Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Reading through the bible and living simply!

 In this blog:



Saving has taken on some new strides and fun challenges for me.  I have continued with aiming at only buying the dollar or less deals.  Realistically, this is not possible on ALL items, but it has been possible on most.  I have organized myself in an efficient way for me.  I never clip out coupons from inserts anymore.  I keep all the inserts in a tray with a date.  I do have an envelope system organized in categories for loose coupons I receive in the mail or pick up at the store and such.  I also have my organizer which I bring to the store.  It is labeled by store.  I mainly shop Publix and CVS, but if I come across really good deals at other stores, they are listed too.  I have always aimed to save as much as I spend but lately, I have been surpassing in the savings area!  YEH!  I have been making trips to CVS where I walk away with overages and Extra Care Bucks!  We also took advantage of tax free days and coupons we had saved up for JC Penny and Belk.  We ended up with $350 worth of back to school clothes for $46!!!!!  We are trying to teach Madi that if we are patient rather than buying what we want, the moment we want it, we will get to save our money for bigger, better things.  I have had the opportunity to teach people lately what I have learned and it has taken on a life of its own!  It feels so good to have these things to tell people.  It feels like hitting the lottery when you can walk away with so much good food to give your family and not have to pay $300/WEEK!  I MUST SHARE!!!!


We home schooled part-time during the summer.  We are back now to full-time.  We have been talking about Washington D.C. most of the summer.  We are working from a curriculum called Cantering the Country which takes you through every state and teaches multiple subject lessons surrounded by the state.  We did D.C. this summer because we are going there!!  We decided that it was time Madison learned about her country since last year we focused on the start of our country.  We are taking a train to get up there and this, in itself, is going to be amazing!


Proverbs has been my focus.  I could tell you a million things I have absorbed followed by a trillion I humanly glazed over.  I love the simplicity.  It seems so basic.  Shun evil.  Turn away from unwise choices and trust God.  You will find peace in this.  Who'da thunk that discipline and wisdom could be good things?  But, as desperately as I may strive, the virtuous woman in Proverbs 31 will be the death of me!  Hmmm, how??  That's all I have to say about her!  Love to hate! 

I have been struggling lately because I have been seeing a lot of people fighting and struggling over religious freedoms.  Since teaching Madison about the foundations of our country, I have revisited the things that make us such a desirable place to live.  Those who choose to have beliefs opposite of mine have the right to practice those.  As should I.  This is just one example I recently heard.  A group of people praying discreetly on the steps of the Supreme Court Building.  They were asked to stop because it was a publicly funded place.  This is disheartening.  Turns out, these people were praying for the coming decisions that had to be made and that they would make the best decisions for the country.  Why is this so offensive to people?  I guess I just don't understand in my possible naivety.  This leads me to my next struggle.  It seems that most, and I stress most, of the world has a common goal.  Religion and prayer aside.  That common goal is for the good of all mankind.  We all seem to want to see goodness.  This means being kind and in most cases moral.  I know morality is a shady line but lets just say, for the most part, people want to be good!  So, why is it that people look at someone like me and say, "If your God isn't real, then you followed all the lies of this false book for nothing."  The things I read in the bible lead to me to the elusive goodness we really do all have a heart for.  It leads me to peaceful resolutions, strong relationships, it helps me worry less and seek to help others, selflessly, more often.  It teaches me that I am not the only person in my world and how much good there is to do.  There are a multitude of other "lies" right???  I read this bible because I want to attain that level of tranquility.  Doesn't it seem that most people want tranquility and to help other people?  So, if I get that from this book, then is my time reading it truly wasted and am I truly a burden to others for wanting people to know what I have learned?   I WILL NOT......EVER....judge someone for not reading it.  I WILL NOT...EVER...judge someone for not believing in MY AWESOME GOD.  Not unless you trample on me and my beliefs.  We need to all be loving and support each other no matter WHAT we believe because regardless of religion, the majority of us have the MOST common of goals. 


I have not done moments in a while. 

-Mike doing his show.  I hadn't seen it in a while he never ceases to impress me!
-Mackenzie in now potty trained, though I am aware this is a lifetime moment!
-Our small group laughing and bonding over a chapter we are reading on we ALL had reason to WHINE over!

-Reconnecting family members.  Absolutely a beautiful sight!

-Nighttime summer swimming with Mike and Madi!

This is a tiny, tiny taste.  As summer comes to a close and the new school year opens for us, I anticipate we will be met with a vast number of moments.  It can be challenging and it can be simple.  it all depends on your attitude.  I plan a good attitude...its going to be a great year!!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Shopping Frugally and Summertime Happenings

After my couponing class, I made some minor changes.  For one thing, I paid much closer attention to how my coupons were organized.  A while back, I stopped clipping and began just dating the insert and putting it in folders by month.  This has worked out SPECTACULARLY!!!!  I love this method.  I have always have the problem of not having enough coupons.  Then I found the Whole Coupon Inserts.  So that solves one problem, but this causes a NEED to be an even better planner.  I need to plan by Monday, which is the earliest I have discovered, to get the match-ups for the next week.  I Heart Publix  does this.  I am still learning that site because I was using Southern Savers.  Once I discover what I want to get, if I need multiple coupons, I can go the Whole Coupon Inserts and get the ones I need.  So what is the result of all of this???   I had always aimed to save as much as I spent.  But this week, I spent $61 and saved $93, which I incorrectly listed on my facebook.  This included the large box of diapers, product, a ton of grocery items,  and several soy milks!! 

I also have a piece of advice.  I use printed coupons.  I used to have a terrible problem because I could not print from my computer.  I watched deals slip through my fingers.  I know you cans till save a ton without printing, but we invested $200 in a laptop.  It took 6 weeks of printing to save that much and I had paid for our computer.  Now the investment has returned 10 fold!!!  I know a lot of people will say they cannot afford it.  I don't think we could either, but we REALLY sacrificed during the six weeks and now to see as much savings from those printables as we have, it is sooooo worth it!  You can get used ones for even cheaper!  I have spoken to a few friends about this and I must admit, I didn't want to buy a new computer, but honestly it became a money maker!

Even better??  Yes, Mike found a used desktop for Madison's schooling for $150...NOW I can print 4 times!!!!!!!  This is how I did my last trip!  I had soooooo many coupons.  I could save that pretty quick now.  In that shopping trip alone, there were $10 printed in coupons just from THAT new computer! 

Just think about it.  Sacrifice a few things.  I bet you could come up with one or two things!! 

Now summer time has been the most amazing time.  We have spent so much time in the water, at dollar movies and splash pads!  Now we are studying up on Washington, D.C. for our upcoming trip!  We are so excited.  Madison cannot wait to visit the Smithsonian!  My girls are bonding so well as sisters and what an amazing adventure it has been.  I have loved watching them!  It has been a constant reminder of how thankful I need to be that I CAN be with them everyday to watch.  Blessed!!!