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I'm a mother of 3 who started blogging as a way to share our many adventures and to expand beyond the everyday "mommy world". While there IS so much more to us mommies than the title, there is very little that doesn't in some way or another lead us back to or influence our children...if anything. So, I hope you enjoy following our family's randomness, because as all moms know- you can never anticipate what tomorrow will bring! Thanks for visiting and have a blessed day! :)

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Ebates Leap Day Deals!!

 **Update!!**  All You magazine is NOT included in the double cash back offer.  I'm really disappointed.  Sorry about that.  Ebates is still worth it, though.  All You is worth the $20 too.  Ugh!  I hate it when that happens. :/

Many of you have heard me singing the praises of Ebates and All You magazine.  (Today they make the perfect duo!)  If you haven't, let me tell you a little bit about each of them.  Ebates is a website where you can earn cash back for online purchases at nearly any store or website.  From Walmart to Nordstrom and everywhere in between, you can earn cash back on whatever you buy online.  Not only that, but you will also receive a bonus gift card after a qualifying purchase of $25 and you can earn additional bonuses through your referrals.  I received a Home Depot gift card after my qualifying purchase (which doesn't have to be made all at once) and have earned over $50 cash back just for shopping at sites I would be using anyway and sharing this great opportunity with my friends, like you. :)  It's free to sign up so you really have nothing to lose and only money to gain. :)

As for All You magazine, it's a coupon lover's dream.  Each issue typically has anywhere from $50-$100 worth of coupons in addition to fantastic articles and tips on how to save more money and live more frugally.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Tea Party Needs Allies? Romney the Obvious Choice? I think not.

I just read this article posted by The American Spectator and am quite disappointed in their analysis.  This is my response:

First of all, I refuse to believe that the Tea Party is the minority of a minority.  More and more of the general population is for limiting the size of government and fed up with the bailouts and wreckless spending, even if they don't claim to be "Tea Partiers".  Believe me, the Tea Party has allies.

Monday, February 20, 2012

"Investing in the Journey" Couponing Class: Updated

****Another update is typed in bold within the original post regarding the shepherd's guidelines.  I wish to be in full compliance.  Thank you.****

***Update***: We are also now selling Harp's coupon books for $5 each.  They contain over $50 worth of coupons, including one for $5 off your next grocery purchase of $50 or more so they basically pay for themselves!  Anyone who purchases a coupon binder for $20 will receive a coupon book for free!  I will also be giving away some at the class as door prizes so please make plans to attend.  Please let me know as soon as possible if you are interested in a coupon book and/or binder so I have an idea of how many to order as well as if you are planning to attend the class so I have enough handouts for everyone.  Thanks!

Our church is doing something that I've never seen done before and I can't wait to see the result!  They are calling it "Investing in the Journey" and the goal is to raise money to purchase much-needed buses while at the same time teaching biblical principles.  The principle here is based on the Parable of the Talents.  The kick-off for this Christian "fundraiser" is this coming Sunday where instead of putting money in the collection plate, money will be distributed to members of the congregation.  We are then to take that money, increase it, and then bring back the fruits of our efforts a few weeks later on what is being called "Celebration Sunday".  When I first heard about this, I started trying to figure out what talents I have that could be lucrative.  I mean, I certainly don't want to be "the lazy and wicked servant", ya know what I mean? ;)  I prayed about it and a few things finally came to mind.  I can sing, so I guess I could have chosen to do something like singing telegrams but that seemed a little too junior high for a soon-to-be 35 year old.  haha  What else?  Well, I'm good at bargain shopping and saving know, finding good deals.  I'm a pretty good teacher, too...I think.  Anyway, that's when I decided to try having my own coupon class...

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Exercise Log: Week 2, Day One & Two

Day One:  rested after pulling a muscle in my hip the day before.

Day Two:  On the advice of my husband, I took it slow and just spent an hour walking on the treadmill.  40 minutes, 10 minute break, 20 minute finish.

Challenges:  Obviously, my hip.  I wasn't in pain while walking, more like uncomfortable.  It just felt like it could cramp up at any moment, ya know?

Improvements:  Doing any exercise on Day Two was an improvement from Day One.

How I feel:  Discouraged that I'm not doing my normal circuit and that I didn't lose any weight this week.  Thankfully, I didn't gain but I really hoped for more improvement.  I guess I overdid it on the Valentine's sweets and when coupled with the leg problem... :(  But I'm not giving up!  I knew when I started that this would be a long process with potential setbacks.  This is just one week amongst many and this coming week there will be much more improvement!  Until my hip is better, I will have to start paying very close attention to what I consume.

Friday, February 17, 2012

If You Fix Your Kid a Breakfast...

Ever have one of those days where you are jumping around from one thing to the next?  You know, like all those "If You Give A (fill in the blank)" books portray?  Yeah, I'm having one today.  I fix the kids' breakfast and while they are eating, I think this is the perfect time to email my scouts since the computer is now available.  After sending the emails, I realize I haven't eaten yet so I go to the kitchen and see the dirty dishes piled in the sink and think to myself, "I should go ahead and load the dishwasher first.  It will only take a minute."  While standing at the sink, I notice the dirt on the wall which reminds me that I need to pick up some dry erasers on my next trip to the store.  This sends me on a search for a memo pad so I can write that down before I forget.  While searching, I see the papers on the table that need to be filed away.  I grab a couple of the papers to put in the boys' binders that are in the living room.  While in the living room, I see the laundry on the couch which reminds me that I need to fold those and put them away but first I should swap out what is currently in the washer and dryer just to keep things moving along.  I have to go through the kitchen to get to the laundry room.  While in the kitchen, I notice that I'm still holding the papers and I still haven't eaten anything yet.  Well, at least the dishwasher is running.  Now, what was it I needed at the store? ;)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Exercise Log: Day Six and Seven

2/14/2012, Day Six:  Rest Day

Warm-up: 5 min cycle
Leg Extension: (50 lbs) 3 x 10
Hip Adduction: (50 lbs) 3 x 10
Hip Abduction: (50 lbs) 3 x 10
Leg Curl: (50 lbs) 3 x 10
Abs: (60 lbs) 100 reps
Lunges: (8 lb dumbbells) 1 x 6
Cycle: 25 min, speed approx. 11.0, distance=4.4

Challenges:  The hardest part was getting to the fitness room.  Isn't it crazy how just one rest day can make it so hard to go back the next?  I'm glad I did, though.  The next hardest thing was when I got a cramp during lunges.  I tried to keep going but it just hurt too badly and I started to get concerned that I might damage something.  I went ahead and cycled afterwards, pushing through the pain a little but didn't concern myself with improving my time or distance.  I just wanted to be able to walk out knowing that I did the drill.  I didn't "give up".  I still have the cramp even now.  It hindered my workout some tonight but didn't "kill" it.

Improvements:  I increased the weights on the leg curl.  I could probably go up again, but I won't yet.

How I feel:  Other than the cramp in my leg, I feel ok.  Not great.  Just ok.  I think much of that has to do with not working out yesterday and eating a bunch of Valentine's Day sweets.  I tried not to overdo it on desserts but between a free small milkshake at Chick-fil-a (which was shared with my darling daughter and wonderful husband) and not one, but two Valentine's Day parties, I still overdid it.  Looking forward to tomorrow's workout as it is a treadmill day.  I like treadmill day. :)

Monday, February 13, 2012

Exercise Log: Day Five

Warm-up: 5 min on Elliptical
Shoulders (standard): 20 lbs, 3 x 10
Shoulders (neutral): 20 lbs, 3 x 10
Lats: 30 lbs, 3 x 10 (will increase weight next time)
Row: 30 lbs, 3 x 10 (will increase weight next time)
Fly: 30 lbs, 3 x 10
Rear delt: 20 lbs, 3 x 10
Chest: 30 lbs, 3 x 10
Tricep: 20 lbs, 3 x 10
Bicep: 30 lbs, 3 x 10
Abs: 60 lbs, 100 reps
Elliptical: 25 min, speed @10.6 up to 11.8, distance= 4.4

Challenges:  That elliptical really kicks my tail but I did it!  The last set of shoulders (neutral) still gives me some trouble.  I'm using my back too much on the last few.  I think I've just about found the right weight for each exercise.

Improvements: Lifting more weight on lat, row, fly, and chest.  Finished elliptical at a distance of 4.4 with 3 seconds left on the clock!  Only a .1 increase from my last record but I'll take it!!  That junk is hard!

How I feel:  Woke up this morning not feeling quite as sore as I have been.  I caught myself actually climbing stairs without wincing or groaning today. :)  I think my body is starting to get used to a workout and limbering up some more.  After tonight's workout, I suspect I may very well be wincing again tomorrow but for today, I feel stronger!  (and like I could use a!) ;)

How'd you do?

Valentine's Day Preparation

Well, I found these super cute Valentines at Goodwill a couple of months ago for the boys to give their classmates.  One was an unopened package of foil Harry Potter cards (for Josiah) and the other was an opened package of clear animal cards (perfect for Jackson!).  Even though Jackson's box was opened, all the cards were still there.  I was so excited when I found these not only because they were only 50 cents a box but also because I knew they were actually Valentines cards that reflected the boys' interests and that they'd enjoy giving to their friends.

Josiah's teacher sent a class list home so that each student could add their classmate's name to each Valentine.  Josiah enjoyed looking at the list and marking each name off as he went along.  He even drew little boxes by each name and put a check mark in it once he finished each one.

Jackson's teacher sent a note home telling us how many students were in the class and asking that we not worry about addressing each one so that it would be easier for them to distribute by just going down the rows instead of digging through the cards or scrambling around the room to deliver each specific one.  That seems reasonable to me.  In a class of 25+ students, it does seem like a more efficient way to go.  However, Jackson was determined to write his friends' names on each Valentine.  He even started to cry when I told him not to do that.  It didn't matter how I tried to explain it.  He could not leave that "to:" line blank.  So, what could I do?  I asked myself which was more important...taking a hard line on not addressing the Valentines like his teacher requested and deal with the meltdown, or let him address them his way and it actually be an enjoyable experience?  It's probably no surprise but I went with the latter.  It just didn't seem like something worth fighting over.  Especially since he was trying to be thoughtful and considerate of his friends, selecting the perfect Valentine for each.  Now I'm just hoping that no one is forgotten and that his method doesn't interfere too much with his teacher's plan for the party.  I wrote down each name as he went along so that hopefully we wouldn't have any duplicates and to keep track of how many more were needed (in case someone was forgotten).  In the grand scheme of things, it's not that big of a deal but I certainly don't want any 1st graders getting their feelings hurt.

I'm looking forward to helping the boys with their Valentines for their teachers.  I don't want them to accidentally find out about them before hand, so you'll have to wait until later to see what they made.  It's something I found on pinterest that I thought was really cute.  Justin thinks it's super cheesy but come on, what teacher doesn't like "cheesy" from a kid? ;)

I'm thinking about making a cake later.  We'll see how things go...

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Exercise Log: Day Four

I know I said today was going to be a rest day, but then I remembered what a bear Tuesday is going to be with Valentine's Day deliveries, lunch with my hubby, the kids' Valentine's Day parties, fixing supper for a friend, and Jackson's cub scout meeting.  I'm thinking it will be pretty difficult to squeak in a workout on that day.  So, it will be my rest day instead. :)

Warm-up:  5 min on treadmill, speed approx. 3.6, distance= .29
Leg curl: (40 lbs) 3 x 10  (will increase weight next time)
Hip adduction: (50 lbs) 3 x 10
Hip abduction: (50 lbs) 3 x 10
Leg extension: (50 lbs) 3 x 10
Abs: (60 lbs) 100 reps
Lunges: (holding 8 lb. dumbbells) 3 x 10
Treadmill: 25 min, distance=1.47, speed=3.5 for 1st 20 min and 3.8 for last 5 min.

Challenges:  Things went pretty well today.  Lunges are still a bit challenging but doable and getting easier with time.

Improvements:  Saw lots of improvements today.  I increased the weight by 10 lbs for hip adduction, abduction, leg extension, and abs.  I increased my speed for the 1st 20 min of cardio from 3.2 last time to 3.5 this time.  Distance increased from 1.38 to 1.47.

How I feel:  Getting increasingly sore with each passing day but that's a good thing, just more annoying than anything else.  Other than that, feeling pretty good!  Haven't been keeping track of my waist size, but it "feels" smaller. lol

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Exercise Log: Day Three

Warm-up: 5 minutes on cycle after light stretching
Shoulders, standard: (20 lbs) 3 x 10
Shoulders, neutral: (20 lbs) 3 x 10
Lats: (20 lbs) 3 x 10
Row: (20 lbs) 3 x 10
Fly: (20 lbs) 3 x 10
Rear Delt: (20 lbs) 3 x 10
Chest: (20 lbs) 3 x 10
Tricep: (20 lbs) 3 x 10
Bicep: (30 lbs) 3 x 10
Abs: (50 lbs) 100 reps
Cycle: 30 minutes, speed approx. 11.4, distance= 5.5 miles

Challenges:  First time logging a cycle workout.  Shoulders are still challenging but easier than last time.

Improvements:  Was able to do lats, row, fly, chest, and abs with relative ease.  Plan to increase weight on those next time.

How I feel:  Woke up sore this morning, particularly in the legs.  I could definitely feel it when bending over or squatting down to reach something.  I'm enjoying more flexibility and relaxation.  Feeling really good about losing another 2 lbs this week!  Tomorrow is rest day. :)

Friday, February 10, 2012

Exercise Log: Day Two

  1. Warm-up:  5:30 on treadmill, speed @3.4, distance= .29 miles
  2. Leg curl: (40 lbs.) 3 x 10
  3. Hip Adduction: (40 lbs.) 3 x 10 (will add more weight next time)
  4. Hip Abduction: (40 lbs.) 3 x 10 (will add more weight next time)
  5. Leg Extension: (40 lbs.) 3 x 10 (will add more weight next time)
  6. Abs:  (40 lbs.) 100 reps (will add more weight next time)
  7. Lunges: (holding 8 lb dumbbells) 3 x 10 each leg
  8. Treadmill: 25 minutes, distance=1.38, speed for 1st 20 min=3.2, last 5 min=3.6 to 3.8 to 4.0

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Exercise- Day One of Charting Progress

Before reading this, you might want to read my post "What is Healthy?" if you haven't already so you understand my philosophy and why I'm doing this.

I've been exercising for several weeks now.  Not as consistently as I'd like, but I'm working on changing that. :)  I've only lost 2 pounds so far but at least that's a start, and I'm more focused on living healthy than what the scale says.  That being said, here's today's breakdown:

What is Healthy?

I have never been in better shape than my sophomore year of high school.  I played basketball then and our coach was hard core!  We not only practiced on the court and did our fair share of running and mastering the bleachers, but we also had regular weight training...particularly in the off-season.  I mostly played on the JV team, but did get some playing time at the Varsity level too.  It's not that I was that great of an athlete.  I wasn't.  We were just a pretty young team.  (I've said before that my brother, Matt, was the athletic one in the family.  I don't think there was a sport in existence that he couldn't play...and play well.)  During the basketball season we had what was known as "Pay the Price" week.  I still have the t-shirt to prove that I survived...barely. ;)  That week was T.O.U.G.H!  There were a couple of times that I actually fell asleep at the dining room table during supper.  I remember one particular night when my face nearly fell into my mashed potatoes.  That was quite literally a lifetime ago but I was in great shape, that's for sure!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Whirlwind Wedding Weekend: Part 2- The Rehearsal Dinner

You can go here to read Part 1 of this Whirlwind Weekend story if you're just joining us. :)

Did you know that Renee not only introduced me to my first "steady" boyfriend but that she was also related to him?  (Now you're asking yourself how this is relevant.  I'm getting there.)  This was no "fly-by-night" romance either.  I've always been pretty loyal. ;)  But to be fair, apparently he was too...for the most part.  And so it happened that Renee's cousin and I became high school sweethearts.  Troubled sweethearts, yes, very troubled.  But how much more can you expect from high school kids?  We're not exactly known for our maturity at that age.  Naturally, being Renee's wedding and all, most of her aunts and cousins were there, minus Jeromy (the "steady") and his wife, Jessica.  Jeromy is in the Air Force and was just transferred from Alabama to New Mexico so making it to the wedding wasn't within the realm of possibility.  His mom, Janice, brother, Jamie, and 5 year old son, Charles, were there, though.  Charles was actually the ring bearer and he looked super cute in his tux!  (But now I'm getting ahead of myself.)

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The Journey of Parenthood Revamp Giveaway: Coach and Stella & Dot

A friend of mine is giving away a Coach purse and a $25 Stella & Dot gift certificate to celebrate reaching 200 followers!  Find out how you can enter to win here.  Now I've been inspired.  Once I reach 100 followers, I'll have a giveaway of my own.  So, what are you waiting for?  "Follow" me and hurry over to Emily's blog and enter to win!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Sadie's Shadow

I had another interesting theological conversation with Sadie again today.  We went to have lunch with Justin and while walking from the car to the building, here is what happened:
Sadie: "Mohhm, God doesn't want me to be in the dark.  He wants me to be in the light."
Me:  "What are you talking about?  You are in the light." (It was another gorgeous day today!)

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Homemade Dry Erase Calendar for $5

If you haven't checked out Pinterest yet, you are missing out!  I've already used several ideas I've found there, many of which I've tweeked to fit my own needs and interests.  This latest project was inspired by this dry-erase calendar that I found.  I wanted to jazz mine up a little more and here was the final result:

So, here's a little tutorial on how you can make one of your own...

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Moments with MOPS

For those unfamiliar, MOPS is an international Christian chartered organization which stands for "Mothers of Preschoolers" and includes moms who are expecting their first child up through those whose youngest child is pre-kindergarten.  In other words, if you are about to be a mom or have a child who isn't old enough to enter kindergarten yet, you qualify. ;)  If you fit that description and would like more information about it and how to find a group near you, you can visit their website here.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The Theological Threes

I had an interesting lunch conversation with my darling 3 year old today.  It started with the usual torrent of questions, only this time the questions were a bit more difficult to answer and explain.  Justin and I try to be very honest in how we answer our children's questions while also trying to maintain age appropriateness.  That's a challenging task sometimes but we feel that it's important in providing them with a sense of security, safety, and trust in us, their parents.  Our philosophy is, "Reality is your friend."  I suppose another way of saying that is, "The truth will set you free."  With that in mind, here's today's dialogue: