A Harvest of Blessings

The onions are in. I think there are 180-something. Between the girls obsession with Little House on the Prairie and Jake's innate need to farm, we just might get a tad carried away when it comes to planting our gardens. And it seems to get exponentially bigger with every planting.....and that got us thinking.

Every year we talk about the girls and I having a little stand at our small town's weekly Farmer's Market. However, let's be honest, it sounds quaint and fun......but it would be a huge amount of work. And really, who wants to stand in a parking lot all day in the middle of July selling produce? Not I!

We've always talked to the girls about growing food and that we do it because we enjoy it and it's good for us. We've also told them about people who have to grow food in order to survive. We've looked at the Heifer International website and talked about some other similar organizations and what they do and why. However, we only truly understand when we do something to help.

Here is where you come in.

I've decided that this summer we're going to have our very own "CSA". The girls planted our garden right along with us. This summer, they will help water, pick, and weed it. Then we will sell the produce....to you and whoever you know that might be interested. Then they will use all of that money to buy something for Heifer International. It might be a flock of chicks....but how great would it be if we could purchase a heifer or even part of one? So, think about it, pray about it, and tell your friends and family.

I haven't really thought out all of the exact details, but they will fall into place.

And we're bursting with excitement over the possibilities! :)

So grow little onions, grow. We've got big plans for you!



Last night at our Thanksgiving Eve worship service, this was printed in our bulletin....

"It is a delightful; and profitable occupation to mark the hand of God in the lives of the ancient saints, and to observe His goodness in delivering them, His mercy in pardoning them, and His faithfulness in keeping His covenant with them. But would it not be even more interesting and profitable for us to remark the hand of God in our own lives? Ought we not to look upon our own history as being at least as full of God, as full of His goodness and of His truth, as much a proof of His faithfulness and veracity, as the lives of any of the saints who have gone before?
We do our Lord an injustice when we suppose that He wrought all His mighty acts, and showed Himself strong for those in the early time, but does not perform wonders or lay bare His arm for the saints who are now upon the earth. Let us review our own lives. Surely in these we may discover some happy incidents, refreshing to our selves and glorifying to our God.
Have you had no deliverances? Have you passed through no rivers, supported by the Divine presence? Have you walked through no fires unharmed? Have you had no manifestations? Have you had no choice favors? The God who gave Solomon the desire of his heart, has He never listened to you and answered your requests?
That God of lavish bounty of who David sang, "Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things," has He never satisfied you with fatness? Have you never been made to lie down in green pastures? Have you never been led by the still waters? Surely the goodness of God has been the same to us as to the saints of old.
Let us, then, weave His mercies into a song. Let us take the pure gold of thankfulness, and the jewels of praise and make them into another crown for the head of Jesus. Let our souls give forth music as sweet and as exhilarating as came from David's harp, while we praise the Lord whose mercy endures forever." C.H. Spurgeon


Happy Thanksgiving, friends.


I promise you that at some point, my enthusiasm will die and I'll stop posting my shopping trips. Until then....

I got the bulk of this at Walgreens and Target and the grand total was....$26.74! The Loreal shampoo & conditioner came from CVS and I wouldn't have bothered, but they overcharged me last week (& I won't tell you by how much because then you'll really think I'm crazy....) on something so I had to go in to get that anyway....they're normally priced at 4.99 each, but I got both for $1.40. :)
I got the 2 bottles of juice, 3 packages of wipes, and 2 boxes of crackers (the other 2 were .50 each) for FREE at Target!

This is actually from last week.....I did find some good deals this week, but not as many. I think everyone is gearing up for black Friday. So, I'll spare you the details because I didn't take a picture. You're welcome.
Happy Thanksgiving!!


This weekend, while Jake and I are at the beach, the girls are going with my parents to Stockton for my cousin's wife's baby shower. I was sad to miss it, but the girls are going in my stead and they are more than thrilled.

Our gift to the new baby was fun to make. And made me wish ever so badly that I had a snuggly little boy of my own! ;)
I lined the diaper clutch with this fantastically cute flannel! Umm, I'm pretty sure that there is nothing cuter than little cowboys being bucked off donkeys. Well, at least on flannel. I suppose it wouldn't be so cute to witness in real life! ;)

Have a lovely weekend friends! I'm off !!


Frugal Finds

I'm going to start with my CVS shopping trip.....
I got 2 gallons of milk, 2 dozen eggs, 2 boxes of blueberry muffin mix, a bottle of dish soap, one each of Garnier Fructis shampoo and conditioner, 2 bottles of Arm & Hammer laundry soap, and 2 Loreal lip glosses......for $22.17. I wasn't so impressed with this trip because the milk and eggs were cheaper, but not that much cheaper than WinCo, but we needed them anyway so I figured I might as well buy them there. The two bottles of laundry detergent for a total of $5.99 sorta made up for it though! :)
Next up, Cost Plus..... These 12 oz bags of coffee are priced at $5.99 each (Do people really pay that much for coffee? Costco, people....go to Costco!). However, Wednesdays are apparently "double punch" days.....which means normally, you buy 6 bags and then you get one free, but on Wednesdays, you only have to buy 3. However, this last Wednesday, all coffee was buy 1, get 1 free! Soooo, I bought 2 bags for a total of $12 and got 3 free!! That works out to $2.40 per bag! And we were almost out of coffee so I was pretty excited about this one!!
And for the grand finale.....Target!!

3 containers of diaper wipes (yes, we still use these for pretty much everything and my youngest is 5!), 2 bags of marshmallows, the biggest box of rice krispies I could find, 3 cans of refried beans, a can of RoTel, and 3 lbs of apples......for $5.23!!! That's right, $5.23!! Eeeek! And the best part is the Rice Krispies.....after my coupons, they paid me $1 to take them!! I think I shall go make some Rice Krispie treats to celebrate!
I also had to go to WinCo for some regular grocery shopping because there were a few things we needed. But even with that, I still came in quite a bit under my weekly budget!
Have I inspired you to get on the coupon bandwagon yet?


Just me and my girls!

While daddy went deer hunting a couple of weeks ago, the girls and I went to our favorite place....Disneyland! :) I had been planning to take them while he was gone and then Emma was invited to go with a friend to celebrate the friend's birthday on Wednesday of that week. It worked out perfectly! We left early Tuesday morning and spent the day at both parks. It was the least crowded we have seen it in years!! That night we went back to our hotel....the one we always stay at because it is clean and within walking distance....

And you didn't think this post was going to not have a "deal" in it, did you? I was able to get our room for $59 a night with my mom's Entertainment card! Woot!

The next day, we met Emma's friend and her family at the gate and she went off to spend the day with them. That meant it was just me and Lauren on Wednesday. We had so much fun....it's a really neat thing to be able to spend one-on-one time with your kids in a place that they love so much!

This little trip was just what we needed to get us over that last 2 day hump of Jake being gone! The girls really start to get weepy after about the 4th day and they were so excited to get home Thursday morning and see daddy and his "trophy buck!" ;)

I'll leave you with some goofy pictures....no pun intended!

Lauren driving on Mr. Toad's.....

Emma imitating her horse......

Posing in front of some Halloween decorations....and can I just say that the decorations were, in true Disney form, utterly amazing!? The haunted mansion was unbelieveable!

We rarely wait in line to hug characters, but there were so few people that we didn't really have to wait at all....

Lauren in her favorite ride.....she informed me, however, that she enjoys it a lot more when dad is there to make it spin faster. Thanks for sharing, Lauren. :)


New and Exciting!

We're trying some new things around here....and so far, it's been really exciting! And really good!

First of all, we are now full-fledged members of the Dave Ramsey phenomenon. We didn't actually "attend" Financial Peace University, but we listened to the CD version and I read one of his books. At first, my husband thought Dave Ramsey was some kind of cult leader and if you "followed" him, you immediately had to put your house on the market and start eating roots and berries. :) No, we'll be keeping our house and we're still eating fillet (when it's on sale for $2.98 per lb at WinCo, like it was last week. FYI!). What we have done is make a budget for the first time in our married life and actually track our spending. Novel idea, right? We have always had one credit card for personal use and one for business and paid them off every month and lived within our means. So, what's the big deal? Well, the big deal is, we didn't really have any idea where our money was going. Seriously, I go to Target and get what we "need" and I grocery shop at WinCo, occasionally use coupons and usually buy generic, but I had absolutely no idea how much I spent at either of those places from one month to the next! Well, I do now!

And this leads me to the next new thing! Coupon-ing! I have been following a couple blogs for a few months now and they are pros when it comes to saving money. So, I pretty much just do what they do! :) Some girlfriends and I went to a class hosted by one of them recently and I purchased a coupon binder which has quickly become my favorite thing ever!
I buy 2 copies of the LA Times every Sunday just for the coupons! My dear husband (who is graciously humoring me) goes out early in the morning on Sunday to buy my papers before they sell out. Just a heads up if you're local, they sell out very quickly.....you can't wait until after church! A couple of weeks ago when he went to get them at our local Fastrip he was still a little sceptical about my fear that they would run out. Well, he comes home and hands me the papers and says, "Maybe you're right. When I walked in, there was this gang banger, tattooed face and all, holding an LA Times. He looks right at me and says, 'I gotta get here early on Sundays to get mine! The LA Times is my B%*&!!'"

Ummm, anywho....

So, I have a set amount each week that I can spend on groceries/household items. (Btw, I inflicted all of this on myself! My husband could not care any less how much I spend on anything, let alone groceries. I am the nerd in this relationship!) My goal is to see how far under that I can come each week (again...nerd!). I forgot to take pictures of my purchases this week (aaaand....nerd!), but my goal is to start having a weekly post about deals I've found and how much under-budget I came in!

I'll tell you that my weekly budget is $100 and includes all food and household items. This is waaay more that what the "pros" budget (usually $45-50/week), but I wanted to be reasonable in the beginning. Plus, I knew that if I started out low and then went over, I'd be really discouraged. This way, I've been able to see just how much I can save and so it's really encouraging!

This week, I took the $35 for the coupon class & my binder out of my grocery budget and then $30 for the girls' registration for gymnastics because I really stocked up last week and I knew we didn't need much in the way of groceries anyway. However, with the remaining $35 I was able to buy quite a bit: 8 boxes of cereal, 16 rolls of paper towels, 12 rolls of TP, 2 jars of peanut butter, 2 bags of chex mix, 3 lbs. of chicken, 2 pckgs. of bacon, a 3 lb. box of corn dogs (hey! they were cheap! don't judge!), 24 pk of Squirt, 2 bags of romaine, 2 boxes of brownie mix, 36 pk of choc chip cookies, a loaf of bread, 2 lbs of carrots, 2 lbs of bananas, and 3 cans of spaghetti sauce. Granted, this does not look like the healthiest of groceries, but it was mostly just for the purposes of "stocking up" because they were good deals! WinCo had a great ad out this week with some amazing prices!
Also, I got the restaurant.com certificates I mentioned in the last post and 165 pictures printed and shipped to my door for $4.99!
I can't wait to get my coupons tomorrow! And Jake can't wait to see his friend at Fastrip! ;)
I'll be back next week, hopefully with pictures!

I can see all of you sitting on the edge of your seats!

Actually, I promise I'll try to post something interesting between now and then! ;)


What a Deal!!

I have to tell you about this website I found that I think is about as clever as anything! It's called ebates.com. Basically, you sign up with them and you get a $5 "bonus". Then, every time you buy something online, first you log into ebates, then you search for the store you want to shop with (say, gap.com), you click on the link and it takes you straight there. So, basically your just linking through ebates.com. You won't even be able to tell. The website you're shopping through will be exactly the same as if you went straight there!

Now, each store has a pre-set percentage that you will receive in cash-back. So if you search for gap.com, it will come up on ebates and have 10% cash back (or whatever the % happens to be.....and it changes daily on many of them). So if you spend $100 at gap.com, you'll receive a check for $10 from ebates.

Awesome? Um, yes!

Also, if you become a fan of ebates.com on FB, you'll get daily updates that inform you of the "Store of the Day". Today that happens to be restaurant.com. Ebates is offering 30% cash back on all purchases! And restaurant.com is offering 60% off all their certificates if you enter the coupon code HARVEST at checkout.

So, I purchased $25 gift certificates from both Sandrini's and Flames & Skewers and a 50% of certificate from Los Hermanos.....all for $10.70. And I'll get a check for 30% of that from ebates.com!

Some things to note: There are certain restrictions on the restaurant.com certificates, like a minimum purchase amount when you redeem them. (Most aren't that big of a deal, just be sure to read the fine print!) Also, you have to have at least $10 in your ebates.com account before they issue a check. But, you get $5 right off the bat for joining and if you link through them for every purchase that you were going to make online anyway, it shouldn't take too long to get that first check!

Happy shopping!!

Now excuse me while I go do a happy dance! ;)

Blog Archive