Monday, March 31, 2008

Mommy Tip Tuesday

INTRODUCING: MOMMY TIP TUESDAY!



As a new mom almost 4 years ago, I passionately soaked in every last word of every parenting book I could get my hands on. To this day, I still have a soft spot in my heart for the "Be a Perfect Parent Doing Exactly As I Say" genre. However, one thing these books never mentioned to me was that I could get a lot of great and useful advice from other moms who have been there, done that for absolutely free.

Now that I am the proud owner of two tiny people, I have a little advice of my own to give. Sure, it would all probably fit on the backside of a matchbook, but hey, at least I got something!

I'm inviting you to join me every Tuesday to share your tried-n-true Mommy Tips. These can be tips you've discovered on your own, tips passed down from your mother or grandmother, or just tips you ripped off from a friend that you now claim as your own and you're pretty sure she doesn't blog.

These tips can be anything from getting your wee-one to sleep through the night, dealing with sibling rivalry, a kid-friendly craft project, potty-training, homework routines - you name it. Basically, if it has anything to do with a kid or being a mom, it fits the description.

Next week Tuesday, I'll have a Mr. Linky set up at the bottom of my very first Mommy Tip Tuesday post so you can add your name and other moms can click over to your site to view your valuable insight. This is a great way to bond with other moms who are in the thick of it like you, bond with community, find other interesting mommy blogs and generate traffic to your blog.

Won't you join me?

Lip Service

Not that long ago, my husband has lunch with two female co-workers. When the meal was complete and the plates cleared, the ladies whipped out their lip liner, lipstick and gloss and started the three step process in reconstructing their kissers.

My husband, not being well-versed in women's makeup rituals asked them what they were doing. They said, "What? Doesn't your wife do this?"

"No. She doesn't wear that stuff", he replied. For the record, though I rarely put anything on my lips, I do wear makeup as I am a thoughtful member of society and don't particularly enjoy scaring others, especially small children.

So, based on this one piece of information my husband gave up about me and their knowledge that I'm a SAHM (stay-at-home mom), the ladies quickly assessed that I needed a make-over and offered up their services to my husband.

This is where I blame Oprah and her make-over episodes. She sends her people to pop in on unsuspecting SAHMs first thing in the morning, catching them in what some would consider the SAHM uniform - husband's college T-shirt, a pair of sweats, fuzzy slippers and a half-hazard ponytail atop the head - and chide the poor women for dressing like this on a daily basis.

*ahem* It's first thing in the morning, people! Guess what? Fuzzy-slipper-wearin'-Mom probably got all of four (inconsecutive) hours of sleep the night before because she was taking care of a sick baby - the same baby you see perched on her hip and had just hurled up breakfast on Mom minutes before The Oprah Brigade showed up - and, before she had a chance to clean up the apples/mango/oatmeal with cinnamon blend covering her hubby's college T-shirt, she had to first prepare two others for school, find a lost backpack, sign a permission slip she just discovered in lost backpack, pack three lunches (hubby needs one too), field two telemarketing calls, walk the dog, start a load of laundry, referee a sibling fight and tie two sets of shoes!

(feel free to punctuate that paragraph correctly)

Forgive the woman for not having her lips properly accentuated!

My husband's response to the ladies when to their horror they discovered I wasn't following standard modern woman protocol?

He said I didn't need that stuff because my lips were naturally beautiful. Awww! *thump*thump*

Meyer Monday

According to God's Word, He loved us before the world was formed, before we loved Him or believed in Him or had ever done anything either good or evil.


God does not require us to earn His love, and we must not require others to earn ours. We must realize that loves is something we are to become. It is not something we do and then don't do. We cannot turn it on and off, depending on who we want to give it to and how they are treating us.

As believers in Jesus Christ, the love we are to manifest to the world is the unconditional love of God flowing through us to them. We cannot understand this God-kind of love with our minds. It far surpasses mere knowledge. It is a revelation that God gives to His children by the Holy Spirit.

Unconditional love thinks long range. It sees what people can become if only someone will love them. That is what God did for us. He looked long range and saw that His unconditional love could conform us to the image of His Son.

~ Joyce Meyer, Being the Person God Made You To Be

**************************************

But God shows and clearly proves His [own] love for us by the fact that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. ~ Romans 5:8

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Simple Sunday


Friday, March 28, 2008

Super Savings Saturday

I love ending the week with Super Savings Saturday hosted by Crystal over at MoneySavingMom.com. I literally look forward to this every week. Not only do I get to share the thrill of my own hunt, but I get to read about the spoils of dozens of other deal seekers. Check it out! This week, CVS had nothing to entice me through their slider doors. I'm pretty well stocked so I passed on this week's deals.

So I decided to try somewhere new this week. New to me, anyway. My boy, who is nearly 15 mos old, is growing like a well fertilized weed and I'm amazed at how quickly he went to having an abundant wardrobe to barely a week's worth of clothes. Tubby, as we call him in this house, is bustin' out of just about everything so I had no choice but to clothes shop for our little lineman-in-the-making.

I'm not big on paying full price to clothe the little dirt devil so I thought I would check out the local Savers thrift store (Baseline and Power location for you Mesanites). I had never been in before and didn't know quite what to expect. Boy, was I pleasantly surprised!

Savers is a thrift store much like Goodwill in that it's inventory is comprised entirely of donations left by individuals diligently cleaning out their closets. However, that is where the similarity ends. For one, Savers is incredibly clean! Also, the children's clothing is very well organized (quite unlike the two Goodwills near my home). Not only do they separate by size, gender, type and season but also by color. Looking for a boy's orange, long-sleeve pullover? Just look by the other boy's orange, long-sleeve pullovers. It's that easy!

I was also happy with the prices considering that all the items I bought were clean and in near-new condition. For the items in the picture above (five shirts, four pairs of shorts, one pair of shoes and two puzzles for London), I spent $26.00. Sure, I could have spent a great deal less at garage sales, but as I've said before, my time is worth something too. I can't imagine how many Saturday mornings I'd have to peruse the neighborhood garage sales to find all that I did in just a few short minutes at Savers. I found the prices to be more than garage sale price but much less than consignment store prices. And, again, the cleanliness of the store and the outstanding organization made shopping quick, easy and enjoyable - a major plus when your shopping companions are a 4 yr old and a 15 mo. old and one of them keeps pulling the hair of the other!

See you again next week with more great deals!

Be Honest With Me.

Yesterday, I was over at DailyBlogTips.com and I stumbled ('cause that's what I do, get it?) onto an article titled "43 Web Design Mistakes You Should Avoid". Lots of good stuff in this article, most of which doesn't apply to me and my itty-bitty, little blog. However, #10 struck a bit of a nerve with me:


Do not play music: on the early years of the Internet web developers always tried to successfully integrate music into websites. Guess what, they failed miserably. Do not use music, period.
Aack! W-w-what? No music? Period? No! Say it isn't so! That's a bit of a hard pill for me to swallow and usually I don't have a hard time swallowing pills, not after my MIL suggested to me that I take a deep breath before drinking the water down and that doing so helps to open up your esophagus and, you know, she was right! It even helped with those prenatal horse pills I had to take everyday and, also...

Wait...what was I talking about? Oh, yeah! The music.

Anyhoo, so I thought I would leave it up to you - my faithful and trusted readers. And honest readers - don't forget that! So be honest, do you like my music? Could you live without it? Should I keep it or axe it?

You'll notice I added a poll off to the right. Please vote and then leave a comment explaining why you voted the way you did. I'd really like to have your input.

And, seriously, taking a deep breath before choking a pill down really does help!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Thankful Thursday




It's Thankful Thursday again over at Sting My Heart. Won't you join us?

Hmm...what am I thankful for this week? Nebraska football? Chocolate chip cookies? The fact that my kitchen miraculously looks clean in this picture? Well, all of those things, really, but most of all it's the handsome fella I am most thankful for.

That would be my hubby, if you couldn't figure that out. And, yes, he really does make chocolate chip cookies! But more than that, he does so much for me and our little family. There really isn't enough room on this blog to list everything. He has been off work for a little over two months now and it's been so nice having him home (see post below) that I've gotten a little spoiled.

He does it all with a good heart and a good attitude as well. You really have to work at it to get him in a grumpy mood. Trust me, I've given it my best at times. I have said before that we believe that one cannot be truly happy unless one is truly grateful. I believe my husband epitomizes this thought. He knows what it's taken to get to where we are today and I think he knows it could all be gone in a split-second.

If you have ever seen She's Having a Baby with Kevin Bacon, Elizabeth McGovern and Alec Baldwin, you may remember the scene with Kevin and Alec in the car, right before Kevin is set to walk down the aisle. Kevin asks Alec if he thinks he (himself) will be happy and Alec replies, "Yeah, you just won't know it". My sweetie and I have often discussed how, despite the family chaos that goes on, we are happier than we ever thought we would be. Sometimes, it takes a bit to remind ourselves of this but I can say in all honesty that it is our prevailing attitude. I can also honestly say that without him I'm not so sure it would be.

I prayed to God for this man almost 17 yrs ago and God answered me right on time. There is nothing like knowing you are with the person God hand-picked for you. And there is nothing like having God play match-maker for you. He's pretty good at it, I can attest to that!

So thank you, Dear Lord, for the wonderful gift of my dear husband. The gift that I get to unwrap, discover and enjoy each passing day.

Now only if he didn't have to go back to work!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Not a Good Mommy Day.

Yesterday was not a good mommy day. I had zero to no patience with the little people in this house. They kept doing that thing that kids do - what's it called?

Oh yeah, needing me.

My dearest husband has been in between jobs since January, so that means he's been home everyday with me for a little over two months. That's two months of TWO parents tag-teaming the kids. That's TWO months of taking peaceful showers without little hands pounding on the glass door. That's TWO months of eating my lunch straight through without having to get up 873 times for something. That's TWO months of going to the store and taking a child only if I wanted to. That's TWO months of - well, you get the idea!

So yesterday, he *sniff* went *choke* back *sob* to work *wail*! And left me here with THEM all alone for, like, eight whole hours! I simply was not mentally prepared for the onslaught. And do you know what? He's doing it again today! *eeek!*

However, today I'm prepared. Yep, got a full roll of duct tape and 8 1/2 solid hours of Disney videos. I say, BRING IT!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Serving God by Serving Others, Part II

As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, "Lord, don't you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!"

"Martha, Martha," the Lord answered, "you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed.
Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her." ~ Luke 10:38-42

When I first read this passage several months ago, I couldn’t help but sympathize with Martha. There were unexpected guests in the house. People wanted to be fed. Someone had to take care of things and Martha took charge. I can’t say that I blame her for wanting a little help. Don’t we all want a little help? Heck, don’t we all really expect a little help?

The Bible doesn’t tell us how Martha responded or reacted to Jesus’ words. Did she immediately drop everything and sit at His feet with her sister? Or did she stomp off in a huff feeling unappreciated and taken advantage of (like I probably would have done)?

Mind you, I have no trouble serving others. I quite enjoy it, actually. But when it comes to serving those I live with day in and day out, I struggle in this area. Oh, I serve them alright. It just seems that I do it a bit begrudgingly at times. I simply don’t do it with the right spirit. I often resent the fact that I do so much and so much of what I do seems to go unnoticed.

I know I’m not alone in this. I’ve talked to too many moms (stay-at-home or work-out-of-home, it doesn’t seem to matter) who feel the same way. I think since the bowl incident, I’ve come a long way. I like to think so, at least. I know in my heart that I’m not to look to other people for validation and appreciation of what I do. I know that I’m to look only to God to provide these things for me but the cold hard truth is, I DO want gratitude and appreciation from those I live with.

When thinking about this last night, it suddenly occurred to me. Do you think God put this desire in our hearts - the want/need to be thanked by others for all that we do - so that we would better know how He feels?

I complain to others about how the things I do go by without so much as a word of thanks yet don’t I do the same to God? When was the last time I thanked Him for a beautiful day? Or my health? The health of my children? Keeping us safe? The roof over my head? The clothes on our backs? Or even, I embarrassed to say, the food on my plate? He provides these things daily, does He not? Shouldn’t I then be thankful and say so on a daily basis?

My husband and I long ago came to the conclusion that one cannot be happy unless one is truly grateful. Maybe that’s why I’m unhappy with the amount of gratitude I get - because I’m not giving it to the One who truly deserves it in the amount He truly deserves.

Perhaps I should spend more time at the feet of Jesus.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Meyer Monday

Meditate on God's love for you. That's what is going to change you. If you don't like something about yourself, "knowing that you know" that God loves you is going to change it.

God change you. It is the private time you spned with God, just loving Him and letting Him love you, that is going to cause you to grow up and be strong in your spirit.

The devil will give you one excuse after another for not spending time with God. Get serious with God and cry out to Him. The Word of God and fellowship with Him will change you. Paul says in Philippians 4:13, "I can do all things through Christ which strengthened me" (KJV). In other words, there is nothing in all creation you can't do through the power of Jesus Christ.

Use the problems that come against you as opportunities to grow. Find out what God will do because He loves you! If you will lean on God and let God love you and you love Him, you can forget all the trying to operate in faith and enter into rest.

~ Joyce Meyer, Being the Person God Made You to Be.

***************************************

In this is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation (the atoning sacrifice) for our sins. ~ 1 John 4:10

Saturday, March 22, 2008

We Have a Winner!

CONGRATULATIONS, KRISTEN!

After I printed out the comments page and cut the comments into sections, folded them up and put them in a bowl, my daughter picked one out. She picked you out as the lucky winner of Jessica Seinfeld's "Deceptively Delicious" cookbook. Email me at stumblingchristian@yahoo.com to make arrangements to get this yummy and oh-so-sneaky cookbook to you!

Keep an eye out for next month's Bloggy Giveaway. I'm thinking online giftcard!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Super Savings Saturday

Well it's that time again! Crystal over at MoneySavingMom.com hosts Super Savings Saturday every week and every week you can check out her site and others for some AMAZING tips on how to get the things you need for little or no money at all!

Like chocolate and jelly beans, for instance. Who doesn't need that? *hangs head in shame*
Now, to be fair to myself, the jelly beans were for the Easter eggs I stuffed for our family Easter Egg hunt and the box of chocolate I took to share with my MOMS group at church.

So nanny-nanny-foo-foo!

On with the more mature aspects of the post, shall we? Okay. What I have in the pic above is $55.29 worth of product. I have a hard time believing that myself! Since I've been doing the deals at CVS it's hard for me to imagine someone paying 55 bucks for that small assortment but back in the day that would've been me. Thank you, Crystal, for showing me the light!

I ended up paying $15.94 OOP for the above and received $24.95 in ECB's back! That's a profit of $9.01! Can I get a WooHoo?!

Items I got for free:

-The Hershey's Pot of Gold chocolate
-The Maybelline Lip Color
-The Jelly Beans
-The Vitamine C
-The Speed Stick
-And one of the Dove Hair products

Not bad for 45 minutes of work!

Also, a couple weeks ago I got a coupon with my receipt for a $25 CVS giftcard for any new prescription. Well, lo and behold, the kids got sick with ear infections and I ended up with a prescription for antibiotics. I now have a $25 CVS giftcard tucked safely in my wallet. Though, I have to be honest, I would have rather had healthy kids! The little sickies have a tendency to keep my up at night when they are not feeling so well. Poor babies. But everyone is well now, praise the Lord!

I hope the rest of you CVS'ers had a profitable week and for those of you who have yet to try it out, please check out MoneySavingMom.com and click on her "CVS 101" link. You won't be sorry!

Well, I DID Have Something to Blog Today...

but something, or someone, won't leave me alone. I literally have been at my computer for the last 45 minutes trying to type out a rather moving and profound post, as I'm ought to do, but the little turkeybutt light of my life won't let me get past the first paragraph. Am I really expected to pay attention to them all the time?

Here's the distraction, himself:
Yes, that's a cookie in his hand. It's Cookie-for-Breakfast Friday in this house. Doesn't everyone do that? Look, whatever I have to do to get the little barnacle off of me for a minute. Go ahead and judge.
No, I am not picking you up. Why do you think I gave you the cookie? And, yes folks, that's my bathrobe. Yes, I know it's 9:30 in the morning and I'm still not dressed. But, see that little face? That adorable little face who would never bother a soul unless it was absolutely necessary kept me up until 5 a.m. this morning! And was thoughtful enough to want to start the day after only 2 1/2 hours of sleep. The bathrobe stays!
Excuse me? Where do you think you're going? I need more pathetic pictures of you at my feet so that I may thoroughly convince these folks that I simply cannot blog something moving and profound today. Hellooooo? I'm talking to you!
I don't think he cares. He's off to the toilet. Apparently, the toilet is more fun than I am. I have more cooookieeees!!
I suppose I have to go get dressed now. Dang, I had my lazy day snuggling with Mr. Cute Buns all planned out. Now I have to actually act like a responsible grown-up and be productive.

Cookie, anyone?

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Thankful Thursday



I thought I'd do things a little differently this week. Instead of telling you what I'm thankful for this week, I thought I'd show you. I hope you enjoy it.

Each new day:
Cosleeping babies:
The incredible, edible egg:
Spring and all the wonderful colors it brings:
Being married to the one God handpicked for me:
Lifelong friends:
A God who keeps His promises:
Being loved this much:
Life eternal through Christ, my Savior:
Amen.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Bloggy Giveaway!

As I said in my previous post, this giveaway is considered scandalous in some circles and was recent cause for litigation. Well, here you go - I'm offering up Jessica Seinfeld's cookbook on how to lie to your kids sneak nutritious food into your kids' meals thereby getting them to eat their veggies without really knowing it.


I bought this cookbook when it first came out and was the recipient of a second one at Christmas time. Let me assure you, I don't cook that much! So you, lucky recipient of my second only Bloggy Giveaway, shall reap the benefits of my double blessing.

All you have to do is LEAVE A COMMENT. Any comment will do (well, nothing rude or political in topic, thank you). As in my last giveaway, my impartial and completely-unaware-of-any-of-you daughter will randomly pick the winner. Might I suggest you change your profile picture to something either pink or Disney related to increase your chances. A winner will be announced on Saturday morning.

Best of luck!

Come Back Tomorrow!


I've decided that every month I'll be doing some sort of a giveaway. Now don't get too excited. I won't be giving away $500 giftcards like Pioneer Woman but I gotta start somewhere. I won't tell you what I'm giving away (not today anyway, I'm saving that for tomorrow) but I'll give you a little hint: In some circles it is considered scandalous and was recent cause for litigation!

ooooh! I got ya now! See you tomorrow!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Meyer Monday

Stop trying so hard to get faith and please God, and start spending all that time and effort with God, loving Him. We are only going to be able to walk in faith based on what we believe about our relationship with God.

Galatians 5:6 says that faith works by love. Faith will not work without love. Everybody thinks that this scripture means that if they don't love other people, their faith won't work. What it means is that if they don't know how much God loves them, their faith won't work.

Trusting God and walking in faith is leaning on Him and trusting Him for everything. You can't do that with someone if you don't know he loves you. You have the love of God inside you, and all you need is to begin to recognize it when He shows you. The Bible says, "We love Him, because He first loved us" (1 John 4:19). It would be impossible for you to love God if you weren't assured of the fact that He loved you first.

It is all down inside you, in your heart. God loves you! You are wonderful! You are precious! Nobody in all the world will ever love you as God loves you.

~ Joyce Meyer, Being the Person God Made You to Be.

**********************************

For [if we are] in Christ Jesus, neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith activated and energized and expressed and working through love. ~ Galatians 5:6

Friday, March 14, 2008

Super Savings Saturday

This week is a little odd for me as I didn't go shopping at all! Well, except for Claire's at the mall. I really didn't mean to shop in there. It was a complete accident. I totally fell in and once you're in, as a mother of an almost four year old who has hair like this:
Well, I can't really be blamed for my actions now can I?


I knew you'd understand.

So I thought I'd discuss something that has come up in conversation in my real life: When does saving money end up costing you more in the end? Ever experienced this? Well, of course you have, you're normal. There are some things I've learned NOT to skimp on because I end up paying for my tight-waddedness (yes, that's a word. Look it up!) later down the road.

Case in point:

I pay $37.00 to get my hair cut. I know some of you just hit the floor because your heart stopped and all the blood ran out of your head. That's okay, I'll wait.

Good, you're back. Anyhoo, I've spent years - make that DECADES - getting my hair cut at those convenient, walk-right-in, low-end chop shops, never spending more than $10 or $12 on a cut. And it showed! Let me tell you a little something about my hair. See my daughter's hair up there? Well, double it and you've got mine. Add in the coarseness of a horse's tail and the frizz of a 70's Troll doll and you've got yourself the "before" picture of any "OMG! Who let you out of the house" troubled-hair product.

After explaining in great detail, the personality of my hair and how I wanted it cut, I would end up with a haircut that never really resembled what I was going for. Why didn't I just go back and have them fix it? Most places offer a free fix within seven days but I ask you - WHY would I go back to the person who messed it up to begin with? That never made any sense to me. Add to the fact that I almost always took the blame for "miscommunicating" what I wanted to begin with.

As a result, I ended up paying to have someone else fix it or waiting for it to grow out a little so I could go back and try again. This resulted in more haircuts during the year than needed. And, of course, more money spent.

I finally decided one day that I'd had enough and went to a "real" salon. Not one of those upscale, high-end "our perms don't stink" salons. No, really more of a middle of the road kind of place. It was there that I met Cyndi.

Cyndi just "knows" my hair. She has this sort of clairvoyance with follicles like I've never seen. The first time she did my hair (color & cut) I literally jumped up & down, let out a joyful noise and gave her a hug. NO ONE has done for my hair what Cyndi has done! As a result of staying loyal to Cyndi, I am no longer going back in, here & there, having my hair fixed. I get a cut maybe two to three times a year now. That's all it needs. Though I pay more per cut, in the long run, I am saving money paying more for these few cuts a year than I was paying for the several fix-its I was before.

Well, I spent more time on my hair than intended. That happens in front of the mirror as well. I didn't even touch on shampoos and conditioners. Don't even get me started on saving money on Suave and VO5. I've been that route before, too, and it's just not pretty. I'll spend a little more in that area as well.

But, now that I think about it, since I've been shopping at CVS - thanks to MoneySavingMom - I'm getting all my shampoo and conditioner for FREE anyway!

Other areas I won't skimp:

Carseats - Three years ago, we spent $300 on a Britax carseat for our daughter because Britax is rated #1 in carseat safety. To us, this is non-negotiable. We simply will not skimp on our children's safety. This carseat will take our son through the next two years. This comes out to .16 cents a day spent on this carseat. Well worth it.

Wood Toys - Specifically, Melissa and Doug wood toys. I'm not a toy purest or anything. There are plenty of plastic toys in this house but when I can buy a Melissa and Doug toy, I do. Yes, they are more expensive than other wood toy brands but the Melissa and Doug brand have shown me that they can weather the wear and tear of constant toddler play. I have found most of my Melissa and Doug playthings either on sale or I've been able to use a store coupon, making the purchase an even greater value. All of my daughter's Melissa and Doug toys are in excellent condition and ready to take on years of play with the boy.

Lysol Wipes - Would it be cheaper to just buy a generic brand of cleaner in a bottle and a rag? Sure, it would. But in a two-story house with three full baths plus a kitchen, I like to keep a tub of wipes in each. This makes quick clean-ups easier and faster (meaning, I'm more likely to do them) as opposed to setting aside a day/time to clean those areas (not as likely to do). My time is of value, too. Why Lysol and not the generic version? I've tried the cheaper brands but, in my opinion, having to use three or more wipes to do the job of one Lysol wipe is not saving money, so I go with the brand name. Plus, I'm likely to find them on sale somewhere and there's almost always a coupon in the paper for Lysol products.

I used to use cloth baby wipes on my daughter soaked in my own kid-friendly solution. I'm not opposed to using this technique with cleaning solutions. If anyone has a cleaning solution recipe they'd like to share, please do so. I'd love to hear it!

There are other areas I won't skimp on but I think I've gone on long enough. Now, I'd like to hear about the areas or items that you have found trying to save money on has actually cost you more in the end.

Bonus: Be sure to come back later in the week. I feel a Bloggy Giveaway coming on!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Product Review

The Bissell Steam Mop is easily one of my favorite products. I call him Mr. B. No cutesy name here like for my other fave products. No, the Bissell deserves the distinction. He is, after all, my hero. He single-handedly (or moppedly) saved my laminate wood floor from the crazy, oh-so-had-enough-with-cleaning-it-really-really-fed-up lady who lives in my house.

That’d be me.

I was seriously ready to tear all 1000 sq feet of flooring up with my own bare hands (while my hubby was at work, of course). I had tried a multitude of floor cleaning remedies. All of which I was assured were perfect for wood laminate floors. All of which left streaks of residue on my floor and streaks of gray in my hair. Not to mention the money wasted.

But then along came Mr. B. who calmly and smoothly set my scorned heart to rest and promised me a different ending - a happy ending - with him. He has yet to disappoint.

Mr. B. uses a micro-fiber mop head. Mine came with four from HSN.com (which doesn't appear to be currently selling it *sad face*). The number of mop heads you receive will depend on where you buy yours from. If you are diligent about keeping up with your floor, you may only need one or two. If you are like me and only do your floor during months that end in ‘H’, you will need more. Once the mop head gets too dirty or too soaked, you need to change it otherwise streaks will appear. But this is something I can easily accept with all Mr. B. has to offer otherwise. *swoon*

Mr. B. works best with distilled water. Oh, you may use regular, I-don’t-care-to-put-any-effort-into-my-relationship water, but you’ll end up changing out the filter that much quicker. Why not show Mr. B the love and spring for the 79 cents a bottle of distilled water costs? Mr. B. will show the love in return, I promise.

Mr. B. is hot and steamy for you just 30 seconds after plugging him in. He has an easy to use swivel head that gets around the base of a toilet like no other “mop” can do. Mr. B. watches his waistline and as a result is light weight and easy on the arms. He’s not just a laminate man either. Mr. B. is good for vinyl, tile and other hard flooring surfaces.

You can find Mr. B. at your nearest Walmart for under $80.00. Trust me, when you’re done kissing your own Mr. B., you’re going to want to kiss me for telling you about him. I'll be here - lip plumper freshly applied. *wink*
I give Mr. B. 5 out of 5 Mommy Kisses!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Thankful Thursday

It's Thankful Thursday again over at Sting My Heart. So many things cross my mind on a daily basis of what I have to be thankful for. Just today I was remembering the time waaaaaay back when I was 19 yrs old, living on my own and making a whopping $5.00/hr. I shared an apartment with my best friend that, besides the fact had burnt orange carpeting older than we were and a bit of a sewer roach problem whenever it rained, really wasn't so bad. I didn't have a bed or even a mattress on the floor so I slept on a doubled-over thick comforter and I had just enough clothes for work to make it one week without wearing something twice. I also drove a 1976 Volkswagon Superbeetle with black vinyl seats and no A/C. It had a leak right above the accelerator pedal so that anytime it rained my right foot ended up soaking wet.

Ahhh. Good times.

I also remember one night, laying on my double-over comforter/bed crying because I was flat broke and quite unsure how I was going to pay for things that month. It wasn't that I didn't have people in my life who were willing to help me, I most certainly did. I just didn't have the willingness to swallow my pride and ask for that help. At least I had enough common sense to look to the Lord and I opened my bible. It was one of those moments you hear about - someone desperately needs a word from God so they randomly open their bibles and point to a scripture and it "just so happens" to be exactly what they needed. Here's what I opened my bible to:

"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?

"And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. ~ Matthew 6:25-34

So, I'd just like to say:

  • Thank you, Lord, for providing your good word so that we may look to it to find comfort and direction whenever we need it.
  • Thank you, Lord, for keeping me fed, keeping me warm & dry and keeping me clothed even in my lowest times.
  • Thank you, Lord, for staying with me through troubled times and helping me to keep moving forward to better my life and my circumstances.
  • Thank you, Lord, for all the material blessings you have provided for me so that I may live in comfort and health. I know there are many others not as fortunate as I am and at anytime You can take Your loving gifts away from me. I thank you for your continuous favor.
  • Most importantly, thank you, my most generous God, for your one & only Son who cleared my slate and cleansed my sins so that I may have a personal and precious relationship with You for all eternity. Amen.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Bring It!

14



I'm too lazy and/or tired to post anything of real value today, so this will have to do. This test takes all of 45 seconds to complete and though some may find it offensive & mean, me and my not so PC sense of humor got a kick out of it. What's your score?

Monday, March 10, 2008

Teaching What, Exactly?

I once worked as a customer service rep for Barbie Collectibles, a division of Mattel. During my employment, Mattel came out with "Teacher Barbie". She was a pretty thing, as they all are, wearing a short, pouffy skirt, white blouse, sensible red shoes and matching red tie. Sounds like the picture of pure-fection, doesn't she?

Well, except that Mattel Elementary failed to do a pysch evaluation on "Miss Thang" and when the public found out that Teacher Barbie was standing before her class (two pupils were included in the box) without. wearing. panties. the public went all, "Oh no, you didn't!" on Mattel.

We got a lot of calls. A LOT. People were - and I'm not kidding here - outraged that Mattel would put Barbie in front of two kids, wearing a short skirt but without her personals. Mattel quickly pulled the tramp doll from the store shelves and she was later replaced with a more respectable version. New Teacher Barbie was now wearing painted on panties. You know, the non-removable kind. Mattel was not taking any chances. I even remember this story hitting the newspapers and morning shows.

*sigh*

But what I want to know is - where is the outrage over this:

Are you kidding me? Julia Roberts was dressed more conservatively in Pretty Woman! If you look closely at the one on the left, you can see through her skirt! If it's not bad enough that it's the size of a band-aid (a Barbie-sized band-aid, no less), you can see through it, too?!

Ugh. I think I just threw-up a little in my mouth.

This Barbie is definetly teaching the kids something but I don't think I like what it is. Questionable Reputation Barbie is moderately priced at $14.99. But is that hourly?

Meyer Monday

Introducing "Meyer Mondays". I got this gem of an idea from Jen over at Guidance for Victory who does "Moore Mondays" based on the teachings of Beth Moore. If you've ever had a conversation with me for more than ten minutes you have probably heard me quote something from Joyce Meyer. I think she's an incredibly sensible woman when it comes to her teachings of God's word. He has done so much in her life that it's hard to deny what she says about Him and how having a true relationship with God and following His words can lead you to a better life and a better self.

For the next nine weeks, I'll be posting segments from her book, "Being the Person God Made You to Be". I'll be covering the chapter titled, "Experiencing the Love of God". I hope you enjoy it and possibly take something from it.


****************************************

Have you ever asked yourself, "Am I lovable?" You may have immediately said, "No. I'm not!"

I thought I was unlovable before I came to understand the true nature of God's love and His reason for loving me. I was impatient with people, legalistic and harsh, judgmental, rude, selfish, and unforgiving. A breakthrough came in my life when God began to show me that I could not love others because I had never received His love for me. I acknowledged the Bible teaching that God loved me, but it was not a reality in my heart.

God can love us because He wants to; it pleases Him. Just as it is impossible for God not to love, so it is impossible for us to do anything to keep Him from loving us. Once you realize that you are loved by God, not because of anything you are or anything you have done, then you can quit trying to deserve His love or earn His love and simply receive it and enjoy it.

Once your heart is filled with the knowledge of God's awesome unconditional love, you can begin to love Him in return: We love Him, because He first loved us.

******************************************

In this the love of God was made manifest where we are concerned: in that God sent His Son, the only begotten or unique [Son], into the world so that we might live through Him. ~ John 4:9

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Super Savings Saturday

Yes! It's that time again, boys and girls. Time to show you what FREE stuff looks like. Are you ready? Good. Here we go!

This first pic is from a CVS shopping trip last Saturday evening. If you didn't know this already, if you shop CVS Saturday evening you can take advantage of BOTH that week's deals plus the new week's deals. Another reason I *heart* CVS.

Anyway, in the pic below we have:
Approx. $59 worth of stuff. I don't have my calculator handy and I'm not running downstairs to get it for fear the kids will see me and "need" something. Anyway, after coupons and EBC's my total OOP was $15.05. Then, (this is the really cool part) I got back $19.00 in ECBs! So, basically, CVS paid me 4 bucks to buy all that stuff. Told ya it was cool!

Next, in this pic was have ALL FREE STUFF! Yep! You heard me. FREE STUFF!! How? Let me 'splain:

First - the Venus Embrace (how hairy do you have to be to need 5 blades, anyway?) was on sale for $9.99 plus $6.00 in ECBs bringing the price down to $3.99. I had a $4.00 coupon making this baby FREE!

Second - the two Johnson's Buddies soaps were priced .99 cents each. I had two $1.00 off coupons making those babies FREE!

Third - The Gillette Razors 3 pk were on sale for $8.99 plus $5.00 in ECBs bringing the price down to $3.99. I had a $4.00 coupon for this, as well, making those babies FREE, too.

Fourth - The toothpaste is on special this month: Pay $2.99 and receive $2.99 in ECBs = FREE!

Fifth - Same with the toothbrushes: Pay $4.99 and receive $4.99 in ECBs = FREE! Plus, I had a $2.00 off coupon for those, so I actually made a profit on the toothbrushes.

Are you sick of hearing the word "FREE", yet? I hope not, because there's more!

Next, is Walgreen's. If you haven't gone to get your EasySaver catalog at Walgreen's, please do so NOW! There are lots of FREE stuff you can get this month with rebates. Here's just a few:

The Garnier Fructis Hair Goo (goo, is a technical term, by the way) was $3.99. The Garnier Skin Renew was $12.99 and the Yes To Carrots Body Butter was $9.99. All three of these products are offered this month with FULL rebates making them FREE! Plus, if you have coupons, like I did, you actually end up making a tad bit o'profit with these. Nice, huh?

Not only that, you can request your rebates online at http://www.walgreens.com/ making the process even less painful. BONUS: If you opt to receive your rebates on a Walgreen's card, you earn an extra 10% back! Walgreen's actually PAYS YOU to get the rebates! How cool is that?

If you've decided you've had enough with paying for your everyday health and beauty items and would like to start getting them for free, please visit Crystal over at MoneySavingMom and check out her CVS 101 and Walgreen's 101 links on the right-hand side.

See you next week with more FREE STUFF!!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Life Comes At You Fast.

You know those insurance commercials that show as aspect of life just starting out and then suddenly everything is fast-forwarded to something, well, expected just not expected so soon? I especially like the one where the hunky, buff fella wearing only a speedo jumps into the pool at the far end but by the time he swims across and climbs out of the pool on the other he’s a frumpy, beer-bellied, grandpa-type still wearing just the speedo.

Now who really needs to see that?

Life came at me fast the summer after 6th grade when I gracefully and majestically entered into the standard “awkward phase” that strikes almost everyone around those preteen years. Here, let me show you:

Me, the summer between sixth and seventh grade:
Then, suddenly, BAM!! Seventh grade school pictures:
What the H-E-double hockey sticks happened here? Notice how the dress is the only recognizable similarity? Yeah, life came at me pretty fast back then but I think it’s safe to say it also beat me pretty severely with the You-Ain’t-Got-No-Alibi stick as well.

These days, I find that I’m no longer just jumping into the pool but, thankfully, I'm not getting out the other side either. I am somewhere in the middle still swimming along but, admittedly, the strokes are getting harder and I’m buoyant in some areas a little more than in others. And not the good areas either.

I chose not to have kids until, what I would consider, “the last minute” though many have started their families well after the age I did. I can tell you in complete honesty that I showed NOT ONE sign of aging until after the birth of my first child. Now suddenly, I’m coloring my hair for more than just the fun of it, buying my bras based solely on their level of comfort, finding 10 p.m. to be past my bedtime and considering the possibility that maybe, just maybe, skunk urine really does have anti-wrinkle properties.

Don’t laugh. If skunk urine proved to make Lindsay Wagner look like Lindsay Lohan, you’d be all over it.

Life is coming at me fast again. And not only does the joy of parenthood seem to make the aging process speedier and more apparent but the little kiddos are literally walking, talking, pooping little time tables running circles around me while I desperately try to figure out how to unlock the fast forward button.

Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. ~ Proverbs 31:30

I take solace in this verse. All things in this world are temporary, even my once taught skin and naturally colored hair but a loving relationship with God is everlasting and is what is appreciated most by Him. In that, there is always beauty. And for that, I thank the Lord.

I also thank the Lord for the wisdom to remove the mirror in my bathroom that gave me the clear shot of my rear view as I exited the room. No one really needs to see that either.

At least I'm still swimming!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Thankful Thursday



Welcome to my first installment of Thankful Thursday hosted by Iris over at Sting My Heart. I have many things to be thankful for, too many to list, really. Above all else, I am thankful for Jesus Christ my Lord and Savior for it is through His sacrifice that I am, not only healed, but given a straight path through an open gate right into the kingdom of God. Amen!

But for this week, specifically, I am thankful for:
  • Cough suppressant
  • The person who had the idea to put lotion in tissue
  • Ibuprofen
  • Soft pillows
  • A comfy couch
  • A husband who took care of things while I was convalescing on said comfy couch.
  • Well behaved children who didn’t give me a hard time.
  • My neighbor, Debbie, who took London for a couple hours on Tuesday.
  • Gatorade which, for the second time in 4 mos., has returned me back to life.
  • And, lastly, the good Lord’s ingenious design of an immune system. Thank you!

What are you thankful for today or this week? Blog about it and join Sting My Heart for Thankful Thursdays!

Quick Update


Hello Everyone! I just thought I'd write a quick update in case you were wondering where I've been.

<--- This has been me the last several days. I felt this mean & nasty chest cold coming on last Saturday afternoon but chose to be stubborn and do nothing about it. Well, until yesterday when my body said, "Enough!" and I spent the day curled up on the couch. Today, however, I'm determined to, at least, get some laundry done and the dishes. Yep, still stubborn.

I have lots of things planned for the blog this month and months to come. I've created a bit of a writing schedule that I hope will keep me on track and not at a loss for things to write about. Sometimes my writer's well runs dry and I find myself struggling for ideas and other times it's overflowing but I can't get to everything at once. I'm hoping my schedule will solve both of those problems.

I'm going to be including a couple new weekly topics like, "Meyer Mondays" and "Thankful Thursdays". I'll go more into detail about those another time. Also, once a month I'll be doing a product review, a fun and/or interesting poll, plus a monthy Bloggy Giveaway! Yeah!

I'm toying with some other monthly post ideas such as: "What Someone Taught Me", "When I was a Kid" and "True Confessions". I'm also putting the finishing touches on "Serving God while Serving Others, Part II". It looks like there may even be a part three. I can be long winded when given the chance.

I hope you stick around for the new stuff and find most of it (okay, ALL of it) interesting, entertaining, helpful and maybe just a tad bit inspiring. I'll try my best.

I hope all of you are well and are having a great week! I'll be back just as soon as I can!