January 26, 2012

Kohl's -- 20% Off Code

Shop at Kohl's?  Use the promo code SMS7873 to save 20% off  your purchase, including clearance.  Code expires 2/4.

Free Rental At Blockbuster Express (Exp. 1/27)

Go to any Blockbuster Express kiosk and use the coupon code LOVE2RENT to get a free one night rental.  The coupon is valid through Friday, 1/27.

You can check online to see what is available at your local kiosks and then reserve a movie (be sure to apply the promo code), then pick it up later using your credit card--that way you won't have to rush to get the movie you want before someone else snags it!

January 20, 2012

Free Fribble Shake at Friendly's-Saturday

To celebrate 76 years of business, Friendly's restaurant's are offering FREE Fribble shakes on Saturday, January 25th from noon to 5 pm.  Choose chocolate, vanilla or strawberry. One per customer.  Nice free treat for the family!

November 20, 2011

Don't Eat Tom Turkey Game

I stumbled across a cute Thanksgiving game for kids called Don't Eat Tom. 

To play, print out this gameboard (1 page), then place small edible items (candy, peanuts, cereal, popcorn...) on each turkey picture on the game board.

One person leaves the room while the rest of the players decide which turkey picture will be "Tom" Turkey that round.  When the guesser enters the room, he chooses one turkey at a time and eats the snack on it.  When he eats the bite on the chosen "Tom" picture, everyone yells "Don't eat Tom turkey!"

That ends the round and a new player leaves the room while a new "Tom" is chosen.

This will give the kids a snack and keep them entertained for awhile.  Whoohoo!

September 28, 2011

Christian Pumpkin Carving Stencils

If you have young kids and want to stay away from the scary jack-o-lantern pumpkins, or if  you just want to make a visual statement of faith for all the trick-or-treaters that will grace your doorstep this Halloween, check out the Christian themed pumkin stencils HERE or HERE to find images such as doves, crosses and Jesus.  To download the precious pro-life stencil from the American Life League pictured above, click HERE. 

Cheater Manicotti

Like manicotti?  Hate the mess and preparation?  Make "cheater manicotti"--they taste the same but are so much easier and quicker because you do not need to boil anything.  Just roll up the cheese filling in no-boil lasagna noodles. From start to finish, these take about 45 minutes.

Here's what you'll need to make 8 servings:

1 box Barilla no-boil lasagna noodles
4 cups of spaghetti sauce
1 large (30 ounce) carton of part-skim ricotta cheese
4 cups of shredded mozzarella or Italian blend cheese
1 package of chopped spinach, cooked and drained
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 clove of minced garlic or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon parsley flakes

  1. Preheat the oven to 350.
  2. Put the lasagna noodles in a large bowl and cover them with very hot water so they can soak and soften.
  3. While the noodles are soaking, mix together the ricotta, HALF the shredded cheese (reserve the the other half for later), the drained chopped spinach and the salt, herbs and spices.  Mix well.
  4. Spread half the sauce over the bottoms of two 9 by 13 pans.
  5. Rip each softened lasagna noodle in half to make 2 squares.  Place about 2 tablespoons of the cheese mixture onto the middle of each noodle half then roll into a tube shape.  Put the noodle rolls seam side down onto the sauce in the pan.
  6. Pour the remaining sauce over the manicotti rolls.  Sprinkle the remaining shredded cheese over the top.  Sprinkle the parsley over the cheese.
  7. Bake for 20 - 30 minutes or until the cheese on top just starts to turn brown along the edges.

Thrift Store Half Off Days

If you are a thrift store shopper like me (it's "in" now--thrift store shopping is trendy!), then ask your favorite thrift store if they have a half off day each month.  Most do so they can turn over lots of inventory and it's a great day to snag some deals.

The Volunteers of America, for example, has the half-off day on the last Tuesday of each month around here.  We went yesterday and spent $36, but we got TONS of stuff:

Me: brand new khaki pants with tags still on--$3.50, earrings--$1.50
Hubby: casual cargo pants (he likes to load his pockets)--$1.50,  designer brand pajamas--$1.50, sweater--$2.00
12 yr old daughter: designer pants--$3.00, skinny jeans--$1.50, scarecrow hat and flannel shirt for scarecrow costume--$2.00, dress shoes (new)--$3.00
9 yr. old son: Columbia jacket--$3.50, sweater--$1.50, shirt--$1.50, dress shirt--$1.50
7 yr. old daughter: sweatpants--$1.50, flannel shirt and straw hat for costume--$2.00, dress shoes--$2.00, money counting game--$1.00
4 yr. old daughter: white fuzzy sweatshirt for sheep costume--$.50, sheep ears headband--$.50, furry white scarf for sheep costume--$1.00

I was thrilled we found costumes.  They are always such a pain.  I do NOT enjoy crafty things like designing, shopping for and then sewing and gluing costumes for hours for something the kids will wear once for 2 hours.

The scarecrow costumes were the girls' idea. They saw some funny straw hats--new with tags on--and asked if they could buy them and go as scarecrows for Halloween.  They went in search of cheap, over-sized flannel shirts and found red ones that almost matched.  We'll just pin some raffia to the cuffs of their sleeves, draw some stitches on their cheeks with eyeliner and voila--instant costumes!  They thought it would be cute if our four year old dresses like a farm animal and our son dresses like a farmer.  Cheap, easy, and so cute!

So, ask your thrift store if/when they have half off days and go on a bargain hunt--you never know what you'll find!

Yes, I'm Still Alive...

So I haven't posted in, oh, a month and a half.  Sorry about that.  Life here has taken a few turns and twists and I have been trying to keep up!

We decided to homeschool ALL the kids this year, as well as my neighbor, so going from just homeschooling my son to homeschooling 5 kids has been quite the adjustment.  I think we're in a pretty good groove now--things have lightened up and I just might be able to find 5 or 10 minutes of free time now and again.  Whew!

The kids are in grades pre-K, 2,4,5 and 7.  Quite the spread, huh?  I started out trying to teach each one each subject each day.  Umm--didn't work so well.  I was bouncing around from kid to kid like a ping pong ball while the kids called "Mom...I need help...MOM!".  I quickly realized I had to make some changes.  We have it down to a pretty nice routine now; the kids are rather independent with subjects like handwriting and reading so they work on those while I work with one at a time on math and grammar.  In some subjects we've combined a couple of the kids so I can tag-team teach and I just adjust the level up or down a bit.

I started out with a reading comprehension workbook with my 2nd grader.  I thought she'd like it--it's colorful and has one short story followed by some questions.  She HATES it.  After 3 weeks of listening to her complaining, I decided to completely overhaul her curriculum.  I'm now doing Five In a Row (FIAR) which is a great curriculum for ages 4 -8 that is based on classic children's  picture books.  The library has all the titles, so I just needed to buy the lesson plan book.  I am really loving it!  We read Madeline last week and were able to spin  so many things off the book.  My daughter made a Madeline doll for art, she learned about France and Paris and can find them on the globe, we made French food, we made a booklet of all the famous landmarks in Paris, we made a booklet of rhyming words since Madeline is written in rhyme.  We had a lesson on chromatic and mono-chromatic art since the artwork in Madeline consists of both.  We used blocks to figure out how many ways the 12 girls in the book could be arranged other than "in two straight lines" (1 row of 12, 3 rows of 4 and so on).   We learned about the body and what is an appendix since Madeline had hers removed in the story.  This week we're reading a story about a Japanese girl, so we're delving into Japan and its culture.  My preschooler listens in to the stories, too.  It's a great way to learn and this is why I love homeschooling.

For math we are using Math-U-See; for spelling, we are using the lists on superteacherworksheets.com though we are doing a grade above since the words are a bit on the easy side in my opinion.  The other subjects are a mix and match of books and materials.  I ordered many of our books and workbooks on Amazon and I was thrilled to find several great hardback textbooks  (and a few workbooks) at my local Half Price Books stores for only a few dollars each. These books (along with those from Amazon), educational videos and books from the library, free internet resources and the many items I had from when I taught and items and games I've picked up at garage sales comprise our curriculum and materials we use on a daily basis. 

I love that we usually finish by early afternoon and then we can go on lots of field trips.  The science museum, zoo, art museum, rec center classes, apple picking and co-op classes and clubs are just some of the things we are able to do regularly.

Homeschooling is a LOT of work, but so totally worth it!

August 20, 2011

Free Sample: Huggies Snug & Dry

Get a free sample of Huggies Snug and Dry diapers in your choice of size 4 or 5.  To get the sample from Walmart mailed to you, fill in the request form here.

August 19, 2011

Free 8x10 Photo Collage Print from Walgreens (thru 8/20)

If you have any cute summer photos, put them into a free 8x10 photo collage at Walgreens.  Go to photo.walgreens.com, make your collage and then enter the code PRINTONE at checkout to get the print for free.

You'll have to hurry, though, because the free code is only valid through Saturday, August 20th.

This is a great freebie for Daddy's office, Grandma and Grandpa, or for a college-bound kid!
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