While putting four children thru school over the last 22 years, I discovered this easy trick to getting good handwriting practice done!

I asked the teacher for a copy of the handwriting chart that they used in class.  It is simply a single sheet of paper with all the letters on it.  If you don’t want to ask the teacher, then you can just print one from the web or create your own by writing all the letters on a piece of paper with a sharpie or other marker.  I think that asking the teacher is the best idea that way you can make sure that your child is practicing the same style of handwriting at home that they are practicing at school.

Once you get the sheet with all the letters on it, simply laminate it.  I did not have use of a laminating machine so I just covered the whole sheet with clear packing tape.  After it’s laminated, your child can use dry erase markers to practice their handwriting on the sheet over and over without the need to reprint it!

Ben’s handwriting sheet has upper case letters on the front and lower case letters on the back.  It also has the numbers 0-9 as well.  He doesn’t mind doing this daily practice and he really enjoys picking out which color marker he will use each day.  I got the dry erase markers from the Dollar Tree (set of four for $1) and we use a piece of an old tee shirt to wipe it off each time.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Today I was sitting here at the computer working on some things that totally do NOT motivate me.  I mean I was just about to cry out of frustration!  All I could think was, I don’t want to work on this anymore.  Then it occurred to me. I DON”T HAVE TO!  No one is making me work on those projects.  It is only out of some sort of warped sense of personal obligation that I was forcing myself to work on the project to begin with (sort of like when I start a book and it is terrible but I make myself read it anyhow…. but that’s a topic for another post).

Yep, its true! Realizing this helped me figure out that you don’t  HAVE to do a lot of things.  No one can make you.  You have free will.  I find this liberating and considering how obstinate I can be at times, it’s kind of amazing that I just figured this out.

So, look at your To-Do list for the day (if you missed my brilliant post on to-do lists and sharpie markers check it out now at Sharpie Love).  Do you really have to do all of it?  How much of it brings you joy?  How much of it can you cross off and let it go?  Go on, get your Sharpie out and get to it!

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Today’s post will be brief…….

19 years ago I gave birth to a beautiful, talented, amazing, loving, caring, soul that I named Coral.   I have had the privilege of being her mother…. watching her grow and learn…. fall and get up again….. fail and succeed….. question and get answers…. cry and laugh….. get hurt and be loved.   As much as I have taught her, she has taught me as well.

I love you Coral….. Happy Birthday!

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter


I am always in amazement that a lot of people do not know about BTFE (Box Tops For Education).  Box Tops for Education has helped America’s schools earn over $400 million since 1996. You can earn cash for your child’s school by clipping Box Tops coupons from hundreds of participating products. Box Tops also offers easy ways to earn even more cash for your school online.

You can get more info on this program and also see a list of participating products by clicking on this link:

http://www.boxtops4education.com/earn/clip/Brands.aspx

So many people still throw out the boxtops (really they are not whole boxtops, just little pink squares pretty much like the one pictured above).  It is easy to clip them and save them for your child’s school.  They earn 10 cents per boxtop turned in.  I do not know of a school that does not participate in this program.  If you don’t have a school aged child, then give them to your grandkids or neighbor’s kids to turn in.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Just a thought here…….

Last year when it came time for back to school shopping, I did the usual inventory of the kiddos clothing so I would not be purchasing unneeded items.  Shelby still had two really nice pairs of sneakers in her closet with lots of wear left in them. I could not justify buying her another pair since those still fit.  They were a little dirty and, since I had nothing to lose, I just threw them into the washing machine in a bleach load.  I air dried them and they came out looking GREAT!  They ended up going thru another school year without needing to buy another pair for her!

Two years ago when I bought Ben’s back to school sneakers, I actually bought two pairs.  I had found some sneakers for him on clearance for $5 per pair.  I bought one pair for him to wear that year and then also bought another pair in the next size up that he used the following year.  Since he is so rough on shoes, he went thru that pair and we had to get him another pair a few months ago to get him thru the school year.  Since that pair is still in pretty good shape, I did a bleach load of all the sneakers tonight and will see how much longer those will last him.

So, all of that said, after hearing a rumour online about sneaker sales at Walmart, I ventured out with the kiddos to see what deals we could find!  We lucked out! I ended up spending $48  for a pair of leggings and two bras for Shelby as well as four pairs of sneakers ( two pairs of Danskin sneakers for Shelby and a pair of Starter sneakers and also a pair of Iron Man sneakers for Ben).  YES!  What a blessing!  $48 is less than most places want for just one pair of sneakers!

Even though my kiddos are a few years apart, Shelby and Ben usually wear the same sock size.  Since they both like the white, low cut socks, I just buy one large pack of socks for them to share.  This saves a few dollars too and every bit counts when it’s back to school time!

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

One of my favorite quotes, from the movie “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”:

“For what it’s worth, it’s never too late, or too early, to be whoever you want to be.  There’s no time limit.  Start whenever you want.  You can change or stay the same.  There are no rules to this thing.  We can make the best or the worst of it.  I hope you make the best of it.  I hope you see things that startle you.  I hope you feel things you never felt before.  I hope you meet people with a different point of view.  I hope you live a life you’re proud of.  And, if you find that you’re not, I hope you have the strength to start all over again.”

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

We don’t have a dishwasher.  In all honesty, the times I have had a dishwasher we just never used it enough to justify even having it.  I can’t understand how it is useful when you have to rinse the dishes off anyhow.  So, I have pretty much always done dishes by hand.

Some people prefer to wash the dishes as they dirty.  Simply putting soap on the sponge and washing them a few at a time.  While it does get the dishes clean, it tends to use too much water and soap. 

When I was a kid, one of my chores was to do the dishes after dinner every night.  The procedure was as follows (we had a sink with two sides) :  fill one side of the sink with hot soapy water (use the drain plug) and put the dishes in the water to soak for just a few minutes.  Wash them and put them into the empty side of the sink.  Then rinse them all off and put them in the dish drain or on a towel to dry.  This is still how I prefer to do dishes to this day.

The beauty of this system is that if I run the sink of soapy water in the morning, the dishes can just be added to the water as the day goes on and I do one big load of dishes after dinner.  It takes very little time. 

Aside from saving on water and soap, this also helps keep my hands in good condition (I have eczema flareups on my hands and they hurt really bad if I am not careful).  Also, a sink full of soapy water with the dishes under the bubbles looks a lot better than a sink full of dirty dishes with food stuck on them!

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Do you fill out those store surveys that seem to be on every store receipt these days?  I do!  You never know when you might win!  Most of the prizes are pretty big ($1,000 or so) and that would be a welcome addition to my income!

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

After having four kiddos, I know most of the “tricks of the trade” for getting good deals on clothing for kids.  The number one, hands down, cheapest method of purchasing kids clothes is to find thrift stores that have “stuff a bag” deals  (of course getting free hand-me-downs is cheaper, but I am talking just about purchasing clothing).

I love those places!  Ususally they are run by charities or churches that just don’t have the manpower to handle all the clothing donations so they just dump them in a bin or on a table and let YOU sort thru it!  This is a GREAT way to find some wonderful deals!

I have gotten lots of tee shirts for Ben this way (Iron Man, Batman, Spiderman, etc)!  He loves them all!  I have found clothing for myself and my daughters this way too. 

Usually I can fit about 12 items into one bag.  My favorite place that does this charges $3 per bag, so I am essentially paying about 25 cents per item of clothing.  Don’t forget that this is a good way to find sewing notions too! You can remove and reuse zippers, buttons, and if the clothing item is large enough you might even be able to reuse the cloth!

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

I have been a member of Vocal point for a few months now and it is definitely worth the effort to sign up.  It is FREE!  In the past month I have gotten free trash bags (the Hefty ones with Frebreeze scents), a free bag of the new marshmallows made specifically for S’mores, a free coupon to try the new Bounce dryer bar, free coupon for Fresh Express Salads and a few other goodies!

I HIGHLY suggest you register today because the rumor mill is saying there will be a GREAT NEW offering on Tuesday!

You can register here:

 www.vocalpoint.com/registration/screener.aspx

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter