Sunday, January 25, 2015

Eventful Week

This week was rather eventful both at work and at church! At work, one of the other sub teacher aides is no longer working at our school, so I gained her tasks. Now, besides being a sub teacher aide for the student I work with, I also go to another classroom in the afternoon and lead a couple of reading groups and also watch over her class later in the afternoon while she runs an academic intervention group. I am really enjoying the reading groups. It's fun working with the kids in a small group.

I help out in the computer lab before school with some kids that need some extra work on the reading software program, and I was able to solve 2 problems this week. The computers in the middle of the room weren't working because of a network connection problem, so I found the router and saw that it was unplugged, and plugged it back in. I was able to start all the computers then and get them running. I'm sure this doesn't seem like a big deal to you, but I'm not very technologically savvy, so I was pleased I was able to figure out the problem. The dad in the lab, mentioned to me that even with the extra time on the computer, one girl still isn't progressing, so I asked the V.P. if I could sit with her and work with her one on one in the lab to try and help her improve, and he said yes! I'm looking forward to starting that this week.

Two times this week, we were short subs at school, and I was able to sub teach! I subbed in the classroom I am an aide in, and I subbed in a Kindergarten class, while a sub, subbed for me. It was nice to be able to do something different. The best part was, when I returned to my regular class, the kids were so happy to see me that I received some big hugs and smiles!

Last week, I told you about becoming the Benevolence Team Leader at our church. Well, this week, my daughter and I decided to take on another task. We are now the Childhood Leads at our church. We are in charge of the K - 5th grade group. We will coordinate all the leaders and helpers, next time we'll get to pick the curriculum, we organize the lessons and crafts every week, and make sure everything is in order. We have a huge amount to do over the next couple of weeks to get it all organized, but we are enjoying it.

So, how was your week?

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Better Week

This week was much better. I'm getting used to getting up so early with my son. I'm still tired, but we're getting more used to the routine. This week at work was pretty good, and I was able to help the teacher get a lot of kids caught up on tests and get a lot of classroom projects finished. She also had a lot of fun teasing me because I had trouble with the scotch tape, and got it wrapped around my thumb, and then I couldn't get it to rip off the holder. Apparently I was quite entertaining to watch, and she got a good laugh, and so did the 2nd grade student sitting at our table. Then, the whole rest of the week, they teased me about the scotch tape. It's good to be able to laugh at yourself.

Yesterday, my Pastor called me, and we talked about my passion for benevolence and so now, I'm the new Benevolence team leader for our church! I'm so excited about this new position! Since I save money grocery shopping, I always find good deals and am able to get some free products and products less than a dollar, so I put them in a giveaway box in my garage. Then whenever anyone has a need, I give that to them. So, now it will be great to be able to help even more people at our church through my new position.

Last weekend when I was catching up on my email, I saw a lot of great ideas on blogs for my home that inspired me. One of them was a magnetic days of the week whiteboard for the refrigerator, that I would use for meal planning. I would love to have one of those because I'm always looking at ways to save money and time, so it would save paper(what I use now every week) and time(I wouldn't have to draw up all the lines on the paper anymore). I'm having trouble finding the kind and size that I want, though. If anyone knows of one, please let me know. I also read about people using containers in their/their kids' lunchboxes instead of plastic bags, so I started trying it out for my own snack and lunch on Thursday. I'm going to use the same 2 containers, 1 for snack and 1 for chips, for a week or for as long as I have that flavor of snack/chips, whichever comes first. That should help us save some money on sandwich bags and washing dishes. I'm excited about these new changes and am looking forward to catching up on my email this weekend to see what other new ideas I find.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Back to Work

It was definitely hard to go back to work/school this week, after having 2 weeks off. The kids didn't want to go back to school, although my 8 year old was excited to see his friends; and I didn't want to go back to work. I am grateful I was blessed with being able to continue working as a sub. the rest of the school year with the 2nd grade boy I've been working with, but it's still hard to go back. It was nice having the 2 weeks off with the kids. We accomplished a lot. We walked every morning, ran errands, and my daughter and I got caught up on several things. I balanced bank statements, caught up on other paper work, organized craft things to sell on Ebay, caught up on email, and went through some new and old recipes to clean out ones we wouldn't eat. Now that I'm back to work, I can't find any time to get any of that done! The weekends are very busy with grocery shopping, cleaning, laundry, etc., so there isn't any time left to do "catch up" stuff. Plus, this quarter, my son has to get up at 5:30 am because his first class is at 8:00 am. That means I have to get up at 5:00 am every morning. I'm so tired every day! Oh well, that's the life of a mom. I'm trying really hard not to complain, after all that was one of my resolutions, but it's hard, especially when I'm so tired. So, did anyone else have a hard time going back to work/school after the holidays?

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year!

I want to wish everyone a Happy New Year!

We had our traditional night time snack of Hickory Farms turkey sausage, summer sausage, cheddar cheese, smoky cheddar cheese, crackers, low fat chips, pretzels, Greek yogurt french onion and spinach dip, and Martinelli's sparkling cider. We try to keep our New Year's Eve snack as healthy as possible, and it was all delicious! It's just a lot of work to slice it all! My dad used to slice it when I was growing up, and every year when I have to slice it all myself, I am always very appreciative of him for preparing all of that every year for my mom and me. My 8 year old son went to bed around 9:30. My daughter and I played a Monopoly game, we've been playing it a little bit each night all week, until 11:00. Then we watched one of my recorded shows until 11:45 and then tuned in to watch the ball drop. My 18 year old came down around 11:58 to watch the ball drop too. My husband was asleep, until midnight when the alarm he set on the weather monitor went off and woke him up. I went outside to see if any of our neighbors were out, so I could tell them Happy New Year, but I was the only one out on our street. It was a nice night at home with family, ushering in the New Year. Did you stay up and watch the ball drop?

While we ate dinner, I asked everyone what their New Year's resolutions are. The older kids just said to do well in school(which they already do), the youngest said to behave better(he's fine at school, but not at home), and my husband just said to keep his job(which he's had for 10 years, so hopefully that will continue). My resolutions are to complain less and also talk less; basically to stop annoying my family with all my talking. I also want to write on my blog more often, other than just reviews and giveaways(although I definitely want to keep doing those too). These past couple of weeks it was much easier to write on my blog because we had off from school/work. The hard part will be starting next week when school/work starts again. I am going to try really hard to post at least once a week, and hopefully more. Does anyone have any tips for how to accomplish any of my resolutions? Did any of you make any resolutions?

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

We Had to Buy a Third Car

We finally decided we needed a third car. We bought a 2012 Honda Civic with 32000 miles on it. My oldest son attends UC Irvine, which is about 50 miles from our house in Oceanside. Last quarter, he took the Sprinter train, the Metro train, and the bus to school two days a week. He drove my van the other 3 days because the train didn't run as late as his classes. His new schedule this quarter would have him leaving on the train at 4:30am and returning at 8:40pm a couple of days, and using my van the other 3 days. It leaves me without a car, which is o.k. sometime because the school where I work is only 1 mile away and we can walk. It can be hard sometimes though without a car, when it rains, when we have after school appointments, or just because we're tired and don't feel like walking. My high school daughter already has to walk from the high school to the elementary school with her backpack and violin, so walking home with us after our school let out was tiring for her(she's a skinny thing so she doesn't need the extra walk either). My husband and I also calculated that the cost of a car payment for 1 month and the cost of gas, is the same or less as the cost of a monthly Metro and Sprinter pass. I think it will be a lot easier with 3 cars in our household.

Friday, December 26, 2014

I Had to Close My Etsy Shop

I haven't posted about this yet, because it's been very hard on me. In September, I had to close my Etsy shop. This was so heartbreaking for me! We're trying to save as much money as we can, in order to pay for my oldest son's college, and one of the ways we decided to save money, was to close my shop. I was making some money and I was using it to buy presents for people all year long, but I wasn't making much money. I had a free year subscription to and it calculated my weekly profit for me. Unfortunately, it showed I wasn't making much profit, and some weeks I wasn't making any. I also had to go back to work(I'll post about this later), so there wasn't much time left for crafting. So, we had to decide to close my shop.

I miss Etsy so much! Etsy is much more than just selling crafts online, it's a community. I made lots of friends on Etsy and I really enjoyed chatting with them everyday, sometimes several times a day. I got to know a lot of people really well and enjoyed hearing about their lives and their families. They were also there to listen to me when I needed a shoulder to cry on. Some of us have kept in touch on Facebook, but it's not the same as chatting on Etsy. I've unfortunately totally lost contact with a lot of people. Now, I don't have many people left that I can share my day with. It has been hard.

Have any of you had to give up anything you love due to putting kids through college?

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Our Christmas Decorations

I love looking at other people's Christmas decorations that they post on their blog, so I decided to post my decorations too. I hope you enjoy them.

This is our Christmas tree. It's fake because my oldest son is severely allergic to real trees. My daughter and I miss the smell, so when we go to Walmart, we walk by the tree lot and smell the trees! Our tree doesn't have a theme; it's just ornaments collected over the years.

I put garland and red bows on the china cabinet and corner cabinet to dress them up to go with the red table cloth and fake red flowers on the dining table.

This is our mantle with garland, snowmen, stockings, and my son's Ninja turtle lair(not part of the decorations, but it's the only place big enough to store it).

This is the shelf above our tv. We hung garland under all my Precious Moments figurines. I love Precious Moments, so my parents gave me a new Christmas figurine every year.

This is our Christmas "village." My Uncle and Aunt gave us a house and tree from Hickory Farms, and the other tree is an antique from my Grandma. Some day I'd love to have a whole village, but this will have to do for now.

This is our Precious Moments nativity set. It's great because the kids like to set it up and since it's at the top of the stairs they can play with it. It also reminds them of the real reason for Christmas every morning as they head downstairs and every night as head up to bed.