Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Filling Easter Baskets

Easter is a little over a month away. I'm a little late doing a free filler search online but here's what I've found:

Free train coloring book from Norfolk Southern. This is great for my train loving boy.

Free sample of kid's cream of wheat. There are flavors like Spongebob Chocolate lagoon.

Mariani Dried Plums sample. Use the code SUPERFRUIT

Free Kid card from

Free family dvd. You need to supply your phone number so they can help you select a dvd.

Free Kashi cereal bar sample

Burt's Bees tooth paste sample.

Free Board Book from LeapFrog when you register and link up a toy you have from them. This was easy to do.

Not really a free sample but here's a code for 50 points for 9FTMRYWEK

So far I've collected:

Two after Christmas baskets marked way down.

A pipe cleaner easter bunny kit NIP for .50 at the thrift store

After Valentine's day candy for 50-75% off

A Barbie Dvd that I received with my swapadvd credits.

A four pack of Hubba Bubba gum for 1.19 that I plan on dividing

A really gross bugs video from the 1$ store.

I still have paperbackswap credits to use to get more kids books too.
Also, our library has sale books for ten cents.

What freebies or ideas do you have for your frugal Easter basket?

Monday, February 22, 2010

Fresh Start Monday- To Do List

I've got to much to do so I can't crawl back into bed and stay there.

For Today:
Grocery shop for a few needed items (eggs, choc. chips, milk, cheese)
Make cookies for preschool birthday snack for my boy.
Clean house! It was pretty good last week but this weekend has been hard on my home.
Fold and put away the mountain of clean laundry.
Mend apron.
Prep and dinner- tonight we're having tofu stir fry with some leftovers
Gift baggies for my son's b-day party this weekend.

My daughter's birthday party was yesterday. I started on her cake when I woke up and it was ready to go about fifteen minutes before we walked out the door. Whew. I think I did an okay job for someone who is a failure at cake decorating. Anyway, the kids liked it so who cares? And I spent less than nine dollars on the whole thing.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Too Much in too short a time.

It really hits home to me whenever a loved one dies how short a time we have on this earth. I have found myself contemplating what's the meaning of all this pain and how it seems like we are just born to die. Fortunately I don't have a lot of time to ruminate on these melancholy thoughts. I have two birthday parties to throw, a funeral to attend, and a long car trip to plan.

I have discovered a profound distaste for the predatory nature and greed of the funeral home business. It is too late to undo what has been planned for my Dad but I know what I will not be doing when it the planning is up to me. I won't be buying a casket for 4 Grand when I can buy the same one online from Costco for 924.99 (this is the same one we bought for my Grandma from the overpriced funeral home). In fact I will do my best to skip using a funeral planning business at all costs. Grief is not a good reason to make stupid spending decisions and I don't believe you can't plan a nice funeral yourself.

My husband and I have also decided it was time to inter our baby boy's ashes after nine years of holding onto them, unsure of what to do. I priced the wooden urns at the funeral home and ending up buying a nicer one from a seller on ebay for half the price. He will be buried by my father in a few months and we'll pick a simple headstone.

So this is the month full of death and birthday celebrations. Life goes on even after death comes knocking. Today my precious daughter is 7 years old. Today my father is being cremated.
I've got to keep my feet moving forward.

Monday, February 15, 2010

No, I'm not okay.

We started a long weekend getaway in Austin, Texas on Thursday. Saturday morning at 7 am Hubby's phone rang and as soon as I heard my Mother's sad voice I knew my Dad was gone.

My Dad has been sick for the last decade- tuberculosis, seizures, kidney failure, heart problems, a stroke, etc. The man was ill for a long time. And very ill for the last few years. So, I can't say that his passing was a surprise to anyone although I didn't expect it would happen so quickly. Before I left on our little trip I even half jokingly asked my Mother to keep my Dad alive while we were gone. That goes on the list of things I wish I'd never said.

We left a day early from our trip and came home yesterday and I was on the road to my Mom's house less than an hour after getting home. Today I helped my Mom plan my Father's funeral.
No, I am not okay.

I will be the first to say that I did not have a perfect relationship with my Father. But, I have always been his little girl and a part of me still thinks of him as my Daddy. Even though I knew for a long time that this was inevitable it doesn't make it easier and it doesn't hurt less. The only thing I know for sure is that his suffering is finally over.

No, I'm not okay. But, I will be.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Where my interest lies

It's not blogging lately. After a month of almost daily blogging about our diet/pantry challenge, I am seriously tired of writing about our boring diet. I'm still pantry cleaning here and there and whittling down the storage. I just don't want to talk about it right now.

Decluttering and straightening is my current goal. I'm cleaning out cabinets that haven't been touched for a year or two. I had a full trash can and a even bigger load of recycling this week. I'm also loading up the back of my car with charity donation items. I am always surprised by how much we don't need and are able to part with. It has definitely been a reason to stay out of the thrift and dollar stores lately. We had over 24 coloring books in our cabinet. Neither one of my children is particularly into coloring in books. I let them each keep a few and the rest are getting donated.

In less than a week we will have company and I want to be ready for their arrival. But this cleaning process is more about having an organized happy home than having a briefly cleaned home. And now I have two loads of laundry waiting for me to fold and put away.
See you when I see you.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Free Valentines

If you have children who need to take Valentine's cards to school you might want to stop by Krispy Kreme and pick up some free cards.

I picked up a free pack of twelve cute cards today and all have an attached coupon for a free donut.

I have read that these are free after the purchase of a dozen donuts but I only purchased three.