Friday, January 28, 2011


What is your favorite quotation from what you are reading today and what was your favorite quotation from what you read yesterday?

Mine for today:
"Seventeen years as a farmer between two wars taught him that men and mountains could not be wished away but must be dealt with as they were."  (Decision in Philadelphia by Christopher and James Collier on George Washington's immense practicality).

Mine for yesterday:
"...It's easier to hold to your principles 100% of the time than it is to hold to them 98% of the time...The marginal cost of doing something wrong 'just this once' always seems alluringly low..." (The Bottom Line on Happiness by Clayton M. Christensen in December 2010's Reader's Digest at my kids' dentist office).


Sunday, January 16, 2011


I've recently transformed myself from casual couponer to determined saver.  My goal is to recoup via coupon savings at least 1/3 of the additional tax burden the great failed state of IL just placed upon its fair residents.  Since IL is taking an additional 3K from my husband's checks this year, I'm looking to save about $1000 via couponing.

I don't want to be a crazy coupon lady, but I find myself enthusing at people who did not ask about coupons and telling them my deals.

Like any addict, I've tried to set boundaries I will not cross.  One boundary is time--I only want to devote about an hour a week to planning my purchases.  So, I read two main blogs (here and here) that tell me the store deals, what to buy and where the coupons for the deals are located.  The other self-imposed limit is which stores I frequent.  I don't want to run all over town going to 5 different stores.  Walgreens is on my corner and CVS about a mile away, so those are the stores that I coupon at, even though there are many other stores and deals listed on the two blogs I read.

I hit a great money maker deal at Walgreens today.  Be sure to take advantage of this TODAY and certainly by Monday as they will definitely run out of this offer quickly.

Purchase the trial size ThermaCare Heat Wrap on sale for $2.50 at Walgreens.  No, it doesn't matter if you need it or not.  Donate them to a nursing home or other rehab facility.  Resell them at a garage sale.  Whatever.

When you purchase the item, the register will kick you out $2.50 in Register Rewards.  This is good on a future Walgreens purchase.  If you live in the Chicagoland area, all Jewel grocery stores take Walgreens' Register Rewards because Register Rewards are manufacturer coupons.

Ring each wrap you buy as a separate transaction as only one register reward will print per transaction.

But that just puts you at getting the item for free.  Where's the money maker come in?

Before you go to the store, print multiple copies of the $1 off 1 ThermaCare found here.

Using this coupon, after tax you will pay $1.68 per ThermaCare Heat Wrap and get $2.50 in Register Rewards.  I did this 12 times in three shopping trips at two stores.  I netted 82 cents x 12 = about 10 bucks.

While I can't think up $30 of Walgreens items I need, I will take these coupons to Jewel and shop their loss leaders using the Walgreens' Register Rewards.  You need to make sure you have an item per coupon at Jewel, so I'll need to purchase at least 12 items to use my 12 printed Register Receipts.  Also, the coupons are not good on dairy, so bear that in mind.

Every little bit helps!


Sunday, January 9, 2011


Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned.

Did I really have the temerity to complain on my homeschooling lists about current challenges in meeting five kids' distinct and varied needs?

Did I actually lament the daily dismantling of the home by the 14 month old disassembler?  Though it was only two days ago, Father, I long for the days when scattered toys, pots, blocks, magnets, puzzles, and the occasional unrolled toilet paper heap were the biggest challenges this baby posed.

I arrogantly assumed, Lord, that blocking the stairs and closing the door to the basement would keep this moving miracle of yours on one level.

Yesterday, he discovered how to climb nearly anything.

It began in the morning when I found him with a foot up on an attached crib toy, trying desperately to pitch himself headlong out of his crib.

Moving to the living room, he scooted his rolling toy next to the couch, climbed on it and soon was seated high above where any two foot tall being has a right to be.  Not versed in "down,"  he tried desperately to pitch himself headlong off the couch.

The experimentation continued with my boundless explorer pushing the diaper box next to an end table, climbing on it and being discovered half way to the table lamp.   He repeated this variation on a theme by stacking  a toy box next to the TV console and trying to get on top.  It transferred to the family room where the previously ignored fireplace hearth, with its enticing brick on which to bash a skull, beckoned to be scaled.

Not that I'm complaining, Lord, but I'm also pretty sure I heard him distinctly say "no" this morning.

It's going to be a long winter.


Saturday, January 1, 2011


A few days ago, I learned the ecstasy and ultimate agony of numbers.

I am still a little down from having too few digits in that category.

Turns out I'm an overachiever in a different digits category.  Weight.

Or, as my nearly five year old princess put it last night while drawing a picture of me, "Oh, mama.  I am sorry I drew you so fat."  At least she put a big smile on my portrait; I'd hate to be both fat and cranky.

This lady provides simple and powerful info on how to reverse the excess digits.  Maybe I paid attention because, like me, she has five kids.  And, also like me, she gained a lot of weight with her kids.  What sets us apart is she took hers all off and I am staring down the final 20 pounds this year.

Off to exercise!