Thursday, January 28, 2010

Frugal Part 2...

I am not sure whether this is meant to be humorous or to just show my progress. Either way…it’s kind of funny. I decided to share some savings with you that I was quite proud of! There was a 3-day sale going on so I decided to take advantage with some coupons I had this week. See what I got below! I’m so excited! I paid $.78 for each box of Cheerios and they’re really big boxes! So with all the goods down below…I paid $7.74. The total price before sales and coupons…$16.28. That’s around 48% savings! This was just a short trip…remember in Frugal Shmugal my “two-time a month grocery trip”? Well, this wasn’t one of those weeks but I couldn’t pass up a good deal on a few of our staples.

Now to the humor…below is a picture from Mom4Him. Jessica was so gracious to help me out with some drug store questions I had a few weeks ago. In this specific picture, Jessica saved 69% on her groceries paying a total of $66.75! I find humor in this because it’s like I’m really, really, REALLY taking baby steps! Of course, Jessica completed 6 transactions to get all of this and really does some work to get these deals. (And her store provides some pretty awesome catalinas! You can see her total grocery trip summary HERE.) You have to see's like magic.

Honestly…how funny is my little picture up there compared to this!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Private Prayer

Tell me…where thou feedest, where thou makest thy flock to rest at noon.” (Song of Solomon 1:70)

“Where doest thou feed thy flock? In thy house? Then I will go, if I may find thee there. In private prayer? Then I will pray without ceasing. In the Word? Then I will read diligently. In thine ordinances? Then I will walk in them with all my heart. Tell me where you feed, for wherever you stand as the Shepherd, there will I lie down as a sheep; for none but you can supply my need. I cannot be satisfied apart from you. My soul hungers and thirsts for the refreshing of your presence…Satan tells me I am unworthy; but I always was unworthy, and yet you have long loved me; and, therefore, my unworthiness cannot be a barrier to my having fellowship with you now…It is true I am weak in faith, and prone to fall, but my very feebleness is the reason why I should always be where you feed your flock, that I may be strengthened, and preserved in safety beside still waters….Jesus beckons me to come. If He withdrew himself a little, it is but to make me prize His presence more. Now that I am grieved and distressed at being away from Him, he will lead me yet again to that sheltered nook where the lambs of His fold are sheltered from the burning sun.”

I am reluctant to add to the great words of Charles H. Spurgeon. This is a small piece from a devotional entitled “Private Prayer.” I found myself able to relate to these words so much; so much I think I could just leave it as it is. Sometimes I find myself so hungry for Him but yet unable to find the food I need.

My walk goes in phases. At times I find myself so craving His Word and His presence I pour over the Word with every waking moment. I read through His Word and everything comes so naturally. And then there are times like the present, when it seems as if He is so far away. And really, Spurgeon says it best… “If He withdrew himself a little, it is but to make me prize His presence more. Now that I am grieved and distressed at being away from Him, he will lead me yet again to that sheltered nook where the lambs of His fold are sheltered from the burning sun.”

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Hate speech?

I am completely flipping out here. The following paragraph was attempted to be posted on Facebook and was blocked as abusive content. Call me a paranoid Christian, but do we have something to worry about here?

"Now for my response. I'm a bit more theological than scientific. My original reply was not specific to the post on evolution but the blog as well as the First Presbytarian Website. Anyone can call themself a Christian, but the message that Christ gave through the gospel and His sacrifice is what historical Christianity was about. Historical Christianity has been lost because of folks like this saying they are Christian but denying the biblical principles and the very core of Christianity itself. The word Christian has obviously lost its meaning. Biblically speaking there is one gospel, one truth, and one deny that is to deny Christianity. This group seems to me to be a Unitarian church that has not gone through with a name change. Their beliefs are closer to paganism than Christianity by far."

This conversation is in response to this site and the church's website.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Frugal Shmugal

Hello out there-ther-ther-ere! Ok…that is my best attempt at an echo. That is my best attempt to say I feel like I have been missing. Well, actually “Hello out there” would mean everyone else is missing? Wouldn’t it? Oh well… I can’t figure out if I haven’t had much to write about or if I’ve been so busy reading your blogs I can’t find time to write my own. I do have a lot going on so I should have a lot to write about…but where is the time. I feel like the white rabbit in Alice in Wonderland and I’m not really sure what I’m late for…. I’m always here for the very merry unbirthdays we have on a weekly basis. So why does it seem I am in a frantic state and not sharing with my bloggy friends? What have I been doing?

Besides reading your blogs and besides finding innumerable cobwebs and dust bunnies that can’t seem to quit yelling at me and besides taking care of a wee toddler and an ever moving infant, I’ve been frugal-ling. That’s my term…don’t steal it. I set out on a venture to learn how to buy $200 worth of groceries for $50. Did I succeed? Huh! Hardly. Did I have an aneurysm over it? Definitely. Did my husband suggest Xanax? A few times.

Apparently there is a system. The system is very easy to understand from the safety of your own home. It’s really simple. However, throw in the wee toddler, the ever moving infant, and a husband that decided to tag along on an hour long lunch break and "simple" turns into frantic aneurysm. This whole Walgreens and CVS (excuse me) shiznit is for the birds. In the best perky smiling voice I have, “Spend $15 on Aveeno or Clean and Clear products and earn $5 of Register Rewards.” Combine that with your $2 off Walgreens coupon found in the drug store coloring book in the back and your “$1 off when you purchase 2” manufacture coupon and you can get 2 bottles of face wash for FREE! Right. But don’t forget the $15 of Aveeno and Clean and Clear stuff you just purchased that it might take you a YEAR to use AND the fact that you don’t get to use those $5 RR in this purchase. SO, go back and do another transaction and buy more crap you don’t need so you can get it for free, but be sure to pick up something small so you can use your manufacturer coupon and your RR because you have to have the same number of items as coupons and you can’t use your RRs on the same thing you purchased because it won’t produce more RRs and you want to keep them RRs rolling! OK?! CVS does the same thing with ECBs, also known as Extra Care Bucks and it is a much easier system. Still, I don’t need anything found in the drug stores that I can’t get for cheaper at Wal-Mart with a little less stress.

Now, here is the deal. The drug store biz does work for some. I follow a few blogs that seriously get gallons of milk, boxes of cereal, and all sorts of toiletries for free. But dang…my brain just does not work that way or maybe I just don’t can’t take the time to do it.

But I did want to save my family some money because I think we need to be better stewards of our money. (Note: I’m a Dave Ramsey follower without Gazelle Intensity.) So, how did I do it?

First, I moved four of the money saving blogs I found to a completely NEW blogger account. These women are so on top of good deals and finds, I couldn’t find my regular, real blog reading list. I was so busy making sure I didn’t miss a deal I had to start popping deals… I mean pills. See what I’m sayin’? So, I moved the money making/saving ladies over to another place that I could only visit once or twice a week. Second, I went back to my twice a month shopping routine from the weekly “catch a sale” shopping trip. Third, I did subscribe to the local Sunday paper for ads and coupons. (Which has been delivered to somewhere 30 miles away to the wrong address…thanks Times News! There goes another pill deal!) Also, I am doing online coupons. Fourth, with those ads I’m doing comparison shopping at Wal-Mart and utilizing the best sales with coupons at Food City. Also, where I can bear to not be brand loyal, I’m buying Great Value brand products. Fifth, and I believe most importantly, I’m doing Meal Planning.

And the results are… $33 in savings at Food City, a free Gallon of Milk, and tons of savings at Wal-Mart beyond the regular savings you can find there.

Now, I cannot say I have completely layed down the drug store temptation. However, I believe I have been able to set things aside for a bit and take the process a little bit slower. If you want a chuckle, picture me with a binder of sorted and labeled coupons and sales papers cruising through the store. I also created my own price comparison document with everything we use listed on it that I keep on hand. Didn’t Nate say something before about me not being able to do something casually?

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Before I Was Momma...

I recently had some very brief communication with an old friend via Facebook. Well, I’ve had a lot of communication with old friends via Facebook but this one in particular has taken me on a little ride. I take these rides sometimes.

You see this person is one of those people that you may not think of much. But sometimes when you think back or get reminded you can’t help but smile. I have a few of those people in my life. The dialogue was brief but it left an impression that kept me smiling today. It took me back to the summer of 1997. I have quite a few memories of this person. One particular memory and the summer of 97 really stick out in my head though. So, here I am with a smile on my face and sometimes a little giggle.

My friend and I have spoke about these rides before. So, it wasn’t surprising when I mentioned it to her on the phone this morning. I wanted to share my ride with her. I believe we all probably take these rides. I think for mommies, it’s when your riding down the road alone and a song comes on that takes you back. Because honestly, when are you actually listening to your music when the kids are in the car! It’s nice to go back and relive those moments and remember…to remember the freedom and the laughter and to remember those special moments you have with old friends that no one can take away.

And then she said, “But we’re not free. We’re wives and mom’s now.” Thanks. Thanks a lot. Here I am taking my little ride and you bring me back to reality.

Now I’m not saying that I would change anything as it is today. But isn’t it nice to mentally escape sometimes. I’ve done some pretty wild and crazy things in my little lifetime. I have had moments of regret just like any body else. But I have also had some pretty awesome friends in my lifetime, too. Friends that make me smile when I think about the moments we had together.

If you haven't listened to this's a must. This song takes me back to that place…now understand…the lady in this video is how I like to imagine myself to be completely what I look like. I have this box. I haven’t looked at it in years…but when I have looked at it…it always makes me go back...

Friday, January 8, 2010

One Lil Monkey Jumps on the Couch

Let's lighten things up a bit! Shall we?

I must add...the screams you hear at the end are not that bad! Remember JJ was standing there, too? I was laughing so hard I couldn't go to her rescue. The reason I was laughing is because I realized I just caught this wonderful moment on video. Once she realized I was laughing she stopped screaming and hopped back up on the couch.

(Excuse the quality of this video. It was taken via BlackBerry Storm...which has been wonderful in capturing great moments!) And why must Nate repeat everything I say?

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


I recently read a blog from MckMama about Blogging Boldly. I really don’t think I have a problem being authentic or blogging boldly. However, she alluded to the fact that we sometimes sugar coat things whether it is our blog or our social networking status. Sometimes we paint a picture of things that is just not reality.

I could not help but think of Blog Boldly when I typed out “Rejoice in all things” on my Facebook status yesterday. Was I really rejoicing in all things? The truth is I felt very discouraged and like I needed to place something aside for a while. I believe we can all get too much on our plates at times. I believe what we can handle is different for different people. Some of us thrive in chaos and some of us thrive when we can place all of our focus in one or two areas.

My mind has been cluttered with domestic issues. I have a wonderful husband and children and I feel that I am not doing my best to present our home as a godly home. My mind is on frugality, modesty, and humility. Humility, Humility, Humility…it’s becoming my new mantra.

My mind has been preoccupied with the blogosphere as well. I am a pretty faithful follower and reader. Blogging can get pretty demanding sometimes. Sometimes you can get caught up in following and not leave time to maintain your own outlet. And when you do have time to maintain, you can find yourself very discouraged, especially when you blog boldly. Some days the support is there and sometimes you feel like the world is against you. I have felt recently that I have not even said anything that should have been controversial yet that is what it became. Let me be bold and say, sometimes I get tired of defending the gospel. Sometimes I am drained from the differences in the Christian faith. Every single word of God is important to me and I find no reason that one thing should be important and one thing shouldn’t. Every word is inspired and should be thought about critically. Every.Thing. Every.Word. Is this blog becoming a burden?

And then there is the whole health thing. I need to exercise. Or do I? I don’t know. As bad as I want to it is just not a priority. All I see is vanity when I think about it.

And then the most important thing is time for God. I need to be in His Word. I need to be studying and growing spiritually. I just feel dead.

So all in all, I need a few more hours. A few more hours that I’m not sweeping, laundering, caring, loving, washing, feeding, cooking, changing, driving, going…

A few more hours to do all of this with the attentiveness that I desire.

But shouldn’t I be rejoicing? I should rejoice in the fact I have found resources to live frugally. I should rejoice in the support I have found on my blog. I should rejoice in my health. I should rejoice in grace. I should rejoice in where God has taken our family. I should rejoice in what God is doing whether I like it or not. Like I said…

Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Phillipians 4:4-7

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Guest Blog

I have not taken a hiatus! I just completed a guest blog for Tracy at Abundantly Living. Go over and visit and see what's going on. Tracy has great posts. I find her questions at the end of her posts are always intriguing and strike up good conversation. Find my post HERE.