Friday, February 27, 2009

Off to Dallas

Just wanted to let everyone know we are up in Duncanville visiting our friends Justin, Ashley, Nathan, Shannon and Garrett! I probably won't blog much while here, because I need to menu plan the next weeks meal. Why you ask? Why don't you enjoy your vacation? Because, I'm going to be a guest blogger on Happy To Be at Home's 3 mom Kitchen posts! I saw on twitter about a month ago that they were looking for volunteers, and I was like, SURE. Why not? I enjoy cooking, and I enjoy taking pictures, sounds easy enough. That was, until I sat down (in the van on the way up here) to right the introduction post. I figured out (as you all know) that I write WAY too much. :) So, here's the link to the blog I will be posting on DAILY next week!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Freebie....for those that need it

Click here to print your coupon for a free Touch of Gray sample!

Free Swagbuck, HURRY

Go checkout the Swagbucks homepage for a free swagbuck. Hurry, it goes to the first 10,000.

My first $500 gift card is here!!

Yep, you saw right, that's a $500 Wachovia Visa Gift Card Micah is 'holding' (and I use the term lightly). :) I just wanted to post some proof for a few of my friends that think I'm crazy!! :) And for the 2 that have decided to jump on board with my craziness and have their first $500 in the works. My goal is to earn 4 this year, and it's actually included in our budget for the year. The next one is already on it's way, but it is a $500 Lowe's card, so not truly what we need (although it'll come in handy when Eric is buiding Cara's birthday gift and finishing our built-ins).

Thanks a BUNCH to Carrie at Money Saving Methods! She happened to be online the night I did my first offer, and answered TONS of my questions. She is amazing, and so open with her help. Thanks again!

Happy 4 months my little man

Today is Micah's 4 month 'birthday'. As you can tell from this photo, he is such a joy to be around. I was a little worried about adding him to our family, but more thrilled than anything. He has made us even a better version of us as a family. We all love him dearly! Enjoy a couple pictures from this morning.

And this was taken the day he rolled over. Notice I said day, because it has come close, but hasn't happened again since ;)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Staying home more...

I've been yearning for this. I feel like I'm busy all day, yet get nothing (noteworthy) done. And by noteworthy I don't mean cooking and cleaning. I mean spending time with my 2 littles, loving on them, reading God's Word to them, instilling in them our Christian principles we hold dear. Loving on my husband, talking to him. Getting to know my heavenly Father more. It's crazy because I usually look forward to Mondays and Tuesdays, because Cara is in school, but then, when the days come, I miss her, I don't get as much done because I have to worry about packing her a lunch, and picking her up in the (middle of Micah's nap usually) afternoon. It throws our whole week off!

So I was researching, and found these amazing blogs. Please feel free to take a look!

Staying at home more:

Organzing your home:

A day in the life, preschool homeschooling:
Hope that inspired someone like it did me!

Last Post -- Micah's 4 month stats

Here they are, so I can remember:

Head: 16.25 (57%)
Length: 26.25 inches (88%)
Weight: 16 pounds, 4 ounces (77%)

Here were Cara's 4 month stats just to look:
15 pounds, 10 ounces (90%) - exactly twice her birth weight
Height: 25 inches (90%)
Head: 16 inches

He's doing great, he's so very smiley and happy. His breakouts are going away, only to be replaced by red, dry skin, thanks to the wind, drooling and dry weather! Oh, the joys of babies with sensitive skin, thanks Newsome genes ;) haha. She said to put a cool mist humidifier in his room (Cara has had one in her room since she was sick about 3 weeks ago, now she likes the noise, and asks for it at night), so we'll be off to CVS to use some ECB's this week to get one for Micah Man's room :)

Oh, and he took the cutest 4 month portraits yesterday at JCPenney (smiles by wire to come!). It makes it really hard to pick only one pose and stick to budget each month, but I did it! :)


This is not a normal money-saving post. It is a post about how God the Almighty is working in our lives every day! I originally was NOT going to post this on the blog. I was embarassed, cringed at what people would think of me, and did not want to be judged. I'm prefacing this blog by saying you can leave a comment about whatever you want, I will read it, but I may not publish it. It's my blog and I can do what I want!

Enter last week. Micah started sleeping mostly through the night at 7 weeks. He's awesome, and I admit how good we had it. Then, I've been sick for a week and a half, and he starts waking up EVERY night between 2:30 and 4. I go put the pacifier in, and if that doesn't work after awhile, I usually give in and feed him (knowing full well he can go a full 11 hours at night). So late Thursday night (after an awesome bible study with Esther and Beth Moore that morning by the way), he wakes up at 2:45, as on cue. I go put the pacifier in, shut his door, get back in bed, and tell Eric, that's it, he's crying it out tonight. We did it when Cara was about 4.5 months old, and after a rough first night, the next 2 went easy and it's been smooth sailing since. I know some of you are against it, and I'm sorry, but it's what worked for us. We didn't do it at first, we tried lots of other methods, but you do what you feel is best for your family and I'm going to leave it at that! :)

So I remember hearing him cry on and off. He'd cry, then he'd be quiet. I remember looking at the clock at 4, and he was crying, his loud normal cry. I thought, I'll give him a few more minutes, then I'll go feed him just to shut him up! Then I passed out from exhaustion. I truly know it was our Good Lord that woke me from a dead sleep at 4:20. I sat straight up in bed, looked at the clock, didn't really hear anything, but got up and went to his door (if you know my house, from his crib in his room to my bedside is MAYBE 12 feet). I listened at the door and heard this pitiful gasp/cry thing. I raced in (lights still off), grabbed at his face and he had his dog/blanket lovey thing in his mouth. At first I didn't register that this was weird. He'd had it for about a month (bad mommy! we didn't give Cara hers until she was 8 months old and could crawl), and sometimes would put it over his eyes when he was going to sleep, and then I'd go in and take it off. So I moved it, picked him up and he was DRENCHED with sweat on his back. And he was cold. I turned the lamp on and was going to feed him. That's when I yelled for Eric to come quick. He was WHITE. and breathing very slowly. Eric said to call 911, and that's what I did. We couldn't get him to really wake up. He never stopped breathing, but we kept blowing in his face (you know when they're crying really hard and you blow in their face and it makes them catch their breath, like when he got shots this morning), and he just seemed pitiful. The lady stayed on the phone with us, and she could hear him gasping. I can not explain the sound to you, just that it's something I've tried very hard to get out of my head. We put the dogs in our room, got dressed in case one of us had to go somewhere. Thank goodness Cara slept through it all. I opened the front door (it was FREEZING all of a sudden) and saw as the ambulance turned onto our street (felt like it took forever, but it was more like 5-7 minutes). Seriously the second I saw the lights, he opened his eyes, looked at Eric and smiled! His color started coming back. The EMS came in and held him. Took his heart rate, checked him out and everything was fine. They stayed while I fed him to make sure he wasn't going to vomit/choke. They said to call them back if something else happened to take him to the emergency room, but he seemed just fine.

l felt awful. At this point it was almost 5 after we laid him down after feeding him. I told Eric I would stay up and do tax returns (yeah, right), so I could check on him, and he could go back to sleep, and I'd nap when he napped today. It's so scary, normally, I go check on them both before I go to bed, and they're always sleeping so peacefully. But after I fed him and laid him down, he looked TOO peaceful! I was crazy with worry and guilt. I went and opened my bible, and fell prostrate on the floor before my King. I cried and cried, and prayed thanksgiving for waking me up in time. I kept going to the what ifs in my mind. I knew from a previous bible study that the end of 1 John 4 was about God's love, so I went to it and read through 1 John 4 and 5. God is so good. I had just studied in the Esther study how the What Ifs in our life is fear. And 1 John 4 told me how God's perfect love drives out fear.

1 John 4:18 "There is no fear in love. But perfect
love drives out fear, because fear has to do
with punishment. The one who fears is not
made perfect in love."
Talk about what I needed to hear. I encourage you to go read the whole chapter. I needed that verse to cling to. I needed to hear that I didn't need to be punished, especially by the guilt that was overtaking me. I knew better than to give him that doll too early. I knew not to shut his door. But God is good IN SPITE of me. I wasn't going to share this story on my blog. It felt too personal and I didn't want to feel like I was giving people fodder to talk about me, or talk about how I'm not a good mom, because goodness do I try hard (like all the other moms out there don't!). Then Sunday at church the whole sermon was about who are you making famous? God or yourself? Genesis 9, about the people disobeying God and building the temple of Babel was about proving themselves, and making themselves famous on this earth. We were challenged to think daily about who we were focused on making famous. I didn't need to worry about who read my blog, what they thought of me as a mom, but more about how my God was faithful, loving and THERE! As if that wasn't enough, day 1 in my Esther study was about how God kept King Xerxes awake the night before the 2nd banquet. God can take sleep away, and what was one of the questions? "How about you? When was the last time the Lord took sleep from you?" Talk about speaking to me on a PERSONAL level! Um, just the other night, thanks for the reminder. Then, "Describe such a moment when you knew God strategically timed something you read or heard." Um, how about 1 John 4 and 5 after crying over near misses!
I still wasn't totally ok after I originally read that scripture. I mean, I was glad for reading it, and knew what it meant, but I could NOT get Micah's lethargic image out of my head. I had called my mom a few times to tell her what had happened before she went to work, but I kept missing her (because God kept having me read and re-read what He wanted me to hear). When I finally did talk to her, Thank God she remained calm. She let me cry as I recounted the story and how I couldn't get it out of my mind. She said she would pray for peace and comfort for me (as I already had done for myself) and to know God was with me and loves me. That's all I needed to hear. I immediately, after getting off the phone, sat down again and just let him swim over me. I prayed for peace about the whole situation. Everything was fine. Micah is ok, the doctor will (and did) check him out and everything is fine. I could FEEL His peace come over me. Ever since then, when re-telling the story, to the doctor, to my sister, and just 4 friends, I've been able to not cry. To not recount that image. To not be completely tackled with fear.
Then, I do day 2 of my Esther study, about how Haman just knew Xerxes was going to honor him (and not Modecai, his enemy), by thinking, "Now Haman thought to himself, 'Who is there that the king would rather honor than me?'" Esther 6:6. The whole day's study was about how sometime we side with the awful Haman. We presume and feel entitled. One of Beth's notes was "We can think about ourselves so much that we assume others are too." Talk about humbling. At first I thought, I don't do that too often. Then, I think about my blog. I truly hope people are taking advantage of the deals, etc, but there are times when I'm cowardly, post something, and hope it makes people talk or think about how good of a mom I am. So that I can feel better about myself. When I don't need praise from anyone here on this earth. I'm made to praise Him. Ok, enough about me! ;) Micah needs to eat. I'll leave you with another great verse (um, which ones aren't??)
Psalm 62:7 "My salvation and honor
depend on God; His is my mighty
rock, my reguge."

I refuse to feel like a criminal!

For the most part, I have never had a problem with stores accepting my coupons. Until last night. And again today. And it irked me a little. Last night I did a quick run to Kroger to stock up on some stuff the grocery game had on their list, that we like and I had coupons for. I had also gone through my coupons yesterday for all the ones expiring 2/28 or 3/1, since we are going out of town Thursday through Saturday, and I knew if I didn't need them for last night's visit, they'd expire, and I pulled them out to ship to the troops address I got.

So I'm at Kroger last night, and this punk kid is checking me out. I say this because I had dealt with him previously during my trip trying to find the small packs of tuna that were on sale, and he was basically like, 'sorry, I don't go in the back (which is right near us), you'll have to go (all the way to the front) ask customer service.' I'm sorry, I grew up working in a grocery store, and I was raised to try to help people whenever I can. The manager (after trekking to CS) actually walked me over to where the packs were on an end-cap (they were out of them on the shelf). He's so nice, that's why I always go to that Kroger, he's been very nice and helpful in the past as well. Anyways, so he's scanning my coupons after he rang me up, and this one for refried beans kept beeping. He's like 'did you get 2' and I said yes, he didn't actually stop talking to the guy who bagged my groceries long enough (wow, their conversation on how scary Friday the 13th was riveting, oh and how some girl at their school and the bagger raced on some back road (wow, makes me want to teach my kids to drive), and then later that night she flipped her brand new car daddy had bought her) to actually look up and see me holding them up. Anyways, I was freaking out a little, like maybe it WAS my mistake. Maybe I gave them an expired coupon. After he got the other coupons to ring up (after I told him the ones that I print on my computer had to be typed in, they just never scan--WOW, he L.O.V.E.D. me for that one), he called I think the customer service manager or someone over. She asked me if I bought 2, I showed her, she tried to ring it up again, she said, oh, it expired on 2/28 (um, it's 2/24 today), then caught her mistake, and gave it to me. But man, I just hate making people wait (the ones in line behind me), but not enough to not get my $1.00 (50 cent coupon doubled).

Enter today, there's a great deal on getting 2 free Jack in the Box tacos today. I know, not really on my diet, but I was raised on these things, and RARELY EVER get them (like maybe twice a year--unless I'm pregnant ;)). So, why not get them when they're free. I read the fine print, it said from 12 am to 11:59 pm, so midnight to midnight today, 2/24. I stopped by on my way home from Micah's 4 month appointment and mailing some tax returns. I was feeling good about my healthy breakfast, good quiet time, kid-free shower (not that they shower with me, but that they are awake when I shower, they were both asleep) and plans to work out this afternoon, so I went through the drive through. You'd think Jack--even through his coma or whatever he's got going on--would have told his stores that this is happening--since it did come directly from HIS website. That they would expect people getting 2 free tacos all day (I mean, it's only 99cents, and the majority of people out there will buy a drink or something, which they usually make around 85% profit on--just not me). So I tell the lady I have a coupon for 2 free tacos, and she said ok, like she knew what was going on. I get up there, hand her my coupon, and she looks at it for what seems like 10 minutes. She asked if I printed it online and I said yes. She first starts to argue with me that it says 12 AM and that it is only 10:30 AM. Um, I had to explain to her that 12 AM was midnight this morning, and it's good for all day. That took a good 3 minutes convincing her that noon was PM, not AM. WOW. Then she says that the code 761 (that you can all clearly see on the coupon) is not valid when she types it into her computer. I told her this was not my problem as I printed it directly from hang in there jack . com, which is a Jack in the Box website. I mean seriously, offer a coupon and then not put the code in the computers, or tell the stores it is happening?!?! She ended up giving me the 2 free tacos anyways, arguing with me the whole time. I tried to be polite and courteous, and think I succeeded, but I just came home irked at the whole thing. I will not be made to feel like a criminal just because I use coupons!!

On a side note, I was going through them all yesterday when Micah was sleeping after Cara came home from school. She was playing right outside the back door coloring with chalk, but decided to come in and 'help' mommy cut her coupons :) It was so cute. I mean, I didn't let her near the actual ones, but the extra newspaper/ads laying around I let her tear like she was cutting some out for me. I think it's hilarious that after only 2 months, she knows what coupons are and what I do with them (she tried to help me 'file') :)

Monday, February 23, 2009

I won something!! Something USEFUL!!

I'm SOOO Excited!! :) You know me and my blog surfing obsession. Well, it has finally paid off. Sterling, you are going to be SOOO jealous ;). I won the Biggest Loser Workout 2 DVD!! I was surfing from another blog and landed on Jaycie's blog, Coupon Geek. I actually forgot I entered, because I enter lots of things. She commented on my last post, on how she saved lots of money looking at her 'silly' bills. Go take a look here.

Just an update on the weight loss thing. In 7 weeks I've lost 7.4 pounds. It's not awesome (I started off REALLY strong), I kinda fizzled out a little, but I am now re-commited, and I really want to focus on working out more. I'm eating decently healthy; it's so much harder to lose weight HEALTHILY (for me) while breastfeeding. I did some research, and for my height and weight, I'm supposed to eat 2000 calories to LOSE weight! That's a LOT. I'm also focusing on WHAT I'm eating (I look at my daily analysis, i.e. carbs, fat, protein, etc). It's hard not to just eat junk (like girl scout cookies!) to get to my daily count. But my main goal is to nurse Micah for a year, or more, so if I lose more slowly because of that, I'm ok with it.

Also, who doesn't love FREE food. Especially Free Hot Toasted Sandwiches! I LOVE me some quiznos. Click here to get your free sub. Good luck printing the coupon, we've tried 3 times, and it absolutely will NOT work our new printer :( So very sad. Thanks MSM.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

100 free photos

I just found this, don't have time right now to do it, so I figured if I put it on my blog, I'd remember to do it by next weekend. I'm SOO busy with tax returns right now, it's insane.

Cilck here to read about getting 100 free prints (shipping around $5.19) from

Thanks freebies4mom!

10 minutes saved me $325 for the year!

So, we added WAY too many minutes to our cell phone plan about 14 months ago. You know how it goes, at least with AT&T, they have a plan for $50 for 550 mins, $60 for 700 mins and then the next plan is $80 for 1400 minutes!!! We upgraded to that one because we went over a month or two (but for being customers so long, always paying on time, and just calling and asking, they took the $200 in overages away last year, woo hoo!). Anyways, in 14 months, we have accumulated over 8,300 in rollover minutes, i.e minutes we are paying for but not using! I had been looking online, and about 5 months, ago I was going to cut us back down to the 550 minute package, thinking, we'd NEVER go over with that many rollover minutes. However, when I went to change plans online, it said you can only keep as many rollover minutes as your plan is (meaning I'd go down to 550!). I said, NOPE and we kept paying too much.

Well today I looked at our past 6 months of usage, and only 2 months did we go over 550 (one was the month we had Micah, and one was Christmas) minutes, and neither were by very many. And since you can only downgrade once (of course you can always upgrade), I wanted to go to the cheapest plan. I mean, we get free minutes between ourselves, and anyone else with AT&T (both of our families are on it), and free night and weekends, so it's not like I sit on the phone all day during the day. But, instead of losing over 7,500 minutes, I decided to call AT&T and ask to keep more. I've been a long time customer, and pretty much anything you ask for you get when it comes to things like this. So I called, was only on hold for about 1 minute, told the lady what I wanted to do, said I would have done it online, but didn't want to only keep 550 minutes. I told her I wanted to call to see if I could keep more of my built up rollover minutes since I had been a customer so long, blah blah blah :). She said sure, how about 2,000. I said great, THANKS. I had to wait a couple minutes while she messaged her manager, he ok'ed it, and we were onto thank yous and goodbyes. So, I saved us $30/month, for the next 10 months: $300 for the year!

Wait, but your title says $25, what ELSE did you do. Well see friends, I'm a bit anal (ha, like some of you didn't know that). The other day when I was doing the ING deals, since I did them for the kids, and the account has to be linked to a person who isn't a minor (i.e. MY account)'s bank account, I had to switch money from Cara's and Micah's savings into mine, to then transfer to their respective ING accounts to get the free $25 each. I did so, copied the confirmation numbers into my Microsoft Money, as I always do, and thought I was done. When I went in to verify everything happened right yesterday, Micah's deposit didn't post to his ING, and I had a $25 NSF fee in my savings account, um, NO. (In case you were wondering why a small deposit would make us go $0 in our savings, it's because we don't use it as a savings, we use ING, etc, so this is basically an account we keep open with like $20 in it to use for transfers, etc) So, I called my bank, told them what happened, and before I even had to give them the confirmation numbers for all my transfers, etc, the lady told me she would refund the charge for being such a great customer. Gee, Thanks! :) So, instead of just letting it go and not wasting time on the phone (which was my first thought), I got the full $50 into, not just a net $25. And, (this may not be the norm) both phone calls were short, no to low waits, and easy!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Free $25 to get you started saving!

Hi again Friends!

So, if you would like a free $25 for about 5 minutes of work, and getting yourself start with a high interest savings account, please email me. While having so many accounts at ING and Sharebuilder (thanks to free money), I have a great offer. If you email me at mistylnewsome at yahoo . com, I will send you a referral link for an instant $25 as long you as make an initial deposit of $250. Of course you can transfer this out if need be, but I'd consider leaving it in. It would be a great place to store that emergency fund, or tax refund, and it will make it harder to just transfer to use when it's not an emergency. Don't get me wrong, it's as easy as transferring money from your ING savings to your checking or savings that you have linked, however, it takes a couple days, and it'll make you think hard on if it is a true emergency before transferring! Please leave me a comment or send me an email and I will get you your unique link.

Just a note, I've been with ING for over 18 months, and have never had a problem. Their customer service is great, they always pay more interest than I can find elsewhere on the web (unless you have $25,000 sitting around not doing anything for you!), and it's a very user friendly site. Also note, if you take advantage of this offer, I will get $10 as a referral bonus, while you get $25. However, just note that it will be going into Micah and Cara's savings, not my own! :)

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Coupon Links

I suggest starting a new free yahoo or hotmail or gmail account for signing up for all your coupon registrations. I have, and it has limited all the spam in my normal daily personal account. Ok, I have a few coupon books I wanted to give everyone links to so that you can get some coupons for FREE mailed to you. I've already signed up and received most of these, and they are great.

Click here for a free $10 coupon book from Betty Crocker when you sign up for their newsletter.

Click here to sign up with General Mills for the Dinner Made Easy newsletter and receive a free coupon booklet.

Click here to sign up for a free $10 coupon book from Eat Better America when you sign up for their newsletter.

Click here for FREE Pantene!

Click here for TempurPedic - Request your Free Night-Time Renewal™ Kit and receive FreeDVD, 3-Month In-Home Tryout Certificate and TEMPUR® Material sample.

I also put most of these on my left sidebars, where I put all things that are savings/money making related.

FREE Money, giveaways-CVS Deals & Walgreens deals

Oh, I have so much to post. I truly hope all my friends, family and readers take advantage of these, because I have, and I LOVE them! :)

First off, is free gift cards for new or transferred prescriptions. Click here to see all of the ones that were in the paper recently. I also scanned my CVS card (scan it EVERY time you go in the store at the price check kiosk) at a recent visit and a coupon printed out for a free $25 gift card for a new or transferred prescription.

Here is my CVS deal this week, I got this off
Buy 3 Suave Products at $2 each, Get $2 ECBs (Limit 5)
Buy 3 Body Washes at $2 each Use 3 $1/1 coupons here and here (there were also $0.75/1 coupons in the 1/11 RedPlum insert)$0.33 each after coupons and ECBs (Thanks, SwagGrabber!)

However, mine worked out EVEN more awesome. I had received my FREE Suave product coupon that I mentioned going to get in this post, and it was up to a $3 value. I also had a $2 off 3 Suave products coupon from the newspaper (not sure which one). I wasn't sure if this last coupon would work since I was getting one free, so I had a $1/1 coupon as backup. However, the first coupon took off $3 and the second took off $2, so I got three suave hair products for $1.07 OOP. I had planned on using $4 ECB, but didn't, and I got $2 ECB back! So they paid me $.93 to take them home net after ECBs. I also just got a new prescription for me after finally going to the doctor today. So I did it at CVS and got a free $25 gift card. I'm so excited, I hope to try to make it last a few months, using all my deals/coupons and ECBS!

I also got some awesome deals at walgreens, also found here and here at my favorite drug store blog.
I got the FREE Yes to Carrots lip balm. I also purchased the Thermacare (free after rebate), Zucal (Free plus $2 overage), Garnier conditioner (free plus $1 overage), and one thing of some 75% off valentines candy for my honey (ok, I had one!) for $.37. My total was $11.60. I paid with a $5.50 gift card from last months free item. Please read HERE about how to get your rebates on a Walgreens gift cards, to earn 10% more. So I spent $6.10 OOP, but next month I will receive back $15.91 on a gift card to do more deals. The first month or two, you spend a little OOP (out of pocket), but once you get a balance on a gift card, you shouldn't have to. So now, I have a Walgreens and CVS gift card, and I'm PUMPED!

For all my people trying to lose weight like me this year, click here to enter a giveaway for a Biggest Loser 2 workout DVD!!! Go soon, it may end shortly!

Also, visit this blog for a Temporal Scanner Giveaway. These are great, a couple of friends of mine swear by them.

I also had this awesome post about $25 free INSTANT for opening an ING Direct savings account, which I got for both Cara and Micah (you can open Joint accounts, to transfer money to their account--Parent/Child Joint), but my friend Carrie at took her post down, or I can't find it. So, I'll repost when I find it.

Micah Rolled Over!

Micah heard I did a post (mostly) on Cara yesterday, so he decided to one-up her and roll from back to tummy today! He's 3 months, 3 weeks and 4 days old. Cara rolled over at 5 months, ONCE, then didn't do it again for a few weeks! I know boys do the physical milestones faster than girls (or so I hear), but wow! We'll see if he takes a few week break now too!

I also figured out how to better use my camera (ISO, lighting, etc) today, and got some great pics. Check flickr in a couple of days to see them. I got a REALLY cute video of Cara lifting up her dress to 'feed' her baby, but that won't be going anywhere public online! It's hilarious though. Gotta run!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


Oh my gosh, I just have to post on the cute things Cara has been doing lately. First off, she copies EVERYthing we say. So she now calls our dogs either Gweny Boo, Gweny girl, Riley Boo, Riley Roo, Riley Boy; Micah is Micah Man, little brother, and her new one: Micah Boo. She is a great eater, and, like her mommy, has discovered she loves to dip carrots and crackers in hummus, i.e. "Brown Dip." She also has a new love of peanuts, and was heard last night saying, "Puppies, don't eat my NUTS!!" as she had left her little cup on the floor and they got them.

Her other new favorite things are Fancy Nancy books and the Little Mermaid movie. Here's a picture of Justin and Ashley reading her Fancy Nancy when they were here a couple weeks ago. I didn't realize how good she is at memorizing things she hears now. One day, I was sitting in the floor of our living room, folding clothes and we were watching the part of the movie when she's singing about wanting to live "up where they walk, up where they run, up where they stay all day in the suuuuun...." and I was singing along. I look up and Cara starts singing along. She knows almost all the words, and we've only watched the movie like maybe 10-20 times since Christmas (bits and pieces at a time). And now sometimes when we're playing or in the car she says, "Mommy, sing the little mermaid with me," and she starts the ah, ah ah, ah ah ah (you know, where she sings so Urcella can take her voice). It is SOOOO stinkin' cute. Here's a picture of her watching it last night, right before bed. She sees Gweny get up on the top cushion of our couch, so now she gets there when she's tired!
Micah is getting so big. Here is a picture of Daddy giving him his 1st bottle. He's only ever had 3 before this. 2 from me and 1 from my mom! He's taking it like a champ, and LOVING being able to look around, although once I got home, he watched me move around to try to take a good picture.

Here's an off-centered picture of us on 2/11, which was the valentine's day party for playground at our house.

And here is us last year on 2/14. I was pregnant with Micah, but didn't know it for another week!

I have lots of new pictures that I'm posting on flickr, be sure to see them if you haven't already. Oh, here's one more of Micah. First time in the exersaucer. He's too little, he didn't really enjoy it, but he's too cute not to post (Thanks Jenn L for the outfit...still found a couple I got to send back to you!).

And one more holding his little head up so well! :) Ok, I'm done....promise! Look for a post coming soon about more FREE MONEY!

Monday, February 16, 2009

What to do with expired coupons

This is just a quick post, but I just sorted out a bunch of coupons that expired 2/12-2/15, and I knew I had read somewhere about sending them to our troops. Here is a website, by a woman named Toni, who started an awesome way for us to send them our coupons (they take them overseas for up to 6 months expired). Please link to her and get involved if you are so led!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

God really does provide!

First, I have to say a big THANKS to my mom! She took Friday off, so the kids and I went down to Santa Fe on Thursday after naps and hung out until Saturday evening. Eric was out of town, so Mom and Darrell got to spend time with the kids, and I got a little bit of rest. We also went to this awesome store (similar to LifeWay) called Mardels, it is HUGE and awesome, and one is coming to Katy!

Anyways, I know God truly listens to our prayers. We've been trying to sell our massive 65 inch tv for about 18 months, but now that we have the builtins, it has been sitting in our garage for almost 2 months. We re-posted it on Craigslist after it didn't sell at the garage sale. We had NUMEROUS calls and emails about it, and finally a lady came by on Wednesday to pick it up. YEA! I'm so glad that is gone. Not only did it take up a lot of space, but it was the last big purchase remaining, the last one that reminded us how un-frugal, impulsive, and unGodly we were with our money decisions back a few years ago. Also, this is just little and silly, but I'm totally out of conditioner. I've been using the last little bit in my bottle before I went to SF, and my hair was just yucky and tangly. So I knew I had to buy some this week when I went to the store. What was in the mail when I got home yesterday? My Suave coupon for a free bottle!! Woo Hoo! :)

And I just have to mention I have some of the best friends in the world. They pray for me, encourage me, hold me accountable, and just listen to me. One friend in particular, Tracy B (one of those few friends I used to work with) had come over a month or so ago to go to lunch. She LOVES dogs, and I had told her how our dogs NEVER get treats. Like, we haven't bought any in about 3 years! She said one day she was going to bring my dogs some treats, and I just called her silly. Well, she called while I was out of town and said that she had dropped some off and left them on my front porch. I told her my dogs would be very happy when we got home on Saturday. So when I got home, I had a few things from the front porch that Eric had brought in (a couple Brylane Home boxes from those good deals I got) and a bag from Tracy filled with 2 bags of yummy dog treats (Tracy--Gweny and Riley Thank you!). As I inspected the bag further, I saw an envelope, which I assumed had a little note in it. So I opened it up, and it did have a note in it. A note about how she appreciates what I've given up for my kids, and how we are striving to provide a great home life and future for our family. And 3 opening day Astros tickets! Are you kidding me? I was Ecstatic (Cara's new word from her Fancy Nancy books)! I waited until the kids were in bed so I could call and truly thank her. And, since I know she reads my blog daily, I wanted to give her a little public props. Tracy--I'm so GLAD I got to know you when we worked together, and am so glad we've kept in touch. We don't have a whole lot in common, but you are so fun and sweet. Thank you again for thinking about us!

Just on another note. A lot of my friends ask how I find out about all these deals. Click here to go to Money Saving Mom's website. She matches up all the coupons for Walgreens and CVS! Love it!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Another Great Find from Carrie!

I LOVE this website. I feel like she's my friend, I check her blog every day and always find great deals on there. I did this one last week, and now there, is a new one. Who doesn't like stocking up on cheap gifts for pennies!?!?!? Click here to read about the new deal. I did the exact same thing she did. 2 free sets of bags and 2 blue beach towel/bags. Yea! :)

Leave me a comment and let me know if you did this deal as well, I never know if people take advantage of savings I find, or if they just think I'm a little nutty ;)

If you haven't signed up for Mr. Rebates, Please click on the square on my left toolbar, it's another easy way to get cash back if you're shopping online, and you can start with a $5 bonus!

It's a sad day...

Today is the first year in 5 years that I'm not pre-ordering opening day tickets for the Astros game :(. If it doesn't sell out, and we have room in our budget in April, we may get some cheap seats, but we will have to wait and see.

In other frugal news, I'm so excited. We will have our minivan paid off by July, after only 13 months of payments. We of course did not want to take out, even the small loan we did. We did it for 24 months, so we would be MADE to pay it off fast. And, with God's grace we will be able to pay it off 11 months before we thought we would! God is so good! :)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

25 interesting things

Ok, so I succumbed and did the facebook 25 random things about myself. I figured I'd throw it out here to the blogosphere, so maybe some of my bloggy friends would get to know me a little better ;) Here you go:
1. I'm going to try not to make this all about my kids. However it is hard when they are both supposed to be napping and I can hear them both 'talking' to themselves. Oh yeah, they get that from me.
2. I'm a procrastinator. Not all the time (like, I already have our entire budget for the year done, completely broken up into months and subtotaled on a main sheet), but sometimes. Like now, I should be finishing up cleaning my house for playgroup tomorrow, but Celesta was the last straw. If she can move to another country, get her, her hubby and 2 kids settled and move 5 times in 2 months, then I guess I can write 25 random things about me.
3. George Strait was my first love (I mean, besides my parents). I seriously fell in love with him at 5 or 6, and have never stopped! His song, "I Cross My Heart" was the first slow song Eric and I ever danced to, and my friend Seth sang it at our wedding (cheesy, but meaningful, my 2 favorite songs of his are "The Chair" and "Carried Away").
4. When we were going through pre-marital counseling, my pastor mentioned me staying home with our kids when we had them. I told him, "you're crazy, I'm an accounting major, I'm going to have my CPA, I'm going to be a businesswoman, I will never stay home with our kids." Then he said, "who's going to raise your kids then?" Fast forward 5 years, I'm working at ConocoPhillips, I get a new job scheduling natural gas on the trade floor, LITERALLY 2 days after I found out I was pregnant with Cara. I told my new boss, and he was totally fine with it. His only concern was that I would want to stay home after I had the baby. The words out of my mouth were, "are you kidding, my husband is a school teacher, I couldn't afford it even if I wanted to." Ha. If you know me, which if you're reading this, I'm assuming you do, you know the radical transformation God did in me once I held Cara in my arms! God is so very good.5. I actually still am a CPA, and I'm one of the weird ones that ENJOYS doing taxes each spring (probably because that's the only time I work--i.e. make money from my time).
6. I'm a blog freak. I post a lot I read a lot. I read people's blogs that I've never met. I cry over people I don't know. Sick children are a WEAKNESS. I cried over a lost little angel today.
7. I feel like my 2nd baby (Micah) gets jipped sometimes. I feel like he lives in his little bouncy seat, so that I can get Cara dressed, or get her lunch ready for school, or vacuum real fast, or take Cara potty, or or or. Today however, while Cara was at preschool, he was having a super fussy day, on top of me not feeling totally 100%, getting over an illness. So I just sat on the couch with him, and held him and looked at him and loved on him and watched him smile, for like 30 minutes. It was the best 30 minutes of my week.
8. I re-read everything. I've re-read the previous 7 posts about 10 times so far. That doesn't mean I catch all my mistakes, or that I even care when I read something that is wrong. In 9th grade, in Mrs. Baker's AP English class, they called me the grammar queen. Now, I could care less.
9. Eric is the love of my life. And I'm debating putting this as #1. I feel bad I'm just mentioning him, but he is the best, most solid, loving, creative, sweet, giving man I've ever known. I love him for who he is, and who he strives to be. We couldn't have been more opposite when we met, and it's a little weird how much more similar we've become. Although, the day of my best friend's funeral, when we were IM'ing over Thanksgiving break, and I asked him if we were ever going to be "boyfriend and girlfriend" his answer was, "I guess we can date, but I don't think it'll last very long." We joke about that today, and he ALWAYS says, "what's your definition of long" ;)
10. One of my best friends, Miranda Denise Adams, was killed in the Texas A&M Bonfire that fell 11/18/1999. It was THE saddest day (week/year/decade almost) of my life to date, but I know God used it to bring Eric and I together. It was followed 6 years later by the death of my cousin, Michael Gamble, in a car wreck. And I know God used that tragedy to bring me my sweet girl, Cara.
11. I'm the oldest of 8 girls. My sister Bailey, is my only fully biological sister (and who I'm closest too, obviously). But, I have my step-sister Shawna, who is my step-dad's daughter, who is 3 months younger than me. I have 3 half sisters from my dad's other wives (he's been married 5 times), and 2 step-sisters that are 18 year old twins. I also have an ex-step-brother, if you can figure that one out ;)
12. I L.O.V.E my girlfriends, and spending time with them. Girls night is one of the highlights of my month. I love getting to know new friends better and spending time with old ones. I know God brought me to Kingsland Baptist Church for a reason, and I couldn't have asked for a better church family to raise my children in.
13. I would do almost anything for my girlfriends. Just ask. However, one of my fears, it always has been, is that I cherish a friend more than they cherish me. You know what I mean?
14. I met my longest/closest/best friend Trayce the first day of kindergarten. She lived right around the corner from Kiddie Kollege, my day care. The bus picked us up to go to school, and the bus driver told me to sit "there," next to Trayce. I fell asleep on her shoulder on the way to school, and we've been friends ever since. We grew up in church together. We played flute in the band together. She's a year older than me, so she could drive early. We got into trouble together. We went to Sonic a lot together. Her parents would always take us to eat after church, and then (when she was 14/15) we'd go look at model homes in neighboring towns, and they'd let Trayce drive us from model home to model home. I thought that was so cool. Especially since my mom wouldn't get in the car with me until I was a licensed driver (my step-dad taught me how to drive).
15. Ok, I'm only at 15?? Seriously??? Ok, when I was 10, I used to want 6 kids. 3 boys, 3 girls, and 2 of them (one boy and one girl) were going to be twins. I used to have all their names picked out, but the only one that stuck was Micah. When Eric and I were dating/early marriage, we agreed on 2. The day I brought Cara home from the hospital, I knew I wanted more. I didn't necessarily want them RIGHT then, but I knew I was born to be a mom. Eric agreed to 3 (even though I secretly--ok not so secretly--want 4). He says as long as they keep coming out as easy as Micah did, we could keep going. I don't think he necessarily came out easy, but that we were WAY more prepared/prayerful/laid back than we were with Cara. We felt more at ease and knew what we were doing.
16. I am WAY more patient and WAY less stressed now than I ever was when I was working. I look back at my working days, and cherish those few friends I have from that time, because I was a very ugly person back then. I wasn't in the Word as I should have been. I cussed when I got stressed, which was often. I didn't hold my tongue when I should have. I made people feel bad because they didn't work as fast as me, or it didn't come as easy to them. Man, I don't even want to talk about it anymore!
17. I LOVE to cook. This was also a transformation after I had Cara. I never cooked before. When we were in college (and married), my extent of cooking was chicken nuggets and blue box mac and cheese. One time, when we were newlyweds, between summer session 2 and fall semester, when I had a day off work, I made us jumbalaya. It was AWESOME, but it took me 3 hours to make. I've never made it again. When I had Cara, I started watching Rachel Ray's 30 minute meals (yes, sometimes she gets on my nerves, but the methods are great), and figured out, I can do that. And since then, I have!
18. Going along with cooking, I love saving money. With our income, we have to be 'tight' with our money, so that we can do what the Lord has called us to do, be debt free, live a fruitful life within our means, and raise our kids knowing how to save. Cooking 13 out of 14 nights every 2 weeks is an easy way to save our money. It doesn't happen EVERY time, but for the most part it does.
19. I love to read. I read a lot growing up, not so much in college, a lot when I was pregnant (both times) and not so much since. I do my (mostly) daily devotion/bible study still, but I haven't read a book since Micah was born. Last summer, when I was hot, fat and pregnant, and Eric was home most of the day with us, I sat and read all day long sometimes.
20. I like "The Office." I didn't jump on the bandwagon when it first came out. Eric and I never even watched it until the reruns came on TBS like 18 months ago. But, we realized we really liked it, and now we have 4 seasons on DVD!
21. We don't have cable. Another way to save money. We missed it a lot at first, but with each passing month, I think it gets easier and easier. Now that we have a new TV and digital antenna, we get a few more channels, and that makes Eric very happy (before NBC didn't come in well--whatever channel 2 is--or at all, so we had to watch The Office online the day after it came on).
22. This is harder than it looks. And I'm taking way too long doing it. Cara never did go to sleep, she's been up playing in her room this whole time. Oh, I HATE to color. Never liked it growing up. It bored me, and I was never patient enough to be good at it. All the kids loved it. They'd outline everything dark, and then color light, and you couldn't see the lines or how bad they colored. It hit me hardest in Mrs. E's 3rd grade class. I was in there with some world class colorers (angie!!), and I hated it. I've been blessed with a child who loves to color and play with play-doh. Now I know how much my mom probably wished I liked it, it can keep her entertained for hours! (ok, 30 minutes).
23. I never have been a morning person. In high school, i would wake up at 6:45, jump in the shower, and be at school by 7:10 with wet hair. No wonder the guy I liked all through high school wouldn't pay attention to me. Looking at my old pics, I wouldn't have either! :) ha
24. I'm weird, and I admit it. Most people don't believe I'm from Texas. I used to be a MUCH pickier eater, oh how that's changed. But there are still some things most people like that I despise: ketchup, ranch dressing, mustard, bbq sauce. Yep, mostly condiments, mostly southern condiments. I won't even open the ketchup bottle for my kid. I'm raising her to not eat those condiments much, but she does get them when daddy's home.
25. Kids are crying, I really should have accomplished something. I haven't even had time to re-read # 12-25, so if there are misspelled words, etc, I'm sorry. I don't even think most of these things are interesting

Awesome deal!

So I got an email from upromise about get $25 gift cards at for $4. Awesome! If you get emails from upromise, check your email. So, I clicked on it to see what restaurants near us qualified. I have looked before, and there weren't many to choose from. What did I find? Texas Roadhouse! All they had left were $10 gift certificates, so I ordered 4 of them. Once I put in the code that the upromise email said (I think it was treat) it was only $4.80, for $40 in gift certificates! Plus, I'll receive 15% back from upromise. As if that wasn't awesome enough, once I checked out (oh yeah, I'll get cash back on my discover card as well, I always use a credit card, NOT debit online, with a unique #), it popped up a Free $10 back if you sign up with shopping essentials. You know I love free trials, and this one was for 30 days. So I signed up, set my phone to remind me to cancel on 3/11, and I will mail them my receipt, and they will mail me $10 back. So, really, I'll get paid $5.20 ($10 free - $4.80 paid) to take $40 off my next few dining out adventures at Texas Roadhouse, sounds like a plan to me!

Here is the link that was in my email. You will have to sign into your upromise account to do the deal.

Monday, February 09, 2009

CVS $5 challenge

So I've been meaning to do this for awhile. For all my friends who are new to CVS'ing, Alyssa at Keeping the Kingdom First has this weekly blog carnival, and it is VERY helpful to read how others save money at CVS. I actually got to participate this week! Here are my transactions:

Transaction # 1
$1.99 Chewable pain reliever (earn $1.99 ECB) (monthly deal)
$3.99 Planters Snack unsalted roasted peanuts
-$3.99 FREE Planters snack coupon--won on a freebie website and mailed to me

Total OOP: $1.99 ECB's Earned $1.99

Transaction # 2
$6.49 Mylanta (earn $3 ECB)
-$2 Mylanta printable coupon
-$1.99 ECB from #1

Total OOP: $2.80 ECB's Earned $3

Transaction $3
$3.99 Stayfree dry max ultra thin pads (earn $2 ECB)
$3.99 Stayfree dry max ultra thin pads (earn $2 ECB)
-$3.99 B1G1 Free coupon from V1/4/09 coupon
-$1 Stayfree coupon -- I've had forever, don't know where from
-$3 ECB from previous transaction
Total OOP: $0! ECB's Earned $4 I LOVE walking away from a cash register with a receipt with money on it and not having paid any! :)

So, for all 3, total OOP: $4.79, ECB's left over $4. It's almost like I got all of that for $.79! :)

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Weekly/Monthly Earnings

  1. To date, I've received $20 in gift certificates from I'm saving up for a bread machine, and I'm about 20% there, all for searching the web, which I would have done anyways!
  2. $500 Lowes Gift Card - I had a productive "Guys Night." Eric is currently at guys night with our friends from NewGround, and I spent about 1.5 hours signing up for my next $500 gift card--this time to Lowes. We REALLY need to fix/redo our master bath, and how awesome if I can get it paid for for almost free! I would suggest ANY of my friends trying this. Click here to read all about the process from Carrie at Money Saving Methods. She is awesome and quick to respond to any questions you may have.
  3. I reviewed my delivery confirmation, and my last $500 gift card certificate (for a $500 visa gift card) was received on 1/26, so I should be getting it at the LATEST by 3/26, but most likely by 3/5!
  4. $25 Walmart gift card. In signing up for my last $500 gift card, one of the bonus offers that popped up was a free $25 walmart gift card for signing up for I got the info in the mail, mailed in for the gift card, and received it Tuesday, and spent it Friday ;) -- it helped buy M&Ms for scrabook night ;)
  5. Edited to add: $275 made at Garage sale on Saturday..and hopefully another $450 from the sale of our massive tv....we have a couple people interested, FINALLY! :)

I think that is about all this week, except for my awesome grocery trip. I got over $178 worth of groceries for $99. Woo Hoo. I took a picture, but haven't posted about it...and now it's a little too late :)

Thursday, February 05, 2009

I've been tagged again!

Here is what you do:

1. Go to your 4th folder where you store your photos.

2. Select your 4th picture (no exceptions)!

3. Post the picture with an explanation and link it back to your tagger

4. Tag 4 people (or as many as you want) to do the same!!

I went to 2007 since I did 2008 a few months ago. This was 7/14/07 at 10:30 am on Galveston's East beach. Cara's first trip to the beach. Our friends Shannon, Nathan and Garrett were visiting, AND this was the morning we got the offer on our old home so that we could purchase our new one--my friend Merediths old one....who tagged me, how weird??!?!?! :)

I tag...
Jenn Lyons

Recipe website I love.

So, I've been meaning to use this asparagus I got on sale, and I knew I wanted to make a pasta dish. So, I went to one of my fave websites, and clicked on ingredients. I typed in pasta, asparagus and butter (I didn't want to use a jarred sauce since all I have is red, and wanted a homemade sauce), and this little diddy came up. Yea, I'm so pumped to make it tonight :)

Cute kid post, and no more SONIC

So many people say I don't post about the two cutest kids in the world enough (ok, so I'm a little biased), so I figured I'd post a couple recent pics. This was Cara kissing Micah, he looks a little scared in the picture, but he was smiling and cooing at her.

Micah is really holding his head up well. I weighed him (both of us, and then just me) last week, and he was around 14.5 pounds! He's almost too long for his 3-6 month clothes!! It's crazy how fast he's growing.
This is a picture of Cara and Eric playing in the front yard. He had been chasing her around playing with a ball, and then she wanted to sit down and rip leaves into little pieces :), so as any good Daddy would, he helped!
I was very excited today because Micah took a bottle. Read here about our last attempt (well, he had one on 12/12 when my mom watched him for our Christmas party, and it was pretty much a train wreck as well). Lately, he's been spitting up a LOT in the mornings, and I chalk it up to me being so full (since he goes for about 10-11 hours usually, like last night 7:30-5:45). So today after we got home from bible study, he was due to eat at 11:45, and held off until about 12:20. So I fed him about 7 minutes on one side, and we (he) burped. Then we (he) spit up a little. And I thought, ok, then I'm not going to feed him on the other side. I laid him down and went to pump, and originally I was just going to freeze it. However, he got a little fussy, so I thought, I'd just give him the bottle and see how he handles it. Instead of the evenflo angled bottle I tried the first time, I just stuck a medela nipple on the bottle I pumped (all of .75 ounces into, what's up with that?) into, and he took it like a champ! WOO HOO. I was getting worried because my mom is going to watch him on 3/21 when I have an adult only wedding at 3 reception. I'm assuming we won't be home until 10 or so and he'll need 2-3 bottles! And, I have tons of frozen breastmilk and I don't want it to go to waste! :)
On another note, Eric and I have really buckled down and are setting much stricter goals for our budgets. We lowered our blow money to $60/month ($30 each)--CASH, and I was going to be an awesome wife and use some of mine on Sonic drinks today. We had a bit of an obsession in the months after Micah was born, fueled by 3 $10 gift cards Eric got for Christmas from kiddos at school. I went after bible study, ordered a small lemonade (for C), a medium vanilla coke, easy ice for me, and a medium watermelon vanilla coke for E. It was $4.58 (it was my fault for not going during happy hour). And then, on top of that, they got our order wrong! She handed me a coke and said "regular coke, easy ice" I said, it's supposed to be vanilla coke, she said, oh yeah, it is. Then she handed me a vanilla coke, and says she put a cherry in it, is that ok (weird), I said fine, but it's supposed to be watermelon vanilla coke. So she reached over to put in watermelon in it (because I go through the drive through because I don't like to tip there). So I drive off, take a sip, and there's no vanilla in mine. I'm totally bummed, that's the whole reason I go. And this isn't the first time it has happened. So, I told Eric when I took him his drink, that I'm done with paying for Sonic. IF we get gift cards, we'll go, but until that day, we are going cold turkey :) Ok, enough of this random post, I gotta go clean my kitchen!

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Bulk Baking

If you know me or have read my blog for any period of time, you know I am a huge fan of saving time and freezing meals, and rarely do I make a single batch of anything. But it's not just for lunch, I freeze breakfast foods as well. I have frozen muffins in the past, but recently I have found a waffle recipe I like, and Cara and I have been LOVING them reheated in the toaster oven for breakfast. Add some fruit and skim milk, and you have yourself a meal! Today I decided I wanted to get a bunch of BULK baking done, and I succeeded, with the help of Cara (note, she hates it when I pull out the camera, so she is protesting in most of the pictures) :). The goal for today was to make a double batch of pumpkin muffins, double batch of whole wheat waffles, and a new loaf of honey whole wheat bread for sandwiches, etc.

The morning started with a clean kitchen, I have become obsessed with cleaning it before bed and it's so nice to wake up to this in the morning:

So I started by setting out my 3 recipes and getting my ingredients out, and my helper situated.

I figured I'd start with the waffles, because they take the longest...because you have to cook them one at a time. So, I mixed up the batter while heating up my waffle iron (I do what she says, I use about half water and half milk, and half oil and half unsweetened applesauce). I sprayed with a little cooking spray, poured the first one in, and set my timer for 5 minutes (last time, I didn't set a timer and I kept burning them!!!). Next, I got the water and wheat flour breaking down, and started the yeast/water/honey mixture for my bread. As that worked, I started on the dry and wet ingredients for my pumpkin muffins. I don't put the butterscotch chips in them, and I use 1 cup WW flour and 3/4 cup white flour (actually, since I doubled it, I used about 2.5 cups WW flour and 1 cup white flour). Cara likes playing with the crumbs (that she helps get on the counter by helping me 'stir'). As we were finished mixing the wet and dry together, it was time to add the yeast mixture to the dough mixture, along with the butter, salt, etc and knead it into a ball.

"I don't want to smile!!"

Now we poured the pumpkin batter into the muffin pans. I had planned on making 24 normal sized, and 48 mini muffins, however, I OVER poured on the normal sized ones, so I only made 12 normal sized and 40 mini muffins (tip, if you have more batter, but not enough to fill a pan, pour a small amount of water in the cups with no batter, it helps to not scorch the pan, and the muffins actually come out more moist!). And Hannah, if you're reading this....that is your 24 count mini muffin pan!
At this point, Cara was hungry (again, she had already had half a waffle and a banana for breakfast), so she stopped and had 2 1/4 pieces of a fresh waffle. She ate it up, with no syrup!This is only part of what all we cooked. The bread still wasn't finished at this point, and the two small pans of mini muffins were still cooking!! I left enough out to eat on the next few days and the rest are already in the freezer!

:) I love super-accomplished feeling days. If only I loved to clean like I love to cook!

Click here to find a bunch more recipes and people serving their families hot breakfasts :)

Monday, February 02, 2009

Not Me Monday

Just a quick post....Go to MckMama's blog to see all the other crazy moms out there :).
Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

So, I totally did not almost (really truly, I was proud of myself for not doing it!) spank my child in anger after she was writing in pen in one of my cookbooks this morning. Especially not after I was too busy checking my email and had heard her clicking that little pen a good 5 minutes before I got up to check on her!

I also did not get both kids, Cara's lunch kit, backpack and napmat loaded into the car, running 5 minutes late, to drop Cara off at school, look down, notice I still had my house shoes on, say, "oh well," and hop in the car anyways!

I did not make an excel spreadsheet planning my grocery shopping today, at 2 stores, with coupons, and set goals for eat store like a nerd. Nope, Not ME! :)

Sunday, February 01, 2009

New Month, New Coupons :)

I know I have some friends wanting to know where I get all my coupons. As you can tell, I clip all of them in my Sunday papers. I also use other blogs, stores, etc to find some, as well as! I did want to mention the ad to the left below for They put new coupons on the 1st of the month, so it is loaded with new coupons. And, you can print most of them twice! Cottonelle has $.50 off toilet paper. Most of the time at Kroger, it is either $.99 or $1.19 for a 4 pack. With the $.50 coupon doubled, that's free or almost free TP! And Cottonelle also gives you upromise money, so it's a win/win!

Serious Life Magazine!

I wanted you to know about this publication I’m a part of called Serious.Life Magazine. They just published the February issue today, and I am in their Featured Blog Directory. It’s a very high quality magazine… you’ll really like it.

The magazine includes a lot of great content from bloggers you’ll appreciate, as well as great features, photos and other content. The magazine is owned and published by a family who have seven kids, three adopted and one who has Leukemia ( The magazine gives away a bunch of ads to charities and ministries. Besides great articles on interesting people (including MckMama this month), there is a lot about family, adoption, personal finance, spiritual life, humor… all sorts of “life” topics.

Again, the subscription is free, and I know you’ll enjoy the magazine, so take a minute to check it out and sign up to get future issues.
Serious.Life Magazine

Being Jesus with skin on.

So today, I got showered, ready, kids up, cleaned, clothed, fed and off to church all by myself (Eric goes at 7:30 for orchestra). As I was pulling out of my driveway, I saw our Sunday paper that gets delivered, and I thought, "I should throw that in the garage." But, I was a little late, and had already shut the garage, so I didn't. And wouldn't you know it, I get home, go get it, and it has been stolen. I mean, I know it's not worth much to some people, but um, if you have read my blog, that little $1.25 investment is very important to me. So I'm bummed. I know in my heart, that whoever stole it must need it more than me, and I hope they put those coupons to good use, but it still irks me. I'm trying to be like Jesus and not throw a royal tantrum, like I've been known to do in the past. I was going to try to see how much longer we could go without going to the grocery store (I mean, we desperately need bananas, but we have fresh apples, blueberries and grapes still, and some frozen veggies), but I need 1 egg to make brownies for tonight, and now I need to go pick up a paper!

In other news, if you aren't a fan of you should be! They have monthly coupons that you can register for (you load your kroger, cvs, randalls, etc cards as well as debit/credit cards and earn money for college for your little ones). You don't have to clip them, but if you buy the products, then you get that money posted into your upromise account. I just wanted to make sure all my friends who use formula know about it. One of this months coupons is $5 into your upromise account if you buy 2 Similac formulas. Here's a link to the coupons, make sure to sign up!
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