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Tuesday, September 30, 2008


In the mood for a sweet treat? I just LOVE these super-easy Blondies (Blond Brownies). Ted's not as ga-ga over them as I am, which means more for me! There's nothing healthy in them, but they are SO good!

1 cup white chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
4 cups biscuit mix (like Bisquick)
1 cup melted butter
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla

Combine all ingredients and spread in a greased 9x13 pan. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes, until lightly browned on edges and center is almost set.

I love them the way they are, but you could probably add raisins or nuts if you wanted to.

Pumpkin Patch

We had some fun at a pumpkin patch over the weekend. We also picked apples, but didn't get any pictures. We had a good time overall, but had "itchies" and allergies afterwards! Ted and his bunch of suburban girls!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Praying Mantis

Needless to say, we are suburban folk, so this was pretty cool to see the other day! The girls spotted him hanging out on the outside of our sliding glass door. We tried and tried to get good pictures, and this is the best we could do (Ted got the best pictures--mine were all blurry). Isn't he cute? He hung out the better part of the day and the girls loved watching him.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Saturday Show-and-Tell

Did you take advantage of the $5/$20 Walgreens coupon or the deals at CVS this week? I did! Here's what I scored last night:

As I suspected, my Walgreens was out of some of the things I was planning to get, but I still managed to make it to $20 after coupons:
Rimmel foundation $7.49
L'Oreal face wipes $6.99
Extreme Energy $3.99
Glade Scented Oil Candle $5.99 x 2
Glade Oil Refills $2.99 x 2
Jergens Bar Soap 8 pk. $2.69 (I needed a filler and these are good for shoeboxes, too)
Total before coupons: $39.12
Total OOP after coupons: $19.34

Submit for Oct. ESR (rebate): $24.47

Made $5.13

I wanted to take advantage of the Kimberly-Clark deal and I would have bought some diapers, but they didn't have the size I wanted. So instead, we're pretty well stocked on paper items now!
2 12 packs Cottonelle = $13
8 rolls Viva = $6.49
6 boxes Kleenex = $6
4 12 packs Mountain Dew = $11
1 deodorant = $4.99
1 bag Teddy Grahams (fun filler for the girls) = $1
Total before coupons: $42.48
Total OOP after coupons: $14.88
ECBs I still have: $3
A great deal for all the stuff I got!

Something wonderful I discovered is that my CVS will take Walgreens RRs! I could only use one on my transaction above at Walgreens, so I thought I might as well try it since they do accept competitor's coupons. No problem! This may vary by store, so you'd need to check.

So how did you do? Some of you are beginners and some of you have been doing this a LOT longer than I have! Please share! I love to hear how people are saving money!

School Time!

We've finished over a month of kindergarten! Our curriculum and plan is working pretty well so far. After breakfast we pull out the workbooks and H picks which subject she would like to start with, usually her phonics/reading workbook or math. Handwriting is not a favorite for some reason. She thinks she isn't good at it, which I don't think is true, but maybe she is feeling some twinges of perfectionism? (Gee, I wonder where she gets that from!) I've been giving her short breaks in between workbooks to play with her sisters or practice her piano. I think she's having a hard time knowing that they are playing in the other room without her. But I've been talking up the benefits of homeschooling, that she is able to take breaks to play with her sisters. I can't imagine her being gone all day right now. . .she seems so young, and yet so grown up at the same time!

After lunch we've been doing "literature time", where I read a chapter out of a bigger, older book. So far we've read through 1 1/2 books of the old Winnie-the-Pooh series that I had as a young girl and the girls love it. Some of the stories are similar to the modern ones so they recognize them. Even M is enjoying the stories. I can't wait to continue this tradition and move into other series, like Little House or Narnia.

Most of the time, G and M just do their own thing while I am teaching H (with the exception of literature time), though some days we do an impromptu project (like the Apple Trees pictured here). Many days, when M hears me talking to H about her homework, M will walk over to the cupboard and get out her workbook and say, "Mah, ho-mo, too" (meaning "my homework, too!") I usually do a couple of matching pages with her and she is thrilled to be a big girl like H! I've been working some with G on her reading as well, and she's getting it, but it has been interesting to see that she is learning to read differently than H did (she's more auditory, H is more visual). We do family devotions at dinner and Bible time with Daddy before bed, so school kind of stretches through the day, with many breaks in between, which right now is working well for us.

Friday, September 26, 2008

My Walgreens Scenario

I'm going to Walgreens tonight to try to take advantage of the $5/$20 coupon and "double-dipping deals", plus I need to use some RRs that are about to expire. I'm still new at this, but here is what I am going to try (assuming my Walgreens actually has these items...).

Lypsyl $1.99
Nivea $4.99
Extreme Energy $3.99
L'Oreal Cleansers $7.99
Rimmel Foundation $7.49
Glade Scented Oil Candle $5.99 x 2
Glade Fabric & Air $2.99
Total before coupons: $41.42

-$1 Lypsyl cpn
-$1 Rimmel product cpn
-$4 Walgreens Glade Candle
-$2 Manufacturer Glade Candle
-$2 Manufacturer Glade Candle
-$1 Walgreens Glade Fabric & Air
-$1.50 Manufacturer Glade Fabric & Air
-$5/$20 Walgreens coupon
I should also be able to use one of my RRs ($4.50) that is about to expire.
Total after coupons: $19.42

Submit for Sept ESR:
LypSyl $1.99
Nivea $4.99

Submit for Oct ESR:
Extreme Energy $3.99
L'Oreal Cleansers $7.99
Rimmel Foundation $7.49
Glade Scented Oil Candle $4
Glade Fabric & Air $1

Total after rebates: get paid $7.53! (I didn't include my RR in this because I included that credit in my last trip's savings)

I went over a little bit because my Walgreens is notoriously out of things, so I wanted to make sure I had enough to make it to the $20 after coupons.

Woohoo! It came!

Remember when I blogged about The Caregiver's Marketplace? They give cash back for various products related to caring for someone's needs, like diapers! I sent in receipts for 28 packs of Huggies diapers I had purchased this year (I have 2 kids in diapers so I know I've bought more, but that's what I could find!) and I just received a check for $26 dollars! Woohoo! Time for a date with my Hubby! :-)

See my original post here for details. Huggies and Pull-Ups are the only brands of diapers you can get cash back for, $1 per pack. On the form it lists Jumbo packs, but I went ahead and sent in receipts for the 3 bigger boxes I had bought just in case, and apparently they gave me credit for 2, so I'd say go ahead and send in the boxes, too, just in case. You need receipts for at least 5 packs of diapers (I wouldn't include boxes in the 5 just in case). And if you know someone who buys products for diabetes or other physical problems, there are a lot of other products listed, so pass it along.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

New Walgreens Coupon-Fri and Sat only

A new $5/$20 Walgreens coupon has come out! It is good Friday and Saturday ONLY, so you should be able to use it to buy either September's or October's free after rebate items. This is one of the ways I made money at Walgreens earlier this month.

Remember, the $5 comes off last, after all manufacturer and Walgreens coupons (and RR's). Hopefully the October catalog will have lots of free after rebate items to bring us to the $20 mark without having to use coupons! If you haven't gotten the September items yet, there were a couple items that were $7.99, so those would get you well on your way to the $20, too. Alright, after another good coupon, Walgreens is starting to get back into my good graces again. :-)

Thanks to Amber for letting me know the October catalog will be available Friday, and to Deal Seeking Mom for the coupon!

Walgreens Tips

I had said I was lovin' Walgreens, but now just not QUITE as much. I learned a hard lesson to swallow last week. Your Register Rewards (RR's) act like manufacturer's coupons, not like gift cards, so therefore you can't use them on ANY purchase, there are limitations.

I had $4.50 in RR's from the mouthwash that I tried to use to pay for some Huggies last week, but I of course also used a Huggies coupon, therefore it wouldn't take my RR's because it acts like 2 manufacturer's coupons on 1 item. Confused? Me too. I was very bummed when I learned this since I buy almost everything with a coupon. So now I have to figure out how to spend $8.50 in RR's without using other manufacturer coupons. I'm hoping the new free after rebate items for October will come out before they expire in a week so I can use them on those, because if I buy stuff just to burn my RR's, then I feel like I'm not being as smart a shopper.

I still love the free after rebate deals and I have also made money there, so I won't give up Walgreens altogether! I'll just be more wary of the RR deals in the future.

Another tip: If you are taking advantage of the free after rebate deals at Walgreens, you can enter your receipts online now, so you don't even have to pay for the stamp to mail in for your rebates! I would suggest entering your receipts throughout the month, instead of waiting until the last minute (it took me forever last month--I think their server must have been inundated with last-minute people entering their receipts like me!). Another bonus from submitting your rebate online is that my check arrived A LOT faster than usual!

For more tips on getting started, check out Walgreens 101 by Deal Seeking Mom.

Scripture Memory CDs for CHEAP!

Remember the Scripture Memory CDs I blogged about here? Dan just found them on for $4.99 for the 3 CD set!! I'm telling you, this is an awesome deal and these CDs are worth their weight in gold! The verses are sung by kids (but they're not annoying) in the NIV version. We play them in the car and my kids have learned so many Bible verses this way. I highly recommend them!

*Remember to do a search for a coupon code to see if you can find free shipping (which was estimated to be $3.99--still not bad!) to make this deal even sweeter!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Crazy For Coupons! Part 3-Match-Ups

I'm continuing my series on getting started with couponing. You can see some of my other posts on couponing here.

Step 4: Now that you have all your coupons organized, you need to wait for the right moment to use them. The secret to spending less and getting more is TIMING your coupon use with the sales. Watch for REAL sales, when prices are at their lowest, and then use your coupons to stock up. Stores have sale cycles, and while an item may be on sale, it may not be at the lowest price. For example, Mtn. Dew was on "sale" last week at my grocery store for $2.98 a 12 pack. I call this a "fake" sale, because I know I can get it for $2 a 12 pack, so I waited. This week Mtn. Dew is on sale at CVS 4/$11 with $3 ECB, and with the $2/$10 coupon, I can get 4 12 packs for $6! Some people start a price book for their grocery store, keeping track of sale prices on the items they buy most frequently, like chicken, hamburger, cereal, and yogurt.

Shop with a list based on the sales and start your stockpile. When you recognize a real sale, buy more than one of that item if you can. The idea behind stockpiling is to buy enough of an item when it is on sale so that you won't have to pay full price for it while you wait for it to go on sale again. The cereal deal at Target this week is a good example, and another one is the Kimberly-Clark deal at CVS this week. Cottonelle and Viva are on sale at my grocery store this week for 2/$12, but even if I doubled coupons, they are a better deal at CVS this week with the $10 ECBs, so I'm going to use my coupons there and stock up.

Make your coupons work harder for you! We have a chain in town that doubles coupons up to $1 on Wednesdays. Their policy is to double 5 coupons per $25 transaction. My weekly grocery budget is $50-60, so I just plan my shopping and carefully split my groceries and coupons into two $25 orders so that I can double 10 coupons to save more money! The coupons I'll be doubling to pair with sale items today are Campbell's, Quaker Oatmeal printables, and Cap'n Crunch (along with some that have printed out during past visits--CRTs). By the way, if I am not seeing enough good sales to bring me to $50 so I can do 2 orders (some weeks are like that), I won't spend extra money just to get 10 coupons doubled--it's not worth it to spend $10 more on non-sale items just to double $5 more in coupons. You'll be washing away your savings.

Some of my favorite coupon match-ups. If you don't want any of these, print them off for me and I promise to put them to good use! ;-) Note that I choose to use some of these at Walmart instead of doubling them at my grocery store. That's because a) if a product is $1.76 and you give them a $1 off coupon, it will only double up to $1.76, not $2; b) since my store only doubles 5 per order, I have to pick and choose which are worth doubling; and c) sometimes the product is cheaper at Walmart than at the grocery store, so it isn't worth "wasting" a doubled coupon--it makes more sense for me to use it at Walmart.

$1 off Yo-Plus yogurt and here-Use at Walmart for cheap yogurt (.93 after coupon for 4-pk.)
$1 off Kotex- Use at Walmart for free Kotex; I blogged about it here.
$3 off 2 CleanTeam- Use at Walmart for cheap wipes; I blogged about it here.
$1 off 1 Yogos- Use at Walmart for a cheap treat for the kids (.67 after coupon for 6-pk.)
$1 off Fiber One Yogurt- Use at our local grocery store, doubled when it is on sale 2/$4 for free yogurt (this happened a couple weeks ago, so wait for it to come around again)
$1 off Johnson's Buddies products- Use almost anywhere for free soap; I blogged about it here.
$1 off Cheerios here or from the Cheerios Challenge- Use to score free Cheerios with a good sale
$1 off 1 Pillsbury (Cinnamon rolls, Crescent rolls, Toaster Streudel)- Use at Walmart for cheap products
$1 off 1 Cascadian Farms product- Use doubled with a sale for maple granola cereal (yum!) or on another one of their products

Looking through a sale flyer and wondering if there is a printable coupon for an item on sale? Check out Hot Coupon World's Coupon Database, where you can search by item name for the available coupons out there.

Don't forget...

Don't forget to go to Cold Stone for your free ice cream on Sept 25th from 5-8pm! Which one will you choose, Jack's or Emily's? Emily had me with the Nutter Butter ice cream....yummy!

For more details, go here.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Double Whorl

Here's a picture of the back of F's head. I think it is terribly interesting (and cute!) that she has a double whorl!

I was curious as to how often this occurs, so I did a little research (don't you love Google?) Here's what I learned from a hair restoration site:

  • Each individual whorl is unique.
  • The most common is the clockwise whorl.
  • The next most common, which occurs in about ten percent of men, is the counterclockwise pattern of the whorl.
  • About four percent have a double whorl, with a whorl on the right side of center and a whorl on the left side of center.
  • A single gene controls handedness and whorl orientation (from a genetics study)
  • A counterclockwise whorl is more common with left handedness while ambidextrous individuals commonly have a double whorl (from
It is hard to tell on girls with long hair, but our other three seem to have clockwise whorls, although G is definitely left-handed. Do you or someone you know have a counterclockwise or double whorl? I don't remember seeing one before, though I don't make a habit of looking at the backs of people's heads (unless they are my babies)!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Crazy For Coupons! Part 2-Organizing

I want to help others spend less and get more, so I'm doing a series on getting started with couponing. You can see some of my other posts on couponing (Steps 1 & 2 and a couple stockpile pictures) here.

So you saved your coupons, right? Did you check out some blogs and print off some internet coupons? Now that you've got all these coupons, what are you going to do with them all?

Step 3: Organize! I have chosen to use a photo book with 4x6 pages to store my coupons, and it is working really well for me. Others use binders with baseball card holders, and I even ran into a mom in the store who used a large insulated lunch box! Look around your house and be creative and see if you can use something you already have before spending lots of money on a system that may not work for you. Do you have a photo book like mine in your basement? Try it and see if it might work for your needs. I divided my coupons into categories: snacks, breakfast, dinner, baking, toiletries, household, dairy/frozen, and misc.

Within each category, you can organize them in different ways, too. Some people organize by month of expiration so it is easy to purge their expired coupons. I find it easier to organize by type of product, so in the toiletries category, I have slots for toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo, lotion, etc. These aren't labeled as such, but I can see the type of coupon that is in each slot. Then if I see a sale for toothpaste, I can grab that pile of coupons easily.

I've been asked how I purge the expired coupons. At the beginning of the month, I take about 5 minutes to go through my binder and grab all the coupons that expired at the end of the last month. This doesn't take me too long because I can see most of my coupons with my system. If there are some that expire in the middle of the month, or some that I missed, I will grab those as I find them (often while I'm shopping I'll just shove it in my pocket to throw away later).

Would you be willing to share your coupon organization method? If you email me a picture of your system and tell me if it is or isn't working for you, I'll post it on my blog!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Cereal Deal

If you missed this cereal deal last week and want to get started on your own cereal stockpile, I have good news for you! You won't get paid (unless you have one of the free box of cereal coupons from the Cheerios Challenge), but it is still a good deal and a great way to get started with stockpiling.

Here's the deal:

  • Email me or leave a comment and I will send you an invitation to join MyPoints so you can print off some cereal coupons (you could print them off elsewhere, but if you print them off here, you will get 10 points for each coupon you redeem--extra bonus!)
  • After you join MyPoints, print off four .75 off coupons for Kix, Cheerios Crunch, or Raisin Nut Bran (or others) cereal.
  • Go here and sign up for the Cheerios Challenge, if you haven't already. Hopefully they will email you your first coupon right away. Remember to hit the back button and print off 2.
  • Go to Target and buy 4 boxes of General Mills cereal for $11 and you will receive a $5 gift card!
Deal Scenario:
Buy 4 boxes cereal
Use 4 coupons (combo of $1 or .75 off printables)
$11 - approx. $3.50 in coupons = $7.50 OOP (out of pocket)
Get a $5 Target gift card
= 4 boxes of cereal for $2.50!
(after gift card)

If you need to build up your cereal stockpile and you have enough coupons, repeat the above deal in a separate transaction, using your gift card to pay. Cereal is one of the items you should never have to pay full price for, and this is why!

Crazy for Coupons! Part 1-Getting Started

In the interest of helping others spend less and get more, I thought I would do a series dedicated to getting started in couponing. A lot of people have asked me a lot of good questions. Some think they can't do it, but I know you can, at least on some level! It's not that hard, and I'm going to try to help you take some baby steps. :-)

Step 1: Save your coupons! When your Sunday paper comes, skip the comics and head for the coupon inserts. There are usually 2 or 3. Whether you cut them or file them uncut is up to you. I have decided to cut out the coupons. I like having them with me in case I come across a sale in a store for an item that I didn't know about. For example, I was at Target last week and scanned the clearance shelves. I spotted Cutter bug spray wipes on clearance for .98. I opened my coupon binder to the "Misc" section and found a coupon for $1 off any Cutter product, so I got the item for free! If my coupons were filed at home, I wouldn't have been able to pick that up.

Step 2: Print more coupons! There are a lot of legitimate coupons on the internet that you can print off at home. Usually you can hit the back button to print off 2 of each coupon, but once you do, it remembers you and you can't print any more. So my advice is don't print off EVERY internet coupon you can find just yet, because then they may expire before you find a sale to go with them. I recommend subscribing to Money Saving Mom and Deal Seeking Mom for the coupon match-ups each week at Walgreens, CVS, and Walmart, and then print off the coupons you will use that week, or the ones you know you might use eventually.

Do you want to join us on this coupon adventure? Leave a comment below to let us all know we are not alone on this journey or leave a question you would like me to answer. Then get busy clipping some coupons, and stay tuned for what to do next!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

More SOUL Cards

I received some more SOUL cards and I just had to share them with you! They are SO beautiful! The pictures don't do them justice at all. (You can click each image to enlarge, but you still can't see the gorgeous detail.) The girls and I "oohed" and "aahed" over them one at a time, and none of us could choose just one favorite! I explained to them that some women in Ecuador, a country far away in South America, had made them to earn money, drawing all the pictures and cutting out the details by hand. H said, "Those women did a wonderful job making these cards! Look! That one even has glitter on it! And so does that one!" (For little girls, glitter almost makes the world go 'round--or at least it makes it more beautiful!) Besides the glitter, our absolute favorites are the raised butterfly, the "rainbow one", and the one that has bees and says "Praize...zzz the Lord!"

I blogged earlier about the SOUL Light Link ministry, and why these women are making these cards. Would you like to purchase some cards? Not only would you be supporting these women in living an honorable lifestyle, you would receive some gorgeous, unique, handmade cards as well! They are 5 cards for $10. You can choose from packs of happy birthday, all occasion(like my floral pack above), inspiration, friendship/thinking of you, thank you, and Christmas. If you are interested in purchasing some, please contact me or leave a comment below.

Friday, September 19, 2008

What's for breakfast??

Okay, so the last thing I needed was more cereal, BUT.....

This week I went shopping and got PAID to buy cereal and milk. One of our local grocery stores frequently runs a deal where you buy 6 boxes of cereal for regular price, then you get $10 off your order and a coupon for $4 off milk. This grocery store also doubles up to 5 coupons per $25 order on Wednesdays. So I save up my cereal coupons and wait for the right moment to strike....

Cocoa Puffs...$2.99 (.75 coupon, doubled)
Multi-Grain Cheerios...$3.39 (.75 coupon, doubled)
Oatmeal Crisp...$3.89 (.75 coupon, doubled)
Cheerios...$2.99 x 2 = $5.98 (2 $1 coupons from Cheerios Challenge, both doubled)
Big box Cheerios...$4.09 (free box from Cheerios Challenge I blogged about here)

The .75 coupons are all internet printables. You can still join the Cheerios Challenge and get the $1 coupons, but the free ones are probably gone by now.

Subtotal: $20.34
Minus $10.00 = $10.34
Minus $12.59 in coupons = $-2.25!
PLUS I got a coupon for $4 off milk, which bought almost 2 gallons!

On my way home I was thinking now all I have to do is come up with a dinner recipe for Cheerios! Ted suggested I make Cheerios Bars (like Rice Krispie bars, but with Cheerios) -- though not for dinner, of course! So I'll have to take the $$ I saved and go buy some marshmallows... Anyone else have some creative ideas for all this cereal?

Needless to say, some of it is getting donated! I can stockpile, but I can't eat THAT much cereal! (At least not before it goes on sale again....!!) ;-)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Labor Day Pictures

Here are my favorite pictures from our time at my in-law's cottage over Labor Day weekend. The weather couldn't have been better and we had a fabulous time!
It takes a long time to get to the cottage! Of course they were too excited to nap, so they fell asleep shortly after we left the house!

G and M walking out into the lake together. I love that they WANT to hold hands with each other.

The girls fishing. Notice there are no hooks on their lines and the boat is still docked. I highly recommend this form of fishing for preschoolers! They had hours of fun casting their real poles with no worry of injury.

My in-laws, holding hands while walking. I hope we are still best friends and holding hands after 40 years of marriage.

Daddy carrying two girls! We love our Ergo and use it frequently!

H on the boat ride with Grandpa.

The rest of the boat crew. Ted tried hard to get a self-portrait with everyone on that side of the boat! Grandma, F and I were back at the cottage.

Grandpa and Grandma coming in from a sunset canoe ride.

My honey taking me sailing. Aahhh....a little slice of alone time!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Lovin' Walgreens Lately!

My husband likes to make the distinction that when I am "couponing", I am not necessarily "saving" money (because I am of course spending it), but that I am spending less and getting more. Every once in awhile when I come home with a big bounty, he'll ask to make sure that I haven't spent more money just to get more stuff, but am I really SPENDING LESS? So we'll get out the calculator and count it up. The last time we did this was last Saturday after my week at Walgreens. This is what I bought:

2 Robitussin
1 Dimetapp
2 Chex Mix
Refills for my razor
Acid Controller (generic Tums)
2 Deodorant
Dried Apricots
2 Oust Spray
2 bags Combos
Pert Plus Shampoo
2 boxes South Beach Cereal Bars
Chemistry cleanse shampoo
Crest Toothpaste . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (Not pictured: 2 bags Combos,
Crest Mouthwash . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 box cereal bars, 1 bag Chex mix)
Revlon Nail polish
2 Candy Bars

I added up my several receipts while he waited patiently. I then added up what rebates I will be receiving, and then I told him to wait for the drumroll.... (I was so excited I let out a little squeal!)
I had paid $29 out of pocket (OOP-blog lingo)
I will submit for $32.04 in rebates (not including the 10% bonus I could get)
And I still have $4.50 in Register Rewards to use next time I go in.
Bottom line: I got all this stuff and got PAID $7.54!!
See how fun this is? It really is a rush and can be addicting!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Okay, so I promise I won't do this everyday! But I just found this website yesterday and I'm lovin' it! They offer a free downloadable homeschooling- related book every day! FREE!

I've been incorporating a "literature" or story time into our homeschooling. We've been reading chapters out of the old Winnie-the-Pooh chapter books I had as a little girl. Not many pictures, and some of the words are older-style (not like the newer Pooh stories), but the kids are loving it! So this freebie looked right up my alley.

My kids love stories, but I admit I'm not a very good storyteller. This book has a couple chapters at the beginning giving suggestions for telling stories and then has a whole bunch of short stories for you to share with your kids! How fun is that?

Click here to download this ebook. And because I promised I wouldn't do this every day, you'd better go to the Homeschool Freebie of the Day website and subscribe so you don't miss any freebies!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Free Homeschooling EBook--Today only!

Hurry! This offer is good today only, September 15th!
Download this free homeschooling curriculum, a full-size ebook.
From the book:
"Answers these questions and more:
♦ How do I reach our spiritual and educational
♦ How do I make the most of the decade of impressibility”
(ages 6-16)?
♦ How exactly does the literary method work and
why is it effective?
♦ Should we read excerpts or entire books?
♦ What are the most important, and secondary subjects?
♦ How can I stimulate interest in a subject or topic?
♦ How do I teach so that learning becomes permanent?
♦ How does knowing and feeling contribute to will
♦ Why are these particular books best for these
♦ How can nature study be combined with our reading
♦ Is fantasy really appropriate for children, and if
so, why?
♦ What is the best narration-notebook system?
♦ Where do I begin historical study?

It looks like it has ideas for preschool through eighth grade in many subjects. History, writing, speech, Bible, math, vocabulary, literature, life skills, and more!

I obviously haven't had time to look through it all, since I just got it this morning, but since it is free, download it and you can look at it later.

Thanks, Allyson and Crystal!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

More on The Gardener

I received my book for my next Bible Study, and was struck by the cover. What do you see when you first look at it? The beautiful fruit? It is the center of the picture and the brightest image. However, look underneath the fruit, at the gardener's hands. They are dirty, filthy. Why?

When the gardener steps into the garden, his hands are usually clean. Then comes the dirty work. He begins pulling weeds and planting seeds, digging in the dirt and doing what he can to make the soil fertile. In the process his hands get very dirty.

Jesus is the gardener, and he is eager to help me clean up my messy weeds so that I can be fruitful. In the process, he got very dirty--filthy--because of my sins. He took them all on himself...MY sins, past, present, and future. He got dirty for ME. If he hadn't done that, the weeds would have choked me and prevented me from ever bearing any fruit. I am the beautiful fruit in that picture, because of Him and His dirty hands.

Wow. That's amazing to me. Still.

Are you bearing fruit? Does your garden need weeding? I can recommend a great gardener!

If you haven't already, read my post earlier this week about weeds and the gardener.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Free Kotex

Thanks to Kotex and Walmart, I'm hoping to never have to pay for pantiliners again! Kotex frequently puts out coupons in the Sunday paper, and one of those coupons is almost always $1 off any 1 Kotex pads (in fact, there was one in last Sunday's paper--Quick! Go dig it out of the recycling!!). Take this coupon to Walmart where they have three different types of pantiliners regularly priced for $1. That makes them FREE with the coupon!

Another great way to score more coupons is by asking for samples online. Not only do you get the sample, but you frequently get a coupon, too! Take it to Walmart for more FREE pantiliners! Here are some current Kotex samples you can request:
Kotex Sample
Get it again from Walmart
and yet again from Walgreens
and ONE MORE TIME from Costco! (Note: just leave the Member ID field blank)

Thanks to Freebies 4 Mom and Freegrabber!

Thursday, September 11, 2008


Have you heard about this movie? Fireproof is the dramatic story of a firefighter who needs to fight for his marriage, starring Kirk Cameron. Go here to watch the trailer. It looks like a great movie! This is the third movie from the creators of Facing the Giants and Flywheel. I applaud Sherwood Pictures for their efforts to bring the gospel to the big screen. They did a great job in the first two movies....I can't wait to see this one! It opens on September 26th.

Thanks to Rochelle and Karyn for bringing it to my attention!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Weeds...and the Gardener

This past month I pretty much totally neglected my vegetable garden, and it had become so overgrown it was embarrassing. Something had to be done. Really. I should have taken a before picture. There were weeds higher than my waist. It was disgraceful!

I hate weeding. I'm really not much of an outdoor person to begin with, and although my mom and my mother-in-law both have green thumbs, I'm just not there, so I don't even like gardening. But I do like the IDEA of a garden, and so every year I plant a little something. And every year it is work. (imagine that!)

So we were sitting at the breakfast table the other day and the girls asked what we were going to do today. Trying to summon my own energy and attitude, I replied enthusiastically, "We're going to weed the garden!!" while raising my hands into the air. They responded with "Yay!!" Wow, they really do respond to our attitudes!

So thankfully, my wonderful husband and enthusiastic kids helped me with this task. What had seemed to be an insurmountable project to be tackled on my own, went much faster and easier with the help of my family. Did I mention I was extremely grateful?!?

While we were weeding the garden, I was thinking about the weeds and how fast they had seemed to grow. Those nasty weeds, they come out of nowhere, and before you know it, they are taking over your garden, crowding out the plants that were trying to grow. You should have seen my poor pepper plants. No wonder they haven't produced much--their leaves were shriveling because they hadn't been able to see the light because the weeds were taller than they were.

Immediately my thoughts turned to the sin in our lives. Isn't it just the same? Sin creeps in, slowly sometimes, and if we ignore it, before we know it, things are out of control! The unconfessed sin grows until it is crowding out the fruit-bearing plants in our life, blocking the sun (or SON). Yikes! How did the garden of my life come to look like THIS?

We know it needs to be cleaned up. But the task is dirty and seems like so much work! It seems insurmountable. Thankfully, we don't have to do it alone. Jesus wants to help us clean it up. Unlike myself, He IS a gardener. He knows what needs to be done. He wants us to be fruitful.

Life is so much like a garden. If I hadn't neglected it, but instead had gone out there on a regular basis to pull up the weeds while they were tiny, the job wouldn't have been so big or difficult. The fruit-bearing plants wouldn't have been affected at all. In fact, they would have flourished because the weeds wouldn't have been stealing their light and nourishment. The same thing applies to my spiritual life. I can slowly become farther away from the Lord because of untended, unconfessed sin, and it can affect my fruitfulness. It can steal my joy. But I don't want that to be the case!

I have a bad memory. This can be a blessing (I don't tend to keep a record of wrongs), but it can also mean that I can forget to tend the garden of my soul. I mean the DEEP roots. I have to take the time to sit and really think and ask the Lord to reveal to me areas that need weeding, the sins that need to be confessed so they can be forgiven. I have to sit and listen, and then respond. If I do this frequently, then my fruit should still grow. All I have to do is invite the gardener.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Jesus Messiah Song-FREE!

Have you heard the song "Jesus Messiah" by Chris Tomlin? It's a great worship song, and guess what? You can download it for FREE! Walmart offers a free download each week, and this week it is this GREAT song by Chris Tomlin!

Here is a You Tube video so you can hear the song, if you aren't familiar with it.

I downloaded mine already and can't wait to give it to Ted so he can put it on his MP3 player. Thanks for the great freebie, Walmart!

UPDATE 9/10: It looks like they are offering a different song now....maybe this one ended yesterday? Sorry guys!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Where Have Your Travels Taken You?

Christy at Shake the Salt asked a random question today, "Where is the farthest you've traveled?" I thought this was a fun question and a way to learn something about each other that doesn't usually come up in conversation, so I decided to share my adventure!

The furthest I've traveled was to Israel and Jordan before I got married. I actually celebrated my birthday in Israel AND Jordan that year! I had already graduated college, but heard about a class that was traveling with a local Bible college and decided to go for it! I am SO glad I did. The class was over 3 weeks long and we traveled everywhere in Israel, north to south, east to west and even into Jordan for a few days. We visited archaeological sites and explored the land where God's people, the Israelites, and Jesus and his followers walked! It was an incredible experience that I would recommend to anyone who has a chance to go! Here is a picture of me floating in the Dead Sea (yes, you really do just walk in and start floating!) and riding on the back of a camel (The camel behind me was very crabby and I thought he was going to bite my behind!)

I kept a daily journal of where we went and what we saw, and when I got home I started a scrapbook of my journey using my journal, my notes and pictures from the 15-some-odd rolls of film I used (before digital!).

Sadly, I'm not finished with the scrapbook, and probably never will be! Here are a few pictures of pages I did finish. Click on them to enlarge.

How about you? Where is the farthest you have traveled? Click to leave a comment below, or if you have a blog and would like to blog about it, leave a link in the comments so we can visit and see where you've been!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

FREE Cold Stone!

World's Largest
Ice Cream Social

Celebrate the 7th Annual World's Largest Ice Cream Social and Support the Make-A-Wish Foundation® with Cold Stone Creamery

Don't miss the 7th Annual World’s Largest Ice Cream Social at participating Cold Stone Creamery locations nationwide, a special night to join together and share the simple pleasures of life with a FREE ice cream and family fun. On September 25th from 5:00 - 8:00PM, guests will be treated to a 3 oz. serving of Jack or Emily's Creation. All donations will benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Be sure to visit your local Cold Stone Creamery to try two new flavors, Nutter Butter® and Marshmallow, and the very special “Make-A-Wish Creations” inspired by Jack and Emily, two Wish Children.

  • Jack's Creation - Marshmallow ice cream with OREO® Cookies, Chocolate Chips and Fudge
  • Emily's Creation - Nutter Butter® ice cream with White Chocolate Chips, Kit Kat® and Yellow Cake
Emily's Creation looks delicious to me!! Enjoy!

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