Category Archives: 170 School Days. 2011

Thoughts From Six Flags

Thanks to the Read to Succeed Program including home schoolers AND their teacher…we had ourselves an almost entirely free day at Six Flags, WHICH if you are from the bay area you would call Marine World and if you were formal about you just might call it Marine World Africa U.S.A.

I had a ridiculously bad headache ALL the live long day, but despite it, I enjoyed myself beyond words.

My random thoughts and random pictures….

This ride was really really high.

Could these animals be ANY more magnificent? I love whales. I confess, I get a bit teary at the whale show. Watching my kids in awe of these animals chokes me up a little…like a Hallmark commercial. I don’t know what it is exactly.

Doesn’t she have the most amazing eyes? Ugh, I love this girl.

People sit in the splash zone. They know it’s coming. We all do. YET, it’s hilarious. Never gets old.

Isn’t he blessed, he got a pair of those eyes too! There is a lot going on in that cute little brain. I can not WAIT to hear all the things he’s going to tell me. Today he started saying “a daba daba daba”, then covers his mouth and belly laughs.

How fun is it to try and convince a 1.5 year old to go night night in the middle of a park? Um, very.

Have you ever watched an elephant get a bath? Up close and personal? I recommend it.

Dear Jesus, don’t let the fence break.

Can I have one as a pet? please? Oh. My. Word. This lady was adorable. Her name is Lucy.

I want a blue fence.

 One of the kiddie rides became the day’s favorite. Well, not for the little boy next to my daughter.

Stingrays are part of the shark family. Did. not. know. that.

Seeing this look makes me smile..and smile BIG.

Upon entering the line for this ride, my 12 year old was nervous as can be. It’s a fairly calm roller coaster with no upside downs whatsoever. My daughter was pestering me quite literally about wether the ride went upside down. The child would not believe me and was begging me to ask the line attendant dude. I told her she could. She would not. So, I did what any good mom would do and when I saw the line attendant I calmly said, “this ride only goes upside-down 6 times right?” Calm voice with intent eyes begging him silently to play along with my game. He replies, “well yeah, but that’s after the under water tunnel and the ring of fire.” My daughter nearly passed out. I have nothing but love for that young man. He was brilliant.

We all survived.

Shark encounters behind thick walls of glass are magical.

Speaking of magical. Multiple times on the water ride at closing of the park make for a perfect ending to a perfect day.

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The Weekend.

School is out. Not sure if I had mentioned that or not.

I love summer. Love it. It can not be hot enough or light late enough for me. I have just about one hour left of paper work to officially wrap up this school year, but the kids are done.

We finished up this school year really low key. We had our final class store (which three years later we are still doing and I love it as much as I did three years ago), I dished out grades, and the kids threw out their old workbooks (which they get a kick out of).

We celebrated the first day off of school by just hanging out. Sometimes a big celebration seems in order and sometimes doing nothing seems like the big celebration. We had a yummy pizza and salad lunch at Whole Foods, we visited grandma and papa at their house, and we went to Great Harvest Bread Company.

I realize that sounds strange to go to a bread store, but what you need to understand is that when you walk in the door they immediately ask you if you would like a piece of FREE bread. They cut the fresh out of the oven bread into huge slices. They have this one kind….white chocolate cinnamon. They slather it with real butter and you just about die and go to heaven when you eat it. It is amazing. It has just the perfect amount of little bits of white chocolate and cinnamon. It’s pretty spectacular and pretty healthy as far as a dessert option would go.

My daughter also had her 12th birthday party this weekend. She had a backyard stargazing slumber party. My house was invaded with 10 little girls to spend the night. It was super fun. My son was banished to his room to play video games because everytime his 13 year old face appeared there was high pitched squeals.  My little son went to bed and my other daughter headed over to a friend’s for a sleepover.

My 12 year old daughter is at that age. A remarkable grown up difference in all of these not so little anymore girls from just last year. I have known some of these girls for about six years. It is just as heartbreaking watching them grow up as it is my own. Seriously, I understand that growing up isn’t an option and I don’t get sometimes why it is so sad and why we all want them to stay little, but I do.

Despite the fact that they are all fantastic young ladies and I enjoy each one of them tremendously in the here and now, I was wishing to rewind the clock to six years ago when the party was themed American Idol. There were costumes and little girls adorned in contestant numbers dreaming of being on a big stage. The gifts were Barbies and Princess crowns, not gift cards and handbags. It’s all lovely, it is and I’ll catch up….just somedays, I really miss my babies. Tear.

~May 2006~

The girls hung out, had homemade ice cream sandwiches, listened to music, and slept under the stars.

My husband and I kept them supplied with food and aimed for that pre teenage needed balance of close enough that you know we are there, but far enough away to pretend that we weren’t. We sat on the porch and talked. I felt old….in a fabulous, content, I’m going to be more than o.k. with this kinda way.

With the disappearance of the play kitchen food, oversized cheap plastic high heels, and dollhouses appears the strangest realization that these little babies you brought into this world are now turning into little adult humans right before your very eyes. They have borderline grown up opinions and interests and ever developing senses of humor. I can catch a glimpse of ten years from now and its a crazy wonderful view.

For now I buckle up to enjoy the new ride of teen land and simoultaneously hang on to every thread of Dr. Seuss shirts and pre cut baby curls because they are slowly but surely being replaced.

And I will forever miss them.

 

 

 

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The Apple

What I don’t always see is her watching me.

What I don’t always see is that when I go in to See’s Candy to get some of my homeschool teacher mama friends some end of the year gifts, she’s learning. Learning how to treat people. Learning how to notice.

She asks why we are getting other teacher’s presents. I explained that in other schools, the mommy’s usually get the teachers end of the year thank you gifts. When you are the teacher AND the mommy sometimes you don’t get anything and so I thought it would be nice to get them a little thank you. She says “oh”, seemingly unaffected.

This morning, the first thing I saw told me otherwise.

She’s a good student, that girl. She notices.

I am so very very blessed to be the mommy of this precious seven year old young lady.

I am reminded that I have eight eyeballs watching me ALL DAY LONG and I better live accordingly. The most valuable lessons we teach our children often don’t happen in books.

It’s the last day of school.

Tomorrow we party.

~~~~~~~~~~

44. new beginnings

45. memories

46. legs to run

47. apples

48. forgiveness

~~~~~~~My forever in progress Thousand Gifts list.

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Bits ‘N Pieces

Last week was a crazy whirlwind. I mean nuts, like we have not add in many many months.

My daughter had three play rehearsals and three play performances. She auditioned back in January and received a part in the cast of a local play. The kids all did amazing. It was fantastic. I love it when dear friends become family and family comes out to support. It’s the gumdrop and ponies of life.

We also had three doctor apts.

We got the news that my 13 year old is allergic to wheat, pineapple, apples, and nuts of all kinds. He has big time texture issues with food that complicates this matter incredibly as those foods make up about 85% of his diet. We have an upcoming apt with a childhood allergy specialist to determine the best place to go from here. I have been fully trained in all things EpiPen. The whole thing turned my little small world upside-down a bit. His thirteen year old, “I don’t want to be different than everybody else” doesn’t care much for it either. It’ll be a road, but I am thankful for answers. So thankful. In the grands scheme of things, this is all just fine.

My husband officiated a wedding.

We had a birthday party to attend.

We had a Staff BBQ at church.

My little guy got his first fever EVER and now is decorated with a rash.

My husband puts on a worship night at church, that is very involved. Friday night was the night. It was awesome, if I may say so.

I’ll stop there because I am tired just thinking about it. It was all incredibly fun stuff. However, bottom line, it was non stop every day, all day, for about eight days.

We are having a week of down time, but then this weekend I have two photo sessions, a day hike with some friends, an out of town guest, and an interior design consult. How much fun can I squeeze in, in one weekend? So excited.

About three weeks ago, I told the kids that they could go ahead in their curriculum if they wanted, but they had to be done by June 1st because grades were being recorded and school office was closing. Basically, we  switched to independent mode. My 6th grader is now all finished as of yesterday. Grades tallied. Papers filed. DONE. Elementary school is now a memory for two of my four children. My 7th grader has 3 subjects left and should be done within a week. My 1st grader, I still work closely with and we should be done within a week as well. Lockers have been cleaned out and filled with next year’s school books. The end is so very much in sight, its fantastic.

The kids are looking forward to their new binders and school supplies. Do you remember that as a kid? There wasn’t just too much that was better than a new binder. I feel like retail stores are getting earlier and earlier and fully expect school supplies to be making their way onto shelves any day now and oh, we will be ready to purchase. The kids want first dibs on their binders. I also have big plans to introduce them to the wonder that is a book cover. They don’t know about these yet. They have been completely spoiled with beautiful brand new books each year. One of the perks of our education system.

I hope to have the classroom and my office completed in the next couple of weeks.

I have a summer to do list that needs to be attended to.

run 10k in June

run half marathon in July

paint the downstairs

organize and get up to date on my family pictures and the kids baby albums. Fortunately the school organization has been controlled.

…and of course we will be doing a bunch of swimming, sun, park days, lake days, camping, and backyard fires.

Don’t you just love summer?

P.S. I discovered THE best alfredo recipe ever. Try it, I dare you.

Happy Wednesday.

 

25. Trader Joes Salsa

26. Feverish cheeks that need their mommy

27. Magnificent sunsets that take your breath away

28. Freshly cut grass

29. Elmo Jammies that get toddler kisses

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Week 33. Coloring Parties, Books, and Makeovers.

I love to color. I don’t care if I am 40. Newly sharpened crayons rock. Ever since the kids were little we have had coloring parties.

Stacks of coloring books with big spaces for coloring, those little detailed pictures annoy me. This year on my sweet 12 year old daughter’s birthday, she requested a long overdue coloring party. Our neighbors, who also homeschool, joined us. There were seven kids in the house (ages 2 months through 16). I am not sure why people make such a fuss over homeschool kids being the unsocialized ones.

All of our curriculum for next year has arrived. I love that it is all here and I have four months-ish to look through it, get it ready, and figure out ways to make my kiddies fall in love with 2nd, 7th, and 8th grade.

I have a philosophy that is driven not just by my own personal love for change, but rather actual common sense. If my kids attended school outside of our home, each year would be different. It’s own somewhat stand alone chapter. A different routine, different classroom look and feel, different expectations, and different schedule. I whole heartedly buy into this concept.

…and so the great yearly makeover has begun.

First, if you are new around here, let me catch you up to speed on my psychoticness hard work.

Year one of homeschool brought no clue of what I was doing and a traditional style classroom in our 5th bedroom downstairs. It was a fun place complete with class fish. However, half way through the year, I was irritated beyond belief by my romper room status and a makeover ensued.

Then I got pregnant and we made the decision not to send the kids back to school. I quickly realized that a separate classroom in the back of the house that was just 12×15 would not work for a teacher, three children, a newborn, and an onslaught of baby apparatuses. SO we (meaning I, my poor husband was probably at work and never really knows for certain what the house might look like when he returns) made the decision to move the classroom up into the front of the house that was intended to be a formal dining room and sitting room.

Year two of school commenced with a classroom in the front of the house, that for the life of me I can’t totally remember what it looked like. A combination of continual obsessive rearranging, insane allergies, and the fact that I am forty are my current excuses. I do know that this was one of the walls.

Year three of school, brought us to yet another classroom with the addition of the chicken wire wall and new lockers.  That chicken wire wall has made my heart sing all year long. But as all good things do, it too must come to an end. This past year we also added a first grade closet and I had a fun little office. It has worked well.

The fact of the matter is that we do change up a lot of stuff each year and I love a new start and what it does for all of us. This year we are getting rid of the workboxes for my older two. They are both in middle school now and are going to move to these planners instead. WHICH I would like to point out that the white colored one that my daughter will be using has a glow in the dark spiral binding. I think that is important. We also decided to bring the computer into the classroom. It used to be at the built in desk upstairs, but as the kids get older and do more on the computer, we decided that the computer needs to be right out in the open. :) . I also have found as the kids have gotten physically bigger the layout needs to work just a bit different. I need to separate the areas where they are up and around (like the lockers) from the areas where study is going on.  Finally, I do have a thirteen year old son now and while I wish to permanently reside in Neverland, I am trying to grow up our learning rooms a bit.

First stop has been the paint. It literally broke my heart to paint over my Ralph Lauren Shale Blue. However it has been six years and it needed a paint job. I went with a cream color. I can honestly say that I have never chosen a white or off white paint in my life. I’m trying something new.

I have a thing for maps. I love them. I really want one of those vintage pull down types like I imagine Laura Ingalls used. That would be glorious. However, my split decorating personality has also fallen in love with the four foot by six foot canvas map at Ikea. It is fabulous and will find the perfect home on that big giant wall. I have been eyein’ that thing for three years now, at least.

We have a lot of commotion and happy chaos in our house and I really need the learning rooms to be more mellow. Calm, cool, and collected, so that when you throw our crazy into it, it is the perfect blend of fabulous.

I’ve got plans…in progress….as usual and I am considering bringing back the class fish.

Thank goodness for Craig’s List. I would be quite lost without it.

Just three more weeks until summer.

Can I get an AMEN? !!!!!

and since I have overloaded you with links tonight, I thought I would add a couple more.

There is nothing like a good holiday to send blog land into a sea of fantastically sentimental posts adorned with gratitude, delicious eats, and some of biggest tug at your heartstring kid pictures around.

So without further adieu, My favorite Mother’s Day Posts…

Enjoying the Small Things   Kelle Hamptons writing leaves me LoL’ing all the time.

Living the Yeh Life   My friend Cara rocks the camera like no other and being a camera phob, I love her for it.

Life According to the Christians   Perspective.

Blissful Blooms    I am now craving donuts, thanks Amy ;) xo.

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11:04 p.m.

In April, just 24 months ago, I was just pregnant with my little man. I didn’t even know he was a little man yet. I was finishing up my first year of homeschooling and realizing that I would not be putting my kids back into the private school we had recently pulled them out of. I went to my first and not my last, homeschool convention with a great friend. We had a great time.

This year, we decided to go again. We also hijacked another friend, originally from the bay area to come along. She doesn’t homeschool, but does have four kids and needed a girls trip!

We found a marvelous, funky, and CHEAP little hotel down the street from our convention. It is adorned with strange and wacky things. It is fantastic. Oddly, we stayed next door to the room we had stayed in two years prior.

The weekend was full of lots of curriculum shopping, workshops, and learning. It is always settling to be around hundreds of other families who have chosen to homeschool. It is great to meet others that are in the same boat you are in. It is especially encouraging to see their kids, who have grown up and have thrived. We are not doing this alone. There are tons of other people doing this too. If you homeschool and haven’t been to a convention, consider it. It has helped me so very much. I would highly recommend bringing a friend and making a girl’s weekend out of it. Thinking becomes much easier with no little people around.

Conveniently, this whole thing takes place just minutes from where two of us on the trip, grew up. We were able to visit a bunch of our old favorite places, reminisce a bit, and pretend we were going to stay forever and send for our families to join us.

There is no place like home.

Our first stop was to acquire a birthday cake for our recently turned forty side kick, Gina.

This bakery has been here since the dawn of time, or 65 years, in reality. It is oh so amazing. They make a burnt almond cake like no other. After a not so secret purchase and some proper embelishments, we “surprised” our sweet friend with an overdue mini birthday party at a local one of a kind restaurant. It was complete with Zebra decor and public singing.

 In order to properly celebrate this momentous occasion, we had a second birthday song on day two of our trip. I mean can a girl be sung to too many times? Especially on her 40th? I think not.

 We slept in, we laughed until there were tears, we shopped, we planned, we bought planners, we bought school books, we discussed over and over what would be best for our families and individual children, we had midnight parking lot of donut shop parties, we ran, we ate fabulous food, and we didn’t make our beds, and ate cake for breakfast. We battled some car issues, checked radiator fluid, oil levels, and put air in tires. We got lost, we got found, and we visited childhood homes.

While away, my more than capable husband showered my kids with fun and held down the fort. He took all four to the dentist for check ups, handled youth events, choir practice, attended a church sponsored community work day, took walks, and went to the park. All while handling all the cooking to keep us all eating REAL FOODS. Yeah, he wins hubby of the year for sure.

 We squeezed every last bit out of our get away possible.

I pulled in at 11:04pm Sunday night.

Curriculum plans for 2012-2013 coming soon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Fighting The Stereotype

I was horrified at the stereotype of homeschooling. I was. I wasn’t someone who was born and knew that I wanted to grow up, have more than an average amount of children, and homeschool them. I wasn’t.

The fact of the matter is, that is exactly who I became and I couldn’t be happier. I spent the first year of homeschooling embarrassed of it. I hated the looks I got. I hated the questions. I hated being viewed with pity, with judgement, or with disapproval. It sucked, quite frankly, but then I got over it. Sometimes, I think the tendency when put on the defensive, is to get all girl powered up over it and defend. I don’t want to take that route either. Education is not a right or wrong situation. Most parents have the same goals for their children. How we get there is often different…

…which makes sense because people are different. Families are different. Education can be different as well. There are faults in each system, there are bad apples in each bunch. The more we grow and understand each other, the better. I never really understood homeschooling prior to doing it. Yet, I made judgements about it. Looking back now, I’m not really sure why. It’s hard and quite shameful to judge something that you don’t even know. I’m guilty.

I love knowing that every single day before he leaves for work, my husband will turn on the light by his bed. I can count on it as sure as the sun will rise. As soon as he leaves, I turn it off. I like to sleep with a fan on. Husband doesn’t. I like to stay up until 1 am. Husband, not so much. My husband has chap stick at all times, I hate the stuff. The list goes on and on. We all have our quirks and routines, as well.  You can be sure that every night, after my things are done, I will cover my husband’s chair with my favorite blue blanket and sit and read, blog, and watch t.v. You can also be sure that if my baby can find a way to cross his legs when sitting or sleeping, he’s gonna. Differences make us unique. Life would be so boring without them. I recognize that these differences are of much less significance than education choices, but the point is still the same.

Differences should be accepted. Differences should be understood and celebrated all the way around. Homeschooling has reminded me  of another brilliant life lesson. We should be super understanding of differences in each other. In addition, when we find ourselves on that road less traveled, we should travel our road with our eyes straight up and not looking around for others approval. When we are looking around, I am convinced that we are missing the glorious view He gives us from above. With my eyes focused on what others think, I am probably going to find myself bitter and unsatisfied. Even more devastating, I will probably end up questioning what it is that I am doing in the first place.

I am going to do everything I can to fight the stereotype that is homeschooling and I am going to do it NOT because I want to fit in, but because it is what God has called me to do for my children. I want to do the best job I can. That is the testimony that I want to live. Lord willing, our children are going to grow up happy, well adjusted, socialized, and intelligent humans beings. They are going to learn to read and write and spell and do it W E L L. They will learn how to become awesome friends who love others with the heart of Jesus. These things are values to my husband and I and with God’s help, they will be accomplished. They are also going to learn that every individual has differences in abilities and choices. We will embrace and accept them for who they are. We will recognize that the differences we all have are expressions of the ultimate plan and creativity of our savior. They are not ours to defend, grow angry over, or resent.

Whew, parenting is a big job.

My kids play in thunderstorms at recess, they practice getting interaction with adults when their mom sends the older ones in for a couple grocery items, and sometimes, they even learn math by the fireplace. In. Their. Pj’s. It’s o.k. It’s more than o.k. I am going to embrace them and the plan that God has for all of our lives and live it to its fullest.

and…if they happen to choose to wanna make their own jam, wear denim jumpers, or carry canvas totes, then so be it. I will celebrate that too.

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Week 27. Caterpillars, Castles, and Fridays.

This week we began Emma’s study of The Very Hungry Caterpillar. We read through the book, played games, and began a color book project. I have a lot of fun stuff planned for her in the next couple of weeks. The whole point of this study is to have some F U N and maybe learn a little something too!

We picked up on our world tour again with our Expedition Earth Curriculum. This week we arrived in Germany. We have studied the popular animals of Germany, found where it is located, went on a long walk {which is the most popular mode of transportation there}, and built some castles. Next week we will finish up with some German recipes, crafts, and of course a viewing of the Sound of Music.

If you want two hours of quiet, PLEASE invest in these. My kids have loved these since the day they met them. We buy ours at Joann’s. Coupons plus teacher discounts make them very reasonable and they were just perfect for our castle building.

They are so easy to use for really any craft project. My daughter was able to create a fabulous castle including the royal garden and carrots. I mean really adorable.

They are fun for all ages. My 13 year old hijacked our castle craft and and made his own non castle fantastic design. I love these things. Love ‘em.

I also love Fridays. We take them off. Our whole family. My husband works a six day work week and we have made it a pretty big priority to keep Friday a family day. It allows for us all to just be together.

We play and work and play and W A V E. Let it be known that my sweet 16 month old boy has taken it upon himself to make sure that not one moving vehicle of any kind in the greater Sacramento area is left without a wave from his cute little chubby hand. Anywhere. Anytime. He’s on it.

These Fridays are always a breath of fresh air. A chance to chill and rejuvenate.

I am so grateful for the flexibility that homeschooling has allowed us.

My hubby stumbled upon this fantastic park. It is quite literally in the middle of nowhere.

When we first moved to this city six years ago, I was super freaked out about how country~ish it was.

I think I am slowly acclimating because sitting outside watching my kids just R U N and explore in the great outdoors is pretty much just plain fabulous.

and they love it.

One of the most important things that I have learned since I began homeschooling is that kids NEED unstructured time to just be. To play and run and twirl. To pick up sticks and throw them in lakes. To create and to breathe.

Then after I learned how much kids need that, I realized how very much I need it too.

Have a happy weekend.

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On A Monday And A Blissful Winner

So, I found the cutest jaw dropping, stop your heart kind of thing at Target the other day. Shocking, right? We all know that mini everything is cute. Fun size, if you will. However these jars just prove that giant things are cause for elation as well. I picked it up and petted it as I often do with cute items in Target. I glanced at the price, expecting to see like 21.99 or something. Um no….$3.84. Mason jar lovers everywhere~rejoice~ and run to Target to get some!

I still haven’t seemed to quite get my act together around here after our long sickly stretch. See anything wrong with this picture? It was taken at 11 am mind you.

A game that we apparently all enjoy adult, teenager, and toddler alike is the hide and seek in the pantry game. There is a whole lot of it goin’ on over here. Just sayin’.

He sits on the stool and waits. Helps himself to a snack and stays still until someone comes to boo him. I let him. He’s the fourth child, he can do that kinda thing. He can also run around with no pants and a crooked diaper put on by his sibling.

While I am on a role of exposing our less than finer moments and stellar wardrobe choices…. we have been doing lots of science experiments around here. It’s always safety first.

In another dedicated parent move, I played hooky from school with kids in tow. It’s only the first time this year, so don’t judge. There are just THOSE days. I have allowed myself two days per school year to bail and skip everything. No one minded a bit.

We all five loaded in the van. We were on day five of our real food challenge and I got the brilliant idea to check with Whole Foods. My hunch was right, their Margherita pizza played by our rules and I treated the kids and I to a lunch out. A M E N. So, we headed about thirty minutes away where there nearest Whole Foods is located, conveniently close to grandma.

We also stopped in our favorite new bakery.

Played with toys at Whole Foods.

Checked out some model homes and ended with a yummy lunch (this intensity can only be acquired after five days of withholding pizza from a teen)

We caught up on all our assignments by the end of the weekend.

A day much needed by all.

On to the exciting news of the hour, the W I N N E R of the fabulous bloom from BLISSFUL BLOOMS is

TERI

…you lucky lady!

You’ll have to send us a picture of you wearing it, so we can all see how cute you look!

Finally, today is the end of the ten days of real food challenge. In 2 hours and 54 minutes I can eat sugar, not that I am counting. I will be back tomorrow with our take on the whole process. No pun intended!

Good night!

 

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School Paper Organization

If you have a child in school, YOU NEED THIS PROJECT. Everyone needs somewhere to store those mounds of adorable projects, papers, and awards.

I found various versions of this project on Pinterest. There is this one and this one.

I love this project and the options out there to make it unbelievable cute are plenty. Here’s the thing, the price tag can get up there quickly. I have four children and needed a super frugal option. I went with price tag and function over cute this time.

Did I JUST type that?

When I took the basics and added these cute labels, it suddenly turned frugal into a vintage chalkboard inspired theme.

The best of both worlds.

THE SUPPLIES

The plastic tubs are AWESOME. Boring perhaps? A little. However, they are just $13 for two at Costco and they are very, very, durable. This project needs to last for like at least eighty years, so I need me some durability. You need one box per child.

The green hanging folders were just $5 for a box of 25 at Staples. You need one for each year of school per child. There is hanging file folders of every color in the rainbow and they are C U T E. However, the price tag reflects that. I went with the cheapest ones I could get my hands on.

 The tab folders are a recycled folder from Staples as well. 100 of them for just about $10. You need one for each year of school per child.

I purchased the labels for the front of the files at Staples as well, for about $10. You need one for each file folder.

I purchased the tab file folder labels on clearance at Target for $5.

The black photo corners I purchased at Target for just $3.

Overall total for this project for my four children is about $65. I bought it piece by piece over the last few months.

THE HOW TO

So, basically the goal of this project is that ALL school memorabilia gets saved in the box. ALL of it.

How do you decide what goes in the box?

1. ALL awards, certificates, and those types of things.

2. Report cards

3. A sample of work from the beginning of the year and from the end.

4. Anything that makes me smile.

Yes, that is my official process. I save up papers for the whole year. Then I sit down and look through them. If it is in category 1-3, it automatically gets saved. If it isn’t, it has to past the smile test. If it makes me smile, it gets saved. If it doesn’t, it goes.

The bottom line is this, YOU CAN’T SAVE EVERYTHING. Too much of anything is never a good thing. So, be ruthless and save the spectacular.

I have tried to do traditional scrapbooking of school projects. I had started a couple of albums for the older kids and let me tell you, it is a hot mess. It just wasn’t easy to look through. I love being able to pick up their crafts and handle them. When trying to shove them all into pocket style photo albums, it became a nightmare. Not too mention there are only so many hours in a day and I have plenty of other stuff I would rather scrapbook. So, I aborted and landed with these. They are MUCH quicker.

Amazing, right? Yay for brilliant ideas. Yay for SUPER EASY. Yay for ORGANIZED. I am dangerously close to breaking out the pom pons, so I will stop now.

One nice little box for each of my lovelies. Even my one year old. In the blink of an eye, he will be in school and well yes, the boxes all need to match, right?

Have a happy weekend!!!

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