Proverbs 31 - A Wife of Noble Character

........Oh, to be this strong, this wise, this fair....that's what this blog is about after all...... Learning to live well and love well and to do all things for His glory...


Monday, September 29, 2008

Baby Talk

A forgotten classic "Sophieism:" Upon seeing a ground squirrel, she exclaimed, "Ooooh, look Mommy. It's a chipmonkey!" I can't help it. It's so stinking cute, that I can't correct her...poor child will be taking the SAT still thinking that rodent is a "chipmonkey!"

Tackle It Tuesday - Kitchen Project VII

Tackle It Tuesday Meme

My kitchen project is like a Friday 13th movie...on and on and on! This a.m. I started by sanding and spackling several areas which still need attention. I'm off now to paint behind the refrigerator so we can (finally) get it out of the middle of the floor! Then, my attention will go to removing masking tape that has been up WAY too long - I need tweezers & a razor blade to get it off! Sheesh...a long afternoon ahead of are coming soon!

Menu 9/29 - 10/04

Monday - Hamburger Helper, steamed veggies, bread

Tuesday - Salmon Patty, cheddar mashed potatoes, green beans

Wednesday - Soup/Salad

Thursday - Baked pork chops, wild rice, broccoli/cheese

Friday - Homemade pizza & salad

Saturday - Voila skillet meal, salad

Sunday - Spaghetti dinner for the family (Sophie's "Gotcha' Day!")

Christmas is Coming!!

The Holiday Countdown has begun: 86 days as I type this! Eighty-six days? How can it be that Christmas is sneaking up on me again? I'm so excited that the ladies at Mommies With Cents have started a Weekly Holiday Countdown detailing the best deals so you can make serious headway on that shopping list. While, you're there, don't forget to check out their "FREEBIE" posts and to enter their giveaways.

This week, I am especially interested in the games on sale at Toys R' Us and, of course, the batteries I will need to stock up on at Target.

Also, if you didn't purchase your Christmas cards after the holidays last year, you can still buy some lovely cards for just a little moola here.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Top 5 websites I'm loving these days

1. FAITHLIFTS : Great daily devotions for Mommies

2. CAFEMOM : A neat site to meet other Moms and discuss family issues...or just laugh about them

3. Sesame Street : Great preschool videos and games

4. Focus on the Family : I am enjoying information specifically for/about SAHMs

5. Letter of the Week : Educational series for preschoolers

Check 'em out, and let me know what you think!

Eric Carle can illustrate your Kodak photo book!

What a great contest!! You can win a Kodak photo book with illustrations by Eric Carle (you know him from the Very Hungry Caterpillar; Brown Bear, Brown Bear; and The Very Lonely Firefly, among others.) Click HERE to enter the drawing. Winners will be drawn on October 18.



Gotcha Day

This week marks our 3rd anniversary of bringing home our beautiful Sophia. In the past, we have not celebrated her "Gotcha' Day." This year, however, she is beginning to have some ideas about adoption, birth families, etc. due in large part to our beginning paperwork to adopt another daughter. In the spirit of teaching her what a great gift and opportunity that adoption can be, we want to have a special family celebration this year to collect infant items which will then be shipped back to her orphanage of origin.

Other ideas are listed below (compliments of

~Similar to a birthday with cake, presents, and a party.
~No party, but giving the child a choice for a special activity i.e. zoo, museum, park, and perhaps a special dinner.
~Lighting candles to honor birth parents, foster parents, etc.
~A family activity i.e. picnic, baseball game, or visit to an amusement park
~Presenting a gift that represents the child's birth heritage i.e. the country, state, or city they were born in.
~Reviewing a child's life book, and perhaps adding a page to represent the past year
~Doing a presentation in your child's classroom about adoption and how families are different.
~Sending in cupcakes or an activity that your child's class can participate in that represents adoption, families, or your child's cultural background.
~Remembering the children left behind, children still in foster care or orphanages: volunteering with a foster care group or sending a care package to your child's orphanage.
~Using the day to acknowledge other adoptive families that may be struggling by committing to provide respite a certain numbers of hours per month.
~Writing in a family journal.
~Helping your child to write or draw something in a journal about their life, their adoption, or their past.
~Reading a book about families and/or adoption.
~Letting the honored child sit at the head of the table throughout the day.
~Make a crown to celebrate the special day.
In the past, adoption was considered a quiet, secretive event. Now, thankfully, families can celebrate the joy and happiness that has come to them through becoming an adoptive family.

© Susan M. Ward, Older Child Adoption Online Magazine

I'd love to hear from other adoptive families to see how/if they celebrate!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Stocking the Freezer

Today, I got tons of meats & dairy to stock the freezer. I'm making my menus for October, and should not have to do ANY GROCERY SHOPPING until at least mid-month!!

I had another prescription filled at Bi-Lo (this one in my name) to get a $25 gift card which I used to purchase only meat:
3.21# ground chuck on sale for 8.56
.91# cube steak on sale for 3.90
1 pkg boneless beef stew 3.82
2# pepper bacon on sale for 1.99 each!!
1# Jimmy Dean sausage 3.99 less 1.00 coupon
1# Italian Sausage 3.99

TOTAL $25.24 - so I only spent .24 out of pocket!!

Then, I went to Bloom to pick up their specials:
2 - gallons milk (2.99)
2 - iceberg lettuce (.77)
2 - white loaf bread (.59)
2 - whole chickens (.59/# - mine were 3.02 and 2.58)
1.78# red grapes (.99/# - mine were 1.76)
1 - chocolate syrup (1.41)
1 - butter (3.00)
2.26# bananas (1.56)
18 eggs (2.84)

TOTAL $24.87

I've spent more than usual this week on groceries although the deals were fabulous. I'm praying that all the local stores will have crappy sales for the next two weeks so I won't be super tempted!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Publix deals 9/24

Yes, I continue to shop this week...and, yes, I stood on a chair to take this picture! Check this out:

1 - Gum (1.49)

1 - Hillshire Farms Deli Ham (3.50)

1 - Publix Tussin cough syrup (4.79)

1 - Publix trash bags (2.29)

2 - Campell's Select Harvest Soup (sale 2/2.39, used .50 manf coupon doubled & 1.00 Food Lion coupon, so I got 2 cans for less than .20 each!)

1 - Ronzoni Smart Taste Spaghetti (sale .90, used 1.00 coupon, so I made .10!)

1 - Chinet Casual plates (sale 3.29, used $1.00)

2 - Chex mix (sale 2/2.45, used 2 coupons for.50 doubled, so I got these for .22 each!)

4 - Bird's Eye Voila (sale 2/4.99, used 4 coupons for 1.25, so I got all 4 bags for the regular price of one bag!)

2 - Lay's potato chips (sale 2/3.79)

2 - Mott's Apple juice (2.59, used 1 Publix coupon for 1.00 and one manf coupon for 1.00, so I got 2 bottles of juice for 1.60 each)

2 - Publix canned mushrooms (.89)

2 - Cabot cheese (sale 2/$5, used 2 coupons for .30, so these cost 2.20 each)

1 - Publix milk (3.59)

1 - Tyson frozen chicken (sale 4.99, used $2 off Food Lion coupon, so I got this for 2.99!)

1 - Pillsbury Toaster Scrambler (sale 2/2.49, used $1 off manf coupon, so I got this for .25!)

1 - Watermelon (2.68)

6 - Green Giant frozen boxed veggies (sale 1.00, used 3 manf coupons for .50 doubled, so these cost .50 each!)

1 - Traditional Medicinal herbal tea (sale 4.39)

1 - Publix white bread (.89)

1 - Dixie napkins (200 ct) (sale 2/4.00, used .55 manf coupon)

3 - Hamburger Helper (sale 2/1.99, used .80/3 manf coupon, so these were .73 each!)

2 - Martha White muffin mix (sale 5/4.00, used .50/2 doubled, so these were .30 each!)

2 - Suave shampoo (sale 2/2.00, used 1.00, so I got these for .50 each!)

PLUS, I had a $5/35 coupon so this whole trip cost only $51.26!! I saved over $62 in coupons & sales. WOW. I would say that I can't wait to go back, but I guess that's evident as this is my third trip this week....

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Publix deals 9/23 - FREE Good Belly!

Yesterday, Publix was out of two things I wanted to buy so I had to return this morning. Contessa Shrimp Scampi is on sale for $2.99 each, and Good Belly is on sale for $1.98 each. I picked up 2 boxes of scampi and used a $2/2 coupon (was inside the last box I purchased). I also got 2 packages of Good Belly and used 2 $1 off Publix Q from the Pyramid coupon booklet and used 2 coupons for .50 each which were doubled. So today, I spent only $3.98!

If you buy Good Belly, check the inside of the carton for the .50 off coupons!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Coupon Book

I found this new coupon book at Publix today with great coupons on paper and baby items. The coupons have "Redeem at Publix" printed on them, but they are regular manufacturer coupons. If you haven't already gotten the paper goods at CVS this week, you can use many of these coupons to get the $10 ECB on Kimberly Clark items.

1.00/2 Kleenex

.75 Cottonelle

.75 Scott tissue

.50 Scott moist wipes

.75/2 Scott paper towels

.75/2 Viva paper towels

3.00 Huggies

3.00 Pull Ups

3.00 Good Nites sleep pants

1.00 Huggies baby wipes

1.00 Kotex

2.00 Depends

2.00 Poise pads

This week's menu

**9/23/08**I've had to update my menu since I filled the house with smoke last night!! Last Friday, both Sophie & I were puny with sinus troubles so John bought DiGiorno pizza (very cheap with coupons of course - pizzas on sale for $5.99, he used $1 Food Lion coupon plus $1 off coupon I got on a box of Capri Sun last week!) Anyway, the pizza magically fell through the oven rack making a huge mess. In my medicine haze, I forgot to clean it all weekend. Then last night, as I preheated the oven to roast my chicken, the smoke roiled out of the oven. I was actually afraid that there was a real fire in there!! Suffice it to say, we had cantaloupe, cottage cheese and crackers for dinner!

Tuesday - Roast Chicken, rice & veggies
Wednesday - Sausage & Eggs
Thursday - Soup
Friday - Neighborhood TGIF party
Saturday - Chicken Noodle Casserole
Sunday - Salmon patties, cheesy potatoes, veggies

Baby Talk

After a fire truck passed by this morning, Sophie exclaimed, "That truck is scaring my ears!"

I love it!

Publix deals 9/22

A quick trip to Publix this morning scored me:
2 - Chinet crystal tumblers (2/2.49)
1 - cantaloupe (2.50)
2 - Vidalia onions (2.18)
2 - Duncan Hines cake mix (2/1.59)
2 - Yoplait Gogurt (2.99)
1 - 6pk Publix Spring water (1.99)
1 - Friendship cottage cheese (2.09)
3 - bananas (.79)
less coupons:
-1.00 Chinet
-1.00 Chinet
-1.00 Duncan Hines
- .75 Gogurt
- .35 Friendship
-1.98 Publix water
Total spent after sales/coupons - $13.53

Saturday, September 20, 2008

CVS Deals

Today, I made my third trip to CVS this week!! Monday, I shopped for "stock up" items; yesterday, I had to go for a prescription (Sophie has a sinus infection - yuck); and today, I went back for more stocking up since there is finally a sale on paper goods which I am running low on (only one roll of paper towels left).

When I got there, I started looking for L'Oreal RevitaLift Anti-Wrinkle Serum (my wrinkles just LOVE serum!) which was on sale today for $11.99 with $11.99 back in ECBs (so basically, FREE), but couldn't find it. My dear cashier, Ms. Janis, looked with me then concluded that this store didn't carry that item. Soooo, she GAVE me the RevitaLift Intense Double Lifting treatment (regularly $16.99) for FREE! With a name like "Intense Double Lifting treatment," my skin should be as soft as Sophia's by next Thursday!

I bought:
6 - Kleenex (1.00)
1 - Cottonelle (24 roll pkg) (6.49)
2 - Viva (8 roll pkg) (6.49)
1 - Robitussin cough syrup (4.99)
1 - Simply Saline (4.99)

- less coupons, I spent $27.40 and got back $12ECBs.

Then I bought:
1 - Pepsi (1.34)
2 - Bumble Bee Pink Salmon (1.50)
2 - Swanson Chicken (1.50)
2 - Maxwell House coffee - BOGO - (4.99)

- less coupons & ECBs, I spent .33!!

OOH, I also found out all the summer clearance was going to be marked down again this week to 90% off so I can pick up flip flops & faux crocs for pennies!

Great Buys at Wal-Mart

Monday, I dropped Sophie at MMO and went deal shopping. First, I went to CVS and got:
1 - CVS brand hair/body shampoo for hubby (3.99)
1 - Excedrin gelcaps (5.49)
3 - Skippy peanut butter (3/$5)

less coupons & ECBs, I only paid $1.89!!

Next, I was off to Wal-Mart for:
3 - GG steamers (1.82)
1 - Pub cheese (this stuff is addictive!) (2.98)
1 - 4pk YoPlus yogurt (2.12)
1 - Nestle 28 count bottled water (3.88)
1 - Great Value coffee (2.28)
1 - Capri Sun (1.97)
1 - Great Value bacon pieces (1.46)
1 - Chipotle Tabasco (2.78)
1 - Electrosol (3.67)
1 - Food jar for Sophie's lunchbox (2.74)
1 - Mega bag Malt-O-Meal cereal (4.48)

less coupons, I only paid $20.10!!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Bi-Lo Shopping

I finally made it back to get a presciption filled, and collect my $25 gift card. Instead of stocking up, I decided to use it for this week's groceries. If I can resist the temptation to "save" more money this week, I'll really slash away at this month's food budget!

6 - Betty Crocker potato pouches (.80)
2 - Uncle Ben's wild rice (1.00)
2 - Lipton noodle sides (1.00)
1 - Pam spray (3.20) - not on sale, but I'm out!
1 - B&B spread (2.69)
1 - Land O Lakes CoJack cheese (3.19)
2 - Borden shredded cheese (2.50)
1 - Yoplait 4pk (2.60)
1 - Pet Chocolate Milk (3.63)
1 - dozen jumbo eggs (1.79)
1 - gallon milk (4.19)
3 - Green Giant mixed veg (frozen) (2.00)
1 - Scooby Doo ice cream (4.29) - bribery again LOL
1 - watermelon (3.99)
1 - potatoes (1.46)

3 - 1.00 - Green Giant
3 - $1/2 - Betty Crocker
1 - .50 - Pam (which was then doubled)
1 - .60/2 - Lipton (which was then doubled)
1 - 1.00 - Yoplait
1 - $1/2 - Uncle Ben's
$5 off Publix coupon
$25 BiLo gift card

Total spent OOP only $10.63!!

AND, for the first time EVER, someone offered to take my groceries out for me! If you know me at all, you know customer service is the reason I usually stay clear of Bi-Lo and Wal-Mart and do all my shopping at Publix. A banner day - ten bucks for a week's groceries AND someone loaded my car - WOO HOO!

CVS deals

Yesterday I got some great deals at CVS:
1 - 2L Dr. Pepper (1.25)
2 - Chex Mix (1.00 ea)
2 - Schick Quattro 3pk (7.99 ea BOGO)
1 - CVS Garlic powder (.99)
1 - 6pk CVS water (2.99)

...all of which I REALLY needed...I also got:

1 - 24oz Gatorade (1.00)
1 - Nerds candy (.79)

...which I really DIDN'T need...but I had to bribe Sophia since CVS was our SEVENTH errand after school!!

.50 - Chex
.50 - Chex
1.00 - CVS Water
2.00 - Schick
2.00 - Schick
$2/$10 - CVS internet coupon

Total spent out-of-pocket $9.25

I also have to tell you that the employees at my CVS (Batesville Rd., Greer, SC) are the BEST! Our two favorite cashiers (Vicky & Janis) always spend extra time talking to Sophie, and yesterday, Vicky actually bought Sophie a Nemo ball cap off the clearance aisle!

Sunday, September 7, 2008


Three days ago as I was putting an Electrosol tablet in the dishwasher, it crumbled into my hand. Some of the "powder" from the tablet got under my wedding rings, and this is the burn that resulted. I had no idea how caustic dishwasher powder was. You probably can't see from the picture that I have a nasty, peeling blister where my rings usually are.

I can't tell you how often Sophie helps me do dishes by putting the tablet in the dishwasher and turning it on, and I've never even thought to have her wash her hands afterwards! My friend Susan suggested that maybe the platinum in my rings reacted with the detergents to make it worse. Who knows? I DO know that we'll be washing our hands around here after touching any dishwasher tablets in the future.

Wow. Look at this picture. Just yesterday, I was a young punk, and now MY HANDS ARE GETTING OLD!!

This week's menu

Monday - Shrimp Scampi & grits
Tuesday - Fried Rice (Didn't cook Friday night!)
Wednesday - BBQ Chicken "calzones"
Thursday - Breakfast Casserole
Friday - Steaks (Sophie @ Bub's & Pop's for the night WOOHOO!)
Saturday - Bible Study
Sunday - Spaghetti

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Bi-Lo Shopping

Usually, I'm a loyal Publix shopper, but this week's advertisement at Bi-Lo included a $25 gift card for any transferred prescription. Combined with sales, I was expecting to buy tons of groceries for nearly nothing. However, the prescription I dropped off at their pharmacy was expired. By the time I'd loaded my cart and returned to pick up the medicine and gift card, my daughter was rabid to buy gum and hurry home for lunch...soooo I paid for my purchases with real money overspending my grocery budget for the week.

I plan to return tomorrow (without my lovely & lively child!) with another prescription and spend all $25 on meat to stock the freezer!

Today I got:

4 - Betty Crocker potato pouches BOGO (.80)
1 - Folgers coffee (3.55)
2 - Ragu pouches (1.82)
1 - Mueller egg noodles (1.85)
1 - Starkist tuna pouch (1.50)
1 - Southern Home croutons (1.00)
1 - Case Southern Home spring water (3.98)
1 - Southern Home gallon milk (3.59)
3 - Yoplait whips (.50)
2 - Pillsbury crescent rolls (1.86)
1 - Southern Home butter (2.99)
3 - TGIF Potato Skins (3.00)
1 - TGIF Chicken Quesadilla (3.00)
2 - TGIF Steak Quesadille (3.00)
1 - Chicken Leg quarters (5#) (3.98)
1 - Chicken Breast (2#) (6.04)
2 - Tennessee Pride all natural sausage (1.99)
1 - bunch green onions (.60)
1 - Pkg. 3 romaine hearts (3.49)
1 - Pkg. 3 bell peppers (4.99)
1 - Watermelon (3.33)
1 - Cabbage (1.55)
1 - Greeting Card (2.79)

2 - $1 Pillsbury Crescent
6 - $3 TGIF any item (woo hoo - got all these FREE!)
2 - $1/2 Betty Crocker potatoes
1 - .60/3 Yoplait
1 - .75/1 Starkist (no doubling)
1 - .50/2 Ragu
1 - .25/1 Folger's

Doubled Coupons:
.40 (Yoplait up to $1)

Total Price: $95.27
Less sales, coupons: (40.72)

Pretty good sales, actually, though I'm still a little ticked about my $25. Grrrr.

This week's menu

Better late than never :)

Monday - Neighborhood cookout
Tuesday - Salmon Patties
Wednesday - Waffles & Sausage
Thursday - Mojo marinated Pork Tenderloin
Friday - Pork fried rice
Saturday - Quesadillas
Sunday - Sesame Chicken