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

Monday, January 31, 2011

Kmart Super Doubles!

KMart is having a special sale this week. They will double coupons up to $2. There are some restrictions:
* You have to be a Shop Your Way cardholder (Free to join!)
* You have to spend at least $25 on grocery or drugstore items
* You can only double 5 coupons per day

So I went & tried it today! I was a little disappointed because the ad does not say that they will only give you up to the price of the item, but that's what they did. So I got:

2 free Dove deodarants (used 2- $2/1, they gave me $2 off each and then an extra .50 off two times- price was $2.50 before coupons)

Clean & Clear Face Wash $1.49 ($2/1 doubled- price was $5.49 before coupon)

6 cans of Pringles $3.98 ($1/2 doubled- price was $2.99 for a special 3 can pack before coupon)

All 84 loads $9.49 ($1.50/ 1 doubled- price was $12.49 before coupon)

Also their ad had a coupon in it for Charmin Basic toliet paper 20 double rolls for $8.99. You can buy up to 2 of these per coupon.

So if you have some high value coupons- head over to KMart to get them doubled! Good now through 2/5.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Review: Sun Stand Still



Sun Stand Still

Sun Stand Still is a call to "audacious faith." Steven Furtick uses several examples of HUGE prayers that God answered in HUGE ways, namely Joshua's battle and the day the sun stayed in the sky for an extended amount of time. Mr. Furtick goes through reasons why we should pray these prayers, examples he's personally seen, and the steps to go through in a "Sun Stand Still" prayer. He speaks extensively about having a "Page 23 Vision."

I agree with quite a bit of what Mr. Furtick is saying. Yes God performs miracles. Yes we should have the faith to move mountains. Yes we need HUGE things to happen in this day just like they did in the days of Moses. I can completely agree with "And if he never does anything else for us, his single act of love on the cross demonstrated his goodness for all time." (page 103) If you are a new believer and you need to feel out your faith, read this book. If you are young, and looking for some basic understanding into praying big prayers, this might be a good book for you.

If you are a seasoned believer, you may want to skip this one. There is a extreme overuse of the word "stuff". There are too many references to Cristal, Dom Perignon, smoking crack, and putting things in your pipe and smoking them. It made me uncomfortable. So did the lack of capitalizing He and Him. There were a couple of editing mistakes as well (first words in a sentence left uncapitalized). Many of his references (I think) are just being used as slang to relate to a young generation. BUT I'm just not comfortable with that flippant jargon in a book about the God of the universe.

Honestly, I wanted to like the book. Steven Furtick is the leader of a highly attended church in North Carolina. The story he shared about God's call on his life is terrific. The stories he shares of friends, fellow believers, etc are wonderful. The over and over and over again of Sun Stand Still and Page 23 vision, take away from his message. While most of his message is bibically founded, I do think he is erring on the side of self help, if I do this, then God will do this. I don't follow that particular line of thinking. Because if God, then I should. That's just me though!

So since I went back and forth and back and forth, maybe you should pick it up and read a couple of chapters, and see what you think!
I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review. The review and opinions are my own and not influenced by the publisher.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Friday Deals!!!

Item Quantity/ Final Price OOP (extra savings)

Walgreens:

Pepsi 12 pks 4/$10 (used $3 instore coupon)
Stayfree 2/ $1.99 (used B1G1 Sunday paper coupon)
Pantene 2/ $4 (used $1 off Sunday Paper coupon & recd $2 RR)
Kraft Dressing $2/2 (used $1 instore coupon & $1 Sunday paper coupon)

Kroger:
(Some of these are their MEGA savings prices- I got $10 off by buying 20 of those items!)

Kroger Dips 2/ $1.55 (.45 off Kroger coupon)
Progresso Soup 4/ $2.96 ($1 off Sunday paper coupon)
Tollhouse Cookie Dough 1/ $1.50 (.75 off internet coupon)
Tampax Pearl 1/ $1.99 ($2 off digital Kroger coupon)
Ortega Taco Seasoning 2/ .58 (.50 off Sunday paper coupon + bonus .50)
Hunts Tomatos 3/ .57 (.45 off Sunday paper coupon + bonus .45)
Pediasure Sidekicks 1/ 43.49 ($3 off Kroger coupon, plus I will do an internet rebate & they will be free!)
Johnsonville Brats 2/ $4.98 ($1 off Sunday paper coupon)
Tyson Anytizzers 3/ $17.97 ($1 off, $1 off, & $1 off all Sunday paper coupons- sounds high but they are normally $8.99 EACH!)
Stouffers Party Size lasagna 1/ $6.24 (.75 off digital coupon, $3 off internet coupon) Surprised it took both!
Kellogg's Cereal 3/ $4.97 ($1 off Sunday paper coupon)
French's Honey Mustard dipping sauce 1/ $1.04 (.75 off Sunday paper coupon)


So my groceries ALL Together (had quite a bit that I didn't list on here) went down $77.71 with Kroger plus, Mega sale, and coupons!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Review: The Beginning Reader's Bible



The mailman delivered a BIG Bible to my house today! The Beginning Reader's Bible is terrific! It is HUGE (which equals interesting to my kids), it has amazing illustrations, and it is FULL of ACTUAL Bible verses. I have said many times that I wish kids Bibles would use real verses. Well this one is made entirely of verses in the International Children's Bible version.

Apple grabbed this right up and flipped to her favorite Bible passages- the story of Joseph and his brothers. She sat down and read the whole version (shortened) to me. She liked that she could read it herself, the pictures, the suggested prayer, and she loved the red ribbon to help her keep her place!

There is a terrific resource section in the back with things like songs, memory verses, a reading checklist, and the Ten Commandments. With over 180 pages, every child will find something they like! Since I mentioned pages, that is the one flaw that I see (actually a friend pointed it out!). There is a table of contents with page numbers, but the book itself does not have the pages numbered! Clearly an oversight. The illustrations make up for that one small mistake though! Younger children could benefit just from examining all the details of the stories drawn to life.

So if you are looking for a great BIG children's bible for your child, check this one out! It will last a long time from just looking at the pictures, to having the story read to them, to reading the stories themselves.

For more:

The Beginner's Bible


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. My review is my opinion and not influenced by the publisher or company that sent me the book.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Blog Giveaway Directory: $65 CSN Stores Gift Certificate

I earned TONS of entries into Blog Giveaway Directory's special CSN Stores $65 Gift Certificate giveaway! This ends February 14! Head over now to enter. The entries are easy and there are lots of extra entries available! CSN Stores is an awesome place to find almost anything you are looking for! I am really hoping to win this giveaway! There is an awesome Hamilton Beach Brewstation I have my eye on and it's $64.95 so this giveaway would be perfect! Check it out!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Friday Deals!

Bath & Body Works FREE sample of their new lotion "Carried Away"

3 pair pack of Adidas athletic socks $0.92 (Kohl's 15% off coupon + $5 off coupon for signing up for emails)

TKS girls dress shoes (Apple's Easter shoes!) $2 on clearance at Sears

Eye pencil. Lip Enhancing Gloss, Limitless Long Wear Lip Gloss, High Shine Lip Gloss, and Lip Primer Sample $10.50 shipped from Smashbox.com . Every Tues & Thurs they have Let's Do Lunch from 9am-2pm PST. You get a free gift with every purchase, join their reward program and you get 2 more free gifts, then they threw in the extra sample as well so I got 5 products for the price of 1! Thanks for the tip Jessica's Coupons!

Blistex Lip Balm .84-.35 coupon= $0.49! (WM)

3 pk Ivory Soap 1.07-.25 coupon= $0.82! (WM)

Gain dish soap .97-.25 coupon= $0.72! (WM)


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

They came, they came!

Lord please bless the Fed Ex man. I'm sure I startled him when I started jumping up and down and yelling and especially when I snatched the pretty blue CoastalContacts.com box from his hand! I got my FREE FREE FREE glasses this morning! So my webcam is never very flattering, and my hair is still damp, and I have no makeup on, and I was on the phone but here is a pic:


I really really like them! (Don't tell me if you think they are hideous!) Thanks CoastalContacts.com for an amazing promo!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Blog Hop, Skip, & Jump Wednesday



*The Blog Hop Skip and Jump Wednesday will take place every Wednesday at The Coupon Scoop & Jessica’s Coupons. Each linky will be updated every week, so make sure to come back and link up every Wednesday!






FAMILY FRIENDLY BLOGS ONLY PLEASE- If your blog is not "family friendly" please do not link-up as your link will be removed.








Easing back into couponing......

So I am starting to ease my way back into couponing. I had my first trip last week and I thought I did pretty well. It's hard when you first begin (or begin again) in my case because you don't have a large coupon stash. However with coupon.com and some great blogs I have tentatively started.

I went to Wal-Mart and Walgreens today solely for the purpose of using coupons stacked with their current specials or sales. I had an issue at each store but with a little extra time and patience I was able to get them both sorted out!

So Wal-Mart deals first:

Free half gallon of chocolate milk with purchase of a gal of milk Saved $2.52 with coupon from Milk promo

Kikkoman soy sauce Saved $1 w/ kikkoman coupon- total cost $.74

4 pk Activia yogurt Saved $1 w/ SS coupon- total cost $.87

4 M & M heart shaped candy boxes Saved $2 w/ coupons.com- total cost $1

3 bxs 40 ct Snuggle dryer sheets Saved $1 w/ coupons.com, $2 w/ SS coupon- total cost $2.61

Afrin nasal spray Saved $3 w/ SS coupon- total cost $1.52

Motrin IB & Motrin PM Saved $6 w/ SS coupon- total cost $1.75

6 Renuzit Adjustables Saved $2.91 w/ SS coupon- total cost $2.91


After I had checked out, I really thought my total was too high. I checked it in the car and sure enough $6.97 worth of coupons had been left off!?! So back in we went to the service desk, the CSM pulled all the coupons from the register I had gone to, checked them one by one and then refunded my $6.97. A few extra mins was worth almost $7!!!

On to Walgreens:

3 bottles of Nyquil 10oz- On sale for $5 each plus $5 RR for next purchase plus $1.50 plus $1 coupons

Maalox- Saved $5 w/ SS coupon

Covergirl lipstick on clearance for $1.59- Saved $1 w/ SS coupon

2 Milky Way bars on sale for $.49- Saved $.50 w/ SS coupon

Plus had an extra $4 off from previous Register Rewards (RR)

Now this one for some reason did not print my $5 RR for my next trip. I also had to go back twice to get the right Nyquil because none of them were marked with the sales price. It again took a few extra minutes but the manager gave me a gift card for the RR and to make up for the hassle. I left happy! :)

I'm going to keep couponing! I love saving money! It is not easy to find time to clip the coupons, scour the ads, write down the plan, and try to keep up with it all at the grocery store with 2 little monkeys running away, trying to pulverize each other, and touching everything they see- BUT IT CAN BE DONE!

Look on Facebook for Hip2Save and Keeping Cents to find great deals all day long!

Zumbathon for Morgan's Mission


Our special friend Morgan. We miss her so much!

Morgan's Mission was began in Morgan's memory. It is a West TN Healthcare Foundation fund that will help special needs kids and their families. A Zumbathon will be held Saturday, February 15 at the Lambuth University Gym. It will be led by instructor Aletza Boucher from 10-12. Admission is $15. We are seeking door prizes now. If you would like more information on the Zumbathon or would like to donate a door prize or make a monetary donation, please contact me at ecarter at eplus dot net. All money will go directly to the fund.


Sunday, January 16, 2011

Review: The Charlatan's Boy




The Charlatan's Boy by Jonathan Rogers is a fun story about an orphan named Grady. Grady is an orphan who travels around with Floyd. Floyd never tells Grady how they ended up together or what happened to Grady's parents. Poor Grady, on top of being an orphan, is ugly. Not just unpleasant looking but U-G-L-Y. Floyd uses this to his advantage going all over Corenwald island doing circus style shows about Feechies, The Ugliest Boy in the World, and similar scams. There is a diverse cast of characters that Floyd and Grady encounter on their travels. The book is written peppered with "local" slang and fanciful events.

The book has a terrific cover that would naturally draw my eye! The story is a quick read and would be quite fascinating for anyone interested in true ficiton and fantasy. The surprise ending made me happy I stuck with it to the end. More of Grady's story will be coming in the Fall of 2011!

Excerpt





I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review. Any reviews are my own opinion and not influenced in any way by the company from which the item was received.

Review: The Dragon and the Turtle Go On Safari


My first official blog book review! (Hope you enjoy it!) We read The Dragon and the Turtle Go On Safari by Donita K. Paul and Evangeline Denmark. I chose this one thinking it would be a great book for Speedy. Well he did really enjoy the pictures. They are very detailed and intriguing. Illustrator Vincent Nguyen did a fabulous job as the pictures really enhance the storyline. Speedy was not as interested in the narrative of the book. It is a rather long story and unfortunately not as exciting as one might anticipate. Apple read about half of it out loud for us. She enjoyed the story itself more but being a literal child, she did not quite understand the fantasy that the book was building.

I found the overall idea appealing but since it was listed as Christian literature, I expected there to be some sort of a Christianity theme. A verse and outline of discussion questions is included at the very end. I was bothered the whole book by the name "Padraig". How is that pronounced? Pad-rag or Pa-drag or something completely different?

Anyway a cute book. I would recommend it for older children 6+ that are interested in fantasy.





I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review. Any reviews are my own opinion and not influenced in any way by the company from which the item was received.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Discovery Atlas: Australia Revealed


So Apple has been working on her continents. We have in general just used a reference book with great pictures to introduce her to each continent. Some of them she had some previous familiarity with and so she hasn't had any trouble remembering those. Australia, on the other hand, she hasn't known much about. So I headed over to Netflix to find a movie to help her visualize this faraway place. I found Discovery Atlas: Australia Revealed. Narrated by Russell Crowe, this is an 87 minute look at the country that focuses on several of its citizens and their vastly different lives. Many of the natural resources of the country are highlighted along with its animal population, popular tourist sights, and everyday life. We only watched about the first hour of it but it was due to our time constaint, not any dissatisfaction with the film. This would be a fine addition to any studies your students might be doing on the Down Under or for you if you want to know more about this island continent. The series has several other continents that I have seen, so we may be visiting more of them soon!


I was in no way compensated for this review. The review is based on the personal opinion of the author. There was no correspondance between the film owner, Netflix, and/ or the author.

Answering your questions.......

How did you decide to homeschool? What methods did you try and bombed, and what is working great?



We decided to homeschool in 2009. We had a failed attempt with the local school system. We put Apple in for preschool and it was a mess for her and us. We pulled her anticipating putting her back in for Kindergarten, but 2 things happened. One I spent that year teaching her the things she would have learned in public school kindergarten. I was unaware that it was happening until it was too late! More importantly, God changed our hearts- mostly my heart. It just became really clear that she was meant to be here, with me teaching her. It has been one of the best decisions we have ever made! (Thanks God for showing us the right way for us!)

I got so excited when I found the workboxes system. You can google it and find tons of blogs on it! I ran straight to Walmart and got some supplies! Came home, put it all together, used it twice and now it sits in the closet! It is a terrific system for multiple children or older children. It is not worth it for one younger child that cannot work independently on most of their tasks. Also I have never actually tried "Unschooling", I just don't agree with the concept, but we have to stay very organized and have specific tasks. It is so easy for us to get sidetracked! Now I think one of the beauties of homeschool is the ability to chase what is interesting to them at the time but I can't rely only on that. I need a good idea of what we want to accomplish this year, this semester, this month, and this week. It keeps us accountable.

So what is working great for us is the organized approach. I am getting better and better at laying out reasonable goals. I keep a planning book where I write down what we accomplish each day. I have a rough outline of the things we will do the rest of this semester as well. HOOKED ON PHONICS is our superstar! Apple is almost 6 and she is working on the 2nd grade level. I cannot shout their praises enough! For math, this year, it has been best for us not to have a specific curriculum. We are working through several workbooks and it is going well. We use a lot of children's encyclopedias and reference books for information in geography, health, etc. The internet is a priceless tool. Also yard sales, curriculum sales, and consignment sales are our friends! Goodwill, Ebay, anywhere you can find used curriculum is awesome! :)



What is your favorite hobby and what is your secret hidden talents??

Hmmm favorite hobby....... reading. I'm excited to start reviewing books so I have an "excuse" to read. Honestly though I'm all over the place. I go through stages of reading, then I will get into TV shows, then I will get into FB or blogging, then I will get into movies, then I will get into having company over. I guess some of those aren't technically "hobbies" but I'm just referencing whatever I like using my down time for.

Secret hidden talents- HAHAHA! I am an open book. Don't hide much! I love to cook, I love finding a good deal, I can garden, and God has given me a gift with children. I think I'm good at all of those things anyway! :) My secret hidden "untalents" are drawing, singing, and anything involving measurement or distance. No one wants to be exposed to me attempting any of those!

Thanks for the great questions Denise! I welcome more!

Free Glasses? I'll take em!

Coastalcontacts.com is offering FREE glasses to the first 5000 customers that enter a special code. To get the code, go "like" their FB! Better hurry this deal will go FAST! I ordered mine for a total of less than $16! You pay only shipping & handling and tax. Have your GLASSES prescription on hand because you will need all of the info on it! I will do an update when I receive my glasses in about 2 weeks! I am really excited because I haven't had a new pair of glasses in over 5 years! I wear contacts and since I'm the only one that needs them in the family, we don't purchase the vision insurance offered through my husband's employer. I have been blessed to find an eye doc in a nearby small town that is VERY reasonable for his exams and contacts but I haven't had the dough to buy new glasses since I started staying at home. Thank you Lord! I'll even post a pic if they are cute on me! ;) And if they're not..... well that will be okay cause I only wear my glasses at night before bed! (PS They had LOTS of frames to chose from, I just am never sure how they will look good on me unless I have them on!)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Blog Hop Skip and Jump Wednesday




Looking for family friendly blogs to follow and new followers to your blog? Check out Blog Hop, Skip, and Jump by Jessica's Coupons and the Coupon Scoop!

Coming soon.......

Coming soon you will be seeing lots of book reviews on here. I love to read and I hope to have a variety of children's, ministry, fiction, & nonfiction books to share. I am also actively seeking more products to review and hope to have a few giveaways as well. I will continue to share my hodgepodge of homeschooling, recipe, and everyday life posts as well!

I have enjoyed blogging for more than a year now! I hope you have enjoyed reading them as much as I have enjoyed writing them. It's a great feeling to get my thoughts down. It's also fun to look back at things from last year and have the blog to remind me where we were and what we were doing.

If you have any questions or would like to see anything else on here- share it!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Snow Day!

The local news called it "Snowpacalypse". Ahem not so much. We did get 3 inches though! Enough for some fun in the snow!


Good thing about homeschool- we were able to have it anyway! After some snowball fights and snowman making of course!

I made up a new recipe tonight- Snow Day Soup. Take leftover shredded bbq chicken, leftover taco meat, black beans, olives, pinto beans, diced toms, and crushed toms. Throw into crockpot & stir. Cook on low 3 hours. Serve with cornbread. YUM YUM! Kids ate it up! :) And now my fridge is cleaned out!

BTW, I have a cheerleader now. I am apprehensive about this. She loves it though. Looking forward to a couple of months of it. I knew it would be fun for her- a place where she has permission to yell as loud as she wants and to jump around. Yep right up Apple's alley.


As girly as she is, she also enjoys hunting with her daddy. Sigh.



And since you don't get to see much of me, here's a pic from New Year's Eve with my two besties. We have the best time everytime we are together. We don't need alcohol or drugs, we just need lots and lots of laughter! :) (We stole the kids hats and horns. HA!)

Friday, January 7, 2011

Mega Swagbucks Day!!

I've told you about Swagbucks.com before but I want to give you another opportunity to join! This is the EASIEST way for anyone to earn Amazon.com gift cards and other prizes for FREE!

At Swagbucks.com, you earn swag for simple things like searches (just like you'd search on Google or Yahoo), taking surveys, watching videos, or trying special offers! I've made over $100 in amazon.com money simply by doing these things! They have a toolbar you can (but don't have to) download to make winning even easier!

This is how the website describes Fridays which are always Mega Swagbucks Days!

"Every Friday is Mega Swag Bucks Day (MSBD), which means better odds of winning our BIG Swag Bucks denominations! Simply search naturally, and with a little luck, you'll be winning large bills starting at 20 Swag Bucks and up.

While this is NOT a guarantee that you'll win high value Swag Bucks, we invite you to visit our twitter page (http://twitter.com/swagbucks) on every MSBD to hear from Swaggernauts like you who are winning big.
If you're a winner, consider tweeting a picture of your congratulations screen and including @swagbucks in your tweet. If TSG sees your tweet, he'll retweet it!"


You will start earning swag today just by signing up! So click Swagbucks and check them out!

NOMORERACK

Do you have 15 friends = Stila Lip Gloss , 125 friends = Apple TV, 900 friends = Macbook Air Laptop. Start racking up the friend count! You have 30 days, but do not wait!

Today I signed up at Nomorerack.com. Wanna know why? Because they are running a special promo for the next 30 days where you can win the gifts above and more! All for referring friends to this site that has special deals EVERYDAY! Come on, who doesn't love a great deal? I know I do!

So all you need to do is click the LINK, register your account, automatically receive $10 in nomorerack money FREE, "Like" them on Facebook, and then begin referring your friends! You do need to reply to the confirmation email they send but you DO NOT have to make a purchase to qualify!

Here are the official steps from the website:

How? 5 Easy Steps:


1. Grab your unique referral link above or at "Invite Friends" on nomorerack.com.



2. Email, Post, Twitter, Blog, and even call all your friends and family with your link daily.



3. Ask them to register at nomorerack with their e-mail address, check their inbox to confirm the registration, and "like us" on facebook.



4. Track your friend count at friendrack.com, see how many friends you've racked up and choose your prizes as you rack up your friends!



5. Don't miss a day – Items change regularly … but don't worry, we're constantly adding great new products.

So be sure to follow my Link and go check it out!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Ahhh Christmas Vacation is OVER

Our school resumed yesterday. Wow. Apple was not pleased! She took FOR. EV. ER. to do a subtraction worksheet. She tends to be extremely strong willed so when she digs in her heels, I have to as well. We have tried many other methods and it works best for us to endure until she finishes. Needless to say our school time was much longer than usual yesterday. However prior to the neverending mathcapade, she again AMAZED me with her reading skills! I posted a video of her on my FB page but can't figure out how to post video here. Anyhow she received a new devotional in her stocking and she picked it up for the first time yesterday as her Bible lesson and she read the whole page! Woohoo! And it wasn't all easy words either. She was reading wedding, bride, princess (she's known that one awhile), and all kinds of words I haven't heard her read before! Again KUDOS to HOOKED ON PHONICS! It has definately worked for her!

Today was a better day. We were able to get through all the material with little gnashing of teeth. I sat down over our break and loosely planned this semester. I assigned certain things to certain days but mostly I just gave us some goals to meet each week. I still have to sit down the night before or morning of and pull out the worksheets for that day (we use a lot of worksheets :) but it only takes few minutes!

Speedy went back to playschool today. He was excited to play on the playground and see all his buddies there. We have decided that this is his last year there so it was bittersweet to take him today. He will go until May and then he will be finished.

Have seen that there just aren't anymore homeschool programs here but the one. That is just insane to me since our city and county have a LARGE percentage of homeschoolers. I think that the success of the local private schools has probably cut down on the number of homeschool operations. I am planning to continue talking to other homeschoolers in the area to see what we can do about that!