a choice and it really was a no brainer. We didn’t like the feeling of playing with our kids lives taking this big chance. With cases going up dramatically in our area and school hasn’t been in session for months now, nobody knows what is going to happen when school starts on August 26th 2020. I feel like it is not going to work for a lot of schools I think that it is a big mistake to start school this Fall and that this needs to be planned out further than just a few months; when the schools close as I do believe that they will close I don’t want out family to get caught up in the whirlwind of chaos that will come along with it.

I have done some research recently just to see what other schools in the US are doing as far as COVID-19 procedures and day to day procedures. I also have looked into what other schools in other countries have done. To me it really looks more like an institutionalized prison really rather than a traditional school. School is supposed to have a fun feel to them where kids are free to be kids for the most part, but most of the classroom & school set ups on YouTube and the articles that I have read online just seem troubling to me and sort of impossible. As a mom I cannot see kids especially little kids having to wear masks and face shields all day long five days a week. It just doesn’t seem realistic. Then you add in the social distancing they are setting as basic rules for little kids to not do what little kids do just seems like a fantasy. It will not go the way they anticipate it to go is what I think will happen. I am glad we chose not to go that route. Things are already terrifying enough without that added unknown of what our kids would be exposed to on a daily basis. We have made our decision, the one that is best for us. I encourage anyone else to make the best decision for their family no matter what it is!

Thanks for reading this post! Drop a like below and follow this blog. Follow me on my social media & stay tuned in for more posts coming soon, they are not quite everyday but they are coming as I find the time for writing with everything else going on! I have some new DIY craft posts coming out soon as some of our homeschooling tools need to be made instead of bought so trying to make that as fun as possible!


Life Update: Homeschooling

Very busy week for our family so I had to put a hold on fun crafts for a bit. There have been quite a lot of cases of COVID accumulating in our area some hitting too close for comfort. My husband and I sat down and had a very long talk and after much discussion we decided that we felt like we were being put between a rock and a hard place to send our kids back to school. We have a new baby who has just turned 5 months old; he stayed in the NICU for a month of his life and was born early on top of everything else. Then we have two other boys one of which has asthma that tends to get worse when he gets sickness especially coughs. We feel like taking that kind of gamble by sending the older ones back to school and I back to the school for work that we were gambling with their little lives. That isn’t fair of us to do. Call us crazy but we are just not willing to take that chance so we will be pulling our kids out of public schooling and start homeschooling for the year fairly soon.
I have been working all week to figure out how to do get started on this new journey of ours; figuring out what I have to do to get us going. Every state has their own set of rules/laws for homeschooling, we live in Iowa. I do believe I have gotten everything ready just to get the forms filled out and turned in with everything needed and then gotta order our curriculum for the year. My two older boys will be doing school curriculum through Master Books faith based education. The oldest is going into 1st grade and his brother is on his second year of preschool; in Iowa preschool isn’t necessarily a grade but he will still need to be ready for Kindergarten next year so we are doing preschool anyways as he just did 3 year old preschool this past year. After doing a fair amount of research on a faith based curriculum I landed on Master Books; I may add things to it during the year for that extra amount of learning depends on how things are going.
Today some thoughts passed through my head as today was the opening day for our schools registration online; I thought long and hard and wanted to make sure we were doing the right thing by pulling them out completely as our school is offering a remote learning program for some of the families in the school if they see it is necessary. The real disappointing part of this was learning that it will not be offered to everyone just some. That was part of our decision against staying in the school as hey if we were one of the chosen families we would be able to stay at the school. Except they only offered it for our 1st grader so that meant that our preschooler wouldn’t be able to do that. And then some other worries crossed my mind; we would be taking up a place for some other family that may not even have the ability to home school outside of this current school due to whatever reason, the fact that it wasn’t guaranteed for all families who applied, we would not be able to move at our own pace (I was thinking well what if we get behind would we have to go to the school to catch up, defeating the purpose), & then finally what happens if the school decides to cancel that program or something similar that requires us to come in to the school anyways also defeating the purpose of the staying at home option. Our family like so many other cannot afford to gamble with our children’s lives they are too precious to take those possible life & death chances.
This wasn’t a decision we took lightly when deciding this new homeschooling adventure means we lose my income at the school and probably means my husband will have to work more. We weren’t super concerned with our jobs being the problem with all that’s going on either it was more, kids are not going to keep their masks on at school and for everyone in our family especially the safety of our immune compromised kids (new baby/asthma) it wasn’t worth it. My husband would be the only one going out unless we all had doctors appointments or to the store where only one of us goes and we sanitize and mask up always! When he’s at work he wears gloves and a mask all day long and we felt that was something we could live with in me not having a job as we have to have some income. It is not our hope to have to struggle to pay bills for the rest of our lives but I would rather have a struggle with money than to watch my kids go through this awful virus and it affecting them the rest of their lives if they survive it. That’s not easy to think about and I felt so weird typing it just now… but it’s true. Money is necessary but it is not more important than my children’s lives; you can always make more money but there is only one of each of my kids ever! I would rather keep my kids as healthy as possible even if I have to forfeit the best job I have ever had in my life. I love it but I LOVE my kids more!
If there is anyone else kind of going through the same things know that you are not alone. I am having a hard time with my decision in the sense that this is NOT a easy decision. Hopefully we can return back to school next year that is if everyone wants to go back because I may just rock at this home school thing. Let’s hope that is the case. I could see it as a permanent thing, maybe! Feel free to comment below if anyone has any tips for homeschooling or maybe you have a question for me. As always thanks for reading. Drop a like below and follow this blog. Also follow me on social media and check out some of my other posts if you enjoyed reading this one!


Clothing on a Budget

Kids grow quick! Not to mention how rambunctious they can be. My boys seem to grow like weeds and they never ever stay still, they are always on the move! They go through just about everything so quickly. Everything that we own has been through the ringer for sure. Toys have been played with; so much that even when the wheels fall off a car it then becomes a boat. They are always playing with anything and everything that they come across nothing is left out. If it can be climbed they climb it; always curious always on some kind of adventure.Whether they are in the back yard digging for dinosaur fossils or testing out some new experiment or invention their clothes seem to get the brunt of it. They either wear them out or they out grow them. Being tight on money as it is means we don’t buy our clothes new; especially kids clothes.

Where do you find cheap clothes?

There are several ways to find good clothing for kids with out buying over priced clothing.

Second Hand Clothing Stores
I have spent a tremendous amount of time going through the clothing racks at the Good Will or Used Kids Clothing Stores. Hanger after hanger; searching the price tags for the best deal possible. Most of the time leaving empty handed. While I am not ashamed to buy something that has already been worn I do have my standards. There is no sense to purchase something used if it is worn to a dither or stained up; it’s used and that is great but is it great for you. Search around your local area for used kids clothing stores most places will be toward the city or bigger towns. Sure there are some local shops and those are great too; I have found that some will have higher prices do to it being a local shop compared to a store in a bigger area; just something to keep in mind. Doesn’t everyone enjoy finding a great deal; second hand clothing stores are going to give you a chance to find some of the best deals you just need to turn your snob standards for clothing off. If your on a budget buying used will almost double maybe even triple the amount of clothing you can buy versus buying brand new because of lower prices! Now that’s a good deal.

Some of my favorites include:

Clearance Clothing Rack
Some days I am not able to just get up and go to a second hand clothing store; some days I shop my local stores to see what they have on their clearance racks at the time. Depending on where you live your stores are going to have different ways of rotating stock based on the seasons. Where I live we have all of the seasons; Summer, Fall, First Winter, Second Winter, & Spring. That means that once one season is over the next begins same with clothes one goes out, the other comes in. When clothes are on the out you should expect them to be reduced in price and eventually put on clearance. Clothing based around your favorite holidays will also make their way to the clearance rack as those holidays come and go just like the changing of seasons, so keep an eye out!

Photo by Artem Beliaikin from Pexels

Yard & Garage Sales
Around my area we always look forward to the Spring & Summer months as they bring all sorts of goodies including the yard sale! Most people know what those are but here’s a refresher just in case you don’t know; a yard sale or garage sale is a sale out of someones yard or garage they gather together all of their old stuff/junk that they don’t need anymore and sell it for reasonable prices to the public. You never know what your going to find and their is usually something for everyone. The prices are usually about the same price if not lower than you would find at a second hand store. If your in the market for a cheap wardrobe for you or your kids yard sales are definitely worth it.

What if buying clothes is a no?

Maybe your in a real pinch and have no budget for newer clothes or really to buy anything at all. A lot of times there are places like food pantries that have clothing instead or alongside the pantry. Ask around your local communities for information. Don’t be afraid to ask; it couldn’t hurt right? If you have access to social media I would check on your local Swap Pages. Calling up your local churches could also help as most food pantries or free meals come from or through church organizations; or they know the right direction to point you in. If you have access to the internet maybe through your local library take advantage of their WiFi and computer access to search the internet for help.
While your at you local library learn some new skills like how to sew by hand or with a sewing machine by watching a video on the computer. If the computers are all full try reading books that will teach you. A good way to save money on clothes is to make your own out of old clothes or other things like blankets and towels if you need them that badly! Get creative. Plus learning a new skill could help you start your own business for other people; which could help earn you money in the end.
If your like me with multiple children with in the same age range-ish you may be able to only buy newer clothes for the older one who would then pass the previous clothes down to the next youngest and so on. Enter, the wild world of hand me downs. Hand me downs are a way to really get a bang for your buck as the clothes get more use out of them from your family and sometimes they are passed along to another family to continue their long long life. Plus with that new sewing skill you can really make them go a lot farther.

Where there’s a will there’s a way! Don’t let a tight budget stop you from keeping your growing family clothed with good clothing. No need to pay full price for clothing as its just a waste of money, we all know that our children will just out grow them as fast as we can buy them!

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Parenting: 5 Life Lessons

Parenthood can be a rough gig at times; its not all sunshine & rainbows. As a mom of boys its more like that movie Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs; they are messy little beings who spread chaos through my home. I feel like I spend more time cleaning up after them than spending time with them at times. 24 hrs a day 7 days a week, chaos! What’s that old saying? Boys will be boys; I wonder if that person who originated that saying ever did have boys! Boys are strange little creatures; I often catch myself trying to figure out why they do, what they do exactly. They are crazy and chaotic sure, but I they are mine. Being a parent of any kid not just rambunctious boys can be quite the task, you are responsible for another life. One that is not your own life. You have to feed, clean up after, and make sure that kid or kids are well cared for. When you become a parent your not allowed to be selfish anymore, unless you finally get some you time which rarely happens if at all for myself. There are going to be the best times ever on this parenting journey as well as not so great times. Both are learning experiences for parents and kids alike. I like to look at my life with my children as one big learning experience and since you only get one life it is the ultimate learning experience!

Photo by Tatiana Syrikova from Pexels

Everyday brings some new adventure to light; like when my 6 year old learned to ride his bike for instance. He kept trying and trying some days he wanted to give up but each time he tried, he learned something new until finally all of that learning payed off. I learned something as well; at the time I felt like maybe I had been too hard on him as I encouraged him to ride that bike every time we went outside. I pushed him to learn it, as I knew if I never helped him make that achievement he may have regretted it one day. That learning experience taught me that it is good to push our kids and try to get them to do something even if they fail at it for the first several times; because one day if you help them and guide them enough, they can be capable of victory! They just need to believe in themselves first!
Life lessons come in all shapes and sizes; during the course of our lives as parents you will learn many lessons. It’s a bunch of trial and errors; never a perfect thing. Parenting will push you to your limits at times. I find myself pushed to the edge on a daily basis; I am constantly having to help my boys think about things, remember things, and also reminding them things that they have already learned; day in and day out! I yell & scream, I laugh & play, and so much more as there is an unlimited amount of daily tasks I do as their mom. I am constantly learning new things about being their mom; new lessons for our adventure.

What lessons have I learned as a mom?

Lesson #1: It’s Okay to Mess Up.
I have messed up as a mom multiple times during my journey. Whether I say the wrong things or do the wrong things. I am by no means perfect. It’s normal to mess up. I’ve yelled at my kids gotten to the point that I felt like I couldn’t return; I messed up. Guess what? It wasn’t the end of the world, it was going to be okay. It’s okay to say the wrong things or do the wrong things as a parent, because its a learning experience this parenthood thing. Everyone is going to mess up at some point. Whether it’s getting too mad at your children or something else its part of being a parent.

Lesson #2: Failure is Something to Learn From.
As a parent you are going to fail. When you do, let yourself learn from it as it will only make you stronger in the end. Instead of seeing a failure in parenting your children as a bad thing learn to see it as a good thing. It is something that can be learned from. When you feel like you have failed your children think of it like, okay how can I? or what can I do differently next time? When we are able to change our state of mind we can change the situation and outcome the next time.

Lesson #3: Never Lose Your Control.
The title can be deceiving like what is this lady telling me! I mean you the parent need to be the one calling the shots, you need to be in control. A child is a child; they don’t have the mentality to make adult decisions until they have become an adult and experienced adulthood! Even if they are 16-18 years old they haven’t been out there in the world or at least shouldn’t have had to. They need to be treated like kids big or little depending on ages but never as an equal because plain and simple they are NOT! Kids need to have rules & boundaries otherwise they will never be able to learn any sort of respect toward you the parent or any other adult that will be in their life. They will walk all over you and see you as some sort of push over if you give them control; it is a must to stay in control both parents.

Lesson #4: Be Unique.
As a parent you may try to compare yourself to other parents out there; always striving to be more like them. You don’t need to be like some other parent. You need to be able to be your own kind of parent/parents to your children; being different is the way to go. No one person can be just like another so we as parents shouldn’t try to be someone we are not! I want to have my own parenting style not someone else’s. My parenting should be as unique as my children not someone else!

Lesson #5: Allow Wiggle Room
You need to have a set of rules in your household that is learned by everyone and is respected; it needs to be what is expected of your children in your house. However in giving these set of rules you should allow for some lenience. Some wiggle room if you will. Give them room to make mistakes. This can be a way for them to learn from mistakes. It also helps to not be too set in stone, as kids are going to make mistakes. Rules will only be respected if you can also be able to forgive, when they are broken.

What are some life lessons that you have learned as parents?
Any nuggets of wisdom for other parents out there?

I have learned so many lesson already on my adventure with my boys, and I know that there are many more to learn. I wish I could share them all with you, my readers. Being able to give some sort of guideline for how this thing called life works is a dream because that is not how it works. I will continue to learn along the way. If I had any advice I would suggest paying attention to each and every day. Treat each day differently; there will be a new lesson, if not more each and every day on your adventure. Don’t expect each day to provide the same lesson as before; be open to the new even if it is scary. Remember our roles as parents are crucial to the raising and well being of our children; what we learn will allow us as parents to teach our children and what our children learn just might teach us something as well.

Thanks for reading my blog! I do appreciate it and just hope my writings/words are helping and connecting with someone out there. Drop a like below and follow me on my social media links also below!