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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

My Favorite Time of Year

My birthday has always been a double edged sword. Yes, I get presents and don't have to cook dinner that day, but the numbers keep getting bigger each year; and as a kid, every year my birthday came around, I knew back to school time was right around the corner.

I loved school as a kid. Growing up in a household full of school teachers has given me the appreciation for my education. Seriously the school supply aisle was heaven! Even today I get giddy about new pencils and crayons. (Note to self: call therapist). In any case as a mom of 4, yes 4!, in the public school system I am realllyyy excited for this year! We've had a great summer, lots of fun vacations and activities, but it's time to get back to reality.

And if I'm being honest, I love that back to school gets me into an organization mode where life is orderly and less least temporarily.

We are using the new Menu Board to organize our mealtime. It will eliminate the question "What's for Dinner?" and still has the flexibility of changing things around, since I often "don't feel like" what ever is on the menu at least once a week.

There are lots of back to school lunch and menu ideas on, and many other sites. Mixing up the routine may be just what your family needs.

I've also decided that if you don't like what's on your dinner plate, please feel free to have a pbj or cereal. I am done altering each meal so this kid or that kid will be happy. Pick off the mushrooms, pick out the peppers and eat your food!

Start now. Get them up when they will be getting up for school. You'll be so happy to not have to drag them out of bed that first few days of the new year. Also start going to bed early enough for 8-10 hours of sleep (for the kids, and it wouldn't hurt you either).

Have a night routine: make lunches, pick out clothes, pack backpacks, take showers, find shoes, etc. I promise your mornings may be early, but they will run more smoothly if you're prepared.

We also do weekly Family Meetings and share what each kid has going on that week: lessons, play dates, school work, activities, etc. We also include the parents' schedule so the kids know where we are too. You can use a basic computer printed calendar or a cheap dollar store planner for kids. This is a good way to show kids how to budget their time.

Back to school sales! If you aren't already sign up to shop online through or do it! These companies send you a check for shopping through their sites. For example: I had a Children's Place purchase. By logging onto ebates first, I got 10% back, of my purchase price. Once I logged onto ebates, I selected Children's Place and they linked me to the site. Then I shopped as normal, even used a discount code and paid on the CP website as I normally would. Then I got an email from ebates saying for shopping through them, they'd added $6.50 to my ebates account and I would receive a check at the next check distribution (which is every 3 months for them.). So on top of buying clothes on sale and using my discount code on the CP website, I also get $6.50 back from ebates. Make sense?

Kolh's big sale starts today, online and in store.
Children's Place has free shipping
Aeropostale has a great sale this week too.

Office Max, Staples and Target all have back to school supplies on sale. Don't forget to stock up on kleenex, glue sticks, Expo markers, Clorox wipes, etc. for your teachers.

Save it where you can.

Enjoy the rest of summer. We are going to local farmers markets, having a scavenger hunt and finishing up a couple of service projects. Whatever you do, make it memorable!

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