Monday, November 30, 2009

Well....Did you go???????

Did you go shopping on Black Friday?

I did... we did...

Brian and I were able to go.


OK, so there were a million other shoppers, however, we did not have any little ones, saying "Mom, can I get this?" or "Dad, I need that". So for us, we were alone.

We did good. I think we are just about done with shopping. Wrapping will be the next "big" thing to do.

So how are you coming along with your Christmas preparations?

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Thanksgiving is here this year at our house. I am so excited to have both my husband & my families here this year. We are truly blessed to have them in our lives.

Happy Thanksgiving to all... so many reasons to be thankful!

Count your blessings, name them one by one.
Count your many blessings and it will surprise you what the Lord has done...

Thursday, November 19, 2009


Mommy Optimistic is an exciting, upbeat and positive website for us mommies. From book reviews to recipes to chit chat about our families, this site has much to offer!

As if all of the above were not reason enough to check it out, I will give you one more...

I wrote an article for them...

I revamped my previous post about giving.

If you get a minute check it out and browse the rest of the site!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Giving On A Budget....

This holiday season we are on a budget that is tighter than it has been previous years. I don't want any giving that we would typically do to suffer because of this.

So the Hasbro game deal really was a blessing, not only was I able to pick up games for our family, but I was also able to pick up some for Toys for Tots! That good of a deal can be few and far between though.

Today as I was waiting for the kids at school, I picked up to read my All You magazine. There was an article about giving without spending any money.
Below are a few of the ideas that you can do this holiday season to help others out even if you yourself are short on cash.

Free Rice - At this website you will answer a series of vocabulary questions, for each correct answer, 10 grains of rice are donated. To date 71,067,033,230 grains of rice have been donated to help feed the hungry.

Good Search This is a search engine that donates to a cause of your choice with every search you do... yes, it is that easy!

Care2 This is a click to donate website. Simply go to the website, find a cause you want to donate to and click. You can click once per day per cause.

Of course, if you happen to have a little extra money this holiday season there are certainly some great places that could use some extra help this year.

I **heard** that Toys for Tots have already received double their applications so far this year. This is a reputable organization that has been around for many years.

Another great organization is Compassion. It is a Christian organization that helps children internationally in poverty stricken countries, not only supplying their physical needs, but meeting their spiritual needs as well. As a family last Christmas we decided to support a child in has truly been a blessing for our family in so many ways. I know it would be a blessing to your family too.

Sunday, November 15, 2009


At SeeHere you can receive a free red or white bulb photo ornament, you do not even have to pay shipping.

Once you are at the website, click on photo gifts, scroll down till you see the round white ornament or the red round ornament. The cost will say $12.99. Click on either of these, upload your picture and proceed to check out. Use code mallornament to receive it for free.

**You will need to create and account in order to use any promo code, but that just simply requires you making up a username & password. You do not have to enter any credit/debit card info at all.

I love free!!!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

I am so excited! Little House on the Prairie is coming to the Fox... I MUST score tickets or if I have to I will buy them, someway, somehow. I LOVE this series so much! Melissa Gilbert is actually going to be in it too, she will play Ma Ingalls.

I am hoping that if we are able to go that it turns out much better than our trip to the Fox Theater to see Mary Poppins!

While cleaning, decluttering, I came across our Little House on the Prairie book set. I am feeling the need to read them all again - this time with the kiddos! I think my son would have loved to live in that era..farms, horses, outdoors, gardens,etc - everything he loves!

What are your favorite books to read over and over again?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Couch...

So last week in one of my few posts I told you about the couch that I was so excited to be buying...

Well, after my post about contentment, after our Sunday School lesson on priorities, after the sell of our fridge in a way fell through (the sale of the fridge was going to be money towards our new couch). We posted it for sale on Craigslist and wouldn't you know the first serious inquiry was from the Army Reserve Unit in St. Louis. Their refrigerator went out and were looking for a new one. They had asked if we would take less because the money comes out of the family support fund... really?? How are we supposed to sell it to them. We were not supposed to - we told them they could have and thanked them for their service to our country.

We decided on no new couch.

See the couch that we have now is comfortable. The couch we have now is in good condition. The only issue with the couch we have is with me. I **think** the furniture is dated. Maybe it is or maybe it isn't, the point is we did not NEED a new couch. I could not justify shelling out a few hundred dollars on something that was not a necessity - I say "I" because Brian was content with what we had and had told me that it was my decision if we bought a new one or not. We are still new at living life as a one income household, so I think that our money is better saved for now.

However, I still couldn't get past that they are somewhat dated. So much to my happiness, Target had a sale on slipcovers. I really wasn't sure that was a look I wanted to go for, but I figured I would give it a try. I did and I love it!!! Now I just need to buy me some throw pillows and we will have a "new" couch!

One day we will buy a new couch, when we really need it, until then I will continue using what we have and be content & thankful.

Monday, November 9, 2009


I went to Toys R Us after reading a post from Kaley over at Cha-Ching on a Shoestring about how I can buy seven Hasbro games for .56 each!!

Here is the deal I did...

For $3.99 each, I bought

Chutes and Ladders
Candy Land
Don't Spill the Beans
Ants in the Pants
Hi-Ho Cherry-O

I received a $10 gift card for spending $25 or more on Hasbro games, will send in for a $2 rebate on each of the above listed games to Hasbro ( the rebate form can be found online here or you can find them at Toys R Us in the board game section.)

So my final total..

-10.00 gift card
-14.00 rebate money

TOTAL $3.93...divide that by the seven games and you get .56 each (this does not include tax)

Bring on the family game nights....after Christmas of course!!

If you already have some or most of these games or maybe you don't have any young children, this is perfect for Toys for Tots too!!!

Friday, November 6, 2009

It is Finer Things Friday...

A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones. Proverbs 14:30

Wow... what a stick it to you verse!!! I honestly had not heard this verse before or if I read it, heard it.. I did not heed it.

Contentment is something that I struggle with at times. It is far too easy to look around and take notice of where everyone else is at in their life's journey, compare it to where you are and fill your heart with discontent. My struggle isn't always with material things, it is with spiritual things, it is with emotional things. Regardless of where the discontent lies, it can easily harden your heart.

I have two things that if I allow myself to ponder on, I can easily fall into a state of dissatisfaction.

The first thing is our house.. bottom line *I* think it is too small. We are a family of six in a three bedroom home that is around 1500 square feet, are you feeling my clausterphobia yet? When I drive around and look at larger homes, go to family or friends whose homes are larger, I could easily fill up with envy IF I allowed it.

The second thing, is not a thing at all and is something that is much harder. It is a person, it is my dad. My dad passed away almost ten years ago. I miss him so much. I have to be careful though, sometimes while thinking about him, I start thinking about how my kids will never know him, at least here on earth. I know that he would have adored them and they him. I think about my mom not getting to grow old with him, that makes me sad for her.. it makes me envy those whose father is still living. It is hard. Our family has been through alot since he has been gone, some great times.. weddings, births, etc. Some sad times.. loss of loved ones, miscarriages. He would have been our family support during the sad times and would have been the one leading us in a prayer of thanksgiving for the happy ones.

I have come to a place of contentment though for both issues..

So our house is small, but it is ours (ok technically it is Wells Fargo). It is a roof over our heads, but most of all it is a safe haven for our family and we call it home. Many families live in much larger houses than ours and still cannot call it a home.

Yes, my dad is not with us. Yes, I totally hate that my kids do not have their grandfather here. But I know that this separation is only temporary. I know that one day we will be reunited and my children will meet their grandpa face to face and will live side by side with him for eternity. I am so thankful for the legacy he left our family. I would never trade his death for more time if it meant that he was any other kind of father than what he was.

Contentment is a choice and as if wanting to keep my bones in tact weren't enough, I choose to be content because anything less robs you of true joy and a place of peace.

Contentment is a finer thing in life!

Check out some more finer things at Amy's Finer Things Friday.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Shame On Me...

I have neglected my blog this week! It has been quite the week so far, alot accomplished.

Monday I worked around the house, nothing exciting for sure.

Tuesday, I spent the day working an odd job to earn some cash. We are buying a new couch and I am bound and determine not a penny of it will come out of our general fund or savings fund, it will be all from things sold, odd jobs worked, etc. We should have it by the weekend, which is perfect since the one I want is at Weekends Only. Tuesday evening was my son's awards ceremony for flag football. It was so neat! The guest speaker was the mascot for the Kansas City Chiefs. He is an amazing speaker with a great testimony!

Moving on to Wednesday, I accomplished much in the way of cooking. I went to the grocery store and sadly went over my budget, but am hoping to make that up by saving in next weeks budgeted amount. Anyway, I brought home all my meat (I still stuck to my less than $2lb rule) cooked it all up, divided it, put the appropriate seasoning in it and froze it. So my dinners for the next week or so will be very easy!!

Today I am getting our family room ready for its new tenant - the couch! I am so excited. I am going to try to do a little makeover in there, I love rearranging rooms, problem is I am so decorating challenged.

Have a great day everyone!!

Oh and one more thing, could you all say a prayer that we will find our memory card for our camera... I am so bummed. Fortunately, Brian has made it a habit that as soon as we get back from somewhere that we took pictures, he immediately saves them on the computer. So even if we don't find it, no pics are lost. I just don't want to buy a new memory card!!! Thanks!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Calling All Steven Curtis Chapman Fans...

Tonight at 9:00 CST Steven will be hosting a live webcast on Facebook to talk about his upcoming album called Beauty Will Rise. This will be his first album release since his daughter Maria passed away. Emotional I am sure. He and his wife have always been an inspiration. Even if you are not an official Facebooker, you can still watch and participate in tonights webcast with Steven Curtis Chapman.

Have a great day everybody!!!