Tag Archive | speical needs children

Earth Day 2012~ a new beginning for us

There was a time a few years ago that we were extremely frugal. During the early recession years, my husband’s business barely existed at all. We were barely making it by. Well in the last two years are business has picked back up a little more every year. There was a time when I would see my husband watching TV everyday to now when I barely see him because he is working SO much. Don’t get me wrong I am not complaining!

But with the increase in income has come the decrease in frugality. We buy fast food all the time. We buy little snacks and toys for the kids every time we’re out. I use to be very good about reducing waste but that seems to have stopped also. We are big recyclers around here but that is limited to newspaper, bottles, cans and cardboard, even though we can recycle more.

Grocery shopping use to be extremely tight. I fed a family of 7 for about $400 a month, that was 4 adults and 3 little kids. Now I have 3 adults, 3 teens and a toddler and can’t seem to spend less than $600. I want to get back to homemade and less processed no matter how good of a deal it is.

So beginning Earth Day 2012 our family is making changes!

I am stepping up our recycling to include envelopes, cans and anything else I can recycle.

I am pledging more homemade and less processed.

I am also going to try homemade cleaners to reduce the amount of chemicals in my home.

Reduce energy use. Less drying clothes in the dryer. Less wasting water. Lights out in an empty room (that’s mostly my kids). Open windows on a nice day. And push the air up a few more degrees and set out fans instead.

Less paper plates. I have to admit we use paper plates every day for lunch and sometimes for dinner or breakfast depending on what we are having.

We are also bad about wasting food. I always make too much and then most leftovers get thrown out. I am trying to work on reusing them in other recipes and not throwing out so much.

This is a huge challenge since a lot of this falls on me and with a family of 7 nothing is ever easy but I am ready and really excited to get started!

The price of cereal! Outrageous!!!

Yesterday I decided that I wasn’t going to cook. We had leftovers and plenty of things to eat. We little did I know that my kids were going to devourer a brand new box of Frosted Flakes that I just bought yesterday morning!

1 box of cereal + 4 kids= EMPTY

That was $5 they just gobbled up in one meal! I was shocked!

Shocked that my kids eat like they haven’t had a meal all day!

Shocked that my $5 was gone so quickly!

Shocked that I spent $5 on ONE box of Frosted Flakes, which if you ask me is pure sugar!

When I was venting to hubby, he says well use coupons! Seriously did you just say that to me!!! I questioned his sanity at this point, since he tells everyone I am the coupon queen. If looks could kill, Hmph!

I then informed him that a coupon that says a dollar off of 2 or 3, which seems to be the new cereal trend, isn’t saving a whole lot at $5 a box!!!

Even with BOGO sales it is still expensive when a whole box is gone in ONE meal!

Then it made me question why are we buying $5 boxes of sugar? Why am I buying them if they eat it in one sitting? Because if I don’t then I have to listen to complaining! I personally HATE cereal, always have and always will. But my hubby and kids~ obsessed and will eat 3 times a day if I let them.

So that is why I chose to keep buying $5 boxes of sugar.

And will continue to complain when it last 5 seconds after hitting my front door.

And complain about the coupons sucking.

But the prices of cereal are still OUTRAGEOUS!!


I have been MIA

Life has been crazy outta control around here, as does happen with a large family. We’ve had busy schedules with the kids, crazy work schedules with the hubby and all kinds of housework. Plus homeschooling and then a few unexpected turn of events in life have cause me to keep putting off blogging. BUT I”M BACK!!!!!

And in my absence I have been testing products, recipes  and creating up a storm!

I think when I started this blog I wasn’t sure what direction I wanted to go in. I have so many things I could make this blog about. But in the end I think it is best to stay true to me and my family.

I love my family and being a mom.

I love cooking in every form, trying recipes and creating new ones.

I love being frugal, couponing and getting free stuff.

I love trying new products that I got very cheap or free from various companies.

So these are all things you will find on my blog.

I am NOT going to be posting deal after deal like you see on other blogs because I don’t have that much time. I totally respect the other bloggers that do that but its not me.

So I hope you will continue to follow me and enjoy everything I have to offer!


Special needs mom fighting for diagnosis

I never wanted to be the mom of a special needs kid.  The idea and thought terrified me. Then I became very close with my cousin who one day just stop growing and no one knew why. He was like having a baby under the age of 1 for about 2-3 years. And I watched what my Aunt was going through and I definitely didn’t want it then. I had a perfectly healthy daughter and that was how I wanted all my kids. But then I met my husband.

I have a blended family. My oldest daughter and youngest daughter came from my husbands previous marriage. The mom got into some trouble and lost custody. The day I moved in, she quit coming around or calling much. Eventually she signed over her rights and I adopted the girls as my own. My middle and youngest daughter are only 5 months apart. But they are mentally and physically years apart. When I came into the picture Bri would talk but you couldn’t understand her at all. Only 3 words came out clearly. She was having a hard time potty training. Very small and petite in size compared to the other kids. It seemed like everything with Bri was on hyperspeed. And she was very impulsive and unaware of dangers.

We originally got the speech diagnosis and started her in an intense pre-k with tons of speech therapy. About 2 years later, we got the ADHD diagnosis. But within 6 months of being on meds, she turned violent and out of control. My little sweet petite girl could bust my lip, punch a hole in the wall and break a window all in one day. And yes she was only 6 or 7. From there we got the diagnosis of mood disorder. She has been on meds ever since. But I kept saying there was something more. That something wasn’t right. I homeschooled for a couple of years until her meds weren’t working and she became a danger to myself and the newborn in the house at the time. We decided that we needed a break and public school would give us that. But in school she was struggling. Inevitably getting in a fight because and I quote “the other girl wanted to”. She didn’t have any social common sense in my opinion. She will talk to you like dirt and treat you like dirt but the minute you do it to her; your labeled as mean and she runs to her room crying which then goes into a temper tantrum. She doesn’t understand right from wrong or just doesn’t care. I am not sure. She struggles in school with making friends and being on her grade level. No one has an answer, a solution and just keeps passing her along!

I have been to therapist that have suggest locking her in a closet to talking to her like she is a baby. I have been to neurologist, endocrinologist, psychiatrist, psychologist and had many IQ test done. But finally I might have a light at the end of the 9 year battle! It took the 5th psychiatrist to listen and say whoa, i think she might be this instead. But finally there is hope. And the scary part is I have suspected it all along.


I am really hoping this is the answer. I am exhausted and beginning to lose my drive. But I can’t quit; I know that. But it just sucks going on this journey.

I will say that with everything I picked up with my daughter and cousin, I have learned a lot. I can look at someone at the restaurant and say he is autistic or listen to a friend share her worries about her child and say sounds like a sensory issue.

But it still is hard…….

Homeschooling with a toddler part 2

Part 1 talks about getting a schedule set for your older child that way you and her aren’t always wondering what’s next. And this also allows more time for you to play and be hands on with your toddler. With my toddler I have a toddler/preschool curriculum I bought (very cheap I might add) and I also use preschoolpalace.org and preschoolexpress.com to supplement.

At the beginning of the month I like to pick my themes and color for the month.

beginning of the month

I then go on the websites and through my own curriculum and pick out the activities that would interest Dakota.  Then take a blank monthly calendar and list one activity on each blank spot. I do not fill in the dates because that is not relevant to me. Basically I say these are the things I want to accomplish this month. Every morning I look at the calendar and say ok I have everything for this or I can fit this activity in between errands. As we do an activity I highlight it so I know what we have and haven’t done. Very simple and yet organizing. As you know life with a toddler is day to day. Today they could be sweet as pie and tomorrow their evil twin might show up. So with this kind of relaxing scheduling you can accommodate anything that life throws at you. Some days it is as simple as reading a specific story. Those are good on days when your toddler isn’t feeling well.

Also at the beginning of the month I like to hang up our theme posters on Dakota’s bulletin board. That shows Dakota pictures of what we are learning along with our color poster for the color of the month. Throughout the month as we do an activity I like to hang some of them on his board so everyone can see and he can show everyone. Sometimes it spills over onto the refrigerator because what Mom doesn’t have a refrigerator full of art.

Dakota’s board

By the end of the month our board is full and we take it all down saving some things of course and getting it ready for the next month.

Breakfast for Dinner

Some days are absolutely crazy in a large family.  Some days I am trying to get so much done that I forget about dinner, or to read the recipe and make sure I have all the ingredients and also how much time it takes to cook. This is me scatter brained (but what’s new).

I hate when I get home from my bus run (some days 3:45pm and some days 4:15pm) and listen to the question what’s for dinner! When I am in a pinch like this I try (and fail) not to do the whole fast food thing. Well this past week I ran into one of those days. And what did I do? Take a look at the picture……


I made breakfast. Homemade pancakes which only take a few minutes. And defrosted some bacon and fried it up! Yum Breakfast for dinner is Heaven! By the way I make 30 pancakes with the hopes of having some left over for another breakfast for my 2 youngest kids. This day I walked away with 7 left over. THAT’S ENOUGH FOR 3 KIDS!

Instant Grow~ Large Family



I did not acquire a large family the traditional way. First I had a child in my teens. Then I fell in love and married in my 20’s a man who had 2 kids. We adopted each other’s kids to make it legal. 6 years later we were pregnant with our first child together. 2 years later my grandmother moved because my grandfather had went into a nursing home.  So this is my Instant Grow Large Family. The kids ages range from 2-13. And we are raising all of them on a shoestring budget that my hubby brings in being self-employed. I am homeschooling 1 of my daughters and the other two choose to go to public school. And my little man is gearing up for his first year of toddler school as he will be homeschooled as well.




What do I hope you will find on this blog? A little bit of everything. Recipes, frugal tips, life learning lessons because we are all still learning, funny stories about our life as a large family, homeschooling activities and household management. So please have patience with me as I am new to this whole blogging thing.