Wednesday, April 30, 2008

I WON!!! Woohoo!

You all are so awesome!! Because of my family, friends and blogging friends, I am the proud winner of a $50 gift certificate for a dinner date with my husband! I am so excited!
You can read all about here.
Sorry for the delay in posting. I have been waiting for the official announcement on her blog.

THIS Is How We Roll!!

One of the things I love about homeschooling is the way my children are able to learn. This is what a typical day of school looks like in our home. We do have 3 children's school desks. They are rarely used other than holding their school supplies.
We also have started playing classical music in the background (thanks to my sis-in-law, Jaime who set it ALL up for me!! You're the BEST!). This seems to really help my middle child focus better. She has a very hard time concentrating and focusing. I read this tip somewhere else and I started implementing it into our school a little while ago.

This is Morgan - My 1st born, rule-follower (actually DOES sit at the desk)

Avery - My "middle-child", creative and never sits still

Sydney - My 3rd born, strong-willed, full of personality

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Biggest Loser - End of Week 7

Well, I was pleasantly surprised by the weigh-in this week. I actually lost 2 pounds!! Here are the official weights for the week.

Me (157 - loss of 2 pounds this week and total of 13!!)
Jess (152 - same as last week and total of 8!)

O.k., so Jess has lost some motivation. You need to head on over there and tell her to keep going!

This week I still had a hard time getting all my days of exercise in. I did cardio 3 days and weight only 1! I gotta find the time to get this done.
I did really good with my eating EXCEPT for on Saturday and Sunday. We usually spend a good part of the weekend at my parents house. This weekend they made cheeseburgers for lunch and pizza for dinner on Saturday. On Sunday, they made meatballs, gravy and noodles for lunch. I was pretty sure that the lack of exercise and having those 2 days right before my weigh-in meant I was destined for no weight loss. That is why I was so surprised.

What I plan to do differently this week:
Dare I say again... Work out 6 days!! Will I ever actually do this?
Bring my own food to my parents house. Actually, 2 of the meals I did o.k. with portion control. The cheeseburger was my big downfall.

If this is your first time reading the Biggest Loser, check out my previous post here.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Avery - My "Thinker"

Today at lunch, this is the conversation I had with my middle child, Avery:

Avery: "Mom, the Bible says to love your enemies as yourself, right?"
Me: "Yes, that's right."
Avery: "Well, Satan is our enemy. Are we supposed to love him?"
Me: "Well, the Bible is really talking about people on Earth who are unkind to us and hurtful. It is easy to love the people who are nice to us and love us. It is much more difficult to love the people who persecute us."

I just love the way she put 2 and 2 together. She does a lot of this deep thinking. I'm glad she still comes to me with her questions. She is also my child that likes to have classical music playing in the background while she plays in her room. I just love her!

Winn-Dixie gave me 2 $25 gift certificates for FREE!

Yesterday I went to Winn-Dixie and got the Live Active cheese that goes toward the $75 in kraft purchase to get a $25 gift certificate. This is what I needed to go over the $150 mark in kraft products. Remember, this is the amount I spent before any coupons. I probably did not spend more than $50 oop. I was able to pick any 2 $25 gift cards that they carry. I picked a Starbucks GC and a Regal Cinema GC!
I may go back today and use the $2 catalina's I got from my previous purchases to get more cheese and another $25 GC.
Don't forget, tomorrow is the last day of the promotion.

If you are not familiar with the Live Active deal, let me give you a quick heads up. Right now, Winn-Dixie is printing a $2 catalina (coupon for money off your next purchase at Winn-Dixie) every time you buy a Kraft Live Active product. There are $2 off coupons here. You can print 2 from 1 computer.

I have 2 computers in my home and 4 houses of family members close by. So, I had about 16 coupons when I went to the store. I bought 16 bags of the cheese, paid $16 and left with $32 in catalinas. That also contibuted $48 toward the $75 to get a free GC. The only tricky thing is that you have to buy each bag individually. You will only get 1 catalina per purchase.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

New CVS $3/15 Coupon!!

HOT OFF THE PRESS (literally)! Thanks to Crystal @ Money Saving Mom for the tip of a new CVS $3/15 coupon. You have to do a little work to get it but you can print as many copies as you want and it doesn't expire until June 6!! Sweet!!
Ok, click here and then click on sign in and register for a free 7-day trial of the Washington Post. After you register, you will need to confirm in an e-mail. Once that is done, go to the recent issue of the Post and then change the date to 4/24. Scroll on the right hand side to the very last page (128) and there it is!!
I hope this coupon will have some good deals to go with it!!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

STUPID Anonymous Comments!

Let me start this post with the reasons I allow anonymous comments on my blog with no moderation:

1) Many people find it difficult to leave a comment as anything other than anonymous if they don't have a blog or google account.

2) I like to see my comments show up immediately on a blog, so I want to do the same for others.

3) I have only had rare occasions where anonymous comments have been negative enough that they required being deleted.

Well, one of those occasions happened just this week. A person decided to comment on my "I got the job" post and here is the dialog that occurred:
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You see life through a very narrow lens.

April 25, 2008 6:40 AM

Blogger Cassie - Homeschooling Four said...

Oh, I just love those anonymous comments where people say stupid and ignorant things about a person they know nothing about.
Thanks for being too scared to say who you are :)

April 25, 2008 10:55 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for continuing to entertain with your useless tidbits!

April 25, 2008 11:57 AM

Blogger Cassie - Homeschooling Four said...

And, again with the fear and audacity to comment anonymously. I really have never understood why people like you do that.
It just shows that you have nothing better to do than to try and start an argument with someone you don't know. Pretty pathetic.
This is my last reply to you and any other comments you post will be deleted.
Thank you for wasting another 60 seconds of my life.

April 25, 2008 1:47 PM

Comment deleted

This post has been removed by the blog administrator.

April 25, 2008 3:47 PM

As you can see, this anonymous person did reply again and I did stay to my word and delete the comment.
One thing I would like to make note of is that this last comment was signed "concerned educator". Ahhh, that rings a bell. I have had a run in with this antagonist before. In my post "Back into the swing of things" I had a similar conversation with this same person.
I refuse to let 1 person with very jaded and ignorant views cause me to change the way I administer my blog.
My blog is public and open for anyone to see. I have nothing to hide. In contrast, this "concerned educator" has no blog, gives no name or method of contact.
Also, this is the same person that commented before, which means they are reading my blog.

Dear Concerned Educator,
If you disagree so much with the decisions we make and the standards we live by, why do you keep coming back?
I mean, really, there are thousands and thousands or blogs out there to read. Do you just enjoy a good argument now and again? Do you search the internet for forums you disagree with so you can try to rock the boat?
If you don't like what I have to say here, go somewhere else!!
By the way, I plan to start deleting your comments without reply from now on. I do not have the time or the energy to argue with any more children in my life. I already have 4 and you are more childish than any of them!
Home Educator

Friday, April 25, 2008

Birth Order

I read this on Tricia Goyer's blog (after checking to see if I was ahead in comments... yes, I am!) and I thought it was just too funny and true! See if you can relate..

1st baby: You begin wearing maternity clothes as soon as your OB/GYN confirms your pregnancy.
2nd baby: You wear your regular clothes for as long as possible.3rd baby: Your maternity clothes ARE your regular clothes.
Preparing for the Birth:
1st baby: You practice your breathing religiously.
2nd baby: You don't bother because you remember that last time, breathing didn't do a thing.
3rd baby: You ask for an epidural in your eighth month.
The Layette:
1st baby: You pre-wash newborn's clothes, color-coordinate them, and fold them neatly in the baby's little bureau.
2nd baby: You check to make sure that the clothes are clean and discard only the ones with the darkest stains.
3rd baby: Boys can wear pink, can't they?
1st baby: At the first sign of distress--a whimper, a frown--you pick up the baby.
2nd baby: You pick the baby up when her wails threaten to wake your firstborn.
3rd baby: You teach your three-year-old how to rewind the mechanical swing.
1st baby: If the pacifier falls on the floor, you put it away until you can go home and wash and boil it.
2nd baby: When the pacifier falls on the floor, you squirt it off with some juice from the baby's bottle.
3rd baby: You wipe it off on your shirt and pop it back in.
1st baby: You change your baby's diapers every hour, whether they need it or not.
2nd baby: You change their diaper every two to three hours, if needed.
3rd baby: You try to change their diaper before others start to complain about the smell or you see it sagging to their knees.
1st baby: You take your infant to Baby Gymnastics, Baby Swing, Baby Zoo, Baby Movies and Baby Story Hour.
2nd baby: You take your infant to Baby Gymnastics.
3rd baby: You take your infant to the supermarket and the dry cleaners.
Going Out:
1st baby: The first time you leave your baby with a sitter, you call home five times.
2nd baby: Just before you walk out the door, you remember to leave a number where you can be reached.
3rd baby: You leave instructions for the sitter to call only if she sees blood.
At Home:
1st baby: You spend a good bit of every day just gazing at the baby.
2nd baby: You spend a bit of everyday watching to be sure your older child isn't squeezing, poking, or hitting the baby.
3rd baby: You spend a little bit of every day hiding from the children.
Swallowing Coins (a favorite):
1st child: When first child swallows a coin, you rush the child to the hospital and demand x-rays
2nd child: When second child swallows a coin, you carefully watch for the coin to pass.
3rd child: When third child swallows a coin you deduct it from his allowance!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Winn-Dixie Deals for 4/23 to 4/29

This is the last week to earn the free $25 gift card at Winn-Dixie by purchasing $75 of Kraft products. I have already earned one gift card this month and I have $30 toward the next gift card. So, I am mainly looking for the products that will get me to that goal. I will also list any other deals for this week (although I don't see many).

Deals To Go Toward $75 Deal:

Oscar Mayer beef franks or bologna (2/$5)

Maxwell House 33-39 oz ($6.99)
Use $1/1 from ss 3/9

Kraft Barbecue Sauce (10 for $10 - you can buy just 1 for $1)

Post Cereal (2/$5 - includes Dino S'mores Pebbles 11.5 oz, Fruity or Cocoa Pebbles 13 oz, Chocolate Honeycomb 13.5 oz or Honeycomb 14.5 oz
Use $1/1 or $1/2 from recent insert
Makes them $1.50 or $2 a box

Jell-O Singles Pudding (2/$3)

Nabisco snack crackers (2/$5)

Planters Peanuts (2/$5)

Kraft Easy Mac (10/$10)

Nabisco Chips Ahoy and Oreo Cakesters (2/$5)

Kraft Handi-Snacks pudding or Kool-Aid gels (10/$10)

Kraft American Singles (3/$6)

Kool-Aid Jammers variety pack ($7.99)

Oscar Mayer Bacon (2/$6)

Angie @ Thrifty Florida Mama show a great and easy way to help get to your $75 without spending a lot of money out of pocket. Check out her post here.

Regular Sale Items:

Sanderson Split Chicken Breasts ($.99/lb)

General Mills Cereal (bogo @ $4.29/2 - includes Multigrain Cheerios 9 oz, Lucky Charms 11.5 oz, Honey Nut Cheerios 12.25 oz, Double Chocolate Cookie Crisp 12.7 oz, Reese's Puff 13 oz or Frosted Cheerios 17.2 oz)
Use $.55/1 printable

Armour Jumbo Meat Hot Dogs or Pepperoni (bogo @ $2.99/2)

Mrs. Paul's family pack Fish Sticks (bogo @ $7.29/2)

Ore-Ida Potatoes or Onion Rings (bogo @ $3.33/2)

For more great deals at more stores, check out the Grocery Gathering @ BeCentsable

Publix Deals for 4/24 - 4/30

Well, there is not much to be excited about this week at Publix.

Kellogg's Eggo Waffles (bogo)
Use 2 $.55/1 from rp 4/6

General Mills Cereal (bogo @ $4.09/2 - includes Cinnamon Toast Crunch 17 oz, Lucky Charms 11.5 oz, Reese's Peanut Butter Puffs 13 oz, Cheerios 14 oz)
Use 2 $.55/1 printable
Makes them $1.50 a box

Kellogg's Special K Cereal (bogo @ $4.09/2 - includes Original, Red Berries, Vanilla Almond Crisp, Low Carb, Fruit and Yogurt, Chocolately Pieces, or Cinnamon Pecan 12 to 14 oz boxes)
Use 2 $.55/1 from rp 3/30
Makes them $1.50 a box

Juicy Juice 8-pk (bogo @ $2.99/2)
Use $1/1 printable coupon
Makes them $.50 each

Krusteaz Muffin Mix (bogo @ $2.69/2)

Pasta or Rice a Roni (bogo @ $1.69/2)

Cheez-It Crackers 13 to 16 oz (bogo @ $4.09/2)

Entenmann's Little Bites 6.5 to 11 oz box (bogo @ $3.99/2)

Dorito's Chips 12.25 to 13 oz (bogo @ $3.49/2)

Bertolli Pasta Sauce Pouches (bogo @ $2.67/2)

For more great deals at more stores, check out the Grocery Gathering @ BeCentsable.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

I Got The Job!!

Well, after a lot of unknowns and back-and-forth, I was officially hired on Monday. I will be teaching on Friday's from 9a.m. - 3p.m. with my sis-in-law, Denise. This is a 1 day program that my 3 girls will be attending as well. By teaching, I will be able to pay for all 3 girls to attend the school and still bring home some extra monthly cash.
Denise and I are both excited and wary about this opportunity. Neither of us have worked in this program before and we are going to be the lead teachers. It is going to be very interesting to see how this all pans out.
We have a meeting today with the teachers from the other locations and we will go over the vision they have for next year and get a feel for what will be expected of us.
Be praying for wisdom, discernment and direction on time management for both of us. This is going to make for a big change in both our homes.
For more details on this job, check my previous posts here and here

My sister-in-law decided not to take this job and my good friend, Jessica, was hired instead.  We will be team teachers.  We will each teach 3 subjects and we are looking forward to the year.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The Biggest Loser - End of Week 6

Well, it was one of THOSE weeks again!! We were both dreading the weigh-in and rightly so. We both are the same as last week. Here are our weights:

Me (159 - same as last week and total of 11 lbs.)
Jess (152 - same as last week and total of 8 lbs.)

I saw this coming for me this week. I only did cardio 2 days this week. I only did weights 2 days.
My diet was also was not the best this week either. Because I was playing doula all day on Friday, I ate hospital food for the day. This included a pulled pork sandwich, fries and a coke (I know I didn't have to order a coke, but I was weak) for lunch. Then, new mommy and daddy ordered pizza for dinner. I couldn't be rude and not eat that, right? Well, I also had a coke for dinner. Aaaahhh! I know, bad choices for me. We also had Cheeseburgers for lunch on Sunday. So, with the slacking in exercise and bad choices a couple days with food, I was not super surprised with the scale.
It's usually a week like this that will kick my butt into high gear.

Here is what I plan to do differently this week:
NO MORE SODA!! (or sweet tea for that matter)
Make the difficult choice to eat healthier even when there are other choices offered.
Do my 3 days of cardio and 3 days of weights!! This is the week I am going to do it!

If this is your first time here, check out my previous post here.

Monday, April 21, 2008

My Publix and Winn-Dixie Trip!!

Publix Trip
I spent $38.07 and saved $92.16!!
I used a $10/$75 coupon that printed out the last time I was at Winn-Dixie (My Publix takes competitor's coupons)
I had $24.29 in man. coupons
I used a $10 gift card that I received from one of the recent rebates.
To see all the deals and printable coupons, check out my post here.

Winn-Dixie Trip

I spent $30.77 and saved $58.13
All these products (aside from the free scotch brite) go toward the "buy $75 in Kraft products, get a $25 gift card" promotion. This trip I reached the $75 and have another $30 towards my next gift card. The promotion goes until April 29th. To see all the details, check out my post here.
I used $20 in coupons (including the $2/honey bunches of oats coupon here).

So, this week I went over my $50 budget, but the last 2 weeks I was under and had a little extra to spend.

Florida = Bugs! Let Me Tell You About a Spider!!

This is what I found IN MY HOME the other day!!!! Now, for those of who don't live in Florida, this is probably extra creepy. I know living in Florida means my fair share of bugs and creepy crawlies. I have lived here most of my life but I still can't get past the huge roaches and these nasty spiders!!
Actually, I grew up in a home infested with these 8-legged creatures (affectionately named "wolf spiders"). I literally came across one of these nasty things weekly or daily. My older brothers didn't mind so much because they found new and creative ways to kill them (like a lighter and bottle of hairspray - the legs would fly off the the spider. It was disgusting).
Anyway, back to my recent discovery. It was around 8:15 in the morning. My kids were still waking up and I was on the computer. Suddenly, my 8 year old comes running up the stairs and announces, "Mommy, there is a spider in the bathroom and it's ginormous!!" Unfortunately, my kids tend to way overreact to bugs, so I was not alarmed in the least. In fact, my son often tells me a fly is a spider. So, I, ever so casually, made my way downstairs with a bottle of hairspray (no, I did not bring a lighter - it's just how I kill bugs).
My daughter tells me that it's on the other side of the door on one of the towels hanging up. I enter the bathroom a little more cautiously than I had been and closed the door. Then I saw it!! I was in a little state of shock. It was at least the SIZE OF MY HAND!! I am not exaggerating at all. I stood there with the hairspray and I really did try to make myself spray that bottle. I kept looking at the spider and then to the hairspray and back again. I started to remember how fast these little suckers can be. I thought it could easily get out of the bathroom and into the main part of the house and I could lose it OR it could ATTACK ME! I know that last part is a little extreme, but you just never know. So, I chickened out and left the bathroom.
Lucky for me, I live within a block of 4 different family members. The problem was that my parents and my brother-in-law were out of town, my husband was already at work, my 1 brother was already half way to work and I couldn't get my other brother to answer his stupid phone. I sat on the couch looking towards the bathroom for about 15 minutes and then my brother called me back. I explained the situation and he came right over to save the day.
He walked in and asked for a paper towel. Did you read that? A paper towel!!! To kill this huge spider. I told him that I had hairspray he could use and reminded him the size of this spider. He said "I'll be fine." I gave him that "ok then, dummy" look. He went in the bathroom, closed the door and quickly said "Whoa, that is a big one. Ummmm.... I'll take the hairspray." I bet he will! So, I gave him the hairspray, he killed the spider and flushed him away!!
This is when the children (o.k., me too) started to cheer! Uncle Chris saved the day!! Now, we are all a little wary of using that bathroom. I haven't seen anything since, but it sure does make you look twice before drying your face with a towel.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

New Baby and A Great Doula Experience!!

I haven't talked much on this blog about my obsession with pregnancy, birth and nursing, but I would like to share a little. I delivered my first baby at a hospital with an epidural and the next 3 at a birthing center (no epidural). I have always been pretty fascinated with the whole experience. I really wanted to be a part of a delivery that wasn't mine, so I started to let other women come and be part of my delivery. You know, kind of a "I'll show you mine, if you show me yours" deal. It worked. Soon afterward, I was able to witness the birthing process of a friend of mine. I loved the experience so much, I kept asking my friends if I could attend.
Well, it turns out that I actually was helpful during labor. I really enjoy helping the mother carry out her birth plan and remind her that she has choices in her medical care (you don't have to do everything they think you should). I also love being a birthing coach and assisting in the relaxation and focusing during the pain of labor. Amazingly, I started to gain a little bit of a reputation. This is good news to me because I just keep getting the opportunity to be a part of one of God's most awesome miracles!
Now that I realize what a passion this is of mine, I am planning on becoming licensed to be a doula once my children are a little bit older.
It is amazing to me how different and incredible every birth experience is.
Well, I said all that to say this, my most recent opportunity to be involved in this journey was yesterday with my friend Kelly. To read the whole story, you'll have to check out her blog and give her a big congratulations!! The baby is adorable and she did incredible!!

CVS - Stockpiling the Gift Closet

One of the things I love about shopping at CVS is getting things for free that I can use later as gifts. I often buy things for free or nearly free that I don't need at my house but I could use them as a future gift for someone else.
For instance, I do not have any children in diapers anymore, but I always buy the diapers when I can get them for free. I have diapers and other baby essential items in my gift closet that are perfect for a baby shower or visiting a new mom at the hospital. It has come in very handy.
I also have lots of nice candles that I can use for a friend's birthday.
Wanna know what my husband got for his birthday? That's right, a brand new razor!!
Shopping at CVS has not only curbed my household items budget, it has lowered my gifts budget tremendously!!
To find the best deals at CVS, check out Be Thrifty Like Us or Money Saving Mom

Friday, April 18, 2008

Flushing "Freaks Me Out!"

My little 3 year old has developed a funny habit. Every time he uses the bathroom in my room upstairs, he comes running out after he flushes. Usually, he runs all the way out my bedroom. I have found it quite amusing but I've never asked him about until today. My husband and I were in our bedroom and he was in the bathroom. I heard the flush and looked up for the speeding bullet of my son. He rushed to the other side of my room.
I laughed and told my husband that he does that every time and I don't know why. Apparently, he heard me and decided to put my curiosity to rest.
He looked at me and said, "The toilet flushing FREAKS ME OUT!!" Cory and I both started laughing. How does he know that phrase and the way to use it? Also, why does flushing the toilet "freak him out?" He just cracks me up sometimes.

****By the way, there is only 7 days left to vote for my marriage story at GenX!! I am about 20 comments behind the lead and I really would love a $50 gift card. If you haven't commented yet, I ask in my most pathetic, poor as dirt voice, pleeeeeaaaase?!!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Publix Deals for 4/17 - 4/23

Ocean Spray Juice (bogo @ $3.99/2)
Use 2 $1/1 from v 1/20
Makes them $1 a bottle

Horizon Organic Milk ($3.29/half gallon)
Use $1/2 from organic coupon booklet found in front of store
Makes them $2.79/half gallon when you buy 2

Land O Lakes Spread (bogo @ $2.09/2)
Use 2 $.30/1 from ss 3/16
Makes them $.74 a tub

Lender's Pre-Sliced Bagels (bogo @ $2.03/2)
Use $.50/2 from ss 3/9
Makes them $.76 a package

Farm Rich French Toast (bogo @ $3.29/2)
Use 2 $.75/1 printable
Makes them $.79 each

Boston Market Home Style Meals (50% off 10 to 16 oz boxes)
Use $1/3 printable

Bird's Eye Steam Fresh Veggies (50% off 4 ct or 10 to 13 oz packages)
Use $1/2 from ss 5/3

Valley Fresh White Chicken (bogo @ $3.29/2)
Use $.65/2 from ss 3/16
Makes them $1.32 a can

Juicy Juice 64 oz (bogo @ $3.59/2)
Use 2 $.75/1 printable (you have to sign up)
Makes them $1.04 each

Kashi Cereal (bogo @ $3.39/2 - includes GoLean, Heart to Heart, Organic Promise or Good Friends 12.4 to 17.5 oz boxes)
Use $1/1 from organic coupon booklet in front of store
Makes them $.70 a box

Quaker Bakes Bars or Oatmeal To Go Breakfast or Muffin, Bites or Oatmeal Cookies 7.8 to 12.6 oz box (bogo @ $3.29/2)
Use 2 $.55/1 from rp 4/13

General Mills or Kellog's Cereal (bogo @ $5.99/2 - includes Honey Nut Cheerios 25.25 oz, Lucky Charms 24 oz, Frosted Flakes 31 oz, Froot Loops 25 oz)
Use $1/2 GM from recent inserts
Makes them $2.50 a box

Uncle Ben's Ready Rice (bogo @ $1.89/2)
Use $1/2 printable coupon
Makes them $.45 a bag

Streit's Passover Matzos ($10.99 for 5 lb pkg.)
Use $3/1 from ad paper
Makes it $7.99/box

Streit's Matzo Ball Mix (bogo @ $2.59/2)

Lay's Potato Chips (bogo @ $3.49/2)

Campari Tomatoes 16 oz pkg. (bogo @ $4.99/2)

Kozy Shack Pudding (bogo @ $3.09/2)

Cole's Garlic Bread (bogo @ $2.79/2)

Kraft or Seven Seas Dressing (bogo @ $2.99/2)

Hunt's Ketchup 24 oz (bogo @ $1.75/2)

Mt. Olive Sweet Relish (bogo @ $2.19/2)

Kellogg's Yogos (bogo @ $2.89/2)

Thomas English Muffins (bogo @ $2.99/2)

Keebler Town House or Club Crackers (bogo @ $3.69/2)

For more great deals, check out The Grocery Gathering at BeCentsable.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Apparantly, I Haven't Been To The Library In A Very LONG Time!

O.k., let me just preface this post by saying that I am one of those "bad moms" that has never really taken my kids to the library consistently. I know it's good for them, it's just a hard trip with 4 kids. O.k., you are forewarned and I AM trying to do better.
So, I went to the library last Wednesday with all 4 kids for the first time in a long time. I knew it had been a while but I didn't realize how long until I got there. My kids wanted to play on the children's computers they have set up. So, I went to the front desk because I didn't have my library card with me and that is what you use to log in. I asked them to look up my card # for me and discovered that I had $14 in late fees. Wanna know how long those have been there? These late fees were for 7 books (that are returned) from 2005!! Yes, it has been 3 years since we have stepped foot in a library.
Well, I had to pay the fees to under $10 in order to use my card.
*As a side note, this is one of the main reasons I stopped going to the library. I was soooooo bad at returning my books on time that I decided I might as well just start buying the books.
So, I paid $4.01 and decided that we were going to try and make weekly trips to the library. We'll see if I do any better now that my children are older.
I will say that the experience was so different than 3 years ago. Back then I had a 4,3, and 2 year old and a new born. They were loud, they cried and were just chaotic. Because those are the only memories I have of taking my kids to the library, I was very anxious about this trip.
It was such a great relief to realize that my kids have matured greatly in this area. They did great and were truly excited about all the books and begged to check some out. Don't worry, I let them (1 for each kid).
O.k., so here is the funny part. I decided I was going to use this opportunity to teach Morgan all about libraries and how they are organized and how to find a particular book you are looking for. Now, I don't know about the libraries where you are, but the ones here have sure changed since the last time I was looking for a particular book (this may have been since I was in high school). I started to tell my eager and excited daughter that when you want to find a book in the library, you start with.....
This is when I started looking around the library and realized there was no card catalog. Being the savvy woman that I am, I quickly concluded that I should probably be looking for a computer. I saw a row of computers against one of the walls and walked my daughter over and we started typing. Don't you just love those moments where you are trying to teach one of your kids something that you are learning at the same time? Well, it was one of those moments. We did finally figure out how to work that electronic contraption and we found just the books we were looking for.
I know some of you are probably shaking your head in disgust at my library knowledge. But, I'm hoping someone will stand up and say they are just as clueless as me. Anyone? Anyone?

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

How I Met My Husband!

I was reading one of my favorite blogs (Billie) and read about this author who wrote a marriage book. The author was looking for people to share their story of how they met their spouse and got married. She has posted about 15 stories so far and is going to give a $50 gift certificate for a dinner for two to the story with the most comments.
Now, if you have been reading my blog for any time at all, you know we do not ever have the funds to go on a nice dinner like this and I would love to win!! Plus, you'll get to read the funny way I met my husband and how we got to where we are today. So, if you have a couple seconds, please head on over to Gen X and leave a comment on my post.
Come on, help me out!

Biggest Loser - End of Week 5

This week was much better than last for me!! I worked hard and it paid off. I had a loss of 3 lbs. this week! Woohoo!! So, here are the official numbers -

Me - 159 (loss of 3 lbs this week and total of 11!!)
Jess - 152 (loss of 1 lbs this week and total of 8!!)

It feels very good to have crossed the 10 lbs. mark!

If this is your first time reading the Biggest Loser, check out the previous weeks here, here, here, here and here.

Here is what I did last week:
Started to really count calories (not just guessing) and stayed under 1500 every day.
Most days I ate 6 smalls meals.
I did cardio 2 days
I did weight training 3 days

Here is what I plan to do differently this week:
Do cardio 3 days and weight training 3 days (I keep doing 5 instead of 6 days)
Drink only water and more of it. I have been drinking mostly water with the occasional diet soda and sweet tea. I also have not been anywhere close to 8 glasses of water a day.

Monday, April 14, 2008


Well, I can't believe it is already time to start thinking about curriculum for next year, but it sure is. So, this is what I am thinking for next year.

Math - Saxon
Enghlish - Rod and Staff or Shurley English or A Beka
History - We are planning to be part of a 1 day program that focuses completely on a period of history. We will complement what they learn that 1 day throughout the week. No book.
Science - Rod and Staff or A Beka

We have a used curriculum sale every year close by and I can get almost all my curriculum at a great price!!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Who Wants $25 For FREE?!!

Ok, I keep seeing this in the blogosphere and I finally broke down to find out exactly what it is. So, here's the scoop...

It's similar to Paypal except there is no fee for transferring money. You can link it to your bank account so that you can easily transfer money back and forth. You can transfer money to other RME users with no fee and it's super easy!!
As you can see, you get $25 for free just for signing up. You can transfer that money to your banking account and close the RME account with no fee. Basically, it is a free $25! That doesn't come around too often and I am all about some free money. If you are interested, just click the link below to sign up (if you sign up from my link, I get another $10!)
Also, I have read some rumors that some of the incentives they have had going on will end on April 15th.
*UPDATE: The offer is good until May 15th!!*
So, get it while the getting is good.

Refer A Friend using Revolution Money Exchange

Friday, April 11, 2008

Biblical Womanhood Guest Post

I wrote my very first guest post on Crystal's blog over at Biblical Womanhood. This post is about time management and starting your day off the right way.
Crystal has a great blog that is encouraging to all Christian woman. If you've never read it before, take a couple minutes to be uplifted.

How To Spend $50/week On Groceries

"How do you do it?" "How can you feed a family of 6 on $50/week?" "Does that include household items?" "Do you ever have other families over for dinner?"

These are a couple questions I hear on a fairly regular basis. So, I wanted to point out a couple of the things I have changed in my shopping and cooking in order to make a $50 budget doable.

1) Only buy thing on sale!! This is the biggest change for me. Instead of making a list of the things I want to buy so that I can make what I want to make, I buy what is on sale and we eat that. We do not make quick trips to the store to get (insert grocery need) in order to make dinner. We look at what we have on hand and figure out how to make that work. And yes, sometimes that means cereal for dinner.
To clarify, this does not include milk, eggs, bread, produce or meat. I have found those things rarely go on sale. Also, when it comes to meat, I still buy all my meat at Sam's Wholesale. I have found that they are cheaper than the grocery store half-price sales.

2) Use Coupons!! This is just as important as only buying things on sale. I used to think that coupons could save me $3 or $5 in a shopping trip. Well, when I only clip the 1 coupon for something I want and then leave it in the car or at home, I never saved a thing! Now, I have a coupon organizer for all my food items and a separate one for non-food items. I take them with me everywhere I go and I save up to $60 just in coupons in ONE trip!! Remember, coupons are not only found in the Sunday paper (although I always get my paper). There are tons of printable coupons online. Check out my coupons link to the left to see where I go to find great coupons. Also, if you need multiple coupons for the same item, buy them here
The Coupon Clippers

3) Stock up on sale items. When something goes on sale and I know it is something my family likes, I stock up. To see what I am talking about, check out my posts here and here. This way, I will have plenty of the item until it goes on sale again. This also helps me in planning meals for more than just our family. We often have meals with my extended family (we all live on the same street) or friends. I am amazed at how much less I spend and how much more we have on hand. It has been such a blessing.

4) Figure out how to get all household products for free or nearly free at CVS. This is a great program and one I have become very addicted to. The best detailed post I have read on how to get started with CVS and how to keep going is at Southern Savers post CVSing Guide. If you haven't ventured into this world because it seems too confusing or overwhelming, I challenge you to try it for 1 month and see if you think it is worth the savings.

Well, I hope this has been helpful. It sure has been a great adventure for me these last 5 months. My favorite thing to do is to try and beat my savings from the week before. It is so fun to get to the end of my transaction at the grocery store and see that I have saved more than twice the amount I paid.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Publix Deals for 4/10 - 4/16

Post Cereal (bogo @ $3.69/2 - includes Pebbles 13 oz, Honey Bunches of Oats 13 t0 18 oz, Honey-Comb 13.5 or 14.5 oz)
Use $1/1 or $1/2 coupons from 3/2 ss or
$2/1 Honey Bunches of Oats coupon here
Makes them $0 - $1.34 a box

Kellogg's Cereal (bogo @ $4.09/2 - includes Apple Jacks or Corn Pops 14.7 to 15 oz, Cocoa Krispies 17.5 to 18 oz, Cereal Straws 8.8 oz or Grab & Go 5.3 to 6.4 oz)
Makes them $2.04 a box

Hamburger Helper (bogo @ $2.05/2 - includes Chicken or Tuna Helper 5.2 to 8.4 oz)
Use $1.10/2 printable
Makes them $.52 a box

Del Monte Tomatoes (bogo @ $1.31/2)
Use $1/12 from 3/9 rp
Makes them $.57 a can (when you buy 12)

Keebler Chips Deluxe or Sandies Shortbread Cookies 9.5 to 18 oz (bogo @ $3.97/2)
Use $1/2 from 3/9 rp
Makes them $1.49 a box

Bird's Eye 8 to 10 oz box veggies (10/$10)
Use $1.10/4 printable
Makes them $.73 a box (when you buy 4)

Yoplait 4 or 6 oz yogurt (10/$6)
Use $.50/6
Makes them $.52 a cup (when you buy 6)

Friendship Sour Cream 16 oz ($1.29)
Use $1/2 from 3/16 ss
Makes them $.79 a container

Tomatoes on the Vine (sale of $1.99/lb. - usually $3.99/lb.)

Northland Juice (bogo @ $3.89/2)

Classico Pasta Sauce (bogo @ $2.77/2)

Ronzoni Pasta (bogo @ $1.39/2)

Green Giant Canned Veggies (bogo @ $1.13/2)

Lipton Tea Bags (bogo @ $3.79/2)

Doritos Chips 12.25 to 13 oz (bogo @ $3.49/2)

Nabisco Ritz Crackers (bogo @ $3.69/2)

For great deals at more stores, be sure to check out the Grocery Gathering @ BeCentsable

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Biggest Loser - End of Week 4

This week makes me so angry!! I did really good with my diet (except for the cheeseburger and fries) and exercise and the scale did not weigh in my favor! Here are the numbers for this week:

Me - 161 (SAME AS LAST WEEK!!! - Total of 8 pounds)
Jess - 153 (loss of 2 pounds this week and 7 pounds total)

UGGHH!! What a discouraging weigh-in.
The only excuse I have this week is that I started my period on Sunday night. So, maybe that had something to do with the lack of low numbers. I am so ready to hit the 10 pound mark! That would actually feel like an accomplishment.

If this is your first time reading The Biggest Loser, check out my previous posts, here, here, here and here.

Here is what I did last week:
I ate smaller portions and healthier food.
I lifted weights 2 days.
I did cardio work out 3 days.

What I plan to do differently this week:
NO CHEATING on food!!!
Lift weights 3 days.
Cardio 3 or more days.
Eat 6 small meals instead of 3 big

Monday, April 7, 2008

Free Cruise? No Way!!

You may remember a while back when I was asking if anyone knew how to get a free or discounted cruise that was legit. Well, I got this postcard in the mail (I know, I usually throw these away knowing they are a scam) that said you could get a free 5-day, 4-night cruise. All we had to do was come listen to a 90 minute presentation (not even about time shares).
Now, we have listened to the time share presentations in the past and have gotten free theme park tickets or free dinner for 2. We were a little skeptical about being able to get a free cruise. But, we figured we should at least try it out.
So, we drove an hour and a half to the location and listened to the 90 minute presentation of "you can vacation for the rest of your life for only $20,000". As tempted (feel the sarcasm) as we were to sign our life away, we just said no and asked for our "free" cruise.
They explained that we would have to pay for the taxes and port fees. We were o.k. with that because we were planning on a cruise anyway.
They gave us this piece of paper that we had to mail in to recieve our "reservations packet". Now, this piece of paper had to be received in less than 30 days. So, I mailed it out the next day.
We waited for our reservation packet to come and instead, we received another piece of paper with more "details" on it. This paper asked us to send them $200/person in a cashier's check to cover port fees and taxes and to choose our port and destination (you had to choose 2 different times that were at least 30 days apart). Now, I am started to smell the fish.
So, I decided to look up this company online and see what I could find in the reviews department. I started with the company we heard the presentation through (SunCoast) and I couldn't find any reviews. So, next, I searched for the company that was "giving away" this cruise (Certs). JACKPOT! Oh, the reviews I found!
I read and read and read and did not come across 1 (NOT 1!) positive review. Every person talked about the extensive hoops they try to make you jump through and even when you do jump through all the hoops, they can find something you didn't do exactly correctly. Once you do something incorrectly, you forfeit your free cruise. There is no adjusting.
In conclusion, I decided to save myself of any more headache and threw my "free cruise" in the trashcan. So, I would say if you want to get something for free by listening to these presentations, stick with the prizes that cost them less than $100. A free cruise or vacation is just too good to be true!
Oh, and if you ever hear of either of the companies I mentioned above wanting to give you something for free, run away!

Friday, April 4, 2008

Show & Tell at Becentsable

This weekend, my blog is being featured over at becentsable
for show & tell and I am giving away a Pampered Chef Paring Knife with Sharpening Case ($15 value). For a chance to win, head over to becentsable and leave a comment OR link your own great deals in Mr. Linky.

If this is your first time here, be sure to check out my weekly posts on Thursdays for deals at Publix. This is one of things I love to blog about (including great deals at other stores).

I also write about my homeschooling adventures. With a dyslexic child, a perfectionist and 1 who is just lazy, things are interesting.

And, like all good mommy blogs, I love to include the occasional fun family posts. My husband and I have been married for almost 10 years and we had 4 children in 5 years. You could say our home is never quiet or dull.

My newest weekly post is on Tuesdays where you can watch my fat disappear. I am in a blog-style competition with a friend. We both want to lose 30 pounds by the end of May. I am 22 pounds away and ready to win!!

I started this blog in November of 2007. In the beginning my purpose was to make a little extra money to help our budget. Now, I am just addicted (isn't that what happens to the best of us?).

My best deals this week were at CVS, Publix and Winn-Dixie. Even though none of them had incredible deals, between the 3, I was very pleased with the end results.

HELP!! I ate a cheeseburger and fries!

Ok, I have been doing so good all week with my diet and exercise. After only losing 1 pound last week, I knew I had to be on top of it.
So, did I just mess everything up last night? My dear, sweet, single brother offered to babysit all 4 kids so that Cory and I could actually have a date.
Well, we wanted to go somewhere to eat and I just can't pay full price for anything. So, I started looking through my restaurant coupons and came across a Fuddruckers bogo coupon. That's all my husband needed to hear and he was ready to go.
Bogo means that we both needed to get a burger (not that there is much choice at Fuddruckers). So, I ate a cheeseburger and fries. I did not order a coke. I drank water. I also resisted the urge to by a milkshake. They have the best milkshakes and we ALWAYS buy a milkshake to share when we go there.
I told my supportive husband that I would go to Fuddrucker's ONLY if we walked around for a while afterward. He agreed and we did. We walked (and I mean speed-walked) around an outlet mall for over an hour.
No more cheating for me! I gotta stay strong! I gotta lose some more weight this week! I gotta BEAT JESSICA!!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Winn-Dixie Free $25 Gift Card!

Ok, here is a deal definitely worth noting...
Between 4/2 and 4/29, if you spend $75 on Kraft products, the register will prompt for you to receive a $25 Gift Card of your choice (varies by store - but includes places like JCPenney, Lowe's, Longhorn, Blockbuster, etc...).
I called the home office today to clarify details and this is what I was told. The $75 can accumulate over the month and the running total should be kept on your Winn-Dixie card (you may want to keep your receipts just in case).
Now, you may not be familiar with all the names that Kraft owns. When you see the extensive list, this deal should be able to work out easily. Also, the deal works for the price of the items before coupons. I will be watching over the next couple of weeks for these particular items to be on sale and will keep you posted.
In case you are wondering, the things on sale this week that will go towards this reward are:
Oscar Mayer Bologna (bogo @ $1.99/2)
Oscar Mayer Bacon (2/$6)
Planters Peanuts ($3.99)
Kraft BBQ Sauce ($.79)
Kraft Block Cheese (3/$6)
plus, several more. To see the entire ad, click here.

The items that are listed as Kraft products include:
Maxwell House
Oscar Mayer
Taco Bell
Crystal Light
Philedelphia Cream Cheese
South Beach Diet
Balance Bar
Bulls Eye
California Pizza Kitchen
Corn Nuts
Country Time
General Foods International
Good Seasons
Grey Poupon
Jet Puffed
Louis Rich
Seattle's Best
Sure Jell
Torrefazione Italia Coffee

Publix Deals for 4/3 - 4/9

Well, I knew the day was coming. After 3 weeks of great sales at Publix, this week is lacking. I had a very difficult time finding coupons to match the sale items. Below is the list of bogo items this week and any matching coupons I could find. I'll be spending very little this week and wait for another good sale next week.

Plum Tomatoes (sale of $.99/lb - usually $1.99/lb.)

Medium White Shrimp (sale of $3.99/lb. - usually $6.99/lb.)

Voila (bogo @ $4.85/2)
Use $1/1 printable
Makes them $1.43 each

Barilla Pasta (bogo @ $1.43/2)
Mueller's Pasta (bogo @ $1.29/2)

Fast Fixin' Chicken Breast Nuggets (bogo @ $5.99/2)
Use 2 $1/1 printable (you can print up to 7 on web site by signing up on the bottom of page)
Makes them $2 each

Bagels, 4 ct. (bogo)

Betty Crocker Supreme Brownie Mix (bogo @ $2.69/2)
Use $.50/2 from 2/10 ss
Makes them $1.05 a box

Maxwell House Ground Coffee (bogo @ $3.59/2)
Use 2 $1/1 from 3/9 ss insert
Makes them $.78 a can

Peter Pan Peanut Butter (bogo @ $2.39/2)

Wishbone Salad Dressing (bogo @ $2.87/2)
Use $1/2 coupon from 1/13 v insert
Makes them $.93 a bottle

Kellogg's Cereal (bogo @ $4.09/2 - includes Frosted Mini-Wheats 16 to 20.4 oz, Rice Krispies 12 oz, Crispix 12 oz, or Unfrosted Mini-Wheats 18 oz)
Use $.70/1 from 2/24 rp insert or $1/1 rice krispies printable
Makes them $1.34 or $1.04 a box

General Mills Cereal (bogo @ $3.59/2 - includes Cheerios 8.9 oz, Fruity Cheerios 12 oz, Cinnamon or French Toast Crunch 12.5-12.8 oz, or Curves or Total 10.6-16.25 oz)
Use $.55 and $.75 from
Makes them $1.24 or $1.04 a box

For an even better deal on the Cheerios, check out Sarah's blog! She shows how to get the Cheerios for $.75/box

Check out the Grocery Gathering for more great deals at other stores.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Sometimes, The Reason I Home School Is Abundantly Clear

In Waycross, Georgia, a group of 3rd graders (yes, that says 3rd graders, 8 year olds!!) planned an attack on their teacher. They plotted together and each was assigned a different job, including covering the windows so nobody could see in/out and cleaning up afterward. Between the 9 students involved, they had collected a broken steak knife, duct tape, hand cuffs and other items!!
The children were mad at the teacher for one of them being scolded for standing on a chair. Ya, that seems like a reason to plan a murder. Whether they could actually have pulled this off or not is hardly the point. The fact that they could have such evil intents at such a young age is what is extremely disturbing to me.
So, when people ask me why I want to deprive my children from the socialization that ONLY (see me rolling my eyes) public school can bring, I will point them to this article. I'm glad they are secluded from kids like this.
To read the entire news article, click here.


Thrifty Florida Mama tells about a great deal coming to Winn-Dixie starting tomorrow. Be sure to check her post out here.

CVS Deals yesterday!!

With the new sale ad out on Sunday and the $5/15 and $3/15 beauty coupon expiring yesterday, I just had to go last night and I was very pleasantly surprised with what I walked away with. So, here is a breakdown of the transactions. BTW, a lot of CVS location will take $/$$ coupons that are expired, so these deals may still work if you have those coupons.

Transaction #1
3 Dove Bath Soaps ($5.99 each - $5 back when you buy $15)
$5/15 CVS coupon
$3/15 Beauty coupon
3 $1.50 Dove coupons from recent Sunday inserts
Paid $5.47 and got $5 back

Transaction #2
2 Neutrogena products ($7.79 each - $5 back when you buy $15)
$5/15 and $3/15
$5 Netrogena coupon
Paid $2.58 and got $5 back

Transaction #3
3 Jergens products ($5.99 each - $5 back when you buy $15)
$5/15 and $3/15
2 $1 and 1 $.75 coupon from recent inserts
Paid $7.22 and got $5 back

Transaction #4
3 Windex, 1 Shout, 1 Fantastik, 1 Palmolive Dish Soap ($5.99 each ($.99 for Dish Soap) - $5 back when you buy $15)
1 $1 and 1 bogo Windex coupons from recent inserts and here.
$1 Palmolive coupon 3/30 insert
$1 Fantastik coupon 3/30 insert
$.75 Shout coupon 3/30 insert
Paid $4 and got $5 back.

Transaction #5
5 Softsoap Spa bodywash ($4.99 each and $4.99 back for each - Limit 5)
3 Essence of Beauty ($1.99 each and $5 back when you buy 3)
$5/15 and $3/15 and $5/30(printed out at last transaction)
2 $1 and 2 $1.50 Softsoap from recent inserts
Paid $13 and got $29.95 back!!

Biggest Loser - End of Week 3

It's that time again. This was not a great week for Jess or me. I'm not exactly sure where we went wrong, but the scales did not weigh in our favor. I know you are all sitting on the edge of your seat wondering what the numbers are. So, without further ado, here are the weigh-in numbers this week.

Me - 161 (loss of 1 pound this week and 8 total)
Jess - 155 (same as last week and 5 total)

Wanna see our progress? Check out these other posts: here, here and here.

Why did I only lose 1 pound this week? Well, I can tell you. I actually did better in the exercise department. I lifted weights 3 days and did aerobic 2 days. My big downfall this week was food. I did not watch what I ate nearly as closely. In fact, my biggest food temptation (chips) called my name more than one time this week. I went through an entire bag of chips throughout the week by myself. I am not tempted by sweets or chocolate (although I did have some rice krispy treats as well), but chips and french fries are my stronghold. I usually don't even keep them in the house because I know I have zero self-control. Apparently, I still don't.
I also went through a drive through on Sunday on the way to the Bippity Boppity Boutique (see below) and decided on a burger, fries and coke. My big excuse for not getting a salad was that I was driving and couldn't eat a salad at the same time. However, I did not need to order fries and a coke too. Which brings me to my other misconception.
If I am going to "cheat" at all, I usually think I've messed up anyway, so I might as well go all out. I not only do that at one meal, I will do that for the day. Somewhere in my head, I figure that the day is already ruined anyway, so why not eat whatever I want. I know this doesn't make much sense. It's just what I did last week.
So, on to this week. My plan is to continue the exercise routine I started last week and be way more careful with my food intake! If I'm going to lose 22 more pounds in 9 weeks, I really have to step up my game. The goal is to lose 2-3 pounds a week. So, here's to a better and more productive week!