Friday, March 26, 2010

The road less traveled was defiantly traveled. All 12 hours of it...by myself with my 3 little side kicks. I d0 have to say my kids are Awesome travels. Not to mention the fact that 2 are boys and we had plenty of empty bottles:) (f you get my drift) My babies are no strangers to road travel and to help them and myself I feel the key is to Be Prepared.

1.Stay on time.. If you want to get to your destination at a certain time. Make sure you coincide bathroom and gas breaks. (remember empty bottles)

2.If all everyone does the entire trip is eat and drink your stopping will be crazy. After all they don't sit in school eating all day. So make sure to limit snacks.

3.Save some money and some stopping time, Pack a meal. Make muffins for breakfast or make a lunch (crustables etc..) and don't be a worry wart about the kids spilling snack foods like pretzels, gold fish or even french fries. If you break down the lost food in the seats and floor boards will come in handy later while your busy.

4.Even though we have one in our car I'm not a big fan of the DVD player so they're limited to 2 ..MAYBE 3 movies but be prepared! Take some books so the kids can add it to their school reading logs. Work or puzzle books (Don't over pack on toys!) I feel like the less they have the more occupied they are with each other. Life has too much technology. Different video games, music, movies.. I always tell my kids Life is passing you by right outside the windows. That is where life happens not on a TV or video game.

5.And MOST IMPORTANTLY kids feed off of you emotionally. If you think it's going to be a long journey and they aren't going to do well. They're not. Be positive! Look at it as an adventure and make sure to include them. Listen to some music they want to. Play I spy. Sing a "Road Trip" song where everyone makes up their own verse. (That's one of our favorites. We'll drive to the grocery store and the kids will ask to sing the "Road Trip" song.) They grow up so fast. I value our little road trips so much. I love to hear them laugh, play and interact with one another.

I do admit all of the ABC's and 5 little ducks do get on my nerves after a while that's why I LOVE Go Fish (another MOPS great) they let me rock while the kids roll. This CD is ALWAYS in my CD player. Take a listen to one of my fave songs.

If you have any helpful traveling tips let me know under comments and I'd love to share them.


Thursday, March 25, 2010

Who doesn't remember this movie? Couldn't you just taste the soap Ralphie's Mom put in his mouth when she heard him say one of the worst words in the world?

Before anyone starts freaking out none of my babies have said any of "those" words. When one of my kids sheepishly walk up to tell me someone said the "S" word." The "S" stands for Stupid.
Unfortunately, I still don't like all the things they say, especially when they say it just because it makes each other laugh... and It's Not Funny! The only reason they're laughing is because they're 7, 4 & 2 (almost 5 & 3)

"What are these horrifying words"? You ask. Poop, Pee, Fart. but not with such innocence. It's more like.."I'm gonna poop on you" or "Wait a minute.. Wait.. Ahhh, I farted on you. Do you smell it? No? Wait. Smell it now?" And it's truly embarrassing when they say that stuff in front of their friends or other people. Like MY friends.

Today after hearing Madison talking for a few minutes I got up and firmly told her something I don't think she was to happy about because she knows I'm just crazy enough to follow through.

A few years back during my MOPS days we were at convention when I heard Lisa Welchel (blair from The Facts of Life) speak about Creative Correction. Her son had a potty mouth (I think it was just being ugly to siblings etc.. Not any 4 letter #$*%) and after much praying this is what the Lord gave her.. She told her son to go to the bathroom (that is where they awaited punishment and sentencing) She got 2 glasses. 1 filled with clean fresh water. The other she dipped into the toilet and filled it with the toilet water. She continued by telling him the things that were coming out of his mouth were ugly and filthy like toilet water and the things that should be coming out should be pure and good like Jesus; hence the clean water. Then asked him "Which cup would you like to drink from"? The hour long segment she shared that day flashed through my mind in 10 secs.. maybe less. So this is how mine went.. "Stop it! Stop talking like that! I'm sick of hearing that crap".. Do you want me to put toilet water in a cup so you can drink it? Do ya?Because that is what it sounds like, toilet talk! If I keep hearing you talk like that your gonna be drinking toilet water. Is that what you want? Well, do ya?"

I'll be the first to admit this wasn't exactly the same approach Lisa used but I feel like it was effective and just FYI, I wasn't yelling we had company so I was very calm but FIRM and plenty of (crazy) eye contact. By the way I know these words are not the end of the world and there may be greater obstacles down the road but I'm still wiping kids butts around this house and I don't need to hear it too.

Disclaimer: I would never actually make my kids drink toilet water (It would make them sick) but I might be willing to make them think they did:)

Monday, March 22, 2010

FREEbies



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Go here to fill out the form to try a sample of NutraSalt low sodium sea salt free of charge.




Go here to Receive coupons for a free Ensure shake, plus a coupon for a discount off of a 6 pack.




Free Pack of 5 React Gum. Go here then click on the left side of the wsite to connect with Facebook to get to the freebie.

Harris Teeter



I read over at Coupon Cutting Diva that Harris Teeter is going to Triple coupons this weekend starting 3/24. You can triple up to 20 coupons per visit per VIC card. They will triple coupons up to .99 cents. mycouponteacher.com usually list some great match ups. Go here to check her out.

Prepared by God by Wendy Blight



"For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." Ephesians 2:10 (NIV)

In 1988 I entered Southern Methodist University School of Law. I invested three years of my life studying day and night so I could make law review, graduate in the top of my class, and land a job with a large Dallas firm. It all happened just the way I planned ... making law review, graduating in the top 10 percent, and landing that big downtown job. It was a good thing too because my husband and I went into debt for that education. But no worries. I got the high paying job I wanted.

I spent the next year applying all that I had learned, working day and night, researching and writing legal briefs. My long hours pa id off as I began arguing cases before local, state, and eventually federal court judges. I even had the honor and privilege of writing a brief that went before the Supreme Court of the United States of America.

But in the end, I hated it.

After investing thousands of dollars in my education and thousands of hours researching, writing, and arguing, I hated it. At age 28, I remember saying, "Lord, why do You have me here? I find no joy in what I do. What is it You want me to do? And, Lord, what about all this debt?"

I had no idea the wonderful way in which God would answer those questions. Twenty years later, those research skills taught me the methods that I now use to study and break apart God's Word. Arguing before judges prepared me for the speaking and teaching He has called me to. The writing skills prepared me for writing a book that tells an amazing story of God's hope and healing in the midst of difficult circumstances.

Now in my 40s, I realize th at God created me not to be a lawyer, but to be a Bible teacher. He has called me to break apart His Word and teach it. There were steps along the way that I do not understand. There is a debt we still need to repay. But God has been faithful.

Friend, if you have landed here today wondering what in the world God wants to do with your life, I want you to know one thing. Not a single thing in your life will be wasted. God will use your past and your present to prepare you for your future. He has a beautiful plan ... a call on your life. He is waiting to reveal it to you.

Jeremiah 1:5 says, "I knew you before I formed you in your mother's womb. Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you as My prophet to the nation" (NLT).

Psalm 139:16 says, "You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed" (NLT).

Sweet friend, God brought you here today. He wants to remind you of a precious Truth. Hear it and never forget it...before time began, before God spoke the world into being...He had you in His heart. God chose you to be His child. God has a perfect plan for your life. No one else has your plan, your family, your gifts, your talents, your heart, your education, your past, and your present ... NO ONE.

He chose you to use you to do great things for His Kingdom ... things that only you can do.

He is preparing you...even now.

But to be used by God, you must TRUST Him with your past; BELIEVE Him for your future; BELIEVE He has a plan for you; SURRENDER your life to His Plan, and BELIEVE He will equip you to do what He has called you to do.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Win an Easter Basket Filled With Vegan Candy


You could win an Easter basket filled with chocolate bunnies, lollipops, and more! Go here to Enter the contest now.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Say What????


Kids say the funniest things... Sometimes... and sometimes there's a fine line between them being disrespectful and just being honest and feeling like they can tell you anything. Most times I opt to believe in the later.

I was laying in bed with Madison tonight when she asked what the fold was on the side of my chest by my arm. I comfortably told her, "it's a fat fold". She just looked at me. I said, "ya know babe, I haven't always looked like this". I continued to say "I was skinny at one time." She said, "I know, I've seen the pictures but you did have,... you know.. a big butt."
I have always been a full glass thinker and I don't really see it as having a big butt but rather.. I was the one who inspired J-Lo:)
These were way back in the day June 1999. We were married at The Duck Inn at Va. Beach, Va. as AJ's cousin Lori would say..."Duckin Right"!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

VocalPoint

"VocalPoint...VocalPoint...VocalPoint", If I say it enough maybe you'll be saying it in your sleep:) What is VocalPoint? Only one of the most amazing FREEbie & information sites brought to us by a division of Proctor & Gamble. (Sounds like a commercial, right?) They also have additional information & tips on Health & Beauty, Food & Recipes, Around the House and More and it's totally FREE to join. Just go here to sign up.

But before you do.....

Not only do they give great FREEbies but when you get your goodies in the mail they come with really and I mean really... Awesome coupons. Remember my latest Target trip and all the Kashi cereal? I got a sample in the mail on Sat and it came with 4 coupons. 1 for a FREE box of Kashi cereal (not that I'm a lover of the Kashi,, I actually like all things sugar but it's actually not a bad snack mix without the milk) and 3 $1.50 off MQ's.


Now, don't you want to be a VocalPoint member?

FREEbies


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Free Puffs Plus To Go Pack. Register for your free Puffs Plus sample from Vocalpoint. If you are not a member, sign up here to become one free!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Target

Have I told you lately how much "I LOVE couponing?" and all I do is follow certain blogs. I do exactly what they say and there is minimal work for me:)

First I buy 2 newspapers... Every Sunday, then I pull out the coupons and put them in a file folder with that Sundays date on it.

Then I search the blogs. They tell me what item is on sale and where I can find a coupon for it. RP (Redplum) SS (Smart Source) etc...

So, I just wanted to share pictures of some trips I've made over the past couple of weeks.

This was a couple of weeks ago. Target had a deal that if you bought 5 boxes of 100 calories right bites you get a $5.00 Target Gift card. Sounds expensive, right? Well, it pays off.. I bought 5 of these. Now the blogs said to use $1.00 MQ (Manufacture Coupon) for each one. I only had 2 coupons but the kids needed snacks and I was getting that $5 GC so my hopes were high:) My Total was $13.45 - (2) $1.oo MQ = $11.45 OOP & I got a $5.00 GC back. This was purchase #1


Purchase #2..I can't list all the coupons I had but, I will tell you everything that was FREE.

4 fur fighters... FREE

2 Reach Floss'..FREE

4 Old Spice Body Wash Travel Size...FREE + Overage

4 Gillette Men's Body Wash.. FREE + Overage

2-4 packs 60W light bulbs...FREE

Everything did have coupons with the exception of the toy microphone which I got for my sick baby.. hence the Gatorade (no coupons) Total after coupons $10.13 - my $5.00 GC from purchase # 1.. Total OOP $5.13

The Target I was already at for Purchases 1 & 2 didn't have anymore Special K fruit crisp so I headed to another location in hopes of finding some. Why the hunt? Because you got a $5 GC for buying 5 of these as well. The Total was $12.50 - (4) $1.00 off MQ & (1) .75 MQ & (2) 1.00 Coupons..OOP I paid $5.75 and got a $5 GC to use at a later date.
Last week I wanted to use some MQ I got from the coupon clippers so AJ and I headed out. All he kept saying was it better be free.. it better be free.. "Oh Ye of little faith" I can tell you and so can he with out any doubt. Our total came to $10.60 OOP and that was because of the T-ball glove AJ wanted to get Cohen that cost $9.99 plus It would have been cheaper but I forgot to give the lady my $5 GC from the previous weeks purchase..Oh well I can't complain. Here's what we got.
1 T Ball glove
2 Kids Crest full size toothpastes
2-4 packs of Men's Dove soap w/ mini body wash
14 travel sized Old Spice body washes
3 Gillette men's body washes
1 Gillette Men's deodorant
5 Card games (Scrabble Slam, Pictureka & Sorry) they cost more than $5 each
Then yesterday I went for another Target run. We are out of cereal so it looked like a good idea to me. Plus I got a sample box of Kashi cereal in the mail this weekend form Vocal point and it came with some awesome coupons so after some coupon combining here it is..
4 boxes Mini Wheat's cereal on sale 4 for 10. Whne you spend $10 on participating Kellogg's cereal you get a $5 GC
3 boxes Kashi cereal
1 box Kashi granola bars
1 box Kashi whole grain crackers
2 bottles Dial hand soap
2 Gillette men's deodorant
1-4 pack men's Dove soap w/ mini body wash
After all my MQ and printable Target coupons (which included 2 for free boxes of Kashi) the total was $9.50 then I so happily gave the cashier my $5 GC from last week Special K buy and OOP I paid $4.50 and FYI 1 box of Kashi is $3.29
So once again I say... Why don't you "Coupon"?

Monday, March 15, 2010

I Want to Leave a Legacy by Melanie Chitwood


"I will sing of the lovingkindness of the Lord forever; to all generations I will make known your faithfulness with my mouth." Psalm 89:1 (NAS)

What do your children think of when they think of you? Their answers would be very revealing, wouldn't they? One day in early elementary school, Zachary came home with a Mother's Day picture he'd created for me. In the middle was a lovely portrait of me, wearing a dress made in my favorite colors of pink and purple. Then around the picture his teacher had told him to write four different words to describe his mom. He wrote: reading, napping, chocolate chip cookies, and laughing. His words made me smile with their accuracy.

Every day we are leaving our fingerprints on our kids. What do we want our children to think of when they think of their p arents? A mom who was gentle and firm in her discipline or a mom who flew off the handle easily? A mom who seemed permanently attached to her phone or a mom who was available for life's big and small moments? A mom who occasionally went to church or a mom whose love of God was a part of her everyday life?

A legacy can be defined as "something handed down." Every day through our words and actions we are developing a legacy to be carried in the character of our children. It's easy for the busyness of life to keep you from being purposeful in your parenting. Let's decide today to leave the legacy we really want. Let's make sure it's a legacy not born of busyness and urgency, but one born of purposefulness and prayer.

It always helps me to remember that God is a parent too. So who better to turn to for parenting advice? It also helps me to know that God loves my children even more than I do, and He will fill in the gaps for me and Scott as we seek Him first. No matter what kind of parent you've been, today you can decide to add to and improve the legacy you are leaving. These are the only days we have with our children. We don't get them back. Let's begin today to be the parents we really want to be.

Dear Lord, thank You so much for each of my children. I need Your help every day to be the parent You want me to be. Lord, I'm human and I know that as a parent, I've made mistakes and will in the future. Lord, redeem the past and strengthen me for the future. Lord, thank You that You will give me Your love, wisdom, strength, direction, and patience to be the best parent for my children. Help me to leave a legacy that brings You glory and one that will enable my children to know how much You love them. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Walking on Sunshine

Before we ever moved one of the first things we started looking for was a new home church. One that was family oriented and where we felt at home. It took 6 months but we found one. They are so family oriented that one of their Church Values is "Family Worship."

Parents, as seen in God's Word, have the primary responsibility for teaching and modeling worship and truth to their children, (Deuteronomy 6:7; 11:18-21). We are committed to developing a structure of ministry in which your children can receive age appropriate ministry and, in addition, be included in corporate worship as part of our church family, (Deuteronomy 31:12-13).

Another opportunity for our Family to Worship is by giving. On Valentines Day they collected shoes for Soles4Souls. Go here to check out their website. The kids and I went through the house gathering shoes that were too small or ones that we had multiple pairs of (More than 1 pair of flip flops etc..). Here's a video put together by the students from our church. They collected 1168 pairs of shoes. When the collection started some came to church with shoes and left with out any on.



Back in January our Children's Church participated in the Karis Project. Pastor Donnie insisted on one parent staying with their child and together you took items previously donated (from everyone in the church) and filled backpacks that would be passed out to homeless people. There were socks, hats, blankets, tooth paste/brushes, deodorant, combs, shampoo, soap and a lot more that we packed up. When we were done we prayed over the back packs and the people who would get them.

Pastor Drew said it very well this morning when he said "Giving is about Trust" how simple is that. I give trusting God will multiply it for the receiver. I give trusting they will know the love of God and I give trusting God will take care of me, either here on earth or in my heavenly home.

It can be money, prayer or even time but it's such an awesome feeling knowing that you have helped someone else. Being able to teach and instill the act of giving to my children is very important to me. After all it's not what you have but what you do with it that counts.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Free Stuff

Free Sample of Tide with Febreze. Sign in or register here with P&G Everday Solutions to request a free sample of Tide with Febreze Freshness plus a $1 off coupon.


Free Downy Fabric Softener Go here to get a free sample of Ultra Downy Fabric Softener from the Sam’s Club website. No membership number required.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Retreat with Jesus by Amy Carroll


"Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for men, for he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things." Psalm 107:8-9 (NIV)

When a new neighbor moved in next door, Caroline rallied the troops in her neighborhood to prepare a warm greeting. She and her friend planned a feast to take over to welcome the newcomer to their community. Caroline called her new neighbor and was surprised when her hospitality was met with suspicion.

"Why did you say that you wanted to bring me dinner?" the new neighbor questioned. Caroline explained that it was a tradition in their area and that they'd like to deliver dinner to welcome her personally. The neighbor responded, "I tell you what. I'll give you a call when I'm h ungry." Click.

Caroline reflected on how many times we treat God the same way that her new neighbor treated her. Each day God lays out a feast and invites every believer to come eat our fill. I had to ask myself an important question: How many days do I rush by God's table and throw an "I'll come when I'm hungry!" back over my shoulder?

I think I'm full, but God knows that I'm simply ignoring my hunger. I need to sit down daily to eat and be filled from God's table. Luke 1:53 says, "He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty" (NIV).

I long to have a heart to approach Him daily just as I am—poor and hungry. He invites me to come to Him so that I can leave rich and full. What a glorious exchange! What a divine pleasure!
Daily time enjoying God is essential, but sometimes God gives us an invitation to a private, extended feast. I am envious of one of my pastors. He takes a week each year for a spiritual retreat to a monastery . He goes where it's quiet and simple and spends a week with Jesus. Maybe someday when my children are older and I'm caught up on laundry I'll be able to do that, but recently God led me to do something equally wonderful on a smaller scale. I took a spiritual retreat during the school day in a room at my church.

As I walked up the stairs to the empty room, I felt nervous. I had spent hours in prayer with others, but I had never spent this long alone with God. Would I have enough to say to Him? Would He speak to me in the silence? Would the minutes drag by? Would I walk out unchanged or disappointed?

At the end of the day, my questions were answered. God met me there. We filled our time together with prayer, Bible reading and worship. God spoke words of direction to me in the silence. I came in knowing that I was hungry, and He was faithful to fill me.

Having mini-retreats with Jesus is something that I plan to do now at least twice a year. In the midst of a fu ll life, it's necessary to intentionally set extended time aside to seek His face and worship Him. I'll still look forward to a week in an abbey, but in the meantime I'll bask in a school day retreat as I renew my relationship with God and feast on His goodness!

Dear Lord, help me know You are good. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

What's up with that?


Today, as I was cleaning the house, and it usually takes a while because I get distracted quite a bit.. hence me blogging, I noticed I should probably clean out the refrigerator. It was just the usual kind of stuff like spilt liquid spots from Madison pulling drinks in and out of the frig and just general yukiness. I proceeded to pull things out to spray down and clean it when I noticed a pile of leftovers over on the counter.

What is up with all that food? I am making less because of AJ being gone but where did it all come from? I will admit that the kids and I (for the most part) don't do left overs so what do I do with all the food? I feel bad throwing it away but I can't imagine making any less because that will be the day the kids are starving and want like 2 or 3 servings. Plus there taste is changing. From week to week they like different things..Anyway, Does anyone have any suggestions?

Monday, March 1, 2010



On Wednesday nights my babies have been going to their classes at church with such excitement. They have been learning songs and dances for a VBS expo our church held this past Saturday. Even though VBS isn't until July the church was packed with other churches learning about Saddle Ridge Ranch (LifeWay's VBS Theme for 2010)

Saddle up for VBS 2010 where kids will be ridin' the range and roundin' up questions like: "What is God's plan for me?" and "How can I be like Jesus?" At the end of the day, they'll discover that God's Word has all the answers.

Scripture: James 1:5 "Now if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives to all generously and without criticizing, and it will be given to him." HCSB®

Motto: Need Answers? Ask God!

My Babies singing their hearts out......


And we absolutely could not leave with out this picture. They thought this was the funniest thing.

A Morning Prayer by Lisa TerKeurst

"Teach me your way, O Lord, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name." Psalm 86:11 (NIV)

It is very early in the morning. Not many people are stirring yet.

Though my body begs me just to roll over and go back to sleep, my soul is stirring to get up and go sit with Jesus.

Though I can't physically see Him, I know He is present.

I decide to open my Bible to the Psalms and use the verses I read as prayers to start my day.

And the more I pray those verses out loud the less I hear all the nagging things of the world. A beautiful melody of truth starts to rise up and suddenly my worries fade in the light of God's truth.

His perspective on things that are troubling me starts to over shadow my anxiety. Like shade on a hot summer's day, I feel relief in His presence.

I know that He is preparing me for what I will need throughout this day. He is already standing in every minute of my day and He sees what I will face. So, He's equipping me to be able to handle what is ahead of me with His gentle boldness, quiet strength, and loving grace.

In Psalm 81:10b, God instructs me, "Open wide your mouth and I will fill it." He will give me what to say today. What to say in happy moments. What to say in aggravating moments. What to say in moments where I feel insecure and what to say when I feel completely confident. What to say in disappointing moments. What to say in response to questions.

He also reminds me that sometimes it is good to keep my mouth closed and say nothing at all.

All the words that rumble about in my brain and those that will proceed out of my mouth, Lord, You be the author of those.

Psalm 84:1 reminds me that G od's dwelling place is lovely. So, I ask God to dwell in me richly. I want Him to be what radiates about me. I want Him to be my pretty today.

Not my hair. Not my outfit. Not my efforts. But simply Him and His spirit dancing invisibly about me... shifting a wrong attitude, guarding my words, and whispering constant truths into my heart.

Psalm 86:11 is what I ask the Lord to give me. "Teach me your way, O Lord, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart..."

Lord, may nothing separate me from You today. Teach me how to choose only Your way today so each step will lead me closer to You. Help me walk by the truth and not my feelings.

Help me to keep my heart pure and undivided. Protect me from my own careless thoughts, words and actions. And keep me from being distracted by MY wants, MY desires, MY thoughts on how things should be.

Help me to embrace what comes my way as an opportunity...rather than a personal inconvenience.

And finally, help me to rest in the truth of Psalm 86:13a, "Great is your love toward me."

You already see all the many ways I will surely fall short and mess up. But right now, I consciously tuck Your whisper of absolute love for me into the deepest part of my heart. I recognize Your love for me is not based on my performance. You love me warts and all.

Have mercy, that's amazing.

But what's most amazing is that the God of the Universe, the Savior of the world, would desire a few minutes with me this morning. Lord, help me to forever remember what a gift it is to sit with You like this.

Dear Lord, I love You. All that I have read here is the desire of my heart. I know and confess that sometimes my actions and reactions betray my love for You. Please forgive me. Thank You for Your grace that is able to recognize this new day as a new chance to walk closer with You. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
 
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