Monday, August 22, 2011

how we do back to school... and our new dog

This is an expensive time of year for our family.  As many of you know, all three of our kids have birthdays between Aug. 24 and Sept. 3 (a 10 day span!), plus two nieces, a nephew and two brothers with birthdays in these few weeks time too.  Phew!  It feels like Christmas in August around here with all the wrapping going on!

And now with Addie in school, there's the back to school expenses too.
Since we can't afford to do the traditional "back-to-school-shopping," and I still want my kids to experience the fun of having fresh clothes to start the new school year, we just do it a little differently here.  And our wallets thank us tremendously.  

So, what do we do?  It's not really that novel of an idea, and I'm sure some of you do it too.  I shop all year round, picking up clearance items (especially targeting the huge sales in January and July) and also hitting up garage sales with like-new clothes for great prices.  As I buy the clothes, I store them all away in the back of my closet (don't tell my kids) and then about a week before school we have... 
"Back To School Night!" 

I put all their clothes in gift bags and it feels like a birthday party!  The kids love it!  I even do it for Tate and Millie even though they're not in school.  It's fun for them to get new (or like new) clothes too!  

The best part is the price I pay for these clothes.  These Hello Kitty jeans were the most expensive item and I got them for under $6 at Dillard's!

Gymboree skirt = $3.49
Crazy 8's top = $2.99

Crazy 8 dress = $2.99

And the clothes kept coming out.  All purchased for between $1- $5.74!

 We also filled a container with preschool workbooks, flashcards, pencils and crayons for Millie to start her at-home-preschool with mommy.

 And then we made sure these clothes got good use at school!

 Oh, and for those of you who were wondering how Adeline's first week of first grade was...
It was AWESOME!!!
She's loving it, of course!  She loves her teacher, she's made lots of new friends, and she still gets to see last year's friends at recess. 

My biggest worry with her at school is getting hurt feelings from mean kids, because I dealt with a lot of that in elementary school.  But so far, she seems to be handling that well.  This morning when I put a Curious George bandaid on her itchy bug bite, she got a little sad and told me that a boy in her class made fun of her last week for her bandaid and hollered to everyone, "Adeline likes Curious George!"  Fortunately, the other kids didn't go along with him (they probably like Curious George too) and Addie said she just didn't say anything.  But it obviously bothered her.  So, no, I didn't make her wear a Curious George bandaid again.  I took it off and put on a normal one.

 And Millie has been having fun doing preschool with mommy.  We do it every-other-day during nap time (so we don't have any distractions from Tate.)  And every day she asks, "Is it preschool today?  Please?!"  :)

Here's a picture of Tate.  Just because.  :)

Oh, and about our new dog....
This was Odie a few months ago (I didn't have any newer pics of him with his even longer, shaggier hair).

And then I took him to the groomers.  And I brought home this dog.

Pretty sure that's not Odie...
but an older, wiser, more serious dog?  
Must be the beard.  ;)


Julie said...

So glad school is going so well! You have great self control....I buy stuff and give it to the kids right away. Maybe I should start doing it this way. You're so smart:)

H-Mama said...

you did a great job, mom! sale clothes in gift bags. genius. ;)

odie is too cute with his wise-looking beard. *giggle*

Heidi said...

Great idea! That's a fun tradition. I've been trying to think of more fun things to do before we start home school again because, when I was in school, I really enjoyed buying all the "school" stuff before school started, but with homeschooling we don't necessarily NEED much of anything - it's just fun to get it. :) I may have to add in this clothes idea to go along with what we already do.
The pictures of your dog are hilarious! :)

The Sneaky Mommy said...

The girls look so cute with their new clothes! What a fun idea to make the clothes a celebration. I usually just lay out a new outfit as a surprise for the morning.
When did Tate get all completely grown-up looking?!? Still a cutie pie!
Your puppy pictures cracked me up--how do dogs manage to put on a mature face?

Nicole said...

Glad the first week of school was so much fun! Good job on the clothes! (Cute dog too)