Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Triple Coupon Update

The triple coupon trip was great! Before coupons, my total was $179. After coupons, it was $115 for a savings of $64!

In case you're wondering what sort of things one can get with triple coupons, here's a quick run down of some of the things I purchased:

Smuckers All Fruit Jelly $0.93 after coupons
Toaster Strudels $0.95
Powerade Zero $-0.22 (anything with a -, they paid me to take!)
Palmolive Pure + Clear $1.25
Campbell's Soup at Hand $0.18
Heluva Chip Dip $Free
Chex Mix $0.88
Skippy Peanut Butter $1.00
Minute Brown Rice $0.62
French's Onions $0.16
Pimentos $-0.17
Betty Crocker Supreme Brownie Mix $1.00
Betty Crocker Cookie Mix $0.97
Eggland's Best Cage Free Eggs $1.18
Ziploc Bags $0.53
Crescent Rolls $0.29
Domino 10X Conf. Sugar $0.23
Rotel $0.30
Daisy Sour Cream $0.48
French's Mustard $0.48
Puff's Tissues $0.25

There were other coupons I used, but these were the best. I think it would be a good idea for me
to continue to always carry my $0.50 or less coupons with me since Ingles always has double coupons, and I realized last week that they have a lot of unadvertised deals.

Triple coupons will be back in a few months, so go ahead and start your collection!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

I haven't posted our menu plan in quite a while, but now that things are getting a little better in the schedule department with a new baby in the house, I thought today would be a good day to start back. Here's what we're eating (or have already eaten) for supper this week:

Saturday - Pampered Chef Taco Ring, Homemade Guacamole and Chips
Sunday - For church fellowship meal, I made chicken and broccoli casserole, wheat rolls, and brownies.
Monday - Spaghetti and Rolls (I'm going to try a Jordan Rubin spaghetti sauce recipe. If it turns out well, I'll post the recipe.)
Tuesday - Northern beans, sweet potatoes, slaw, and Mexican cornbread
Wednesday - Beef burritos and Mexican rice (another Jordan Rubin recipe)
Thursday - Turkey sausage on whole wheat biscuits, hashbrown casserole
Friday - Leftovers or out to eat

Click HERE to view more menus over at "I'm an Organizing Junkie."

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Triple Coupons at Ingles this Week!

Aren't you excited about that? I know I am! Here's my plan of action:

First of all, I did my normal routine of matching coupons to the sales in their weekly ad paper. Now, I'm going through all of my coupons and taking out all that are $.50 or less (since that is as much as they will triple). Then, I'm going to make a list of all the coupons and how much I will save so that I will not have to be flipping/searching through the coupons in Ingles - that would keep me in the store for hours!

I haven't decided if I'm going to coupon shop and then go back another time for everything else or do it all at once. Historically, triple coupon time is a great opportunity for me to stock up, and it can take a little longer to shop, but it is worth it.

Examples: At first glance, I noticed that pizza rolls are $1/box. I have several $0.35 coupons - I wonder if they'll pay me $.05 to take those pizza rolls? (I know those aren't the healthiest things in the freezer, but we like those for quick lunches on school days.) Also, Puffs are $1/box, and I have several $0.25 coupons, making them $0.25 a box.

I hope to find many more deals like these. I'll keep you posted!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

There's Something About Mary....

First of all, in response to Cindy's question, Yes, I was good and behaved well last night. :>)

In all honesty, it wasn't hard. Either that team was really bad or we were really good. We won 30-8, and there were no stressful episodes. It was a quick, non-eventful game. That's a good thing! But there was one heartwarming moment that I have to share.

There are 10 girls on Madison's team, and I believe Mary is the youngest. She's definitely the shortest. Much shorter. If you cut Madison in half, they'd be about the same height. That might be an exaggeration, but I'm sure I'm not far off. Mary is also the quietest member of the team. I'm not sure I've heard her say anything yet. With all that she has going against her, she is not letting it get in her way. With each game, we've seen Mary get more aggressive on the defense, and she's even taken a couple of shots at the basket. But as of last night, she had not yet scored a point this season.

Towards the end of the game (I can't remember if it was the 3rd or 4th quarter), the girls were coming down the court and Madison had the ball. She had the opportunity to try for that elusive three-pointer she's been after all season, but instead she looked to her left and saw that Mary was wide open. She passed the ball to Mary and encouragingly said, "Shoot, Mary!" Mary shot. The crowd was silent as we were holding our breath. The shot went in! Mary scored two points! The crowd was no longer silent. We erupted like we had just won the NCAA championship! All of Mary's teammates were ecstatic, and the coaches and girls on the bench were beside themselves. I looked over at Mary's mom, and saw her grabbing her cell phone. I know exactly what she was doing. Her husband also works for UPS, but he works out of Atlanta and rarely makes it to the weeknight games. I know she was calling him to share in the joy (just as I had done last week when I called Brad when Cari scored her first points - I can so relate to Mary's mom). Moments like that are priceless, and we all went home with a smile on our face. That's the way it should be!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

My prayer today is.....

to be a good sports spectator.

II Corinthians 12:9 - And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.

One of my ball players
Cari - a.k.a. "Peanut"

Monday, January 19, 2009

I'm Frustrated with being Frustrated!

"Frustrated" seems like one of those words that doesn't sound like a real word after you say it over and over. Or maybe I just need a nap.

I'm sure there were other frustrations during the week, but I remember them starting last Thursday. Madison had a basketball game in Villa Rica, and we rode in my father-in-law's Suburban since we'll all fit comfortably in there. When we returned home, my elderly grandmother-in-law was bracing herself while getting out of the vehicle and accidentally locked all the doors. It was a very cold night so after getting Matthew out, I shut the door so Amelia would stay warm until I came back for her. After quickly sitting Matthew down inside, I walked back outside and realized that my father-in-law had just discovered that Amelia was locked inside the vehicle - along with the car keys. He had left the keys in because he was going to move the vehicle after everyone got out so that Brad could get his truck out of the garage the next morning. He had previously had an account with On Star but had canceled it about a year ago. Brad quickly called On Star to see if they could do anything. They were very helpful and tried to unlock the vehicle, but it didn't work - something about needing a key to initiate the system. So, On Star promptly called Haralson County 911 to see what they could do. That was a huge waste of time! They said they could not do anything. There was a child locked in a vehicle on the coldest night of the year, and they couldn't do anything. They wouldn't even give the On Star lady the name of a locksmith. Needless to say, I was quite frustrated.

Brad then called two local locksmiths but didn't get an answer. He finally found one in Carrollton. The positives in this story? Amelia slept through most of the ordeal and the vehicle stayed pretty warm, the locksmith in Carrollton got to our home much quicker than one would expect, and he refused payment. In his yellow pages ad, he states that he will not charge to unlock a vehicle if a child is locked in. Brad and his dad did all they could to convince him to take payment, especially since he came so far, but he absolutely would not take it. (If you need a good locksmith, let me know.)

My other frustrations continued on Saturday and were all related to basketball. I think I'm ready for softball! First of all, Madison was shoved to the floor by a player on the opposing team as she was going up for a lay-up. The other child was probably frustrated because they were losing by 20+ points, but it was still so not necessary. I found myself yelling at the referee to give her a "technical" and to "take her out of the game." She didn't get a technical and didn't get taken out of the game.

A few hours later, it was Cari's time to play. She and her teammates have really not received any real coaching, so I've been finding myself coaching from the stands - and that's not a good thing.

Afterwards, as I was pondering all of these things and considering the yucky, grouchy feeling that I was left with after letting these things get to me more than they should, I thought it was time to consult the Scriptures. I got out my King James Life Application Bible and found references in the index to "frustration" and "temptation." I enjoy reading the footnotes connected to the verses, too. I read in Matthew 4 and Luke 4 the verses about Jesus being tempted and how he resisted the temptation. I don't know if I'd actually call my situations "temptation" but more like deciding between choices of how to handle a situation and doing it appropriately or inappropriately.

I then realized why I act the way I do when I am feeling that frustrated feeling. For some reason, I think I'll feel better if I try to "fix" the situation by strongly stating my opinion. Is this a form of pride? I'm afraid so. I do believe there are situations when frustrations should lead to actions, but the attitude and spirit of how and what we say is very important. Sometimes the frustration can lead to anger, and that always leads to saying and doing things we (I) shouldn't.

I do realize that my frustrations of the past few days are laughable at best - with maybe the exception of Amelia getting locked in the car. Should something be said to someone in the upper levels of this county about how that situation was handled? I'm still giving it consideration. Should I have yelled at the referee to make that girl leave the game? Probably not. I do realize that I was angry and would have been better off letting the coaches handle that situation, which they did as they made sure the referees were aware of what happened. Should I continue to build resentment against Cari's coaches for the way they're coaching? No, because Cari is having fun, and that's what counts, right?

I know that people are experiencing frustrations of a greater sort all around me - loved ones are sick and not getting better, children are doing things that are causing harm and sadness to the family.....I could go on and on. But maybe God is using these small episodes to teach me something. I hope that I'm learning. Madison has a game tomorrow night. I'll let you know how it goes.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

She turned "13" on the 13th!

I am now officially a mom of a teenager, and I couldn't be happier. On one hand, of course it's hard to believe that I'm even old enough to have a teenager :>) and, yes, it seems like yesterday that she was just learning to walk. But, as far as 13-year-olds go, she's a great one. She's a beautiful young lady and is so much help to me. I hope and pray that she never has to, but I firmly believe that she could keep things going around this house if there was ever a need for her to - she's a great cook and baby sitter and when she's in the mood, she can clean house as well as anyone. She has a strong work ethic and tries to do her best at whatever she is doing. In spite of her parents' inadequacies, God has done great things in her life, and we're looking forward to seeing what else He has in store. She is certainly a blessing to this family, and we pray she has many, many more happy, healthy birthdays! We love you, Madison!

Madison and Dad showing off the new Longhorn caps on Christmas Day.

Madison's softball team had their end of the year party in December.
She received the MVP Award and Coach's Award. (Yes, she's also a Georgia Bulldog fan.)

Thursday, January 8, 2009

New Ideas for the New Year - #3

I want to learn more about photography this year. I was inspired by this blog.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

New Ideas for the New Year - #2

Another area that I would like to work on this year is being more sensitive to the needs of others. As I've asked the Lord to show me over the past few weeks some of the areas that need to be worked on, this is one of those things that has been shown - serving others. I don't know if it's because I was the "baby" in the family (I have to find something to blame it on!), but being the youngest in the household while growing up, I guess I was always the one having my needs met and never really had to think much about the needs of others. Although I don't like to to admit it, I would have to say that "selfish" has probably been a word to describe me at times. I heard someone say the other day that they sometimes had to be "hit over the head" in order to notice the needs of others. I know how they feel. Here's an example -

About three Christmases ago, I was shopping in a local store. I ran into some friends that were purchasing coats for some needy children. For one child, they were trying to choose between two coats - the one they had the money for or the one the child really wanted but they didn't quite have enough money on hand to purchase just yet. I'm not sure what they decided to do, but it occurred to me a couple of weeks later - yes, a couple of weeks later - that I could have easily given them the amount they needed to purchase the more-wanted coat.

I realize that some people would have recognized the opportunity immediately, but my brain - or maybe my heart - hasn't quite been geared to think that way. Therefore, I'm adding to my prayer list the ability to recognize the needs of others and the resources to help meet those needs.

I first began thinking about this after Matthew was born. For the first two weeks we were home, we did not have to cook a meal. We had several gracious friends who took the time to cook a delicious meal and bring it to our home. One family came by that we had not seen or spoken to since the summer. The mom called one day just to see if the baby had arrived yet, and next thing we new, they were bringing us a meal. It was such a wonderful blessing!

We're currently reading a book about George Mueller. Time after time, God used others and their resources to answer George's prayers and meet his needs. I'll definitely have more to say about this book when we're finished in a few days. So, in the coming year, I hope that the Lord will allow me to be a blessing to others - for His glory, not mine - as we have been the recipients of so many blessings.

Before I close, I wanted to show one meal in particular that we had to take a picture of. Needless to say, this is one creative mom! And yes, it tasted as good as it looked!

Kim's Chicken Pot Pie

Giant Chocolate Chip Cookie

Monday, January 5, 2009

New Ideas for the New Year - #1

It's funny how January 1st brings about the desire to evaluate the previous year and make changes where needed. I could make changes on July 1st, but it's never occurred to me to do so.

During my recent evaluation, I realized that there were things I wanted to accomplish and wanted my children to accomplish on a daily/weekly basis that were not getting done. So, last week I set out to create new schedules for myself and Madison and Cari. The previous schedules were no longer working and lacked some important details.

I'm not going to give Amelia a schedule at this point, but I would like to make a check list for things I would like to see her accomplish each day.

Today was our first day to try out the new schedules, and they worked great! It could have been beginner's luck, but I'm hoping the schedules will continue to be a help to us. The biggest factor depended upon me being able to get up at 6:30 a.m. Matthew has started to sleep a little longer until 4:00 to 4:30 a.m. He nurses and goes back to sleep pretty quickly, and thankfully it doesn't take me long to get back to sleep either, so 6:30 was not too difficult this morning. I'm also trying to not get on the computer until after 2 p.m. (when school work and most household chores should be completed). I'm great at wasting time in front of the computer and time can get away from me in the mornings, so I think this is going to be a big help if I can continue - giving up morning computer time is sort of like giving up chocolate!