Faith, Family, Friends, Fellowship, Food, and Fun

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Oink Oink!

What's all the hype about? Thousands died of the regular flu. Right?

That's what a mommy of 3 Kindergarteners said to me this morning as she went to teach at the high school.

Are you kidding me? Now, I am not panicked or freaked out YET, but here is what I know so far:

1) a 23 month old little boy from Mexico City died at Texas Children's Hospital in Houston. He was visiting family in Brownsville, TX, a border town.
2) there is a confirmed case at McLean Middle School in Fort Worth and the school district of 80,000 students and who knows how many on staff closed schools until May 11.
3) my friend who is a diagnostician in Carrolton-Farmers Branch near Dallas had to take her 5 year old to be tested because there are 3 possible cases at his pre-school in Lewisville.
4)the state of Texas has shut down all UIL activities until May 11.
5)other districts in the Dallas/Fort Worth area have closings too such as Cleburne, Irving, and Oak Cliff and Richardson. This is according to channel 5 in D/FW.
6)many other school districts have cancelled any field trips. Think about it, if your child's grade level is going to the zoo, how many other schools might be visiting too?
7)you don't start to show symptoms for days after you have come in contact with the virus

Just thinking about Aggieland: There are over 45,000 students at Texas A&M and many of them went out of town last weekend. Many are from DFW, Houston, and border towns such as Brownsville. How do we know that they did not come into contact with the virus and have brought it back with them and they are sitting in classrooms with hundreds of other students....grabbing doorknobs, pushing buttons on the coke or snack machines that others will touch after them? How many Aggies volunteer with the children in the public schools here in town? How many of them substitute at our public schools? Lots!

We are all connected!

According to an article on

-This is a new strain of the flu, which means there is no available vaccine to prevent it.

-When a new strain of flu starts infecting people, and when it acquires the ability to pass from person to person, it can spark a pandemic. The last pandemic was in 1968 and killed about a million people. Think about how people travel today and how much more we interact with people.

Lauren's first dance recital is this Saturday and I have been thinking of all the family members who will be travelling from out of town to watch this special event. I would not be upset at all if it was cancelled.

Who wants to take that chance? Not me. Like I said, I'm not freaking out yet. If that were the case, I wouldn't be at school and I wouldn't have let Stephen take the kids to Wal-Mart this morning to get more Pull-Ups (I made him take Clorox wipes for the shopping cart and he is buying sanitizer). I reminded him to wash the kids' hands the minute they walk in the door too.
We should all be careful and become "germ-a-phobes" until this passes.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

FREE Breakfast Sandwich at Sonic

Go here to register for your coupon for a free CroisSonic.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

FREE stuff

I found a new site today, Being Frugal is Fabulous. She said that tomorrow you can get Baskin-Robbins ice cream for .31 a scoop. For those of you in Aggieland, there is a Baskin Robbins next to the new Target.

Also, this link has links to sign up for free stuff. I just signed up for a free sample of Dove deodorant. I have used the same deodorant for 19 years but I'm willing to give it a try since it's free.

Wal-Mart has a free samples page here. Right now they are offering free Gain laundry detergent and samples of Good Nights pants.

Update on my coupon organization. I bought a little file folder and sorted all my coupons. I have a spreadsheet where I have over 300 items listed and I've been tracking prices at Wal-Mart, HEB, Kroger, CVS, Walgreens, and Sam's. The list is going to take a LONG time to complete. I wish a friend out here in Aggieland could hit one of the stores for me. Anyway, each time I get a coupon, I write it down next to the item on the spreadsheet. It helps me know what I need to buy when planning my meals. For example, I have a lot of Pillsbury coupons. I plan on buying crescent rolls with a coupon and making Taco Ring. There is another coupon for Pillsbury pizza dough. I will add homemade pizza to my menu plan. Otherwise, I'll wait until an item goes on sale and then use the coupon on top of the sale.

I really wish I had time to go to CVS and Walgreens. I plan on taking advantage of all the "free" deals there this summer when I am not working.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Saving Money

I have added several links to my link list on the right. Please let me know if you find this info helpful!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Make Your Wife Feel Like A Queen on Mother's Day

Ladies, this is obviously a post made for your significant others. It's just a little something to help out the men and if you want to add to it, by all means, please do!

So men, if you want to treat your wife like a queen on Mother's Day or her birthday, here are just a few things we like:

1) Surprise her with breakfast in bed, don't forget the flowers (even if we say we don't want flowers) and the tiara. Let us know we are special today (and every day). Don't forget to TELL her Happy Mother's Day or Happy Birthday, even if you said it at midnight.
2) Don't let your wife lift a finger cleaning, remember, she is the queen today.
3) If your wife works outside of the home, do everything you can to make sure she comes home to a clean house. Make it look like the housekeeper just left and if you have to, get a housekeeper to come. Make sure the laundry is done and PLEASE, pick up all of your clothes off the floor!
4) Make us light up when we get home. Even if you have to take off of work early, have a few inexpensive decorations to greet us as we come in such as balloons and a sign that says, "Happy ________, we love you." Remember to ask how her day has been so far.
5) Make sure your children know it Mother's Day or her birthday so they can make it a special day too. If possible, help the kids call her at work and tell her Happy Birthday.
6) Besides lavishing us with presents from you, make sure the kids have something special for their mom too. Even if we say we don't want anything, we DO! A gift certificate to a spa would be nice or a shopping spree at her favorite store. Take the kids to a pottery place and let them design something she'll cherish forever. Be creative! And WRAP THEM! Leave them out so she knows you didn't forget about her. Let her wonder all day long what she is getting.
7) Take her somewhere special, hire a sitter if you can and invite a few of her friends to meet you there. Do NOT wear jeans and YOUR favorite shirt, wear nice pants and her favorite shirt on you.
8) Make sure you have a cake. Try to pick something special that tells her how much you love her and appreciate her.
9) Wrap your arms around her and tell her how much you love her. Tell her things you used to say before the kids came like she means the world to you.
10) At the end of the day, ask her if her day was special. Maybe she needs a break from the kids, draw a bath with candles and tell her you have bedtime covered.

Two weeks ahead: Hire a sitter and invite some of her friends to join you for dinner. Call a housekeeper.

One week ahead: order cake and flowers.

Friday, April 24, 2009

The 3 Little Stinkers

Once upon a time.....
Don't you ever feel like writing a book about your adventures with your children? I think that's why some of us blog. Did you know we can actually print a book from our blog?

A few nights ago, my kids formed their own circle, with Abby, and started playing Ring Around the Rosy. I'll post pics later. I was worried that they might yank Abby down but she learned very quickly how to play and she laughed and laughed. I stood in awe! These are the moments that wash away all the struggles we have with our children. They played over and over and over.

I had some more fun last night with my 3 Little Stinkers. Abby has been learning to climb and has only managed to climb up on Caleb's bed. I am training Lauren and Caleb to close Caleb's door when no one is in there so that Abby doesn't get hurt. So last night, after dinner, I was busy doing something in the living room with Lauren and when I went to check on Abby, I saw this precious little smiling face sitting in her daddy's chair at the dining room table, pretending to be working on his laptop. She saw me and must have known she wasn't supposed to be there because she immediately stood up and tried to climb on the table. She just about lost her footing right as I was picking her up.

I called Stephen to tell him how cute it was and that he'd better push in his chair or else! Then I saw Caleb at the top of the stairs already in his jammies. I told him he needed to tee-tee in the potty first and he said he already did. Knowing that I had left the bowl and penis protector in the sink, I was worried. When I got upstairs, I saw that Caleb had put the potty chair together all by himself and yes he did potty before putting on his jammies!

Again I called Stephen. When I hung up the phone I started looking for Abby. I found her ON CALEB'S BED, playing with his cars like she just knew what she was doing. Wish I had the camera.

They're so cute that sometimes I let them stay up after their bedtime just so I can watch them play together. Caleb will be lost next year when Lauren starts Kindergarten.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Change of Direction

It seems like my posts have taken a turn in their content lately. I've become obsessed with saving money and just in time. We bought a new van Saturday night which means another car payment. We traded in our 2 seater truck which was a gift so we had no payments on that. We kept our Honda Odyssey (yes, we have 2 vans) and it has 5 payments left so I'm back to pinching pennies, TIGHTLY!

I finally bought a coupon organizer and sat down yesterday with the Sunday paper to sort them and update my grocery price list. I am now comparing prices at CVS, Walgreens, Kroger, HEB, and Wal-Mart. I hope to start using the coupons at our next grocery store run.

I just found a few more coupon blogs called A Thrifty Mom, Bargain Briana and 918 Coupon Queen. And TARGET has web coupons, who knew? I've already added the links to my list of money saving links. I don't know if any of my readers are using these links or not but they sure help me take my links with me when I'm at home or work.

To view all of my posts on saving money, click here.

Friday, April 17, 2009

FREE Diaper samples

Go here to register for a free Huggies sample. While you're at it, might as well ask your parents to sign up to and get even more? Even if YOU don't have babies anymore, I bet you know someone else who does. Heck, send them to me...

At the bottom they ask if you want to sign up for the newsletter. I am signed up and get coupons in the mail pretty often. It wouldn't hurt to check Huggies' site too.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

What Do You Think?

I have been so excited about the warm weather lately. Last October, we more than doubled the size of our patio in hopes of having MANY wonderful days and nights of fun with the kids and our friends. Lately we've been looking for the right patio furniture, trying to decide if we want "lounge" type seating or a full-sized table and chairs. Now I'm on the hunt for the best grilling recipes around. I've even played with the idea of starting a new blog with just grilling recipes and outdoor party ideas and tips. So what do you think? As my faithful readers, I want to hear from each of you, would you be interested in a grilling blog?

How to Peel a Potato

Have you seen this? No more peelers.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Easter Activities For Your Family

The Jelly Bean Prayer
Red is for the blood He gave
Green is for the grass He made
Yellow is for the sun so bright
Orange is for the edge of night
Black is for the sins we made
White is for the grace He gave
Purple is for His hour of sorrow
Pink is for our new tomorrow
A bag full of jelly beans colorful and sweet,
Is a prayer, is a promise, is a special treat
May the joy of Christ's resurrection
Fill your heart and bless your life

More Easter ideas I posted last year.

Resurrection Eggs idea here.

Easter Story Cookies
To be made the evening before Easter (with older children). You can do this with younger children and leave out some of the information that they are not ready for.

1 c whole pecans
3 egg whites
1 c sugar
wooden spoon
1 t vinegar
pinch salt
zipper baggie

1. Preheat oven to 300 (This is important, don't wait until you are half done with the recipe). Place pecans in zipper baggieand let children beat them with wooden spoon to break into small pieces. Explain that after Jesus was arrested, He was beaten by the Roman soldiers. Read John 19:1-3.
2. Let each child smell the vinegar. Put 1 t into mixing bowl. Explain that when Jesus was thirsty on the cross, He was given vinegar to drink. Read John 19:28-30.
3. Add egg whites to vinegar. Eggs represent life. Explain that Jesus gave His life to give us life. Read John 10:10-11.
4. Sprinkle a little salt into each child's hand. Let them taste it and brush the rest into the bowl. Explain that represents the salty tears shed by Jesus' followers, and the bitterness of our own sin. Read Luke 23:27
5. So far, the ingredients are not very appetizing. Add 1 c sugar. Explain that the sweetest part of the story is that Jesus died because He loves us. He wants us to know and belong to Him. Read Psalm 34:8 and John 3:16.
6. Beat with a mixer on high speed for 12-15 minutes until stiff peaks are formed. Explain that the color white represents the purity of God's eyes of those whose sins have been cleansed by Jesus Read Isaiah 1:18 and John 3:13.
7. Fold in broken nuts. Drop by teaspoonful on wax paper covered cookie sheet. Explain that each mound represents the rocky tomb where Jesus' body was laid. Read Matthew 27:57-60.
8. Put the cookie sheet in the oven. Close the oven door and turn the oven OFF. Give each child a piece of tape and seal the oven door. Explain that Jesus' tomb was sealed. Read Matthew 27:65-66.
9. Go to bed. Explain that they may feel sad to leave the cookies in the oven overnight. Jesus' followers were in despair when the tomb was sealed. Read John 16:20 and 22.
10. On Easter morning, open the oven and give everyone a cookie. Notice the cracked surface and take a bite. The cookies are hollow! On the first Easter, Jesus' followers were amazed to find the tomb open and empty. Read Matthew 28:1-9.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

More Ways to Save You Money

I know I haven't been myself lately. I haven't been blogging as much as I'd like to but there are a lot of crazy things going on right now and hopefully they will settle down in the next few weeks. I'm not sure yet if the topics are appropriate to tell the whole world on my blog so for now, I won't.

I have been getting the Sunday newspaper and clipping those coupons. Yep, they're tossed over on a storage tub next to my bed. Isn't that great? I plan on getting a binder to organize them as soon as life slows down just a little bit.

Meanwhile, I have thought of a few others ways that I save money:

Hobby Lobby- I never pay full price for anything over $1 at HL, which is my FAVORITE store by the way. I am on their email list and almost every other week, they have a 40% off coupon. I print off at least 2 and drag my husband in to buy whatever I need.

Bed, Bath, and Beyond- My 2nd favorite store mails out coupons all the time plus you can find them in some magazines like Better Homes & Gardens. These coupons have an expiration date but they will take them no matter how old they are AND, you can use all the coupons you have at one time.

Another grocery coupon blog: On the way back to work just a few minutes ago, KSBJ radio announced that a special guest was about to be on from Southwest Coupon Clipper. I rushed into my classroom and tried to listen online but KSBJ has been blocked for some reason. So I did a search and here is the link: Southwest Coupon Clipper Blog. I haven't had time to read much yey but the first article is about how it looked like a sale price of $4.50 for laundry detergent was a good deal but she got it for $1. So go check out her site and keep coming back here for more tips on saving money.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Check out this craftsmanship!

A friend of mine is trying to get word out about his beautiful wood creations. He ships all over the world so please go see his site for yourself!