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Chasing Babies... Growing in Grace: October 2007

Wednesday, October 31, 2007


I would like to dedicate this post to the color pink! That's right, PINK (ok, corral, or orange, whatever)! With all the green, blue, and other boyish colors around here, I am excited to announce the introduction of some girlie colors!

Just wanted to let you know the results of this afternoon's ultrasound!

Don't get me wrong... if things had turned out bluer we would have blue text here and be celebrating more boy things! :)


Spent $4.99 on Diapers... but that's not all!

The time has come again for me to share my great God's provision!

Ok... so it isn't that much stuff. Remember, I am just starting! So I got the other stuff free and it helped me decrease the amount I paid on the diapers! Here's how it worked this week:

Transaction 1 (Store 1 really)
Our closest CVS finally had the Crest Pro-health PM (@ $3.29) from the October ECB flier. Every other time we've been there they have been sold out. I was very excited! So, even though they didn't have what we were there for, we went ahead and spend out of pocket money on this to get the $3.29 ECBs from it. Just like getting it free!

Transaction 2 (Store 2 really)
I called around to all the stores close or in route to my ultrasound appointment (news on that to come), and none of them had the advertised Nova Max Blood Glucose Monitors. But, they are advertised down to $29.99 and will print out $20 ECBs, so I called one of the stores on the other side of the river (really only 15-20 minutes from here). Did I mention that I had the $50 off coupon from the Diabetic Booklet out right now? I must thank Sense to Save for the tip! So... I got the Nova Max BG Monitor for $29.99 (the lady at the pharmacy put my name on it so it would still be there when I arrived), and of course, I needed diapers right?! So, since those were, of course, not on sale, I added them on to my order. I then used a $2/$10 CVS coupon, the $50 off Nova Max coupon (keyed in at $29.99) and $5.29 in ECBs. That took my order down to $1.70... for diapers!

Really when we put the two together, I spent $4.99 on the 40 pack of diapers (that is a $4 savings!), but, I also walked away with $20 in ECBs... that is more than $14 more than I had last week. It is fun to make money and watch it grow while shopping at CVS!

Now I know the Lord will provide someone to bless with this free Nova Max BG Monitor! If not, I suppose I'll have to try Ebay! (I'd rather pass it on though.)


Keeping Warm

With the return (and hopefully here to stay) of cooler weather last week, I excitedly selected a sweater from my closet! A couple hours later I decided that the “coolness” had gotten too cool for having all the windows open. This is a sad thing because I love the sound of leaves blowing in the wind and the little creek behind our home as a backdrop to my daily activities. Not yet willing to loose those sounds, I chose to close only the windows on the front side of our home (toward the street). Sadly, a little while longer (sometime after noon and 55 degrees) and the rest of the windows needed to be closed. Having a sick baby and a cold self forced the inevitable. It also pushed me to test my baking theory.

Last winter (a very cold one) with our newborn son, my husband and I decided our heater was not keeping it warm enough in the living areas of our home. The bedrooms, and even the bathroom, were quite cozy, but the living room and kitchen areas (one big room with only 2 vents) were still freezing. Life with an infant (in December) began with an electric heater in the middle of the living room. This helped quite a bit, but the electric bill that month was painful! Before long we had the “brilliant” idea to turn the oven on. This worked so well at heating the space we spent all our time in that we continued to do it. With the knob turned to 150 (the lowest setting) and the door cracked open I felt quite secure that our little one would not be too cold. Unfortunately this isn’t the most economical (we ran out of propane way earlier than usual—ouch!) or the safest method of temperature control.

This year I have modified last years heating plan. I simply plan to do a lot more baking. I figure that if I have a legitimate reason to be running the oven, why not let it make our home more comfortable in the process. All it takes is a little bit of planning. During the summer months all baking is reserved for the coolest days and done after the heat of the day is gone (you know… after 10 or 11 at night). Well, I’m planning to reverse that. Baking can be done in the mornings whenever we can’t handle the coldness anymore.

Taking this one step further… whenever I get really cold, I find that a nice hot, steamy shower does the trick. If the shower is long enough (not that there is always time for this) to bring my body temperature up, I can handle the cooler temperatures for a while. Using this plan on my DS (not the same hot water temperatures—be careful not to scald you small children) I put him in a nice warm bath, in a nice warm, steamy bathroom (provided by the heater and my steamy shower). After a while, when we get cold again, its time to pre-heat the oven!

Keep in mind that if you plan to try this at home, you may need to do some pre-planning. On bread baking day for instance, the bread machine needs to be started in time to be ready to go in the oven when you are most likely to be cold. :)

Depending on your home type, this may not be an effective way to add warmth to your home, but it works for me (us)!

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Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Life as I know it...

is over! Yep... over! I was sitting here at my computer reading something while my 11 months (on Sunday) old played in the room. I am able to monitor him and watch his cuteness from here. Being sick today, I don't have much energy for other things (though I did do a bunch of dishes this evening). So, I turned (after only a moment or two) and my little boy was on the couch!

This wouldn't have been so odd if my DH were home. DS loves to play on soft furniture (racing from one side to the other and throwing himself into pillows and cushions) and therefore we let him up there with us sometimes. Unfortunately, my DH is doing a computer side job for a friend of ours from church (we aren't with him because we are sick and they have twins my DS's age). Yep... DS was on the couch alone... and he got up there all by himself! That is the big part! So far he hasn't figured out, or isn't tall enough, how to get onto furniture himself. I quickly went over to him so he wouldn't fall. He was having so much fun, and was so cute, that I couldn't stop him. I just sat nearby and watched and laughed with him. I noticed one of his toys up against the couch... he made himself a step!

Life as I know it is over. I will have much less time for blog reading and, well, anything else that takes even a second of my attention away from my climber. Someday perhaps we will have him trained not to climb (or he will be older and know how not to fall!), but until then, I'll have to be paying lots of attention all the time!

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…to Please Your Husband (Part 2)

Last week I posted on pleasing my husband in the kitchen and I promised to further explore the idea of trying to please our husbands in other areas as well. Instead of writing an insanely long post (this one ended up long enough) and hitting all the areas that are floating around in my head and heart, I may just tackle the next one here. (That means a “Part 3” to this series to come.)

Another area we can aim to please our husbands? How we look! That’s right… now for those of us who are truly lucky (eh… blessed, I don’t believe in luck… it just sneaks out there sometimes.) in marriage, we hear all the time how beautiful we are ~ whether it is true at the time or not (rather, whether we feel it or not). Regardless, there are little things we can do, and little details we can pay attention to that would delight our husbands.

I am truly blessed to have such open communication with my DH! It is so open in fact that he is willing (and somehow unafraid) to share with me when something is unflattering. Half the women in my church may say it looks great, but for some reason, DH doesn’t like it. From time to time (I admit to him that it’s when I’m “over sensitive”), it hurts my feelings, or I get upset about it, but after things settle, I am so glad he told me. Ok, so it means I have a smaller wardrobe that I otherwise would. And ok, so I like a number of the things he doesn’t. Ok, so he thinks most dresses look frumpy (they probably do… frumpier ones are less expensive). But what matters here?? If I really want to be a wife who is pleasing to my husband, I want him to like the way I look.

Now, I am sure I have painted a terribly inaccurate picture of my husband for you all! The number of times he has said something like I mentioned above are relatively few! They are rare, whereas comments such as “You look so nice!”, “How pretty”, and “Don’t you look cute today?!” (he knows I like to look “cute”) are far more regular! He simply has different taste than any man (or person for that matter) I have ever known. In some ways it is sad for me to give up certain things like fancy dresses or ankle length skirts (I love the old fashioned looks), or basically anything with too short of sleeves (it gets hot here in the summer). It's kind of like not making favorite recipes if he doesn’t like them. On the other hand, it can make life way easier!

Let me share with you some of the things DH does like. First of all, he is an outdoorsy kind of guy! A casual one. J He loves to see me in jeans (I can handle that!). If I could find a couple flannel shirts that fit me pregnant, he would love it (I tried one on the other day that we both liked ~ it was pink plaid ~ but it didn’t fit pregnant… not long enough). Did I mention that he loves to go clothes shopping with me? How lucky am I? It works great too. He helps pick out things he loves, as well as things I love, then he watches my fashion show and tells me what things look best. We have so much fun! Then he has so much fun as he pays for new clothes for me. My favorite part is finding, purchasing and adding outfits to my wardrobe that please him! It is way more fun than just getting dressed in the morning!

Now, confession… most days I barely get ready (I’m working on this). Some days when he gets home from work, I am still in the jammie clothes I put on first thing in the morning (even if I did shower). I really try to at least look fresh for him, but it never seems to bother him if I don’t get that far. I care more… I think that is the key! We, as wives who are striving to please our husbands, need to care more that we are pleasing them than they do. It doesn’t seem to faze DH (perhaps he’s just used to it) that I’m not wearing anything special or that my hair is just pulled back instead of done the way he likes, but I get so much joy out of hearing that he is pleased by my appearance on the days I do go out of my way to do my hair the way he likes (not a difficult style by the way) and to be wearing something “cute”.

I challenge you this week to look at your closet and think about the things in it that you know your DH doesn’t care for! Is there really any reason to keep it? If it’s a matter of not having enough to get it out of there this week, work toward saving for a replacement! If you do find something you can cut for your DH sake, let me know! I'd love to hear about it!

If you have anything to add to this post on pleasing your husband in the way you look, we’d love to hear it too. I am by far no expert! I didn’t even really touch on hair/make-up or other grooming things.

(For the record... I'm dressed, but I haven't quite brushed my hair yet today... though it is clean!) :)

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Monday, October 29, 2007

Fall Y'all Giveaway!

This Contest is now Closed! See Above post for the winner!
Wow, my first giveaway. I never expected it to come so soon. I talked to my DH this morning about the possibility of participating in Fall Y'all this time. I told him I would just think about whether there were anything we could give. He said that was fine. After he left for work I sat down to check on some of the blogs I have been checking recently and I went over to see who won the giveaway last week on Molly-Coddled. I never would have expected it to be ME! I had to check a couple times to make sure. Sure enough, I won that fun Taste of Home Cookbook and Magazine Subscription! I almost feel bad. I never (well, rarely anyway) win anything and am so excited!

So, with the coming addition of that super fun cookbook, I feel as though I want to give back. We live in a very small space and in order to make room for my new cookbook, I want to pass on something from my cookbook shelf.
For several years before DH and I were married I sold Pampered Chef. During that time I collected a number of Pampered Chef tools and cookbooks, including 8 Season's Best Recipe Cookbooks. Unfortunately, I have barely used these over the years and think it is time to bless someone who will get use out of them. This giveaway includes those 8 Season's Best Recipe Cookbooks, a Season's Best Case, and a bonus Classic's Cookbook. Pampered Chef recipes are some of the easiest to follow and produce excellent meals! I often said during my Pampered Chef Shows that it is "impossible to mess up a Pampered Chef recipe... I've tried!"

To enter in our giveaway, please leave a comment (make sure to leave your name if you check off anonymous). Let me know if this is your first time to visit Stay at Home Mommy, or if you have visited before. This won't affect your chances (I will pick at random), I'm just curious to know who has been here. And to really get me excited (more so than winning that cookbook), comeback and visit again!

I will announce the winner sometime Saturday, November 3rd, so check back in with us!

Sorry, but I can only afford to ship to those in the US or Canada (but I'd still love to know you visit!).

For more Fall Y'all Giveaways, visit Bloggy Givaways!


Sunday, October 28, 2007

Last Night's Dinner

Well, my meal plan for this week said that last night's dinner should be pizza. Praise the Lord we have actually managed to stick to this meal plan (my overall goal for the week) even though I really wanted pizza several times this week (pregnancy thing I think). Well, last night my meal plan called for pizza (not the greasy pizza I wanted from our local JoJo's, but pizza just the same.) I used a crust I had made with the last one and put in the freezer. It isn't our favorite crust and I probably won't use that recipe again, but it was already in the freezer, so I went with it. Anyway... I thought I would include a couple picture. (Actually, as a fun side note... my DH suggested I take the pictures to blog about the pizza. I am always sure he is secretly shaking his head when I take pictures of crazy things like groceries or bread, but apparently not.) :)

Anyway, here they are:

As you can see... we ate it anyway. There really wasn't much there that was edible, but we made up with it with ice cream and cookies a little later. :)

I believe next time we will leave the foil underneath the pizza. :)

Do you have any recipe blunders from the last week?

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Friday, October 26, 2007

My New Favorite Mommy Tool

What is it? I think you will be shocked... unless you too have children!

Yep, that's right... it's a bulb syringe.

I can remember being terrified of them in nursing school, and even as they sent me home from the hospital with my completely dependent infant and this, this, blue thing.

What if I can't do it? What if I do it wrong? What if I hurt the baby?

Well ladies (and gentlemen if any of you have accidentally stumbled here), I don't know what my problem was. This thing is magical.

Sadly, my little DS (10.5 months) got the flu thing that his daddy (my DH) had over the weekend. It starts with a headache and sore throat and a fever. Then over the next couple days the congestion starts. Though I wouldn't wish it on my DH again, I am thankful he had it before my DS because I have a bit of an idea what he may be suffering from. DH was able to tell me when his throat hurt, or when he had a headache. DS can only cry, fuss, and be really needy. So... I assume he has a headache and throat pain and we give the child some Tylenol. Sorry if you think this is the wrong thing to do, but the child needs to sleep some time!

Anyway, on to the subject of this post. My sweet little boy is into the congested portion of this sickness. He just can't breath and really sounds miserable. During eating and drinking it is even worse. So... out comes the bulb syringe. Usually he fusses and cries, but today during lunch (yes, sorry, during lunch) I brought it out again. Each time I used it he got excited, smiled and even laughed. He loved it. And he felt so much better after! What makes this even better is that my mom tells a similar story from when I was DS's age! :)

So there you have it... it's a magic tool!

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Children's Movie Warning!

I hadn't heard about this yet, but apparently there is a children's movie out in December this year called The Golden Compass. From what I understand, this movie is based on the fist book of a series written with the goal of destroying God for children. I recommend you do your own research of course, as I am only passing on something I've heard. Visit this site for information to get you started.

If there is someone out there trying to deceive our children, we need to spread the word and protect as many of them as possible!

Labels: please my husband. Part 1

First off, I would like to say that my journey to become a wife pleasing to the Lord and to my husband started years before I was married. My heart longed to be someone’s wife, and I knew the Lord (through His Word) had a lot to say about what sort of wife I should be. I began reading and reading and reading everything I could get my hands and eyes on about the subjects of being a wife, mother, SAHM, homemaker, etc. In college, there were a number of people baffled when I purchased (for personal, extra-curricular reading) The Stay at Home Mom by Donna Otto. Since being married in January 2005, my desire to grow in these areas has not changed, though my discipline and determination to carry through are not always where they should be.

Crystal, over at Biblical Womanhood, has been inspiring me lately in all areas related to being a Christian woman, specifically, a Christian wife, mother and homemaker. I would like to dedicate the time and words in this post to one aspect of all of that. From all she has to say on the subject of the Christian wife (and there is a lot), I have been focusing in this week on one little piece. In her discussions on meal planning etc, she shares that we should “cook to please [our] husband[s].”

This little statement packs with it a whole lot of conviction for me! It means omitting menus from our meal plan that I know my husband doesn’t like or doesn’t want. If I may, I’d like to share a real life example from this very week.

I was so excited Monday to complete a meal plan for the week. I have only completed a few in the last year, and rarely do they hold up the whole week. This week I was determined that we would not stray from my plan. Not only did I make the meal plan, but I also incorporated a variety (something my husband likes), decided to make chili for the first time (DH has been asking when I would make chili or stew or the like), reviewed each recipe and made my grocery list. By the time my husband was home from work I was ready to do the grocery shopping, and excited about my accomplishment. As I, excitedly, shared my plans for “tomorrow night’s chili” with my husband, I was annoyed to find that he was not as excited as I. He had other opinions of what ingredients should be in chili, and my left over pot roast was not his first, second, or third choice of meats. Disappointed (and frustrated and angry) by the collapse of my frugally creative dinner plan, I pouted to myself. I reflected at great length at how I’m never allowed to make something I want to make and how I should just stop running things by him. Thankfully, it wasn’t long before the Lord checked my attitude and my heart was right again.

“Cook to please your husband.” Ouch! Oh yeah… I’ve been reading that for a week now. Somehow these 5 simple words make it ok that I “have to” let some of my favorite meals go by the wayside. Why? Because I don’t “have to”, I choose to. My heart desires to please my Lord by striving to please my husband. While it may not always be possible to please him in everything, choosing what he likes to eat is a simple thing that I CAN do! I am blessed that my husband is relatively un-picky (though some days it seems he is very picky). The number of things he likes to eat far out weigh the things he would rather not. It really isn’t all that hard to plan my meals around pleasing him!

To take this concept one step further… perhaps all aspects of my home keeping should be planned around what pleases my husband! I’ll explore this a little more in future posts.

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Thursday, October 25, 2007


You should check this out! Molly is doing a givaway over at Molly-Coddled. Head over there and leave your info in the comment section to be entered, but do it before 9pm (don't know which time zone) Friday night (that's tomorrow). She is giving away this yummy looking Taste of Home Cookbook! I've entered... and I didn't want you to miss it either!


Embarrased to Admit

Well, here it is... my most embarrassing post of the week! My fans have gone neglected far too long. Here is my before picture:

Yuck right? How could you let it get that bad? Right? Worse yet (huge confession here), I've let it run like this... spreading who knows how many dust particles around my home to be inhaled by my precious DH and DS! Well, today I finally did something about it, and hopefully I will stay on top of things so it doesn't get this bad again (the kitchen fan looked even worse, but I tell myself that is because it is a lighter color).

Well, here it is, the celebratory "after" picture:

It looks so nice... I just keep glancing up there. Now I can feel good about swirling it around for my DS (10.5 months remember) to look at. Isn't it pretty?!?!

So what much procrastinated project can you do today to show love to your family? I'd love to hear about it in the comment section! This took less than 20 minutes to do (maybe less, I didn't think to check the time on either end). You can bless your home with just a little snippet of your day!

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Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Unfortunate Headache

My productivity is low today due to a headache that started last night (very exciting, I get to take more Tylenol again soon! ~ Good thing we stocked up!) I have been doing some reading of new materials I got today. I will tell you more of them in future posts.

I did decide that I needed to get a few things done today during DS's nap though. I forced myself to do the dishes (they never do take as long as I expect). There weren't many, so now, there really won't be many after dinner. :) I swept the kitchen floor (a necessity daily now that DS is eating everything he can get his fingers on), folded laundry and straightened up a bit. I feel soooo much better!!! (Despite the headache) Before long DS will be awake and ready for another round of bottle, meal, play time. I am thankful to be able to look back over my day and see that I did accomplish some things... and my house looks nice too!

So don't forget... even if you feel yucky... do at least one thing. You will feel so much better! (and you will feel better about laying around the rest of the day too! ;)

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Tuesday, October 23, 2007

This weeks dinners

I am not great at meal planning. I was, for a while. The first 5-6 months of our marriage I was really good at everything. I had routines, a clean house, and planned meals almost all the time. Then I got a job (for one semester) teaching English at the high school level (we work working to finish paying off our debt). I had never taught before, so some of you can imagine how much time it took each day just to keep up with all the curriculum planning, grading, etc. During that time, my DH was wonderful and did so many of my responsibilities so that I could bring work home with me. I was definitely unable to keep up with my Home Keeper role!

After that job ended at the end of January '06 I struggled to figure out routines again. It took me a while to get back into things. Before I could, I started feeling tired all the time... too tired. Not long after finding out that we were, indeed, expecting our first little one, I was sick... very sick. "Morning Sickness" hit me all day, everyday, for much of the first 6 months of my pregnancy (after that it was only in the mornings!). I couldn't do anything. Any more than sitting and reading or working on my quilt made me sick. Dishes were the worst... having my hands wet, and hearing the running water were definitely triggers that sent me running down the hall. I was able to go a number of hours 3-5 between being sick in the afternoons if all I did was sit. Once again, my DH was wonderful in stepping in to cook, clean, care for himself, and care for me. (It's no wonder he hates it when I am pregnant!) When DS was born in December... well, I don't have to tell you how difficult it is to get re-organized with a newborn... then a baby, then a mover! on the loose! I finally feel like I am slowly picking up where I should have picked up long ago in the area of fulfilling my biblical role of Home Keeper/Help meet! Slowly but surely... there is still dust on the fans (and everywhere else) and clutter still accumulates... but I am getting better.

So this week, my goal was to have a meal plan for the week (at least for dinners), and the extension of that goal, now that I have one, is to follow it all week! None of this, "oops, I forgot to take the chicken out of the freezer... well, what will we have now?" stuff!

Anyway, for you inquiring minds... here is what we have planned!

Burgers (patties I already made and froze)
Tatter tots (the last of the bag)
Chips (to round out the tatters)
Veggies (left over from the other night)

Chili (I am making this from scratch!... we'll see how it goes)
Corn Bread (also from scratch... yummy!)
Honey Butter... does that even need to be said?

Taco Salad (Blue Tortilla Chips, lettuce, re fried beans, ground taco meat (venison/beef), olives, tomato, etc) ~ kind of a one dish meal.

Tuna Casserole (my own recipe... I'll share it sometime)
Green Beans or Asparagus (depends which one is on sale)

Homemade Pizza (we have a crust in the freezer from a couple weeks ago)
Buffalo Chicken (made with Frank's Red Hot)

Left-overs (Saturday and Sunday can be interchangeable depending on last minute plans.)

What are you having this week???

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Ok, so I did it! I made bread in my bread machine. Now, this isn't the first time I've done it, but it is the first time I've made "plain old bread" in order to replace having to buy a loaf at the store. I haven't figured out the savings per loaf yet, but when I do I will post it here!

Anyway, I found this yummy recipe for Homemade Wheat Bread that I just had to try. I won't leave the recipe here because I want you to experience the blog it came from! :)

I don't like to do the baking in the machine because I don't like the ackward shape it leaves you with, so I decided to try putting it in my bread pan. I expected that my normal sized bread pan would be too small, but I decided to try it (even though I knew it wouldn't work) and it did... perfectly!

Perhaps someday we will have to get a real live loaf slicer, but for now, I think my slices were pretty even. :) The loaf is small... but that should work out perfect as bread without those yucky perservatives doesn't last as long anyway. :)

So I wanted to use my homemade bread in last night's dinner. We were having left over Pot Roast with gravy... so we turned it into open face sandwiches. I put a piece of pepper jack cheese over a slice of bread and topped it with the shredded roast beaf and popped them in the toaster oven until the cheese was melty. I then placed them on their plates and spooned yummy gravy over top! After this pictures was taken we both decided it needed more gravy! :)

I highly recommend it... the bread was even tasty by itself... and wonderfully healthy. How often can you say that about healthy bread... that it tastes good all by itself!

Have a blessed day!

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Monday, October 22, 2007

You'll never believe what I got!

I am way excited and rejoicing in the Lord this evening… and why? Because I just spent $.55! That doesn’t sound like such a big deal until you realize that I spent it on all this…

And yes, those are diapers in the back!

Ok… so I have been spending a lot of time over at Money Saving Mom learning how to be a frugal shopper. Crytsal (the author of that fabulous blog) has dedicated a lot of time to helping others save as she does. Check out her CVS 101 article if you have a CVS nearby!

Anyway, with her help, and some of my own innovation (well, ok, we needed diapers), I went and tackled using coupons. Here is how I got all that for only $.55:

Transaction 1:
I took advantage of the spend $20 on Tylenol products, get $10 ECB (Earned Cash Back—coupon type thing printed with your receipt that can be used like cash on your next transaction). Now this is where it gets fun! I also had some coupons:
3 Tylenol products came to $23.87.
I used a $4 off $20 coupon (from signing up for email specials)that took me down to $.13 under $20…so
I added a bag of $.99 Candy Corn
Then I used another $4 off $20 coupon because I was still above $20!
Then I used a $2 off $10 coupon (that they let me stack)
Then I had THREE $5/1 manufacturer coupons (you can print here--you will need to use a second computer to print the 3rd one. I figure since the purchase is for DH and I, there is nothing wrong with taking advantage of printing 2 from each computer.)

Now, I was planning to use my ECBs from last week, but all that brought me down to -$.15! So I had to add the Spree candy on (which you can see DH and I broke into when I got home—celebratory!) and didn’t use my ECBs! Out of pocket expense: $.55! On top of this, I still get to send in for a $5 rebate on the Tylenol! I made money on this trip!

Transaction 2:
Ok… so there were no deals this week on diapers or freezer bags, but I needed both of them. We discovered this evening that we only had 2 diapers left (I really thought I had another pack somewhere, but I guess not 'cuz we searched the house), and I decided not to cut and cook all of the rest of the chicken, thus we needed more freezer bags. All was not lost though, because I had another $2 off $10 coupon (print yours here). So, how did this one go?
Purchase CVS diapers (we are trying them because they are cheaper) at $8.99
Purchase Ziplock Freezer Bags (brand was a tiny cheaper than store version) at $2.99
No tax on these (random) took that to $11.98
Ok… so my first transaction messed up a bit and the $10 ECBs didn’t print, so she just punched them in right at the beginning of this transaction instead of last… leaving me with $1.98.
I panicked! Obviously! “Oh no… but I have a $2 coupon!” The nice lady said, “Well, what if I just punch that in as $1.98 and you don’t pay anything?” Of course I said that would be great! Out of pocket expense: $0.00! And… I didn’t end up using my $2 ECBs from last week like I thought… so I still have them for next week!

I would like to take this opportunity to say a huge thank you to Crystal at Money Saving Mom! By sharing her knowledge and time with all of us she has allowed herself to be used by God to help me save my family $36.98 this week!—plus the $5 rebate still coming! I saved our family more than $40 by shopping this week! Thanks Crystal… and mostly, thank you God for your provision!

If you are interested in how to make this work for you, I highly suggeste checking out Money Saving Mom for yourself. She already explains it so much better than I could! Oh, and if you want the details on this weeks savings, go here!

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I don’t know if any of you have the joy and luxury of having a Karn’s Food Store nearby, but it is one of our favorite places to buy meat… well, at least chicken (since we purchase our beef from a local organic farm—we go in with another family and purchase a ¼ cow at a time, they butcher and package it for us). Most of the time they are at least cheaper than grocery store, but from time to time they have boneless skinless chicken breasts for super cheap! For instance, last year we found b/s chicken breasts for $.99 a pound! That’s right! Can you imagine? When we find it like this we buy it up in bulk! A couple years ago we invested in a chest freezer (and someday it will live in a garage like normal people have, but for now it is in the kitchen of our little home) so that we could buy such things in bulk. It has come in handy for all our meat purchases!

Well, sadly, with prices of everything from gas to milk going up, we don’t expect to ever see chicken for $.99 a pound again, so we resigned ourselves a couple months ago to paying $1.81 (still really good for b/s C.B. in our area) This weekend we found it for $1.41 as part of an anniversary sale. What can I say, we went crazy. :) They had it bagged in the back for those who wanted to take advantage of the sale for bulk buying like they usually do. But this time they also had cases… 40 lb. cases. We bought one. $60 later, here I am, Monday morning, bagging and cooking 40 lbs of b/s C.B.! I would have bagged more (putting 1-2 pounds per freezer bag) but I ran out of bags. Now I am cutting up the rest (somewhere from 15-20 pounds of chicken) and cooking it. That will go into storage containers in the freezer and be ready for such things as my Chicken Enchilada recipe (I'll try to include that in a future blog) or other such things. Hopefully the baby will stay asleep another hour!

There is lots of hand washing in a project like this. For space purposes, I must bounce back and forth from cutting to cooking and back to cutting again. Each switch requires washing to keep the raw chicken juices off the cooked chicken (not to mention my keyboard). The kitchen will need a serious wipe down after this is finished!

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Sunday, October 21, 2007

Update on the Pumpkin Bread

It was yummy! It seems that it is ok to leave it in the fridge over night! Check out Marth's Pumpkin Bread Recipe!

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Saturday, October 20, 2007

Teaching my Baby

For the last couple months my DS (10 1/2 months) and I have been working on several concepts. Open and Close has been one of these concepts and it is so fun to watch him understand and be able to do the things I ask him to. This concept started when he would join me washing dishes a couple months ago. While I washed at the sink, he would come play at my feet, opening and closing the cupboard doors. I decided this could be turned into a learning opportunity. Each time he would open the door, I would say "open" and each time he would close it, I would say "close". This would go on for anywhere from 1 to 20 minutes depending on his attention span that day. Before long he was noticing that there was more that just opening and closing the cupboard doors. There is actually stuff (and fun looking stuff too) inside those cupboards, so from time to time the cupboard would open, but not close. This is a perfect testing time. I would say "can you CLOSE the door?" DS would then get so excited and show me how he could close it. He can do this with any kind of doors now, from the refridgerator to the front door.

The other concept we started several months ago is "in" and "out". He has a Fisher Price shape block sorter toy (can't find it online sorry) that is, in my opinion, too advanced for him so far as far as sorting the shapes in the proper holes. Because of this, I sought out another training use. The "In Out" game began! I put one block in at at time, each time saying the word "in". When the bucket is full, I pour it out on him (carefully) saying (in a fun stretched out playful way) "out". He really likes this part. After a few days of doing this he began helping by putting in a block now and then. After several weeks, he could do most of them. Don't get too picky though... half the time he puts them in and takes them right out to chew on. :) Well, in the way of an update, last night he started doing it all by himself. I was sitting across the room working on something else!

Isn't it amazing what a little deliberate time with our babies can do?

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Dinners on... at 10 a.m.

It seems like a hundred years ago that I posted last... yesterday morning. My DH was at work until 12:30 this morning (a planned thing, not the norm), and so yesterday seemed more like 2 days (or 2 weeks). I did accomplish quite a bit, including having the house looking nice and tidy by the time DH got home. :)

This morning (and I've only been up 1 1/2 hours~Praise the Lord DS slept until 9 as I didn't get to sleep till late!) I have accomplished so much already that I feel the need to share. I started making Pumpkin Bread yesterday (Martha shared her recipe yesterday as part of Frugal Fridays), only to discover that my pre-heating oven had no heat what so ever. My precious DH lit it for me last night at 1 a.m. so that I could bake this morning before he was up. I'll have to let you know how it turns out after being in bread pans in the fridge over night. Anyway, I have put that in (the house smells yummy), and started the roast for dinner tonight. For some of you this is just something you do in the morning, but I am more of a "hmmm... it's 5 o'clock... what are we going to have for dinner?" kind of person. I am working on this, and thus am so excited that a healthy dinner is already in the crock pot!

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Friday, October 19, 2007

Frugal Friday--WIC

Ok, so maybe this isn't exactly "Frugal", but it saves us money! We are a one income family, and my DH is in ministry. The Lord never ceases to provide for us, though, like many of you, it very rarely works out on paper. :)

In Pennsylvania, where we live, we have WIC, a program for Women, Infants, and Children (I think up to age 5.) In my state, if you make less money as a family than their charts say for the number of people in your home, you qualify... starting with pregnancy. When I was expecting our first child, last summer, I applied and started receiving checks... months before my son was born. We receive free groceries like milk, cheese, juice, eggs, and cereal. I may be missing something. Then once our DS was born, we qualified for several more things (since I was a breastfeeding mom). When we switched to formula (though I wanted to continue nursing), they started giving us formula.

It may work somewhat differently in your state, but I would check it out. It has helped stretch our grocery budget a great deal!

Check out Pennsylvania WIC!

Check here for a whole bunch more states!

And let me know if this information was helpful to you! I would love to hear your story!

For more Frugal Friday tips... visit Biblical Womanhood!

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Thursday, October 4, 2007

Letting go of the spoon

This morning I let go of the spoon. That's right... and I did it deliberately. Today my little boy is 10 months old. 9 months still sounded so little, but 10... that sounds so old. :) I don't mourn the passing away of another month, I enjoy watching all the new things he learns. This morning he wasn't content to be fed with the spoon, so I took a moment, and released the spoon. It was very messy, and he probably didn't get all of it, but he did it himself! Mommy would load up the Cinnamon apple oatmeal on the spoon and then he would intercept it. Sometimes upside-down it would eventually make its way into DS's mouth. Eventually I would decide it was time to pry it out of his fingers and fill it again. We were both quite messy, but it was a day for learning! Good job baby boy, and good job mommy... sometimes we forget that we are here to help them grow up!

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