Sunday, May 17, 2009

Cheryl's Interview on Free or Nearly Free Ideas to do with Your Preschooler: Listen Now Online or Grab a Podcast or itunes

Cheryl Moeller is the mother of six, a homeschooler, Momlaughs blogger, an author, and a frequent conference speaker. Her book Homeschool Your Preschooler is packed with simple, creative suggestions for engaging young children in a host of areas.

In this interview Cheryl discusses the opportunities that parents have to kindle curiousity and love for learning during the preschool years. Drawing on her experiences of homeschooling, she offers suggestions for age-appropriate engagement with young children.

Podcast or listen online to an interview with Tumblon and Cheryl Moeller, talking about 100 free or nearly free ideas do to with your preschooler on home. Listen Now Online or Grab a Podcast or itunes

Seven Ways to Survive the Great Recession: Stretching the Loaves and Fishes

Matthew 14:19-21 And Jesus commanded the multitude to sit down on the grass, and took the five loaves, and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed, and brake, and gave the loaves to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude. And they did all eat, and were filled: and they took up of the fragments that remained twelve baskets full. And they that had eaten were about five thousand men, beside women and children.

1. I have started carrying fruit or a Ziploc bag of dry cereal with me.
I can't tell you how many times it has stopped me from getting fast food
or ice cream. I just hand the kids a banana to stave off their hunger
Now, that it's summer, we are carrying a small cooler with us filled with water.

2. When I go to a store, I search online first for a coupon. I did this five
times last week, and found a coupon, for each place I was going. Some
places like Jiffy Lube, will take a competitor's coupon. You have to arrive
at Jiffy Lube, with the coupon or sale ad. I have taken in coupons from
other oil places for $10 off and Jiffy Lube honors the competitor's
coupon. Also, go before 10:00 a.m. and save $10 at Jiffy Lube. Then, there's amazing friends like the Pedersons and Davenports, who change their own oil. We have been looking online before we leave the house for years and have found some amazing deals.

3. Also, when we go to a store or business, we check online to see what their sales are. Then, we are able to compare with other store's sales. (The only thing to watch for: some places don't have the same sale in the store, as online.) My friend Nellie tries to limit the number of times in one month, that she enters a store. "Out of sight, out of mind" is her motto. If shopping is your hobby, maybe you better get a new hobby, or head to the "vintage boutiques!"

4. Yes, I know this idea sounds like it's from the middle ages, but the master mixes are good for savings. I did one up today. I can go to my bakery and buy five muffins for $10 or make 2 dozen for 49 cents, total. hhhhhhhhmmmmmmmmm Is that a savings? You can google other dry mix recipes, that might appeal more to you. I use canola oil, but then keep the mix in the frig. It will keep for one month, in the frig. The recipe usually call for shortening, but they will kill you quicker. You can also use 1/2 whole wheat flour. My friend Elyse makes the Master Mixes and says it does save money and time. She has four kids and needs something quick and cheap in her kitchen repertoire. She is a low maintenance person, so this can't be that hard to do. Also, if you don't want to do this, the master whole wheat mix at Trader Joes is great.

5. is a good sight. Here's one deal on there today:
Starting tomorrow Monday, May 18, you can get a free coupon for a certain DiGiorno product. They have other specials, check each day or each week. Some are better than others. But even, if you find one good deal a week, it's worth checking.

6. Last summer, with gas prices, we took staycations and stayed home, telling our kids that the garage really did look like Universal Studios. This summer try your vacation summer, at a friend's home. So, beware, I may be driving into your driveway. In other words, "Bless" a friend or family member, with your presence this summer. You are invited to my home also, if you don't mind six kids and three dogs! We are alot of fun and make a mean pot of potato soup. Bonus for coming to Chicago: kids ride free on the Chicagoland Metra trains, on the weekend.

7. It's not just inexpensive groceries, but remember it saves to use those to make inexpensive meals.

Friday, May 8, 2009

11 Free or Nearly Free Mother's Day Gifts

Melissa, Megan, Andrew, MacKenzie, Brent, and Robby

Melissa and Stephen (new son-in-law) Briggs

Along with the dozen tulips (preferably not from her garden) and a box of dark chocolate, what mom really wants for Mother's Day is:

1. Clean the light fixtures, inside and outside the house (and put back together and up.)
2. Wash the windows, inside and outside the house. And "weed and seed" the yard.
3. Detail the inside of the car. Outside, also!
4. Babysit, so mom can take dad to see the sunrise on Lake Michigan (or maybe the sunset).
5. Take mom to visit grandpa and grandma or one of her sisters.
6. Promise to read your Bible, cover to cover, before the end of the year.
7. Take down the fort in the backyard, that doesn't have a floor to it, any more. Cut up the wood from the fort, to be used for camp fires in the backyard.
8. Fix the small hole in the back screen door, before it becomes the big hole in the back screen door.
9. Drive mom to see Ronald Reagan's birthplace in Tampico, Illinois.
(Moms like a Sunday afternoon drive.)
10. A framed new picture of all six of her children (now seven with new son-in-law).
11. Homemade cards are the best!

Monday, May 4, 2009

"Low Maintenance" is a good thing this summer!

I have a friend who wants to be "Low Maintenance." I know
she does, because she has told me. And, she really already is.

Elyse is the kind of friend that I call, when something
upsetting happens, because she truly listens. She asks questions
to find out more about my situation or to get me to talk. She
wants details of the events and details of how I am feeling.

When she has a parenting question, sometimes she asks me.
I feel honored. Did you know that asking a friend for their
opinion is a way of honoring a friend?

Elyse smiles. Elyse laughs at my jokes. She's nice. She cares.
She's an awesome mom of four kids.

Elyse is the kind of person that I would want to take on a vacation
with me. I would take her, even on a cross country trip, because
..... well, she's "Low Maintenance."

"Hey Elyse, let's go to New York City tomorrow!"

She would probably say, "yes!"

Elyse doesn't need a certain brand. She's not allergic to life or to
herself. She probably would only take a backpack with her, even
if she was coming along for a week.

I want to be like Elyse.

"Low Maintenance" is my new goal. It's my goal for relationships.

It's also my goal for this summer with homeschooling.

We need to work on math and spelling this summer and I am
going to depend on time4learning's summer program. It's easy to use.
It's excellent. I also think it's "low maintenance."

And it leaves time for swimming, also. See you at the beach!