We are good…had a GREAT summer...but now, school is in full swing. Hubby insisted I stay OUT of it this year, forcing them to keep up and not miss assignments…withOUT my constant checking and pushing. It’s HARD, since ALL of their academic happenings are accessible to parents online! No skipping a class or getting a tardy without your parents knowing THESES days…sure glad I’m on the PARENT end now!
They’re all doing surprisingly well, though. Last year was a HUGE transition for John & Sterling, going from a poorly-run private school (which they attended for ONE year)…to this HIGH on the Utah Academic charts charter school…AND into Junior High in the SAME leap!
Taylor has been an A student, but has B’s & C’s this year, as this 6th grade works hard to prepare them for the increased responsibilities of Junior High…and is much harder.
Sam has always earned A’s, and been a peer FAVORITE…but this past week has been “playing” a little to hard, & hurt two kids! Should I worry about bullying? We’ll see. Maybe it’s only because he has two BIGGER, rough brothers and is just more aggressive than others his age? I know I was…and sometimes had mishaps where people thought I was TRYING to be mean when I was really just stronger than I realized, and a tad (HA!) clumsy. I remember how BAD I felt when I hurt someone on accident. I hope that is the case with him, and that it is NOT a developing anger problem.
Gabe IS an A student and is smarter than most students his age (…because he is CURIOUS & must KNOW things…NOW! Like yesterday when he noticed my magnifying makeup mirror shows you right side UP when close, but turns your reflection upside DOWN when you back away to a certain point! As usual, he made me google it…and we ALL got a lesson on physics. Curiosity + Determination = READING…which inevitably equals INTELLIGENCE!) He is decidedly THE class clown of EVERY class he has ever been in! Needless to say, parent-teacher conferences invariably include discussion of enjoyment of his personality by both peers AND teachers…yet hopes of taming his TIMING of comedy to appropriate moments so as not to disrupt quiet teaching times.
Paytie is SO dad gum BIG…but cries if we mention it, saying between tears, “I d’own WUNNA git big like Johnnie! Eye’n jus a cute LITTLE girl!” Said as if she is proclaiming that Johnnie is NO LONGER describable by the word “cute”…and is afraid it will happen to HER! Funny!
Johnnie always says in an exaggeratedly-mock sweet baby voice, “Thanks, Sweetie…I love YOU, too!” Before rolling his eyes and laughing.
Can you believe he is TALLER than I am? He will pass John before long. He now weighs 145 lbs…only ## lbs until he reaches ME! (Ok, 25 on most days…but LAY OFF, wudja?! )
ME? Well…I am lately obsessed with couponing. I print them from manufacturer’s websites, from Sunday paper inserts…and even unashamedly digging in (somewhat hidden!) recycling bins at an elementary school in a RICH neighborhood…where people don’t bother to clip even the BEST ones. (But MAN, it makes me mad when they DO take one…I mean, how DARE they take their OWN coupons from me? It’s usually just the pistachios, though, so I try to forgive.) It’s amazing that the world seems to be consistently diligent in never putting anything other than CLEAN paper and boxes in the bins.
I spend about 15 hours per week researching online, matching store sales to coupons on hand, cutting and organizing hundreds of them, and making lists and plans of attach for various stores. THEN taking HOURS to shop, coming home with everything in multiples due to most store sales requiring that you buy so many to get the sale price…which I combine with my many DUPLICATE (from bins!) coupons…for a STEAL!
I get LOTS of items for FREE. I LOVE when coupons don’t specify a SIZE…such as “$2.oo off Dayquil, 80 count or larger” versus “$2.oo off any Dayquil product.” I just shop around and ultimately find whatever product I am looking for, in TRIAL size…which the coupon allows me to get it for FREE.
Sound dishonest? I WOULD say so, if it were a secret practice. But it is widely posted and advertized by couponing sites around the world, which are certainly accessed by manufacturers who can easily see and ELIMINATE the issue by simply printing, “Excludes Trial Sizes” on their coupons…so, I figure it’s fair game.
I am able to get LOTS of freebies through “stacking” store sales, in-store coupons and manufacturer’s coupons. It is SO much work! It wouldn’t be worth it to someone with plenty of money & little time…but to ME, short on money with plenty of time…it pays.
It is my LEAST favorite time-consuming chore, second only to LAUNDRY. However, the children watch and think I must LOVE it. Whistle while you work, I guess…and no one is the wiser! We like the show “Extreme Couponing” on TLC, where women spend 40-60 hours a WEEK at it, making it possible for them to buy over $1000.oo worth of grocery and household products for $0.oo-$30.oo…CRAZY! Sometimes they come out with the store owing the CUSTOMER for overages!
But…that’s only in states that DOUBLE manufacturers coupons. Utah doesn’t…as of yet. Though I hear ONE Wal-Mart in Southern Utah does…so maybe it will catch on. THEN I’ll be capable of extremes! As it is…I am getting EVERYTHING for less than 50%, so I can’t complain! Brand names, too…instead of the generics I would buy if it weren’t for the coupons. Generics usually don’t have coupons…and WITH them, the name brands are actually cheaper!
Other recent obsessions include researching about getting my book/s published, DIRT…and using coupon-purchased items to experiment the differences between products, documenting the results with pictures, and writing about them on my blog “ ”
Aside from a natural interest (as shown by a lifetime of daily experiments…though withOUT documentation) in generic vs. name brand differences, if any…my blog will also serve as a stepping stone in “Platform Building”, which is necessary before even TRYING to land an agent… which is the ONLY hope of landing an editor which must be acquired before finding a publisher! One simply can’t GET published…if they AREN’T ALREADY. And the process to even get an AGENT to take a mere GLANCE at you is quite extensive. Once I have it going steady, I’ll have to plead to all family to log on & “follow” my blog…in order to show (or fake!) that people are actually interested IN my writings.
It’s step ONE of about TWENTY. Did you know only 10% of writers ever GET published…with most working toward it for about FIFTEEN years before obtaining a deal? And…only a very small percentage of THOSE ever actually make a living at it! So WHY do it? Because, as motivates most writers…I LOVE it.
I also love experimenting…and rock hounding. I really wanted to get up to the old Lucky Stare Mine to hunt for Malachite and Azurite this summer…but the access road is now closed until spring.
We pray you are all happy and well! Love, Ry