The Grinch Who Loves Christmas

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Can you believe that a mere 42 days( yes that is 6 weeks from now) many of us will be done unwrapping presents? Melanie over at Don’t Try this is hosting a Holiday Carnival..Question up for grabs is this! What are you giving? and where will you shop?

I am the Grinch who loves Christmas! So you all know that I have $175 budgeted for Roo( and I am the only buyer–everyone sends cash.I then have to put names to the presents), right so here is how that is being spent. She will get 2 tops(one bright pink, one orange) from my local consignment store that were new with tags on for$6, black leggings$9, socks from Value Village(free because of the gift certificates won-buy the way at Christmas they have a great new tag section that lets you find stuff on the cheap. Her wow gift from Santa is a Barbie Mp3 player (49.99 at Walmart), it is interactive with their new website Barbie Girls (she is loving this site). She gets pjs every year$16.97 at Walmart( this year she is getting high school musical ones as we are going to see High School Musical on Ice). She also will get the Reindeer Webkinz. I will also hit Indigo   ( right now you can get a book for $1 for the next 3 days, but be quick cause they are limited and they have FREE shipping if you spend over $39)to pick up a great book, their outlet section is a favorite place of mine. She is also getting from me a keyboard that I found for $19.99 ( For me this and Roo is a great match because every time we go to church she seeks out a piano!). At Starbucks I found a great game for under $10, It is part of the Cranium family so that too will be under the tree. In her stocking are going to the High School Musical on Ice tickets that I won. So as you can see I am under budget and she is going to have a good time under the tree.

So do want to know what this Mom would love? Just in case you want to send me anything? Pajamas, socks, Turtles, and of course bling in the form of a lil pink computer that well right now I am trying to win. See that Dell link! If you are up here in Canada you can win one and a trip for the family too! Wouldn’t that make a great present under my tree!

Now My Christmas Tip for today from the Grinch who loves Christmas is this: All they need is this…a wow from Santa, something to read, something they need, and something to grow with. Children don’t need to see oddles of hard earned dollars under the tree for what will that teach them but greed.

Today I am thankful for a temp job even if it is only for today. I am babysitting and the $40 earned gets to go into my birthday fund…or maybe I will splurge on me in December and go and see Keith Urban in concert( he is coming back to Toronto).

The Eleveneth Day, The Eleventh Hour

I hope you all stopped today to express gratitude and thanks for all you have because of those who have served so we can be free.

Today is Veteran’s Day here in Canada. We stop and thank those who have gone before at the eleventh hour on the eleventh day. Many of us wear poppies in the days coming up to the day to remember the poppies that grow on Flanders Field.

Today I want to stop and tell the stories that I know from personal family research.  In every generation I have had family members who have served here in Canada and who are serving in the RAF as long as I can remember.

First there was my great grandfather. Charles Pollard who was a WW1 veteran. Not much is known about his service but that he did serve.

 Then there was my granddad Norman Pollard and his brothers. He was one of 3 brothers who went and served. One did not come home:Charlie is buried overseas. My granddad was captured at Dieppe and transferred to a POW in Poland. In the final days of the war, with the world closing in, these men had to march for 86 days across 600 miles toward Berlin. My grandfather brought home with him unspeakable memories.

My uncle Ron served as a diver with the Navy and did several peace keeping missions.

My cousins Ronny and Graham have both served Britain and there forces. Graham in currently in Iraq.

 I am thankful to each and every family member who hearts were big, who’s strenght was real, who’s courage was beyond measure. I am thankful for all we have as Canadians and know it is because of the valor of men and women just like my family members that I can even blog today. We owe huge debts of gratitude for each who have served.

As an action note, today if you are thankful for the service to this country of others, please support the vets in your community. Often they come home injured and get forgotten and let me put it this way, we don’t do enough at any level to offer the support or services so many need. Health care and home care right now are needed by so many vets who served so valiantly and funds are lacking, rehab care for our returning warriors is lacking as well in so many ways…so please add your voice to mine and write a letter saying that our VETS deserve the best treatment and access to funds we can possibly afford.

No tips today as I simply wanted to say THANK YOU to all vets who gave so much so I can type!

I’ve been Tagged

I have been tagged by my old friend Beast Mom so here we go..

Here are the rules. (1) Each player starts with eight random facts/habits about themselves. (2) People who are tagged need to write a post on their own blog (about their eight things) and post these rules. (3) At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names.(I will tag a few) (4) Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.

Okay theme…since I have been offering up Christmas tips I will go with a Christmas theme.

1. I am a Christmas babe, yeppers that is me born during the dinner hour on Christmas morn.

2. My decorations are out and up….

3. We open one present on Christmas eve and it always pjs! How does that happen?

4. We stay in our pjs all of Christmas day. Since it is just me and Roo and it is my birthday a girl can do whatever she wants right!

5. I am up till about 1 in the morning and back up before 6 Christmas morn. I am the big kid, and fake sleep to Roo announces Santa has been here and can she open her stocking now!

6. Stocking only gets opened before breakfast!

7. Breakfast is cinnamon rolls that are freshly made.

8. Since Christmas is my birthday my birthday has yet to be celebrated with a party ever!

So who is now it…since Ordinary Mom couldnt decide what to write on I will tag her, and how but Catholic Mom while I am at it and Shannon.

Christmas Tip #8–If you are one of those who shops online or orders via catalouge get those orders in this week. Up here in Canada our dollar is strong so mail will take longer this yar and there are already back logs at Canada Post so this is the week to finish that kind of shopping if you can.

Today I am thankful for yesterday, it really did make me and Roo both smile to be part of giving. Then last night I got some major good news for my daughter’s school community but that will make up a whole blog of its own so more to come on that very soon!

World’s Largest Stocking and Tom Brown

World RecordPhoto Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketToday at the Sony Center on Front street, we took part in the making of the world’s largest Stocking! Roo and I went out and bought a couple of large unwrapped toys this morning(thanks alot GC’s). Then it was time to head down to the Sony Center. We got there at 11 and already there was a line! I think this speaks volumes to the generous hearts of Torontians. All the toys are headed to the Salvation Army to help families here in To have a better Christmas. When we got there, cookies and hot chocolate was offered up to all of us waiting our turn…Then it was a quick dash inside where Roo struck up a conversation with Tom Brown, yes the CTV weatherman. She ended up doing the lunch time weather with Tom and then they both had there picture taken. Then they both made a mad dash up the stairs to where they could both put toys in the 9o ft  stocking. Soon I had my daughter back and we stood in line for a quick pic gifted to us by the fine folks of Sony and then we headed up the stairs where Roo put our second gift in the stocking. She was so excited that she was on tv. It was funny because when we got home there was a message from my aunt saying she saw her on the news. It was great fun to be part of the action today and all for a very good cause and at 4 pm it was annouced that we had the record!

Christmas Tip#7- Before in with the New, think recycle and get rid of the old. I have Roo clean out her toys boxes and we give her toys that she no long plays with to the local shelter here. As well I use this time of year to get rid of things that no longer fit. You have to have room for the new stuff right!

Today I am thankful for a fun day out with Roo that taught all the right stuff!

Works For Me Wednesday- Backwards Day

  Over at Rocks in my Dryer, she is hosting another great Backwards Day. What is a Backwards works for me Day you ask? It is when I get to ask you a question that I really want to know the answer to… so we all know I am cheaper than cheap right? We also if you are a reader of mine know that I am in the Christmas spirit early. What is you favorite cheap or frugal Christmas tip? I may feature your comments as Christmas comes closer and I feature a tip a day. I of course would give you the credit.

Christmas Tip#6..Start your Christmas Card List now. Getting it done know helps with mail time. Check your country for mailing deadlines. Some of these are fast approaching if you are mailing overseas. Also think outside the box when it comes to your list. Do you really have to mail 100 cards out? Can you maybe do a Christmas Email or Blog?? Think about it…

Today I am thankful the ability to move and feel. This morning I woke up sore and stiff and had to think at least I can feel my limbs and move them all on my own esteem.

Fare thee Well George for Now…

 I know I know I have already broken the Post a Blog a day pact. Im sorry. The last 2 days have been very hectic here as I took a very temp job to try and get some extra cash for Christmas.

Tonight I knew as soon as I heard the news that is now being reported everywhere that my post today would NOT be my usual frugal kind of post.

Today George Osmond passed away. If you don’t know who he was. He was the dad to Donny and Marie and seven other. 

For those of you who don’t know this: I grew up in love with Donny as did many girls my age.  I was excited when Donny lived here in Toronto for a wee bit during his performing time up here and we were in the same ward.

 When I think of his dad and the impact that dad had on his family I couldn’t help but think of two things. First the incredible love that was shown between all family members and it started from the top and flowed down and back up. Secondly they lived there faith. Then my thoughts were drawn to sacred covenants made at alters long ago and what they mean to those who call themselves LDS.  One of the primary beliefs that are held is that we can be together as a family unit after death. With that in mind. I know the Osmonds will miss their patriarch but I can just imagine right now a certain dance in the heavens between a man and his eternal bride who used to dance together to make money. I am sure as they grieve they will also be comforted by their faith.

Today I am thankful for my own family…For having had and having loving parents , and the bestest daugther.

Christmas Tip #5This is more a local request for those that live here in Toronto. Down at the Sony Center on Thursday, Nov 8th they are attempting a world record. What record: an attempt to fill the worlds largest stocking with unwrapped gifts for the Salvation Army. If you can please bring a large unwrapped toy between 12-3 pm to 1 Front St E please do so. If you are one of the first 1500 to do so you will receive as a thank you a ticket to White Christmas for the Nov 22nd performance. As well they will have lots of hot chocolate and cookies on hand and I have hard even a few giveaways….so come lets help some of the kids who need it have a brighter Christmas.

If you aren’t here in Toronto may you make giving somewhere somehow part of your holiday season.

Starting to Feel A Bit Like Christmas

Tis starting to feel a bit like Christmas. Yes all the store are quickly getting to into Christmas gear, and you truly know the season is at hand when The Bay on Yonge St reveals its Christmas window, they are a site and a tradition here in To.

Well here at Castle a La Cheap Mom we too are getting into the spirit so much so that guess what we broke out this weekend. The Christmas decorations.We went through the box, checked it once, checked it twice, and then began can I say this out loud — to decorate! Last year because we were tree less till just a few days before the holiday I really didn’t get to enjoy the season. So this year I am starting early! But then again I really love the season..

We are using an artificial tree, and have all the decorations we will need for the season minus a table cloth( can you figure out where I will be looking for one this week?).

Christmas Tip #4– When getting out your Christmas decorations why not try and save some green and use LED lights. We switched to these last years and for pennies our tree was well lite while not wasting much electricity…So be good on your pocket book and go green.

Today I am thankful for a daughter who loves Christmas as much as I do! Decorating with her after a hard morning of school work. (She finished her Emperor Scorpion project this morning) was so much fun. We laughed and giggled and remembered where and when each ornament came into our home. It truly was a great afternoon of fun.  

Happy Blogging Birthday to Me

It was five years ago tonight that I first sat at a computer screen and typed my thoughts for the world to see. Over the year many sites have hosted the evolution that is me.

I started my blogging journey on Xanga. My site there called “Simply Hollie” was the beginnings for me. It was there that I stayed for a bit. It was there that I first had to write about the fire that would change my life.

Then I moved my blog to MSN and took back an old MSN forum name I have used for many years on line: that being “Celestialmom”. I blogged here for a long time as well. It is here that I first blog about Roo’s diagnosis of being a special needs child.

Then when MSN was going through a period where my site was more down then up, I moved to blogspot again as Simply Hollie…while there I began Cheaper then Cheap as well( but it was only a few month old when I came here) and am now combining all that I am and ever will be.

In the last 5 years I have come to know and visit many bloggers  some stayed on my radar and others faded. You know us bloggers have a life outside our computers right? I have favorite reads that I must go to…girlfriends that I have known only through what they have typed to me over the years. Catholic Mom, Lynne, Beast Mom, SAMM, Jungle Mama, Katy, AM, Holy, Thotman are all old friends with many exchanges between us. AM moved from the blog world and has become one of my closest girlfriend’s…but we started our friendship online. It is her parent’s that took me in for a year after the fire.

I love the interactions that come from being part of the blog community and so I will make that what I am thankful for today this my blogger birthday! For those of you who have read me over the years thanks for letting me ramble-may you of taken away a piece of me. I want to thank you for stopping by, for sitting and reading a bit, for sharing and for caring.

No Christmas tip today I have a blog birthday party to get too! Happy Birthday to me!

November Has Blo In

Well November has come in with a roar! There is much to do for this cheap mom. Today begins National Blog Posting Month and I am participating so expect to see a post every day this month..

And I even have two themes for the month: Frugal Christmas tips and Gratitude. Since I am a thankful mom who is cheaper than cheap you will get to read the best of both. I may even sprinkle in some of Roo’s antidotes( when you are solo parenting a child with special needs you never know where life might take you).

So on to Christmas Tip#3:

If you already haven’t figure out your holiday budget..there is nothing worse then going in debt to show some love…so plan ahead.

Here is my holiday budget:

Christmas Baking: $20

Gifts for Roo:$175 ( $100 of this amount comes from her dad and gram who send cash and I buy gifts from them)

Gift for Mom:$25

Gifts for others: $30

Christmas Meal:$40

Total:$265

Roo and I are busy planning what we are making this year and I am sure than will come up in a tip to come.

When the fall comes it really does get you in a thankful mood as the holidays come along. Today I am thankful that I am a mom. It is the best job in the whole world. I love the fringe benefits of mommyhood the hugs and cuddles.

Well time to go pack up the candy that is still out…

Halloween Night-

costumeIts the night of ghosts and goblins, and trick or treaters gone mad and all thru the streets children are getting home with tired feet, and bags of goodies galore.

Roo and I left for a night of scares and treats at about 6:45 and got home about an hour later. Roo the mermaid dug into her candy and quickly surmised there were candies she would eat, so to the door she quickly went to hand out treats to the few revelers left outdoors.

Then in she came like a dash to sort and stack and see what she had amassed. Tired and happy we took pictures of one great haul. Roo is busy munching and filling freezer bags with chocolate galore.

candy haulHer haul

Gum and candy in one bowl, chocolate in another and chips are in the big bag to count and sort and nibble while we watch a movie till a child sleeps and mom can visit some blogs.