I dropped off a few items at Goodwill this afternoon. While I was there, I figured I'd peruse the aisles for educational toys now that I was home. Divine Providence rained down on me something fierce, and I walked out of the place with a treasure trove of goodies for less than $6.
Prepare to be astounded.
First up is a set of multi-colored monsters. Instead of attempting to explain them, I made a quick video showing how they work. Lucy, one of my tabbies, makes a cameo:
Adorable, right? On the back of each monster is a number. They go in order of increasing difficulty, and as you make your way to the "highest level" you get into digraphs like "ch" or "st." SOOOO creative, and the fact that he'll be able to check himself means he can practice on his own if he likes (a mother can dream, right?).
Next up on my Booty List is a Bingo game focused entirely on sight words. I firmly believe in a strong foundation of Phonics, but sight words have their place as well, and I think as he gets better with his phonics, this will be a welcome change of pace for him.
This was only 99 cents and has EVERYTHING. It seems the game was rarely used as all the parts and "boards" seem in almost new condition. Nary a tear or smudge anywhere!
After I found the sight words game, I noticed a volcano of sorts on the top shelf. It glows in the dark and shoots little beads to look like lava bubbles. I thought it would be a nice addition to his bedroom at night given how much he loves glowing things. It's made by Discovery Kids and is called an Animated Volcano Lamp. Check it out! I took the footage tonight after Vince had fallen asleep.
The last item on my list was actually the first one I found. That being said, it is the motherload of thrift store finds. Seriously. This alone would have made the trip worth it. I found a brand new Hooked on Phonics Kindergarten Edition pack. BRAND NEW.
Originally this was something like $40. But check out the two tags that were stuck to the box. One is from Goodwill and the other is from JCPenney.
I was only charged $1.97 for this. Can you believe that?! I still can't believe it! Look at all the stuff it comes with!
Zoey, my miracle kitty, did not come with the Hooked on Phonics set. That being said, everything else you see DID. And it's all unused!!! Stickers, workbook, progress charts, flash cards, CD-ROMs, coloring books and reading companions - ALL INCLUDED! And none of them have been cracked open!
I was so excited by this because I've been working on the Hooked on Phonics program with Vincent for the last week or so on his iPad. My friend gave me a heads up that the program was free through the App store for 24 hours, and I was lucky enough to snatch it up for nothing. Recently, Vince read his very first book to me - by himself - but it was on the iPad. A friend of mine said "Make sure you keep that book!" not realizing I didn't have a physical copy. Now I do! These lessons are slightly different than the iPad app which means I'll be able to use them both to supplement one another. How exciting!!! I cracked this open and used it with Vince already today and he got a kick out of it. I am SO pleased!
Apparently Piper was, too, because she came over to investigate what had Zoey so intrigued. When she didn't spot any treats, she promptly turned her nose up and left us to ourselves. Lucy, as you can see in the next photo, just casually kept watch over everyone on the sofa. This is her still hanging out after I'd packed everything away into the convenient storage box that came with the set.
All in all, I'd say this is the best haul I've ever scored at a thrift shop. God was certainly very kind to us this afternoon. It's like it was all gift wrapped for us. Truth be told, I'm pretty sure it was.
Thank you, God! You're so wonderful! :)
I spoke with my two directors today. I don't qualify for FMLA, but they're willing to work with me so as not to lose me as an employee.
So now I've got a little weight lifted off my shoulders. Now I need to come up with a working solution for all involved - Vincent, John, myself and work.
Thanks for the prayers, folks.
Financially, thanks to my husband's fiscal responsibility, we are in a good position. We'll have to cut back on some things, but we're blessed to be weighing our options at all in this regard. This is only a short-term solution. Even should we cut back on yearly vacations, change the way we spend money for holidays and birthdays, alter our eating and entertainment habits, I'm not sure we could justify the thirty-some thousand dollar hit we'd take should I leave my position indefinitely.
That's a lot of money. A LOT of money.
And that puts a lot of pressure on John to be the sole breadwinner. Already he takes on so much responsibility in this regard. I'd hate to burden him with a $30+ thousand deficit to boot, ya know?
Then there's always the question of job availability should I officially leave. There's no guarantee that I'll be able to quickly find a job should I need to when Vince rejoins school. All these things are what have me on what feels to be a teeter-totter.
But again, the fact that I can weigh these options at all is a blessing, and I thank God for his generosity.
I just wish I had a better idea of what the best course of action would be. Ah well. In time, I'm sure He'll reveal it to me. That fact that, right now, I was given respite by my company is a blessing, indeed. A much welcome one in light of this past weekend's anxiety of "What now?"
And again - thank you to each one of you who has sent me messages, comments and e-mails. This is going to sound really silly, but I felt my heart jump each time I saw one pop up. The joy of hearing from folks was enough, even for a moment, to lift my spirits. The suggestions are all being taken to heart, I promise. It takes me a while to process and read all the links that are sent, but I promise, promise, promise that I do, in fact, read them all.
Eventually I'll get around to responding to everyone. Just... please accept my humblest thanks for all the support and love you have shown to my son. It hurts me so much to see him ostracized by his peers and shirked by school systems who are unfamiliar with his unique set of challenges, but I am buoyed by the love you have shown him. I am hopeful for him, and you feed that hope.
Blessings to you all. I thank you with a mother's appreciation.
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