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Homeschooling fun for Valentine’s Day

Well, I had great plans for Valentine’s Day. I thought I’d cut red paper hearts and sprinkle them all over Little D and Baby K’s floors. I’d lead a trail to the kitchen table where their presents were. They’d wake up to the smell of pancakes and eggs, Valentine-style….. what is the saying? ‘The best laid plans often fail.’

Well, Little D has a cold. It started with a cough and stuffy nose but he tossed and turned all night long last night. He was coughing in his sleep (with a bedtime cold medicine in him) and the coughing kept waking him up. He even woke up in the middle of the night to ASK for medicine. This is huge because he HATES taking medicine. So, I got nothing done. I spent the whole night patting his back, covering him up each time he kicked off the blanket and was then cold, and sleeping beside him.

So, this morning, NOTHING was done for Valentine’s Day. 🙁

I did make a nice breakfast. We had pancakes (I tried to make them heart shape but it didn’t work) and eggs. I added red food coloring to both so we had pink pancakes and red eggs. I made waffles as back up too and all of those were eaten as well as the pancakes. The kids were not too keen on the red eggs.

Since Little D is sick I let them rest in bed (Baby K is also getting over a cold but it was a small one). They watched The Neverending Story. I LOVE that movie! LOL! They both enjoyed it too! (thanks to my mom and Mark that let us borrow the movie).

I set out the candy and Valentine things on the table in their place settings and when the movie was over they saw that it had all ‘appeared’! They were actually a little disappointed. They thought they’d get presents and toys for Valentine’s Day and Little D was asking for Legos! So, we talked about Valentine’s Day and it’s meaning.

We did not get much bookwork done. It was not worth the effort with them both sick. But while Little D played a Clue Finder game on the computer (new game that says it is 2nd grade level) Baby K and I made chocolate chocolate chip cookies from scratch.

While they were cooking Baby K played a math game on the computer that was really cute. It showed three grandfather clocks and a digital time at the bottom and she had to click on the correct analog time on the one of the clocks. When she got it correct a little mouse ran out and and ate a piece of cheese left where she had clicked at. She didn’t even realize it was ‘work’ she was having too much fun giggling as the mouse turned into a triangle shape when it ate the cheese! (this link was from mathwizard. I’ll find the link and post it later).

For lunch I made grilled cheese sandwiches and I grilled them in the waffle maker. This was a complete accident (waffle and sandwich maker look the same from the outside) but the kids loved it! Same sandwich, new look!

eBay tip # 2

Buy packing/shipping tape when it is on sale. There are about 10 different types of tape you can choose from if you go to an office supply store. Some are industrious. Others labeled as packing or moving tape. There is clear or brown tape. So much to choose from.

In my experience the second to cheapest or cheapest works just fine for my eBay shipments. The store brand is often the cheapest but check the sales.

www.overstock.com sometimes has free shipping and incredibly low prices for tape (sign up for their e-newsletter online).

Today I found out that Office Max is having a sale and there is a coupon for 50% off shipping tape (limit three). It expires on Saturday and the closet Office Max is about 8 miles away but I am going that way anyways and going to map out my driving to save on gas.

Frugal tip for Easter

This is a great frugal tip for Easter.

SHOP AHEAD!!!

Go shopping today. The day after Valentine’s Day. There will be a huge amount of candy and other small treats. Not all are red and pink. Buy it (and hide it from the kids) to save for Easter Baskets.

You can buy Valentine’s Day cards too to save for next year!

New price for postage stamps

UPS sent out a letter last month saying that their shipping would increase 4% and now the USPS is doing it too!

 

41 cent stamps will go up to 42 cents.

 

While the charge for the first ounce of a first-class letter rises to 42 cents, the price of each added ounce will remain 17 cents, so a two-ounce letter will go up a penny to 59 cents.

The cost to mail a post card will also go up a penny, to 27 cents

Other increases set for May 12:

— Large envelope, 2 ounces, $1, up 3 cents.

— Money Orders up to $500, $1.05, unchanged.

— Certified mail, $2.70, up 5 cents.

— First-class international letter to Canada or Mexico, 72 cents, up 3 cents.

— First-class international letter to other countries, 94 cents, up 4 cents.

Frugal tip for kids that love books

I KNOW the cost of new books is expensive. A children’s book at a local bookstore is usually about $3-5 for a cheap, soft-back book. A few things I do to avoid bookstores; Buy books at garage sales instead. Most books are sold for a price range of 5 cents to 50 cents a book (but usually about 25 cents). Go to your local library and find brand new books!!! I’ll tell you how. Magazines geared for parents of young children often have a book-of-the-month section. There might be a few books for each age group or a certain theme or genre to the monthly selection but they are usually brand new books that have just been published. Tear out these pages and find the books at your library. We have been the very first to check out a book several times. To save time order the books online. This might not work in all areas but in Ventura County a person can log on to the Ventura County library system and search and pick out books and have them ‘pulled’. In a few days they will receive a notice by email or mail saying the books are in. (this is the part I love). The books are at the front desk waiting! Walk in, show them the library card, they put them in the computer and walk out. Very quick and easy. The best things is that the books are not only from the library in our city but from libraries all over the county and they are all at our city library to pick up. When we are done with the books we drop them off at our library and the library takes care of returning them to all the other libraries. Unless there is a book I REALLY want I do not use book gift cards that I am given as a gift either. I NEVER make it out of there paying only the amount that is on the card. Especially if both children are with me. So, I keep the gift card and use it next time I need to give someone a gift. Everyone in my family is a pro at re-gifting.