Monday, March 31, 2008

Ministering to Women

I forgot to mention how last Monday night's "Meet and Greet" went at church. I always get so worked up and nervous about these things but there was a decent turn-out. Everyone that showed up had a great time and encouraged me to plan more of these events. Our church is growing so rapidly and people just don't know one another.

I scheduled a "Women's Ministry Planning Meeting" to be held before church last night to see who was interested in helping me with the Women's Ministry. I've been doing it alone for the last year and a half but now that the church has gotten so big it's more than I can handle on my own. I was exhausted from my trip to Jacksonville (to the Beth Moore conference on Friday and Saturday) and was regretting my decision to have this meeting yesterday; but I ended up having another good turn-out for this meeting too! There were 10 women who showed up with ideas in mind and ready to get started right away! This is exciting!!

One thing we talked about is how important it is to reach out to all women around us, no matter how "mature" a Christian they are or whether they are a first-time guest. We all go through stages in life where we deal with those tugs of self-doubt and insecurities the devil whispers in our ear. He makes us believe that everyone else is getting invited to functions and purposely leaving us out. He makes us believe that everyone is laughing at us or talking about us or they will make fun of something we say so we just need to keep our mouths shut.

The reality is, when you are thinking like that you are making the focus all about "YOU" instead of about "OTHERS" where the focus should be. It's time to get off the "me, I, my, mine" pity wagon and get out there and see how you can help "OTHERS" by loving, encouraging and supporting's amazing what happens when your focus shifts to other people instead of yourself.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Thoughts for the day

The last couple of weeks has been extremely busy for some reason. I seem to be running in so many directions but never actually going anywhere. I don't like it when life gets like that. Greg has been working late hours so we haven't seen each other too much. He's had a big project at work he's been working on that finally finished up this week - Praise God - so perhaps things will get back to "normal" (whatever that is?) and slow down a little.

Tina, Bryant and baby Bailee flew into town yesterday afternoon. We met them at CiCi's Pizza for a late lunch. They don't have a CiCi's in CA and Bryant was craving their pizza. As soon as Bailee saw Uncle Dakota she reached for him and wrapped her precious little arms around his neck and wouldn't let go. He kept trying to put her down because she would get heavy and she would cry for him. She LOVES her Uncle Dakota! I forgot my camera (GASP!!) so these pictures were taken with my cellphone.I tried to give Uncle Dakota a break by holding Bailee for a few minutes. She wasn't interested in me though and she kept looking over my shoulder for her Uncle!! To keep her entertained I took a dozen pictures of her and let her look at them. She loves to say "cheeseeeeee." They do learn young don't they?
Bryant's mom is getting remarried on Saturday. She hasn't been married in a long time. This will be a big change for her because she is extremely independent! Tina has been taking cake decorating classes in CA and loving it so she is going to bake the cake for the informal wedding. this was the cake Tina made last week at her class. She and Bryant don't want to eat all the sugar/calories from these cakes she is making every week so she delivers the cakes to the barracks at the Marine Base where Bryant works. The guys love it!!

I am leaving in the morning with a group of 11 girlfriends from church for a road trip to Jacksonville. It's about a 6 hour drive. We are going to a Beth Moore conference for the weekend. I love doing Beth Moore Bible studies but this will be my first time seeing her in person.

Dakota has his annual eye appointment in the morning. He's been wearing glasses since he was 3-yrs-old. When we went to his appt last year he asked his doctor about wearing contacts. The doctor said he would like for Dakota to be a couple years older or at least to the point where he is taking care of himself (his hygiene) without being told by me or dad because wearing contacts is a big responsibility. I'm not sure if that was the incentive or if Dakota is just reaching the age where it matters to him but this last 6 months he has gotten much better about taking care of himself. I very rarely have to tell him to take a shower or brush his teeth. Most of the time these days I'm telling him to "GET OUT OF THE SHOWER!" He's even taken to wearing deodorant and cologne now before he leaves the house.

When I told him last month that he was going to his eye doctor this month he said he was going to ask him again about contacts. I told him I would give my approval this time because he has showed great improvement this last year and I was proud of him. I'm not going to be at his appointment now though because I am going out of town. My mom is going to be taking Dakota. I can't imagine him without his glasses. He wears them all the time. He can't see without them - he has double-vision so he never takes them off. Not even when he falls asleep. We have to go remove them from his face after he has fallen asleep or they stay on all night. He doesn't like to wake up and not be able to see anything in the middle of the night. If he is allowed to get contacts tomorrow this will definitely be different!

Walgreen's 4-day coupons

Go here to get Walgreen's coupons for these items:
4-pack C or D size Batteries - .99
Maxwell House Coffee (Rich Original or French Roast) - $2.79
SanDisk 512 MB Secure Digital Memory Card - $4.99
3-pk Scotch Magic or Gift Wrap Tape - .99
Zori Sandals (Flip-Flops) - .99

Online Photo Offer Only
25 Bonus 4x6 prints with coupon code 25FREE when you buy 25 or more thru March 29th.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Blogging for Money

Do you like to blog? How about picking up some extra money while you're at it? Bloggerwave is a company that pays you to blog. I just signed up with Bloggerwave and while I blog my normal random way I am also keeping an eye on the job board for a job I might be interested in blogging about. I blog - I make money. That easy!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Guitar Hero III Legends of Rock

Alrighty, so I told you last week that Dakota received a late Christmas gift from his grandparents - a Wii - that had been backordered and FINALLY came in right?

Well, on Friday Dakota and I went shopping with grandma (i.e. - my mom) all day long and grandma purchased Guitar Hero III Legends of Rock for our new Wii. Greg & I had played this on the marriage retreat back in February and loved it! I had been trying to decide whether to purchase Rock Band or Guitar Hero for our Xbox 360 ever since we came back from the retreat. This is Greg (on the Marriage Retreat in FEB) - around midnight - still working on one song he was trying to master. We all stayed up late taking turns playing different songs.

Here I am (in FEB) taking a stab at first I didn't want to try because it looked so difficult. Once I tried the first song, I was hooked!

I am not quick to jump into big purchases like this. I have to ask around and get opinions from people who currently have these items to find out which one they prefer and why and then I like to watch sales flyers and check eBay to see if I can ever catch something like this on sale. Since Dakota knows I'm like this and he refers to me as a "cheapskate" (a term I'm very proud of... thank you very much!) he started putting the bug in my ear the moment he opened his Wii.

"Mom, wouldn't it be great to have that Guitar Hero game now?"

"Mom, maybe we could just ride up to EB Games to check out the price and see if they have refurbished games that are cheaper than Wal-mart's games? And you could even use your discount card there mom!" Helpful little booger ain't he?

Well you can imagine how truly excited he was when grandma came to his "rescue" again and purchased this game for him last Friday. We spent the whole weekend competing against each other, trying to outdo one another's scores. This is a fun game! Dakota is kicking our butts in it too! His fingers get to going so fast - I don't know how he keeps up as well as he does.

Hillary's oops?

Looks like ol' Hillary needs to get her facts straight before speaking to the press...

Toon-ful Tuesday

There is certainly nothing wrong with investing in the stock market. But an investment of our time in the Work of God will yield more certain rewards.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Reaching Out

Here I sit, less than 12 hours from a "Meet and Greet" I scheduled for tonight for women who have recently joined the church or who have been visiting lately. The stomach flutters have begun as well as the shaky hands. I always hope and pray that each time I do events like this it will get easier...but it doesn't. I guess if it did then I would be relying on my own strength and not God's strength to get me through this.
Philippians 4:13 "I can do everything through Him who gives me strength."
I sent out an email last week to the ladies of the church reminding them about the "Meet and Greet" and asking them to bring a dessert with them and to let me know if they planned on attending. I never know what the response is going to be like when I plan events for the Women's Ministry. I'm normally a very optimistic person, except in this area...I always expect the worst and I'm genuinely surprised when there's a good turnout!

At church yesterday the pastor really pushed this "Meet and Greet" and talked about how important it is for the women to come out get to know one another (if they are new here) so I am anxious about this evening and praying that God will use me to reach out to those women looking to fit in somewhere.

Colorful Easter Eggs

Hope you all had a wonderful Easter! I meant to post this yesterday but I never got online so I'll post it today. Check out these BEAUTIFUL Easter eggs!

Friday, March 21, 2008


Dakota received a late Christmas present from his grandparents this week - a Nintendo Wii. It had been backordered and finally arrived yesterday afternoon. We knew it was going to come in one day but we didn't tell Dakota about it because the anticipation would have been too much for him - and he would have driven me crazy everyday asking "Is it here yet?"

He has his fair share of these video game systems - thanks to grandparents who dote on him! - but I must say this is by far my favorite game system! I can't play all those other things he plays (Xbox, playstation, etc) because frankly, I'm just not that coordinated with the controller. But when we set this system up yesterday and started playing the sports games that came with it - we had a blast!
We couldn't wait for his daddy to get home from work so Dakota could challenge him to baseball, tennis and bowling. Greg got home around 7:00 and sat at the table with me eating his dinner and telling me about his day at work. The whole time Dakota is prancing around, chomping at the bit for daddy to finish so "they" can play. When Greg was finished he told Dakota he would watch him for a few minutes. I told Dakota "here, I'll play against you - let's play tennis."
Greg sat down on the couch and watched us serve 2 times and he jumped up and said "Okay, my turn!" LOL - that's all it took - he was ready to play!
I watched those two play through tennis, baseball and nine rounds of golf for 2 hours last night. By the time Greg said he had to go to bed, Dakota had worked up a sweat! They had so much fun playing with this. We are going to our favorite game store today, Game Stop, to see what inexpensive games we can pick up to play this weekend.

Thursday, March 20, 2008


One of my twin daughters lives in Hawaii with her Navy husband and their two sons, Allan & Nathan (my grandsons.) It's been right at a year since I've seen them. This is the longest we've gone without seeing one another. I've been missing them a lot lately.

Before they moved to Hawaii they lived in Sugar Grove, WV which was a 12-14 hour drive from where I live. But I made that drive several times a year because I love spending time with my daughter and her boys. When her youngest son was 9 mos old he was put in the hospital for 3 days and tested for leukemia, cancer, cerebal palsy and assorted other diseases because he was "failing to thrive" at the time. My mother and I dropped everything and drove straight through the night to get up there to be with them to watch Allan and offer support. It's so hard dealing with them living so far away now and realizing it's been a year since I've seen my sweet grandsons.
This is Allan as he looks now - his mommy cut all his hair off so he could look like his daddy. This was the day he had his adenoids removed a month or so back. He handled things pretty well. He just turned 4 in December and he'll be starting school in Hawaii this year.
This is mommy's boy Nathan. He'll be turning 3 in July. After he scared us when he was 9 mos old by "failing to thrive" and not gaining weight for several months all of a sudden after much prayer his blood work and tests began showing up normal and he perfectly fine now. He's a little ham now!
This is Allan last January (2007) at the beach here in FL. He was so used to all the snow in West Virginia and being able to make snow angels that when he saw the white sand we have at the beach he dropped down and began making "snow" angels. He hurt his head though because this "snow" wasn't as soft as the snow in WV!
This is what Nathan looked like the last time I saw him last January - he was so little! I can't believe how much he has grown up this last year. He is chattering away now and will talk to me on the phone and on the computer webcam. I am still praying I'll be able to get out to Hawaii to see Felicia, Will and the boys this summer.

Walgreen's Shopping 3/20

Look what I got from Walgreen's today for $14.16!! I am so excited about this! I know you are probably looking at this picture and thinking "BIG WHOOP!" but to me this is terrific! My husband inhales peanut M&M's and popcorn - he LOVES them so I HAVE to keep them in stock - no matter what the cost...know what I mean?! So when I can find them at a terrific deal I stock up.

Same thing with candles...hubby is gonna buy them no matter what the cost so I better keep them around and when I can find an awesome deal like this I am doing cartwheels!

My splurge in this deal was the gallon of splenda-sweetened tea - it was 2.49. This was poor planning on my part. I almost always carry bottled water with me wherever I go but I forgot to grab one before I left the house. I shouldn't have purchased the tea but I was positively famished and had planned on running through a drive-through for a drink on my way home anyway and when I saw the tea I "just had to have it - so I bought it."

Anyway, you still have a couple of days to take advantage of some of these deals so I wanted to share them with you.
  • Raisin Bran & Raisin Bran Crunch are on sale for 1.99 each - I used this coupon and got $3.00 off 3 boxes.
  • M&M's are on sale for 2/$5.00 and I used 2 coupons - one inside the March EasySaver Rebate book which gave me $2.00 off and 1 from the Sunday coupon insert which gave me another $1.00 off.
  • Basic Paper Towels - there was a coupon in the Walgreen flyer this week for .79/roll and I used another coupon for .25 off each roll
  • Glade Wisp Flameless Candle - on sale $5.99 - used this coupon for $5.00 off - will also mail in the Easy Saver Rebate to receive $2.00 back
  • Orville Redenbacher popcorn - $2.49 box - used a coupon for .40 off - purchased this to complete Easy Saver Rebate #49 which will allow me to receive a $5.00 rebate for spending $10.00 on food products.
My total before coupons: $31.11
My total after coupons: $14.16

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

I'll never understand...

My daughter who lives in Hawaii called me today while she was driving to school. We are separated by a 5 hour time zone difference so I don't normally hear from her in the middle of the day like that - I was a little surprised when she called. She started telling me how she had just heard about a news story that has upset her so much she can't get it out of her mind and she doesn't know if she'll be able to quit thinking about it all day.

An 18-yr-old man raped a 5-month old baby girl. I can't even begin to put my emotions into words. If you want to read more about it, go here.

Subservient Chicken

Have you ever seen this website? It's hosted by Burger King and is really quite funny! If you have some "free" time on your hands - go check it out.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Toon-ful Tuesday

Jesus is our reliable basket. We can put all of our faith and love in Him. We can trust Him with our life, our cares, and our future.

Road Trip

So today I am in Ocala, FL writing from a hotel room. I'm waiting on my best friend to finish up a meeting she's at and then we'll be heading back home. Throughout the year, she has to attend city council meetings for various counties all over FL and she'd rather drive than fly and take the chance of her flights getting delayed or cancelled. I will often go with her just to keep her company or to help her drive. We have a great time talking in the car and catching up. We attend church together but our lives are so busy these days we might go a couple of weeks without talking to each other.

My friend has 2 daughters who will be 20 and 18 this year. They are a beautiful family. Her husband is the worship pastor at our church. Greg & I and the two of them used to do a lot together until November 2006 when they adopted a newborn baby boy - now their life is chaotic! LOL It's such a sweet story though.

They had tried to adopt in 2001 (I think that was the year?) and my friend went to the doctor to begin hormone treatments which would allow her to nurse her new baby boy. When the doctor ran bloodwork they discovered she had stage 4 ovarian cancer and they operated that week. What followed next was a year of chemo, radiation and sickness for my friend. She was told she had 6 months to live. She is still here - 7 years later - thriving, beautiful and healthy and they were able to adopt another gift from God 15 months ago.


I love flowers. Not just roses but colorful, vibrant flowers. I used to get flowers a lot when Greg and I were dating. I know...I know... I hear jokes from comedians and others all the time about how once you get married the flowers stop coming. I've never understood that though. Perhaps it's because if Greg gave me flowers now as much as he used to then I wouldn't appreciate them?

He surprised me with a white rose last Saturday. It opened up so beautiful and has remained that way for over a week now. I look at it every day and am amazed at how long it has retained it's beauty!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Breakfast Pizza

Yesterday morning I made a Breakfast Pizza. It was FABULOUS!! I got the recipe from a friend when we all went on the Marriage Retreat back in February. She made it for us when we were staying in the chalet together. Here's the recipe in case you want to try it yourself.
1 pkg McCormick sausage flavor country gravy mix
Jimmy Dean Regular Sausage - this is the roll of sausage (I didn't use JD - I bought what was on sale! LOL)
pizza crust - premade, non-refrigerated kind (I will probably make my own crust next time)
1 8-oz pkg fiesta style shredded cheese

For one pizza - Brown half of the tube of sausage and remove from pan. If you want to make two pizzas (which I do because it tastes great leftover!) use the whole tube of sausage.

Mix gravy together in pan with sausage drippings and following the directions on the back of package. Rub a little olive oil on pizza crust, then spread the gravy on the crust, spread the sausage over the gravy and top with cheese. Bake at 375 degrees until cheese is melted and crust is light brown.

Meet the Church

Yesterday was our monthly Meet the Church day. I love these community projects we do every month! Dakota and I do this together and sometimes Greg will join us.

What is Meet the Church?

Our church, along with 4-6 other churches in our city, have been instrumental in getting this community missions-minded project going over the last year and a half. On the 3rd Sunday of every month we (all the churches involved) join together as one church and go out into the community to different project sites set up all around town and we spend the afternoon showing the love of Jesus to those in our community. We
don't go representing any one church in particular but as the body of Jesus Christ working together. That's the BEST part!!

Some of these projects include:
  • a homeless ministry where we set up a shower trailer behind a local restaurant that is closed on Sundays but the owner has graciously offered their parking lot for us to use. The team that's working that project cooks a meal for the people, provides showers for them and a change of clothes (clothes that have been donated and socks and underwear that have been purchased), and 2-3 hairdressers set up to wash and cut hair and shave/trim beards. While the homeless men, women and children (yes, even children) are eating - volunteers talk to them about the love of Jesus and have began forming relationships with some of these people.
  • visiting sick children at the Children's Hospital and praying with them and/or the family.
  • visiting Hospice centers and praying with those that are dying or the family members of those that are close to dying.
  • water/canned drink giveaway at Wal-mart or coffee/hot chocolate in the wintertime
  • $5.00 gas card giveaway at Wal-mart
  • cleaning elderly people's homes or yards
  • cleaning up old cemetaries in run-down areas
  • block parties in low income, crime-ridden areas - this has been such a success and has opened many doors! We started out by setting up a carnival type atmosphere in the playground area with a loud music, bounce house, kids games, face paint, coloring sheets, etc and we grilled hamburgers and hot dogs to feed the people. After several months of doing this and building relationships with the people in the neighborhoods and helping a few of them with some other immediate needs (not necessarily financial - but physical, manual labor type needs) we were able to preach the gospel from the stage. There have been many that have been saved through this process!
I worked at a block party yesterday where a new church from a neighboring town came and joined us. They wanted to check it out to see what this whole Meet the Church thing was all about because they kept hearing good things about it. They were excited to see how everyone worked together and the response from the residents. We couldn't have asked for better weather yesterday either!! It was fabulous!!

These pictures are actually from a Block Party we did back in October - I didn't take any pictures of yesterday's block party. (I had taken hundreds of pictures all morning of our Children's Easter Celebration party and I was tired of taking pictures LOL)
My pastor praying with one of the residents.

Dakota was in charge of the snowcone machine.

I coordinated this project. Once I got everybody situated I handled the drinks.

The kids love to have their faces painted!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Really need to get out...

I've been doing spring cleaning the last two weeks. I have to do it slowly. Take one small project at a time. Dust gives me a migraine so I can't handle too much dusting at one time. Lifting and sorting for more than a couple hours at a time will cause my back to ache for days. So I've stretched it out over the last 2 weeks. I'm still not done! Dakota has been helping me - he is a big help when he WANTS to be.

Because we've been doing this cleaning we haven't left the house except for church and one day two weeks ago when we went bowling with the homeschool group. I realized this last night when I decided I just had to get out. I was like a caged animal. Greg worked late. He has worked late everyday this week and he worked unusually late for a Friday night so when he finally arrived home I gathered my stuff and told him I was going grocery shopping. He looked at me surprised because I was going on a Friday night and asked me why I couldn't go tomorrow. But he doesn't understand....he leaves everyday to go to work and is gone all day so I realize he is ready to come home and rest. I needed to get out, anywhere! LOL

As I was preparing to go, Dakota started begging to go with me. At first I told him no because I didn't want him to rush me or bug me to buy this or that (not to mention the fact, he had a friend spending the night and I didn't want to be ganged up on in the grocery store.) I left without him - but as I drove away I experienced the sweet rush of escape....freedom....I could go anywhere I wanted....and my son's sad face came into mind. Crud!! I realized he is just like me and is just needing to be free for a little while also so I called him and told him to get ready because I was coming back to get him.

We drove up to Sonic and had banana splits and ice cream before we went grocery shopping. I was glad I ended up taking them with me because by the time I got home it was 10:30 pm and Greg was asleep and I had a lot of groceries to unload! The boys helped me!!

Ahhhhhhhhhhhh......It felt so good to get out for a little while.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Fibromyalgia with Hypermobility Syndrome

Back in the fall I posted that I was being tested for Lupus. After going through several rounds of varying blood tests and x-rays I was finally told in February that I have Fibromyalgia with Hypermobility Syndrome...the latter part is a big fancy word for being double-jointed.

I found out (much to my surprise!) from my rheumatologist that it's really not normal to be able to do some of the things that I can do. The funny thing is that this condition is hereditary which would explain why it seemed very normal to me because my mom and my three oldest children can all do the same things I can do, so we thought "everybody" was double-jointed.

I'm very thankful I don't have lupus! I am having to build up my muscles in my arms more because that's where the majority of my pain has been. With the exercises I've been doing and making sure I get plenty of rest I've been doing much better this last month.

Freebies for Friday

Healthful Life Purina Cat Chow

Doggie Delightz

Glad Forceflex Trash Bags (Walmart sample)


Krylon 101 Scrapbooking Ideas (booklet by mail)

HP free instructor-led online classes (digital scrapbooking, photography, software, etc.)

Free magazine subscriptions at lowpricesubs (Family Fun, Wondertime and others)

HOME magazine subscription (from RewardsGold for completing survey)

Hallmark magazine subscription (from RewardsGold for completing survey) OR
Hallmark Magazine subscription (from Free Biz Mags)

Today's Diet & Nutrition magazine subscription (from Mercury Magazines)

Getting to Know: Breaking a Stubborn Habit book

AARP is giving away free retirement publications and free Marigold and money plant seeds.
To request them, go here. They are about halfway down the page under the heading "Making Your Retirement Savings Grow: Free Seeds"

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


Wow, how awesome is this! For those of you who have purchased the Gillette Fusion Phenom razor from CVS this last month in their GREAT deal they had (and if you haven't taken advantage of it - shame on you!) then now there is an even GREATER deal to add to this. Go here and follow the directions to receive a FREE toiletry bag and hand towel.

Grocery Shopping

How do you shop for groceries? Do you shop once a month, every two weeks, or do you make several weekly runs to the store only when you need certain items?

I used to like to shop every two weeks when my husband got paid. Now I try to shop weekly on a Wednesday or Thursday AFTER the new grocery store sales ads have come out and before the stores get real crowded before the weekend. Sometimes if I am out on Monday mornings I will pop into stores to see if they've reduced their meats from the weekend - you can generally catch some great sales on Monday mornings - but Monday is often my day to catch up on computer work/bookwork from the weekend so it's not often I'm out doing errands anymore.

I discontinued our newspaper subscription several months ago when I realized we could read all the news online for free and since we are trying to cut corners everywhere this would be a great place to start. At first I missed things like my grocery circulars and coupons, etc but I quickly found out that by going to my favorite store's website and signing up with them they now email me their weekly ad! We do still purchase the Sunday paper from the newstand because I can get my coupons and it's nice to have that big thick Sunday paper to lay around and read on our lazy Sunday afternoons after church - when I don't even think about turning on the computer!

Okay, so I like to shop at Winn-Dixie. I get my Winn-Dixie ad emailed to me and I click on the ad and it opens up in my browser. I quickly flip through it and add items to "my basket". (I can look through my coupons I have on hand either while I am making my list or check my list against my coupons after I have printed it out - I look at my coupons so much I have a pretty good idea of what coupons I have and what I don't have.)

When I'm done with that I can review my list or go ahead and print it out. This is the best part because after I have printed out my list and checked to see what coupons I have to match the items on my list, if I don't have a coupon for a certain item then I go online to Google and type in "that item coupon" or the name of the company and find a coupon to match that item!
I have been doing this for over a month now and I am amazed at the great coupons I've found that I can just print out online from these companies!

Here's a for instance. I decided I wanted to purchase some Tennessee Pride Sausage which is on sale this week 2 rolls for $5.00 but I didn't have a coupon for it. So I googled "Tennessee Pride Sausage" and it took me to this website where I found this coupon for $1.00 off 2 rolls of Tennessee Pride Sausage. So now I'm paying 2/$4.00.

I've been doing this for the last month and I am really impressed with how much money I've been able to save on our grocery bill. I'll know better at the end of the month after I have tracked this WHOLE month if I have cut our grocery/food expenses down...but as of right now I'm on the right track!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Build-A-Bear - FREEBIE

Build a Bear has a code now for $5 off any order online. There are several animals that are $5.00, such as this puppy. Use the code and just pay shipping ($2.95.)

At checkout enter: 92592 .....where it says do you have a coupon.

Daylight Savings Time

My husband is on call 24/7. He has a Blackberry permanently attached to his right hip so he can be reached at all hours of the day and night no matter what day of the week it is. I am very grateful he is so good at his job and so respected because it has allowed me to stay home with our children and spend my time raising them. I am also extremely grateful that he keeps his Blackberry on vibrate 99% of the time because it would become annoying very quickly as often as it goes off between the phone calls, IM's and emails.

Well this past weekend he was not on call. When he is on call I understand getting phone calls at 4:30 a.m. But when he isn't on call, I get a little irritated when his cell phone starts vibrating rather loudly on the nightstand at 4:30 in the morning. We both woke up pretty quickly. He answered his phone and I started nagging, talking in the background about "why was so and so calling you and not calling whoever's on call!?"

As soon as he gets off the phone he says "Ummm, it's 5:30 - we forgot about Daylight Savings Time."

Me: "Oh crud! We sure did! Thank you Jesus for that phone call!!!! We surely would have been late for church!!" Amazing how a little thing will change your perspective isn't it?

I talked to a lot of people this year that seemed to "miss" the DST announcements...what about you?

Restaurant Savings

Save 50% right now at and get $25 gift certificates for $5. At the checkout simply enter the code LUCK and hit “apply”. This offer ends Sunday, March 16.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Toon-ful Tuesday

I love this one! We just spent the last 2 weeks discussing this in Sunday School so I thought this cartoon was perfect!

Cartoonist's Comment: This verse, from the parable of the sower, depicts some of the things that Jesus says will keep the Word from growing and producing fruit in our lives.

Fun Challenges

Try these out for fun!
The Blogger Spelling Test - you'd never believe I used to win Spelling Bees would you!!??

This was tricky - you are just naming countries off the top of your head - not looking at a map or anything...try this!

LOL, okay if you are reading my blog then you just HAVE to take this test!
45% Geek

Friday, March 7, 2008

Baby Steps - March Goals

I posted some New Year's Resolutions you can read about here if you are interested. Most of those I am still sticking to but there is one that I am crossing off the list and another one I am going to break down into smaller monthly "Baby Steps" so we can achieve a little bit of success along the way and be able to congratulate our victories along this journey rather that waiting until the end of our release from the bondage of debt. With that said, here's my goals for March (I realize by posting them on the internet for all the world to see, it makes me somewhat accountable! LOL):

  1. Cook more meals at home - get our total food budget including eating out under $350
  2. Begin putting money towards the $1000.00 Emergency Fund - Step #1 - Dave Ramsey Total Money Makeover
  3. Begin paying off our $2000.00 credit card - (the only one we have) and get rid of it

Eating in vs. Dining Out

I love going out to eat. We go out to eat a lot! In 2007 I kept track of where all of our money was spent (at least the money that was spent using Visa check cards/debit cards and the cash that had receipts turned in - dear husband still doesn't have the whole "turn all the receipts in" down pat yet so my record keeping is off a little bit.) Anyway, after running the end of the year report in the program I use I was astonished to find out that we spent close to $5000 last year just on dining out in restaurants or fast food joints! That works out to $400.00+ a month! That's a whole bunch of Happy Meals!!Needless to say, now that I have a year's worth of income/expenses to look at I can see where we need to "trim the excess spending" and this is the FIRST PLACE we are starting. So far in January of this year we spent $150.00 and in February we spent $250.00 (but we were out of town on that Marriage Retreat for a week too.) I am shooting for even less in March!

Last night I made this delicious homemade pizza crust that I "stole" from Monica's blog - The Full Table. My husband could eat pizza every night of the week and we generally order it from Pizza Hut at least once a week. I made two pizzas last night because Dakota had a friend spending the night so there would be 6 people eating - we all ate and had some leftover. My husband said this pizza was way DELICIOUS!!! I'll definitely be making it again!

I didn't have tomato sauce so I substituted this:
1 can of Italian style diced tomatoes on the boys pizza - since they don't like to "see" tomatoes I blended them up in the blender to make it into a sauce; then the toppings I put on theirs was ground turkey I had browned and plenty of cheese.
Garden style Ragu - spread parmesan cheese on the crust first, then small bit of Ragu, then fresh spinach leaves, fresh mushrooms, and topped it off with cheese.
Thanks Monica - it was great!!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Creative Correction

I started teaching a new Ladies Bible Study back in February called "Creative Correction" by Lisa Whelchel. You'll remember her from that TV show "The Facts of Life."
"You take the good,
You take the bad,
You take them both and there you have the facts of life.
The facts of life..."

Haha, now you're going to be humming the theme song in your head all day! Okay, I digress - back to my original intent of this post. This is a 7 week study if you include the Intro week. We are in week 4. I have enjoyed this Bible study immensely!

The only problem I have now is Dakota heard me talking about some of the "methods/correction ideas" Lisa suggested using - many of which I would like to begin implementing - and when he heard me talking about this he said "yeah, I hear you, don't even try it! That's stupid!" LOL

This may sound rude and disrespectful but Dakota is neither of these. What he is is lazy when it comes to chores and schoolwork which is my fault for being so laid back and now I am trying to figure out how to change that without being a complete tyrant about things. I love this approach so much because she focuses on our relationship with God being the same as our children's relationship with us. We are to God as our children are to us - therefore they mirror what they see. Boy talk about a kick in the pants!

She also gives great ideas for creative correction based on scripture that we should show our children so they understand we want them to follow God's commands the same way WE are following His commands so in essence they are learning to follow, love and serve HIM and not just us.

Walgreen's Deals 3/2 - 3/8

I hit my 3 favorite stores Monday night - Walgreen's, CVS and Winn-Dixie.
Here's the deals for Walgreen's.

They have a deal where you earn $12.00 in RR (register rewards which can be used like cash on your next purchase) for purchasing these select items:
Buy 3/$10.00 or 6/$20.00
Body Wash
  • Old Spice
  • Olay Botanical or Ribbons
  • Zest
Antiperspirant/Deodorant or Body Spray
  • Secret Platinum
  • Old Spice Red Zone
  • Gillette
  • Tag
Pantene, Herbal Essence, or Aussie Hair Care
  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Stylers
So I purchased 2 sets of 6 items and I had coupons for almost everything I purchased - all my coupons were from the Sunday coupon inserts out of the newspaper.

1st Purchase
Herbal Essence Shampoo
Pantene Conditioner
Zest Body Wash
Olay Body Wash
Gillette deodorant
Gillette deodorant
Coupons took off $4.00 of the $20.00; Out of pocket = 16.00 plus tax; earned 12.00 RR

2nd purchase
Zest Body Wash
Herbal Essence Conditioner
Old Spice Body Wash
Gillette Deodorant
Herbal Essence Shampoo
Herbal Essence Conditioner
Coupons took off 6.33 (had a Buy 2 get 1 Free for Herbal Essences coupon)
Used 8.00 RR (wouldn't let me use all 12.00 of RR for some reason?)
Out of pocket 5.67 + tax

3rd Purchase
Skim milk - on sale 3.49
(2) Fruity Pebbles cereal - on sale 1.99 + used coupon $1.00 off 2
(3) packs of 12 rolls Angel Soft toilet paper (in store coupon 3/$8.00)
Used 4.00 RR left over from above purchase
Out of pocket 11.07

Total out of pocket on this trip = 32.74
Recap of what I brought home:
3 packs of 12-rolls toilet paper
2 boxes of cereal
1 gallon milk
2 Herbal Essence Shampoos
2 Herbal Essence Conditioners
3 Gillette Deodorants
2 Zest Body Wash
1 Old Spice Body Wash
1 Pantene Conditioner

Definitely not as great as CVS - but still better than paying FULL price for all of this.

CVS deals for the week of March 2nd-8th

Some of you may be wondering why I keep posting these "deals"...(speaking specifically to my daughter here since she called me yesterday and I told her I was working on writing this post about my "deals of the week" and she asked why I keep putting them on here)'s because I have several people who read my blog and are trying to learn how to do this type of shopping and this is an example for them to follow. So bear with me as I lay it all out for those few people. This will be something I continue to do each week. If you aren't interested, you can always skip these posts.

1st purchase
4 Colgate toothpastes - $2.99 each; used coupons for $1.00 off and $1.50 off.
2 Bounce Lint Rollers - 2/$7.00; used coupons for $1.00 off
I printed off the Lint roller coupons twice because I was buying 2. The toothpaste coupons say you can only use one per household and it puts your name on the coupon so I suggest only printing off one each of those.

Your purchase will now be over $15.00 so you can use this coupon - get $5.00 off every $15.00 purchase. Go here to find out how to get these coupons.

For each toothpaste I earned 2.99 in EB (extra bucks) 4x2.99 =11.96
For the lint rollers I earned 2.00 EB

Out of pocket 9.46 + tax; earned 13.96 EB

2nd purchase
Phenom Razor 9.99 - 4.00 coupon from 2/10 Proctor&Gamble insert in Sunday's paper
Embrace Razor 9.99
- 4.00 coupon from 3/2 P&G insert
Mach 3 Razor 7.99 - 3.00 coupon from 3/2 P&G insert
Dawn dishwashing soap .97 - .25 coupon from P&G insert
(2) Cascade gel dishwasher 2/5.00 - (2) .50 coupons from P&G insert

I earned 6.00 EB for Phenom Razor
I earned 6.00 EB for Embrace Razor
I earned 5.00 EB for Mach 3 Razor

Used another $5.00 off/ $15.00 coupon
Used EB from purchase #1 = $13.96

Out of pocket 3.51; earned $17.00 EB

3rd purchase
Febreeze Noticeables Starter Kit - 3.00 off coupon from 3/2 P&G insert
Febreeze candle - 1.00 off coupon from 3/2 P&G insert
Glade Wisp Flameless Candle - $5.00 off coupon
Glade Wisp Flameless Candle - $5.00 off coupon
Tide Detergent - .50 off coupon
CVS moisurizing lotion

I earned $5.00 EB for my 2 Febreeze purchases
I earned $4.00 EB for my Glade Wisp purchases

Used another $5.00 off/$15.00 purchase coupon
Used EB from purchase #2 = 17.00

Out of pocket 8.24; earned $9.00 EB

So I spent a total out of pocket of $22.00 at CVS and I have $9.00 EB to use on my next trip!!

My stockpile is beginning to grow - in recap, this is what I got for 22.00:
4 Colgate Toothpastes
2 Bounce Lint Rollers
Phenom Razor
Embrace Razor
Mach 3 Disposable razors (set of 3)
Dawn dishwashing soap
2 - Cascade dishwasher detergent
Febreeze Noticeables Starter Kit
Febreeze Candle
2 - Glade Wisp Flameless Candles
Tide Detergent
CVS Moisturizing Lotion

Monday, March 3, 2008

Only in Florida...

Okay, so I read this on my friend's myspace blog and thought it was hilarious (because it is SOOOO true!!!)
Only in Florida -
...Socks are only for bowling.

...You never use an umbrella because you know the rain will be over in five minutes.

...A good parking place has nothing to do with distance from the store, but everything to do with shade.

...Your winter coat is made of denim.

...You can tell the difference between fire ant bites and mosquito bites.

...Anything under 70 is chilly.

...You pass on the right and honk at the elderly, but pull over for a funeral.

...You've driven through Yeehaw Junction.

...You could swim before you could read.

...You have to drive north to get to? "The" South.

...You know that anything under a Category 3, just isn't worth waking up for.

...You dread love bug season.

...You are on a first name basis with the Hurricane list. They aren't Hurricane Charley, Hurricane Frances...but Charley , Frances , Ivan and Jeanne.

...You think a six-foot alligator is actually pretty average.

...You were twelve before you ever saw snow, or you still haven't.

...'Down South' means Key West

...You think New York drivers licenses should only be valid in New York

...Flip-flops are everyday wear. (I say flips...u say flops!!)

...Shoes are for business meetings and church, but you HAVE worn flip flops to church before. (shamelessly I admit I do all the time! LOL)

...Sweet tea can be served at any meal.

...An alligator once walked through your neighborhood.

...You smirk when a game show's 'Grand Prize' is a trip or cruise to Florida~~oooohhh...aaaahhh!!!

...You have a drawer full of bathing suits, and one sweatshirt.

...You think everyone from a bigger city has a northern accent.

...You know the four seasons really are: hurricane season, love bug season, tourist season and summer

...It's not soda, cola, or pop. it's coke, regardless of brand or flavor, 'What kinda coke you want?'

...Anything under 95 is just warm.

...You've hosted a hurricane party.

...You understand the futility of exterminating cockroaches.

...You can pronounce Okeechobee, Kissimmee , Ichnatucknee, Wewahitchka, and Withlacoochee

...You understand why it's better to have a friend with a boat, than have a boat yourself.

...You were 25 when you first met someone who couldn't swim.

...You've worn shorts and used the A/C on Christmas.

Spring is in the air

Dakota decided to go out of town with his grandparents yesterday for a family reunion. Poor guy had no clue what he was getting himself into...I don't go to those anymore because everybody I knew has died. I'm not one to sit around and listen to the "old-timers" tell stories of who did what with who and when they did it because I don't know who the people are and I don't care what they did. This probably makes me sound heartless and uncaring but it's kind of hard to connect when you see these people once a year and they don't remember you from year to year.

I say all of that to say this - when church was over Greg and I both hit the front door like a bullet from a gun. It was a beautiful day and we both had the same idea! Head to the beach! We rushed home, changed clothes, packed up some bottled water, towels, our iPods and our chairs and we were ready to roll.

It was a glorious day out there...oh my goodness, the sun on my face felt wonderful! I guess a whole bunch of other people had the same idea because the beach was packed! We drove further away from the main part of the beach and we were still around a whole bunch of people. We stayed out there enjoying the sun and listening to our iPods for about 2 1/2 hours before the wind started getting too chilly for us so we packed up and left. That was enough time for us to both get burnt though. I was hoping this was the start of Spring...but after watching the weather this morning on the news I see it's supposed to rain tonight and turn cold again this week. Oh well, I enjoyed yesterday!