Camping on the Cheap

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Here are some more ideas for an inexpensive camping trip.

  1. If you don’t own your own camping gear, ask around to see if any friends or relatives have tents, sleeping bags, etc. that you could borrow or rent.
  2. Consider camping mid-week or off season. Many campgrounds have cheaper rates at these times.
  3. Find a place that’s not too far away, as gas prices can make your expenses go up in a hurry.
  4. Choose a location that is near a water source or hiking trails. Find a place with ‘free’ activities nearby. Throwing rocks into a river occupied The Boy for nearly 2 hours on our most recent trip.
  5. Consider just going away for one night. It seems like the work involved with getting organized for a camping trip is too much for just one night away, but you’d be surprised. You don’t need to plan as many meals. You could just throw some left-overs (and s’more fixings of course) into the ice chest.
  6. Make your own block ice. Block ice lasts longer than cubes or crushed. Start a few days ahead of time freezing your own blocks of ice in tupperware.
  7. Ask around to see if any friends or local businesses have free or inexpensive firewood. If you plan to have a campfire, try to find wood before you go. Buying wood from a campground host can be mighty pricey.
  8. Cut down on your laundry work when you get home. Store all the dirty clothes separately from your clean clothes.
  9. Take along rags to use instead of paper towels. (I must say that I never follow this one. I love a big roll of paper towels and pack of wet wipes to use when camping.)
  10. Get together with friends for a camping trip. Share the costs of the campground space, food, firewood and other gear (stove, ice chest, etc.).
  11. If you do own all your own camping gear, consider keeping it stored all together. This will make your unpacking much easier when you get back home. We have several camping tubs that live in our garage. It is so easy to pack and unpack for a camping trip this way. Our camping list notes the things that live permanently in the tub and the things that need to be added each time.

99 Ways to Save Money on Food

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Not only does this site have some great tips on how to save money on food, it also shows you how to look good while doing it! Check out 99 Ways to Save Money on Food at the amazing Mark Sisson’s website, Mark’s Daily Apple.

Come for the saving money tips, stay for the great health advice!

Book Review – Duck on a Bike by David Shannon

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duckonabikeI like to recommend books that not only the little ones can enjoy, but also the person who will be doing the reading. Because, as you know, you might be reading it again and again and again! So, it had better be good.

This time around, the book is Duck on a Bike by David Shannon. Shannon is the author of the David series of books and has a bunch more to his credit. He is a wonderful illustrator and author and this 40 page book lives up to his reputation. It involves a duck in a farmyard that steals a bike and goes all around the farm seeing all his animal friends.

The illustrations are AMAZING and the page with all the animal on it, I won’t tell you why they are on it, is awesome. The look on their faces cracks me up every single time I read it, which is a lot. So for a nice book that is short and you will get a kick out of, check it out.

Everything I Know About Parenting I Learned From Return of the Jedi

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While watching Return of the Jedi the other day, I noticed how much their universe relates to ours. Darth Vader could be a grouchy dad with disobedient kids and Princess Leia a spoiled brat. C-3PO is the know-it-all kid, yours or the one next door, that is always complaining about something and always has an answer to your questions. With that in mind, I present some quotes from the movie relating to situations in the world of parenting.

VADER: The Emperor does not share your optimistic appraisal of the situation.
And neither will your father when he gets home.

VADER: That is correct, Commander. And he is most displeased with your apparent lack of progress.
So clean up the damn living room already!

NINEDENINE: You’re a feisty little one, but you’ll soon learn some respect.
But probably not until they are 35 years old.

JABBA: Soon you will learn to appreciate me.
Again, only when they are 35.

YODA: Hmm. That face you make. Look I so old to young eyes?
So I didn’t know what Twitter was, give me a break!

YODA: No more training do you require. Already know you that which you need.
Except how to do a keg stand. But now that they are leaving for college, don’t fool yourself, they will learn it.

LUKE: Search your feelings, father. You can’t do this. I feel the conflict within you.
So please let me borrow the car!

Everything I Know About Parenting I Learned From The Empire Strikes Back

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While watching The Empire Strikes Back the other day, I noticed how much their universe relates to ours. Darth Vader could be a grouchy dad with disobedient kids and Princess Leia a spoiled brat. C-3PO is the know-it-all kid, yours or the one next door, that is always complaining about something and always has an answer to your questions. With that in mind, I present some quotes from the movie relating to situations in the world of parenting.

HAN: All right, don’t lose your temper. I’ll come right back and give you a hand.
Just about anytime your kid is building something that all of sudden breaks the laws of physics and comes crashing down.

HAN: You could use a good kiss!
When your kids try and be cool in front of their friends and refuse to show any affection for you.

HAN: Ooh…I thought they smelled bad on the outside!
Umm.. A Diaper?!

ZEV: (into transmitter) Echo Base…I’ve got something! Not much, but
it could be a life form.

Guys, make sure you say this during the first ultrasound.

HAN: How are you feeling, kid? You don’t look so bad to me. In fact, you look strong enough to pull the ears off a Gundark.
When the kids try and stay home from school claiming to be sick.

THREEPIO: Sir, I am fluent in six million forms of communication. This signal is not used by the Alliance.
You become amazingly in tune with your children’s cries. So when a bunch of kids are playing elsewhere you can tell which one is screaming and hopefully it isn’t yours so you don’t have to get up and check.

HAN: Droid of some kind. I didn’t hit it that hard. It must have had a self-destruct.
I’m waiting for the boy to say this when he breaks yet another toy.

DACK: Right now I feel I could take on the whole Empire myself.
Pretty much an everyday thought of your children. Especially teenagers.

LEIA: Someday you’re going to be wrong, and I hope I’m there to see it.
The kids will tell you this, but don’t worry, you will always be right.

YODA: How you get so big, eating food of this kind?
“Instead of eating that, I’ll stick to my two bites of mac and cheese.”

LUKE: Hey, you could have broken this. Don’t do that. Ohhh…you’re making a mess. Hey, give me that!
Again, every DAY in your life.

EMPEROR: There is a great disturbance in the Force.
VADER: I have felt it.

A great thing to say when the pregnancy test comes back positive. Or what siblings will say when they learn another kid is on the way.

YODA: No, no, there is no why. Nothing more will I teach you today. Clear your mind of questions. Mmm. Mmmmmm.
But why this, why that? Why Daddy, why mommy, why, why, WHY?!?

YODA: So certain are you. Always with you it cannot be done. Hear you nothing that I say?
So eat that last piece broccoli already.

LEIA: I love you!
HAN: I know.

The moment you realize they are all grown up.

VADER: I am altering the deal. Pray I don’t alter it any further.
I’m laughing too hard about this one to write anything. Just say it to your kid one day when you told him something and then changed your mind.

THREEPIO: The city’s central computer told you? Artoo-Detoo, you know better than to trust a strange computer.
MySpace, Facebook, Twitter. You know what they say. On the Internet, boys are boys, girls are men and children are FBI agents.

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