Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Teenage Birthday Happenings

OK, It's official! We now have a teenager in our home, and we are so BLESSED!

We spent all weekend celebrating his 13th birthday. We really wanted it to be special.
On friday evening we had a small family party. We had his favorite meal of Lasagna, french bread and Granny's fruit salad

Next we opened a few gifts. He really, really, wanted an NXT robot for his birthday. We had so much fun with this present as he was so anxious for days before as to whether we had gotten this for him. We kept saying, I don't know, that is such an expensive gift! He wanted it so bad that he even offered to use his own money to buy half of it, if we would pay for the other half for his birthday. He was very surpised. Let us just say that there were tears of joy!

Earlier in the year, he had also requested a 'special' ring, do dh and I decided to do a True Love Waits ceremony, just with our family. It really turned out to be more of a devotional but he now has his ring as a constant visual reminder of his committment to God in so many ways. Our little ceremony included the following five elements:

Your Committment to God
Matthew 22:37
"Jesus replied, Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind"

Your Commitment to Yourself
Matthew 22:39
"And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself "

Your Committment to your family
Phillippians 4:5
"Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near"

Your Committment to your friends
John 15:13
"Greater Love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends"

Your Committment to your future mate and children
II Timothy 2:22
"Flee the evil desire of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith , love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart"

It was beautiful. I cried. I remeber so fondly bringing him home from the hospital, he was less than 6 pounds and now he towers over me saying "I love you, mom" in the manliest, deep voice you ever heard. It brings me so much joy to know that he will grow up to make a difference in the kingdom of God.

On Sunday afternoon, he had a friend birthday party at the bowling alley.

The birthday cake was a surprise and he really liked it, of course what techie kid wouldn't!

Overall, we had a wonderful birthday weekend, full of many, many blessings.


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

What A Successful Grocery Trip Looks Like

For many months, I have been visiting several blogs on frugal living and have tried to start saving a bit of my own cash, rather than just sitting around watching everyone else do it:)
One of the ways I have been doing this is through forming my menu plans from coupons and grocery sale adds that come in the newspaper on Wednesdays. The children and I currently spend about 2 hours a week clipping, printing, folding and organizing coupons. Today, all the work seemed to have paid off. It was a great day at the grocery store. Here is what I purchased, all at the same store, I might add:

Special K blueberry flavor - 2 boxes
Oscar Meyer Lunchables with drinks - 4 items
Ritz Whole Wheat Crackers - 2 boxes
Kraft Lowfat Cheddar Cheese - 2 7oz bags
Kraft Velveeta Shells and Cheese - 2 boxes
Wholly Guacamole - 2 containers
Pillsbury ready to bake cookies - 4 rolls
EZ Mac cups - 4 of them
Kellogs Rice Krispies - 2 boxes
Kellogs Raisin Bran - 2 boxes
Yoplait Yogurt - 12 containers
Kraft BBQ sauce - 2 bottles
Hunts Ketchup - 2 bottles
Kellogs Apple Jacks - 1 box
Ziplock Freezer Bags - 2 boxes
Kraft fat free cheese - 2 7oz. bags
Peter Pan Low Fat Crunchy Peanut Butter - 1 jar
Capri Sunrise Tropical Fruit Drinks - 1 box
Pillsbury Crescent Rolls - 2 rolls, 8 count each
Lean Cusine Meals - 4 of them
2 whole chickens
Kellogs Frosted Flakes - 1 box
Kellogs Fruit Loops - 1 box
Country Crock Macaroni and Cheese - 1 container
Reisers Potato Salad - 1 3# container

All this for $65.94 and a savings (according to the register receipt) of 108.08. I also got back a register printed coupon for $1.25 off my next puchase and several dollars to go towards my Supercenter Mail in Coupon form which means when I spend $20.00 purchasing items I would purchase anyway, I will get $35.00 more dollars in coupons. Some of the great deals included Kellogs cereals for $.50 cents a box and Kraft BBQ sauce for free as well as Ez Mac cups for free and Velveeta Shells and Cheese for free.
I was able to do this with using coupons I currently had and matching them with only items that were on sale. I made a rule to only purchase items that were both on sale and that I had a coupon for. The only exception this visit was the 2 chickens which were marked down for quick sale (ie: they expire tomorrow). I have been learning how to do this over the past several months. If you would like more information about couponing (is this a word??) and especially internet coupons, visit www. She has links on her home page to where you can download internet coupons. Most coupons have a limit of 2 coupons per computer. She is teaching me a lot about saving money.

Blessings for a frugal day, Suzie

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Music Contest With Surprises

Last weekend, oldest son competed in a state music competition. We travelled to a nearby large city for the competition. He did very well, taking an honorable mention position. For a state competition, this is quite a feat. He is becoming very accomplished in piano. He has taken lessons from Ms. Hickman for five years now. She is very sweet and so talented musically.

As we were finished and congratulating oldest son, we were walking around on campus and found some very interesting surprises.

From a distance this tree is very beautiful....

However, upon closer inspection you find.... from it...what?
I don't know the tradition of this but it might be fun to know...or then maybe not, this is a university...although being a Christian University it might be a Godly tradition, maybe a visual on Romans 10:15? Whatever the reason, it was very interesting and eclectic, to say the least!

We also came upon this beautiful fountain. I took pictures of the children to celebrate the occasion. They turned out so wonderful!

Our musical scholar!

Our princess, or SMILES as her daddy calls her (fits her well, don't ya think)

And, youngest son, in a pose for me.

We finished the day with a cheap dinner from Taco Bell and then on to home. I love days like this when we spend time having fun with family and the camera.

In all you do together, have fun!

Blessings, Suzie