Monday, December 29, 2008

Kings and Queens of Cheap

A few months ago, I saw that our local newspaper, The Morning Call, was asking their readers to send in their most frugal tips. They wanted to see to what lengths people go to save a few bucks (or pennies). I was going to send a tip in, but, of course, I never got around to it. Well, in my Sunday paper they posted some of the ideas they received. (Apparently, readers could go on their website and vote for their favorite frugal tip.) Some of the tips listed in the newspaper, I've actually done myself prior to reading the article.

Here is what a few of our fellow frugals are doing: saving the salt at the bottom of a pretzel bag and running it through a coffee grinder so that it fits into a salt shaker; keeping dirty paper napkins after a meal and using them to clean grease out of pans or to clean up cat vomit (by the way, this is not one that I do or plan on doing); weighing pre-packaged produce (such as carrots) because not every package weighs the same even though you're plunking down the same amount of cash for each bag; using a rolling pin to get every bit of toothpaste out of that tube; filling an empty jelly jar with milk, letting the bits of jelly dissolve in the milk for a few days, then freezing the jelly milk making homemade ice pops. Apparently, the reporters tried this last tip and said the ice pops were quite good! I think I'm going to give the last three items I listed here a try.

Although, I am almost out of salt.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Frugal Friday

Since we traveled so much this month, I have been thinking about cheap ways to entertain my kids while on the road. My boys are 13 and 10. They each have a Nintendo DS (Christmas gifts), and they both have iPods (which they purchased with their own money). I swore they would never have these things because I always felt that if reading in the car was good enough for me, it was good enough for them! Well, obviously I've caved over the years. Plus, they spent some of their own money.

Another item I've sworn I'll never have in my vehicle is a tv or dvd player. Well, my husband and I almost caved again before our trip to the Outer Banks. Fortunately, the particular portable dvd player that we were interested in was out of stock every where we checked! So our kids had to deal with a long car ride with only their Nintendos, iPods and some reading material. The poor dears!

Anyway, my youngest did get bored despite his technological luxuries. Thankfully, I had a word search book with me which entertained him for a while. We also played the alphabet game. My husband introduced us to a game that he used to play in his social studies class in middle school. One person names a city/town, and the next person has to name a city/town that begins with the last letter of the city/town that the previous person came up with. This game really makes you think!

An idea that popped into my head tonight was to take along any unfinished workbooks from the school year and have the kids do a few pages. (I'm currently doing this with my younger son in order for him to earn time playing his video games.)

One of my family's favorite electronic games is 20 Questions. I think the original one cost around $20. You can probably find one of these at a yard sale by now. Of course, you can always play this game the old fashioned way! Don't forget tic-tac-toe and hangman!

If your kids are plugged in while traveling, visit your library before leaving on your trip. They can pick up some video games and movies for addition to checking out a good summer read!

There's nothing wrong with finding a baseball game being broadcast over the radio. You may not get to listen to the entire game if you're traveling away from the radio station, but it will provide entertainment for a little while.

Well, speaking of entertainment, the X-Games are on, and I don't want to miss them! (They're exciting and a good way to bond with my sons!) Please scroll down to my Wednesday's Wealth for some coupon leads. Also, I was really late with last week's Frugal Friday, so please check that out too for a coupon giveaway!

Frugal Friday is hosted by Crystal at Biblical Womanhood.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Wednesday's Wealth

If you have teens who are battling acne, there is a $1 off coupon for any Oxy product in the September 1 issue of Woman's Day. You can also go here and get a coupon for $1.50 off Oxy products.

For a printable All Laundry Detergent $1 off coupon click here.

For all of you allergy sufferers, click here for a few different coupons from Claritin.

There is a printable coupon for Uncle Ben's Rice here. It is for $1 off two packages.

Join Red Robin's eClub and receive a free burger on your birthday! Go here if you're over 13. Kids 13 and under can get a free kid's meal on their birthday. Click here for that option.

That's it for today! Scroll down to my most recent Frugal Friday post for another coupon offer!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Frugal Friday (a little late)

I know, I'm a little late on last week's Frugal Friday! I didn't have internet access while in the Outer Banks.

Rather than offering a frugal tip this time, I have a coupon offer. I have a bunch of coupons to save $2 on one bottle of Fibersure. All of the coupons expire on 12/31/08. I'll never use them all and thought I'd share the wealth!

The first 10 people to leave a comment on my Blog will each receive 3 of these coupons! Please be sure to let me know how to contact you so that I may ask for your address. I'll pay the postage myself!

Fibersure is a great product. You can either add it to a drink or add it to your food. I just made a batch of meatballs and put some in there when I was mixing them up! My kids will never know!

Be sure to scroll down to my Wednesday's Wealth post for more savings!

Frugal Friday is hosted by Crystal at Biblical Womanhood.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Wednesday's Wealth

This is going to be a short entry because I am enjoying some beach time in the Outer Banks this week!

I recently received an email to sign up and get a free sample of Greenies Pill Pockets treats. For you pet lovers, go here claim your free sample.

If you enjoy Gorton's Fisherman products, click here for a $.75 off 2 coupon. Also, see their Sudoko game offer.

For some Pillsbury coupons good this month, click here.

Well, the surf's up......check back again next week to keep a little extra change in your pocket!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Frugal Friday

Since just taking a drive together is no longer a "cheap date", my hubby and I have to come up with other alternatives. I joined T.G.I. Friday's E-Club and received a coupon via email for a free appetizer. So we plan to head over there this month for a little "couple" time. We'll just have to pay for our beverages and a tip. At least we'll get out of the house alone for a short time. Get your free appetizer here. You can also sign up for their Give Me More Stripes program and receive a second coupon via email for either a free appetizer or dessert. Click here for details and to sign up.

We have a 13-year-old son which means he and his hungry pals are always in search of something to eat. A cheap snack/meal that I try to have on hand are frozen burritos (such as the Patio burritos). My grocery store had them 2/$.89 this week. They may not be the healthiest things, but they fill up growing boys for very little money!

Scroll on down to this week's Wednesday's Wealth for other coupons. Hurry...some of them expire by Saturday!

Frugal Friday is hosted by Crystal at Biblical Womanhood.

His Riches

This summer I have been focusing on finding ways to save money such as couponing, CVSing, rebating and cutting back. In my efforts to do this, I haven't been focusing on God and the ways he wants to enrich my life. Spending time in His Word gives us a wealth of wisdom, comfort, confidence and love to draw from in times of spiritual, physical or mental poverty. Memorizing scripture deposits securities into a (life) savings account.

How many times have we all sent up a desperate prayer knowing full well we're not worthy of being bailed out of whatever the situation is, especially because we haven't deposited enough of God's Word into our hearts and minds? You may feel like you've just written a check that you know will bounce due to insufficient funds!

God loves each one of us deeply but desires a long-term, steady relationship with us. Not a fly by night get rich scheme.....or in other words, a "If you do this for me Lord, I promise ________" type of relationship. Just as we carefully and painstakingly plan our financial health, we must put time and energy into our spiritual health....or into our relationship with the Almighty. If our finances are looked after and tended to, we benefit. So goes the same with our relationship with God. He wants to bless us! Spending time with him is way easier than making or saving a buck! I challenge myself and all of you to reach for these godly dividends!

"Serving God does make us very rich,....The love of money causes all kinds of evil. Some people have left the faith, because they wanted to get more money, but they have caused themselves much sorrow." 1Timothy6:6,10

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Wednesday's Wealth

Summer is a good time to catch up on some reading. Find a Barnes & Noble coupon here and a Border's coupon here. Hurry....they expire soon!

If you're like me, you end up at Target weekly and K-Mart too. Find Target coupons here and K-Mart coupons here and here. My younger son has a summer birthday, so I'll be using that second K-Mart coupon!

If your kids play sports, equipment can be expensive! Here is a coupon for Dick's Sporting Goods. This one is nice because it's good through 1/31/09.

Participate in this Blockbuster survey and receive a $1.99 movie rental coupon via email.

Hope these savings help you! Happy Wealthy Wednesday!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Haven Mondays

I feel very spoiled right now. On Saturday, we returned from a week long visit with my husband's family out in Chicago, and this Saturday we will be heading down to the Outer Banks of NC for another week long vacation. Taking two vacations in one year let alone in one month is not something we normally do! We were very fortunate to be able to use my father-in-law's frequent flier miles to fly our family of four out to Chicago. Since we were visiting family, we didn't have to pay for lodging either. When we go to the Outer Banks, we'll be staying with old college friends who own a beach house there. Once again, no lodging expenses. Yes, our family is blessed this summer!

So this week feels kind of odd to me. I've unpacked from one vacation and am getting ready to pack for another. I've spent today running some errands and making some phone calls. You know.....trying to catch up after being away for a week while at the same time trying to get ready to go away for a week. It seems a little strange.

My hubby and I sat down yesterday to discuss our menu for this week before I headed off to the grocery store. We pretty well depleted what was in our refrigerator before we went to Chicago, and we don't want to have too much in there this week. So some planning needed to be done.

Eric came up with this dinner menu for our week:
  • Sunday: Youth Group Cookout
  • Monday: Bacon, Eggs, English muffins
  • Tuesday: *Chili Con Carnie (see my mom's easy recipe below)*
  • Wednesday: Frozen pizza, Salad
  • Thursday : Hamburgers, Corn
  • Friday: Leftovers

Now if we don't have any leftovers for Friday night's meal, we'll probably use a gift card for Subway that I was given. (On another note.....if you want to give your child's teacher an end of year gift, gift cards are the best in my book! I teach at a Christian preschool and do not get a pay check for about 3 months, and gift cards help me out a lot during the summer!)


  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • Onion
  • 2 small cans tomato
  • 8 oz. can tomato sauce
  • Macaroni

Brown meat. Cook macaroni. Simmer tomatoes, sauce, beef and onion. Salt & pepper to taste. Mix with macaroni. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. About 5-6 servings.

As you can see, this is very simple. My kids love it! I like it because there is usually enough left over for my lunch the next day.

Anyway, you can tell that this is not a normal week for me, so I don't know how much of a Haven Monday this has really been. I did take a cup of coffee to my husband this morning which made him happy! I guess we sometimes just have to give ourselves permission to accomplish small simple things when life gets a little chaotic.

Make Your Home a Haven is sponsored by Crystal at Biblical Womanhood.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Frugal Friday

One of my co-workers gave me two great ideas recently. She told me that she will buy a bottle of vanilla at Michael's Arts & Crafts store with the 40% or 50% off coupon that appears in their weekly ad. (The coupon is only good for one item, not your entire purchase.) This way she can buy the real stuff instead of the imitation vanilla.

This next one may seem a little premature, but she said she will buy those liquid freeze pops at the end of the summer on sale and then give them out on Halloween (unfrozen). It's cheaper than buying candy, it's something different, and her neighborhood kids loved it!

I've recently sold some books on and was wondering if there was anything similar for music cds. I did a web search and came up with In addition to cds, they buy dvds and video games. They have to accept at least six of your items in order to give you a quote. Apparently postage wise it makes more sense if you send at least six items to them in one shipment. I had 3 cds and 4 dvds that they'll take, so I've shipped them off. (They pay the postage.) I should receive $9 in my PayPal account once they receive the items and deem them to be in good condition. It's certainly not a lot of money, but it's something and I'm getting rid of clutter! I just combined my stop at the post office with other errands to save on gas.

Scroll down a little to read my Wednesday's Wealth post!

Frugal Friday is hosted by Crystal at Biblical Womanhood

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Wednesday's Wealth

I thought I'd pass on some coupons/samples/freebies that might interest others. Since it is Wednesday and this post can save you some money, I came up with Wednesday's Wealth as my title. I'm going to try to do this every Wednesday. (However, I will be on vacation for two weeks this month, so I may miss those Wednesdays!)

For a $5 coupon for Iams Healthy Naturals dog or cat food click here.

Find out how to get free movie tickets from Hershey's here. Perhaps you can use some of your CVS Extra Care Bucks to make this deal even more economical. That's what I did!

Get a free sample of UnderJams Night Wear here. Make sure you click on either "for boys" or "for girls".

Purchase 2 specially marked Herbal Essences shampoos or conditioners or 1 Herbal Essences hair color and get a FREE manicure or pedicure! Click here for all the details. It looks like you can qualify for 2 vouchers which means you and a friend can have some girl time! Also, in this Sunday's paper, there should be a bunch of Proctor & Gamble coupons!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

The Game of Life

Last night my younger son, my husband and I played the board game Life. I bet I hadn't played that game in 25 years! We have an old version of it that my mom bought at a garage sale. (I wonder where the one I had as a child is?) The kids have been asking for probably a year to play this game, but I never felt we had enough time to sit down and play it. (Does that seem ironic? No time for life?) So last night when Cooper asked if we could play, I said sure!

I have to laugh at some of the spaces on the board. The inheritance I received a few years ago wasn't even close to $180,000! No, the amount I inherited paid for about 3/4 of my older son's braces. I also haven't found a famous painting worth $240,000. College tuition: $2,000....HA, HA, HA!!!! I'm no tennis pro, so I haven't won $50,000 in a tennis tournament. Nor have I spent $50,000 on a polar expedition! I'm glad I don't have an uncle like the one in the $1,000 because he needs help; another $1,000 to get him out of jail; and $10,000 to get rid of the skunk farm that he left as an inheritance! Sounds to me like dear Uncle doesn't like his nieces and nephews! Oh, and my husband retired as a millionaire tycoon! (If only!)

Yes, most of these things seem far fetched in every day normal life. Unfortunately, the one space that seems pretty common these days is "Revenge". It only appears 5 times on the board, but I think all of us tend to see some form of this on a daily basis. (That's a whole other blog topic!)

The three of us had a blast last night and plan on playing again tonight! Hopefully, my older son will join us. In our high-tech world, it was nice to sit down and play an "old-fashioned" board game. Especially one that isn't based on some movie or tv character.......although there are some Life (click here) versions that are. I highly encourage all of you this summer to do something with your kids that you used to do as a child. It will bring back fond memories for you and will slow your family down for at least a little while. Happy bonding!

Monday, June 30, 2008

Free Sample

I love Dunkin' Donuts' coffee! Here's a free sample!

Dunkin' Donuts. Dunkin' keeps me blogging. Try Dunkin' Donuts Coffee For Free. Get a Sample

Haven Mondays

To be honest, I don't feel much like my home is a haven today! We were out of town Friday afternoon until late Saturday night. After church yesterday, I came home, ate a quick lunch and then worked at a benefit all afternoon. The benefit was for a mom at my school who was diagnosed with ALS last December and is deteriorating pretty fast.

Anyway, I'm feeling rather muddled this morning. So on my "To Do" list so far this morning are the following:

  • Finish grinding coffee beans
  • Fax the dog's latest shot records to the kennel
  • Find someone to babysit the rabbit & goldfish next week
  • Instruct the kids to vacuum living room & dining room
  • Pack up books I'm trading on BookMooch
  • Pack up books I sold to Cash4Books
  • Get to what cleaning I can (my kiddos need some attention too!)
  • Begin thinking about what we'll pack for our trip to Chicago (we fly out on Saturday morning)
There are two things I'll do this week to bless my family. The first one is to bake some cookies for them. I baked cookies last week to take to my parents' over the weekend. I have to bake cookies for a bake sale that my oldest son's baseball team is having. This is typical....I usually bake for other people/events and then don't have time to do it for my family. So this week they'll get their very own batch!

The second thing will be more difficult for me. Our flight to Chicago is at 6 AM on Saturday morning. This means I'll be packing on Friday (4th of July). I DETEST packing and get REALLY grouchy when I have to do it. (Unpacking is just as bad!) My goal is to NOT get cranky and snap at my family. Say a prayer for me!

Make Your Home a Haven is sponsored by Crystal at

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Frugal Friday

I know.......not another beans and rice tidbit! My husband and I have a favorite new lunch that's cheaper than and just as convenient as going through drive-thru. We buy the Goya black bean soup ($1.09 for 15 oz. can) and a bag of the frozen Birds Eye microwavable brown rice ($1.59 for 10 oz. bag). We microwave the soup and the rice separately and then mix them together. One can of the soup and one bag of the rice feeds the two of us! We sometimes add cheese if we have any on hand. This is cheap, fast, filling and rather healthy! Plus, using the microwave is economical and it doesn't heat up our kitchen during the summer like using the stove top does.

Now about pepperoni.......half of our family likes pepperoni on their pizza and half of us don't. Sometimes I serve frozen pizzas for dinner and sometimes I make homemade pizzas. When I buy the frozen ones, I purchase pepperoni pizzas. Prior to baking them, I take the pepperoni off one of the pizzas. I put the pepperoni in a baggie and place it back in the freezer. The next time I make homemade pizzas, I put this pepperoni on one of them!

By the way, I'd love to hear from you all regarding paying your children an allowance. This has always been a stumbling block for my husband and I. Do you tie it to chores or not? How much do you pay at what age? What sorts of things do you expect your children to use their allowance for? (Clothing, tithing, gifts, going to the movies, etc.?) Thanks for your help!

Frugal Friday is hosted by Crystal at

Teenage Sons

As you can see from this photo, I spent my day a little differently than I would have normally! My 13-year-old son and two of his friends wanted to go to this skateboarding demonstration that was being sponsored by a skateboarding store at a local mall. Apparently these skaters are touring around the country doing this. My husband already had a fishing trip planned and the other two moms had work and family commitments, so that meant I got to be the "cool" mom! So the three teenage boys, my 10-year-old son and I piled into our jeep and drove the half hour to the mall. (I tried not to dwell on the gas being used!)

I wasn't exactly sure what I was getting myself into, but it actually turned out to be a fun afternoon. The event was held in a portion of the mall parking lot. It wasn't horribly crowded, there were lots of security guys roaming around and the weather was just lovely. The boys got a lot of little freebies, were able to watch the skaters, and then got their autographs. We had lunch in the mall food court and then stopped at Burger King on the way home and got some milkshakes. All the boys were very appreciative that I took them and thanked me on the way home.

The crowd that this event drew, looked a bit less than desirable, but I tried to keep an open mind. For the pas
t year, my son has been trying to fight the bad rap that skateboarders seem to get because of the way they look and because a lot of people think it's a waste of time. He wrote a paper on this topic for his 7th grade English class and even responded on-line to articles and comments that have been written in our newspaper about our local skate park. He wants people to know that there are skaters who do get good grades and don't get into trouble. They're also athletic and play organized sports. (He plays baseball and football.) I'm rather proud of him for speaking up about something he loves, yet I will be keeping a watchful eye on him and the company he keeps and continue sending my prayers up to God. Unfortunately, even his mother has a hard time not "judging a book by its cover".

I know I'm at the beginning of this teenage stage of life, but I'm trying to cautiously encourage my kids to pursue their passions. (Of course, Sam wanted me to drop them off there and then get lost. I told him that if I was driving them, I wasn't just letting them go off on their own. I kept a respectable distance from them but always had them within my view!) If any of you more experienced moms have advice, please send it my way!The boys are somewhere in this crowd waiting to get autographs. I was sitting under the shade of a tree trying to let them be a little independent!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Practicing What I Preach

My husband mentioned twice yesterday that he was going to be really busy at work the next two weeks before we head out to Chicago on July 5. He even asked me to get him a cup of coffee (he works from home) which is something he never does. So, I figured I'd better work extra hard on being his helpmeet.

Well, the best laid plans....... I decided I would mow the lawn this afternoon since he didn't have time to do it over the weekend. I don't mind mowing the lawn because it is a good work out. (Obviously, we have a push mower.) The only thing that I seem to forget from summer to summer is how hard it is to start our mower! My poor husband had to come outside twice to help me start it. Both times he had to deal with my wrath of not being able to do it myself! While I got the job done, I think I stressed him out by my attitude. Actually, he said he felt guilty that I was mowing the lawn. That was not my intention!

I need to remember to keep my attitude in check as I go about doing my work! Proverbs 17:22 states, "A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones." I think my angry attitude (crushed spirit) dried up Eric's bones and my own.

So ladies, I think the lesson here is that our attitude is just as important as our actions! We need to be cheerful givers. God says so!

"...for God loves a cheerful giver."
2 Corinthians 9:7

Haven Mondays

This is the first time I've joined Crystal's Make Your Home a Haven challenge!

Three things I am thankful for include:
  1. My kids are out of school and are home for the summer.
  2. Our house....even though we rent rather than own.
  3. My hard working husband.
I had two primary to-do items on my list for today. The first thing was to get up early and go grocery shopping. I accomplished this and was home before 10 AM! My second item of importance was taking the dog to the vet for his yearly check-up and shots. This is already done, too! (Unfortunately to the expensive tune of $192.00!)

I had to giggle over the prospect of cleaning up my laundry room. This is a task that I began last week. Notice I said began.......I haven't finished yet. I managed to go through a basket of clean laundry that has been sitting in there FOREVER waiting to be ironed. Sorting through it, I was able to put some stuff together to go to Good Will. I now have an empty clothes basket to use! I also got the dryer wiped down and cleaned the utility sink in there. I still have some things to take out to the garage. My goal for this summer is to not use my dryer very often. I have two drying racks (one is very large) plus my clothes line. I figure we'll save money and not heat up our house by hanging our clothes to dry. (We don't have central air.)

Well, I guess I'd better move on to getting my dishes done!

Make Your Home a Haven is sponsored by Crystal at

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Small Ways to be Your Husband's Helpmeet

As the saying goes, "Good things come in small packages!" Here are a few small but good things you can do to be your husband's helpmeet.

  • Always have a bath towel in the bathroom for him.
  • Keep the q-tip container filled.
  • Keep an extra roll of tp in the bathroom.
  • Occasionally bring him a cup of coffee.
  • Have a supply of extra light bulbs and batteries in the house.
  • Keep a steady supply of napkins and paper towels available.
  • Make the bed...even if he's the last one up!
  • Make sure that at least his clean laundry is put away.
  • If he's having a busy week, mow the lawn.
  • Keep enough computer paper on hand.
  • Fill up the gas tank.
Some of these may seem silly and frivolous, and you may be thinking, "Come on! I'm busy too!" But saving your hubby some time and frustration by not having to look for things (a.k.a. asking you where they are) or do some things can prevent stress for him and the rest of your household. Plus, it helps him to be more productive for his family.

I realize that some of you may mow the lawn every week, but in our family, that's something he typically does with help from our boys. You'll have to adjust the items on my list to suit your own family.

You know another old saying, "If mama ain't h
appy, ain't nobody happy!" This applies to husbands/fathers as well! So I challenge you to try it. Pretty soon you may find him doing some acts of kindness for you too!

Friday, June 20, 2008

His Helpmeet

For the past week, I've been trying to be more of a "helpmeet" to my husband. My last two years at work have been tough on him. Actually, three years ago I was taking one online class and that took up more of my time than we expected. My poor hubby has had to do a lot of dishes and constantly ask, "If I was a pair of clean underwear, where would I be?"

I am very lucky that Eric has always been helpful around the house anyway and that he likes to grocery shop and loves to cook. (I detest grocery shopping, and he is better at finding the deals!) Now don't get too jealous.......I do have to point out to him what needs to be done. (Honey, have you noticed that the dog is shedding and our blue carpet is turning black?) However, my staff has been known to roll their eyes when I've brought in a lunch that Eric has packed for me.

Now that I'm off for the summer and my work load next school year will be less, I want to make things easier for him. I knew he was stressed each morning when I'd hear him sigh right before he'd start cleaning up the kitchen. (He works from home and makes his own schedule.) So right now I'm concentrating on being the one who cleans up the kitchen and having the laundry done and put away. I even emptied the trash can in his office this evening.

I am curious if he'll begin to notice what I'm doing. No, I'm not doing this for praise and thanks from him. I'm doing this to see if a lot of the high stress level within our family has been due to me working outside of the home. The extra money has been nice, but it's not worth the added stress and frustration.

God wants women to be helpers to their husbands. "The Lord God said, 'It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.'" (Genesis 2:18) I know this isn't a popular idea in our culture. I don't always like it either. But you know what? Things always go much smoother when we follow God's plan rather than our own. When our families follow his design rather than the world's, there is more peace on the homefront. I guess that is what I'm seeking right now, and it is the purpose behind my little "experiment". I want our family to live according to God's plan, and I've realized that the person I must start with is myself.

So, hopefully and prayerfully I'm striving to be Eric's "helpmeet". I'll keep you posted throughout the summer on what God is doing in our family as a result of this!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Frugal Friday

I stumbled upon something called BookMooch a few weeks ago. It's a website where you can exchange books with a large community of other people. Membership is free. All you do is list books that you are willing to part with and send them out when someone requests one of the books you have listed. You pay for the shipping, but when you request a book from someone, they pay for the shipping. So it's basically a free book exchange. Go to for the details and to join. I've already sent out a few books and have received some too. It's really easy! Happy Mooching!

Frugal Friday is hosted by Crystal at

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


Aaahhhhh......the first day of summer vacation! Do you remember that feeling as a kid? All is right with the world and there is nothing to get in your way. I always look forward to my kids being home for the summer. It bothers me when I hear parents say to their kids, "I don't know what I'm going to do with you all summer!" Sadly, with the violence in the schools these days, I'm just thrilled that my kids have made it through another school year. Not to say that they're safer outside of school, but I'm sure you know what I mean.

I'm off for the summer, too. I've been waiting for this since last July! I stepped down from the Directorship at my school and will be teaching only next school year. Now I get to be home during the summers once again. I am so glad! There are so many things that I want to do (and there is nothing to get in my way! Really?). I'm feeling just like my kids do at last!

One of the many things I want to do is to post more frequently here and to sharpen my writing skills. I don't know if anyone will even be reading this, but I need to express myself somewhere. I would also like to develop into a more insightful writer.

Other things......My husband and I relocated our vegetable garden this year so that we could have a larger area to plant in. We've enjoyed working in the garden together and look forward to our harvest! I have many, many books I want to read this summer. I have a nasty habit of starting a new book before I finish what I'm currently reading. I'm probably in the middle of at least 10 books right now! I also plan to continue doing a Beth Moore Bible study of Daniel. Then I want to look into joining or starting a Moms-in-Touch group here. Wait.....there's more! I'm working on cleaning and organizing our house; we have two vacations planned (both in July); the kids and I want to spend time at the local pool; I want to cook and bake more; oh, and I had better work on my lesson plans for next school year! If I'm not careful, I'm going to end up returning to work feeling exhausted!

I know I can plan all I want, but God is the only one who's plan will be fulfilled. I'll have to do only what he allows me to do and be content with that. This lesson was brought forth to us last night. My oldest son and his friends were skateboarding behind our house when one of the boys fell and broke his wrist. Today the friend was lamenting that his "full life" has been interrupted. For him there will be no summer camp, no skateboarding, and no swimming (until his cast comes off). He'll just have to be content with what he can do this summer. Hard for a 13 year old boy!!

So I have to remember that if at the end of this summer I look back with regret and disappointment at how few of my goals (dreams, wishes) I actually accomplished, it's okay. Everything is as it should be because I'm not the one in charge. God is, and I have to be content and satisfied with the path he lays before me. I am in from the bondage of sin and free of Satan. It is possible to live a life of freedom, yet not have total control of your life. "'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord,..." (Jeremiah 29:11)

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Frugal Friday

I happened to pick up the January issue of Alternative Medicine magazine and found that if you go on their website, you can get coupons and free samples for various supplements. As of this month, the magazine has changed its name to Natural Solutions. You can find their website at

Frugal Friday is hosted by Crystal at

Friday, February 1, 2008

Belly Rub Blessings (scroll down for Frugal Friday)

I suppose when Jesus was teaching his followers about giving and the blessings they would receive in return, he wasn't talking about giving a dog a belly rub.

The second my feet hit the floor each morning, our dog Otto rolls onto his back and looks at me longingly. Sometimes I reach over and pat his head as a way to appease him for the time being. Usually, however, I ignore his hopeful look and quickly move past him to get to the bat
hroom. Either way, I hear him sigh as he rolls back over to his side. I think to myself, "I'll give him some attention later. Now is not a good time for me." Once again, in my hustle and bustle of living, I've dashed his hopes of receiving the pleasure of a belly rub. I've also robbed myself of a blessing.

It has occurred to me lately that when I don't take the opportunity to give when a need presents itself, I miss my opportunity to receive. When I put off blessing others with my time, talents, and resource
s, I'm also putting off receiving my own blessings.

How does this relate to belly rubs you ask? One day when I was feeling frazzled, I absent mindedly began petting Otto. He quickly rolled onto his back with his feet in the air and enjoyed the soothing rub down. Amazingly, I discovered how soothing this was for me in return! There's just something about having a quiet moment with your pet that is relaxing. I could feel the frustrations of my day drifting away. I then realized how many
times I had let this opportunity slip through my fingers. Giving Otto a belly rub gives me the blessing of peace!

I challenge you to give of yourself, even if it's just a belly rub, and see how Jesus blesses you!

Give, and it will be given of you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Luke 6:38

Frugal Friday

Here it is.......Frugal Friday again. It seems it's the only day I end up posting just because I'm so busy with work and my family. (I won't be quite as busy as of June 14th! I'm getting rid of some of my work load......not my family!) I subscribed to Refund Cents a few weeks ago and have found it quite helpful. I think this is where I found the following information.

If you go to The Caregivers Marketplace at, you can get cash back on purchases of products not typically covered by insurance or Medicare. By "caregiver" they don't just mean if you're caring for aging parents or a disabled loved one, being a MOM counts too! Some of the product categories that are included are baby & juvenile diapers, Nature Made vitamins, digestive health (Citrucel), nutrition (Ensure), plus several other categories.

You need to print out their 2008 cash back request form, purchase five or more eligible products, fill out the form and mail it in with your original, dated cash register receipt(s). Make sure you look at the form first and see that the product you are purchasing is on it.

I have not sent in a form yet only because I just found out about it and haven't purchased enough products yet. If any of you already participate in this program, I'd be interested in knowing what you think about it!

Frugal Fridays are hosted by Crystal at

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Frugal Friday

Every time my sons bring home worksheets that they've done in school I put them in a basket next to my desk. 99% of the time there is writing only on one side of the worksheets. When I need to print something off my computer that's only semi-important, I put these worksheets in my printer and print onto the blank side of the papers. This saves me money while saving some trees!

Frugal Fridays is hosted by Crystal at

Friday, January 18, 2008

Frugal Friday

My son's birthday was this week, and he received a rather large Nerf gun from his younger brother. As usual, this toy was secured in its packaging as if it was as valuable as the gold at Fort Knox! There were many thick wire twist ties of various sizes keeping the gun tightly held in its box. After my son patiently worked the toy out of the box, I gathered up all the twist ties and stored them away. They'll be perfect to use this summer when we need to stake our tomatoes and any other plants. I'm sure I'll find other uses for them as well. You never know what odds and ends may be needed for science projects and crafts!

Another thing I save is the wax paper bag that comes in a cereal box. I wash it out and either reuse it as a storage bag or cut it so I can lay it out flat when I am baking and need to roll out some dough. I also save the cardboard tubes from paper towels and rolls of toilet paper for craft projects. When I began saving the bags from cereal boxes, I decided to use a paper towel tube to store them neatly. You can either roll the bags and stick them inside the tube or roll them around the tube and secure with a rubber band.

Frugal Friday is hosted by Crystal at

Friday, January 11, 2008

Frugal Friday!

If any of you shop at Rite Aid (I'm in Pennsylvania) and you have saved your receipts dating from November 25 thru December 24, 2007, you could receive a Rite Aid gift certificate worth up to $20. Go to their website and register to be a Gift of Savings member. Then enter your receipt information and request your certificate. You have until January 23, 2008, to do this to be eligible to receive a gift certificate. I believe the certificate then expires on April 26, 2008. I did this today! I also recently received a $5 rebate check from Rite Aid. It can all add up!

Frugal Friday is hosted by Crystal at

I'm Back for Today

I knew it would happen. As soon as my 4 week break was over with last summer and I headed back to work, I stopped writing. My job keeps me very busy, as does my family. My energy is usually zapped by the end of each day.

I have a love/hate relationship with my job. I love working with children, but I hate the politics involved on the administrative side. Yes, even within a church, office/business politics invade the work place. My job is part-time, but my husband calls it the most full-time part-time job he has ever seen. However, my work place is very family friendly, and it provides a way for me to minister to others. This is a major plus!

Unbeknownst to all but my family and my assistant, I am getting ready to announce my resignation from one of my positions at work. I keep wondering if I'm doing the right thing. I have always felt that the Lord gave me this position two years ago in order to grow me. Although, from the beginning, I have felt like Moses and have continually begged, "O Lord, please send someone else to do it." (Exodus 4:13) I believe the Lord responded to this request by sending me my own personal Aaron, a.k.a., my assistant. However, I think "Aaron" and I are up against a whole slew of Pharaohs at this church, and I have grown very weary. I feel as if I've "done my time" and am longing to quit and pursue other ventures, not to mention have more time with my family. I know my husband and children would like to see me return to only teaching three mornings a week. On the one hand, I feel the need to obey my husband as the Lord directs wives to do. On the other hand, am I moving in His will and His timing or my own? I don't want my free will to get in the way of His plans for me. I also have this nagging feeling that I'm supposed to bring about some kind of change for the better at this church.

My friends in Christ, please pray for me as you can see that I am somewhat conflicted here. Many blessings to you all, and I hope to return soon!

But Moses said to God, "Who am I, that I should go....?" And God said, "I will be with you." Exodus 3:11,12