Want to raise generous kids???

If you want to build faith and character in your children, landofenough.com has some great Family Devotionals to get you started!

The "Know-It-All" in the Classroom – Meeting the Needs of Students

helpful stuff!

A Fly on the Classroom Wall

The “Know-It-All”  –  Meeting the Needs of Students

If you were a fly on my classroom wallyou would see me (& all teachers, etc. …) dealing with a multitude of personalities and subject matters (school, family, group & individual matters) all day long — and seemingly all at once. It is a very active, organic, impulsive and exciting environment within which to operate.

A few years ago I found myself speaking with a friend of mine whose child was (in her words) a “know-it-all”. I know … it’s not a flattering term … and she wished she could find a kinder way of describing this one aspect of her personality … but it is what it is and she was who she was.

Accordingly, she was (or is) – 99% of the time – a charming, well-mannered student. She was is a motivated learner who loved to participate in…

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Groceries for a Family of 5 for Under $100 WITHOUT Clipping Coupons!!!

I am always working hard to trim my grocery budget because, lets face it, it is one of the only bills that I have very much control over from month-to-month.

In the last few months, I had been spending $130 on average every 10 days (down from $175 or so that I had been spending prior). During that time we had some unexpected medical bills and our car was totaled (hit from behind; everyone was safe, but the car was totaled).  So I had to do even better. I challenged myself to a $110 budget.  I brought along my oldest child for the trip and he was in on the challenge too!  When we got the receipt back for $80.10 my son high-fived me.  He didn’t even miss all the extras we left on the shelves to save all that dough!

As the title says, I do it without clipping coupons.  Good for you if you do clip coupons, but I have tried several times and they just don’t work for me.

Instead I work with a meal plan, shop sales, purchase very few to zero household products, and limit treats.  Also with very few exceptions my family drinks water.  Usually using these habits I stay around $130, but when I decided to really push it worked.  I will still give myself $110 to work with  in the future because I did have a few staples on hand but I hope I continue to have this kind of success.

For my $80.10 trip you may be wondering what I was able to get:

For breakfasts:



3 cartons of eggs (some will be for breakfast dinner)

Bread for toast

1 pint Blueberries

2 bags Frozen strawberries and bananas for smoothies


For lunches:

1 Watermelon

Turkey breast

Bread (4 loaves including breakfast)

Jar of peanut butter




Organic Carrots-I do not try to buy all organic because I can’t, but if the price is close I will splurge (also will use a few for one soup)

Pineapple fruit cups in 100% juice

Pear fruit cups in 100% juice

New york cheddar cheese (mom and dad eat snacks at night ;-))

Micro wave popcorn



Head of broccoli

1 lb Chicken breasts (boneless, skin-less)

2 lbs Ground turkey

Bag of onions

Mini Bell peppers (also for snacks)


Frozen Brussel sprouts

Blueberry pancake mix (for breakfast dinner)

Pint of blueberries (so yes that makes 2 pints)

Cheddar cheese (for taco night)

1 carton of vegetable stock

1 bag of frozen chicken tenderloins (about 2 lbs)

1 jar of tomato sauce-sometimes I make my own-not this time.  LOL

2 boxes of penne

Chicken thighs (bone in, skin on)

Corn on the cob

Iceberg lettuce

1 can of corn


Extra household:

Gallon slider zip bags for my daughter’s school



Tub of mint chocolate chip ice cream


A few items I already had on hand but may have bought: rice, beans, jelly, honey, coffee, tea, agave nectar, oil, vinegar, tortillas, and taco shells.

Here’s my receipt:



How I Feed My Family of 5 for Under $100 WITHOUT Clipping Coupons!!!

I will post my meal plan in the future.  🙂

No Discipline Seems Pleasant

As kids move from baby, to toddler, to big kid and on, one of our main jobs as parents is to equip them to fly out of the nest and build their  own.  We had kids pretty early into our marriage with the hopes of  having some time to ourselves again one day.

The day-to-day training of table-manners, kind speech, following directions, navigating the new technologies that are introduced by the second, not to mention enjoying our family can be taxing.

Just when I feel I have a discipline plan in place, my kids seem to adapt.  Maybe they get used to sitting quietly in time-out, they find something else to do while the rest of the family enjoys their dessert or whatever.

One way to keep the discipline relevant and creative is through life-consquences:  you break it, you buy it; you ignore the direction to wear a jacket, you feel cold; you track mud into the house, you clean it.


But sometimes it feels like the only one suffering from their behavior is me (and maybe my husband.)  Like when they break something they couldn’t afford anytime in the next 10 years, or when they are speaking in a whiny voice to get their way.  I know you parents know what I’m saying.

What creative discipline ideas have you tried?

Tips for Losing Your Baby Weight in a Healthy Way

When I was pregnant people said all kinds of crazy things to me:

“You look like the octuplet women!” (I am not lying, someone actually said this to me.)

“You need to check with your doctor again, I’m sure its twins.”

“You’re going to have that baby any day now!” (6 months preggo)

“I can’t believe you weigh that much!”

and then after the baby came someone said:  “I’m sooo glad you lost all that weight, I was getting worried.”

Its true, I did have a watermelon-sized belly when I was pregnant.



I think maybe I looked like an alien, because strangers and acquaintances alike (even people who had themselves been pregnant) felt the need to basically scream in horror at the site of my cone-head of a belly.

I am back to my pre-pregnancy weight (and have been for over two-years now) which also seems to draw some attention, so a few have asked for my thoughts:


1-It takes 9 months to put it on, don’t feel bad if it takes 9 months to remove it.  A lot of times it won’t but it seems kind of reasonable.  Gotta’ say, a friend shared that one with me 7 years ago, it took a lot of pressure off!

2-Everybody is different.

3-Yes I am “skinny” but I promise my body is not the same shape it was.

4-Exercise immediately.  I did Kegals in the hospital bed.  Really, its true!

5-Don’t deprive yourself, but have discipline.  I tend to be a mostly healthy eater and I exercise regularly.  So when I am trying to lose weight, I add a few more things to my routine:  I weigh myself daily, don’t eat after 9pm, and only eat dessert every other day.  It works for me.  You have to find out what works for you.

6-Breastfeed if you can.

7-Drink a lot of water.  Now go drink some more!


I attended a class with a lot of new and soon-to-be moms over the weekend.  They asked the OB-GYN speaking how long it takes for your body to return to “normal”.  She said years and at the same time it doesn’t ever really return.  Sorry for the bad news.

Her message and mine, just get yourself healthy!

Cheers to your health!  XO


PS:  If you have trouble with your own self-discipline, why not try an accountability group.  My cousin has helped many people through online weight-loss accountability groups.  I can send you in her info if you are interested.

My Favorite Things (for New Moms)

My little sister is pregnant with her first little one.  We are looking forward to celebrating his arrival with a baby shower soon!

This is very exciting for me since I won’t be purchasing any of these wee items for myself anymore.

I have a small confession:  I used to fill online baskets of baby supplies (I never actually bought the items) and create registries for someday-maybe babies in between pregnancies. 😮

I have some pretty strong opinions after three kids about my favorite things.  Here’s my list:


1. Ultra-soft newborn nightgown like this one:



I love these for the first month or two because they make night-time diaper changes super simple and allow for skin-to-skin contact for baby’s own legs, which most infants enjoy.  Quick, drama-free diaper changes are important for teaching newborns the difference between night and day.

2. Swaddling blankets

I love Aden and Anais, especially for the summer:


Or if your baby is extra wiggly, they make easy swaddles too:



3.  Nursing cover up

My favorite is the Bébé au Lait Nursing Cover;


they are extra long and come in all different designs.  I have given these as gifts often and they are always a huge hit.

4. The best nursing bras ever!!!

I have tried many, many different nursing bra brands and styles.  They are typically itchy, ugly and poorly made.  Itchy things are the worst!  Bravado nursing bras are truly worth the expense when you weigh them against the cost of organic formula and the health benefits your children receive because you didn’t give up on breastfeeding. My first two months of breastfeeding were an awful experience for me.  I just kept telling myself another week.  Then I made it another week and I would do another.  Having itching ill-fitting bras didn’t help my cause.  By my third child, one of my BFF’s gave me a few of these and the difference was AMAZING!  I was able to comfortably breastfeed her for a full fifteen months.  With my first two children I eventually gave up on nursing bras and just wore regular bras and tried to wiggle in and out of them.  That was my best option until I discovered these comfortable, soft, well-made little beauties!


5. Infant Wrap

I had the Boba Wrap back when it was the Sleepy Wrap.   http://www.boba.com/store/baby-wrap/

Some women say their babies don’t like to be wrapped in these things, but my experience was quite the opposite and I wore mine during church, walking through Disney World, even for public speaking situations.  I just strapped baby in and kept going.

6.  Some kind of baby bouncer

These are great items if you ever want to take a shower again!

Seriously, I would always carry my bouncer into the bathroom with me.  I could easily calm baby if he was upset.  Not to mention, the warm mist can be a helpful little humidifier too!  Here’s a shot of one of my girls fast asleep from the warm bathroom shower in her little bouncer.


After I created this list I realized that these are also some of my top-picks because they are all pretty essential in my sleeping plan too:


And I have to thank my girlfriend, who introduced my to the Bravado Bras, but pretty much everything else on the list too!  You know who you are!  XO

PS-Eventually I trained her not to suck her fingers.  When she was in the wrap her arms were strapped in so she reluctantly learned to take a pacifier.

How to Handle Summer Snacktime


Snack time is a VERY important part of the day for kids.

This summer I plan to use 30 minutes of the day for educational practice.  I am going to try to entice my kids to be excited about it with these colorful baskets and fun snacks.

They LOVE picking their own snacks, but I don’t want to be fixing them all day or running out of food two days after I go grocery shopping!


My plan is to have educational books, flash cards etc. in the baskets along with 5 (mostly) healthy snacks for the week.  Just 5!  So they can pick one each day to go with their “homework”.

Snacks will be things like fruit leathers, nuts, peanut butter crackers, applesauce and the occasional cookies.  My son detests nuts and peanut butter so his will be a little more repetitive than my girls’.




In the afternoon, I will do a something like carrots, grapes, or these pineapple popsicles.  (About 2 cups of pineapple and one cup of water pureed).


What healthy, inexpensive snacks do your kids enjoy?