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Public Schools Here They Come

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Beginning in January, both of my younger children will attend the local public schools. My heart breaks just thinking about it. It brings up all the sense of failure I have pushed away the last two years as we have struggled so much financially, with housing and then with this move to our new tiny town. And I am scared. But in the end, I want what is best for them, for all my kids, and right now with our current town, my work issues and the need for me to pick up a lot more work and continue to job hunt…this is what is best for right now.

We have visited to two schools they will be at, met with the counselors and Gymnast has completed the required testing.  (I also tested them independently to make sure I am very clear on where they are at.)

We will still have quite a few logistics to work out with gymnastics and volleyball training and competitions going on through April and us needing to on the road 15 minutes after school lets out. But we will take it as it comes, and figure it out.

Saving Money

I know this is a bad thing, in general, but it will save me some money…maybe.  The majority of the school Gymnast will attend qualifies for free breakfast and lunch, so they offer it for free to the entire school. My guess is he will not want to take his lunch, and he rarely eats breakfast, so that will save me some grocery money. That is not the case at Princess new school, so I don’t know if she will pack a lunch or purchase, I don’t even know the prices yet.

The Silver Lining

With my work situation, this will really free me up to search for jobs and work during the day. It will really be a new experience for me since the little kids have always been homeschooled.

I don’t know if it is the “rest of our lives” school option, but it is the “for right now” option we are going with. But I will be honest, I will most likely be like a mom of a kindergartner and come home to cry after I get them to school.


Black Friday Frugal Fun

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Hi all!

Anyone out braving the Black Friday crowds today trying to score great deals?

We haven’t even taken a look at any of the Black Friday specials. We’re kind of “phoning it in” for Christmas this year. We really don’t have any money to be out-and-about shopping. Plus, we already know what our parents are getting for the kiddos and they’re BIG gifts!!! Bikes from my mom and a motorized car from hubs’ mom, so we’re just going to do little necessities (e.g., new socks) and minimal other stuff (e.g., stocking stuffers) and call it a day. The girls are going to be so spoiled from their grandparents that they really don’t need anything extra from us.

So instead of going out shopping, we decided to do something special on this Black Friday. We decided to do an “experience” gift.

Black Friday Frugal Fun Challenge:

  • We decided to each take one kid so they could have special one-on-one time with us. So we had to think of two *separate* experiences.
  • We wanted to do something special we’ve never done before – not just taking them to the park or mall play area/normal stuff.
  • We set a maximum price tag of $25 per pair ($25 for Mom & daughter; $25 for Dad & daughter).

I jumped online to check out pricing for my idea and it totally paid off!!! I wanted to take my kid to Funtasticks. It’s a little local place with putt-putt golf, bumper boats, kids’ carnival-style rides, race cars, etc. After checking out the website, I discovered they were having a 50% off sale for 2-hour wristbands. Instead of $20.99 each, I only spent $20.99 total (+ tax)!!! The trick was that the sale was ONLY advertised online. There was no mention of it anywhere on-site and they were still ringing up wristbands at full price, so you had to ask to get the special rate. Again – it pays to check out sales and coupons online (I just saved a ton on my brakes that way, too!)

We had an absolute blast! It was 2 hours of unlimited outdoor adventures! We used every single second and took advantage of the slow day (almost no lines anywhere! We practically had the park to ourselves!)

Notice the spaghetti straps! It’s still in the upper 80’s here in sunny Tucson! We’re breaking heat-records from the 1890s with our current temps! But on the plus side, it makes outdoor fun all-the-more appealing!

It was so fun!

And don’t feel sorry for sister! She and Dad found a pottery place in the mall and spent their time crafting!

All-in-all, it’s been a great Black Friday! We spent time together as a family in the morning pulling out some Christmas decorations, ate leftover Thanksgiving sandwiches for lunch (one of my favorite parts of turkey day!), and spent the afternoon having some special one-on-one time with our kids.

How have you spent your Friday? Any great Black Friday finds?


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