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Saturday, December 31, 2011

For Bill

It's been 25 years and I still miss you everyday.


Forever
Stuck in time, forever a teen
Never growing up,
Somehow it seems
That time has flown by,
The years have gone fast
But I remember the past.
Watching my children,
Remembering my own childhood,
Brothers and sisters
Should grow old together.
But you’re gone forever.
Stuck in time,
Forever a teen.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Not a happy anniversary

This New Year's marks the 25th anniversary of my brother's death. I've realized lately that many of you didn't know about my brother until recently, or at all. It took me over 20 years to even really be able to talk about it. In March 2010, I started speaking at Victim's Impact Panels and it has really helped me deal with some of the emotions I had been stuffing down for years. I'll try to tell the story briefly here.

New Year's Day 1987, my family's life was changed because of drinking and driving. I remember waking up super early that morning to the phone ringing. My ex-husband and I were in San Antonio visiting his family for the holidays. My aunt was calling to tell me that my brother Bill had been killed shortly after midnight. Turns out he and some friends went out celebrating New Year's. They had all been drinking and had a wreck on a deserted county road. Bill was thrown from the pickup and killed instantly. It is hard to even remember the emotions that ran through me when I heard. I didn't believe it. I was screaming "NO, NO, NO". I was angry. I was heartbroken.

Bill was 18 years old. He had just finished his first semester of college. He didn't get to get married and have a family. He didn't get to know his nieces and nephews. They only know him through pictures and stories (and there are some good stories!).

It's hard to lose someone you love. But it's even worse when it happens because of something that could have been prevented. With that being said, I beg of you, please don't drive under the influence!!! Call a cab, call a friend, stay where you are, call me! I want to be able to spend time with each one of you in 2012.


Monday, December 12, 2011

Happy Anniversary to my husband Tom!

Today, Tom and I celebrate our 19th wedding anniversary! I like him and love him just as much as I did the day we were married 19 years ago. He is kind-hearted, understanding, loving, and can almost always make me laugh. I am looking forward to the rest of our lives together!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Happy First Date Anniversary!

Twenty years ago tonight, Tom and I went on our first date. You know how he woke me up this morning? By giving me a kiss and telling me happy anniversary. How lucky am I to be married to someone who still remembers the date of the first time we went out?

Monday, December 5, 2011

Interview tonight

I have an interview tonight (Monday, December 5th) to fill an opening in my child care. Please pray that if it is God's will that this work out.

Thank you!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Have you liked my friend's Facebook page?

Have you liked my friend's Facebook page?

When she reaches 500 likes, she'll be giving away one of her new books Jungle Friends: Mack the Missing Monkey and a copy of her first book Jungle Friends: Leo the Lion and the Big Bug Dilemma plus a set of finger puppets!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Our Dreams & God's Dreams for Us

You know what I love about Women of Faith? The speakers are all real women who sin and aren't afraid to admit it and talk about what they've learned from it.

Anyway, Sandi Patty spoke about her dream. As a child, she dreamed of singing at Disney Land. She auditioned there as a teen and felt like it went really well. But when she called back a few week's later, they told her that while her voice was beautiful, she was too heavy and couldn't dance well enough. She was devastated. Little did she know the plans and dreams that God had for her.

What dreams of yours have been crushed only to find out later that God had a better plan? When I lost my job at Taco Bueno, I was heartbroken, especially since I was unfairly fired. The manager that fired me got fired herself just a few days later and I probably could have got my job back, but I decided not to even try. It's a long story, but the short version is that I got fired after reporting the manager to the business abuse line for stealing. When the district manager found out, he fired the manager.

Anyway, little did I know that God would lead me into child care. I've been doing it for 18 years now. I love working at home, I was able to be here for my kids everyday when they came home from school. I've seen lots of kids grow up over the years and some of them even have kids of their own. It may be sign that I'm getting old when a former child calls and asks me if I have openings for their child. LOL!

I don't know what God has next for me, but I'm trying to listen and follow His lead.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Ask yourself good questions

Andy Andrews was one of the speakers during the pre-conference on Friday and on Friday night. Now I had never heard of him, but I am a big fan now. Although he was a little hyper on the stage. LOL.

Now I've heard versions of this before and it just makes sense. But it's one of those things that I always think, okay yeah that sounds great.Then I don't follow through with it.

Anyway, one of his points was that we need to ask ourselves good questions. What does this mean?

Well, instead of asking myself something like "Why am I so fat or why can't I control my eating?", I should ask myself something like "How can I improve my energy level?"

So this has me thinking about different areas of my life:

Instead of "Why can't we get ahead or why can't we get out of debt?". How about "What can we do to improve our financial situation?".

Instead of "Why isn't my daycare full?", I could ask myself: "What can I do to get the word out?".

Obviously, I'm not very good at this yet. But another thing I try to keep in mind when I"m getting frustrated at things like this is that God does know what HE is doing. I can't tell you how many times I've looked back on a situation and realized that God's hand was there all along. So that helps me through a lot of things.

Next, we'll talk about our dreams (not sleepy-time dreams but life dreams)

Monday, November 14, 2011

Women of Faith

Over the next few days, I want to share my Women of Faith experiences and some things I remember from the speakers.

The worst thing about the weekend was having to come home and tell Tom he was right. LOL. I had not wanted to go to Women of Faith this year. I don't know why, I always love it. He kept telling me that the fact that I didn't want to go probably meant that I needed it all that much more. Then I decided I would go, but I wouldn't go until Friday evening. Well, I had forgot that I was going to pick up a lady here in Pond Creek on Friday morning to take her to meet the bus. So I went Friday morning. I was so glad I did, because the speakers really spoke straight to me on Friday.

A favorite quote from a speaker:
"Life isn't fair, but God is good". I think it was Brenda Warner who said that. I started out trying to take notes but it was dark and I couldn't see what I was writing and it didn't make much sense later. LOL.

But isn't that the truth? Is it fair that Tom and I can't seem to get ahead no matter what we do? Well, maybe not. But God is still in control and God is good. He always seems to pull us through each crisis (or maybe He pushes me, LOL).

Tomorrow I'm going to talk about asking ourselves good questions.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Is God listening?

Sometimes I wonder if God is listening to me. Do you ever wonder that? I had a reality check last Friday. It had been one of those days. Heck, it had been one of those weeks. LOL. Among other things, I had a parent unable to pay me the full amount which left me in a bind. Then Friday at lunchtime, my sink clogged up. Now there's something about this kitchen sink, whenever it gets clogged, I can never get it undone,I always have to call a plumber. It clogs so far down in the line that I can't get it through normal methods. Anyway, because our emergency fund is non-existent and I hadn't got all the income I planned on, I was freaking out! I needed to unplug this myself because I didn't have the $'s to call a plumber. I prayed about it. I asked God to unclog my sink. I figured, He's a big guy, He can do it, right? I was even specific in my prayers, I asked him to unplug it by 2:00 or i was going to have to call a plumber. I didn't want to go into the weekend with no kitchen sink. So anyway, 2:00 came and it was still just as clogged. I was mad. Why couldn't God have unplugged my sink? Where was I going to get the money to pay a plumber? I called our normal plumbers, they were busy and couldn't come. I called another one, it was going to be A WEEK before he could come. Then I remember a friend's husband does some plumbing jobs and got ahold of her. He came over and got it undone and to top it off, they wanted to trade for child care! So, God was listening, just not in the way that I thought He was. My sink was unclogged and I had enough money to go get groceries.

So to answer myself, yes God is listening.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Let your light shine

Last night was the last night of revival. If you've ever been to a revival that Ernie Perkins is doing, then you know his wife Wanda brings her friend Wally(you can see some old pics from when she came to my house a few years ago) and does a skit for the kids. Anyway, last night, she did a skit on letting our light shine before men. Which got me to thinking, how is my light shining? Do people know that I am a Christian just by my actions? I go to church, but what about out in the world, like at the grocery store? Or at home with my husband? It's definitely something to think about.

Matthew 5:15 & 16
15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Revival at Bethel Hawley Baptist Church!

My favorite time of year at church is the annual revival! It is always so uplifting to my spirits and an encouragement to me. It is Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. at Bethel Hawley Baptist Church.

Friday, October 28, 2011

My friend is having a contest

My friend Brenda is having a contest on Facebook to give away her children's book: Jungle Friends: Leo the Lion and the Big Bug Dilemma and a set of finger puppets to go with it. All you have to do is go to her page and "like" it. When she gets 500 likes, she will hold a drawing to give away the book and puppets! Even if you don't have children, you probably know someone who would love this book!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Ok, seriously

I have to quit climbing over the gates! Ugh! I fell again today and I am so dang sore. At least this time didn't result in an ER visit. LOL.

I've been walking everyday since October 14th. The last couple of days I have really not wanted to, but I've done it anyway. Go me!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Any movement is good movement

Tom said something last night that got me thinking. He thinks that for exercise to do any good, it has to get your heart rate up. I suppose that's true to a certain extent. But my theory is, any movement is good movement. I can't do anything to get my heart rate up if I don't get up and get moving in the first place. I think this is what burns alot of people out on exercise or scares them away from starting in the first place, the fear that it has to be done a "certain" way. Do I want to lose weight? Well, hello, look at me. Of course I do. But you know, more than that, i want to FEEL GOOD!

What benefits have I seen from my morning walks?

1. My blood sugar has been lower.
2. I feel better.
3. My energy is better throughout the whole day just from that 10 minute walk. That leads to burning more calories (cause I move more throughout the day).
4. It gives me time to think. I get alot of ideas for my writing while I"m out walking.

Yesterday, I walked a little further. I plan to continue adding a little more distance each week or so. But for now, I'm happy to just be up and moving!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Do or Do Not: There is no Try

I have been re-reading one of my favorite books: Finding Your Smile Again by Jeff Johnson, about helping child care providers get through burnout. I took an online class from Jeff a few weeks ago and it inspired me to re-read the book. In the book, Jeff tells a story involving Kermit the Frog and Yoda. The quote from Yoda is: "Do or do not. There is no try".

So, for six of the last seven days, I have got up and taken a walk in the morning. The other day (last Saturday), I got up and mowed the lawn, so I figured that counted. LOL. Hopefully this is just another step in changing my life and turning things around. Seven days may not seem like a big deal to some people, but it is huge for me.

I had been saying for a while that I was going to "try" to start walking. I realized that saying I was going to try wasn't working. I decided I wasn't going to try, I was going to do it! Last Thursday night, I laid out my clothes and shoes and Friday morning, I just did it. I'm starting out with about 10 minutes and plan to up it a little bit each week. The best thing is: no wheezing! Sure, I get a little out of breath but I'm not gasping for air. Woohoo!!!!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

It's about making memories

With Halloween just around the corner, I've been thinking alot about Halloween's from when my kids were little. I think my favorite year and the best costumes was from the year that we didn't have the money to go buy costumes. So I told the kids that we had to come up with ideas using stuff we already had. Their costumes that year were great, Serenity was a ghost, Josh was a vampire, and Natasha was a witch.

Aren't these holidays more about making memories than about what great costume you can buy or how much candy you can give? If you want some fun and cheap Halloween ideas, check out the Living on a Dime site. She has some wonderful and frugal Halloween ideas posted.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Sacred Interactions

In his book Finding Your Smile Again, Jeff A. Johnson shares this from a keynote speech at a child care conference given by Mimi Brodsky Chenfeld. She describes the time that providers spend with children as "sacred interactions. Sacred interactions: blessed, holy, spiritual, divine, deep, meaningful, profound, important, celestial, significant interactions.

This is so true of working with children or raising children. We need to be there in the moment with them. Each moment we have with them is sacred.I can remember my kids taking my face in their hands to look at them when they wanted my attention, because my attention was elsewhere even though I thought it was with them. Kids KNOW the difference! And as true as this is about kids, isn't it true of life, too? Each moment we have is sacred. That may sound sappy and silly, but it's true. So whether you're working with children, raising children, spending time with grandchildren, or anything else. Take the time to be there for each moment, not 100 miles away thinking about something else.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Getting Stuck

This morning, I was mowing the lawn. We have three gates on our play yard. One of them is the one that the kids and I use all the time to go in and out. The other two don't get used very often, so they tend to get overgrown and stuck if we're not careful to move them around and mow through them. We had got into the habit of just weed-eating the big one in the back and earlier this spring when I tried to open it to mow through it, I ended up pulling it completely off it's hinges. So the last couple of times we've mowed, I've made sure to open the gate and mow through it. It is amazing how fast the grass and weeds grow up around and start holding that gate down. So anyway, that got me to thinking about an idea for a post.

Isn't that what we do? We get stuck. We don't move out of our comfort zone and things grow up and change around us and we're still there, unable to move. Let's face it, change is scary! Even if you're not happy with where your life is, usually it's easier to just stay where you are than it is to change. That's where I am in my life right now. I am tired of being stuck and I want to move and change! What am I doing to facilitate this?

1. I launched a blog about couponing and I am preparing a class on saving money and couponing to start offering in the area. My hope is to develop this into a business to make money to help us with our goal of getting out of debt.

2. I am going to start walking again. I got up yesterday morning at 4:45 and took a 10 minute walk! I got up this morning and mowed the lawn. I feel SO much better when I start the day with movement, but it is hard to have the discipline to do it.

Those are my two steps right now. The other thing about change is if you do too much too fast or you pull too hard (like I did with the gate last spring), you can end up way off from where you want to be. Sometimes that is necessary, but in this case, I think I want to take it slow and go where God leads me.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Breathing is awesome!

The last few days I have been thinking alot about health. It was a year ago at this time that I was going to multiple doctors and having multiple tests done to try and figure out why I was having so much trouble breathing. After they finally discovered the problem with my windpipe (after years of asthma meds that did no good), I had a major surgery in December. It was scary, but now almost a year later, I am so glad I did it! This fall for the first time during the fall allergy season in recent history, I CAN BREATHE! Sure, I still have allergy problems, but it's not being compounded by my windpipe swelling up to where I am constantly wheezing. I have had a couple of colds since the surgery and even though I felt lousy, my breathing was so much better than from any colds I've had in the past several years, it was amazing to even have a cold!

This morning, as I played outside with my kids. I was pulling them around the yard in the wagon, helping the little ones teeter-totter, "flying" one of the boys around like an airplane. And it hit me. A year ago, I couldn't have done any of that. A year ago, I was literally gasping for air and wheezing just from walking across the street or the yard. God was so good and faithful in helping find out what was wrong and directing me to the doctor that could help me.

Don't take your health for granted. It is a blessing!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Ever feel like giving up?

Do you ever feel like giving up? Truth is, I feel like that alot from time to time. It is funny when I am feeling down or worried about something how often my daily devotional hits the nail right on the head. Today's devotional was from Isaiah 40. Read this:

28 Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The LORD is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.
29 He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
30 Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
31 but those who hope in the LORD
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.


It really made me think about how I need to rely on God and not on myself!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Announcing my new blog!

I am starting a coupon and deals blog, focusing on deals here in North Central Oklahoma. Check it out: Cruising with Coupons in North Central Oklahoma!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Random Thoughts

Today I just have a bunch of rambling, random thoughts, so here we go:

I didn't do much shopping this weekend, but Tom & I did get two 12 packs of Cottonelle toilet paper for less than $8 total at Walgreen's. Toilet paper is something that I haven't been able to stock up on alot yet, so I'm hoping to keep finding some good deals on it. It's downright depressing how much we spend to wipe our bottom. Sorry, probably TMI there. LOL.

We also saved 25% off our meal at Buffalo Wild Wings on Friday night by joining their text club.

I've been thinking (Scary, I know!) about what Brenda said in the comment section about me earning money teaching others how to save. Teaching others is a passion of mine. I love preparing and teaching classes for other child care providers. I even have a class on tightwad tips. What I need help on is the following:

1. Prayers that if this is God's will, He will show me the way and open the right doors.

2. Ideas of where to have classes.

3. Prayers of encouragement.

Truth is, I'm really discouraged because none of my extra money-making ideas have panned out. I've tried writing (another passion of mine), but do not seem to get enough views on my articles to make it worthwhile. I've tried offering date night child care, noone seems interested in taking advantage of it. There are other ideas, too numerous to mention. It gets to the point where I am so discouraged that I do not want to try anything for fear of failing, yet again.

So, there you go. My random Monday morning thoughts.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Saturday bargains!


Saturday morning, Tom and I got up and went garage saleing. The first sale that we stopped at was a child care center that was closing down. I got this water table for $10. I got a new step stool for the bathroom. My old one was a Little Tikes 10 cent find, I've had it at least 11-12 years! I plan to keep using it for the little boys who want to stand up at the potty. I also found a table top puppet theater, a new CD player (mine was messing up), a couple of outside toys, and she gave me some like new nap mats!

Later, I went to United and got some of their sale items. Got 12 cans each of corn, green beans, and peas at 39 cents a can, used my rain check on the cream of mushroom soup, got 6 cans for 50 cents each. Had to get another rain check on the cream of broccoli soup, though. They were out. Also used my Taco Bell taco shells rain check. The rain checks had 50 cent off egg coupons on the back and eggs were on sale for 99 cents, so I got two dozen eggs for 49 cents a dozen! I also got some other sale items that were buy $20 worth, get a $6 United gift card. I mailed that stuff off this morning. All in all, a great bargain weekend!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

I am on a roll!


I have been a cleaning and organizing machine lately! LOL. In the last few days, I have:

1. Worked on straightening up Josh's room so I can use it as a daycare storage room.
2. Worked on recording all of my work hours for this year (for tax purposes).
3. Went through all of my receipts and recorded them (also for tax purposes).
4. Did some straightening and organizing in the office and our bedroom.

Next I need to straighten up my pantry so it's easier to find what we have. It's getting pretty stuffed. What a blessing!

Last night's bargains:

Staples:
Two 8 roll packs of Bounty paper towels (on sale for 4.99 each)
Two dry erase calendar boards (on sale for $1 each)
1 package of binder clips (on sale for $1)
With a coupon for one of the Bounty's and a $12 Staples Reward, my out of pocket was 81 cents. Yes, 81 Cents!!!!!! (See attached picture)

Walgreen's
Thera-Flu products, on sale 2/$10 with a $5 Register Reward. I had a $3 off two coupon, making it 2/$7, plus the Register Reward
Also got boxes of cereal bars and granola bars for Natasha on sale for $2 each. With previous Register Rewards and the coupon, my out of pocket total was $7.48.

Another Walgreen's visit: Two packages of 12 roll Cottonelle for $5 each with 75 cent off coupons. I had taken my coupons to K-Mart first because they are doubling this week, but their Cottonelle was $8.49 for 12 rolls, so no bargain there. Didn't end up buying anything at K-Mart, no good sales that matched my coupons. I was very sad.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Bargains from last night

I went grocery shopping last night. These are the bargains I found:

Wal-Green's
Dayquill/Nyquil products 2/$11 with a $2 Register Reward. I also had a $3 off coupon which made them 2/$6 after the Register Reward.
Excedrin headache medicine was buy $15, get $7 in Register Rewards. I found one with a $3 off peelie coupon and had $1.50 coupon so got two bottles.
Lady Speed stick, on the clearance aisle for $1, had buy one get one free coupon, so got them for 50 cents each!

With coupons and previous Register Reward coupons, my out of pocket for all of that was $12. Got $9 in Register Rewards for a future purchase.

United:
Taco Bell salsa, on sale 2/$4, had an in-store coupon for $2 off, so got them for $1 each.
Chicken Helpers on sale for $1.25, with coupons, $1 each
Progresso soups, on sale for 99 cents to 1.50, had coupons making them between 74 cents and 1.25 each. Stocked up on soups for a while!
No coupons, but Best Choice cream soups were 50 cents a can. Got several cream of celery and cream of chicken, and rain checks for mushroom and broccoli because they were out of those.
Also got rain checks for Taco Bell taco shells, on sale for 99 cents, but they were out.

Wal-Mart
Price matched Hamburger and Tuna Helpers (on sale at K-mart for $1, but they were completely wiped out of them). With coupons, 75 cents each.

As I have been doing this, I'm learning stuff along the way. Earlier in the year (around May), I found Van Camp's Pork & Beans for 25 cents a can (with coupon and sale) and bought 8 cans, I'm on the last can and haven't found as good of a deal again. So when they go on sale again next year at the beginning of summer, I will try to find more coupons and stock up some more.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Did a Dave Ramsey No-No

Well, Tom and I made the decision to do a Dave Ramsey no-no this week and borrowed against his 401K. This is allowing us to pay off all of my medical bills from last year as well as settle a couple of credit card bills. Hopefully this will help us be able to get a foothold and make some progress. It leaves us with 4 other credit card bills (two more of which I hope to settle within the next few weeks, one of which we have payment arrangements on, and another which I'll be sending a letter to try and make arrangements on), Tom's medical bills (which we are making payments on), our house, and student loans. Please pray for our creditors to have mercy on us as we try to work out arrangements with them.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Food Pyramid Deals

Last night, Tom and I went to Ponca City so I could speak at a Victim's Impact Panel. I had looked at the Food Pyramid ad before we went and knew they had a couple of things I wanted to get. When I got there, I found out that they had their Libby's canned veggies on sale too, so got even more than I expected.

Libby's vegetables on sale 59 cents a can. I had $1/4 coupons, making them 34 cents a can.

Libby's canned fruit on sale for $1 a can, I had $1/2 coupons, making them 50 cents a can.

Food Pyramid doubles coupons up to 50 cents, so...

Spaghetti-O's, on sale for $1 a can, I had coupons that doubled making them 60 cents a can.

Ravioli, on sale for $1 a can, I had a coupon that doubled, making them 50 cents a can.

I got 16 cans of veggies, 8 cans of fruit, 6 cans of Spaghetti-O's, and 2 cans of Chef Boyardee Ravioli for $19.26!! Would have got more of the fruit and veggies if I'd had any more coupons.

Monday, September 19, 2011

I really like coupons

This past Friday, I was the annoying person at Wal-Mart with a cart full of stuff, and a handful of coupons. LOL. I also had some items to price match. Some of my deals:

Wal-mart:
12 packages of Tide Single load, $4 for all with coupons. Super handy for Natasha doing her laundry in the basement of her dorm.
Totino's frozen pizzas, 1.25 each, $1 each after coupons
Hot Pockets: price matched 3/$5, with coupons: 3/$4. These are great lunches for Tom to take to work.
Saved 50 cents on three boxes of Kleenex and 55 cents on a package of Sparkle paper towels and $1 on White Cloud toilet paper
Campbell's tomato and chicken noodle soup, price matched 5/$3, after coupons averaged 52 cents a can.

Walgreens:
4 bottles of Gain laundry detergent: $5 each, $4 each after coupon
2 bottles of Downy fabric softener: $4 each, 3.25 after coupon
3 bottles of Dawn, 99 cents, 49 cents after coupons
1 bag of Cascade packets, $4, $3 after coupons

My total after coupons was about $29, then I got $13 in Register Rewards back. I gave the bottles of Gain to Serenity and Josh. It's awesome to be able to save money and help out my kids in some little ways!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Putting right along

Well, time is putting right along and it's already been a couple of weeks since a blog post! So sorry!

One of my latest bargains, Labor Day weekend, I went into K-Mart because they had General Mills cereal on sale 5/$10. I got 5 boxes of it and used coupons I had for some of them. Spent about $8 on 5 boxes of cereal. Along with that, I got another coupon for $2 off 5 more boxes of GM cereal (haven't used that one yet) and a coupon for $5 off a $20 grocery or drugstore purchase. Just so happened that K-mart had Quaker cereals on sale the next week 4/$10 so I got 8 boxes. With the coupon, I spent about $2 a box. Peanut Butter Crunch is Tasha's favorite so I sent her a couple of boxes, the rest is for Tom, Josh, and the daycare.

This week, I have been re-reading a book that my friend got me for Christmas last year: Cure for the Common Life by Max Lucado. It's very interesting, it's about living life in your "sweet spot", where God intends you to be. If you like to read, you might want to check that book out.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Bargains and Updates

Well, I was finally able to do some grocery shopping on Saturday. I am so grateful for my stockpile of food, it made it easier to deal with being unable to shop last week. With Tom going to the hospital to see his dad and the other car being on the fritz, it got put off till Saturday.

Wal-Mart:
Tide single loads, 97 cents at Wal-Mart, had $1 off coupons, FREE!
Dial liquid hand soap, 4/$5 at United (price matched at Wal-Mart), 90 cents each with 35 cent off coupons
I also picked up some games on the clearance aisle to put back as Christmas presents.

Wal-Greens:
Degree deodorant, on sale 2/$4 with a $1 Register Reward. 75 cent off coupons made them $1.25 each, then with the RR's, they will end up being 75 cents each.
Mitchum deodorant, on sale 1.99 each, 75 cent off coupons, $1.24 each
Dawn dish liquid, on sale for 99 cents, 50 cent off coupons made it 49 cents

Tom's dad seems to be doing well, they have moved him to another hospital for therapy now.

The car is still on the fritz, going to call mechanic after checking battery/cables one more time.

Tasha seems to be doing well at college. It was really weird going grocery shopping without her, she always went with me and helped me.

Hope everyone has a great week!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Emotionally Exhausted

Well, after moving Tasha to the dorms last week, the a/c issues, car issues, and family issues, I am emotionally exhausted! The a/c quit again on Sunday. We turned it off for a while and then turned it back on and it came back on. The repairman came on Monday and was going to replace the fan motor. After looking at it, he decided that he would try just cleaning out everything first. That seems to be working so far (prayers going up, up, up!). My husband's dad fell last Saturday and they finally figured out yesterday that he broke his hip so he will be having surgery today. I'm so glad we know what is going on now. Please pray for him as he has surgery today and recovers.

Other than that, not much going on. Because of the car issues and my father-in-law being in the hospital, I haven't been able to do any coupon shopping this week. Hoping to do that tomorrow morning. REALLY need to get some food, etc. in this house. LOL!

Friday, August 19, 2011

ARGHHH!!!!!!

When we got home from moving Tasha to the dorms last night, it was 88 degrees in our house. The unit was running, but nothing was blowing out of the vents. I had to close today because of a licensing rule that I have to keep the house 80 degrees and under. Couldn't afford it, but well...there it is. Called the repairman and he came out this morning. We turned the unit on and of course, it fired right up. It's still 85 in here, but I'm hoping it will cool down over night. I'm not sure whether to be relieved that it came on or worried about if/when it's going to happen again. He thought maybe the fan motor overheated and shut off.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Impressed with my Handy Husband!

Well, I found a video of how to fix the problem with our washer online, plus written step-by-step instructions. It didn't look that hard, so I had Tom watch it and he thought he could do it. So we found the part at a store in Enid, picked it up Saturday morning and Tom fixed it Saturday afternoon! Took him less than an hour. Saved us big bucks (both in labor and in laundromat fees) while we waited on getting it fixed or buying another one.

I am so proud of him!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Swimming against the current

Sometimes I feel like we're swimming against the current. We just start to make some headway and wham, we're knocked back down. Our washing machine is broke down now. The local guy can't fix it "because he's too old" and I just feel very frustrated and upset. But...God is in control, right? It's just a washing machine.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Tonight's Bargains

I did my shopping tonight and found these bargains:

United had a sale, buy 10 items get $5 off. I got 5 BBQ sauce and 5 more Planters Peanut butter for 99 cents each after the $5 off. I also had another store coupon so got an additional 50 cents off of one of the peanut butters. We should be set on peanut butter for a while.

At United, they also had Bic pens on sale 2/$1. I had coupons for $1 off of the purchase of two so I got 4 packs of ink pens for free.

At Wal-Mart, I price matched 4 more boxes of Gain. It was on sale for $5 at Family Dollar. This week, the price at Wal-Mart on the Gain was $6.84. I'm not sure if I misread it last week (I thought it was $6.48 last week) or if it has gone up. At any rate, just to give you an example of the kinds of savings you can get by combining a sale and a coupon:

Regular price of Gain at Wal-Mart: $6.84 for a 40 load box. About 17 cents a load.

If you just used the $2 off box of Gain powder coupon, you'd get that for $4.84, or about 12 cents a load.

Combining the price matched sale and the coupon, it's about 7.5 cents a load! That is a huge savings!

I still have 4 more coupons, I'm trying to decide whether to get 4 more boxes (there is a limit of 4 coupons per transaction).

I was a little disappointed that I wasn't able to use my Tide coupons. I have some Tide coupons for $1 off any Tide detergent. If I use them on the travel size, I can get them free. I was going to get some to send with my youngest daughter for college. Hopefully they'll get some in before I go next time.

I am aware that other laundry detergents can probably be bought cheaper than Gain or Tide, but the original scents of both of those are ones that I know don't cause any skin problems in my family. A couple of my family members have broken out in hives or a rash from laundry detergents so I try not to get too adventurous with laundry detergent. LOL.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Last Week's Savings

I just want to share a few things that I bought last week so I'm doing two blog posts today so I don't forget! LOL!

Bounty Napkins, on sale for $1 at United, had $1 off coupons-got 4 packages for FREE!

Kellogg's Cereal and crackers, on sale for 2.49 each with a store coupon if you bought 10 boxes, you got $5 off, bringing it down to $20. Used three $1 manufacturer coupons on top of that: average price $1.70 for 7 boxes of cereal and 3 boxes of crackers.

Boneless skinless chicken, 1.49 a pound. Bought about 20 pounds worth. No coupons, but a good price.

Gain laundry detergent. On sale for 4.99 at Wal-Greens, where they were out. Price matched at Wal-Mart. Had $2 off Gain powder coupons, so got them for 2.99 each, got 4 of them (that was the max of those coupons that could be used at once). That is a savings of more than 50% off the Wal-Mart regular price of 6.48. Saw that they are on sale for $5 at Family Dollar this week, hope to buy some more since I still have coupons. We're on our last box of what I bought earlier this summer on sale and with coupons for 3.99. A box usually lasts me about 2 weeks so 4 boxes will last me about 2 months. Hope to get enough to last for several months.

$10.99 Schick Hydro razor at Wal-Greens for $1.

Planters Peanut Butter for $1 at United with a rain check (they were out of the creamy when it was on sale last week). Had a 50 cent off coupon that I could use on one of them so got one of them for 50 cents!

On the back of the rain check, there was a 50 cent coupon for Best Choice ice cream or eggs. I used it on eggs which were on sale for 88 cents, so got a dozen eggs for 38 cents.

More of what I learned from the Money Saving Queen

The first part of the class focused on coupons, the second part focused on saving money in other areas. Basically, take the principles and apply them to other areas of your life.

For example, find out what time is the best time of year to buy certain items. Right now is the best time of year to buy school supplies. Don't just buy enough to get your kids started, buy enough to last the whole year. That way when they run out of paper or all their crayons break, etc., you have extras at home that you bought at the sale price and you don't have to go out and pay full price. And keep in mind that Wal-mart is not necessarily the best place to buy school supplies. I've seen great sales at United grocery stores, Staples, and Wal-Greens. You might be able to do some price matching at Wal-Mart if you want to make it easier on yourself, though. One thing I have noticed about Wal-Mart the last few years, they do not put their school supplies on sale like they used to.

For clothes, do a Google search to see if you can find a coupon code for the store or brand you want. Look for the best way to purchase it. Often you can get better deals online than you can in the store.

She also shared several sites that you can get deals through, or earn points to get gift cards, etc.

Swagbucks
No More Rack
Rue La La


These are just a few. You can do a Google search for Groupon, Living Social, Bzzagent, and Retail Me Not.

Happy Savings!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

What I Learned from the Money Saving Queen

Yesterday, my best friend and I went to see Sarah Roe aka "Money Saving Queen" from the Tulsa, OK area. If you haven't checked out her website, then I highly recommend it: Money Saving Queen. She also has a wonderful book on saving money with coupons, written from a Christian point of view: The Power of Coupons: 13 Ways to Save.

Some of the things that I learned yesterday, I already knew, but sometimes it's still good to hear them again. Here are a few of them:

1. Keep a price log on the things you buy most frequently in order to determine the sales prices. That way, you'll know when it's at the best price.

2. When it's at the "Rock Bottom" price, use a coupon to buy it, increasing your savings even more.

3. Stockpile enough to get till the next sales cycle (as a general rule, about every 6-8 weeks).

4. Match coupons to sales flyers for the best deals (MSQ's website does this for you on many Oklahoma stores).

5. Plan weekly menus around sale items and stockpile.

6. Stack manufacturer coupons with store coupons.

Next time, I'll share some of her tips for saving money on other items!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Hot summer days

It seems like every summer I hit "burn-out" towards the end of it. This summer, with the loss of my ex-mother-in-law, the whole FCCRS thing, and several other issues, it's worse than usual. I am behind on everything and feeling very overwhelmed. But, God is in control and it will all work out, right? So, I have some prayer requests:

1.I need to fill some openings in my child care.
2. We need some ways to refill our emergency fund.
3. I am working on a child care class that I am teaching in August and really need it to come together.
4. I am also trying to put together some Christian lesson plans for my child care and need some help/guidance with that.

Thanks!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

White Cloud Coupons

I wrote White Cloud toilet paper about how much I liked their product and they sent me some $2 off coupons. Planning to use those on my shopping trip today. Haven't had much time for coupon shopping this month so haven't got many bargains. I do need to share about one great one that I got earlier this month though! I had written Bar S and they sent me a $2 VIP certificate. I bought 5 packages of hot dogs on sale for 88 cents each for a total of $4.40 and used the VIP certificate to bring it down to $2.40, then I was able to use a couple of $1 off 2 coupons to bring my total down to 40 cents for 5 packages of hot dogs! So, you don't need doubling to get extreme deals! You just have to be willing to look for the sales and combine it with coupons. Even without the VIP certificate, I would have got 5 packages for $2.40! That's pretty darn good!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Happy Birthday Tom!

Today's blog post is dedicated to my wonderful, sweet, kind, and understanding husband Tom. I wish I could be with you on your birthday, but I can't wait to go out together on Saturday!

My evaluator finally showed up on July 11th, my first day back from "staycation". The kids were crazy, but I guess it went okay. She was here for 6 hours! I won't know any official results for 6-8 weeks, but I am just glad it's over.

This week has been VBS at our church. I'm leaving here everyday around 4:45, getting home about 9:30 or so, and then getting up and doing it again. I'm driving the bus and Tasha's riding with me to help monitor the kids, plus one of my child care families is helping transport the overflow. Plus I'm helping teach the 5th & 6th grade class. Needless to say, I am TIRED! But it has been a wonderful week and I've got to know some really great kids.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Loving the Coupons

I had got behind on cutting and sorting coupons. When Tasha and I went to Norman last week, I spent some time in the motel room cutting, then sorted them out Saturday. Then Saturday evening, I went to K-mart because they were having a double coupon event (they would double any coupon up to 99 cents). I was able to get:

Brownie mixes for 67 cents each
Cake mix/frosting for around $1.00 total
Curad band-aids for about $1.30-$1.50 (got some different sizes)
Ban deodorant for 50 cents (only got one because that was all the had. BUMMER)
Suddenly Salad pasta mixes for 50 cents each
Also got some sugar free and regular Jello pudding (pre-made 4 pack containers) for 75 cents with a buy 3 get 1 free coupon (they were on sale for $1).

Got some bug spray to go around the outside of the house for 4.99. I had a $3 off coupon for it and it was on sale for 7.99. Was almost $12 at Wal-Mart!!!!

At Wal-Mart, I got some stuff too:
White Cloud toilet paper (12 pack on rollback for $5.37, had $1 off coupons making it $4.37, got two)
Boxes of microwave popcorn for 98 cents each with $1 off 2 coupon
Two more boxes of Gain fabric softener sheets for 87 cents with $1 off coupons
And used a 10% off All You magazine to get my July issue of All You (they are full of coupons). It was the most trouble and it only saved me 19 cents, LOL.

I wrote White Cloud last week telling them how much I liked their toilet paper and they said they would send me coupons. I'll let you know what I get!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Still waiting...

I'm still waiting on my evaluator to show up. Monday and Tuesday are the last two days. So by Tuesday night, it should be over one way or another! This waiting has been hard! But with all the other stuff going on this month (losing my ex-mother-in-law, etc.), it has just been a long month.

I have one more week to work until we're on staycation. We are taking off the week of the 4th this year because Vacation Bible School falls the week we normally take off (Tom's birthday week).

Friday, June 24, 2011

Sounds like life to me

I heard the most awesome song on the radio on the way back from Norman today. Tasha's been listening to country music lately. I loved this song:

Sounds like life to me it ain’t no fantasy
It’s just a common case of everyday reality
Man I know it’s tough but you gotta suck it up
To hear you talk you’re caught up in some tragedy
It sounds like life to me

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Fridge is Fixed?!

Hopefully the fridge is fixed now. The repairman ordered a defrost timer and put it in today. Wasn't real expensive and I'm really hoping it fixes it. Will be nice not to be using that little dorm fridge, although I am incredibly grateful that we were able to borrow it! What a blessing!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Life's Curveballs

Well, as usual, in our household, when it rains, it pours. Our fridge is on the fritz. A guy came and looked at it on Friday, cleaned the coils, etc., declared it fixed, and left. All weekend, it was up and down. It would be zero in the freezer, then 40, 40 in the fridge, then 50 or 55. So I called him again yesterday. His response? "Well I can look at it, but that should have fixed it". Well Hello! It didn't! Anyway, he came and looked at it again and now it's the defrost timer. So we'll see. He ordered one, hoped it might be in today. Then my ex's mother passed away Saturday. We got the call as we were leaving our great-niece's birthday party. That funeral is tomorrow. Plus, I am on pins and needles everyday waiting for the evaluator to show up for my Environmental Rating Scale. And the cherry on top? I've been having trouble lately with a couple of child care clients (checks that wasn't good and other drama).

My mantra? God is in control!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Path Life Takes

Have you ever thought about the path your life has taken? And how different people along the way have changed it or affected it? That's been on my mind lately with my ex's mother not expected to make it. I think about that part of my life, when I first met them. Last month would have been my 25th wedding anniversary, had we stayed married. This month is the 20th anniversary of him walking out of our life (mine and the kids). I always wanted the kids to have a relationship with their grandparents, no matter what choices their son had made. So even though it was hard for me emotionally at times, we stayed in touch with them. In time, they "adopted" Natasha and treated her just like one of their own grandkids. And treated Tom & I like one of the family. I am sad for the path that their son chose to take, but I am happy that I stayed involved with them and stayed close to their family. He doesn't know what he missed out on-knowing two great kids who have grown into wonderful adults. Everyday, I thank God for sending me Tom to be a part of their lives and mine. I am not sorry for taking the path where I married him because if I hadn't, I wouldn't have Josh & Serenity, nor would I have Tom and Natasha.

Please continue praying for the family. My ex-mother-in-law is still hanging in there.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Not like I planned

Well, the weekend didn't go as I had planned. I was feeling awful for most of it. Still not sure if it was allergies or a cold, but I am feeling quite a bit better. Still amazes me to have this stuff going on and still be able to breathe fairly well, or at least not be gasping for breath! Anyway, that being said, I didn't get much done around the house like I had hoped.

Please keep my ex's family in prayer. His mom isn't doing well and isn't expected to live much longer.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Three Day Weekend!

I am so excited about a 3 day weekend, even if I need to spend most of it working on stuff around the house! But I also get to go on a shopping date with my husband tonight and do lunch (for my birthday last weekend) with our friends on Monday!

Went to do some shopping last night and got some good deals:

Jumbo's:

Van Camp Pork & Beans, on sale 2/$1, had coupons for $1 off of 4, so got 8 cans for 25 cents each.

Hunt's Ketchup, on sale for 89 cents each, had coupons for $1 off of two, got 4 of them for 39 cents each.

Walgreen's:

Gain laundry detergent, on sale with a Walgreen's coupon for 4.99, had other coupons for $1 off Gain products making them 3.99 each, got two (the limit) on them. Hoping to get a couple of more and that should stock me up on laundry soap for the summer.

Walgreen's also had a buy $25 worth of products, get $10 in Register Rewards, so I got 2 packages of razors and 2 bottles of sunscreen (and used coupons on both razors and one of the sunscreens). I found some more sunscreen coupons and some coupons for some of the other stuff on the sale so I am going to try to get some more tonight.

Wal-Mart:
Used $1 off Gain product coupons on 40 count dryer sheets, got 2 of them for 87 cents each.

Used $1 off White Cloud toilet paper coupons. Got a 4 roll pack for $1 and a 12 roll pack for $4.97 (one of the coupons wasn't good on 4 packs)

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Moving Forward

Well, the last few weeks have gone by in a blur. My youngest daughter graduated from high school last Friday, as valedictorian of her class. We are so proud of her, but it doesn't seem like she should be going off to college in a couple of months. Pretty soon, we may have an empty nest. It's one of those sad, but also exciting times.

In other news, I have been debating whether to share this or not, but it's a testimony so I feel like I should share it. A few weeks ago, Tom and I made the decision to actually tithe (give 10%) of our income. We've been giving for quite a while, but hadn't ever actually got up to 10%. We decided to step out in faith and do it. Since then: As you already know, both of the parties that are suing us agreed to work with us. Plus, 18 years ago when we moved to town, we had to put $150 deposit down to get a phone. We had never got the deposit back. I forget what the guidelines were for being able to get it, but obviously, we'd never met them. LOL. Anyway, we got our phone bill last week and it was $10. They finally returned that money! So that gives us a little bit extra to put towards some of those little nagging bills. Please continue to pray for us as we try to work out payment arrangements with some of the bigger bills.

Thanks!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

This Week in Review

So, Tuesday, we went to court for the hospital bill (this was from Tom's surgery last year). I had sent them a letter asking for a payment plan of $50 a month, they called me back on Monday and said they could take $100 a month. I talked to Tom and we agreed to it. I asked the girl to fax me a copy of the agreement and she did. We decided it would still be wise to go Tuesday morning, so we went. When we got there, the lawyer that was there didn't even know that we had made an agreement so if we hadn't gone, it would have just looked like we didn't show up. Anyway, it's all worked out now, so please just pray that we are able to make those payments with no problem.

Thursday evening, I went in and did some coupon shopping.

At K-Mart, I spent $4.71 and got:

Four 3 packs of Ivory bar soap (on sale for $1 a pack and with $1 off coupon for each one).
6 bags of Easter eggs at 90% off, should be enough for my daycare egg hunt next year.
Some other clearance Easter stuff

At Walgreen's, I got another one of the Profusion razor kits. It was on sale for 9.89 with a $5 Register Reward and I had a $4 off coupon.

At United I got 3 boxes of Wheat Thin Crunch Stix crackers for 74 cents a box (they were on sale for 1.74, I had $1 off coupons)

At Jumbo's I got:
18 boxes of Hamburger, Tuna, and Chicken Helper. On sale for 99 cents a box with 75 cents off 3 coupons for 74 cents each, final price.
4 packages of Taco Bell fajita seasoning, $1.26 total, they were 69 cents each, I had 75 cents off two coupons
I also got some roast that was on sale and some pork chops that were marked down

Last night, I did my regular bi-weekly shopping and at Wal-Mart I got
2 more bottles of free Nivea body was
Degree men's deodorant for 78 cents (they were out of the trial size so I couldn't get free)
Used a $1 coupon on my regular laundry detergent

Monday, May 9, 2011

Feeling Blessed

Since I started couponing again a few weeks ago, I've been amazed at the bargains we've been blessed with. And all without double coupons. All this time, I've quit doing it because I didn't think it was worth my time and trouble without being able to double. I was wrong.

Friday night I got:
Wal-Mart:
3 bottles of Nivea body wash-Free (besides tax). They are rolled back to $3 at Wal-mart and I had $3 off coupons.

1 trial size Degree deodorant-Free (besides tax). They were 97 cents and I had a $1 off coupon.

4 more Tide single load packets for the kid's baskets. They were 97 cents with 35 cent off coupons. Not a super deal, but they will be handy for the kids if they are having to use a laundromat.

Jumbo's:
Manwich was on sale for $1 a can and I had a buy 3 cans, get 1 free coupon. So, 4 cans for $3.

Pizza rolls, on sale for $1 a box, 80 cents a box with the coupons that I had

Hunt's ketchup, on sale for 89 cents a bottle, 64 cents a bottle with the coupon (50 cents off two bottles)

Taco Bell hard taco shells, on sale for $1 a box, I had a 75 cents off two boxes, so $1.25 for two boxes. 62.5 cents a box!

Plus I got boneless skinless chicken on sale for $1.47 a pound, usually pay about $2 a pound at my regular grocery store.

United:
I got some more of the coupon bargains I posted about earlier last week (BBQ sauce, 2/$1, etc.), plus got a bottle of Kraft dressing for $1.

These finds will really help stretch our food budget, freeing up money to be used towards debt. I'm also super excited because Jumbo's had their next week's ad available so I grabbed one. Hamburger and Tuna Helpers are on sale and guess what? I have coupons for that! LOL!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!

I just want to say Happy Mother's Day weekend to all you wonderful mother's out there. Make sure and let your families spoil you this weekend!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

God cares about the little details

It never ceases to amaze me how much God cares about the little details of my life. Some examples from yesterday:

I filled one of the upcoming openings in my child care with an 11 month old on Tuesday evening (praise God!) and realized yesterday that I really needed to get another attachable high chair. I looked an Amazon and E-bay. I really wanted one similar to the one I already had, I purchased it at a garage sale thirteen years ago and it is still in awesome shape. However, I guess they don't make them anymore. I could only find used ones on E-bay and they were crazily priced (like buy-it-now for anywhere from $60 to $100!!!!). I found some attachable ones on Amazon, but they were mostly cloth covered and I prefer vinyl since it cleans up better. Anyway, so I posted on Facebook, Freecycle, and a sales site that I am on that I was looking for an attachable high chair, but didn't specify what kind I wanted. Within an hour or so, I got a reply that someone had one and I went by to pick it up last night. It was EXACTLY what I wanted and it was free. WOW! Thank you God!

Then I went to Walgreen's and United and did some shopping. Walgreen's was out of some of the stuff I wanted, but I still found some good deals:

Dawn dishwashing liquid: 99 cents with a WG coupon, plus I had 25 cent off coupons, got 3 of those.

Bounty paper towels, $1.29 with a WG coupon plus I had 25 cent off coupons, got 3 of those.

Excedrin PM, on sale for 2.99, and I had a $2 off coupon

Gilette ProFusion Glide razor, on sale for 9.89. I had a $4 off coupon plus it had a $5 Register Reward.

Then I also had $8 in Register Rewards to use from a previous visit. Because I had so many coupons, I had to buy 4 Laffy Taffys (at 15 cents each) to be able to use my Register Rewards, LOL. My total for all of that ended up being $6.52 and I got the $5 Register Reward from the razors.

Then we headed over to United. They had Coke products on sale and Tasha needed a case of Sprite for the senior trip next week. We got a case of Sprite, a case of Diet Dr. Pepper ($10), and a free 12 pack of Fanta , 2 bottles of Kraft BBQ sauce for $1, a package of Kraft cheddar cheese slices for $1.49, and three 2 liters of Sprite Zero for 89 cents each (to make sugar free punch for Tasha's graduation party in a couple of weeks).

Then a big detail that God cares about! We had sent a letter to the credit card company that is suing us explaining our situation and some of the circumstances and asked for a monthly payment arrangement of $50. We got a bill from them yesterday with a monthly payment of $75, so it seems they are going to work with us. $75 is doable! Now if we can just get something worked out with the other one.

So if you have ever wondered if God cares about the little details in your life, look very closely and you will see that He does!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

This Week's Walgreen's Bargains

I went to Walgreen's right after church on Sunday. I spent $18 and got $8 in Register Rewards back. I got:

Head & Shoulders shampoo and conditioner (had a manufacturer's buy one/get one coupon for that plus got $2 Register Rewards back)

Noxzema razors, $3.99 and then got $3 in Register Rewards back

Lysol disinfectant spray, 3.49 with $1 back in Register Rewards plus had a $1 off coupon for it.

Right Guard deodorant, 2.99 with $2 back in Register Rewards.

Comet powder: 2/$1 with Walgreen coupon and had a 25 cent off coupon

I think there is more that I'm forgetting right now. But I am hoping to go back later this week and get some Dawn (it's on sale for 99 cents with a WG coupon and I have 25 cent off coupons) and some Bic razors (on sale with Register Rewards and I have coupons).

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Wow, am I glad April is over!

This has been one of those months where I have had something going on almost non-stop! I am so glad it is over! May will be busy too, but hopefully not quite as. BUT...I have a big evaluation coming up in my daycare in June so I have to start obsessing...um, I mean getting ready for that.

Walgreen's didn't have much that I was interested in this week, but I did get some good bargains at United and Wal-Mart. First let me say that I decided to start a basket of cleaning and personal supplies for Josh and Tasha for when they move out in the next few months using things I get cheap with coupons. Those kinds of things can really add up when you're first starting out on your own. If I start now, I should have them a pretty good stash when they leave. Just this weekend I got them Lysol toilet bowl cleaner (for 1.50 each with coupons), Lysol cleaning wipes (on clearance and with a coupon came to 90 cents each), Lysol all purpose cleaner with a spray trigger, $1.50 with a coupon. And I got some Tide travel sizes for their laundry using coupons. The lady at Wal-Mart wasn't too happy about that, you would have thought that 35 cents was coming straight out of her check! Good grief! The coupon didn't specify a size and didn't exclude trial or travel size so I was allowed to use it, but she sure didn't like it! Anyway for us, we also got some tortilla chips and Quaker granola bars on clearance at United tonight and some Jeno's pizzas for 79 cents, which make for great quick supper when things are crazy. Some of the pizzas have $1 off 4 Totino's pizzas which I can use when I see them go on sale.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Sadness and Loss

Over the last few weeks, I have seen a lot of sadness and loss around me. A friend lost her husband shortly after losing her dad. My mom has two cousins (brothers) with tumors. One is inoperable and the family has been called home, the other is having surgery today. Two boys that graduated high school with my brother (who was killed that following New Year) died last week; one of a heart attack, the other of cancer. All of this has made me stop and think about what's really important. I'd just like to ask for prayers for all of these families during these tough times.

On our own home front, we sent a certified letter with a payment and a letter requesting a payment arrangement with the credit card company along with a response to an admissions and interrogatory form they sent us. Please keep praying for us in this situation and that they will work with us.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Used my Target gift card tonight!

I used my Target gift card tonight. I think I did pretty well with it:

I got:
A package of Charmin toilet paper, 36 rolls, $14.99, had a $1 off coupon.
A package of Bounty paper towels, 6 big rolls, and a package of Bounty napkins, $6 and 3.14 respectively with a $2 off coupon.
2 bottles of Lysol toilet bowl cleaner on sale for 1.89 with a $1 off two coupon
2 bottles of Lysol all purpose cleaner on sale for 1.89 with a $1 off two coupon
A package of Styrofoam plates (I needed them for this week's child care association meeting), 3.99
3 packages of Always pads, $5.49 each with a $5 gift card when you bought 3
a box of Angel food cake mix 2.24
2 packages of hot dog buns; $1.24 each

I paid for everything except the plates and one package of hot dog buns with the $50 gift card that I won, and owed 23 cents after coupons and the gift card. Then I used the $5 gift card from the first transaction to pay for the plates and other package of hot dog buns and owed 66 cents on top of the $5 gift card. So for 89 cents I got all of that stuff! What a blessing!

I also took my Register Rewards to Walgreen's last night and got 5 12 packs of Diet Coke for free, except for tax. So we're stocked up on Diet Coke for a while.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

I got it on sale with a coupon

When I used to coupon alot, that was my favorite saying! LOL. Now I'm trying to do it again. I went to Walgreen's Monday night and picked up a few bargains:

Scotch tape, buy 1 for 1.99, get two free. I got coupons for them thanks to my wonderful niece Mandy so got those for free!

Excedrin products were buy one, get the other 1/2 price. AND if you bought $15 worth you got $5 in Register Rewards. I had coupons for all the bottles I bought so I saved an additional $4.50 on them. I got 4 bottles in all, should last us a while. Tasha uses them for her migraines a lot so they'll come in really handy.

Colgate products were 2/$6 and you got $4 in Register Rewards. I had $1 off coupons so with the Register Rewards, they were basically free.

Neilmed Saline Naso gel was on sale for $4.99 with $5 in Register Rewards and the one I picked up had $1.50 off coupon on it so I made $1.50 on that!

I also got free chocolate covered Peeps (thanks to coupons my niece told me about)and 3 bottles of Softsoap liquid hand soap.

Last week I went back with my Register Rewards and got the rest of the stuff I needed for our Halloween party plus a few other things and only had to pay tax. This week, I have $14 in Register Rewards to take back in, I'll let you know what I get with that.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Target gift card

I don't think that I've mentioned yet that I won a $50 Target gift card through a new site launching in May called Social Goodies. I entered through a link I found on Money Saving Queen. There isn't a Target in Enid where I usually shop but we are going to Norman this Friday to see Serenity and have a birthday dinner for Josh. Since there is a Target in Norman, I thought I'd stop by there and use my card. I'm going to check out their weekly ad and store coupons as well as gather my own coupons and try to stretch that $50 as far as I can. Wish me luck!

I was able to save a few dollars this past weekend between using a coupon at Wal-Mart, a $5 off $25 order at Dollar General, and some clearance deals at Aldi, where I do the bulk of my grocery shopping. I'm also looking forward to getting some great deals at Walgreen's this week!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Seriously?

Josh got his pickup back from the body shop yesterday (he hit a deer on April 1st) and today it broke down on the way to work. GEESSSHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That's all I have to say right now.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Walgreen's Coupon Bargains

I went to Walgreen's last night to get some coupon bargains. For my first trip using coupons in quite a while, I think I did okay. According to my receipt I saved over $29 plus got $9 in Register Rewards and $5 more dollars in Register Rewards on the candy I had Tasha buy. LOL.

Walgreen's coupons:
Royal gelatin: 5/$1
Progresso Soup 4/$5
Hefty freezer bags, buy one, get one free plus a $1 off 2 coupon
Plastic Easter eggs: 3 bags of 24 little eggs for 69 cents each
Ajax dish soap: 79 cents a bottle
8 Easter pencils for $1

Walgreen's specials:
Bic razors, buy one, get one 1/2 price plus a $3 off coupon
Whitening toothpaste, $4 register rewards
Hershey's candy, 2/$5. If you bought $10 worth you got a register reward for $5. Tasha was getting some stuff there so I had her get some candy too. I am using the candy to fill eggs for my daycare party next week.

I am sure that as I spend more time at it and accumulate Register Rewards, my savings will get even better.

Monday, April 11, 2011

More bad news

We got another court summons on Saturday night, this one for a hospital bill. I am wavering between totally freaking out and keeping my eye on God and remembering that He is in control. More than anything, we just need prayers and maybe some ideas for earning some extra $'s.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Trying to work through stuff

We have tried to call the person that we need to talk to about the lawsuit the last two days when Tom got home from work. We called on Wednesday around 4:45, but she was already gone. She was supposed to be there after 5:00 yesterday so we tried again and found out that her "late day" had changed to Monday. We spoke to someone else and they are resisting accepting our payment arrangement. Please pray that this situation works out. It is causing a lot of stress for us.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Reading a book: The Power of Coupons

My friend sent me a book that she had bought from the Money Saving Queen who lives in the Tulsa area: The Power of Coupons. This book is great and I highly recommend it! Not only does it have great information about coupons, her story is very inspirational and has touched my heart.

One of her suggestions is to post Bible verses around your home, so I've been spending part of my naptime today working on doing that. I've posted several in the kitchen area for me to read as I'm working in there throughout the day. If you can, find a copy of her book and read it.

P.S. It really makes me miss double coupon stores. LOL!

Monday, April 4, 2011

I have good news and bad news

The bad news is that Josh hit a deer with his truck on Friday night. Most importantly, he wasn't hurt, and thankfully he still has full coverage on it so he will just have to pay his deductible. Unfortunately, we'll probably have to help him out with it.

The good news is that Serenity's boyfriend proposed to her yesterday at her birthday dinner! In front of his entire family and a good group of ours! We are so excited, but it's a little sad too. Just another reminder that one of our daughters is a grown up now.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Busy Times

Wow, I have a lot going on these next few weeks! If you don't see me around as much, that is why. This Saturday, I'm presenting at a conference, then Serenity's birthday is Sunday, next week we start stuffing eggs for the Easter egg hunt, I talk at a Victim's Impact Panel on Thursday and that's just the first week of April. The entire month is like that! LOL!

It's really easy to forget to be frugal and careful with money especially when it comes to eating out when you're really busy and overwhelmed. I will try to get some food for simple meals when I grocery shop so that we can hopefully avoid that temptation, at least some of the time. LOL!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Other Blog Sites of Interest

It has been a while since I've shared any blog sites and I have a couple of new favorites.

One is by my niece Mandy, she writes about working at home and has great advice. It's Work at Home Adventures.

Another is from my good friend Brenda Salladay: She is a former family child care provider and has published a children's book: Slim Pickens from a Changed Mind.

One I've mentioned before but bears mentioning again is: Motivation by Chocolate where I just won a free chocolate package! Denise is a motivational speaker that I met at a child care conference a few years ago. She is a lot of fun and she loves chocolate! She also has a website for her speaking business: Fire Star Speaking. You can read some of her great articles there and subscribe to her quarterly newsletter.

Hope everyone has a great week!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Do not Worry

It is always amazing to me how God knows just what I need to hear. Today this was shown in my devotional from my daily devotional book. I use a little booklet called "Our Daily Bread" that our church distributes. I think I've posted this passage before, but it always bears repeating. It's from Luke 12, verses 22-31:

22 Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. 23 For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. 24 Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! 25 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? 26 Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?
27 “Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 28 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith! 29 And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. 30 For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. 31 But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Reading self-improvement books

Since I finished college, I have been on a reading self improvement books kick. LOL. As I've mentioned recently, I've been reading Dale Carnegie's book about stopping worrying and now I'm re-reading How to Win Friends and Influence People.

One thing that has really struck me in that book is the idea that insisting that others are wrong and you are right is NOT a good idea. This is really a problem for me, especially with Tom. I have literally called someone to ask them a question just to prove that I was right. And this wasn't a life or death discussion, it was how to pronounce a popular singer's name. So I am working really hard at stopping that.

Hope everyone is having a great week!

Monday, March 21, 2011

God knows where I need to be

Sometimes it becomes so obvious that God knows exactly where I need to be. Those of you that have been reading a while may know that I speak to Victim's Impact Panels about my brother being killed in a drunk driving accident in 1987. Last Thursday, I spoke at a panel in Stillwater (first time I"d been there since December). Afterwards, I met a girl who had been arrested for drinking and driving back in October of last year (and hasn't had a drink since) and who then lost her brother to a drunk driver on Christmas Eve. Needless to say, she is really hurting. Even though she didn't cause her brother's accident, she feels guilty. I have been praying for her since that night and gave her my contact information if she wants to contact me. Isn't it amazing how God put me there that night to meet her?

In other news, I got Tasha's financial aid paperwork sent in, but didn't get much done in the office last week. So this week:

1. Check on Tasha's financial aid paperwork.
2. WORK IN THE OFFICE!
3. Make a decision with Tom on our next step with the lawsuit.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Sometimes being a Grown-up is HARD!

I got my REWARD check today (a salary supplement in OK for child care providers in early childhood). I wanted to do something fun that I haven't been able to do in quite a while with some of it, but I chose to be a grown-up instead. LOL. We had our baby EF up to around $300 but some repairs on the Honda wiped that out. So I'm putting most of the money in the baby emergency fund. 10% I'm giving away, 10% we're using for a date night to thrift shops and supper, some of it goes to Tasha to pay for her prom dress (I had told her if she would pay for it, I would pay her back out of this check). Sometimes it's tough being a grown-up!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Just for Today

This is from the book I've been reading, he attributes it to Sibyl F. Partridge:

1. Just for today I will be happy. This assumes that what Abraham Lincoln said is true, that "most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be". Happiness is from within, it is not a matter of externals.

2. Just for today I will try to adjust myself to what is, and not try to adjust everything to my own desires. I will take my family, my business, and my luck as they come and fit myself to them.

3. Just for today I will take care of my body. I will exercise it, care for it, nourish it, not abuse it nor neglect it, so that it will be a perfect machine for my bidding.

4. Just for today I will try to strengthen my mind. I will learn something useful. I will not be a mental loafer. I will read something that requires effort, thought, and concentration.

5. Just for today I will exercise my soul in three ways: I will do somebody a good turn and not get found out; I will do at least two things I don't want to do, as William James suggests, just for exercise.

6. Just for today I will be agreeable. I will look as well as I can, dress as becomingly as possible, talk low, act courteously, be liberal with praise, criticize not at all, nor find fault with anything and not try to regulate nor improve anyone.

7. Just for today I will try to live through this day only, not to tackle my whole life problem at once. I can do things for twelve hours that would appall me if I had to keep them up for a lifetime.

8. Just for today I will have a program. I will write down what I expect to do every hour. I may not follow it exactly, but I will have it. It will eliminate two pests: hurrying and indecision.

9. Just for today I will have a quiet half-hour all by myself and relax. In this half-hour, sometimes I will think of God, so as to get a little more perspective into my life.

10. Just for today I will be unafraid, especially I will not be afraid to be happy, to enjoy what is beautiful, to love, and to believe that those I love, love me.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Enjoying a day off

Today I am enjoying one of my Spring Break days off. Josh is leaving for work in a bit, Tom's at work, and Tasha's in Norman so I get the house to myself for a while this afternoon. What exciting things am I doing on my day off? Well, I"m defrosting the freezer. LOL! I also went to Medford to take care of some business. We had never filed homestead exemption on our home and that can save us some $'s on our property taxes, so I finally did that. Gotta save those $'s where we can! I work Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, then I'm off again on Friday.

Goals for this week:
Get Tasha's financial aid paperwork submitted to the college
Work some more in the office, how does it get to be such a mess? UGH!

In other news, the Honda is back and we're waiting on news to see how much Josh's truck will cost to fix. He will pay for most of it, but we may have to help him out, depending on how much it is. I've been reading the Dale Carnegie book on worrying all weekend and will try to post some more wisdom from it this week.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Living in a Hee-Haw Song

I swear, I'm living in that Hee-Haw song:

Gloom, despair, and agony on me,
Deep dark depression, excessive misery.
If it weren't for bad luck, I'd have no luck at all,
Gloom, despair, and agony on me.

We sent the Honda to the shop to get a tune-up, but of course, it couldn't be that simple. Going to cost more than we thought it was. And the same day Josh's truck acts up and needs work on the rear-end.

I'm so glad it's Friday and I have a 3 day weekend without anywhere to go (except church).

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Solving Worry Situations

Last night, I started re-reading the Dale Carnegie book: How to Stop Worrying and Start Living. I highly recommend this book! Anyway, in it, he has a chapter on solving worrying situations. The thing is, when one is worrying, it's harder to focus on a solution.

Step 1: Ask yourself: "What is the worst that can possibly happen?"
Step 2: Prepare to accept it if you have to.
Step 3: Then calmly proceed to improve on the worst.

Okay, so what's the worst that could happen with the lawsuit? We lose and have a judgment against us and they garnish Tom's paycheck. That's pretty bad, but we could somehow survive. With Tom's hours the way they are, he could possibly take an evening job. I could take evening or weekend kids or look for an extra job if the worst happens. How can we improve on it? We can talk to the lawyers and try to work out a payment arrangement that is satisfactory to both parties.

As for what we can do RIGHT now. We've done that. We responded to the summons, now we pray and work on the next step.

Our main business is not to see what lies at dimly at a distance, but do do what lies clearly at hand-Thomas Carlyle.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Responding

We have prepared a response to the lawsuit (basically a request asking for them to provide proof of the debt, etc.). We will be mailing that out today and then we'll go from there.

I am angry and tired. I am angry at myself for living like this and I am tired of living like this. We have dug ourselves out of holes before only to end up back there in a bigger one. It's like every time I lose weight, I gain it back. Then I feel kind of stupid, why can't I learn? And I wonder what the point of even trying is. Then I realize that everyone messes up. Obviously, some of us more than others. The only real failure is to give up. So I pick myself up, keep praying about, and keep trying. Dave Ramsey says you have to get really angry before you'll get yourself out of your mess. Well I'm angry! Now it's time to get to work.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Joy in the face of Adversity

Last night in Discipleship training classes at church, we were reading about Paul when he was writing to the church at Philippi. Paul was in prison, but still managed to have joy because his heart was centered on Christ. In fact, Philippians is the site of one of my favorite Bible passages, chapter 4:11-13

11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

See, that's what I want. I want to be content whatever my circumstances. I don't want to be rude and hateful to my husband because we're in a stressful situation.

Friday, March 4, 2011

God is in Control, part 2

This week, I am just reminding myself that God is in control. Now, I know our own free will and choices got us here to the mess we are in, but God is still in control.

Tom and I have been doing some research and some talking about what we need to do. And I hope that on Monday, I can make some phone calls. As you might be able to guess, making phone calls with my job can be kind of...challenging.

Hope everyone has a super blessed weekend!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Feeling Better

Thanks for the prayers, everyone. I can tell people prayed because I feel more at peace now. Still scared and worried, but not so panicked. And please continue the prayers as we work out what to do. I know we got ourselves here and we have to get ourselves out. Sometimes it sucks being stupid. Sigh. Okay, all the time it sucks being stupid.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Stressed

Well, I've been dealing with some kind of intestinal stuff all week. Not enough to make me take off work but enough to have me feeling pretty yucky. Not sure what's going on. Noone else seems to have it, so I'm thinking maybe it's something that I ate.

We need your prayers. I'm not sure how much detail to go into. But I might as well just say it. We are being sued for one of the credit card bills.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

The Weekend!!!!

Well, Thursday was a crazy busy day all around and Friday was a forgetful day, so I haven't posted since Wednesday. LOL.

I have been really tired this week. Since I've been feeling better, I've been having these blood sugar crashes. Scary low numbers, sometimes in the middle of the night. Anyway, so when some of the really low numbers happen, I'm wiped out for several days afterwards. Yes, I've talked to the doctor about it and I'm keeping a very close eye on it. So anyway, working on getting that leveled out. Overall, I'm feeling really good.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Raising Extra Money

So...in the words of Dave Ramsey, I'm trying to "sell so much stuff that it makes the kids think they're next". LOL. I've listed several child care resource books plus a couple of other things that I don't need/use anymore. I think I have them all sold to some friends who needed them. So that will be some money for the baby emergency fund.

I've also started writing for Examiner.com as the Oklahoma City area child care examiner. I've posted two articles so far. You can visit my page here. It has links to both articles. I'm hoping to make some extra money this way, too.

I am also checking into becoming a Child Development Associate (CDA) advisor. That is a person who visits child care programs and evaluates them and recommends whether they qualify to get or renew their CDA credential. If I get registered through the Center for Early Childhood Professional Development in Moore, I will get paid to do it. That is a slow process though. I have to apply to become one ($50), get a new OSBI background check ($19) and get college transcripts (sent off for those already). Then the next available training for it isn't until May 7th in Moore. But the pay is enough to cover having to pay a sub while I do it and still make some money. I wouldn't do it very often (I'm thinking no more than once or twice a month because I don't want to be gone from my own business that often). But it would be something different and I think I would enjoy it. I may also apply to become a trainer through them too. It's on the same application so it wouldn't be much extra effort.

We would love to hear other ideas/suggestions for raising extra $'s!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Gazelle Intensity

Dave Ramsey talks alot about being "gazelle intense". He uses this passage from Proverbs:

1 My son, if you have put up security for your neighbor or entered into an agreement with a stranger, 2 you have been trapped by the words of your lips ensnared by the words of your mouth. 3 Do this, then, my son, and free yourself, for you have put yourself in your neighbor's power: Go, humble yourself, and plead with your neighbor. 4 Don't give sleep to your eyes or slumber to your eyelids. 5 Escape like a gazelle from a hunter, like a bird from a fowler's trap.

Then he shows a clip from the Discovery Channel of a gazelle escaping from a cheetah. The gazelle is running for it's life! It always brings me to tears, even though I've seen it several times. Because that's how I feel. Like I'm running for my life from the creditors and I'm not sure I'm going to get away.

If you ever wonder if the Bible applies today, you need look no further than this verse.

Monday, February 21, 2011

New Blog

For those of you that follow this blog, I wanted to sure with you that I started a new blog called Play is the Future. It's about how important I feel play is for children. If you're interested in that topic, pop on over there and read it!

Dave Ramsey LIVE!

Thanks to a friend from church (who couldn't go and sold us her cheap tickets), we got to see Dave Ramsey LIVE on Saturday. It was AWESOME! I feel inspired to get back on track and get gazelle intense! Tom and I have been brainstorming ideas to generate some extra money and get that baby emergency fund built back up. We're going to listen to CD # 2 tonight (we missed last week because of the Valentine Banquet at church). We would appreciate prayers as we resume this journey!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Gorgeous Weather

It's hard to believe that a week ago we had snow everywhere and sub-zero temperatures. The last couple of days have been really nice, although the wind is a little much. However, wind when it's warm is much better than when it's cold. So I'm not complaining! LOL!

I have been working on a list of our current debts and I am almost done with it. I've also been chipping away at the taxes. My sinuses have been making me miserable this week so I'm kind of sluggish and well...eh. LOL. It's much better than it would have been before the surgery but still pretty miserable.

Have I mentioned that we get to go see Dave Ramsey on Saturday? I'm excited!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Our Frugal Valentine's Date

In our quest to get "back on track", Tom and I decided not to go on an official date for Valentine's Day. On the actual Valentine's Day, we went to a banquet at church, that was $20. But on Saturday, when we normally would have gone on a date for Valentine's, I brought home Buy One Get One Free enchilada dinners from El Chico and Happy Hour Sonic drinks and we snuggled on the couch and watched TV. We had a coupon for a free pay-per-view rental that we were going to use, but couldn't find anything we really wanted to watch. So we just watched some recordings. We had the house to ourselves and it was nice.

Monday, February 14, 2011

It's Easy

It's easy to have a good and positive attitude when things are going well. But what about when things aren't? Then it gets harder. I have been feeling pretty discouraged since Friday. Our washing machine pipes and drain have frozen up 3 times in the last month thanks to this insanely cold weather. Friday, I got up there to put the heater up and try again to thaw it out and realized that one of the pipes had broke. I was so grateful to have noticed it before it made a mess. I called a plumber who came out and fixed the problem before the pipes thawed and made a huge mess. Phew. But that phew cost me $102. LOL. Much less than a huge flood would have, however. Anyway, then Saturday, I came home after my class and tried the washer, only to find out that it was leaking from behind the washer. After assuming at first that it was just a loose hose, Tom finally figured out yesterday that it was the water inlet valves, one of them had cracked. Called Sears and ordered another one. $40.95 with shipping and handling and it's supposed to be here "by the 21st". So...possibly another week with no washing machine. Makes me very grateful again for the laundromat here in town, but it's $2 a load so it adds up fast! So, while I"m busy trying to focus on the positive, I"m struggling with feeling discouraged. When I mentioned that to Tom last night, he pointed out to me that Satan is the discourager. We're trying hard to get back on track and of course, what happens right away? "Murphy" comes to visit! So I am reminding myself of my post from last week about handing over everything to God and letting Him handle it. I will not take it back. It is in His very capable hands.

Friday, February 11, 2011

This Week

So this week, I have worked out everyday! Monday & Friday, I did my Walk Away the Pounds workout, Tuesday & Thursday, I did the Yoga for the Rest of Us DVD, and Wednesday, I shoveled snow. I have to say, I feel pretty good. I think another week of doing 1/2 mile on the Walk Away the Pounds DVD and then I'll go ahead and bump it up a little bit more, maybe to 3/4 mile (wanting to take it slow and not burn myself out). What amazed me the most was being able to shovel that snow! Less than two months after my surgery and shoveling all that snow! Wow! I couldn't have done it a year ago. Or I'd have been gasping and wheezing and worn out. Don't get me wrong, I was tired after, but in a good way.

Goals for the next week:
By next Friday: I will make a new list of our current bills. Time to face the music.

Work out Monday-Friday again next week!

Continue working in the office to get it cleaned and organized.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

God is in Control

God is in control. That has become my "mantra". When I'm feeling stressed or worried or just overwhelmed, I just remind myself that "God is in control". It's amazing what this little phrase will do to my heart. I immediately feel a sense of peace when I remember that I am not the one in control, God is. If I remember to rely on him instead of myself, I feel much better.

So...with that in mind, I remind myself that even though we've struggled with our finances, God is in control. We can't give up, we have to keep trying. So, I'm putting our finances on my prayer list and in God's hands. And I'll try really hard not to take it back once I put it there.

On another note, I may not have done my Walk Away the Pounds workout yesterday, but I did shovel snow. LOTS of snow! I think that counts as working out. My shoulders and back would agree with me! LOL!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Another Snow Day!

My goodness, another day with no kids. It's nice to have these breaks sometimes, but I can't really afford them! LOL. Tom didn't even try going into work this morning, I don't think our little Honda would have made it. We got A LOT of snow!

My sinuses started bothering me yesterday so I'm feeling kind of "blech" today, but it was nice to sleep in a bit. I'm going to try to motivate myself to work some more in the office today since I have a break.

Other updates: I exercised Monday and Tuesday morning. I didn't exercise this morning because Josh was needing the shower early and so I needed to get in there before Tom. If I'd looked out the window first, I'd have known that Josh wouldn't be going anywhere either. HA!

Hope everyone has a good day and stays snug and warm!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Holy Smokes, it's COLD!

Well, this is stating the obvious, but it is cold and nasty out there. ICK! My meeting for Thursday has already been cancelled and my meeting tonight got cut short because we didn't have a quorum.

Tom and I listened to the first Dave Ramsey CD last night. It's hard listening to him talk about how "easy" it is to get $1000 in the baby emergency fund and how we should do it quickly. I think it almost just underscores how little progress we've made in this journey. We've never been able to get past Baby Step 1. I'm trying really hard to keep a positive attitude. I do know we can't give up. We have to keep trying.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Tonight's the Night

Tonight, Tom and I will begin listening to our Dave Ramsey CD's and going through the workbook together. It is time to get ourselves back on track in this journey!

This is a super busy week for me, meetings Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday (weather permitting), and a class Friday night and all day Saturday. So if you don't see me around much, don't worry!

Today I was only scheduled to have two kids during the day (Mondays are generally my easy day) and they're both out. So...no kids until after school. I'm going to tackle this office and get some more work done in here. Gotta get taxes done by March 1st so I can file a FAFSA for Tasha for college this fall.

Happy Monday and I hope everyone has a great week!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Another Week Gone

I cannot believe another week has gone by! I haven't felt real well most of this week. Don't know if it had to do with the late night blood sugar crash on Monday or if I've had a touch of what Tom's had. Anyway, I did get up and exercise MTW which wasn't perfect, but more than I had been doing. Tom and I picked Monday evenings to listen to the Dave Ramsey CD's and work through the workbook. Oh! And Tom and I were able to get tickets to see Dave Ramsey on February 19th in OKC. A girl from church had bought them but couldn't go so she sold them to us. She got them when they first went on sale and were only $9 each (compared to $39 regularly).

My washer pipes and drain are frozen again. I sure hope that they thaw out before the next big freeze next week!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Snow Day!

Well, I got a snow day today. No kids and Tom got to come home at lunchtime. I was up at 11:30 with my blood sugar crashed (scary low) and so I am drained and tired today. Getting ready to take a little nap, I think. Hope everyone stays warm!

Monday, January 31, 2011

More on Changing my Attitude

Another thing I've been working on the past few weeks is not letting other people's moods affect my own. Just because my teenager is cranky, it doesn't mean I have to let it get to me. Just because a child in my care is cranky doesn't mean I have to let it get to me. Now obviously, this is easier said than done. A bad mood seems to rub off much easier than a good mood. Ever noticed that? So I've been working really hard at being conscious of it when it happens, taking a deep breath and redirecting my thoughts. Telling myself "I'm sorry they are having a bad day and I wish them well. But I am having a good day!".

This weekend, I told myself that I was going to get up and exercise Monday morning. If I only felt like doing it for 5 minutes, that's all I had to do, but I was going to do it. Since "trying" to do it wasn't working. LOL. So I got up this morning and did my Walk Away the Pounds workout. I did 1/2 mile, so go me! I'm going to do that workout MWF this week and the Yoga for the Rest of Us DVD on Tu/Th this week. I am only going to do 1/2 mile on the walking workout, but it's a start! I haven't exercised at all since my surgery or for several months before. So...GO ME!

In other news, I've continued working on the office and getting it de-cluttered and cleaned up. I also did a detailed vacuuming session yesterday (which was a workout in itself! Phew!).

Finally, my goals for this week:

1. Tom and I discussed listening to our Dave Ramsey CD's and going through the workbook again to "jump start" ourselves. I will talk to Tom and we will pick a day each week to do that.

2. Spend a few minutes each day continuing to work in the office.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Being Assertive in Your Own Health Care

An important lesson that I have learned in the last several months is how important it is to be assertive in your own health care. I have known for a long time that something was not right with my breathing and that none of the asthma medicines had helped. I kept telling the doctors and they kept prescribing different medicines. It all started almost 6 years ago. I had been coughing and coughing non-stop for months. I went to my regular doctor's office and they did a breathing test on me and decided I had asthma. But for several years before that, I had been fighting recurring bronchitis several times a year.

Last August, I was to the point of despair. I felt terrible, both physically and mentally. None of the asthma medicines helped. I had NO energy to do anything. I went to see my pastor, thinking perhaps the problem was spiritual. He insisted that I go back to the doctor and gave me a list of items to ask them to check out. At that time, I didn't have a sub available for my child care very often and wasn't sure how or when I could go. But I knew that week, I had a day that I was only scheduled to have one child and sometimes that child didn't come on Thursdays. So on the way back from the church, I prayed that if there was a physical problem, then God would work it out where I didn't have any kids on that day and could go to the doctor. He worked it out and I went to the doctor that week. To make a very long story short, this eventually led to me finding out what was wrong and having the tracheal re-section surgery. We also learned that I had entered menopause. I'd had a hysterectomy several years ago but they left my ovaries, so I had no um...monthly way of knowing that I had entered menopause. LOL

So...what is my point? Well, I had known for years that something wasn't right with the breathing. I kept letting the doctors throw different medicines at me instead of insisting that they look deeper. It would be really easy to be angry with the doctors (and I am a little bit). But, in all fairness, the lady at Medford had suggested last year that I go see a pulmonologist and I put it off, not really seeing the point. I had also suspected for a while that I was in menopause, but hadn't asked them to check my hormone levels to see for sure. So, my main point is: You KNOW your own body. You know when something isn't right! If you feel like a doctor isn't listening to you, then either switch doctors or insist that they listen. Make a list, keep a chart of the problems, whatever it takes. But be assertive! Stand up for yourself if you know you're not feeling right.