Friday, August 25, 2017

5 Things for Friday

1) Grandma Sally

My grandma passed away unexpectedly early Sunday morning, not quite four months after Grandpa passed. So on Sunday I spent a little time recording the things about her I never want to forget: Her hands, always covered with rings; her sense of humor; the way she'd always get mad because we could hear Grandpa on the phone better than we could hear her. 

One of my very favorite things is the way she'd always say "Tell everybody 'Hey' for us" at the end of our phone calls. And at the top of my list of happy memories with her is the time we spent together just a few months ago, after Grandpa's funeral. My sister, my aunt, and I chatted with Grandma for hours in her living room about everything from Disney movies to old family photos. While it's so hard to say goodbye, I am extremely grateful that my last memories of her are so meaningful. And I'm happy to think of her reunion with Grandpa. Tell him 'Hey' for us, Grandma. 

2) Road Trip!

As a result of #1, the kids and I are heading out on a week long road trip to Iowa for Grandma's funeral.  This will be the third time I've been to Iowa in the past 4 years, after having only been there once or twice before in my whole life.  I've spent a lot of time researching fun/free things to do along the way.  And one of my dreams is coming true.  On the way home we're going to spend a day in De Smet, South Dakota.  Home of Laura Ingalls Wilder! And another day in the Badlands of South Dakota.  I'm so so excited!

3) Chatbooks

You've heard of this amazing company, right?  They take your Instagram feed and turn it into beautiful little memory books. My kids absolutely LOVE looking through these books.  The printing is high quality, the books are sturdy (which is good for little hands) and it's so fun to look back through at the little everyday memories I would have forgotten otherwise.  And at $6 per book of 60 photos, they're really inexpensive, too. (If you're not into social media, you can also add photos directly in their app or on their website, no need to share them with the world first.) I recently ordered a big stack of books and it's been so fun to flip through them over the past few days.  If you click here to try it out, your first book is free!

4) The book that's changing our lives. 

I'm not one to recommend parenting books. In fact, I actively decided to quit reading them a few years ago. However,  I have been feeling very discouraged with our children's behavior lately. One downside to homeschooling is that we spend just about every second together.  On some days, that's super fun and on others it's super not.  And actually, it's not so much the kids' behavior that's been frustrating me it's more MY reaction to their behavior.  I have been extremely short tempered lately, quick to anger and not the laid-back, gentle Mama I want to be.   So when I received a recommendation to try Have A New Kid by Friday by Dr. Kevin Leman, I was skeptical.
We've been using Dr. Leman's methods for only a few days, but already I've noticed a huge difference.  The kids are behaving better, for the most part.  But not only that, I have noticed a difference in myself.  I'm not so frustrated.  I don't feel like I have to constantly be getting after the kids. I'm letting go of my habit of trying to control them and simple following through on logical consequences for their behavior.

5) New Budgeting System

We've been struggling a bit with our budget lately, so we decided to try a different method in the hopes that it will keep us on track a little better.  We settled on this SUPER simple method  and have loved it so far.  It's so easy to keep track of and so straightforward.  I'd highly recommend it if you're not happy with your current budgeting system.

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