This blog is a record of my life as the Lord shepherds me through His will. It is a testament to the lessons I learn, or attempt to learn.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Blogging Hiatus

Sorry for the pause in communication.  I have been home sick with a miserable sinus headache.  These things are killer!  I keep taking the special sinus medicine and I just don't feel like it is doing a thing.  Any suggestions?

Well anyways, I find it very difficult to think when my head is pounding, the room spinning, and I feel like I am going to . . . well, puke.  So, I have been lacking an inspiration to blog.  I am still currently lacking creativity, so I will just write about what I have been up to lately.

First off, I have been on a bargain binge!  Through the help of my wonderful sister-in-laws, I have become a bit better at looking for bargains.  I have never been one to just go out and buy things at full price, but I never really knew how to get the best deals.  So, I have been working hard at finding some great deals, and it has really worked out well for me.

The other day I went grocery shopping at Food Lion and Lowe's Foods.  Between both stores, I saved a total of $91.85 plus I received $10 Lowe's Fresh Rewards Cash and $1.75 Food Lion Cash.  All of my savings were simply from their weekly deals.  I went through their catalog, made a list of only the things we needed, and had fun shopping.  I saved this much without coupons, imagine the savings with coupons! Here is a list of what I got:

Chocolate Milk
3 - 32oz Gatorade
3 - 26.5oz Hunts Spaghetti Sauce
2 - Kraft BBQ Sauce
2 - Big bags of Chicken Breasts
2 - Packages of Bacon
2 - Hillshire Farms Deli Ham
Baby Portabella Mushrooms
2 - Hillshire Farms Smoked Sausage
1 Dozen Eggs
6 - Sirloin Steaks
5 - Frozen Green Giant Vegetables
2 - Boxes of Salmon Burgers
Cod Fish
Fish Sticks
Irish Springs Body Wash (which smells really good)
Irish Springs Deodorant (ditto)
2 - Colgate Wave Toothbrushes
16 oz Mozzarella Block
16 oz Cheddar Block
2 lbs Snow Crab
2 - Hunts Snack Pack Pudding
2 - Red Grape Tomatoes
2 - Italian Bakery Bread
2 - Fabric Softener
2 - Fabric Softener Sheets
Laundry Detergent
Eucalyptus Leaves
Hydrangea Bouquet
2 - 64 oz Whitehouse Apple Juice

After my grocery savings, I then went on to save on some clothes and things for my family.  Through my sister-in-laws, I learned of a website called which gives you cash back for online purchases through their retailers.  They have quite an array of stores such as Gap, Victoria's Secret, The Children's Place, Joann's Fabrics,, etc.  All you have to do is sign up (for free + you get $5) on their website and then click on the store you want to shop at, through the ebates website, and you receive a percentage of cash back on all of your purchases.

So, I went on to make purchases through Victoria's Secret, The Children's Place, American Eagle, Walgreen's, and  Here is what I got:

For Ilijah:
The Children's Place - 2 Graphic Thermals @ $4.24, 2 Halfzip Sweaters @ $4.24, One Pair of Leather Clogs @ $8.49, and 3 Toddler Plates @ $1.27
American Eagle 77 - Graphic T @ $3.47, Longsleeve T @ $7.77, Polo @ $7.77, Sherpa Lodge Fleece @ $14.95, and Big Sky Boot Jeans @ $14.95

For Jacob:
American Eagle - 4 Crew Neck Sweaters @ $7.85, and pair of Jeans @ $20.97
Walgreen's - Folding Desk Bicycle Exerciser @ $39.99, Fruity Pebbles Cereal @ $1.75,  Men's Multivitamin @ 2/$5.99, Power Diet @ 2/$12.99
$10.00 Walgreens Discount

For Me:
Victoria's Secret - Pair of Jeans @ $19.99 purchased with gift card, so it is FREE
Walgreen's - Zinc @ $1.99, Calcium & Magnesium @ $2.49, Vitamin A @ $2.49, Vitamin B-1 @ $2.99, and 3 Venus Razors @ $5.99 - 12 oz sippy cup @ $3.59, Gerber Water Spout 2 pk @ $2.69 (these are really cool because they are sippy lids that fit on any water or drink bottle), 2 Good Start Gentle Plus Powder - 25.7 oz can @ $24.59, Pampers Cruisers Big Pack @ $23.99, Happy Bellies Organic Brown Rice Cereal - 7 oz can @ $3.99
$12 Discount from total purchase
If you enter my email address or Referral Code on the shopping cart screen, you'll get an extra $10 off your first order of diapers with a $49 minimum purchase. And I'll get a $1 credit each time you order. It's a great way we can both save! My Email Address: Referral Code: KEES5765 

Ebates Cash Back from each site:
The Children's Place - 3.0% - $1.11
American Eagle - 3.0% - $3.04
Victoria's Secret - 2.0% - $0.84
Walgreen's - 4.0% - $2.15 - 4.0% - $2.25

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Just One of Those Days

The day started out so well.  I got up, got the kids ready to go, and headed out for some play time with the cousins.  The ride was nice and I was able to talk with my mom most of the way.  We discussed our plans for the upcoming kids consignment sale, and we spoke with excitement.  Once we arrived to Jen's house, Ilijah jumped out of the car ecstatically as I awkwardly attempted to balance Izabella and all of our things on our way to the door.  So began our play time.  I think Ilijah most enjoyed all of Ezra's cars.  That kid has a whopping collection of cars, trucks, and trains!  He also seemed to really enjoy his short stint outside in their massive backyard.  I can't wait till the day we have our own . . . but that is another story for another time.  After lunch and play time was over, we gathered our belongings and headed home.   

As we arrived home, the wonderful day began to turn sour.  Ilijah went down for his nap, or so I thought, and Izabella came with me upstairs as I attempted to do the same.  Ten minutes into my snooze time, I hear Ilijah banging at the door and yelling for me.  Since this was his first infraction, I simply went down and spoke with him and made it absolutely clear exactly what would happen if he did not settle down and take his nap.  Remember, this is his only nap for the day, since we joined the family earlier for play time.  At this point, I thought that he would have been exhausted.  Unfortunately, over the next two hours, I had to give him consequences six times.  Needless to say, he never took his nap, and neither did I.  All the while, Izabella decided that she was going to throw her very own temper tantrum as if it was the end of the world.  Finally, Jacob came home, late, and decided he would attempt to get Ilijah into bed himself.  After the fourth time, it was finally time for dinner.

During all of the excitement with the kids, I found out that my dream house is pending another offer.  I was crushed.  This is where that whole big backyard thing came into play.  It was the perfect house for our family.  Exactly what we needed and at the most incredible price.  But we hesitated, and we let it slip away.  Enough about the house, I will write a separate post another time.

After dinner, Jacob and I caught in a quick episode of Lost before he headed out again to go play ball with the college boys.  I had planned on joining the girls for ladies night as well, but since Ilijah had yet to fall asleep, plans changed.  Again, Izabella decided to go off on another tangent at the very same time that Ilijah dumped out his toy box all over the living room floor.  I lost it.  I admit it, I was upset.  Things were falling apart at the seems and I was weary.  My kids must have picked up on my distress because Izabella began laughing and cooing, and Ilijah commenced to singing to me.  At this moment, I remembered just how blessed I was.  Thank you Lord for how you continuously provide for me. 

Have you had a day like this recently?  

Monday, January 11, 2010

Making the Most of the Preschool Years

The aforementioned title is that of one of the books that I am currently working through. Coming from a homeschool family myself, I am genuinely looking forward to the teachable moments in the days ahead. Since I didn't begin homeschooling till I was in the 5th grade, the preschool and elementary years are going to be all new to me. That is why I am so glad that there are a plethora of books and resources out there to help.

What I love most about the preschool years, is that they are some of the most important years in your children's lives. The first few years of a child's life is when they are most moldable. More then half of a child's learning occurs at this time. This both excites me and frightens me.

As we begin this journey, I am happy to start with this book written by Valerie Bendt. In her book, you not only find "100 Activities to Encourage Independent Play", but you can also read about her experiences with her adventure into the preschool years as well. One of her very own memories is what inspired me to write this post today.

She recalls reading The Tale of the Flopsy Bunnies, by Beatrix Potter, to one of her preschool children.  That evening, she and her family were enjoying desert after dinner when her daughter looks to her father and says, "Daddy, you know what will happen if you eat all of that cake?"  To which he replied, "No, what will happen?" "Well, it will make you soporific."  Needless to say, her father was stunned with her choice of vocabulary and usage, as was I.  You see, soporific was one of the words she had heard that day as her mother read to her. 

This account astonished me.  Obviously, I do not give children enough credit.  I mean, how could I?  I didn't even know this word.  The way her story impacted me is the reason I now feel lead to share it with all of you.  Simply reading aloud to my children can change the world for them.  Not only reading any story, but one on a level that just might surprise you.

It's Official!

I have decided to do it. I am branching out and beginning my very own blog. No, I am not a literary genius, nor am I a super mom bound on saving the world one word at a time. I have no special knowledge, such as super duper money saving coupon tips, or enlightenments on how to make the best of your busy schedule. So why blog, you ask? Well, simply put, I do it for my self. I have selfishly begun a new journey in my life. I blog to keep my self disciplined. I blog for memories or for remembering (something which my feeble mind struggles with tremendously). I have begun this blog to chart a new course in my life in hopes that it will help me, somehow, to come closer to my Lord and Savior as I learn to do things intentionally.

If you know the true me, you know that I am some what able, allowed, at large, at liberty, casual, escaped, fancy-free, forward, frank, free-spirited, free-wheeling, independent, informal, lax, liberal, liberated, off the hook, on one's own, open, relaxed, unconfined, unconstrained, unfettered, unhampered, unimpeded, unobstructed, unregulated, unrestricted, untrammeled. In other words, I am free. I tend to do things with feeling and passion, lacking discipline and routine. I do not resent these attributes, however. Rather, I have always felt blessed to have the opportunity to live so freely and with such compassion. Though, I must say that this can lead you to trouble at times. This is why I have started writing. To help to balance my life. To help me visualize my day to day, and to help keep me accountable.

Please join me in my journey, if you feel fit to do so. It just may be that there are many more of you who share such similar attributes. Or, maybe you just enjoy a simple laugh from time to time. Not that I am a comedic brilliance or anything, but you may find that the lessons I learn daily just may bring a smile to your face.

Well, away I go to experience this epic adventure . . .