Saturday, May 24, 2008

I couldn't help but show one more video from Stacy McDonald's blog ~ Your Sacred Calling. Isn't she a doll?

Tradition Azalea

Friday morning, the children were out of school for a teacher's work day. Brenda had been to a birthday party the night before and spent the night. When I picked her up that morning, we stopped by Lowe's to get some more paint for the kids' fort. We found some beautiful azaleas for sale for $2 each. Last year I bought 2 and then Artie bought me 2 more for Mother's day and they were about $15 each. I bought up 10 thinking Troy would plant them for me when I got home. Well... the best laid plans...Troy didn't feel good and spent most of the afternoon sleeping.

The pretty pots lined my front steps as long as I could stand it and Emily and I got out there this evening and planted them all. Hopefully, these will do better than the 3 I killed last year!!! I'm definitely going to save my receipt this time - they will give you your money back if they aren't living for a year!!

Gardening in a little space!!!

(I saw this video on Your Sacred Calling - Stacey McDonald's blog)

and to think... I've said the reason I don't garden more is because we aren't in the country and don't have the room I need!!! This will inspire you to get out there and do it!!

By Wisdom

Do not be envious of evil men,
Nor desire to be with them;
For their minds devise violence,
And their lips talk of trouble.

By wisdom a house is built.
And by understanding it is established.
And by knowledge the rooms are filled
With all precious and pleasant riches.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Paper Back Swap

I have so enjoyed my membership with Paper Back Swap. It's great and it's free!!

You just list the books you are willing to swap and then when someone wants one of your book, you mail it to them (you pay shipping your books and books are shipped to you free).

I listed and mailed many of our unwanted books. Here are some of the books I've gotten so far...

A Daily Rate by Grace Livingston Hill (my new second favorite writer)

Five Children and It (Emily's school book for next year)

Five Little Peppers and How it Grew (Emily's school book for next year)

Mary Poppins (Emily's school book for next year)

Pilgrim's Progress (Emily's school book for next year)

The Pursuit of God (Brenda's next devotional)

Every Man's Battle (Troy's new read)

Career's Working with Animals (for Brenda)

Whispers Down the Lane (Brenda read and loved - a youth book from Beverly Lewis)

You get two free credits for signing up and then a credit every time you mail someone one of your books.

If anyone trys it out, let me know... :-)

Triple Coupon Sale!!!

Last week I went to Shelby (30 minutes away) to a triple sale at Harris Teeter. I did okay, but they have a lot of restrictions. You can triple 3 like coupons and only 20 per day. I saved about $50 and was talking with the cashier. She said that they weren't very busy because everyone was at the BiLo triple sale!!

What, we have a BiLo in Gaffney!! I haven't heard about a triple sale and just drove 30 minutes to come here. Come to find out, the triple sale wasn't in Gaffney, but it was at all 3 of the BiLo's in Gastonia (about 40 minutes from our house).

When I got home I talked with Brenda and we decided to go ahead and check it out. When we got there, there was no triple sign posted out front or in the building. It wasn't in the sale paper. We stopped and asked the manager and she said yes mam, have a good time. The only limit - only 10 of the same item!!!

We did so good, buy I didn't have many coupons left since my coupon lady on the Internet stopped selling them. We got all we could.

Sunday when the papers and new coupons came out I got 10 papers at Wal-Mart. I gathered up all the coupons and Troy and I hit all 3 BiLo's first thing Monday morning.

Here are our totals for my shop with Brenda and then 3 with Troy...

Totals groceries purchased $765. Total Money spent $147!!!! Money saved $618!!!! YEAH!!! I LOVE TRIPLE SALES LIKE THAT!!!

Maybe I can get some pictures of my pantry taken soon?? Some of my freebies were soy sauce, soap, shampoo, conditioner, frozen biscuits, teriyaki sauce, deodorant (men's and women's), hot sauce, pasta salad, ranch dressing, rice mixes, potato chip dip, butter, gum... That's just off the top of my head. Stocked up on a lot of soda's (all caffeine free - Sierra mist, lemonade - yellow and pink, a new orange Sierra mist, Hawaiian punch, tea, diet Pepsi) for this summer's outings.

Right now I am working on filling up my freezer. Food Lion is having hamburger for $.99/ lb this week. I try and never buy it for more than that. We usually use 5 to 7 pounds / meal and that is about my limit for meat. We love meals from hamburger - tacos, spaghetti, hamburgers on the grill, Beef Nacho Casserole, Enchilada casserole in the crock pot, I use a little in soups. Liking Mexican and Italian as much as we do, it seems there is always meals to make needing hamburger!!

Today's Errands

It seems like it has been forever since I have been able to be on my blog!!! I've missed writing about our family!! :-)

Let's see if I can get some post up today maybe???

I have lots of errands to do today.

Here's my list...

~ stop by YMCA and pay for Emily's summer swimming lessons

~ Hamrick's - pick up 3 birthday presents for Brenda's friends

~ Curves for exercises with Emily

~ Lowe's for paint for the fort, blinds and 9 tomato cages

~ Library - turn in Emily's old books and get new ones

~ Food Lion - milk and sales (hamburger - .99/lb!!!)

~ Post Office - mail book for book swap

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Mitten Strings for God - Chapter 5

Book study with Dawn from By Sun and Candlelight...

Chapter 5 - Simplicity

I'm so far behind in my book study. I am hoping to catch up a little bit by bit. This is such a good book, I don't want to drop it!!

Simplicity!!! I think that has become over the years one of my favorite words!! If I could just have a little more simplicity in my life…

Here are a couple of my favorite quotes from this book...

"we are the ones who make our own lives more complicated than they need to be. We set the bar too high, take on too much, turn small doings into big ones."

"it can be a challenge just figuring out where to draw the line."

"In simplicity there is freedom ~ freedom to do less and to enjoy more."

Ways we work towards simplicity in our family...

~ use cash only - if the money isn't there for it, we don't do it :-)

~ pare down and give away - there is always a bag being filled to take to Goodwill to thin down all our "STUFF"

~ have family outings (all or just a few) for presents - Artie, Brian and Troy, all attended their very first professional football game together for Artie and Troy's birthday. That will be remembered long after any toy or game they could have gotten. We've been to tea houses (girls), plays and water slides (celebrating 3 birthdays in our family and 1 in our close friends who went with us). There have been picnics for Mother's Day and circus tickets hanging on the Christmas tree. For Emily and my last birthday, we all went horseback riding. Who really needs more stuff? Many of these memories will last forever.

~ sometimes we combine birthday celebrations. Emily (January) has celebrated with Granny (Granny) and me (November - I waited a while - until the money was there!!). :-) The little boys are all looking forward to an alligator party this summer where they will get their alligator pool - to help those long hot summer days pass by peacefully!!! :-)

~ shop at the Dollar Store. All our children buy or make presents for each other at Christmas and birthdays. It isn't about the cost of an item, but the heart behind it. Brian loved the big, gaudy silver jewelry the twins got him for Christmas. They were so excited; they knew that it would be just the perfect thing for him. They were a little sad because they wanted to find a driver's license for Troy. Terry got him a play cell phone - cause he knew he'd been wanting his own phone. Was it the real phone Troy had been wanting - no, but Troy loved it because it showed Terry's heart was for him and he knew his desires and passions. Each one picked out the perfect potholder or serving spoon for the grandmother. No just throwing something in a buggy, we had to find just the perfect gift for each special child to give the people they love.

~plan your meals and shop once a week - It is such a help during the day when I know what is already planned for dinner and have all the ingredients in the kitchen waiting for me!!! So much money saved from those crazy days where you have to run out and get McDonald's or pizza because you haven't thought ahead about what's for dinner.

~stock a pantry - This is something I have just begun in the last couple of years. It is so helpful to stock up on things when they go on sale. It's nice to know there is a cake and some icing in there if there is an occasion you haven't fully planned for. Yesterday the boys reminded me they needed to take some thing to school for the Children's Home Drive - they had a list of needed items. I was able to go in the pantry and find several packs of diaper wipes that were on the list of needed items. Not only were they there and ready for me, I got them free from Food Lion with coupons. :-)

~ use a crock pot!!! Simplicity at it's best!!!

~ teach your children to wash their own clothes - Everyone over 8 in our home washes their own clothes. It's almost time to teach the twins!!!

~glory in your efforts - If you have to wash clothes anyway, you might as well enjoy your time at the clothesline. Notice the birds, talk with God. Nobody really likes to do laundry (that I know!!!), but I can find satisfaction knowing I'm blessing my family. We try to teach the children the same principle in there schooling. You have to do it, you might as well make the best of it.

~Do the next thing~ I heard a talk given by Elizabeth Elliot several years ago. Her husband had just died (I think it was the second one, not Jim?) and she was trying to figure out what she was gonna do now. She said she went in the bedroom and open the curtains, then made the bed. She just did the next thing she knew needed to be done. Things get crazy around here often!!! Many times since then I have just worked off the same principle - just do the next thing. Load the washer, is it going? Load the dishwasher. Make sure everyone has what they need for the next day. Just doing the next thing.

~Don't worry~~ Matthew 6:25-34 (New International Version)

25"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?
26Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?
27Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?
28"And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin.
29Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.
30If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?
31So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' 32For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.
33But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

So, how do you all keep things simple??? :-)

May 1st - Barefoot Day!!!

When I was growing up, May 1st was one of my favorite days!!! That was the day Mama would let me go barefooted outside!!! YEAH!!!! My children have been asking how many more days!! It's finally here!!!

Stephen and Bobby are having a nice May 1 - their first grade classes are on a field trip to Strawberry Hill. They will get a tour, a picnic, a tractor ride, a snack of ice cream and then strawberries to bring home!!