Pennies from Heaven

Simply Saving Money for Disney

methods for saving money for Disney World - these 4 methods have saved hundreds of dollars off of the perfect family vacation

After months and months of waiting, I finally have gained permission to start planning our Disney World trip in earnest!  I started a little while back (before baby #4) and have most of the “plans” in place ready to be carried out.  In the meantime, I have been slowly saving money for Disney World.  It is not a cheap prospect for us!  But I am softening the blow to our bank account by employing some simple methods for saving money for Disney.

I have written before about our most successful method of saving money.  By this method we have purchased a refrigerator, a dishwasher, a washer/dryer combo, a custom leather sofa, and a backyard playset for the kids.  And I am currently stashing money away for our Disney trip that way, too!  But I have some other methods for saving money for Disney I want to share with you.   Continue Reading

Growing Up

Awesome Alphabet Books

Awesome Alphabet Books - must have Picture books for little learners

We have some young alphabet loving learners in our house!  It started early for my oldest girl and I think she passed it down to her sister and her brother.  G was able to sing the alphabet (with some little stumbles) at 18 months.  And just a couple months later, she had the whole thing.  Then she started working on learning the letter sounds.  By the time she was 4 she had just started reading (through a combination of phonics and sight words) without me “teaching her to read.”

To a lesser extent, W (5 years-old) is interested in the alphabet.  She has known all the letters for a long time and is proficient at writing them, too.  But she is less interested in finding out what sounds they make.  Teaching her to read has been an extended process which requires much patience.

And on her heels is AG (2 years-old).  In love with all things letters and books, he is well on his way to becoming a reader.  His most requested picture books are alphabet related.  And he spends much of his time identifying letters.  And he loves to match the “big” letters to the little letters.

I share this as an awed observer because kids (in general) amaze me.  They are seriously little sponges that make learning look completely natural and fun!  The way learning should look!  I did very little to help my kids fall in love with the alphabet.

But as I sit back and wonder at my kids and their learning to read without me, I try to evaluate.  I think, “What made this possible?”  And I come up with two specific things over and over:  Continue Reading

Devotion

Comparing Inductive and Deductive Bible Studies

How to compare inductive Bible study and deductive Bible study.

I don’t spend much time in Christian bookstores.  I have found that shopping for the latest Christian bestseller is usually a waste of time and money.  The sheer amount of worthless books I have to sort through to get to the worthy ones is overwhelming.

But, I do wander into a Christian bookstore every now and then.  Even though I know what I am looking for, it can be hard to find it.  The shelves are filled with books offering solutions to problems, theological perspectives that are popular and unpopular, and LOTS of Christian fiction.  Since I don’t read Christian fiction, I tend to find myself in the non-fiction aisles more often than not.  And what is to be found there is a conglomeration of options that can be quite confusing.

Today, I am going to try to help sort out the books you can find in the Christian bookstore and offer some comparisons, so you can make the best choices the next time you need a new Bible study.   Continue Reading

Growing Up

A Preamble Flag Activity

Create a Preamble Flag to learn the Preamble to the US Constitution and celebrate America's freedom and flag.

This past year our girls learned the Preamble to the US Constitution.  Well, I should say, we ALL learned it.  Previously, I didn’t know it past “We the people!”  This homeschooling thing is good for all of us!

Anyway, as we were working on memorizing the Preamble, I had an idea for a simple craft for the girls to do in order to help them spend some time with the words.  It is a sort of puzzle to make the American flag.  I spent a long time creating it and when I printed it out for G to work on, she informed me I had gotten it wrong.  I guess it took me so long to do the craft, she memorized the Preamble in the interim.

In fact, the Preamble states, “We the People of the United States in order to form a…”  I was leaving out “of the United States.”  Nothing like having a 6 year-old correct you.

There is always a good reason to celebrate our freedoms as Americans, right?  So, I thought I would share our printable puzzle activity with you. Continue Reading

Growing Up, Nest Building

Why Your House Smells Like Diapers

Face it: your house stinks because of diapers. Here's what you did wrong and how to fix it fast! These diaper pail solutions will help solve your current diaper pail problems.

I have been on an extended run of diaper duty: SEVEN YEARS (!!) with no end in sight! Four kids under 7, means A LOT of diapers and A LOT of, ahem…smells. I know I am not the only homemaking mama that has tried it all to make sure that when welcoming guests into her home, they are not immediately tipped off to the fact that my day is full of diaper duty. Because, let’s be real:

DIAPERS STINK!

It took me almost 5 full years of diaper duty to discover the real-deal solutions to the diaper stink problem in my home, and I know you are going to want to know this, too!

We currently have two little ones in diapers. Ugh… and I have been working on this problem since long before we had our second baby. We discovered some things along the way that helped; but I solved the entire diaper stink problem.

First: You are Doing it Wrong!!

I was, too!  Don’t worry, you can fix it! Here are the common STINK situation problems and how to remedy them.  Continue Reading

Growing Up, Pennies from Heaven

Mom’s Secret Homeschool Book Weapon

one homeschool mom's secret to filling her homeschool with books, audio and e-books. Find books on popular book lists for classical homeschooling, Charlotte Mason, and more.

We are unabashed book lovers.  This home is FILLED with books of every sort.  And we are approaching our homeschooling situation with a sort of mash-up of literature-based, classical, and Charlotte Mason learning.  (I love a good homeschool book list!)  That means we

READ.

A. LOT.

While I will never leave my first love (in regards to reading): physical books; I  have discovered a secret book weapon.  And it is ROCKING my world lately.

You see, with 4 kids in our house (all under the age of 7), I read a lot of books.  Check out some of our favorite books here.  The books we read just aren’t always books for me.  I read picture books, chapter books, living books.

Books, books, books. Continue Reading

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