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Saturday, August 1, 2009

Unrevealed thoughts. Crazy, lazy mommy. Random Day.

I've been doing a lot of thinking today. About what? Well... about all kinds of things. Nope, I'm not going to say. I know you're wondering why I would bring it up if I'm not going to tell you what's on my mind.

Actually I don't have an explanation for that. I wanted to post about regular life today and I really don't have anything interesting to share or that I haven't already told you. So, I thought I'd let you know that my mind is busy. Boring, huh?

I wish I looked like this while lounging around. :)
Copyright © 2006 by Tracy Watson. From OurWorldBooks.net.

Today has been a pretty random day. I spent a good portion of the morning lounging around and chatting on the phone while attempting to take care of the younger children. I say attempting because they didn't have lunch 'til after 3 p.m. (Hey, they woke up late and had a late breakfast) and I'm lucky they didn't stage a mutiny. We went to the store, they watched a couple of movies, they played, laughed, screamed, ran, jump, got in trouble and started all over again.

The most dramatic thing that happened today was while I was laying on my bed chatting to my dearest friend. I said something like, "I know I didn't just hear the screen door open." ...

"I know my children didn't just go outside."

All three of my children - led by my 5-year-old son - unlocked the door then unlocked the screen door and were on their way to the van to "get something." Now, I do on occasion let them go outside to get things out of the van WHEN THEY ASK. He had nerve enough to say, "You said yes."

My toddler was barefoot and had on a nightgown, with nothing under it, and the other two had just gotten themselves dressed. I got to the door and yelled like a crazy woman, "What in the world are y'all doing?! Get back in here! Who told you you could go outside?"

I just knew the neighbors would call the police about a "crazy-looking woman yelling at her children" (I wasn't really dressed and my hair was sticking every which-a-way). When they got inside I ordered all of them to sit on the couch as I chastised them for leaving the house without telling me and without asking. I also told them that someone could have taken them or they could have gotten hurt and I wouldn't have known anything.

They sat and stared at me with their mouths open. Anna's eyes were wide, but not one of them said a word. I think my menacing eye, pointing finger, raised voice and hand on the hip was a clue that I absolutely was not playing.

After I settled down I could feel that they had really scared me. I've taught my son to unlock the screen door in case of an emergency or something, but I never thought they would just go out of the door.

What? Wait... who said that?

Never mind. I forgot I was talking about my children. Of course they would just go out of the door. Well, I'll talk to them again about it and ensure that it doesn't happen again.

Moving right along.

Probably the most "interesting" thing that happened today was when I discovered - while we were at the store - that my 4-year-old daughter had gotten dressed and not put on panties. (Is that a theme today?) And, what's even more interesting, she decided not to include that item of clothing. Luckily she had on a long top with leggings.

Can you imagine the headlines? "Children taken while authorities investigate missing underwear." SIGH...

See, nothing really happened today.
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Friday, July 31, 2009

Seventh Generation Giveaway

Jacqueline, the great blogger of Blessings Abound, is hosting another giveaway: A Seventh Generation Under The Sink Makeover Contest Promotion and Giveaway. The prize for the randomly chosen winner is a Seventh Generation Living Home Starter Kit Prize Package (a $35 value that contains a variety of home-cleaning products to do a complete under the kitchen sink makeover).

I haven't been entering too many giveaways lately, but I thought this is a good one to enter. Pop by Blessings Abound and enter too. Good luck.
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Thursday, July 30, 2009

Car insurance quotes

If you're continually trying to reduce your monthly expenses, take a closer look to see what you're paying for your car insurance. Not sure you're getting the best deal? Then it's a good idea to obtain car insurance quotes.

Most places will compare the amount you're paying and the details of your policy to the major competing companies and give you all the details you need to make an educated decision. Sometimes you'll discover that you're paying way more than you need to and other times you may find out that your insurance company and the rate are still the best choice.

When getting a new policy, don't assume that your current company is the best choice. Take the time to get insurance quotes in order to save yourself a little money. Besides wouldn't it be nice to save for a special trip, pay off another bill or just put some money away for your future? Take a minute to do that today.
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Dark, rainy days

Waking up to a dark sky and a rainy day always makes me want to pull the covers over my head and go back to sleep. Or, at the least, stay in bed with a good book and a cup of coffee or tea. Unfortunately, I had to get up to make sure my teenager made it out of the house in time for her doctor's appointment, greet the youngest children who spent a couple of days with their father and get started on my day's work and chores.

I'm sitting at my computer thinking about sleep (Maybe I'm extra tired 'cause I ran out of refills on one of my prescriptions and haven't heard from the doctor or pharmacy.) and wondering if I have time to take a nap today. I'm yawning and stretching, but still trying to get stuff done. I realized that I really must be tired when I get a call and my friend says, "You still in bed?"

Ut oh, I even sound sleepy.

I guess I should stop procrastinating now and instead of telling you how tired I am I better get finished checking my email. How's the weather where you are?
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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

"Real Church: Does it Exist? Can I find it?" by Larry Crabb

On the Woman's Bookshelf

Many "believers" think about their church attendance and its effect on their relationship with God. That's why today we're going to delve a little into Larry Crabb's book, "Real Church: Does it exist? Can I find it?"

Crabb says, "Church as I know it usually leaves deep parts of me dormant, unawakened, and untouched... I don't much like going to church." That's a telling statement of what fueled the book and throughout it readers go along for the ride as Crabb considers why he's feeling unsatisfied with traditional churches and the kind of church he believes God wants us to be a part of.

"Read Church" is an intriguing, interesting and compelling read that's filled with enlightening observations, entertaining phrasing as well as eye-opening passages and analogies. For instance, he says, "I don't think a gathering of Christians whose main purpose is to get people saved and to get saved people moral is church."

Dr. Larry Crabb, a psychologist, seminar speaker, Bible teacher, author and founder/director of NewWay Ministries, reveals that more and more people - regardless of their Christian status, so to speak - are experiencing the same emotions and doubts when it comes to church. Ultimately, as the Bible says and Crabb explains, we need the community of Christians on a regular basis so we know God wants us to attend church. But what type of church? In the end, Crabb breaks down the exact church he believes is "a real church," and what he says makes perfect - and biblical - sense to me.

Do you agree? Get a copy of "Real Church" to find out.
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My frugal teen

Ever since my daughter, Amber, was a young child I've taken her shopping with me. I showed her how to pick out the best deals, use coupons, choose fruits and vegetables and a number of other shopping "talents" that women need to know. I am so proud that she has continued to shop frugally regardless of whether she's using my money or hers.

Amber, who's now 18, and her three college roommates share the task of buying groceries and supplies for their dorm suite. About two nights ago Amber sat down with her sales papers, her Sunday coupons and her shopping list to decide what she was going to purchase and where. She spent quite a bit of time planning.

Her budget was $78. She left the house around 4 or 5 p.m. and didn't return 'til almost 11. And, she went to three or four stores.

We didn't feel like breaking down everything into stores or listing everything, but I did want to share the pictures:





She spent less than $78, bought a lot of buy one get one free, used coupons (saving almost $20 at Kroger, I think) and she bought two of those giant storage containers. You can only see the lid of one in the picture.

There ya have it. If I haven't passed on any other wisdom to my teen, I know at least that she'll save some money. Actually, I'm hoping she learned some other stuff too! What am I saying? She just made taco salad for three teenagers, a toddler, a pre-schooler, kindergartner and me. Doesn't she rock!
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Monday, July 27, 2009

Get your student campus ready

College-bound students, and parents of said students, should check out Sears CampusReady application on Facebook. It can really help in preparing for this new educational experience.

Support My Sponsor Code Of Ethics
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Magazine addiction defeated, pile dwindled

It's been quite awhile since I updated you on my magazine addiction problem. If you don't remember or you're new here then check out the pictures these pictures that I included in previous posts:

A quick recap: I love reading magazines and used to order every free subscription I came across, and I subscribed to one of my favorites (Oprah) and received one as a gift (Women's Day) that I already had a free subscription to. Due to my schedule and lifestyle the magazines piled up to a ridiculous level.

The result: The overabundance of magazines cured me of my addiction.

Here's the current pile:


I hope to be finished with this pile very soon and I will definitely be glad when my current subscriptions run out. The only magazine I plan on subscribing to right now is All You, even if I have to pay for it, because there are tons of coupons and bunches of money-saving ideas.
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Choose a vacation rental

My teenager and a group of her friends are going to Savannah this weekend. They've pooled their resources and planned a trip with activities, outings and local attractions. I've always wanted to do something similar like travel with close friends and family who would all go in on a vacation rental. It's one of the best ways to travel and reduce expenses.
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Monday's Muse: Indulgence & deadlines

Over at Maternal Spark we were encouraged to indulge ourselves a little today. Indulgence can work the same way relaxing does. (Well, for some relaxing is indulgent.) Sometimes when you focus on something else - especially something that renews your mind, body and soul - you are inspired by your muse.

My indulgence today, and I know better, was about six ounces of coffee after 5 p.m. I had a headache and was really a grump so I figured I needed a little caffeine boost since I hadn't had any today.

I am happy I indulged.

I don't think it's possible to continue to indulge myself this week because I have some deadlines to meet. Well, there is that Atlanta blogger's "personal time" on Thursday evening that I plan on attending, but other than that I'm going to make sure I accomplish everything that's necessary.

As you go through your week, find something - an activity, a treat, a person - that makes you feel like you indulged. It's good for your soul and for your muse.

I try to contribute to Monday's Muse each week so check out my last one. Then head over to the Monday's Muse headquarters at Maternal Spark.
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Children's apparel

I know most people like to dress their children nicely whether they put them in designer baby clothes or not. Now you can find some designer clothes for your children, like Appaman, for reasonable prices at Lou Lou's Corner.

Besides the cute little clothes, Lou Lou's Corner carries Jellycat stuffed toys that kids are sure to love. They're plush, cute and there are lots of options. Another soft choice: Barefoot Dreams CozyChic Collection. It's a line of luxurious blankets and throws for the entire family. There are robes, hoodies and v-necks. I was checking out some of the products and they look perfect for cuddling, relaxing and hanging out.

As a matter of fact, I don't think I saw anything at Lou Lou's Corner that I didn't like, so I may be a little biased. You check it out then come back and let me know what you thought.
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Sunday, July 26, 2009

Seasons of friendship

I was watching an episode of Army Wives on Amber's laptop (Remember the television situation?) and there was a scene where Roland was "informing" three of his friends that they hadn't been there for one of their other friends. The three women made excuses about why they hadn't been around, which caused him to reveal a secret to them to illustrate what they had done wrong.

It wasn't right what the woman had done, but they were wrong for shunning her. That scene brought tears to my eyes because it showed how people will throw away a friendship based on their own beliefs and lack of caring for someone else. What I mean is: I've experienced the lost of "friends" (you know how I feel about that word) and "family" (in laws) because of individuals taking sides or having weird, for lack of a better work, beliefs.

Before I decided not to work things out with my husband, I had a girlfriend who I spoke to on quite a regular basis. Our children played together. We met for lunch and whatnot. And, in general, we were there for each other. At least I thought we were. She started pulling away after my decision and I am under the impression that she didn't want a single woman around her husband. Either that or she couldn't be my friend because of my decision.

To me that means she wasn't a friend at all. That's not really my point though. My point is that although I am hurt by her turning her back on me; I am trying to think that it's possible that her friendship - that relationship - was only for a season. That's what I say to make myself feel a little better.

In case you're wondering, I did continue to call and try to make arrangements to get together but it often doesn't work out. Whereas we were seeing each other several times per month, I may - if I am lucky - see her several times a year. And I can't remember the last time she's initiated contact.

True relationships - sincere friendships - are important. I hope I am a good pal to those I call friend.
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Shopping for school, saving money

I have been finding so many amazing blogs and websites that list deals and savings. Actually I've been quite amazed by what I've come across. In fact, it has given me a new outlook and a lot of resources to helping me, my family and friends save money.

Now, given the time of year, most of us are shopping for school supplies and in the process will be getting things for most of our children regardless of their educational status. My teenager is shopping for groceries for her and her college roommates who live in a suite on campus as well as additional items for her dorm room like storage and decorative items. My 5-year-old son will be a kindergartner and needs uniforms, paper, pencils, a backpack and a number of other things. My second daughter, who's 4, will be going to pre-kindergarten readiness at the county headstart program and she'll need jeans and other fall and winter items because she's definitely gotten taller. And, the toddler - my baby, is gonna need fall and winter items as well. I'm also going to get her some educational books so she'll have homework to do like her siblings.

That's quite a list, but thanks to Walgreens coupons I don't even have to leave the house to stock up on supplies for the smaller kids. As far as Amber is concerned, she's taking care of most of her shopping, the biggest thing we have to get is textbooks. I hope she's able to use some A1 Books coupons to help with that expense.
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Slow drops, missing comments

Keeping up with everything can be difficult as a woman (whether you're single, married, etc.) and I've come to realize something: I can't always keep up with all of the dropping and commenting I want to do.

I try to comment on every blog I visit when I'm dropping, which means I don't always get to the 300 goal of a serious dropper. It also means I sometimes don't get to my favorite blogs, my followers, my regular readers or those who visit me.

How do you prioritize which ones you drop on and which ones you comment on? Do you try to always do both?

Well, it seems like my heart-felt necessity is causing me to lose commentors. I think. But, on a good note, I'm making new friends. So, I hope that my old friends are still coming by and forgive me for not always getting to their blogs. I also hope my new friends will stick it out with me.

Want I want to convey to you all is: I really appreciate every single one of you.
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