Monday, December 31, 2007

Three stop shopping spree

Usually when I have a shopping list that includes many coupons or various store deals I can almost guarantee there will be some type of problem; a difficult cashier, out of stock, refusing coupons, etc.

Today I made three stops; CVS, Walgreens, and Target. Each store went smoothly and without any hitches. Here are my brief summaries;

CVS
2 bottles of sparkling apple juice
2 bags of Russell Stovers' chocolates (Christmas clearance)
2 packages of paper plates
2 Glade scented oil refills (Christmas clearance)
2 spools of wired ribbon (Christmas clearance)
1 box of Nerds (Had to grab something quick to cover my negative balance)

I used a B1G1 coupon for the chocolates, a $3 off $15 purchase, a $2 off $10, and a $4 ECB. The plates were B1 G1 50% off. According to my receipt I saved $39.36, and spent $0.43 out of pocket.

Side note...I can't remember exactly when I got involved with CVS, but sometime in the late summer, since then, my year to date savings is over $1500!! If your not convinced to try CVS yet...you're really missing out!

Walgreens
1 bottle window washer fluid (a must have and Target was out)
1 bottle Vive Pro Shampoo
1 bottle Vive Pro Conditioner
2 Glade Scented Oil Candle holders
3 Glade Scented Oil Candle refills

I used 2 $1 off Vive Pro manu. coupons, $3 off to Vive Pro Products store coupon, B1G1 Glade candle holder coupon, and $3 off 3 candle refills. Also the shampoo was clearanced to 2.59, the conditioner 1.29 (so it was a money maker) and the candles were B1G1 from the store, so they were completely free, and I will bet getting a rebate for $2. So my out of pocket expense was $5.31. Total savings of about $34.00!

Target
3 bags Hershey's candy (Christmas clearance)
2 containers of ornaments (Christmas clearance)
2 boxes of raisins
4 cans of soup
2 single ornaments (Christmas clearance)
1 bag marshmallows
1 bag flour
1 bag brown sugar

All Christmas clearance was 75% off, I got approx. 25 ornaments for less than $5. The candy was $.69 per bag, plus three store coupons for $.50 off each bag. My students never get sweets from me...they might be surprised! The soup had several coupons; a $.40 off 4 manufacturer coupon, and two $.50 off 2, store coupons. The other items were just things we needed for a few recipes I'll be making this week. All in all I spent $13.88 but saved nearly $20.00!!

JCPenny's deal

While George was out working on Friday I piddled around some stores near the hotel. Several clearance Christmas items caught my eye, but I wanted to talk the purchases over with George. He gave me a thumbs up for the next day and the deals ended up being even greater. There was an additional 20% off clearanced merchandise and $10.00 off a $50.00 purchase.

Prior to sale prices I would have spent over $175, but walked alway just spending $45.00.

This platter, which will match perfectly with our china, was originally priced 39.99, and we paid $9.00 for it!
The back side of the platter has a matte-like finish on it.
This is the picture of the entire purchase. 3 Christmas tree centerpieces (orig. $49.99), 3 cute Christmas mugs, perfect for filling with candy and giving as small gifts (orig. $12.00 each), one gold ornament (orig. $7ish?), large red platter, and large red bowl (orig. $39.99 each).

I was thankful to get such wonderful deals, and add to our Christmas decorations for next year.

A quick update

The last few weeks have been very different for us. George left nearly three weeks ago to do some business in Oklahoma. Our original plans for the holidays had been to spend Saturday and Sunday before Christmas with my family, then Sunday evening through Christmas day with George's family. When he was called to Oklahoma, we knew we would have to revise our plans. We had to take the "one day at a time" method, which was a phrase mom frequently used as we were growing up. Anyone who knows me, knows I like to plan things, and "one day at a time" isn't how I typically do it.

Thankfully George was able to leave Oklahoma Saturday before Christmas and drove straight to my parents' home. Ben, Julie, Hannah, Abby, and I had arrived just before George. We had a nice dinner together and exchanged gifts, including our annual gag gift exchange. Sunday morning we all attended services at New Liberty. Unfortunately, Mike wasn't feeling well, so we missed having him there, but it was nice worshiping all together.

We had decided since George had worked 140+ hours over two weeks, to travel to his parents' house would be too much, so we postponed seeing them until later in January. We headed home and had two quiet days by ourselves. George was able to catch up on a little sleep and we had a nice time together again. Wednesday morning he headed back to Oklahoma, and I spent the day with my close friend Kerry. We had a wonderful brunch at Andres' and then did some antiquing and shopping on the Plaza.

Wednesday evening Mom and Fadraon spent the night with me, while Micha and Daniel stayed down the street with Ben and Julie. Micha was scheduled to fly to Dallas the next day, but mom had to head home as Fadraon was fighting off a virus. So after doing some shopping with Micha and taking her to the airport, I headed down to spend some time in Oklahoma with George. Thankfully the amount of claims he was getting had slowed down, so we were able to spend the evenings together and relax.

Thursday he was notified he would not be getting any more claims, so he was free to go home when he was done with his work load. So Sunday morning, at 5am we left Oklahoma to come back to KC, just in time for him to fill an appointment at a local church. He is back at work today, and ready for a day off tomorrow. Thanks to all those who have kept him in your thoughts and prayers while he has been away.

And now for some pictures...


Cailin and Emma showing off their new blankets from Uncle Ben, Aunt Julie, Uncle George, and Aunt E.
Hannah loved carrying around my new purse. Julie said she became quite fond of it prior to her wrapping it. She definitely is coming to appreciate accessories. Thanks again to Ben and Julie for the purse. I love it!
Caitlin and Emma showing off their new hair pieces, which were a part of the gag gift exchange.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

An evening with Hannah

Hannah's reaction to the flash. She would laugh, then rub and rub and rub her eyes.


Because all dogs need socks, right?

I never realized how fun it was to "blow" your nose.
Dogs also need to blow their nose. FYI-they don't like it anymore than kids do.

The task of ironing.

Several years ago I loved ironing. I would turn on some music and iron for awhile and really enjoy it. I'm not sure what it was, the success of getting the wrinkles out of the shirts, or just calming, or what? Well, now that I am doing a lot more ironing, it just isn't quite as enjoyable. Let me rephrase that, it isn't that I don't enjoy it, it is more that I can never keep up with it. I'll get a few of George's shirts ironed with the thought I'll get around to the rest in the next couple of days, but instead laundry, or other things come up. While I know ironing is technically an aspect of laundry-I consider my laundry done, even when the ironing is not.

Shortly after George left for his work trip, I made it my goal to get the ironing done. This was one of my "projects". After Crystal hosted Making your Home a Haven, I knew this was something I needed to get done. Afterall, it kind of prevented our bedroom from feeling like a haven. As I fold laundry I toss things to be ironed over a chair. Embarrassing, I know.
The before picture of the ironing pile.

I was visiting with my aunt, who's husband travels a lot, and told her of my plan to get caught up on the ironing and she said she takes the opportunity to pray over her husband as she does the ironing and laundry. For example; praying for a strong back to carry the load, his arms for provisions and comfort, and his neck turning in only in the ways the Lord would direct. I just thought this was the perfect way I could do two things for my husband, iron his shirts and pray for him while he was gone. When it was all said and done I think I ironed 18 shirts and 2 skirts.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

I miss you sweetheart!!

As some may have heard, George was called out for the first time on storm duty. He is in Oklahoma. He left Thursday morning and is anticipated to be back a week from Sunday. I'm primarily posting this asking for friends and family to keep him in your prayers. The first day down there he worked 14 hours, the second, 12 hours. He is climbing on roofs, giving estimates for roof repair, tree removal, etc. I found some amazing pictures of the damage in the Tulsa area here. The beauty amid the storm in some of the pictures are just reminders of God's glorious creation. George has repeatedly described it as a "war zone". This is our first time away from each other since we were married.

Maybe in the coming days I will post some pictures of the projects I am doing to keep busy while he is away, but for now...Just please pray for him to have strength during the long hours and safety while he is out and about. Also, I am sure the Oklahoma residents who have been without power and have damage to their home would appreciate the prayers as well.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Updating

I haven't done a real post of what we've been up to since before Thanksgiving. So, since I have a few minutes I'll try to catch up.

For Thanksgiving George and I headed up to his parents house on Wednesday evening. We were driving through Springfield, IL around midnight so we stopped to hit up the CVS Thanksgiving 3 day sale. We arrived at his parents a little after 1am then got up early Thursday morning to head to Indiana to be with his dad's side of the family. Aunt Marge and Cousin Kathy hosted the annual event as usual. Of course we ate too much, but we had a good time. Aunt Marge has recently retired...oops, I mean "quit", so she has been working on a few projects around the house and sewing projects. She let me pick out two beautiful quilted pot holders to take home.

The group socializing after the Thanksgiving meal. We ate so much we couldn't even get up from the table.
The pot holders Aunt Marge made. Kathy also gave me a wonderful scrubber. if I remember right she said she picks them up occasionally at crafts shows or something like that. It works wonders, not to mention is safe for all dishes. Thanks again to both of you!!

The first weekend of every month we head to Kirksville for George to fill an appointment at Hazelcreek Primitive Baptist Church. On our way up this month we stopped by Mom and Dad's to visit the evening before.

This last weekend we had several things planned, but everything managed to get canceled due to the weather. My work Christmas party was one of them, but I had just finished making a new treat to take, Southern Sour Cream Pralines, from Martha Stewart Living Magazine. They didn't harden quite like they should have, but they were sure delicious. George loved them too!

One of two trays of pralines. Some how we managed to eat both trays in two days...we did share with Ben and Julie though.
A close up...I will definitely have to make this recipe again. I just wish nuts weren't so expensive!


Really, like I said, nothing too exciting. Our Financial Peace University class has ended..so we have reclaimed our Tuesday nights. It is amazing what a difference it makes having one more night at home. Not much coming up too exciting for the holidays, just making the rounds to the families. I'll sure there will be more posts on the holidays to come.

"Oh the weather outside is....?"

Just a few pictures of our surroundings the past week or so...although not nearly as good as mom's pictures, they had more ice than we did. Thankfully the temp stayed just above freezing so not too many people in our area are without power.

This is the snow from just about a week ago. This view is off our balcony.
This picture was last night. George was experimenting with the "night" feature on the camera.
Again last night as everything began to ice.
Right outside the apartment this morning.
Thankfully the roads weren't bad at all, so I ventured up to Ben and Julie's for a little bit on my snow day today. This was near their home. It was beautiful.
Again, outside the apartment.
Ben and Hannah ran across the street to get the mail all bundled in blankets...I don't think she was a fan of the cold and wetness.

The little things

The past two weeks Crystal, over at Biblical Womanhood, has been hosting "Making your home a haven". I have enjoyed reading her suggestions and ideas, but have had to adapt it to fit what I am able to do. My husband and I do not have any littles just yet, so I am up and out the door, just like him every day. This weekend we took the time to work together to attack our bedroom and laundry. Although we got it all done, I didn't get any before/after pictures. In the next few days, I will still be working towards completing the pile of ironing.

Today I was fortunate enough to have a "snow/ice day". Rather than sleeping in, which my sweet husband encouraged, I decided if I was going to get anything done, I needed to get up and get going. On my list was grocery shopping, baking, clean laundry closet, and clean the linen closet. Each cleaning project took just a few minutes. I am hoping for another snow day tomorrow, to tackle.

Embarrassing before picture: linen closet-bottom
15 minutes later: linen closet-bottom
Another embarrassing before: linen closet-top
15 minutes later: linen closet-top
A pile of rags from the previous job that were in the wrong closet sitting on the dryer.
After picture
Top shelf of closet, before.
Top shelf after.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

My favorite deal of the week!!

I realize it has been awhile since our last post. I have several drafts pending, but just haven't done the finishing touches on them. More on what's new in our lives (though not much) in another post.

I was blessed with several great deals this week, but this one is my favorite. George and I had went to Super Target last night to pick up some free tomatoes. Unfortunately, the coupons making them free were no longer available. But since we also needed an ice scraper, we started wandering through the store. I stopped to rummage through the clearance racks and came across this beautiful coat. I had been keeping an eye out for a coat that would look better than my solid black one, for the days when I wear brown, but to also lengthen the life of my current coat.

I tried the coat on, saw George's eyes light-up with approval, but then looked at the tag...it was still $42.00. While I realize it is a decent deal, knowing a few purchases we had made earlier in the day, I took off the coat and returned it on the rack.

Later in the evening we had done pizza and a movie with Ben and Julie (brother and sister-in-law) and I hopped on their computer to show Julie the coat. As I pulled it up I was surprised to see it on sale online for $24.99!! I printed the page and took it to the store to see if they would honor the price (so I could avoid shipping costs), but of course, Target never makes things easy and said no.

After a little deliberation I decided to order it online. As I went to the online check out I noticed the promo code field. I checked my usual site for promo codes for online stores and saved 1/2 of the shipping cost! All in all, I purchased the coat for less than $30.00!! By the time tax was paid in store I would have spent over $45.00. In my opinion, it is well worth it to save the $15 and have to wait an extra 5 days for delivery.

Go to Super Savings Saturday to see other's great deals.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Welcome Home

I could watch this over and over...thought it was worth sharing. Thanksgiving was just a few days ago...there is so much to be thankful for.

video

Note: I was told the video was playing correctly for some, click here if you'd like to go directly to the news website with the video link on it.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

A Thanksgiving Feast

As many know, I am a speech pathologist at an elementary school. As Special Education Building Manager, I am also very involved in our specialized instruction program, which has about 25 emotionally disturbed and behavior disordered students. As is tradition in our building, we all band together to make sure all of the students in the program get a Thanksgiving feast. While the staff provide the food, the students take an active part in the preparation as well. One class sent out invitations to special education staff and related staff, such as custodians and principal, while other students set the table, made festive placemats, and seated guests as they arrived. It is so much fun to see them smile and work so hard to put on such a grand event.

This is about half of the food, we had several crock pots of potatoes and containers or rolls. I saw one students eat at least 7 rolls! I was shocked!
A few coworkers, Emily and Misti, who have both become good friends.
Of course I can't show student faces due to privacy reasons, but this shot shows one students TWO platefuls of food ... that was just in his first trip through the line. :)
Look closely and you can see the colored placemats with festive pictures on them on the table.

Matt, another coworker, who brought his grandmothers homemade pecan pies. Ugh! My mouth just waters reflecting on how good they were!
Another student enjoying his feast.


Just outside in the hall, the first grade classrooms were having a feast of their own. They had made pilgrim and indian costumes for their feast.

They use bulletin board paper and roll it down the hall as a table cloth.

Oh the fun of a paper bag and construction paper!!


'Tis the season

Last Saturday George and I had spent most of the day around the house doing a lot of nothing. So late afternoon we decided we HAD to get out of the house. We ventured out to Village West Shopping District for the Christmas Tree Lighting. There was quite a crowd of people; babies, young children, young couples, families, etc. It seemed like it drew out a little of everyone. There were some local school choirs singing and Santa made an appearance as well. It was hard to believe we haven't had Thanksgiving, and we're lighting trees, but I guess Christmas is fast approaching.



Sunday, November 11, 2007

Just a few pictures...

The other night we were over visiting Ben and Julie. Hannah decided she needed to put on Aunt E's jacket. She also was fascinated by our camera, although she had never shown much interest in it before. It prevented me from getting too many pictures of Abby or any good pictures of Hannah because she just kept reaching for it. Here are the couple I did capture.


Also here are a few more fall pictures. These are on my way home from work. My commute has been more colorful these days.