Monday, August 30, 2010

Women Of Faith Weekend

Earlier this month I won tickets (from the radio station that I listen to- KXOJ 101.1) to attend Women of Faith in Tulsa on August 67 & 28. Pretty exciting since I never win anything! I was really excited to go even though it didn't work out for anyone to go with me.
The program was called "Imagine" this year based on Ephesians 3:20. "Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us..."
The worship team was pretty great!
Sheila Walsh was the main speaker over the weekend. She spoke on trust, which just goes along with what I am learning about. Imagine that! Apparently the Lord is going to use every opportunity to bring that before me! Here is a thought to ponder:
Do I trust God? Ask yourself these questions.
1. How often do I feel the need to control?
2. How often do I feel like my life is governed by fear of anxiety?
3. Do I ever feel disconnected from God or others?

I thought this was just way cool - A shepherd leads the sheep. He doesn't walk behind them. He walks ahead of the sheep and makes sure the way is clear. If even just ONE of the sheep gets hung up the shepherd will go and get that sheep! Christ is my shepherd! He is NOT going to leave me behind! I CAN trust in Him to take care of me NO MATTER WHAT!!

I met these great girls (Shari & Tracey from Mountain Home, Arkansas) on Friday morning. They quickly asked me to hang out with them for the day. We ended up eating lunch together and then later in the day when we had a long break, we ended up going to the bookstore together and to dinner! Crazy!
Luci Swindoll
Lisa Harper
The drama performed by Katharine Everett was amazing!
Karen James lost her husband in the Mt. Hood Tragedy in 2006. It was heartbreaking to listen to her story, but so amazing to hear how God has worked in her life since then!
Yes, I took a picture of my lunch. DORK!
You would never have known that I just met these ladies the day before! I had such a great time hanging out with them for two days!!
Natalie Grant ROCKED!!! She sounded great even with bronchitis! I wish I sounded that bad when I'm sick!
Michelle Aguilar: Winner of The Biggest Loser Season 6! Love her!
The Q&A time with everyone was hilarious! Good times!!

Addicted To $aving!!

I am a stay at home mom who feels like I don't contribute to my family financially! Jon makes the money. I spend it.

I have been feeling kind of bad about that lately. I really don't want to go to work, but I do want to feel like I am contributing. (It wouldn't make sense anyway since I have Luke still at home and would have to pay for daycare!) I know, as a stay at home mom, I am contributing to my family in other ways, but there's that whole money thing! Jon and I had discussed this and he came home from work really excited one day with a way for me to help out! He didn't ask me to get a job. He didn't ask me to not spend any money. He asked me to start using coupons. He had been listening to one of those women on the radio that uses coupons for grocery shopping. You know those ladies that say, "My total was $300 and then they scanned my coupons and I only paid $57!" Ok, I may be exaggerating a little bit, but you know what I'm talking about! This is definitely a way that I can help my family out financially! I am on a mission! I am learning a lot right now and I am really excited about it! A friend sent me a link to this blog that has been really helpful in knowing where to find coupons, how to organize coupons, how to get the biggest bang for your buck, etc. (I really love the webcasts! So helpful!) This whole "couponing" thing can be a little bit overwhelming, but I am going to learn! And I am going to save our family some money!!

I haven't built up a huge stash of coupons yet and haven't had one of those awesome shopping trips yet, but I am really excited about this one: I looked at the ad for one of our local grocery stores and saw that Kashi bars were on sale for 2/$4. We really like those, but they are so expensive! I thought the price was great!
After going through some coupons online I found this coupon. $1.50 off of two boxes! Awesome! That brought the price down to 2/$2.50! That's even more amazing! But wait, it gets even better!! Each box of bars had a $1 coupon on it! That means I got two boxes of Kashi bars for 50 cents!!
I forgot to mention that the regular price of these things was $3.89 each!! Insane!

I have also discovered restaurant coupons! There are coupons for everywhere!! I bought the Subway card above ($10 value) for $5!! Exciting!!! This weekend I used one of the Qdoba coupons above for a free entree with the purchase of a drink. Well, I got a drink, burrito and an order of chips and guacamole (which was just WAY too much food!) and it cost me about $4.50!

I love to eat out and feeding a family of five isn't cheap! If I can find great deals, I won't feel so bad going out!
I can't wait to build up a huge stash of coupons and get busy saving some money!!! If anything spectacular happens, I will be sure to let you know!

Here are some sites that have been helpful to me lately:
(Most of these are on Facebook too! If you are as addicted to Facebook as I am, it's a great way to know what each of these places has going on!)
The Coupon Project
Money Saving Mom
Coupon Cravings
Steals & Deals
Bargain Briana
Where do you find amazing deals? Please feel free to share!!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Our LIttle Visitor

We had a little visitor Sunday night!
Can you see him? Luke is pointing at him.Yes, we had a frog come visit us in the garage. It was all fine until I got really close to take a picture and HE JUMPED!!! I screamed which made Luke scream and then all we could do was laugh like crazy!!!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Ben & Sam

One of Ben's best friends for Hutchinson, Kansas came down for this past weekend. These boys are so fun! I am so glad that they have been able to maintain a friendship since we moved two years ago!Thanks for coming Sam! Thank you, Christy, for helping make this happen for the boys! Sam is such a nice boy and is welcome in our home anytime!!!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Lunch Snacks

During the school year I like to send yummy treats in Ben and Abby's lunches. They love homemade chocolate chip cookies! (Who doesn't?!) Unfortunately homemade cookies don't stay fresh for very long.
So, after I bake the cookies...
I put two cookies in a snack size ziplock bag...
and then put all of the snack size bags in a freezer bag...
and put them in the freezer.
In the morning, when I make lunches, I just grab two small bag of cookies and put them straight in the lunch boxes. By lunch time they are thawed and nice and soft!

What special snacks do you put in your kid's lunches?

Friday, August 13, 2010

Mom/Grammy's Visit

It was so nice to have my mom come stay for the week!
I wish we didn't live so far apart! I guess it just makes our times together that much more special!

Breakfast With Dinosaurs

This boy LOVES dinosaurs! I thought it was hilarious when I saw how he had them all set up around his bowl of Cheerios!
Silly boy!
He makes me smile! :)

First Day of School 2010

I can't believe how fast the summer went by and that it is time for the kids to be back in school! Never mind the fact that it's only the middle of August and there is over a month of actual summer still to go... If I had my way, they would wait until after Labor Day, but I guess I don't really have a choice. Anyway, back to school they go! (In the 100+ degree heat!)
Ben is in 7th grade this year! How does this happen? Shouldn't he still be in kindergarten? I just can't believe how fast time flies!
I just told him that I was going to walk to the bus stop with him for the first day of school. Ha ha!! He wasn't so fond of that idea! He has definitely reached the age where he doesn't want anyone to know that he has parents! Or a family for that matter!!
It's so scary to send him off into a place where the influences are so huge and so different from home!

Abby was very excited to go back to school this year! As a fifth grader, she is in her last year of elementary school! CRAZY!
Hair done...Check!
Nails done...Check!
First day of school picture taken...Check!
Waiting for the bus...
And she's off!

This is going to be a great year! I know it!!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Grammy's Pictures

If you know anything about my mom, you know that she likes to take pictures! LOTS of pictures! Here is just a sampling: (It's a bit of a "Luke show"...)
My mom found this at a garage sale and Luke LOVES it!!
Luke wanted Grammy to take a picture of every dinosaur!
The people at the Gap are so smart! A t.v. in the store is a great idea!!
We always have to go see the fish at Wal-Mart!
Too funny!
For some reason, this has become Luke's favorite after dinner fun place...
One of these days Luke isn't going to be content to just watch!
"Higher! Higher!"
Grammy's infamous 'in the tree' shot.
This is Luke's favorite thing to do when we are waiting for a table at our favorite restaurant!