Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Different Ideas

I enjoy reading several blogs, okay I stalk around 20  right now but who is counting?  One of the reasons that I read these blogs is to find new and better ideas.  I am always looking for new ideas regarding meal and of course budget/money matters. Several of the blogs I regularly read, help me stay up to date with coupons and sales, other simply make me realize that my life is not as crazy or mixed up as it can be.  Today I thought I would share some of the most interesting and useful things I have learned lately.

  • The concept of spending 10 minutes a day on projects that seem overwhelming came from The Peaceful Mom. I have been using this concept over the past several weeks to be able to first get and keep my coupons organized as well as stay on top of quizzing and other church responsibilities. My plan is to start trying to organize, delete and combine all the documents and photos that we have saved on the computers in the past 6 years. I am thinking that it will most likely take a month or so to finally get this all done but at least I have a plan for action.
  • Also over at The Peaceful Mom, she is sharing about her family's challenge of living on 28000 a year. It is so encouraging to read how they are doing. I am still debating the idea of a second checking account to place money for things like clothing and extra irregular expenses.
  • I began to save and use Coke points from Couponing To Disney. One of the awesome new rewards is All magazine. This magazine is only sold at Walmart or via subscription. Currently at Coke Rewards I can earn a one year subscription for 337 points. I need about 30 more points! I have been debating on ordering this for about 6 months now and was waiting for the lowest price of 0.83 an issue again but FREE is so much better.
  • Caring with Coupons, is a lady that is most local for me. She also is the first to announce Harris Teeter triples and Super Double events. We just finished a week of Triples and she is suggesting that Super Doubles will occur in 3 weeks.
  • Southern Savers, is still my first stop for finding coupons and preparing for any deals.  Recently, we were able to go to Vista Print and get the first round of business cards and decals for Matt's business.
  • My favorite place to find new food ideas is Lynn's Kitchen Adventures, and we recently tried egg over rice! Simple, easy and filling.

I guess I should mention that none of these ladies know or request that I recommend their sites but it just seem like a good way to share the new things I am learning!

Saturday, March 24, 2012


We managed to add to the calender this week to the point where Matt and I actually did not see each other, for longer than 5 minutes on 3 of the 5 nights. Matt is currently serving on the church governing board and the pool board, this month both of the meeting occurred during the same week. I have also been picking up extra hours at work, Lily continues to have 3 nights of cheerleading a week and Haley's birthday was Friday.
Things that I remember from this week:

1. Today (Saturday), church pictures and Haley's birthday lunch. The pictures were really dark and I looked HUGE in them so I was not tempted to purchase any!  We ate at Texas Roadhouse for lunch and managed to finish the leftovers for dinner. The meal was really good and Zach had the only meltdown which occured at the end of the meal, while we were waiting for a check. All 7 of us enjoyed several hours together with no major drama!

2. Zach asked to wear underwear today. He managed to stay dry ALL day long even with us being gone alot!   I actually caught him in the act so he even pooped on the potty as well!!! I am so excited. He did not want to wear a diaper tonight so I am hoping this is the beginning of something big!

3. We have finally gone through all the clothes for the little kids. I am very hopefully that everyone has enough to make it though the spring and summer. Lily will most likely need new clothes for school  next year but I am planning to buy those at the end of the season so they should be less expensive. We have been so blessed in this area with Kendall,  not only have I saved alot of Lily's clothes but we have been given bags and bags of clothes. I was able to totally change out her clothes to the next size today without purchasing anything.  On Thursday, we spent some time shopping for Zach, he needed shorts.  I did not realize he needed these, because several pair from last year are still way to big. I ended up spending around $80 but was able to purchase 4 complete outfits and 2 extra pair of shorts for him.

3. I actually only saw Haley the morning of her birthday! I had to work late, she and Matt have been waiting to see Hunger Games, since last August. They were able to get ticket to the 7:25 show. My parents watched the little kids till I got home from work and I was in bed before they arrived home from the movie.

4. Matt made Haley's birthday cake. I got pictures on my phone and on the camera, if I can get the other computer to work I will try and upload for Wednesday this week. It is actually one of the best cakes he has made and it is almost all gone today.

5. I have gone WAY over budget for groceries for this month. Harris Teeter had a triple coupon event and we have made 2 trips. In addition, we most likely will be purchasing chicken breast from Zaycon this week as well. My plan is to replace this overage in the month of April. I also plan only to purchase necessities we run out of and things on stock up. I would like to spend including the pay back less than 400 in April.  This would place us in an excellent position for the summer.

6. Ruger has settled in some, he is still peeing in the house but it is down to once a day.

7. I transplanted broccoli outside and it appears that 5 of 6 may survive. I am not so sure of my chills, because of hail, we got today I am afraid it may have killed several of the plants. I am planning to plant both cucumbers and squash this week.

8. Finally I am excited about the weather. We have been have alot of unseasonably warm days. In fact, the temperature has been above 80 on several days. Matt and I have really worked at reducing our electric bill so we have yet to turn on the air conditioning. However, tonight it is cooler, suppose to be in the 50s and rainy so I will be sleeping well!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Lots of Thoughts

Zach is going through a rough time at night..he has begun to wake up at night, several times a night and is currently screaming because I will not open his door!

Zach is asking to go potty at least once a day, he still does not EVER poop in the potty but this is an improvement.

Ruger is still peeing in the house, this is the only complaint I have with him. Otherwise he is so well behaved and lovable, I would have 3

With the unseasonable warm weather we are having, I need to make an effort to store all winter coats and go through all of Kendall's clothes. We have already been through Zach's clothes but I am noticing how small most things are looking on Kendall.

I have been work 4 days a week at the hospital so it feels like I never see the kids especially if Matt has a meeting! Please pray that I have more time with the kids....

I actually planted Broccoli in the square foot garden on Sunday. My plan is to plant cucumber and squash this weekend.  This is one of the earliest springs on record for NC.

At the book sale today, I purchased 2 separate book on financial stuff and budgeting. I am hope to get some inspiration! We actually are on track for the month but I want and had planned for some bigger results.

My weight loss is at a stand still, I am going to continue to exercise 4 nights a week and see what happens. I am hoping with it warmer outside I can eat lighter as well.

Haley's Birthday is Friday, we also have church pictures on Saturday. She has agree to go out and celebrate on Saturday after the pictures as a whole family.

On Friday night, Haley and Matt will be going to see the Hunger Games. Matt hopes to finish the third book in the series prior to that.

Harris Teeter is having triples this week. I am planning a trip tomorrow and hope to spend less than $20 but really have no clue what I will spend. I will only be purchasing items that I have coupons for but still don't have a clue.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Haley's Award

This past week we have all been really busy preparing for the final Bible Quiz of the Regular Season. Haley has been working at memorizing Hebrews, I and II Peter, while Matt and I have been working on getting the question ready for competition. I also was keeping a huge secret...Haley earned the biggest/highest award in quizzing. It is an award that is voted on by the adults. I had known she was receiving the award for about a month and managed not to let her find out!  The award is called the Elizabeth Wall Spirit of Quizzing.  I usually present the award but knew I would cry so ask someone else to present it. Haley also placed 6th out of 29 this year and will be competing at the next level the end of April. I am copying below the description of the Award and a copy of pictures. I am so proud of Haley!!!!

The Elizabeth Wall Spirit of Quizzing Award

This award is subjective and based on majority vote (one per church and one collective from the officials).  The award should primarily be given to someone who is an encourager to all quizzers and really captures the true intent of quizzing.  While this award does not require any sort of minimum score it should be someone who has not neglected their quizzing studies.

In 2004 the Spirit of Quizzing Award was renamed The Elizabeth Wall Spirit of Quizzing Award in honor of that years recipient.  Elizabeth, who was born with the genetic disease Cystic Fibrosis (CF), suffered continuous lung infections causing her to be physically frail.  Yet in her spirit Elizabeth triumphed over her disease with grace and strength.
Her golden red hair always drew people’s attention, but it was Elizabeth’s beaming grin and gentle, caring ways that made everyone she met her friend.  Some people thought she might be spoiled by all the attention CF brought her, but it didn’t work that way.  The more Elizabeth was loved, the more she loved back.  She had every reason to want people to take care of her, but her delight was in caring for others.  Her joy was found in simple things:  reading books aloud and playing games as a family, making homemade gifts and cards for friends, singing at every opportunity.  Elizabeth was grateful for each blessing in her life. 
One of those blessings was participating in Western Piedmont Bible Quizzing for three years.  It wasn’t easy.   Visitors found Elizabeth on several occasions making her special pictograph cards and memorizing her verses between treatments in the hospital.  She wasn’t ever a top quizzer, but she faithfully did her best.   Jumping was a challenge and it was a thrill for her to get a couple of questions per quiz day.   Even when she had to quiz with oxygen and IV antibiotics dripping she had a blast.  (Incredibly, Elizabeth had no self-consciousness about her.)  It was her desire to quiz that kept her team going through the early building years.
All this and more was true not because Elizabeth was different from the rest of us.  It was the result of God’s grace at work in her willing heart.  He truly means it when He says, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.”  This was Elizabeth’s testimony.
Elizabeth was ready for Heaven.  Through her suffering she had learned to trust her Savior.  Two weeks after her fifteenth birthday, the days that God ordained for Elizabeth before she was even born were complete and she was carried by her Good Shepherd into the throne room of her Heavenly Father.

Saturday, March 10, 2012


Meet Ruger....

He is actually a "rescued" dog of sort.  We were headed to Walmart to pick up some sand and dirt today with a quick stop at "P & Gs" (Papaw and Granny's) to pick up the coupons from the past several weeks.  I noticed a couple of new Boston Terriers in one of the lot.   They are such pretty dogs!  I ended up mentioning to my mom that I wouldn't mind having a puppy. She asked so what about a fixed male?   So Ruger came home with us. It appears he is an inside dog who was regularly bathed as he stood still in the tub  and enjoys laying around. Today has been a rough start for us because he is a male who is insisted on "marking his territory." We have spent the better part of the evening taking him outside. I am hoping this gets much better as he adjust to us and the cat! 

Ruger and his "friend" Susie were found at the local Livestock sale by Papaw. He knew that my mother liked this breed of dog, so as the previous owner got both the dogs out of the van, he asked how much they would take for them. To his surprise, "free to a good home." After a brief discussion, both Terrier where loaded into Pawpaw's truck.   The information that we have been able to gather is that he is a "pure breed" but does not have papers. Pawpaw has had the dogs for about 3 weeks and after some attention and extra feeding they are both much healthier. Ruger was at the vet this week and is current with all his shots.  Ruger has been neutered and is approximately 5 months old.  

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Shopping with Kids

I will be the first to admit, I prefer to shop alone, especially when I am using coupons. The reason sound logically, at least I hope they do. I can't give my whole attention to the transactions when I have to keep an eye on the kids.  At best, if I go to the store with more than one of the little kids, Matt is always along.  But today, that all changed. I realized this morning that we needed to go to Walmart to get ink. I have been working on organizing and catching up with coupons all week (10 minutes) at a time, so I had in the back of my mind to check out some items. Matt had a dentist appointment this morning at 9:30am and since he has missed 2 because of my scheduling, I was determined not to have him miss another one. The four of us, Matt, myself, Kendall and Zach, headed out the door just after 8am. We were able to get gas and find everything in Walmart, even managed to check out with coupons and not need a manager!  But the time was going too quick for us to hit I got brave..dropped Matt at the dentist and headed to CVS with Zach and Kendall. Surprisingly enough the trip was much easier and less eventful than I had envisioned. Zach did manage to set off the panic alarm on my car, as well as dart 5 feet in the parking lot just after I explained to Kendall why holding on to the car was important.   I also had to stop and go back to the register because of forgetting about ECB from a rain check but that was actually easy as well.

So here is what I managed to do today... spent $7 and saved $15, 63%. I had 5 different transactions,using 2 CVS cards and a rain check. Overall this is not a great saving % but I consider anything over 60% a success especially with the slim picking from CVS and coupons lately.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Tuesday Thoughts

I have spent some time search for a Beach house for us this summer..... just not sure what to do?

For dinner this evening, I tried something new! I made up a recipe using what I could easily unthaw and use out of the refrigerator. It turned out ok, eatable but not a repeat. I am just proud that I tried something new without a recipe.

Haley is tanning on a daily basis now for the prom.

I hope to plant our broccoli outside this weekend in the square foot garden but I need alot of dirt before that will happen.

My work is starting to pick up and I need to learn to manage my schedule a little bit better. This week I am going to stay at home Thursday (my normal day off) even with a meeting. I really need a whole day off because it has been several weeks since I have had one.

I won't be able to upload cheerleading pictures until the first of April.

My weight loss has hit a stand still. I know part of the problem is what I am eating and not drinking enough water but I am struggling.

I am trying a new method of organizing my coupons, it is from this blog. Basically I use 10 minutes a day and so far it has been going well. In two days, I have sorted through 2 months of expired coupons. My plan is to finish this task this week.

This is still the kids favorite indoor activity....

Saturday, March 3, 2012


Yes, I am one PROUD Mom tonight but I am also a very PROUD American!  Today was the third weekend in a row that I have spent several hours in the car. Today, all seven of us traveled to Raleigh to watch Lily in her competition cheerleading. Lily was awesome and the entire team did a great job for their very first competition. They place 6 of 8 even not getting one of their stunts off the ground. Of course pictures will come later in the week!

But I participated in/observed several things today that make me a PROUD American. First, after the national anthem at the competition, all active military and veterans were asked to stand so that they could receive a round of appreciation.  I am so glad and encouraged to know that in our country even if everyone does not agree with the politics in Washington that we acknowledge the sacrifice these folks give!  The next thing, if you know me at all you will appreciate and realize why this was such an awesome event for me. While looking at the program, Matt pointed out that the final two squads were labelled as "Exceptional Children". We noticed at one point several wheelchairs but I was thinking okay I wonder what is going on.  As the first of these two squads entered the stage, the entire place stood up and cheered! Yes, a standing ovation for this group of girls who were doing the same things as the rest of the kids. This group was awesome, they had stunts and a dance routine each of the exceptional cheerleader had a buddy to keep them moving in the right direction.  I honestly can say I have never heard more cheers for any other group. The finale was two of the girls lifted out of their chairs. As this first routine ended, the announcement came that they won first place and their trophy was given to them!!! Another standing ovation occurred!  As the second group arrived on stage again the entire gym stood up and cheered. The second routine was just as good as the first and they also had lots of cheers. Again as the team finished, "FIRST PLACE" was announced and a trophy present along with a standing ovation. I actually have tears in my eyes as I type this. As a mother, as a therapist, as a person  this makes me proud. This kids were awesome, they have worked harder than any other group I saw and they got the appreciation that they deserved. I am just honored to have been part of this!!!!

A nice reminder in what makes our country special if you ask me.