Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Peppermint Bark

So I was reading a few blogs that look interesting to me and saw that several of them were making peppermint bark with their children. It looked very easy and we already had all the items here on hand. It consists of chocolate chips and peppermint candies. I used one bag of semi sweet chocolate chips and one bag of the mint and dark chocolate chips. I microwaved these until they were smooth when stirred. I used some candy canes that we had laying around and broke them into little pieces. I mixed about 2/3 of the candy pieces in the melted chocolate and then poured it onto a cookie sheet with waxed paper on it. I spread it out the thickness I wanted, about a half inch. Then I sprinkled the rest of the candy pieces on top. Set it in the fridge til it was firm and then broke it into pieces. This is a super easy quick sweet tooth fix.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Homeschool Preschool w/ Hooked on Phonics deal

So my middle child just turned 3 and I started worrying that in a couple years he will go to kindergarten and not have a clue as to how to even spell his name. This frightened me even though I have been working with him on colors and counting already. I came across a deal for Hooked on Phonics to order some preschool learning material. I picked up several books on writing, colors, shapes, ABC's, and numbers. I used the code HOP50 to get 50% off my order and free shipping (woohoo they ship to an APO address). I managed to get 11 books, some with DVDs, for less than $35.00. I am very excited to have something to help me start my son out in the right direction. I am excited to watch him grow and learn. I really wish I had the knowledge to home school all 3 of my children all the way through high school but I am afraid I would not be capable of that so I will stick to the preschool learning.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Frustrated with mail order shopping!!!

So, as I am trying to stretch the dollars I have so that we may become debt free I keep hitting brick walls. I have seen some amazing deals that I would love to take part of for the holidays and just because they were great deals. The problem I am having is that because we live in England with an APO address a lot of places either will not ship at all to an APO or they want to make you pay a higher shipping charge. It is no more expensive to ship to me at an APO than it is to ship from Washington state to New York so why are we being penalized?? It is already way more expensive to live and shop here and then when I find a great deal online it would be nice to be able to take part in it. I really wish that online stores would reconsider their shipping policies and ship to the APO/FPO shipping address of people who are serving all over this world to help keep them safe in the land of the free.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

December 1, 2009

This is the first day of December 2009 and while I am very happy to have another day I am feeling the holiday stress coming on very quickly. I am very torn on the idea of Christmas. I was blessed as a child to receive everything I always wanted but I feel sometimes maybe I should have been let down sometimes too. Being mom to 3 wonderful boys I struggle on whether I should give them everything they ask for or teach them there are more important things than a new toy or that there are people out there that need things more than they do. A couple years ago I watched them open their presents and toss them aside for the next beautifully wrapped gift and then put them away to never be seen again. It was at that point that I decided they didn't NEED all those gifts. I bought them each two gifts from us and 1 from Santa as well as a big family gift. It made it so much nicer to watch them play with their new gifts rather than toss them aside. I also had my oldest son pick a name off the angel tree so that I could try to teach him about giving to others who need more than he does. I struggle though with my mother and her desire to buy every age appropriate item they come out with for each of the boys. I tried to put a limit of 2 gifts per child and she managed to work around that. She did buy only 2 toys then a stack of books and clothes and coloring books too for each of them. I am almost certain she isn't done shopping either. I guess I should try to understand her desire to give, but my children have so many things they just get overwhelmed. I have tried to tell her she could pull more angel tree names or buy savings bonds if she didn't buy so many gifts but she doesn't listen. I know she does it because my 3 boys are her only grandchildren but these boys I fear will have a bunch of hard knocks when they realize life isn't always free or easy. Oh well I guess the fight isn't going to work this year I will try again next year.