Jan 27, 2009

Ice, Ice Baby! Random Notes ...

Last week ... I think it was Wednesday or Thursday, it was in the high 70's/low 80's and I broke out the capris, denim ones to be sage :), by Friday, the boots were back in town. This has been a WACKY winter, more than usual because each day presents a season of it's own. Even my 3 year old asked me last night, "Mom, what season is it?". I said winter and he just stood there with a look that said .. nu uh ... I don't believe you!

Today ice in the forecast and our newstations are breaking into programming every 30 minutes. They said we need to prepare to honker down today and tomorrow. Honker down? This is not Chicago. Schools have already closed (not Ethan's), local colleges and universities have closed and it really isn't that bad. I guess better safe that sorry for those who have to drive far distances.

The "warnings" started yesterday, so I went to the grocery store and got some comfort food and milk. I cooked red beans and rice/cornbread and tonight I will make chicken, dressing, sweet potatoes, and sweet tea.

I will admit though I am excited to make hot cocoa for the kids and sit near the fireplace (where there is no fire, just candles), watch movies, watching 80's videos on YouTube and HONKERING DOWN!!!

Jan 23, 2009

I believe ... and my bill shows it!

A year and half ago when we learned Ethan would have to have brain surgery, I knew I would come home and a FULL TIME stay at home mom. That meant we would have to make some changes with our spending, make a budget and STICK to it!!!

We like to eat, but I knew the biggest bill besides mortgage and car is the grocery bill. At that time is was about $400.00-500.00 per month. I shopped at WalMart, Target, Kroger and Tom Thumb whichever was closest when I decided what I was going to cook.

My friend Chrystal is at home with her kids where she also homeschools and mentioned something on her blog about meal planning and I said yeah right ... I am so gonna do that. Plan. Deep in the back of my head, I knew I could, but it seemed like so much work and after working a full day for da man, who wants to "work at home too?" I wanted home to be easier .. silly me .. priorities all in the wrong place.

I cooked at home most nights and the weekends we ate out, so after thinking about it and talking to Chrystal more .. I knew I would have to do at least try it, cause the income was gonna start shrinking sooner than we thought.

I attended a coupon class and got all this motivation, starting clipping, and with the meal planning and coupons, I actually started to see a difference in my checkbook and in our savings account.

I will admit though after Ethan's surgery, I lost the energy to plan a meal and actually shop around town to save us any money. So it all came to screeching halt. Everytime I went grocery shopping though, I would say man, there was probably a coupon for that in the paper and would cring at the total getting higher and higher at the register. Even though we had the $$$ to pay for the groeries, something about NOT saving was bothering me.

But then gas hit $4.00 per gallon and I needed to do something to save again and not rely on hubby to take extra hours everyday. At that rate he would be so tired and would not want to do anything else on the weekends and we would miss him.

So I started couponing again and this time I plan my shopping trips and am soooo happy I did!!! We ARE saving LOTS of money and trying things we might not normally try and I will be ready for the economy no matter what happens. (We are trusting God for His provision, no matter what happens anyway).

Today, I hit Smith's/Kroger and spent a whopping $2.61 out of pocket for the following:

Captain Crunch Cereal
Green Giant Sweet Frozen Corn
Hormel Chili (2)
Kleenex Tissue w/ lotion (2)
Quaker Instant Oatmeal Packs
Quaker Ricecakes
Reese's Whips Candy Bar (4)
Rotel Tomatoes (for the superbowl)
Glade Air Freshner (2)

Total before coupons: 25.52 - They are having a Mega Event, so deduct $5.00, then add my coupons and you get $2.61!!!!


Jan 20, 2009

Today in History ....

The United States of America will have a new President at 12noon.

This is a day that carries many emotions for me and my family. I was born in the 60's and was one of the first kids to attend a formerly all white school. Unbeknownst to me .. my mother was scared to death when I started kindergarten, I had no idea what had been going on behind the scene .... I have been called the "n" word and have seen many, many things in my life .. but seeing an African American President was not one of the things I thought I would see in my lifetime.

My family sits on both sides of the aisle, but today we stand together and are proud to see how far America has come.

We have always told our sons you CAN be whatever God wants you to be .. and today they have been given a visual example.

I pray for President Bush as he and Mrs. Bush transition into private life in Texas, I pray for their protection once they leave Washington life. I pray for President and First Lady Obama as they start their new lives as the first family.

I pray for President Obama's presidency, his protection, his decisions, the people he surrounds himself with and most of all the he see God with fresh eyes, that he seek God for all answers and that God will be ever present in his life.

Jan 19, 2009

He had a dream

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
August 28, 1963
"I Have A Dream" speech, delivered the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom

I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.
Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity.
But 100 years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languished in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. And so we've come here today to dramatize a shameful condition.
In a sense we've come to our nation's capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men - yes, black men as well as white men - would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check that has come back marked "insufficient funds."
But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. And so we've come to cash this check, a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and security of justice. We have also come to his hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God's children.
It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment. This sweltering summer of the Negro's legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. Nineteen sixty-three is not an end but a beginning. Those who hoped that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. There will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.
But there is something that I must say to my people who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice. In the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force. The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to a distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny. And they have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom. We cannot walk alone.
And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead. We cannot turn back. There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, "When will you be satisfied?" We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality. We can never be satisfied as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. We cannot be satisfied as long as the Negro's basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as our children are stripped of their selfhood and robbed of their dignity by signs stating "for whites only." We cannot be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no we are not satisfied and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.
I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow jail cells. Some of you have come from areas where your quest for freedom left you battered by storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive.
Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to South Carolina, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed.
Let us not wallow in the valley of despair. I say to you today my friends - so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.
I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal."
I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.
I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
I have a dream today.
I have a dream that one day down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification - one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.
I have a dream today.
I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together.
This is our hope. This is the faith that I go back to the South with. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.
This will be the day, this will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with new meaning "My country 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my father's died, land of the Pilgrim's pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring!"
And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true. And so let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania.
Let freedom ring from the snow-capped Rockies of Colorado. Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California.
But not only that; let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia.
Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee.
Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi - from every mountainside.
Let freedom ring. And when this happens, and when we allow freedom ring - when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children - black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics - will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual: "Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"

Jan 16, 2009

All the things a left hand can do ....

on it's own .... no help from the other hand .. :)

type slowly
open a door
lock a door
wash a face
apply lotion
caress the faces of family
sign a check .. well not really
change a mean diaper w/ help from my right arm and the baby .. :)
dial a cell phone number

I won't even bore you with what it can't do .. let's just say I am so thanful for the use of my mind and limbs and I will NEVER take them for granted anymore.

In everything give Him THANKS for the things He has done .... I Thessalonians 5:8


Jan 13, 2009


I started reading a new blog last week and it is good to know that there are other ladies who do what I do AND share the secrets. Love her name .. I AM FRUGAL .. Just passing along to you, especially since I have been couponing since October and have saved a TON on money for my family!!!!!!

Suave is offering FREE product Wednesday, January 14, 2009!!! I love, love, love the body wash!!!

Jan 10, 2009

A New Week ...

The surgery went well .. I have a HUGE ELEPHANTLEG LIKE cast on my hand and the family has pitched in, well .... taken over really, really well. DH has been GREAT taking most of my household responsibilities, especially the laundry ... I didn't realize what the bottom of the hampers looked like or that we have that many clothes and not enough towels. :)

I didn't drive until Wednesday and that was only because DH went back to work (yes, I made sure the drugs were out of my system) and Ethan wanted to be able to come home everyday and not spend the night at school.

Truth be told, I have ... well, I guess had hives (looking at my hands) because of an allergic reaction to one of the 4 meds prescribed for me. yuck, yuck. Benadryl, you are my friend. The itching stops every 4-6 hours and the hives finally disappeared Friday, but I can't stop taking a 2 hour naps every doggone day ... I am so sure Austin and DeClan are so very thankful mommy had camptime right inside her bedroom the last 3 days. (Don't worry, I only take 1 benadryl each time, so I can be somewhat alert if they decide not to follow orders!)

My sister MeMe and my church family are amazing, meals have been dropped off and I coached DH and Ethan through other easy dishes, so we have not gone without. Heck, we made homemade donuts (recipe here) this morning after I got up around 11:30am .... see ...this sleeping is too much ..

Follow up appt. w/ the surgeon this week and a plan for the next 11 weeks, yeah, I said 11. Since the break was pretty bad, I have to have another go round of surgery and a new cast that I pray will go with spring blouses. I guess I should be thankful winter is upon us so I can hide the elephant sized arm I am sporting under lots of velour jackets. :) I am UNABLE to button or snap anything, so if I don't get showered and dressed before DH leaves, jogging suits are my uniform because it is the only thing I can pull together myself.

Once I figure out how to comb my hair a little and apply some lip gloss, I promise to post a photo of little ole me!

Shout out to JenJen for combing my hair Christmas Day and last Saturday (hubby has tried sooooooo hard to get my hair together, but remember we have three boys) and giving a sista an opportunity to wear jeans and a cute top and my $5.00/$95.00 boots!!!!! Did you catch that, 2 times in 3 weeks. DH has been giving me ponytails and ballcaps.

Have a great week!

Jan 3, 2009

Surgery today .....

I'll go in, be put to sleep, have some screws put in my wrist, wake up, come home and take lots of medicine ... ahhhhh

please pray for me and the surgery ...thank you!