Saturday, October 30, 2010

New Recruit Training

Today, a beautiful thing happened. DD2 saw the opportunity to get DD3 to help her with her chores. However, she spun it into, "Don't you want to learn this life skill? I'll teach you how to do it."
So this is what I hear coming from the bathroom, "Help me Windex the mirror. Woohoo!! Isn't this fun?! Great job DD3!! You're doing great!" Laughing ensues.
There are a few things this lets me know. First is that DD2 knows her life skill well enough to teach it. Secondly, that they don't hate working. Third that they enjoy working together (most of the time), and fourth, when you train them and then let them fly, beautiful things happen.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Insanity???

I am 12 days from the end of this pregnancy (less if I go into labor on my own). DH has been itching to build closet organizers for our room. He started today and I am wondering...."Are we insane to start a major project at this point?" I guess at this point, everything feels insane - why not add something else?

**My mom is in town so that does help with the outlook of things.

Monday, August 30, 2010

My Baby Handbooks

I need information. Info calms me and helps me plan a path forward. I need it for everything - including raising kids and babies.

So, I thought I would share with you some of my favorite baby books that have been our "how to" books when we have been clueless. (We still refer to them every time we have a baby.)

Sleep Issues - Healthy Sleep Habits, Healthy Child by Marc Weissbluth
- Solving your Child's Sleep Problems by Ferber (use the sleep tracking chart in this)
Breastfeeding - The Nursing Mother's Companion
Baby Sign - just looked up info on the Internet, checked out books from the library
- LOVE doing baby sign, highly recommend it. We start around 10 mos. old.
Calming Crying Baby - The Happiest Baby on the Block.

Another valuable source is other parents. I love hearing what works for others to see if it would work for me. I would love to hear what books or things have helped you with your babes!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Letting Them Fly


I am nearing the end of this twin pregnancy - YEAH! Along with that, I can no longer walk far, or stand for very long. This also means I can't cook.

DDs love a cooked breakfast - thanks to DH. (I prefer cold cereal.) But he has been so busy at work that he leaves before they get up.

The other day DD1 decided she wanted to try to cook waffles - FROM SCRATCH, using a recipe, and doubling the recipe to boot. Keep in mind there was no formal training in any of this.
She was so confident she could do it that I decided, "Why not? If she messes up, I am only out a couple cups of flour and eggs. She knows how to clean up, so why not let her try?"

Guess what, they were delicious. She had even made extras and knew how to freeze them. She had picked up enough skills from other things like helping make bread that she had figured out how to follow a recipe and properly measure things.

When I again "got out of the way and got over the mess" she was able to stretch her wings and fly. I am excited for her to start cooking more!!
*Other things DD1 can cook: Noodles, Mac & Cheese, Sandwiches, Eggs both on the stove and in the microwave, quesadillas, and can reheat leftovers.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Getting Out of My Own Way

There are times when I have to step away from things, just so they can move forward. I (and others I love) describe me as "assertive". I think of it more as I can be, at times, competitive, driven, outspoken, hard headed, etc. :)

Like most things in life, these qualities can be wonderful in the right situation, or damaging in others. Over the years I have worked on tempering myself, knowing when to back out, or to use these qualities to my advantage.

When it comes to my kiddos, there are times where I am capable of doing things myself. However, because of personality conflicts, it is better to pay someone else to do something, so that the child can grow in that area. Also, I want to make sure that my relationship with that child isn't damaged.

Yes, even right now, I am paying a hefty sum for DD1 to do a tutoring program. Even though I am a teacher by training, it was time to take myself out of the equation so that she could progress. There are times when I just need to get out of my own way- and my kiddo's too.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

You Make the Mess - You Clean It Up

We play a game called, "You make the mess, you clean it up." This is awesome because EVERYONE (parents included) is in charge of cleaning up after themselves. It makes so much less work for the parents.

Example from today: DD2 had eaten lunch and wanted to go play.

Me: Did you bring your dishes over?
DD: Yes.
Me: Did you put them in the Dishwasher?
DD: No, but it won't be that much more for dad to do tonight.
Me: Is it your mess?
DD: Yes (with a bit of a whine mixed in)
Me: Then who should clean it up?

That was the end of the conversation. She went back and put her dishes in the dishwasher.

Now there are many times where we have to help each other. For this I hear, "But that's not my mess!!" True, but we are in a family and there are times we need to help each other. During one of these comebacks from the kids, I remind them of a time where that particular family member helped them. If that doesn't work, then I threaten to stop helping them in some way like cooking their dinner, paying for lessons, or driving them somewhere. That stops the whine sessions pretty fast.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Sleepover vs. Stay Late


We have struggled with sleepovers...do we allow them? If so, what age? With whom? How late are they allowed to stay on Sat.? Will they be safe? If you say yes to one, how can you say no to another with out offending? etc., etc. It is also hard when is seems "everyone else is doing it" and your kids are begging you for it. Plus they can be a lot of fun.

The decision is also hard because so many children are sexually abused at sleepovers. Our neighbor worked at a place for sexually abused children and said there is NO WAY she will ever let her child do a sleepover. She said most children are sexually abused by friends, relatives, or friends of those groups. Another friend said that in his religious area 1 in 3 kids were being sexually abused at sleepovers. SCARY!!

So what have we decided to do instead? Stay Lates. Our kids are allowed to stay at a friends house later than usual - even later than the normal bedtime. We pick them up around 9:30-10:00 pm. This gives them enough time to watch a movie and goof around. It also eliminates the who do you say yes and no to?

Is it awkward to have this rule? Yes, sometimes. But I would much rather have some awkwardness than my child hurt in that way. For now this seems to be working well and the kiddos like it. Who knows, maybe we'll start a new trend.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Another Laugh

Sunday, brought on another parenting incident with DH that made us laugh hard. We were playing UNO and DD3 insisted on messing up the card piles. After two warnings it was off to time out for her. DH had to put her there since I couldn't.

This is how I run time outs:
1. They stay there one minute for each year they are. In this case 3. You also tell them why they are there, e.g. "It isn't appropriate to mess up the cards while people are playing. That is why you are in time out."
2. When the time is up you ask, "Why are you in time out?" They must answer.
3. You say, "That's right, you are in time out because you messed up the cards. That is inappropriate."
4. This is the biggie. You tell them what they CAN do instead. For instance, "If you want to play cards, you can ask daddy if you can play with him." or something like that. So important that the sentence include the word CAN.
5. They apologize to the offended party.

So back to DD3. I had to help coach DH through these steps because it has been so long since he has done a full blown time out. He did steps 1-3 pretty well, then when I told him about step four he couldn't think of an alternative so he said, "Next time don't mess up the cards. Now go apologize to mom."

DDs 1, 2, and I erupted in laughter. Even the DDs could see the mistake he made in step 4 and thought it was hilarious. DH was laughing and said, "I couldn't think of anything."

It is becoming more clear to me that our roles are becoming very specialized. I am starting to think more seriously about this Daddy Training Camp for him....

Sunday, August 8, 2010

My Man

DH dancing with DD3

Lately, I have been more grateful than before for the things my man does and who he is. Maybe it is all the changes we are going through right now. Whatever it is, I am loving it.

It has been really fun to see him blossom in his career and become the boss-man. It gives me a sense of security that he is taking care of us. What woman doesn't love that? Also, I know of times where other women he has worked with have eyed him, and it is fun to think, "Ha, ha! Hands off ladies. He's mine."

With the mice fiasco, he totally took charge shooing mice out of the window and setting traps. (There was NO WAY I was even opening that window.) I said that he was a super hero because he killed Mighty Mouse - the girls got a kick out of that. He was even so manly to take care of the dead ones. He wasn't even phased. AMAZING.

Last night we went on a date. I suggested that we get pedicures, and even referred to other men (his friends) that had done it, but no way was he even going to do it. Not even a manicure. I thought it was cute and man-like that he didn't want to do it - even with some pressure from me. I like it when he pushes back sometimes. He is a confident man. He instead, wanted to go shopping for the baby things we needed. I guess him WANTING to go shopping is pretty good too.

With our finances he has done some "power moves" lately with investments. Things I would never have thought of, and quite frankly don't totally understand. But he figured them out and has this detailed plan on how they will work out and help us. My mind does not work that way and I am very grateful his does.

On the soft side, he comes home and fixes dinner, gets the girls in bed, does the dishes, picks up etc. because he wants to take care of me and these babies. He does all of this while still trying to do the other stuff like home maintenance,mowing the lawn, and church responsibilities. He amazes me with how hard he can work - he gets that from his parents.

I feel really blessed to have him on this journey we call life and feel very safe in his hands. I hope our girls marry men just like him.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

mouse in the house

So the update on the mice...they made it into the house. They ate all my poison and are still alive! I think we are dealing with Mighty Mouse here. Next step, traps. But DH has to be over this phase. I cannot handle this right now...

Thursday, August 5, 2010

God Send

For many years now I have eyed the powered grocery carts at the store. But you look pretty stupid driving one when you don't need it. Well, I have reached the point of needing one (buying mice poison) and today I finally used one. It has become difficult for me to walk longer than a few minutes and the grocery store was out of the picture for me until now.

I'll tell you what those carts handle like a dream! The turning radius is so small, three point turns are a breeze, and it is easy to maneuver. The girls were very good around it as well. (Remember the "follow me like a duck" command?) It was also great because they liked putting things in the basket and it is lower so it is easier for them to unload the cart. I also liked that I was at their level so it was easier for me to talk with them. They LOVED it and were much better helpers.

I especially love it because I feel like I can help out with the groceries again. Thank goodness for modern technologies!

twins,and three, and....MICE! OH MY!!!


Today one of my worst nightmares became a reality. We got mice. Luckily/Hopefully they haven't infiltrated the house yet, but they chewed through our window screen and are trying their darnedest to get in. They are crawling around the outside of the window looking for a hole. Just what I need right now...

Why are they here? Well all the DDs left open/spilled candy in the basement yesterday. They promised they would clean it up, yeah right. One of the worst things is that our food storage is also in the basement - that is a mouse's dream come true- and tons of wasted food for us.

Let's pull this into a life skill. Why not? It has taught the girls WHY we don't like them eating food in the basement. It has taught me that even though I am exhausted, it is important not to slack on certain rules. (Can't a mom ever take a break?)

What now? I can't call DH - way too much going on at work to worry about this. I have to handle it on my own. We (DDs and I) went to the grocery store, and bought poison. I suited up with gloves and a face mask and dumped the poison in the sill. Now the mice are eating it and hopefully soon will be no more....

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Life Skillz - Recruiting Help




Part of Life Skillz is recruiting other people to help train your children. I love this because my girls learn skillz from other people who are better at a skill than I am. They also listen better because it isn't coming from dear-old-mom.
Last week, a friend of mine and I hosted Life Skillz training for about 12 girls in our church ages 8-11. The topics were hair (taught by my hair stylist), fashion (taught by a very fashionable art teacher), and nutrition (by a high school athlete).

It was a smashing hit in my estimation! The girls learned a lot of great skills and had fun doing it in groups. I am happy to report that my girls are coordinating outfits better, are FINALLY using product on their hair, and are much more conscious of the sugar they eat. LOVIN' THE SKILLZ! It is also so nice to be able to remind them of the info they learned from other people. Since the info didn't come from me it seems less like nagging. Hooray for that!
If you want more details of what was taught and how it was run, let me know. I would love to share them.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

For Maggie




My very dear friend Maggie has been encouraging me to take pics of my preggo belly. She is right that I will want to document it (even though I will want to forget about it for a while.) So this post is for you Mags, me last week (31 weeks) with my brother-in-law PJ. I also included a pic of PJ and me when I was preggo with DD1 ten years ago. Funny, he's trimmed down, and now I am bigger!

Enjoy!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Reconciling

Yesterday, the last day of the month, DH and I did our financial reconcile. Not the most exciting thing to do, but it is very rewarding. I take care of the day-to-day budgeting (which we both agree is the most important and hardest) and he keeps the big picture together.

I LOVE when he pulls up our savings, investments, debts paid, etc., and then we look at our timeline for paying off certain debts. I can see how our frugality is paying off. We are getting closer to our goals and feel really great about what we have been able to do so far. It is slow, but steady and eventually we will get there.

I also LOVE when he says, "You're doing a good job Babe." That is so much better than, "Where have you been spending this much money?!" Love it!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Running Out of $$

It finally happened yesterday...DD2 ran out out of money. She is our little spender. It is so hard for me to let her spend money on things that are "whim" purchases. But I kept telling myself, "This is her money, not mine," and "different people value different things, my kids included."

Also, she needs to feel the pain of running out of money if she is going to learn how to save. And boy did she feel it today. DD1 went clothes shopping (at Justice with a 40% coupon), DD2 LOVES Justice clothes and was so sad she couldn't by anything. But it was SO good for DD2 to feel that.

After the experience, DD2 is really resolved to be a better saver. It opened up some great conversations about past purchases, putting off spending to see if it is a want or a need, and saving for what you really value. (I could even politely say, "I told you so". :)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Discount Massage

Today I finally went to the chiropractor hoping to get some relief of my pains. While there they told me that my insurance convered and hour long, in house massage. So for $25 I get a full adjustment and an hour massage. I am going once a week!!!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Strength in Numbers

YEAH!! A good friend of mine is on the "Parenting Breakthrough" bandwagon. She is already really good at teaching her kids life skills, but she read this book and loved it!! We spent a good time on the phone today talking about how we are implementing this into our lives.

It is so fun to have someone to bounce ideas off of. It also helps that our kids are the same ages - and friends- so that they can talk about life skills training and not feel so picked on. It also helps because we can plan activities that teach a specific skill and invite the other person and their kiddos along.

Most importantly, we can help encourage and strengthen each other as we take this parenting journey.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Cheap Leave-in Conditioner


Try this instead of paying for expensive leave-in conditioners. In a spray bottle put one part conditioner to 10 parts water. My hair stylist swears by this and we are definately going to try it.

DH Wins Belly Dancing Contest

In June DH and I were able to get away to Orlando for a week. We were celebrating our 10th anniversary and trying to get some quiet time before the twins come.

While we were there, we went to a dinner show called Arabian Knights. They had a pre-show pro belly dancer who held a belly dancing contest. I talked DH into doing it - and he won!! I was laughing so hard! My man is pretty cool.
video video
video

Budgeting Simplified


When I first started this blog, I wrote very lengthy posts about how to set up and run a budget. I still get many questions about this. It can be very overwhelming so I am going to try to break it down into a few simple steps. It still is a little lengthy (sorry Mags) but the topic is pretty big.

1. Sit down and write your categories.

2. Get three months worth of expenses (including a Christmas month) to see on average how much you are spending in each category. This is VERY important so that you can see what your habits currently are. If your spending $500/mo. on dining out cutting down to $20 isn't realistic. Your budget will fail. (You can get this info from credit card statements or other software you use like mint.com)

3. Plan your budget. EVERY dollar needs to be put somewhere - even if it is into savings. Keep in mind to take big expenses that you know will happen like Christmas, health care, car repair, property tax, etc, take the amount they each will be, divide it by 12 (for 12 months) and put that much money aside every month so that you will have enough saved when the bill comes up.

4. Assign responsibilities. I take the variable expenses i.e. groceries, clothing, dining out, babysitting, gifts, etc. DH takes care of fixed expenses i.e. mortgage, car payment, taxes, etc. Then we have his and her gas, discretionary money, clothing, etc.

5. Track it. DH is at a computer all day and loves to use Quicken. I am on the go and need to see how much money I have when I am shopping. I use a PDA with a checkbook type app. to type in my transactions when I spend the money. This way I know how much I can spend before I enter the store. This has been the most powerful tool for both me and my clients. When you know what your numbers are doing, you can shape your spending to fit into it.

*I use a Palm Z22 with a software called Budget Master. I also love the Everyday carrying case. It is getting old in terms of technology and we are looking at the iphone with apps. One that looks good there is called Checkbook 2.2, Quicken also has an app, but it looks like you have to download it from Quicken's website. We are looking for something that will sync with Quicken to make DH's job easier.
**THIS IS THE KEY TO OUR SUCCESS.

6. Reconcile. This is DH's job. He puts all the spending from all categories into Quicken to see how we are meeting our financial goals. Then we sit down and talk about how things are going. We have stopped fighting about money and are excited about how soon we can get out of debt. (If we stick to our plan, we will be debt free by the time we are 50. It could be sooner if we keep being frugal.)

I would love to hear how you are successful with your budget or feel free to ask me questions.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

A Thank You - Music to My Ears

Yesterday, DD1 and DD2 overheard me talking with another mom about chores a.k.a life skillz. This woman was trying to figure out how to get her daughter to do them, because right now she wasn't doing anything.

I asked DD1 later if she thought it was neat she knew how to do so many things. Trying to be cool, she shrugged her shoulders, gave a smirk, and said, "It's okay. I just can't believe other kids don't know how to do this stuff." I'll take that as a yes, she thinks it's cool.

Then this morning, DD2 sits next to me (on the couch) and we have the following conversation:

DD2: Mom, thanks for teaching us Life Skillz. I like that we know how to do so many things that will help us when we're older. (No joke, exact words.)

Me: You're welcome. I'm glad to hear you like it, even though you whine sometimes.

DD2: Yeah, sometimes it is hard.

Me: I understand that! I have a hard time too sometimes, but part of life is learning to work even when you are tired and things get hard. That is a life skill too.

DD2: Yeah, I think you're right.

HELLO...Music to my ears! This isn't the first time they have thanked me either. I have been SO pleased with this system. My girls are getting it that chores aren't just for punishment or a drudgery, but they are important life skills that will help them! LOVIN' IT!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

My New Role - The Incubator

The last two to three weeks my life changed dramatically. I officially started my third trimester. I have stopped feeling human and am now officially an incubator. My energy plummeted, my stomach exploded (even DH says, "Wow Babe, your huge."), and I hurt in ways I didn't think existed.

My days consist of sleeping on the couch, sitting on the couch most of the day with my feet up, napping - yes on the couch, and heaving myself up to take care of only necessities. Oh, and the occasional yelling at the girls to stop fighting and do their chores. They LOVE that.

My new motto is, "SURVIVE" and I keep telling myself it is easier to do this than sit in the NICU with preemie twins - and I am sure it is.

So here I am waiting, incubating. Time seems to be passing so slowly, like I am a child waiting for Christmas. But I need to enjoy it, because shortly, my life will be a blurr.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Raising Kids like Training Dogs

I had a laughable moment today. The whole family went to the grocery store for an outing. DH struggled with the kids - not because of misbehavior, but because it was hard for him to herd them around the store.

I just sat back and watched (it is good for the hubbies to get a taste of what a wife does). As we were leaving the grocery store, the kids all congregated in front of the cart. They were talking and looking at things - and blocking the entrance/exit.

DH was trying to get DD3 to get into the cart, while DDs2 and 3 were still in la-la land. I said to him, "Tell them to follow you like ducks." He gave me a weird look, but said it to the girls. Instantly, they all lined up behind him and followed him out of the store.

He was amazed, and I started laughing. I told him we needed to have a daddy training course so that he could learn all the commands the girls know and the situations to use them in.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Life Skillz Update

We are into week 2 of summer vacation. Overall DH and I are thrilled with how well the DDs are doing on life skills. There has been very little complaining and great work being done. They have been very understanding with my inability to do much and try to be good helpers. I LOVE these kiddos!!

Interested in our schedule for summer? Here it is:

8 am wake/say morning prayers
get ready
breakfast
empty dishwasher
9 am Garden jobs
9:45 homework
10:30 snack
11 quick house pick up
life skillz training
12:30 pm lunch
1 pm nap for DD3 and mom
quiet reading for DDs 1 &2
3 pm playtime
5 pm quick pick up
set table
screen time
6 pm dinner

Here are the life Skillz we are working on with each child:

Child, Skill, Trainer
DD1 Feed, water, change Guinea Pig Dad
Memorize mom and dad cell number Mom
Minute Addition Mom
Multiplication/Division Mom
Rinse dishes MWF Dad
Load dishwasher TThS Dad
Laundry, run washer/dryer Mom
Laundry fold/put away Mom
Properly water/weed garden Mom

DD2 Learn to shower independently Mom
Load dishwasher MWF Dad
Run microwave Mom
Make/answer phone calls Mom
Clean Table Dad
Laundry fold/put away mom
Properly water/weed garden Mom

DD3 Brush teeth independently in morning Dad
Say Prayers Both
Clean child table Dad
Pick up All

DH and I know this is a little ambitious, but even if we get to half of this we will be happy! The DDs seemed excited about it so we are going to ride it as far as we can. Do we stick to this everyday? Nope, we keep it flexible because other things come up. Life happens, but we do our best.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

More Coupon Savings


Just wanted to post some other savings that I have had with coupons. That's right - almost $2,000. Behold the power of the coupon.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Babies Are...

A boy and a girl! We are thrilled. DH is trying to make it known we are excited for BOTH, but he is excited to finally have a boy in this sea of girls. Most important, both look healthy and so far we are all doing well.

I do have a question for you all, will you send me the names of your favorite baby gear and why you like them? I am looking for things that will make my life easier.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day


To all of you moms out there - Happy Mother's Day. You work hard, sacrifice a lot, and try to keep life moving forward in the chaos we call life. Thank you for all the tips you have given me to help with my own chaos. I hope that you have had a wonderful day and had at least a little moment of quiet. You deserve it!
To all you women with mothering hearts in my life with no children I just want to say THANK YOU! Your help and words of encouragement have helped me when I have been driven to the point of exhaustion and insanity. My children are much better people because of you!
Love to you all!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Sneaking It In

I have managed to sneak in another chore with NO complaining from the troops. What is it? Setting the table for dinner.

Everyday DDs get one hour of movie time before DH gets home and while I am cooking dinner. (This is my sanity time.) However, before they can start their screen time, they have to set the table.

To my surprise, they don't complain about it. They want screen time so badly that they whip the dishes on and are out of the kitchen in no time. BEAUTIFUL!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Back On with Coupons


Ready for another confession? I haven't clipped (or used) a coupon in five months. I know that has some of you gasping, "How can a Coupon Queen bail on her coupons?!" Well, life happens, to all of us and some things go on the back burner.

HOWEVER, I changed my subscription to the Pottstown Mercury and am set to go this weekend. (My neighbors are going to love the sound of 5 papers hitting my driveway at 6 a.m.) I'm not quite sure how it is going to fit into my life right now, but it needs to. My grocery budget has been a lot for special diets DD2 and DH have been on. It is time to take control again.

I miss my savings (see the above receipt, yes that is a $187 savings) and need it back! I can't deny the power of the coupon.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Game Stop Rip-Off

I went into Game Stop today to see about trading in some Wii games. I went in educated about how much I could get off of Ebay or Craigslist, and figured I would get a little below that. But I was BLOWN away by how little they offered!! They were giving 10% of what they were reselling the games for used! For example, Super Smash Brothers they were reselling for $39.99. They offered me $3. RIP OFF!

However the did have one good policy, if you buy a USED game, you can play it for a week, and if you are not satisfied you can return it for a full refund. Hello, why not just keep buying and returning games weekly?

Anyway, I ended up walking out with everything I took in and nothing more. At least all my money stayed in my pocket.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Life Skillz Training - Phase II


DD1 and 2 have a pretty good handle on the bathroom cleaning life skill. Last week, they cleaned the bathroom at a level 9 with no complaining and almost no help from me. (They got all the cleaners and rags. The only thing I did was hook up the rinsing hose to the shower head.) LOVE IT!!

It is now time for phase 2 - bedroom skillz. They will be completely in charge of cleaning their own room - dusting, vacuuming, changing sheets, baseboards, etc. Some of this they already do, but now we will make it official.
Also keep in mind that they are pretty good now about keeping their room picked up. This is something we have focused on since the housecleaner. There isn't a lot of whining now to pick up and for the most part they keep their room pretty neat. Now it's time to focus on the cleaning.
As with any life skill training, we are in the talking phase. I am TELLING them what they will be training on next. They are not yet required to actually do it. This is the time where they can talk about their concerns, and decide who will be in charge of what. (DD2 wants vacuuming, DD1 wants dusting, etc.)
How will they fit this into their schedules? One week will be bathroom duty, the next bedroom. It doesn't all have to be done on the same day, but it will need to be complete by the end of the week or they do it on Saturday.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Dishwasher Beauty


Every morning before DDs 1 and 2 go to school they are in charge of emptying the dishwasher. One does the top, one the bottom, and DD3 is in charge of the silverware. If they fail to do this job before they go to school here is the consequence:


The dishes from the day can't be put in, so at night, they have to finish emptying the dishwasher and then they load ALL the dishes from the WHOLE DAY - including dinner.


I have to tell you that every morning, the dishwasher is empty - without me nagging. That is a beautiful thing.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Business For Sale

Today I am putting my business up for sale. It is growing to say the least, but so is my family. I can't do both and family is most important. If you or anyone you know may be interested please email me at info@thecouponbinder.com.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

God Does Provide

The news of twins last week has really turned our nice little plan for our family upside down. There are many financial, physical, time, and emotional concerns.

I was feeling sorry for myself because we also don't have parents who can help us financially. I was driving along getting pretty angry at my parents for the poor financial decisions they have made; and how now in a time of need there is no financial support. (I still love them despite that.) Then God let me know that he is also my Father and that he can provide everything I need.

At that point I decided that I needed to put my faith in God and make our finances a matter of prayer. I talked to DH about it and he thought it was a good idea. So we started praying. Yesterday, DH looked at his bank account and found extra money from his work. It seems that he won some big award that he didn't even know about.

I felt very grateful to God for providing this extra boost to us. It showed me that he is aware of the stress twins is going to put on us. But God sent the twins and He will provide.

Did You Think to Pray?

Now that I am shutting down my business, I feel that I can now really open up about my frugality in a spiritual way. God is such a big part of our lives, and I have to give him credit for many things - including my frugality.

A few months ago we were hit with the "Many major things breaking at the same time" phase in life. You know the one, several major appliances go out, you have major medical bills, etc., etc. We had been going through this, and then one day the washer stops working. It was full of laundry and soapy water.

I got everyone off to school and work. Feeling overwhelmed, I dropped to my knees and prayed to God asking him to at least fix something in my life. I then went back into the washer and felt God guiding me to the solution. I got it to work and was saved the time and money of replacing it!

I shared this experience with my dear friend who's mom was dying. She ran into a similar situation with a car. She remembered my experience and she prayed for help. Right after her prayer the car started and she could do what she needed to take care of her mom.

God knows each of us and our situations. He wants to bless us and help us. The question is - do we think to pray?

Monday, March 22, 2010

The Ultimate BOGO

Sorry about the lack of pictures (again). Things here have been a bit crazy to say the least. I have been really sick in the first trimester of this pregnancy and today I found out why....TWINS.

I usually love a Buy One Get One special, but I'm in shock over this one. Early on I said that this would be the last pregnancy and that if God wanted us to have more than four kids he was going to have to send twins. Looks like he took me up on that one. HELP.....

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Forbes Friend

Today Forbes came out with their list of the top 400 richest people. My friend Richard Peery was ranked #262. (He HATES it when this list come out.) This is the man that help inspire me to be frugal. He and his family are also some of the most down to earth and loving people you could hope to meet - and also some of the most frugal. His DIL and son have 6 kids and even though they are loaded she buys their clothes at yard sales. I have many other examples from them. They are really amazing!!

*Side note, his wife's sister is married to the man who owns Marriott Hotels. Looks like they know how to pick guys :).

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Worth It.

I just got this from a recent customer. It is letters like this that make all the hard work worth it.

"LOVE the coupon binder I just ordered!! I've been couponing for a couple of months, but today was by far the easiest shopping experience I've had! With my 4 year old in tow and being 6 months pregnant it was still easy to see what coupons I had and pair them up with good sales. My total grocery bill was $231 and I paid $126, getting TONS of stuff to stockpile, including dish soap for $.83 and paper tow for $4 for a big 8 pack.

Wonderful product!!!! Totally worth the money spent on it!"

Wonderful letter!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Want Spot Filled


A few months ago I blogged about the "Want Spot". The place within us that holds our wants, and that is ALWAYS filled with wants. I talked about keeping mine around a while to see if I really did want that particular thing and if I did then to see if I could get it at a reduced price.


One of my wants this past winter was an Amaryllis bulb. It costs only about $6, but it wasn't a necessity and I figured if I could deny myself that, then I could deny myself of bigger things. (I do practice saying "no" to myself too -not just to my kids. :)


Well two days ago I was offered an Amaryllis for FREE. Turn out there is a lady in my congregation that has a real knack for propagating them. She found out I wanted one and offered to give me one - which I totally jumped on. I am also going to find out how she takes care of them and maybe I can grow my own from now on.


Try it. Pick one of your wants and keep it around for a while. See what happens when you do. I think you will be surprised at how much better - and cheaper - the outcome is.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Coming Clean

I have a confession to make. I am not Super Woman. I cannot run a business, a blog, raise three young kids, be pregnant (yes it's true), have a busy husband, have a babysitting job, be busy in church work, and run my house. I am coming clean....I HAVE A HOUSE CLEANER.

It is a luxury I know, but Beth (my cleaner) is a necessity in our life right now. She allows me to focus on my Life Skills training with the DDs because I don't have to worry about the whole house being clean. She also allows my DH to take a break (somewhat) when he comes home from work. (He will send me to bed and stay up until midnight cleaning to help me. Now it is already done.) She allows for saneness in a very chaotic world.

Many people raise their eyebrows when they find out about Beth because of the cost. Remember how I said I have a babysitting job? That pays for most of Beth. Plus Beth doesn't clean DD's bathroom (that is their life skill) so that helps on the cost too. I shopped around and negotiated a fair price. And Beth is one of the best cleaners I have ever seen - and she's legal to boot!

I am SO glad that I have a house cleaner. I know that every two weeks, calm will come to the chaos and my house will be clean - at least for a few days.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Super Cute (and cheap) Birthday Idea

My friend Maggie sent me this great idea. For her nephew's 5th birthday, she made him a number five shirt. She bought the shirt on clearance at Target for $0.75. Then she took an old stained shirt from one of her kids and used the non-stained back to cut out the number five. Here is what she said, "Here is my crafty effort! Would be easier with a sewing machine, but it's good to something with my hands during book club, other than eat!!" I looks great Maggie!! Thanks for this idea! I am going to do this for my girls this year.

**Home Ec Tips: If you are worried about the number moving around while you stitch here are some ideas. Safety pin it in main areas to hold it in place. You can also buy fusible interfacing if you want it to be stiffer and you can buy a double sided fusible interfacing to kind of glue it on before you stitch it. Also try to do some type of edge stitching (i.e. zigzag stitch or button hole stitch) to prevent the edges from curling if you want. No need to worry about frayed edges if working with t-shirt materials. Also, I'm not sure that a sewing machine would make this look better. Sewing in many directions on a knit fabric can be tricky.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Beware of Helping Husband part II

I have mused on wether to post this, but I think it is insightful so here it is.

A few weeks ago, the girls were doing their life skills. However, they have switched jobs - not a good thing.

DH worked every weekend in January when bathroom training was happening. This morning in an effort to help, he started the girls on their life skills. That was very sweet, however, he just let them loose, chemicals and all with no supervision and let them choose what skill they wanted to do. Then he went downstairs and had breakfast and assumed that he could then go do something else.

Let me tell you the problems with this so that you can avoid the same mistakes. First, before they switch, they need to be able to perform the particular skill satisfactorily, WITH NO SUPERVISION. Then they can move onto something else. It is important they they keep repeating the same skill until that happens (remember the 3-7 times of teaching from a few posts ago.)

Secondly, then they actually train each other on the skill they have learned thus engraining it even deeper. If you can teach it, that's when you really know it. While doing this they are also learning how to do training, which will be important to them as adults in the work force.

Third, this shows that communication between BOTH parents is crucial, as it is in everything that you do with your kids. I assumed that they would do their same skills - that was the plan in my mind, he just wanted to get them started and help out.

I have to admit I lost it. I walked into the bathroom to see how they were doing and it wasn't good. The quality was terrible! He didn't understand what the big deal was. So I told him that today he has to train the girls on the new skills they are doing- and to his credit he is. Hopefully we will all learn from this mistake.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Morning Sickness Helpers


I have a few friends who know a lot about a lot of things. Apryl is one of these. She also happens to be a midwife. The other day we were talking about life and the topic of morning sickness came up.

Her tip to help it? Cut a Granny Smith apple into apple chip pieces. Suck on one chip, then chew and swallow. The acid in the apples helps break up the bubbles in your stomach that cause the nausiating feeling. Also, sip on a drinkable yogurt throughout the the day. The protein is slowly digested and that helps too.

*Home Ec tip from me. To prevent your apple chips from browning, cut the apple under cold running water and then put in a bowl of water. Drain and enjoy!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Dumping the Paper


I had six subscriptions to the Philly Inquirer Sunday Edition - for the coupons. That's right 6. Red Plum recently pulled out so I was left with no choice, I cancelled my subscriptions.

For now I am going to be ordering my coupon inserts off of Ebay, which will save me money. Each paper was costing me about $2.25 x 6 papers = $13.50 per week. On ebay I can get 5 inserts for $3.75 - including shipping. So times two sets of inserts that is $7.50 per week. If I combine shipping I will save even more. That right there is almost a 50% savings on my coupons!

*There are other websites that will clip the coupons and you buy only the ones you want. http://www.thecouponclippers.com/ is one of these. You can also print coupons online from RedPlum and SmartSource. These coupons are different than the ones that come in the paper and reset about 1-3 times per month. Just make sure you know your grocery store's policies on printed coupons.*
*This info was given to me by Mindi Cherry at http://www.momsneedtoknow.com/

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Life Skills Training - Breakfast in Bed

Last Saturday was wonderful. I slept in until 8:30 am and was woken by DD1 and DD2 with breakfast in bed!

I had taught DD1 how to make scrambled eggs in the microwave a few months before for a life skill training. Last Saturday I got hot scrambled eggs, a peeled clementine, and a glass of milk. They even brought up a dish towel as a napkin! All brought up to me on a cooling rack as the tray.

Then to top it off DD1 went downstairs and fixed scrambled eggs for DD2 and DD3 so I could rest a little more! I was so impressed and DD1 felt so grown up. She is definitely learning great skills for life!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Bye-Bye Pacifier Party



Trying to get rid of the pacifier? Throw a Pacifier Party! This is how:

1. Tell your child in ADVANCE that they are big now and you are going to throw them a party where they are going to send their pacifier to the babies in the hospital.
2. Let your child help plan what type of cake, activities, and they can request a present.
3. Before you have cake, ice cream, and presents, have you child decorate an big envelope. Then they put ALL of their pacifier in the envelope.
4. They put the envelope in the mailbox - before the party.
5. Go have the party to celebrate your child's bigness!
6. While they are busy with the celebration, someone sneaks to the mailbox and puts the envelope in the outside trash can where it will not be seen by child.
7. After the party chances are they will go back to the mailbox. Tell them that the mailman already took them. (I know not completely honest, but it is for the cause :)

**Notice how many steps the child helps with or does? This is very important so that they can take ownership in giving the pacifiers away. This is important when they are begging for them you can say, "Remember, YOU gave the pacifier to the babies because you are so big now and don't need them. You did a good job!"

We did this with DD2 and it worked like a charm!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Good-bye to a $avings Era


My FAVORITE store, SuperFresh, is closing this week. My average savings there was 75% and I am so sad to see that go.

Also leaving is my favorite cashier Robert (in the pic). One of my couponing tips is to find cashiers that you know and that know their stuff. Robert was one of these. He was meticulous with the coupons. In addition to that, he would tell me the good sales in the store that were unadvertised and the best time of the day/week to shop for the best savings.
He was also my biggest advertiser for my Coupon Binder Business and would hand out business cards for me. He would also keep an eye on the kiddos if I needed to run out to the car when I was struggling with two carts of food.
I hope that you can build a repor with the cashiers at your store. They can be worth their weight in gold!

Goodbye Robert, and Good luck!


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Budget Class Reminder

My DH and I will be teaching a budgeting class tonight. See the posting for the details. I promise it is going to be GOOD!

Needs vs. Wants

Many people ask me how I am so good at being frugal and staying within my budget. I think the biggest thing is understanding this - needs vs. wants.

Whenever you go to spend ask yourself, "Do I really NEED this?" and go even further and ask, "Do I need this to sustain life?" If the answer is "no" then it helps you forgo the purchase much more easily.

We don't NEED name brand clothes, expensive cars, expensive trips, big houses, dining out, a house full of brand new furniture, spa days, etc., etc. Even lessons for our kids are not an absolute necessity and can be put on the chopping block if need be.

We do need food, clothes, shelter, and transportation. All other things would be nice to have and I try to find ways to reduce costs in ALL areas.

When I am able to asses a real need vs. just a want, it helps me curb my spending much more easily. I would love to hear how you curb your spending!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Suggestions...?

My DBIL (Dear Brother-in-Law) was recently giving me a hard time about my blog - I didn't even know he was a reader. (You need to sign up Randy :). He said that it took him a while to figure out who my DH, DD1, DD2, and DD3 were. He thought that my DH was my Designated Hitter. Actually that isn't so far off. He steps in for me quite a bit. So for those of you that are new here are some clarifications.

DH - Dear Husband, Dashing Hunk, Designated Hitter. This refers to Marcus - the love of my life and my biggest supporter.
DD1 - Dear Daughter 1. Our oldest daughter.
DD2 - Dear Daughter 2. Our middle child.
DD3 - Dear Daughter 3. Our youngest.
DBIL - see above
DSIL - sisters-in-law
etc., etc.

Randy also told me I needed more pics. I have been trying to be better about this. How am I doing? THANK YOU Randy for your suggestions!! I think they were right on!

What suggestions do YOU have for my blog? What topics would you like me to cover? What do you want to see more or less of? I would love to hear from you!

Life Skills - Bathroom training


Saturday took an unexpected, but pleasant twist. My kids ASKED to do life skills training a.k.a. chores. How could I say no to that? The skill - Clean the bathroom.
They got all jazzed and suited up in their cleaning aprons and I got out the cleaners. Then I went and sat in the bathroom on the side of the tub while I taught them. I would talk them throught how to do it. There were times that I had to show them the skill, then help guide their hands so they could get the muscle recognition. I also made sure that their quality was good. What good is teaching something if the quality is poor? I didn't seek perfection, just good work.

DD1 asked for toilet and bathtub training (I told her I was potty training her again. We both got a good laugh out of that :). DD2 asked for sink, counters, and mirror. They were both in charge of the floor. I was in charge of the shower walls.
The next time we do this, they will be doing the same things to solidify what they learned. Then when they are ready, they will switch and teach each other. When you are able to teach something, that shows that you really know it, and it further entrenches it in your own mind. (Learned that in education classes.)

They had done this once before during summer life skills training. However, I didn't expect them to remember all the details. In fact, I don't expect them to remember everything next time either. Most people take three times of being exposed to something to really learn it. Some people can take up to seven times. (I learned that in my education classes too.) With our kids I think it will be somewhere inbetween.

By the end their excitement waned, and so did my patience. However, we all knew this is expected and were able to help each other through it.

The end result? Their bathroom looked great, they were exausted, but very proud of themselves. Their score - 8 out of 10. Not perfect but actually pretty good.

I got the chore training idea from the book, "The Parenting Breakthrough" by Merrillee Boyack.
The cleaning method I use is, "Speed Cleaning" by Jeff Campbell. http://www.thecleanteam.com/

Aren't the pics great?! I LOVE to see our kids working and learning. I think they love it too - at least they keep asking for more. :)

LOVE Coupon Shopping


It has been a while since I have been able to do serious coupon shopping. It has taken more time than I thought to start and run a business. However, last week was triple coupons at Superfresh. My friend Mary and I went and here are the results:
$254.76 Total worth of groceries
$187.43 Amount I saved with sales and coupons
$67.33 Amount I paid

I have to say it felt sooooooo good to do that again. Of that $187.43 only $60 was store discounts. The rest were coupons saving. I love the POWER of the coupon!

Christmas Lights Organizers


My DH came up with this great idea. Take the cardboard tubes from the wrapping paper and use them to wrap your Christmas lights around. Here's how:

1. Tape one end of the lights to the tube. (This will prevent the lights from sliding around.) Also for ease of putting them back on next year, you might want to start with the plug end. That way the beginning of the lights will be on top. It just depends on how you like to string your lights. It was easier to take them off by starting with the non-plug end and wrapping directly off the tree. But this may make it harder to put them back on. Either way, they won't be tangled and that will save time and frustration right there.

2. Start twisting the tube so that the lights coil around the tube.

3. Done. I store my lights directly in the Christmas Tree box so that I know where they are next year.

4. When you put them back up next year, the kiddos can hold the tube and untwist it as you hand the lights. What a great way to get them involved!!

I did this with DD1. It was so easy and fun that she kicked me off and finished it herself. I'm not complaining about it. :)

Saturday, January 9, 2010

FREE Redbox Rentals


This tip came from my friend Kate. She was one of my first Coupon Binder customers. She is now a Coupon $avings Queen. The following is her email to me.

"Here is a link to free Redbox Codes that are marked with percentages as to how well they worked. Tip: Print list before going to a Redbox stand and bring with you to try them out. The ones dotted with green are most definitely working. Never pay for a rental again! Also each code is good one per credit card, so if you (hypothetically speaking) had an ATM card and 3 credit cards you could get 4 free movies with a single promo card."

Thanks Kate! I know what we are doing tonight for FREE.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Free Wendy's Frosties!!

Right now at Wendy's you can buy a coupon for $1 that will give you free frosties for the entire year with any transaction. So you could buy a dollar hamburger and get a free frosty. The lady told me that if I bought one hamburger I could get six free frosties. (I bought six of these coupons.)

I was also told that they only do this at the beginning of the year and only offer 2,000 per store. I bought mine yesterday. She told me that they were selling about 100/day and they only had 1,000 left. So hurry in for a great deal!

*I went to the Wendy's in Royersford.

Something Scary

Two days ago it was time to take the girls to the bus stop. I went out to start the van....It wouldn't start. I had left the DVD player plugged in - and running- the day before. (I know, not smart.) The kids got a ride from a neighbor and I was left facing one thing I have been dreading for my entire life - jump starting my car.

I finally HAD to do it. There were errands I had to run, binders I had to ship. The men on the street were gone to work. It was just me and the van battery.

I was scared but decided I was bigger than this fear. Guess what? I did it and it really wasn't that bad!!

My challenge to you - Learn or do something that has been haunting you. You will feel so empowered!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Budgeting Class


Okay readers here is an opportunity to see me in the flesh. (Well not all the way in the flesh, but at least in person :). I am going to be teaching a class on budgeting and you are invited. Here are the details.

When: Wed., Jan. 27,2009
Where: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints building
2530 Stinson Lane
Norristown, PA
Time: 7:00-9 or 9:30 pm depending on how many questions there are.
Fee: FREE - my favorite word.

Details: My Husband, Marcus, and I will be going through how to set up and execute (not kill, but to make it work) a budget. It is encouraged, not necessary, that couples attend. Or come by yourself if you don't have a significant other. However, NO babysitting will be offered. (even I have to hire a sitter.)
We will be offering a budgetcomputer program that can help you in setting up your budget. The cost for that will be $1 to cover the cost of the cd. I am also hoping to be able to offer some of the budget tools we will be talking about. Since I haven't seen anything like them, I have to manufacture them. I have no idea how much they will cost or if I will have the time. But hopefully they won't be more than $25. (I am only charging for the materials.) If you are interested, please bring cash. Also, hopefully they will be simple enough that you can make them yourselves as well.

If you are planning on coming. Please reply in the comments area. I want to make sure that we have enough chairs and a room big enough.
*Do you know how hard it is to find a picture with just Marcus and me? Usually I am the one behind the camera. Luckily, I did find one. Isn't he cute? When he isn't squinting he is even cuter. :)

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

How to Lower Bills part 2 - fixed Bills- car insurance


Yesterday, I was telling my DH about the cutting bills question and my answer. A funny thing happened. My first response to the cutting bills question had to do with variable expenses - ones that fluctuate. His first response was on fixed expenses - utilities, insurance, mortgage, etc. We had a good laugh because he is in charge of fixed and I am in charge of variable expenses in our family so we saw that question in a different light.

However, as I have been mulling this over, I think that in many instances - not all- that they can be handled in the same way. Keep in mind the questions 1. Is it possible to do this cheaper? 2. How?

Let's take a look at a bill that is considered more fixed. Car insurance. Let's use the questions. Is it possible to do this cheaper? Yes. I know you may not believe me but it is true. How? Keep reading.

Did you know that with one phone call, your insurance agent can lower your insurance rate? No lie. You just call them up, tell them you are looking around, and if they want to keep your business that they better give you a more competitive rate.

We did it, and had our agent scrambling. She got quotes from several other companies that she uses. We even found out that Nationwide started another company, with a completely different name, for the purpose of offering cheaper insurance! I'm not lying.

When you throw in a multiple car discount along with a home insurance policy, you can get even better rates. If you have teenagers, the good student discount helps out a lot. Also, driving in such a way that you don't get tickets or in accidents is very cost effective.

Here is another tidbit you may not know. If you go on vacation, you can call your insurance company and uninsure your car for the time you are gone. We had a car that we weren't driving anymore, so we didn't need the collision and liability insurances. We did want it insured in case it was vandalized or stolen. So for $7/mo. we were able to get those things covered.

So then you ask, can I get it cheaper? yes. How? Share a car, and the expenses, with someone. You could also drive older cars that are cheaper to insure. Or, you could give up your car all together and ride public transit or get a bike. Your cost is free, after the bike. But you could probably get a bike for free too. (Not that I am saying this is very viable for most Americans, but it is a possibility.)

I am convinced that with most things there is always a way to get it cheaper, even a little bit. It just takes a bit of asking and information.

**Real story. My dad used to sell insurance. I was his summer secretary so I saw a lot of people come in and out of his office. One time, I heard my father quote a man $700/mo. for car insurance. I couldn't believe it. I asked my dad if the company really wanted that much for insurance. My dad said that he had some leeway with the quotes he gave.

He knew this guy's car was impounded for D.U.I. and not being uninsured. This guy was trying to get his car out and needed to show proof of insurance. He also didn't want to shop around for multiple quotes. My dad knew that this guy was a huge risk and that after one month would default on his policy. Not a good thing for the company or my dad's commission.

So my dad jacked up the price and figured if the guy wanted it badly enough from him he would pay a lot of money, and the company would make some money for taking the risk. You know what? That guy paid it and the exact thing happened that my dad said would happen.

My point with all of this is that your insurance agent has more power then they let on. It takes a little nudging a.k.a negotiating, shopping around, being informed, and being willing to walk. But it is worth it. It could save you hundreds of dollars every year.

**The picture is of my brother-in-law. Pretty funny huh?

Monday, January 4, 2010

My Life on Film

The holidays are over, our family has left, the cold I have been running from all week has finally caught up with me, and I wanted to chill. I did something I rarely do, I sat in bed and watched a movie - Julie and Julia.

I thought I was settling into a movie about cooking. Strangely though, as the movie developed, I felt like so much of me was playing out before my eyes. A tall woman, with short curly hair. A big personality that LOVES people. And so competitive it drives her to do things that other people either say are impossible, or that they can't believe you are doing that particular thing. Sometimes I can't believe it and sometimes I drive even myself crazy.

Then there is a husband that is shorter than you, especially when you wear heels. He is so sweet and supportive that he not only puts up with the craziness of what you are doing, but actually encourages it. He listens and gets excited when you show him your latest trash find, or tell him how much you saved on groceries. He even helps clip and organize the coupons. And you are crazy in love to boot. (Only my hubby still has his hair and prefers no facial hair.)

You are driven by a passion that shapes your life into something you never thought it would be. You want to teach it to others so that their lives can be fuller too. For Julia it was cooking, for me it is frugal living.

There is also a blog. You want your ideas to be heard so you put them out into cyberspace. Hoping that someone will read them - and appreciate them. You think, "How hard can it really be?" and start to type.

Then you realize that it takes TONS of time and wonder if anyone is even reading it. And is it worth the time? Still, my mind mulls continually about what to write. What nugget of frugality can I possibly share that will make a difference in someone else's life?

And even if I don't have a ton of readers I will continue to write. I will write for my daughters. This will be the place where I write down the things I wish my mother would have taught me. I don't want time to dim the information that has been so powerful in my own life.

Don't get me wrong, I would love to have a ton of followers (and if you read this, please sign up :), but I think I have come to realize that I blog because I have a passion for what I do. I LOVE TO SAVE MONEY and I LOVE PEOPLE and I LOVE TO TEACH.

But for now I must go. It is 11 pm and I should have been asleep two hours ago to help with this cold.

Good Night.