A Letter to my Children

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Dear Sophia, Sienna and Micah,
You are 6, 4 and almost 2. All of you..small feisty funny and shy. Beautiful brave and curious.
You are my world and have made my heart grow in ways I didn’t think were possible.
You make me laugh and smile and cry and for the most part not sleep.
I love every bit of you and the day you came into my life it was made even more amazing.
You rocked my world and I love being your mommy. I want you to know how special you are.
That you are beautiful and smart and important.
I love you so much I don’t even know how to describe it.
But most importantly I want you to know you are a child of God…
and HE is so incredibly in love with you.
He gave you to me as my most treasured gift.
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The day you were each born I was in awe of you. Every little detail about you.
As you grow up you will learn things
and have new experiences. You’ll have hard days and amazing days.
I hope you always see the good in people.
I hope that you find friendships and love like I have.
I hope you can surround yourself with people who
lift you up and are there for you when you need them.
I hope that you never hurt. but if you do, I hope that you realize your strength.
and that you can get through any sadness or struggle.
It’s ok to fail and to be messy and mess up. You don’t have to burden
yourself to be perfect and to build perfection around you.
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I hope that you don’t focus on the negative. People may try to break you down but
remember where your strength lies. In Him. I hope that if someone does hurt you, you remember that they have their own sufferings and struggles.
I hope you forgive.

I hope you see the true nothingness in their words and actions.
I hope that you build others up.

Be the good this world needs. You are strong and kind. I’ve seen it even as such little children. You can get through hard times. You can do amazing things.
Never forget that you are here for a reason. God wants you to be his Apostles.
He wants you to tell others about His love for them.
There is a lot of sadness in our world.
and a lot of times people are hurtful to others because they don’t
feel loved or have been hurt themselves.
Once you get that, it’s a lot easier to forgive people.
You can see the bigger picture.
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I want you to be happy. and to spread happiness.
I want you to be a lot like your dad. Because he is amazing. You get a lot of your silliness from him.
And your fiesty sides too.
I hope that you laugh a lot. and plenty of those times, have it be at yourself.
I want you to know it’s ok to be sad sometimes.

But don’t waste a single tear. Offer it up for someone who is suffering too.
We all need to help each other, and our sacrifices are powerful.
I’m so proud of the children you are. and I know you are going to do
amazing things wherever you end up. I love you so much.

Love,
Mommy

ps. micah man is wild. he didn’t even cry after he rolled back and crashed into leaves.
he just kept on trucking. haha. that photo captures those three perfectly.

1st Grade HOMESCHOOLING – Favorite Books!

homeschooling books-thebusybudgetingmamaWe have recently chosen to home school Sophia for first grade.
You can read about our decision in THIS POST.

It has been one of the best decisions we’ve ever made. I was home schooled, so I had something to compare it too. It’s not for everyone, and I don’t know if we will always do this.. but right now I’m so thankful and happy with how and where she is spending her days. We are taking homeschooling year by year! That’s how my parents did it with us and that’s how I plan on doing it with sophia and my younger ones. There are definitely hard days.. and choosing to home school has made my hours of available work time less, but it’s worth it. And it’s doable. My mom is a rockstar and offered to help if we wanted to do this. I wasn’t sure at first. I really didn’t think homeschooling was for us at the start of this past school year. But God worked in my heart and led us to where we are. And every other day sophia says, “thank you!” for home schooling her. she is loving it. First grade is a great year to homeschool! Sienna is going to pre-K right now and we love where she is at.. but I can see us possibly homeschooling her for first grade. (unless another situation comes by and seems better!) We usually do art or some sort of craft when they both get home from their lesson time outside of the home.
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My mom and I break up the lessons. (The subjects I cover with Sophia are usually done in the morning before “Grandma school” or we leave one to do after dinner when micah goes to bed.)  My mom teaches both my sophia and my sister’s second grader. They have a whole little classroom at grandma’s house!! It’s pretty awesome.

I already told my mom we need to do a sit down and video her talking about these books because she is the PRO. She homeschooled all of my siblings— (me 2nd grade through high school) She has learned a system. She has found books that really help kids learn the right stuff at the right pace and in a very approachable way! I’m so so thankful that she is here to guide me. I would have been clueless. So take this from grandma…… these are great books.

These are the ones I use at our house in the morning.
One of my favorite parts of this whole crazy journey is being able to help Sophia learn to read..seeing it happen is incredible! A huge parenting moment. So proud of her and love seeing how excited and proud of herself she gets when she reads it fast!
TEACH YOUR CHILD TO READ IN 100 EASY LESSONS
MY VERY FIRST CATHOLIC SPELLER
HANDWRITING FOR YOUNG CATHOLICS
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These are the books my mom uses at “grandma school!”
The abacus is a great tool when doing math homework!
My mom kept raving about this geography book (Explore our Continents) and I’m so glad I ordered it because it’s awesome!! Sienna even was getting into it.
Since Sophia and her cousin are doing lessons together, sophia ends up doing
some Second grade books like some of the ones below.
MCP MATHEMATICS LEVAL A
EXPLORE OUR CONTINENTS
BEHOLD AND SEE SCIENCE 2
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RELIGION 2 FOR YOUNG CATHOLICS
READING 3 FOR YOUNG CATHOLICS
HEALTH 3 FOR YOUNG CATHOLICS
THIS IS OUR TOWN
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This is another book my mom loves. as you can see.. it’s been well used. :)
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Sophia reads from this book. And it’s pretty much the cutest thing.
My mom and I love listening to her say church with this new jersey accent I have no clue where she picked up. (only that word. haha.) It’s the sweetest book though.
MY JESUS AND I
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This past month Sopha and her cousin (classmates at “grandma school” ;)
put on a presentation for the family and neighbor kids. It was so cute!
The whole presentation was on North America. They worked so hard preparing!
They explained their maps of North America. Sophia read her three papers she wrote on Polar Bears, St. Kateri Tekakwitha and the Story of Juan Diego. Then she did a recitation and we ate the North America cookie they baked. It was like my childhood played out in front of me. Made my heart happy..and Sophia was so proud of herself and excited to share what she learned!
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I love the lessons she does with my mom…
(pictures below are not from the presentation..but a few of her favorites!)
Her little recitation below was about the rain..and of course they had props ;)homeschooling books8-thebusybudgetingmama

I seriously did not see this homeschooling happening… but I’m loving where we are at in life.
My sister and I took the kids to the aquarium as a fun cousin field trip.
“BEST DAY EVER.” ;)
I love seeing my girls have more time to play together and learn together.
It also gives them more time to fight together. but let’s focus on the happy. haha.
It’s cute how micah joins in now too. He thinks he is a big kid.

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There are some other books we use off and on as well…
but these are some of the basic ones we love. :)
I’ll be sharing more details on our daily home school routine and activities!
I wanted to at least share the books we use for people who have been requesting to see!
I’m thankful for my mom and her wisdom and happy to share it with all of you.

Giant Tissue Paper Flower Tutorial – Part 1

These lovely Giant Tissue Paper Flowers
are at the top of my favorite party DIY’s!
I made them for the girls’ Fairy Birthday Party and I loved how they turned out!
I’m so excited to share this video tutorial in all of it’s bad hair day glory
because this DIY is SO fun and is a great bang for your buck!
Finally made ‘part one’ happen during a nap time this weekend! :)
I’m going to try and do another video tutorial sharing the
other variety of flowers used as well!
next nap time? ;)
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Giant Tissue Paper Flowers could be just the right
detail for a birthday party, shower or nursery decor!
We have them all up in the kids’ room because I can’t part with them just yet. ;)

The video tutorial gives a general idea of how to make these.
I didn’t take photos..blogger fail.. but It really is simple once you get going!

WHAT YOU NEED:
Scissors
Tissue Paper (20 in x 30 in – I get my tissue paper from papermart)
Scotch Heavy Duty Packing Tape. (what I had. worked great.)
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STEP 1- CUT PETALS
+You are going to have 3 levels of “petals”
Making each level of petals smaller/shorter as you go!
—–First round I use 4 sheets of tissue paper and cut
out a petal shape.
—–Second round of tissue I use 3 (4 works too!) and make it a little shorter/smaller
—-Third Round of tissue 3(4 works too!) and make it a little shorter/smaller again.


STEP 2- LAYER  AND TAPE PETALS
+Take the smallest level of tissue petals and layer together like a bouquet
+Secure by taping handle (see video for that part.)
+Take the next level of tissue paper (the medium length) and add to the “bouquet” putting them in the open spots as you layer. (again, video might help clarify that part.)
+hold together by taping handle again.
+Then add the final largest tissue paper level.
+Tape handle again and then snip off excess part.


STEP 3- CENTER OF FLOWER
+Cut two circles out: one big one medium.
+crinkle the edges of the circles
+tape them to each other and then tape to middle of flower!

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 Thanks for watching and tag/email me if you try these out!
Would love to see how you use them.

Haluski + Kielbasa

I married a cute Polish boy and gained an amazing mother in law who is kind and loving and amazing in the kitchen! She passed on this recipe to me…This is not word for word. This is phone translated ;) This is how I ended up making it since she first told me how… it’s SOO delicious. Simple budget friendly ingredients… this recipe comes together very easily!
I usually keep some of the egg noodles aside for my “selectively picky” eaters. ;)

This is one of my favorite meals to make.
and eat.
and the leftovers are even better!haluski-thebusybudgetingmama

HALUSKI + KIELBASA INGREDIENTS
1 Cabbage
1 Pack of Kielbasa (found near hot dogs/sausage)
(You can use full pack or half. However much you like!)
1 Small Onion
1 Bag Egg Noodles
Olive Oil
Butter
Salt + Pepper

DIRECTIONS:
+Boil water and while cooking up the egg noodles start cutting the veggies.)
+Slice Cabbage so you get long strips. (I slice in half then turn on it’s side and slice again)
+Slice onion into long strips as well. (I usually slice them shorter than the cabbage)
+Heat a large pan. Pour some oil and melt a stick of butter.
+Toss in the Cabbage and Onion.
+Slice the Kielbasa into pieces + brown a bit in a separate pan
+Once the egg noodles are cooked, drain and pour into the cabbage
and onions that are softening up in your big pan.

+Add the kielbasa to the pan of cabbage and onions or leave separate.
+Salt and Pepper to taste.
+Enjoy!haluski-thebusybudgetingmama2

Tag me on INSTAGRAM you make this!!
It’s so delicious I know you’ll love it!

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