Monday, June 30, 2008
So for the first time today I tried a homemade version. It was good. REALLY good. Here's hoping you enjoy it too.
Homemade Mocha Frappuccino
Pour leftover brewed coffee into ice cube trays and freeze.
When frozen, add to blender:
8 frozen coffee cubes
1/2 cup milk
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon chocolate syrup
Blend 'til smooth.
You can top it with whipped cream, but I like it just as well without. This makes one approximately 12 ounce serving.
Saturday, June 28, 2008
I also spent about $27 at Family Thrift Center. My favorite buy was using the $1.00 off Farmland breakfast sausage coupons since the sausage was on sale for $1.39. So I got 2 pounds of sausage for 0.39/pound!
At Walgreens I did the Dixie deal. It was a bit frustrating since I went to one Walgreens and they had only 3 packages of plates left. I bought 2 using the buy one get one free coupon in the ad. Then a $3 off any 2 Dixie products coupon printed. So I took that to another Walgreens hoping to buy a bunch more, but they also only had 3 packages of plates left! I bought 2, using the BOGO ad coupon and the Dixie coupon that had printed, so got both for $1. I also bought two packages of bowls for $1. Another $3 coupon printed, so today I finally got to go to a third Walgreens to use it. They, amazingly, had TONS of plates left, so I was hoping to buy them all. Alas, after doing the first transaction, no $3 coupon printed, so I guess this deal is done. So I got 8 packages of high quality paper products for $8, but I was disappointed because I had had such high expectations!
EDITED TO ADD: anonymous - I have successfully used RR's to pay for transactions that generate RR's many times. However, you generally cannot do the same deal repeatedly, eg using RR's from a diaper deal to pay for that same diaper deal. Also, you cannot use RR's from a particular manufacturer to generate RR's on any other deal from that same manufacturer, eg P&G. Hope that helps!
Friday, June 27, 2008
Twenty-four. Nearly all of them were purchased for around .50 per box, with Cinnamon Toast Crunch as a notable exception. (I snatched that up at $2 per box since we were running low and I think my husband would mutiny if we didn't have it in the house.)
I think I need to stop buying cereal, especially since we usually only eat it two mornings a week. Twenty-four unopened boxes of cereal is a half-year supply for our family.
Can you guess how many unopened tubes of toothpaste are sitting on my pantry shelf?
Ten. Nearly all of them were free or better (read "money-makers"), but I think I need to stop buying toothpaste too. Ten tubes of toothpaste is a three year supply for our family.
My pantry and freezer are well-stocked, and I could probably literally feed our family for six weeks on what we already have, only buying milk, eggs and fresh produce. But how can I resist the sales? That is the question.
I think I have moved into the exciting yet delicate position of needing to buy only milk, eggs and produce each week plus the very BEST of the sales. That means I can be really picky. Like when I scored breakfast sausage for .39/pound this week. And my grocery bill will go even lower.
IF I can make myself stop buying cereal and toothpaste.
Thursday, June 26, 2008
Yet here I am. And there it was. "Oooo, boys," (my nephews were visiting) "here's a super-gross squishy caterpillar."
They came running over with cries of delight and a bucket for his new "home", gently arguing about who could hold the caterpillar first.
I was delighted and excited because they were.
That, the more I ponder it, is love. And I believe a true measure of my love for Christ is the degree to which I delight in things that He calls good.
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
139. Mist clinging about pine-covered mountains.
140. Three little boys in their element with sticks, rocks, creek, and license to run.
141. Late night talk with mom and sister, small children all sleeping soundly in one big cabin.
142. Father/son camping trip.
143. Mother/daughter yard sale fun.
144. The flow of Ephesians discovered, remembered, discussed.
145. No tyrant do I serve but rather "Your statutes have been my songs."
146. Seeds tucked into earth, hope of life to come.
147. Weeds transformed when cupped in a lovely vase.
148. The crash of thunder. . .
149. The flash of lightning. . .
150. And kids who revel in the display of God's power just as their parents do.
151. Sweet fellowship in the Word with kindred spirits.
152. Fistful of purple wild-flowers, given with love by fast-growing boy of mine.
153. "The Treasure Principle" - a reminder that this world really is not my home.
154. "You have made my lot secure."
155. Sun-soaked, water-splashed, sand-spattered, beach-happy kids.
156. Kind words of encouragement from strangers.
Monday, June 23, 2008
Laundry underway, unpacking from camping complete, couponing and menu plan done for the week. So many other tasks call my name.
What better way to get away than to spend time in God's beautiful creation. I was refreshed by our camping trip. Sun-soaked, sand-spattered kids, trail winding next to stream, trees whispering overhead. Naps in the sunshine, reading by the fire. Creeping up on buffalo, leaving grass-treasures for prairie dogs. Sparkling lake, waving prairie, hushed forest.
And all just a foretaste of our eternal home.
Friday, June 20, 2008
We're off later today for yet another attempt.
If camping doesn't tickle your fancy, how about hiking? It's easy to bring the kids along. We've used everything from this:
Isaac is big enough to walk now, but if he gets tired, there's always this:
Thursday, June 19, 2008
I never really anticipated this, but more than 25% of the hits I get from Google have to do with my miscarriage post.
There are a lot of people out there googling things like "cemetary miscarriage", "unknown pregnancy toilet", "miscarriage bleeding not flowing out", and "I lost my amniotic fluid and miscarried." They end up at my site and my heart breaks that people must turn to something as impersonal as a search engine for support and information.
Yet I can understand why, even if they read my whole long miscarriage post, they wouldn't want to leave a comment. So I'm posting my email address here for those people.
If you have question about what happens during miscarriage, how to deal with the grief, or even if you just want to share your miscarriage story, please feel free to email me at: branch_155ATyahooDOTcom. (Substitute symbols for AT and DOT.)
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
It was minor, really. I rear-ended someone at a stoplight. Lightly. But it was enough to put what may be merely a cosmetic crack in their bumper. I don't blame them for having it checked out - it could be structural. If it IS just cosmetic, though, I didn't get the feeling this older couple would be letting me off the hook.
That I nearly expect that they ought to have mercy on me shows me just what copious amounts of grace I've received in my lifetime. A husband who didn't so much as flinch when I told him that our bumper looked a bit askew - "It's just stuff." Parents who showed me grace time after time as I waffled through my teenage years.
And a God who has forgiven me all my sins past, present and future.
I'd choose paying for a bumper over paying for all of my sins anyday.
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Grocery shopping completed?
Stories read to children?
Beverages prepared for Bible study?
In my dreams.
Heart at rest in God?
Could my priorities be any clearer? Do. Accomplish. Tasks. Must. Be. Finished.
At what cost?
Lord, help me remember what ought to be at the top of my list each day so that I may make much of you in all that I
Monday, June 16, 2008
3:45am - helped Isaac go potty and I never went back to sleep
5am - driving over to my sister's to help set up our yard sale
7am - yard sale begins - where is everyone?
9am - business picks up, I take a shift in the backyard watching all 5 kids
10am - kids start to get crabby - I whip out the fruit snacks
11am - clean up and pizza run
12pm - done for today!
1pm - kids down for naps, shower, make-up, clean up house, prep for babysitter
3pm - kids wake up, pick up babysitter, drop kids and babysitter at house
4pm - pick up Keith from work, drive to town 1hr away for rehearsal dinner. Entire drive is spent trying to remember the words to the song he is supposed to sing in the wedding.
5pm - rehearsal
6pm - rehearsal dinner
8pm - drive home
9pm - collapse in bed
6am - drive to my sister's house to help set up the yard sale.
7am - yard sale begins - everything's half price but it's even slower than yesterday!
8am - hubby and kids arrive with donuts. Yum!
9am - business picks up - maybe I'll break $100!
11am - everything in the yard sale is free now, as advertised on freecycle. The vultures descend.
12pm - it's amazing how much more attractive things look when they're free instead of .25. The remains of the yard sale have been decimated. The truck is loaded with a few things for the thrift store. Hubby brings back lunch.
1pm - kids nap, shower, make-up, clean up house
3:30pm - kids loaded in car for drive to the wedding
4:30pm - friend's wedding. Colors: orange and fuschia with camo vests. Very original.
5:00pm - husband sings and plays guitar at wedding as watching women everywhere swoon.
6pm- reception: sitting room only
8pm- load exhausted kids into car for return to home. Surely they'll fall asleep in the car.
9pm - arrive home. One kid fell asleep five minutes ago and the other one's still awake.
10pm - collapse in bed.
Friday, June 13, 2008
Thursday, June 12, 2008
"Those whom the Savior redeemed are called by the power of the Holy Spirit to holiness. They leave their sins and endeavor to be like Christ. They choose holiness, not out of any compulsion, but from the drawing of a new nature. Believers are able to rejoice in holiness just as naturally as they once delighted in sin. God neither chose them nor called them because they were holy. He called them that they might be holy. Holiness is the beauty produced by His workmanship in them. The Christlike qualities we see in a believer are as much the work of God as the atonement itself."
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
My recent stockpiling habits have caused a change in my approach to menu planning. Instead of deciding what meals I want to make for the week and buying all the necessary ingredients at full price, I buy whatever is on sale at the grocery store for the week, then make my menu plan based on what food I have in the house. This new method has led to some improvised and suprisingly delicious new recipes. Here is one of the best and simplest so far:
1 large can crushed tomatoes
1 medium zucchini
1/2 pound turkey italian sausage
Brown sausage in large skillet. Add crushed tomatoes and sliced zucchini. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until zucchini is tender. Serve over whole grain pasta.
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
"Oh, that my ways were directed to keep Your statutes! Then I would not be ashamed when I look into all Your commandments." Psalm 119:5-6
How great the love of Christ!
How small and imperfect my response.
How vast His grace!
How I trample it daily, with each ungrateful thought, word, deed.
How mighty His arm!
How I must trust that He is able to complete His work in me.
O happy day! when I see Him face to face and no more sin comes between my Savior and me.
Monday, June 9, 2008
Seeds are finally planted in my front flowerbed (I was having trouble getting outside between rainstorms). Now we'll see if those poor seeds grow fast enough to flower before the first frost this fall.
I watched a movie on Saturday night, despite previously swearing them off. I took a Tylenol PM before the movie, read for ten minutes after the movie, and went right to sleep. Strange.
It seems that I'm always either just a little bored with the days seeming long and slow, or that I feel like my to-do list keeps growing and there's no way to get it all done. The latter has been more frequently true lately.
My daughter has been obsessed with putting her sandals on and off.
My son rode a mile and a half on his training-wheeled bike today.
And it's time for me to get some real work done.
Slow down, Time - I want to keep my babies!
Saturday, June 7, 2008
One fun deal at Safeway last week involved pop and greeting cards. I found out about an unadvertised deal: buy 3 Hallmark greeting cards, get a 12-pack of pop for free. So I bought 6 - .99 cards that I needed to buy anyway (Father's Day) and got two 12-packs of Diet Coke for my hubby to take to work. The best part was that this deal overlapped with an advertised deal: buy two 12-packs of Coke products, get two more 12-packs and a case of water FREE. So the pop that I got free with the greeting cards counted for the ones I "bought" and I got more for free. To summarize, that's four 12-packs of pop and a case of water free for the price of 6 ninety-nine cent cards. It was fun to watch my total drop at the cash register . . .
I also took a trip to WalMart using The Censtible Sawyer's suggestions. I got
- 2 - four packs of Yo Plus yogurt $2 savings $2
- 3- jars of Vlasic pickle relish $0.24 savings $3
- 2- boxes Kashi cereal $2.50 savings $6
- 1- 4lb pag Purina cat food FREE savings $4
- 4- Calgon purse size lotion $0.32 savings $8
- 4- Healing Garden purse size lotion $0.56 savings $8
- 1- Johnson's Buddy soap FREE savings $1
- 12- Post-It page markers made $6 savings $18
So the Post-It purchase paid for everything else!
I also struck the jackpot when yard saling this morning. I love finding Gap and Gymboree children's clothes at yard sales - and no one else was digging through the totes full of clothes so I picked up quite the wardrobe for my daughter. I did spend $30 but I got about 25 clothing items, six giftable items, and two toys for my kids to play with on our car trip this summer.
Friday, June 6, 2008
Isaac keeps saying, "I want to live in the cabin FOREVER". It would be easy enough to agree.
Then back in our own little home this morning, Isaac told me, "Mom, I don't want to go to heaven. I want to stay here in our house." I regaled him with tales of playing with lions and cousins, hearing stories from Jesus Himself, living in a bigger and better house than even the cabin. I think he feels a little better about it now.
But it gives me reason to reflect: even the best this world has to offer doesn't come close to the glory of the next. Oh that I may live with a longing to be THERE - not at the cabin, not in the tropics, not even in our house.
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
- cinnamon rolls
- Mom's gift
- blankies and friends
- clip on chair
- bike and helmet
- folding table and chairs
- sippy cup
- water bottles
- buckets and shovels
I have generous parents, don't I?
When I return on Thursday, we'll have the kick-off of the summer Bible study for the young couples in our church. And to top it off, Friday and Saturday my sister and I are doing a yard sale. Fun week ahead!
Monday, June 2, 2008
115. Twenty-seven years of health for my husband.
116. "As a father pities is children, so the Lord pities those who fear Him." (Psalm 103:13)
117. Tiny pink flowers born of a scraggly bush left for dead.
118. A path through the mud.
119. Emulating Christ's creativity as we subdue our surroundings.
120. Early morning yard sale sans kids.
121. Free wood chips from a neighbor.
122. Fresh flowers from the yard scattered throughout my house.
123. Toddler joy at the sight of a friendly ladybug.
124. Sitting on the coffee shop patio . . .
125. with a steaming mocha . . .
126. and Randy Alcorn's book "Safely Home".
127. My Bible - such easy access to the very Word of God.
128. A God without nationality.
129. Christians willing to be crushed for their faith.
130. Much needed rain, quenching years of drought, filling reservoirs and turning the earth lush.
131. Four-handed pinochle played by three generations.
132. Encouragement from far-off, unknown bloggers.
133. The amazing example of my one-year-old who manages to be cheery despite a double ear infection.
134. Full reservoirs for the first time in years.
135. Giving gifts.
136. My husband's love for his stepdad.
137. Storybook Island is open!
138. "Up, Mama, hold me!"