Monday, February 1, 2016

Silly Children's Books



My kids LOVE being silly!  Acting silly, making others laugh, watching silly shows, and of course, READING silly books.  Here are some of our favorite silly books from over the years.  Be sure to add your silly children's books recommendations at the end so we can learn of some new ones!





 1.  Cows Can't Fly.  "Cows can't fly, but I don't care.  One day I drew some in the air!"  What kid doesn't appreciate pictures of cows flying in the air?  For years, this was MY favorite book to read to my preschoolers.



 2.  Aliens Love Underpants.  Undies are the things of instant laughter and silliness for kids.  Undies + Aliens = Gold!

 

 3. Dinosaurs Love Underpants.  This book uses underpants to explain the extinction of dinosaurs.  Seems plausible.

 

 4.  Underpants Thunderpants.  Sensing a theme yet?  Okay, this is my last underwear book suggestion.  I promise.  Underpants Thunderpants is a riot and full of fun rhymes, too!


5.  Giraffe's Can't Dance.  This book is not only silly but has a great message.  Just because you're different doesn't mean you can make a lovely dance too!  My favorite line as a Kindermusik educator is, "everything makes music if you really want it to."


6.  SkippyJon Jones.  All of them.  Skippyjon Jones incorporates some Spanish into these hilarious book as this feisty siamese cat firmly believes he's a chihuahua and goes on some crazy adventures.  My children are always quite impressed and giggly about my Spanish accent when I read these books.

 

 7.  Pete the Cat.  All of them again.  These creative books incorporate repetitive song bits into them.  Children appreciate being able to sing part of the book with you.  AND, you can find the tunes for the songs by searching each book title on Youtube.

 

 8.  Pirate Pete.  Ready to talk like a pirate and make your kids giggle?  The Pirate Pete books will do just that!  You'll probably want to take some time making a pirate eye-patch after this book so your kids can practice their pirate talk around the house.

 

 9.  Click Clack Moo.  Winner of the Caldecott Medal, this book is definitely a gem.  When the cows demand electric blankets for Farmer Brown, you know it's going to be hilarious!  Coupled with a repetitive phrase throughout, your children will love joining in with you to "read" the book!

 

 10.  Giggle Giggle Quack.  A follow-up book to Click, Clack, Moo, this book will have your kids "reading along" in no time at all!  "Watch out for Duck!  He's trouble!"

 

 11. The Gruffalo.  A new favorite for all of my children.  The Gruffalo has been made into a short film you can find on Amazon Prime and Netflix.  Mouse is sneaky and crafty and makes up crazy stories about a "Gruffalo" to save himself from being eaten, only to find himself at the feet of...a Gruffalo!  This silly adventure ends with mouse being the king of the forest.


I'm sure there are MANY other silly or funny children's books out there.  What are your favorites?




Some of the links in this post are my referral/affiliate links.  Read my disclosure policy HERE.  Thank you for supporting the continuation of this blog by using my links!)

Sunday, January 24, 2016

When Your Chosen Curriculum and Your Child Don't "Mesh"



I'm currently in my 3rd year of homeschooling my kiddos who are now ages 8, 6, 4, and 2.  We have always used the same curriculum (A Beka) as it was a fantastic program.  It was also familiar as that's what we used at the Christian school where I taught Kindergarten.  It was easy, effective, and challenging for my kiddos.

Because I loved the curriculum and it seemed to work well with our children, it never occurred to me that at some point it may cease to "mesh" well with my children.  And honestly, it took a good month or two of struggling through math each day with my just turned 8 year old before I realized that maybe it just wasn't a good fit for her learning style and personality.  My school-loving child had come to HATE math, and was beginning to look for ways to skip out of math each day.  When we did sit down to do math together, it was a long and stressful process.  I finally realized that maybe this was not the best curriculum for her to be using right now.

One of the most incredible blessings of homeschooling is that you are able to follow your child's lead when it comes to their education.  You're able to switch it up, try new things, and find what works for YOU and YOUR child.  It's also incredibly challenging to do so!

When your chosen curriculum doesn't "mesh" with your child....change it up!  You are not required to stick with a curriculum forever.  But since there are SO many curriculums out there, this can be a daunting task.  Here are some things to consider and try...

1.  Talk to other homeschoolers.  Ask around!  Even if you don't have many real-life homeschooling friends, there are MANY Facebook groups that offer support and encouragement in all things homeschooling.  Ask what their favorite curriculums are and why.  Ask if anyone has a child with similar personality tendencies or a similar learning style, and ask what they use.  If you have friends near you, ask to look through their curriculums or to borrow a grade that they're not currently using so you can try it out for a few weeks.  Many of my curriculum choices came from viewing and looking through a friend's curriculum, or through feedback I received online from friends near and far.

2.  Shop around.  Homeschooling supplies can be pricey!  I typically buy student work books direct from the publishers, but all other curriculum supplies, including curriculum books, can be purchased used online.  Ebay is a great place to start.  I recommend shopping there in late fall or in winter as that's off season for school supplies and the prices are better.  Prices on eBay in late spring or summer might still offer savings, but they will certainly be more expensive than the other times.  Join local homeschool marketplaces on Facebook, as well as some of the larger homeschool marketplaces that span across America.  Also look for curriculum-specific Facebook curriculum marketplaces (i.e. "A Beka Curriculum Marketplace").  Start keeping your eyes open for deals on the curriculums you've chosen, and buy them when you find a great price.  I recently bought one of our newest curriculums at a discount of over $100, and it was almost completely new!

3.  Don't be afraid to mix and match curriculums.  When we used A Beka, we used it for all subjects.  We supplemented our lessons with other books and activities and classes, but for our sit-down book learning, it was all through A Beka.  In light of Ellie not meshing with the A Beka math, we are now breaking up our curriculums and finding a variety of sources for learning.  While Zoe (6) is still primarily all A Beka, Ellie is now in a variety of curriculums to meet her needs.

For example, Ellie (8, 3rd grade) is using:

*A Beka Language Arts, 4th grade (Except independent chapter books as she doesn't enjoy the A Beka readers)
*Teaching Textbooks for Math, 4th grade  (Computer component, which Ellie loves; TT seems to be generally behind other math curriculums, with this comparing to 3rd grade A Beka math)
*Life of Fred math books (stories for math?!?!  TOTALLY my Ellie)
*A Beka 3rd grade history & science (I actually use these to teach all three of my big kids together)
*My Father's World, Exploring Countries & Cultures for a combo of history, Bible, geography, science, literature, music and art (designed to teach multiple children together, which will save me SO much time in the coming years)

4. Sell your old stuff.  Unless you plan to still use a curriculum with another child coming up, sell those books!  Local and national marketplace boards, as well as eBay, are quick and easy ways to sell your items.  Fortunately, curriculums retain a pretty good resale value, so you can often make a good chunk of your money back to pay for other needed curriculums.

5.  Don't be afraid to scratch a choice.  So you bought a new curriculum and you happen to hate it?  Your child finds it boring?  You just can't make it work with all your other books and lessons?  Don't stress!  Not everything that works for someone else is going to work for you.  Just because it worked for your best friend does not mean it will work for your family.  And that's okay!  Again,  curriculums have great resale value, and if your curriculum is still in fabulous condition and barely used, you'll probably be able to get back most of what you spent.  Don't be afraid to try again with a different curriculum!

6.  Don't feel rushed.  You have plenty of time to figure it out.  Don't let the stress of trying to find a new curriculum cause your days with your kids to go haywire.  Find some fun resources in the meantime (Khan academy online is a fun, free math program my kids often use in "down time") or some new books from the library for them to check out while you research and hunt for curriculums.  Homeschoolers have flexibility...use it in your favor!  Take a breath, give yourself some time, and find what works.  We often work through traditional school breaks but take breaks whenever we need or want to.  If you take a break now, you can "make it up" on other traditional break days.  No big deal!


Sometimes a curriculum and a child don't mesh.  That's okay.  As homeschooling parents, we have so many options and choices at our fingertips, that there's bound to be the perfect fit out there for your child.




Friday, January 22, 2016

7 Kitchen Items I Couldn't Live Without



Everyone's got their list...their items they use frequently in the kitchen and couldn't live without.  I've got mine!  Okay, maybe I'm being dramatic.  I COULD live without them, but I certainly don't want to.  Some of these are clearly convenience items, but still, they are things that significantly improve my time in the kitchen, and on top of that, they are used quite often in my kitchen.

Here's my kitchen "loves" list...


1. Crock Pot.  I am the proud owner of three well-loved crock pots.  I use them for everything from dinners, to homemade yogurt, to keeping foods warm away from the home, to making chicken stocks.    I often have more than one going at the same time!  Crock pots are easy, but do have a learning curve.  Every crock pot cooks differently, some running hotter than others or cooking foods faster.  THIS is my favorite and most used.

2. Mason Jars.  I LOVE mason jars.  I use them for storing dried beans, rice, homemade granola, tea bags, homemade coffee syrups, leftovers, yogurts, and more.  I HATE storage containers (where'd that dang lid go?!?!).  Mason jars are the perfect storage containers.  The lids are all the same (two sizes only-regular or wide), so I always have some available.  Plus, you can buy JUST the lids in a pack if you somehow manage to lose them anyway.  If you have a Winco near you, they regularly have the best prices on Ball canning jars.  I use them in all different sizes, and I especially love my half gallon ones.

 
 3. Ball Canning Funnel.  This gets used at least 5 times every week.  Long gone are the days where I spill half my contents on the counter while trying to fill a jar.  This funnel is definitely a good friend in my kitchen.  It just sits right on top of the jar and I can pour my contents right in.  The above pictured one is blue, but mine is green.

 
 4.  Chemex. Alright, so technically I'd file this under "husband's favorite kitchen items," but I have to admit I've become a coffee snob since the introduction of this to our kitchen.  This makes the BEST coffee.  I don't even know how to use it, though.  So that poses a mid-day "I need coffee" problem.  But after having coffee from the Chemex every day for a couple months, coffee in our espresso machine tasted "metal-y."  No thanks.  It does require special filters.    Love this little machine and the coffee it makes!

 
 5.  Cheesecloth.  Ever tried straining homemade yogurts or chicken stocks without good cheesecloth?  It can take forever and you can end up with not great results.  Invest in some good, washable and reusable cheesecloth, and you will be SO glad you did.  I love THIS cheesecloth.  Time saver, and money saver in the long run.

6.  Garlic Press.  I don't know how I survived the first 6 years of my marriage without a garlic press.  Oh yes, that's right, I just didn't cook with garlic.  I use my garlic press approximately 3-5 times every week.  I'm REALLY hoping for a good garlic harvest this spring!  Garlic is so yummy, and a garlic press makes it so easy to incorporate into your meals.  I have THIS one from Pampered Chef, but I'm certain there are other great garlic presses out there for cheaper!

 
 7.  Silicone Pastry Mat.  In our kitchen, we have a kitchen island that we built ourselves.  The top is rustic and not a totally smooth surface.  I make our own breads, rolls, and tortillas often and need a nice smooth surface to roll them out on.  After trying a more firm pastry mat that cracked and broke within a few months, I found this silicone one and am pleasantly pleased with it.  It is also oven safe up to 450 degrees as a non-stick baking liner.  This is used multiple times a week, and it's in great condition still.

Well there you have it!  Seven of my most favorite and well-used kitchen items!  Of course, there are many other "regulars" in my kitchen that are assumed necessities (pot & pans, an abundance of coffee mugs, etc.), but these are more so the "not your average" kitchen items.  What are your favorite kitchen items?




(Some of the links in this post are my referral/affiliate links.  Read my disclosure policy HERE.  Thank you for supporting the continuation of this blog by using my links!)

Thursday, January 21, 2016

"Create Your Own Cupcake Business" Printable


For months, my girls have been planning their own cupcake shops.  My 8 year old is incredibly detail oriented, and very persistent and determined to someday own her own store.  It all started when she discovered the show "Cupcake Wars."  She recently watched the American Girl movie, Grace, and realized that more specifically, a French bakery, or a "Patisserie" was what she wanted.  She researches cupcake recipes, copies them down in her many journals, and has even baked a few batches for Ben's work office.

I want my children to be entrepreneurial.  I want them to be creative, and I want my them to know that going to college is not the only way to make a great life for themselves.  They each have unique skills, and I want to help them develop those skills and know that they can turn their skills and passions into income sources if they so desire.

And with that, I created the "Create Your Own Cupcake Business" printable packet.  My girls have been hard at work planning their newest cupcake shop.  The packet helps guide them through some of the various aspects of starting a cupcake business.  Designing a logo, naming their store, thinking through where they'll advertise, designing a menu, and more, are part of this packet.  It's simple, but can easily be expanded upon.

My girls will end their planning process by putting all their info and designs onto a trifold presentation board, baking a batch of cupcakes, and giving a presentation on their store to the family.

I want to encourage my children's creativity and passions in any way possible.  I want them to know I believe in them, that they can succeed, and that their ideas are valuable and unique.

I have made these printables available to homeschoolers and teachers alike via my Teachers Pay Teachers store.  The packet is just $1.99, and gives you access to the 15 pages of guided planning!  You will find planning pages, "task" pages, and others designed to inspire your child to create their own cupcake shop!

Enjoy!

(Some of the links in this post are my referral/affiliate links.  Read my disclosure policy HERE.  Thank you for supporting the continuation of this blog by using my links!)



Monday, January 18, 2016

10 Things I Always Buy in Bulk



Buying in bulk may be one of the best habits my old, extremely frugal self, started doing years ago.  Today, I still buy in bulk, and am always on the hunt for good bulk deals.  Buying in bulk saves me money, but it also saves me frequent trips to the store (where I'd inevitably spend MORE money).  My primary places for bulk purchases are Winco and Costco.  I realize not everyone may have a Winco, as I believe it's primarily a west coast store, but there are bound to be other bulk shopping options around the country.  Here's a list of the items I nearly ALWAYS purchase in bulk...

1.  Flours & Sugar.  Flour in bulk can save a pretty penny.  At Costco I buy bulk bread flour, which is great for pizza dough, tortillas, etc.  They recently started carrying bulk Organic Unbleached All Purpose Flour.  While it's not the "big" bulk I prefer, it's still a good amount of flour and a great Costco price.  For some odd reason, Costco has yet to carry bulk Whole Wheat Flour.  Winco has this in their bulk bins, so it's a pain to buy a TON at once, but a great deal if you don't mind scooping and bagging :)  I'll need to check again, but I think they may carry a big bag of whole wheat....I know they carry a big bag of AP Flour.

Costco carries a large bag of regular sugar, but they recently began carrying Organic Cane Sugar too! Again, it's not the massive bags I prefer, but still a good size and a great deal.

2.  Teas.  Individually wrapped teas are EXPENSIVE in comparison to buying unwrapped teas directly from the tea company.  We purchase our teas directly from the Davidson's Organics factory here in Reno.  I buy boxes of 100 unwrapped bags.  For a comparison, 100 unwrapped is $14, and 100 wrapped (meaning the pretty labeled wrappers) are $25.95.  I purchase 3 boxes at a time, and get a 4th box free.  BIG savings for people who drink a lot of tea!

3.  Rice.  Costco carries bulk bags of brown rice (and white rice, I believe). We go through brown rice like crazy, so a big bag saves us time and money.

4.  Oats.  Winco wins in the oats department.  We purchase a 25 pound bag for cheap, and go through one bag every two months at our house.  We eat LOTS of breakfast oatmeal, as well as use the oats in our smoothies and in these 3 Ingredient Peanut Butter bars for desserts.  Our chickens are also fans of oats!

5.  Vanilla Beans.  Amazon is actually our winner for vanilla beans.  We regularly use vanilla beans for the making of chai concentrate.  We have also used vanilla beans for making vanilla extract.  I like this pack from Amazon as it has a mix of A & B beans which can be used for different things.

6.  Beef/cow.  Last year, we began purchasing our beef in bulk from a local momma, and we will NEVER go back to store bought!  We first purchased an 1/8th of a cow, with 112 pounds of delicious, mixed, wrapped, and labeled beef.  The price averaged $5/pound!!!  That's cheaper than the fake slime meat Walmart sells, but we got delicious steaks and a variety of other cuts.  This bulk purchase was a lot up front, but saved us a TON in meat costs over time.  We are now preparing to buy half a pig in the next month or so, which will make our pork expenses dip too. If you're a Reno local, we purchase beef from Sanford Ranch.

7.  Local Honey.  We use honey for teas, cooking, sugar replacements, cough syrup, and more.  During the holidays, we used an entire gallon in less than two months.  Yikes!  We buy our honey by the pound from a local honey lady.  We pay about $66/gallon, which is approximately 12 pounds.  This works out to about $5.50/pound, which totally beats any store bought local honey price around here (typically $7.50-$9/pound here).

8.  Baby Wipes.  We purchase baby wipes at two different places: Costco and Amazon.  On Amazon, we usually do "Subscribe and Save" as you save money this way.  If we forget or don't have them delivered, we do Costco.

9.  Coconut Oil.  Coconut oil is great for so many things.  We use it for baking, making sunscreen, face moisturizer, diaper rashes, chapped lips, dry skin, and more.  I find that Costco and Amazon are regularly competing for "best price" for this item, so check both places before you buy.  Costco has a bigger "bulk," but Amazon's price per ounce one the single jars is about the same.  With Amazon Prime's free 2-day delivery, buying coconut oil from Amazon is sometimes just easier.

10.  Spices.  Buying spices in bulk is a unique one.  I don't mean that I buy a lot of the spice, I mean that I buy it out of bulk bins.  I once did a price comparison (see the post HERE) and the results were shocking.  By saving old spice jars or repurposing cute jars, you can buy just what you need of a given spice for a fraction of the cost of pre-packaged spices.  Honestly, this is one where I HATE having to buy spices pre-packaged as I know how incredibly marked up they are in comparison.  Fortunately, Winco has an amazing bulk spice section!


What do you find beneficial to buy in bulk?  What are your favorite bulk stores?



(Some of the links in this post are my referral/affiliate links.  Read my disclosure policy HERE.  Thank you for supporting the continuation of this blog by using my links!)

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

How We "Held Back" our Homeschooled Child



We've been homeschooling now for about 3 years.  The longer I do it, the more I love it.  I especially love how flexible we can be with each child in their pursuit of education.

My second born child, Zoe, is 6 years old.  She has a drastically different personality than her older sister who skipped a grade plus some.  Zoe often approached learning with a, "What?  You want me to learn that?!" type of attitude.  She happens to have a birthday just before the school year cut-off, meaning that in a traditional school setting, she would have been one of the youngest in her grade.  Since she was a toddler, and even before I knew we'd homeschool, I had said I'd hold her back a year.  My sister in law, a teacher, calls it the "gift of an extra year."  After our experience, I'd definitely say that's a true statement!

When fall rolled around last year and she had just turned 5, I was finally able to figure out how this whole "holding back" thing as a homeschooler would work within our family.  In a traditional setting, you are only allowed to start a grade in September, and you always end a grade in May.  Should she decide in January that she was eager to start some more formal Kindergarten schooling, that would not have been an option for her.  She would've been made to wait until September again.  Silly, isn't it?

So we decided we would certainly hold her back, but since we homeschool, we went about it a bit differently.  Here's how we "held back" our Zoe:

(For reference, I am a huge believer and lover all things "learning through play".  When I reference "school" in this post, I am specifically speaking in regards to the more formal teaching aspect of Kindergarten, including learning to read, write, and math, etc.) 

1.  We purchased all of her Kindergarten curriculum even though we had no plans to start right away. Having the books available meant that at any point in time, she could decide on her own terms that she wanted to do "school", and that I'd be ready for her.   Since we already had the curriculum books from our first daughter, and I had no plans to change curriculum, all I needed were the workbooks.  Easy enough.

2.  For that entire "school year" (September 2014 through May 2015), I let her do school on any day she so desired, and skip it on any day she wanted.  After all, this was not her official first year of school, so it's not like we were missing anything.  I viewed anything she did during this school year as a jump start to her actual Kindergarten year.

3.  I let her call herself a Kindergartener, which made her so happy!

-------------

At the end of May 2015, she had completed approximately half of her Kindergarten year.  She was beginning to show more interest in reading, and was asking more regularly to get her school books out.  We did some school through summer.


-------------

4.  At the start of the fall 2015 school year, we jumped right in, daily, with her Kindergarten curriculum.  By now, she was incredibly ready for school, and was thrilled to learn more.  My thoughts on her needing an extra year were spot on.  While there were still days I had to coax her into her lessons, there was very little push-back on her end overall.  That extra year, I believe, was critical to her love for learning.

By November 2015, she had finished up the second half of Kindergarten.  That means, she did half a school year in about 2 months.  She was totally and completely ready, and completing double lessons in each subject every day.  We dove right into 1st grade in November, and have been chipping away at that ever since.


By allowing my daughter to be held back a year in school and decide for herself when she was ready, and by not pushing her to meet some silly state age set standard when she was clearly not yet ready, I truly believe we helped Zoe start school off right with a love of learning.  The LAST thing I would have wanted was for her to hate school from the start.  Pushing a child to start school too young can have negative consequences.  The results of waiting were that she loves learning and actually "caught up" anyway!  It really was "the gift of an extra year."

I love that homeschooling allowed us to have so much flexibly with Zoe's education.  We could hold her back while still letting her jump in whenever she desired.  We were able to follow her lead, and not push her to do something that she was not ready for.  And, at the same time as we were holding back Zoe, our firstborn was moving ahead!  I LOVE homeschooling, and I LOVE that my kids get to learn at their own pace.  Every child has their own pace and rhythm, and homeschooling allows us to mold their education around THEM.  Homeschooling for the win!

Have you ever held a homeschooled child back?  What tips do you have?


Monday, December 28, 2015

I'm Not Frugal Anymore



When we first heard about Dave Ramsey nearly 5 years ago, we were terribly financially irresponsible. We were fabulous at spending money, but never saved any.  We bought what we wanted, and never really understood that that was an unwise thing to do.  We just never had any real, practical, financial advice given to us.

So when I was at a ladies retreat and a gal started sharing her financial journey and about this guy Dave Ramsey, I was glued to her every word.  Everything that came out of her mouth was inspiring and seemed so practical that even I could do it.  My husband received the down-low on this information the second I arrived home.  And from there, we slowly began making changes.

For a long time, I considered myself quite frugal.  It was this frugal-ness that helped us get through some major income reductions, massive medical bills, and some moving transitions.  Frugal-ness helped me become a stay at home mom, and still put money into savings.  It helped us to be generous even in a time where we lacked any significant income.  Frugal-ness totally changed the way we viewed money and resources.  And for a good chunk of time, I think I even found some of my identity in being "frugal."  It was a part of who I was and how I lived.

I've blogged many times over the past few years about our financial journey, and have aimed at being totally transparent in the hopes that our story would inspired others.  I've shared about how and where we saved money, and the changes we had made to help us save a significant amount of money over the years.  I still revisit some of my "update" posts as I find them incredibly inspiring for me to keep going and to stay wise with our money.

Over the past one or two years, our income has gone up quite a bit.  It has allowed us, as homeschoolers, to provide resources, classes, and experiences for our children.  Although on one hand I know their activities are "non essentials" (i.e., they don't HAVE to do them and I could cut them out if necessary), I still view them as essential in that I really desire these aspects of life to be a part of their school education.  I want their education to be more than "book learning," and activities and classes and field trips help accomplish this right now. Currently, I'm SO thankful for the resources to be able to give them a variety or experiences.

I've realized that I would not consider myself frugal anymore.

Although I've had this odd "I'm not frugal" revelation, I would still label myself as "money-wise."  I feel that although I don't try to save money in the ways I used to (hours of couponing each week, cutting all non essentials, not buying anything-ever, etc.), I learned so much through that time of life and am still consistently trying to be wise with the money we do have.  We still do some things I'd consider frugal.  We still make our own laundry soap, bake our own granola bars, and make homemade yogurt and coffee drinks.  We still do many sewing and building projects by hand and buy "used" whenever possible.  We menu plan and try not to let any food go to waste by utilizing our freezer.  We compost or give our chickens most of our scraps of leftover food. We pay cash and don't have any car payments.  We do buy fun things now and then (my husband used part of his Christmas bonus to buy me a Vitamix!)...buying fun things was something we didn't do for a very long time, and it still feels a little weird to do so.

"Frugal" for me, was a time period in life of extreme learning.  It was a kick in the butt to change our spending habits and evaluate how and why we spend our money.  If I ever need to be frugal again, I certainly would be able to in a heart beat.  But even if it's not necessary, I will still ALWAYS choose to be as financially responsible as I possibly can.  I'm grateful and thankful for the lessons our extreme frugalness taught us.  I feel no shame or guilt in not being frugal like I used to, and I feel completely at peace with living a life where we are money-wise in our decisions, even when that means some fun splurges here or there.  Spending money isn't bad; spending money you don't have is bad.

Don't get me wrong.   I still do many frugal things, and we still try to save money whenever we can.  I just don't equate myself with my old, frugal self, and I would no longer tell someone that I'm frugal.

And so, here's to a new season!  A season where our finances look different, but it's just as important as ever to be wise with our money.  A season where we're saving for a home, providing fun new experiences for our four homeschooled children, and saving for world travel someday.

I am not frugal anymore.  I do things differently.  And that's okay.




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