Freaking Out (Update on the No-Spend Month Challenge)

I’m seriously freaking out.  Hyperventilating!  Could someone please get me a paper bag!?!  Okay, okay, deep breaths.  It will be okay.  The No-Spend Month Challenge is almost over.  Only a few days left until February, right?  I NEED TO BUY SOMETHING!!!

Alright, alright.  Don’t call 911, I’m just having a Shopaholic Moment.  I’m not proud of it, but it happens now and again.  Really, though the No-Spend Month Challenge has been going well.  So well, in fact, that maybe I was getting a little too cocky about my new found Frugality.  I even told Danny, “This is easy!  We have everything we need!  I’m going to keep not shopping in February!”

What is it they say about pride before the fall???  Hmm…

I HAD been doing so well at avoiding my Shopaholic triggers.  I got in the habit of zealously clearing out my emails without looking at anything that could be related to shopping.  But I thought I was safe with an email from Money Saving Mom! I mean, I’m trying to be a Money Saving Mom, so THE Money Saving Mom could certainly only help, right?

WRONG!!!

“Kitchen Aid Mixer at Kohls for $129.99!” wrote Money Saving Mom.  AGGGHHHH!  I have been WAITING to find a really good deal on a Kitchen Aid mixer!  “Well”, I thought, “It’s the bottom of the line one.  It will only come in White and I want chrome.  I’ll just click on the link to see and then I will feel better.”  IT CAME IN CHROME!  FOR THE SAME PRICE!!!

So that was semi-tragic.  Maybe not fully tragic, but if you’ve ever kneaded bread with a toddler standing on your metatarsals, you can understand the slight tragicness of having to pass up a Kitchen Aid Mixer.  But I held firm and  resolved to put money aside specifically for a Kitchen Aid Mixer so I’ll be prepared next time a great offer comes along.  Good, right?  Don’t feel too sorry for me.  I have a VitaMix, a giant food processor, and a hand mixer, and sturdy shoes to protect my metatarsals.  I’ll survive.

When my inner greed monster starts to rear its ugly head, I’m trying to push it out with gratitude.  Nothing knocks you back into reality like checking out the Heifer website and contemplating how much of the world lives, know what I mean?  There are people who NEED things!  As for us?  We have ENOUGH!

So, just when I had reeled my brain back in to a zen-like state of gratitude (it just looks calming in bold italics, doesn’t it?); I came across THIS news on Facebook, the very news that got me hyperventilating:   Life Of Fred came out with A LANGUAGE ARTS SERIES!!!

Yes, I really was losing it over Language Arts.  Is that super weird?  Hey, being a Shopaholic isn’t all about hoarding high heels and lip gloss.  Shopaholism is a complex issue.  It can strike when you least expect it.  As soon as it occurs to you that you NEED something, that a THING will make your life complete, that is when you’re in the Shopaholic Danger Zone.  And yes, it can happen with Language Arts books just as well as a pair of buttery leather pumps with exquisite detailing…

…Uh-oh, I shouldn’t have thought about shoes… PIPERLIME!  NORDSTROM!  Where’s that paper bag???  Okay, let’s just change the subject… Language Arts is a LITTLE less painful.

So, anyways, if you’ve been reading here awhile you know how much we love Life Of Fred math in our homeschool.  I am so stinking excited about the new series!!!  And no, we don’t really need it.  I wouldn’t skimp on my kids’ education, but seriously we are stacked with books here.  Stacked with stacks and stacks.  Besides that it’s actually intended for high school, but I’ve heard that the first book is okay for 8-9 year olds too…  All right, I admit it.  I want it for myself.  Only. A. Few. More. Days.

I can do this!!!

OH.  But I have to tell you about the really unfortunate thing happened.  I heard the all too familiar hum of the UPS truck outside my house and thought “What on earth is the UPS truck doing here when I haven’t bought anything???”  (Okay, the UPS truck has still visited us this month for our supplements, laundry detergent, and purchases Danny had to make for some volunteer work he’s doing, but this day I was really not expecting anything.)  Then I found THIS on our front porch:

No Spend Month Challenge

Be really careful about putting babies on autoship. Once they’re in transit there are no returns or exchanges! (Just kidding, and let me make myself clear: there are NO BABIES in transit to The Ordinary Chaos!!!)

Turns out that in my zeal to delete emails without looking at them, I missed the email from Amazon that my Subscribe and Save was shipping soon.  So I now have an overstock of Chia Seeds, Chili Powder, and Diaper Genie liners.  Don’t you hate it when saving money ends up costing money?  So just maybe my own carelessness is what cost me money, but I’d rather blame it all on the No-Spend Month.  Is that the wrong attitude?  Hmm…

Oh well, what’s a No-Spend Month Challenge without the “Challenge” part, right?

Maybe you’re wondering if we’re just going to have Spendthrift February to make up for No-Spend January.  Don’t worry, we saw that coming a mile away, and plans are being put in place to stop the insanity!  Here are our ideas:

  • Have a waiting period to make sure you REALLY need something before buying.
  • Only buy an item if you have specific dollars put aside for the purchase.  (I think this what people refer to as a budget???)
  • If you do bring one new item home, find two old things to donate so clutter isn’t piling up.

What do you think?  Anyone have some more sweet ideas to cure the itchy credit card finger?  I’d love to hear them!  Are you doing the No-Spend Month Challenge along with myself and Carrie at Natural Moms Talk Radio?  Tell me how it’s going!

Well, thanks for listening to me vent.  I feel a lot better.  It does feel good to stop buying things and be thankful for all the blessings we already have.   I mean who can want for anything when you’ve got this little face cheering you up all day long?

No-Spend Month Challenge

And his brothers too! True blessings. <3

 

BUT I’m totally ordering the first book in Life Of Fred Language Arts on February 1st… the waiting period will be over!  Is that so wrong?  It’s for education, okay?  AND I will let all you Life of Fred lovers know how it is!

Talk to you soon!

Gratefully,

Jennifer

 

Our First Days Of Homeschool!

We now officially have two days of homeschooling under our belts.  (I decided to start a day before the public school to get a jump on things.)  How awesome did it go?  Well, my house smells like freshly mopped floors.  Is that because I had time to mop the floors???  HA!  That’s funny.  It’s actually because Dash dumped half a bottle of Murphy’s Oil Soap out onto the bench in the kitchen.

He was thoroughly delighted with his very own science experiment.  Just look at it drip.  Drip, drip, drip.  Yup, that’s what happens.  BTW, in case you think poor Dash is just wandering about playing in cleaning products, I was totally watching him and saw him grab the bottle.  As I was following him around the kitchen island to take it back he was already dumping it.  Did I mention he’s very fast???

baby getting in trouble during first days of homeschool

Let’s go back to the night before.  I had everything ready, but I wanted to have everything REALLY ready.  I had in mind starting off with a sparkling clean house, getting a good night’s sleep and possibly an early morning workout.  But at 10:30 pm, when Dash was sitting on the door of the dishwasher eating cheese and pretending to drink out of a dirty wine glass as I loaded the dishes in, I started to get a little nervous.  By the time midnight rolled around and I was finally getting to bed I was in a full fledged panic.

It’s not as though I hadn’t already contemplated it, but the sheer massiveness of the task in front of me and the weight of the responsibility hit me like a ton of bricks.  Am I cut out for this?  Probably not, but I have learned how to trim myself to fit when I’m not cut out. 😉   Can I do this?  Well, lots of other people have done it successfully, and I have the bad habit of thinking if someone else can do it, I can too.  And I’ve been knocked off my high horse plenty of times to prove it.  But even though I have an unrealistic level of optimism going for me, there still is that fear when you are jumping into the unknown.  Particularly when you’re doing something that most people don’t think you can do, and a lot of people don’t think you should even attempt.  Scary.  But, you know, some people jump out of airplanes, some people do homeschooling.

Anyways, I’m in it for the long haul.  The first day went okay.  Everybody liked Life Of Fred.  (If you don’t know who Fred is, you are missing out.)  Everybody liked reading Rikki Tikki Tavi and watching a National Geographic clip with a mongoose killing a cobra.  You’d have to be crazy not to, right???

first day of homeschool

Dash was fussy, but I got him out his own pencil pouch with fat crayons and washable markers.  Emphasis on washable.

Dash causes trouble on the first day of homeschool

By the end of the day, Finn was super melty.  I think it was a little much for him to process.  So I decided to let him choose a little more what he wanted to do for the second day.  He wanted to make cookies, so we did that and the boys helped with measuring and reading the recipe.  And Finn decided to play in the baking soda.

first day of homeschool science experimentDash decided to join him.

Dash playing in baking soda on the first day of homeschool“The baking soda is so soft!  And it’s salty!  Does baking soda dry out?  If I pour water on it and let it dry what will happen?”  It was a big, huge mess.  But they were having such a good time that I couldn’t bear to stop them.

“That was the BEST experiment ever!” raved Finn jumping up and down, covered from head to toe in white powder.  “Thanks for letting me do it, Mom.”

Whatever it takes to get a love of learning back into that boy.  Seriously.  Although I don’t want to see any baking soda again for awhile…

Anyhow, it’s going pretty well.  We’re getting a good amount done and the boys are getting excited about it, yes, even Finn.  I know not every day is going to be perfect and we aren’t always going to have everything crossed off the list.  We’re going to have to take breaks for Dash and breaks for Legos and breaks for chocolate.  I am keeping in mind what my friend Rachel said, “Give everyone a full year to adjust.”  Also what my friend Emily said, “The kids WILL learn!”  It’s what kids do, when presented with the opportunity.

So we’re on to Day Three.  Please pray for me and send coffee and chocolate. 😉

P.S.  iHomeschool Network is having a blog hop for First Day of Not Back to School Photos.  These pictures aren’t very conventional back to school photos, but they are pictures of what really happened, so I thought I’d add our link!  If you are visiting from the hop, thanks so much for stopping by!  I hope you enjoyed our pictures and story, and come see us again soon!  🙂