Saturday, April 26, 2008


Yesterday I went to the bargain barn which is a part of Goodwill to peruse their books. In a previous post I talked about the bargain barn's books costing .20. Well, it blew my mind, but book prices at Goodwill Bargain Barn have increased to .50. Prices really are rising everywhere.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Speaking of high prices...

Last night David went to the store to pick up milk and bread. My kids have been begging me to make Creamy Chicken Enchiladas...a family favorite. I had most of what I needed, but I needed Whipping Cream.

For crying out was $4.59. It's a good thing I've been saving money, but my goodness. We will be eating our liquid gold this week.


Pinching Pennies

As gas and milk prices soar, we are trying to cut our budget as much as we can. I've found a few websites that are helping our family with this effort.

While I am a newbie to the whole coupon thing and still have a ton to learn, it really is exciting to see how much money we save when I take time to shop sales and combine those sales with coupons. We're getting necessary items for a fraction of the cost.

Today I'm excited about paperback swap. We devour books around here and our book expentitures are pretty high. So, this week I decided to check out the paperback swap option. Here's my experience thus far...

It is free to join. You post ten books to get started. By posting ten books, you get two credits. That means you can browse through their books and order two books.

Our oldest has been desperately wanting the next book in a series she is reading, but I kept saying "no". Lo and behold, the book was in the system and I pressed the order button and it's on it's way!! She's pumped.

Of the books I posted, someone has already requested three of my books. This is the "hard" part, the actual work. We printed off two sheets of paper to wrap and mail the books. We pay the shipping. It cost about seven dollars to mail three books. When the books are received, the recipient will log on and note that they have been received. Then, I will receive a credit and will get to order another book.

Here are my random thoughts...
  • We are going to save some $ on school next year
  • While it's not free, it's a lot cheaper than purchasing new books
  • Parting with books is difficult for us, but when we realize we get to read new books, it makes it easier to recycle.
  • This is an excellent exercise in delayed gratification for our children (well and for us too)
  • JustKidzBooks in Bartlett is still my favorite way to get books for school. I bought over $500 worth of books this week for $100 (tax free)
  • The Bargain Barn at Goodwill is still a treasure hunt that I enjoy. You can't beat .20 for a book.
  • And, Garage Sales are still the bomb!!!

Now, I'm off to pack up some bags to take to Goodwill.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Holding Back the Laughter!!

Our oldest son has a difficult time with his conduct grades at school. Sometimes this is hard to handle because both of our girls had almost perfect conduct scores every year. (However, if I remember correctly I made a U in conduct my first grade year).

This week has been a particularly trying week. Noah had to pull his clip three times one day (you pull your clip when you break the rules). We talked sternly with him about the importance of following rules. The next day he didn't pull his clip. YEAH!!

Yesterday he had to pull his clip once. Here's David's description of why according to Noah. "I broke one of the rules". David asked which one and what happened. Noah said, "The teacher went out of the room and everyone started talking loudly. It was bothering me. So, I screamed loudly, The Party is Over. The teacher heard me and I had to pull my clip.

David almost wrecked his truck he was laughing so hard. Needless to say Noah is not happy about our laughter. But come on, that is hysterical!! So I'm holding back my laughter and sharing it with you.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

We're Back!!

We finally departed from the Orlando airport yesterday morning at 8:00 am. The day before we attempted to get on 8 flights to no avail. When we didn't get on the first flight I offered to purchase Clara a treat after every flight we missed. Little did I know that I would be buying her so MANY treats. She now has three little stuffed dogs, a cool American girl doll puzzle book, a necklace, AND she consumed Starbucks, Burger King and a plethora of snacks. (I might have spent more $ in the airport than I spent on our whole trip...AAAHHH)

My goal for the getaway was to spend time with Clara. We bonded in a unique way sitting in the airport for so many hours. I was amazed at her quiet demeanor as we waited (of course the treats helped). She did not complain once!!

We also met some lovely people throughout the day, some of them became our buddies for the day. A lady from Dallas, a fun young woman from Atlanta (Clara thought she was the coolest), an elderly couple from Philadelphia, a couple from Portland, Oregon who had just completed a Disney Cruise with their whole family (three kids + spouses and several grandchildren), a professional specializing in cancer treatment plans.

It was also an excellent teaching opportunity to show Clara how a little kindness goes a long way. At the end of the day we wanted to determine the best way to get home. There were two represetatives at the did the minimal. She wasn't rude, she just didn't show a bit of compassion.

After receiving little help from her, we asked the lady standing next to her for some help. Her name was Luz R. She went out of her way to help us. She treated us with kindness and compassion. She made me smile when I wanted to cry.

It was a great moment to show Clara the contrast between treating someone as an individual and treating someone as one of the masses. It was a valuable visual lesson for treating people with kindness and respect.

Monday, April 14, 2008


This weekend Clara and I went to visit some friends in Florida. We had a great time with Madison and Renee!! And, we went to the Pirates and Princesses party at Magic Kingdom. A GREAT DEAL!!! We rode ride after ride after ride with little to no wait.

Yesterday we set out for the Orlando airport at 9:00 am flying on standby tickets which we are very grateful for. Today I sit at an airport hotel waiting for our shuttle to the Orlando airport. Yes, we are still here!!

Clara and I have certainly had an adventure and I am proud of her endurance.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Quotes from the AM

This morning Hannah made a statement that made me laugh out loud. She was getting ready for a trip and remembered that she wanted some gum. Her dad said , we can get some at the store. Her response was classic. "I already have some. We don't need to spend unnecessary money!!" We've been watching our pennies around here, but I had no idea it was sinking in so deeply.

Elijah has a new way of asking for what he wants. Rather than saying may I please have something to eat, he says..."This room makes me hungry" or "This room makes me want Diet Coke." or "This room makes me want to watch TV" Where in the world he came up with this concept we don't know. We do wonder if he is going to be the primo manipulator around here giving the others a run for their money.