Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Back to School Shopping

Did I ever tell you that I LOVE to shop? I shop EXCESSIVELY. It is a family trait...and a curse. A curse I have tried to rid myself of for over 11 years.

When I first became married, my shopping drove us into debt on to the brink of divorce. Over the years, I've learned painful lessons about controlling what I spend. But its a hard habit to break. Now, instead of buying stuff for me or our house, I tend to buy too much stuff for my kids. I love giving gifts and planning surprises. I love holidays because it gives me a chance to plan and plot and scheme for that special something that will make somebody's day.

As much as I STILL love shopping...there is ONE kind of shopping that I absolutely HATE...Back to School Shopping. I feel bad that I detest it so I kid, I loved getting all those new school supplies...sharpening new #2 pencils, the smell of the inside of a new backpack, labeling all my PeeChee folders and dividers and, of course, the FABULOUS new school clothes!!

But now, as a mom, I can't stand it. The main reason is the RIDICULOUS Back to School Supply lists for the teachers. As a kid, I remember getting pencils and a new binder...but everything else was provided. But now, thanks to budget cuts and what I believe to be the misapropriation of educational funding, I feel like I am stocking the entire school district! I have four children in school...3 in elementary and one starting her freshman year at the International Baccalaureate Program at Miramar High. The lists are OUTRAGEOUS!!! My elementary kids are in uniforms, but I couldn't even afford to buy new clothes this year, even though all my kids have grown like crazy and won't last much longer in the stuff they've got. All they got were new undershirts, underwear, and socks. I still have to buy them all new shoes for school AND church.

I just get SO STRESSED OUT, because I worry about what people will think when they show up with polos so faded that it's OBVIOUS they're far from new. And then there's the fact that I re-used every folder, binder, and composition book I could from last year...if the first few pages were written in, I just ripped 'em out and called it good...even though Savannah stood there and cried because they were bent and old-looking.

So check it out...tell me if I'm's the list:

  • 1 box quart ziploc bags

  • 2 boxes gallon ziploc bags

  • 3 boxes of tissues

  • 3 boxes of baby wipes

  • 3 pairs of blunt scissors

  • 1 1-1/2in. binder w/clear view window

  • 1 2in. binder with dividers

  • 11 composition notebooks

  • 1 yellow highlighter

  • 1 blue highlighter

  • 1 5-pack of multi-colored highlighters

  • 3 packs of low-odor dry erase board markers with erasers

  • 6 boxes of #2 pencils

  • 3 boxes of 16-count crayons

  • 7 jumbo glue sticks

  • 3 small clear pencil pouches with holes

  • 1 plastic pencil box

  • 1 red plastic folder with holes

  • 16 duo tang folders with pockets and prongs (10 of which need to be in specific colors: 2 red, 2 blue, 2 purple, 2 yellow, and 2 green)

  • 2 12-count boxes of colored pencils

  • 1 red spiral notebook

  • 1 blue spiral notebook

  • 2 red pens

  • 4 erasers

  • 4 packages wide-ruled notebook paper

  • 2 packages 3x5 index cards

  • 2 black sharpies

  • 1 small Thesaurus

  • 1 small Dictionary

  • 2 earbud style headphones

  • 1 USB memory stick

And that is just my ELEMENTARY kids!! Plus, they all needed new lunchboxes (theirs were trashed and unusable), and both Savannah and Joseph needed new backpacks. Luckily, I was able to find a slightly used one for Joseph at a garage sale for $1.00, but Savannahs I had to buy new. I got it and 3 really nice lunchboxes at CostCo...the lunchboxes cost $10.99 each, and the backpack was $19.99. That makes my total, so far...BEFORE Kaitlyns lists and new shoes... $242.89. OUCH. Is there any relief out there?

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