Saturday, May 28, 2011

{Coupon Virgin}

After attending a Basic Couponing class a few months ago, reading multiple couponing blogs, and watching Extreme Couponing on I bit the bullet and went on my first coupon excursion. Mallorye went with me and I think we did ok.

I spent the week clipping coupons and scouring the ads to see what the best deals were...

....then in true OCD fashion...I organized my coupon binder :)

I was nervous....I thought I had my ducks in a row...but I didn't count on stores being sold out. Walgreens was out of pretty much everything on my transactions this was all I got and it wasn't just a tremendous savings.

...but I persevered. Fred's was a success!

Overall, I spent roughly $40 today for $80 worth of product. Not quite as good as the people on TV with their 98% savings...but I'm thinking 50% savings on my first trip is pretty good and I'm sure I'll just get better as I learn the ropes.

I'm excited to see what new sales the week brings :)

Friday, May 20, 2011

{Your Opinion Matters}

Finally...someone has recognized that among National Guard/Reserve deployments, that the spouses are also struggling to readjust. Having been through two deployments, I definitely feel that often times, the spouses are falling through the cracks. There are programs to support the soldier, the children, and family in general...but nothing for the spouses specifically. The programs that are in place aren't cutting it.

Well...insert Cynthia. She's a doctoral candidate in clinical psychology at the University of Hawaii's Department of Psychology and the principle investigator for a new study that focuses on post-deployment experiences of National Guard and Army Reserve spouses. She acknowledges that research is lacking for spouses of National Guard/Reserve soldiers and how post deployment marital distress and behavioral health is affecting the spouses. I'm excited! This study could be extremely beneficial in making our lawmakers and military officials aware that there is a gap in support. I believe that if you want a strong soldier, healthy in body & mind, then he needs a strong family and that starts with the spouse.

Please...please...please...take the time to take Cynthia's survey. It's completely anonymous and she needs your honesty. Check it out here.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Happy Mother's Day

One of the greatest joys of my life is definitely my took me a while to find my wings as a mother, but once I did, I embraced it wholeheartedly.

Mothering takes creativity...each child is different and requires a completely different approach.

Mallorye, now married, has always been my compassionate one...more concerned about everyone around her than her own self. As an adult, she's become one of my best friends and is quick to pick up on when things are off with her She is such an encourager and often surprises me with a card on a little "happy" to cheer me up.

Blake is definitely my "lover of life." He likes to be busy and often states that he's "bored." Unfortunately, cleaning his room is not his idea of a cure for I'm enjoying watching Blake develop into his own person and to see how his integrity is really starting to develop.

I was so blessed to have both of my children with me at church on Mother's Day, along with my son-in-law. I love that we serve at the same church and that my daughter & son-in-law choose to be a part of the small group that my husband and I teach. How awesome is that?!

Happy Mother's Day everyone!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

{Where Has The Time Gone?}

Wow....two months have passed since I've written a blog. There is no way I can completely recap the past few months, but I'll try to hit a few highlights.

First, the last time I wrote on the blog I was facing some big things;

(1) My mom had her PET scan come back irregular and had to have some follow up testing done. Mom is 4 years in remission from colorectal cancer and we really don't want any relapses (who does?) I don't have to tell you, that I was fearful, but praise God! her follow up tests came back all clear and we are still cancer free :)

(2) My best friend from high school and I were toying with the idea of starting our own photography business...that was 2 months ago....since then, we've shot a wedding, booked 3 additional weddings, & have 5 other family/children bookings. We also have a website and we're awaiting the arrival of our business cards. We're having a blast offering cutting edge photography and capturing the personality of our clents. Check us out at BRAG Photography! Just don't be too hard on us...we're still learning :)

I also left my job of 12 years to begin a new adventure. This was such an agonizing decision for me. I loved the people I worked for and with, but knew that God was calling me to move. He opened a door for me in the same line of work, but with an added bonus...I would also have an opportunity to work with Camp Hope, a treatment facility for women struggling with addictions. What an amazing privilege! I'm loving the new job and my stress level has decreased dramatically. I miss the people I worked with, but I'm making new relationships...and being obedient to God.

Blake finished up track season as 10th in District in the High Jump and 3rd in the Mile Relay.

{Blake competing in the High Jump at PHS}

We celebrated Easter in the rain...and little Daniel was saved on Easter morning. Praise the Lord!

{Caleb hunting Easter eggs in the rain...don't ya love his umbrella set up?}

And speaking of has rained her for the past week and more is on its way. My mom lives in the neighboring town of Pocahontas, which has been completely isolated by the floods. The waters are over the doors of the local WalMart and stretches 5 miles outside of the river (Black River). The Black River is considered flood stage at 19' and today it reached 29' just blows my mind. I have never seen anything like it. Please pray for our area....Arkansas was also hit with devastating tornadoes just before the floods began. It's devastating...absolutely devastating.

{Elnora Free Will Baptist Church...this is my grandma's church)}

So...that's the quick to see if I can stay up to date ;)