New School Year Means New Beginnings


Recently our family has made it a point to have family movie night (where even I put down my computer gasp ;)). Recently we watched the movie Forrest Gump (one of my favorite movies). My son laughed throughout the movie and afterwards said he really enjoyed it. We said good night and everyone went to bed or so I thought. Sometime in the night my little one crawled in beside me and woke me with a question.

“Momma were kids mean to you because of your cerebral palsy (leg braces) and left arm curled up?” Wow umm didn’t think I’d have to explain this to my child in the middle of the night. However I was honest with him.

Many of my readers know I have cerebral palsy which has required me to wear leg braces and arm braces of various sizes and lengths ever since I was 10 months old. I am proud to say I was a Shriners Kid! Years of physical, occupational, and speech therapy have helped me to the point that when I wear jeans, most people do not even know the struggle I have fought. However that was not always the case.

When I was in elementary school, the kids were very cruel to me, mostly in the 4th – 6th grade. They would call me names, laugh and point at me, and would not let me play with them. One was so cruel that he broke my arm! Till this day I still remember EVERY single one of their names.

As I got older though, I made some great friends, and high school was awesome even a safe haven of sorts for me. I had a few big brothers who NEVER let the few bullies in high school bother her. The two who were always close by were Brian L , who would simply give a bully “that look” and they would back off, Brian later in life fought his own health battles and overcame them. The other young man who protected me in high school was Ricky H. He always turned my frown into a smile. He told me never to listen to the people who were mean, as I was a beautiful young lady who was going places. This gentleman is now a decorated member of our Armed Forces and a father of two beautiful little girls. To this day, I am thankful for these friends.


When I got into college I had a ton of big brothers. They were the entire Georgia Southern University football team. I was a football manager for the wide receivers. My wide receivers were very protective of me. On my first date in college, they were all in the dorm lobby with their arms crossed as I got into my dates truck. Till this day I still smile when I think of them being so protective of “their football manager Melissa” I still talk to a majority of my protective big brothers even after 12 years!

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Pay It Forward In Your Community – Spread Kindness Not Hate

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I want to pose a challenge to all every person reading this! This week I want every one of you to do something kind for someone else, Pay It Forward! It does not cost anything to be kind. You can hold a door open for a stranger, help an older neighbor bring in their garbage cans, the list goes on and on. Teach your children and grandchildren this trait, better yet let them help. Case and point, while looking for Pokemon after church yesterday, we met a homeless woman (she was resting in a parking lot), my son had snacks in the back seat and got out of the car and gave what we had to her. This morning we paid for the person behind us in line at Starbucks ( I had a gift card). You may never know the persons name, but for at least one moment, you made another person smile, and offered kindness. Neither of these things cost anything.. get out there and be kind..Pay It Forward!

Paying It Forward: It Only Takes A Minute


Getting Back into a Routine after a Fun Summer


You have had a great summer, filled with fun outings. You’ve stayed up late and slept in, getting used to a more relaxed routine. It’s been perfectly fine to do this, that is, until you realize that it’s time to get back into the normal routine. How are you going to go from having no set schedule back to a regular routine? Follow these tips to make it easier to transition from a fun summer to a normal day.


Get Some Sleep

Your sleep schedule is the first thing that goes when you have some time off. The sun doesn’t set until later at night in the summer, and you have some extra freedom to stay up late. When you stay up late, of course you’re going to want to sleep in too. To make it easier to get back into a routine, you need to go back to your normal sleep schedule. Decide what sleep schedule you will most likely follow when you are back in your normal routine, and a week or two before you start back up, try to go to bed and wake up at those times. This will allow your body to have time to adjust back to your normal sleep schedule, and you won’t feel as exhausted that first day back.


Make a List

It is very hard to get motivated once you have had some time off. You’re used to getting things done as needed, and you’re able to postpone things that can wait. Now that you need to get back into your normal routine, make a list of what you would like to accomplish for the day. This list could include anything from what time you would like to wake up to a workout regime you’d like to get done. If you have a list of tasks you would like to get done each day, you are more likely to be motivated enough to check things off of the list.


Have Fun Still

Just because summer is over doesn’t mean that you can’t have any more fun. The weather is usually still pretty nice during the late summer and early fall, so take advantage of that. Schedule some weekend excursions or nights out. This will give you something to look forward to, and you won’t feel as if you are giving up all of your summer fun.


Ways to Save Money When Buying School Supplies


Summer is almost over and it’s about that time to start thinking about the school year. You get a letter from the school with your child’s class teacher and a supply list for items that he or she will be using in class. Now you need to do some shopping to get your kid ready and it can get expensive. Who knew that folders and pencils can add up to a small fortune? Follow these tips to try to save some money when you’re shopping for school supplies.


Reuse Items

Your home is your best shopping center. We all have those junk drawers where those items go that we don’t need, never to see the light of day again. Now, instead of buying everything brand new, look around your house and see what supplies you already have on hand. You could reuse some of the supplies such as binders and pencil boxes from the year before. Make them look new by decorating them with binder covers or duct tape. You can save a lot of money by reusing what you already have.


Make a List

Once you have shopped around your house, make a list of what items you still need. Use your school supply list as well as what you know your kid tends to use throughout the school year. Once you have your list, stick to it. Don’t buy supplies you don’t need just because they’re on sale. You might be getting a good deal, but what’s the point if you never use them?


Watch the Sales

Every store has them eventually. Watch This Mommy Saves Money, as we post all three Office Supply stores deals, the weekend before the sales go live. Don’t pay regular price for items that you know will probably be going on sale soon. When you see some good deals, go early before all of the good items are gone. Compare prices at different stores. Many times, stores will price match a competitor’s item, saving you time and money.

Stock Up

The best time to buy school items are after the demand for them has lessened. End-of season sales always have the best deals as stores try to empty inventory to make way for the new season’s items. Instead of joining the school supply rush in August, try stocking up on items you know you’ll need ahead of time. Not only will you get some great deals, you’ll also save yourself the headache of worrying if you’ll be ready on time.


Back to School: Switching Schedules and Keeping Your Sanity

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Back to School: Switching Schedules and Keeping Your Sanity

Most parents look forward to school starting back up again. Even though you may be looking forward to a little more structure, things always get crazy when it’s time for school to start again. It can be just as stressful for you, if not more, as it is for your children. The great news is, if you get your ducks in a row now, you can quickly learn how switching schedules and keeping your sanity can go hand in hand!

Take a deep breath and prepare for the back-to-school insanity!

Your kids most likely do not want to let go of their summer freedom and you are probably not looking forward to earlier hours, groans, complaints and the never ending school supply lists. It doesn’t have to be a complete disaster, though! Here are some ways to prepare:


  1. Keep an Eye on the Circulars Each Week: The hardest part of the school year starting is getting a good deal on school supplies. Keep an eye on the circulars each week leading up to school. Some stores will run sales before the rush, so if you catch it then, you’ll save money and stock up before everything sells out. Remember to follow This Mommy Saves Money to get a heads up on upcoming and unadvertised deals!


  1. Start Setting the Alarm a Couple Weeks Beforehand: When it comes to sleep schedules, it is always a good idea to start setting the alarm a couple weeks before school starts. Take those weeks to slowly set the alarm earlier each day so your kids get used to getting up. By the time school starts, they will be fully adjusted!


  1. Make Sure Your Calendar is Updated: Things tend to get really relaxed during the summer, so make sure your calendar is updated with all scheduled days off from school, any after school activities your kids may already be committed to, doctor appointments, and so on. It may seem like a no-brainer, but a lot of parents tend to forget until the school year starts!


  1. Tidying Up and Organizing: You have heard of Spring cleaning, right? Towards the end of summer, try “Summer’s End” cleaning by tidying up and organizing all your kids’ new clothes, supplies and any work spaces they may use for homework. As a tip for organizing, use cubbies or drawer sets to designate outfits for the week, so there is no fumbling around, especially that first week of school. This has saved our family a lot of time in the morning.


  1. Designate Down Time Before School Starts: Kids love running amok during the summer, so along with setting their alarm ahead of time, designate down time before school starts. A few days before, schedule some extra reading and activity time. This will help their bodies get used to controlling their energy levels and should reduce their fidgeting and bounciness the first few days of school. Their teachers will probably thank you!

Have you taken a few breaths now? A little preparedness goes a long way in making sure this is the best school year yet. With the technology we have at our disposal, these tips can work even if you’re not the most organized person in the world. Keep calm, be prepared and know that when kids are heading back to school, switching schedules and keeping your sanity is a possibility!

A big thank you goes to Ms. Marilyn Jackson for the inspiration for this article.

How do you prepare your kids for going back to school? Share your tips in the comments!