Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Calling all MOMS!!!

Okay so I informed you when I started this blog that I loved a good project....well I've had a particular project on my mind for several months now. However, I need your help! I need some feedback from moms of all kinds! Moms of babies, moms of teenagers, moms of grown name it! is the question....
If you could gain insight or wisdom from God's word on one particular subject that would make you a better mom, what subject/topic would it be???
For example: Patience, Mommy guilt, Faith
I really need your opinion You can comment on this post, message me on facebook, or email me with your replies...THANKS for you help with this "project".....more info to come! (You can post a comment annonymously if you don't won't me to know your reply :)

Monday, December 21, 2009

Mommy Moments - Tied around his little finger

I had to share with you a precious moment I had this weekend with Jack. I think the secret is out.....I think he knows that I absolutely adore him and he has me wrapped around his little finger! We were standing singing the invitation song in worship Sunday morning and Jack wrapped his precious arms around me, gave me a bear hug, and rubbed my face while whispering, " I love you the most Mommy!" Wow! Want to talk about heart melting....mine did! We have always had this saying "I love you the most" is reserved for Jack, Mommy, and Daddy. However, I had no idea how good it would feel to actually hear him say it first. He always tell me he loves me whether it be while watching TV, checking books out at the library, or reading books together, but this one felt different. It felt as though he knew exactly what loves was and that if runs deep. I've decided there is nothing like loving your child. It is the scariest, whole hearted, joyful experience I've ever felt. A mother's love is like no runs deep and at times hurts. I tell Jack everyday that I love him more than life itself and I mean that.......that's right folks....I love that precious boy and he loves me......the secret is officially out, he has me hooked!!!

Thank you God for giving me the blessing of a mother's love!

By the way...that is me and my sweet baby boy the week he was born in the hospital!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Recipe Shout Out - Pumpkin Cake

This is another one of my mom's famous recipes....however, it originated with Mrs. Cole. Mom always makes it for the holidays! So, when I serve it to others it makes me think of my mom.

I fixed this recipe for my bunco group the other day and they LOVED it! I would say it is best served warm! Super yummy!

1 Pillsbury Yellow Cake mix
1 can Libby's Pumpkin Pie mix (1 lb. 14 oz)
1 1/2 sticks of margarine ( I use butter occasionally and it is awesome)
3 eggs
2/3 cup milk
cinnamon and nutmeg
1/2 cup sugar
Cool Whip

  1. Put cake mix in a bowl. Reserve 1 cup for topping. Mix cake mix with 1 egg and 1 stick of margarine (melted). Pat into bottom of buttered cake pan. It will have the consistency of a cookie dough.
  2. In a bowl, mix pumpkin pie mix with 2 eggs and 2/3 cup of milk. Add a little cinnamon and nutmeg. Pour on top of bottom layer.
  3. Mix 1 cup cake mix with 1/2 cup sugar and 1 tsp cinnamon. Cut in 1/2 stick of margarine until crumbly.
  4. Sprinkle on top of cake. Bake @ 350 degrees for 45-50 min. To serve top with cool whip. I usually keep the leftovers in the fridge and just heat it up in the microwave.


Friday, December 11, 2009

It was a Hot Wheels birthday!

Okay, Jack celebrated his 3rd birthday last weekend!! I wanted to show you some of the fun things I made for his party. Not a big deal but simple ideas that you might be able to use some day!Here is the Race track birthday cake I made. You just need one cake mix and bake the cake in two round pans. Then cut a semi-circle out of one of the circles and put them together.
I used green food coloring to tint the white icing. To make the track I placed two small bowls in the center of each circle. Crushed Oreos and added them around the bowls. Topped it off with some new match box cars. Jack LOVED it and I felt like I had done something really special for him. Plus, it was CHEAP!!

Here are the cute candy cars I made for the center of the tables. I used hot glue to put them together....some of the cars fell apart before the party, but I was able to use a few of them. I wrapped the end of the balloon strings around the cars. The kids loved them and some of them took them home!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Choose Something Different

Okay, so lots on my mind as usual! Now before I share all of this I want you to understand that I truly believe that I am blessed in so many ways, and I'm not complaining about life...just pondering on it!

There are several things that I'd like to do differently .... I think sometimes I bring a lot of grief upon myself with things that could actually be fixed if I just made a few changes. As I began to share this idea with a good friend she told me I had to mention a Seinfeld episode where George decides to do everything the opposite way that he usually does them. With that change all the things he had always wanted to happen started happening...Of course it ends in a funny way... with all the changes George made, Jerry starts having terrible luck...and so goes a Seinfeld episode!

I thought the idea worked here though. I think a lot of things in life could be changed if we just "Chose something Different." What if we took those negative habits and began doing what we've never done....can you imagine the changes that could take place!

Why is it so hard to "choose" something different. We often use the word habit in reference to a behavior that we repeat over and over. However, habit is almost a word that makes me think that somewhere along the way we began this "new" behavior and it became the habit, but as I think about some of my own behaviors I don't think of them as habits....I think of them as who I am. Changing your habits will change your behavior...but I'm thinking about something deeper than that. I'm talking about actually changing who you are and where you are headed. It is through changing the inside that those outward habits begin to change.

Being something different than what we've always been is scary....It is new, unfamiliar and at times uncomfortable. I think fear can keep us from changing...."What if" thinking takes control and we can't stand the thought of not knowing what change will be like even though we know we want to be something different. I think in some cases we are scared that change will make those around us uncomfortable. That by making changes in ourselves we are leaving them behind or we are saying to them we want something different from what they are. However, I think there comes a time in our lives that we have to make decisions for ourselves and if it is a change for the better we have to do it knowing that it is necessary at times to take care of ourselves. Also, you never know who else will follow you in those positive changes.....something to think about.

Change is tiring. When we begin to change things about ourselves we can no longer go through this life on know what I'm talking about. Not even having to think about the things we do and the way we live. When change takes place we are all of a sudden very aware of so many things in our lives and on top of the daily stresses that can be an overwhelming experience. Mental exhaustion can be a big factor in going back to the person you were trying to change.

Change must have PURPOSE! If we do things in this life with purpose we will be setting ourselves up to succeed! That purpose in our life must be strong enough to overcome all our complaints, worries, and fears! It will be the only thing that will pull us through change..........finding our purpose it the tricky part. Many are wondering about life jumping from one thing to another searching for purpose. Our most important purpose in this life needs to be living as a faithful Christian! Serving our Lord and bringing others to him....that is our GREATEST purpose, but there are also things on a smaller scale that need to have a purpose behind them. Like weight loss for example....I remember Jillian on the Biggest Loser talking to the contestants about purpose. She was encouraging them to look deep within their souls for the purpose of losing weight....she said once they found it the changes would be easy!

Change sometimes is not an option. We all know the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting something different.......well, think of that on a bigger scale. Doing the same things in this life over and over will lead us where when we are 40, 50 or even 70 years old. The things we are doing now are setting us up for who we will be then. What makes us think we will be different at those ages if we aren't making changes now....very sobering to think about, but also empowering to know that we CHOOSE where we go from here. Christians must make changes constantly as we strive to be more like Christ. Without making changes in our lives from those things that are unholy we make the choice to lose our soul. Yes, I used the word choice....we make the choice of who we serve in this life... God or man!

What choices are you making........where are they leading you.......what will you change?

Sunday, December 6, 2009

$5 Magazine Subscriptions!!

Okay think Christmas on this one...Amazon did a round of $5 magazines last week and I bought two subscriptions for people for Christmas!! GREAT deals on some of these!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Coupon Organization

Okay so here it is by popular coupon book! I use to be very embarrassed to say that I actually had a coupon book, but now I'm proud to show it off! Here is my "system" take what is useful for you and don't worry about what doesn't work for you!I like to clip and sort first...then it is easier to put in my binder. However, don't try to do too much at one time...I've been known to let them sit like this for a few days because I don't have everything clipped. Don't be like me! Clip, sort, file!
I use a 10x10 scrapbook album. I did buy some insert pages because I needed more than came in the book. I tried a photo album in the past but found it was way to easy to tear up with lots of use. I LOVE my new album! The plastic is thick and it isn't too bulky to grab and carry with me to the store!!!

I simply took a permenant marker and drew directly on the plastic. The perfectionist in me did at one time print labels but then I couldn't edit them...and...really, are labels even necessary!? I also LOVE that the coupons are inserted into the album from the top! My photo album allowed the coupons to be entered from the side which meant I was picking up lots of coupons as I shopped.....they almost always fell out the sides of the binder! Ugh!
I do clip all the coupons I think I will need or that I could use if a sale would arise. Some people like to save their inserts and clip as they go through the sale ads...I found this too much! I couldn't deal with all the insterts and sorting through them. I tend to clean my coupons out once a month and take out the expired ones.
There you have it! Isn't she a beauty?! :) I'd love to answer any questions you have.....(if you think it is insane that I carry this into the store with should see my grocery bill :) You would change your mind!)

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Perfectionism.....something to think about

This post could go on and on forever but I think I will just hit the "high" points! Ha!

Hello, my name is Amber and I am a PERFECTIONIST! I LOVE when things are done perfectly! However, I am learning that living a perfectionistic life can be extremely tiring and challenging...

Let me list a few things that I WOULD LIKE to do perfectly:
  1. be a perfect Christian
  2. being a perfect mommy to Jack
  3. being a perfect wife to Chris
  4. being a perfect preacher's wife
  5. blogging....I obsess over the perfect posts
  6. perfect dieting
  7. perfect couponing
  8. perfect cooking
  9. perfect praying
  10. perfect friend
This list could go on forever, but these were the first few on my mind lately. Now, I'm not perfect at any one of these things (who is?), but I'd really like to try to be. However reaching for perfection is such a tiring life....everyday is ended in let down that you didn't complete the task perfectly. Why is that....well we just can't be perfect. We are human....and yet while we know that humans are not perfect we like to Judge eachother as though others should be perfect.

There are times when my perfectionism actually keeps me from doing anything at all....if I can't do it perfectly then I don't want to do it at all. This may make me appear as lazy or unproductive, but it truly is not that! It is the mental battle that takes place inside my head when a task just seems too difficult to take on knowing it will not be done exactly the way I want it in the end.

I have learned that while I expect myself to be perfect (although not possible) it actually is a trait that can burden the people around me. My perfect mentality can cause me at times to expect too much out of my soon to be 3 yr. old son or even cause undue stress to my precious husband that loves me and my son more than anything in this world. I find myself critical of others and constantly analyzing EVERYTHING! It is so tiring being a perfectionist and it makes each day of life so difficult. I don't want to be that person anymore....I want to be able to roll with the punches so to speak. I want to let go of the need to analyze every situation that comes my way! I guess what I'm asking for is BALANCE.....

If you have any idea about what I'm talking about let me ask you this....Have you ever met those people in this world that are balanced? I have....I'm so intrigued by them and the peace their life seems to bring to them. They have it all together and they live life to the fullest! I'm going to be that person someday....I think acknowledging the problem is the first step to perfectionist recovery :)

Wow after this post I'm thinking I should start a support group...anyone want to join me! :) No really, do any of you out there struggle with the same thoughts and feelings? Are any of you recovered perfectionist? I'd love to know any pointers or struggles you face as well.........

I told you to stay tuned.....more of my faults for all to see coming up in future posts :)

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Calling all Amazon shoppers!!

This is an AWESOME deal and perfect for this time of year! Amazon is offering a FREE trial of their Amazon Prime!! That means FREE 2 day shipping for a month!

Great thing is, your card won't be charged automatically after the trial period if after you sign-up you go to your account and choose to not upgrade.

I'm totally excited about this! I have lots of shopping to do and I love to do it online!!! I'm already signed up for this offer!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Putting myself out there....

Here goes nothing...

It has been one LONG day for me. You know those days where you literally feel like a ticking time bomb ready to explode. Well, it happened...I exploded and fell apart.

Now before I tell this story I must fill you in on some background information...I have this really annoying personality trait that I like to appear as though nothing is wrong and everything is in fact I hate when others become aware of my imperfections. Not sure why I'm this way but it can be at times a huge burden to carry around. Always being afraid someone will notice I'm not perfect (as if my weight doesn't indicate that already...that is a whole other blog post). I mean how ridiculous is that....NO ONE (other than Christ) is perfect! So, why am I so afraid to allow my imperfections to show? I'm not one that tries to judge others for their faults, in fact I seem to be quite the opposite. I find joy in reaching out to those that need a lift or a pick me why is it so scary for me to put myself out there. I have been this way since I was a child so I know a lot of it is a personality trait, but I think it was magnified as I became a preacher's wife. I try to pretend that it isn't any different than being the wife of a man that doesn't hold the position as a preacher, but let's call a spade a spade....all eyes are on the preacher and his family! Now, you need to know that I LOVE what we do! I can't think of another "job" that brings with it as many blessings as our family gets to experience, but like all "jobs" it brings with it challenges. Living in a fish bowl isn't all it is cracked up to be...especially on days like today! So there you have I can talk freely about my faults....I think the point of this background information is to ask you not to judge me, learn from me :)

Okay, back to I could feel the negative thoughts creeping in from the moment I woke up to Jack in my bed around 5:00 this morning (I don't remember him even getting in my bed...scary!). I took him back to his bed and to keep from hearing the crying tucked him and myself into his toddler bed...why I didn't just stay in the big bed with him is a mystery. I tried my hardest to get myself and Jack ready in time to make the devotional at the nursing home, but after fighting with Jack that there was no reason to be afraid of going to the bathroom by his self and that he had to comb his hair before we left, I realized we weren't going to make it in time. So, we opted for lunch with Daddy.

Next comes Kindermusik at 4:30...all was well until we got to the car. Here is where the story makes a turning point. Jack without a nap is hard enough...Jack tired AND hungry is enough to make one crazy! So, since i wasn't completely unprepared for dinner we had to make a stop before heading home. I tried to concentrate on what it was we needed but couldn't hear myself think through Jack's screams for GUM! (Anyone that knows Jack knows he is a gum ADDICT!) Refusing to give in we made our escape finally...On the way home I called a good friend back and we spoke on the phone as I was getting Jack and the groceries in the door. Here is when the bomb begins to go off....Jack continues to scream for food knowing I am cooking dinner. I think while on the phone I put Jack in time out twice, administered discipline once, and screamed as he spilt spaghetti all over the floor. The friend on the phone is a blog reader and she reminded me that this was just one of those Mommy Moments :) I wised up and got off the phone and tried to finish dinner....

Chris killed his first doe of the season so he got home later than usual...and as he walked in the door I fell apart. Crying, crying, and more crying....all I could think about was what a terrible mother I was and how could I yell at my son over spilt spaghetti....more crying. As I sat on the couch worrying and crying that I would never be the mother my son deserved my precious Jack came to give me a hug and asked me why I was sad. All I could do was hug him and say I was sorry for being impatient and yelling at him. He just rubbed my arm...

After a car ride to chat with a good friend I began seeing a little more clearly again! She reminded me that as long as I'm giving Jack the things God has instructed me to do for him then the rest will fall into place...and you know what....I'm really not a bad mom. I love my son more than life itself. I want nothing more for him than to guide his precious soul to heaven, and if that means I have to tell him no a lot...well, I'm prepared to do that. I'm learning that I will NEVER be the perfect mom...there is no such thing. I'm thankful children are forgiving and love us despite our faults. I think about my parents and to this day I love them so much it hurts...they were never perfect and they made mistakes, but at the end of the day they loved me enough to teach me what was right and forgive me when I too made mistakes. Motherhood is TOUGH! Some days will be "rainy"...but I've decided I'm going to try to enjoy the ride. Jack will be three in a few weeks and I'm realizing that one day I'm going to blink and he will be gone. I might as well learn now to enjoy my "mommy moments" and hug him while I can.

Thanks for listening while I put myself out never know....I may let you know about a few more imperfections I have :)

Monday, November 16, 2009

Encouragement - Part 2

I want to continue our study on encouragement by talking about some of the specific tools God has given us to deal with lives discouragements. Each of us have different circumstances that come our way. We will all struggle with things in this life and god has given us the tools we need to make it here on this earth.

First things first.....Prayer! In times of discouragement we ought to turn to the Lord first and foremost. I think sometimes we are such physical minded people that we forget to turn here first. When problems arise what do we do? We turn to our physical friends and relationships on this earth to get us through....while it isn't wrong to turn to those on this earth for help, it isn't the wisest thing to do first. People are human and therefore they will make mistakes...humans, despite what they think, don't know everything! When seeking advice and encouragement, who better to turn to than our God in heaven. He created us! He knows everything about us down to the number of hairs on our heads. He is the master of this universe yet we fail to rely on him and the words he has given us to guide our steps. His word offers us the answers to our questions and the strength needed of our souls!

Think about the actual act of prayer...we bow our heads and approach the throne of our God in heaven. This is available to us 24/ lines, no distractions, no limits. There is no worry too small that we can't bring before our God. We can confide in him knowing that our "issues" won't shared with the world for all to see. He can be trusted with the things that weigh our hearts down. We are to pray with confidence, faith, that the things we ask can be done by our Lord. However, as demonstrated by our Savior in the Garden of Gethsemane we need to pray that his will be done and not our own. Sometimes we will find that God answers our prayers with a "no". This is when we want to doubt or say that he doesn't care, but our God knows what is best for us and we must put our faith and trust in him.

I don't know what could be more encouraging than knowing that we have a mediator in Christ Jesus.

"For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus" I Tim. 2:5
Christ literally takes our prayers and delivers them before the throne of our Father in Heaven. Why is Christ the chosen one to take our requests before God? Think about the relationship Christians share with Christ. He put on flesh and walked the same earth we live on today. He was in all points tempted yet he remained perfect! He knows what it means to be human because he was one. He knows the struggles of this earth because he experienced them...what better person to take the requests of men to our God in heaven. Those of us that are living in Christ have an amazing blessing in the act of prayer. So why to we fail to use it? I think sometimes we suffer here on earth for no reason when we could be taking our cares and worries and laying them at the feet of our Father.
Don't let yourself suffer needlessly....take it to your God in PRAYER!

Recipe Shout Out - Chicken Spaghetti

Okay here is a good one! I get requests for this recipe ALL the time! When we were working at the Whitlock congregation I had to bring this to almost every fellowship meal! Super yummy and super unhealthy :) This was given to me by a good friend from college, Candace. She gave me a recipe box for a wedding gift filled with her favorite recipes...I LOVE thoughtful gifts like that, and I think of her everytime I pull it out! So, I guess I want this recipe to remind you of friendships everytime you make it...remember those that mean the most to you and try to be as good of a friend to them as they are to you! Friendship is a beautiful blessing in life!
4 cooked chicken breasts, shredded
1 can cream of celery soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can Ro-tel
1 lb. Velveeta, Melted
1 lb. cooked spaghetti
For real here is the instructions.......Mix together and put into 9x13 pyrex dish. Back at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.
This is defininitely a comfort food and it will serve a TON of people!!!!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Yankee Candle Deal

If you are a Yankee Candle lover this is a pretty good deal! Plus, shipping is a flat $5. So you get $100 worth of candles for $50!
Looks like there might be an in-store coupon you could print and save some shipping if you have one close.

Dollar General Deals

Okay, so I've learned in my deal seeking attempts that most of your favorite stores have a website that you can sign-up for special deals and coupons! Since I'm limited in my area I have signed up for most everything our small town offers. I like Dollar General and can find some pretty good deals, especially on the clearance rack! I got two bottles of Gilette Shampoo for Chris at $1 each! They were marked down to $2 and I had a $1 off coupon on each one! Anyway, lesson learned ALWAYS bring your coupons in and ALWAYS check the clearance everywhere you go!

Two things I don't like at Dollar General:
  1. They usually only run a sale ad the first full week in a month. (However, with the holidays approaching they seem to be offering them more!)

  2. They do NOT accept internet printed coupons! Ugh!
    I got an email from their savings club saying they are offering a special Internet coupon this weekend only and you can use it with the sale ad that will be good through Sunday. (This coupon I suppose is ok due to it is from their own website) I think with the sale ad, a few coupons, and the special coupon from Dollar General there will be some good bargains to find!

Click for Coupon valid this weekend only!

Come back and share your bargain finds!!!

Monday, November 9, 2009

God's Tools for Encouragement - Part 1

Okay, I know I've been gone forever, but I've missed my blog!!! You know those times in life when you are doing everything but what you actually want to do...or just no time for play! Anyway, things are slowing down a bit and I'm ready to update! I'm going to do a series over the next week entitled "God's Tools for Encouragement." This is the subject I did for a ladies day in Kentucky a few weeks ago. I hope you find it uplifting and a little enlightening!

It seems that dealing with the things life throws our way can be extremely difficult at times. All of us have faced discouragement at some point in our lives. Some may find it was during financial hard times. Others may have experienced discouragement while dealing with the loss of a child or loved one that was close to them. We've seen many struggle with illnesses as bad as cancer or even those that stop living due to severe depression. What about those that are affected by addictions? Have you ever watched as someone addicted to alcohol, pornography or even drugs struggled down the road to recovery? What about the loved ones that were affected by those addictions? Have you ever heard the hurt and utter hopelessness in their voice? It could be said that discouragement is an emotion that we are constantly battling as the difficulties of life continue to come our way.

I propose to you today that it is what we do with those discouraging times that determine how we will come out of the situation. We have two choices:
  1. We can become so heavy from the load that we throw in the towel, and I will tell you that is what Satan desires us to do!
  2. Warning....this next option is difficult and will take some perseverance and strength if we choose this option. However, it will be the most rewarding option that will make us more beautiful than when we started....are you ready....OK, the second option is using those hard times as a means of glorifying our Lord and drawing near to him. Some of you may be thinking, I've already done that and it doesn't work! Although it may seem that God didn't stand by us through the hard times when the hard times kept coming, it is the exact opposite! I know it can be hard to understand "why" sometimes, but I believe that often we will never know why however we can always know that the Lord is with us during those times and is making us stronger people!

When studying this subject I found myself asking the question, "Have times changed or has discouragement been around since the beginning of time?" Well I want us to look at two Bible characters that prove that times have not changed and they indeed faced times of discouragement!

  1. Noah - Imagine having the task before you that Noah faced. Would God's work have been carried out if it had been in your hands to complete an ark, care for the animals, and also preach to the people warning them about what was to come? That is a very sobering thought for me. Under the circumstances in the days of Noah you know he had some discouraging days! However, we know that with all the challenges facing Noah he still overcame and OBEYED God. Do you think his faith was strengthened as those flood waters began to rise and he and his family were safe inside the ark? He had to go through some temporary discomfort to achieve the reward of living through the flood and taking his family with him. I know we can draw a direct parallel of our own lives to the life of Noah. We too as Christians much go through some difficult times, but we must work fervently for the Lord and his purpose while here on this Earth. Do you think Noah knew specific names of many of the people that died during the flood? It must have caused him much grief to know that had they listened to the words of God their lives would have been spared. Don't we know people like that in our lives that we beg and plead with to heed to God's words but still chose to live a life of disobedience? How does that make you feel. I know that I feel such internal conflict and pain when those I love most live unfaithfully to God. However, like Noah we can't let those people and discouragements keep us from "being about our Father's business!"
  2. Hannah - Wow, the life of Hannah is truly one of my favorites! It can be found in the book of 1 Samuel. The more I study her and the many discouragements she faced the more I admire and gain strength from her example. Hannah is most known for her inability to have a child, and unfortunately for many women in this world they can relate to this specific struggle in Hannah's life. However, there is so much more to the woman Hannah. She had many different struggles and discouragements in her lifetime. For example, she had to share her husband with another woman. Not just any woman but a woman that was able to give her husband the one thing she couldn't, a child. I can't imagine the pain that caused her as she looked upon Penninah and her children daily. Not only would the mental struggle be difficult, but Penninah actually ridiculed Hannah to the point that she would actually cry and refuse to eat. In the end, we know how Hannah's story ends. The Lord remembered her and gave unto her a son, Samuel. When Hannah faced her many discouragements she sought refuge in the Lord and was blessed because of that. Can we say that we seek God in our greatest times of need? Do we really believe that he can help us? Our God is listening to his faithful followers and we deny ourselves that peace that God can provide when we don't seek his face in our times of need.

In the next article we will look at some of the specific tools God has given us to use during our most difficult times!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Finding Deals....Just a snapshot!

Okay, by special request from SEVERAL of you, I thought I'd just write out a few of my tips...feel free to add to the list or even ask questions...I posted this note to Facebook a while back so you may have already read this.

1. Where to find coupons?I usually buy at least 2 Sunday papers. Our Dollar Tree sells the Sunday paper for yes, $1! I use several Internet printables ( and I also LOVE to check out different blogs that cover the different sales and deals going on. My favorites are listed on the side of this blog. They usually link the Internet printable directly to the coupon needed. *** can print an Internet printable twice. After it prints hit the back button and refresh it*** Also, there are now e-coupons that can be loaded directly to your Kroger card (,, and

2. What is my favorite grocery store?Due to the fact that our options are limited here I chose Kroger! Wal-mart is sometimes difficult about accepting Internet printables and Kroger is usually great about my coupons! Kroger changes their add every Wednesday. I usually just view their ad online and make my list that way. Now, several of the blogs I mentioned go through the Kroger ad and match the sales with coupons. This takes a little getting used to to understand the lingo, but keep at it, and soon it will be easy to understand!

3. The secret to the CHEAP deals...The secret is buying the things you regularly use while they are on sale. Also, I have gotten to the point where I'm not so brand loyal to things...for example, laundry detergent..I buy what is on sale and I have a coupon to match with it. However, I still must have my Crest toothpaste :) I do shop a little differently now. I try to plan my menu before shopping and I plan it around the sales that week. Also, when i have something I use a lot I stock up on it with the coupons I have.4. How do I stay organized?I actually use a 10x10 scrapbook album that I have labeled and then I sort everything and stick it in the pockets....I do pull the coupons I plan to use before going to the store, but I bring my binder just in case I find a good deal. I use to be embarrassed until I started saving crazy money and then I got over it!

These are just a few points to get you started...there will be more to come. I'd love to have suggestions from you on what you want to learn more about and any questions you have!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Mommy Moments - POPCORN!

This picture was taken last Friday night. Let me set the scene for you. Chris was at a corn maze with the kids at church and I was home with Jack TRYING to study for a ladies Bible lesson I was giving the next day. I thought that popcorn and a movie might keep Jack entertained while I studied. Well, as usual nothing is ever easy with my sweet Jack and this is the mess that was created in an attempt to help mommy make some popcorn the old fashion way. I LOVE making popcorn fresh in a pot NOT in the microwave. It is one of those small pleasures that is actually much more cost effective than buying the popcorn in microwave bags!! This was a complete accident and you should have seen the sad look in his little eyes when he realized what he had done...after some tears of embarrassment I loaded him in the car and we went to the Dollar store to buy some of that popcorn in a bag...I then swung by the Red Box for a movie that he hadn't seen a million times. In the end we were both happy as Jack sat on the coach with a tub of popcorn and I studied my Bible lesson. Sometimes the plan changes unexpectedly and we just have to adjust.....if only I could be that accepting of all change.

Don't you love this popcorn tub! It was my fun find at the Dollar Tree last week! I bought two for family movie nights!!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Recipe Shout Out - Poppy Seed Chicken

Okay so it has been several days since my last know when you don't have any time to do the things you want to do? Well, that is how the last week has been. I haven't forgotten the blog, in fact I've totally been missing it! I hope to get caught up on some things I've been wanting to post in the next few days!
Here is a good comfort food from my childhood. My mom's recipe for poppy seed chicken. I've seen several recipes for it, but mom's is the easiest and it tastes the best!!! I used to only fix it for potlucks or special occasions but now I tend to make as one of our regular dinners just because it is super easy!! Plus, you know when you bite into something and it brings back good memories...well this recipe does that for me! Takes me back home, and I love it!
4-6 boiled chicken breast
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 16 oz sour cream
2 tbs of poppy seed
(I eyeball this, they are expensive so I've cut down on the amount)
Now, there are two ways to prepare the chicken after cooking it. You can cut it into chunks like my mom, or to serve more people shred your chicken. Then mix in the ingredients above and pour into a 9 x 13 baking dish.
For the topping you will need:
1 sleeve CRUSHED Ritz Crackers
1 stick margarine/butter
Melt butter and mix in crushed crackers. Place on top of chicken mixture and bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Traditionally I serve mashed potatoes and green beans with this meal!! Yummy!
Tip: To make healthier, use fat free soup and sour cream. I like to use the whole wheat Ritz crackers, and you can also use 1/2 a stick of low fat butter/margarine and it will turn out okay!!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Recipe Shout Out - Broccoli and Cheese Soup

OK, now this recipe goes back in time to my days of potluck meals at my childhood congregation. This is Mrs. Cole's broccoli and cheese soup. I write that with a heart full of love for the entire Cole family! Growing up I always looked up to their girls Christie and Cindy. Mr. and Mrs. Cole were my Bible class teachers, and Mr. Cole was also my psychology teacher in high school. They are those people that LOVE the Lord and LOVE people! I will forever be grateful for the footprints they left on mine and my families' hearts! Every time I make this recipe I can't help but think of the Cole's and I'm reminded of the impact we as Christians can have on this world! Enjoy and remember to ask yourself what kind of impact are you having on the world around you...
Step 1 - Combine the following ingredients in a large pot:
3 cans chicken noodle soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can chicken broth
1 cup of milk
1 cup of water
1 lb. of Velveeta
Heat the above ingredients until the cheese is melted.
Step 2 - add approx. 5 oz. egg noodles and 10 oz. chopped broccoli.
Heat Until the noodles are soft.
TIP: Cook on fairly low heat because it will stick and scorch on the bottom easily!

Mommy Moments - So sweet, So STILL!

This is a mommy moment that most of us have experienced at one time or another. Anyone that knows my Jack knows that he is a live wire! Always moving and into something...I'm hoping that is a sign of intelligence :) I can be sooooo frustrated with him and so tired with the constant moving, talking, cleaning up messes that I forget how absolutely precious he is! I took this while he was napping....this was a rough nap time I must add. He screamed at me for an hour and a half to get up....I'm completely stubborn and REFUSE to give up nap time already. So, this is what I got after much persuading that he needed to sleep! His face here reminds me of when he was just a tiny baby in my arms. It brought tears to my eyes as I thought about how absolutely wonderful he is and the joy that he brings to my life. You know those mommy moments when you think your heart could absolutely explode because you love something so much!
There you have it friends, a precious boy with a matchbox car and John Deere shirt on....Mommy moments don't get much better than this!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Random acts of Kindness

We've had a VERY long week this week! Jack woke up Sunday with a fever that lasted 3 days! One of those nights we ended up in the ER for the first time ever with my child gasping for breath! He had a bad case of croup but we are definitely on the upswing now! I know this because Jack was into everything today and talking NONSTOP! Whew...I'm TIRED!
I say all of that to bring up a point I've had on my mind this week in the middle of the madness! Wednesday afternoon I discovered this precious, green bag hanging on my door knob. It was addressed to Jack by his sweet Bible school teacher, Mrs. Mary Lynn. You need to know that Mrs. Mary Lynn is one of the sweetest ladies I believe I have ever met. She speaks in a soft tone...and when she speaks the children LISTEN! I am so thankful she is having an influence on my child's life! Ok....back to the bag....inside the bag was a matchbox car and a note that said she missed Jack and hoped he was better soon so he could come back to Bible class. I know there are many people like Mrs. Mary Lynn out there in the world, but there seems to be fewer and fewer people willing to perform acts of kindness.
I really got to thinking about kindness and the little green bag that showed up on our door step this week and I began to examine myself. Am I LOOKING for opportunities to show other's kindness?? Sadly I began to see a life PACKED full of places to be and things to do. My to do list doesn't often have random act of kindness written down. However, I will say that after I spoke at a ladies day a few weeks ago I have tried to do better and will continue to look for more opportunities.
A beautiful example of a woman of kindess can be found in Acts 9:39-41.

" Then Peter arose and went with them. When he was come, they brought him into the upper chamber: and all the widows stood by him weeping, and shewing the coats and garments which Dorcas made, while she was with them. But Peter put them all forth, and kneeled down, and prayed; and turning him to the body said, Tabitha, arise. And she opened her eyes: and when she saw Peter, she sat up. And he gave her his hand, and lifted her up, and when he had called the saints and widows, presented her alive. "
Dorcas is an example of a woman who LOOKED for those she could help. As I read this text a few weeks ago I really began to imagine the sadness these widows experienced when they discovered their Dorcas was dead. It says they stood weeping...I don't imagine that was just a few tears, I see a picture of women mourning the lose of a woman they had grown to love very much. They had the evidence of her good works not only in their hearts and memories but also in their hands! Do we have evidence that we have been kind to others by looking for opportunites to fulfull needs whether they be physical, mental, or spiritual? What would be said of us if we were to pass away today? Would we have evidence that others could show that proved we had been kind to others?
Read Matt. 25:31-46 and ask yourself these questions. Are good works required of me? Is showing others kindness important to our God? Who will others see living in us by our good works?
When is the last time you left a simple green bag on someones porch to find? Are we looking for opportunites to do good unto others, or are we using the excuse "I don't know what they need." I'm challenging each of you that read this to perform two random acts of kindness this week....I'd love to hear how you feel and how your acts affected those around you!
I leave you with one last question...Will it be said of you in the end by our Lord, "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me."

Friday, October 9, 2009

Crocs DEAL!

Valid Oct. 9-Oct. 12 2009

Use code friend20 at checkout at or I think you can register in store for a coupon.

Okay, so as I come across various deals I like I will be sure to post and share them with you all. I rarely buy anything full price so when I find a deal on things that I'd love to have I get excited!! I've had my budget money for Jack's winter shoes set aside for a few weeks now and even though I had to use some of it to buy him medicine this week, I still have a good amount left! I'm on the hunt for one pair of tennis shoes, one pair of everyday shoes to go with jeans, and a brown pair of church shoes. I came across this deal at DealSeekingMom today and I'm soooo totally taking advantage of it! I noticed all the new crocs have FREE SHIPPING and with the discount that really is not a bad price on most of them!! I'm digging the precious courdory slideons for boys! Enjoy!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Mommy Moments

As I've read through many mommy blogs, several like to post pictures on Wednesday with no caption just a picture. They call it "Wordless Wednesdays." Well, knowing myself enough to know that I will forget to post every Wednesday or maybe it will be too stressful for my perfectionism to find the "perfect" picture that can remain wordless....I decided for my blog I would randomly post "Mommy Moments" as they happen.

That's right, you know what I'm talking about. Those days when things happen and you feel as though you are standing at the fork in the road.....your child has just done something that can send you down the road of screaming and fussing as you fix what they've just done or you can choose the road of picture taking and laughing (without them knowing if possible). With my precious Jack around I have these moments being use to them enables me to laugh most times while Chris struggles with his reactions.

I've decided to take both roads in the, I decided to take the picture/laughing road. I mean really, it was innocent and what a great alternative when you mommy keeps telling you that you can't play outside because you are sick. I'm just trying to be thankful that he is creative!
(Hint: the dirt in the dumptruck is from that sad looking plant I rarely water....actually Jack finally asked me last week if he could water the plant it was so sad looking!)
ENJOY your mommy moments, there will come a day when those precious little hands are grown and gone. (sniff, sniff)

Recipe Shout Out - Itailian Roast

I hope to be able to share with you each week one of my favorite recipes I am making that week! I LOVE to share recipes!!

There are a few things you should know about my recipies:

1. They are ALL EASY!!

2. I don't make anything that isn't EASY!

3. They have regular ingredients which makes them EASY!

So, there you have it! I hope it is something you will enjoy. I have several friends that have asked for this recipe and make it frequently!

Italian Roast
Beef Roast (I usually just use a chuck roast)
1 can cream of mushroom
1 pkg. Zesty Italian dry mix
1 pkg. Onion soup mix
1/2 a jar of Pepperoncini Peppers
Step one: Place roast in a crock pot and sprinkle the zesty italian and onion soup on top.
Step two: Put cream of mushroom soup on top of the roast
Step three: Pour in 1/2 the jar of pepperoncini juice
Step four: Put on lid and cook on low for 8 hrs.
(you can cook on high if you need to shorten the cooking time)
Step five: When you have one hour left of cooking add the peppers to the roast. This keeps them from getting soggy! Yuck!
When cooking time is up I like to shred the roast and serve with
mashed potatoes and green beans!!
If you fix this recipe please come back and leave a comment. I'd love to hear how your family liked it!!!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Here goes nothing...

Okay, so I tend to LOVE a good project! I've been a blog addict for a little over a year now...I feel like I need a group meeting! I actually maintained a personal family blog for a little over two years now, but I've been entertaining the thought of my own blog for a few months . I find myself lost in blogs reading about other moms and their families searching for a link that we share in common. It is fun when you discover someone you connect with. I think being a stay-at-home mom brings with it many challenges and adult communication is one of those! Blogs tend to be an outlet for lots of women and I hope I can help others as I put my own life out there for you to learn, laugh, and connect with. The plan for this new blog is to have a place you can come and learn more about family life, cooking, money saving deals, and spirituality. I know you're, that is quite a list, but I tend to be a person that bites off more than she should!

So, as you read over this blog in the coming days my vision is that you see a mom that isn't perfect but is trying everyday to connect the pieces to this thing we call life. Some pieces are bigger than others, while some are also prettier than others. However, at the end of the day with the pieces all put together, my prayer is that it is a beautiful life....hence the name...

"A Mosaic Mom"

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