Monday, January 31, 2011

*WISHING*


Wishing....for summer that is! I like snow...but only when there is lots and lots of it. I'm talking about so much that the kids have trouble walking in it! After that...I am ready for Spring...and I can't wait! I am excited for this new year ...
On a "couponing note"....I spent hours...( yes hours!) clipping coupons and sorting and organizing them yesterday. It was a neccessary evil. Yesterdays paper had lots of inserts...so it was a good deal to get more than one paper. Now...I have to come up with my shopping game plan. We have been tweaking and retweaking our budget to make a good fit. I really have no idea what a good amount is to spend on groceries/toiletries/supplies....I am almost embarrassed to admit this since I have NO CLUE if this is good or bad....just know it is good for us at this time...We have a budget of $300.00 a Paycheck. $200 of that is for food. $100 is for Diapers/toiletries/supplies like garbage bags, ziplocs..laundry/dish detergent etc... I am trying to lower it as much as I can...but there IS 7 of us. What is your budget for food? Is that a lot? Anyone have any ideas?

Monday, January 24, 2011

DEALS...

Yesterday Cory and I snipped our coupons and browsed our circulars to find the best deals for our groceries. I mapped out some of the things I wanted to get at Rite Aid and Walgreens...and then Cory will make a game plan to make it happen for "not much out of our pocket". I am pleased to report that we hardly ever go to wal*mart anymore except for things like diapers, and other must haves that I can't get a good deal on. I think tonight I will map out our food groceries for Price Chopper and Shursave...If you are into the coupons too and shop at Price chopper make sure you stop at their website and print off their coupons too! Target has lots and lots of coupons you can print too and if you do...you can use a manufacturers coupon with it! I definitely am not getting as much stuff at Rite Aid and Walgreens like I did in previous weeks...but just some stuff to put in the pantry.

Some other good ways to save money or be frugal...is to plan your meals around whatever meat is on sale. I usually buy multiples and then freeze them. My sister likes to cook her ground meat and then freeze it in bags...I have tried this, and it works like a charm! I will probably do more of that in the spring. Does anyone else have any good ideas for saving or being frugal? I love trying new things!

OPPORTUNITY...

I must admit...I am trying to live out some of my childhood desires through my kids. I would have loved to take piano lessons....and still might. My children have offered to teach me. I may try this. I have taught myself to play in a manner of speaking...but I would like to "really" play. Esther started first...this will be her 2nd full year of lessons coming up. She has been working so hard at her recital piece. The teacher said it was actually a very hard piece to play, and that just made me so proud of her! I love the fact that she and Isaac will sit down and just play...it actually makes Cory sit down and play more too! As far as Cory goes...he will be more prone to play when he is stressed out, or when he has tons on his plate...it seems to relax him. I know he wishes he could play more. Isaac is coming up on his first full year of lessons too. He is around the same place as Esther in her book due to the fact that he takes drums too. Esther is farther ahead though in terms of timing I think. Practice makes perfect! I will have to catch them playing sometime and post it...even though I am not doing it myself, I am thankful to give them the opportunity to let it happen for them. Speaking of opportunity...Gayle is going to start this coming school year too! (She seems too little...but Esther started the same age...hmmm) Oh well.




....#6 UNDERWAY...

If you think about it this week...say a prayer for my husband. Cory has started his 6th class. This one is Statistics. So far he is doing really well--A's in everything!!! I am so proud of him! He is working very hard. During this class he will also be teaching as usual, and doing all of the many things he does here. He is also running a baseball camp, so he is filling his time up quickly. Speaking of baseball...That starts in March I believe...he is already working on baseball things now...early morning workouts for the kids....clothing...etc.... it will be very tight when this starts. While I don't look forward to seeing him less...I do look forward to the sign of Spring! Many of you have been so good to keep him in your prayers and for that I am so thankful. Please keep me in mind too as I try to pick up some of the slack...or perhaps lessen some of his.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

GROWTH SPURT ANYONE?

Posted by PicasaI still remember holding him in my arms...I still do..but its a little different! What a fine young man he is turning out to be!

ELIJAH...THE SWEET!


Posted by PicasaIt is hard to believe that such a sweet little guy could be so photogenic...and such a family picture destroyer at the same time...Look below at his silly video for the proof.

ELIJAHS FUNNY FACES...

video

ASHER...THE PRECIOUS!

Those big blue eyes just get me every time...He is such a sweet little boy.

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MOMMY/KID MUG SHOTS...

There are not many shots of me with the kiddos since I am the "picture taker" around here. These were fun to do...we love to snuggle each other:-)

What can I say....I love my little boys!
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BROTHERS....

Okay...this was very quickly put together...at night no less...because I got Esthers book report project mixed up with Isaacs....the day I mean. He had been telling me he needed help with his costume and I kept saying ok...ok...we will get it together. So here he is...Abraham. We listened to him make his oral presentation and had to tweak him....school kids wouldnt understand what "the seed of the woman" was....and words like "Mary was a virgin"....or unfortunately maybe they would. Anyhow...I just love him for all that he is :-)
Someone else loves him too! Elijah loves his big brother...and Isaac is so sweet to give him time and play with him.
This is our fancy recycling boxes....and our stuff to recycle...This is where I found him....I just had to snap a picture.
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DEALS....I LOVE'EM

This was one rite aid trip (above) We spent $20.08 and saved $119.46....plus...we have $3 to use next time! Those bottles of Tide are regularly $9.99 a piece! I haven't used Tide in ages! I guess we are stocked up on deoderant for the men...gotta love it!
Posted by PicasaThis was a different Rite Aid trip. We spent $3.74 for ALL of this! it is $74.68 worth of groceries. That is a grand total of $194.14 worth of groceries for only $23.82!!!! Oh Yeah!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

COUPONS...

So...Cory and I have been trying really hard to be more and more frugal. One of the things we have started doing more of is couponing. We would use them here and there before, but not really put much effort into them. I had been doing most of my shopping at Wal*Mart, and buying all of the generic items...and still not being able to make things stretch that far. One of the reasons we did not use the coupons was that it would require you to buy 2 of something to get the deal, and we didnt feel like we could spend that kind of money. We have put a lot of effort into it so far, and have found that we hardly GO to Wal*Mart anymore. We buy most of our groceries at our local stores like Robs Market (Shursave) and Price Chopper. They have their own store coupons, which you can use WITH a manufacturers coupon. I think that Cory spent almost as much as he saved yesterday at Price Chopper. We have been making good use of Rite Aid. Rite Aid will have sales on items and then give you a discount called an UP Reward...which is credit toward your very next purchase. You can use a manufacturers coupon with them as well. For instance...Special K cereal is $4 something a box...Rite Aid had a sale for Buy one get one. I had a BOGO coupon...so We got 4 boxes of cereal for $.70.....not EACH....for all! 70 cents!!!!!! Actually, we came home with over $100 worth of groceries for under $20.00! Some of the items we dont really use, but we are interested in the rewards to purchase the items that we do need. I figure that if I get a bunch of items that I wont use I will donate them to a shelter, or give them away to folks who could use them.

One of the sites I like to go to is "I am that Lady .com" (she is on my side bar) She is from the NY area, and lists a lot of good deals, and places to get them. I think she is also a Christian too, so I like to support that. Would anyone be interested in coming to a coupon seminar if I could arrange her to come to my house? I think the cost is under $10.00 I emailed her, and she seems willing. Let me know ASAP if you are interested. Cory says there are some teachers that he works with that are interested...we might as well make our money work for us!

PROJECT LINUS BLANKETS...

Esther is extending her collection date of the Project Linus Blankets. I am not quite sure who all is making them...so maybe drop me a line, via email, facebook, blog...or call and let me know. It is not too late for you to make one...it can even be a baby blanket..or a "tied fleece blanket." The only requirement is that it is handmade and new! Esther is really excited to do this project, and would love your support! I will get in touch with each of you about the particular date we will collect. Thanks everyone! And also thanks to those who have already given theirs to Esther--you made her day...and someone elses very warm!

Monday, January 03, 2011

PONDERING...

This morning I was sad to see most of my family head back to school. I was pondering with my husband the night before, about how I take for granted the fact that we are together for EVERY holiday...break...snowday...vacation...summer...whatever. The kids are equally naive to the fact that other kids may or may not get to have both parents home for these occasions. God has indeed blessed our little family.

We were also pondering the sermon heard yesterday. It was very good. In fact I had to laugh a little. In a nutshell it was about the fact that your days are indeed numbered and that our main concern should be in making ourselves ready to meet our Maker. Whether we go or He comes. It wasn't exactly said like that...but that is my "nutshell". So we talked about how sometimes our lives seem so busy that our family devotions sometimes take a backseat...we have good intentions...but that is exactly the point. It wont matter what our intentions were...it matters what we really did! If we are too busy to have family devotions...then ....We are TOO BUSY! When it all comes down to it...nothing else matters than pleasing the Lord and following his commands. It was a good pondering. I didn't tell you the reason I had to laugh...I had been reading about the fact that the death of His saints is precious in Gods eyes...which I wanted to think on a little more...and then...this sermon.

Pondering in the shower. So earlier that morning...I did NOT want to wake up....I was SO exhausted...I looked in the mirror and there was purple underneath my eyes...I was really tired. I drug myself into the shower...and groaned. Then the kids started waking up...I made up my mind that I would be upbeat for them. So I started singing. The song I sang was Psalm 122 (I think that is the one.) Anyhow...the first verse is..."I was glad to hear them saying ...to the Lords house let us go..." Okay...fastforward to pondering. How many times do I wake up like that and feel like I just want to go back to bed? Am I ever REALLY excited to go like the psalmist is? I had some serious thinking to do on that. I enjoy church. I enjoy the sermon. Especially ones that are put together with the pastors sheep in mind. I felt guilty. I did not feel joy and gladness...I was incredibly selfish. All I could think of was myself, and not the object on whom that day was created for. Another good ponder. The Lord is good to open my eyes.

Now...early morning pondering today. So the two older kids got up and made themselves some hot chocolate and sat down to do some devotions of their own. At one point they were arguing with each other...finally Esther came to find me and ask me ...doesnt it say that God sews us? I realize she is talking about Him knitting us together in our mothers womb...and I try to explain...

Gayle is upset because nobody had devotions with her this morning...so I say hurry and get ready so we can do it before school. So we read Psalm 139. Anyhow...it is the very same verses that Esther was talking about.

Psalm 139 1-6 , 13-16

O Lord, you have searched me and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely O Lord. You hem me in--behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me to attain.

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.


So I ...(we) pondered this. Ive read these verses tons of times...since I was little. Reading these things to Gayle made me want to explain the meanings of the verses so that she could apply these truths. On the way to school we all talked about it...rather they just listened to me. It is so amazing that God...who doesnt need any of us...who is King of Kings...All Soveriegn...would care about something as insignificant as when I sit or rise, go out or lie down. I asked the kids if they could guess how many hairs I had on my head...they said they didnt know...I said would you like to count them? Isaac gave me a strange look...I said...EXACTLY! You dont want to because you dont CARE! Why would someone who is such a powerful God...CARE about the number of hairs on our head? It just made me really think about the love that God has for me that I am oblivious about...Like the psalmist says...such knowledge is to wonderful and lofty for me to attain...I can't understand it!

We talked about God numbering our days before we were even made! (another death reference!) I am glad that God has a plan for my life before I even was made! Another way that he shows me his love. Of course there is much to ponder in all of those verses. Sometimes I wonder if God is preparing me for something regarding death...which seems scary...but also perfectly appropriate.

I suppose if you lasted through all of this you deserve a congratulations :-) Does anyone else ever feel this way about Gods word? Does it make you weepy too? In a good way!