And now, back to my regularly scheduled post:
By now, you've probably gotten the idea that I enjoy using coupons to get fabulous deals on things my family uses. Using coupons the way I do definitely leaves more money in the budget for other things (like, for instance, kayaks). And yes, it's a thrill to get things that we otherwise would be paying for, for free, or even get paid to bring some things home. But that's not really why I coupon. This is why I coupon:
I got all of these items for free using coupons or by requesting free samples. There are well over $50 worth of personal care necessities in this pile, not including the value of the free samples, and I'm not done yet. Next month, I will be donating these items and more to Project Home, which provides emergency shelter to families in our area who find themselves without a place to stay. Now, if I wasn't couponing, I would definitely go out and buy some travel-sized items to donate to the project, but certainly, it would not be $50+ worth. Being able to care for some of our community's most vulnerable citizens' needs in such a practical way is even more thrilling, more satisfying, than scoring a box of oatmeal for free, or even cutting my grocery budget in half. This, my friends, is why I coupon.
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And here's another fun little project that we did at Camp Scarlet today (FYI, when I say "Camp Scarlet" that means there were three 3 year olds in my care, as opposed to the normal one or two). I was actually surprised at how much the children enjoyed this one. I mean, I thought they would have fun, but they were mesmerized.
These are little soap snowballs with surprises inside:Family Fun.
You take 4 bars of Ivory soap, or any white soap (we used 5), grate them (we used the grating plate in our food processor, but you could easily do it by hand as well), add ~1/2 c. warm water (we used 3/4 c), and mix until it's squishy. Then you take a handful, shape it into a ball, poke a hole in the ball and put a little plastic toy in there (we used little plastic squirting toys that I found at a dollar store, because I could not find little plastic penguins, which I really wanted to use, anywhere), filling the hole back in to form a ball. Let them dry, then wash, wash, wash away, until the toy is revealed. Family Fun said their recipe made 8 soapy snowball surprises, but I think their toys must have been smaller, because we only made 9, with more soap, and some of our snowballs definitely could have used a bit more "snow" to round them out. My little charges couldn't wait to wash their hands with their new soap--then they spent a good 20 minutes playing with some leftover squirty toys in the bathtub.
* * * * * * * * * *And I realized that I haven't updated you about my friend J. J's daughter, Car, is the third 3 year old who transforms our home into "Camp Scarlet" every other week. You may recall that in October, J was diagonosed with stage 2 breast cancer. She had 2 surgeries to remove all of the cancerous cells, and based on the genetic profile of the cancer, she was scheduled to have 6 weeks of radiation treatments. I guess I never really thought about it, but when someone is being treated for cancer with radiation, she is required to go in 5 days a week for the treatments--so it was a huge disruption to J's life and her family's schedule. Her last treatment was last week, and she's doing well--relieved to be done. Thank you so much for your prayers and concern for J over these last few months.