Monday, November 24, 2008

Sending Messages to the Troops

I just wanted to let everyone know of a couple of ways you can reach out to our troops during the Holidays:

1. Go to this website - and follow the three simple steps and Xerox will send a postcard to someone serving overseas in the military! It was really simple to do- it took me less than 5 minutes to participate. Thank you to Xerox for doing this and to my friend Amy F. for telling me about it!

2. I have been contacted by multiple people letting me know of the following:
When you do your Christmas cards this year, take one card and send it to this address. If we pass this on and everyone sends one card, think of how many cards these wonderful special people who have sacrificed so much would get. When you are making out your Christmas card list this year, please include the following:
A Recovering American Soldier
c/o Walter Reed Army Medical Center
6900 Georgia Avenue,NW
Washington,D.C. 20307-5001

I do not send Christmas Cards but will get a box to send to the above address.

I am going to post on our trip to Wiliamsburg when I return home because it will not allow me to post pictures while I am away for some reason............. However, think on the following things I heard today.........
When the state of Virginia was formed it was a law you had to attend church once a month.
To be able to serve in the court or government system you had to be a Christian.
Mike and I talked over dinner tonight about how far our country has come from the beginning. How grieved our heavenly Father must be.
I am so thankful for our freedom, our founding fathers, our armed forces who help protect our freedoms and our heavenly Father who continues to bless us despite our fallen nation. I make 2 Chronicles 7:14 a prayer for America today:
"if my people who are called by name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land."
Father, begin in me.

Friday, November 21, 2008

We're Here!

Well we have arrived in Williamsburg! We actually arrived very late last night - okay it was already this morning! So we slept in! We made it to the hotel restaurant for our free breakfast (found the deal on the Internet where breakfast was included)! We are staying at Four Points by Sheraton on the edge of the historic district. It is a nice place- with an indoor pool (I really like to go swimming). My hubby who is not really a swimming person even brought his swim suit! (of course I asked him too!).
We are headed out to explore before our conference begins tonight. I will try to post some pictures later.
To all my Mom's group friends- I am working on sending you a list of links to some of the frugal sites we talked about yesterday. I have heard from several of you that the round table discussions is your favorite meeting we do- let me know if it is because I am already planning for next July - December (January - May is done and gone to be printed).
Have a great day! Remember couponing and being frugal is not only wise but is fun......... so rev up your frugal engine and let the race begin! I really think it should become a sport, tee hee!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Meal Plan / kinda

Well I did not so hot last week on my meal plan, so I had better work on it this week- although not a good week to work on it- ever had weeks like that? Let me explain!

Monday night (tonight) I worked late and so did my husband and since I didn't do my meal plan until NOW.... we ate out. We are leaving for a marriage retreat on Thursday afternoon so we will be eating out now until next Thursday. So here is what I have........

Monday- eat out
Tuesday - pork loin (I didn't do it last week)- anyone have a recipe for it in the crock pot?
Wednesday - eat at CHURCH
Thursday- Tuesday out of town

We are so blessed that the church where I serve as the Minister of Childhood Education allowed each of the minister's and their spouse to attend a marriage retreat. They provided a very generous budget for each us and the time away did not count against our vacation time. They wanted to say to us they recognize how important marriage is and they realize being in ministry often we focus on helping everyone else but often not our own family / marriage. So, they are helping us to do this by blessing us in this manner. I am also thankful it is was not even an option but required for us to do this. I think that goes to show how much they care about us and how much they want to say to us our family matters to our church!
So hubby and I are headed to Williamsburg, Virginia to the Family Life Conference. We are excited to go to a place we have never been. You can check out this wonderful ministry at ! We are staying a day extra to take in some sights- any suggestions?
Hubby and I need some time away. To be honest since we returned from Nicaragua in October we have had lots of sad days. As many of you followed with us the past two years on our adoption quest you know how hard this adoption failing was for us. I am not sure we have processed it all - we are still pretty numb.
To be very honest since my unexpected hysterectomy late this summer and the failed adoption I can't seem to quit crying. There have not been too many days I haven't cried. Last week was particularly hard for me for some reason. I am ready to put all this behind me, so maybe our weekend away will be a new beginning. Please pray that it will be! I also believe by then I will be back in full swing for Meal Planning! Well, it is a good thought anyway, tee hee, I may have another reason to eat out more by then!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

My CVS Deal 11-11-08

I have not done a CVS deal in a while but made a trip today. After discussing with some friends today, wondering how you make things work for you, I thought I would post today's deals.
(Note: Some people may be wondering why I purchased so much candy. Well all but the circus peanuts (they are for me) is Sugar Free candy. My hubby is diabetic. He came home the other night and mentioned he was craving some chocolate but couldn't find any sugar free, so I surprised him when I found it buy one get one free at CVS tonight.

Party Peanuts 3.99 - 1.99 (sale) = $2.00 x 2 = $4.00 (for a party later in the month)
Ivory Soap 4 pack 2.99 - 1.00 (sale) = $1.99 - .25 coupon = $1.74
Glade Air Freshener $1.89 - .90 (sale) = $.99x 2 = $1.98 - 1.00 /2 coupon = $.98
Russell Stover Sugar Free Candy box $8.99 x 2 = $17.98 - $8.99 (BOGO sale) = $8.99
Werther Sugar Free Candy $2.19 x 2 = $4.38 - $2.19 (BOGO sale) = $2.19
Colgate Toothpaste $2.79 x 2 = $5.58 - .50 (sale) & - $2.79 (BOGO)= 2.29 - .75 coupon= $1.54
Colgate Total Advance Toothpaste $3.89 - $1.50 coupon = $2.39
Circus Peanuts $.99
Total = $22.02
Coupon $5 off = 17.02
ECBs (from previous trips) $12.00
Total Out of Pocket (OOP) = $5.02 + .80 (taxes) = $5.82

Monday, November 10, 2008

It's A Kool-Aid Christmas

Hello Children's Ministry Leaders are you looking for a way to help the kids in your sphere of influence remember to give this Christmas? I know children's ministers as well as parents want to help teach children that Christmas is more about giving than it is getting....... here is one small way you can accomplish this goal.
At our annual Christmas party one year I had children bring packets of kool aid for missionary families from our church. When the children entered for the party the trees were waiting to be decorated- the basket was full of clothes pins. Yes, I know some of you are wondering if I was just going to take them back off why go to the effort of putting them on? Well most of us are visual learners and I wanted them to see just how much ALL of them working together brought for us to send overseas.
Speaking of missionary families, did you know a lot of convenience foods / beverages can not be purchased either at all or it is too expensive to be purchased in other countries? Missionary kids in Thailand, Cambodia and Croatia were very excited to receive these goodies from our kids that year. We now collect other things for missionary families besides kool aid- macaroni and cheese, jello, cake mixes, seasoning packets- chili, taco, Italian are the top requests when we ask missionaries for a wish list! Be prepared in your budget or from donations to pay $70 - $100 to mail a medium size box (depending on weight and location). I challenge you to consider the blessing and encouragement this can be to a family who has answered the call and sacrificed much to say YES to the call to share the wonderful name of Jesus with others- all to take the gospel to every tribe and every nation!
Stop right now and pray for those who are serving our great God all over the world today! Do you know some missionary families? I further challenge you to pray for them daily!
Praying for:
The Jenkins Family - Barbados
The Ware Family - Mexico
The Teeuwan Family - Greece
The Gass Family - Asia
The Sampson Family - Cambodia
Diana - Asia
The MacDonald Family - Ukraine
The Doyle Family
The Most Family - Nicaragua
The Cook Family - Nicaragua
The Kendrick Family - Greece
The "R" Family
all the wonderful families from Pioneers I met serving in the Eurasia area

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Meal Plan Monday

Well after "falling off the wagon" for Meal planning and struggling to get back on the "Straight and Narrow" path........ I think I did a half way decent job this past week. In all honesty the week after the mission trip and then the week of Fall Festival weren't the best weeks for meal planning BUT this past week we did much better.

I can tell you it is much cheaper when you meal plan--- I don't go to the grocery store with a wide open list- it is very specific. Shopping my pantry and freezer first has also helped (from all the times I just bought random things). I also appreciate reading all the meal plans at my blog friend Laura's blog .

I need help with two things this week- I need to know what are some ideas to do with a pork loin. I have always been scared to do this so I am trying it - anyone have some ideas for me, PLEASE! Also for those of you who hyperlink your dinner dishes (and when you click on them they have the recipe), will someone please teach me how to do this, pretty please! My good friend in real life and in the blogger world Laura taught me how to hyperlink a blog or post....I appreciate the help, I am techno challenged!

Here is the meal plan:

Monday- Dinner at Chili's to discuss an exciting ministry opportunity

Tuesday - Lasagna, Texas Toast and Salad

Wednesday - Philly Cheese Steak and Chips

Thursday- Cheesy Chicken Bake, Baked Potatoes, Corn Casserole and Fruit

Friday- Pork Loin (HELP, PLEASE)!

Saturday - Hamburgers, Baked Beans, Nacho Cheese Dip and Chips

Sunday - Pizza at Now Class
Hot dogs at AWANA

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Vendor Showcase

I want to take the opportunity to remind those local to Cleveland, TN First Baptist is hosting a Vendor Showcase on November 15th! Here is a list of the vendors we have so far.............

1. Thirty One
2. Pottery by Linda
3. Jewelry by Judy
4. Mary Kay
5. At Your Service
6. That's Sew Cute Designs
7. Kahki's Kreations
8. Vee.l.may Lotion
9. Tupperware
10. Gold Canyon Candles
11. Creative Memories
12. lia sophia
13. Carolyn's Collectibles
14. Arbonne
15. Avon

This Vendor Showcase is for home based businesses! Each Vendor has donated a door prize with a minimum value of $25. Bring your Christmas List and stop by the First Baptist Dining Hall! If you have questions do not hesitate to leave me a comment!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

I've Been Tagged!

Well, now that two friends have tagged me (Laura and Niki), I decided it was time to participate. So here goes..........

5 Things I was doing 10 years ago.............

1. Serving on staff at Shively Baptist Church as the School Age Program Director.

2. Enjoying a Kentucky Fall.

3. Having fun with my good friend Patti!

4. Wishing I lived a little closer to my family.

5. Wishing our rental house had a dishwasher! :)

5 Things on my to do list today......................

1. Attend a conference for Tennessee Baptist Children's Minister

2. Eat dinner with my 2 sisters

3. Check on Mrs. Donna

4. Call Amy and see how the Preschool Fun Day at the River Maze went, thank her for covering it for me

5. Work on details for a birthday party I am helping give

5 of my favorite snacks

1. Snickers

2. MnMs

3. Popcorn

4. Peanut Butter Crackers

5. Chips and Mayfield's French Onion Dip

5 Jobs I've Had

1. Fastpitch Softball Umpire

2. State Park summer recreator

3. Student Assistant to the Athletic Director in college

4. Homeless Shelter Assistant Director

5. Minister to Children

5 Things I would do with a million dollars

1. Tithe

2. Give to mission projects

3. Give to the Generations campaign at my church

4. Pay off my house

5. Buy a new vehicle

5 Things that Made Me laugh this week

1. Drew at church with his funny stories

2. my friend Jena

3. a speaker at a conference

4. my friend Dianna

5. my hubby

5 People I tag!

1. Tracy V.
2. Amanda P.
3. Amanda V.
4. Amanda M.
5. ?

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Fall Festival Pictures

Spin Art is always a Fall Festival hit! Thank you, Thank you to ALL the volunteers at Fall Festival! 2,400 hot dogs were cooked and given away!

Night falls on Fall Festival! Thank you Mr. Charlie for ALL the light towers you secured for us- 10 in all!

I love this picture! Balloons everywhere and families have fun with food and fellowship at the Festival!

Noah's Little Ark sets up a petting zoo and also has pony rides at the Fall Festival. This was also a big hit for our Preschoolers at the Fall Festival- it was new this year!

We decided to double our seating area in the Food Section- from 30 tables in 2007 to 60 tables in 2008! We would find that often during the night most of the chairs were full. I am so thankful the Maintenance & Facilities Director suggested we make this change. Great suggestion Wayner!

As kids come in their families are asked to fill out a registration card and each child is given a glow necklace. As they leave they are given a bag of candy. If they don't have a glow necklace they are asked to fill out a registration card. We do this for two reasons - to help us get a count for attendance and to determine if there is anyone who does not attend church. We give the candy as they leave so they do not have to keep up with the bag the whole night and it does not create a lot of extra trash from the candy. We are so thankful to Applebee's, Ci Ci's Pizza, Chick Fil A and Domino's for donating coupons to put in bags. Most gave a coupon for a free kid's meal and Domino's gave a coupon for a free appetizer or 2 liter with an order.

Here two of my favorite friends are thanking people for attending and handing out the bags!

Here two little friends play a little bowling carnival game.

Lots of water is needed for Fall Festival! A little friend likes the ice in the canoes. We have found this is a great way to distribute the water, coke, sprite and diet cokes. This is one of the new inflatable games we added to Fall Festival- 6 in 1 Sports Arena

A picture from the hill above the fields where we host Fall Festival.

Some little friends picking out which balloon they would like- thanks to my friend Teri who did a little more than 1,000 balloons- which were all handed out by 7 p.m. (yikes, we had 2 more hours to go- note to self....... have more balloon next year)!

I am watching people come down the hill and volunteers check in at the Volunteer Desk! What a fun night!