Thursday, March 9, 2017

Two Things I'm Enjoying Right Now


1. Redwall on Audio

I'm not sure why I have saved audio books for long trips. Maybe because I enjoy reading aloud to my children so much. But I don't have time to read all afternoon even when I wish I could. 


Recently I picked up the audio version of Brian Jacques' Redwall and it was perfect for wet days this winter when we needed a quiet afternoon activity. Redwall was written as a story for blind children and the descriptions and action kept my children glued. And I'll admit that I chose an activity nearby so I could enjoy the story too. The audio is narrated by the author and includes an excellent cast of readers. The evil voice of Cluny and the kind wisdom of the abbot came alive.

I'll even admit turning it on over lunch when I'm weary of the ruckus. It turns a meal from chaos to silence in seconds. 

Note: Redwall is the story of war between the mice and rats. Though it is not graphic, it is dramatic; a young or sensitive child may not enjoy it. 

We enjoyed this audio so much that I'm looking for more at our local library. I'd like to figure out Audible as well. I'm so slow on learning anything new, but I've heard enough good things about some of the good Audible deals that I should figure it out. I'd love to hear your favorite audio book suggestions.


2. Walmart Home Delivery

For years I've been a fan of online purchases. I buy birthday gifts, vitamins, kitchen gadgets, and, of course, books, from Amazon. 

My sister-in-law has been telling me for months that I need to get my groceries from Walmart online. I not sure why I took so long to take her advice.  

I don't enjoy taking six children shopping. And the longer I procrastinate, the longer my list grows, until I have too much to fit in one cart. By the time I get home and am faced with the huge stack of groceries to put away, I'm determined not to go again for a long time.

Finally, a few months ago, I tried Walmart home delivery. And now I'm placing a Walmart order every few weeks. Of course I can't get all my groceries. They don't carry everything online and I can't get fresh produce or dairy products. But I'm finding that if I cross off the big, bulky items like diapers, toilet paper, cleaning supplies, toothpaste, and some canned goods, my list is not nearly as overwhelming and my cart isn't heaped. 

The best part? For my last order, two-day shipping for a $35 order was Free. I'm not sure how long this deal will last as the shipping deals do fluctuate. Sometimes I need a $50 order (which is no problem in this household) and it isn't always two-day shipping, but there is always some way to get free shipping. 

Not having to take six children grocery shopping? I'd pay money for that convenience.

But don't tell Walmart. 

I'd love to hear your tips on surviving grocery shopping.

30 comments :

  1. Hello Mrs. Gina,
    I must admit that back when my children were younger, Mr.B would watch them while I did our monthly grocery shopping. Mr.B would pick up a gallon of milk on his way home whenever we were low between shopping trips. All our fresh produce came from our own garden and fruit trees. During winter months we ate home canned produce.
    Just as their older siblings grew up, our two teens who are left at home are a terrific help in unloading and putting everything away when I return from my shopping trips. Only now days I shop only 6-8 times per year ... I abhor continual weekly shopping and prefer to get as much of it done at one time as I can.
    I'm glad to hear the on-line grocery shopping is working well for you. I just may give it a try myself.

    Blessings,
    Mrs.B

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. When my children were younger, my husband always helped me with grocery shopping. We split the list and took two carts, both with a child or two inside.

      But now that the children are older, I do have help so I like to get the grocery shopping done while he is at work so we can enjoy our evenings together at home. But I still don't like shopping.
      Gina

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  2. How does WalMart compare with Amazon prime for pricing? I've been doing more online shopping, too, for the reasons you mentioned! ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I haven't compared a lot of prices between Amazon and Walmart. Let me know what you find out.

      It appears that sometimes Walmart is a penny or so higher online than in the store, but not great enough difference to me.
      Gina

      Delete
  3. My step-daughter orders her groceries on line at Walmart and then drives up to pick them up. She has a baby and 2 preschoolers, so she doesn't want to take them grocery shopping. Only certain Walmarts have this service. She says if they happen to be out of an item she ordered, they will give her another nicer item, like a higher count of freezer bags or something like that. She loves it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Our local store does pick-up too. But that still means loading everyone up so I like the home delivery better.

      Glad you daughter-in-law is finding something that works well. Wish they had this ten years ago when I had three babies.
      Gina

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  4. I only have 4 children and 2 attend school so I always, always go in the morning with my little ones. BJ's Wholesale and I stock up like crazy & go about once a month. My bulk foods I get at a local Amish store that happens to be like 3 minutes from my mom's house. So I drop them there & pick up Mom's items she needs & its a win for both of us. :) I've already went to BJ's in an evening with all 4. Hard lesson learned. All are tired. All wish they somewhere but the grocery store. All Let Mom know that.

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  5. the man who reads the Harry Potter books has a wonderful voice. Not sure if all your kids are old enough for them yet, but he is worth it

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  6. Have you used LibriVox. We love the Thornton Burgess books.
    I will be trying Walmarts home delivery!

    ReplyDelete
  7. We like librivox.org for free audiobooks. Our kids have listened to a LOT of Thornton W. Burgess that way. They also recently finished A Little Princess and now want to go on to The Secret Garden. I forget what all is on there, but I know The Railway Children series is as well as Beatrix Potter.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We love Librivox too. Some of the readers are better than others so we often search for our favorite readers. We've enjoyed many of the old classics with Librivox.
      Gina

      Delete
  8. A chance to tell someone about my favorite app will get me to comment on a blog. Have you heard of Overdrive? I know the Franklin Co library system offers this service and you might have others close that do as well. It is a library database that offers ebooks and audiobooks on a loan system. It is wonderful to check out books, but all from the comforts of home.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think my husband uses Overdrive. At least he downloads audiobooks and ebooks from the library onto his phone.

      I'm still in the dark ages. I can figure out how to play a cd. But I should get him to teach me how to take advantage of the other library offers.
      Gina

      Delete
  9. You said your local store offers pick up services. Were you referring to Hagerstown or Chambersburg? I had looked into pick up services at Hagerstown but I wasn't sure they offered that.... perhaps I wasn't looking at the right place online.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've never tried it, but from what I've seen online, they offer store pick-up at Hagerstown. Just click on the item you want and choose either home shipment or store pick-up. Some items are only available for one of the options.

      Let me know if it works for you.
      Gina

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    2. Thanks! I'm going to give this a try. Even with one child, the crowds at Walmart can be overwhelming!

      Delete
  10. I agree; audio books are wonderful! They can really engage imaginations. We really loved The Chronicles of Narnia audio book series from Focus on the Family - it is a "full cast drama" radio theater production, very engaging. Because it's not a strict reading of the books, we also read those aloud many times over the years. More recently we really enjoyed To Kill A Mockingbird read by Sissy Spacek - her reading really brings it alive! - Suz

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  11. Our children have really enjoyed "Heart Bridge" and "A Heart to Belong" by Johnny Miller. They are available from TGS International and are about the Miller's experiences at Nathanial Christian Orphanage in Romania.

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  12. Here in England I do an online grocery shop once a month. All our major supermarkets do online shopping now and if you are over a certain amount it tends to be free. We have bigs lists and lots of children like you so online is ideal for us. We do all our dairy & fresh fruit & veg locally though on Markets. We love listening to stories, Enid Blyton is a favourite here for our twin girl's & Miss Read.

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  13. I too am a mom who does not enjoy shopping and I make use of Amazon prime as well as jet.com and walmart. I enjoy your blog. Thanks for being brave enough to post some of your life!

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  14. I was delighted to find out about Boxed.com, an online grocery service. They have very similar pricing and products to Costco, and your things arrive a day or two after ordering. The great thing is that if your order is over $20 you don't need to pay shipping...ever.

    I have enjoyed your book recommendations through the years and just got my first few Jamie Langston Turner books a few weeks ago from my new favorite on-line book place called ThriftBooks.com. Most books are $3.49 each and if your order is more than $10 you also get free shipping. Anyway, I loved "WildFlowers of my Heart" and am waiting for "To See The Moon Again" to arrive.

    My children have loved Audio books through the years, although I love to read aloud to them too. Right now I am reading "Michael Faraday" to them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the recommendation. I'll check out Boxed.com. And I wish I could be enjoying Wildflowers of My Heart for the very first time. Such good reading.
      Gina

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  15. Go for groceries in the evening!! My dear husband watches the little ones with the help of our oldest two children. Plus it gives me a break from the noise for an hour or two! All listen for me to come home and come out to help unload.

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  16. Oh! We did sooooo love the Redwall audio books! And Freddy the Pig (Walter Brooks), and Gregor the Overlander (Suzanne Collins)! We just rented them from our local library, but I've considered buying a Freddy story for my son for Christmas for nostalgia's sake (he's 23 and married, lol!)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ahhhh...Freddy the Pig. We just read another book in that series and I'm rather certain I enjoyed it as much as the children.
      Gina

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    2. Oh, the audio books narrated by John McDonough are a treat! He truly captures all the various characters. You will never forget hearing him do Mrs. Wogus, Mrs. Wiggins, and Mrs. Wurzburger laughing it up!

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  17. My girls loved Redwall when they were little. As far as grocery shopping we use a lot of digital coupons at Safeway. I wish Walmart had a loyalty card. We shop there sometimes. I love the books from Christian Light Publications. That's one of my favorite places to get books.

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  18. Someone at our church just told me walmart is starting grocery pickup at some locations - you order anything online (including produce) and then just pick it up :D It is not at our location but I signed up for an email alert to when the do get it though! I can't wait!

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  19. I enjoy seeing your book recommendations. Here is a link for more audiobooks that you might enjoy
    http://www.melttheheart.com/audio-stories/

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  20. I like the idea of an audio book at lunch. I don't know why I didn't think of that. We have used audio books mainly while travelling. We like the Becky and Benji series narrated by Fern Ebserole (I think). They are about Amish children.

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I'm still learning how to be a joyful homemaker and I'd love to hear from you!

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