Thursday, March 27, 2008

Part of a Co-op

I am part of three types of co-op. My first co-op is with part of my homeschool group. Our co-op gets together 8 weeks a semester and we combine together classes for our kids to take, mostly supplement classes, fun classes to do with other kids.

By combining our resources we can teach things we may have trouble teaching ourselfs or its just more fun doing it as a larger group. We also get together as moms and get to talk to an adult for once! Yah love the kids but its nice to talk to an adult once a week besides your spouse :)

The second co-op is a Milk coop. There was a farmer coming to San Antonio to deliver his cheese products and he just went to providing raw milk. He got license to do this so excitely I asked him if we could get a few women together at a house would it be worth it for him to stop by and drop off some milk since technically the milk truck is part of his farm.

Well years later I am saving a trip going all the way to his farm and pick up 2 weeks worth of milk every other week. He is making out better with us because he sells it at a better price to us then if he sold to Borden or something. It benefits us both.

The third and the last co-op I had joined is a biweekly pick up at a Veggie co-op. I provide $20 to the main coordinator and so does a group of other women, then she goes off to the buy bulk produce at the farmers market which keeps the cost down to us. A lot of veggie co-ops take turns picking up but our coordinator knows the guys at the terminal and would rather do it herself and she picks really good stuff.

If we have something we dont like we put it in the extra basket and we can exchange for something else. The draw back of this is you really have to use everything that you get to make it worthwhile. I share my bounty with my sister and dad next door to us, this way nothing is really wasted, but even if it did get bad then I give it to my chickens.

Hopefully soon I will be adding our own garden so we can have some of that too and sell it as well. Right now I have some strawberrys, onions, tomotoes, cherry tomotoes and orange bell peppers planted.

I recommend any sort of coop it seems to be working out for us.


Monday, March 17, 2008

Saving Gas Tips

Here are some tips I found on the net I am posting this in my blog too incase you lose it later. They are really good tips.

Here are some of mine:

If you have a walmart go into store and purchase money on a Walmart card it will take 3 cents off at the gas pump for each gal you get from the orginal price they have listed.

Carpool with family friends on errands it will be fun make it a day to get it all done.

If you have two cars one small and one larger-Let the person that has more errands during the week use the smaller car. It may be squishy for you and the kids in smaller car but if your out and about more you will save more on gas then your spouse who just drives back and forth to work.

Don't spend so much time looking for the perfect parking space. WALK! Your wasting gas.
Dont use drive throughs especially if there is more then one car in front of you, go inside instead save gas.

If you have a mini van and dont need all the room for seats on the older models you can take them out! Saving pounds on your car

They say if you have a lose cap you can lose two miles per gallon also with trucks if you leave the tail gate down or have one of those nets on it your actually not getting good gas milelage I saw this tested on one of those "Myth Buster shows"

If you have one please list it too

Stay within posted speed limits. The faster you drive, the more fuel you use.

Use overdrive gears. Overdrive gears improve the fuel economy of your car during highway driving.

Use cruise control. Using cruise control on highway trips can help you maintain a constant speed and, in most cases, reduce your fuel consumption.

Anticipate driving situations. If you anticipate traffic conditions and don't tailgate, you can avoid unnecessary braking and acceleration, and improve your fuel economy by 5 to 10 percent.

Avoid unnecessary idling. Turn off the engine if you anticipate a lengthy wait. No matter how efficient your car is, unnecessary idling wastes fuel, costs you money and pollutes the air.

Combine errands. Several short trips taken from a cold start can use twice as much fuel as one trip covering the same distance when the engine is warm.

Remove excess weight from the trunk. Avoid carrying unneeded items, especially heavy ones. An extra 100 pounds in the trunk reduces a typical car's fuel economy by one to two percent.

Keep your engine tuned. Studies have shown that a poorly tuned engine can increase fuel consumption by as much as 10 to 20 percent depending on a car's condition.

Keep your tires properly inflated and aligned. Underinflated tires cause fuel consumption to increase by six percent.

Change your oil. Clean oil reduces wear caused by friction between moving parts and removes harmful substances from the engine.

Check and replace air filters regularly. Your car's air filter keeps impurities in the air from damaging internal engine components. Clogged filters can cause up to a 10% increase in fuel consumption.

Buy only the octane level gas you need. Remember, the higher the octane, the higher the price.

Check your owner's manual to determine the right octane level for your car.

Own a fuel efficient vehicle. The difference between a car that gets 20 MPG and one that gets 30 MPG amounts to $1,500 over 5 years.

Tips:If you're dissatisfied with a gas-saving product, contact the manufacturer for a refund. Most companies offer money-back guarantees. Contact the company, even if the guarantee period has expired.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has evaluated or tested more than 100 alleged gas-saving devices and has not found any product that significantly improves gas mileage.

Don't be lured by testimonials by satisfied customers using gas-saving products. Few consumers have the ability or the equipment to test for precise changes in gas mileage.

If the seller claims that its product has been evaluated by the EPA, ask for a copy of the EPA report, or check for information.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

New Addition to our family

Yup here he is Rex the golden retriever puppy my daughter has been wanting for ages. She has saved up her babysitting money and allowance for him and they love each other already as you can see him plastered to her already hehe.

I am proud of her for saving up her money for him like that I am pretty sure we have taught her well. So far its been working out ok with Rex. He is a sweet puppy, Tommy my son loves to play with him, not sure on Bobo our other dog yet, they have only been introduced through the fence in the back yard.

He has had his first shots already which is a bonus. It seemed like he was not used to a humans touch I think they had him in a kennel with his mom. I dont like kennels much only time I think they are needed is when you are going to have company you need to put them away for other peoples safety.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Using Television for Teaching

Using Television to teach:

If your like the many americans who subscribe monthly to cabel or satellite each month for entertainment, why not use it to help teach your kids? Many of y'all don't even realize the many shows out there that can help teach and your already paying for it!
Examples on main ones I love and use:

The main ones to help you is

A&E television Network: Each weekday morning the A&E Network offers commercial-free, copyright cleared educational programming. These programs cover a variety of topics suitable for grades 4 and higher. Along with this is a email schedule of upcoming events and a snail mail year calendar of programs. They also have lesson plans for some of the shows.

Art zone Featuring Art, Music, Film they do have realvideo outputs you can watch on your computer

Biography Channel: Sponsored by A&E network has the same great discussion, calendar, and classroom study guides. Great information on famous people throughout time.

Cable in the Classroom: Cable in the Classroom represents the cable telecommunications industry's efforts to use cable content and new technologies to improve teaching and learning for children in schools, at home, and in their communities.

Court Tv: is an education and public service initiative targeting middle schools and high schools, which also offers resources for colleges and law schools. Their goal is to help young people make responsible and positive decisions.

Discovery School: Designed by teachers for teachers, this award-winning series keeps the learning styles of elementary-age children in mind. They have online lesson plans that go a long with the shows so you don’t have to prepare anything. Also have Animal planet, Discovery kids,

Disney Lesson plans-A great place with all your favorite Disney characters

Fit Tv-From exercise listings, to how to stay healthy with food recipes this is a great way for the whole family to stay healthy.

Foodnetwork: One of my favorites shows is “Good Eats” he takes food to a science great entertainment to watch with the kids.
History Channel: Packed with show time calendars, discussion groups, and study guides for the famous history channel

KLRN: A great tv site with shows such as Liberty kids for younger kids, History detectives for older kids, Statue of Liberty also for older kids

NASA Channel: Provides real time coverage of agency activities, missions and educational programming to teachers and students.

Nickelodeon: Mostly fun kid cartoons and game site. I do like The Wild Thornberry shows of a young homeschooler that travels the world with her family. Great for watching it then look up the country they were at and the animals they saw for geography and study of animals. There is also Ozzie and Drix for the study of the human body.

Nick Junior: Programming for preschoolers. A great place to have the little ones watch as you teach the older kids. Blue clue, Dora the explorer, Max and ruby.

PBS This station has some great learning videos. Weekend explorer is one of our favorites great for geography Check out their listing for movies on science, history etc.. I have also seen Cyber Chase kids on this channel this is a great show to watch for kids learning math

Scie Fie In the Class room If your kids love watching the Scie Fie channel why not use some of them to help you teach.
STAR: Although they show it on the Television there is a course fee for the books and manuals.

Travel Channel part of Discovery channel but I thought I would list it separately. Great place to study geography check the tv listing to find out what’s showing. Not all is suitable for kids so check out that guide before switching to that channel
University House: The Universityhouse Channel provides a new way to bring education home. Showing on the DISH Network The Universityhouse Channel offers you a variety of educational programming, from K-12 instruction to accredited university courses. Enjoy these stimulating programs and courses in the convenience of your own home.

UCTV: launched by the ML:NAMESPACE PREFIX = ST1 />University of California to provide the public with informational, educational and enrichment programming that draws upon the vast intellectual, scientific and creative talents of the University of California .

Weather Channel: The Weather Classroom is appropriate for grades 5-10 each program airs commercial-free and copyright clear for educational use
Special notes for myself to check weekly: Calendars:

History channel calendar/ A&E Listings/ Biography Listings
Discovery school which includes listings for Discovery, TLC, Animal Planet, Health Classroom & Travel Channel
PBS Listings/ KLRN calendar/ NickJr CalendarRegular tv listing Tv Guide

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Eggs Eggs Eggs

Quote for the day: What came first the chicken or the egg?
My chickens have been laying like little egg machines. Good chickens! I am averaging around 40plus eggs a day sometimes. Today at the milk/egg drop off I sold 28-18packs of eggs. I plan to buy more feed with the money but also buy more chicks.
There is a site that got me really motivated on taking care of my chickens called This is a lending sight for third world countries. One day I was glancing around the page when I saw this old woman who wanted $100 to buy more baby chicks to add to her already 300 flock.
Yah you got it right 300! and here I was with 88 and moaning about how many they are sometimes hahaha and here is this little old lady with 300 and wanting to have more to make her business grow. I figure if she could do it so could I.
So I got out the old accounting book to do my chicken business to see if I was actually making a profit. I was making a profit, a small one but I was doing good enough to pay for my familys own eggs too. Its not like I am making a huge profit off of it, it sure is fun though I love my chickens they are so fun to watch.
I hope to do well enough to go back to the Kiva sight and find another lady who needs money for chickens and I would like to lend her the money to get her started.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Alaska may be a no go

My dad and kids planting roses that we got at Walmart. Railroad ties were free from Union Pacific
Looks like the trip to Alaska is a lot more then we ever thought it would be. Once we get there its not so bad but trying to fly up there is an arm and two legs. I am a bit depressed about it. Trying to convince hubby to take kids to Disneyworld instead, not sure what else to do time is running out.
Car is back in the shop they have to order a part so probably wont get it fixed till Wed now. I have been so tired lately not sure what is going on. I need to exercise I think but havent been able to go to gym due to car breaking down so much.
I bought some dirt today finally going to start preseeding now. A cold front came in but its only around 55' degrees not a freeze. Working on another article right now but as always its slow going because I dont have much time.
Got to run for now will add later maybe.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Spring is almost here

Furby our cat kept falling off the rail everynight with a thud so I bought her this container and my dad nailed it down. She loves it!

Quote for the day: My theory on housework is, if the item doesn't multiply, smell, catch on fire or block the refrigerator door, let it be. No one cares. Why should you? -Erma Bombeck

I have been thinking about a garden lately I know people in the colder states/countries are not even thinking about a garden right now. As you can see by my cat above she is warming her self in our warm sun we are having here in South Texas. I have had to fix my air conditioning in my car because it went out. Tonight we tried to go to the Planetarium and the air conditioning was out and the temp was about 90' in there so they canceled for the night, So this tells you how hot its been.

Before you say, Frugalmom I really dont want to hear it, let me tell you the down side of all this is we havent had any real rain in ages and we keep having fires everywhere. Just last night on the news they had three huge fires in our area near San Antonio. One of them they had to evacuate a elementary school because the fire was too close.

Most of it is caused by smokers. Cigs being tossed out to the grass. Idiots. The volunteer fire department are recruiting young boys, desperate for volunteers. I saw them today out on the streets barily 18yrs they were collecting money for the fire department holding out a fire boot.
I gave most everyone I saw were rolling down their windows to donate.

Tonight Hubby was filling me today about world problems and the American Dollar going so low. I have been so busy with farm, homeschooling and car problems I havent been able to listen to the news. I need a good news feed my Yahoo only gives me silly stuff. Maybe I need to resubscribe, but then again its depressing and will make me worry. I am a natural worrier.

Anyways it got us talking about our garden to start preparing just in case. Each year we try to do a garden but I think we are trying too big we need to start small. He was talking about enclosing our porch for more kitchen space for pantry items we need to start stocking up again.I need to start buying in bulk again. I got really excited because I have been wanting to do this forever but I cant make a move in the garden without more help from him on what he wants.

Slowly I have been helping my dad with his. I bought 3 tomotoe plants and some onions for his garden. Tommy will be planting watermellon with his papa this next month. I have been keeping an eye out for the strawberrys not sure when they come out here.

There is sooooo much more I want to plant. I hope to go flea marketing tomorrow to see what starter plants they have right now. I dont think we are going to have any more freezes. My pecan trees have hard buds on them right now which means spring is coming soon. Its Cheaper to do seeds rather then starter plants, I need to go get some dirt and start to plant seeds to see if any take, they are old seeds so you never know but its good to try.

Not much more happening, my chickens are laying really good. My neighbors dogs are driving me nuts everynight I dont think they give them water so they travel up the canal every night to get some water which drives my dogs and my other dogs mad with barking. Bees have been out and about I told hubby he needs to put some sugar water out for them since there is hardly any food near right now.

Thats about it for tonight