Monday, November 30, 2009

A quilt giveaway from Marie Madeline Studio

What a perfect time for a quilt giveaway!  Imagine winning one of these beauties


 

...snuggling by the fire wrapped in it or a loved one unwrapping it Christmas morning.  Everyone loves a quilt.  If you want to enter just visit their site for a list of ways to get entries.   You know I have not entered yet because I can't make up my mind which one I like better.  Marie Madeline sure knows how to please a gal!

Monetary Monday - Making your own detergent

I do 3 loads of laundry a day on average.  Some days I don't do any because we are gone all day and some days I do 7.  You know, to catch up on the days I don't do any or because we had an accident.  Like the dishwasher leaking into the pantry.  You can imagine how much laundry detergent I go through. And at 45 cents a wash load for some detergents - well you can do the math.

I was going to make the Duggars detergent.  But then 2 things happened.  One, I washed some hair ties which broke my HE washer.  So I no longer needed the HE detergent.  And two, I found a powered version that takes up much less space.  The cost is minimal, about $2 for a large batch (that's 3 bars of Ivory for $1 and 1.5 cups of Borax and Baking soda which I buy in bulk at Costco) and lasts about a month. So instead of 45 cents a wash load I am spending 2 cents a wash load.  That's a huge difference.  And don't worry about me using more water because my HE washer broke either.  I happened to look at my bill yesterday and noticed I am using FAR less water than this time last year.  Go figure.

Here is the directions if you don't want to visit the link:

Grate 1 bar of Soap.  I use Ivory but you can use Fels Naptha.  Some like Zote but I didn't.
Mix in 1/2 c. each Borax and Baking soda.  Store in air tight container.




Here are a few tips.  Don't wash your grater in the dishwasher after you are done.  It will gunk up your dishes.  Ask me how I know.  Use the finest grate you have.  You want a powder.  Don't use a food processor.  It will burn out your motor.   Its a lot of working grating these bars, so I suggest tripling the recipe even if you don't do a ton of laundry just so you don't have to do it so often.  Don't use Washing Soda.  Its very caustic and will break down elastic and fabrics quicker than baking soda.  And if you want to use a fabric softener use Vinegar, 1/2 c in the dispenser works great.  Now you will be saving money hand over fist!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

The Bloggers Vacation

Everyday I wake up and wonder, "What will I blog about today?"  Somedays I really have to search for it.  Those days I have to force the blog or skip it entirely.  Somedays the blog finds me.  This is usually pretty easy if you just let the kids run off with no supervision or say when you are going on vacation.  In the case of the later you don't necessarily have to plan ahead for the blog.  You just look for the most off the wall thing you can find, and get a picture of it. 




Sedona is a beautiful city back dropped with rich red rocks.  Its also full of new age mystics and UFO enthusiasts.  I am willing to bet there were at least 20 different places I could have my aura read.  I could buy anything from incense, which I actually really do need, to alien hot spots, which I don't need so much.  As much as I want out of the desert, I think I will skip on living in Sedona.  It was wierd even for me!

And look at my beautiful Thanksgiving table!
 
However I think I let it sit too long.  Because it turned to rock!  Oh wait, we are just at the Mining and Mineral Museum.   I had heard about this but you really can't understand it till you have seen it.  Rocks and minerals that have been placed to look like food.



And what would a holiday vacation be without a tacky christmas lights display?  Ok well this is a bit more than just a display.  This is the whole house, walk through extravaganza. In Phoenix there are twin brother Bob and Bernard Rix who each do excellent christmas light displays.  They open their home to 10s of thousands of visitors a year to walk though their amazing collection of christmas houses, trains, mangers and ply wood cut outs.


And thats just the front yard. 

Friday, November 27, 2009

Turkey with a side of Chaos

You can't have a ton of kids without a little chaos on the holidays.  I was mostly worried about sick kids as they are still recovering from a cold.  2 of the kids who didn't get it with the others ended up getting sick Wednesday.  My oldest is a trouper though and didn't let anything get her down.  Actually everything went smoothly till after dinner.  Then it all went down hill.

We only have 1 dishwasher.  Yes, I said 'only'.  Can you guess how many loads of dishes we had to do yesterday?  You can post your guesses below and kudos to the one who gets it right.  Well my dishwasher didn't like being overworked.  So it was crying I guess.  Yup, water leaked out all over my floor.  Into the pantry.  Not sure how well that load got cleaned what with the water not being ON the dishes.  Subsequent loads did not get spilled all over the floor so I am not sure what happened with that one.

And I discovered the mess when I went to get the baby out of the kitchen.  He is quite mobile now.  So after a complete change I left him in the living room to clean up the mess in the kitchen.  Only to come back to find him trying to climb the stairs!  I guess its time to break out the gates.

We woke up this morning to a doggy accident and a toilet flooded.  Not related by the way.  At least we had the decorating to look forward to.  Yea right.  Our outdoor lights apparently has a short, we replaced fuse after fuse just to have them blow again.  We decided to just throw those out and buy new ones.  Our christmas tree is a prelit, with fiber optics.  Last year I knew we had issues with a section of it AFTER we had gotten it decorated.  So this year we had to work on it before we decorated.  We managed to fix some of it.  We gave up after working on it for 2 hours and just decided to buy lights for that too.

A quick trip to Walmart on Black Friday never hurt anyone.  Right?  We had to get lights for $2 each, 10 ornaments for $2 each, Garland for $5 each and what do we come home with?  9 ornaments, someone forgot we had a baby I guess.  That would be the daddy and I.  I guess when they can't climb the shelves to demand the one they want you over look them.  We also forgot the garland. So we just put the ornaments and lights on the tree sans the garland. 

Regardless of all the issues we had, the kids said it was the best Thanksgiving ever.  I am still thankful it waited till after dinner to fall apart.  I am thankful I have lots of left overs so I don't have to cook for 3 days.  I am thankful for good times with great people.  I am thankful for the life I have and all my babies. 
 

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

What Happens when your 2 year old is Quiet


I was writing away while the baby slept.  The other kids were watching a movie daddy had brought home.  It was like heaven.  Until I realized it had been a little while since my 2 yr old had come to see me.  And he was quiet.  Bad things happen when a 2 yr old is quiet.  Either hes been abducted by aliens or he was up to no good.  I was leaning more toward the "Up to No Good" scenario myself.  And I was right!  Imagine.  I found him contently playing in the back yard.


 
 

The brown around his mouth?  Thats mud, he was drooling.

This is what life is like in the desert.  We have no grass, what we do have is a huge sand box for a back yard. Its great, especially when it rains.  Yea...not so much.   The kids do like digging in it, burrying themselves in it.  So I guess I am the only one complaining here.  Bummer.


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Homeschoolers Vacation - Part 2

Today we stayed in town.  It wasn't as nice as we had planned but we are trying to let go of things and enjoy whatever happens.  Which I might add is very difficult when you are traveling with 8 children on public transportation.  Warning: Public Transportation with a large family NOT advised!  May cause serious psychological trauma!

We enjoyed our trip to the Arizona Mining and Mineral Museum not withstanding.  We saw the strangest rocks there.  By strange I mean, looks like it might be alive, strange. It looks like a rock cracked open and inside was a hair ball. 









The meteorite looks like some circuits that fell off a space ship. 












The silver wire in quartz was incredible.  I figured they probably didn't put something man made in with the other minerals but it looks man made. 












And of course can't forget the pictures of the kids! What they are standing in front of is an actual scoop used to fill the worlds largest truck - the Liebherr T 282B.  That scoop was replaced by one twice its size, and at 100,000 pounds you can only imagine its replacement.








The tire used on the Liebherr is bigger than our van, and thats saying something.  And here we were impressed with the price of a monster truck tire.  That'd be one scary tire swing right there. 








If you have the chance to visit a Rock and/or Mineral Museum I suggest taking clip boards, paper and pens.  Because now that we are home we would really like to have the names of some of those rocks we saw.  You can make it even more exciting by doing a scavenger hunt, but really even the youngest of my kids had fun there.  Maybe we are just weird though.  You don't need to answer that. 

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Homeschoolers Vacation - Part 1

Homeschoolers can not simply take a vacation.  No.  Everything they do must revolve around some type of education.  And bloggers must always be thinking about what they will write about when they get home.  When you combine the 2 you get some of the most off the wall vacations anyone has ever gone on. 

So the daddy is on vacation - I bet you never guessed.  We decided to head out to Northern Arizona, get out of the city and breath some fresh air.  First stop: Montezumas Castle.  Educational Stop #1.  Did you know that the yucca plant fibers is used to make everything from rope to sandals to baskets tight enough to hold water?  And you can't break it.  Its incredibly strong.  My boys had a go at tug of war with some rope made of it. And these kids break everything.  I am thinking of investing in some of those sandals.  Surely someone still makes them! 


I simply can not imagine living up in the side of a cliff like that.  And here I thought Pittsburgh was bad.  It is beautiful though and I can see why the Indians picked that spot to live. A river runs by, you have beautiful farming land and living in the side of the cliff is a great protection from predators and enemies.

 

It was very educational and I love to see my kids get so excited to learn about something.  They really enjoyed the replica of what the inside of the "castle" would have looked like.  Of course it helped that there was a real spider living in there, really drew attention after my oldest pointed that out. 








Second stop was Montezumas Well.  This was Educational Stop 2 as well as the "Scare the Pants of Daddy" stop. We didn't know there would be a sheer drop off with little boundaries.  There was a guard rail of sorts as you approached the well.  Probably to keep people from running right off ala Coyote and the Road Runner. There was a path to walk down, which we didn't venture, partly because daddy was gonna have a heart attack and partly because we still had a lot of walking to do and it was a long walk.  No, really it was a LONG walk.  Check out the ducks in the picture, it was a more like a trek. Those little white things are ducks.

Montezumas Well is a collapsed limestone cavern.  It has organisms found no where else in the world and yet has no fish due to the high concentrations of carbon dioxide.  There is also cliff dwellings there, but we didn't go down to see them.  Rule #1 when traveling with children - Always Research Areas you might go to; especially if you have a daddy scared of heights.

Education Stop #3 was the Fish Hatchery in Page Springs.  We actually weren't planning on doing this at all.  We were going to back track and go to Fort Verde and then on to Jerome.  Rule #2 when traveling with small children - Always Leave Room in Your Schedule for Improvisation.  While we were at Montezumas Castle we talked to a Ranger who suggested the Fish Hatchery to us.  And we are so thankful because neither the daddy or I had ever been to that part of Arizona before.  And it was simply breath taking.  If we were to say there is a lot to do in Northern Arizona it would be an understatement and we will definitely be taking another trip there to finish off what we missed this go around. 

Living in the desert doesn't afford much in the way of season changes. My children have never experienced playing in the leaves.  They had never seen the canvas of colors that is fall.  They never smelled the scent of fallen leaves or heard them crunch under foot.  This day they did, and partly because of the advice from the Rangers.  But, aside from discovering falling leaves we also got to feed the fish.  We saw the race ways, the long thin rows where the fish grow, and discovered school of  fish really do swim in circles.  You know I had never seen a baby trout before. 


Here my kids are up close and personal with some fish.




Tomorrow we stay in town to visit some local museums. Part 2 of The Homeschoolers Vacation will be up late tomorrow.  But we will have to take another trip up north after the holidays.  Perhaps see the Painted Desert or Meteor Crater and the Petrified Forest.  

The Bloggers Vacation will be later in the week.  Be ready to get your laugh on.

Friday, November 20, 2009

The Classroom at home

The homeschool classroom is often times not really a classroom at all.  In our case its the dining room.  I try to have the kids keep the area clean with vacuuming and wiping down the table.  But apparently I am not doing a very good job.  My oldest had a writing assignment today, about her classroom.  I had to share it.

Our Classroom is Messy
Old food from last night, crumbs, paper, cups and more. 
All sorts of Items on the floor.
Decorations and Tissues left around.
Mostly books and papers found.
Dirty chairs once white now gray and brown.
And I need to clean it all. 

And for the record there is no food from last night anywhere, its just crumbs.  Good thing we are doing a super scrub next week for Thanksgiving.  Its not helping that I have 5 kids with colds. Hence the tissues.  Don't worry they are clean! 

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

How to make your pizza mans day

Dh has been a pizza delivery driver on and off for 20 years.  He has seen it all, good and bad.  There are some scrooges and some looney toons, but also some very generous folks out there.  You don't need to dole out a ton of cash to make your pizza man happy, although that helps! Some of the best tips dh has gotten has come from kids.  He got a candle with some candy canes 2 years ago right before Christmas. Another time all the kids at a sleep over pitched in their change for the tip.  Sure it was all in coins but how sweet was that? But this one almost turned dh red, he was so honored.  How to make your pizza mans day...

                            Get the kids involved while they are waiting and have them draw pictures.


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

On faeries and deep voices

My 4 yr old was laying in a stream of sunshine on the floor.  He gazed up at the dust floating around and said, "I am trying to catch the faeries." I asked him if he meant the dust and he told me matter of factly they were indeed faeries.  I tried to explain they were just dust particles when he retorted, "Then why are they flying?"

Before bed last night I crept up to the boys bedroom and hid behind the door.  I knew my 5 yr old saw me but the 2 oldest were talking away so I jumped out and yelled "Boo".  The 2 boys startled of course but my 5 yr old just calmly said, "Hi momma."  I knew he had seen me but he was a good sport and didn't spoil my fun.  The oldest, not wanting to appear scared in front of his younger brothers said, "Well it startled me because I thought you were daddy, you had such a deep voice."  Oh nice, does that mean I sound like a man or does dh sound like a woman?  Trying to recover he then said, "Well maybe it just sounded like that because I was talking and not paying attention."  Turning in to a man already. 

Learn the States and Help a Family in Need

This is not the time of year to be without.  And yet there are plenty of families right now that are.  Smockity Frocks blogged about Joy offering her ebook for donation to such a needy family.  Right now my kids are learning their states and abbreviations, how timely!  I am sure there are lots of other kids and adults who could benefit from this as well.  It is a sad sad state when I go into the post office to mail a package to Arkansas and the postal clerk was looking under Alaska for the zip.  Surprisingly the package made it to its destination!

When we were going through the same thing my friends were there to lend me a hand.  Time to pay it forward. 

Monday, November 16, 2009

Monetary Monday - Meal Planning

A great way to save money is with a menu.   You plan what you will eat for a week, or two or for a month.  You then plan your shopping around that.  There is very little impulse buying, you have your coupons at the ready, and you can doing some freezer meals easily this way. 

I try to stick to a menu. But things do come up and I can't always make what I planned, which could lead to a domino effect.  Some meals I plan to use left overs for the next day in another meal. So not only does it mess up that days menu but the next days as well. I have been making some frozen meals with our regular dinners.  I will double the recipe then freeze half.  This has been working out well so we don't have to buy prepackaged frozen meals for those days when I screw up. Manacotti, pancakes, breads, muffins, taco meat and stir fry chicken all make great freezer meals. And they taste a ton better than the frozen ones you can buy.


An unexpected positive a menu has done for us is to keep unnecessary junk food out of the house.  Since I plan my shopping list around my menu I buy only what I need.  If the kids decide they hate my meal they can make their own and shockingly they have been choosing healthy foods to eat because we don't have a ton of prepackaged food in the house.

Oh and yahoos alarm feature is a great way to remind yourself to thaw that meat or marinate that chicken.  That annoying beeping from your phone?  Time to make the donuts!  Or whatever you happen to be making.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Learning at its Funnest

The American Heritage Festival was a blast. Literally!  The cannon blasts were quite loud and vibrating.  It took a bit longer than we thought to get there. As we were pulling into the parking lot they were already doing the pledge, however we enjoyed watching 3 battles and talking with all the partcipants.  The kids learned a lot about the different toys, writing instruments and cooking from the era.  We asked them what their favorite thing was and everyone said something different.  I guess that means there was something there for everyone.

When Abe Lincoln was giving his presentation he mentioned that the reason why boys wore dresses till they were 5 was because it was easier to potty train them.  I can certainly appreciate that!  It was very educational for the whole family and we enjoyed ourselves immensely.  Sadly, we did leave because of rain.  I was sad to go, but my poor baby was freezing.  I was not expecting it to be so cool. 

The entire group of reenactors.

   Adele making corn meal. 

 Kids playing ring toss.


Learning to write with a quill.

 A revolutionary war battle begins.


Getting the cannon ready.


General George Washington and the French fight together. Seen here they get their muskets ready for another round.


Colonial Singers.


Civil war soldiers.


Kids with Abe Lincoln.

And here are my kids getting to make their own reenactment.



Friday, November 13, 2009

The American Heritage Festival

Tomorrow we are driving an hour away to attend the American Heritage Festival. We are very excited.  I am a little worried that there is a small chance of rain.  I know!  In the Desert!  And 9-5 is a long time for the kids to walk around.  I hope to have lots of pictures from the event to share with you.

Thankful that for once I can do something like this without being pregnant!  Its much easier to deal with a nursling than a huge belly or morning sickness.  

Thursday, November 12, 2009

So that reality TV thing...

I can't tell you how many times someone has commented that we must be going for our own reality tv show.  The thought crossed my mind.  And I quickly dismissed it.  Who wants a camera following them around everywhere?  Its bad enough having 8 kids follow you everywhere.  I don't think I have spent more than 2 minutes in the bathroom in the last 11 years because I have kids sitting on the other side banging.  Of course there are all the other reasons too. You know the criticisms for absolutely every thing you do in life from what you eat to to how many times a day we flush the toilet.  And the total lack of privacy in our lives.  You know, just the little details. 


Then I read an article today and this quote got me:
"Last month, Jon Gosselin revealed to CNN's Larry King that he and his wife, Kate, were paid $22,500 per episode before their messy breakup this year."  
I don't know if they got paid that from the beginning but at 85 episodes I am thinking they did pretty well for themselves.  So knowing this now I think I would have a harder time saying NO WAY to a reality show.  Seeing how that marriage ended up though it would give me pause, if only for a moment.  One would hope my marriage is more like the Duggars than the Gosselins as far as reality tv marriages go.  

All hypothetical of course.  Because I must be the most boring person.  Raise your hand if you want to watch someone spend their days folding clothes, changing diaper and yelling up the stairs, "Someone give the dog water!"  Come on...I know you are dvring it and canceling that party just to watch. 

For now, No, I am not trying for my own reality show. 

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Another reason to Homeschool

Not that we needed another.  Especially this reason.  I know what these guys were thinking - Win Win situation.  Everyone comes out happy.  Had no one thought this through?    Would kids see any reason to study then?  Would any school be willing to admit students from this school knowing their grades were bought?  It gives teachers a pass not to do their job knowing the parents would just buy the grade they need anyway.  Nice to know where the priorities lie at that school.

Thankfully someone had enough brains to realize this wasn't such a grand idea.  Grades will be reversed and funds returned.    But in that time what did it teach the kids?  I will go out on a limb and saying nothing academic.

For the record, I am not against schools, they serve their purpose.  But not when they do this. 

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Hiding Gifts

Its hard enough to hide gifts when you have one or two children.  Imagine when you have 8 inquiring minds.  Ok I admit the youngest doesn't look.  But the other kids snoop even when they don't know there are gifts to be found. 

This year I think I am being pretty creative.  I emptied a storage box and put the gifts in there.  Blends right in, they don't know I emptied the box.  In years past we used the trunk of dh's car (not a bright idea however if car break ins occur in your area), under a blanket in the garage (as you can imagine this didn't work well), in the under the bed storage and in my sock drawer.  One year I found a gift for my fathers birthday 6 mos after his birthday  - in my sock drawer.  Yes, I really am barefoot and pregnant, I never look in there and neither does anyone else.  And I knew I had bought him something, I could have sworn. 

Today I cleaned out dh's dresser.  That man had more socks than any 3 men could ever use.  Note to self - stop buying socks as a gift.  So I told him its a good thing he doesn't hide stuff in his dresser.  He replied, "I would never hide anything from you.  Its hard enough to keep the facts straight the way it is."   I told him I meant gifts, but it was good to know where his mind immediately went to! I think he is hiding my gifts in the trunk of his car.  And really truly that is not why I cleaned out his dresser.  I swear.  Really. 

Where have you hidden gifts?  Found any fool proof places?  My mother told me she used to hide hers at her grandmothers when we were little.  I always wondered cause I looked everywhere.  I even pulled the bed away from the wall to look behind the head board once. I wonder if she didn't tell me cause she liked to drive me crazy looking for them. 

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Spider! Spider!

Whilst sitting under the desk mad at his mommy (don't all 2 yr olds do this?) my 2 yr old discovered a spider.  Mommy doesn't like spiders...at all.  So I scream "Spider! Spider!"  In comes 3 Knights in shining armor, ok one was only wearing a tshirt and undies, but they looked like Knights to me.  Now I have 4 boys under my desk, the 2 yr old, the 4 yr old, the 5 yr old and the 7 yr old.  Notice the 3 oldest just sat there, which is important note for later. 

The 7 yr old takes the lead, using his brother's shoe to smoosh the spider.  I love how he picked his brothers sandal instead of his own healys which I am sure would have inflicted much greater damage..  Well my 4 yr old didn't like this one bit.  No, it wasn't his shoe.  No, he wanted to kill the spider.  Only my boys would be fighting over who gets to kill a spider. 

Me: "You can kill the next spider."

Ds: "When will the next spider be?"

Me: "Well there was one in my shower yesterday." Showing him, unfortunately they happen pretty frequently here. Gotta love the desert.

Ds: "Is it still there?"

Me: "No, I killed it."

Ds in high pitched whine : "I want to kill a spider!"

His plea was soon to be answered cause my 7 yr old gave up.  I guess the spider gave him the slip.  So my 4 yr old started to smoosh away, yup using his brothers shoe.  Finally he got the spider.  So I handed him a tissue to pick it up with.  Instead he wiped his nose and walked away. 

Then in walks my 10 yr old, "I thought you were yelling Fire."  Nice.  So not only did they not want to help their poor mother kill a spider, they thought the house was on fire and yet they still sat there.  I guess I can commend them on being so attentive to their school work.  Even as the house burned down around them. 

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

A series of unfortunate events or The Cheesy Peal: Now for Youthful Looking Skin!

There is never a dull moment in our house.  My youngest dd left out the globe. Anything left down in our house gets destroyed.  My 2 yr old is a human wrecker.  Everything he touches falls apart.  He even managed to break a dresser once.  I mean really break it, like pieces came off.  I see a bright future in demolition for him.

But my daughter, seeing the mistake she made, fixed the globe with some glue and tape.  A resourceful young gal if not forgetful.  She then left the glue sitting out. Apparently ds decided to play piano after he was done with the glue.  Because I discovered the mess only when I went to check on why the piano kept playing the same tune over and over again.  Ds was standing there pealing his hands.  I quickly deduced what had happened.  Because I am smart, and because sadly you start to think like a mischievous toddler when you have one.

He had smeared the glue all over the counter and drove his hot wheels through it.  So he had dried glue finger tip to elbow and on his legs.  Not just dried glue either.  No, ds had to be eating Doritos and salsa before he played in the glue, so it was cheesy dried glue.  At least the mess pealed right off.  There could be worse things.

Of all the things I have to clean up, this must be the most enjoyable.  Who doesn't like pealing Elmers glue off your hands?  And to do arms and legs too?  Yea it was fun, if not just a little gross, what with the cheese and all.  And it kinda looked like skin, the color helped that visual.  My oldest dd didn't really want to help.  She thought it was gross. But my 5 yr old pitched in and pealed a leg for me.  He said, "I must be the strongest boy in the house, look at the size of this glue piece!" as he proudly held up a piece of leg glue.  The he tells me, "You are gonna have to vacuum the floor when we are done."  Aren't you glad I spared you the pictures?

Then dd had to clean the counter, she rolled all the glue in a ball and left it there for me to find.  Wasn't that sweet?

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Dear Santa

Dear Santa,

I have been a very good girl this year.  I've managed to stay out of the loony bin and all my family members are still talking to me.  My children are all fed and clothed, the house hasn't burnt down and my head hasn't left a dent in the wall.  So in light of my good behavior I would very much like the following for Christmas:

I could really use some sleep.  This might be a family gift  as I am sure I would be a happier mommy if I actually slept.  I'm figuring since its mythical like you, you might know where to get it. 

I know you aren't supposed to pray for patience but how about asking you for some?  Thats ok, right?

I want to loose weight.  And please, I don't want this gift to come in the form of an illness in which I can't eat  or lapse into a comma. 

Having the ability to turn invisible, so I can do my exercises in the loft again, would be a novel gift.

And perhaps being able to read minds would make this parenting thing a little easier.  At least with the babies.  Cause heavens knows I don't want to know what goes through my boy's heads.

A floor that vacuums itself would be a splendid gift.  And no I don't want a dirt floor, already got one of those, thanks anyway!

And could you get someone started on that replicator too?  It would make meals oh so much easier.


And maybe if it fits in your sleigh, a new sofa would be nice.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Monetary Monday - Buying in Bulk

As long as I can remember buying in bulk was always a money saver.  In school you learned how to calculate unit price so you can find out what size was cheaper to buy. Of course the caveat was that you needed to actually use all that was in the bulk size of you were loosing money.  Like, in our house, this is ever an issue.  When we buy our ketchup in pounds rather than ounces you know we don't have a problem using food.

However lately I have noticed the bulk items are not cheaper.  For instance our orange juice for the 64 oz size is more expensive than 2 of the 32 oz size. Which is silly really because you are using that much more plastic. So companies got wind of people buying bulk to save money and reversed it.  Of course people will get wise once again and start buying the smaller products, these companies don't give their clientele enough credit. 

Another place this applies is the warehouse stores.  If you can stock up during a sale at a regular grocery store than you will save money even over the warehouse prices. You aren't gonna find those sales all the time.  So planning for meals is difficult if you aren't sure when you are gonna be able to get some items on sale.  You can get, at a warehouse store, whole chickens by the pair.  It will run you around $10.  Or if you wait for a sale and stock up you can get 4 chickens for less than $10.  Guess what I have 4 of sitting in my freezer right now?  So we will be having a lot of chicken this month.  Which balances out earlier in the year when we bought a bunch of roasts during the BOGO free sale.  The good news is by the time you are sick of something its gone and you won't get to have it again for a year.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Just the Facts Ma'am



3 of my boys playing court.  My oldest is the judge.  He was trying to discover the reason the other 2 were fighting.  He was even using my letter opener for a gavel.  Right now my daughter is trying to get in on the action, she wants to be one of the boy's lawyers.  I could stand a couple of Lawyers and Judges in the family.  So long as there aren't a couple of criminals too.