Monday, April 26, 2010

My coupon book

Every time I shop, I have someone ask to look at my book. I have shared it on here before a few years ago, but will again to kick off this new section of my blog on saving money.

First, understand I only use a coupon on an item IF that allows me to get it cheaper than the generic, or cheaper than at Aldi. Often, when combining coupons with sales, CVS bonus bucks, or Walgreen's rebates, I get items free--such as toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo... But, to take full advantage of this, you usually can not be brand loyal.

Also, remember that often stores such as Dollar Tree and Dollar General also take coupons and also have name brand items at much less. This allows me to get name brand cereal often for $1 a box or sometimes free.

My coupon book goes everywhere with me. (My kids and husband will attest to this-we can't leave the house without it!) You never know when you may come across an unadvertised special or discounted item that you have coupons for, and you want your coupons with you-not at home.

After having my coupons in folders, envelopes, boxes and coupon holders, I came across keeping them in a 3 ring notebook binder. Inside the binder I have clear plastic photo sheets (the type with pockets that hold pictures).

Each pocket is labeled with a different category, and they are arranged in alphabetical order. I don't like standing in a store searching, so I have lots of categories--so I can find a coupon quicker. I have around 50 pockets. Some of my pockets are labeled as followed--air fresheners, baby, baking goods, batteries, beverages, bread & crackers, candy & gum, canned goods, cereals and breakfast foods, chips,.... You will want to adjust your categories for your needs.

After my pocket section, I then have a section of my book that has the large plastic page protector sheets. I have around 7 of those. Inside those sheets, I keep the current weekly ad for a store. Each store has its own protector sheets. As I study the ad, I move coupons for the sale items to that pocket for the store I plan to use them in. As I enter the store, I can easily flip to that ad and see those coupons for that visit. So, I have a page for Dollar General, CVW, Walgreen, Price Chopper, HyKlas, HyVee and Office Depot.

For my area, most of these stores are just a couple blocks from each other, so I don't waste a lot of time or fuel going from one to another. Also, I generally do not hit all these stores in a week.

As my coupons expire, I pull them out and pass them on to a military family who can use them. (Most commissaries take expired coupons.)

I generally spend about 90 minutes a week clipping my coupons and organizing them with the sale ads. My time to do this is on Sunday night while the kids are in youth group. We live 30 minutes from church, so I take them and then go to an empty Sunday School classroom and do my coupons. Sometimes a couple other moms join me in doing the same.

If you see an item you can get for free or next to free that you don't use--get it anyway and then donate it. I have given several blood sugar testers to our local food pantry to pass on to someone who could not afford one. They were ones I got free at CVS after rebates and CVS bucks. When you donate them, be sure to ask for a receipt for your taxes for donation purposes.

Also, check your area and join the free frequent shopper programs, such as CVS bonus bucks, Price Chopper frequent shopper and Office Depot work rewards....and many more.

Another book sale!

These sales are a great way to stock up on books and curriculum for the next school year. Here is another one in the Kansas City area.


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

5:30 - 8:30 p.m.

First Baptist Raytown (Front Entrance)

10500 East 350 Hwy., Raytown, MO 64138

DHA families and the homeschool community are invited to sell and shop for used books and curriculum resources. Families are encouraged to shop before our annual DHA Spring Concert (7-8 pm) and Art & Class Displays. There is a $5.00 fee per table for those individuals interested in selling books & resources.

Registration Guidelines

•Complete registration form below & send in payment for a "Seller's Table" by Tuesday, April 27th. Email questions to: or call the DHA office at: 816-778-1139 or call Anne Rudeen at home: 816-600-7932.

•Sellers may set up tables by 4:30 p.m. in the church foyer on May 11th.

•Sellers will handle their own pricing and selling. (Be prepared for cash purchases & making change.)

•Tables and chairs will be set up for the seller's use and complimentary water will be provided. THANK YOU FOR YOUR PARTICIPATION!


(Detach & Complete Form for Registration and Table Reservation)

Name: ______________________________________________ Number of Tables: ______________

Phone #: _____________________________ Email: _______________________________________

For Office Use Only:

Check #: ___________ Date: ___________

Amount Enclosed: ______________

Homeschooling bookstore closing

The Good Shepherd Academy Bookstore will be closing at the end of May. While this has been a hard decision to make, it comes after much prayer and consideration. It has been our sincere joy to serve the area homeschooling community for the past 10 years.

Deep discounts and sales will begin immediately and will continue until the end of May (or until the inventory is gone). Also for sale will be all of the bookcases, counter furniture, copier, laminator, and all other bookstore fixtures. If you, your church or business would like to know more about the fixtures (prices, availability) please call Michelle.

All consignment inventory must be claimed by May 1. All gift certificates and store credit must be redeemed by May 1.

We are located at 1105 W. Main, Suite C, Blue Springs, 64015. (The entrance is next to Accessorize Yourself and Marshel’s.) We are just west of 7 Highway at Main, which is between 40 Highway and I-70. Phone 816-295-1481; website; e-mail Hours M-F 10-4, Sat 10-2. We anticipate staying open until the last weekend of May.

Thank you for your support over the years and for your help in spreading the word about our final sale. Everything must go, so plan to visit us soon.

Blessings to your family, The GSA directors and staff.

A reminder and a little more info

I posted this once, but since have received more info. It was added as a comment on the orginal post, but I am afraid that it may be missed. So, it is again.
Parent meeting scheduled for APRIL 30th at 6 p.m.
300 E Bird Street
Hamilton, MO 64644

If you have never belonged to a homeschool coop, they are WONDERFUL. We would be lost without ours. It is a great way to meet other homeschooling families, for your kids to meet new friends with the same interests, parents to find support, and a great way for your child to get those classes that are harder to do in just your family, such as band or choir, PE, and to learn what you may not know, such as Spanish, French.....
Home school families of NW Missouri ,

LEAD (Leadership Education and Development) Home School Cooperative has been presented with the opportunity to rent rooms in the old Hamilton High School, in Hamilton Missouri, which has been acquired by Christian Legacy Academy .
We would like to begin holding cooperative meetings there when school starts for the 2010-2011 school year.

We will meet each Friday, September to May. Parents must be willing to teach or volunteer in some way for coop classes. It would not be a drop off program. We hope to keep fees very low.

The school has a gym with a stage, kitchen, science room with sink, numerous classrooms of various sizes, a large play area with playground equipment. It looks like the perfect opportunity for our organization. We will be able to use classrooms as needed.

Are you interested in meeting weekly for 3-4 hours? Sessions would be 8-12 weeks. Let us know the number of children in your family who would be participating.
Please send this on to any families you think would be interested.

Reply to Sasha Grove at
Or Deanna Gordon at

Sunday, April 25, 2010

History weekend

This Saturday and Sunday, Plattsburg held an reenactment of the Civil War Battle that had been fought here. The event was held at Perkins Park, despite the cold and rain. I have to admire the reeactment soldiers, they were shot and fell right in cold mud puddles, but it didn't stop them! After the battle, we wandered the camp and watched the horses, weaving (I learned a new way to make a rug!),cooking over open fires and more. I am glad that we no longer wear hoop dresses. I think the long dresses would have been very uncomfortable on rainy days. Meanwhile, Watkins Mill in Lawson also was having a living history event with its Fun on the Farm--in the rain.

Homeschool Track

Dear Home Schooling Families,

The Kansas City East Lions Home School Athletic Association have two track
meet opportunities coming up, and we are recruiting students who can run,
jump, and throw.

May 1 and/or May 22, the Lions will be competing at the State and Nationals'
Home School Track Meets. Both meets are in Springfield, Missouri, just a
little over a 2-hour drive.

You can do both or either, with meets generally starting around 10:00AM.

Events can include: sprints, hurdles, jumps, throws, longer runs and relays.

If we can get enough athletes to compete, we might have a pretty good chance
to win these meets. We need athletes from our region to compete.

We are looking for students, ages 6 years old to 19-year-old high school
seniors. The cost is $10.00 per meet per athlete.

PLEASE CONTACT: Larry K. Johnson, at, for the MAY 1

Wings over Weston

Wings over Weston event planned May 7 and 8 at Weston Bend State Park

Learn about birds and their importance to the environment May 7-8 at Weston Bend State Park near Weston. The two special days of activities are sponsored by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.

On Friday, May 7, classes from several local schools will be at the park to get hands-on experience learning about birds. The day will include demonstrations with live birds, various educational stations covering the topics of migratory songbirds and avian habitat, touch tables and a guided bird hike. On Saturday, May 8, there will be similar activities from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. for the general public as well as a wild bird presentation by Operation Wildlife.

This event is being co-sponsored by Audubon Missouri, Burroughs Audubon, the city of Weston and the Missouri Department of Conservation.

For more information, contact Weston Bend State Park at 816-640-5443 or the Department of Natural Resources toll free at 800-334-6946 (voice) or 800-379-2419 (Telecommunications Device for the Deaf). For information on state parks and historic sites, visit us on the Web at

Friday, April 23, 2010

HOME-- a new group

Introducing HOME (Homeschool Organization for Midwest Educators) -- a non-profit homeschool organization registered with the state of Missouri with a focus to serve homeschool families in northwest Missouri and northeast Kansas. Shared ground amongst homeschool families can serve to encourage and support one another while making a positive impact in and around the region.

Two informational meetings are scheduled for early May in that will include discussion on obtaining an HSLDA group discount number, membership, and group insurance. Please follow the link below to the website for more details and information.

***It is not the intention of HOME (as an organization or its Board) to compete with any existing group but rather to bring the home educating community together in shared events and activities for the benefit of home education across the area.***

To find out more information, please visit or find us on Facebook under H.O.M.E.


New NW Missouri Homeschool coop forming in Hamilton

Home school families of NW Missouri ,

LEAD (Leadership Education and Development) Home School Cooperative has been presented with the opportunity to rent rooms in the old Hamilton High School, in Hamilton Missouri, which has been acquired by Christian Legacy Academy .
We would like to begin holding cooperative meetings there when school starts for the 2010-2011 school year.

We will meet each Friday, September to May. Parents must be willing to teach or volunteer in some way for coop classes. It would not be a drop off program. We hope to keep fees very low.

The school has a gym with a stage, kitchen, science room with sink, numerous classrooms of various sizes, a large play area with playground equipment. It looks like the perfect opportunity for our organization. We will be able to use classrooms as needed.

Are you interested in meeting weekly for 3-4 hours? Sessions would be 8-12 weeks. Let us know the number of children in your family who would be participating.
Please send this on to any families you think would be interested.

Reply to Sasha Grove at
Or Deanna Gordon at

Watkins Mill

Spring on the Farm

Spring on the Farm will be held at Watkins Woolen Mill State Park and State Historic Site on Saturday, April 24th, 2010 from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. Spring has come to the Watkins farm and join us for a day filled with fun and learning! Witness 1870’s style sheep shearing. Enjoy our American Livestock Breeds Conservatory display of rare and endangered livestock. Take a stroll through our heirloom garden while 1870’s attired interpreters prepare the raised beds and plant vegetable seeds saved from our heirloom plants the year before. Other activities will include toy making, wood stove cooking demonstration, rag doll making, and more. For further information contact the park office at (816) 580-3387.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Missouri Department of Conservation Homeschool Fieldtrips

Missouri Department of Conservation Homeschool Fieldtrips are Back!

Part-time MDC Naturalist, Shelly Cox invites homeschooling families with kids of all ages to join her at the NW MO Regional MDC Headquarters located on McCarthy Drive on the campus of Missouri Western in St. Joseph MO.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

10:00 - 12:00 noon

This month's program will feature native plant seeds and nature journaling.


Mark your calendar & make a reservation for your family by Wednesday, April 21 by calling 816 271-3111 ext.242

Questions? Feel free to drop me a line!

~Julia Brooke

National Park info for homeschoolers!

http://groups. group/Homeschool ers_Exploring_ National_ Parks/

You are invited to join Homeschoolers Exploring National Parks in the United States group. We are a national, all-inclusive group; but please stay off of the topic religion and politics, as it never goes well.

Our members are always interested in the educational experiences that we can have while homeschooling, and why not tie into it our great national parks. In this group, we can share the educational experiences, ideas and resources that we notice there, and even ideas for pre-trip and follow-up activities at home. Sharing appropriately related websites, links, and resources will be appreciated. Any member can post details about when they will be attending and invite others to join them.

This looks like fun! Two things I have learned about National Parks in the past, it cheaper to buy a season pass usually than a single pass if you plan on returning--plus they are good at any National Park in the US. 2nd, they have tons of usually FREE info for kids, great for homeschooling. Join the rangers--they have free classes and activities for the kids of all ages (and parents) to do, such as identifying animals by their tracks, scant or markings left on a tree, learning about fossil and rock formations and more.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Who will remember our lessons in family history?

This week our family has attended two funerals thus far, which is sad since it is only Tuesday. Sunday we attended the funeral of a co-worker of my husband, and yesterday, one of my cousins. Both persons had lead full lives, full of experiences many of us never get to experience.

In the case of the first man, he was born in Slovakia. When the Russian invaded his country in 1968, and killed neighbors in front of him, he took his wife and two daughters and fled. He left all he owned behind-including his home, money, furnishings and more. He did manage to have a few photographs and copies of his two college degrees. He spoke no English, but made it across boarders into Switzerland and then onto a ship bound for the United States. At his memorial service they told of many stories of his past, including things that happened before his daughters were even born. The family produced photos and letters that spelled out his life. By viewing and reading them, I felt as if I had somehow lived a small part of it or watched him portray himself in a movie.

Yesterday we attended the funeral of my father’s cousin Joe Espey. Again a full life and well documented with photos that were laid out in chronological order showing his life, beginning with his young life, and FFA days and later being a grandfather to eleven grandchildren.

I keep a lot of family history-some of it I gathered, and much came from my Aunt Mina Alice Espey Robison and some from my cousin Matt Wilson that he traced back to Austria. I thought I knew a lot of the history, yet I found out more yesterday. I didn’t realize that Joe had gone to England with the International Farm Exchange Youth, or that in 1982 he was an Ambassador to China. I knew him as a retired banker who farmed on the side with a son and 3 daughters, and a wife who has beautiful flowers planted in their yard.

Before the funeral we went to my cousin Karen’s house and I heard some of the stories I had heard several times, and a few new ones. After the funeral we went to visit an aunt in the nursing home, and then to visit another cousin in her 90’s. Hear again I heard some more stories.

These stories are what make our families, our history and our heritage. Often I have told a person they should write down a story or an event and they laugh at me, and reply that no one would be interested in that. True, your child may not be interested in that now, but what about later, after your gone? Or perhaps your grandchildren or great grand children?

Each year our family has a reunion in Maryville MO. It is the “Shinabarger reunion”. We are descendants of the Shinabargers, but it has been years since a Shinabarger has been there on a regular base. Each year our group gets smaller, as people die. In recent years we have lost several- Helen, Fran, Charlie, Dick, Beverly, and now Joe, among others. Each year we can feel the emptiness of those who are no longer there. The younger ones have moved away, or are too busy to attend.

We also have a family cemetery, the Whitecloud Cemetery. Even though it has been years since anyone was buried there, at our family reunion each year we see to it that someone has been appointed to mow and maintain it, and is reimbursed partially for their fuel. Our family has chosen to try and preserve some of our past.

Many a time, if we are in Nodaway County with my dad, we will drive through the county and my dad will point out various farms and houses with comments-I lived there, that was the Todd place, my dad farmed here and we used our mules to farm, this is where I lived while I went to high school, this is where my momma would sell her chickens each spring, this is where Charlie’s house was, this is where we would go to butcher hogs and the entire family would come and make a day of it….

But, how do we get the younger ones involved and interested? I have, as part of our homeschooling gotten my daughters to do a bit of genealogy. My 13 year old even took it a step further and made a 4H project with it, for a self-determined project, and it earned her a leadership award.

But, I fear family reunions are becoming a thing of the past. I have heard many people say, “We used to have them”. Why did they quit?

I would like to challenge all of my readers and followers to write down some of the stories, or start a photo collection or a scrapbook of your family. If you know the past, include it. If you don’t know your family past, start with your own life. Create something that can be added to by your children and passed down for generations. Include the hardships that show how you made it to where you are. Include favorite recipes (Yesterday I got my Aunt Leola’s pie crust recipe), photos, event programs, fair ribbons, tell stories of your first job, of learning to ride a bike, your favorite birthday, of your school days... Pass it down for the future generations to enjoy and learn from.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

From the radio to trash

Monday, our 4H group was asked to be on the radio out of Cameron, 100.1 to help promote 4H and to tell of some upcoming events. Two of our 4H families went. The kids had fun. Our extension office was also there to answer questions as well. I think the kids had a lot of fun, and enjoyed seeing the control room.

This morning, our 4H group was on of several groups that was involved in helping the city to pick up trash in one of the parks. It really needed it! We filled numerous bags of trash (big barrel sized bags). We had 4 families represented and afterwards 3 of the families stayed to play for awhile. They played a game of football and enjoyed some sunshine.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Homeschoolers Dream House for Sale in Missouri

For Sale by Owner
4000 sq. ft.,6 bedroom,4 bath, 10 acres

The main floor has been completely remodeled. The 15x16 kitchen is any chef's dream!
48" Jenn-Air four burner gas stove top with griddle and grill, double wall oven, two dishwashers, and refrigerator, all appliances stainless steel. Awesome cement countertops!

Kitchen is open to a huge 14'x 20' dining room, a convenient 5'x7' pantry and lovely 12'x 14' sunroom. 16" tile flooring throughout this area of the home.

Living room is 14 x 23, walnut laminate floor
Bedroom 1- 12 x 14, carpet
Bedroom 2- 9 x 15, carpet
Bedroom 3- 10 x 15, carpet
Bedroom 4 or Den 12 x 15 has french doors off the Sunroom, laminate floor
Laundry room, 9 x 10 Cabinets match the kitchen. Laminate floor
Lots of closet space throughout the home.

Master Bedroom suite on second level. 17 x 25, with separate sitting room or office 9 x10

Basement has new 2nd kitchen with tile countertops! Gas stove, dishwasher and fridge, new in 2008, rarely used since. Bathroom with laundry hookups, bedroom is 12' x 14' with 5'x6'walk in closet. Large family room in basement. Basement could be separate apartment.

Very large 17 x 36 one car garage
Two independent heat sources for entire house. First is a standard propane high efficiency HVAC system. Second is a wood burning furnace with separate ducts. Both are new.

New since 2007; septic system, wiring, plumbing, hot water heater, electrical service to the house.

Numerous outbuildings, all with electricity. Main barn 32 x 76 with 12' clearance, Machine barn 24 x 24, Hay barn 24 x 36, Small livestock barn 24 x 31, Garden or wood shed 14 x 20

10 acres, partially fenced. Beautiful view of the surrounding countryside. Wonderful neighbors!

It has been a wonderful place to homeschool 7 and now 8 children I thought I would let you all know in case you know a family who would be interested. Call 816 351-0095with any questions. Sasha and Bryan Grove

New Species?? Or newly discovered

I found this online after hearing someone talk about it. They were calling it a "new species". Well, it may be newly discovered (new to man), but God new it was there all along, after all, he made it. I found this article interesting, and so did my kids, so I thought I would share it with you!
Giant lizard discovered in the Philippines
MANILA, Philippines (AP) - Researchers have concluded that a giant, golden-spotted monitor lizard discovered in the forested mountains of the Philippines six years ago is a new species, according to a study released Wednesday.

The 6.5-foot (2-meter) -long lizard was first spotted in 2004 in the Sierra Madre mountains on the main island of Luzon when local researchers saw local Agta tribesmen carrying one of the dead reptiles.

But it took until last year to determine it was a new species. After capturing an adult, researchers from the University of Kansas and the National Museum of the Philippines obtained DNA samples that helped confirm the lizard was new to science.

The Northern Sierra Madre Forest Monitor Lizard or Varanus bitatawa feasts on fruits and snails rather than carcasses, unlike many monitors, including its larger relative, the Komodo dragon, according to American and Filipino researchers who wrote about the discovery in Wednesday's peer-reviewed Royal Society journal Biology Letters. It spends much of its time in the treetops and has unique claws that allow it to reach its favorite fruits.

"I knew as soon as I saw the animal that it was something special," Luke Welton, a graduate student at the University of Kansas and one of the co-authors of the study, said in a statement.

It is not that unusual to find a new species of tiny fish, frog or insect these days. But Welton and his colleagues said it was a "rare occurrence" to discover such a large vertebrate, particularly on an island hit by deforestation and nearby development. They compared their find to the 1993 discovery of the forest-dwelling Saola ox in Vietnam and a new monkey species discovered in the highlands of Tanzania in 2006.

"The discovery of such a large, charismatic, and strikingly distinct new species of vertebrate in the unexplored forests of the northern Philippines accentuates the degree to which the diversity of this global conservation hotspot is still poorly known," Mundita Lim, chief of the country's Department of Environment and Natural Resources Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau, said in a statement.

Eric R. Pianka, a lizard expert at the University of Texas at Austin, said in an e-mail interview that it was an "incredible find."

"This is truly a spectacular discovery," Pianka said. "Worldwide, there are about 60-plus species of monitor lizards. In all probability, some as yet undescribed species will be found on various islands in Indonesia," he said.

The new lizard is related to two other fruit-eating monitors in the Philippines, all of which have seen their numbers drop significantly due habitat destruction, as well as hunting and trapping for the pet trade.

"We hope that by focusing on protection of this new monitor, conservation biologists and policy makers can work together to protect the remaining highly imperiled forests of northern Luzon," Rafe Brown, leader of the team that discovered the new species and curator of herpetology at the University of Kansas, said in a statement.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Our Easter

We have a nice Easter, and hopefully you did too. Friday night we went to church for our annual Passover dinner. The dinner had the highest attendance so far. The dinner follows the Old Testament traditional Passover and is very informative as to the hows and whys of Passover.

Sunday morning we were up at 5:30 to be to church at 6:30 for an outdoor Sunrise Service. After the service, we had a carry in breakfast, followed by our usual Sunday School and church.

Sunday afternoon I took the twins to Shatto Dairy in Osborn MO. Every Easter they have a large outdoor egg hunt, and let people tour the barns and visit with the new spring calve, and peek into the bottling plant and the cheese room. As we were leaving Shatto, it began to cloud over and started to sprinkle. Shortly after we got home, we had hail and the wind picked up and the rain started. It didn't last too long however, and we were able to grill out. My mother in law and sister in law joined us for dinner.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

3rd day, Spring must be real

Today was our 3rd warm day, so I guess it is the real deal. Being April 1st, I half way expected mother nature to pull a joke and snow again, but she didn't.

The kids spent a good part of today outside playing. It was windy, and the chickens did have some problems trying to walk in a straight line. They are rather funny to watch in the wind. The baby calves are starting to venture further away from their mommas and the babysitter cow. We also have some geese that have stayed behind the rest of their gaggle and are calling our front pond home. I have not ventured to the back pond to see if any are setting up housekeeping there as well or not. I am glad these chose the front pond because they can be seen from the house.

Matzah Bread

The girls and I went to church this evening to help set up for Fridays Passover meal and to bake the unleavened bread (matza). I added the recipe for the bread on my recipe link (upper left corner).
If you haven't noticed, I have added some new pages. The links to click onto them are on the upper left. Hopefully, this will keep the site a little neater and easier to find things. So far, I have added pages for recipes and homeschool friendly events. Someone else suggested I also add a page for money saving tips and couponing, so that may also be in the near future.
Let me know what you think!