Category Archives for "Living Life"

Living Life is about being a parent, giving tips for home management, finance, humor, love, and everything the day throws your way.

December 3, 2009

Teaching your child what the holiday is about

This is a great one. What are some ways you teach your children to be part of the spirit and not get caught up in the “me” of the holiday? We start early every year we take five birthday gifts and put them away to give to children who do not have much for the holiday. We then have a budget for children in need. We put our coins in a jar. The coins are divided into thirds: 1/3 for our daughters bank account, 1/3 for our sons, and 1/3 for a child in need. My son even does chores to add to the jar. We take the 1/3 for the child and we try to buy as many toys as possible. We look for items we can use coupons for and we follow the sales flyer. We really try to stretch our buck and make every dollar count.

It was funny last year when we had .32¢ left! My son asked if he could use his money to get one more thing. This year to make room for new toys, we have given some of ours to friends to love. We also are attending the toy swap to get some new to us toys. It is important to us that we teach our children to recycle and give to others. We try to attend events that encourage giving. We make a point of making giving as exciting as receiving. Here is one event that is local to our area but I am sure there are many around.

Lauterbach Chiropractic in conjunction with C-villes Toy Lift Foundation is
sponsoring the sixth annual Live Toy Lift this Friday from 10 am until 7pm.
Located in front of Dr. Lauterbach’s office near Food Lion. This year’s event will be
serving 3,468 area children this year! Join Santa and the famous (aging) Dancing
elves! Bring your camera for Santa Pics. Hot cocoa & cookies provided.

Some of the most requested toys are: bikes, dolls & Barbies, cars &
trucks, remote control vehicles, board games, stuffed animals and arts
and crafts. Also, we always need items for middle school aged children
(jewelry, electronics, music, and sports equipment) Popular characters
this year are: Bakugan, Dora the Explorer, Hannah Montana, Moxie
Girls, Spiderman, Transformers & WWE Wrestlers

Thanks so much for your continued support. We will see you Friday. And
remember–
IT ONLY TAKES ONE…

November 26, 2009

Ask A Teacher: How do I teach my child to be thankful?

How do you teach children to be thankful?

The answer is simple, lead by example. We make a point of saying what we are thankful for each night. We remind our children that we are lucky to have the things we do and we need to appreciate what we have instead of always wanting new things.

Another way to teach thankfulness is to take things away when children do not appreciate them. I know it sounds harsh but, we often do not miss things unless we are without. I have to say, I take the fact that we have running water for granted. This was until we didn’t have waterlast week. It was only for a couple of hours while they repaired the water main break, but it felt like it was forever. When the water wasn’t on we talked about all of the things we use water for. We also talked about what it must have been like not to have water that comes to your house simply by turning on the faucet.

When you celebrate today with your family, think about the reason for your meal and be thankful. We go around the table and tell everyone why we are thankful. I think what I have to say this year will be a great gift to our family. If you are not having a feast, be thankful that you are alive and well. The world has so many people who have less and who do with less everyday. We must be mindful of how lucky we are even if sometimes we do not feel so lucky.

November 20, 2009

Thanksgiving Menu Planning Tips

Thanksgiving Menu Planning Tips

I am sitting down writing out my menu for next week. We have family coming from Wednesday until Saturday morning. With so many people to cook for, it is important for me to plan my menu and my grocery shopping. Luckily, I have my sister-in-law here who will share the cooking and hosting duties with me! Here are some great Thanksgiving Menu Planning Tips that I would love to share with you:Continue reading

September 17, 2009

Ask A Teacher: How does my child stack up?

Dear Parents,

There are times in our lives that we need to compare and there are times when we shouldn’t. I have two wonderful children that are similar and very different and I love them for their unique qualities. We as parents spend a lot of time looking at other people’s children and comparing ours to theirs. I myself do this and then the voice in my head says “stop”. We need to embrace our children for who they are. I am a certified Regular and Special Education teacher and I have a son in Kindergarten this year. My goal for him is that he enjoys learning. I am not concerned that he isn’t the best in math, reading, spelling, or science. I only care about the fact that he rushes to get ready for school each day if Blue’s Clues isn’t on. We need to compare our child’s progress in terms of their achievements. I have seen the progress he has made in just a couple of weeks in school. We go to the library at least once a week to select books to read together. It amazes me that he is starting to read to us. It makes me so happy that we are raising a kind and confident person. We are teaching him to try his best and believe in himself. He was upset that some of his friends can read already. My husband and myself explained that  it does not matter if someone else can read already. He will soon learn as well because we will practice with him. We have shown him that he is special and his gifts are unique. I am just reminding you to honor your children and help them become better by enabling them to achieve through positive reinforcement, guided activities, and most importantly communication. The best tip I can give you for raising a successful student is help them to believe in themselves. This is done by teaching them to measure each little accomplishment and be proud of themselves.

Here is my theme song which I borrowed the lines from

GREATEST LOVE OF ALL

written by Michael Masser and Linda Creed

performed by Whitney Houston

I believe that children are our future

Teach them well and let them lead the way

Show them all the beauty they possess inside

Give them a sense of pride to make it easier

( I know that this is part of the song and the meaning of the song does not have anything to do with this but I love this verse)

August 27, 2009

Ask a Teacher: How do I save all the memories

How do I preserve my child’s work?

I know that your child will come home with a lot of papers. I know this because I used to make up the assignments. I am now on the other end of the process and trying to figure out the best way to honor my son’s progress. I came up with a system that works for us. I thought I would share.

On Friday when Matthew brings home his work we are going to place it in a sheet protector in a binder. I will try to gather a variety of subjects to showcase his academic growth. When we select the artifact we will laminate it. I have a personal laminator available at Sam’s club $24.95 and the sheets are about $7.00 for 25. There are also self adhesive laminating sheets for a similar cost and you do not need a machine.

You can do this for less money by taking pictures of your child’s work. You can use those picture and make a book of all your child’s artwork using a service like Snap Fish. They have super coupons out there. To find them go to Deal Taker. This is where I find ALL my online coupons. I mean take a minute it could save you a couple of bucks or more because it is not what you SAVE but what you Spend so spend less to buy the things you are already buying.

I also have taken a poster board and folded it in half and stapled around the edged to make a large artifact holder. I am going to slip in a index card detailing Matthew’s reflection on his work. This is a great way for your child to feel good about themselves and their work and it makes getting rid of the rest of the work less traumatic.

As a teacher I encourage you to set aside some time once a week to review your child’s success. We all work for something whether it is money, alternate services, praise, or something that we find rewarding. A child no matter what age needs your support. If you start this process early it will affirm the importance of education. This artifact collection system will allow you to bridge the gap between school and home. It will allow you to make comparisons and sight specific progress. The best praise is one that is specific. “Wow, Matthew I see that now you can write your name using a capital letter.” This will make Matthew feel great knowing you noticed his progress. The memories we make are priceless and keeping a record of them will be a treasure your child will have forever in their hearts and in their hands.

August 16, 2009

Stockpile Organization

Stockpile Organization

 

Due to my recent shopping adventures to Harris Teeter, my pantry was in need of stockpile organization. One of the secrets to saving money, is to stockpile. This means to buy extra items your family uses regularly when the items are at their rock bottom price. We all know that Harris Teeter triples or Kmart super doubles allows for a plethora of stockpiling opportunities! I would like to share some tips to make stockpiling easier and more efficient.

Stockpile organization

First of all, only stockpile items your family uses regularly. Just because an item is “cheap” or on sale, does not mean you need to buy several of them. This is a lesson I have had to learn the hard way. I can tell you first hand that I have had to throw out a lot of expired food over the years. Over buying, is not saving money.

There is also a cycle to sales. For example, I know that Proctor & Gamble puts out a coupon insert once a month. Usually the stores will have some sort of sale that coincides with the coupons. If I miss a sale item this week, I don’t stress because I know the sale will come around again in a few more weeks.

Now, my family eats a ton of granola bars. My husband loves them and eats them daily. They are also handy to take in the car or throw in the diaper bag. Granola bars are one item we stockpile when the price is right. My suggestion is to take the granola bars out of the boxes and put them in a plastic container. This will save space and make it easy to grab and run! This same idea can be done for any snack prepackaged items.

Another item we stockpile is condiments. Those who know my husband, know that he loves condiments and sauces! We go through a ton of ketchup and salad dressing, or “dippers” as my household calls it! My suggestion for keeping these items organized is to place them in a small basket. It is easy to pull the basket out to see what you have. You can also write expiration dates on the cap top with a sharpie.

A trick I learned from my brother-in-law, is to write with a sharpie the expiration date on the outside of boxes. Many times a box will get pushed to the back of the pantry. If you have the dates readily visible, you will make sure to use the product before it expires. I also make sure to check expiration dates before I buy the product at the store. You would be surprised how many times I have picked up an item that is expired or about to expire.

For bath and body products, I have limited myself to a six month supply. What Amee and I have started doing is, giving away a lot of these products. With the drug store deals, we get a ton of bath and body products for free. We now donate most of these items or give them away to you all! There is only so much free toothpaste and razors that you can use! We encourage you all to donate your items if your stockpile limitations are reached.

See more of our stockpile organization  and clever storage solutions.