Archive for the Parenting Category

$4.40 worth of peace and quiet

Posted in Budd Zoo, Parenting with tags , on June 26, 2013 by Annette Budd

moneybags I don’t know why but every time David, almost six, and Michaela, almost eight, got into the car, World War III broke out. It was driving me up and wall. We were about to embark on a five hour drive to Kearney, Nebraska and I was afraid.  The arguing that happened during a trip to the grocery store was unpleasant. I could only imagine what that would be like times ten.

One of my friends, Kelly Lawrence, came up with a life saving idea and I implemented it. I filled a bag for each of them with 25 dimes.  Each time they fought with each other (or basically did anything that annoyed us) I took one dime away.  They lost a total of .60.  The peace and quiet that $4.40 bought on that trip was some of the best money I have ever spent.  When the trip was over we took them to the dollar store, which is pretty much ‘kid heaven’.

It worked so well that I decided to make it a permanent fixture in our lives. I got pencil cases that are designed to clip into a binders, labeled them and filled them with dimes. Then I hung them from the back of the headrests in the car.   I don’t know how long it will work, but for now I’m no longer dreading the car.


Parenting Dross

Posted in Budd Zoo, Parenting with tags , , on October 5, 2011 by Annette Budd

Here’s a parenting truth I recently discovered: Sometimes it is easier to focus on the dross that is coming out rather than the gold that is being refined. It is just that the dross seems to be so abundant. It’s ugly, useless  and it’s everywhere.  But the whole point of the refinement process is to make the gold pure.  The gold is now beautiful and very valuable even if it is not abundant as the dross. I’m going to consciously focus on gold coming out of the fire rather than the dross coming out of the refining process.

Saving taxpayer money

Posted in Budd Zoo, Misc., Parenting with tags , , , , on August 9, 2009 by Annette Budd

Daniel, my sophmore, just had a conversation with me that I have had two times before.  I have had the exact conversation with both of my older daughters.  It goes something like this:

Kid:  How much does it cost to go to public school?

Me: It’s free. They have some fees for activities but it basically doesn’t cost the students anything.

Kid: No really, tell me how much it is.

Me: I’m not kidding. Go ask Dad.  He will tell you the same.

Kid: Come on, just tell me.  Is it expensive?

Sometimes this will go a couple more rounds.

toliet dollarI just think it is interesting that all of my children assume that it costs the students a great deal of money to go to public school. But we all know that public school isn’t free. I especially know this because not only do I pay taxes to send all of my neighbor’s children to public school, then I turn around and then pay for my own kids’ curriculum. According to an HSLDA report in 2004, roughly 1/10 of the money is spent on homeschooling that is spent on public school kids.  And the results? The average homeschooler scores in the 80th percentile on standardized tests.

On the more personal side of things, I spend about $250 – $300 a year, on average per elementary/jr high school student. In the 2006-2007 school year, Colorado spent an average of $8,167 per pupil (and we are ranked 40th in the county) I have saved the citizens of Colorado a boatload of money.

Incredible Gifts!

Posted in Budd Zoo, Parenting with tags , on February 7, 2009 by Annette Budd

glen-eryie chris-tomlin3

Our children have recently given some incredible gifts to us.  For Christmas, they all chipped in and bought a night in Glen Eyrie Castle in Colorado Springs for just Gary and me. They also gave a gift certificate to us from Olive Garden. So in the middle of January we had almost 24 hours together, no children – just rest and each other. Wow. We had the best time. We talked and laughed and just enjoyed not hearing, “Mom, can I . . . ” or “Mom, can you . . .” It was such a blessing to us.

Then, for Gary’s upcoming 48th birthday, they chipped in again and bought tickets to the Chris Tomlin concert for Gary and me. It was, hands down, the most incredible concert that I have ever attended. It touched something deep inside my soul.

I absolutely love being the mother of six. I truly treasure every moment – I have even learned to treasure the moments that aren’t so pleasant. But, these two little respites from responsibility were exactly what we needed. It is like our children knew how demanding they can be and gave us the gift of time without them.

And the lyrics from last night will not leave my mind or heart –

“My chains are gone,

I’ve been set free

My God, my Savior has ransomed me

And like a flood His mercy rains

Unending love, Amazing Grace.”

The newest member of our family

Posted in Budd Zoo, Parenting on December 22, 2008 by Annette Budd


Nate Noe came to Gary and I earlier this month and asked if we would give our blessing for him to marry Christina. We had been closely observing him for quite some time now and were delighted to give this to him. He proposed to her tonight and she said, “YES”! Years ago Gary and I wrote out blessings for each of our children. We included a part in those blessings that described qualities that their future spouses would have. In Nate, God has given us everything we wanted for our precious little girl and more. So now, I present to you . . . .



10. In the unlikely event that I get tired of making fun of the Buffs, I can now make fun of soccer players.

9. Sarah will get to move out of the closet underneath the stairs and back into the room that she surrendered to Christina.

8. I no longer have to wander around Home Depot and try to get a salesperson to help me. I will not have to use the word “thingamajig” again. I will just drag Nate home, have him look at whatever it is that I am trying to explain, have him come up with the proper name of the part and then have him take me to the isle in which I can find it. This will save time and lessen frustration. I am always interested in those two things.

7. When my children start chanting, “Seven! Seven! Seven!” (which is their strange and demented way of asking for another sibling), I can just point at Nate and let them know that I don’t have to get pregnant again in order give them a brother.

6. Our whole family has pretty much resigned itself to just letting Christina have her way on pretty much everything. Nate has not given up in this area (yet). Go Nate!

5. If I had to line my children up from the mildest to the wildest, Nate would be closer to the milder side. This should help the noise level in our home.

4. I now have the guarantee that my grandchildren will be good looking.

3. He brings out the best in Stina. His attention-to-detail personality matches well with her big picture mentality. Together they will bless an untold number of people.

2. My daughter is deliriously happy. This makes me deliriously happy. I can stand some delirious happiness.

1. Nate passionately loves Jesus Christ with his whole heart. He knows the Bible. He is a godly man with integrity. He has an intimate and real relationship with his creator. Who could want more than that?


Posted in Budd Zoo, Parenting on December 18, 2008 by Annette Budd


Elissa did it! I did it! Other than a very small amount of anatomy (which she will finish on her own before Christmas), Elissa is done with high school. She had her last physics class today. Her last writing class. Her last class with me.

I am so glad that we chose to homeschool her.  What an incredible blessing that we have had this time together. Her sweet spirit has brought so much joy to me. Her tenacious determination is and always has been such an inpiration. She never gave up, no matter how difficult it was for her.

Look out world – HERE SHE COMES!

What should we read next?

Posted in Budd Zoo, Parenting with tags , on November 23, 2008 by Annette Budd


Normally, I have a long list of books that I want to read either to myself or my children. Right now, there is nothing in the queue. Nada. Zip. Sarah and I need to start a new book together in a week. As a wrote last week, we just finished Captivating. We are looking for a book (not a novel) that we would both enjoy. I would be very grateful for suggestions.