All Quiet

Comments   Comments Off on All Quiet   Date Arrow  January 2, 2010 at 11:55pm   User  by Granolageekmom

Sometimes at night I am just amazed at how quiet the house can be.  After a day full of racing, chasing, bouncing, dancing, singing, it feels like the walls should continue to echo long after everyone is in bed.


Tagged   FamilyComments  Comments Off on All Quiet

Happy New Year

Comments   Comments Off on Happy New Year   Date Arrow  January 1, 2010 at 11:58pm   User  by Granolageekmom

Happy holidays!! I can’t believe another year is gone.  I’m praying 2010 is going to be a great year!

One of the holiday things our family did this year was making candy.  We made several different kinds and had so much fun!  K’s specialty was making lollipops.  He made another batch today of cinnamon, and he is definitely a pro now.

In the last  couple of weeks or so we have also made fudge, toffee, pralines (oh yum!!), and dipped pretzels.  I made a batch of divinity, too, but had to throw it out.  It was raining (of course) when I made it, and with the Weather Channel stating 97% humidity the divinity turned out with a consistency of silly putty.  I guess I should have believed all the recipes when they said not to make it in high humidity!  Anyway, it was fun, and we felt a little bit like we were creating a Good Eats episode when we were discussing the science behind why sugar acts like it does, what the different cooking temperatures does to it, and all the little intricacies involved in candy-making.

Tagged   Family · Food · UnschoolingComments  Comments Off on Happy New Year

Crazy For Coupons

Comments   5   Date Arrow  June 18, 2009 at 12:42am   User  by Granolageekmom

I have used coupons pretty much always, but I started “couponing” about three years ago.  Yes, there is a difference.  Before getting serious about coupons, I would go through the coupon inserts that came in the newspaper, cut out about half of them because those were the ones I thought I might use, and put them in an envelope.  Of those, I might use one or two at the store before they all expired, but for the most part, I would find the envelope four months later when I cleaned off the desk and throw them all away.

Then I discovered the art of couponing.  It is a completely different way of shopping.  Basically, it’s watching the sales and matching with the coupons to get a great deal, and buying enough to last until it’s a great deal again.  If I buy everything I need for the household that way, the savings are huge.

When I started three years ago, my average savings was about 50% off of the shelf prices at the store, which translated to about $300-400 savings over what I’d been spending each month for food, paper products, health & beauty, household needs- grocery store/discount store shopping.  That was huge, as you can imagine.  I read all I could about how others did their own couponing, and also over time was better able to tell when something was a Stock-Up Deal.  Now, my savings run 65-70%, or even higher some weeks.  As an example, I just figured our grocery/household spending for last week (my shopping week for tracking purposes runs Wednesday to Tuesday to match the grocery store sales cycles).  Total shelf price for everything we bought last week- $287.80.  We paid- $83.37.  Savings of $204.43, or just over 71%. (Could have been higher if we’d had more time to go back to Albertson’s to use their Twice Value Coupons, since they only allow 3 per trip.)

So, someone may ask, why doesn’t everyone shop this way?  There is a bit of a learning curve – I read what I could and studied sales trends, and it took a few months to figure out just what I was doing.  Thankfully, I was saving quite a bit even before I had it down.  Also, in order to take advantage of the great deals and stock up, I often need several of the same coupon.  That means I either have to buy several copies of the Sunday paper, cut out, organize and deal with a few hundred coupons every week, or use a coupon clipping service to just get the ones I need when a deal comes up.  I have used a few different clipping services available online, and it works ok, except for the fact that it takes 3 to 5 days to get the coupons since all the clipping services I found are back east somewhere. The sale may be over by the time I get the coupons if I don’t know about the deal soon enough.

Those difficulties inspired the entrepreneur in me, and so I’m pleased to announce my new venture.  I have started my own coupon clipping service at, and I’m also teaching coupon classes to help others get started saving money too!  If you are in the Portland, Oregon area and are interested in hosting a coupon class, or attending a class someone else is hosting, please let me know! 🙂

Tagged   Family · FoodComments  Add Your Comment

A Cool Once in a Lifetime Occurance

Comments   1   Date Arrow  April 19, 2009 at 8:47am   User  by Granolageekmom

Story at  I’ve always been fascinated with space, astronomy, etc., and it’s especially fascinating when there are amazing things that only happen once or twice in a person’s lifetime.  The annual Lynid meteor shower is coming up this week, and this year for us in the west part of the continent, the time that has the highest chance of seeing the most meteors will also be the time that Venus will eclipse behind the crescent moon.  Many of the other parts of the country will also have the eclipse, it just will be after sunrise.

The weather forecast right now is even favorable for some photos!  Those three things happening at the same time are definitely once in a lifetime for Oregon.

Tagged   AstronomyComments  Add Your Comment

Astronomy Picture of the Day

Comments   Comments Off on Astronomy Picture of the Day   Date Arrow  September 29, 2008 at 3:49pm   User  by Granolageekmom

K sent me a link today that he thought I’d like, and he was right- it is really cool! I just had to share. Astronomy Picture of the Day  Now I have to start going back through the archives!

Tagged   UncategorizedComments  Comments Off on Astronomy Picture of the Day

Still a Favorite

Comments   Comments Off on Still a Favorite   Date Arrow  September 4, 2008 at 11:01pm   User  by Granolageekmom

  (Hey, I actually got pictures transferred to my computer within a day of taking them! 🙂 )  My sister made a cute sweatshirt and pant set for E1 when she was 2 years old.  E1 wore it constantly, for months, except when it was just too hot.  When E3 was about that age, we pulled it out of the box of clothes we had saved for her to wear, and again, it was worn over and over.  When E3 finally grew out of it. I didn’t even put it out in the garage.

We have had some cooler days and nights lately, and on Tuesday, E3 pulled the shirt out of her basket and put it on.  I can’t believe it even went over her head.  She generously decided that really it was time to pass it on to E4.  E4 immediately pulled it on, and has pretty much worn it constantly the past 2 days, except when I can convince her it’s warmed up too much and she’s going to get too hot.

A quick aside- E3 picked out a great book at the library last week that talked about passing on beloved things that have been outgrown- Little Bear’s Little Boat by Eve Bunting.  I don’t know if it was what made it easier to give up the shirt, but I think it probably helped.

Tagged   Family · ParentingComments  Comments Off on Still a Favorite

Possible Problem with Tagless Clothing?

Comments   Comments Off on Possible Problem with Tagless Clothing?   Date Arrow  September 4, 2008 at 1:58pm   User  by Granolageekmom

I ran across this blog entry at ZRECS and was amazed how widespread it appears these rashes and chemical burns could be.  This may be something to keep in mind or watch for, especially if your little ones have sensitive skin.

Tagged   ParentingComments  Comments Off on Possible Problem with Tagless Clothing?

Achieving Your Childhood Dreams

Comments   Comments Off on Achieving Your Childhood Dreams   Date Arrow  July 25, 2008 at 11:38pm   User  by Granolageekmom

Time to wake up my blog again! 🙂 I just had to write about this.

Randy Pausch passed away today.  Dr. Pausch was a professor at Carnegie Mellon, and through the wonders of the internet, his last lecture, given in September, 2007, is able to be shared with the world. 

Okay, I keep editing this, because I just can’t figure out exactly what I want to say about it.  It’s just an inspiring speech, and it really got me thinking about goals, dreams, what’s important, and what I want my kids to learn about life.

Tagged   Parenting · UnschoolingComments  Comments Off on Achieving Your Childhood Dreams

Important Announcement ;)

Comments   2   Date Arrow  April 4, 2008 at 3:00pm   User  by Granolageekmom

BSG. Tonight. 10:00.

That is all.

Tagged   UncategorizedComments  Add Your Comment

Fun Easter Weekend

Comments   Comments Off on Fun Easter Weekend   Date Arrow  March 26, 2008 at 4:38pm   User  by Granolageekmom

We really had a great weekend.  It wasn’t anything different than our traditional Easter weekend, and yet it was.

Saturday we got together with all of my husband’s family to dye eggs and just have fun.  This year we also had some friends join us, increasing the child count from 7 to 11.  Thankfully for the adults’ sanity, it was a gorgeous sunny day, so the kids were able to dye the eggs and play outside.  Boy did they play!

When the egg dyeing started, I was inside with E4, so K grabbed my camera to make sure we at least got some pictures.  He always gets some great pictures, I get jealous 🙂 and then don’t let him use my camera for a while.  (The picture at the beginning of the post is mine, but it’s one of only a few decent ones.)  It is amazing to me how fast 6 dozen eggs can be dyed.

As the kids were working on the eggs, a hot air balloon appeared over the trees in the northeast.  It got closer and closer and landed in a nearby field.  The kids (okay adults, too) were really excited watching it.  K’s photo, again.

Sunday afternoon we all headed back out to K’s parent’s house, as we traditionally eat Easter dinner together, and K’s mom puts together Easter baskets for all the grandkids and organizes Easter eggs hunts.




One for E4 by herself, since she has to eat gluten free right now- and apparently, prefers the plastic eggs to the candy. (This photo is mine 🙂 .)  One hunt for the younger kids, and one more for the older kids.  It was raining this year, so the hunts took place in the living room.

The older 3 kids slept really well Sunday night. 🙂

Tagged   Family · PhotographyComments  Comments Off on Fun Easter Weekend