Archive for May, 2009

Free Udder Covers Nursing Cover

This is an AWESOME deal that was passed along on Greenville Mommies.  For a limited time get a FREE Udder Covers  nursing cover–all you pay is the shipping and handling cost of $7.95.  Go to the Udder Covers website, click on shop now and enter in “parenthood” as the code.  I have also heard you can enter “onefree” and get the same deal.  They currently have blue and pink covers available!  I wasn’t sure what color to get so I got blue–I figured it was the most gender non-specific.  Don’t miss out–go get one now!  I have a feeling they will sell out quickly!

Worth it ALL

Last night Annagrace asked me if I had to go to work.  I said “No, not until Wednesday” and she said, “Good.  I like having you home during the day.”  And I said, “I like having you home too!”.

This never would have been possible if we had not moved.  We would not have been financially able for me to work part time and I would not have been able to homeschool my kids.  I know that God has placed us here for a reason and that all the events that led up to us moving happened for a reason.  I am where I need to be at this time in my children’s life.  Home with them everyday, teaching them, reading to them, spending time with them, praying with them.  I love this season of our family’s life!

I love CVS!

I was finally able to get back to some CVSing today!  I didn’t get a lot and it will take me a couple trips to really get back into the swing of things but I did pretty good.  I started with no ECBs at all and thanks to a gift card from my friend Heather (THANKS HEATHER!) and a few coupons I was able to get all this:


for $3.42 and walked away with $11.98 in ECBs to use next time!! I really wanted to find a Neutrogena deal that was advertised on Southern Savers but the store I went to did not have the correct item so I missed out on that deal!  My first transaction ended up costing $3.27 out of pocket (after I used what was left on my gift card) and the second transaction cost 7 cents!

I was happy to get the Thermacares because I can really use them on my back after working 12 hour night shifts!  They are amazing.  I can wear one for about 6 hours and my lower back pain goes right away!

And guess what starts Wednesday?!  Triple coupons at Harris Teeter!  I am very low on coupons right now but hopefully I can find some good deals once the ones that I do have are tripled!

Homeschool Conference

I had the great opportunity this weekend to attend the North Carolina Home Educator’s annual conference in Winston-Salem.  My new friend, Megan told me about it a few months ago and I couldn’t wait for it to get here!  She has been homeschooling for about 8 years so she knows all the ins and outs of the different curriculums and what not and she was SUCH a big help to me!  We drove over on Friday (I worked the night shift the night before and functioned on 1 hour of sleep–basically I was up for 30 out of 31 hours!  Not healthy for me or the baby I KNOW and that will be the last time I do that for a long time!  So Friday I was very overwhelmed and tired and nauseated from being up so long and although I did enjoy Friday at the conference I don’t think I got as much out of it as I could have!  (And I really enjoyed our supper at Downtown Thai!).

Saturday was better however.  I attended several really good sessions and was able to spend a lot of time at the massive book fair!  They had almost 100 vendors there with their curriculum available to look over.  I had the chance to ask a lot of questions and I learned so much!  I even bought some of Annagrace’s curriculum for next year.  I attended a session that was taught by the president of My Father’s World.  I was very impressed not only with him as a person but to his dedication to provide Christ centered education for homeschoolers.  He started the company because he could not find a curriculum that encouraged kids to read through the Old Testament.  With his curriculum, kids read from Genesis to Micah in the 9th grade and then start a study of the New Testament in the 10th grade.  But in all the units leading up to that the Bible is integrated throughout.   The Unit Study I bought is all about Countries and Cultures and will include her History, Bible, Social Studies, Science and Art all rolled into one!  We will study different countries and people groups and will learn about missionaries and different cultures.  She has her own “passport” and she will earn a flag sticker for each country that we “visit”.  I think she is really going to love it!

Another session I attended was by the co-founder of  Moving Beyond the Page.   This is a curriculum designed for creative and gifted children–perfect for my smarty pants 7 year old!  He explained that a creative child doesn’t mean a child that can draw–it’s thinking creatively, solving problems creatively, thinking “outside the box”.  This is definitely Annagrace!  I ordered 2 books from this company that I will use to keep her busy this summer and once we start back full throttle in the fall I will use these as her “challenge” studies.

This summer we will use the Little House unit study from Moving Beyond the Page along with the Little House unit study from Progeny Press.  I am hoping that Annagrace enjoys these Little House books as much as I did when I was little.   My plan is that these books will be read aloud books that I will read to her and Madalyn and then we will do the projects together.  I am so excited to start reading these books to them!  I LOVE that Laura Ingalls!  We will also do the States Unit Study from Moving Beyond the Page.  It is an AWESOME book that I recommend to anyone!  It has some great stuff in it and I know Annagrace will enjoy it since she’s going through a ‘geography/states phase” right now!

And finally, I have decided to use Teaching Textbooks for her math.  This comes highly recommended by Megan–so thanks Megan for showing it to me!!!  Annagrace loves doing work on the computer and this is a computer based math program that teaches her the lesson on the computer and then she completes the worksheets on paper.  The videos are well done and since it’s computer based it will help her develop her computer skills as well!  I am going to give her a placement test this week to determine which grade level to place her in.  Judging from the questions, I am pretty confident she is going to place on the 4th grade level.

So I still have to decide on a Language Arts program.  I looked at a lot of stuff at the conference and nothing really jumped out at me so I need to do more research on that.  I have looked into everything from A Beka, to Alpha Omega, to Christian Light to Sonlight and nothing has really stood out to me yet.  The A Beka curriculum is on the top of my list right now but that could change!

I picked up two really good tidbits from the conference that made me have an “a-ha” moment!  One of the presenters encouraged us to start praying daily for God’s will for our children’s lives to be shown to us.  She said that even at a very small age we may begin to see signs of where God is leading our child.  He is the only One who knows what our kids’ future holds and we should pray that He would guide us to discovering their purpose in life.  She also explained that we should not worry whether or not we are teaching our children “enough” or “the right stuff”.  We as Christians have the Holy Spirit guiding us and the Spirit will lead us to teach our children what they need to know to fulfill their purpose in life.  That was a total “a-ha” moment for me!  Honestly we did not make the decision to homeschool based entirely on our Christian beliefs.  We decided to do it because Annagrace was very gifted and was very bored in public school.  I did not want her to ever be embarrassed of being smart and I wanted to challenge her on the level she needed to be challenged on.  But after attending this session I realized that God had lead us to this decision for a reason and that He has a plan for her life that He has entrusted US to nurture and educate her for.  Wow.  What a HUGE responsibility we have!

So that’s my summary of the conference!  I can not wait to go again next year.  It was very encouraging and confirmed that my decision to homeschool her was the right one.  I am anxious to get started with her in the Fall!

Oh–I did buy some fun stuff for the kids too!  I LOVE educational toys and I have to restrain myself because I could buy them so much stuff!  Here are a few things that picked up for them:

For Madalyn I got the My Father’s World Shape and Color Sorter.

This is a great toy for 2-3 year olds and she really enjoys playing with it!  In fact, she’s playing with it right now!

I got them this logic game called Sink or Swim that is similar to Rush Hour–which Annagrace loves:

I got Annagrace this Ocean Card Game that I thought she’d enjoy this summer at the beach:

I also got Annagrace a recorder and a book to teach her how to play it:

I got an Origami set to go along with our Countries and Cultures Unit Study:

And a country flag placemat (also to go with the Unit Study):

This book was highly recommended in one of the session I attended to keep preschoolers and toddlers busy while working with older kids.  It has some really good ideas in it for me to use with Madalyn.

Annagrace loves hangman and this is a scratch and solve book so she can play it by herself:

I also picked up a few books–2 books about Indians for Annagrace’s Indian project, and an Amelia Earhart book for her and a daily planner book for me.

Wow–I bought a LOT of stuff didn’t I?

ETA:   One more book I bought was Aplogia’s Swimming Creatures of the 5th Day.

This company is fantastic.  They provide Creation-based Science education for children of all ages.  I LOVE this.  None of that evolution, the earth is a million years old crap.  Granted, our children will learn about evolution one day but I am happy that there are good resources and teaching materials out there that focus on God’s created earth.  This will help them to be able to defend Creation when they are older!

Busy, busy, busy

This week has started out crazy and is going to get crazier!

Yesterday the girls and I spent the day shopping with my friend Jennifer and her beautiful baby Lilley.  We had a lot of fun at the mall and a couple other places.  I got some good deals at Gymboree.  I never shop there unless there is a good sale and the sales girl suckered me in right away when she said, “If you spend $50 you get $25 bucks back to spend next time”.  I thought it was a pretty good deal.  Although I LOVE a good thrift store to buy the girls’ clothes, I do like to splurge once in awhile and get them some nice new things!  Anyway–I got Madalyn a dress and this ADORABLE coat for the fall.  Annagrace picked out a new shirt, skirt and matching hat.  I spent about $55 and got $25 back for next time–and by that time I should know who is residing in my belly so I’m sure I can find some cute infant things then!

Today the girls and I got up and drove to my new friend, Megan’s  house to visit with her and her kiddos.  I met Megan and her hubby Levi through some mutual friends and although we had met very briefly about 10 years ago this was the first time I really had a chance to sit down and talk with Megan “in real life”!  We are going to a homeschooling conference together this weekend so it was nice to meet up face to face first and she showed me some different homeschool curriculum that she has used and what she prefers.  I’ll get to see a lot more this weekend when we go to the bookfair at the conference but it was good to see some of what is available and get some advice from her!

After that I had to get the kids back to Greenville for a quick lunch at Sonic and then to the drop off daycare place so I could go to a meeting at the hospital.  It’s a neat concept–and there are 2 places here in Greenville that do this.  It’s for ‘occasional’ childcare and no reservations are required.  You just drop them off for a maximum of 4 hours at a time.  I was a little apprehensive because there was only one other kid there and the owner is a man.  Yeah–little weird I know.  But he seems like a great guy and has 2 kids of his own.  I think that it would be hard for me to find someone to keep both the girls on such a random occasional basis (I will rarely need a sitter with the way our schedules are working out) so this is a nice option for us.

So I had my meeting at the hospital.  My managers spent a few minutes going over some unit specific stuff with me and they told me my orientation would probably be about 4-6 weeks.  I got to see the Pyxis system which is totally new to me. When I worked in the hospital in Virginia the meds were in a locked cart out in the hallway and the narcotics were in a padlocked tacklebox!  My new Unit has a whole room with all the supplies and meds under a locked computer system–it’s actually a good idea because patients are accurately charged for their supplies.  I know that my old hospital had to lose money on uncharged supplies.  (I know that for a fact because I sometimes came home and found supply stickers in my pocket and couldn’t remember what patient they were for!).

After we got home Madalyn took a little nap and Annagrace and I worked on some school work for a little bit.  We worked on adding fractions today and–just like I knew she would–she picked right up on it!

Tomorrow I am getting my hair cut AGAIN.  I had it cut last week and I hate it.  It is uneven and is not at all what I told the girl I wanted.  I thought it looked okay when I left but after a few days of messing with it I decided to get it done again somewhere else!  I am praying that the girls cooperate and let me take a nap in the afternoon because I start my night shifts tomorrow night!  I will only be working 2 a week which I am looking forward to.  I hope I can handle night shifts again.  I remember it being tough but I feel this is best for our family so I am going to give it a shot.  I work again on Thursday night.

Then on Friday morning, Megan and I leave for the Homeschool Conference!  We’ll be back Saturday evening and by that time my in-laws should be here.  They are driving down for a visit on Saturday and will be here until either Sunday or Monday.  I am planning that we’ll go to the beach either Sunday afternoon or Monday since Aaron’s off for Memorial Day.

So that is our BUSY week!  Lots of stuff to look forward too!  Hard to believe that tomorrow night this time I’ll be at my new job!  So much has happened in the last 2 months–it’s been crazy how quickly everything has fallen together!

A Birthday Party, a Great Deal a Mama Birdy and Another Room DONE

Last evening we were able to travel to my brother’s home for his daughter’s 9th birthday party!  This was exciting for us because we have never been able to go to one of Taylor’s parties!  I can’t believe that she is 9 years old!  She was just 4 years old when we first met her and her mom Misty.  And now here she is NINE years old and a 4th grader!  She loves animals and her Nintendo DS and she got was really excited when she got 3 DS games for her birthday!  We love you Taylor!!!



On the way home after the party we stopped by Harris Teeter to take advantage of their soda sale!  Thanks Amanda for mentioning it on your blog!  Through 5/19 you can Buy 2 Get 3 Free on all 12 pack Pepsi products!  The cheapest I have ever bought 12 packs were 3 for $10 at CVS–so this was a steal!  I got all of the following for $25 and change.  That’s only $2.50 per 12 pack which comes out to about 21 cents per can!


I haven’t been able to drink much soda since I’ve been preggers because I just can’t stand the taste of it–but it’s nice to have drinks on hand when we have company over.  Aaron and the girls will drink it up too I’m sure!


Annagrace and her Papa made a cute little red birdhouse a couple months ago.  When we moved she found a place for it on our back deck and we’ve been waiting for some lucky little birdy to find it.  Yesterday we discovered that a mama bird was making a nest inside it.  We enjoyed watching her go and pick up peices of pine straw, leaves and other things and bring them back.  Here she is flying inside with a beakful of leaves.


She would sit inside and look all around before flying out again to look for more nesting supplies!


How cute to watch this mama bird making things just right for her babies on the way!  I hope she sticks around until she has her babies so the girls can see the eggs and then see them hatch—hmmm . . . .sounds like a homeschool lesson to me!


And finally–another room in our house completed!  This is our foyer which I love!  We have never had a “formal foyer” and it’s nice to have a place to greet guests and a coat closet to hang their coats in!  I wasn’t too hip on the color when we first moved in but it’s growing on me.  That and I don’t have the energy to paint over it!  We have other rooms in our house that need painting much worse than this one so it’s staying this color!

I found some pretty rugs at Target to match the walls for about $120 and I got the lamp for $20 at Wal-mart and everything else I already had.  My dad built the table for me (it was intended to go behind the couch but our living room is too little for that and it fits perfectly here!).


The door on the left is Annagrace’s room and the door on the right is the bathroom.  Down the hall from the bathroom is the kitchen.  This was taken standing in the doorway to the living room.


Here is a view from the kitchen door looking towards the front door.  Straight ahead and to the left are closets.  I love our foyer and especially love that it’s DONE!

My Girls

I haven’t had any time at all to post this week.  I’ve been swamped with hospital orientation!  Next week will start my actual days on my unit and I’ll be working 2 night shifts per week.  I am looking forward to getting our family into more of a routine!

On Mother’s Day we went to church at Christ’s Church.  We know several people there (and I met someone I knew from the blogosphere) and we enjoyed the service.  Afterwards we decided to go out and grab a bit to eat and ended up at McAlister’s–one of my favorite places!  It wasn’t crowded at all which was really nice!  Then we stopped by Cold Stone for some ice cream and then by Best Buy to buy a new printer/scanner.  Later that evening my mom and dad came over.  Mom is stayed the whole week with us to watch the girls (and fill in as Annagrace’s “substitute” teacher!).  It’s was so nice having her here!!!

Anyway–here is a photo of me and my girls from Sunday.  Annagrace was very upset with me because I picked her clothes out that morning.  She is 7 going on 17 I tell ya!!!  So that explains the look on her face in this photo!


I love my girls so much!  They are wild and crazy but can be so sweet and loving.  We have made a habit of crawling in bed together every night and reading stories.  Usually Annagrace will read a book to Madalyn and then I’ll read a book to both of them.  I love that time I get to spend with them.  It is so sweet seeing Annagrace read to her sister and Madalyn just loves it!  I love being a mom and I can’t wait for our newest addition to arrive this Fall!

Maybe I’m Just Lucky

My mom and I took a trip to the local Artisan’s Market last week.  I LOVE that place!  A whole store of individual booths full of handmade goodies!  There are several baby shops that have the most adorable stuff.

So I saw this Two Loops diaper bag and just fell in love with it!


(The color is a little off in this photo but the one below is accurate!)

But considering the prices of everything else in the shop I figured that it was going to be way out of my price range.  I thought I’d check it out anyway.  Imagine my surprise when I looked at the price tag and saw this:


Awesome!  It was originally $49.99 and was marked down to $10!  10 BUCKS!  I was in Heaven.  My mom said, “You lucky thing.  You always find the best deals!”

What good deals have you found lately?  My friend Lindsey has discovered the wonderful world of stacking coupons at Target and got a bunch of stuff there for next to nothing this week (one trip she spent just 9 cents!).  And my friend Heather–who is a deal finding, frugal guru–got some awesome deals at Kohl’s and JC Penney’s.

Check out MoneySaving Mom for Super Savings Saturday!  She always has such great finds listed on her blog!  She was who introduced me to CVSing (which I am planning to get back into this week!)!

Good day

Today was a good day.  I had my first OB-GYN appt in North Carolina.  Like the staff, liked the midwife although next appt we will see the doctor since I’ll be having a repeat c-section.  Next appt is the BIG one at 18 weeks so we should be able to find out the gender!  I am really excited about that!  We have been so incredibly busy that I really haven’t had time to “bond” much with this baby.  Maybe part of it is because she/he was a surprise so it’s still a little surreal to me!  Today my mom and the girls and I visited the local Artisan’s Market.  I hadn’t been there in a long time and I loved it!  They have several cute baby shops and a new organic baby shop called “Whole Baby”.  I loved looking at all the little baby cloth diapers and handmade burp cloths.  I can’t wait to find out if we are team PINK or team BLUE!  Everyone seems to think boy but I think it’s another girl!  I’ve been 2 for 2 with the girls so we’ll see if I’m right this time!

At my first appt the doctor told me that I wouldn’t be able to “hide this baby for long” because of where she/he was positioned in my uterus–way down low and up front.  2 weeks ago I started noticing that my scrub tops were getting tight around my waist.  This week I’ve noticed that my clothes just don’t feel right.  They’re not tight, just not comfortable.  I have orientation for work next week so today I stopped by JC Penney and got some pants and a couple tops today.  They have a very sparse maternity section and I only found one pair of pants that I don’t think will even fit for too long!  Gonna have to hit up a maternity store soon.  Maybe a day trip to Raleigh soon?! 

Aaron has had a good first week at work.  He had to go back in this evening at 5:30 to make a bereavement phone call.  Once he and Annagrace return home I am going to take her to see the Hannah Montana movie.  She’s been dying to see it and I want to have some one on one time with her.  After that we may make a stop at Fresh Market–haven’t been there yet.  I hear it’s a little on the expensive side but they have lots of organic stuff so I’m anxious to check it out!

Wow….what a random post this turned in to!  Next week is a busy one with orientation every single day from 7:30-4:30pm.  Not looking forward to that but I’ll survive.  I’ll be happy to get in a routine and to find out what type of schedule I am going to have!  Hopefully I can get back to my CVSing–with some help from my friend Heather who sent me a gift card to there–and to my couponing next week!  I’ve missed deal hunting! 

Till next time….!  Have a fantastic weekend!

Adventures in Homeschooling Part 1

This week marked our first week of homeschooling.  I have to admit that with all the craziness of the last 2 weeks I had absolutely no plan at all for Annagrace.  My goal for this week is to get her use to being in our new home, detoxing her from public school and keeping her mind busy.  Here are a few highlights of the week so far.


  • Worked on some math and introduced regrouping hundreds (like 350+410).  She was a little intimidated but picked up on it very easily.  We did about 4 math worksheets from her stuff her teacher gave us.
  • Sorted spelling words for this week and grouped them together.
  • Annagrace read Curious George to her grandma and sister


  • Trip to the police station for mom and dad to be fingerprinted.  Got to talk about fingerprints and why they are special.  The girls got to watch the officer use a computer to do the prints.
  • Stopped at the library where Annagrace got her own card and checked out 3 chapter books and 2 research books for her Lost Colony project.
  • Played some math games online that were all about counting money.  Played with pretend money and had Annagrace practice counting it out.  Also had her do some games about telling time.  
  • Silent reading for about an hour (she LOVES reading!).


  • The girls colored and drew pirate flags and maps while I read “How I Became a Pirate” to them.
  • Annagrace decided she wanted to draw a swan and then looked up swans on the internet and learned that swans have about 25,000 feathers!
  • Internet research for her Lost Colony project for about an hour. 
  • Played a logic game–Rush Hour–during our break time because it was pouring rain outside!  This is a GREAT game for kids.  It is challenging for kids and adults of all ages and it can be played online as well! 
  • Silent reading while mom took a nap!
  • Bible reading with Dad before bedtime.

On the agenda for today:

  • More math worksheets.  Will practice subtracting/regrouping with hundreds.
  • Art project (making cards for grandma’s for mother’s day).
  • Will make fried bread tonight from a recipe we found on a Native American website.
  • Silent reading for at least 30 minutes.
  • Plant tomato and bell pepper seedlings (Science project!).
  • Shopping with Grammy!  OK–so that’s not really school related but maybe I can come up with a way to make it educational!

So that is my week so far!  I think I’ll start posting a Weekly Wrap-Up on Fridays and talk about what we did that week.  This will help me keep records of everything and will share a little about what is going on in our lives! 

I’m off for now.  Gotta get these kiddos dressed and ready for the day!

May 2009