Thursday, February 24, 2011

Leave a Message After the Beep...

My oldest daughter who is 12 and my youngest daughter who is 3 have a nightly ritual.

They have a long drawn out usually starts with my oldest tickling her little sister, then my youngest pretending to hide from her.

It always ends with "I love you sissy!"

It always melts my heart.

Last night though it started diffrently than normal. My oldest started calling out for Lulu (that is what I call my youngest), the next thing I know Lulu is hiding behind me saying "Lulu is not here right now, please leave a message after the beep! Beeeeeeeeeeep!"

We do not even have an answering machine, so I am not sure where she heard that, but it had my oldest and me cracking up!!

Kids say the funniest things!!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Vacation Challenge-Week 3

So my week was not as productive as I would have hoped, at least in regards to earning money for our vacation.

In fact..I am a little embarrassed..

Writing projects - $8.50

I started the week still needing $231.36

Ended the week needing $222.86

However, I scored some great deals at Target this week using coupons found on their website.

For $7.90 after coupons I scored..

-Pair of jeans for myself
-Long sleeve shirt for my 3 year old
-dental floss
-toilet paper
-All Purpose spray cleaner w/ bleach
-Fabric softener
-Dishwasher gel tabs
-Pencil sharpener for my daughter

The jeans were a great deal...they were on clearance for $4.98, but I used a $5 off women's jeans that you can find here. You can print each Target coupon twice, so I scored two pair of free jeans!!

For the other items check out Money Saving Mom's Target coupon match up!

So while I hated that I did not do so well earning money for our trip, I was able to save money on our budget.

Last night I heard someone say "A dollar saved is better than a dollar earned because you don't have to pay taxes".

I feel better......

Thursday, February 17, 2011

I am the Biggest Loser!


I have not posted too much about it, but along with some of our extended family, my husband and I have decided that this year, 2011, we would make it our year to lose weight and get healthy. I did post about it being one of only two New Year's Resolutions that I made.

We have made several changes in our eating habits and have added exercise into our weekly routines. My husband has access to a gym and uses it every day that he works. I joined a new gym here in town that is extremely affordable. I hated to add that extra monthly expense, but figured I could pay the small monthly charge now to exercise or I could pay a monthly co-pay for weight related medication that could be necessary down the road if I continued to gain weight.

Anyway, I am happy to announce that I was the "biggest loser" at our first scheduled weigh-in since our intial, embarrassing weigh-in on January 1st.

I lost 14.4 pounds and my husband lost 17 pounds. I had the higher percentage though.

Yeah me!!!

Most of the others did well too. I was proud of us all.

I love that my husband and I are working on this together. We hold ourselves accountable to each other and we are each other's biggest cheerleaders.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Daily Schedules

I have found that I can be busy all day long and go to bed not accomplishing one thing that I had on my mental "to do" list.

Frustrating? Yes.

Some in my family, upon hearing my complaints of my seemingly scatteredbrainness (is that even a word? Doubt it..) suggested that I have adult ADD. While they were just kidding, sometimes I wonder, I distract very easily.

If I do not have a list, if I do not write it down, I will may (gotta give myself some credit) forget to do.

Another issue that may or may not happen.. I will never admit if it has or not.. is I can see me getting lost on the computer, printing out coupons, reading other people's blogs about how they do it guess is that they spend time doing it and not on the computer or learning how to do a variety of crafts..and when that happens if that were to happen..time is lost which leaves me scrambling to do what needs to be done for the day.

I have found that making a to do list and having a schedule keeps me from forgetting anything, as well as, keeps my day balanced. I can then go to bed feeling accomplished!

That's a pretty good feeling!!

Check out this cool schedule printout..well, I like it anyway! Daily Schedule from Buttoned Up.

Linking up to We Are That Family.

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Vacation Challenge Week 2

Last week I told you about my vacation challenge.

I need $440.70 to pay for the activities that we are wanting to do.

The previous week I earned $97.34.

This brought me to a new total of $343.36.

This week earnings went down like this..

$15- I won this from our family's Biggest Loser challenge (I am all too excited to share that with you later!)

$50- This is actually in the form of a Visa gift card that I was not expecting. It was a reward card from our bank!!

$47- From writing projects.

The total for the week is $112 Woot!! Woot!! I am at almost $210...getting close to my half way point!!

I am loving this challenge!

Monday, February 14, 2011

**HOT** Amazon Deal!!!

Right now you can grab this Barbie and Ken set at Amazon for only $5!. It is eligible for free shipping with Prime (You can sign up for a free membership for a month)

Happy Valentine's Day!!!

We (my husband and I) somehow orchestrated us a night out Friday night for our Valentine's Day. We went to dinner AND a movie. It was so nice.

While the hubs and my Valentine's Day celebration is done since he has to work, I decided to treat the kids tonight to a Papa Murphy's heart shaped pizza, IBC Root Beer, a fave for them & cupcakes.

shhh...they don't know.

In other Valentine's Day news, my eight year old daughter was asked to be someone's Valentine for the first time that was not a blood relative and he asked her to go see a movie with him and his parents.

Say it with me - "awwwwwwwwwww......."

Happy Valentine's Day!!

P.S. If you are interested in making an easy peasy Valentine's Day wreath check it out here.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Never Say Never - My New Avia ITone Shoes

Every. Single. Time. I have a "never" thought, I always (or so it seems)end up doing it.

My dad was a pastor and he traveled quite abit for missions, revivals, retreats, etc., I specifically remember telling myself that I will NEVER marry someone that is away often (I was a big old chicken at the time & didn't like my dad not being home at night) I had no intention of being alone at night.

I married a military guy = gone for days at a time. He is now out of the military, but now he works nights.

Nice, huh?

When Facebook first became popular, I said the N word again.

Yup, you guessed it... on it and checking it daily. I check e-mail, then Facebook.

So when Sketchers came out with the Shape Ups, I thought.."Man, those are ugly..I will never where those!" I even had a conversation a week or so ago with my best friend about them. almost guessed it. I did not buy the Sketchers - not in my budget - but I bought Avia's version of them (they were a sale that fit my budget). They are ITones.

Not only did I buy them...I totally love them!!!!

Here goes..

I am never going to win a million dollars...NEVER!!!

You think it will work???

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

My Vacation Challenge To Myself

I love a challenge, don't you?

My family and by "my" I mean my family (husband, kids and I), my mom, my sister and her family & my brother and his family, try to a vacation all together every other summer or every couple of summers.

We decided that this summer would be "our" summer to go. We are an ocean/beach family. There is something about standing on the shoreline, looking out into the open water and thinking abour our Creator. I am in awe at His creation of our world everytime.

ok..ok back to the challenge.

My sister and her husband graciously offered to take care of everyone's lodging.

I know, right?

That is probably the biggest expense when it comes to vacations.

She rented each family a condo in Myrtle Beach, SC.

Yes, she is an awesome big sis!!

Well, as you may remember my husband and I at the beginning of the year made some financial goals and we would like to stick to them, so I knew that I needed to become creative in how I was going to save for our vacation.

With us all staying in condos, for the most part we will be eating in, with each family taking turns hosting dinner. So I will be using my regularly budgeted grocery money that week for food. There will be a few meals eaten out however.

Gas will be the same, we will use our regularly budgeted gas money that week + a little more. Not sure how much more, it will depend on the price of gas.

So we need to come up with our "fun" money. There are some attractions that we know that we would like to do while there which involve purchasing tickets. Multiply that times six and some of the adventures can be pretty costly.

But we want to do them.

So I have made it my mission challenge to have these completely paid for before we leave.

I do this so that we do not touch any savings.

I do this so we can stay on track with our goals.

I do this because it is fun - I love challenges.

A couple of weeks ago, I went online to get prices for what we are hoping to do while there..other than spend a ton of time on the beach.

I came up with the total....gulp...$498.70..YIKES!!!

After digesting that..I went online to find coupons..surely there are coupons or at least group rates, right?!

There were coupons for all, but with one activity it was cheaper to do a group rate.

I brought my $498.70 down to $440.70.

Still alot of money.

But I knew/know I could do this, so I started last week.

I amazingly came up with $97.34!!!

I am almost a quarter of the way there!!

Here is how it broke down:

$9.60 - Ebates

$17.33 - Ebay (I reflects ebay/paypal charges already subtracted)

$66.00 - Writing Projects

$4.41 - I am not sure where it came from!

I will let you know how I continue to do....

Friday, February 4, 2011

JOY Project January Update & What We Plan To Do For February

This year we decided to do a JOY project every month for 2011.

For January it was decided to be the Humane Society (you can read about it here.)

We ended up with a box full of items to donate, the kids collected change and saved their money to give to the Humane Society.

I am so proud of them.

February's JOY project came when I learned about a young man (teenager) who lost his mom in a car accident just a few weeks ago. His mother's testimony had been shared to me and she sounds like an amazing Christian woman and mother. I can only imagine how hard it will be for this boy to have to finish growing up without the influence his mother. We want him to know that while we may not know him personally, we are praying for him just the same and hopefully will be able to send him some encouragement. The plan is once we find out a little bit more of his interests we can make a fun care box for him.

My mom is my best 35 I would be at a loss without her.

I cannot imagine his pain.

We also have a long time family friend, who in 2010 experienced losses (notice it's plural) that most people will not endure and certainly not in less than a year.

One of her losses was her only daughter, the mother of her only granddaughter, who she is now raising.

As a mom of four beautiful children, it hurts too much to even try to imagine what her pain is like.

For her I have a few things I want us to do for her to let her know that she is in our prayers everyday.

If you will..I would appreciate prayers for both of these individuals and their families.

Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting? The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ

I am so thankful that there can be Victory in death through Jesus Christ!

Linking up to Amy's Finer Things for Finer Things Friday

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Winter Vote

We will return to your normally scheduled blogging....