Wednesday, December 26, 2007

What Andrew Got For Christmas...

A big brother T-shirt! We got it in size 4 so that it would fit next fall when our new baby arrives!!!! It doesn't really look that big on him right now though, does it?

We hadn't told the girls yet, we put the T-shirt in Andrew's stocking and let them figure it out :). We are all super excited!!! Well, I don't think Andrew and Bethi quite get it, but the rest of us are thrilled :). 

The baby is due August 25th, another fall birthday! Unless Baby is early (which I'm not counting on this time!) that will be six out of seven birthdays within a space of six weeks! August 25th is my mom and dad's anniversary and the day before Lee's and my birthday, that would be a neat birthday gift!

Lee has given his blessing on planning our first home birth.  More research to eat up my computer time :). Things seem to be going really well so far this time. I love going into a new year knowing it will bring a new baby!

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas as well!

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. ~James 1:17

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Super Savings Saturday

   I know that my blogging has been a bit sporadic lately. One of the many reasons is because I have been spending a lot of my online time researching frugal spending/living. It isn't terribly time-consuming it is just that once you start surfing these websites it's hard to stop! So, I thought I would share with you a bit of what I've saved and learned. It has become a hobby for us. Don't laugh!!! Go out somewhere next week, get paid to walk out with your "purchase", and see how much fun it can be for yourself ;)...

   Lee calls CVS his new best friend ;). It is far and away the best for deals on a regular basis! Walgreen's is pretty great too. Here is what we got last week. CVS required multiple transactions (the products on the far left starting at the baking soda is Walgreen's, everything right of that is CVS).

From CVS we got...
10 bags of cough drops
4 bottles of Robitussin
6 8-packs of energizer batteries
3 boxes of tissues
2 bottles of Beano
9 cases of some energy drink
1 bottle of mouth spray
2 bottles of mouthwash
2 bottles of Tums
1 Physicians Formula (mineral based make-up) lip color
1 Physicians Formula blush
1 Physicians Formula eye shadow
1 Physicians Formula foundation
From Walgreen's we got...
4 boxes of baking soda
1 box of business sized envelopes
1 box of regular sized envelopes
5 candles
2 rolls of Reynold's wrap aluminum foil
4 boxes of Celestial Seasonings tea (2 Gingerbread Spice (our favorite winter drink!!!!!), 1 Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride and 1 Candy Cane Lane, we haven't tried either of these last two before)
Now, here is the fun breakdown of what we got it for :)...
The original price of the items comes to $228.16.
On top of sale prices we used the following coupons:
$3.00 manufacturer's coupon per bottle of Robitussin
$5.00 CVS coupon and a $1.00 manufacturer's coupon per package of batteries
Free box of  tissues CVS coupon per box of tissues
Try me free CVS coupon per bottle of Beano
$1.00 off manufacturer's coupon per mouthwash
A few $5 off $25 and/or $2 off $10 CVS coupons, depending on the transaction
A Walgreen's coupon for the envelopes, candles, aluminum foil and tea
We stacked the Walgreen's aluminum foil coupon with a $1.00 manufacturer's coupon on one and a .75 off the other which meant we made a penny off of one and paid .24 for the other
And a .45 cent coupon on two of the teas
After using Extra Care Bucks (ECB's) we spent about $22.07 out-of-pocket...but it gets better than that :)!
We have a rebate for the Tums and one of the Physicians Formula make-ups, we'll get back $23.57 in rebates. In the end we will be paid $1.50 cents for everything you see here :)! Now, tell me that's not fun ;)!
But, it gets even better than that we spent $77.45 in ECB's and earned $90.83 in ECB's so we made $13.38 in ECB's (these are like cash that can be used at CVS but they do expire like a coupon) and $1.50 for our bank account after we deposit the rebate checks, all-in-all we will have been "paid" $14.88 cents for this product :)!!! We also got three more $5 off of $25 coupons that printed off onto the bottom of our receipt.
   Now, we won't be using all of this. The Beano we got because we didn't have to pay for it and we know someone who does use it so we picked it up for them. The energy drinks we got to roll-over some of our ECB's that were about the expire but I'm sure we'll find someone who would like a free energy drink. The Robitussin brought us overage (we were paid $1.02 to buy it and it rolled over some of our ECB's) but we have a regular pharmacy of medicine stockpiled after months of doing this and we don't even like taking medicine unless the situation becomes absolutely unbearable so we will likely be keeping an ear out for someone else who could use it (anyone know if this sort of thing can be donated anywhere?). But, other than that we will likely be making use of the rest of it ourselves. I thought I would add, the out-of-pocket at Walgreen's was about $11.00, it was the ECB's at CVS and the coming rebates that "paid" for Walgreen's...and then some! CVS is the best, though on rare occasions we have gotten "paid" to shop at Walgreen's!
   Kroger can have some good deals at times too but it is getting harder to get them there because they have decided to allow no more than two internet coupons at a time. Lee stopped in for me the other day and picked up...
1 Daisy sour cream (free with a .50 coupon doubled)
2 packages of yeast (.10 each after two .45 coupons were doubled)
2 boxes of Jolly time popcorn (these were on sale for a dollar each so we earned $1.00 overage after using two $1.50 coupons)
Lee also brought home some ice cream to celebrate our overage, heehee ;).
A couple of months ago we got a coupon for a free Edward's Pie, actually we got two as an apology that it took them so long to get our rebate completed (wasn't that generous of them :)?!). A couple of weeks later Kroger had their Edward's pies buy-one-get-one-free. We figured we would end up paying about half of the price of one pie because of the way Kroger does their BOGO but we actually only paid $1.27 for four pies.


Publix is usually my favorite grocery store for good deals. They seldom have absolutely great deals (I don't remember ever getting anything for free) but they consistently have some pretty good deals across the board so I think that makes up for it. This last week we got...
1 brownie mix
2 SwissMiss hot chocolate mixes (Lee loves the dark chocolate!)
1 Land'O'Lakes stick butter
6 bars of cheese
6 boxes of Ritz
4 rolls of Jimmy Dean Sausage
2 boxes of fruit snacks
2 bottles of Juicy Juice
12 cans of Del Monte veggies
The original price of the items would have been $88.49 but after store sales, $18.28 in manufacturer's coupons and $1.80 in store coupons our total was $35.52 out-of-pocket, a savings of $52.97!

We've gotten some fun deals at Target as well. Stacking store coupons with manufacturer's coupons just before Thanksgiving we got 4 boxes of Stove-top for only .04 cents each! And bags of M&M's for .50 cents each! 


 I've also gotten some great deals, including overage on Totino's pizza rolls, at Bi-Lo but I can't find my last receipt right now to share. When I go on Sunday to pick up a paper I will pick up a couple more boxes of pizza rolls because I've got more coupons :).
   Lee goes right by these places on his way home from work so I am really blessed in the fact that he loves to do this, he loves the looks on the cashier's faces when he leaves the store with a bag full for a quarter, and he doesn't mind shopping. This saves us the gas money and our children the experience of being carted all over Columbia! I will make out a list and get all of the coupons ready and then Lee will usually make a quick ten minute stop at one store or another three or four times a week, more often if the deals are awesome, like when he was getting $50 glucose testers for free with a manufacturer's coupon AND made $20 in ECB's for buying them 
(remember, these can be used like cash at CVS) . He did that deal several times. We made a lot of ECB's off of them and he was able to bless a couple of the older ladies at work who needed the strips that come in the machines. Lee has people come into his store using coupons all of the time and while they are trying to figure out how best to put them to use he's been known to humbly suggest, "if you'll save an extra.......". He gets a twice a year employee appreciation 40% off shopping spree (he manages a Christian bookstore)and the last one was just a couple of weeks ago, we love books :)!!! And where else could we have gotten a DVD like Vision Forum's A League of Grateful Sons  brand-new for 40% off and no shipping :)?!

We've already started our list for our little "spree" next spring ;).
Some of my favorite sites for finding these deals are:,f474 (search for your local stores on their site)

And of course Crystal's frugal spending/saving blog:  :)

Some great sites for finding printable coupons are:

This link is great for finding coupon codes to use online:

 When I find a really great deal I will go online and order multiple coupons so that I can stockpile from here:
I also routinely order coupons for eggs and milk and other things that we use whether or not they are on sale. Eggland's Best eggs are always the most cheap, hormone free, from all natural/all-vegetarian fed chickens when we have a coupon, when they are on sale somewhere they are usually more cheap than generic! I usually just stock up on these sort of coupons when I am ordering coupons for a specific deal and make sure I get enough to cover our regular needs through to the expiration date.

 You can find a list of discount/salvage stores here:
I haven't been to one of these in years but we used to live near one and you could get some really great deals there, you just have to be careful to inspect your items well before you buy them.

Here's a neat article on when you can typically get the best deals on certain things:

Now, where do we store all of these great deals? Well, that's a whole other post ;)...

For more fun blog entries on saving money visit Crystal's Super Savings Saturday :)!

Have a blessed day serving your family for the Glory of God, my friends :)!

Friday, December 7, 2007

Thanksgiving 2007

We had a lovely Thanksgiving. We started the morning with a yummy traditional breakfast of a maple twist  coffee cake, and we listened to a teaching on CD about the pilgrims while we ate. This was Andrew's first Thanksgiving maple twist breakfast...

I think he liked it :)...

Then it was time to start working on the meal! Bri and I had done as much as we could the day before while Tori blessed us by keeping the little ones entertained whenever they weren't "helping". Here is Andrew the day before Thanksgiving kneading some dough while Bethi stood by offering some "pointers"...


There was still plenty left to do on Thanksgiving. Lee made the turkey again this year. I have NEVER made a turkey. Ever. And Lee does such a wonderful job I highly doubt I ever acquire the skill, heehee. This year he added seasoning and it was beyond wonderful! We set the table with our special holiday dishes, my mother sent this set of dishes with me when I married. I don't think I have ever eaten a holiday meal at home off of any other set of dishes for as long as I can remember, they are very special to a sentimental person like me. After we had gathered around our table that evening and thanked the Lord for His goodness throughout this last year Lee started getting the Christmas tree ready to decorate and I helped the girls get as much done in the kitchen as possible, then I went to rescue Lee from the two littlest ones so that he could get done ;). Lee had accomplished all but the lights the day before which Andrew had found quite tiring...


When we were finally ready to decorate, the children gathered around while I unpacked the ornaments and they ooohhh'ed and aaawww'ed as if they had never seen them before...

Andrew had to get a closer look...

He couldn't quite figure out how to get them to "stick"...

Yes, he is always finding a reason to climb...

It use to frighten me when he would climb around on the couch and on stools, etc. But now that he has graduated to climbing on top of the dining room table I've gotten over the "little stuff" ;). A little perspective is always good :).

A couple pictures of my big girls...

There have been some really rough roads to travel this year but through it all God has always been there making straight our paths.  He has truly been so good to us. Our lives are full of the blessings of God!

I pray you all have a very blessed Christmas season remembering the Savior  Who came to earth, was born and died, that we might live.

Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. ~Philippians 2: 6-11

Bethi's Favorite Things About Thanksgiving...

The leftover's ;).  Here is Bethi snacking on turkey the day after Thanksgiving, we found that she loves turkey!

And her corn husk doll that big sister Bri made her after they had prepared the corn on the cob together for our meal...

Bri is such a good big sister! I am so blessed by her care for, and her delight in, her little siblings! Bethi was so pleased with her "dolly" but it met with a sad demise a few days later. Those things happen with a little brother in the house ;)...

Saturday, December 1, 2007


   Yes, I realize that the Christmas season is upon us with the supposed cold and snow, etc., that goes along with it (not that we're likely to see any of it here in sunny South Carolina), but I am still playing catch up! Remember that trip we took at the end of August and the additional pictures I was going to share :)? Well here they are, finally...

   Note the absence of a certain little boy in most of these pictures. He wasn't feeling very photogenic that day. Lee had me get in a few pictures with him (see my avatar) just so we could get some and I'm so glad he did. Now I can remember with a smile that that is me with allll of my children.

Have a blessed day in Him!