My life as a follower of Christ, a wife and the mother of many

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Could You Even Imagine?

What is one gift that you would love to get?  For me, that would be a massage.  The few times I have had a massage have just been heavenly.  I know that afterwards I find myself saying that I don't want to wait too long to do that again.  But usually a few years pass before I splurge and do it again.  Could you imagine having a massage on a regular basis?  Wow, what a treat.  Thanks to this giveway you might just be able to get a massage a week.  Just think of how much more relaxed you will be!

A Little Help

Could you use a little help around the house?  I know that I have often thought of how nice it would be to have someone to come in and clean.  It would be great if someone could help me tackle some of the big jobs that seem to get neglected.  I mean, a mom has to choose sometimes...clean or sleep.  For me, sleep usually wins out!  If I win this giveaway, I know it will bless my entire family.  You can enter to win too. Enter here, and let me know if you win!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013


What does that word conjure up in your mind?  I know for me, I picture solitude.  Peace.  Rest.  Rejuvenation.  Refreshment.  Our home school group hosts a yearly retreat and I know for me that I am always counting down the days until it gets here.  If you click here you can enter to win just what everyone of us needs sometimes, a retreat.

An Amazing Giveaway!

So, I'm not one to blog.  Oh sure, I blog in my head all of the time and think of all of the things that I would like to say if I kept this blog anywhere near current, but I pretty much stop there.  The sheer number of blogs that are out there just blows my mind.  So why am I deciding to write on my blog now?   It's because of this amazing giveaway!  Sarah Mae and Sally Clarkson have written a new book, Desperate and I can't wait to read it!  I have loved everything that Sally Clarkson has written and I love reading Sarah Mae's blog so I just know this book is going to be a refreshing read.  What mom doesn't have times of desperation?  I know I do, and knowing that there are other moms out there like me, along with mentors like Sally, just blesses and encourages me.

This giveaway is amazing!  What mom wouldn't like a time of pampering and rejuvenation?  This giveaway offers that plus so much more.  You can enter here.  Also, if you win, you get to take along a friend.  I'm a pretty good friend, hint hint!

Monday, July 9, 2012

This week's goals...

I have found that writing down goals for the week has helped me in having something specific to focus on.  I think we all have goals in mind, but once you write them down and look at them regularly they become something that you focus on accomplishing. Writing them down and reviewing them at the end of the week allows me to see what areas I need to work on.  It also allows me to see if I'm setting unrealistic goals or if I'm not setting the right goals for myself.

Last week I fell short in the goals that I had set that related to home schooling and my walk with Christ.  Those are two areas (especially my walk) that I don't want to neglect.  Keeping that in mind, this week I plan to work harder on meeting those goals.

This week's goals (07/08/12)

1.  Try a new recipe...this has been a goal for me these last few weeks, and I think my family has enjoyed the results!  This weeks recipe:  Homemade Granola Bites

2.  Do an activity with the goal is to do this for at least 3 days...the activity can be playing with puzzles, playing a game, etc.

3.  Scrapbook at least 5 layouts.  I have more freedom to work on this during the summer so I hope to knock out a number of pages by focusing on this goal.

4.  Finish Ch. 1 of Calm My Anxious Heart and begin Ch. 2.  This is a great book for me to read and study right now with all that we have going on.  I even challenged myself to memorize scripture and I've surprised myself by being able to do it!

5.  Pack 5-7 boxes.  We are moving soon and I don't want to feel rushed and stressed at the end.

6.  List 5 items to sell.  I sell my previously loved baby items on Hyena Cart-Spot's Corner.  I have had quite a bit of success doing this, although it's hard to say "good-bye" to some of these little treasures!

7.  Begin exercising again, working out at least 4 days.  It's hot out right now, so if I don't wake up early I might not be able to accomplish this!

8.  Work on lesson plans and prepping for the next school year.

What are your goals this week?

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Not so "extreme" couponing...but still saving!

I'm sure by now many of you have either heard of or watched the popular show on TLC, Extreme Couponing  . Many times the shoppers spend 10-12 hours in a grocery store, load up 6 or more grocery carts full of every item imaginable, and end up leaving the store having paid next to nothing.  With today's economy being what it is, the idea of saving money is on a lot of people's minds.  I know it's on my mind a lot, especially with a large family that includes teenagers!

I used to watch the show and follow a few couponing websites but the idea just seemed like too much for me.  How could I spend time couponing when I have so many other things that need to get done?  Also, in order to begin using coupons, you have to have some and every time I got the idea in my head that I was going to try it I realized that I didn't have any coupons.  I also tend to not want to do something halfway, so I knew I didn't want to get started unless I had a good stash of coupons. So with that in mind, last November I began saving my coupons and I began couponing for our family.  I have enjoyed it so much and I have saved our family a lot of money in the process.  Now, before you imagine me spending hours dumpster diving and clipping coupons, coupled with hours in the grocery store and turning a garage (which I don't have anyways) into a storeroom, I'm here to tell you that for me it doesn't look anything like that.  You can do it on a smaller scale and still save your family money.

  • I first started by saving the coupons out of the Sunday paper.  At the time, I didn't have a subscription so I would purchase the paper at a dollar store.  I purchased two papers each week.  Not long after that I subscribed to the Sunday paper at a discounted rate and I now receive two papers a week.
  • I keep the inserts together until I'm ready to clip them.  The date of each insert is printed on the binding, which I use as a reference until I'm ready to clip the coupons.  When I do find the time to clip the coupons, I put them in binder.  This is one thing I said I would never have, but it makes my couponing so much easier.
  • I check at least two couponing websites on a regular basis.  These sites will alert you to a printable coupon for an item that will be coming up on sale in the near future or a coupon that is rare or high value.  The two websites that I highly recommend and that I refer to regularly are:
Money Saving Mom               
  • These two ladies spend a lot of time matching up current store ads with the large amount of coupons that are out there.  These coupons can be newspaper inserts, internet coupons or any other coupon that is available.
  • I go through their match-ups store by store.  I have a little notebook that I carry with me that I write my lists in.  I will title one page "Rite Aid" and I will go through the match-ups and write down anything that I am interested in purchasing.  I will jot down the item, the price and my discount.  I then go through my binder or inserts and take the coupon for the specific item and place it in my Rite Aid envelope.  Each item looks similar to this:
Pantene Shampoo 2.99
1.00 UP

What this means is that the shampoo is on sale for $2.99.  I have a $1.00 off coupon, bringing the item to $1.99.  The store will give me a register reward for $1.00.  So, the Pantene Shampoo really cost me $.99.  If I can get quality shampoo for my large family at that price, I'm happy!

  • What is a register reward?  CVS, Walgreens and Rite Aid are three drugstores that offer these types of rewards, all under their own name.  You can use the reward like cash towards other purchases.  Some exclusions do apply, such as milk, tobacco and alcohol.  I can take that $1.00 reward and combine it with others to pay for my other purchases.  
So you see, it can be done on a smaller scale while still saving money and purchasing the products your family needs.  Next time I will share a little more insight on how I use coupons and some of the things that I have learned since I began couponing.

Be blessed!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Christmas at our home

Wow, can you believe Christmas is only 8 days away?  It's getting closer and everyone around our house is very excited.  I was reading about Faith's family and how they celebrate Christmas and so I thought I would share what we do.  First, let me say that I know that God made each and every one of us different, so the way we celebrate may be different (and it probably is) than the way you celebrate.  I believe that if our desire is to honor and glorify God, that is the most important thing.

Let's talk trees!  Some love artificial while others love the smell of a real tree in their home this time of year.  For us, it has to be real.  Yes, there are the occasional needles (or 2, or 50!) that wind up on the floor, but that's okay.  We cut out tree down every year and it's an experience that we just love!  We cut our tree down on December 1 as a way to remember our son, Samuel.  This is a special day for us.  Erick takes the day off and we spend it as a family, going out for lunch and getting our tree.

Each year the kids get to pick out a new ornament.  We go to a local store that sells Christmas items and they have thousands of ornaments for sale.  It's neat because they have trees decorated by themes, such as flamingos or Jim Shore (which I love!).  The little ones get a child's yearly ornament from Hallmark.  They start to pick their own out at around age 5.  For the past few years I haven't been good at getting the yearly ornaments for the little ones, except for "Baby's 1st Christmas".  Our tree has 9 of those!  So I spent some time last week on Ebay finding all of the ones I had missed.

This year, for the first time, I didn't do any decorating.  Our older children did it all and I loved it, and so did they.  They later confessed to me that I take too long discussing each and every thing and they were so excited when I said they didn't have to wait for me and that they could do it on their own.  Our tree and house look fabulous, thanks to them.

In the past years we have done some excellent advent activities but this year we aren't doing one.  Hopefully we can get back to doing one next year.  Even though we aren't doing one, we still make sure we talk to the kids about the true meaning of Christmas.

We love to go driving around to look at lights.  That is one of our favorite activities to do during this time of year.

Now, let's talk gifts.  My older children exchange names and purchase something small for each other.  They love this and it's fun to see what they come up with.  I know many families buy their children 3 gifts referring back to the gifts that the wise men brought to Jesus.  I think that's a great idea.  Another idea that I love is to buy "something to wear, something you need, something you want and something to read".  I love both of these ideas, although we don't do them.   I have thought about doing them, but I end up buying too many gifts and so I always say "next year."  I probably give each child about 5 gifts, less if the gift is something big like a camera.

Finally, let's talk about Santa.  Did I say that?  Yes, I did!  We did Santa when our older children were younger but I remember the year when Noah, who was 4 at the time, got so excited when he saw what Santa had left him that he said, "Santa was nice to me, Santa was nice to me!"  I'll admit, I got a little jealous over the attention and thanks that Santa got.  So, we quit doing Santa.  Looking back, I think that we were also following what others that we knew at that time were doing.  And they had great reasons.  But a little part of me always missed the big guy.  So, when Jubilee was born, Santa came back into being a part of our Christmas experience.  I don't know how long Santa will last though.  So far, 2 of my little boys have already found the "santa toy" that I had hidden.  Santa only brings one toy to the little ones, the rest are from mommy and daddy.

That's just a little window into Christmas at our home.  Check out Clark Chatter to see how other "big" families celebrate this special time of year.