Sunday, January 31, 2010

Join Me?

I have been seriously undisciplined in Bible reading lately! It's not that I don't have a plan, I do. Our Church gave out a one year Bible reading plan that I am trying to follow. No, the problem lies in my laziness and desire for sleep/entertainment. Being in the Word is VITAL for my walk, for my relationship with my Lord, and yet, I neglect it all too often. So, the ladies from Girltalk (CJ Maheney's wife and daughters), are offering up a month long challenge to get up before your family in the morning and spend time with the Lord. Here is what they have to say about it:

To cap off our sitting series, we’re excited to announce a new feature here at girltalk. Next Monday, February 1, we will officially launch our two clubs: The 5 O’Clock Club and The FAM Club.

The 5 O’Clock Club is for those who want to rise early (it doesn’t have to be 5 O’clock, that’s just the name of the club) to meet with God.

The FAM Club (Fast A Meal) is for those who want to fast one meal a week to pray for a family member’s salvation.

I'm going to start tomorrow morning at 7 am. I am not a morning person at all, so for me this is hard to do! This also means that I have to start going to bed earlier. I am a night person, so this is hard for me to do. But, I know that it is more than worth it! I would love to know if any of you want to join me in this challenge (you can also go to Girltalk and sign up tomorrow if you want). Leave me a comment and we will keep each other accountable! Also, if anyone wants to keep me accountable even more, please feel free to text me at 7:00 am and tell me to get out of bed! I am serious! I would love that additional accountability/help!
I'm excited to see how God is going to work this month!

Nice Suprise In My Mail!


About a month ago I had signed up for a free sample of popchips. I was expecting a little bag of them. Instead, I got this box in the mail today that had six bags of chips and a chip clip and six coupons, two of which are for free bags! This also included a hand written note, which I thought was a nice touch. The girls and I were excited to get something fun in the mail today!
In case you're not familiar with popchips (I wasn't), they are popped instead of fried so they are healthier. They have a lot less calories than regular chips. If you want to know more about them, go here.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Stockup Deal!

*Edited to add, that my awesome friend gave me a gift card that paid for all of my groceries!!! Such a blessing! *

Albertsons is having a great deal on Quaker products! All the coupon bloggers that have been watching the store prices for years say that this is the lowest price Quaker has been. This is a great time to stock up.
You have to buy in increments of five, but when you do, the products are only $1 each! (The syrup is $1.40, but since it's normally $4.50, that's still a great deal!)
This would have cost me $110 but I only spent $26! I stocked up, especially on granola bars. That is one thing that I can guarantee Anna will eat!
The second picture is the things that I got nearly for free. I paid .80 for all of this!
Check your papers this Sunday for Albertsons Twice the Value coupons, otherwise known as "doublers"! If you pair these with manufacturer coupons you can several things for free or nearly free!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Grocery Store Field Trip


Rylie's class had a field trip to Top Foods. They each got a reusable grocery bag and got surprises at different spots throughout the store to put into it (banana, bottled water, sucker, etc.) They learned about different types of foods and got to see the "behind the scenes" part of the store. They thought it was pretty cool to go into a huge walk in freezer/fridge. They also got to decorate their own cupcakes, which makes and preschooler happy!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Cuddly aren't they?!

For those of you who don't know, Ryan will be going on a short term trip to Madagascar in April. He and another man will be training Pastors and church leaders that don't have seminaries to attend.
These little beauties are Madagascar hissing cockroaches! When I saw them at the zoo, I had to take a picture for Ryan to build the anticipation!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Birthday Dinner



We celebrated my best friend's birthday the other night with dinner. As you can see, the girls are excited about the "party cake" as Anna called it!
We love you Becky!

The girls and I started our YMCA membership this week. Anna and her cousin Luke are taking a Toddler Gym class together. Rylie, Luke, and Abby are taking swimming lessons, and Rylie and Abby are going to take cheerleading! I am sad that I'm not allowed to take pictures in their classes! So far, I have walked a mile! For me being so out of shape, that's an accomplishment! I'm looking forward to getting some serious workouts in too.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Zoo Fun


We have been having unseasonably warm weather this past week, so we decided to take advantage of it and go to the zoo with our friends! We have a pass, but not a lot of free time, so we hadn't been there in awhile. The last time we were there, Anna was afraid of the animals. This time, she was loving them. She blew a kiss to the monkeys and was really interested in the Walrus. She also had fun with her friend, Sierra.
Rylie enjoyed seeing the animals with her friends, Drew, Ryan, and Emily. She especially enjoyed getting to pet a camel. That was her highlight!
We had a great day with great friends!








Thursday, January 21, 2010

Sweet Nothings


My Rylie girl says the sweetest things to me! She is such a blessing and an encourager. Here are just a few of the things she said to me yesterday:
"Mommy, you make my heart happy."
"Mommy, you make my heart pretty."
"I will love you forever!"
"You are beautiful even without makeup!"
I am so blessed to hear these and many, many more things like it every day! I love this girl!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

My Banana

I love this little girl so much! She is 22 months old and full of spunk. She is so smart and has such an independent spirit. She has become really affectionate lately too. I love it! She loves purses and shoes and is constantly trying to put her own shoes on, or Rylie's, or Daddy's. She is very verbal, the dr. said she is advanced in this area. She is talking in full sentences and using words and phrases that I didn't even know she knew. She has a funny sense of humor and tries to tease us. She is doing great on potty training, it has all been her idea. She does have a bit of a defiant streak in her, and sometimes she gives her Mommy a run for her money, but I'm so thankful for her!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Albertsons deals this week

These are my grocery deals this week at Albertsons. I used manufacturer coupons and their Twice the Value coupons. I spent $8 and saved $58! I also got 13 things for free!
I know everyone else is probably tired of hearing about these deals, but it's exciting to me!

A High Calling

A Missionary's Vision

After marriage God called me to the mission field -
A little bundle needing all my care,
A disciple in touch with my life, obedient to all he hears.
Then came some more all in a row.
Everywhere I went, six little arrows in tow.
God had to call me again to His mission field.
I answered, "To China, to Africa, to Israel, oh where?"
His voice was clear, soft and gentle. My ministry arranged -
"My child, you are to polish our arrows,
Preparing them for My call to spread my
Words of life for other nations to see."
"Lord," I cried, "Loneliness surrounds my soul,
No other woman stands with me answering your call.
The sacrifice is great."
Women give way to another's voice, pulling them away
from their home, far from the quiver."
Once more I pleaded, "May I go too, Lord, I feel the call
To share with the lost, Life giving words,
To feed the hungry a satisfying meal."
"My child," Jesus replied, "You share with your
children salvation and truth.
Feed them meals under your roof.
Discipline them, train them and then lie down in peace,
For sacrificial love have you given to make the world right.
Arise in the morning, open My book,
Teach them into My eyes they must look."
"Yes, Lord, I replied, "But should I serve you in a more obvious way?"
"Child, my sweet child," God spoke once more.
I anointed you to do this work - the high calling of Motherhood.
To show our children the need for my love."
"Lord,", I sought out, still not fully convinced,
"Should I sew for those in thread barren clothes, a Dorcas, a Martha?"
"Sit at my feet, my child, listen to me.
Your daughter needs dresses, your sons warm shirts,
The button of your husband's coat still lies on the table.
Pick up your mantle, the rod of Aaron.
Lead my women back to their home.
"Yes, Lord." Filled and content, I took my position in God's mission field.
Hungry faces graced my bedside.
Clothed in God's mantle, children at my side,
I prepared breakfast.

----Paula Muller of Brodnax, Va

(My friend, Pamela, sent this to me and it made me cry so I thought you all might like it as well!)

Monday, January 18, 2010

Giveaway!

My super talented friend, Sarah, has a give away going on her craft blog! She is giving away a custom made, portable, fabric high chair. They are adorable, and really practical. Go here to enter her giveaway!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Freebies in my mailbox! (and beautiful sunset)



Anna pointed out this gorgeous sunset to me the other night. She said, "Go outside, look at the cute sky!"

These are the free things that came in my mail this week! Four photobooks, a really nice make up kit, a coupon for free yogurt smoothies from the grocery store, plus some other high value coupons! Because I read all the couponing/freebie blogs I know when/where to sign up for all these free things. Sometimes I get sample size products, sometimes full size products, or other fun things. It's so exciting to see what my mailman will bring each day! I have to admit, I get disappointed when I don't get anything fun in the mail! I am working on another post to tell you about some of the companies that I get free items from.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Why I'm not Catholic

"Ask many Protestants today why they are not Roman Catholic and they may refer to `something about Mary and the saints.' However, for the Reformers, the heart of the problem was the ... sufficiency of Christ the Mediator for sinners. Are we justified by grace alone ... in Christ alone, or by grace and our merits, faith and our works, Christ and the intercession of Mary and the saints." - Michael Horton

Friday, January 15, 2010

Some of my favorite Couponing/Freebie Blogs:

The Coupon Project
My Frugal Adventures
Mommies With Cents
STL Mommy
The Krazy Coupon Lady
Coupon Cravings
A Thrifty Mom
Free Sample Freak
Free Snatcher
Moneywise Moms
Thrifty Northwest Moms
New Free Samples
Freebies 4 Mom
Frugal Living Northwest
$30 Weekly Grocery Challenge


This is not an exhaustive list of bargain hunting blogs out there, but these are the ones that I personally subscribe to. Every day (sometimes more than once a day), these blog's new posts come into my email. People keep asking me, how I find out about all these bargains, and this is how. There is a lot of overlap of information but there are times that there is unique information on each one. I will also be doing a post on some of the websites that offer freebies and another one on all the different photo sites/deals.
(Each one of these is a link to their blog.)

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Couponing

The first and third picture show the things I got for free the past two days! The second picture shows my total purchase today, I spent $8 and saved $40! I used the "Twice the Value" coupons from Albertsons along with the manufacturer coupons that come in the Sunday paper. (By the way, if anyone doesn't use their coupon inserts in the Sunday paper, I will gladly take them off your hands!)
On the third picture, I got some of these things free from Albertsons using the doubler coupons, and some I got from Walmart using manufacturers coupons. I also got the
free Redbox movie from free codes (available all over the Internet). I got the tomato seeds free from Campbells online (this was for Rylie since, tomatoes are her favorite food!) The photo book is from Hotprints on facebook. You can get one free photo book (including free shipping) per month!
One tip I have recently learned is that you can use coupons on clearance items or on trial size items (as long as the coupon does not implicitly say not to). I got the air freshener on clearance for .50, normal price $1.99, I topped that with a buy 2 get 1 free coupon. The only reason they were on clearance was because they were holiday scents, I got the apple cinnamon, which is the scent I would have chosen anyway. I don't care that it has a holiday label on it. I also got free Crest toothpaste. It was not the kind I would normally buy, but it was on clearance and then I had a doubler and manufacturer coupon so it made it free. I'll gladly try a new product for free!
The trial size items seem to be the cheapest at Walmart. I had a coupon for $1 off of Tide laundry soap. If I would have bought a full size soap it still would have cost me at least $4. I didn't want to spend that much because I don't need laundry soap right now. So my option was to not use the coupon at all and get no soap, or use it on the trial/travel size (priced at $1) and get it for free! You just have to evaluate your coupons and see what things work for you and your family. I might try a new product if I can get if for free or very cheap (under a dollar), but I won't buy something just because I have a coupon for it. I also won't travel to 3 or 4 stores just to get the best price. You really can get some good deals if you do this, but it's not worth it to me to take 2 kids in and out of the car seats and stores several times a week. You have to define what "frugal" means to you. I have fun with it! It's like a game to me! I love saving money and providing for my family.
I plan on sharing my favorite couponing web sites soon! Please leave me a comment if you have a favorite coupon website/freebie blog.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Look what I got for free:

Here are a few of the things I got for FREE this past week! I'll do a post soon to share some of my favorite couponing/freebie sites, but I wanted to share some of my excitement!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

I miss these girls!


These are a few of my good friends from college (Becky, Karen, Dee). This picture was taken when they came up (they live in another state) to see our tiny little baby Rylie! Look how little she is! (I don't miss that wood paneling and shag carpet from that house!)
Every year since we were in college, a group of friends has gone to Karen's mountain house for a long weekend. This is actually where Ryan proposed to me!
It's gotten harder and harder to go since we've had kids and ministry obligations. I haven't been able to go the past few years and I won't be able to go this next weekend when they are all together. I'm feeling sad about that. I miss these girls (and Kim, Karrie, Stephanie, Anna. . .) very much! Their husbands are pretty fun too! Most of them went to college with us.
I'm glad at least that most of them have blogs so I can keep up with their lives. I'm so thankful for kindred friendships!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Dr. Appt.

My doctor gave me a low dose of blood pressure medicine to take every night for the next month and a half to see if that helps my headaches. Thankfully my blood work all came back normal, other than my Cholesterol was a little high. Ryan's BP is high too. We really need to start eating healthier!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Life

I can't figure out how I want to start this post, so I'll just start it!
I have been having headaches since August, the kind of headaches that make me want to go bury my head under the pillow in a dark room. I had a doctor appointment today and lab work done (not just for headaches, but it was also a general check up). I go back tomorrow and I'm hoping they will have my blood work back and it will reveal some reason for these headaches. Because then, maybe there will be some relief for them. Some days it's just a dull ache in the background, but some days (like today) it's hard to get anything done. There have been a few that have been incredibly bad, and thankfully my wonderful husband has stepped in to take the slack. (Thanks honey!)
I didn't mean to whine about these, but to explain my lack of posts lately.
In other news, the girls got big girl beds (twin size)! (Thank you Simms!) I was nervous about Anna moving out of the crib already, but she's doing great. The Coulters gave us a side rail for her, so I don't have to worry about her falling out. I'll post pictures as soon as I get their new, matching bedding.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Discipline=Godliness

"You can go all the way back through the history of the church and all the famous heroes of church history. You can be sure that all those men and women became godly men and women – not because God zapped them in some way that he hasn’t zapped you….Those great men and women of faith became more like Jesus the same way you and I do: by means of sustained, unspectacular, routine discipline. Godly people are godly people because they are disciplined people. It’s always been so." Donald Whitney (from GirlTalk)

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Rylie's Sleepover with Aunt Becky



Rylie Visits!

7 Short

I had made it my goal for 2009 that I would read 30 books in the year. I didn't make my goal, I was seven books short. I am disappointed about that. I do have about five that are in process however. I think I am going to continue with this goal for 2010. I want to have read 30 books by the end of this year. I will post them on my side bar as I read them, so that I can keep track of them.
For my own records, here is a list of the books I read in 2009:
  • Allison's Journey; Brunstetter
  • Crazy Love; Chan
  • Don't Make Me Count To Three; Plowman
  • Elegance; Tessaro
  • Ghost Writer; Gutteridge
  • Going Home; Brunstetter
  • Legacy of Faith; Brownback
  • On Her Own; Brunstetter
  • Shepherding a Child's Heart; Tripp
  • The American Plague, The Untold Story of Yellow Fever, The Epidemic That Shaped Our History;Crosby
  • The Betrayal; Bond
  • The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time; Haddon
  • The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
  • The House at Otowi Bridge, The Story of Edith Warner and Los Alamos; Church
  • The Kite Runner; Hosseini
  • The Mommy Diaries; Flint
  • The Other Bolyen Girl
  • The Secret Life of Bees; Kidd
  • The Translator, A Tribesman's Memoir of Darfur; Hari
  • This Momentary Marriage; Piper
  • Three Cups of Tea; Mortenson and Relin
  • What is a Healthy Church Member?; Anyabwile
  • When Grace Comes Home; Johnson

Saturday, January 2, 2010

My Rylie Girl


I love this girl with all my heart! She is such a joy and a delight. I cannot imagine life without her! I am a very blessed Mommy!