Monday, August 25, 2008

Praise God from whom all blessing flow!

A blogging friend, Emily and her family, are in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to get the child that the Lord has ordained to be in their family. Go here, to see the glory of the Lord! What a mighty God we serve.

U.S. Women Having Fewer Children

Pls click here and read an article that really is one of my heartbeats.
As Christian women, we have a delight and a duty to raise Godly children. We are told to be fruitful and multiply. Our attitude toward children should be far away from that of the world. The world thinks that children are an interruption, a distraction, a drudgery and not the blessing that God calls them.

Eddie and I waited 4 years to have a child. We thought that we needed to spend time together and focus on one another. The truth about it though, is that Halley has brought us closer to one another. The fruit of our love has strengthened our marriage and given us a common thread. She has brought so much joy to both of us. I just watch with great joy as she runs to him in the morning when she gets up and when he comes to the door in the evening. She adores her father, and he adores her. I have loved seeing this tender side to him, as a result of having her in his life.

Do you have the attitude of the world or the attitude of the Lord concerning children?

CVS Superstar

Ok, this is the best deal I have ever done at CVS.
Here's what I got.
Transaction 1
2- Advil Children's Fever Syrup ($5.79 each)
Coupons used:
2- $1 off Advil
1- $2/$10 ($2 off $10 purchase)
ECB for $7.58 (I've been holding on to this for about 3 weeks)

OOP $0.20!!!! And I earned $11.58 in ECBs for the Advil. Can you believe it?

Transaction 2
1- Delsym (it's a great cough syrup) $8.99
1 Mr. Goodbar $1
1 M and M's (not pictured...we ate them. I had to get the candy as a filler to use up the entire amount of the ECB) $0.79
1 CVS Toddler wipes $1.49

Coupons used:
$11.58 ECB from preious transaction

OOP $0.76!!!
Total I spent $0.96 for $28.11 in products! Wow! What a great trip. Halley is stocked up on meds. Now, if I could just keep her well!

I could have done even better with Transaction 2 b/c I had another coupon for $2/$10 but I forgot to use it! Oh well. I just took the Q to Publix and used it! I bought my last pack of Pull-ups for Halley. I only bought them b/c she will be going to Mothers Morning Out (MMO) once a week,and may need them there...if they don't put her on the potty. The pull-ups were regular price $15.99 and on sale for $13.99. I used the $2/$10 Q and a $2 Pull-ups Q, making them $9.99. Mmm, mmm, good!

Menu Plan Monday

Planning a menu is yet another way that I save money and time. Since having Halley, I've learned that having a plan is ever so important. If I don't, I will have to run to the store for 1-2 items. Mind you, just having to get a few items is still not a quick trip. I have to put on her shoes, buckle her in, take her out, put her in a cart, keep her from touching things, etc. etc. Hence, the need for a menu plan. I like to shop on Mondays after going through and picking out our meals and making a list of items that are needed. This saves me so much time. Plus, during the week, I don't have to think about what we are going to eat. I just look at the calendar that I keep on the side of the fridge with our dinner meal written on it. I don't necessarily cook all of the meals on the specific day of the week that's designated, but I do cook something from that week's list of meals. Without further ado, here is our dinner menu:

Monday: Cynthia's Cheesy Chicken (recipe follows), rice, corn
Tuesday: Peasant Pasta
Wednesday: Pizza (Nicole is coming over with some girls from her Bible Study)
Thursday: Maui Chicken (scroll down the linked page for this recipe), rice
Friday: Fried Tilapia, baked potato, spinach

We may go out of town for the weekend, so our weekly Fish Fry may not happen. I'm trying to make this a family tradition. When I was growing up, we usually had Little Caesar's Pizza on Fridays. Oh what a sweet memory.

Cynthia's Cheesy Chicken
(My Mom, Cynthia, always cooks this when company comes over. Its very good, and very easy!)

4 boneless, skinless, chicken breasts
4 slices Swiss Cheese
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/4 c. milk (to thin out soup)
1 cup bread crumbs (I use Pepperidge Farm. crush them up)
Spray butter

Preheat oven to 375. Pepper the Chicken. Place in glass dish. Top with Swiss Cheese. In a separate bowl, mix soup and milk. Pour over chicken. Top with Bread Crumbs and spray with butter. If you don't have spray butter, use some pats of butter. Cover with foil and cook for 35 minutes. Remove foil and cook for 5 minutes more to allow bread crumbs to brown.

For more Menu Plans, Menu Plan Monday here.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

I Won!

I entered a random drawing at Money Saving Mom and I won. The drawing was for coupons for 4 free packages of Bertolli Premium Pasta Sauce. I was entry #869...forreal! I looked back later in the day and there wer 909 entries. I just entered because it was easy, but didn't think I would win. But, I got an e-mail telling me I had won. So for all you sceptics out there...this stuff really works.

Publix Super Savers

This is kinda late, but I'm trying to inspire my friends that couponing really does work. These are some great deals, for things that we can use. I'm learning that I don't have to do every deal. I didn't go to Publix since the new sale stared on Wednesday, and I probably won't go until we need milk or eggs or something. We're pretty stocked up for the month.

So this is what I got:
2 Nature Valley Granola Bars (Raincheck BOGO $2.89)
4 Pepperidge Farm Goldfish ($6)
2 Del Monte Frozen Strawberry Chillers(BOGO $2.43)
2 Del Monte Frozen Peach Chillers (BOGO $2.43)
2 Niagara Spray Starch ($1.98)
1 Publix Coffee Filters ($2.59)
2 Lunchables ($2)
4 Shout (BOGO $2.89)
2 Muir Glen Tomato Sauce ($1.58)
2 Apple and Eve Fruit Punch ($2.67)
1 Publix Gallon Milk (One Day Sale 1/2 Price $1.80)
2 Oust ($6)
1 Publix Large Eggs ($1.79)

Coupons used
$5/$30 ($5 off $30 purchase- Publix mailer)
$.60 Nature Valley
4- $.50 Goldfish Target Coupon (Publix does not double competitor's coupons)
2- $1/2 Delmonte Chillers
2 - $.75 Lunchables
2- $2 Shout
2- $1 Muir Glen products
2- $.50 Apple and Eve (coupons were doubled)
2- $1 Oust
1- $2/$10 CVS Q (coupon)

Regular Price $63.97
- $22.69 Sales
- $22.35 Coupons
= $18.93 OOP (out of pocket)
Savings of 70%
What a great day that was at Publix!
You can do it too. Check out Sarah's Publix Posts and Publix Super Savers at Fiddledeedee for more deals. That's what I do! It makes my shopping so much easier, fun, and full of savings!

Friday, August 22, 2008

A Walk in the Neighborhood

Since it wasn't super hot today, Brie (that's Halley- for those who don't know her by this)and I took a walk in the neighborhood. Here are some little moments with My Sweet Love.


Older women, teach the younger women to...

Use the potty!

Now this is discipleship at its best!!!

Another Quilt

I found the directions for this quilt here. It was so easy to make and complete in about 2 hours. I made it for Halley, but it's too small for her. I may keep it for Twin A or let Halley use it for one of her babies.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Can a 1 year old iron?

So these pics require some explanation! I was in the kitchen on the phone and when I walked around the corner, this is what my eyes beheld!!!! What in the world?!!! Halley had used her potty seat as a step stool to reach the iron that was sitting on top of the washer. (Don't had been off for several hours.) It was really cute until I noticed that she had tried unsuccessfully to plug the iron in, too, as evidenced by it hanging out the wall! I would have disciplined her in the past for even reaching for the iron, but this was just too cute!

It's been a long time coming, and finally Halley is potty trained! She is 21 months, so I think this is a great accomplishment. You can read my first post about potty training here. I started potty training her around 14 months when she brought me a diaper and wipes and laid on the floor for me to change her. If that's not a sign of readiness, I don't know what is! She has been wearing panties at home for the last 2 weeks and has not had many accidents. My Sweet Love stayed dry all day yesterday, and had one hiccup today. I went in the playroom where she was playing with a friend. The little girl was looking down her pants and said, "she said she boo-booed." Little did Halley's friend know that that's what Halley says to let us know she has to go pee-pee. She started telling us last week when she has to go. Prior to that I just put her on the potty at intervals. I will still put her in pull-ups when we are in public until I feel more comfortable. But, I'm so proud...and thankful not to have to buy anymore pull-ups. We'll be back to diapers by Christmas when the twins arrive...but atleast we won't have 3 children in diapers.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

More from my little helper!

My friend, Antoinette, came over to visit the other day. She took this video of our little one. At first she said she was going to call Child Protective Services on me b/c this just shouldn't be allowed! I assured her that this was all Halley's idea and that she gets a kick out of it...and I do too!

Now, if she could just be this helpful to me when I'm in the grocery store! I took her with me to Publix today and she absolutely wore me out. This is the 2nd and last time that I wll ever get one of those big car carts. You know...the ones that are hard to steer, take up too much space, and that the kids don't even play with (even though you get them for their entertainment)! Yea, that's the one. Imagine me, with my big belly pushing that monster truck around! Ok, you can stop laughing now!

On top of that we didn't go until about 5 p.m. when the store was most crowded. I got her the free cookie from the bakery b/c I thought that would keep her occupied. Guess what...she finished that before I was out of the produce department. Then I gave her a lunchable to snack on. Mind you, she's in that dirty cart where millions of other children have done who knows what in it. But, I'm just trying to keep her quiet, so I let her have it. About 2 aisles later, she had to use the bathroom. Not to mention my phone kept ringing! So, I pushed the F150 over to the bathroom, took my purse and her bag and took her to the potty. Thankfully, she did use it...on the potty! If this were a false alarm, I think I would have screamed!

Anyway, we finished and went back out to finish our shopping. I decided to go down the dairy aisle. Of course, she needed something else to eat. Foolishly, I opened a fruit cup and poured the juice from it into the lunchable container, so that she could just fish her hands in and not make a mess! But no...sista girl, decided to take the lunchable container and dump it all over herself! Back to the bathroom we went for more papertowels! Oh, I'm getting exhausted all over again just writing about this trip!

Anyway, we finally finished and went to the checkout stand. Oh what I wouldn't give to have someone help me unload the groceries onto the belt! That was a workout...and with the Mack Truck you have to reach down further to get the groceries. Ok, the guy rings me up and there is noone there to bag the groceries. Guess who helped him do that...yes, your's truly who is carrying twins! But I was not going to carry them out on my own. I kindly tapped the bagger in the next aisle and asked him to help me out, which he did! Alas, we made it home.

But if you look down at my Publix Super Savers Post, you will notice I didn't buy any meat. So, we dropped the groceries off and went back out to Sam's! Yes, I know...I'm CRAZY!!!

Can you please leave a comment and tell me how I can train Halley to be better behaved in the store. I'm serious, I need some help. My parents told me that on one of those trips to the bathroom, I should have pulled out The Peacemaker aka the wooden spoon! They told me that as a matter of fact, someone should have spanked me for letting her control me like that! I can see their point. But seriously, what do you do to get your little one to behave in the grocery store. One answer is to leave them at home. But, I seriously believe that children need to learn how to behave in public, so you have to take them out. Let me hear from you...PLEASE!

Publix Super Savers

Look at all my wonderful deals! If you're not convinced that couponing works...check out these deals. Here's what I got:

6 Birds's eye vegetables (50% off $5.54)
2 Publix Salad Blend (BOGO $2.99)
1 Kraft Swiss Slices ($3)
1 Natural Flakes ($3.49)
1 Smart Balnace Butter ($2.79)
4 Oscar Mayer Luncables ($4)
6 Del Monte Fruit Packages (BOGO $7.29)
1 Sargento Shredded Mozzarella ($3.99)
2 Nature's Own Honey Wheat Bread (BOGO $3.39)
1 Cascadian Farm Honey O's ($2.50)
1 Broccoli Bunch ($2)
1 Green Onions ($.50)
1 Green Pepper ($1.33)
1 Ginger Root ($.24)
2 Bic Mechanical Pencils ($2)
1 Edy's Double Vanilla Ice Cream ($3.50)
1 Corn Starch ($1.49)
4 Uncle Ben's Rice ($4)
1 Can Black Beans ($1.19)
1 Publix Cream Cheese ($1.19)
1 Philadelphia Cream Cheese ($2.19)
1 Wesson Oil ($3.50)
1 Pizza Crust ($4.79)
1 Pilsbury Crescent Rolls (2.19)
2 Pilsbury Recipe Creations Rolls ($5.78)
2 Vlasic Pickle Spears (BOGO $2.79)
1 Smuckers Hot Fudge ($1.67)
2 Publix Cream of Chicken ($1.90)

Coupons used
1- $2/$10 CVS Q (I called ahead to see if they take CVS Qs)
1-$0.35 Pilsbury Crescent Rolls
2- $0.75 Lunchables
1 -$1 Bic Pencils
2 -$1 Vlasic Pickles
1- $1 Cascadian Farm
2- $1/3 Birds Eye Veg
1- $0.75 Kraft Slices
2- $1/2 Uncle Ben's Rice

Regular Price Total $130.39
- $41.27 (sales)
-$12.95 (coupons)
$76.17 (oop- out of pocket) Ding! Ding! Ding!
Savings of 58%

When I got home and checked the mail, I had a coupon for $5/$30. Uggh, I could have used that too! But there's always next week. Or I just may give the coupon away to a friend b/c it expires on August 19. I may not go back to Publix before that. Also, I should have printed 2 more of the Pilsbury Qs and I could have saved $1.40 more- don't laugh, it adds up! I'm still learning about all this, so mistakes are going to be made. Also, my lunchables purchase qualifies me for the $10 JCPenney gift card. You can find out how to get your own here.

A big thanks to Sarah at Fiddledeedee for all the coupon match ups. Check out the Publix Super Savers Post on her blog to see the deals that others have found.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Faith prevails in the midst of tragedy

If you didn't get to watch Steven Curtis Chapman and his family on Larry King last night, here is a snippet. You can go to youtube and search for more of the interview. I love that the Curtis family had a chance to testify of God's grace through this trial. Though I know it was very difficult to lose such a sweet member of the family, the Lord' glory was displayed during this tragedy.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

My Favorite Things

My favorite thing this week is my Zune. It's like an ipod, but not nearly as popular. Have you heard of one? I use it almost daily while I'm cleaning. I like to listen to podcasts from Revive our Hearts with Nancy Leigh Demoss, Family Life Today, Desiring God with John Piper, Truth in Love Podcast with Voddie Baucham, The Bible Experience, and music of course. My Zune seems to help me to keep moving along with my cleaning and helps me to take in the Word of God.

For more favorite things, check out Fiddledeedee!

Publix Super Savers

Halley and I made a trip to Publix this afternoon. I found some great deals thanks to Sarah at Fiddledeedee. She tells you what's on sale at Publix and also has links to printable coupons that go along with the deals. Besides checking out her blog another tip to saving is to plan your meals before going to the store. There is nothing worse than having to run to the store (with a toddler) for one missing ingrdient. I like to write our meals for the week down on a calendar. Then I look through the recipes to see what I am lacking. I also coordinate our meals around what I already have on hand and what is on sale that week.

The picture above shows what I purchased today. My total before coupons was $77.51. I had store coupons totaling $7.05, vendor coupons totaling $14.65, advertised special savings (mainly buy one, get one bogo deals) totaling $23.47, and advantage buy savings of $.87. After coupons and sales, my total was $55.81 for a savings of 30%. Nearly everything I bought was on sale and/or I had a coupon to go with it.

One other interesting tid bit...I went to the bank and got $60 cash, but I made a stop at Moe's and spent $4, leaving me with $ you remember that I told you my total was $55.81. Wow!

For more deals check out Fiddledeedee