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Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Middlebury Interactive Languages - Review

Middlebury Interactive Languages is a program we got to try for High School Spanish.

I don't normally try to sign up for high school courses since D-man and A-girl aren't officially home schooled anymore.  But, this one came around at the start of our school year when A-girl was starting in Spanish class at her school.  She came home sort of dejected and worried that everyone else had taken Spanish last year, so she was going to be lagging behind everyone.  So, she and I thought this might be a nice way to give her a little extra oomph in her Spanish knowledge to help her get caught up with (or let's be honest - this is A-girl we are talking about - what she really wanted was to wipe up the floor) with the rest of her class!

Middlebury Interactive Languages helped exceed our expectations, because she caught on really quickly and made progress in both her on-line Spanish and her at school Spanish.

Middlebury Interactive Languages has a special homeschool only section of lessons for classes in Spanish, French, Chinese and German (but there are also other lessons for non-homeschoolers).  Here is a break down of what they have to offer from K all the way through 12th grade.

World Language Courses Chart

Middlebury Interactive Languages approach is using "real-world" reading, writing, listening and speaking activities.  The lessons are self-paced (homeschoolers dream!) the approach  is designed to engage the student in the learning process.  They use an immersion approach and address both language and culture in the lessons.  The cultural tidbits were pretty interesting.

You have the option of getting access to the program with or without teacher access.  We did not have a "teacher" with ours and that is fine with us.  I think that option would have made A-girl nervous/scared/embarrassed anyway.

The classes are designed to be a semester long, which, to them is 18 weeks.  

A-girl only did a few lessons per week, since she was doing them in addition to her normal school work.  Although, I will be honest with you, once I saw that she could get through most lessons done in 20-ish minutes......I wondered why she couldn't have done more each week.  But, that is just my Mom mentality rearing its ugly head.

The lessons were pretty straight forward, they give you an overview, teaches you the lessons (happily with both pictures and words), games so you can practice your new knowledge, and quizzes.

A-girl said that she liked that the lessons started with common conversational stuff you need to know in Spanish.  "How are you?"  "What is your name?" and how to respond to those questions.  She said the only thing that wasn't helpful is that a few of the things Middlebury Interactive Languages taught was slightly different than her Spanish teacher at school.  

The only part of these lessons that A-girl couldn't do completely was the part where you record yourself speaking the words and phrases and compare your pronunciation with the expert, but that was 100% our fault.   We couldn't do it because one of my little people stepped on our little microphone headset thingie, and now it is dangling by a thread,  so she could hear the proper pronunciation, but couldn't hear hers in comparison.

This is a good, solid, language program.  You can advance even up to AP courses, if you put in the work.  In snooping around their site, I noticed there was also a program for English language learners too.

Not sure if Middlebury Interactive Languages will work for you or your child?  Try a Demo and then see what you think.

You can use Middlebury Interactive Languages for either $119 without teacher or $175 with teacher.  Those prices are per semester.

Here is what the other TOS Reviewers thought of the languages classes through Middlebury Interactive Languages.

The Talk Went.....

Thank you for any of you that actually took the time to lift up a little prayer for Rainman and I yesterday afternoon.

We decided our best bet on completing an actual conversation without endless questions, song and dance numbers, or, let's face it.....fights....was to actually leave the house.  So, he and I trotted off to Chic-Fil-A for a late lunch together.

Man alive....can I just say that Chic-Fil-A is ALWAYS busy.  I mean I have noticed it when we drive by - there are always people in the drive thru and the parking lot really does seem to always be full, but I figured at like 1:30ish,  the lunch rush would be over.  It wasn't.

It was packed.  We did manage to find a spot where there was only one lady studying some big textbook at the end of our section (but, honestly, she was still pretty close - there was only one of those skinny 2 person tables between her and us -  and I am fairly certain she heard at least some of our "talk" - poor thing.  Wonder how much we distracted her.  Hope she can still pass her test or whatever it was she was supposed to be studying for!)

We only managed to run into one family we knew from church, whose son said, "Excuse me.  Excuse me.  Where are your kids?"  Legitimate question.  Because for him, I am sure he only sees us in a pack formation coming and going at church.

And, the biggest thing - I only cried a little, so overall, I would say the talk went....pretty well.

We are not, all of a sudden, best buddies and googly eyed in love for each other again.  But, I was able to explain a bit of my feelings.  He was able to explain a few of his and state the shocking fact that I wasn't very good at receiving criticism.  (LOL) Are there actually people that are good at receiving criticism?  I will have to think about that one.

It is never good when someone starts their statement, "Now, don't take this the wrong way but...."  He only did it a few times, but I tried to put on my best....See?  I am receiving this criticism in the best possible to a woman trying her hardest not to eavesdrop on this married couple sort of way.....while people from my church are right over there.....kind of way.

Oh and we were also next to the garbage can....where there was a little wall between us and the garbage.  I am pretty sure the worker lady was listening a little bit to us too - because it took her a really long time to exchange the bags and wipe down the area - plus, I think the second time she came back the garbage wasn't even full.......

The best part of our conversation was probably when we talked about the whole waffle and spaghetti thing going on with men's brains and women's brains.  Remember?  I posted about it a while ago.

We laughed about how true it is that Rainman completely has different little compartments for everything going on....every task.....every feeling....and one box - let's say the box where he is a little mad at me - doesn't even talk to the box where he goes to bed at night.  Know what I mean, ladies?  (wink...wink.....nudge.....nudge)

Mine, on the other hand is a mushy pile of noodles where connected and touches each other.  I thought it was sort of funny that I said that I wished I could be more waffle like and compartmentalize things, but Rainman had no interest in being more noodle like.  None.

The best thing I can say is that we managed to clear the air a bit and reaffirm for each other that we are still in this thing together - even if we find the other one annoying.  That is love, right?  Not movie or t.v. kind of love - but, real, down in the trenches kind of love.

And, it was good that he and I managed to clear the air and be all right with each other, because we had an event to attend with A-girl last night.  And nobody wants to be the one there with the parents who are doing the whisper fighting,  and the wife is keeping her nose in the air....and saying things like "Tell your father....."  Right?

(All I see when I look at this picture is - A-girl really has Rainman's face shape.  I have great hair and I have gotten really, really big.)

 I don't have pictures yet, so I will tell you more about it later.  But, we ran into a family that we know and the mom mentioned that her teenage son reads my blog.

When we got home, I heard A-girl telling L-girl what this mom had said in which she followed up with this statement, ".....I mean.....I don't even read mom's blog!"

Thanks, honey.  Thanks a lot. actually cracks me up.  Both that this teenage boy reads my blog and that my daughter does not.  She did inform me that she thinks my posts are sometimes too long and I don't have enough pictures.  That is probably brilliant marketing wisdom right there out of the mouth of a 15 year old.  So, I will take it under advisement and see if I can't shorten things up and throw in more pictures!

Here is something I can show you pictures of......

I cut A-man's hair the other night.  He is getting to the age where he is finally more into his looks out in public.  I have cut his hair more often in the last few months than I ever have.  He spends a lot of time trying to explain to me how he would like his hair....and asking me for just a trim.   I wasn't quite able to get it exactly how he imagined it, but it is pretty good.  I am getting a lot less crooked....and chunky....when I cut.  So, that is something, right?

My whole point with this story though was the fact that he sat down in my chair and I blurted out, "Man, you stink A-man.  Like, you stink.....stink.  I really smell like a man!"

He sort of did a sideways smile and said, "Yeah, I know."  Like he was all proud of being smelly. Then I wondered if that is why middle school boys walk around in sort of a PigPen cloud of odor. They know they smell, they just don't care, because it means they are a MAN.



Love that little smelly man.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Remote Awakening

Rainman doesn't really watch too much t.v.  He watches sporting events, but not really any shows.  I have converted him into being an NCIS fan though because he has gotten sucked in while walking through the living room or something.  He is so hooked now that when A-girl and L-girl called him at work to ask if they could order this.....and would Daddy Dearest pay for it.  He said yes.

NCIS The Board Game

Yes.  The NCIS board game.

Who knew, right?  It arrived yesterday and there was debate about playing at soon as Rainman got home from work.  However, the kids neglected to take into account the one show that Rainman is obsessed with.  And, when I say "obsessed", I mean it.

Rainman LOVES The Voice.  He laughs at the antics of Adam and Blake.  He predicts, quite accurately, who each singer is going to choose for their coach.  He loves it all.  Well, except the background interviews.  He could do without that nonsense, and I love those little snippets into their real lives.

So, he came in last night grabbed his dinner and plopped down on the couch, ready for his show.  He had to wait a few minutes because the two big girls were off doing something.  I had the showed all cued up on the DVR and paused.....ready for action.

So, while we waited, I crocheted.

Now, a little known tidbit about Rainman.  Rainman is not a man known for his patience.  So, before I knew it, he had snatched the remote from the arm of my chair and was trying to flip through and see what else was on.

The only problem was that we were recording 4 shows at once, so he couldn't watch anything else.  I told him that was why I had The Voice all ready to go.  Then, for some crazy reason, he did the unthinkable.  He announced that he was going to be in charge of the remote that night.

Seriously, the girls and I all sort of looked at each other with slightly panicked looks on our faces.

Rainman is also not known to be Mr. Technology.

He tends to super Fast Forward and then start pushing buttons sort of randomly trying to get them to do what he wants.  You know?

(Yes, I know they spelled "dangerously" wrong...but it still cracked me up)

He actually did fine last night.  Only skipped a few parts of the interviews and only fast forwarded through a little of the judge banter.

But, I discovered something about myself.

Apparently,  I have remote "control" issues.  Ha!

When I am watching in the living room - which really is "my" room.  I mean, I have my own chair and everything.   A little bit like Archie Bunker.....people can sit in it when I am not in the room, but as soon as I come in, I give them the old "get out" thumb and everything.

I am also usually in charge of the remote, unless, I am busy writing or eating or something and then I bestow the honor of the remote onto someone else.....and that someone else is really, never, Rainman.

I found myself clutching my crochet hook a little tighter, curling my toes a bit at the times when I would have stopped fast forwarding and he didn't.  I suppose it is a little like teaching your kids to drive and you step on your invisible brake or clutch the door when you are going around a corner.

I did not like it one bit that I didn't have the remote in my hands.  I couldn't adjust volume as kids (we have a few hold outs in our group) came in and out to ask questions.  I couldn't pause when I could hear the fight over loading the dishwasher start to escalate.

I like to be in control of "my" remote.  I have to laugh at myself though.  He even commented that he had done pretty well and hadn't skipped any of the parts that I wanted to see.  But, for me, it was not really a relaxing few hours of television.  can relax more if I have the remote.

Wonder if he feels the same?  I wonder if he is usually on the edge of his seat wanting me to press play, pause, or ff?

Maybe we can talk about it.  He and I are due for one of our "talks"  I am sure using quotation marks a lot today, aren't I? (But, I am going to assume you know what I am doing when I am using them....even though that isn't the correct usage for them.  Don't worry, I am not teaching this method to my homeschooled kids!)

Anyway, Rainman and I are not in one of our smooth sailing portions of our marriage.  We have been terse and snappy and frustrated with each other.  There have been miscommunication and misunderstandings floating around us each and every time we try to talk to each other.

So, it is time for  The problem, with me, is that I am not so good at getting my point across clearly, if I am upset or angry.  I either cry or shut down.  So, what I usually do if Rainman and I need to talk about something.  I write him a letter first.  Oh, how he hates getting those 12 pages letters.  But, I sort of love them, because I know....I know....that my feelings and my thoughts and opinions aren't being misconstrued or that he will get distracted by my tears.  They are concrete.  Letters work for us.  Even if they end up making him angry at the moment, he has time to think and be calm by the time we come together to actually talk.  It works.

I have known that he and I needed to talk for a while now.  He even knows.  He has even said a few times, "We need to talk."  I know, right?  The husband said those 4 little words!  He is a good one.  Really.  Even though he has been annoying me, misunderstanding me and generally making me just want to avoid him lately...I know he loves me.  He is a good husband.

I know that he and I will be all right, in the end.  But, getting us there.  Figuring out how to talk to each other....what we have to say to each a way that the other will be able to truly one of those hard parts of marriage that people don't tell you about.

I know we will be fine though.  I do.  One night recently, Rainman and I had an actual, out loud fight.  It escalated to the point that we were both pretty much yelling.  Seriously, people that never happens. I am not a yeller.  He is a loud talker, but not a yeller either.  At the end of it, I yelled, "I'm done.  I am done."  I meant I was done arguing and was walking away.

A-girl was already in bed and sort of heard yelling, but didn't really know what had happened until V-girl talked to her the next day.  V-girl asked her, "Are mom and dad going to break up?  Mom said she was done."

Luckily, all my kids know how Rainman and I actually feel about each other, because A-girl, instead of being scared, laughed and told V-girl that we were NOT going to break up....then she came and told me, so I could have a talk with her too.

With all this evidence, I really should have recognized that something was going on with me that wasn't normal.  I should have.  I am a fairly calm, cool and collected person and here I was yelling at Rainman.

One night, I even slammed the bathroom door and whispered a swear word.


I whispered a swear word.  (Sorry, mom)  Not like me at all, but I still didn't see it.

Rainman actually had, what I jokingly call an intervention, with me about a week before I went in for my latest blood work.

He asked me to come out and sit on the porch swing.....for no reason.

Suspicious behavior.

I sat there with my arms folded across my chest the whole time.  (Just call me Teenage Kayla.)  He tried to look earnestly into my eyes and tell me he was worried about me.  That he loved me.  That I seemed like a different person....not the woman he married.  I was an angry, unhappy person.  "What is wrong?" he asked.  "Maybe you should talk to your doctor."

I still didn't see it.  Even as I sat there angrily wondering when he was going to be done and I could get up and leave.  My thoughts were all in the realm of, "Who does he think he is?!!?"

I mentioned what Rainman had said to my doctor before the bloodwork and you could tell he was trying to hold back laughter and made some comment about perhaps it was some early menopausal mood change or something.  Even he didn't attribute the issue to my thyroid.

Then, we got my blood work back and found out about my low....really low....calcium levels.  The paperwork I got from the hospital listed symptoms as things like:  increased irritability, personality changes, depression/unhappiness.


Maybe Rainman was right after all.

We still need to "talk", but I haven't had the time to get my thoughts in order - on paper - yet.  I may not actually write him a letter, but I have found that I do actually need notes when I have big stuff to talk about....otherwise I get too easily sidetracked and forget stuff.

So, if you have a chance this afternoon.....say a quick prayer that our "talk" goes well.  I am still not myself. But, there are some things that he and I need to tackle and address so they don't fester and create more problems later.  Plus, I need to explain how I am actually feeling inside - and now I won't feel so weak or like I am a loser - since I know it has an actual reason and will get better.  It isn't just me being crazy.  Although I never thought that I was the one acting crazy....hmmmm...

Monday, September 28, 2015

Trying a Little Something New

I am going to try something.

I am going to try to see if I can blog a little bit everyday.  So for you occasional readers, sorry, if I am going to start bugging you.

For family and friends, sorry if I start boring you.

Just an experiment don't worry.

I felt pretty good last week.  I have bumped up my calcium consumption(ice cream) and supplements (ginormous horse pills that I cut up into teeny tiny pieces) and my numbers are increasing.  I am still below the normal rates so I have to have more blood work done in a few weeks to make sure that it is steadily increasing....otherwise we do something else.

I was actually able to have the air conditioning off for a few days last week.  It was heavenly.  Then the humidity came back and I was a wimp and shut the windows and turned it back on.

I made chili, a pot roast with mashed potatoes/steamed veggies, AND a hot dish last week.  Oh, and an apple pie and an apple crisp.  Just call me "Betty", "Ms. Crocker" if your nasty.  (Did I just totally age myself there?)

We went to Walmart last night and Rainman and I purchased 2 things.  Yes...just 2.  I have learned that Rainman and I do not make good shopping partners - at the grocery store or anywhere.  We have completely different styles.  So, I spotted a few things that I will make a return Walmart trip for.  But, for this time, we walked out with a Carpenter's CD - at the request of a few of our children.  Yes, that is the truth.  Yes, those Carpenters...Karen and the blond brother.  They have become little 70's music lovers since I got Rainman the Sirius XM radio reciever thingie that means he can listen to his old Casey Kasem countdowns from the comfort of our home.

V-girl and S-girl frequently request Paul McCartney and Jim Croce (although V-girl pronounces his name Croaky), while we are driving around running errands.

Our only other purchase was good, old fashioned Carmex because poor little S-girl has cold sores.  She had these spots at the corners of her mouth that, at first, just looked liked cracked skin or that she had licked too much.  Then, one night they seemed bigger so I actually called her over to examine them more closely.  Sure enough, they are little blisters.  So, we are slathering them with Carmex to see if that will take care of them.  She has never had them at the corners of her mouth before, just on her lower lip.  Not sure if there is some medical meaning or reason behind that.  I just feel sorry for her.

I gave V-girl some bangs this weekend, on a whim.

She, as usual, had followed me into my bathroom because whatever she had to tell me was way too important to wait until I had actually finished my business.  While she was telling her tale, she kept pushing her hair out of her eyes.  So, I said, "Should we just give you bangs?"  She did that deer in the headlights thing - where you could see her mind wheels turning - Was I serious?  Did I mean right now?  Can we really do it?

We decided that she would just get up on the toilet seat and cut them instead of cutting hair in the kitchen like I normally do, so we could surprise everyone and have a little game going on to see how long it would take every one to notice.  Everyone, even Rainman, which is a miracle on its own, noticed immediately.  Probably because she had this big old grin on her face the entire time she was trying to walk around the house all cool and pretend like nothing was up.  She is totally adorable....and looks waaaay older.

In my Sunday School class yesterday, we talked about some exerpts from the book The Confident Woman by Joyce Meyer.

Some really good quotes and ways of thinking about things.

Anybody read it?  Have any feedback?  Should my class do it as an actual Bible study?

On a closing note for today, my laptop is acting up.  Like a cat - or a toddler - it is only cooperating when it is in the mood.  I am sure I have some stupid virus that snuck in.  Grrr.  This is when I miss having a real job, with a real IT guy to sweet talk into helping me.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

I Am So Happy It is Fall

Well....sort of.

I mean, the calendar says that it is fall.  My teenage girls have pulled out their boots and scarves.

However, our air conditioning is still on.  I am still wearing sandals and my cute Jamberry pedicures everywhere I go.

But, I did actually make a pot of chili and bake an apple pie yesterday.

So, is officially fall.

Once "real fall" finally gets here and I can turn off the a/c and open windows....and maybe, just maybe...... even put on a pair of socks, and wear my hair down, I will be even happier.

Fall does last longer down here in the South.  Unlike Minnesota where the leaves change, you get a day or two of beauty and then wham....all the leaves fall....and it is done.  Then, it snows.  Ha!

Down here, fall actually lasts through February/March....and then spring is here.  So, ha again!

So, yes, I am happy.  I am hoping that the cooler weather will motivate me to get some things done that it has just been too warm to otherwise talk myself into.  We shall see.  I am still struggling with stupid thyroid stuff and related things.  I now have something called Hypocalcemia (which is basically low calcium levels) and whatever the name is for low Potassium (I don't feel like looking it up for you).

I am sick of being tired. I am sick of being bigger than I should be.  I am sick of having a foggier than normal brain.

But, on the positive side, I have had the privilege of getting to take care of some wonderful babies, life is  awesome!  There is nothing like the snuggles and happy grins you get out of little people.  I mean.....look at these faces!

Get off your device A-girl.....there is something way more interesting and cute right next to you!

And, Rainman tells me I should be able to turn off the a/c and open the windows, yes, I am  happy it is fall.  I am off to make some apple crisp now.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Super Teacher Worksheets - Review

We got the chance for another "super" product to review!  Super Teacher Worksheets  is just what is says.....worksheets....that make you feel like a super teacher.   Ha!

Seriously.  This was a fantastic product for us.  Fantastic, I said.

So, in a nutshell, you become a member of this website for $19.95 a year - for an individual membership.  Oh and by the way, it is a calendar year, so 365 days of access. So, I will do the math for you - it ends up being like 5 cents a day!  Once you have become a member you have access to over 10,000 worksheet pages.

Magical, I tell you.

This is one of those products that is fantastic for homeschoolers and public schoolers alike.  And, really, really good for the parents of those kids.

Through this membership, you have access to worksheets from Pre-K up to grade 5 right now.  Looks like they are adding in a few things for the older kids, but, for now it is primarily for the early elementary ages.

So, I used this for V-girl (Grade 1), S-Girl, (Grade 3), and A-man (Grade 5).

I would say that I didn't primarily use these for extra school work, at home, although I did do that too.  But, what I did the most of is them for activity sheets when we were out and about at doctor's appointments and things like that.

For example, A-girl takes golf lessons (shooting for that ever elusive golf scholarship).  The place that she takes lessons gives us 50% off of ala carte menu items.  We'd had a particularly hectic and busy week, so Rainman and I decided that the kids and I all deserved a treat and would go eat lunch when A-girl went for her lessons.

So, that morning, I logged onto my Super Teacher Worksheet page and skimmed through my options.  There were word finds, crossword puzzles, coloring pages, math pages that were coloring pages that revealed a secret picture, state information pages and holiday special pages.  (Seriously, that is just a small sampling of your options).

Anyway, I logged on and picked a few things for each of the kids.  I actually think I found a few for L-girl to try too (who is in 8th grade).

I am sure when the restaurant staff saw the 6 of us troop in, in the middle of the day, on a school day, they were nervous.  It is a nice, golf course restaurant with glass glasses already waiting on the table.  But, they didn't need to be.  We sat down, we figured out what we were going to order off the menu (snuck in a little math lesson to figure out what 50% off would be of all of our choices) and I distributed the Super Teacher Worksheets that I had printed off.  And, that was that.  We were there for a total of about 2 hours and there were no problems or reasons for us to get asked to leave or anything!  Ha!

No, the kids weren't silent.  There were discussions about how to do problems, and guesses on what the secret picture would turn out to be.  Requests for a red or blue crayon.  Even a big sister reminding a little sister how to borrow when doing subtraction.  A mom helping correct a graph coordinate mistake so the picture would actually look like a sail boat and not some random thing.

And, get this, it was relaxing for me.  It was amazing.  Plus, I got a great burger for half price!

The thing with the Super Teacher Worksheets is that they are not just the usual drill the information into your head kind of worksheets with row after row of problems.  Granted, they do have those kinds too, if you want them.  But, the ones I had chosen all had a fun, interesting twist.

It is hard to explain because, in the end, they are still.....worksheets.

They were still doing extra math, or working on spelling, but,  my kids always looked forward to doing them.  Whenever I announced that I had printed some off to take with us, I was met with choruses of "Yay!"


How often can you say that about anything school related?  I mean, yes, we are homeschool nerds, but my children are still...children.....and school, much of the time, elicits eye rolls and groans.

Just this past week 2 of my big kids had eye doctor appointments. We all went.  Again, I am sure when the staff saw all of us troop in (and take up all but 1 chair in their waiting room) they were nervous that there was going to be damage to the waiting room by the time we left.  But, I pulled out their Super Teacher Worksheets and they worked on those.  All good.

But, I guess the Super Teacher Worksheets aren't just about fun and games either.

S-girl has been struggling with subtraction when she has to borrow.  For some reason, that has just not clicked in her brain.  So, math was ending up with tears, especially on the days where she "thought" she had gotten it right, but when we corrected it, she hadn't and she had to go back and redo everything.  So frustrating for her...and for us.

So, I logged into Super Teacher Worksheets and searched the subtraction  section for problems with borrowing (FYI - you can also find subtraction with no borrowing).  I looked for the worksheets that had something fun to them and printed those off.  She especially likes the ones that reveal a secret message or picture.  So, yes, she is doing extra work for subtraction, but it isn't entirely painful and I can see her frustration is decreasing and she is starting to "get it".

One of the other things I liked, that did require a little bit of extra effort on my part, but was totally worth it, was using the Work Sheet Generator section.....specifically the word find generator.  I could take their spelling and vocabulary words for the week, and create a word find that was personalized to them.  I could even sneak in a few words not on their list, just for fun. (

Another feature that I LOVED about Super Teacher Worksheets is the fact that there are answer keys.  No, you don't always need them because they are easy enough to figure out on your own, but sometimes, your brain doesn't want to have to think,so having the option to print off answer keys is awesome!  If you don't want to waste paper, all you have to do when you print is tell your printer just to print page 1, not "All".

I don't want to bore you with explaining how all the worksheets worked or were laid out.....and really, there are too many for me to even begin covering them all.

Suffice it to say that this ended up as one of my favorite review products of all time.  Fun and practical.

The worksheets on the log in page are divided by categories, but you could also do a straight search if there was something you were looking for.  The categories in which there are worksheets are as follows:

Reading  Writing
Phonics and Early Literacy
Spelling Lists
Social Studies
Puzzles and Brain Teasers
Pre-K and Kindergarten
Worksheet Generator

I know.  Right?

I realize that it is a little strange to be this excited about a worksheet membership site, but it is really awesome.  We used it.....a lot.  The kids liked it.  It was fun for me to search around on the site for something I knew the kids would like.  It was fun for me to present their worksheets like they had won a prize or something.  Crazy, but true.

Take a look and see if the other TOS Reviewers loved Super Teacher Worksheets as much as we did!

Here is all their social media....stuff.....locations.  Seriously.  Go check them out.


Thursday, September 3, 2015

A Little Secret

I am going to let you in on a little secret.

Yes, I realize how that sounds.  This blog is social media and I do plan to encourage friends and strangers, alike, to read about my secret.

But, to me, it still feels like I am really just opening up and sharing/admitting my little secret with friends.

Here it is.

Here is my secret:

I am tired of being frugal.

I am tired of being cheap.

I am tired of NOT spending money.

Most of the time, that is just me, being me though.

I have always been more of a saver than a spender.  I have always liked to think about things before spending money on them.  I have always been someone that puts things back when I am in a store....and usually, I am shopping at thrift stores and not regular people stores.

I have been like this even when I "had more money".  It really is just part of who I am at my core.

But, sometimes, oh sometimes, when I see other people nonchalantly buying things, or going out to eat, or supporting some other kids' fundraiser.....I wish I was different.  I look longingly at what I perceive to be their way of operating in the world.....and wish I could be more like them.

Last week, I did something out of character.  I went to a coffee shop. I went for two reasons.  One was to meet with a friend and chat and the other was to try to get some writing done for a project I am working on.  Usually, I can do a fine job writing from home with all the chaos and hub-bub involved. But, for this project, I am having a hard time (probably because the project itself scares me - because it is very public and has a lot riding on it).  But, anyway, I called my friend, asked her if she wanted to meet me there...and ended up with about 45 minutes of actual, uninterrupted time to write.

Because of that one trip to a coffee shop, I realized a few things.

  • Coffee shop coffee is yummy.

  • Coffee shop coffee is expensive.

  • My butt is too big for the chairs at the coffee shop.  They are cute, industrial looking things.  They are paired with big, chunky repurposed old wood tables.  They look totally cute.  They are totally uncomfortable.

  • I also learned that the little backless stools that they leave stacked up near the cute tables/chairs do, in fact, hold my butt.  But, (pun intended) they are NOT very comfortable either.

But, even with my uncomfy butt issues, I enjoyed myself.  I sipped my $3.76 mocha with whipped cream for a long time.  My coffee shop has fresh baked goods too.  But, I just couldn't bring myself to do it.  I had already spent a billion times more on a coffee than I needed to.  I didn't need to add insult to injury and spend more that I would need to justify in our next budget discussion.

This is where my own sense of wishing I was a different person snuck in.

Sometimes, I just want to be able to spend money.  Sometimes, I wish I was one of "those" people who didn't think about money all the time.

The kind of person who can easily splurge and treat my friends to coffee....or lunch.....or a just because present.  Sigh.

There are many, many times I have been happy that I am not a free spender.  That I am happy shopping at garage sales and thrift stores.  Really.

But, oh, sometimes, I want to be the lady that goes to the coffee shop every week....for coffee AND fresh baked goods.  Or, the lady that treats herself to lunch out.  Or gets a massage.  Or runs through the drive through for a Chic-Fil-A shake and fries and doesn't have to think/over think about the money.  It is exhausting to constantly have money on the brain.

I have already decided that the coffee shop thing is going to become a little more regular, because I got a lot done.  I have also decided I am going to head to the comfy back room - even if there are already other people there.  The introvert in me needs to put on some big girl panties and deal.....and my butt deserves better!

Wish me luck.....