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Help us Adopt

Our dear friends, Becky and Kipp Fawcett, are adoptive parents and the founders of Help Us Adopt. Help Us Adopt provides financial assistance, through grants, to individuals and couples seeking to create or build their family through adoption.

You can read more about their 5-year journey to adoption here.

If you, or someone you know is considering adoption, but is overwhelmed by the costs involved, please visit their website to learn more about Help Us Adopt. Help Us Adopt provides financial grants of $500-$15,000 towards adoption expenses (paid directly to service providers).

Download the application and return it by April 17, 2009 to be eligible for the June 2009 grant.

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure policy here.

Have you ordered your Halloween costumes?

It’s that time of year again!

The time that the halloween costume catalogs come pouring in, and the time that our family selects their costumes and gets them ordered before the onslaught of “sold out” and “size not available” comes flying back at us.

One of my favorite catalogs is the Sensational Beginnings catalog. I think we probably ordered from them last year too. This year I vote this catalog as the best for my boys. The boys immediately got their super hero fix in the latest catalog and their costumes are already ordered.

G-man is going to be Iron Man this year.
His costume retails for about $52

Bear is going to be Captain America this year.
His costume is approx. $40

Cutie Pie’s costume is a pink bunny. Her costume retails for $48. Cutie Pie’s costume is from Annie’s Costumes. As much as I like this costume, I’m concerned about the Florida heat. So we are also considering the mermaid costume from Chasing-Fireflies.

Pumpkin wants to be a Princess but we have yet to find one that we L-O-V-E! And by “we” I obviously mean me. This doesn’t bode well for the eventual wedding does it? (sigh)

The Purple Princess costume is from Sensational Beginnings and the Jasmine costume is from Costume City. The Pink princess and Gypsy princess costumes are from Chasing-Fireflies. Personally, I’d love to see Pumpkin in the gypsy costume.

I think she would look striking as a little gypsy princess, but, as she says,
“Mommy, don’t you KNOW my favorite color is PINK?”

Yes, honey, I know it’s pink!

Have you ordered your children’s costumes yet?

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure policy here.

I’m Flipping Out!

I have a new obsession.

It’s my Flip Mino video camera.
I do not own an iPhone.
I do not own an iPod.
But I do own a Flip.
This camera will make me so COOL.
It is small and deliciously modern.
I now feel the urge to video everything.

Do you have a Flip?

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure policy here.

I’m published!

Read my article on 12 Essential Back to School Tips for Mom at Heart of the Matter!

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure policy here.

Getting organized for a new school year

In preparation for the start of the new school year in our home, I thought I would share some of the ways I try to help things go a little smoother in our day and weeks. But first, I want to thank my friend Laura, from The Smile House in Austin, Texas (she is an amazing photographer) for helping converting my word documents and pdf’s to files I can share on my blog. I’m not saying I would have never figured it out on my own, I’m just saying it had been 3.5 hours and things were not looking very pretty!

This is my Teaching Schedule.

It has what subjects I am teaching on which days, and to whom. This is the first year that I will be incorporating my 3 year old into group lessons with her brothers, so this is a very big deal for me. It’s taking me out of my comfort zone to not teach them each individually—which is sort of impossible with 4 now!

This is a page I created called Lesson Planner Reminders. I essentially use this planner on Sunday nights to prepare myself for the coming week. Ideally I would like to review up to a month ahead in my lesson plans and fill out the forms by what I need for the week—but I haven’t gotten there yet!

Read: Is for sections I need to read before teaching and sections that we need to read together for the lesson.

Copy/Laminate: is pretty self explanatory. We do a lot of photocopying and laminating around here!

Buy/Pick-up: Is for the list of materials that I don’t have on hand. They can be materials I need to borrow from the library or teacher’s resource center, or purchase.

And this sort of intimidating looking schedule is my Personal weekly schedule. Time management isn’t my strong suit, so I need to have a schedule that deals with blocks of time so that I can efficiently plan out my week. I print out this schedule to use this schedule until I get into a routine without referring to it. At that time I block out the times shown on this schedule in Outlook and sync it with my Blackberry so that I don’t schedule appointments during any of my time blocks. For me, this is the only way I can get anything done. Otherwise, entire days would get away from me and I’d feel like I accomplished nothing. On my print out the open times are shown in white, not black. You should ideally have chunks of white spaces on your calendar to give you some sanity!

I hope by sharing some of the ideas I am implementing into my homeschool I can in some way inspire or encourage you into developing a plan that fits your family. Please know that I am in no way trying to convey that I have all the answers, or that I am an expert in any way on homeschooling. If you would like to share your organizational tips please post a comment.

You can also visit 1+1=1 for more ideas.

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure policy here.