Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Signs of spring

"...the winter is past, the rain is over and gone.
The flowers appear on the earth..."
Song of Solomon 2:11-12


Grocery shopping

Armed with coupons and the sale add, I went shopping last night.

As I mentioned, I'm still learning the ropes of managing sales and coupons to get the best deals, so more often then not I still end up spending more than I'm saving. This was definitely the best percentage of savings vs. spending I've ever gotten...


The only thing I paid full price for was the milk @ $3.29 a gallon.

I also bought:

4 boxes of pasta @ $0.29 per box (normally $1.79)
6 boxes of Green Giant veggies @ $0.33 per box (normally $2)
2 packages of tuna -- FREE (normally $1.50)
1 McCormick spice @ $2.99 (normally $4.99)
1 bag of flour @ $1.49 (normally $2.99)
2 orange juice cartons @ $1.25 per carton (normally $3.79)
4 cans of cream of mushroom soup @ $0.50 per can (normally $1.34)
2 sticks of deodorant @ $0.50 per stick (normally $2.50)
2 beef sausage links @$1.20 per link (normally $4.39)
2 packs of bacon @ $1.35 per package (normally $5.69)

and the grocery store was running a sale of buy two packs of bacon, get FREE eggs, thus:
1 dozen eggs -- FREE ($2.09 value)

Food prices are substantially higher here than in the midwest, so I'm especially excited about the meat I was able to purchase. Chicken is our staple meat, and though we both really enjoy it (and I'm always on the look out for creative recipes!) it is nice having a little variety. [smile]

I came home with $76.89 worth of groceries -- for only $26.03!
(A savings of $50.86!)


Has anyone else taken the 'coupon plunge'?
I'd love to hear your stories!!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Love


...surprised me with a gorgeous bouquet of daffodils!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Sen$ible Living

Are any of you looking for ways to save money and stretch a dollar?

I am! With taking over the grocery shopping and managing a home, sticking to our budget has been a fun challenge! Some have said our goals are unrealistic, another said it was impossible. However, by God's grace and mighty provision -- along with my husband's wisdom, diligence, and selflessness -- it looks like Dan will make it all the way through law-school, debt free! (Have I mentioned yet how incredible my man is?! He never ceases to amaze me!!)

But back to our topic of saving money... [smile]

As I've been trying to get more for less, a resource that has been extremely helpful is Money Saving Mom. A mother of three, Crystal has a never-ending source of tips about managing a home and stretching the budget. Not only are her posts very encouraging and challenging, but she often links to valuable coupons, as well as making her readers aware of free samples!

MoneySavingMom.com

To quote her blog:
Money Saving Mom is an upbeat and encouraging blog dedicated to helping you find great deals, stretch your hard-earned dollars, and live on less than you make so you can save more and give more.


Though I still feel like a beginner at this whole couponing thing, I'm excited with the deals I've been able to get -- combining big sales with coupons. Already I've saved over $50 in the last two months of grocery shopping, purchasing many household items and kitchen staples for less than a dollar, (as well as being able to get a few things free: contact solution, milk, cereal, and salad dressing!)


Most importantly, one of the things I appreciate about Crystal's blog is that she is a Christian wife and mother -- and her ultimate goal and challenge is that whether we are grocery shopping or using our finances to bless others, it is all about glorifying God and being wise stewards of what He has given us.

"Now it is required that those who have been given a trust
must prove faithful."
1 Corinthians 4:2

Monday, March 22, 2010

Good times


Dan and I had the pleasure of having Rachel and Elizabeth come out and visit us last week!! What joy it was having them here. And...as soon as I heard they were coming, I was full ideas as to what we could during their stay!!

Amazing sisters that they are, they jumped right in and helped get a few more things up on our walls.

We were given a beautiful vinyl lettering scripture print as a wedding present, which fit perfectly on our living room wall.


The finished look!

We also hung some pictures on the dining room/kitchen wall.
(Sorry -- no pictures in-process! But know that we were having a blast hanging out and pounding nails in the wall!)


Espresso fudge...

a picnic...

enjoying the sunshine...

treasuring the time together...

THANK YOU for coming to visit us, Rachel and Elizabeth!! Loved having you here -- and looking forward to next time! [smile]

Friday, March 19, 2010

3 months of bliss




Psalms 104:31
"May the glory of the Lord endure forever;
may the Lord rejoice in His works!"


It is a safe thing to trust HIM
to fulfill the desires which He creates.

-Amy Carmichael




Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Gratitude

...unleashes the freedom to live content in the moment, rather than being anxious about the future or regretting the past.
-Ellen Vaughn

The grateful heart that springs forth in joy is not acquired in a moment; it is the fruit of a thousand choices.

Jesus gave Himself to God and to the world, not under coercion, but with gratitude. In giving thanks for the cup and the bread, then in giving the symbolic elements to His disciples, Jesus was saying in effect, "Yes, Father, I willingly surrender Myself to Your calling for My life, whatever the cost." He was grateful for the privilege of obeying His Father and of fulfilling the mission He had been sent to earth to complete.


"By Him
let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips,
giving thanks to His name."
Hebrews 13:15


Make it your goal to have a heart that's as grateful toward God as the abounding grace He has poured into your life.

-Excerpts from CHOOSING GRATITUDE
by Nancy Leigh DeMoss

Monday, March 15, 2010

The dice game

First, invite LOTS of people over...
(my family came for several days!!)

...and gather around the table for a game.

Roll the dice and hope for a one or a six...

...then begin writing your numbers fast and furiously!

For soon someone else will roll a six or a one...

...and proceed to grab the pen from you...

...or whoever has it!

Keep rolling...and writing...

and the first one to write all the way to 100 wins!!

Friday, March 05, 2010

Anna

What a blast it was to have Anna fly out to visit us! With such a long distance between Virginia and Nebraska, any occasion to spend time together is very treasured!! And what a delight to snap some senior portraits. Her sweet smile and gorgeous blue eyes are beautiful, and she lets the love of the Lord shine through her and is such a blessing to all those around her!



Anna Beasley
Class of 2010


I love calling you my sister, Anna!!! Your sincere joy, servant's heart, and sweet honesty has impacted my life many times. Thank you for letting the Lord reign completely in your heart!

Congratulations as you graduate! I know the Lord will honor you for your diligence and I am excited to see how God will use you in the years to come! Love you, Anna girl!

Thursday, March 04, 2010

John 10:3-4

He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out,
and when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them;
and the sheep follow him, for they KNOW his voice."

God never calls anyone to serve Him in their own strength, knowledge, or qualifications. He calls people to serve Him through a relationship with the Father, humility, and obedience.
-Brother Yun

Monday, March 01, 2010

A quick tour...

of our home!

The living room

My husband's desk...

where he has LOTS of big law books!!

Doorways! Off to the left is our bedroom. The bathroom is there in the middle. And as you can see -- the kitchen is off to the right.

The cute little cupboard where I store my cookbooks, dishes, a few other appliances, and our glasses in the cool basket.

Back behind the kitchen is our guest bedroom, minus the bed. We did get a futon couch this weekend -- and just in time for company! We are thrilled to have Anna visiting for a couple days! And I had so much fun putting a few little knickknacks on the top of the desk...
My valentine's day roses. The toasting glasses from our wedding. Pictures. Candles.

...and a sweet wedding card we received.

We have a few pictures hung...and a few more empty walls to cover!
Its been so fun making this place 'HOME'. The Lord has showered so many blessings on us --and how He provided this beautiful house is definitely one of them!

The bedroom...

...and the closet...

...and a bookshelf!
I didn't move ALL of my 937 books out here, just some of my favorites....

...which still happens to be quite a few!!

The little corner where I do our laundry.

And we are back to the living room!

On the little table by the door we have a guest book -- and it is going to get a few more entries this week!! Hooray!! My family is scheduled to arrive in less than an hour... [big grin]