Friday, May 30, 2008

Amazing Shopping Day!!!

Oh, how I LOVE days like today!! Whoop Whoop! (Doing a little happy dance here....)
Went to Walgreen's and made two purchases using their $10.00 off $30.00 purchase coupon that was valid today only. If you have a 24 hour Walgreen's around you and you haven't taken advantage of this coupon along with the Monthly Easy Saver Rebates you should do that!
1st purchase:
Icy/Hot Patch
Thermacare patch
Tylenol Arthritis
Oral B Toothbrush
Blue Diamond Almonds
Pert Plus Shampoo

Came up to $37.23
Used $10/$30 coupon along with other coupons
Paid $21.53
I will receive rebates back for these purchases in the amounts of:
$10.00 (for Thermacare, Tylenol & Icy/Hot Patch)
$4.49 (Oral B Toothbrush)
$2.50 (Pert Plus)
$2.00 (Ecotrin - June rebate - those started today too!)
Total for rebates is $18.99 - so all of this in my 1st purchase will end up only costing me $2.54

2nd Purchase
Chex Mix (2)
Bic Soleil Razor (3)
Bic Soleil Cartridges (3)

Came up to $31.92
Used $10/$30 coupon
Used (3) Bic coupons "Buy one razor get cartridges free"
Used (2) -$1.00 Chex mix coupons
Cashier actually took off an extra $4.99 which I didn't realize until I got home and was looking at my receipt so I only paid $1.46 for this whole purchase! Ordinarily I would go back tomorrow and correct this situation - return the money - but in this instance I'm not going to because I just had a case in the last month where another cashier totally screwed up my purchases/coupons and I ended up losing about $10.00. I was in a hurry that night and didn't catch it until I got home and was perusing my receipt trying to figure out why my totals were so much.
Went to Target after finding out about this deal on Pantene:
Purchase 3 products specially marked at $3.79 and receive a $5.00 gift card (limit of 2)

1st Purchase
6 Pantene products...all of which had bonus travel sizes with them @ $3.79 = $22.74
Used 4 coupons for $2.00 off 1 Pantene product
Found coupon peelies on some of the bottles in Target aisle and used 2 of them "Buy 2 Pantene products get 1 free" so I got -$7.58 off
Paid $7.16 out of pocket and received $10.00 in gift cards!

2nd Purchase
Huggies baby wipes - $2.39
Nice n Easy haircolor (2) @ 6.99
Kandoo handwash (2) @ 1.99
All laundry detergent travel size (2) @ 1.00
Tide laundry detergent travel size (3) @.99

After coupons total was $15.68
Used $10.00 giftcard earned from 1st purchase
Paid $5.68 out of pocket

Cross Country Trip

Once I made the decision to drive Tina & Bryant's car to CA from FL for them, I made Dakota go with me to keep me company. He did not relish the idea of being in a car for 2-3 days but I promised him we would stop and see things to break up the monotony of the trip but I needed him to go with me to keep me company. Honestly I hate driving. When I am at home I get out of driving whenever I can. I knew this was going to be a lonnnnnggggg trip and I wasn't about to do it by myself!

We packed up the car and headed out on March 5th, 2007. I had not traveled west since Hurricane Katrina had gone through and I was saddened by the ruins I still saw everywhere.

Dakota and I both like Mexican food but we don't get to eat it as often (unless we go somewhere for lunch) because Greg doesn't like it that much anymore. I told Dakota that we were eating Mexican while traveling through Texas because they can do some Mexican food up right! We stopped in Houston for dinner at a little Mexican restaurant...I don't think anybody spoke English. LOL, once Dakota and I realized that our waiter didn't understand a word we were saying we just pointed on our menus to what we wanted and hoped for the best. The food was WONDERFUL! Dakota ordered two tacos and got three but other than that everything came out perfectly.

We stopped in San Antonio for the night. The next morning after our continental breakfast and a quick swim in the pool we headed out to The Alamo in downtown San Antonio. We walked around there for about an hour and watched the movie about the history of The Alamo. Unfortunately we just so happened to be there on March 6th, the anniversary of the day the Alamo was overtaken so there were lots of dignitaries there and speeches going on and parts of the memorial that were closed off.

We left after about an hour and walked around downtown San Antonio by The Riverwalk instead. This was much more interesting! This is a river that runs through the downtown area - through hotels, a mall -- right through the middle of buildings! There are fountains everywhere and beautiful trees and plants. It was so beautiful!

We ate at Joe's Crab Shack for lunch. There are dozens of restaurants three stories high lined up on both sides of this river. You can sit inside or out on the patio area. We sat outside
overlooking the river while we ate our lunch.

This huge tree was right outside from where we ate...we had never seen a tree so big! We asked our waitress what kind of tree it was but she didn't know. I still don't know what it is?

We got back on the road about 1:00 to begin our trek across Texas. I was NOT looking foward to this. I just wanted to make it to El Paso if I could. I told Dakota to hunker down because we probably were not stopping the rest of the day (besides potty breaks) because I was on a mission to get to El Paso.

Now let me just tell you a little something about myself...I have a lead foot. I also think I was a professional race car driver in another life because I love to weave in and out of traffic to "get ahead" of the other cars. These two reasons combined are probably the main reason I don't like to drive - because I can't unleash my inner REAL need-for-speed in my everyday driving. But in Texas...check out THIS speed limit ----------

Oh yeah babyyyyyy! That's what I'm talking about! That means I can go 90 right?? Whoohoooo I am in driver's heaven now! The road out there was so flat and you could see for miles and miles and miles so for about 2 hours I was driving 100 mph (oh the shock and horror - I know some of you are probably picking your jaws up off the ground right now! LOL) I slowed down to around 90 so I could clean my windshield...which means I wasn't paying attention to the road ahead of me...or more importantly the median ahead of me until it was too late...

Yep, I got pulled over for a speeding ticket. My first ticket I have ever had in my entire life. What was going through my mind as the officer was writing my ticket was the conversation my husband and I had before I left on this trip "Now, don't go getting any speeding tickets! You and your lead foot on the open road!"

I told him "What are you talking about? I've never gotten a ticket before. What makes you think I'm going to get one now??" Oh curses! He jinxed me!

When the officer asked me if I knew how fast I was going I told him no I didn't, but I knew I was driving fast. I told him I was cleaning off the windshield and wasn't paying attention to the speed. This was all the truth. He told me he clocked me doing 91 mph. I was thinking "Whoooowheeee, good thing you didn't catch me 5 mins ago, you would have clocked me doing 101 instead of just 91!" So I got my nice little ticket and got on my merry way. As soon as we got back on the road Dakota couldn't wait to call his daddy! Rat fink! No loyalty whatsoever!
Haha - his daddy put him on speed patrol - told him he was in charge of the speedometer from now on and when it got above the speed limit he was to put the pressure on me. He did and still does to this day!

The drive to San Antonio to El Paso was long and boring with rocks and scenery much like these.

It was very late when we arrived in El Paso - I called Greg and asked him to get on the computer and find us a hotel to stay in and reserve us a room. I was too tired to deal with trying to find a room at this hour but I didn't want to just stop anywhere and risk paying a lot of money when a better deal could be found elsewhere. He hooked us up good!

In the morning we went through the same routine of the continental breakfast and swimming in the pool before we got on the road again. The drive through New Mexico and Arizona was so much prettier than Texas. I loved how the scenery changed as we went from state to state all the way across the country.

We reached a point in Arizona where Dakota started going stir crazy and just had to get out of the car. I saw a sign for Picacho Peak State Park ahead so I pulled off the interstate real quick and we went to this park. We were there a couple hours hiking and rock-climbing. It felt great to get out and exercise after 3 days in the car!

The view was gorgeous from the top. The trip down was harder than the trip up because of all the rocks and pebbles. I had to sit and slide down on my butt alot because I was afraid I was going to slip on all the loose gravel and pebbles.

Dakota was getting a blister on his toe - poor guy! He was a trooper though. He had to wait on his old momma most of the time!!

Yes my face is red because I was hot!

Okay I can NOT BELIEVE how BIG these cactuses (cacti?) are????? They were everywhere!

Look at the shape of this one? LOL

Can you tell I like plants? Yet another cactus....

I thought we were going to make it all the way to San Diego that day but after 3 days of driving I was worn out. I ended up stopping in El Centro, CA for the night. I had no idea how far this was from Tina but at that point I didn't care. I was falling asleep at the wheel so I had to stop. When I woke up the next morning I was glad to discover we were only about 3 hours away.....

Freebie Friday, 5/30 and MY Freebies

Sorry about missing last week's Freebie Fridays - I was consumed with preparing for my trip out of town and then traveling so it completely slipped my mind.

I've been getting samples/freebies in pretty much every other day now so I'm going to start off my Freebie Friday post every week by showing you what I received in the mail during the week. Hopefully it will inspire you to take advantage of these giveaways if you aren't doing so already.
This week's Freebies:
Thanks to Money Saving Mom and Be Thrifty Like Us and Freebies 4 Mom

Handyman - 50 free project plans - if you are feeling inspired to build!

Pull-Ups sample (from Walmart)

K-pak Hair Product Sample

Garlic Gold Sample Pack

Tide with Dawn Stain Scrubbers

Free Yoplait kids yogurt coupon - they will mail you the coupon

Clean & Clear Morning Burst Oil Absorbing Sheets

Neutrogena Wave Power-Cleanser - $2.00 off coupon and rebate form for FREE cosmetics bag

Register for Office Depot weekly email specials and receive a coupon for a free DVD+R Media 10-pack (new email subscribers only)

Free Gillette Body Wash sample

Free family films this summer at select theatres (see locations here)

Free fishing days (no license required; some restrictions may apply)

True Lemon, True Lime, and True Orange


Hamburger Helper Microwave Singles


Thursday, May 29, 2008

My Honey Bun is sick and far from home

Greg is in New Jersey this week at the offices his company has there - they are having manager's meetings all week. He called me several times throughout the day yesterday and each time he called me he sounded worse than he did when I talked to him the previous time. He said he was probably just tired and exhausted from all the traveling and planned on turning in early at the hotel last night. I didn't talk to him after 5:30 yesterday evening because he planned on going to bed and I didn't want to chance waking him up.

This morning about 3:30 a.m. I woke up suddenly and had a bad feeling about Greg. I immediately felt the need to pray for him so I did. I fell back asleep while praying for my husband...whatever he was going through at the moment.

When he called me this morning around 10:30 he sounded just awful. He told me he had been up throwing up and going to the bathroom all night. When he gets a stomach bug like that he ALWAYS gets dehydrated and I normally have to take him to the ER...his stubbornness/pride/dehydration deliriousness kicks in and he thinks "he can handle it." Much to my surprise he told me he went to the ER early this morning ON HIS OWN! I said "Wait a minute! Let me guess! I bet I know what time you went!! Was it around 4:00-4:30 your time?"
Lo and behold that is exactly what time he went! God is so good isn't He??

He was there for 3 hours and received 2 bags of fluid because he was so dehydrated. Because he doesn't have any family members or anybody with him to drive him they couldn't give him anything that would make him sleepy. He's been in the hotel room all day resting and trying to get over this bug -- we are praying now that this will continue to get out of his system today and he will be well enough to fly home tomorrow.

Home Depot Garden Club

Have you signed up for the Home Depot Garden Club yet?

They will email you some great coupons like these...
Go here to print this one for Buy one shrub, Get one free.

Go here to print this one for $2.00 off plant food.

Go here to print this one for $3.00 off Bayer 12 month Tree & Shrub protect/feed granules.

Free Wish-Bone Bountifuls Dressing

Purchase one bottle of Wish-Bone Bountifuls Dressing between May 30th and June 1st and keep your receipt!

Go here to get your rebate form, mail it in and get your money back.

These new flavors look yummy!!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Family Life

Tina (one of my daughters), her husband Bryant and their daughter Bailee are being transferred to Albany, GA in a couple of months. They live in San Diego, CA now.
I am so excited because they will be much closer to us now! Instead of a 26-hour drive it will only be about a 4-hour drive! Bryant is in the Marines and is being transferred to the base there. They have enjoyed San Diego, other than being so far from home (and family.) I enjoyed going out there to visit them the two times I went out there last year. I had never been to CA before that.

When Bryant came back from his tour in Iraq last February Tina was living with us in FL. She had been pregnant with Bailee when he got deployed and she didn't want to be alone in CA during her pregnancy and delivery. Tina is in labor and talking to Bryant (who is in Iraq) on her cell phone - his commanding officer allowed him to have the day off and he stayed on the phone with us for about 3-4 hours...until Bailee was born. We had him on speakerphone and set the phone on a table beside the bed so he could hear everything and we could all talk to him and he could talk to us.

When he came home and met his daughter for the first time she was 3 months old already.

Tina and Bryant had eloped in CA the previous February and they decided to have a small wedding (for family's sake) when Bryant returned from Iraq and before they moved back to CA.

They invited just family and a handful of friends and our pastor renewed their vows with them at a beachside setting. We went back to Bryant's sisters house afterwards for a small reception and then Bailee came home with me while Tina and Bryant had a night to themselves. A few days later they were expected to fly out to begin their new life in CA.

While they were still in FL though they traded in Bryant's gas hog BIG truck for a more economical new car. Hmmm, and when I asked them how they were going to get their new car to CA since they were supposed to catch a plane the next day they asked me if I would drive it there for them. WHAT??!! I thought they were joking. I just dismissed it as a joke and didn't respond to them. I half-heartedly mentioned it to Greg later on that evening and he said "Yeah, you should go." WHAT??!! "Has everybody lost their mind?"

The next day the whole family met at Cracker Barrel for breakfast and to say goodbye to Tina and Bryant before Greg and I drove them to Mobile, AL to catch their plane. While at Cracker Barrel they asked me if I had made up my mind about driving to CA and when could I leave. After much discussion over breakfast I finally decided "Why not!?"

The next day Dakota and I left for our cross country road trip...

Walgreen's $10.00 off $30.00 purchase coupon

Go here for a coupon for $10.00 off any $30.00 purchase! This is good for Friday, May 30th only. This would be a great way to finish up your EasySaver Rebates for May if you haven't taken advantage of those yet.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Home Again and Gone Again

We are back from our extended weekend getaway. It was a nice relaxing time with family. Greg, Dakota and I went and we took Justin and Brianna (my step-children) with us to Orlando for a family reunion. Greg's mom, sister and her daughter & husband and their son traveled with us and we all stayed together in a 5 bedroom/5 bath house in a gated community about a mile from Disney World. The entire family had rented homes in this community. I think we had a total of 4 homes occupied - there were LOTS of family members there!
I had never met Greg's side of the family before other than his immediate family so this was an adventure. Everyone was very nice but there were just so many people and this was one of those "out of my comfort zones" times when I just didn't feel the need to go above and beyond getting to know everybody. We only met for dinner every night so I would stick around and eat and chit-chat for a couple of hours then I would sneak away back to our house and just hang out while Greg spent time with his family. I was happy - he was happy and nobody missed me....until the last night when I didn't tell anybody goodbye. Oops, messed up there.

We drove all day Friday to get to Orlando...for those of you who don't realize it, it takes us 8 hours to get there -- even though we DO live in FL! By the time we got there and got unpacked it was time to go eat dinner with the family. After dinner we went to the grocery store for food items for the weekend.

We decided not to go to Sea World on Saturday because thunderstorms were in the forecast and it was expected to be nice on Sunday so we just rested and laid around the pool all day Saturday. Dakota loved that about the house....we had our very 0wn pool!! He spent every day in the pool!
I played Guitar Hero with the kids Saturday morning for awhile while Greg went up to one of the other houses to visit with his relatives. When he came back he and I snuck away to Wal-mart by ourselves (our only alone time on this trip - whoohoooo, big date at Walmart and lunch at Chick Fil-A...but anytime I can be alone with my honey is great!!)Sunday we headed to Sea World. This was quite a different experience for us. Our first trip to a theme park where we were on our own. The kids left us and went to do their own thing most of the time. They would meet back up with us for the shows and for lunch (since WE were buying) but for the most part we were on our own. Just leisurely strolling through the park doing what WE wanted to, I could get used to that!! I enjoyed the shows and the heat wasn't too too bad. We were there from about 9-5 and saw everything we wanted to see this trip. We went ahead and bought the FL resident Fun Pass which will allow us to go back unlimited times until the end of the year. It was only $10.00 extra and we do get down that way a few times a year so now we will already have this ticket and can go back to Sea World as much as we want.Me and my sweet boy are watching Shamu (the whale show). All of the shows were incredible! I love how the trainers interact with the dolphins and whales!Greg and his mom, Ruth. She had never been to Sea World before. She enjoyed herself although she received some sad news while we were there...a very dear, dear lifelong friend of hers in Indiana died during the day Sunday.
As soon as we got back home Monday she and Greg both began repacking for the trips out today. She left this morning to go to Indiana for the funeral on Thursday and Greg flew to New Jersey for a business trip until Friday. He then has to fly back out on Sunday to New York for another few days. After spending a wonderful weekend together I miss him terribly today!

Toon-ful Tuesday

Building Christian character can be a strain sometimes, but it is necessary to "keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ." – 2 Peter 2:8 NIV

Friday, May 23, 2008

Have a great Memorial Day weekend

We are in Orlando for the weekend. Have a great Memorial Day!! We are heading to Sea World one day this weekend. Not sure what else we are doing...will post pictures when we get home Monday night.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Walgreen's $5.00/$20.00 coupon

Go here for a coupon for $5.00 off $20.00 purchase good for Friday 5/23/2008 only.

Wii Fit

Once again "Grandma" came through for pre-ordered Wii Fit. It came in yesterday!! The three of us spent about two hours playing with this between set up and learning how to operate everything. I exercised/played for only 20 minutes but I am FEELING it today!

This is so much fun! I just can not get over how interactive this video game is. This little board that you stand on for most of the exercises is also a scale - and it will BROADCAST your weight/BMI to the entire room - so be forewarned...if you don't want this information shared with everybody then set up your profile in private!

Between Guitar Hero and Wii Fit, this Wii has turned out to be our most favorite video game system ever. It has allowed our family to play video games together more than any other system
has because they are so interactive, fun and really get you moving!

Here's a neat member's website I found that offers Wii Media Downloads for music, movies and games. Looks pretty cool!

Steven Curtis Chapman

My heart breaks for Steven Curtis Chapman and family...they lost their youngest child last night when she was run over by a car in their driveway. Please remember this special family in your prayers during this time.

If you don't know who Steven Curtis Chapman is, perhaps you have heard of his latest song....

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

More Freebies I got this week

Came in my mailbox this week...completely FREE!!!

Telemarketers - love 'em or hate 'em?

I haven't had a home phone in a long time but due to my new work-from-home customer service position I had to get one. I haven't given my number to anyone. I don't even know my number - isn't that sad?! LOL I know I have it written down somewhere but I couldn't find it the other day so I had to call my cell phone just to have the number show up on there so I could see what it was. I'm not going to give anybody the number because I will never use this phone for anything other than work and I don't want anybody calling me on this line.

Needless to say ever since I've had my phone (almost a month now) it has rang just about every day...when I answer it, the caller asks for me by my first name...BIG mistake! I KNOW it's a telemarketer - because NOBODY other than family and doctor's offices knows my first name. (I don't like my 1st name so I don't tell anybody what it is.) After verifying that I am in fact who they are calling for they start off right away with their sales pitch.

My husband works for a telemarketing/call center firm. He has been there for 7 years. He started as a telemarketer and has moved up the career ladder to Assistant Call Center Manager now and he loves his job. I've learned a lot about telemarketing as a job and I feel for the agents because they are just trying to earn a paycheck like everybody else. But, gosh darnit I get so tired of getting stupid phone calls every day! Yes, I have registered on the "Do Not Call" list but it does take a little bit for that to take effect...this was the reason I needed to know my number the other day! LOL

Most of the time when the telemarketer starts talking I calmly wait for them to take a quick breath and then I tell them "No thank you, I am not interested in anything you are trying to sell me, collect from me, etc so just remove my name from your calling list please." Once I say that they are quick to tell me "okay, have a nice day" and we hang up. Saturday Greg and I were sitting here and one of those guys from the Highway Troopers Association called. I answered the phone and once he discovered it was me....he was off like a rocket. I couldn't get a word in edgewise! I looked at Greg and rolled my eyes.
Greg took the phone from me and said, "Helloooooooooo, sir? Hellllloooooooooooooooooo?" This guy was talking ninety to nothing!

"Thank you for calling but go ahead and remove this number from your call list and send us a letter stating that you are doing that." Oh yeah, I always forget to ask for this!! My hubby's good!

"Excuse me?! Yes, you can send a letter. You are required by law to do this because I asked for it and you are required by law to remove this number from your list because I asked for it." My man knows what he is talking about....this guy doesn't know who he is dealing with! LOL

"Yes, thank you and you have a nice day too." Wish my hubby could take care of all my calls for me.....

Angel Food Ministries

Have you ever heard of Angel Food Ministries? It's a great program to help cut down on your grocery costs. Go here to find your closest local host site. You place your order by a certain date and your food will come in about a week or two later.

For the low price of $30.00 this is what will be in the Angel Food box in my area for June. (I am not sure if all areas carry the same thing.)
1.5 lb Rib Eye Steaks (4 x 6 oz)
1.5 lb Hamburger Patties (4 x 6 oz)
2 lb Pork Riblets
4 lb Individually quick Frozen Chicken Leg Quarters
2 lb Breaded Chicken Tenders
20 oz. Supreme Pizza
1 lb Mild Italian Sausage
2 lb French Fries
16 oz. Sliced Carrots
16 oz. Mixed Vegetables
32 oz. Borden 2% Reduced Fat Milk
6 oz. Pancake Mix
15 oz. Pork and Beans
14 oz Ketchup
7.5 oz Macaroni and Cheese
Dozen eggs
Desert Item

There are additional special boxes you can add to the regular box but I am not going to list those here - you can see them on the website. They average around $16.00 - $20.00 for something like 10 lbs of chicken or 6.5 lbs of steaks. Sometimes they offer a fruit box or dessert box. It always varies but the price is terrific!

This is what works for us in helping to cut down grocery costs. For hundreds more great Works-For-Me tips, head on over to Rocks In My Dryer.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

TasteSpotting is a neat website I just came across. It's a place for people to share their recipes, articles and products that inspire them when it comes to good eating. Each stunning photograph on the site is a link to a recipe, an article on a dish, or a post about an ingredient. Raspberry and chocolate dream bars, lamb with sage and rosemary in a red wine reduction, Pike Place Market in Seattle — you'll find these and more than 10,000 other things that motivate food-lovers around the world. I have enjoyed looking through the hundreds of pictures!! The wonderful photographs make alone make me hungry!

When you're done drooling over your monitor, why not submit your own? Just register for free, upload your image and submit your link.

Go ahead — find and share some inspiration!

CVS Deals 5/18-5/24

I haven't had too much time yet to look over the ads this week but I thought I would go ahead and list the sale items with printable coupons so you can be printing off what you need.

Extra Care Buck Deals
Receive $10 ECB for K-Y Yours-Mine - costs $19.99
$5 printable from

Receive $3 ECB for ClearCare Twin Pack (2-12oz), Genteal , Zaditor Eye Itch Relief 5ml ($13.99)
ClearCare Rebate, up to $9 off
Zaditor save $2 (Have to register)
$2 printable from

Buy One Get One Free Deals
Purex Laundry Detergent - 24-32 loads
Printable coupon here .50cent off any one bottle of Purex Natural Elements Detergent

Maxwell House Coffee 11.5-13 oz $5.19
Printable coupon - any 11 oz. -.75

That's about it for the printable coupons that I see.

$5 off $15.00 purchase coupon!!!
Here is a new coupon you can use for the next two weeks. Thanks to i heart cvs for this info:

Not restricted to NY area. Expires on 6/1/08. page A-47 in the Early Sunday Edition, page a45 in regular edition! (page number may vary)

register at newsday

♥ put in the required information: where it asks if you currently subscribe to the Newsday print edition, say YES, then put an address and some phone number. it doesn't even have to be in NY.

♥ go to the e-edition

♥ the coupon is in issue for 5/18/08, on page A045.

Toon-ful Tuesday

Artist's comments: I've tried to depict just a few of the things that the Holy Spirit does in renewing our inner man: our hearts. And it is also good to know that He will one day also renew our outer man: our body.

Monday, May 19, 2008

What a week!

I am exhausted today! Last week flew by because I was so busy the whole week. I really don't like to live life that way...jumping from one thing to the next. When all of the kids were at home still and involved in band, cheerleading, basketball, etc we DID live like that and it was rough. Now that they have all moved out and it's just me, Greg and Dakota at home and Dakota isn't playing ball anymore or involved in any outside activities other than church our life is pretty slow on a day-to-day basis.

We had two dear friends who had surgeries last week. I've previously posted about the one that happened on Monday - my friend who had cancer. I spent all day Monday at the hospital with her and her family.

The other friend is a young couple from our church with 5 children (3-mo-old boy, 19-mo-old girl, 8-yr-old girl, 12-yr-old twins). The mom stays at home with the kids and has just recently begun homeschooling the kids in the last 4-5 months. The father is a great father but a workaholic who tries to provide for his large family - and he does a wonderful job. They were out looking at a foreclosure house to buy (since they need a much larger house now) and he wanted to check out the back yard. Since there was a lock on the gate he decided to climb over the little 4-foot fence to go take a look. On his way back over the fence it broke and he fell...breaking his knee from his tibia bone in the process. Wednesday he had surgery to have three screws put in his knee. I sat up there with his wife all morning and took care of the baby...this was a sweet treat! He is precious and I don't get too be around babies too much anymore. (Our children's director at church took the other kids for the day.)

Thursday is our weekly homeschool park day - of course we woke up to rain in the forecast - this ALWAYS seems to happen! I told the rest of our homeschooling group that I had to go out anyway AND I had offered to pick up the twins (from my friend who had surgery the day before) and take them with us to the park so we were going whether it rained or not. The kids could just play in the rain. We played for about an hour at the park, it drizzled off and on while we were there but the kids had a great time playing. I checked the weather on my cellphone and saw that we had just gotten under a tornado warning so I told the kids we needed to go ahead and leave. We went across the street to a Pizza Hut for the buffet. As soon as we got seated the skies opened up. Thunder, lightening, high winds and hard rain - the entire time we were inside Pizza Hut. Praise God - I was so glad we left when we did!!

Once we left Pizza Hut I had a couple of errands to run and then we ran by the hospital to see CJ (my friend who had surgery on Monday.) One of the twins is also a cancer survivor and she and CJ share that common bond...CJ is very close with this young family and loves and adores these girls as much as they love her. They were so excited when I told them we were going to go visit CJ at the hospital for a few minutes.
This picture is from a Relay for Life event 2 years ago. One of the twins and her mom (turned around in the blue shirt) and CJ walking behind them - they are all walking the Survivor lap.
Friday night Dakota had a friend spend the night and I went to my monthly Stampin' Up hostess club. I was so tired from everything that had gone on all week I really didn't feel like going but I had two friends coming who had never been before so I wanted to make sure they felt comfortable and knew what to do.
This is what we made this time. It was more involved so we only made one project this month.
Saturday was a shopping day for Greg and I. My sweet husband helped me so much!! I coordinated a Block Party for a housing complex Sunday afternoon for our monthly Meet the Church community outreach we do. We were expecting around 250 people for the cookout/party so Greg and I went to Sam's Club to purchase all the hot dogs/hamburgers, paper supplies, chips, drinks, charcoal, etc to cook for & feed this many people. Our truck was loaded - I couldn't have done this by myself. After we unloaded this stuff off at the church then we went grocery shopping for our house. I had made two separate lists so we could divide up and get it done quicker. I put Greg in charge of purchasing the meats (since I don't eat it - ugh, I hate picking out meat!)
BTW - Winn Dixie has a GREAT sale on chicken this week!! We loaded up on the chicken.
Sunday after church we got our team together and started loading trucks with all of our supplies for the Block Party. We got out there at 2:00 to start setting up and firing up the grill. We had a good time. The turnout was nothing like anticipated but those that did come out sat around and talked to us and seemed to have a very nice time. One of the other ladies from my church and I walked around door to door inviting everyone to come out and join us. I felt so sorry for these people as we knocked on their doors...1/2 of them wouldn't open their doors - they would only holler out to us through their locked doors asking us what we wanted and those that did open their doors opened them just a hair...enough so we could see their eyes poking around. It's so sad to me that they live in fear like that all the time. Here's some pictures of yesterday's block party:
The food line
Spanish Pastor from one of the other churches talking to residents
Dakota enjoying the water slide
The kids lining up waiting for their turn on the water slide - good thing it was in the 80's yesterday!My awesome cooking man - Bill - love to have him on my team at these block parties - he handles EVERYTHING as far as the cooking goes!
As word got out that we had an awesome water slide available for the kids to play on, they
The terrific serving team - they just come in and take over the serving tables - they know exactly what to do! They are so awesome!!
Dakota pouring ice down Greg's back while being "encouraged" by his friends perhaps?
After shutting this event down and loading everything back up into the trucks and then unloading at the church we went by the Carter's house (the guy who had knee surgery) and took them some food that we had left over from the block party. We sat and visited with them for about an hour or so while the kids played outside. When we finally arrived home it was almost 8:00 - we were exhausted! Greg and I were both in bed sound asleep by 9:00 pm! LOL

I am looking forward to this coming Friday...we are going to Orlando for a mini-vacation!