Something to hold on to...

"Today I am one day nearer home than ever before. One day nearer the dawning when the fog will lift, mysteries clear, and all question marks straighten up into exclamation points!
 I shall see the King!"     Vance Havner

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

We needed toilet paper...


For over two years we have never run out of toilet paper, nor have I paid full price. Today I opened the last package. To my delight (delight over toilet paper--I need to get a life) I was able to get all of this TP plus everything else for a total of $35.18. There are some picey items in this picture. Before sales and coupons and store perks it would have been $267.24, and at least $124.00 after the store sales. We are set for cold medicine, TP, and Chex Mix, plus I have six new make up items and three new perfume sets to keep me beautiful and sweet smelling! I could have paid $20.00 for the TP alone, but it was well worth it to only spend $15.00 more on all the rest. Buying the cold medicine helped me make money and turn around and buy the TP for free. Free is good.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas 2010

Everyone says, "Have a good Christmas", yet I wonder sometimes how do we really determine that? I know some would determine it by the number or expense of the gifts that you give or receive, others by whether you get to see your family or not, and some by the dinners you prepare or attend.

Today I have tried to take a cue from Mary (yes, THAT Mary) and have taken some time to ponder these things in my heart. ( I love that portion of scripture by the way, it is found in Luke, chapter 2) This was a different year for me. Perhaps it is age, or wisdom, or just contentment, but I had a very hard time putting things that I wanted on a list to give to my husband and sons. There were no big gifts that I wanted, and really, the small things were not huge desires. I love the simple gifts that I received, but I would not rate this Christmas at all by the gifts I gave or received.

Family is always important to me, and yes this year was pivotal in the family category. This was the first Christmas that my husband's side did not have a "home" to go home to. His mom and dad are settled in their new independent living apartment, and while they are doing well, it is not the home where everyone was used to having Christmas Dinner . For that reason, we decided to host the dinner for husband's parents, siblings, spouses, our own boys, and one nephew and his wife. There were 12 of us, and actually that is a crowd in our house. We pulled out the Christmas dishes that Mom had owned, used her glassware, her silverware, tablecloth, and numerous other items to put on a feast, that hopefully followed some of the family traditions.

It was wonderful.

Yes, I worked hard, partly due to the fact that everyone was traveling and it would be difficult for them to prepare much, but mostly because I wanted to. Now, the fact that we were able to share Christmas with them was indeed wonderful, and the dinner was adequate, I still cannot say that those reasons made it a "good" Christmas. For each family member I got to see, there are many more that I missed seeing. So that cannot be the reason.

It is so much more.

For me, it has to come down to my faith. Christmas IS what it is all about. I know that without this moment in history that HIS story would not be revealed. I know that the beginning of Christmas as we in America know it has pagan roots, that the true event probably did not occur on December the 25th, yet those facts do not change the real story of what happened over 2000 years ago. This year I have been blessed to have the real meaning sink in all over again. The God of the Universe came down as the greatest gift of all. It was a "good" Christmas, personally, because I feel I "get" it.

Truth be told, it really has nothing to do with gifts, dinners, or even your family. It is all about HIM, and I have to say that is very good.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Returning the Favor

The past few days I have been out of town, at my sister's house. She had surgery earlier in the week and I worked it out at school so that I could help her when she returned home. I was so glad to be able to do this, because she has done the same for me, many times. On Thursday I left my house early and was able to be at her's by about 9:00 her time. She was slow going and it was obvious she needed someone there with her. Other than fixing lunch, fixing supper, and the clean up involved, I felt I did not do too much that day. She had worked so hard before her surgery and her house was immaculate! That night I went with her husband on a few errands and that was about it. Friday morning I did her errands, and did quite a bit of grocery shopping. I think my brother in law was quite happy to have me do that so that he did not have to. After fixing lunch I started laundry and dishes and a few other odds and ends. I cut my trip a bit shorter than I had planned due to the approaching snow storm, so I left after just the two days. I know she appreciated it though, and I was so happy to be able to do it.

I am so thankful that my sister and I are so close. We lost our mom over 30 years ago, so we need to lean on each other from time to time.

Send a prayer her way for a speedy recovery!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Christmas is Coming

I decided to post a couple of pictures of my living room. I have a few changes this year from our normal Christmas decor. First, I painted the fireplace this year and I love it. The brick fireplace had become so dark and dingy and I felt like it was a black hole in my living room. I love the new color. It shows up a bit "whiter" in pictures than it really is, the color is more of a creamy white. I like switching out the wreath on the hearth and being able to actually see it.

Second, I purchased a red slip cover for my couch and a bunch of new pillows. I have wanted a red couch for ages, but I am just not ready to spend the money, so I opted for a slip cover and it makes me happy, especially with Christmas decorations.

My decorations are much more simple this year, just enough to make me happy and not stressed.

Our Red Slipcovers


Christmas 2010


Saturday, November 13, 2010

I Love my Life

As I sit at this computer, there is an unusual chorus resounding in my house. I would not quite call it 3 part harmony, but husband and both grown sons are snoring away. I don't mind so much. This is the first time in over 3 months that both boys have been home at the same time and it feels good. Youngest had a birthday this week and we had planned on going to see him for the evening last night. Plans changed suddenly (practically as we were walking out the door) and now both boys are home. We put together a dinner of steaks on the grill, and I put together a pumpkin pie while they were on their way. These moments do not occur very often.

.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Let the baking begin!




I am ready to bake! This is the haul I picked up at Walgreens today! Before coupons it would have cost $72.25. I spent a total of $14.20. I did a deal much like this last year at Walgreens and I was excited to see the deal pretty much repeated. I did have $20.00 in Register Rewards left over from making money last week on the Sinex deals so that helped quite a bit.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Golden Cream Soup (Cheesy Potato Soup)

I have had a couple of requests to post the recipe for my potato soup. It is yummy and pretty easy, so here it is.

Golden Cream Soup

2 cans chicken broth
3-4 peeled and diced potatoes
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup chopped onion
2 TBS butter
2-3 peeled and sliced carrots
2 TBS flour
2 cups of milk
1/2 lb cubed Velveeta cheese
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 TBS Parsley flakes
1 tsp salt
dash pepper

Saute the onion and celery in butter until just translucent. Add chicken broth, seasonings, and carrots and simmer until carrots are almost tender. Add potatoes and cook until they are tender. Mix flour with milk and add to pot. Cook until thickened then remove from heat and stir in cheeses until melted. Once cheese has been added , do not boil or cheese will separate.


Yield about 4 servings.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Winner Winner Yummy Dinner

I so loved reading about all of your first dates. I think these stories would make a lovely coffee table book!

Congratulations to 3 Boys and a Girl! You are the winner of my date night prize package!

I will email you for the details on how you will receive your prize!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Sunday Savings!



I have not had a marathon shopping event for quite some time. This felt good. $22.66 for everything pictured and I got back a $10.00 Register Reward at Walgreens. The canned vegetables are normally .80 cents a can at Dollar General, but were on sale for .45 each. Lucky me that I had a bunch of coupons for a dollar off of three cans, making them .12 cents a can. I have not bought canned vegetables since the Del Monte deal at Target one year ago. (They were 20 cents a can, so I beat that deal!)

Remember, I can afford to spend $22.00 on these items without buying meat, etc., because of my stockpile.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Soup's on!

I love this time of year. I love everything about fall. I love how the leaves change and I even love watching them in their free fall to the ground. I think it is so cool that God decided to give us that last burst of color before putting everything to sleep for the winter. He could have just let them drop as they were.

Tonight I made a big pot of cheesy potato soup. Actually my potato soup is so much more. It has onions, celery, carrots, and potatoes, all simmered in a rich chicken broth, and then loaded with yummy cheese. It smelled so good as it simmered away in the kitchen. I lit a few candles, then turned on the furnace for the first time. Such a cozy evening. I was even lucky enough to get to see our oldest son briefly tonight, as he and his friends are on their way to Florida for a few days. Our house was the meeting place for some of them along the way.

Tonight the temps here will drop below freezing. Tomorrow the warm coat will come out along with gloves for sure. Unfortunately, at some point tomorrow I will probably complain about the cold, but I really do love it right now.

Permed!

What we will do for the sake of beauty!

Recently I decided to get a perm in my somewhat long poker straight gray/white/brown hair. (No, it is not striped) The hair is still brown is underneath for some reason, and the rest is a mixture of pure white and gray. You have seen my pictures.

Well, my poker straight hair seems to have a mind of its own. The first perm was less than 2 weeks ago, and last night I underwent the procedure again. I have an amazing hairdresser who wants to see me happy, so she worked late to help insure that I like my locks.

I had not had a perm for about 17 years, and my hair color has changed drastically in those years. This was uncharted territory for me, and for my hairdresser, who had no idea how it would take.

Well...the thing is, I must have pretty resistant hair because, it still is not curly in some places, and very curly in others. The brown underneath hair curled like it was 1993 and had tight ringlets, other areas have a wave.

I will post new pictures soon, but now I need to go and perfect my style for the day. Wish me luck.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Contest is now closed / Winner has been notified!


Don't these two meals look yummy? I LOVE orange chicken! For years I would have it in a restaurant and wish that I could make it at home. My son and I tried once, and it was okay, but not very easy. Now that Wanchai Ferry makes one in this handy kit I can have it anytime I want.

Sometimes my husband and I want something different to eat, but really want a quiet evening at home. These meals are perfect for a "Stay in and go all out night". A yummy dinner plus a movie are what we are all about.

I was fortunate to receive these two meals courtesy of Macaroni Grill and Wanchai Ferry through MyBlogSpark. I was also given a gift card to use for anything else I needed to make the dinner or date night special.

Good news! I am able to give away the same gift to one of my readers. One of you will receive both the Macaroni Grill kit, and the Wanchai Ferry kit, along with a $25.00 pre-paid VISA gift card. Create your own date night at home and enjoy a delicious dinner with little work.

Here is how to enter: Tell me where you and your spouse went for your first date. Our first date was a college winter banquet. The picture is at the bottom of my blog. We looked pretty good together for a first date, huh? I wish he had kept that jacket though, because I am sure it will come back in style...

Post a comment to this post telling me about you and your spouse's first date. On Monday, Nov. 1st I will select one winner through Random.org Be sure to include your email address so I can contact you.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Here's to Birthdays

I have not been around here for a while, and the thing is, I really like doing this. I just get caught up with other stuff and then I forget about this little project of mine.

I do want to talk tonight about my birthday. On Friday I turned 54. For some odd reason that sounds so much older than 53. I think it is because I couldn't wait to turn 53. Some of you know of that shadow that was hanging over me for my entire 52nd year. My oldest brother passed away at that age, and I just wanted to prove that 52 was much too young for that. I could not let that happen to me, especially after my health problems the previous year. So I longed to be 53. It was a celebration in and of itself.

So now, even if 54 sounds "much" older, I was pretty happy to be having another birthday. In the weeks preceding this day, I would see the short spots on TV from the American Cancer Society where a guy with a guitar is singing a slow rendition of the Happy Birthday song. Its intention was to celebrate birthdays in general for cancer survivors. I decided a few weeks ago that he was singing to me personally and thought it was quite thoughtful of them. Okay, so maybe he was not really, but it is one of those commercials that take on a very special meaning to those that relate to it.

It is a sweet celebration really, just to be having another birthday. I just cannot take them for granted any more. I know we all complain sometime about getting older, and I know that everyday I have a new ailment, but I should not complain about anything really.

What a blessed woman I am. I celebrated on Friday with my family, showered with gifts, enjoying a dinner out and feeling so very loved.

Here's to birthdays.

Friday, October 15, 2010

My name is Anita, and I am a terrible blogger

I want to blog more often. I just have lacked creativity.

I will be back. For those of you that know me, I will probably post something on Facebook when I return full force.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

STRIKE

As most of my good friends already know, this is day 3 of a strike between our teacher's union and our school district. I would much rather be in class than on the picket line, so I am praying tonight for an agreement to be reached. My mind is pretty consumed with this right now.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Much ado about everything!

What a busy weekend. On Friday as soon as I got home from school we headed off to take youngest to his college town... without an apartment. We were glad that he has a friend whose mom was willing to take him in until an apartment opens up, and hopefully that will happen this week. We were also glad that he has an art studio that can hold some extra things.

Saturday I dove into things around here and re-claimed my house! I tackled youngest's room first and brought it up to my standards. Then I went through room by room putting things away and finding places for more of the things we brought home from husband's folk's house. Problem is, we are still bringing things home and trying to find room for them. I am almost paranoid about finding places right away, lest my home looks like one featured on a popular TV show about people with extreme clutter.

Saturday evening I was struck by some strange bug that threw my tummy for a loop which altered our plans a bit. It finally settled down around midnight.

Today was a full day, beginning with church. We then went to the folk's for Sunday brunch at the apartment complex. After that we went to their old house to do more cleanup and to bring a car load of things home. (most of those have already found their place) I also put 12 quarts of diced tomatoes up for the freezer. We were honored today to attend a 100th birthday party of the oldest and longest member of our church. What a great celebration!

Our oldest son popped in later this afternoon for a brief visit on his way through town, so he, husband and I and our friend all went out to get a bite to eat. It was a short visit, but it was good to spend a little time with him.

I think I am ready for school tomorrow, to greet and meet our new class, and to get the year underway.
After this weekend, I might even relax a bit at school!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

So Long Summer

Tomorrow is the first day of school. I am never ready for the first day of school, but once I get there, I am okay. I am fighting a back to school headache tonight though, so I will be more ready when that goes away.

It was a busy summer, I did not check a lot off of my own list, but I was able to help a lot with the important job of moving the in-laws. I am grateful to have been able to help as I did. My own stuff will get done in time. Things will actually slow down now that the folks are moved, school is starting and youngest will be moving back to his school.

Funny, I will go back to school to relax!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

OY Vey

Will things ever slow down? We have husband's folks mostly settled in, we have had the big sale, and more family is coming in tomorrow to help with the cleanup of what is left before closing on the house. I should be able to breathe easier, right. Not yet, because school starts the day after tomorrow for me, and youngest has to pack in the next two days for his return to school. We have a major prayer request in that department, so all of you prayer warriors, start praying that his placement on the list for an apartment on campus advances by leaps and bounds in the next 3 days. There was a mix up with his application for fall, and as of yet, he has no apartment. We are praying really hard around here for this to fall into place.

My house needs attention, but may not get all the attention it deserves until Saturday. I can live with that.

So, since my time is precious right now, I will keep this short and sweet, and request prayers from all of my friends that an apartment opens up. Soon.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Welcome Coupon Class!

If you are here for the first time from my coupon class, welcome! You were all so gracious and loving as I shared my crazy lifestyle. Thanks for your encouragement and attention. Look around, look for my "frugal" posts and have fun checking out my shopping adventures!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

And life goes on...

Remember the Bee Gees song, "How Can You Mend a Broken Heart?"

Right now I am thinking that if you replace the word heart with the word home, that is what this family is feeling. The family homestead is breaking. Not by the means by which one might think, but just breaking up, piece by piece. Husband's folks are moving to an assisted living apartment, and this week the task falls on the children to divide, distribute, and pack a lifetime of possessions. The task is physically exhausting, and emotionally devastating. How do you go about doing that right in front of parent's eyes and remain undisturbed? The memories attached to even the simplest object are real and precious.

I emphasize, these are not my birth parents. I lost mine to illnesses long ago. We split up their possessions as well, just not in front of their eyes. These are my parents now. They have been in my life longer than my own were, so I feel that I am not just a daughter-in-law, but I am an adopted daughter.

I have for the most part remained focused, and set to the task of just "doing this". I am a "Daughter-in-Law" I could do this, I could be unemotional and be the one to take care of business. The "real" family will be sad, but I would be fine. Who was I kidding? This morning, I am crying like a baby, and grieving over the smallest object. Each day I feel like I am toting part of their life home with me in the back of my car. Granted, if you inspected the contents a lot of these items are of little material worth. Paper plate holders, a blender (void of all the current bells and whistles), a wicker basket, on old wooden stool. Thing is, these are THEIR paper plate holders, their blender, their basket, their stool. Today I want so much to take it all back, put it back where it goes and forget the plan.

I know the reasons are valid for them to move. I even encouraged it. I just had no idea this would hit ME like this. I did not grow up in this family. Many of their memories are just interesting stories to me. I cannot hang my heart on most of these items. However, I LOVE these people. They became a real part of my family when I lost my own parents. Their memories are precious to me, even if I do not share all of them.

We will plow through, even today, with sorting and packing. We will pick up an object, and pause to learn the story behind. If there is no story, we might even resort to comic relief and make one up. Like the little mottled yellow pitcher that belonged to Aunt Irma. Thing is, there is no Aunt Irma.

Too bad really, if there was, I would let her do this task.

I am certain though, that throughout this day, I will look at every object in a very special way. And there will be tears.


Sunday, July 4, 2010

Random Thoughts in bullett form

  • Our dog hates fireworks. She also hates thunderstorms and getting her feet in wet grass. Yeah, we have spoiled her I guess.
  • CIY is an amazing teen convention. Pretend you are a teenager and go some year, we did.
  • My desktop computer may be fried. Well, probably the hard drive is shot. We could lose a lot of pictures. Back up your photo libraries . Today.
  • My tomato plants are humongous. We bought new stakes today because the old ones are not keeping them up. I picked the first tomato tonight. I cheated, it is not fully ripe. Couldn't wait.
  • I really really want to teach my coupon class again. Anyone want a class? I have it on PowerPoint and am ready to go. ( Glad I had that on a flash drive, it would be a lot of work to do all over again!)
  • I am slowing down on my shopping trips. There are lots of bargains out there, but my stockpile is so full that I can pass them up. That is the benefit of a good stockpile.
That is about it for tonight.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

A time for work...

This has been a busy weekend. Husband and youngest son laid a new section of patio. We have been using 16 inch square patio blocks and decided to make a new section of 24 blocks. They completed that last night and today they installed a fence beyond the patio to keep our dog out of the garden. I will try to take pictures tomorrow and post them. I should have taken before pictures, because then you would really see how much this improved this area.

I just finished spray painting my old metal glider. Paprika. It is a bit more orange than I wanted, I was hoping for a more reddish-paprika. Maybe it will dry the color I want. it still looks better than it did before though.

Tomorrow night my amazing girlfriends are coming over here for our monthly GNO. I am preparing a baked potato bar and all the fixins. I must get up early though and give the house a good cleaning.

Sorry for the lack of posting. Will try to do better.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Crazy Love

Go buy this book. Francis Chan is the author. It will rock your world and make you come face to face with God. I am not very far into it yet, but so far all I can say is, "Whoa!" Buy it.

$6.22 out of pocket


I hit up Walgreens again. Husband will say I robed them. When people call he tells them I am out robbing Walgreens. He is so funny.

All pictured for $6.22, plus I came home with $8.00 in new Register Rewards with the ice cream deals. Would have cost $66.70 without any coupons or Register Rewards. I am thinking about going back for more ice cream treats. My family will love me. Gee, I will love me. Notice, I did get some of the Skinny Cow variety. I do not eat this much candy, but I had to buy it to keep my coupon to item ratio in check. There are always little ones at ball games that "need" it. Actually, youngest son will say that he needs it.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Summertime and the Shoppin' is Easy

First week off of school and what do I do? Hit Walgreens and CVS at 7:00 am. Good deals to be had and I couldn't wait. Actually I wanted to go before I started working in the garden and got all sweaty.
CVS: I was so glad to get the Windex. I was out of that on the stockpile. The shave cream was on clearance for .29 cents each, and I received a $2.00 coupon on the Dove chocolate at "the magic coupon machine", making the whole bag just .50 cents. Just yesterday the cash register receipt kicked out a $5.00 off of $15.00 coupon, so that helped a lot. I had coupons for almost everything else, and I used $7.00 in Extra Care Bucks. I spent a mere .78 cents out of pocket on everything and earned another $5.00 in ECBs. Nice.

Walgreens: I used coupons for everything pictured except for the candy, which I bought as fillers. I also used a few Register Rewards. Everything pictured cost me a total of $7.08 out of pocket and earned another $7.00 in Register Rewards. Not bad.

In all I spent $7.86 and came home with $12.00 in a combination of CVs and Walgreens "cash"

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Winner Winner Pasta Dinner!

I have a winner! I numbered my entries according to the entry where the email address showed up (because some left them out). So even if you commented, the entry that counted was the one that had your email address.

The random number generator (random.org) picked number 2 which, would be be Reta, who had her email address included.

I have emailed the winner.

You never know folks when another contest will pop up!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Cupcakes!



I have decided that I love making cupcakes.
I have really gotten into making them since the first of the year, and in the last 6 weeks I have made them for 7 occasions. I buy cake mixes when the are .88 cents or less then I buy several, and put them into the freezer. I also have been shopping at WalMart after each holiday since Christmas and I am buying various sprinkles and cupcake liners after they are marked down. I keep all of my supplies in a covered plastic tub, and I am gaining a nice collection of items to work with. Most of my cake recipes come from The CakemixDoctor
cookbooks that I have collected as well. I love her recipes. You start with a basic cake mix and then jazz it up. I always make homemade frosting and I do not use a recipe for that. I do not know how to do professional decorating, but I purchased a large pastry bag, a large tip and coupler, and after a lesson from my sister I do okay.

These are for an event after church tomorrow, and some will be for our small group which meets tomorrow night.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Note about the Give-Away

I need email addresses from all who enter.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Give-Away # 3 / CLOSED NOW


I am lovin' give-a-ways.

I have something really cool to share.

Betty Crocker, through MyBlogSpark has provided me with a great package which includes: a box of Betty Crocker's Suddenly Salad, a Pyrex dish, a serving bowl, and an insulated tote. These products are really nice and I was super excited to get them. I will use the tote to carry all of my cool dishes to our next picnic.

I have tried Suddenly Salad in the past and I have really liked it. The Greek salad would not be my first choice, but I know my son will enjoy it. I like the convenience and the taste of the ones I have tried. I also like how you can toss in anything you like and create a pasta salad just the way you want it. I have tossed in broccoli, carrots, red onion, and cauliflower pieces. Bacon pieces sound good to me also. These come together really fast, and makes fixing a yummy side dish really easy.

There are several other varieties of Suddenly Salad that sound great. You can check them all out at SuddenlySalad.com

The great news is that I am also able to give a package just like the one pictured to one of my readers! To enter you must do the following:

Post a comment to this post with the following information:
  • What ingredient would you toss into a box of Suddenly Salad ? Specifically, tell me which variety you would pick and how you would change it up.
  • Your email address or link to your blog so that I can contact you.
I will pick a winner using the random.org number generator from all eligible submissions on Sunday, June 6th.

The opinions of this product are my own, but I need to disclose that the package of Suddenly Salad, the prize pack, and the give-away were all provided to my by Betty Crocker, through MyBlogSpark.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Mail Call


Today was a very good day at the mailbox!

The breakdown:

  • Kraft First Taste free product coupons. I LOVE Kraft! There are coupons for 6 free items! (Kool-Aid Fizz Drink Drops, Homestyle Deluxe Macaroni and Cheese, Digiorno Deep Dish Pizza, 100 Calorie Packs Cheese Bites, Oscar Mayer Deli Fresh Shaved Meat, and Ritz Crackerfuls) If you are not a member then you should go to here and sign up. I have gotten lots of free product coupons from Kraft this way.
  • A full size eye shadow quad from Loreal. I signed up a while back for Loreal product testing and I did a survey on mascara. This was my gift for doing the survey.
  • A sample of Secret Clinical Deodorant from WalMart (great source for samples)
  • Samples of Dove shampoo and conditioner, also from WalMart
  • 2 free samples of Purex 3-in-1 laundry sheets. ( I LOVE these)
  • Home Made Simple coupon book (great coupons)
Pretty good haul for one day! Cheap is good, but free is better!


Friday, May 28, 2010

Brave or Stupid ? You Decide.

Most of the people who know me well, know that I love my Diet Pepsi. IF you know me really well, you would know that what really excites me, is FOUNTAIN Diet Pepsi. Last night I was suffering through my addiction, wanting one in the worst way. I called husband and told him that God wanted him to get me a fountain Diet Pepsi. Now, we both knew that was not true, but at least husband took me seriously. A few minutes later, husband and youngest come in the door. Youngest is carrying a one half gallon fountain Diet Pepsi. Seriously. Now, it is nearly 8:30 p.m. (late for that much caffeine) , and even I would have a hard time polishing that off, but I do my best and manage to suck down quite a bit before I have to make a run to Walgreens.

I often make runs to Walgreens, but this was really a necessity. I needed to pick up a prescription and some photos. So, at about 8:45 I drive over to my neighborhood Walgreens. I am walking through the store, on my way to the pharmacy when it happened. I round the corner and there in plain sight, right before my eyes, is an ADULT male stuffing 5-hour energy shots down his pants. DOWN HIS PANTS!! His eyes meet mine, and I froze for a moment, then turned to walk away, then something bizarre came over me. I turn around, and go back to him, look him square in the eye, and say " Do you think you should be doing that? "

Geez, did that sound stupid or what? That was either caffeine induced bravery, a "teacher moment" or sheer stupidity. He mumbles something like, "Do what? I didn't do nothin" Then what do I do? I fire back, " Yes you did , you just put something down your pants". The next moment must have been when someone else inhabited my body, because then I saw an employee and put my hand in the air , pointed over the top of my head to the adult male, and shouted, "Shoplifter!"

This is so unlike me. The employee then proceeds to run the guy out of the building, telling him that he knows he is not supposed to be in there. (perhaps this was not the first event)

Now I am feeling quite proud of myself until it hits me that I came alone. What if "adult male" is lurking at the side of the building when I go out? What if he is waiting on me? I then come to my senses, call my husband and ask that he drive over, come inside, and walk me to the car.

I still cannot believe that I did that. This was not a 3rd grader or a student, it was an adult male. If the adult male thinks nothing of shoplifting, he probably would not think much of harming me in the parking lot. I guess I watched too much of Barney Fife when I was younger, he and I seemed to act before thinking.



Sunday, May 16, 2010

Laptop

I have been wanting a laptop, but we have just not had extra money for that. I started Swagbucks and decided I would save the "bucks" I earned and possibly get a netbook instead. I had a total of $50.00 that I had used to purchase "digital" Amazon gift cards, and I was just letting them stack up. Well, good things come to those who wait. Youngest son has a friend at school that did not want her laptop any longer. It needed parts and she did not wish to invest in it. Ah Ha! Youngest paid $50.00 and bought his momma a broken laptop. Don't laugh, guess what the needed parts cost? Yep, roughly $50.00. Actually, $63.00 with part of that being shipping. Remember those "Swagbucks" I mentioned? I cashed in $50.00 that I have earned by mostly searching the web, and I used all of my Amazon gift cards for the parts. My out of pocket spending for the parts came to $13.00. Youngest son added some extra RAM that he had on hand, and I have a sweet Toshiba laptop! I am posting from it now.

This is a very nice computer, plenty of space in the hard drive, and one of the parts we bought is a new battery. I upgraded to a higher cell battery and have tons of battery life. It also has a memory card reader, which just happens to accept my strange memory card, and all is great in the computing world!

This will aid me in my future coupon class, and should make it very easy to show my presentation.

Youngest has a knack for finding deals on electronics, I feel I have raised him well in the art of bargain hunting. You better get your requests in soon though, because my sister has already made hers and they are lining up.

Thank you baby boy for thinking of your momma!

Oldest....I want a pony!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

What a week

This has been an interesting week to say the least. I was home from school all weekdue to the remainder of my pneumonia, but still woke up yesterday with a heaviness in my chest. The thing is that with my heart history, the doctors will not mess with chest heaviness. Long story shortened, I spent yesterday in the walk in clinic, followed by a trip to the local ER, followed by a trip to my hospital of choice, followed by an all night stay. Heart issues were soon ruled out, but they won't risk dismissing them without the battery of tests. Pressure was attributed to the pneumonia, which according to x-rays, is still lingering just a bit.

The worst part about my entire day was my time at the local ER. Now, it was not due to treatment, but yet due to something else entirely unrelated to me. While I was in my bed with the curtains drawn, a patient was brought in that had in fact, "coded" on her way by ambulance. The area next to me filled with nurses, doctors, and technicians, all doing everything humanly possible to save her. Even though I could not see anything, I heard every word, every order, and every attempt at CPR. I just laid helpless, while this woman's life slipped away. I could tell that this staff was trying desperately to save her. Their words were all spoken in deep respect, and I could hear a nurse pleading in the sweetest voice possible for this woman to make it. I do not think I can explain exactly how I felt at that time to anyone. I did not know this woman, I did not hear a name, but I felt so much sadness to know that a life was ending as I laid there. I sobbed for quite a while, and soon, my curtain slipped open and the son of a good friend (a paramedic) who was there to transport me to the other hospital came in and stood silently by me. Just having someone present with me right then helped.

I have been at the bedside when death occurred. I was with both of my parents, and my grandma, I have felt that feeling of personal loss. I just did not know that I would be so overwhelmed at the loss of a stranger. I prayed hard for a few moments, and quite honestly, it took me a while to recover. I am still praying. I still don't even know who this woman was, or anything about her or her family. I will watch the newspaper closely for a few days, hoping to match a name to the details of when and where.

I just know that all life is precious. I prayed, hoping that she was a believer, and that she inhaled one last breath on this earth and exhaled in the presence of Jesus. I prayed for her family, and for the sadness they will feel. Please help me and pray for them as well.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Updates

The Good:
  • Still good.  The boys are still home, and they have been a huge blessing to me today.  I could not have dealt with a broken freezer and transporting all of our coolers filled with food with the way was feeling. 
The Bad:
  • Freezer was repaired.  This was a big debate, but we decided to see what the repair man had to say.  He was the one who fixed it in December and he cut us a break. No service fee, and he replaced 2 parts, but only charged us for the cheapest of the two.  Our bill was only $48.00.  It is working very well tonight, and I will let it run till tomorrow afternoon to fill it.    I will just have to check this daily from now on , just to be safe.  
  •  A funny thing happened today  when the boys were transporting all of our frozen food to the folks' house.  One of them called to report in and I told them I couldn't talk because the freezer guys were here, and I was tied up in the basement...I guess I should be careful about what I say. 
  • Laundry has been drastically been reduced, and I am seeing an end to all of the piles.  This has  been an entire family affair, and I am glad to get it done. 
  • I am still coughing my head off.  I just took a dose of my codeine cough syrup, so we will see how that goes. Since  I am on steroids and codeine, I sure hope I do not need a drug test. 
The Ugly:
  • We are working on that, husband and boys are doing some chores for me, and before the night is out we should have a decent house again. 
I always need to remember that stressful moments have a way of working out.  I will admit that this morning I felt very overwhelmed.  I am doing much better with that right now. 


The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

The Good:
  • Both of our boys are home this weekend.  I do not think that has happened since Christmas. It is good to have them both home, to talk with and to see them interact as brothers. They are very close. 
  • They presented me with a beautiful and delicate sterling silver chainmaille bracelet.  I know that word chainmaille makes you think of anything but delicate, but I assure you this is very pretty.  A friend of youngest' in the art department makes them, and the boys bought one for me for Mother's Day.  I will post pictures of it later on, but it needs re-sized.  The only petite part about me other than my height, is the size of my wrists.  
  • Youngest also purchased a used laptop from the same girl and gave that to me as well.  It only needed a new battery and a power cord.  I was able to purchase both of those with my Swagbucks' Amazon gift cards.  I only had to pay $13.00 out of pocket.  I tell ya, those Swagbucks add up.  I have earned over $50.00 in gift cards since Christmas! 
The Bad:
  • My freezer went out!  Arrrgh.  This is the second time since December that this has happened.  Luckily my boys were home, and luckily my in-laws have plenty of room in theirs, and luckily we got everything transferred before we lost anything. (I am a stockpiler you know)  I have spent the morning on the phone and have about decided to just purchase a new one.  This is the third time over all that we have had a problem, and this freezer is less than 9 years old!  I have located one in town and I feel that we just might go make our purchase tonight.  Good thing we have not spent our Christmas money from the folks!    Just the process of dealing with this has left me depleted of any possible energy  for the day. 
  • I feel awful.  This tail end of whatever is kicking my behind and I woke up seriously dragging.  I had another one of those coughing spells and  felt I pulled every muscle across my upper chest.   On Thursday I returned to the walk-in clinic and an x-ray showed my lungs were clear, but they felt I still had inflammation, and put me on a dose of steroids.   As you see from the above bullet, I did not really need the freezer to go out on this day. 
  • There are more loads of laundry than I care to count.  A very busy week last week, and this week, plus my sickened state, have all stacked up our laundry.  The  boys brought home about 5 loads between them.  They are good helpers, and it will get done, but it is a bit overwhelming at the moment. 
The Ugly:
  • My house.  Okay, I know, some things we just have to let go.  Along with the boys this weekend came a lot of stuff.  Youngest will be coming home for the summer next week, and he got a head start on bringing home his most valued possessions.  There are just so many storage spaces to immediately put things, and one those are taken, the rest has to sit here and there for a while.  I just hate it that "here and there" are in my main living spaces.  This too shall pass, but for now the house is cluttered, messy, and truth be told , not as clean as I would like. (remember, busy weeks and puny  me)
Well, that about sums it up.  I think I need a personal maid-nurse-organizer-repair person to come to my beck and call.  Anyone out there fit the bill? 

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Sleepless

Note to self:

One should never see 3:25 am during the work week.  Ugggh.  It has been a long night.  For some reason I woke up at 12:49 am.  I have been rather "snotty" tonight, maybe that woke me up.  I guess it is a carry over from the little bout with pneumonia.  But anyway, I woke up and have not been able to go back to sleep.  I have been to the computer twice, taken the dog out at 2:15, gone back to bed , (twice) and as of yet, am still wide awake.  Husband is really not even snoring, which usually is the culprit. 

Soon, I will reach the point of no return. You know,  that moment where I might as well stay up.  I just hate to think of going through tomorrow with only 2 1/2 hours of sleep. 

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Good Day / Good Supper / Good Company


This was a very good day.  

Today, oldest was home for the day, so we went shopping.  We hit the thrift stores,  both Target, and Meijer among other stores, and had a nice lunch out.  I had some great coupons and did very well at both Meijer and Target.  At Meijer they had whole chickens for .85 cents a pound, so I bought 2. I should have bought more.  As soon as we walked in the door from shopping, I put supper together. 

(Now, I know that traditionally this is a "beer in the rear" chicken, but we do not have beer in our household.   Well, let me re-phrase that.  We actually do have a beer in our house.  We found it in our side yard about 2 years ago.  It is a full bottle.  It is in storage way back under our sink, because I know for a fact that it works wonders in keeping slugs away from your outdoor plants.  Just pour a bit in a bowl,  place it in your flower bed and wait for the slugs to party!  They come slithering in from all over the place, slide into the awaiting bath and then drown in their beer.  A true "slug-fest"!) 

So, back to my chicken.  
I used 7-up.  It is in the can nestled up the middle of the chicken.  Any liquid will do, it just bubbles away inside the bird and keeps it all moist inside and out. I did have a potato sticking out of the poor bird's neck, but that was removed before the photo.  Prior to roasting, I just oiled this baby up a bit, and sprinkled with my usual homemade rub.  Next time, I will omit the brown sugar from this rub and add garlic salt instead.  A few parts were a bit sweet.  After about 1/2 hour of roasting we prepared some potatoes, onions, and carrots and threw them in the pan.  I would have thrown in some parsley if I had thought about it.  One more hour later and we sat down to a pretty tasty dinner after a day of shopping. 

The bad thing, is that we ate way too late for us.  Husband and I are too old to eat dinner at 8:30!  We will see how the night goes.

As far as today went though,  I love spending time with my boys.  

Lately though, it has been one boy or the other.  The days are getting less frequent when we are all together.  I was reminded of this when  I saw a mom in Target today.  She had two little boys in tow.  They were walking along while she was pushing the cart.  A microphone toy on a low end-cap caught  their attention, and soon both boys had stopped in their tracks to perform for the rest of the Target Shoppers.  I for one loved it, but I saw that familiar look in the mom's eye.  You know the look, the "hurry up" look.   I wanted to freeze time for her, just to make sure she appreciated this spontaneous moment of childhood.  I just turned to her, smiled, and said, "Enjoy them mom, they don't stay little very long."   At that moment about 26 years of memories flooded my mind, and I felt a sweet peace to know that I still enjoy my boys. 

Today was a "keeper" 

Monday, April 19, 2010

Recovering

I have spent the last few days pretty much house bound, recovering from a bout with pneumonia.  It hit me all at once, I just felt like I had a cold coming on and then on Saturday morning I felt awful.  Since a  trip to the walk in clinic on Saturday morning, I have not done much else.  I hope to go back to school tomorrow, because it is technically the "walking" type and I am feeling better.  Going to bed early.  Now I know why I felt so tired last week. 

Friday, April 16, 2010

I was just thinking...


Lately I have been in my deep thinking mood.  Not really wanting this blog to be all about bargains and shopping, but rather more about who I really am. Now, I admit that bargain hunting is in my blood, but is that all I really want to be known for ?  I hope not.

So for those of you who stop by here occasionally, you just might see more of the posts that I used to compose. 

Fair warning.

Tonight, especially, I have been thinking about a card that I found today in my mailbox. I get similar ones quite often.  These are all from the same sender, The "Thursday Morning Morning Bible Study".  This is a group of ladies from my church that meet regularly for a Bible study and for prayer.  They pray for me of all people.  I have posted a copy of this card because it has touched me so.  Now the reason I am posting it has nothing to do with the part about my witness, however it is the first line that has me humbled.  

"We are always praying for you" 

Aren't those words powerful? 

Think of this:  This May it will be 2 years since my heart attack.  In September it will be 2 years since I was surgically cured of cancer.  Two years, no problems to speak of, and no set backs. Easy sailing. 

Yet, this group of women still pray for me, and they still send me cards. One might say that they could stop now, that there is no need to devote this time and effort for me any longer.

Ah, but might I say that maybe, just maybe that this group of persistent prayer warriors is part of the reason that I am cancer free and that my heart has not skipped a single beat?  

Sometimes we are not able to see the methods that God uses to work things out in our lives.  Sometimes, however,  the signs are there and we miss them.  I thank God that He reminded me to be thankful for this group of ladies tonight.  

I guess we all need to thank those people in our lives that keep us encouraged and keep us going.  Or perhaps the lesson to be learned here, is that we need to be the people who keep others going.  Something to think about. 

Life sure  is sweet in the Body of Christ. 

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Sometimes I get tired of shopping...

or maybe it is that I am just tired in general.  I really am tired tonight.  You know, that every now and then, bone-tired.  That is me.  It is now 7:20 pm and I am already thinking of how nice my bed will feel.  

There is no real reason for me to be this tired.  Just a bit of a restless night last night and a busy day today.  I left school and for once I did not run any quick errands or bargain runs.  Tuesdays have become my heavy bargain run days and I usually make about 4-5 stops before I make it home.  I did very well last night but I just did not have time to post about it.  I would post about it now, but, you guessed it, I am too tired.

One word of note though, I am currently wrapping up a Beth Moore Bible Study on the Fruits of the Spirit with some very good friends.  I was invited into this group, they have done several, but this is my first.  This has been amazing.  If you have the opportunity to do one of her studies don't hesitate.  Be prepared to dig deeper than you might ever have, but also be prepared for God to speak to you more than ever as well.  

I will post more soon, but for now I hear the couch calling my name.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

A Whole Lotta Nothing

Not so much new around here. I have been busy however with many things:

  • Husband and I have been doing a lot of cleaning and de-cluttering
  • I have made a daily trek to Kmart to take advantage of double coupons
  • I had two out of town medical appointments this week- one just a follow up regarding my thyroid replacement medicine (need a slight adjustment)
  • I have a new hobby - making jewelry (just basic stuff so far)
  • We are heading to visit youngest son tomorrow
Not much, but that is life. 

Monday, March 29, 2010

Monday Madness

I cannot blog for long right now.  Husband and I are in the midst of a cleaning frenzy!  I do not want to do anything to detour the process!  As of right now (12:47 pm) between the two of us (with a lot of it being done by husband) we have done the following:
  • Made waffles, bacon, and homemade blackberry syrup (with actual blackberries floating around in it)
  • Thoroughly emptied and cleaned the bathroom
  • Cleaned out fridge, discovered a lot of apples needing attention = a break long enough to make 2 completely from scratch apple pies (can you smell them?)
  • Gathered all throw rugs,  all shook and vacuumed
  • Vacuumed all carpets thoroughly
  • Emptied everything from under kitchen sink (yuck) that was a mess, wiped down and replaced only what is necessary
  • Turned oven on to self clean mode
  • Stripped the bed
  • Started laundry, moved to dryer and started more
  • Finally emptied and washed turkey fryer that has been sitting in garage since Christmas (ewww) it is washed and shiny now
  • Emptied my crock full of kitchen gadgets that sits by my stove, washed everything and will selectively put things back
  • Emptied basket of gadgets that sits on my counter, washed everything and will selectively put things back
We are still working and my 15 minute break is almost over, so I will report again when we are finished! I love starting spring  break with a nice clean house!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Sunday Shopping Spree


Today was equally as exciting.  I pretty much copied most of the deals from here and here to maximize my coupon usage at Walgreens.  I got everything in the first picture (value of $104.57) for $13.47.   I was happy to get some things that we always need, such as trash bags, paper towels and toilet paper.  I added another box of trash bags to one of those deals because the scenario was listed for buying 5 cans of tuna as part of the deal.  I did not need or want tuna. 
Then I hit Family Dollar with my Snuggle coupons and got everything in that picture for $3.35. 

I came in under $20.00 for everything in both pictures. 


Saturday, March 27, 2010

Super Saturday


Sister and I shopped all over her town today, and I came home with a haul!  The above items should have cost $135. 43, but with combining sales with coupons, I spent $36. 65!  I was able to get many of the items absolutely FREE!  The following were free due to coupons:
  • 2 Packages of Irish Spring bar soap
  • 4 Snickers bars
  • 2 tubs of I Can't Believe it's not Butter
  • 8 boxes of Ronzoni Pasta
  • 2 Tostitos Dips
  • 2 of the packages of Bistro lunchmeat
  • 5 packages of Bar S smoked sausage
Not bad, heh?  This is why I save coupons. 

The only items that I did not have a coupon for were the Powerade, the oranges, and the chips (but they were on a special deal, and buying them gave me the Tostitos dip for free)

  • We also hit Kohl's (bought a greatly reduced suit and sport-coat for hubby , with an additional 30 % off)
  • Wal-mart -had a couple of free item coupons and some other good ones there as well.
  • I got free shampoo at CVS
The day ended on a sour note however due to a huge misunderstanding on the part of the checker at Kroger's.   I let these things get to me, but she clearly did not know how coupons work.  I did make one mistake because there are no posted or clear rules on their coupon policy.  I had 3 too many Ronzoni coupons in my order.  After I did that (even though  I offered to return them) she acted as if I was out to "get" them.  I was in the right other than my Ronzoni error, but she started questioning all of my coupons after that.   I will shake this feeling off, but I hate being made to feel like I am cheating when I try so hard to be ethical.  Would some of you out there vouch for me, and could you please call this Kroger store? 

 I will sleep better tonight if you do! 

All for now, I need to cook tonight. 

Friday, March 26, 2010

Frugal Friday

Things I did frugally today:

  • Wore slacks from a local Thrift shop
  • Carried a purse from Goodwill
  • Wore a jacket that a friend gave me
  • Put ripe bananas in my freezer that our school was giving away due to the beginning of our Spring Break
  • Used a total of 13 coupons at 3 different stores
  • Will watch a rented movie at home instead of going to a theatre
Not so frugal: husband and I ate out tonight for the 2nd night in a row
(you win some, you lose some)

Congratulations!

The winner is ........"Sister" who said that she would try Blackberry. The winning number was picked at random by a 5th grade teacher at the school where I work. "Sister" you will be contacted soon so that I may obtain your mailing address!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Give-Away # 2


A while back I was contacted by MyBlogSpark and Yoplait about doing another review / give-away. This one was for Yoplus yogurt. Now, if you really really know me, you know that I have never really been a fan of yogurt.

Never, seriously.

Recently, however I bought some desert type yogurts and decided they were not so bad. I know it was probably the sweetener that attracted me, but I kept buying them for a while. Still, staying away from "real" yogurt.

Then along comes this proposal. They provided me with a Yoplus "better-for-you" gift pack which includes a VIP coupon, and all the cool items you see in the picture. So I decided to give it a try.

Honest opinion?

I really liked it! I chose the blackberry / pomegranate flavor, and I was quite surprised. I am pleased (now that I actually like the stuff) to offer the same for one of my readers.
First I will share the information that Yoplait and MyBlogSpark provided:

Each 4 oz cup of Yoplus contains the following benefits:
  • Antioxidant vitamins A and E (now with 20 % of your recommended daily value)
  • A blend of pro-biotic cultures & fiber (three grams of fiber per 4 oz serving) for digestive health
  • Calcium and vitamin D for bone health
Yoplus comes in 6 flavors, Strawberry, Vanilla, Cherry, Peach, Blackberry Pomegranate and Blueberry Acai , and is available in a light variety.

So, if you would like to win a gift package like the one pictured , here's the drill:

  • Leave a comment stating which flavor you would like to try
  • Leave your contact information (unless I have it already)
  • Come back and check on Friday (March 26th) when I will announce the winner


Sunday, March 21, 2010

I am tired, but it is a good tired.

I hear that phrase a lot.  Tonight I know exactly what it means.  I have pretty much devoted this weekend to our oldest son.  He has just moved into his first solo apartment, and since it was unfurnished there was much to be done.  



  Thursday we went shopping.  Husband and I bought many items together, and I made a few trips this weekend on my own.  On Friday I picked up the two chairs you see in the picture from a teacher in my district.  He was getting rid of them, and Jake was the benefactor!  On Saturday I started cooking food to take to the apartment.  On  Saturday evening husband made a trip to my sister's house and picked up shelves, chairs, small tables, and other items that she is loaning to Jake.  I stayed home to continue cooking, and to do our own cleaning and laundry. 

After church today we went to Menard's to pick up some large area rugs, and headed out of town to his apartment. Luckily, we had borrowed Husband's folk's van, because we filled every nook and cranny of it with things to take.   Yippee for me, I was able to clear out a good number of things from our basement to help him out.  

When we arrived I started working in the kitchen.  There were boxes and tubs everywhere, and I thought we would never get done.  Husband started putting together a shelving unit and a microwave cart.  As soon as these were completed, it took no time to empty the boxes and put things away.  The cabinets are older metal cabinets, and really there are not enough for dishes and food, so the metal shelving unit is being used for an open pantry.  

Youngest son got busy putting together a small desk, and I began working in the kitchen. Jake was busy going from one to another helping everyone.  After about an hour the kitchen was shaping up pretty well and I started to put the finishing touches on the food I brought.  I put together some baked beans and put those and the mac and cheese in his small oven.   They practically filled the oven, my pans were really big, and it is an apartment size stove.  

 Three friends had come over to help out, and they got busy putting together a stand up clothing rack/closet and putting CDs on a shelf.  Soon we all sat down to our supper of  Italian Beef, homemade mac and cheese, baked beans, chips, carrots, and dip, plus red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese icing , and brownies. 

We stayed about another hour and a half unpacking, and doing odds and ends.  After all was said and done, we still made it home by 8:30.  

It really did keep me busy this weekend, but it was a lot of fun, and I think Jake appreciated it.  It sure did help him get settled faster. 

Monday, March 15, 2010

Time Flies!

I know I have not posted for a while, but things have truly been busy!

Husband and I have attended a wedding two weeks in a row, and these were not just any weddings.  They were of children of some of our closest friends!  We had so much fun!  

Our oldest son just rented an apartment so we have been busy gathering things for that and that has kept us busy as well.  


I will post more soon, but I simply do not have time right now.  Keep on the lookout for another give-away!

Friday, March 5, 2010

WINNER WINNER WINNER

This is Friday the 5th and time for my first ever blog winner (more to come).  The winner is...Sara!  Sara said she spends time on Sunday mornings with her 1 year old.  Sara, I have emailed you, reply to my email and your gift will be on its way!

Look for another contest soon!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

I Need Therapy


********Don't forget to scroll down and enter my contest.  Enter by leaving a comment on the Pillsbury post.  Tell me how to contact you**********


I wonder if there are any coupon support groups out there?  Maybe one for coupon addicts, or one for coupon crazed middle aged women, or most importantly, a group for those who suffer from melt downs when a coupon was not credited?   Yikes.  I have fallen into the last group and just to let you know how very low I have fallen, let me tell you what happened last night:

I made trips to two different Walgreens last night and did very well with my wheeling and dealing. I did 4 transactions and because of great coupons, I made money on some items which transfered over to savings on other items.  I was quite smug, yet a tiny bit confused when I left the store.    I knew something did not seem right, but I came home anyway.  Two hours later, I am curled up in my pajamas, in my bed, when it hit me!   The clerk did not take off my buy one get one coupon!   A B1G1 no less!   How dare he?   I did the math and realized that my total would have been $2.99 less.  $2.99, why that's a gallon of milk and a candy bar and I just lost it to a clerk that forgot to deduct it from my total.  

I am embarrassed to say what I did next.  I got out of bed, threw off my pj bottoms, slipped on my slacks, my coat and shoes, receipt in hand,  and went back!   Now, the store is only 2 minutes away, so at least I am not totally crazy, but I was pleased as punch when the manager handed over cash to me to cover the coupon.  

Pictured above  is my loot for the evening.   And my final total was only $8.63!   ( I even came home with a $3.00 RR from the Kleenex!)  Just look at all that stuff!   I know I am a bit crazy, but the craziness helps the budget. 


Sunday, February 28, 2010

My First Give-Away!


I have never hosted a give-away before so I was very excited when My Blog Spark and Pillsbury contacted me with an offer for myself and  one lucky reader.   I was given a "Sweet Sunday Mornings Moments" gift pack which included a VIP coupon for  free Pillsbury Sweet Rolls and a photo album to hold cherished memories of my family.    Now,  I get to offer the same to one reader! 

So readers, here is the question?  What makes your Sunday Mornings special?   Do they start out with  delicious, warm Pillsbury  Sweet Rolls, drizzled with yummy icing?   Awwww, can't you just smell them right now?

Leave a comment to this post and tell me what makes your Sunday mornings special.  Please make sure to leave your email address so I have a way to contact you if you win.   I will number all entries and pull one number for the winner.  

I can only pick from comments to this post, so make sure and leave a quick comment if you want to win!   I will close out this contest on Friday March 5th and pick my winner  at that time.   The winner will be notified by email. 


Sunday, February 21, 2010

Sunday Shopping / New Store

CVS purchases on left, Walgreens' purchases on right.  I felt it best to put a bit of space between the two.   I don't think the stores are too happy about being right across the street from one another, and I do not want to anger them.


The local CVS decided I was their best customer, so they built a brand-spankin' new store, just for me!    It is beautiful, and I am thrilled about it.  Okay, so maybe it is not just for me, but it should be, right?  Anyway, I am hoping they will be well stocked for all of my bargain hunting.  

I did alright in my quick Sunday shopping trip.   My total for both stores due to some great coupons is $ 7.23.   Not bad for 10 cans of tuna ( and I don't even like tuna, but the boys do), 4 Honey Nut Cherrios' cups, 1 Softsoap,  1 Air Wick freshener,  2 boxes of cereal, and 2 cans of tomato sauce. 

Saturday, February 20, 2010

A Slice of Life

Husband and I just returned from a 2 day get-a-way.  

Oh how I love a little change of pace every now and then! 

 Yesterday was our oldest son's birthday, so we traveled to meet him and youngest for supper.  A friend of theirs came along and we had a really nice meal.  Afterwards we stopped at a Cold Stone Creamery (need I say more?)   After ice cream, husband and I headed to Springfield to spend the night.  We all met up again this morning and toured the Abraham Lincoln Museum.  That is a very worthwhile trip, but I did not expect it to make me cry.  Twice.  I teared up the first time when we reached the room of their dying son, then again when I watched the interactive map that had a running count of the causalities from the Civil War.  I guess it was a "mom" thing, but I couldn't help tearing up.  

Afterwards, our youngest led us to a great down-town pizza place and we had an amazing lunch.  He also suggested that we tour the Dana-Thomas House. (Frank Lloyd Wright designed).  That too was a treat.   

All in all it was just a great escape with our family and a good chance to celebrate our son's birthday. 

Tomorrow's worship will top the weekend off and then it will be back to the routine.  

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Quick Trip to CVS and an Easy Supper


I am shopping less as of late, because we need so little.  I did run into CVS tonight to pick up just a few things.  I spent a total of $7.08 out of pocket and earned back $4.00 for my next trip.   I love these Glade candles, and these are the nice big 3 wick style.  This is our favorite toothpaste, so I was glad to get it as a money maker.  The other items were great deals as well, and I needed the milk.  I pretty much copied some of the deals from this site, so go here if you want the details.  Thanks to Jamie for the deals, and thanks to my friend Kara for one of the necessary coupons.  Can you believe it, I left home without a needed coupon? 

After CVS and a trip to the bank, I needed an easy supper.  This is one of my "go to" recipes for a tasty pizza supper.  My friend Kelley gave me the pizza dough recipe years ago and I have used it countless times.  Oldest son took this recipe with him to Amsterdam and made pizza for the crew at the hostel on several occasions during his 6 month employment there.  So, you could say this recipe has been around!   Tonight I doubled the recipe to have a thicker crust. The recipe below is the original recipe (not doubled)
***Take notice of what the pizza is on.  I bake my pizzas on what is known as a pizza screen.  You can get them at most restaurant supply stores.  They allow a more uniform baking on the bottom crust.  They are also amazing for oven fries.   In this picture the pizza screen is on top of a pizza pan, that is how I cut it (less crumbs on my stove)***

Pizza Dough

1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 pkg dry yeast
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup hot water
1 TBS vegetable (or olive) oil
3/4 tsp sugar

Mix flour, yeast, salt, and sugar together in medium bowl.  Stir in water and oil.  Mix well and place in bowl with 1 TBS oil, turn dough to coat well with the oil.  cover and let rise 45 minutes or until double. Roll or spread into greased pan, top with favorite toppings , and bake at 450 degrees for 12-15 minutes. 

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Update / This never happens to me...

Husband is very fortunate tonight.  I am never this lucky.  I just wonder how long it will be before World War 3 breaks out on top of him?

"One step away from Heaven"


I asked husband to help me fold laundry.  He told me no.  This is quite unusual for him.  When I asked why, he told me, "Not now, I'm one step away from Heaven."   When I looked, this is what I found.  I guess I can't argue with this. 

Bread Machine Cinnamon Rolls

You know the drill...click in the middle of this picture if you want to see these up close and personal! 

Do you remember the old Rice Krispie Treat commercial where the mom pretended she worked all day making them?  Well, this is one of those recipes.  It is so easy that you feel guilty.  Just throw your ingredients into the bread machine, walk away for a while.  Then you roll the dough out, slather it with goodness, and pop those babies in the oven.   A second rise is not required, although I might let them at least rise about 1/2 hour before baking.  They did spread out a lot, but did not rise much in height.  Other than that I would not change a thing.  But believe me, not having them rise a second time will not prevent us from gobbling them up!    The icing is very yummy as well.  

I found the recipe on Money Saving Mom's site and have included the link here.  I made mine a bit smaller than hers, because then I think I can eat twice as many...

I just decided this was "Be kind to husband week"  and have done my baking based on his favorites.  Tomorrow is Valentine's Day you know. 

Husband just had one and declared this recipe "A Keeper" 

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Oatmeal Sugar Cookies


(To truly appreciate this picture, you need to click in the middle of it so you can see the "sugary-cinnamony"  goodness.)

I told husband that since I was out of school today that I would make him something special.  These are some of husband's very favorite cookies, but for some reason I forget about them.  They do require the extra steps of rolling into balls and then rolling in cinnamon-sugar, so maybe that is why I neglect making them.

They are very tasty though.  They are not your old fashioned soft and chewy oatmeal cookie. When baked just right they have a slightly crisp sugary outer "shell" and then they give way to a slightly bendable soft inside. The cinnamon-sugar coating sets these apart from most oatmeal cookies.  I think you would enjoy them.  

 There, I took a bite for you.

Husband should hurry home before they are all gone. 

Oatmeal Sugar Cookies

1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup shortening
Cream together, then add:
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla
Then add 3 cups quick cooking oats
Mix well, roll into small balls, then roll balls into a sugar-cinnamon mixture.
Bake at 375 degrees for 10 - 12 minutes.  I usually rotate my cookie sheets half way through. Remove immediately to cooling racks.   Enjoy! 

SNOW DAY- 2nd in a Row!

I needed these days.  Yesterday I organized all of my coupons flyers, stripped the bed, made a yummy supper and relaxed (a lot).   Today I am emptying out my chest of drawers and completely sorting the contents.  This has needed done for a while.  I might move on to husband's clothing after that...He has accumulated quite a stash of tee shirts.  

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

My Life as of Late

I have not done much personal posting lately.  I guess that comes in seasons for me.  Sometimes I feel deeply about something and have to get it out, sometimes I keep stuff in.   Lately, I have held a lot in.  I have had many things I have turned over in my head, but not willing to put them out there, publicly, on a blog. 

As far as our family goes, the 4 of us are okay.  Oldest is seeking a better job, (and if anyone knows of something, please please let us know.)  Youngest is busy with school and is perfecting his artistic talents.  My boys are really quite creative.   I feel so blessed to have grown sons that love God, love us, and consider each other to be their best friend. 

My health is fine and sometimes I forget about my previous health concerns.  Odd that I would "forget", but sometimes I really do.  Cancer seems so far away and long ago.  I am so fortunate compared to others.

Life around us has changed, and we are trying to adjust.  Parents age,  family members face serious health issues,  friends disappoint,  finances fluctuate, and life goes on.  I am so thankful that we are Christians and can lean on and rely on God to get us through life's trials.  

At some point I may go deeper into all of the above, but for now I choose not to. 
I just wanted you to all know that I am still around.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Walgreens' Bargains


Without coupons this would have cost $79.50 , with coupons it cost just $19.97 plus I left with a $5.00 RR for my next trip.  Bottom line spending :  $14.97.  

I did not start out with any Register Rewards, but I did have some sweet coupons.  I did do 6 transactions to make everything work to my advantage.  No one was in line, and the clerk is super nice to me.  I go in there often, and I use a ton of coupons.  This store realizes how much income my coupons generate for them.   

I just mentioned to someone about 2 weeks ago that I was out of men's body wash.  Since last Sunday I have added 5 to the stockpile, and have made money on all of them! 

Sunday, January 31, 2010

CVS -ing


I have not done much shopping at CVS for a very long time.  The deals just have not been nearly as nice as at Walgreens.  Today, I did alright.  I had a $4.00 ECB that would expire in 4 days, so I was glad to find a deal for it.  Counting that ECB, some nice manufacturer coupons, and a $4.00 off of $20.00 CVS coupon, I spent a total of $6.04 for everything in the picture and left the store with another $5.49 in Extra Care Bucks!   I was especially happy to get the deal on the fish oil, because I use it every day.  That was my first transaction , and thanks to coupons and a B1G1 sale,  my total came to a minus .96!   I bought the travel kit (clearance item) to bring it back up! 

My stockpile is so full right now, and I am really cherry picking my deals.  I am mostly concentrating on what we need, but will stock up on what we like at great prices. 

Friday, January 15, 2010

Swag Bucks

Okay, 

I have not really gone "commercial" on this blog, but I just want to share something I recently discovered.  Swag Bucks.  They are "digital" dollars that you earn from doing nothing more than normal, everyday, on-line searches.  Like going to Google and searching for whatever.  Only now, I go through Swag Bucks and earn while I search.  I just joined last weekend and am already up to 24 bucks.  I will trade these in for a $5.00 Amazon gift card when I hit 45 , all without spending a penny! 

If you refer people then you earn even faster, because you earn when they earn!  So, this is my shameless plug.  Click on the banner on the side of my blog and check it out.  If you are going to search, you might as well earn something! 

Thursday, January 7, 2010

I get my snow day!

Our district announced earlier this evening that there is no school tomorrow!  Thank you for announcing early!  Husband and I just watched a movie, and will sleep in tomorrow. (His day off)

I love bonus days!

If you have to get out, you might as well shop!

Well, since they made me go to school today, I guess it wasn't that hard to get out to Walgreens. 
Plus, Walgreens has had a bunch of deals this week.  

I did not take a picture of it, but last night I purchased 4  -24 packs of Aquafina Water.  I spent just under $16.00, but got back $10.00 in Register Rewards.  Today, I took that RR, and some sweet coupons and took out my stress over not having a snow day, and went shopping.   I purchased all of this loot for $3.42 out of pocket.  I then earned back another $10.00 in Register Rewards for later.  

The Ester C was BOGO this week, plus I had 2 $5.00 coupons.  Husband uses this EVERY day.   The beef broth was clearanced to .34 cents a can, and I use a lot of this in the winter.  I was out, so I was glad to see it!  It expires in 2012.  The cookies and crackers were all free after coupons and RRs.  I made money on the Neosporin Lip products, and the Jergen's Lotion ended up being .29 cents after coupons and RRs.  

I used about $24.00 in coupons plus the Register Reward. 

No Snow Day, Poor Me.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

I Want a Snow Day


I know, I know.  I just had two weeks off.  Snow days are just precious to me though.  They are like little vacations from God.  I love the unexpected day off to putter around my house.  I love the fact that I got a lot of cleaning done during my last week off, and I could actually enjoy a day off tomorrow.  

Come on snow, bring all your friends, and come quickly.  There is a crucial timing for these events.  We need a lot of snow before 5:30 AM.   Shall I cross my fingers?

Monday, January 4, 2010

Stock Up Shopping

(You can click on the picture for a close-up)
After school today I hit Wal-Mart,  Menards and Walgreens.  Thanks to price matching, coupons, and rebates, I got everything pictured for $63.79.   I used exactly $75.00 in coupons!  I love it when I save more than I spend!

I am very well stocked up now on my dishwashing tablets, detergent, and toothbrushes.  Believe it or not, I was getting low on toothbrushes.  

Here is a breakdown of the loot by store:

Wal-Mart:

  • 7 packages of Quantum dishwasher tablets (my favorite) priced matched to Target's ad, and used $2.50 coupons (.99 cents each)
  • 6 bottles of All, I made a mistake there, I didn't know this was a CVS "card" price.  I thought it was just a sale price.  They did not want to put it back, and price matched it anyway.  Used $2.00 coupons ($1.99 each)
  • 5 Healthy Choice meals, $1.89 each, used $5.00 off of 5 coupons , so .89 cents each
  • 2 I Can't Believe it's not Butter, used $1.00 coupons
  • Velveeta, used a $1.00 coupon
  • Husband's prescription
  • Miracle Whip
  • Tabasco 
  • Caesar dressing
  • Constant Comment Tea
  • A deli pizza for supper (some things you just buy with no coupons because you want them...) 
Menards:
I took advantage of a rebate here to buy some additional things we need / want
  • 2 bags chips
  • 2 containers Fritos Cheese Sauce (great on potatoes)
  • parmesan cheese
  • 2 bags of marked down Snickers
Walgreens:
  • 4 double packs of Reach toothbrushes 
  • 2 single Reach toothbrushes (all toothbrushes ended up free after coupons) 
  • 2 packages of Nepsporin Lip Health
I spent $3.62 at Walgreens and then received a $3.00 Register Reward for the Neosporin! 

I had not been doing much coupon shopping lately.  Felt good to feel the rush again! 

I am tracking my spending this year, and my coupon savings.  I will probably give a monthly report.