September 27, 2011

a couple things

I'm really happy with two things right now, and I wanted to share them with you guys.

Thing One:  Dazzle.

Dazzle is a consignment shop in Hayden, geared a little more for the classy, middle-aged woman who wants to dress her age and look awesome for cheap. It's on Government Way over by Albertson's and Washington Trust Bank if you wanna go there.
I don't normally care for consignment shops. Not too crazy about thrift stores either. I don't like having to dig thru stuff, checking for holes and stains, and most of all... I hate the smell.
Also, when I was a little girl, Moma took me to thrift stores all the time and I sat forlornly under the clothing racks while she shopped and shopped and shopped. I hated it.
Also, when I was a little girl and was sitting forlornly under those clothing racks, a boy came over and tried bashing my head in with a pair of smelly cleats. His mom must've liked thrift stores just like my mom because that boy was there all the time, with his hands stuck in those cleats, looking for me under the clothing racks. His mom said Jesus alot. She was Pentecostal. I found this (bless Jesus) skirt on (bless Jesus) sale (praise Jesus). I can hardly believe (bless Jesus) how cheap it (thank you Jesus) was! Fifty cents! (praise, bless, and thank you Jesus)
I have deep psychological problems from this. And I've hated shopping ever since.

Anyhoo... what the heck was I talking about?

Dazzle. Right. Consignment shop in Hayden.
So, Moma needed some new clothes because she had approximately three things hanging in her closet.
And my friend Sherry was shopping at Dazzle the other day and said, Bring your moma over here. They're having sidewalk sales.
So we thought we'd pop in for a couple minutes and see what we could see.
An hour and $170 later, we walked out with pretty much an entire wardrobe.
%100 cashmere, Ann Taylor sweater- $30. Brand new Coldwater Creek skirt- $15. Lovely, soft, earthy brown/grey slacks that fit perfectly- $3.25. Nearly new, burnt orange corduroy jacket- $20. Another Ann Taylor sweater, hot pink- $10.
Skirts, sweaters, slacks, jackets, shirts... so many nice things, for so little cost.
I was so happy. So was Moma.
So if you live around here and you need to go shopping, go to Dazzle. It's the best place ever for that classy woman wanting to dress beautifully and not have to sell her firstborn child on the black market in order to afford it.

My pretty Moma and one of her new tops.

Thing Two: Apologia curriculum.

I've been teaching astronomy to Karen's older girls, and I love the curriculum Karen found for us to use. I mean, love it. Like, I want to marry it.
You can click on this link to check out the books if you wanna.
Moma tried out alot of different curriculum with us kids when we were homeschooling and I really had a thing for A Beka books. I swore I'd use A Beka curriculum with all my many children, when I had them. I planned on having 6 sets of twins and one, lone single child at the end... just to give myself a break after all those twins. I told my Sunday School teacher that several times and the last time I was down in Texas, she asked me, So do you still want 13 children? To which I replied, Actually, I've changed my mind. I was thinking more along the lines of the American Dream and having about 1.5 children. I was sick and demented back then.
I've also changed  my mind about A Beka.
Before you start thinking, Whoa, that Sunny Jane. She's like the homeschool curriculum expert... um... I'm not. Don't take my opinion and run with it.
Here's why I changed my mind about A Beka- did you know that if you use A Beka, your kids will probably have an awesome education, but you will also have to cash in your 401K, stop buying Zingers for the rest of your life, sell half your children on the black market, and get a second loan on your house in order to afford that brilliant education? Yeah. Also, if you opt to buy their DVD school, you have to send the DVDs back? You pay for something that you don't get to keep and use for the next kid? They make you sign a contract thingy promising you won't use the DVDs for two kids in the same year too. So if you have two kids in the same grade (and Karen does), you have to buy two sets of the same DVDs.
If I ever buy A Beka DVDs, I'll scratch every single one of them right before I send them back.
And here's another irritating thing that really irritates my irritated nerves- you can't just buy the text book and the teacher book. No, you have to buy the text book, the teacher book, the map book, the companion book, the quiz book, the test book, the activity book, the non-activity book, the lunch book, the dinner book, the year book, the every-book-in-the-world book, the flash cards, the day planner, and an answer key to go with every single one of those books. Plus all the activity supplies. A Beka has a serious money making racket going on.
Take a deep breath, Sunny Jane.
But, Apologia is nothing like that. There is hope for the broke homeschool mom.
Apologia Science has two books- the text book for me, and the journal for the kids (you do need a separate journal for each child). And here's an awesome thing about Apologia Science, I can teach grades K-6 in the same class. The books contain everything in them that grades K-6 are supposed to be learning. So that's only one teacher book to teach Karen's four girls who are in three different grades. It's wonderful. At first I wondered how Emma would do with learning the same stuff as her big sisters, and there are some things she doesn't get, but it doesn't matter because she gets what she's supposed to, and everything else falls by the wayside. And if it's something she won't get and it's going to take some time to explain it to the older girls, I tell her to go watch a movie or play Barbies for 15 or 20 minutes. She loves school...

Other Pros of Apologia Science:
1.  It's affordable. About $30 for the teacher book and $17 for each journal.
2.  It's fun learning. The kids beg to have school. I have to fend them off me. Seriously.
3.  Each year covers a day of Creation. So I chose astronomy for this year, and next year we'll do marine biology. Then we could human anatomy or botany or zoology. I just love that it's the days of Creation.
4.  The completely awesome activities are completely awesome, fun, and easy.
5.  It's easy curriculum without losing the whole good-education factor.
6.  Emma now knows what makes colors. She was sitting at the table the other day, looking at my white tablecloth and Moma's black laptop and said to me, Sunny! The white is because all the rainbow colors are bouncing off into my eye and the black is because Granny's computer is soaking up all the rainbow colors!
7. I was so proud of Emma. She was listening when I explained the whole light-is-colorful-lightwaves-aborbing-not-absorbing thing.

The teacher book

Lucy's journal.

There. Now you can shop for clothes and properly educate your kids.
Go, and live your life more fully...