Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Consignment sales, leftover wizardry, and fix-ups

If you don't have kids consignment sales in your area, I'm so sorry. Around here in the fall and spring, we get these 2 -3 day monstrous sales of kids clothing, baby gear, toys, books, games, and maternity goodies. The way they work is people sign up ahead of time to participate, tag their own clothes with prices they set, and if they sell they get as much as a 70% cut of the price. That's a better deal than most consignment stores can offer, which makes these sales really popular.

I stopped at one of the first sales of the season (The Keystone Moms of Multiples sale) this past weekend, and got a light jacket for Tristan, a baby bouncy seat, a very nice black diaper bag that doubles as a bike pannier bag, and a Potette potty that fits in any diaper bag, all for $19! I'm honestly the most excited about the diaper bag - it's styled like a messenger bag, has all the pockets and insulated spots you'd expect from a diaper bag, and has the straps to attach to the back rack of a bike! (Or a stroller handle, I guess.) It's not like I don't have the room in the box bike, but the diaper bag has a tendency to slide around, and it's nice to keep that space free for the kids and other cargo. As for the folding potty, I've been wanting one of them for ages because they double as a portable seat for over a big toilet. The only downside is this one came with disposable bags to use when it's in freestanding potty mode, and I'd really rather have the foldable silicone "bowl", which I'll have to order online.

On Monday night Jake roasted a whole chicken for dinner, and picked the carcass afterward for the leftovers. I wasn't really sure what to do with them, but I had a busy day yesterday and wound up tired and out of inspiration at dinner time. Rustling through my cupboards, I came across a soup "kit" with seasonings, rice and gluten free noodles - just add chicken, broth, and frozen peas! I had all those things, so I tossed it all in the pot and whipped up some gluten free garlic biscuits from my ever-handy Aldi GF baking mix. Dinner, no sweat. It matched the general appetite of the family, too - we weren't in the mood for anything very heavy.

After dinner we went to Dairy Queen - they were offering free ice cream cones! We did have to pay for Catie's and my treats, since we couldn't eat the cones, but dessert for $6.89 for a family of five wasn't too bad, and a nice treat. Then we swung by a used bookstore to use Catie's free birthday book coupon (it's a nice shop that way!).

As for fix-ups, I've been using a free curriculum for Daniel this year called  (not to be confused with the cyber charter program K12). I was pleased initially that the program tracked attendance and had weekly spelling lists, but other subjects have left Daniel and I cold. For example, history is usually "read this wikipedia page", math is "watch this demonstration video, then maybe do 5 problems" - not enough practice time on anything. So I was searching for some complementary activities for Daniel to do, and stumbled onto ! It's packed with printables, games, activities, and interactive models, for grades pre-K through 6th - much more fun, more interesting, and I was able to get some reading comprehension pages on history printed and worked on. That's been a weak point for Daniel, since he just breezes through the reading and says "I'm done!". Really? What did you just read about? Uhhhh....

I just wish I had checked into this earlier in the year - now we have to fight some learned laziness to get him working.

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