Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Power of a Penny

My favorite home remedy for bee stings:

Yep, a penny. A plain ol' 1ȼ piece. The other day, the kids and I were picking up after they had finished building their new playground set. I picked up a pile of plastic and paper trash and felt something poke -- I thought there must have been a staple or nail in the pile, but when I dropped it all in the trash bin, there was a bee still stuck to my finger. Ouch! (Why is it things like that always hurt worse once you've seen the wound?)

After I (not so calmly) flicked the bee away and pulled the stinger out, I headed into the house, pressed a penny on the sting, leaving it there until the stinging feeling subsided (only a minute or two, honestly!) The pain was gone, I could barely see the spot where I had taken the stinger out, and back to work I went.

Moral of the story - keep a penny in your pocket, some say it's good luck, I say it's good medicine. Happy Summer!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

My Rainbow Resource Catalog has arrived!

I wait with anticipation every year for this catalog to make its way into my mailbox.

And here are my Top Ten Reasons why I am so excited (in no particular order):

1. It's a treasure trove of useful items I can use to educate my very brilliant children, helping them to become even more brilliant each passing year.

2. $$$ Their prices are the best around! Makes Daddy very happy.

3. Books. The book selection is fabulous. What shall I order? What shall I add to my wish list? You cannot have too many books. (Ok, let's not go there)

4. Fun. They have available really cool toys (all educational of course) like the Klutz books, paper dolls, plastic dragons and dinosaurs and princesses. Games such as Muggins, Apples to Apples, Set, Chess and Checkers, Blokus. And much, much more. It's all educational stuff. It's all fun stuff. It's all stuff worth my money. I'm thinking birthdays and Christmas as well as school.

5. I can recycle last year's catalog and use it as a step stool now! Yes, it is that thick. It must rival the New York City phone directory. I really do tape it up with duct tape, or cover it with contact paper and VOILA! a step stool! (perfect for little boys with short legs that cannot quite reach the toilet, or little girls with arms that don't quite reach to the back of the counter or the knobs on the faucet). Really and truly we use them this way.

6. I can also replace Caitlin's piano footrest. Yes, she actually uses an old, recycled Rainbow Resource Catalog under her heel so she can reach the pedal.

7. Weight training. Yes, it's that heavy. Seriously. Hefting it around gives a body a great work out.

8. It's a booster seat. With my grandbabies coming to visit soon, I'll be glad to have another booster for the dining room chairs. It also works great to boost up my boys when it comes time for haircuts. My great big blue dictionary is almost too tall, but RR Catalog puts them at the perfect height.

9. Inspiration. The write ups and reviews and product selection often give me inspiration into what materials and resources might meet the needs of our homeschool or a particular child for the upcoming school year.

10. Memories. While perusing the pages, an item will often jump out at me, and I'll find myself saying things like "Awww, this used to be so-and-so's favorite book" or "Remember when we did this?" or "Wow, that was a fun project, we should do that again!" Sometimes it jogs my memory "Now, I know I had a copy of this. Where did we put it?" and "That's right! I forgot we need to do such-and-such this year!"

I get to visit with an old friend. Truly. I enjoy sitting down with a cup of coffee, reading up on the family that runs this supply business. Their family has grown so much. And their business has grown so much, I literally cannot get through the catalog cover to cover in one sitting like I used to. I enjoy looking to see if the materials I was hoping to purchase are still available, and what new items are available now.

How long have I been receiving this fantastic curriculum supply catalog? I know it's been 10 years. Maybe 15? It's gone from a couple hundred pages thick to over 1300 pages, full of books and supplies and games and helps and curriculum and encouragement and inspiration. The Schneider Family has been a great blessing to us in the HomeSchooling community. I hope and pray they continue!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Menu Plan Monday

I've been inspired encouraged these past few months by a blogger named 'Nony' at A Slob Comes Clean. I have absolutely fallen in love with her. She's a girl after my own heart. Nony began blogging her way to a neat and orderly home, to de-mystify the mystification of the slob-brain, to understand her tendencies and weaknesses and find solutions to making life better for her family. The things she writes about are often amazingly thoughts right out of my own head. I admire her focus, and her stick-to-it-iveness, and her willingness to say, "this might work for you, but it just is NOT going to work for me, and that's ok!" or "I've let things slip, but I'm moving ahead anyway!" Back in February, I read her very first post and continued all the way to the present (this is known as reading backwards - you never knew I was so talented, did you?). I found myself saying, "If Nony can do it, I can too!"

No, I am not going to be blogging daily about my de-slobification process (I don't think I could take the blow to my ego for all the failing I see in my future) - but I do want to join in a couple of link-ups that she has participated in (well, once I figure out how to link-up). One being Menu Plan Monday from Most months, I do have a monthly menu plan, but it does vary a bit from week to week, and so I think this will help me focus in on what's coming up each new week.

This week our menu will be:

b'fast - breakfast burritos
lunch - tuna salad
supper - tacos

b'fast - oatmeal
lunch - mac n' cheese
supper - crockpot chicken

b'fast - cereal
lunch - Mom's chicken soup
supper - lasagne

b'fast - toast (made from mom's whole wheat bread)
lunch - quesadillas
supper - date night, big brother and sister are in charge of tonight's meal for the kiddos

b'fast - egg casserole
lunch - sandwiches
supper - pizza night

b'fast - pancakes
lunch - leftovers
supper - Luke's grilling burgers and dogs

b'fast - bagels
dinner - this may be Caitlin's b'day meal (which will be meat, potatoes and corn), since her actual birthday will be a bit crazy with a trip to the airport

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