Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Working on Number Recognition

The power of the piggy bank is truly working at our house...

My son has been having some real trouble learning his numbers despite our efforts at home and at his special education preschool that he attends five days a week. The odd thing is, he knew how to count to ten over a year ago but somehow forgot, he just seems to be getting stuck around six or seven.

We started a new game with him at home that really seems to be working with his number recognition. My husband had a great idea of using the digital numbers on his piggy bank to help him learn. We started the first night with 4 random coins (to change the amount displayed on the screen). We then asked him what numbers were there, with a lot of coaxing and some help he was able to say them, he got a few wrong the first go around but we were truly impressed by how well he did. For each number right he gets a coin, and when the game is done he deposits them into the bank (great for working on fine motor skills) changing the numbers for the next night's game.

He loves the rewards he is receiving and I can see his confidence growing nightly.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

$5.00 CVS Challenge - Week 3

I made two trips to CVS today, not actually planned at the time but I did need the toilet paper so back I went!

Here is the breakdown:

Trip 1:

Mega pack of Huggies
Gummy Worms (eaten by kids on the way home)
Reese's Peanut Butter Cup (eaten by me on the way home)
20 oz. bottle of Diet Coke (me again)

After sales, coupons (CVS and Manufacturer's) and previously earned Extra Bucks my total out of pocket was $2.05 with tax.

Trip 2:

Schick Intuition Razor
Charmin Ultra
Yet another pack of clips and ponytail holders (from the clearance bin)

After sales, coupons and previously earned extra bucks my total out of pocket expense for this trip was $6.41 including tax.
Since next week's circular will be in "May" here are my total spent/saved in April -
Total amount of merchandise purchased - $160.90
Total out of pocket - $64.60
Total saved - $96.30 plus I still have $6.00 in Extra Bucks to spend!!!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Fun Breakfast

What will a couple of slices of whole grain white bread, some milk, a couple of drops of food coloring, a toaster oven or the broiler in your oven get you?????

A really fun breakfast!!!!

This is an oldie but a goodie...the boys have so much fun with this one.

I did learn that when making this with the young ones, it is best to flip the toast when making. He used way to much "paint" and it soaked through the bread making it a little mushy on the other side in some spots but a quick flip in the oven fixed that.

If you have not tried this yet, it makes a great special addition to breakfast surely to brighten up any morning!!!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Flubber Fun!!!

We made "Flubber" yesterday so we could have a little sensory fun. After searching online for a good recipe we decided to use the one over at Play, Explore and Learn.

It is hard to tell from behind the binky but he is totally disgusted at the idea of even looking at this blob let alone touch it. Very different from his older brother....

who craves sensory input and if I told him it was okay to bathe in it he would
After about a half an hour. and many sing-alongs to Laurie Berkner's "We Are The Dinosaurs", the little one was able to poke at it with two fingers with me as we pretended to be dinosaurs marching through it.

Now for the kill-joy moment...while searching the web for recipes I did find this WARNING...

Safety of Borax

The following recipes contain Borax, which is a toxic substance. The experiments should not be done in the kitchen nor near food or food preparation areas. Limit the time children are exposed to it, and tell them never to put it near their mouths, nor eat until their hands are washed. If they have an upset stomach or rash afterwards, push fluids, and the symptoms should go away. When interest has waned, use to kill ants somewhere away from children and pets.

I was a little nervous because that is who I am by nature but how bad could the stuff be, it has been around since 1891. Then I thought what if it was still 1891 and I did not do such a good job rinsing my laundry that I just washed with Borax. What if my child sucked on the sleeve of their shirt or used it to wipe their nose?
Then I found this information -

Borax is widely and diversely used, e.g., as a mild antiseptic, a cleansing agent, a water softener, a corrosion inhibitor for antifreeze, a flux for silver soldering, and in the manufacture of enamels, shellacs, heat-resistant glass (e.g., Pyrex), fertilizers, pharmaceuticals, and other chemicals. It is sometimes used as a preservative but is toxic if consumed in large doses.

I threw caution to the wind today and I am glad that I did because everyone had a great time.

I did make sure that nobody put it or their hands by their face until I could wash them up good!!!!!

HALO - Early Breast Cancer Detection

I wanted to share a little information that I learned today at my latest GYN appointment. There is a new test that is out there for the early detection of breast cancer, it is so new that insurance companies are still not paying for it, although it is FDA approved for women 25 years and older.

The HALO Breast Pap Test is a five minute, noninvasive test that detects abnormal cells in the milk ducts, where 95% of all breast cancers originate. The test can detect pre-cancerous changes in the breast seven to ten years BEFORE the cancer is seen on a mammgram. Mammograms show breast cancers after they have been present in the breast 3-5 years! Pre-cancerous changes that are detected can then be followed with more aggressive prevention therapies and screening tests.

  • Breast cancer is the leading cause of death in women ages 35 to 50
  • 250,000 U.S. women living with breast cancer are under the age of 40
  • 70% of women diagnosed have no identifiable risk factors
  • 8 out of 9 diagnosed women have no family history of the disease
  • When found early enough, the five-year survival rate is nearly 100%
My doctor's office is charging $100.00 and recommends the test be done annually although they did mention that it does not replace a traditional mammography. They also consider this test to be on the cutting edge of early breast cancer risk assessment and prevention.

I made my appointment for May - it is never to early to save your life!

If you would like more information, please check out NeoMatrix's website

Thursday, April 23, 2009

LIVESTRONG Challenge - For Jonathan

Awhile back I posted about my "blog" friend Jonathan White and how I thought he was truly an inspirational young man. Well, I am giving Jonathan another "shout out" tonight.

Jonathan and his friend Gena are taking part in the Lance Armstrong Foundations, LiveStrong Challenge. Here is something that Jonathan recently posted on his blog:

"While fighting cancer there is a lot of things I can't do, my abilities are limited. But one that I can do is to Raise money to help with the fight against cancer. With this Challenge I will be able to cross two things off of my list. To raise at least $20,000 in finding a cure for cancer and to meet Lance Armstrong. I posted in a previous blog a picture of Lance Armstrong's Autograph that was sent to me and I cannot wait until October when I can write a blog about my experience and share the photo of me riding with Lance!So now I am asking for your help. Whether you have $5, $20, or any amount to donate every little bit helps. So please support me and others fighting cancer by helping Gena and myself reach our goal for the Livestrong Challenge. By donating what you can and by telling your friends, we can all make an impact on the fight against cancer. Please pass on this post and more importantly the URL to Our Livestrong Challenge Site."

I know that times are tough for everyone now but according to the American Cancer Society's new statistics the new numbers are 1 in 3 people will be diagnosed with some kind of cancer in their lifetime. That is very scary odds when I think that my husband, myself and children are 4!

Be it $5, $10, $50, $100, think about it, please!!! It is a great way to support or remember a loved one or family member.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Mother's Day Craft Idea

We were going to plant some flowers before school this morning in honor of Earth Day but it was raining. Instead we decided to make something to honor Grammie on Mother's Day!

It was such a simple craft to make with the boys and they had lots of fun with the glue, as they usually do.

First, I just wrote on a piece of oak tag:

Then I glued the boys picture onto photo mats which I found at Dollar Tree, there were 2 4X6 mats in the package.

I then glued the photo to the cardstock. When all the glue was dry, the boys put glue all over the photo mat and glued puzzle pieces all over it (I also purchased the puzzle from Dollar Tree).

Here is the finished project. I think I will punch some holes in the top so it can by hung with joy!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

$5.00 CVS Challenge - Week 2

I went way over the $5.00 out-of-pocket again this week but still brought home some good deals. All of this stuff not on sale would have been $70.56 (pre-tax). Here is how my deals played out:

Total Sale Price of Items - $56.05 (a savings of $14.51)
Less Manufacturer's Coupons - $8.00
Less CVS Coupon - $4.00
Grand Total After Coupons - $44.05
Less Previously Earned Extra Bucks - $7.99

Total Out of Pocket - $36.06 ( a savings of $34.50)

****Plus I earned $17.89 in new extra bucks!!!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Fish In A Bag Soap

After some (a whole lot) of hesitation I finally made the "Fish-In-A-Bag Soap" as favors for my son's pirate themed 4th birthday!

Thanks to the awesome tutorial from Little Birdie Secrets they are all done! A few had to be re-made at the time since it was very late at night and I kept making the same mistakes but the tutorial has lots of great pictures and great directions so I did not feel like I was a fish out of water (sorry, I could not help myself).

Here is a picture of one that I made-

I also made tags to hang from each one, which I folded in half, punched a hole in and hung from the tops. One side has a picture of a little pirate bear and has my son's birthday info and info on the soap such as ingredients, etc and the other side has a picture of a pirate parrot and I put the following little poem:

I like pirates, can't you see,
and pirates swim with the fish of the sea
That is why my mom made this soap for you and me!

Here is the finished favor!!

Friday, April 17, 2009

$5.00 CVS Challenge - Week 1, Part 2

OOOhhhhh Yeahhhh!!! All this stuff for .27 out of pocket and .26 of that was the tax!!! Plus, I earned an additional $5.99 in Extra Bucks!!

Close your eyes real tight, can you envision me patting myself on the back? Actually, I am sending out a virtual high-five to Keeping The Kingdom First and Deal Seaking Mom and all the other bloggers that have turned me on to the CVS $5.00 Challenge!!!

Here is the breakdown:

Plastic Totes were $2.79 but I got them both on clearance for .36 each

The Shampoo and Deodorant were on sale for 2/$5.00 but I had a $1.00 off coupon for each plus I earned $2.00 in EB for purchasing them making them .50 each.

The toothpaste was on sale for $3.99 but I had a coupon for $1.00 off plus I earned $3.99 in Extra Bucks ****so I made a $1.00 for buying this product (got to love that!)

The paper towels were $1.29 a roll as they were not on sale but a big package is on sale next week so I wanted to try them out first.

To bring my total down, I paid using $7.99 in Extra Bucks that I earned from my first trip this week!!

Now if all that math was not enough, here is a break-down of all my purchases this week -

Out of Pocket - $21.82

Amount of Merchandise Purchased (Before Sales & Coupons) - $47.24

Extra Bucks Earned - $15.98!!!

Well above the $5.00 challenge but I think I am on the right track!

"8 Is Enough" Tag Game

I got tagged this morning by Jenny for Our Nifty Notebook to play "8 is Enough" with her so here you go:

8 Things That I Am Looking Forward To:
  1. Planting flowers and veggies in the garden
  2. Summer and all that goes along with it
  3. Memorial Day at the lake
  4. Old Age (not that I am old now, I just pray everyday that I make it there)
  5. Taking my boys to Disney World (no plans yet but still look forward to it nonetheless)
  6. Going camping
  7. Halloween (a favorite time of the year)
  8. Christmas (my most favorite time of the year)

8 Things I Did Yesterday:

  1. Took my son to preschool
  2. Cleaned out the back of my car (I know one person who is reading this and laughing knowing exactly how long it took me.
  3. Took a nap with my boys
  4. Painted pictures with my boys
  5. Took my son to Karate
  6. Spent 2 hours making favors for my son's birthday (I will post more about that later but I am still recovering)
  7. Clipped coupons
  8. Realized at 11:00 p.m. that I had no pull-ups/diapers in the house (nor the garage, nor the car, plus my husband was working so there was no way to run out and get any - I get the "Bad Mommy Award" for that one)

8 Things I Wish I Could Do:

  1. Sing better
  2. Play the guitar like Laurie Berkner (my kids would love that)
  3. Sew better
  4. Cook better
  5. Travel abroad
  6. Blink, and my house would be clean - Jeannie in the bottle style!
  7. Find new patio furniture under $1,000 including the umbrella that doesn't look like it or feel like it is made by soldering tin cans.
  8. Go to the bathroom without company or having to yell "what are you doing"

8 Shows I Watch:

  1. Lost
  2. Rescue Me
  3. Beverly Hills 90210 (I will grow up someday but that will have to wait because Donna Martin is back)
  4. Privileged
  5. The Big Bang Theory
  6. Cupid
  7. Big Brother (when it is on of course, I know - there are support groups for people like me)
  8. Anything on the food channel

8 People I Tag To Play Along:

  1. Because Babies Grow Up
  2. Explorations in Learning
  3. Play, Explore and Learn
  4. Jenny and the Princess Peonies
  5. Orchard View Cottage
  6. Letters, Numbers and Books, Oh My!
  7. This Is My Life
  8. A Listmaker's Life

If you have the time, please play along and pass this on to 8 more. Sometimes it can be fun to just sit back and write down somethings that make us smile. I am still laughing at the fact that I cleaned the back of my car yesterday! You had to see it to believe it.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom!!!!!

My boys are in love with Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin, Jr.

and since learning our letters has proved to be a hurdle in this house, I have scoured the internet and of course my favorite blogs in search of the perfect art project to incorporate this fun book.

Thanks to Sandy at "", I found the perfect project!! Please check out the following link to Sandy's blog and project (she has some great pictures)

We loved this project so much that I just ordered notecards for one of my son's preschool teachers from Shutterfly using a picture of what we made. Here is what the finished card looks like:

Colored Macaroni

I was in Michael's today and I think everyone heard me laughing in the aisles. It was one of those moments where you see something in the store and say now why didn't I think to sell that! You know one of those #%@!, I could have been rich moments!!

Michael's is selling colored macaroni for $6.95 a pound!!!!!! The brand is "Art-a-Roni Colored Noodles" and after some online research I have even saw it for $7.95 a pound. Now that is a great mark-up:
Here is how to make your own colored macaroni for under $1.00 a pound:
1 cup of dry macaroni

2 tablespoons rubbing alcohol

Regular liquid food coloring (we use McCormack's)

Put the uncooked macaroni in a sandwich bag, put in rubbing alcohol and a few good size drops of food coloring. Seal bag and mush it all up so each piece is coated. Open bag, spread on paper towel or newspaper lined cookie sheets and let dry. Whaoola!!!

Colored macaroni is great to play with, it can be used in all kinds of art projects especially collages and can be used in math and sorting projects too - the possibilities are endless.

In our house we make a big batch of colored ziti and penne right before Christmas and use some plastic lanyard string, to let the kids make big strings for our Christmas tree. It is our safe alternative to stringing popcorn. It actually looks really cute on the tree because the light shines through it a little and the kids love pointing out their "tree necklaces" to our family and friends.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Free Johnson's Buddies Soap - Alert

If you are a fan of this soap or interested in trying it - please go to for a link to print out some coupons.

I printed the 2/$2 coupon and "purchased" them from Target this morning. They carry the bars for $.97 each so two bars cost me $1.94 but by using the coupon, they were actually free and since I purchased other items, I was given the .04 "overage"too.

I love a bargain!!!!

Easter Tip #2

This is actually a Post-Easter tip but equally important as the same.

When you tell your 2 year old that he may not sample his older brother's stash of Laffy Taffy that was included in his Easter basket don't panic when he gnaws through the wrapper (when you are not looking, of course) with great effort. Have no fears - all "plastic-y" paper will pass...

Sorry, just had to write this one down even if for my own memories. I was a little horrified this morning when I saw "Wonka, shining up at me".

Have your kids eaten anything they should not have only to have the evidence surface later? Kind of gross, huh?!?!?

Sunday, April 12, 2009

$5.00 CVS Challenge - Week 1

As you can probably tell from my blog's name, I am always hunting for a good bargain. While perusing the internet for better ways to shop, coupon, etc. I came across a group of fellow frugal bloggers who join up every week to participate in the $5.00 CVS Challenge hosted by

Here are the rules

RULES* Bloggers: Please make sure at least one scenario is $5 OOP or less

1. Come up with your best scenario/scenarios for the upcoming week at CVS using the current weekly ad, monthly deals, and coupons available. Your budget for Out of Pocket (OOP) expenses on the first transaction is only $5.00 (either cash OOP or ECBs on hand).

2. Using up to (3) scenarios (we don't want to overwhelm the newbies with too many transactions), offer up your best scenarios to "grow" that $5.00 into more ECBs to use in following weeks.

3. If you want to divide your $5.00 allowance over the three scenarios to make them work, that's fine!

4. Be sure to list coupons by inserts and/or with links to printables to make it easier for everyone to follow along.

Although I was never a fan of CVS, hate their pharmacy and thought that a lot of their prices were high, these women have taught me to see the light although I did fail the challenge with my first shopping trip by going way over the $5.00 out-of-pocket limit but in my defense I had no CVS Extra Bucks to use my first trip (and now I have three).

Here was my first trip:

Good Buys -
Irish Spring (8 bars) - 4.99 (saved $1 because it was on sale)
Venus Embrace Razor - 7.99 (saved $4 because it was on sale)
Colgate Sensative Toothpaste - $3.99 (saved $.90 because it was on sale)

Bad Buys (why I waste money when I go shopping) -
Goody Hair Accessories - 3.99
Diet Coke - 1.59
Bottle Deposit - .05

Total = $22.60
less $3.00 manufacturer coupon for razor and $1.95 for tax

Grand Total =$21.55 out of pocket

On the up side, I saved a total of $8.90, using a coupon and buying sale items and I received a total of $9.99 in CVS Extra Bucks!!!!!!!!

If you deduct my $9.99 in extra buck savings from my out of pocket my night of CVS shopping gave me $28.50 worth of merchandise for $19.60 less extra bucks earned $9.61 a total savings of $18.89.

So when all is said and done, I think I did pretty good sale wise and have almost $10.00 to use on next week's trip.

I will keep you posted on my CVS experiment.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Easter Tip #1

It is not cold in April as in October or December so do not hide children's chocolate Easter basket items in the car.

It is better they find them stashed in a closet than be horrified by an earless, faceless, slump eyed bunny on Sunday morning.!!

Don't Judge A Book By It's Cover!!!

She's cute right? Well, looks can be deceiving!!
This little cutie has been convicted of attempted murder as well as attempted arson!!!!!!

I innocently made my family home-made pizza last night for dinner and left the pizza stone on top of the stove to cool off before washing. Maybe I should have known better than to leave anything out with a bloodhound in the house. Let's just say the power of the nose almost killed us all last night.

It seems that Daisy wanted to see if there was a crumb left on the stove and when she jumped down from the gas stove, she turned the knob. Not enough to turn on the burner, just enough to fill the whole kitchen with gas fumes!!! I never put safety knobs on the stove because of my kids but I guess I will have to now.

Using Music To Teach - Part 2

The laminating machine was still out so I could not resist making some "color" flash cards to use when we sing the "Silly Pizza" song. If you are interested, I found these cards at

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Workbook Wednesday - Week 1

We tried our first "Workbook Wednesday" yesterday and to my disappointment it did not go so well.

My original idea for the day was to complete two pages, something red and something blue but we were only able to get one completed. The first problem is that it took my son a long time to find the "perfect" red pictures, he also had a very hard time cutting out the pictures despite reports from his Occupational Therapist that he has mastered this skill and by the time the glue stick came out he was already running around the kitchen.

I still think my Workbook Wednesday book can work, I just need to find a new approach and possibly some more magazines with "better" pictures.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Thanking God for Attention Problems

I am a firm believer that you always need to be on the look-out for the silver lining in every cloud and today I am grateful for my son having attention issues.

This post is more like a confessional as I feel horrible that I used my son's lack of attention span to my advantage today, but at the moment I was shocked and felt there was no other option.

Here is how our conversation went:

Son: Mom, how did you make Danny?

Me: What, What do you mean? (you can't ask me questions like this, I'm not ready for this, you're not ready for this - damn where is that manual; why isn't there a manual?)

Son: I mean, how did you put him together

Me: Who do you like better, Lightening McQueen or Mater?

We spent the next ten minutes cuddling on the couch having a nice conversation on who was better - McQueen or Mater, Buzz or Woody...

Recycled Crafts - Easter Cross

Well, my son is really big on recycling lately and every time a box, bottle or roll of paper towels is finished he immediately asks if he can have it to recycle.

When I finished a carton of eggs this morning I remembered doing this super quick, easy craft as a kid. Here is our Egg Carton Easter Cross -

Monday, April 6, 2009

Inspirational People - Jonathan Jay

I met an extraordinary young man this week. Well, I didn't actually "meet" him, I stalked him but nonetheless, he is now and always will be a part of me. I am not even sure how I found him, you know, a click here, a click there - all I know is that I am so glad that I now know Jonathan Jay White.

You see, I am in my thirties and still have so many fears in my life. Fears that I could never put down on paper, never share, sometimes I am so gripped with fear that I am paralyzed by it. Right now I am going through some medical problems and am scared but as I sit here and wait for the doctor appointments I can't stop thinking of Jonathan and his family and only hope that I can learn to have half the strength that Jonathan and his Dad encompass.

I am not a big religious person but I do believe in prayer and hope. HOPE is half the battle. For anyone, sick or not, hope is life - you can not live without the hope of tomorrow or a rainbow after a storm.

My new friend, Jonathon is sick actually very sick and yet at only 15 years old he is probably the most eloquent, strong, brave, funny, heartfelt, honest young man I have ever encountered.

Here is one of Jonathon's favorite quotes that I took from Jonathon and his Dad's blog:

Life passes by in a glance, Time blinks its eye…And all become a memory. Slow down and savor the precious moments, they are fleeting.

Something everyone should listen to.

I know my blog is usually light-hearted and full of crafts, recipes and whimsy kids, etc. but hey life is full of ups and downs, right. Meeting Jonathon Jay was definitely an up for me.

If you have some time, stop by their blogs or and if you don't have time to visit - please take 5 minutes to pray for my friend and his family!

My First Blog Award - Thanks Amber!!!

I am so excited, I could scream!!! I received my first blog award this weekend.

I was nominated by Amber over at If you have never had the chance to look around Amber's blog, please do. She has some great ideas including her Music Mondays which I absolutely love. It is through Amber's Music Monday posts that I had contacted her, I was on a search for a blog post that I recently saw but could not remember where I saw it. I had contacted Amber because I thought that it was possibly on her blog, well it was not but Amber took the time to help me find it - she is a great blogger friend!! I wish I could send this award right back to her but I am going to pass it along to some blogs that have never received this award and honor them too. Thanks again, Amber!!

The rules of the award are as follows:

1) Add the logo of the award to your blog.

2) Add a link to the person who awarded it to you.

3) Nominate at least 7 other blogs.

4) Add links to those blogs on your blog.

5) Add links to those blogs on your blog.

Here are my nominees:

1) Our Nifty Notebook (

2) Manic Mother (

3) Jenny & The Princess Peonies (

4) If I Only Had Super Powers (

5) Life's Little Journey (

6) Nathan White Family - Livestrong (

7) Puking Pastilles (

Friday, April 3, 2009

Can You Go To Toys R' Us Today?

My son woke up this morning and first asked if he has school today. When I told him he did, he asked if I could go to Toys R' Us while he was at school to get him something in case it is his birthday today. It is not - but a very creative way to get a toy.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

And the Winner of the Boogie Wipes Give-Away Is...

Me, only kidding or should I say April Fools!!!!!

To keep things fair, I used the "Random Number Generator" available at to choose a number. I tried to copy and paste the whole box and even upload it as a widget but it did not work, although just the words did work.

True Random Number Generator

Min: 1
Max: 5

Comment #3 was from dancininthemoonlight. Congratulations


Sorry to those who did not win but if you go to the Boogie Wipes website at and sign up for their newsletter they usually send you a welcome e-mail with a $1.00 coupon.