I just love this time of year! The store shelves are stocked with all kinds of school supplies. I must confess to my long time habit of sniffing crayons. There's just something about the aroma of formed wax creating precious memories of my childhood. Believe it or not, I have other friends who do this very same thing. Goodbye cardboard supply box and paste that you screwed off the lid and spread on the paper with the wand and hello thumb drive and vault box! I'll share some of my favorites with you. First of all, I skimp on the binders. We buy the under $1 economy type and they've held up well for us. I also buy the cheap notebook paper and spiral notebooks. What I don't compromise on is pencils. I only buy Dixon Ticonderoga. They may not be as cute as the others, but they have erasers that cleanly erase like none other! I have yet to find a good pencil sharpener. A friend recommended the old Boston that has 8 different sizes and you crank the handle. We may try that one out. I also buy Crayola crayons and colored pencils. My exception to this is I occasionally buy Prismacolor Scholar colored pencils. Prang watercolors have the most brilliant color for the price. We buy our specialty paper from Miller Pads and Paper. Their prices beat the local discount store and their selection is great. They supply us with high quality penmanship paper, sketch books, construction paper, and blank books. We only use graph paper for math (all ages) and they sell it by the ream. With Haley taking Geometry we added a compass, protractor, and a good ruler. The girls like to use Zebra pens and occasionally I'll buy them the cute Sharpie markers or highlighters. We color code with tape as much as possible to keep track of what belongs to who. Thankfully we bought Haley's TI-84+ calculator last year, so the only thing left for us to get is their stylish yet strong messenger bags from American Eagle. As you buy school supplies for your children this year, don't forget to take advantage of the low prices to stock up to fill Operation Christmas Child boxes or share with a family in need. Happy shopping!