Wednesday, August 24, 2011

One of the hardest things I've had to do

Last week I had to do one of the hardest things ever - break up with my daycare provider.

Anyone who knows me knows how much of a blessing Nikki has been to our family over the years. However, recently the opportunity arose to reduce our monthly daycare costs by almost $500/month. We couldn't say no.

It's such a tough thing to do especially since Nikki did nothing wrong. The kids love it there, and have always been loved and well cared for. I fretted and fretted over breaking the news. I am confident she will get new kids to watch quite quickly, however I also know a big chunk of their monthly income is from what we pay them. It was "you've done nothing wrong, but you're fired" and "It's me, not you - we're breaking up" all rolled into one. I'll admit I got teary when I told her.

She took it really well. I was just very honest with her, and she totally understands. That Saturday we were at a birthday party for two of her kids, and the family did not chase us away with shotguns, so I guess they took it well. Who knows, maybe they were looking to get rid of us and it was an answer to their prayers *grin*

However, we don't regret our decision. The kids will be attending the daycare run out of our church. I know the 2 ladies who run the place and they are so excited about the kids joining them. My Mom works in the same building, so Oma will be only one hall way away if the need ever arises.

I think Cordie will thrive there. Not that she's not loving Nikki's, but I think she's more wired to the routine a group daycare will provide. And love craft time, and story time and circle time etc...

Funny thing - we emailed the daycare to see about getting in. We had to apply for a variance to get Cordie in a few months before she turns 30 months old. Also we had to get Duncan into the out of school care. There is actually a waiting list 30 kids long into get into that program. However their policy is that people who have children in the full time daycare get priority. So we told them we were interested, and Duncan was at the top of the list for the next available spot. The very next day someone pulled their kid from the school care, and Duncan got the spot. The day after that, the lady called back again saying she changed her mind and they replied "sorry, it's already filled!". Oh, and there happened to be one spot left in the van going to his new school. Now we think that was the Lord having a helping hand a bit in our decision.

We expect Duncan might have a harder time adjusting than Cordie, but I think after a week or so he'll be loving it.

One of many things going on in our house right now!!!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

It's getting closer! Christmas!

The other day in the car Duncan asks how much longer until Christmas. We are sort of Christmas addicts in this house, watching Christmas specials throughout the year, singing Christmas songs, and looking forward to it coming around again next year. Okay... "we" is a bit of a loose term... Cordie doesn't really get it yet, and Bill just shakes his head sadly at us :)

Several years ago I stumbled upon a blog from Jennifer Tankersley to help me plan for Christmas - 100 Days to Christmas. Subscribe to the email and every day you receiving another tip in your inbox to hopefully help get yourself organized for Christmas.   Last year I followed along again with my handy dandy Christmas binder.

This year Jennifer has released her 100 days plan into an e-book, and I am really happy to have the opportunity to review it for her. Jennifer realized some people might do a bit better having all the steps laid out for them in an easy reference. I actually prefer this as I quite like to skip a head a bit and get my head around what might be coming.

Several things I really do love about this e-book and plan:
1. A focus on handmade gifts. I'm a crafty person and I love to give hand made gifts every year I can (time permitting), and I think it is fantastic to encourage people to try it on for size.
2. Budgeting - a big focus is picking a budget, sticking to it, and acknowledging some tough economic times for many people.
3. Sundays are down time. It's time to spend time with your family and enjoy the fall and Christmas season!!
4. Focus on others  - like a challenge to donate to the food bank and Goodwill.
5. Cleaning week! It's like Spring cleaning for Christmas.

Now, the book is American centered - which is totally fine and makes sense - that is who the book is written for. Previous years I just pick out what applies to me as a Canadian, and use the extra time that I don't need to spend getting ready for US Thanksgiving to catch up or just take a day off. I don't follow all the daily suggestions to a T, but you don't need to. The whole point is to help you get organized and enjoy Christmas for what it is.

To make it a bit easier the e-book also includes links to some very convenience calendars, charts, and lists through the ListPlanIt website.

100 Days To Christmas is available on the Kindle for $4.99 through and on August 25, 2011 - exactly 4 months until Christmas!

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