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Showing posts from December, 2014

Family NYE Party On a Budget

For the last three years, we have made a decision to ring in the new year as a family.  Okay maybe that means that they all wake me up at 11:50 pm for 11 minutes then I crawl into my bed.  However it plays out, we do it as a family. 
The night consists of snacking, video games, board games and some silly dancing.  I don't go overboard (for me that's a statement) but do enough to make it feel special. 
My go to place is our local Dollar Tree (not a sponsored post, just love our Dollar Tree). A few years ago they came to town and they are here to stay. I love the assortment of party items.
 Giving myself a budget of $ 10 was easy to make all the magic happen. 

EZ DIY: You can buy the plain old white cups and add your fun doodles, pictures, stickers or in my case some gold vinyl to add your New Year's Eve flair.  Better yet, give the Sharpies to the children and let them decorate their own. 

Horns, blowers, rattles and even the Rolo candy fit right in to my fun plan.  The …

No Spending January - Checklist

We are almost ready to begin our No Spend January.

If you are just joining me now, I invite you to step back a few days and read these posts:

Are ya with me?
Grocery Shopping

Are you excited?

Maybe a little nervous?  

Thinking, can we do this? 

How will this go?

Am I strong enough? 

DO I have the support of a spouse or significant other? 

DO I have the children s' "buy in"?

The good thing is, this is not a do or die thing.  You just do the best you can with the challenge and don't beat yourself up over it.   
A few things to keep in mind...

1.  Unsubscribe to all those websites that entice you everyday to buy their latest and greatest "things".

2.  Do some stocking up if you want to. If this is your first time doing the challenge and you are worried you will run out of wine or the family loves their Friday night pizzas - then stock up...go buy a few extra bottles and stash them away or some frozen pizza's (instead of ordering out) or better yet -…

No Spend January - Grocery shopping

Hi and welcome!  If you are just tuning in then you might want to check out these posts before continuing on...
Starting up Unsubscribing Prepping for scheduled spending
Today I want to talk about your grocery shopping.  This is an area, that I feel, you can save big time when it comes to no extra spending.   Those impulse items find their way into our carts very quickly!

For me, this is the area where I can earn my brownie points (no pun intended).  I am at SAHM mom and don't bring in much income (a few dollars here and there from my blog).  However, my husband depends on me to do the best I can when it comes to keeping the weekly grocery bill lean and trimmed.
I had our son track (on Excel- getting in some math for him)my weekly grocery shopping in terms of total spending.  (leaving out every six weeks my husband stops by BJ's to get our water for water cooler and paper items - paper towels, toilet paper and napkins).   I average $ 150 per week. We are a family of 5 who eats 85% o…

The Night Before Christmas Idea

Here is a fun and easy-to-execute idea for the Night Before Christmas!  
Santa's Snack Station 
Gather up your hot chocolate, marshmallows, peppermint sticks and cookies for a fun celebration the Night Before Christmas. 

You can check out all the pictures and ideas over at Eye Candy Creative Studios where I lay it all our for you!

Fun, Football and Family and a Tutorial

After the holidays are all over and packed away for another year the remaining winter can be daunting for some. 

One of our fun family activities is watching weekend football games. 

I have gathered up some of my creative ideas to celebrate the games in style.  Fun for everyone and won't break the bank!  Many of these decorations I use year after year. 
The ideas are not team specific but you can always cater to your own team colors to make it fun. 

You can find my tutorial on how to make these easy chains - GET THE KIDS INVOLVED - over at Catch My Party.

Making signs using heavy cardstock (reusable for years to come)...some themed cookies and a goalpost made with fringed paper. Easy and affordable decorations.

I used a hula skirt and some sticky numbers to make the "turf" hanging decoration...the middle picture is from the children's table complete with some Football BINGO and coloring pages....tissue paper fringe adorns the fireplace mantel coupled with a few printables.…

NO Spend January - prepping for already scheduled items

First, before you read this - if you are on Pinterest, I invite you to follow my No Spend Januaryand my Frugal LivingPage - always pinning great things to this page!

Okay, so we can all agreeNo Spending January is a challenge for us all. It's not a "do or die" situation and please don't beat yourself up IF something unexpected comes along and you HAVE to spend money (car repairs, emergency house repairs are good examples)  then spend it. 

However, what we can do is a little homework is prepare our hearts, homes and shelves for some anticipated items that we already know might cut into our No Spend Challenge.
Here is what I am talking about.
If you already know you have some birthdays, an anniversary, scheduled parties etc. on the calendar for January, prepare NOW while we still can hit the after Christmas sales!  

If you are a big chocolate person and have to have your handful of M & M's every night after dinner, buy them when they are 1/2 off after Christmas and …

Disclosure Policy

Disclosure Policy

The Joys of Home Educating is a personal blog written and edited by myself, Melissa Newell. The purpose of this blog is to share my life and experiences as a home educating family. My goal is to encourage and support my fellow homeschoolers.

This blog accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorship, paid insertions or other forms of compensation.

This blog also contains affiliate ads and links.

The compensation received will never influence the content, topics or posts made in this blog. All advertising is in the form of advertisements generated by a third party ad network. Those advertisements will be identified as paid advertisements.

The owner(s) of this blog is compensated to provide opinion on products, services, websites and various other topics. Even though the owner(s) of this blog receives compensation for our posts or advertisements, we always give our honest opinions, findings, beliefs, or experiences on those topics or products.

The views and opinions expressed …

About Me

Hi and Welcome to The Joys of Home Educating where I share the ins and outs of being a mom who home educates her children.
I live in the Hudson Valley area of  New York with my husband and four children.  I started blogging in 2007 when my father was real ill. Since then the blog has evolved to a place where I share our adventures in life. Everything from home educating our three children, to travel, to crafting and throwing in a recipe here and there.  
I hope you find something to take away with you from reading The Joys of Home Educating.
Other than my salvation...staying home and raising our children is the best gift I have ever been given!

A special gift to you....

I am so excited to share this with you!  For the last 10 months as most you might know that I am a Mom Mentor over at Graham Blanchard.  I am honored to be a part of such a wonderful group of blessed moms and a wonderful company!

Right now you can grabour collection of insightsfrom 2014 all in one spot. print it out or read it on line....doesn't matter really. You will get out of it so much more than you can imagine.  The words will speak to you as a mom and resonate with you as a woman. 
Enjoy and Merry Christmas and Happy holidays!

A homemade Christmas present

I dont know about you, but I love homemade gifts at Christmas time. Really, anytime of the year.  So much love and thought goes into them.  
This year is no exception.  
We switched Molly from Kiwi Crate toDoodle Cratea few months ago.  They seem more age appropriate for her and more "crafty". 
She is loving her second kit.  This one is Colorful Candles. I was surprised at the quality (but I should not have been really, as Kiwi Crate always has top notch supplies) of the supplies given.  Enough to make 4 candles and three of them have class holders. 

Step by step instructions and all the supplies were in the kit - we needed nothing but the microwave.

with a little help from me (warm to hot cups after microwaving) she did it by herself.

mixing the wax with the crayons

she did all two toned candles so this is one of them setting up after the 1st pour

End result!  She even put the little squiggles on the glass with the proivided special markers.  Isnt it pretty!  Wouldn't you be th…

NO Spending January - Unsubscribing!

Before January starts - there are a few house cleaning items that should happen to help you be successful in your NO SPEND JANUARY. 

Today's topic is: UNSUBSCRIBE
I will totally lay it out there for you. Last year when I unsubscribed to a dozen or more "shopping/deal" websites, I again subscribed again a few months later. It was a bad thing to do and I fell for all the idols and wants in my sin nature. I will attempt to unsubscribe AGAIN and stick to it for 2015! 
What I mean by Unsubscribe: you know all those websites that you bought things from at the holidays or the "deal sites" that send you daily updates on what great deals they are offering?  (I do love these sites) I encourage you to click UNSUBSCRIBE (usually at the bottom of the email they send there is a spot to do this) to those sites for the month. Keep a short list of the ones you might want to check in with next month, but for January, out of sight, out of mind!

Since we moved to our home, 8 years ago…

NO Spend January - are you with me again?

So last year I posted about our family challenge for January - NO SPEND JANUARY!  

It was a post that was read by a ton of people and I know there were a handful of you out there who walked the walk right along with our family. 
There were definitely some challenges, highs and lows of the month.   Guess what? - we are all IN again for this January!
Here's the 411 on how it goes....

1.  No spending on NON-essential items
Example of essential items are: food, gas, tithing to the church, medical expenses, bills committed too on a monthly basis.
Example of Non-essential items:  anything that you would spend money on other than essential items! (examples might include: take out food, coffee, wine, beer, birthday presents, impulse buys) 
Rest assured you will not be hung out to dry and do this alone!  I will be there with you, to hold you accountable, to encourage you, to pray with you.  I would love the same commitment from you.
Don't think for a minute, this will be easy. We are creatures…