And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of thy children. Isaiah 54:13 KJV

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Kudos to Scrubbing Bubbles

I want to give a special thank you to SC Johnson, especially the Scrubbing Bubbles division. I told you here about purchasing a Automatic Shower Cleaner. Well the first one I brought home was broken. When I opened the package the top of the plastic was all cracked and falling apart. That made it unusable because it couldn't be hung up. I took that one back to Walgreens and exchanged it for another one (the last one on the shelf).

When I brought it home, it looked great! I was so excited to use it! I read the instructions, put it all together, and then tried it out. Well the little piece at the bottom was spinning but no cleaner came out. I read the troubleshooting guide that said sometimes you have to turn it on up to 5 times to get it primed and for the cleaner to dispense. So I tried again and again and again. Still no cleaner. I took it all back apart and put it all back together (in case I made a mistake), still didn't work. I took the cleaner out again and tried turning it on, looking at all the pieces, etc. It just wouldn't work. That was all over several days.

I knew the place I bought it had run out when I got it, but the next time I went I checked the shelf to see if they had anymore. Well the product had changed! Now its an updated version (guess that's why it was on sale before!). The new version was costlier and had 2 buttons instead of 1. Well I knew I wasn't going to be able to flat exchange the old one for the new one without a price difference.

I went online for customer service but it said you had to call their 800 number. It took me a week but I finally found a few minutes. The customer service rep was SO FRIENDLY!!! She was polite, apologetic, and HELPFUL! I had thrown out the box, no problem she said! She repeatedly told me she was sorry for my trouble. Here it is 3 days later and guess what came in the mail...... A coupon for the NEW VERSION for FREE!!! She had told me she would send me a coupon but I wasn't sure what to expect. The envelope also contained a nifty little coupon booklet with more than $19 worth of other coupons! I am so pleased! I can't wait to go get my brand new Scrubbing Bubbles automatic shower cleaner! :) And I have the solutions still from the first purchase!

Thank you SC Johnson! Thank you for providing real customer service and for striving to make me, the consumer, happy! I applaud you and your employees! I will be buying your products in the future because I now know that quality matters to you!

This is my opinion. I was not compensated in anyway for this post. The company did not ask me to blog, nor do are they even aware of my blog, to my knowledge.


Psalm 1:1-3

1 Blessed is the one
who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
or sit in the company of mockers,
2 but whose delight is in the law of the LORD,
and who meditates on his law day and night.
3 That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—
whatever they do prospers.

I have learned that if I hear a word or phrase repeated over and over in a short length of time, usually the Lord is trying to point something out to me. This has become more and more frequent over the last few years. God talks to us in all sorts of ways. I would prefer He write on the wall so to speak so I never misunderstand but that usually isn't His style.

The word lately has been seasons. It has come up 3 times in just 2 days. More than that probably. The thing about this life is that it does come in seasons. We naturally have seasons of infancy, childhood, adolescence, adulthood, parenting, grandparenting, elderly age, etc. We have seasons of school, college, work, retirement, etc. Within those seasons are "sub-seasons" of elementary, middles, high school, college, graduate work. You get the idea.

Do you ever forget that things come in seasons? I do, all the time. In the midst of the winter, I begin to feel like it will never be warm again. Or in the midst of a season with one of my kids, I feel like the stage will never pass. But those seasons change. The thing is that there is always another season around the corner.

I tend to dislike change and resist it. However I have to keep in mind that most of the seasons we have had, have changed us for the better. The world lives by the idea "Don't wish for change because it could always be worse." As Christians, I think we need to realize many of God's blessings come from change. If you don't "lose" that job, you might miss the blessing of a better job. If you aren't forced to move, you wouldn't have that bigger home.

I feel a new season approaching for our family. I'm not sure what it involves yet, but I feel like God is preparing me (He knows me!). I am apprehensive about change but excited about a new season. I know God has a blessing in store for us.

He has provided a new season for our sweet friends the Simpsons. They are raising funds for a missions season in Uganda. To support them or learn more about their season, see their blog A Dime in the Sun.

I look forward to this season and to the season of Spring! A time of renewal is just what we need. Refreshment so our  "leaf does not wither— whatever they (we) do prospers."

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

I love my family......

As a mom serving the Lord, I think that keeping my family happy is one of my primary duties. I aspire to be that woman in Proverbs 31. I don't think I will ever live up to her, but I love to have a goal and she makes a perfect one! So how do I keep my family happy?

I keep my hubby happy by keeping our home tidy, our cabinents stocked, food prepared, and our children well cared for. He spends his days working to provide for us, so the thing that makes him happiest is seeing that I take responsibility for our home. It would be disrespectful of me to allow our home to fall into a state of disrepair and dirtiness. It wouldn't be wise for me to allow our children to run amok all day.

I keep Speedy and Apple happy by providing structure and rules for them. They find comfort in a loose but consistent schedule. They excel when they know the rules and expectations we have for them. We provide them a set of morals and values to follow. True happiness in childhood comes from security. By homeschooling them, they have the security of learning in an environment that they are comfortable in. The learn at their own pace and I am able to tailor our lessons to their learning style.

Of course learning isn't the only thing that keeps them happy! I provide my kids my ears to listen to them and eyes to watch their accomplishments. I value their individual personalities and their strengths and weaknesses. I love all the little things that are different about them and all the little things that are alike. I enjoy knowing their favorite friends, stories, books, and movies. I love knowing how their days went, what games they enjoy playing, and which foods are their favorites.

My plan for keeping my family happy is to remember what makes me happy. I love it when someone is really interested in me and my husband and kids feel the same way. If you are looking to make your family happy and show them your love, try these tips to make them feel special:

*Make their favorite meal
*Buy something they have had their eye on (just because)
*Take an interest in them by asking about their favorites
*Spend time doing an activity you know they enjoy
*Set aside a special time for a chat with them over cookies
*Take pictures together

Do you have any tips for keeping your family happy?

About Farm Rich:

Farm Rich® products have been setting the standard for delicious, easy-to-prepare food the whole family loves. Farm Rich® foods taste like nothing else because they're made like nothing else – with 100% real ingredients like real cheese, high-quality meats, and fresh vegetables. Our snacks, appetizers, and breakfast foods are quick-frozen and carefully packaged so busy families can prepare great-tasting food within minutes. Farm Rich® is a Rich's Consumer Brand, which brings to market some of the food industry's leading retail brands including SeaPak® Shrimp Co., Casa Di Bertacchi®, and more. From early-morning breakfasts to midnight snacks, we're proud to say Farm Rich® products have become synonymous with high quality and great taste.

More info:

“I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Farm Rich blogging program, for a gift card worth $25. For more information on how you can participate, click here.”

Monday, March 28, 2011

My favorite thing about Easter is.........

Easter 2010

Our Easter weekends are full of church and family. We foremost give Jesus praise for dying for our sins and we celebrate that He was RISEN from the dead on the third day. Easter is a reminder of the renewal that Christ gave us with His very life. We spend time reminding our children that He is what it is all about. That without Him we would be as dead as the leaves in the winter but because of Him we are granted new life just like the tulips every spring. Easter Sunday is a day for new dresses, new shoes, and another chance to take a new look at our lives and see where He would ask us to change.

We also enjoy and celebrate family for Easter. My favorite thing about Easter is the large family meal with ham, potatos, deviled eggs, rolls, and fresh, cool salads and desserts. As with every holiday, my mom and I both usually try to bring at least one new dish to the table. I love our traditional food items, but I also like to try new recipes. This meal is always followed by a fun Easter egg hunt. Traditionally the men of the family hide all the eggs (and sneak candy while doing it) and then the kids all race out to the yard with their baskets to hunt them! The most exciting part of the egg hunt is the search for the "golden egg." The golden egg is always full of money and so is the most sought after egg of all. Part of the tradition is that it's hidden in some spot that's nearly impossible to find! The kids usually need hints before one is able to retrieve it! Afterwards the children count all their eggs and dump out all their candy and trinkets. While they enjoy the "spoils" of the hunt, the adults usually play Spoons.

If you ask my children their favorite things about Easter they would say Easter egg hunts and "It's the Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown!" I remember loving those things too as a child. It takes some time but eventually they will also find the "golden egg" is really the time spent together and the love that Jesus showed us with His death and resurrection.

I cannot imagine a better way to spend this holiday. Sun, laughter, food, and fellowship all make for sweet memories year after year. They are treasured in our hearts. So many that have joined us in the past have gone on to Heaven to praise Jesus for eternity! It reminds us to cherish these times when we can put aside the world and focus on those things that are really important!

Luke 24:6a  "He is not here; he has risen!"

Tell me, what is your favorite thing about Easter?

About Hop:

Blending state of the art animation with live action, Hop is a comedy about E.B. (voiced by Russell Brand), the teenage son of the Easter Bunny. On the eve of taking over the family business, E.B. leaves for Hollywood in pursuit of his dream of becoming a drummer. Once there, he encounters Fred (James Marsden of the X-Men series, Enchanted), recently fired and determined to pull his life together. Feigning injury, E.B. persuades Fred to take him in, and Fred finds himself living with the world’s worst houseguest. Back on Easter Island, the Easter Bunny’s second in command, an oversized chick named Carlos, seizes E.B.’s disappearance as an opportunity to plot a coup. Ultimately, Fred and E.B. are Easter’s only hope and they find themselves returning to Easter Island, locked in an epic battle to save the beloved holiday. The film is helmed by Tim Hill, director of the blockbuster Alvin and the Chipmunks and produced by Chris Meledandri’s Illumination Entertainment (Despicable Me).

More info:

“I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Hop blogging program, for a gift card worth $25. For more information on how you can participate, click here.”

Walmart Deals


Shout Travel Wipes .97- $1 ICPN= .03 OVERAGE X 2

Millstone Individual pkg coffee $1.64- $2 SCPN= .36 OVERAGE

Philly Cooking Creme $2.48- $2.48 CPN from Kraft First Taste= FREE

Johnson & Johnson Travel 1st aid kits 2 @ .97= $1.94 - $1.50/2 SCPN= 2 for .44

Nestle Chocolate Milk 3 @ $1.18= $3.54- $1.50/3 ICPN= 3 for $2.04

Yoplait Original Yogurt 3 @ .58= $1.74- .58 by mail CPN= 3 for $1.16

Just a quick trip to use up some coupons I had! The travel section in HBA has become one of my favorite places. As long as the coupon doesn't specify size or say "Not for trial size" it will work for the travel sized items! Remember Walmart's new coupon policy allows for overage so keep your eyes open!

Review: The Miracle of Mercy Land by River Jordan

To purchase or get a sneak peek

The Miracle of Mercy Land captures you with its beautiful cover. It makes you just want to jump right into the book! This was my first read by River Jordan, and I was not disappointed. The fiction begins with Mercy Land, a young lady born in an intriguing way that is living out an intriguing tale. Mercy is a "Bittersweet girl" through and through. She began her life in little Bittersweet Creek and has moved on to the "big" city of Bay City.

River has created a small list of big characters for Bay City. The book introduces us to them and gives us a slice of each of their stories and identities. The focus of the book is on Mercy, her boss the newspaper editor Doc, and mystery man John Quincy. Supporting roles go to Mercy's Aunt Ida, Miss Perry that runs the boardinghouse, and Opal, Doc's wife that passed away. Each of these characters bring an authenticity to the story.

Doc has been bestowed a mystery gift. He & Mercy must figure out what the gift is, what it means, and what they are suppose to do with it. When any of us receive a gift we are faced with human emotions of greed and jealousy. Mercy & Doc also face these emotions. They have to overcome them to complete the task they've been assigned. Only they still aren't sure what the task is...........

With enough mystery to keep you turning the pages, The Miracle of Mercy Land is a quick, quirky fiction read. Often while reading I thought of the verse Ephesians 6:12

"For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms."
To rate my review go to
I received this book for the purpose of review from Waterbrook Multnomah. The opinions are entirely my own.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

I'm honored!

I'm so honored that Tots and Me choose me for the Stylish Blogger Award! Thank you again!

The "rules" for the award are to:

1. Thank and link back to the person that has given you this award.

2. Share 7 things about yourself

3. Award 10-15 blogs you feel deserve the award

4. Contact these bloggers and let them know about the award.

7 Things About Me:

1. I LOVE LOVE LOVE to laugh (and I'm LOUD about it!)

2. I love kids, I think they are all SO unique, and God has blessed me with a gift with children. I use that gift in our church nursery all the time.

3. Before Fall 2009, I made negative comments about homeschooling all the time. I never dreamed I would homeschool my kids. God sure does have a sense of humor!

4. Purple is my absolute favorite color! All shades of purple. My daughter loves pink but I am always sneaking some purple into her wardrobe!

5. I'm terrified of tornados. Two separate households in my family have been affected by them and they scare me A LOT! We live in a VERY active tornado area so....... yea we spend lots of time in our hallway!

6. I think cooking for people is like giving them a personal gift. I love to cook and I love to share my cooking even more!

7. My favorite show these days is Castle on ABC. I almost never get into a show when it first begins. I have only been watching Castle a few months but I am hooked!

Okay now to choose who to give the award to........
1. I never thought I'd say...... (She needs more FOLLOWERS!)
2. Denise Slater
3. Booktalk & More
4. kelbysews
5. lovinlivinvegan
6. A Dime in the Sun
7. Always an Adventure
8. Books Bucks & Beyond
9. Feeding Four
10. Money Saving Mode

Now that is one eclectic list of blogs! Missionaries, Vegan, Book reviews, deals, budgeting, adventures with multiples, quilts, and more!!!! Go check out all 10 of them, you won't be disappointed!

Walgreens Deals

Walgreens Deals for 3/27-4/2

RR= Register Rewards- Catalina Coupons printed at the end of your transaction valid for your next purchase
SCPN= Sunday Paper Coupon
ICPN= Internet printed coupon

Skintimate Shave Cream 2/$4- $2 RR- .55 SCPN- .55 SCPN= .90/2

Gain Dishwashing Liquid .89 (with in ad coupon)- $1 CPN (from P&G book)= FREE (if you run your manufact. cpns BEFORE the store cpn it will take off the whole amount and not beep!)

Halls Cough Drops $1.39 (with in ad cpn)- .50 CPN (All*You April issue)= .89 (X3)

Thermacare Heat Wraps $6.49- $2 SALE- $3 CPN (Catalina cpn from previous visit)= $1.49

Optifree 2 bottle $16.99- $2 SALE- $5 RR- $4 SCPN= $5.99

Post Fruity Pebbles $1.99 X 3= $5.97- $2 CPN (Catalin cpn from previous visit)= 3/ $3.97

Kleenex $1.09 (with in ad cpn)X 2 = $2.18- .50 CPN (All*You April Issue)= $1.68/2

Lady Speed Stick $1.99- $1 RR- .50 SCPN= .49

Select Travel Size Items Buy $10 GET $3 RR

Travel Size Secret Clinical Strength $2.99 each - $2 SCPN (Feb P&G insert) = .99 X 3

Travel Size Secret Original .99- $1 CPN (P & G Booklet)= FREE X 2

After $3 RR, like getting all 5 FREE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Clean & Clear Body Wash $4.49 with Buy 1 Get 1 Free SCPN= 2/ $4.49

Spring Pencils 3/$1 with in ad cpn

Before Coupons the total was over $81. My receipt shows savings of: (I had a $2 RR from prev trip)


YOUR TOTAL SAVINGS $62.17!!!!!!!!!

PLUS $15 WORTH OF REGISTER REWARDS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Not bad! :)

Deals I didn't get (my store was out of several items):

Charmin Basic Toliet Paper $2.99- .25 SCPN= $2.74 for 6 double rolls

Nature Made Fish Oil B1G1 Free- $4 CPN- $3 CPN = Varies (Prices for fish oil vary, the cheapest at the store I hit today was $10.99 but I hear there is one for $8 so with coupons I could possibly get 2 for around $1)

Rimmel products 50% off - $1 SCPN= Varies (my store didn't have a good selection at all, should be able to get some products for $1-$2)

Walgreens Honey $3.99 with in ad coupon

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Mail Call!

Another good mail week! I received
* a Waterpik Neti Pot (From a FB sample giveaway)
*Nescafe Taster's Choice Samples w/ coupon
*Kraft First Taste Coupon for FREE Philly Cooking Creme & a $1.50 coupon
*My first issue of Watch! magazine (offered for FREE by CBS a while back)

I've gotten to where I sign up for so many FREE offers, I can't keep up with them all! I am patiently (not really!) waiting for the FREE Beauty Sample Bag from Target (I've seen many online friends say they received theirs) and I recently ordered a coupon for a FREE Jello Temptation from Kraft First Taste. I also signed up for Vocalpoint last week and I should soon receive a coupon for FREE International Delights Creamer and a SECRET Kellogg's sample.

Did anything good come to your mailbox this week?

*All You*

I want to encourage all you couponers to pick up the April issue of All You. All You can only be purchased at WalMart. Every month the magazine is chock full of coupons, recipes, etc. Each issue has an amount on the front for the value of the coupons inside. April's issue says "Inside $75.15 Worth of Coupons." As I was clipping all the coupons I was thinking that number seemed low, so I counted them. I came up with OVER $96 worth of coupons!!! The cover price is $2.49 and that's what I paid for this issue. I do have a subscription coming from Amazon though. I believe it is set to begin for May. A subscription on right now is $19.95 for 12 issues making them $1.66 per issue. That's also the price at You can print coupons directly from the website but in my opinion you would save money by purchasing the issue because you would save so much ink & paper. I am seriously considering picking up another one of these issues because there are so many good coupons this month. Things like:

  • Peter Pan Peanut butter
  • Neutrogena cosmetics
  • Hunt's Tomato Sauce
  • Banquet Chicken Nuggets
  • Mars Easter Candy
There are coupons as high as $5 value and the lowest is .35 and there is only 1 of those. Speaking of $5 value,  1 of those coupons I will not use. It is for $5 off a Hamilton Beach Stay or Go Personal Cup pod coffeemaker. I became the proud owner of a Keurig this week (THANKS HUBBY!!!) so if any of my readers would like that coupon, comment with your email address and I will mail it to you! Also I havge one for $2 off 1 ProPet Healthcare item. I will be glad to mail that to a reader also!! Just comment with your email addy so I can contact you for a mailing address!!

Happy Saturday everyone!

I was NOT compensated in any way for this blog post!!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Review: The Band That Played On by Steve Turner

The Band That Played On by Steve Turner is the first in depth look at the 8 musicians on board the ill fated Titanic. The story is intriguing because it gives more information about the Titanic and as much as is known about these 8 men on board. They were hired as musicians for the journey. The 8 men made up two separate groups that played aboard ship. The night of the tragic iceberg collision, these men choose to play music rather than secure seats on lifeboats that would have saved their lives.

Steve Turner does a great job of introducing us to these men and their families. He has done his research and brings the reader all that seems to be known about them. Unfortunately a lot of research was not done on the musicians when there would have been acquaintances and family members still alive that could have filled in the blanks. The musicians were not widely studied before this book so there is not a vast amount of knowledge about them. However Mr. Turner brings us what is available.

The remainder of the book is filled with data about the time, other passengers, ship details, pictures, and written accounts around the time of the accident. It is a terrific read for anyone interested in the Titanic or interested in history in general. I will admit that most of what I knew before this book came from the James Cameron movie Titanic and from general information I learned in school. I like histor,y and I enjoyed the tidbits of knowledge and the photos that were throughout the book. It was refreshing to get more information on a subject that I did not know a lot about. I think this book would also appeal to musicians as much information is included about the musician's union at the time.

It is not a quick read but an intriguing one. I think that this book is a fitting tribute to those 8 men that choose to play and calm the fears of all of those around them. I believe that their relatives would have been pleased with the job Mr. Turner did in presenting details of their lives and deaths.

I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Why do we do it?

I had a friend on Facebook post the link to this article the other day Dr. Watson's comment was "One doesn't have to be a Bible thumper to perceive that something is terribly off . . ." I have to agree with him and the article.

Why do we allow culture to force or encourage us to allow our daughters to wear those "clothes." I use the term loosely because most of the time it's less than clothes. I have an aunt that use to call them "naked clothes." Seems appropriate. My response to my friend was that because I am not a seamstress, I am at the mercy of the marketplace, the stores that are at the mercy of the designers who are supposedly following the fashion or styles.

We are very strict with Apple's clothing. She doesn't fight us because she knows where we stand on modesty (of course she's only 6). She's more likely to want to wear clothes that don't exactly match than clothes that don't cover her body. Our challenges come in the lack of clothing that is appropriate for her. She is very tall for her age and therefore wears clothes in the older girls department. Apple LOVES dresses and skirts, she wants to wear them everyday. While I don't wear lots of dresses, I let her. I think it's great that she embraces her feminity. Unfortunately it's all but impossible to find dresses and skirts that match 3 criteria: 1. They have to be long enough, 2. They have to be everyday wear (can't wear a holiday dress to play in the backyard, 3. They can't be too "mature" and they can't have "stars" or sayings we disagree with on them. She also doesn't really wear anything with characters on it. It's nearly impossible to find these types of clothing. She also really likes long skirts, especially in the winter. Very difficult to find. I could make these, but it's typically more costly and time consuming.

Most of us by nature and modest people. We don't arrive in this world wanting to bare it all. As a female, I can say that in my teenage years, my choices in clothing were all based on my friends, who based it on their friends, it's just a vicious cycle of children or teens that need our guidance. Unfortunately so many adults choose not to give that guidance. They want to be "cool" and let their kids wear what all their friends are wearing. They don't want to fight over clothes or they cop out and say well they will sneak out and put on what they want when they aren't in the house. Yea..... where are those kids getting those clothes? It's possible they may borrow clothes from friends, but that's a lot of trouble. More than most kids will go through.

I saw a young girl tonight with "Daisy Dukes" on. I know her parents. I know they are Christians. I know they aren't willfully promoting premarital relations. However, if you let a young girl wear almost nothing in a public place, she eventually becomes comfortable with displaying her body. It's not much of a jump to go from showing almost everything to showing everything. Also, what message does that send a boyfriend? Most girls are uncomfortable in revealing clothing (at least when they begin wearing it) and uncomfortable with the serious physical demands most young relationships take now.

As a parent, it's our job to convey to our children the importance of modesty. The importance of respecting their own bodies and demanding others do the same. It's important to teach our daughters that their beauty is on the inside and that it is more responsible to wear clothing that covers than following the latest trend. Also, it seems this should go without saying, but it is essential that we model modesty for our children. We shouldn't wear shorty shorts and revealing tank tops with no undergarments. We shouldn't wear revealing dresses or skirts that don't cover our bodies.

The Bible is clear about this issue, but I agree with my friend, you need not be a Christian to see that something is wrong with sending our girls out without covering their bodies.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Ws (Walgreens & WalMart)


Plackers 20 ct Flossers $2- $2 Register Reward= like FREE

Pistachios $3.99- $1 SCPN= $2.99

M & M Easter Candy 2/ $5- $1 In store CPN- $1 SCPN= 2/ $3

Airwick Freshmatic Buy 1 Get 1 Free 2/ $7.99- $4 SCPN- $4 SCPN= 2 FREE

Reach Crystal Clear Toothbrush .99 w. in ad cpn - $1 SCPN= FREE

I also had $9 worth of Register Rewards from last week. I bought 3 Cadbury Eggs at .50 each w/ in ad cpn as fillers.Made my totals:

Out Of Pocket today $6.74


WAG Advertised SAVINGS $12.97


And received $2 Register Rewards for later use.

On to Walmart:

Frosted Flakes Family Size 2 @ $3.50 each= $7- $1/2 SCPN= 2/ $6

I have a rebate form to receive a $10 WalMart gift card for this purchase. Find the form at

French's Brown Spicy Mustard $1.32- .50 SCPN= .82

Yakisoba Pasta .64-.50 SCPN= .14 (bought 2)

Playtex Cleaning Cloths Travel Size $1.97- $1 SCPN= .97 (bought 2)

Purex 3 in 1 Travel Size 2 pk .97- $1 SCPN= .03 OVERAGE (bought 2)

Scrubbing Bubbles Coupon for Buy 1 Toliet Cleaning Gel, Receive 1 Fresh Brush Toliet Cleaner FREE up to $6

Toliet Cleaning Gel $3.94 + Fresh Brush $6.43- $6 SCPN= $4.37 for both!

Remember WalMart allows OVERAGE now. If you still have the previous Purex $3 off one 3 in 1 then you get an even better deal!!!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

An Apology Letter

To the couple in front of us,

To the poor man and woman that sat in front of us at the basketball tournament, please accept my sincerest apology. You see stadium or arena seating isn't really made for children. There isn't enough room and those tiny seats aren't really comfortable. You probably saw my children tripping and stumbling up and down the steep stairs. They don't walk well on flat ground, how are ungraceful kids suppose to manage those mountainous stairs? It makes me as an adult dizzy to sit up so high, so how are small children suppose to maintain?

We are so sorry for all the kicks to the head. It's hard to sit still.

.....for all the bumps with the heavy backpack full of coloring books, they needed something to keep them occupied.

...... for all the moving around when their friends came to sit with them.

.......and again 5 minutes later when their friends were ready to leave.

........for all the "I NEED TO PEE and I NEED TO POOP!s" you had to hear. They really don't have bladder issues or diarrhea. They were just bored.

......for all the I'M HUNGRY!!!!!s. We fed them dinner before they came, ice cream when they got there, and juice and snacks from the bag. They even snarfed down some of my bbq nachos and turtle brownie. Sometimes they are insatiable.

......for all the yells of "HEY GIRLFRIEND!!!!!!!" You see my 3 yr old son has a "girlfriend" on the cheerleading squad and he wanted to be sure everyone knew the hot college chick was with him.

......for all the whining. I mean they got bored after the first hour.

......for us going up and down the stairs over and over. They did really have to potty at least once each.

.......for the earthquake at halftime. You see they were excited that their friends on the gymnastics show team were doing the half time show.

...........Most of all.......... I am SO SO sorry for the melted ice cream I spilled down your back. You see when there was only a minute left in the game and we told them it was time to go.... they got all excited and I didn't want them to tumble down the mountain and I lost track of what I was doing and I had no idea the ice cream was even dripping until it was all over you. I was just trying to be responsible and take our heap of trash to the garbage can. Thank you for the strained acceptance of the situation. I really never do things like that. I felt so bad, especially when my husband was wiping your back with an obviously used napkin. It was all he had. Again so sorry...............

But on the positive side, at least the team we were all cheering for won!!!!! Go Lady Bulldogs!

Spring Cleaning

We are so ready for Spring to begin tomorrow! We have already had several beautiful, sunny 70 degree days in our neighborhood! Lawn mowers, tillers, birds, charcoal in the grill, flowers, fresh fruit and veggies..... those are my favorite springtime samplings!

I am recovering from the flu (YUCK!) and so I had to put my spring cleaning to the side for a few days. I started anew today though to get rid of the germies! I thought I would keep a little log over the next couple of weeks of the areas I am tackling. Our house isn't huge, but it isn't tiny either. It is absolutely amazing how quickly things (and dust!) accumulate. While I consider myself a fairly clean person (read OCD) things like dust and clutter still build up.

Here is what I have been working on the last week or so:

*Gathering items for the biyearly consignment sale we participate in. This is one of those worse before it gets better projects. Right now my dining room is filled with outgrown clothes and unused toys but in a week and a hlaf they will leave my house, hopefully to never return! Consignment sales are a great way to declutter, give a donation, and make some sweet cash! The sale we participate in gives a private school 40% of the earnings, we get 60%, and they do most of the work! We also buy many new or almost new items there, keeping our wardrobe budget very low! I encourage you to seek out consignment sales in your area, they are often hosted by schools, churches, and community organizations.

*As part of the consignment sale process, going through clothes, drawers, & closets. Also the shoe bins. Spring and Fall are the best times to weed out clothing and shoe items that no longer fit. This isn't just for the kids either! Now is a great time for you and the hubby to check for items you no longer wear or that don't fit or are stained or unrepairable. We always have 4 piles- trash, Goodwill, keep, & consignment sale. Then take time to really organize the clothes as you put them back up. Hang up any items that need to be in the closet and carefully fold drawer items. Also take this time to store clothes that are now out of season (ie big sweaters, thermal underwear, and flannel pajamas). We store ours in Ziploc big bags and/ or plastic storage containers. Then they all go into one storage closet so they are easily accessed if we need them. Now is also a good time to sort through purses! They accumulate quickly!

*I organized my bathroom stockpile. We are blessed with a bathroom closet, 3 large bathroom cabinents and 5 bathroom drawers. They are a blessing, but can also easily become overrun and unorganized. I took everything out of all of them. Throw away trash, store like items together, and make sure to keep the most used items closest to hand. This helps everything to stay organized.

*I cleaned up my "office." I use that term loosely because since I got my laptop I don't use my office much. It basically was a junk dump. Almost couldn't get it the room because we got lazy and we were putting everything in there! I took a whole afternoon when the hubby was off work and did nothing but clean it up. Basically just had to file some papers and put things in the right spot. Now it isn't such an eyesore and I don't have to climb over things to get my coupons off the printer!

*My washing machine had a bit of a funky smell I had noticed a time or two. I got to looking at it today and the fabric softner dispenser (mines a top load) was gooked up with stuff. Now I don't use this little device but since it is open at the top things like detergent, lint, etc had formed in it. It pops right off so I took it and gave it a good hot water rinse in the sink. There was also a plastic filter thingy underneath that popped out so I cleaned it too. No more funky smell!

More to follow as I get things done! Happy Spring Cleaning!

Krogers Coupon Policy in my area.....

I sent Kroger a friendly email last week. It was to suggest that it is very hard for customers to understnad their coupon policy if one is not written. This was their response:

Our coupon policy varies by division. The policy for stores in your area is as follows. Please note that this policy is our most current; however it is subject to change without notice.

The store manager has the right to accept, decline or limit the quantity of coupons or items used or purchased in a single transaction, by a single customer, or in a single day.

Double Coupons:

o Manufacturer coupons of $0.60 or less will be doubled.

o Manufacturer coupons over $0.61 will be redeemed at face value.

o Up to eight (8) coupons will be doubled per identical or "like" item per shopping visit.

Ø Any additional manufacturer coupons for that "like" item will be redeemed at face value.

o This does not apply to "free", Kroger, Catalina, Retail Food Store coupons, electronic coupons on the Kroger Plus card or items prohibited by law.

Pharmacy Coupons:

o Competitor pharmacy coupons are accepted.

o LCM or competitor coupons may not be used in conjunction with our $4 Generic Program.

General Coupon Policy:

o Limit one (1) manufacturer coupon per item purchased.

o Limit one (1) store coupon per item purchased.

o One (1) manufacturer and one (1) store coupon can be used on the same item.

o Coupons cannot be used on "free" items.

o Expired coupons are not accepted.

o Amount refunded cannot exceed the cost of the item.

Internet Coupons:

o Will accept all manufacturers' internet coupons up to $1.00

o All manufacturers' internet coupons up to 60 cents will be doubled

o Only on coupon can be redeemed on Identical or "like" items

* "Free" manufacturer's internet coupons are not accepted.

* Digital coupons can not be stacked with any other coupon, and will always be used first if loaded to the card.
I'm glad to have it in writing although "it can change at any time without notice." I think my frustration in couponing has been that some stores seem to think coupons are costing them something. Well they're not. Manufactor's coupons are repaid to the store. From working at 2 large chain retail stores I can tell you that the manufactor does not ask for receipts, transactions, or proof. Coupons are all stuffed into an envelope and sent to a processing center. Then the store is reimbursed based on the value of the coupons. So the stores should be doing everything in their power to entice you to come to their store and use coupons.
Hope this helps all you Kroger customers out there!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Midweek Belly Laugh

The kids and I were having an early supper today. The hubby was working late, and we were finishing things up so we could head to church. Speedy got up to go to the restroom. I saw him stop in the hall but didn't think much about it until he began SCREAMING. Not like a little yell but one of those truly TERRIFIED horror moving screams. When I looked at him I saw something run across the floor. All I could think was "What in the world?!?!?!?" I was saying "What is it? Are you hurt? What's wrong?" but he couldn't even answer me. It only took a moment for me to realize what had happened, but he was really frightened. He was trembling and couldn't stop crying and screaming. There was a lizard in the floor. It had ran under a toy gun on the floor. Apple was jumping around behind me trying to get in on the action. I was glad she was there because she had to help me catch the thing. I think the funniest thing about her was she kept saying "Aw it's harmless. It's no big deal. It's harmless." I finally turned around and told her to pick it up if it was so harmless. HA! She was backing away then!

Anyway I managed to scoop it up in a box while she picked up the gun and Speedy screamed and trembled. I then shook him back out into the fish tank. You see he was not a lizard but a salamander that Hubby put in our fish tank a few weeks ago. He has been living pretty contentedly with the fish and crawfish (also put in by Hubby) all this time. However this morning Speedy kept telling me the salamander was stuck in the tank but everytime I looked in, he was swimming around. Evidently he went up through the filter pipe and escaped. As my friend Sherri pointed out, perhaps he watched "Finding Nemo" to get escape (read E-Scap-A) plans!

Anyway as he was reattempting his escape earlier, he has been put back into the little creek from which he originally came. No longer in the house!

Later after Speedy finally began breathing normally again, I asked him what happened. He said "I fought (thought) it was dat (that) purple toy lizard we keep upstairs. I was gonna pick him up and stretch his tail like we do. When I went to touch him, he moved. Deen (Then) I screamed cause it scared me!"


Walgreens Deals (more) & a special $10 coupon.....

So I will start with the $10 off coupon. I have heard that this mall store has some lawsuits going on involving websites so I won't use their name. I will just call it the "J" store. The "J" store often sends out $10 off a $10 purchase coupons. I ALWAYS run to use these! No other restrictions on them so this is just a free $10! I have heard of ladies saving them for bras, kids pjs, etc. I always wind up using mine for gifts. Somebody is always having a birthday or its Mothers Day or something. So my kiddies have a birthday party to attend Saturday. We ran to the "J" store this afternoon. Only took us about 10 minutes! I was able to find 2 terrific shirts for the little boy. One was sale price $6.99 and the other was on the clearance rack for $3.37. My total out the door? 40 cents!!!!! 40 cents!!!!! Wow. For 2 really nice shirts that will be a terrific gift. All smiles!!! (Check your mail, you probably have one of these- now go use it!)

Okay so on to Walgreens. I was a little disappointed because the store I stopped at didn't have 3 of the items I was looking for. Those were:

Purex Liquid Detergent 32 load $2.99- $1 SCPN= $1.99

Renuzit Cones .79 w/ in ad cpn plus buy 3 Get 3 free SCPN would have been $2.37 for 6

Dial Soap .99 w/ in ad cpn-.35 SCPN= .64

But they didn't have any of those. These were the things I was able to get:

Renuzit Crystals $3.99- $3 SCPN=.99 (got 2)

Ajax Dish Liquid .89 w/ in ad cpn- .50 SCPN= .39

Butterfinger Eggs .29 (got 3 as "fillers")

Total $4.19 used $3 in Register Rewards= Out Of Pocket 1.19

Total Savings:

 WAG Coupon Savings .30


Again, all smiles!!

I went Krogering........

And here's what happened. Nothing. LOL! Guess you want a little more detail than that!

So I spent quite a bit of time this morning pouring over this weeks ad, looking over my digital coupons, and going through my paper coupons. The rumors are that Kroger will no longer allow you to stack a digital coupon and a paper coupon. If a digital coupon comes off for a product then supposedly you are out of luck. You can't reverse it and choose to use a paper coupon instead. The problem in this is that digital coupons don't double and usually aren't as high of a value as a paper coupon.

For instance Fiber 1 bars are $2.29 at my Kroger this week. I have digital coupond losfrf got .50 off 1 box BUT I have paper coupons for .40 off 1 box which would double making it .80 off 1 box. Obviously the paper coupon is the way to go. So you think you can just remove the digital coupon from your card and use your paper coupon, right? Wrong. Or partially wrong. There is no way to remove coupons that came from Once those are loaded, they stay on until you use them or they expire. Bummer.

The only other solution I saw here in the cyberworld was to give them my Kroger card VERY last. After the paper coupons had scanned. That way those came off first and they couldn't keep you from using them and then the digital ones shouldn't come off because you already used a coupon. Whew. Okay.

So Kroger's sale this week isn't their best, at least not according to the ad. I wasn't real impressed. It is a Mega sale meaning buy 10 SELECT items and receive $5 off your order which equals .50 off extra per item. I made my list but only had about 8 matchups with my coupons. BTW one of those matchups was for Wheat Thins and you can get a coupon off of their facebook page. Go now! Both coupons are for items on sale at my local Kroger, Wheat Thin Crackers & Stix.

However when I got to the store, I was slightly more impressed with the sale. There were quite a few unadvertised deals, more items in the Mega sale. The trend has been for the Kroger sales to run for 2 weeks and with this many unadvertised items, I would imagine we are looking at a duplicate sale for next week. Okay so here's my rundown:

Advertised Deals:

Wheat Thins $2.49- .50 Mega- $1 ICPN= .99

Ritz Munchables $2.49- .50 Mega- $1 ICPN ( .99

Kraft Slices $2.49- .50 Mega-.55 SCPN- .55 DCPN= .89

Honey Bunches of Oats $2.49-.50 Mega- $1.25 Catalina= .74

Vitamin Water .99-.50 Mega- $1/5 KCPN =$1.45

Red Gold Toms .99-.50 Mega= .49

Fiber One Bars $2.29- .40 SCPN- .40 DCPN= $1.49

Kroger Frozen Veggies 5/$5

Lays Chips $1.99

Oscar Mayer Hot Dogs $1.99- .50 Mega= $1.49

Capri Sun, Roaring Waters, or Kool Aid Jammers $1.99- .50 Mega= $1.49

Bumblebee Tuna .99-.50 Mega= .49

Coke 6 pk bottles 3/$9

Kroger Bread & Buns 10/$10

Kroger Fries & Tater Tots $1.99

Stouffer's Entrees advertised as $9.98 but some were $8.99 so $8.99- $2 KCPN= $6.99


Mrs Pauls Fish Sticks or Planks $3.49-.50 Mega= $2.99

Birds Eye Steam Veggies (this was advertised but I needed it down here) $1.99-.50 Mega= $1.49

I had a SCPN for buy 1 Mrs Paul's Item get a Birds Eye Veggie Free so I actually paid $2.99 for both and they both counted towards my 10 Mega items. :)

Ronzini Pasta .99- .50 Mega- $1 SCPN= 2 FREE (cashier has to "push" these through) (& I got 6!) Some of the Ronzini CPNS were for $1 off 1, some were $1 off of 2. Kroger is "suppose" to mark theirs down to the value of the item (so .49 off instead of $1 off) but a good cashier will allow you to use it towards more than one of the product so you get the whole value off, ex. $1/1 @ .49 buy 2 @ .49 get $1 off making both free.

A-1 Steak sauce $2.99- .50 Mega- $1 SCPN= $1.49

Kroger BIG bottle of Ketchup $2.99

Fruity Pebble Bars and Cocoa Pebbles Bars $2.49- .50 Mega- $1 SCPN= .99

Kroger Mixed Veggies or Peas 2/ $1 (still collecting cans for the We Can food drive!)

So all together I bought 40 of these items for $20 off. Click here for a funny story from Hip2Save. This was totally how I was feeling. My kids were super rowdy this trip, I was nervous about how the coupons would work, I wasn't as organized since some of my best finds weren't advertised, and there was a line forming behind me at the register AND I evidently miscounted so originally it only took off $15 instead of $20.

FORTUNATELY I had gone through Heather's line. Heather is God sent to be my cashier! Heather LOVES coupons! I have purposefully gone through Heather's line many times. The store I usually go to is one of 4 Krogers in my town. It is the closet to my house but probably the smallest of the 4. Because it's small they don't always have what I am looking for (like the protein bars last week) but I have gotten to know many of the employees there and generally the lines are shorter and the aisles clearer. However lots of times there are only 2 cashiers on duty and so I don't always get to "pick" a good cashier. But I digress.

When I walked up Heather greeted me and asked for my Kroger card. I told her I needed to hold it to the end because of the new policy. She looked puzzled. What new policy she asked? I gave her the skinny and she shook her head. She said she hadn't heard a thing about it and she had just stacked her coupons at the store last night. What?!?!?! I had confirmation from a friend last night that one of the north stores in town had in fact implemented this policy and that a manager had watched over her whole transaction to make sure that everything went according to the "new policy." I told Heather all of that and she said she didn't think there was a change at our store's system but we would try it with the card at the end just to be sure. She rang everything up, scanned all my coupons, scanned my Kroger card, scanned an extra box of juice pouches since I miscounted, and then voila!

You know what........ my digital coupons came off anyway!!! All that for nothing pretty much. Unfortunately I can't just take for granted it will always happen because of all the rumors and actual stories from other stores. Kroger, you are giving me extra stress I don't need!!

Anyway I ended up with an extra $2 off with the digital coupons. So it's done. Not the best shopping trip to Kroger, but still some favorable deals.


ECPN= digital coupon
ICPN= Internet printed coupon
KCPN= Kroger Coupon
DCPN= Doubled coupon
SCPN= Sunday paper coupon

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Blog Hops

Friendly Wednesday

Check it out!


Possible Kroger Coupon Policy Changes

I have read several blogs the last few days that say Kroger has again changed its coupon policy. Now it seems that most Kroger stores will NO longer allow you to stack an ecoupon and a paper coupon. Apparently if an ecoupon comes off first you will not be able to use a paper coupon. This seems like a lot of hassle to me because if I have a higher value paper coupon, I will have to "unload" the coupon from my Kroger card. Here is a terrific blog with more info: Stockpiling Moms

I will be making a Kroger trip tomorrow or Thursday and will let you know what happens. Just a heads up for all my readers!

Doorposts Blog & Giveaway!

Doorposts now has a blog! And they are doing giveaways this week to celebrate!! To enter go here. We recently ordered some of their charts during a promotion they had. We love them and so do our kids! The first giveway is a copy of one of their more in depth books. You can choose the girl or the boy version! I am really hoping to win. I have been looking at Polished Cornerstones  for Apple for awhile.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Walgreens Deals

Got a jump on it this week! Head over to your local Walgreen's for some good deals! Hope you got at least 2 papers today as there were 2 inserts: Smartsource and Redplum. Both had some good Qs in them!!

Even my cashier at Walgreens was impressed today and he has rang us up several times in the past.


Right Guard Deodorant on sale Buy 1 Get 1 Free, use with the Buy 1 get 1 free coupon and you get 2 free!!! (Or 4 like I did!)

Irish Springs Deodorant 2/ $6- $1 CPN (today's paper)- $1 CPN (same)= 2/$4 & receive $4 RR {FREE}

Pinesol $1.99- $1 internet CPN= .99 (I got 2)

Herbal Essences Shampoo $1.99-$1 CPN PLUS used a CPN for Buy 1 product get styling product free so got 1 shampoo & 1 mousse for .99 PLUS got a $1 RR (so like getting 2 FREE)

Fiber 1 bars $1.99- .40 CPN= $1.49

Butterfinger Egg .29 (reward for Speedy for being good! Let him eat it while we checked out. Well worth .29!!)

Grand Total $23.01

Received $12 RR for next purchase so made it $11.01 for 15 items!!!

Receipt showed savings as:

WAG advertised savings $23.56
MFG Coupon Savings $21.61

Total $45.17

Like I said the cashier was impressed. The total was over $45 before the Qs and B1G1 amts came off. He couldn't believe I saved that much and then the Register Rewards just kept printing and printing. He just laughed and shook his head. Told him he'd probably see me again this week!

Pick up their ad or check it out at They have several other sale items that you should have coupons to match! Things like Tilex, cereal, makeup, etc. I will likely post another matchup in the next couple of days! Gotta spend some of those register rewards!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Walgreen's Again......

These deals will most likely end tomorrow so go quickly!!

Scrubbing Bubbles automatic shower Cleaner $14.99- $5 in store coupon- $3 ICPN here= $6.99

Bummer. There are over $12 worth of coupons in the scrubbing bubbles box but they all expired in 09! Boo!

Fruity Pebbles Bowls .79 w/ in ad cpn x 3= $2.37 generates 2- $2 Register Rewards= $1.63 OVERAGE!!!

And now this is working at my local store:

Purex Crystals $4.99- $1 ICPN- $2 RR= $1.99

Nice sale! They also have the Windex Outdoor All in One kit for the same deal as the shower cleaner but you can only buy one at a time. I will try to go back tonight and get one of those!

Apple is.................

Apple will have her 6th birthday party tomorrow.....
Where did that first day home go?

Those first smiles?
The first vacation?

Even those first fits.......
Her best friend is still near!
And so is that 'tude!
Things can get a little hairy.....

But she will ALWAYS be my princess!
Happy 6th birthday to my favorite girl in the whole world! I love you!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Kroger (again)

I told you I was going back to use a few coupons. I went to another Kroger store on our way to church last night and here is what I got:

3 Zone Perfect Bars

1 Propel Zero Water

2 Pure Protein Bars

5 Butterfingers

And the total was......... $3.18!!!!!! How?

Propel Water= FREE with a Catalina (coupon printed at the register) from a previous Kroger trip

3 Zone Bars= FREE with 3- .55 off SCPN that doubled (automatically adjusted to sale price of $1)

2 Pure Protein Bars= .98 w/ a B1G1 Free Internet Coupon

5 Butterfingers= $1.50 w/ ECPN for $1/5

Total with tax $3.18

Total Savings:

MFG CPN $4.84
Bonus CPN $1.35
Kroger Plus $2.02

Total Saved $8.21!!!

Not bad! :)

Mail Call!!!

I know I just did one of these but today was another great mail day! We received:

Texas Travel Guide (don't know that we will ever go to Texas but it was free!)

Pediasure Rebate (signed up here. Must have purchased BEFORE 3/6/11, go look back at your receipts!) and it came with a $2 coupon! WHOOP!

New book for Speedy from the Imagination Library! I encourage you to see if your state participates! If it does you can receive a free book EVERY month for your children until they turn 5. They are terrific books too!

I love the mail.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Kroger Cartbuster Deals Continued

This weeks Kroger sale continues the Cartbuster event. You can read my deals from last week here. Many of the products and prices are the same this week.

Tip of the day: Always check your boxes and packages for coupons!! I found 2 coupons on or in packages this week that I was able to turn around and use today.

Gorton's Fish Sticks 30 ct $3.99- $1 Q found in pkg= $2.99 (and I'll bet there is another Q in the new pkg!)

Totino's Pizza Rolls 10/$10 purchased 2/$2- .40 ECPN- $1/2 Q found on Totino's pizza box= 2/ .60

Other Cartbuster Deals:


WANCHAI FERRY MEAL $5.99- $1.50 SCPN= $4.49

GREEN GIANT STEAMED VEGGIES $1.28 EA 2/$2.56- .50 ECPN= 2/ $2.06

CHEX MIX $1.25 EA 2/ $2.50- .50 ECPN- .50 SCPN- .50 DCPN= 2/ $1


SECRET DEODORANT $1.99- .50 ECPN- $1 SCPN= .49










Not too shabby! I also will head to one of the other Kroger stores in town to find Zone Bars and Propel Zero bars. I have cpns that should get me those for free! My store just doesn't carry those items.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

I've got Mail!

Round up of things I have recently received in the mail:

Origins Plantscription Sample

Quaker Oatmeal Squares Sample

Cheez Its Sample

John Freida Frizz Ease Sample

1st issue of More magazine- free subscription

Playtex Sport Sample with coupon

Not bad! It's fun going to the mailbox and getting free things almost everyday! has a spot where they feature a free sample everyday! You can even receive a daily email from them with a link for that day's sample!

Great Resource!

On one of my trips to Goodwill, I snagged a great resource for homeschooling! Now to be honest when we head to Goodwill I usually use the snatch and grab method. For some reason my kids are never calm when we are in that particular store. I think they have sensory overload because they both enjoy clothes, shoes, books, and toys and Goodwill is FULL of all of those! Plus the baskets there aren't really big enough for Speedy anymore and Apple is too big to get into the baskets anywhere anymore. So especially in the book department, I tend to scan and then just grab things of interest. If a book even remotely looks like it would be a help for homeschool and it isn't for high schoolers, I usually throw it in. Most of them are less than $2 so I really can't lose!

But I digress (I LOVE Golden Girls!), I was sorting a Goodwill stack last week and I found What Your First Grader needs to know. It says "Fundamentals of a Good First Grade Education."  This is a terrific book! I will be keeping my eye out for the other grade levels (they have Kindergaren- 6th)!   It is broken down into language and literature, history and geography, visual arts, music, mathematics, and science. Each of those divisions is further divided down into topics.

I went through the book and put check marks on the pages that were things Apple has already learned. Now we have added this into our curriculum. Yesterday we did the poetry section and today we did a section on instruments. She is always excited to have new books and new ways to learn. I'm excited about it because I have been concerned about our lack of art and music lessons.

It's great because it's so many topics covered in one paperback book. Although it was published in 1998, all the material is still relevant. These are also good because they are small snippets of information and not exhaustive. When you are able to cover brass, woodwind, percussion, and string instruments in one sitting, you are doing well!

So keep your eyes out for these at Goodwill or on Ebay. You should be able to pick up a used copy fairly cheap and I'm sure you won't regret it!

I was not compensated in any way for this review.

Monday, March 7, 2011

I won, I won!

Back in February, I won a giveaway from Booktalk & More! It was my first blog giveaway win! Thanks to Ruth! Take a minute to read her TERRIFIC reviews from Christian authors!

I won a copy of Stars Collide by Janice Thompson. This was the first book I have read by Ms. Thompson, but I will be looking for her selections in the library! The book was well written, funny with a touch of mystery. According to Ruth, this is the first in the Backstage Pass series, which I am glad to hear er... read!

Stars Collide follows Kat & Scott who are costars on a television show by the same name. Angie & Jack are the shows main characters that run a children's talent agency. Jack & Angie are falling in love on set and so are Kat & Scott off stage! The balance between fiction and reality is often blurred by Kat's grandmother Lenora. Lenora Worth was a star of spectacular proportions in her day. Her memory isn't what it use to be and she often confuses things on the show for truth.

I could really relate to Kat (not that I'm a star!). She was raised by her grandmother and now her grandmother's memory is quickly fading. Kat is often faced with the decision of correcting Lenora or just letting it go. My own grandmother, whom I lived with for many years, had Alzheimer's. It is truly moment by moment task to choose which things to correct and which to let pass. Kat does a good job of maintaining Lenora's dignity.

Scott is a great actor and a better person. He has a real relationship with Christ, most of the characters do, and he is willing to help Kat with her grandmother and overlook some of the confusion that ensues. There are several great characters in the book. I'm happy to hear that the next book of the series will focus on Athena, who is Kat's coworker, friend, and confidant.

The book, while wacky at times, is a easy read. It is fiction at it's finest. Enough laughter to keep the heavier issues from weighing down the storyline. Enough mystery to keep you turning the pages to see how it will all turn out.

I look forward to the other installments of the Backstage Pass series. Thank you again Ruth for the terrific giveaway!

For more about Stars Collide see Janice Thompson's blog.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Walgreens Deals

Pediacare $6.99- $5 in ad cpn- $2 CPN= FREE

Orbit .99-.30 in ad cpn- B1G1 Free ICPN= 2/ .69

Cottonelle Refills $2.99 with in ad coupon (normally $5.49)

Irish Springs Deodorant 2/$6- $1 ICPN- $1 ICPN= 2/$4 (There are some blogs stating that a $4 Register Reward prints for these. Didn't happen for me.)

Ester C Gummies $6.99 each- B1G1 sale- $3 CPN- $3 CPN= 2/ .99

Always Pads $2.99- $2 Register Reward- $1 CPN= FREE

Dawn $1.99- $1 in ad cpn- .50 CPN= .49

Puffs tissues $1.49- .50 in ad cpn- .50 cpn= .49

Schick Xtreme 4 pk $5.99- $3 RR- $1 CPN= $1.99

Had 2 cpns to buy king size hershey bar and get king size hershey drops free so:

2 Hershey Bars king size 2/ $2 + 2 king size drops = 4/ $2

They also have the Lysol Auto Hand Soap for $11.99 again- $5 RR- $3 CPN= $3.99. I have 2 of these and really like them!

Their Swiffer products are 25% off and if you buy $10 worth you receive a $3 RR. There have been several B1G1 Free CPNS in the paper lately. The store I went to tonight just was out of the ones I wanted. Most of them were $3-$5 so you could get 4 for about $10 and then get the $3 back making it 4/ about $7.

Also saw lots of blogs saying the new Purex complete crystals would be on sale for $4.99 with a $2 RR. My store had them marked at $5.99 so I didn't try it.

Happy bargaining!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Manicotti Supreme

Okay so yall know I love to make up recipes. I tried a new one last night.

1 tub Phil Cooking Creme Italian Herb flavor(got for .23! Kroger 2.48-.75 ECPN-1.50 CPN=.23)
1 pkg manicotti noodles (got for $1 on sale at Kroger)
1/2 jar Ragu Sauce (got for about $1 at WAGS)
1/2 bag of shredded mild cheddar (about .50)
1/2 bag shredded pizza cheese (about .50)
1 lb ground beef

Preheat oven to 350. Boil pot of water for the manicotti. Brown and drain the ground beef. Add Ragu and half of Cooking Creme and a couple of handfuls of cheese. Simmer over low heat. After manicotti is boiled and done, fill noodles with meat mixture. Lay in 9X13 greased pan. Once all the noodles are filled and in a single layer, spread remainder of cooking creme on top. Spoon and spread remainder of meat mixture over that. Cover with shredded cheese. Bake in over about 25 minutes or until warm and cheese is melted. Serve! YUM!

Couponing Tips #2

You can read my first Couponing Tips post Here.

I am finding that couponing is contagious! The more I talk about the great deals I am getting, the more people I have asking about them! So here are some more tips:

I told you in the first tips installment to read and keep a copy of coupon policies. Here are 2 from stores most of us use:

Wal-Mart Coupon Policy

Walgreens Coupon Policy

Kroger doesn't have a written policy available that I can find. I think this is because their policies vary from region to region. I have however seen a great video interview with a Kroger manager. I watched this post at Money Saving Mode. She picked it up from another source, but has all that information listed on her post.

Okay I'm sure this list will get longer as I continue to coupon but here are a few:

Things you should get for FREE or almost FREE:
  • deodorant
  • body wash
  • soap
  • toothpaste
  • toothbrushes
  • canned biscuits
  • some cleaning supplies
  • some medicines
  • tissue
  • fabric softner
Things you should NEVER pay full price for: (I'm working on not paying full price for anything but this gives you a place to start)
  • Frozen pizza
  • toilet paper
  • shampoo & conditioner
  • hair color
  • cheese
  • other cleaning supplies
  • other medicines
  • detergent
  • dishwashing liquid and tabs
Gas prices are RISING RISING RISING. We have to find places to cut back. As gas prices rise, generally grocery and product prices rise as well. I'm finding that time is my biggest investment in couponing. You can take as much or as little time with this as you want. I will guarantee you though, if you put in some time on it now, getting organized, making a binder, finding a system or blogs to help you do "match ups" (matching your coupons to weekly ads), it will take you less time every week to get ready to go shopping. Also if you take the time to look at your ad, make your list, and pull out the coupons you plan to use BEFORE you get to the store, it will make your shopping trip shorter. I still take my binder in every store with me, you always have opportunity to see something unexpected on sale or clearance, but having a plan makes it quicker.

Savings isn't just for groceries either. I use my Kroger points to buy gas right now. Before I head to a department store, I look online for sales, codes, or coupons. I have "liked" my favorite products on Facebook because they often offer deals or coupons on those sites. I spend much less money at WalMart now because I am getting better deals combining sales and coupons at Walgreens and Kroger.

My binder was simple to make. It takes time, especially if you already have a lot of coupons, but once its done it only takes a little maintenance each week when you are clipping the new inserts.

To make a coupon binder:
  1. Purchase a 2 or 3 inch binder with a zipper closure. Extra pockets are a BONUS! The most recommended brand is Case It. I couldn't find a Case It so mine is a Mead 5 Star. It's working fine.
  2. Purchase some baseball card holders. These can be found in almost any store in the baseball card section.
  3. Purchase some dividers. I spent a little more for the all plastice dividers with a pocket on the front of them. Mine are the kind you write on the tabs with a Sharpie.
  4. Label your tabs: Breakfast, Canned, Baking, Frozen, Drinks, Dairy, Snacks, Cleaning, Paper Goods, Meds, HBA, Makeup, Misc. (You can change any of these to fit your needs, add or take away)
  5. Then place your coupons in the baseball card pockets. Many will need to be folded. If you don't have a lot of coupons you can put one per pocket. I have a BUNCH so I tend to put in like coupons. Such as in my make up section, all my covergirl are in one pocket, all my Maybelline in another. But in my hair section I have ALL the hair color coupons in one. In the breakfast section though ever cereal brand gets a spot. Some have a few spots. Just depends. Do what works best for you!
  6. Stick a  copy of the coupon policies in an extra spot! I also keep food coupons, a couple of pens, scrap paper, and my lists in the extra pockets.
Happy couponing! I'm always glad to answer questions and help in any way I can!

Review: Love Food & Live Well

Chantel Hobbs knows about losing weight and keeping it off. She lost 250 pounds herself and has maintained a healthy weight since then. In Love Food & Live Well, Chantel lets you in on "the deal." She tells you the deal you have to make with yourself to lose weight but more importantly to change your lifestyle for LIFE to a healthy one. Don't worry, Chantel's deal doesn't involve eating cardboard and beets only. It doesn't mean you can never have bread or sugar again, and she doesn't even tell you to run away from diet drinks or tea. Instead Chantel introduces her concept of the 80/20 rule.

The beginning of the book was a little sluggish for me. She goes into a lot of detail about her previous experience and her previous books. She talks about other people that she has met that have struggled with food. It's a good precursor and probably even necessary for a book like this, but I'm impatient! I wanted to see what she was selling so to speak. If you can read the beginning though, I think it helps you to take more seriously, the advice she is dishing. She has been there, she has seen other people in the overweight situation, and she has helped them.

Like all selfhelp books, this isn't going to blow you away, change your core beliefs, or become a new cult to follow. It will however give you a strategy for losing weight and maintaining that weight loss. It will give you a "diet" that isn't like any other one I have seen. It will educate you on nutrition. It will show you show new recipes and new exercises to try. It will confirm that God must be involved in every big decision we make in order to have success in that decision.

I recommend you pick it up. If you need to lose weight or are looking for a boost to your current diet, read this book. If you are skinny but live on french fries and soda, pick it up! She has done her research (heck she is her research!) and she can give you some great tips for life!

I received this book free from WaterBrook Multnomah Poblishing Group for this review. All opinions are my own.
120 x 60

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Whats Cooking Thursday~ Salsa Chicken

Feeding Four What's Cooking Thursday

So I had decided to make rotel chicken for dinner tonight. Quick, easy & really good right? However when I opened up my cabinent..... I was out of rotel!!! Oh no!! I have been so busy stockpiling and doing deals that I have ONLY been buying items we really needed or items that are on mega sale. Sooooo lots of Velveeta but no rotel. Well I improvised.

1 lg pack boneless, skinless chicken breast
1/2 Jar Pace salsa
1/2 block Velveeta
Tortilla chips

Baked the chicken 40 minutes at 400 (they were thick pcs). While that was cooking I cubed the velveeta and melted in the microwave with the salsa. When the chicken was completely cooked, I cut it into small chunks. Put a layer of chips on each plate. Top with chicken and cover with velveeta mix. Totally unhealthy and seriously tasty! Also inexpensive as I had gotten the chips, salsa, and velveeta at very good prices in the last 2 weeks.

Happy eating!

Kroger Cartbuster Deals!

I told you a few days ago about Kroger's Cartbuster event. The sale started in our area today! I headed straight over for some awesome matchups! Remember you can always see your local Kroger ad at I also watched a video this week of an interview with a Kroger employee that said their policy does allow stacking of 1 electronic coupon and 1 paper coupon per item OR 1 store coupon and 1 paper coupon per item. That made me feel better since I was worried the stacking was not legit!

Stouffer Mac & Cheese Family Size entree $3.99-.75 ECPN- $1 ICPN= $2.24

Gorton's Fish Sticks (30) $3.99-.50 CPN- .50 double= $2.99

Toaster Strudels $1.99 ea 3 @ $5.97- .50 ECPN- .50 ECPN- .50 CPN-.50 dbl= $3.97

Hamburger Helper .97 ea 3 @ $2.91- .75 CPN= $2.16

Pantene Shampoo $3.49- $1 ECPN- $2 CPN= .49

Cascade Geltabs $3.99- .50 ECPN-.25 CPN- .25 dbl= $2.99

Febreze Stay & Refresh $2.49- $1 ECPN- $1 CPN= .49

Bounty Paper Towels 8 pk $5.99- $2 ECPN- .25 CPN- .25 dbl= $3.49

Charmin 12 Double Rolls $5.99- $3 ECPN- .25 CPN- .25 dbl= $2.49

Pringles 3/ $4 - .25 ECPN- .50 CPN- .50 dbl= 3/ $2.75

Coffeemate Creamer $2.99 ea 2@ FREE with FB coupons + $1 OVERAGE ECPN!!

Tide Stain Release $5.99- $3 ECPN- $3 CPN= FREE

Pills Crescents 2/$4 - .50 EPCN- .40 CPN- .40 CPN= 2/ $2.70

Pills Cinnamon Rolls 2/ $2.50- .40 ECPN- .50 CPN- .50 dbl= 2/ $1.10

Gushers 2/ 3.98- .50 ECPN- .50 CPN- .50 dbl= 2/ $2.48

Progresso Soup 4/ $5- .50 ECPN- .50 ECPN- $1 CPN= 4/ $3

Lean Cuisine $2 ea 4@ $8- $1.10 CPN- $1.50 CPN= 4/ $5.40

Philly Cooking Creme $2.69- .75 ECPN- $1.50 CPN= .44

Family Size Chips Ahoy $2.99- $1 ECPN= $1.99

Gogurt $1.99 ea 2 @ $3.98- .75 ECPN- .75 CPN= 2/$2.48

And the deal of the day!!!!

I had 2 coupons good for 1 FREE Old Spice Bodywash with the purchase of 1 Old Spice Deodorant. I knew this would be a bargain because the deodorant is on sale for $1.99. So I picked up 2 deodorants @ 1.99 and 2 body washes @ $3. When I got home I was looking over my receipt. First the cashier gave me regular price of $3.85 each off for the body washes. I guess that's because that's what the receipt showed BEFORE the Kroger card discount. THEN I realized I had also received 2 $1 ECPN off. So this is how it looked at the end:

$1.99 + $1.99 + $3 + $3= $9.98- $1 ECPN- $1 ECPN= $7.98- $3.85 CPN- $3.85 CPN= .28

I paid .28 for 2 deodorants and 2 body washes. Wow. Score.

I also had 1 $3 off catalina left from last weeks deals. And I grabbed one big pack of chicken while I was there.

My Kroger savings today was: