Saturday, September 20, 2008

Taking Granny home

Dan was gone last week to a Doctoral seminar at NOBTS.  Since I was going to be a single parent for that amount of time, I called in reinforcement...my grandmother!  She is 76 years old but has more energy than I do!!!  She came in on Sunday afternoon and spent the week with us and was a huge help to me.  While Jonah was at preschool, she ironed almost every garment in our house.  (including Jonah's pajamas and our sheets and pillowcases!!!)  She cooked YUMMY meals and kept my house spotless.  Then, she kept him in the afternoons while I worked.  Jonah had a blast with her and I think she pretty much thinks he hung the moon!  

He and I made a super quick trip to Jackson to take her home.  We stopped in Brookhaven at the Honda dealership to have replacement keys to my car made.  Dan lost his keys during Hurricane Gustav so we needed to replace them.  He was quite thrilled to play blocks with Granny and was super happy to discover a sword there.   


Before heading to Jackson, I emptied all of Jonah's piggy banks and our coin containers so I could visit a Coinstar machine.  If you have never used one of these, you need to know about them.  They count all of your change and save your HOURS of time by not having to roll coins!!!  We discovered these machines when we lived in Fort Worth but don't have one here.  So, about once a year, I load up all of our coins and take them to the machine.
We save all of our coins for Jonah's college fund.  Actually, my mom and the Mraz's do the same thing for him.  His college fund has an extra $1500 in it JUST from coins!!!  Well, the coinstar machine charges 8 cents on every dollar that it counts.  BUT, if you get a gift certificate instead, then it doesn't charge anything.  So, we always take the Amazon.com gift certificate (that is where we buy diapers and wipes) and then write a check to his college fund for the amount of the gift certificate.  We spend that money at Amazon.com anyway so it saves us from having to pay 8 cents on each dollar.  


It gives you a running total of how many of each coin you have and what the current balance is.  When we were in Seminary and cashed our coins in the first time, we had over $500.  When your combined income is less than $20,000 per year, a $500 trade for coins was like a million dollars to us!  :-)

When all was said and done, Jonah earned another $119.42 for his college fund.  We heard a long time ago that an easy way to save money was to NEVER spend change.  Even if your bill calls for just a few cents to never use change and save all of it.  We can attest that is true.  We saved this amount since early this year.  I think we cashed money in the last time early this year.  

Oh, and in the spirit of full disclosure, some of this money came from my little moocher of a son going up to people at church and asking them for "some monies."  Believe it or not, the little beggar comes home with a pocket full of change many Sundays.  Dan says he is going to put him in charge of the offering from now on!  :-)

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