Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Where in the world is Reece?

Reece was suppose to be napping today and when I checked the video monitor, I could tell she was not in her bed.  So I went in to check on her and much to my surprise I couldn't find her anywhere.  I was wondering how she escaped as the gate was still shut and I didn't think she could climb out.  I searched around for while with my heart beating faster and faster...

Quick scan of the room...doesn't seem to be in here...
Not in the bed...
What a mess...
Phew...there she is...under the bed...asleep (which only lasted a 1/2 hour and then she was screaming and woke everyone else up).

Picnic in the Park...I mean living room

So I finally got brave enough (and fun enough) to do a picnic on the living room floor and allow them to actually eat real food!  It was fun and it wasn't as messy as I thought!  We used all of Reece's play dishes (washed of course) and had some fun, unhealthy food!  And even more fun - in pajamas!


Who's your Daddy?

Currently, I am doing a Bible Study called "Do you think I'm Beautiful?" by Angela Thomas.  So far (only on week 2) it is mostly about how we as women fill ourselves up with things that we think make us whole instead of looking to God to fill us up and make us whole.  I know I have personally done this for years using things like men, friends, and "stuff".  Others use parents, children, food and other addictions as well.  It says "The Lord created us with an empty spot inside only He can fill.  No man can do what the Savior is supposed to do in your life.  You can still be made whole even if your earthly father didn't give you what he should have.  Your children can never fill you up and make you whole.  Girlfriends can't ever be enough to be the savior your empty place needs.  New stuff doesn't even give you a taste of being filled by God.  The only way is the God way!"

"Long before he laid down earth's foundations, he had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus on his love, to be made whole and holy by his love" Ephesians 1:4-5

I am not going to write much this week as I have to prepare for the March 6th conference.  I wanna put God first in my life but I don't want to neglect my family in the process.  So I am going to write out what I recieved from another study I did in the fall.  I am not really sure who wrote it but I know Priscilla Shirer recited it in the "Annointed, Transformed, Redeemed" study...I don't know if she wrote it or someone else did.

Who's your Daddy?
He is the first and the last
He is the beginning and the end
He is the keeper of creation
He is the creator of all
He is the architect of the universe
He is the manager of all time
He always was, always is, and always will be
He is unmoved, unchanged, undefeated, never undone
He was bruised but brought healing
He was pierced but eased pain
He was persecuted but brought freedom
He was dead and brings life
He is risen to bring power
He is raised to bring peace

The world cannot understand Him
Armies cannot defeat Him
Schools cannot explain Him
Leaders cannot ignore Him
Herod couldn't kill Him
Nero couldn't crush Him
New Age cannot replace Him
Oprah cannot explain Him away
He is life
The Lord
His ways are right
His word is eternal
His will is unchanging
His mind is on us
He is our Savior
Our guide
Our peace
Our joy
Our comfort
Our Lord
He rules our lives

I serve Him because
His bond is love
His yoke is easy
His burden is light
His goal for us is abundant life

I follow Him because
He is the wisdom of the wise
The power of the powerful
The ancient of days
The ruler of rulers
The leader of all leaders
His goal is a relationship with me
He will never leave you
Never forsake you
Never mislead you
Never forget you
Never overlook you
Never cancel your appointment in His appointment book - NEVER!

When you fall he will lift you up
When you fail He will forgive you
When you are weak He is strong
when you are lost He is your way
When you are afaid He is your courage
When you stumble He will steady you
When you are hurt He's going to heal you
When you are broken He will mend you
When you are blind He will lead you
When you are hungry He will feed you
When you face trials He is with you
When I face persecution he shields me
When I face problems He will comfort me
When I face loss He will provide for me
When we face death He will carry us all home to be with Him

He is everything
For everybody
Every time
And in every way

He is your God and YOU belong to HIM!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Target and CVS deals...

Alot of you read website for couponing deals at various stores.  You'd be crazy not to if you are into this whole coupon thing.  She lays everything out so easy and everything is there to print.  I continue to have people ask me about good deals so I would recommend that you take the couponing classess that are offered by and then start reading these blogs and websites that give you all the deal scenarios.  Not everyone would need a class I suppose, but I thought it was worth it for me (a slow learner when it comes to anything dealing with numbers or $$). 

Usually I shop a little later in the week but this week I got the priviledge of shopping early.  As usual, I look at hip2save and other websites to see what good deals are out there and see what I can find on my own.  The downfall to a site like hip2save is that she lives in North Carolina (or maybe Florida) so she doesn't always know what is going to be in our local stores.  This week since I shopped early, I can confirm and deny a few deals that are on some of the other sites. 

First...some Target stores have seen the 1st Baby Alive baby on clearance for 4.98 and then use the $5/1 coupon found here.  Our Target does not have the baby on clearance.  It is marked at 19.99 (and I scanned it on price check to be sure).  So if you don't need one, maybe wait and see what happens with it.  The coupon doesn't expire til 4/15/10. 

Second...there was a $4/2 Gillette body wash or deo that was in Sunday's paper.  Target had some of these marked down to 1.99 (on the end cap) meaning you'd get 2 free (or 4 if you get 4 papers).  I went today and those were all gone (I think there were a couple of deos left).  It's not to say they won't restock but I asked a manager (yes, a manager) to check in back for me and he said they did not have anymore. 

3rd...Keebler/Kellogs $5 gift card deal.  The deal is you buy 5 of these products and get a $5 gift card.  The question has come up as to whether you can mix and match the deals.  When I did the deal (4 boxes of Kellogs Special K bars and one Keebler/sunshine 100 cal bites), I was told by my cashier that I could not mix and match and still get the $5 (it should automatically print the giftcard and it did not in my case).  So I paid (not very much since I had a coupon for each box) and then went back to the aisle where I found them.  All the tags below the boxes said both the words "Kelloggs" and "Keebler" - when you bought 5 of either item you should get a $5 gift card.  I had the manager check for me and wahlah...$5 I got!  See hip 2 save post for printable coupons on these items here

One deal I found that was not on hip2save but is currently at our Target is for the Dove Ultimate Deo.  It is regular 3.64 and I found some on the end cap that came as a pack of - 1 deo and 1 body spray for the same amount (I thought it was 2 deos so I thought it was a REALLY good deal - shame on me for not reading carefully)....but I had 2 $2/1 coupons for this deo (print here).  Much to my suprise when I went to the register it rang up 3.29 plus I had $2 1.29 for a deo and body spray (and I got 2)!!

I also need to address food selection at our Target.  Since our Target is not a super store, we have very limited items, especially in the refrigerated/freezer section.  They usually only have one kind of something - like pizza or Healthy Choice meals - so to buy a lot of one, might leave you burnt out on a certain thing.  For example, I had $2 off a Digiorno pizza...they only had one kind, so that is what I was stuck with.

Here's what I got this week for $10.87 in 2 separate transactions (had 2 $5 gift cards - one from previous keebler purchase last week and the one from this week).
~3 boxes of Kellogs Fruit Crisps, 1 box of Kellogs Special K bars, 1 box of 100 calorie bit cheese it (mine are amost gone before I could take the picture)...had 3 dollar off coupons and 2 - .75 off coupons -$1.64/box +5 gift card.  See deal here
~Oscar Meyer deli meat - $1/1 Target coupon combined with $1/1 coupon found here
~Digiorno pizza - $1/1 Target coupon combined with $1/1 coupon found 1/24 SS = $3.79 (good deal for Digiorno)
~2 bags Kraft Shredded cheese - $1/1Target coupons combined with $1/2 coupons in 1/24 SS.  $1.34/bag!!
~2 Classico Sauces - used BOGO coupon in 1/10 or 2/21 SS - on sale at Target for 1.84.  You can also find a $1/2 here
~2 Dove deos with body spray (see deal above) - 1.29 each!!

To find Target coupons, go to and scroll down to the bottom where it says "get coupons".


CVS has huggies wipes for 2 for $ itself is not such a great deal until I found out that it would actually take it off the big packs of refills too (see deal here).  I am confirming that this is true with the CVS's here in town (or at least the one I went to on Fort Jesse).  I spent 21.65 on the following:

~Pampers were 22.99 (not a good deal) but you got $3 back in extra care bucks plus I had a $5 off a $15 purchase from my last purchase + $3 off coupon I got in the mail just yesteday.  So this box cost me $12 for 82 diapers which is around .14 cents/diaper.  We usually buy from Sams which is around .20 per diaper.  Also for buying pampers I got 2 gifts to grow codes inside!
~2 bags of Huggies wipes - it's like buying 4 $2/5 (couldn't find a huggies wipe coupon for an even better deal) - plus 2 enjoy the ride codes!
~Box of Cheerios - on sale for 1.99 and had a $1/1 coupon = .99!!!
~Box of Cinnamon Toast Crunch - on sale for 1.99 and had a .55/1 coupon = $1.44
~Colgate Toothpaste - 2.99 but got back $2.00 in extra care bucks (which I used to pay for the cereal) = .24 for toothpaste!!
So if you didn't need diapers and wipes or don't buy that kind of thing and just bought the cereal and toothpaste the total would be $2.93!!

So there are some good deals out there this week.  I think I am all "dealed" out this week...well, at least for today.  Just thought I would confirm some deals out there that you might have heard about!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Balanced Living

Is there such a thing as balanced living?  Hopefully you are not searching for the answer to this question on my blog because I am not sure I have the answer!  Hearing the word balanced and life in the same sentence seems a little crazy to me while living in the world we live in.  We as women try so hard to balance a ton of different things in our lives and we often feel put to shame when we read or hear about what other women are doing...or when we we hear things that we are "suppose" to be doing each day.  I thought it would be humorous to list out a typical day doing things of what we think or hear are required of us.  Feel free to add some in the comment section (I'm sure there are many that I missed).  The day I am mocking up is what my day would look like (and maybe other moms) if I tried to accomplish what I've heard are things worthy of completing each day.

Kiss spouse good morning (sex starts in the kitchen)
Put dog out
Quiet time/prayer time and devotion (putting God first)
Workout +drink 1- 8 ounce glass of water (keeps you healthy)
Poop (less headaches and clean system)
Shower and shave (good hygiene)
Lotion body especially stretched marked areas and dry patches (helps skin elasticity)
Get ready for the day- brush teeth, cleanse, exfoliate, tone, moisturize, cover (keeps face clean and pores small) +drink 2 cups of coffee (high in antioxidents, helps lower risk of diabetes, parkinsons, and colon cancer)
Happily greet waking children and allow time for a little love
Take child #1 potty, change child #2's diaper (avoids a mess, rash, and/or smell)
Dress 2 children (helps them establish routine)
Feed children (keeps them from malnutrition)
Feed self (Fruit smoothie - check off 3 servings of fruit, 2 servings of protein and 1 serving of dairy off of my balanced diet for the day)
Take vitamin
Clean up breakfast dishes from breakfast +drink 2nd 8 ounce glass of water
Load of Laundry
Take child #1 potty, change child #2's diaper
Put dog out
Snack (2 crackers and one ounce of cheese - check off a serving of grain and a serving of dairy from balanced diet)
Play with children (prevents negleted children) +drink 3rd 8 ounce glass of water
Make and eat lunch (Sandwich and 2 cups of cooked veggies - check off 2 servings of grain and veggies for the day, check off one serving of meat) +drink 4th 8 ounce glass of water
Take child #1 potty, change child #2's diaper
Clean something
Get the mail (get some fresh air)
Put dog out
{Nap time for the kids - 2 hours maybe to get the following done:} +drink 5th 8 ounce glass of water
     Pray (putting God first)
     Journal (documents memories for family)
     Couponing (saves family money)
     Important phone calls (while it's quiet)
     Email/Internet time (which saves mom from break down) +Kegels (not going there...)
     Prepare/cook dinner (which saves mom's insanity from cooking when kids are up and hungry)
Take child #1 potty, change child #2's diaper
Snack (An apple a day keeps the doctor away, and 2 crackers with ounce of cheese - check off fruit and dairy for the day)
Play with kids + drink 6th 8 ounce glass of water
Greet "daddy" with a kiss when he comes home from work.  Ask him how his day was. (encourages Golden Rule)
Feed everyone dinner +drink 7th 8ounce glass of water (cup of pasta, 1-2 cups of veggies, garlic bread - completes bread and grain and veggie part of balanced diet)
Clean up dinner dishes
Take child #1 potty, change child #2's diaper
Put dog out
Bathe two kids and get them ready for bed (hygeine and routine...again)
Eat a fun snack - anything (prevents you from ditchin the balanced diet)+drink 8th 8ounce glass of water
Play with kids
Start bedtime routine with kids (brush teeth, potty/change diaper, drink of water, kiss dad, kiss dog, read devotion, pray)
Communicate and encourage spouse (prevents marriage from going separate ways)
Put child #1 back in bed
Clean up and prepare for tomorrow (getting coffee ready, make lunch for spouse/self)
Put dog out
Put child #1 back in bed (provides opportunity for love on child)
Get ready for bed - brush teeth, floss, cleanse, tone, moisturize face, pluck a few unwanted hairs (prevents loss of teeth, gain of wrinkles and becoming the wooly mammoth mom)
Devotion and prayer time with spouse (putting God first in your marriage)
Put child #1 back in bed (provides opportunity for patience building)
Sleep with spouse (prevents affair)
Put child #1 back in bed (provides opportunity for consistency)
Always kiss spouse goodnight and say "I love you"
Don't go to bed mad.

Phew...I'm tired..and I'm still hungry.  Did I miss anything? (leave comments) If I just go through this list and calculate quickly how much time I think this all's probably around 10 hours.  Okay...sounds semi-do-able...but this doesn't count for the interruptions we recieve during the day, any volunteering or activities we do, grocery shopping, and other errands.  Saying "balanced life" is as silly as saying "jumbo shrimp" or "fat-free ice cream" there really such a thing?  I know for me, when things are not running smoothly, I try to find some way to escape...usually these are unhealthy methods of escape.  Karen Hill (best selling children's author) says "When we women feel compelled to keep everything running smoothly and to solve everyone's problems, we overlook our own emotional, spiritual, and physical health.  It's then we are tempted into unhealthy methods of escape.  Sometimes rest or play is the holiest of choices.  A balance of being and doing is the key..."  I know I have used lots of unhealthy methods of escaping in the past (such as drinking, smoking, gossiping, rage at children, shopping and spending money unwisely, and watching reality TV to escape from reality).  A book I am reading right now says we need to make sure we are being realistic when it comes to balancing our lives. The book is called "Praying for Purpose" by Katie Brazelton. Katie says "Simply ask yourself:  Is my life balanced enough to hear God's plan for my life and carry out what he'd like me to do?  Some days will be better than others, but each day is a brand-new day.  Try to make balance more of a habit than an expectation.  Aim for a simple lifestyle and a content heart." comes down to being a little more realistic...which I'd say that women aren't normally naturals at.  We are more emotional than realistic, right?  But with God's help, we can better balance our lives.  I feel like starting my day out with God in quiet and prayer time always helps me get off to a great start.  He always gives me focus and helps me organize my day in the best way to make everyone happy - including myself - which leads to some healthy escape writing on the blog, rest, or play.

Doing a devotional with Reece each night has brought me back to the basics.  A couple of weeks ago we read one about the fruits of the spirit.  This is something I hadn't looked at in a long time (probably since I was a child) and it really convicted me.  It says in the book that someone who believes in Jesus has special fruit in her life.  It says that sometimes the "fruit" is hard to see because the "leaves" (person, sin) hides it.  It says if you look carefully you should see "love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control" (Gal 5:22).

When I looked at these fruits all individually (go back and read them slowly) and asked myself if someone could see those in me, the answer I came to was "no...those are not always present in my life"  I want people to see those when they look carefully at me, but it is not realistic that they will always be present as I am human When I evaluated my situation, I came to the conclusion that those things are less evident in my life when I try to balance too many things.  However, if I maintain better balance in my life by focusing on...say top three domains in my life and allow for a reasonable amount of downtime, these things should be evident in my life.  Which leads me to my tip for this week:  Measure balance in your life by the fruits of the spirit being evident in your life.

I leave you this week with the following verse.  I love this verse and have it up in my kitchen!  This partnered with living out the fruits of the spirit keep me going and in check.

"Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you.  Show me the way to go, for to you I lift up my soul"  Psalm 143:8

Valentine's Day

We had a little Valentine's Day party at "Mimi's" house with all the kids.  I didn't have a good picture of all the kids together but I figured I would at least post one of Reece eating her V-day lunch.  She had a heart shaped PB&J, PINK pasta, heart jello, grapes, and red chips - perfect valentine's day lunch!
One of her v-day presents from "Mimi" was a fun Hawaiian girl outfit straight from Hawaii!  Aloha!
I taught Brody how to climb down the stairs by going down on his belly.  I am thankful we have a gate on our stairs otherwise, he would just go up and down all day.  I let him practice several times a day though!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Walgreens Friends and Family - Friday only 2/12

Super glad I didn't do my Walgreens deal yet!  Just got this coupon via email today.  On Friday only, you can use this on certain products to get even sweeter deals!  Print yours here.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Purposed for People - Obstacles or Opportunities?

I want to thank all of you who sent notes of encouragment via email or left comments.  It really means a lot to me.  I discovered I had followers out there that I wasn't even aware of!  I wished I had been able to write sooner...I have been wanting to but our schedule has not allowed.  In the past week and a half, our house has been plagued by the stomach flu, colds and sinus infections, loss of sleep, fussiness, nap issues, nearly 2 dozen loads of laundry (due to the illnesses), and excessive cleaning...not to mention keeping up on all my coupon craziness.  I actually started writing this several days ago but was feeling lost at what to write.  Must have been all the cleaning fumes and exhaustion.  I don't want to write if it's a bunch of rambling, emotional nonsense.  So most of this was written several days ago, but when I got to the end, I re-read it and thought "what was the point I was trying to make?".  So I saved it as a draft and thought I would come back when I really knew what the point was.  I think I may actually have one now!

The past couple of weeks, my early morning quiet time and work out routine has been interrupted almost daily.  I am very frustrated by this as my heart and mind are needing the quiet and time with the Lord.  I've never been a morning person, but only recently (in the past 6 months) discovered this is the most quiet, peaceful time of the day.  It's usually the only time you won't hear pattering of feet, crying, noise of the TV, loud trucks...even nap time is not as quiet as early morning.  My idea of quiet time certainly does not include hearing the theme song to the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse in the background ("Hot dog, hot dog, hot diggity dog").  I often get caught up in the obstables that life hands me as I try to be a good servant, mother and wife.  One day this past week, I was really down about it.  Why so many obstacles, God?  Why, when I am doing what you want, do my kids wake up early? Why is this so impossible?  Tears came as I could hear a child already stirring and crying in their room.  So I then prayed out loud about it and his lips were quieted...and then opened my devotion and the first sentence read "Nothing is impossible for God...he has promised to see you through every circumstance in your life".  Afterall, He did raise the dead, right?  He has always been so faithful in reassuring me that He is here with me.  I may not always understand what He is doing, but I TRUST what he is doing.  This verse also came up this week, "By faith Abraham, when called to go to the place he would later recieve as his inheritence, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going" (Hebrews 11:8).  I really don't know where I am going but I do trust God to lead me on the right path. 

I remembered a bible study that I did in the fall that focused on fulfilling purposes.  It talks about how the Father loves people, not programs.  "Any program He initiates and/or assignment He commissions you to do always has this as its main goal: turning people to a relationship with Himself."  Which leads to where I am in my calling and life at the current time...being a mom.  It says "Mothering is not the ultimate goal of being a mom, revealing Christ to the children is."  Very powerful stuff.  I know for me, I tend to be more task oriented (program) as opposed to relational.  So when my children wake up early and disrupt my "tasks", I become easily irritated.  But instead of seeing it as an obstacle, I seized the opportunity to have some "relational" alone time with whatever child got up early.  It was surprisingly kind of hard for me to do.  Not that I didn't want to love on my babes, but the fact that I was missing out on my love on the Lord made me feel kind of guilty and long for the time even more.  Hopefully I am not sounding heartless towards my children here...but what I am trying to say is that the morning time is the really the only time I can have a real quiet, personal, intimate time with the Lord.  Not to say that He doesn't appear throughout the day, but mornings are the time where I feel really connected and drawn to the Lord.  I feel He prepares me for day by starting with Him first.  I will have the children the whole rest of the day (some really long ones too) and that is why I need Him first.  I did also use "the obstacle" as an opportunity to show Reece what I do in the mornings.  Having done this, I have seen the sweet reward of her mimicing me with her books.  She got in one of the kitchen drawers and pulled out a flat metal spatula.  She opened a book, pretend to read, and then stuck the spatula in the page and closed the book as I do with a bookmark.  She said "this is my bible study, mom".  I guess that is how she sees me...a cook and a bible reader at the same time.  Or maybe she is confusing the cookbook with the bible.  I know I could sure use a helping of what is in that book! 

A little fun update on my patience building...yesterday morning before church, Reece was not obeying me.  So I said "Reece, I am getting ready to lose my patience with you."  Without missing a beat she says "Where, mommy?  Is it in the bathroom?  Let's see it...I'll help you find it".  As a result, my building impatience turned into laughter.  Oh, how I wish it was that easy to find patience!

So my new motto based on experiences from last week:  Life hands me obstacles; the Lord hands me opportunies.  Ann Platz says "I am convinced that obstacles can become incredible doors of opportunities to those who choose to pray their way through them".  I did this a lot last week and I think we are on our way back the health and regular schedules!