Friday, August 31, 2007

Free Dr. Pepper and CVS coupon

Free 20 oz. Dr. Pepper:

http://www.drpepper.com/23Winners/

Log in here to receive your coupon good for a free 20 oz. Dr Pepper or Diet Dr Pepper.

Score 23, Win DP Giveaway Rules
If a Division 1A college football team scores 23 points and wins the game on College Football Kick-off Weekend (Aug. 30 – Sept. 3, 2007), consumers can visit DrPepper.com to request a coupon for a free 20-oz. bottle of Dr Pepper. The coupon will be available for 23 hours following the end of the qualifying game. Should two or more teams score 23 points and win the game, the coupon for a free 20-oz. Dr Pepper will be available shortly after the end of the first qualifying game and remain available for 23 hours following the end of the last qualifying game. Must be a U.S. Resident. Limit one coupon per individual. Coupons will be mailed within 10 business days and expire 9/30/07.

CVS $4 off 20
Here is a $4 off $20 coupon for CVS, expires today. I was planning on going there on Monday but had a change of plans. :)

Check out more frugal tips and freebies at Biblical Womanhood.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Tired but so happy!

What a week it has been! We had to stay in the hospital until Wednesday morning and today was our first full day at home. I must be getting old because I don't remember the hospital being so uncomfortable before! Isabella is such a good baby and sleeps very well at night so far. I am just in love with her. I wasn't sure what it would be like to have a little girl but I am so enamored by her. :) She is just a sweetheart. She hasn't cried at all. The boys cried more in general, so I just keep waiting for her to cry more but she hasn't yet. She loves to look around and study things when she is awake. I love having babies.

Speaking of having babies- labor was so very different this time. It was very fast and not even close to as painful as the last two births. I was just starting to have to breathe through the contractions when they told me I was at 8 cm. I hadn't been checked at all yet until that point. The nurse came in for the first time (45 minutes after we arrived at the hospital!) and asked what I was at my last doctors appointment. I told her 3 cm and she said, well... you're about an 8 now. Very quickly they called the doctor, got my IV in and asked me admission questions auctioneer-style. When I told them I didn't want an epidural they said good, there was no time for one! The last 30 minutes was the most painful and intense. Finally the doctor arrived within 1 hour of my being checked in the room and he broke my water and declared it time to push. Eight minutes and 2 contractions later she was out! My whole labor only lasted 3 1/2 hours. It wasn't enjoyable by any means ;) but as I am looking down at my precious little girl, I know it was definitely worth it.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Baby Isabella is (finally) here!

We are so happy to announce that Isabella Rose is here! She made record time and she is just adorable! I woke up at 3:45 having contractions, got checked and in the room by 6:15 and she arrived at 7:20 a.m. God is so good- labor went so smoothly and was so much easier than the previous two and she is just perfect. Our doctor even came in early to deliver her.
She weighs 8 lbs. 7 oz. and is 19 inches. It is so awesome to have another little one here, it just seems so strange that she is ours! We think she looks quite different than Elijah or Noah (they almost looked like twins :).
We are so thankful that God has blessed us with her.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Friday Freebies- Chick-fil-a, Chocolate, Senseo Coffee Maker

Free Chick-fil-a:
www.freechickenandcoke.com
Register to receive a coupon by mail for a free Chick-fil-a sandwich and a medium coke!

Begins at 12 midnight 8/20/07 and ends on 9/29/07 or when 1,000,000,000 have been given out!


Free Chocolate (who can resist!):
Nestle Crunch Crisp Bar from 9 a.m.-5 p.m.


Free Senseo Coffee Maker:
Apparently they are giving these away again as a part of the Share Senseo Program. You take a short questionnaire and they email you in 2-6 weeks if you are eligible to receive a free $60 Senseo coffee maker ($15 shipping though). I did the questionnaire today but haven't heard from them yet. Definitely worth a try- this would make a wonderful gift for a coffee drinker! :)

Check out more freebies and frugal living tips at Biblical Womanhood!

Previous Frugal Friday posts:
Save Money on your Monthly Cell Phone Bill

Make Extra Money with your Digital Camera and Computer
Frugal Friday Dave Style
Save Money on Health Insurance

No news...is good news?? 39+ weeks

Still no news on the baby front. Our little one is apparently perfectly happy to live in the womb and in no rush whatsoever to meet the outside world. :)

I have been given an induction deadline of September 4th, the day after Labor Day (go figure). I may have to beg and plead to extend induction to closer to 42 weeks. The doc is pretty adamant about not letting me be pregnant longer than 41 weeks. Every week he is almost certain he won't see me at the next appointment because I am so dilated and having contractions pretty consistently.

I just REALLY don't want to be induced. I was induced with my both of my boys and did it without an epidural the 2nd time. I am in no hurry to have non-medicated Pitocin-induced contractions. They are just relentless. I might be naive to think that natural contractions won't be as bad, but the unknown is far less scary than what I experienced before! I am really praying God will give me the ability to deal with the pain of induction if I have to do it again.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Two Awesome Custom Search Engines!

I was so excited to find out last week about Google's free customized search engine! The other day I really wanted to search my favorite websites for their reviews of one of my favorite books. Using regular old Google returned far too many results. After I made my Christian Homemaking and Womanhood Search Engine with results from my favorite websites such as Biblical Womanhood, Tammy's Recipes, Keeping the Home, The Sparrow's Nest and many others, I could easily find exactly what I wanted.

You can make your own search engine to filter the results from websites that you want to see. I also made a Frugal Search Engine which is below- it searches my favorite deal websites and frugal blogs.

The free customized search engine would work well for moms- it would allow you to personally filter the websites your children can search from, choosing only results from kid's websites you approve. You could also make it your default homepage for your web browser. My little ones can't read yet, so I haven't dealt with that safe web surfing issues yet :)...

If you like my two engines, you can use them for free on your own web pages. Just click on the link of the title and then click on the link that says add this search engine to my blog or website.

Check it out:



It totally works for me! Check out Shannon's blog for more ideas!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Interesting Weekend...

Hubby and I had a very unique weekend... all day Friday I had been having contractions and lots of pain, so we decided to drop the boys off at my mom's house that night. By the next morning the contractions had faded away. So we spent the whole night and day together- alone! No little ones. We were busy taking care of errands and things that had to be attended all day Saturday. When I called my mom that afternoon she offered to keep the boys another night just in case. So of course we said yes :) (I mean what a rare chance!).

We went on a date Saturday night and went to Starbucks, all in our own town. It was so weird to be without children for two nights! The last time we did that was back in 2003, the two nights before our first child was born! I've wondered before what our life would look like without children-what would we do, where would we go- and I felt like I got a good idea this weekend. We went wherever we wanted, both got out at every stop, even just sat at our favorite restaurant and drank iced tea and surfed the internet. Everything was great and we had a good time, but it just felt.... well... empty. Like something was missing. Our boys were missing.

We really missed our two rambunctious little boys that have become so ingrained in our lives. They always go everywhere and do everything with us. They are just so much a part of who we are today. I would never want to go back to those days before they came. They bring us so much joy, and make us see the world through very different eyes. They made us see what life is really about- not just living for ourselves.

I know there are some days when I just want to give up and cry- I get tired of constantly being needed in this exhausting season of training and discipline. It was so good to step back this weekend and remember just how blessed I am to have these precious little ones in my life.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Save Money Using a Prepaid Cell Phone Plan

To save money every month on cell phones, I use AT&T's GoPhone plan, a prepaid wireless plan that is very affordable for our family. I use my phone almost every day and pay an average of $27/month, which is far below the monthly cost of a contract plan. Plus, I love that it allows me to control my monthly phone bill if I need to, because I am only charged minutes when I actually use the phone.

The best part about this plan is that you get mobile-to-mobile minutes free of charge (although there is a 1.00/day charge if you talk on the phone that day). All of my family and almost all of my friends are AT&T customers. Since we both have cell phones, we canceled our land-line, which also eliminated $20 per month from our monthly bills.

For more frugal tips, check out Crystal's blog.

Creating a Clutter-free Space

Here is a cool article I read about creating a minimalist home. I really enjoy having free space- it makes me feel good to look around and not see stuff everywhere!

I would have to say one of the things that keeps me sane is having very little clutter/stuff in our home. With a 3 1/2 year old and a 2 year old around, it is nearly impossible to keep little trinkets or pictures within reaching distance.

We really have very few things besides furniture, and at this point we have no coffee or end tables in our living room. In my experience, a coffee table has only been a clutter and dust holder, and a hazard to little ones who are trying to walk. Sometimes I do miss the end tables just for holding drinks, but it has been worth it not to have one more place to set junk or papers.

I am on a mission to get rid of more stuff we have lying around- what the Flylady would call the 27-Fling Boogie...

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Homemaking Search Engine

I am so excited! I made a custom search engine for homemaking/Christian womanhood. You can type in any topic and the results will only be from the websites I included, such as Biblical Womanhood, Tammy's Recipes, Amy's Humble Musings, Mrs. Pear, and a few more. I will add more websites as I go on I am sure but this is just too cool.

You can try it:
Type in any topic (i.e. help meet)

Free Office Package

I love Google, They are always coming up with new things that are free! They just recently added another free software to their free Google Pack- Sun Microsystems Office Suite, which normally costs $70 to download from the Sun website. If you are in need of an office package, and don't want to pay $200 + for Microsoft Office you might just want to try it out .

Free productivity software definitely works for me! Check out more ideas at Rocks in My Dryer.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

My Favorite Kitchen Tool

Earlier this year I attended my first Pampered Chef party. I didn't have much money to spend, but when I saw this tool I knew this is what I wanted to buy:


It's called the crinkle cutter- and it cuts vegetables, chicken and meats perfectly. It is so much faster to use than a regular knife. One of my favorite things to make with it is thinly sliced potatoes for homemade baked potato chips. I spray them with olive oil spray, then season them and bake them. The crinkle cutter was just $10, and it is worth every penny! Check out more kitchen tips at Tammy's Recipes!

Monday, August 13, 2007

Once-a-month Cooking

I really want to try my hand at once-a-month cooking. I have made 2 or 3 of an item at one time but I have never prepared 30 at once! I love being able to pop something in the oven and be done with dinner. I may try this after the little one comes. Right now I am still in the anticipatory waiting stage where you don't want to do anything new or different in case the baby comes in the middle of it!

Here is one of my favorite resources for once-a-month cooking:

Bethany's August Recipes and Grocery list

Saturday, August 11, 2007

My CVS Deals this Week

We finally went to CVS for this week's awesome Kraft deals. They were out of almost everything but we finally found $20 worth.
We made $4 ECBs and got all this for free:

My husband is so amazed by the deals CVS has every week. We walk out of the store once a week with bags of goods having paid nothing or next to nothing. It is so much fun!

The two loaves of bread were actually free at the mall today. They had tons of free whole wheat and white wheat bread and were just giving them away as a promotion. I love free food!

Friday, August 10, 2007

Surprised!

This morning I woke up and as I walked into the bathroom I saw these beauties:


And then during lunch time my hubby gave me an absolutely beautiful three stone diamond ring. I still can't believe it! I never expected anything at all today and he surprised me completely! It is so pretty-- I just keep looking at it :)

I am so blessed to have such a wonderful husband- he makes me feel so special!

Make Extra Cash with your Computer and Digital Camera

This week's frugal tip is about making extra money! I found this new program that Google is starting called Local Business Referrals.

You sign up to be an independent contractor and go around to local businesses to collect a photo and business information for Google Maps. You basically sign up a business to be on Google Maps at no cost to them. You just upload the information to Google. After the business verifies that the information is correct, you make $10. You can do as few or as many as you like on your own time.

I think it would be a great and easy way to make some extra money, and your family could even make a day out of going to the strip mall and walking around while you take pictures. :) Check out Local Business Referrals and more frugal money saving (and making!) tips at Biblical Womanhood.

Happy Anniversary to my Best Friend


Happy 5th Anniversary Baby. It has been a wonderful and exciting 5 years!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

My Pretty New Apple

The MacBook is here!

I posted a while back about Apple's Deal of the Year, where you can get a Macbook and an ipod and a free printer.

I had been wanting a mac for a while and after my husband heard about the wonderful deal he surprised me by buying one for our anniversary ! I love it! It is so easy to use- installing programs is a snap. I really like the fact that all of your documents and items are in one place. On a PC, there are so many folders and so many things you have no idea why they are there. The mac just opens up and works without having to do any configuration or software installations.

The icons are sharp and beautiful! There are just so many cool features, like the photo booth and ichat, both of which use the built in web cam. I love the cool programs you can download from the Apple website, like Garage Sale (a Ebay listing program) and myNotes, which is a personal favorite. I will have to do more reviews on just the software later! I also saw a program for recipe indexing that makes grocery lists based on your recipes. I can't wait to download that one!

The funniest thing is that my husband is a programmer- a die hard PC user, and he loves my Mac. He has been a Mac-hater for many years but as soon as he sits down, he wants to use my computer (it also has 2 cool chess games included).


Works for Me Wednesday

If you are like me, you have lots of extra plastic sacks stuffed under your sinks! A friend shared this handy tip with me recently. You can neatly store these bags in every bathroom or kitchen using an extra pop-up diaper wipes container. Simply fill up your wipes container with the sacks, and there you have a neat way to store your trash bags in every room, while decluttering your cabinets! It works for me! Check out more ideas at Rocks in My Dryer.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Is this it?

What a morning! I woke up this morning around 6 from a dream that my belly was hurting. Sure enough it was hurting, but it took me several minutes to figure out I was having contractions. The pain was so much different than Braxton Hicks or medically induced contractions. They were so intense- and relentless! After about 45 minutes of contractions 5-6 minutes apart I woke up my husband.

I got up and went to take a bath and I was shaking- which terrified me because I usually only shake during transition! For some reason before this morning I thought we would have lots of time for the contractions to progress and get ready. At one point it crossed my mind that I might have this baby in this tub! :) I took a bath and then a shower and they calmed down a bit, then as we got our bags ready and got dressed they seemed to calm more.

At the moment they are coming about 5-10 minutes apart and are very light compared to this morning. I guess we will see if this is it! I need to get a few more belly shots before I am not pregnant anymore! The sad thing is that I still have not pre-registered at the hospital...

Kitchen Tip Tuesday


My tip this week is more related to cleaning in the kitchen than cooking... :)
When we built our house last year we were able to buy stainless steel appliances for our kitchen. I love the look of stainless steel but even water leaves marks on it! We had some Mr. Clean antibacterial multi-surface cleaner and I used it on it as I was cleaning and it left the stainless steel streak free and smelling good. It works even better than stainless steel cleaner, and it's much cheaper. Click here to get a coupon for Mr. Clean products.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Busy weekend!

Wow- we had a very busy weekend! We celebrated our 5th anniversary a week early because the baby is due soon. Hubby and I went for an overnight stay about 2 hours away.

We didn't know if we were going to be able to go because I was having so many contractions. The doctor told us not to come back if I went into labor because I might deliver on the side of the road! The contractions calmed down a bit and we decided this might be our last chance to get away alone for a long time!

We got to stay in a beautiful suite and went shopping, then we went to eat at a great steakhouse, watched a movie at the hotel, got to go hang out at Starbucks, sip our Mocha Frappucino (my very favorite) and we just talked for a long time. I loved it. It's so great to be married to your best friend. What's funny is that I really love him even more than the day we got married five years ago.

It was so weird to be without our little children- we could both get out at the gas station! We had a great time, and I think it was a perfect getaway before our major life change we have coming up this month.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Baby Update- 36 1/2 weeks

We are down to less than a month left! Yay! I went to the doctor yesterday and found out that I am already dilated 2-3 cm. I have been having fairly frequent contractions since Wednesday, and they seem to be getting more regular and stronger too. I have never gone into labor naturally so this is very odd and unknown territory for me, and I would have never expected it to start this early (I have 3 1/2 weeks left). I guess we will see soon if this is the real thing!

Frugal Friday Dave Style!

When I read Crystal's Frugal Friday post, I smiled, because I was planning to post about Dave Ramsey this week! I guess we are on the same page! :)

My frugal tip for this week is to listen to Dave Ramsey's radio show on a daily basis. Everyday I listen to Dave's three hour show online while I am cleaning, folding clothes, cutting coupons, cooking, or just resting on the couch. I love his show! It really inspires me to be frugal with the money God has given us.

I get excited about ways that we can cut back and since we started listening last month we have been eating a whole lot more "beans and rice, rice and beans," and I feel bad when I see the inside of a restaurant since I am not working there! By listening to it daily, I am reminded of how important it is to be out of debt, and to "live like no one else."

To listen to the full three hour show, you have to go to the archives. If you have a laptop handy you can just carry it around with you or hook it into your speaker system.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Godly Womanhood

Ok, I am stalking Mrs. Wilt over at the Sparrow's Nest! Really, her posts have just hit the nail on the head. I love this quote from former U.S Senate Chaplain Peter Marshall that she posted today:

"Godly womanhood ... the very phrase sounds strange in our ears. We never hear it now. We hear about every other type of women: beautiful women, smart women, sophisticated women, career women, talented women, divorced women. But so seldom do we hear of a godly woman - or of a godly man either, for that matter. We believe women come nearer to fulfilling their God-given function in the home than anywhere else...." Click to read more of this quote at the Sparrow's Nest.

Women have been so deceived into thinking that no value can be found in serving their homes and raising their children. Is it a random coincidence that as women have found "liberation" and "equality" with men that homes and morals have disintegrated, and the women have become emotionally and physically exhausted? And that anti-depressants have become like Tylenol? Why is it that even some Christian women cannot see the value God places on a woman being the "keeper of the home?" God wants us to be women who love and obey our husbands and love our children, He gave us a clear commandment in His Word. When we don't obey it, the Word of God is blasphemed (blaspheme- 1 : to speak of or address with irreverence 2 : REVILE, ABUSE- from Merriam Webster dictionary)

The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.
Titus 2:3-5

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Things I have learned while parenting...

I have learned so much since becoming a parent almost four years ago. Before you have children, you have all these preset ideas about how children should behave, what they will do all day and how patient you will be with your children. It is amazing to look back- with those expectations, I wonder how I ever made it! :)

There are a couple of things I learned that help me stay sane as a parent and help the boys to do what is right. I learned it is very important, especially as they grow older to have structured activities into everyday as it is possible. I know there are days when things are just out of the norm, but those seem to be the worst days most of the time! We try to have things we do everyday, like schoolwork/coloring time, cleaning time, reading time.

Which all goes hand-in-hand with what I really learned just this year... it is so important to have a routine throughout the day. The boys both have an idea of what comes next. They often tell me before I tell them. It makes life so much easier. They used to take a nap in their chairs everyday, but for some reason they stopped sleeping there, which was making life miserable for all of us. We instituted a nap time in their beds, which quickly became a routine. Now they expect to rest quietly everyday (and so does mommy!).

It works for me! :) Check out what other moms have learned at Rocks in my Dryer.
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