Saturday, September 28, 2019

Frugal Friday: Money Saving Weekly Recap

Please Excuse Our Mess!  We Are Under Construction!

I looked at the date on my last post and feel terrible that it has been so long since I last blogged.  It's just been so crazy busy around here that time has passed at warp speed.  Or so it seemed to me.

Geez, what has been going on around here.  Lots.

So, let's start from the first things that pop into my mind.

One of the big ones, for me, is...

We finally have a working chimney!!!!!!!!!!!  Woohoo!!!!!!

The past couple of weeks my husband has been burning the candle at both ends getting the chimney done and the furnace up and working again and it was so awesome to fire it up.  It is making more noise than it used to (I desperately need to deep clean the furnace and we might have to jack it up to get it more level as I think the earthquake knocked it off of some shims it had under it.  It's doing its job, though, so I'm happy :).

The second thing that has been going on is that we are still not officially starting home school yet.  It has been a crazy last few weeks going to one appointment after another, one meeting after another and getting the paperwork all in and processed to begin home school officially.  With Alvah being special needs the process takes a lot longer with the sheer amount of paperwork attached to him.

And then, long story, but after a lot of talking and a lot of soul searching and then more talking with the daughter, we finally decided to home school her as well.  She has a lot of holes in her education that you could drive a truck through and struggles with math and reading.  I've tried to get her tested for learning disabilities, but the school has always said that since she wasn't flunking they weren't overly concerned about it.  Even though she still has letter reversal and other problems going on.  I was going to go and get her independently tested as she's behind in reading and math, but I was going to keep her in school for social interaction.

And then she was listening as my husband and I were talking about the field trips and other get togethers that the home school does on a regular basis and asked if she was homeschooled could she go to those get togethers and make friends.  I was confused and drilled her about her friends that she had kept since elementary school that were in school with her now and in some cases were in classes with her and she explained that she never really got to talk to her friends or do anything with them because of the way the school was run.  That scratched my brain and I remembered talking to her about her friends and how they were doing more than once, only to have her tell me that she had eaten alone at lunch because she couldn't find any of her friends even if she was in the same lunch as them and stuff.  I realized very quickly that my little girl had been really lonely since she had left elementary school  (which she also explained after we got her to open up about it) and had been toughing out the feelings of social isolation so she wouldn't bother us with stuff like that.  At that point we were done and enrolled her in home school last week.  I go in this coming week to order curriculum for the kids with their contact teacher (which I already got Alvah a really good reading program called "All About Reading" and stuff, but am looking forward to the help with putting together a learning program for Armina).

I have been working on researching everything and working on learning "units" for the kids so I can teach both kids with similar topics on the surface but then go in different paths to better teach their different needs.   I'm actually kind of enjoying it.  I'm determined we are going to learn, yes, but we're going to have fun while doing it!  And I'm incorporating cooking lessons and feeding therapy into their lessons, so both kids will pick up life skills (I hope) while we are learning about standard and metric measurements and mainstream schoolwork types of things :).

Right that leads into the next thing that has been going on which is that I had to think of a place to set up a school room area that the kids could concentrate in.  I immediately realized that the den was the best, and only really, choice to do it, so I've been working on repairing the walls and ceiling and then repainting the den.

This is a huge undertaking for painting and things as the den is pretty much the same size as my kitchen and living room combined and is our catch all room, so it's got a lot of stuff to move around.  After painting is done we are going to get rid of the falling apart couch, get rid of some other stuff and then build bookcases everywhere to turn the den into a library and school room.  Bright side, I'm nearly done on the painting end!  So, yay for that!!!

Now that both kids are home, I've been waking up early the past few days and getting as much done as I can before the kids wake up for the day, which has helped me to get painting done or household jobs before I have to worry about juggling other things.  I'm hoping to keep up the schedule (which is kind of hard as I've been staying up really late too), as I find I like the alone time to get things written down for the day or other things and, of course, just getting more stuff done period.

Right, so a few frugal things that have happened the last couple of weeks.  I'm just going to cover a couple and see about going into more detail, perhaps this coming Friday as there's a lot going on around here and I haven't had time to make a list of it all.

1.  I took advantage of a free event in our area and we went and took a walking tour of our local experimental farm.  The son had a blast, the daughter got cold and was having a hard time concentrating (the temps were in the 30's and there was a lot of standing around and listening, so your ears and nose got cold if you weren't moving and then her feet got cold and she was cold by the end of the tour for sure), I learned a lot and got excited about some of the stuff they were working on, the husband had a good time as well.  While there I learned of another free event happening this week that I've already signed up to attend.

2.  I went and looked at a few places before purchasing some school things for the kids so I would get the best price.

3.  I found some textbooks I wanted to buy for myself on feeding therapy (I couldn't find anything at the local library in the vein I wanted) and asked on a Special needs group I belong to if anyone had a copy of the books I could borrow.  One of the ladies in the group had both books I wanted to read and was super kind enough to convert the books to PDF and e-mail them to me!

4.  We got to start swimming again the last few weeks.  The kids are loving being back again and I'm super glad that the son hasn't lost any skills while we were on break.

While talking to her swimming teacher my husband found that she is going to have a "boot camp" for people interested in becoming lifeguards where they will learn CPR and things.  My husband, knowing how much my daughter loves to swim and how much she loves to teach others, brought up how good of a job being a lifeguard is again to the daughter.  Their swimming teacher, who considers the daughter one of her favorite people, offered to let her come to the boot camp for free and learn CPR and just see what the program is like so she's informed for the future.  We're really encouraging the daughter to go if for no other reason than knowing how to do CPR (even if not certified or anything) is a really valuable skill to know.  And to learn it for free would definitely be worthwhile!

5.  One of the things I found that I really wanted to get the son for homeschool was a device that integrates technology and it called for an I-Pad or a Kindle.  I didn't want to use his talker I-Pad for it and our other I-Pad is way too old to be compatible, so I decided to get a Kindle and was able to jump on a sale where the Fire 7 was on sale for 29.99.

6.   I made banana bread tonight to use up a couple of bananas that were definitely over ripe.  The daughter was at a friend's birthday party with her dad and the son acted interested in what I was doing, so he helped me make banana bread :).  He even smelled the bananas!!!  I know a lot of people would be like, "Smelling?  Really?" but seriously with him just letting it near his face was a big deal, so I am super happy and proud of him.  And hey, the bread came out awesome, so well done, Alvah!

And, yeah, that's about where I'm going to call it good.  Sorry I don't have more to wow you with, but it's been crazy busy around here just covering the few projects I mentioned above.

How about you all?  How are things going around your places?


  1. My first thought is maybe your daughter's stomach will bother her less with home school, and YOU will have less running around. I envy you, if we didn't need my income from the part time jobs I have, I'd consider that too.

    Good luck, I can't wait for the next update!! Great changes for your family!

  2. It sounds like so many wonderful things are happening in your life at this point. I am happy for you and the family. Life changes and goes forward - new and exciting!

  3. Congratulations on homeschooling! I know several homeschoolers in our area don't start until October because of fairs and farm work. Good luck!

  4. First of all well done Alvah for helping with the banana bread. I hope your daughter gets to do the course with the CPR as so important. I'm sure you will all enjoy home schooling as much as we did. Your daughter will definitely catch up and zoom past the others once she is in a better environment. You are an amazing mum so well done.

  5. I homeschooled year around. Did some kind of activity every month. The younger 2 would have failed public school because of their " not failing don't need help" attitude at that school. Not all are like that as my brother was a principal at another school and flipped because of us going through that.

    Have you had your daughter's eyes checked. Granddaughter reversed letters and numbers and we found out it was her eyes and she wore glasses for it a couple years.

  6. We moved our oldest son after he spent his public school 5th grade with his teacher being his only friend. Things change in Middle School. 2 years later we brought both boys home. The younger was falling between the cracks because he's a kenestic learner and government schools tend to go with audiory learning. We implemented lots of hands-on learning and relaxed reading methods. (Like you listen to one chapter and go run around the house 3 times.) So happy to hear how your son is adapting. I hope it's a wonderful year for you all.

  7. Hi Erika, I found this blog again...and I thought of you. Perhaps there is some information you can glean from it regarding your son. Glad to hear about your homeschooling adventure. Check to see if your state has a homeschooling association and your kids may also be eligible to participate in gym classes and well as sports in public schools. Also a lot of people sell their curriculum online when they are finished with it.
    Take care. Your home is coming back together!!!
    Barb in PA