Friday, January 29, 2010
Initially there may be an item on sale that I do not know a coupon source for because my coupon information for sources on things is pretty slim at this point. As I keep more inserts etc week to week that should grow.
Progresso Vegetable Soup 5 for $5 makes it a $1 a can
-$.50/2 1/17 SS
- $.75/2 (Simple & Affordable)
= $0.25 for 2
11-15-09 General Mills
Skinner Pasta Spaghetti or Elbow 24 oz bag 99 cents each.
Kelloggs Cereal Fruit Loops, Apple Jacks, Corn Pops or Frosted Flakes 3 for $5 Limit 3 with $10 purchase.
01-03-10 RedPlum 1
Totino's Crispy Crust Pizza 88 cents Limit 8 with ad'$10
My children eat alot of these so I will probably get the Limit of 8, 88cents is a pretty good price
Gain Laundry Soap- $3.99 57-73 oz box Limit 2 with ad' $10
Betty Crocker Brownie Mix 18.3- 19.9 oz 88 cents.
This week that is pretty much it. Not many deals..and lots of limits.
If you want to purchase any of these coupons- handling fee purchase, you can try CouponsThingsbyDede
I found myself stumbling upon a great resource online for Proverbs 31 I love the way the site breaks it all down. I looked into my life this week to decide how I am a Proverbs 31 woman and then also what areas I would like to improve.
Lately I have really dug into coupons and trying to better adjust our menus and money so that we eat better meals and also don't feel like "robbing Peter to pay Paul." Life has been scary these past few months. When you look at the logistics of our budget there is no money at all with what Paul makes for food, gas and extras of any kind. Kind of a scary fact if you ask me. One I try not to focus on all that much. I then found I needed to be more creative.
This week I joined a coupon class to get more insight into how I could better meet our family needs and maybe even help others, which I truly love doing. I have been teaching a few friends what I already knew and inspiring them, this class inspired me even further. It reminds me of this section of Proverbs 31
14She is like merchant ships;
She brings her food from afar.
Did I need the coupon class? Probably not. I have read a good bit online through various blogs, spent hours upon hours doing research about all kinds of things relating to coupons, manufactures, and stores. It was three hours of my night, away from the kids..However, I felt after leaving that it was probably the best three hours I spent all week. I did really learn even more than I knew and I could then bring that information home and apply it to our lives. I also have a few friends that are even more interested so I can pass this information along. It also furthered my desire to stockpile, which helps me on my next Proverbs 31 goal.
I do love making quilts. I admit since this new year I have not been as disciplined as I could be. The quilts and things do bring in some extra money which is what I use to buy groceries. Its in a way income specifically for that. When I read over Proverbs 31 again it stated,
24She makes linen garments and sells them,
And supplies belts to the tradesmen.
I really dug deep on that one. I thought wow, that is so me. I had never realized that before. So I need to get better with using my time while the children are at school and in between times that I am volunteering at the school. I want my business to be more productive so I need to balance my hours better and set aside real time to work at getting more done.
Another area I have been focusing on is with the kids. We sure have had a couple rough weeks. Mainly with choices they make. I find that part of it is really my fault because I may ask for something to get done but then I don't do a very good job at following through and making sure it has been finished. For example last weekend I spent Saturday shopping at various stores, trying to balance all the sales and the coupons I had. I asked our oldest to do wash all day. Well come Sunday night I realize only one maybe two at the most got done. If I had come in and paid attention and been diligent I would have known that he had not done as I asked. On the same hand I could have put in a load or two myself while we watched TV both evenings. So I was very guilty of idleness.
27She looks well to the ways of her household,
And does not eat the bread of idleness.
We tried chore charts in the past and they did not work well. I had a new idea. My children seem really excited about all the new coupons, the different foods we can now afford to buy etc. So I am creating a new chore chart but I am not assigning a specific person to that chore. The reward will be several things from picking a meal,to picking a dessert, to helping me cook, choosing a game or movie etc. I would like them more involved and in the same respect I want them to want to help around the house. I can't afford to pay an allowance anymore, simple facts are we owe them again right now as we have borrowed all the cash they had on hand over the last few months. So we shall see if my new idea will help me keep a better house. With 5 people and 3 dogs it sure does get out of control pretty quick.
So I feel I am digging in deeper to become the woman that I would like to be. The woman that I feel our Lord calls us to be. I am praying that I can continue to improve upon that and will continue to dig deeper in the coming weeks and share on Fridays what I am learning about truly being that Proverbs 31 Woman, Wife and Mother.
Thursday, January 28, 2010
Now I already knew one fact that I love, and have testified to happening. You can use your manufactured coupon with an uploaded coupon to your card like Kroger. For example CellFire or Shortcuts.Com.. They not only give you the manufactured discount on the item but they give you the loaded coupon too. Now the catch with the loaded coupon is you only get one, even if you use three manufactured ones..
I did also learn that Walmart- like I thought really does not have the true savings they claim if you are looking to shop using coupons and sales. I truly found that the case this week when I shopped both places. There were a couple items that I knew were cheaper at Walmart but my savings were not even close comparison wise. I now realize that I will be cutting coupons for things like razors etc and putting them in a binder to then watch for later sales that Kroger will have. I never thought to buy things like Shampoo and stuff there. I glance at prices but always find it is still cheaper at Walmart. That is because I am not watching the sales close enough.
Anyway there is too much info to put into one Blog but I will start next week trying to break it all down as I would love to inspire others to also take the plunge and clip those coupons, plan your menus and save that money!
I am very excited to see that my husband got the kids homework finished up, dishes were finished (i had most of them done before I left) and they were ready for bed by the time I made it home after ten tonight. He was so supportive when I was jumping up and down (not literally- but inside) over the fact that I won a bag full of coupons tonight. A free class and I walk away with money! Wow... so wonderful as there is a HUGE Mega Sale at Kroger this weekend. The Lord truly is amazing. He opened some doors today for me that will possibly truly help me stay at home and just sale quilts so that I can continue to be with our children, the way that HE intended for a woman to be. That makes me very warm inside.
Is it really Thursday already? I am very much looking forward to the weekend though. I am so Thankful this week, not that I am not normally, but just even more so today. Kind of odd though as I am very depressed today too.
I have been really focusing on how to be a better Proverbs 31 Wife and Mother...it is very difficult. Especially this section this week.
17 She sets about her work vigorously;
her arms are strong for her tasks.
18 She sees that her trading is profitable,
and her lamp does not go out at night.
I have been doing better with Menus and meal planning. January which is almost over went pretty well. Overall the kids ate every night and didn't complain too much. I have focused on finding ways to cut back food wise. That means joining a ton of manufacturer's websites online, reading blogs, doing research. Most importantly coming up with a strategy that works for me.
Saying all that I am so thankful to my family this week who has supported my new venture and dealt with the ups and downs of that. My biggest fan right now is my husband. I have all the wash just about caught up, the kitchen is nearly clean - correctly cleaned etc.. I truly felt the Proverbs 31 wife this week.
11 Her husband has full confidence in her
and lacks nothing of value.
I am excited for tonight- a Thursday when I can attend a couponing class. I feel this is so important this year as our finances take a even bigger dive. We realized the reason we struggled so much this year is we lost nearly $20,000 in income. HUGE difference. I am so blessed though because since I know that our Heavenly Father as my Personal Savior, I am grounded in the promise that HE WILL PROVIDE for us. I believe that if I continue to work hard he will continue to find new ways for us to save and stretch our buck so to say.
And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.
We continue to have problems financially- unexpected things that knock the wind out of us. Like Property taxes doubling, the O2 sensor going out in the truck, which once fixed the brake lights went on. In a way I almost laugh. Isn't that really how life is.
We come out of one struggle, praising the Lord for his continued help and blessings, then go right into another. I feel that I could let it all blow me over at times. Then I sit back and look at what we have already made it through and have faith that once again it will be the same.
I am thankful for these sandpaper situations that continue to mold and make me into that child that he wants me to be.
You are our Father;
We are the clay, and You our potter;
And we are all the work of Your hand.
For more posts about Thankful Thursday, please see Grace Alone
1 Notebook 9.99
Cost of stationary gift 9.99
$10 Discount 9.99
S&H and Tax My cost $1.61
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Tuesday’s coupons of the day are some great new Kraft printables HERE just out in time for Super Bowl parties.
You can find:
* $1 off (4) Philadelphia Cream Cheese
* $1 off Velveeta Cheese 1 lb or larger
* $1 off (2) Planters Mixed Nuts or Cashew Halves 5.5-11.5 oz.
* $1 off (2) Capri Suns
* $1 off Kraft Grated Parmesan Cheese 8 oz.
* $1 off Oscar Mayer Deli Fresh Shaved Meats
* $1 off Oscar Mayer Meat Bologna or Cotto Salami 16 oz.
* $1 off Claussen Pickles 20-32 oz.
* $1 off (2) Kraft Deluxe or Velveeta Shells and Cheese
* $1 off A-1 Steak Sauce
As for my Tackle it Tuesday. It was hard to get motivated today. I wanted to come home and go back to bed after getting the kids to school. I had to think real hard on being that Proverbs 31 woman today. REAL HARD. So first thing I did was get a new load of wash in, then I did a load of dishes, then I ate breakfast..At that point I felt I got a couple things done so I was off to eat breakfast and check email. This afternoon I continued with a second load of dishes. Believe it or not I still have some that need to be washed by hand. I am going to see if my hubby will do those. He left them for me from his Salsa making adventure last night. I have been doing wash all day. I have nearly everything done. I have a pile of blankets and sleeping bags that I will have to keep working on this week but at least all the clothes are just about done and folded. I just need the kids to get what is there's and put them all away. Sadly we have been reworking some of the rooms so laundry baskets and buckets because holders for fabric and other things. It created a problem for me today. I have all the clothes I have done all day piled among two baskets in my daughters room (that is where the washer and dryer are).
Monday, January 25, 2010
The first issue was cheating. I was very disappointed at this situation. First off let me explain that my little one has some trouble solving word searches and crossword puzzles. It truly does take him some time. So I really despise when this is given first thing in the morning to do as busy work. However, at no point do I agree with cheating. If the assignment allowed for them to work in pairs then fine, but this was to be done by yourself. The teacher explained to me that my child and one other were copying off another child's completed work. I was very upset with my child for his poor decision making. Now to me cheating is cheating...
I think in this case the one he is cheating most is himself. My punishment may have been severe in this matter as I felt for at least one week there should be no t.v., computer, video games. Somehow the degree of punishment was not felt agreeable to my husband so one night was all that took place. My husband felt for the most part that it was busy work and yes he had cheated by copying but that in some ways it just wasn't that bad. He thought when I said he cheated it was on a test or something. To him that deserved punishment.
From the bible I found
1 Corinthians 6:8
Instead, you yourselves cheat and do wrong, and you do this to your brothers.
Most cheating references dealt with cheating in the sense of objects so it was rather hard to come up with verses that truly supported my deep feelings on this issue.
I do hope that he chooses the correct path in the future.
Now the second issue I must admit blew me out of the water. We were at Walmart last night shopping and saw fabric was being closed out and on sale at 50%. I begged for a few yards and was able to get two "themes" in enough fabric to make one quilt each from. It was so hard to not BEG for more because the price was $2.22 a yard. You just can't beat that.
Now to the issue....the fabric there was bound with rubber bands. The kids were astonished by the pile on the cutting table. We paid for our items, returned home and I was in the middle of making dinner for that night and preparing for today when I looked at a table in the den and saw 20+ rubber bands.
I must admit I blew. When I questioned where they came from and who had them- knowing we only had the younger two with us... I could not get a straight answer. So I sent them each to their own rooms. I tried to get Paul to go to our room to discuss it, but he did not want to, so I simply quietly told him I felt it was stealing and they WOULD be getting punished for such. In a way I think he felt that again I was over reacting. I then decided to lean on what had just happened earlier in the week with the cheating. That punishment was not made and they need to know they WILL BE punished when they do wrong. Granted this really was more of just a poor choice but STEALING IS STEALING... it did not belong to them.
I decided to do some research on the subject since honestly we have never had a situation like this one. On a side note, children are children and will make mistakes, us adults sure make some big ones of our own don't we. On that note I want to make sure as a parent I nurture them in the way that they should go and try to help direct their path to be a Godly one. Where they will make the best decision they can in each situation and learn from their mistakes...I also want to make sure that even though they realize that Stealing is a sin, that they realize they are also forgiven for that as well. So punishment wise my decision was to work off what they stole- I am having each be considered one bag of rubber bands. This is done by two chores picked by me. In addition, they are to come home after school and do homework, no tv, no computer no games. They can read quietly in their room or turn in early for the remainder of this week. They will also need to read through the verses that I have found so they understand why I feel this is so serious.
Here are some verses on Stealing.
He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need.
"You shall not steal.
" 'Do not steal. " 'Do not lie. " 'Do not deceive one another.
"You shall not steal.
Jesus replied, " 'Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, honor your father and mother,' and 'love your neighbor as yourself.' "
You know the commandments: 'Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, do not defraud, honor your father and mother.' "
You know the commandments: 'Do not commit adultery, do not murder, do not steal, do not give false testimony, honor your father and mother.' "
The commandments, "Do not commit adultery," "Do not murder," "Do not steal," "Do not covet," and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this one rule: "Love your neighbor as yourself."
For the record, I do have wonderful children....so I do feel very blessed that even though I do not like these tough situations, that occassionally they do arise so that we can reinforce the basics.
Saturday, January 23, 2010
The last two stops I made were very quick. The first was Food Basket. They have a free item every week that we take advantage of. This week was a 4 pk of toilet paper. Then they had a coupon for 2 cans of Tuna- Starfish for .29 cents I believe. That is all I got..so my bill was .58 cents.
My friend Pam gave me one of these pages from the Chronicle Wed ad we get in the mail, so now I can send Paul in tomorrow with .60 cents to do it again. I am thankful he does not mind.
Last trip was another local store Brookshire Brothers. They had Trix cereal 2 for $4. I tried to price match at Walmart but it was not the same price, and Krogers was higher so- I made the stop. Its not far from the house, so not really a big deal. I had two coupons each $1 off. I paid exactly $2 for both boxes and then a coupon printed out for $1.50 off 3 boxes. I have a coupon right now for .55 cents so I will go back tomorrow and pick up 4 more boxes.. I like to store house cereal because I often cook things the kids will not eat.
This trip I made because I had some bagel coupons for $1 off the purchase of 2. They cost $1.37 normally. I also had a coupon for Kraft Cheese, always a wonderful find. Walmart has the cheapest price right now on that too. My friend Pam had given me a fish stick coupon, which is great because that is a meal Zekaryah wanted for his birthday week. Classico was also cheaper at Walmart, even cheaper this week then what I normally buy and I had one of those buy $2 get so much off on that as well. I was so excited to use so many printed coupons at Walmart. Usually I don't have much for there because the sale at Kroger's will cover the items I need. This week that was not the case. I even was able to get some dishwasher soap- which I will stretch out with the Borax and Washing Soda.
I did ask them to price match on the Progresso soups- Randall's had them for $1.11 - Walmart's price was $1.50 and I had coupons that varied for all the cans I purchased. She did that without hesitation. Then Paul needed green tomatoes so I asked her to match the price in produce. Again she was wonderful so we got the tomatoes, onion and jalapenos for 59 cents a lb instead of Walmarts price which was at least 30 cents more a lb.
So full price items on this trip were the chips, face scrub, milk, manicure set, green onions, cream cheese, limes, garlic, then two detergents, otherwise I used coupons.
My savings outside of price matching was $9.60 cents. Not great but not bad...money saved is money saved.
I started with Kroger's this week because I had some coupons that worked with the 10 for $10 sale they were hosting this week. I also saw a couple things in the ad that I was interested such as Stayfree/Carefree for $2.49 and then I had a coupon for $1 off. I also had a couple coupons for Wheaties Cereal- the new one called Fuel, and they had it on sale. I am thankful to my friend Pam who gave me a couple of Pillsbury coupons. It helped me get 9 for less than I would have spent, as the only 10 for $10 this week were the smaller ones and I didn't have 3 coupons total for that. I took advantage of a couple of sales in addition to coupons and the 10 for $10 and did really well this week, not as good as a month ago though, I had so many more coupons on that trip.
Breakdown of how I did
MFG Cpn $14.05
Bonus Cpn $1.95
Kroger plus savings 26.41
Total coupons $42.36
I spent $62.86 more than i wanted to but I stocked up on some can soup and pineapple. Neither of which I had coupons for. Bummer as I did have Campbell's coupons a month ago, but they are now expired. :-( I was still pleased. I got one of the packages of Carefree for .19 plus tax...I had a coupon for $1 off a package I was buying that I already had a coupon for $1 for.. I just simply peeled it off that package, picked up a different one that was for $1.19 and then it came to .19 cents. A great find... one side note I did have to pay full price for two items- the cranberry juice. I didn't have juice coupons and I really do like the Cran-Straw that Kroger's sells- they are the only place I can ever find it. So for me I am willing to fork over the 1.99 each. Then I also did pick up a Sunday Paper so that was an additional $2. I need to look into getting that cheaper somewhere.
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
I look at the fact that I still do not have a job yet somehow manage to sale a couple towels or a quilt here and there, that Paul finds some overtime for work, or even an extra job once in a while. It is keeping us a float somehow. That again is so much more than so many others.
I have healthy children who do not suffer from disease that ravishes some areas like Africa and the AIDS epidemic. I might get depressed some mornings to such a degree like this morning that I can't get out of bed, yet I am so grateful for all we have and what will continue to be provided for us. We have medical, we have an income, we have food and shelter..
I am ever so grateful to my husband and children this week as I spiraled a little bit with the bipolar. Found myself out of control due to the stress lately of trying to make things work. I do admit it might be a little easier to manage with medication, but being a year down with nothing, I am still going to pursue finding alternate ways to help me manage things.
One lesson I learned this week is that I would like a new devotional that I can write in daily. So I will be in search of that next week on one of my slower days.
So as this week comes to a close and you hopefully spend time with your families this weekend. Reflect on how much you have. Reflect on the fact that you have knowledge of our Lord and Savior, that through him we receive knew life, that one day we will return to His Kingdom in a new body and that this world will be over. The trials and tribulations, pain and suffering... it will all be in the past and we will be with Him in Eternity. I know that fact gets me through some rough spots, it has for sure this week.
Burp Rags start at $5, with the same features- leaf embroidery stitch and matching thread- on a Gerber 3 ply diaper. I did most of these today. Yesterday I spent the day working at the school in the morning getting a newsletter for the PTO done, and then I met my husband for Taco Bell, went to the bank and then Joann's for fabric for these newer items. It was a busy day, so I traded my Tackle it Tuesday for today to make better use of my time.
Monday, January 18, 2010
Do you have a high efficiency washer and dryer yet? I don't but I really do want a set. Those I know who have them say that they have already saved money on electricity (or gas) AND they seem to have cleaner clothes!
Here's your chance to win a Frigidaire Affinity Washer and dryer and help fight poverty at the same time:
Frigidaire and Save the Children are teaming up to fight hunger and poverty with the Spin and Win campaign. What you do is sign up, spin the wheel (no, you do not gamble), and your name gets put into a drawing for a brand new Affinity set. In addition to the washer and dryer, you could also win a gift card - they're giving away a prize a day through April 26, 2010. What's the best part of all this? GE is donating $1 to Save the Children each time you play, so even if you don't win, you've helped hungry and hurting children.
Let me encourage you to take a minute or two out of your time to play Spin and Win for your chance to win and to help children win too.
Sunday, January 17, 2010
Homemade Chicken Taquitos with homemade green salsa
Homemade Spinach, Chicken, Mushroom and Cheese Enchiladas
Omelets- green onion, mushrooms, spinach, tomato topped with homemade salsa
Bean and Cheese burritos with tomatoes, green onion and sour cream
Baked Potatoes with broccoli and mushroom stir fry on top
Saturday, January 16, 2010
I love this recipe. I change it up a lot because you can add just about anything you want. I do not have a big pan though so I have to cook it in two dishes. We eat off one and then the other feeds us for lunch a few days for the next week. It is great for Saturday nights as I can just pop it the oven. One day I might just see if the crock pot will work too.
While the pasta boils- nearly an entire box of penne noodles, bow ties etc.. I cut up some veggies today I used mushrooms, 3 green onions, a tomato, black olives - one can, green olives, half a bag of spinach- that I don't cut just leave whole leaf wise. Just a note I only add green olives because my husband loves them. Basically anything you would put on a pizza would be good in this dish. It tastes very much like pizza to me.
I then mix in a big bowl- only because I don't own a big rectangular pan to cook it in- the pasta that is now drained, some sauce, moz cheese, and all those veggies. We had a mix of white cheeses today so that was a special treat. You could very easily mix meat in with this we just didn't have any.
I then dump it all into my two bowls that look like this and top with a little cheese, I put a little more on it towards the end. My husband loves it very cheesy. I use the whole bag of 4 cups for the two dishes, just to give you an idea. I cook this on 350 for 45 min, top with cheese and cook at least another 15. You can put it in the fridge-if you made it up ahead of time and cook just before dinner, just give yourself an hour. It also freezes really well if you make up more, like I do. Now mind you none of my kiddos will eat this but I don't really mind making something different for them. I like the idea of eating good as much as I can.
It reminds me of why the Lord gave us friends. Not to just lean on them when times are bad. To share our Blessings with them, to reach out when they are in need, to fellowship just because once in a while and so that we can then be refueled.
I forget sometimes how the Blessings the Lord continues to bring our way speaks to the hearts of others. Of course I see some really small things as blessings. One set of towels selling means I will have a half weeks groceries, or some gas money to get kids to and from places. I am thankful I remember to speak of the little things because it is the little things that add up to such a wonderful testimony that the Lord will continue to provide we just have to have faith, even when times are tough.
It also made me realize I need to do better at getting more protein, as I had just been eating light meals like apples, cheese, celery and peanut butter. So for our family dogs are a huge blessing, even if they do silly things at times that aggravate me.
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
I have the entire center quilt top done. Tomorrow I need to cut my 5 inch strips and then embroider one of them, attach, pin, quilt and bind. I am kind of thankful that the customer chose Satin binding as it will be nice and easy and I can use my decorative leaf stitch that I like so much. It takes a little more time as you have to wait on the machine but it sure is pretty.
I left from my quilt to the school to be a judge today for Honors Choir Auditions. Only a select few that come make it for the District Choir. It was a real honor to hear my daughter audition. She has such a lovely voice. Zekaryah didn't do so well. He didn't even make it two words in when he chose he just wasn't going to do it. Partially to blame was the fact that the song is meant for Soprano girls.. kind of hard for a boy to sing that and also sing something he has trouble reading the words to in the first place. So I doubt he will make the cut, too bad.
Then I was off to the PTO meeting- to catch the last 30 minutes since it was also today, at the same time. It was nice to join the meeting as discussion took place later about some towel orders that I have been making and some new ideas.
Then I left to take Mekenzei to a friends house to grab some of her things, dropped her off at another friends to do an assignment for school. I then let the dog out and was off to Walmart to get the fabric I needed for the border of Mr Thomas Quilt, some towels and a few groceries. Of course we forgot fish and potatoes so now I need to change my menu plan for this week- tomorrow in fact. Since we had omelets tonight I might have french toast for tomorrow.
So now I wait for Zekaryah to finish homework, he sure has a lot and he just is fighting me every step of the way. I of course am short of patience as I didn't get to sleep until 3 and got up at 7, not sleeping well in between.
I feel like I tackled quite a bit. I still have a ton more to do this week to stay on track. I also need to somehow fit in my kitchen and wash among all my quilt stuff. Seems really hard to do lately, esp since the rest of the house is so much colder. Pictures to come soon.
French Bread Pizza- Jakob Spaghetti and Garlic Bread
French Toast and Eggs
Bean and Cheese Burritos
Fish Filet's, Tator Tots and Broccoli
Soup and Grilled Cheese Sandwiches- didn't eat this last week so still have it
Pasta Dish with Garlic Bread
Biscuits and Gravy- didn't eat this last week either.
Friday, January 8, 2010
Anyway got back from dropping off kids, put more wood on the fire and checked email. I found out I will judge the Honor Choir Auditions next Tue for school, that will be neat, as I have a passion for music.
Then the choir teacher confirmed a Baby Genius quilt order from me, just waiting for the size. To top the whole morning off a woman on my facebook page purchased a baby quilt from me. I am creating a Thomas quilt for her son. It is very exciting as I was a little discouraged over money this week when we could not even rent a movie for our anniversary. Last night was the start of it all when I sold two sets of handtowels to another lady on facebook.
I have been praying that the Lord overfill my cup with my quilting business. I love making things for people. I do wish I did not have to charge but right now that is not an option. I do find myself a little overwhelmed as I know how many things I need to make in just January alone. That led me to realize I need to really make sure I schedule time with God first daily. I don't always do so well at that. I plan to start my Bible in 90 days again tonight. I am excited as I really enjoy the way it is done.
It also made me realize that I need to plot out my time well so that I can get it all done and not feel rushed and pressured. I am very thankful that I moved the sewing back into our room. It is a little tight space wise but at least I can run the heater some and stay warm.
The Lord does still amaze me when days like today occur. I feel completely loved and taken care of. It is a wonderful feeling. We may not have heat and be a little cold- well honestly a lot cold today yet he finds ways to warm me up from the inside. What a wonderful feeling. Truly something I am giving thanks for today.
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Lord knew we needed their help and he provided that for us. Something that may seem small but it eases my guilt over not being able to provide a warm house - esp since she gets sick pretty easy.
Here is the song
I pinch myself sometimes to make sure I'm not in a dream
That's how it seems
I close my eyes and breathe in the sweetest moments I've ever known
It feels like home
And here I am I want to be your everything
There you are
Turning winter into spring
And everyone who sees you
Always want's to know you
And everyone who knows you
Always have a smile
You're standing ovation after years of waiting
For a chance to finally shine
Everyone calls you amazing
I just call you mine
I fall apart
Just a word from you just somehow seems to fix
Oh, you reach into the weakest moments
And remind me that I'm strong
You've got to know
I'd be a fool not to see you even worse
To forget that you're more than I deserve
Cause everyone who sees you
Always want's to know you
And everyone who knows you
Always have a smile
You're standing ovation after years of waiting
For a chance to finally shine
Everyone calls you amazing
I just call you mine
Nothing makes sense when you're not here
As if my whole world disappears
Without you what's the point of it
Cause everyone who sees you
Always want's to know you
And everyone who knows you
Always have a smile
You're the dream that I've been chasin' after years of waiting
For a chance to finally shine
Everyone calls you amazing
I just call you mine
Everyone calls you amazing
I just call you mine
Artist: Martina McBride
Song: I Just Call You Mine
This anniversary is probably more important to me than any other. We are celebrating 15 years today. Its a tad hard to explain but mainly things are just more how I would like them to be. We have really had some major struggles in our marriage, personally and together. There were several times where I truly did not believe that it could ever really "work." I am very thankful in many ways to the loss of my job back in October, it really helped us turn a corner as we were forced to really really turn to one another in this difficult financial time. We communicate better and just have a more centered life with the Lord as a couple. It helps to heal some of the pain from child loss, to a house with mold, to caring for a parent and setting our relationship aside to do so...there were so many other hurtful things yet now I feel a togetherness that I truly felt was there all along. It is very refreshing. So a little bit about our lives.
We were married in 1995 in Las Vegas, NV. It was just the two of us and a hilarious Hispanic pastor. We got a trailer in Vegas to bring back to California so that we could move here to Texas from the college that we were both attending in Irvine. That is where we met. Funny as it is we were both in relationships in January of 1994, when we met for the first time. I was dating someone that I thought I might actually marry and he was going through the throws of a divorce to his wife- a high school sweetheart. We attended a dance with other people and were sat at the same time. I remember more than anything being very curious about this guy I had just met and before I could get to know him he was back on his way to Texas, where he was from. That May I stayed on Campus and took a job. My very first day I walked in all grungy and tired in sweats and there was this guy from months prior. I had just recently broken up with my boyfriend, deciding that he was not who I wanted to marry and Paul was finishing paperwork on a divorce. That summer we mainly worked but as it dragged on we got to know one another and eventually started dating. As the year finished up I knew with certainty that this was truly the guy that I was interested in. Just the way he made me laugh and how he truly cared about my life and plans- I was "sold." So much so that when he joined me in Utah for Christmas with family I have there, I asked if we could get married. It didn't quite work out on New Years Eve like I had hoped, but basically a week later it all came together and we then moved to Texas to start our lives together.We moved in with Paul's mom and helped her clean up a house that she had just moved from so that it could be sold and I helped her finish up her new house, doing wallpaper, finding homes for things etc. We also worked alot in the yard. We really enjoyed the first few months of marriage. I had just enrolled in classes when we found out that we were 10 weeks pregnant with Jakob. Our goal then became to get our own place, because I felt it might be difficult to raise a baby and live with a mother in law- even though I loved her to death. That meant Paul had to get a job too. We chose bartending school because his hours would be more flexible and I could continue going to school. He got his first job at Willies Dockside, and when that closed he worked for their other company Willies Icehouse. Here is Jakob below after Paul had come home from work- this is now in our second apartment.
Funny about apartments for us we found that every time we thought about moving up I became pregnant. Zekaryah came almost exactly 2 years later. That was pretty perfect I thought, However we hit a really big bump in that Paul had been let go from Willies and we were now with Compaq computers- with a contracting company for them, which meant he worked the night shift. My new baby was colicky and needy. I thought I might just go insane. With constant moving, I still had no friends, had let go of the idea of school and was a stay at home mom for sure. Zekaryah was early so we don't have a family photo from his birth, as my parents were not here from CA until a week or so after he was born.
We quickly realized that living in an apartment with Paul working nights and having two little ones was not very cost efficient and also it was just too loud and scary, so we were in search for a house. It is a funny story as I had lost a twin with Zekaryah and was really missing that and thinking ahead I said we need to get a 4 bedroom not a 3 bedroom - just a small cost difference at the time. Well I spoke way to soon as Zekaryah was only about 6 months old and I found out I was pregnant with Mekenzei- see moving.. It was almost a cursed blessing...:-) I don't think we ever really are ready. Mekenzei was a huge blessing as it really helped me deal with my loss, however the post partum depression I felt with her was unreal.After this point life really got very difficult for us. I lost another baby that December. Went to Utah to try and get help with the kids as I didn't have family locally to help. That led to some major medical issues. Then Paul flew out and brought us back home. Shortly after Mekenzei got severe pneumonia and almost died. Shortly after that I think I just about lost all faith temporarily. I am very thankful to my mother in law, family and especially my husband because I don't know how I would have managed without any of them, mainly their prayers. We struggled for a while trying to sort out the right meds, and then I decided it was best to go into a hospital for a while. I think that was a God Send for me as I realized I really was not as bad off as I thought. That I truly has purpose and reason for living and that the Lord did indeed have a plan even though he felt so very very far away.
When I got out a week later, there were still many struggles. Medication was the biggest of them all and then just not feeling like a good wife and mom nearly ate me alive. Counseling in some ways tore our marriage further apart because even though it was meant to be a good thing alot got pinned on my relationship with Paul and that didn't sit to well. To make matters worse one day I found water in a closet, which turned into mold, which meant we had to move out. We kept trying to make things work despite the constant struggles we faced. Paul working crazy hours and so many hours. Me trying to raise 3 children while I was so utterly depressed and lost. I do remember some really good times though. We went to the beach alot, worked and played in the yard alot and even got some time away like the zoo. We had a long road and once we started living in a hotel while our house faced repairs, well things dwindled quickly. I was now working nights, Paul was working days and it was our worst mistake ever.
We continued to move further apart and finally separated. We would try to manage things a few times but the years between 2001 and 2004 were tough. I would finally get my own place, we lived that way nearly a year then I moved out of state. I think during this time we both worked on ourselves. I wasn't gone but a few months and we repaired things enough to give it another go. 2005 was full of many blessings. Two of our children were baptized. Our marriage was on track again after a tough year in 2004 of really putting time into things. It was also a year that Paul was out of work which really helped us. One unforeseen situation was us caring for his mom. We had sold our house and moved in with her as she was facing later stages of Alzheimer's. Little did we know that the strain of my constant attention on her and then being drained from also raising 3 young children would be a little much a year later.
After Jakobs Baptism- at Fellowship of the Woodlands Church 2005
We decided that summer to take a trip, actually a few. We got passes to Six Flags, went to Dallas, San Antonio and California that year. We really were fighting to make things work while I continued to find myself having less and less time as the care for his mom increased to full time by July. Come August she had a heart attack and our marriage was literally just put on hold until her death that December. I think at this point all the loss we felt just hit us both, but especially me. I got extremely sick, was loosing my hair and was just lost emotionally and physically.
Zekaryah's Baptism at Fellowship of the Woodlands church- just shortly before my husbands mothers death.
Come 2006 we hit another whirlwind. We were trying to settle her estate, had no where to live, we were trying to find our own place, deal with our own emotions and get back on track. That summer I think I had finally just given up. I moved away again...and spent time with my parents. My dad helped alot as he helped me discover that I truly did still Love Paul very much I just had nothing left to give. Totally natural considering the tremendous toll of caring for my mother in law Joyce. I prayed alot, read through the entire bible and just got back to who I was. The Lord really moved in me that summer and by the end of that year I finally felt like I had a marriage and family again. We looked for a new home come 2007 and from there things finally started falling into place. We got on a normal routine of attending church. I backed out of volunteering for anything to really devote time to us.
One thing we decided was more family trips. We love San Antonio as a couple. Have spent a few anniversary's there and decided that it was time to involve the kids in a place we love. We did Sea World Passes- that was a lot of fun. We also did the beach a ton, it is something we have always enjoyed as a family. It takes more work than I ever would have realized to make a marriage really work. When I said "I do" 15 years ago, I just never knew how much trial we could face. It seemed like every time we turned around something else would happen and it would continue to tear us apart. Not having a strong family to turn to for help locally, or friends didn't help much either.
This past year has really been the best of them all. Mekenzei was baptized, we even had family attend the event. That meant a great deal to me. We have met 2 couples, one with kids and one without that we spend time with once in a while as a family. We still go to the beach and try to do vacations- like South Padre. Mostly we try very hard to eat dinner as a family every night and not plan to many external events so that we can stay focused on one another.
Together we can really conquer anything but learning that we have to put ourselves before our family and friends was very difficult. What was even more difficult was putting ourselves before school and church obligations. Learning to remove guilt that is left from that decision was hard as well. I look back at these last 15 years and am in awe that we are where we are today. I can honestly say that the struggles have been worth it. I find that our story has impacted the lives of many other couples and that truly makes it worthwhile. It also speaks to our children who have seen so much but seen that we kept trying, no matter how hard it was.
I can't say we don't still face obstacles, and difficult ones, at times, but we are better prepared to handle them. I was very concerned a few months ago that our new situation of me not having a job could drive us apart again. It is so stressful when there isn't money to pay for food or gas and there isn't a job opening for me right now, that works with the kids schedule. With the economy, it is hard to depend on sales of quilts and things to make ends meet. Yet somehow we are closer than ever before. I feel truly blessed to have such a good church family that has supported us through our good times and bad. To have friends and family around us that have had to set their feelings aside about all the situations and just supported our decisions to make things work. Most of all I am grateful to my husband who continues to stand by me, Support me and love me and I can't wait to see where we are in another 15 years.
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
The towels above are country like towels- ones I have listed for sale on ETSY. I think they are really cute. I would like them on red-instead of white... The towels below I also listed for sale, trying to think IRISH and St Patty's Day...I love the fabric, nice and delicate and the green towel is very pretty.
I have been working on towels both for orders and also just to list for sale. I listed two on Craigs list today as well as a couple quilts I had on ETSY, I am hoping they do better on there, will see. A teacher at the school listed the towels too, even if I could get some new orders for things people want. I have been told to try Trendy.. I admit I am not myself very trendy so its a big stretch for me to assume I know what someone else might want to buy. Very hard task. These towels below are an order for my friend Diana, she wanted pink towels for her mom. I would have to charge nearly $20 a set for them as the towels alone are $6 but they are wonderful towels, nice and thick. I love them, they are by Canopy. The fabric looks wonderful. I had one fat quarter of this and never had done anything with it. Great idea for the towels. I hope her mom loves them.
I felt a little ahead of the game today as last night we made tacquitos and my husband and I took the time to go ahead and make enchiladas up for tonight's dinner too. All I had to do was pull it from the fridge and put it in the oven. I had made a pot of beans in the crockpot however they didn't cook in time, so I finished them up on the stove. These towels below are sage green, they are also for Diana. I had made my mom a set on blue and Diana liked those, then said she wanted the same fabric on sage green also. That was awesome because it gave me 3 towel orders. Now they are all done and ready to ship come friday.
Jakob ate yams- that was it, but still easy and I spaced the enchiladas and yams out so that I could run the oven a few hours. At this point in the cold I could use all the help I could get.
These towels above are the second set for my mom. I love the fabric. It is by Northcott and part of their Breast Cancer Awareness line. Somehow that cause really speaks loud to me, so I love using the fabrics. I love paisley too, which is interesting because my mom does also. I can't wait to be able to send her the towels, they will match their rustic like front room and kitchen so well. I hope they go with a couch in the room that my dad bought her years ago for their anniversary. So lots done, but lots more to do...
Monday, January 4, 2010
This week we will have side veggies to go a long with the meals, in my freezer I have some broccoli and then I have canned corn and green beans. I also have some yams and potatoes so it should stretch things a bit.
Homemade Chicken Tacquitos
with hubby's delicious green sauce
younger two will eat Spag O's
OUR 15th Anniversary-
Church tonight for 1st Wed
Crockpot Meal of Pork Roast, Potatoes and Carrots
Hamburgers and Chili-Normal Hot dogs
Canned soups (use of pantry items) and grilled Cheese sandwiches
Spaghetti Night after church
Our New Breakfast night
Biscuits, deer gravy and eggs
maybe some bacon if I have it