Is that my ........ OMG!!!! IT IS!

Yesterday, I was on the phone with a friend, and after I finished berating her for not telling me about B12 and it's wonderful energy giving effects, she mentioned, "Jessica, didn't we always feel better after we exercised?"
I was all like "Ummm what is this ex-er-cise you speak of? And what the heck does it have to do with B12 and energy?" 
She went on rather enthusiastically about how we used to exercise together and how that made us feel so much better and more healthy.... Then I was all like... "Shut and tell me about more pills!" haha
Anyway, she says, "Let's go walking tomorrow morning, at 7 AM."  I am stupidly up for most anything as long as it gets me kid free out of the house. So I told her to call me at 6:30 and wake me up.  I had been reveling in the bliss that late sleepers must feel and not getting up until 7:30 or 8 - LOL  (This was a true change from my 4 AM days!)

At 6:57 this morning, I was still in bed.  I was wondering why friend did not call.  Rotten friend got me all hyped up and I woke up early in anticipation of the phone ringing.  So I got up, got dressed in work out clothes and called her.  She was still in bed.  Said she was up but was just laying there.
Ok, rotten friend, that is not the park!  I said, "Get up. I am dressed and putting on my shoes. Hurry up and get yo act together!"  She said she would meet me by 7:15.
Cool.  I go to the park with a cup of coffee that I drink on the way.

I get there and park next to a vehicle that looks much like friend's vehicle, but I am not sure.  She isn't in it.  So, I am inconspicuously trying to peer into this vehicle to see if it has signs of being my friends.  I may have peed my pants if someone had said something to me.
After I decided that it was NOT friend's vehicle I started doing stretches.  I used to get horrible shin splints way back when asphalt and treadmills got to experience my feet pounding on them.  So, I learned to do really good calf stretches so I would be able to walk the next day.
Friend pulls up. 

After a minor discussion about what the heck do you do with your car keys, down the track we went.  She was practically running.  Now, this chick is short.  She *may* be five foot tall.  I am considerably taller than her.  So for her to get as far ahead of me as she did, I am convinced her feet did not touch the ground during her power walk.  She half ran/flew.  I was thinking, "I thought you said WALK!!!!" and ran to catch up with her. 

Much begging for her to slow down did absolutely no good.  She basically called me a pansy and then announced we were going to run from one light pole to the other.  REALLY!!!!!!!!  RUN!!!!!!!  She called it a "slow jog." I felt like putting on a pair of skates and hooking up to her... Wheeeee!
As she was 'slow jogging' and I was lumbering quickly after her, convinced I was going to die from oxygen depravation at any moment, the light pole mysteriously moved further and further away from its original location.

After the 'slow jog' I sounded like my fat dog breathing after the short walk to the door to outside.  I was all haaaagggghhhhh,  uhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, haaaaaaggggghhhh, uuuuuuhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, choke cough.
We walked to the other light pole and she announced we were going to run again.
WHY!????  Why did I call this rotten friend.  Why did I feel like making her hold up her invitation of torture? Why am I friends with her in the first place?  Who cares that she is one of the coolest people I currently know.  I could drop her, find more cool people.  Preferably fat, cool people who think that exercise it what you do when you walk to the refrigerator for more diet soda and ice cream.

As we were running, I kept feeling this weird thing going on behind me.  What is that?  It felt like something had snuck into my pants and was having a dance party.  I turned and look. 
"Is that my ...." Humiliation of all humiliation.  "OMG!!!!!  IT IS!!!  That is my BUTT!" 
It is, well, bouncing up and down, up and down.....I can feel it.  If I can feel it, I know others can see it.  GREAT! This is why I wear tight jeans.  To keep that joker under control.  Workout pants just give it free range to do what ever it wants and invites the whole world to notice.  I may have well set music to it and invited people over to the track for the show.

So now that I have been tortured, humiliated, and have probably overdosed on advil since arriving home, I am still in good spirits.  I refuse to be beat. 

And, if I can still walk, we are going to do it again tomorrow!

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Freezer Cooking on the Fly

If you give a mom a few minutes...

If you give mom a few minutes of peace and quiet, she will probably get a cup of coffee.
While she is drinking her coffee, she will probably pick up her laptop and check her email.

She will be looking through her email until she reads one reminding her that she needs a dinner plan.
She will then start doing recipe searches based on the few ingredients one generally has after refusing to go grocery shopping for several weeks.

While searching for recipes, she will realize all the meat in the house is frozen, thereby leading her brain down the path of 'freezer cooking.'
So, in an effort to find a complete plan, she will start googling such terms as; once a month cooking, bulk cooking, and freezer cooking.

She will find a plan and decide to print it all out.
While printing, the printer will run out of paper, so the mom goes to the usual spot the paper is kept.

She will find the paper missing. While silently berating her organizational skills, she will go through every last stack of paper and magazines in the livingroom.
When she finally decides that she is out of printer paper, and is having a discussion with herself about whether or not the plan can be printed on construction paper, her 10 year old artist will finally tell her what she did with the paper and the current location of what is left of it.

She will reload the paper in the printer.
After the printing is completed, she will take the grocery lists and look through all the cabinets, refrigerator, freezers, and the pantry and mark off the ingredients she already has.

While doing so, the children will think she is in the kitchen for the sole purpose of making them a snack. The mom will see that it is 11:30 in the afternoon and tell all the children that lunch is on the way.
The two year old will misinterpret this to mean that pizza will be delivered shortly, and announce with glee and sheer delight that she "loves pidda!"

The mom will notice the look of dismay the two year old gives the peanut butter sandwich. Which will remind the mom that grocery shopping does have to occur somewhere in the near future.

The mom will tell the dad that she is going to the supermarket and leaving all the children with him. Because she has left all the children, she view grocery shopping as a leisurely excursion and spend two hours at the grocery store, where she finds that, she can still think in coherent sentences and follow a grocery list.

Because she made such wonderful discoveries, she will decide that she is the supreme - can do it all then help you with yours - mom.
She will decided to start the once a month cooking plan when she gets home. She will not care that it is a Saturday afternoon and the kitchen is a wreck. She is the - can do it all and then help with yours - mom!
She will go home and stand in her kitchen while the children and husband unload the van. She - in her self affirmed stupor- blissfully ignores the chaos around her, not to mention the fact it is 2 in the afternoon and turn the oven on the preheat.

She will NOT unload the groceries. "Why unload the groceries if you are just going to get them all back out?" she thinks.

She gets out the first recipes and starts cooking and assembling. She has to step over several bags.
She decides that having the bags all over the kitchen floor was probably not the best idea. However, she is in a crucial - don't turn away - moment in one of her recipes. She begins to feel the facade of -can do it all and then help with yours - start to crumble.

Panic will start setting in. Because she is not one to panic; she is one to plan, she desperately yells out calls her children, "Get the groceries out of the bags and put them on top of the counter!"

Because the children were in the middle of watching Spongebob Squarepants, and mom is very occupied, the sweet angels will only halfway complete the job. The oldest child will decide to not only help unload the groceries, she will also help put them away.

Mom will notice the actions of the oldest when she has to remove the cream cheese from the hallway closet.
While walking from the closet back to the kitchen, mom will notice the puppy had an accident on the hallway carpet. She will announce this to her husband, who is sitting in the recliner, and continue walking to the kitchen.
Once back at the kitchen, she will notice the puppy is trying to chew through one of the remaining grocery bags on the floor. She kicks at waves her foot around the puppy, while holding a pot of smushy looking chicken, and tries to get husband out of the recliner and into the kitchen to help her.

Husband removes puppy. He is reminded by this action, that this same puppy had an accident on the floor of the hallway. He leaves kitchen to take care of it.
Mom tries not to think about said accident and how long it has been there. She is aware that she is losing control. She is no longer the - can do it all and then help with yours - mom. She is now the - what was I thinking I know better than this - mom.

She starts to feel a strange sensation. It is not her nerves. They are too shot at this point to feel anything. It is the start of a cold. Headache, runny nose, achiness - WHAMO! All at once it hits her. She never gets sick.
(Her husband has wished for her immune system on more than one occasion.)

She frantically starts trying to get everything put away. It is 10 pm and the kids are still not in bed, only one third of the recipes are done, and she is feeling worse by the second.
At 11 pm, the - wilted crazy eyed promise never to talk herself up in the grocery store ever again because in all reality she is just crazy stupid- mom, crawls into bed.

On a good note, she finds an angel to take her Sunday School class of two year olds, and rests up. She is able to complete her cooking day and is now having to resist the urge to gloat over her full freezers everytime she opens them. She finds herself thinking such thoughts as, "It wasn't really that bad" and "I am the most bestest frugalest super mom ever, WOO HOO!"

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Home Schooling For Less

There are lots of websites out there that tell us how we can home school our children for free or practically free.  There are even several books written on the subject.  I say nothing is truly free.  The paper that you print on cost money, not to mention the ink for the printer.  Internet connections and books all cost money.

But even though you can't homeschool for free, you can certainly homeschool for less!  I spent very little money on our curriculum this year.

We use Weaver.  I love it, and more importantly, my kids love it.  If you bought the curriculum from Alpha Omega, the publisher, you would spend a nice little sum of money.  I only paid $25 for mine.  I got it used.  You can barely tell it has been used. I bought all five Weaver Volumes, their accompanying Day by Days, and some extras that go with them, and the Interlock for about $200 including shipping.  I even have a couple of extra volumes that I will sell to recoup some of my cost. 

When we were trying to decide on which curriculum to use, I bought the entire Sonlight kindegarten newcomer kit with the art and physical education electives.  I did NOT pay the $700 + dollars that Sonlight asks for.  I bought it slightly used for $300, shipped.  It also came with a set of Childcraft Encyclopedias thrown in for free.

I decided to give Switched on Schoolhouse a go last year for my then third grader.  I paid $85 for the next to the newest version and then when we decided it was not going to work, I sold it for $150 on ebay.

There are sites that offer the curriculum itself for free - is one of them.  They use older resources though, and you do have to supplement the science. has a great phonics program for absolutely nothing.  They also have a complete preschool/kindergarten curriculum for free as well! 

So, in reality, homeschooling doesn't have to be expensive.  It can be as cheap as you want it to be, all you need is a little patience and flexibility.

Start your search for curriculum with these sites:,, and ebay. Never pay full asking price, unless it is a rare find, and you desperately need the item NOW.  (But that level of need is what prompted the $150 sale of the SOS I had! So beware, you will spend more with that attitude.) 

Do not wait until the last minute to get your curriculum.  Look in November and January.  That is when people are looking to 'dump' the curriculum they are currently using because they are frustrated with it, their kids don't like it, or they decided to put the kids back in public school.

Good luck!

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Book Review: Tell a Lie and Your Butt Will Grow

  I have read to my kids since they were very little. But over the past year, their interest in being read to waned. I was disappointed, to say the least. I love reading and really wanted to cultivate a love of reading in my kids.

I discussed how to overcome this with a couple of great friends and fellow homeschooling moms. They both suggested I not allow them to watch as much TV as I have been. So, I started turning off the TV as soon as Daddy left and did not let them turn it on without permission. It was an adjustment. There have definitely been some positive results. They play outside more. They play with their toys and each other. They have more to talk about. But they were still disinterested in hearing me read to them. They would sit in silence as I read books like "The Family Under the Bridge" and "Sounder".

So I tried a different tactic. Pick the craziest sounding kid book I could find at the Goodwill. Don't worry about whether or not it won awards or if it would strengthen their character and teach good life lessons.

I found what I was looking for. For the cool price of $0.49, I picked up "Tell a Lie and Your Butt Will Grow" by Dan Greenburg. It had a crazy looking kid with a big behind on the cover. I sighed as I handed over my hard earned cash for something as silly as this book.

I showed it to the kids. They. Were. Thrilled. THRILLED. They were laughing at the title and were begging me to read it to them. My oldest actually asked if she could go ahead and read it on her own. I began that book a couple evenings later.

The book is about a boy, Andrew, who can not help but brag and lie. His exaggerated tale telling and plain old lying, causes his butt to grow some with each whopper. It is threatening to ruin the science fair project!

I did not like how the main character, Zack, said that Andrew could not help but brag and lie. That idea was not corrected, and it did prompt a talk about how we can control what comes out of our mouths. Everything we say, we choose to say. I did censor a couple things. Silly things really, I did not read the word 'moron' when a character in the book called someone that. I did not want my kids repeating it. I don't think it is a bad word, but they hear Squidward say it and I have to get after them then for repeating it. I certainly did not want to do anything further to encourage its usage. But, really, it did not say anything that they don't already hear now on Spongebob Squarepants. It was a silly little book, very fast to read, and the kids laughed out loud on a regular basis.

So even though it has little in the way of profoundness and real character building, it was a fast, easy read. And most of all, my kids looked forward to me reading to them. Perhaps the sweetest moment was after the book was read, my oldest went to the bookshelf, looked a bit, and brought me "Old Yeller."

I had to promise we would start tomorrow.

Oh and yes, when it was done, we could watch the movie :) .


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Chore Chart to Replace My ModEcoKids one!

I found a chore chart that was so pretty at ModEcoKids.  Then their website disappeared.  It is so sad!  I have searched and searched and could not find what may have happened to it. 
So, I tried my best to recreate it!  I have ordered a laminator from and am going to laminate them.

Here is a link to one you can use! (I hope I am not breaking any copyright laws here!)  I will be glad to email you the docx file so you can edit it with Word!  Just shoot me an email asking for it!

Chore Chart

Enjoy --- Jessica

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