Monday, June 28, 2010
1. Have a game plan.
Every two weeks, I plan my family's menu and grocery list. I divide my grocery list into the following sections: cold, frozen, canned, fruits and vegetables, and miscellaneous. I try to do the bulk of my shopping every two weeks. Going once a week became too cumbersome, and going once a month meant that the produce was going bad. I have found that bi-monthly shopping works best for me. I usually go to Aldi first, so I can purchase household staples for cheaper. I bring my cooler with an ice pack, to keep cold items chilled while I go into the second store, Walmart.
Printable Grocery Lists can be found here and here.
2. Prepare your little ones, in advance, telling them the importance of setting a good example while they are out.
While traveling to the store, it can help to remind your children of the importance of behaving on the trip. Teach them to Your Children contains a story about children who set a good example, while on a field trip, and impressed a factory worker. Their mother was then able to lead the factory worker to the Lord.
I love how Mrs.Duggar tells her children, before the shopping trip, that she is buying a particular treat while they are out. She tells them that she wants each and every child to receive one of those treats, but they won't be able to get one if they act up. I have tried this and it usually works very well. I will often buy a treat or a snack for my little ones to enjoy , if they have behaved in the first store.
3. Make sure children are fed and rested.
Taking a tired and/or hungry little one to the store can be very unpleasant, indeed! I try to make sure that my little ones have had breakfast or lunch before going out. Packing a small cooler with snacks and water bottles can make a world of difference.
Babywearing is such a huge blessing for busy mothers! When my husband shops with me, he will sometimes put our two-year-old in the sling, and I will put the baby in the Sleepy Wrap. Sometimes, if I am just running in a store really quickly, I will put my two-year-old in the front of the cart, and will keep my sleeping baby in the carseat, in the back of the cart. That helps me to contain my highest need children. My five-year-old and seven-year-old usually do just fine walking beside the cart.
Even with the most careful planning, we can all have those challenging days in the grocery store. One day, I tried to plan really carefully, but due to bad traffic, everything was skewed. My children became very hungry and my two-year-old had a "meltdown" in the store, due to being over-tired. As we left the store, my cooler full of groceries fell off of the cart, and my cold items were falling everywhere in the parking lot. It was overwhelming to say the least! The tips I have shared have helped me, many times, to have a more pleasant experience in shopping with a crowd!
I would love to hear your tips for shopping with little ones. What works for you?
Posted by Christine at 4:29 PM
Thursday, June 24, 2010
When I was pregnant with my third child, I first noticed it. The gasps and the pointing fingers. So many people wondered why I would mess up my "perfect family" by bringing a third child into the world. After all , I had my girl and boy. One thing that really helped me during those times, was my church family. I am very thankful to attend a family integrated church, where each new life is celebrated and cherished. A little bit of encouragement goes a very long way, especially when there is so much negativism, in this world, regarding having multiple children. One very encouraging event that is coming up, is the Baby Conference. It is from July 8-10, in San Antonio, Texas. Topics will include adoption, caring for the elderly, raising large families and so much more. Mrs. Duggar will be speaking at a tea, at the conference. I will definitely be saving for the conference cd set, as I am sure that it will be very inspiring and thought-provoking.
Large Families: Blessings or Burdens
Posted by Christine at 10:20 AM
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Infantino recently sent me one of their Fold & Twist Activity Gyms, to review. This product has been very enjoyable for my three month old, Olivia. Olivia loves tummy time with the Fold & Twist Activity Gym . My three older children never cared much for belly time, at an early age, but this product makes it a lot of fun. I love that the Fold and Twist Activity Gym comes with a cozy bolster for my baby to rest on.
Olivia also greatly enjoys time on her back, in the Twist and Fold Activity Gym, looking at the four colorful toys above.There are four colorful toys: a bird, elephant, lion, and monkey, which make noise. Olivia's very favorite aspect is looking in the attached mirror.
This activity gym has been a huge help, especially while I prepare dinner, or when Olivia wants to have a little play time. Olivia's siblings enjoy watching her play. Once again, Infantino has designed a wonderful product, without taking up too much storage room.
Infantino Fold & Twist Activity Gym.
I am a participant in a Mom Central campaign for Infantino and have received various Infantino products to try, as part of my participation.This review contains my honest opinions of this product.
Posted by Christine at 1:17 PM
What are your favorite drinks when the weather is hot?
Posted by Christine at 12:28 PM
Thursday, June 17, 2010
How has your June been?
Posted by Christine at 12:30 PM
Sunday, June 06, 2010
I am thrilled to have been selected to be an Infantino Test Drive Mom via Mom Central. During these next few months, I will be reviewing Infantino products on my blog. I love being able to try out new products and enjoy passing along my recommendations to you!
One baby item that can be so helpful is a bouncy seat. My main complaint about many bouncy seats is that they are too heavy or cumbersome. I have four children and live in a smaller home, where space is at a premium. I was thrilled to receive the Infantino Fold and Go Bouncer, as it exceeded my expectations in many ways. It is very compact, and is easy to bring along on a trip or to stow in a closet, when it isn't needed.
I also love how easy it is to remove the cover, to slip it into the washing machine. After just a day or two of testing the bouncer, my daughter had a leaky diaper, so I was able to test how easy the stains wash out of the cover's fabric. It looks as good as new and I was thankful that it was such a cinch to remove the cover.
The bouncer plays three melodies, vibrates, and makes 2 nature sounds. My daughter really enjoys sitting in the cozy seat, and has fallen asleep in it, quite a few times.
I have reviewed it in greater depth, here:
I highly recommend the cozy and compact Infantino Fold and Go Bouncer. Check out Infantino's entire line of baby items here.
Disclosure: I am a participant in a Mom Central campaign for Infantino and have received various Infantino products to as part of my participation. I was not compensated in any other way, and was under no obligation to post a positive review. This review expresses my unbiased opinions.
Posted by Christine at 8:10 PM
Thursday, June 03, 2010
1. Subjects like language arts and math need frequent practice and repetition. It can be challenging to refresh or relearn those subjects after taking 3 months off. Just doing a little bit in these subjects, each day, can really help a lot.
2. The summer is very hot here, in NC. My children can spend a couple of hours a day inside, or we can take our studies outside. They have more time to spend outside, on lovely spring and fall days.
3. It is not a struggle to get in 180 days of school a year. We start early in the summer with the next grade level, to allow ample time for field trips, sick days, snow days, Christmas break, and time off during any season.
4. Life's events such as morning sickness and birth do not always occur during the summer months.
5. Summer is a terrific time to try a new curricula or a learning approach without stress. If you don't care for that particular curricula, there is plenty of time to switch to another.
6. The beach and the aquarium are some amazing learning field trips.
7. Schooling over the summer leaves plenty of time to review material, if a child is falling behind in a particular realm.
8. Year round home education emphasizes the idea that education is a normal and natural part of life.
9. We can take advantage of vacations in off seasons, when the prices are most affordable.
10. Year round homeschooling enables me to teach my children four days a week, rather than the normal five days. We can use that extra day a week to visit relatives, go to the library, or visit at the nursing home.
A Few Ideas about Homeschooling Year Round
*In no way does your summer homeschooling have to reflect how you homeschool the rest of the year! Trying something new really makes it fun. Perhaps you and your little ones can learn a new language or take an art course together, at home.
*Complete a Lapbook.
* Try homeschooling lite- Do reading and math in the morning, and in the afternoons, enjoy reading a favorite chapter book to your little ones.
* Pick one subject to dive into, and complete over the summer. This will take some of the course load off you during the school year.
* Don't underestimate the value of hands on projects such as growing a garden.
* Try a fun science project such as dissecting an owl pellet, growing a praying mantis, or watching all of the cycles of a butterfly. These are lessons your children will never forget. I recommend and Insect LoreHomeScienceTools for obtaining kits.
Do you homeschool year round? If so, what have you found to be the advantages over taking the summer off?
Posted by Christine at 8:39 AM