Thursday, December 30, 2010

last post of 2010

Well, here it is. The last post I'll make before 2011 rolls in!  Just wanting to highlight some times that have happened during 2010 that were blessings, miracles, tough times, good times, and all things in between. So here goes!
January didn't hold a lot of interesting things. I think the biggest thing I remember is how I finally felt well enough to cook on my own for the first time in a very long time. I didn't get to cook all the time, and rarely without assistance but I was back at the stove again and it felt great! I also started working on the church blog in January. It was a lot of fun, and a great change of pace for me since I had spent so much time trapped in a recliner in the previous months just playing online games. It challenged my mind and that is what I enjoyed the most.
February was the one month last year that held the scariest part of my year. My then 2 yo daughter found my med box and unlike most children who would spit a pill out at the first bitter taste, she ate them!  And she didn't eat just a few. Here is the breakdown of what she ate. 10- Adult gummi multi-vitamins, 4-50mg Metoprolol (that's a beta blocker), 3-25mg of Zoloft, 3- 50mg of Trazodone, and 3- .25mg of Klonopin.  I know that she ate this many because even after we tore the couch apart, tore the living room where she was hiding apart, this many were still missing. I remember calling my mother in law frantic saying you have to get here NOW aleah has eaten my medicine. I remember standing in the foyer of my apartment keeping my baby girl awake until Anita got there and we made it to the hospital. I remember my oldest daughter (not quite 6 yet) standing with her little hand on her sister praying that God keep those medicines from working and praying that they didn't hurt her. I remember Aleah looking drowsy so I let her stand beside me and I began to cry and she wrapped her tiny arms around my right thigh and praying God please help my mommy feel better, In Jesus name Amen. I remember her sweet face looking up at me and saying There mommy, you'll feel better now! I remember that all I could think to pray was God please don't take my baby. Looking back I know that it was the prayers of my oldest child that God heard. The medicines did no damage, and Aleah was only sleepy from them. I remember having to hold my youngest child while they forced what looked like an eternity of charcoal into her little body. I remember how lifeless she looked when she finally fell asleep and they placed her in the ambulance to transport her to Children's Hospital. She slept for a long time, but it truly should have been much longer considering what she took. Most of all I remember how I was blessed to wrap my baby in my arms and after 36 hours I was able to take her home and not plan a funeral. God truly blessed my family during the month of February and every day I see my sassy, bossy, whiny, and extremely smart little girl without any problems from her overdose, I thank God because I have her still with me and she's perfect!
March was a month that held more activity than many of the previous months had. I got a new camera and the weather was perfect for getting outdoors and just walking around some taking photos! It gave me a great start on familiarizing myself with my camera as well as time to get out of the house! That's what I remember the most, just the freedom of getting outdoors, smelling the sweet scent of spring coming in, feeling the still cool breezes hanging around from the chill of winter... yeah that's what I'll remember from March of 2010!
April was my last birthday celebration of my 20's! I thought it was going to be horrible! I was struggling to make it with the horrible POTS/DYS symptoms I was experiencing. That month I'd blacked out in the shower for I think the very first time... that part was completely humiliating but hilarious now that we look back on it! If you have POTS then you know that lifting your legs up to get blood back to your heart is sometimes the first thing to be done during a blackout... well it's not great coming to from a really bad blackout, naked as the day you were born except for a clumsily placed blanket, and then realizing that yes, someone had held your legs up in the air!  Yeah, that part wasn't so great, but turning 29 didn't kill me except my pride when I blacked out in the shower on my birthday no less... talk about wearing your birthday suit huh...haha
May was hard. I lost a dear friend of mine to MS. Donna was my greatest inspiration when I first got sick. She helped me to see what life could be like if I just simply embraced the life I'd been given and live it to my fullest for Christ. Donna was always smiling, always so sweet and encouraging, and she was an awesome chef! I miss those hugs and smiles each and every time I go to church. Her daughter Amelia has so much of Donna's personality, looks, and great attitude that we are all still so blessed to catch glimpses of such a dear friend who's gone on Home to be with Jesus.
June was just another month mostly. I did start the first steps to getting Photography By Miranda started and that has been a lot of fun even though I've only done two shoots since then. I'm proud of them though because with my health up and down like it is I was actually surprised I managed that!
July was exciting for me. I got my first prints back! I did a shoot with my sister, her fiance', and their kids. That was a lot of fun, so I ordered some prints of those and some photos I had taken of my kids. It was exciting getting that package in the mail and seeing my work in print!  I've gotten much better since then not only with photography but editing. It's often been said of me (by my husband) that I'm a collector of hobbies! And I'll admit I've picked up a LOT of hobbies since we've been together and lain most of them down, but photography has been the constant for me. I love it!
Ok, August was REALLY exciting! We began the process of buying our very own place! No more renting an apartment and the news just kept getting better. Through a friend of Eric's we will soon be buying our own land at such a great price that it can only be called a blessing or even a miracle in today's economy! Oh and we bought our first family dog! She's a beautiful Australian Cattle Dog (Blue Heeler). We named her Kiah!
September was cram packed with doing some minor repairs on our place before we could move in completely, so there isn't much to say about that month other than it was EXHAUSTING!!!
October was financially a difficult month and out of necessity I picked up the whole game of couponing. I found VERY quickly that I love sale shopping and couponing! Saving more than 50% on a grocery bill was exhilarating for me and it gave me a sense of accomplishing and having something to give to my family. One of the hardest things of not being able to work is not being able to financially help and there is never a more difficult time than when money is tight. So coupons have become my way to financially help and I'm proud of it! My goal in 2011 is to save even more and to build a nice stockpile of food and household items so that just on the off chance of hard times again we'll have a nice 3-6 month supply to help pull us through.
November held a big event for me. I had my disability hearing. I still don't know anything back yet. It was very stressful which if you know about POTS then you know stress can debilitate you seriously! I did fine until the last half of the hearing and then the heat in the small room we were in (it was a video hearing) started really getting to me. Add to it that I had no way to pull both legs up cross-legged in the chair that I was in (this is a life saver for me due to pooling when they hang down). So the stress, heat, and blood draining into my legs away from my heart and brain, oh and no gatorade with me (what was I thinking???) led to my blacking out as I left the room after the hearing. So yeah, I've now added a federal building to my blackout
December has been amazing. My health was SO much better than last December and I immensely enjoyed Christmas! My oldest daughter had her first ever memorized part in the children's Christmas program. Watching her saying her part and looking so proud and standing so tall, almost made me burst at the seams! Watching all the children sing and say their parts was good too, but you know how it is... she's my baby!  Our church's brass and woodwind ensemble performed again this year and this time I was a part of it. Maybe not the best part of it, but I was  I also sang O Come All Ye Faithful and the most exciting part for me was when I took a chance and instead of singing the note we'd prepared that was lower I jumped up there and hit a HIGH A FLAT!!! I was soooo excited and not only once but like 3 or 4 times! I think someone recorded it and is supposed to be getting me a copy, so I can't wait to actually see myself perform. It's not often that I get this excited about something but a high A flat? and it was ME!?! Yeah I still can hardly believe it myself!  Oh and we had Christmas at DiDi's and even got to skype with our cousin Shannon. He's over in Afghanistan serving our country and we are so proud of him! After Didi's we went to my mother in laws and had Christmas there. Christmas morning was a blast with the kids, they were really into it. I also really noticed how my oldest has matured since last year. She's a great big sister. And we got SNOW!!! The day after Christmas we had a blanket of white and lots of snow falling the day of Christmas and the day after. A beautiful end to a great 2010! Now lets get busy making the most of 2011! Happy New Years Everyone!!!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Putting aside the Hustle and Bustle

During the holiday season days are filled with people rushing from here to there in hopes of grabbing that next great steal of a deal to fill up the space below their Christmas tree. Rush, rush, rush and soon we're all burnt out and devoid of the Christmas spirit. We begin to loathe hearing those jolly Christmas tunes on the local radio. As our cash flow grows thinner and thinner, we're no longer buying and giving from the heart but we now resort to finding anything at all that will just get the job done!  By the time Christmas Eve rolls around, we've already got several holiday parties and programs under our belts. We've prepared meals for family gatherings. We've bought those Secret Santa gifts, thinking the whole time that we're leaving that party with a gift as good as what we bought.  You know you always leave wishing you'd just gotten back what you purchased instead!!!  Everything is all about the rush. The never ending tick-tock of the minutes and seconds as they draw us closer and closer to a deadline. See, we're no longer thinking of the Birth of Christ as the meaning of Christmas.  We're just rushing to meat a deadline of gifts and parties and gatherings that are expected of us.  So, I'm taking some time out of my busy schedule to let you know what Christmas means to me.
  Christmas.  It's a word that is slowly being shut out of our schools and neighborhoods. Instead of a Christmas tree, it's now a holiday tree. No longer are their Christmas breaks in school, instead it's a Winter break. Forget Christmas songs in the school and workplace... you guessed it - Holiday Music! Our world is slowly, but much to quick for my liking, pushing Christ out of Christmas. I don't understand this at all. Christmas is only around because of Christ! Had he not been born, there would be no Christmas!  So my Christmas Tribute this year is The Christmas Story. I'm taking the text from the King James Bible. I read other versions, but there are just some things that I love hearing from the KJV of the Bible.  I'm using the passage from Luke chapter 1 verses 1-20.

Luke 2

 1And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.
 2(And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)
 3And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.
 4And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)
 5To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.
 6And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.
 7And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
 8And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
 9And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
 10And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
 11For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
 12And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
 13And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
 14Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
 15And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.
 16And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.
 17And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.
 18And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.
 19But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.
 20And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.

    This is what Christmas means to me. Not running from here to there trying to meet a deadline of gifts and gatherings. But taking the day, Christmas Day, to remember the first of the greatest events in history that pertain directly to me. The birth of the man who gave His life so that I might have salvation! That's what Christmas is to me.
    Sure I buy gifts and I'm somewhat involved in the hustle and bustle of everything, but I never let my mind wander away from the true meaning of why there is a Christmas Day. After all, it's HIS Birthday, well the day we celebrate it! And who doesn't love birthdays :)  My kids will wake up on Christmas Day, and they'll see all their gifts around the tree. But no tearing into any gifts until we've done our Happy Birthday Jesus time. They really love having a cupcake or something with candles in it, singing Happy Birthday Jesus, and then they get to blow out the candle. It may not make any sense to you, but to us it makes perfect sense to honor Jesus birth like this. So if any of you have any special Happy Birthday Jesus traditions, feel free to comment and share! Oh, and Merry CHRISTmas to each and every one of you!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Blogging to feel better

This post holds no huge purpose, no enlightening ideas, and no huge pick me up thoughts. I'm merely posting right now just to try and clear my thoughts in hopes that something will make sense or that I'll find a glimmer of clarity before this day has been a huge total waste.  Now I know all that sounds depressing, but I'm not depressed, just having a down day.  Not sure why. Maybe it's added stress or maybe it's just this disease that no one really understands causing all these feelings. POTS can surprise you that way sometimes a lot of the time.  So if by the end of this post, I have no mental clarity, no huge epiphany regarding the cause of today's blahness (yeah, I know that's not a real word... sue me, you won't get much!) then I'll blame it on the Dysautonomia/POTS and all it's glory. 
My day started off normal enough. I was awakened by the sound of crashing unpacked boxes in my closet. These horrible cats that my kids and husband (yes, you eric... remember Miracle?) decided we should have, had somehow gotten into my newly straightened closet and managed to knock over the one box that was a junk box. It also happened to be an open box because I'd searched for some things this week. So now I've got all of those things still sitting in the walking space in my closet. Yes it is 9:30 pm now and NO I didn't bother picking it all up! Just haven't felt like it! 
Let's see. Next I checked emails and facebook. Updated everyone on a friends medical condition and reminded everyone on the church facebook to be praying for my friend. I played a quick game or two of Bejeweled Blitz (who doesn't love shiny gems blinking and flashing early in the morning?!?). Then I made my way into the living room, let out the air mattress the kids are sleeping on. Yes they do have their own room and their own beds, but if letting them sleep on the giant air mattress in the living room insures that I get at LEAST 5 hours sleep without my kids wrapped around me in an octopus-like fashion... then it's worth it.  Anyway, got all that put away for the day and vacuumed and picked up the two dozen My Little Pony toys that were strung all over. 
Yeah, I'm still not getting an epiphany.  Day is starting like any other.
Next I made lunch. Serena helped. She's turning into my assistant chef! I love her working beside me. It not only helps me when she can get things that I can't bend to get out of a cabinet, but it gives me another pair of hands in the kitchen. Let's face it. With Dys. you need all the hands you can get!  
After we ate I left Eric with the few dishes. Thank the Lord for paper plates! I came back to my room, did another update on my friend Jacob, and I've pretty much been in here since catching up on a couple of tv series I've missed lately. Well I did get up and helped Serena bake peanut butter cookies. 
I don't know. I can't put a finger on why today has been a downer for me. Maybe it is just the Dys/POTS. I know that my memory and focus has been more than lacking. Who knows. Anyway, for tonight I'll blame it on POTS! I hope everyone else has had a day that's more of an upper kind of day.  I'm just looking forward to bedtime! Well Serena is asking for a snack, so I've gotta go and take care of that. Catch you on the flipside and here's to hoping the flipside offers a better mood day! Cheers!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

what to do when pain limits you exponentially

Hey there!  Well today is December 1, 2010 and my 9 year wedding anniversary to my wonderful husband Eric! He's stood not only beside me but with me through it all, and I mean ALL! Anyone who has a disease that causes daily trouble truly understands what it means to have someone be there with you through it all. He's truly a God-send!
Serena, Miranda (me), Eric, and Aleah - Taken on Sept. 21, 2010 Aleah's 3rd Birthday!
So, I'm laying here on the couch, yes I finally made it out of bed after 3 1/2 days stuck in it, and the kids are playing well together for the moment. My oldest has scrambled eggs for them to eat earlier, so that took care of their mid afternoon snack, and it was her very first time every using a stove all by herself!  She did great, and I was just in the living room and since it's an open floor plan, I was able to watch her every move. So since there is nothing pressing at the moment that I absolutely have to do right now, I am laying back on the couch writing this blog on what to do when limited exponentially by pain. 
 Well for starters, you can write your own blog! I've found that it helps me make it through days like this. Not only does it pass the time, but it allows me to have a voice when I'm just too tired to speak aloud!  I also work on photos on those days I can't get out of bed. Even a beginner photographer can have fun editing photos! A fun site is PikNik. There are a lot of freebie options that are available there and the best part is anyone can use the options without being overwhelmed!  A couple other sites that I have not used are LunaPic, BeFunky, and LoonaPix. I will probably check those out soon though. I love editing photos. It's a great pas the time kind of fun! For fun stuff I tend to use the free online stuff. But I do have a couple of photo softwares that I use for my actual photography work. Another idea for passing the time on days when you can't do more than sit or lay in bed is my current favorite thing to do... coupon! 

  Today is Wednesday which means that the store I frequent most often for grocery shopping has it's newest sales paper out. So today I'll spend some of my time cleaning out my coupon binder. 
Just a snapshot of my binder opened up. It's really heavy! I use a briefcase style binder that my husband bought for me years ago, and it never got much use until now! I made my own dividers/tabs, and I use baseball card holders to store coupons. 

I have all my coupon categories, separated and tabbed to help me find each category quickly. On the binder side that's lifted you can see where I keep my store cards and pockets for calculators, scissors or blade knife, etc. Plus there are 2 folder pockets where I keep printouts (coupons, store policy) and a folder for coupons and other things I might need.

So on a typical Wednesday I get my Publix paper ready (my favorite store as of now) and I check my favorite blogs for deals I might have missed. SouthernSavers, KrazyCouponLady, and a couple more (my main laptop power cord is dead, and due to brainfog all my favorite links are stored on the link toolbar). My first stop is always the two listed though! So I've usually already cleaned out expired coupons (not as hard as it sounds if done weekly), and I've already bought or picked up my freebie coupon inserts, clipped the coupons, and filed them. Now I'm ready to make my shopping list, pull the coupons for each item, and be ready for Friday/Saturday shopping! Right now I'm only shopping for groceries every 2 weeks. I may need a couple essentials like milk and bread before my next trip, but that's pretty much all that I need in between shopping days. And at this point I'm spending no more than $200-$250 for 2 weeks to feed 4. Not bad but I plan on doing better with each shopping trip.  This week I'm behind on everything! I haven't even clipped my coupons yet and it's already Wednesday night! So I've got a lot of catching up to do, but I still have a couple days to get ready. I've actually just been too sick to even clip the coupons this week. Usually I'm not this sick. This week has just been an extremely bad week. Usually I can at least sit in bed and get these few things accomplished even on sick days. But yeah, this week has been extremely bad for me. Today is the first day I've even left my bedroom! And I'm in a lot of pain just sitting on the sofa, but yesterday it wasn't even feasible to attempt it because of the high severity of pain! So I'm thankful that today I'm at least sitting on the sofa outside the four walls of my bedroom.
  Ok back to coupons!  I really am hoping to be able to get my shopping done this weekend. So I'll get my things together as if I'm going to be able to get things done. So after I've gotten my binder cleaned out, restocked, and my list printed or written down I simply have to go to the store! BUT I never go without my list and I stick to it unless there is an exceptionally great deal I didn't see in the papers or on the website. I also try and have more than just the typical 2 copies of papers. This way when there are BOGO deals (Publix has them EVERY week) I can stock up on a LOT! Typically I'll have anywhere from 6-10 coupons of each item, and yes that means 6-10 papers, but I only buy 2 papers each Sunday. The rest I get before closing from a gas station down the road. They allow me to go and sort through the papers as long as I keep them neat and only take the inserts. So that's freebies for me which allows me to save even more on shopping day! But I always buy 2 papers to ensure that I will at least have 1 pair of coupons for the BOGO deals. The reason for having at least 2 coupons per item for BOGO deals is because some stores allow you to use a coupon for both products. Typically this will make your BOGO deal either REALLY cheap or free+! Anyway, that's my typical preparation for a shopping trip. The first couple weeks of it was me getting used to it, then the next couple weeks were me trying to tweak the process to make it work better for me. And now, I just maintain. Which is really easy.
  Maybe the binder method isn't your cup of tea. Well don't worry as there are a couple other methods to choose from! The Krazy Coupon Lady website has a great starting to coupon advice section. and since I didn't find it until a few weeks into my coupon adventures, I'll give you a head's up and post the link here!  And here is Southern Savers beginning to coupon link!  both of those should get you going in no time!
   So I suppose this ties up my 'what to do when pain limits you exponentially' blog. Well, those things plus facebook, fancast, and netflix!  :)  That's pretty much what I do on days when I'm limited to just sitting or laying down. So until next time... Hope that maybe you find that coupons are something you might pick up doing, or that some of the other things I enjoy help you to pass the long days when you might be stuck in bed.   Talk to you soon!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A "Can't Get Out of Bed Day"... ugghh

  Well it's Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving, and I've been in bed for an entire 24 hours (exeptions: bathroom, and cooking 3-15 minute or less meals for the family). Today I'm supposed to be baking 2 deserts and I still feel like poop. For starters the Dysautonomia is acting crazy bad and making my whole body feel out of sorts and at odds with itself. I also am aching like crazy from not being able to do more than lay down for an entire day. It's strange how laying down for so long can cause such muscle aches!
   But I do have every intention of getting up, getting a shower (must do this before Eric goes to work, or all bets are off due to the blackout risk being higher when I feel bad), and getting those 2 deserts made. They are actually pretty simple I think. On a hunch that I might be feeling bad this week based on how I felt last week, I decided against fixing anything complicated for family gathering on tomorrow. Instead I am going to with Pumpkin Spice Bread and a lb 1/2 of fudge. I had coupons for both of the kits, so that made it even more appealing. Add that to the fact that EVERYTHING I need for them is in the box, already measured for me... well that's an added bonus. The only things I think I have to add that do not come pre-measured are like Oil, eggs, and milk or something like that. So it should be fairly simple, not energy zapping, if I can only just get out of this bed and be able to do it. I did get up and pour the kitties some food. Was kind of hard to ignore them when I had 3 pairs of eyes staring me down while they sat on me in my sleep. Thankfully the older cat we have was outside and her meowing wasn't part of the wake up process, as it's a LOUD and harsh sounding meow. Can be quite alarming if she gets up on the edge of the bed and close to your face!
   So my plan for today. Somehow find enough energy to get out of bed and stay upright long enough to get a shower, cook lunch, and bake those deserts. Doesn't sound to hard? Well you don't have Dysautonomia slowing you down like a movie in slow, slow, slow motion. My orthostatic intolerance and Tachycardia when I'm upright is off the charts as well as the blood pooling for the last couple days. On my back is pretty much the only place I don't feel as woozy. But as soon as Eric wakes up (worked the late shift last night) I am going to attempt to get things done, with his help of course! So that's what's up with me today. I'm praying and hoping that tomorrow is a better day, because I was really sick on the holidays last year, and it would be so nice to not be sick on them this year!
Have a Wonderful Thanksgiving tomorrow everyone!

Monday, November 22, 2010


Good morning to all those who drag themselves across my page to see what I've done, how I'm feeling, and any other reason you may be here! Thanks for always dropping buy. It make me feel as if I do have a small place in this world where my voice is heard.  Today I'm thinking about Thanksgiving.  Most everyone this time of year at some point and time between Nov. 1 and Turkey Day Nov. 25 has given at least a second of thought of what they are thankful for. We can't help it. It's in our nature to do this.
Starting back in Elementary School we were asked to write little sentences on what we were thankful for, or rather say what we were thankful for while a teach filled in our answers in a very neat print in Kindergarten and then once we became able to spell and write for ourselves, our parent's no longer got the nice neat legible print but rather that childlike scrawl usually on the old "Thankful Turkey".

So from a very young age we're taught to spout off a list of what we're thankful for. Then we grow older, and this wonderful networking online becomes available at our fingertips literally, and you get the "pass around" statuses. You know what they are! And of course Thanksgiving wouldn't be complete without the old "I'm thankful for..." routine. But when we are older we get to post EVERY DAY something new that we're thankful for. lol  Now don't get me wrong, I'm not against being thankful, just the opposite in fact. I have way to much to be thankful for and my gratitude for these things are never ending. I'm thankful for the fact that Jesus died for my sins. I'm thankful that I accepted His gift of salvation. I'm thankful for my parents, my sister, my husband, his parents, my children, and even my pets who are constantly making a mess (the kittens just knocked an entire can of soda over spilling it onto my coupon and sales papers... big mess, big no no with the whole coupon sales papers getting soda spilled onto them, but still love those little girls!). I'm thankful that I'm up and walking this year without the assistance of that snazzy blue walker I had last year (see photo, just a tad of it shows in the lower left corner because I was actually sitting on the seat of it). I'm thankful for many things but these things are at the top of the list.  Anyway, my point today is that we're so set in our ways of listing our "thankful for" items down on paper or screen. Do we actually take the time to tell those we're thankful for that they were in our list this year? And not just in November, the month of giving thanks, but EVERY DAY! Just a quick glance into my thinking this morning!  I do hope that we all remember to tell our family and friends that we love them and are thankful for their presence in our lives every day. Sometimes we take it for granted that everyone knows how appreciative of them we are, how thankful for them, and how much we love them. And even though those closest to us may know this, it's nice to be reassured more than once a year! So give thanks during turkey month, and every other month of the year! Happy Thanksgiving everyone, thanks for reading my little piece of thought property in the world, and I hope you have a marvelous week with those you love surrounding your day with joy!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Grocery Shopping - November 19, 2010

Today I only went to Winn Dixie. I still need a few things, so possibly still a Publix and/or Rite Aid (would love to finally make a RiteAid run) and I know an Aldi trip is a must for their low cost of Bread and Milk.

So here is a photo of what I got today at Winn Dixie followed by a breakdown of the prices (reg, sale, after coupon). Not a bad day if I must say so myself! Oh, and one thing. I used the $4 off a ButterBall Turkey when you buy 4 of certain products (I bought the stovetop and crescent rolls) and when she rang up my coupon instead of $4 off, I got the ENTIRE NON SALE amount of the turkey off! So my $4 coupon became 16.31 off! That was exciting :D

1-Edy's Butterfinger Ice Cream
 1-Edy's Fudge Tracks Ice Cream
    Reg. 5.89 - Sale BOGO= 2.95 each
    Coupons - $1/2 = Total 4.90 (2.45 each)
 4-Hungry Man Meals
     Reg. 4.39 each - Sale BOGO = 2.19 each
     Coupons - (4) $2/1 = Total .19c each
10-Totino's Pizza Rolls 15ct box
      Reg. 2.00 each - Sale 10 for $10
      Coupons (1) .40/2 & (2) .50/4 = 2 @ .60c each & 8 @ .75c each
 4-Buitoni Pasta
     Reg. 4.99 - Manager Markdown - 1.75 each
10-Green Giant Valley Fresh Steamers
      Reg - 2.44 - Sale 10 for $10
      Coupons - (5) .50/2 = .50c each
 2-John Morell Off the Bone Lunch meat
     Reg. 3.99 each - Markdown $3 off = .99c each
 3- Betty Crocker Pouch Cookie Mix
     Reg. 2.79 each - Sale 3/$5 (1.66 each)
     Coupons - (3) .40/1 = .86c each
 1-Winn Dixie Sweet Tea
     Reg. 2.50 - Sale 1.79
 4-Kraft Shredded Cheese
     Reg. 3.69 - Sale BOGO= 1.84 each
 1-Butter Ball Frozen Turkey (10.26lbs)
     Reg. 16.31 (1.59lb )  = Sale 10.16 (.99lb)
     Reg. 1.99 - SALE BOGO = $1 each
     Coupons - $1/2 =.50c each
 2-Welch's Grape Jam
     Reg. 2.69 - Sale 2/$4.00
 2-Reynold's Slow Cooker Liners
     Reg. 2.39
     Coupons - $1 off = 1.39 each
 2-French's Fried Onions
     Reg. 3.99 - Sale 2.99
     Coupons - (2) .50/1 = 1.99 each
 3-Pillsbury Crescent Rolls
     Reg. 2.29 - Sale 3/$5.00
     Coupon .50/2 = 1.33 each
 6-SeaBest Shrimp Box
     Reg. 5.99 - Sale BOGO = 3.00each
     Coupon - (6) 1.00 off = 2.00 each
 6-Glide Floss
     Reg. 3.99 - Sale .99
     Coupon - .75/1 = .24 each
 1-Martha White Yellow Corn Meal
     Reg. 2.99  Sale 2.50
 1-Kraft Hickory BBQ
     Reg. 1.99
     Coupon .50/1 = .99c
 6-Carnation Evaporated Milk
     Reg. 1.25 - Sale 1.00
     Coupon .50/2 = .50 each
 2-Eagle Brand Condensed Milk
     Reg. 2.49  Sale - 2.00
     Coupon (2) .55/1 = 1.45 each
 2-French's Worsterchire Sauce
     Reg. 1.69
     Coupon (2) .50/1 - .69c each
 2-Peter Pan Peanut Butter
     Reg. 2.39
     Coupon (2) .50/1 = 1.39 each
 2- Carnation 1.5 lb Fudge Making Kits
      Reg. 4.99
      Coupons (2) $1off or .50/1 (either way it was a $1 off) = 3.99 each
 1-Pumpkin Bread Kit
     Reg. 4.99
     Coupons (same as above) = 3.99each

Ok, my total BEFORE sales and coupons was 262.45! Here are 2 photos of my receipt.
This one is what I paid - $100.87!!!

This one shows my savings broken down.
 So not a bad shopping experience I'd think :) I'm proud of it anyway. Not being able to work, saving my family money like this makes me feel like I've contributed something. So, that's it for today. I do know one thing. Saving money is great, but it does take effort. It takes me a couple days to just sort and clip the coupons, then sometimes another day just to get them in their correct section in my binder. And then it's already time to get online and check out SouthernSavers website and others for the best deals and to pull those coupons and get everything ready so that on Friday I'll be ready to go to the store and point Eric in the right direction. I honestly couldn't do any of this without Eric. He's a great help so some of the credit for these savings goes to him. Without his help, all I'd be able to do is clip a coupon! LOL I'm not able to drive, so he gets to play chauffeur. I can't do hardly any of the bending and grabbing items from the shelves, so he's pointed here and there to get this or that, checking labels, brands, sizes, etc. I can't push the cart after the first few things are added, so he gets to push the cart with my giant coupon binder sitting in the baby seat of And he gets to carry an envelope so he can scout for tear-pads, blinkies, and So if you read this, give Eric a congrats on a job well done too :)  Happy Shopping!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Video Hearing for Disability

In 24 hours I'll be in a room, attending my video hearing for my Disability Case. I'm as nervous as all get out, not to mention sick with normal stuff and Dys this week. The added nerves and stress aren't helping me at all. I'm just laying here on the couch, trying to feel a little better, and suddenly I think, What do I wear to this thing? Anyone who's met me knows I'm strictly jeans and t-shirts unless someone's died and there's a funeral. So just the idea of having to dress outside my comfort zone is hard on me. Crazy, I know. But I'm thinking I'll wear my khakis and a button up that I bought from JC Penneys a couple months ago. It's comfy, and I can wear sandals which is even better considering I get too hot all the time.
I'm really confused by everything though. I had expected that I'd meet the lawyer before the day of the hearing. It didn't help that I was told I'd not be in a court room for at least another year, and the very next week I received packet after packet in the mail stating I had a video hearing scheduled just 2 short weeks away! So, I figure one of two things will happen. 1. My lawyer is VERY good at what he does, and doesn't need the extra time to prove my case because I really am sick. or 2. I'll get denied and have to file an appeal and start all over, but the upside to that is if I have to go that route, I have my lawyer already  But I'm still counting on option 1, well that and a LOT of prayers being prayed by myself, family, and friends. Anyway, just wanted to put a post up about tomorrow. I think I need to rest a bit for now. Just not feeling well and cooking lunch took a LOT of my energy store and used it up. I still have another 9 hours at least before the kids are asleep so I have a long way to go today. Need all the rest I can get in before Eric heads to work and leaves it with me. So until at least tomorrow, have a good day, a blessed day, and be happy in the Lord!

Lunch - Cheese Manicotti

Ok, well a few have asked for this recipe. I can't remember where I found it but I'm still tweaking it to get it to my families taste preferences. Using different cheeses, subbing spaghetti sauce for cheese sauce, etc. Still haven't got it so that the whole family likes it, but I've accomplished 3 out of 4, and that's not bad considering that the one in disagreement is our pickiest eater! So here's a picture of lunch today. 
The dish on the left was prepared following the recipe with the exception of today I didn't add ham to it. 
The dish on the right was prepared exactly the same EXCEPT where it asked for cheese sauce on the bottom and top, I used a Veggie Spaghetti Sauce. 
And my Breadsticks, just the Boxed New York Brand, but they are yummy :D
Here's the Recipe.
Ham stuffed cheese manicotti
Prep Time: 35 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 70 minutes


14 manicotti pasta shells
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced (I subbed in Garlic Powder to taste)
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1/4 cup butter or olive oil
1-2 cups cooked cubed ham
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese (I've used mozarella, Colby/Jack, Mexican blend, and they are good too.)
6 Tbsp. butter or olive oil
6 Tbsp. flour
3 cups milk
2 cups shredded Swiss cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Cook manicotti as directed on package. Drain, rinse in cool water and set aside. Meanwhile, cook onion, garlic, and green bell pepper in 4 Tbsp. butter or olive oil until tender. Add ham and set aside to cool for 10 minutes. Stir in 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese.
In another heavy saucepan, cook 6 Tbsp. butter or olive oil until foamy. Stir in flour and cook, stirring constantly, until mixture bubbles, about 3 minutes. Add milk, and cook, whisking constantly, until sauce thickens. Stir in cheese. Mix 1/4 of cheese sauce with ham mixture.

Fill manicotti shells with ham mixture (your fingers work best for this; it's messy, but most efficient). Spread about 1/2 cup cheese sauce in greased 13x9" glass baking dish and arrange filled shells over sauce. If there is any leftover stuffing, just sprinkle it over the filled shells. Pour remaining cheese sauce over filled manicotti. At this point the casserole can be cooled in the refrigerator, then wrapped and frozen up to 3 months. To thaw and reheat, thaw casserole overnight in refrigerator, then uncover, sprinkle with 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, and bake at 350 degrees F for 40-50 minutes. If not freezing casserole, sprinkle with 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese and bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes until bubbly. Serves 8
Enjoy! And if you cook this differently and like the results, leave me a message and let me know. Like I said I'm still looking for that perfect recipe for my family and this dish!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Mid-Week Grocery Trip

Today was an out of the norm shopping trip for me. Usually we go on the weekend, typically a Fri., but I needed milk and cheese. Not sure how I didn't plan for enough cheese when I made my 2 week list of needed stuff, but oh well. So we run to town and stop at Publix on the way home. I got my milk at ALDI since it's cheaper there. 2 gallons for about 5 bucks. So I didn't get all the sales this week because like I said, Friday's our day, but I did get what I pretty much knew might be wiped out before I go on Friday as well as a few other things I had good buys on. So here's what we got.

2 packs Kraft Shredded Cheese - Sale - BOGO. Saved - 2.78 = total spent 4.00 (no coupons)
4 Macaroni Grill Frozen Entrees - Reg. 7.99. Coupons - Publix BOGO and 4 Manufacturer 1.50 off each one. Total saved 21.98 - Cost per bag - 2.50 !! And they are very good meals, perfect for me and hubby! Not bad for an item not on sale!
2 Jars Ragu Sauce - Sale BOGO - 1.50 each. No coupon :/
3 Bags Birds Eye frozen Corn. - Reg. 1.79. Sale 50% off = .89 a bag. Coupon - 1.00/3  = Total 0.56  per bag
6 Jars Mount Olive Pickles (variety of different kinds) - Reg 2.79 - Sale BOGO - Coupons .50/1 (doubled) = Cost per jar - .39 and .40!!!
2 3pk Ziplock Twist and Lock Bowls - Reg 5.00 - Sale BOGO - Coupons - Manuf. 1.50/2 and Publix (2) 1.00/1 - Price before coupons for 2 - 5.00 - After coupons - 2 for 1.50 or .75 each pk.
2 Birds Eye SteamFresh  Veggies  Reg. 2.27  Sale BOGO no coupons so 1.13 each.
2 Breakstone Sour Cream - Reg. 2.15  Sale 2 for 2.00 Coupons .55 off each. - paid .45 c each
4 Boxes Betty Crocker 3cheese Potatoes - Reg. 1.69  - Sale BOGO - coupons .50/2 doubled - Paid .35 and .34 c per box
2 Gen Mills Cheerios with Berries - Reg 4.29. Sale 50% = 2.15 Coupon 1.00/2 - = 1.65 per box
7 Bic Lighters  Reg. 3.49  Sale BOGO Coupons 1.50/1  - Cost for each lighter .25 each!!!
2 Nestle Refridgerated Cookie Doughs - Reg. 3.29 - Sale BOGO - Coupons .75/1 = 90c each

TOTAL for everything Before sales and coupons = 133.88
Total Savings (Store coupons, Store sales, and Manuf. coupons) - 92.96
Total Spent - 40.92!!!
Now I think that's a pretty good day!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Definition of Me

This is my motto :D Love this song and the lyrics to it! Enjoy!

Everybody's got an opinion
Of what they want me to be
Everybody's got a condition
That I may never meet

So tired of looking in the mirror
It always says the same thing
I want to be about something different
Something more than the mirror can see

Like joy, peace
Alive in me
When it comes to my identity

I want the love
I want the light
I want the beauty
On the inside
I want the one that you can't see
To be the definition of me
More than the face
More than the girl
More than the voice
More than the world
I want the truth that I believe
To be the definition of me

Pretty is cool for a minute
But it always fades away
Trends are hot for a second
They'll be gone the very next day

So before you get lost in the moment
Let's get one thing clear
Only love will last forever
That's the reason that we're here

It's up to you
'Cause everybody's looking
Who do you want them to see?


They say I'm cute with the boots
And the trendy attire
You kinda reminiscent
of a younger Mariah
But do they see beyond what I got,
what I rock
They'd be shocked if they knew it was
my soul that was hot
Hot boys don't affect my own self respect (no)
And neither do the magazines and vanity tests
Yo Disa make a list
Who's fly and what's next
Start if off with love, joy, peace
And end it with blessed


**I do not own the rights to Freedom. All credit goes to Mandisa and Sparrow Records.**

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Wednesday Song Day

Ok, Ok... I missed wednesday Song day, maybe more than once, not But in my defense, last Wednesday I was blacking out and having the seizure episodes and felt just plain horrible all week! This week, I felt horrible, but it took all that I had to get myself and the girls ready for church, so that's what happened :) Anyway, I was listening to my IPOD tonight while cleaning and a great song I'd forgotten I loaded started up. And for once, I REALLY really HEARD what it was saying! It's a great song that Mandissa sings called Not Guilty. So, take a listen (or if you can't listen just read the lyrics!) 

Ok now that you've listened to it... or read it... ISN'T THAT AMAZING! Think about it. It just blows my mind that regardless of all that I've done wrong in my past, as long as I've accepted Christ as my personal Savior, that on the day when I stand before Him, I can be told NOT GUILTY! And it's not that I've not done wrong in my life, it's that the blood of Christ has covered the sins I've committed because of the selfless and giving act that Jesus did so long ago! I don't know about you, but man when I think about what He's done for me, then I just wanna dance! Granted, physically I can't always get my shout on because of this stupid thing called Dys, but you know what I mean :D  Anyway, I was just reminded today that no matter the day I'm having, no matter how crummy I feel, no matter how physically and emotionally drained and sick I am it's nothing like being beaten, crowned with a crown made of woven thorns. Nothing like being stripped of all dignity, a heavy cross thrown across the back that's all bloody and torn. Nothing like dragging that heavy cross through a crowd who's spitting and jeering CRUCIFY HIM!  It's nothing like falling to the ground from the beating, the loss of blood, the agony of the weight of the cross on a bloodied back. It's nothing compared to hanging with a nail through each hand and feet, body weight pulling against the piercings while being hoisted up in the air scantily clad for all to see. It's nothing compared to having a sword thrust in the side. It's nothing compared to dying for people you haven't even met!  No matter WHAT I face on a daily basis from this disease, it's nothing compared to the price my Savior paid for me.
It's worth a thought, ya know! We often don't think realistically of what Jesus went through for us, and we just blindly through it all back in His face as we choose to live a life that He died to save us from. Sure the movie Passion of the Christ came out and we were all thrown back and shocked at the painful and truthful depiction of what really happened. We were all suddenly so grateful and awakened by what we'd seen depicted in a movie. But like always, we eventually fall back into our "comfortable" way of living. And often times we forget just what Christ did. Sure we know he died for us, but do we always sit and really REALLY think on just what it was He did? Maybe we should! After all, He did ALL that so that we can be Not Guilty on Judgement Day! How about you? Will you be Guilty? or Not Guilty?  And remember, no matter what your day is like, it's nothing like Christ's day was the day He died for you!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Grocery Shopping - November 5, 2010

My first stop was Dollar General. Not necessarily any good deals, but I got some things I needed so it wasn't a bust. Mostly I wanted to check out how shopping with coupons felt there... here's my opinion- Unless I can get items pennies on the dollar or free, I most likely won't go back. For one thing, I had 2 coupons for Nivea products. One of the coupons was for 2 Nivea body wash, and the other was for 1 bottle. So I had 3 bottles, all the same but my 1 bottle coupon wouldn't scan. Which sucks, and now that I've thought about it, I should have just did a separate transaction to get the good deal on it. And the register tape at this store doesn't print out the 5 off 25 coupons either. But anyway. So here's what I got and what I spent along with what I saved at Dollar General.

2- Kellogg's Cinnabon Cereal  - Price 2.00 each - Coupon $1/2 = $3.00 for both boxes.
1- pack DG Brand 8.5oz Styrofoam cups 60ct - no coupon - 1.00
1-32oz Gatorade - reg price _ $1.10 Sale 1.00
2- 32oz White Vinegar - .85 each
2- Bags Brown Sugar - 1.50 each = 3.00
2- Jars Garlic Powder - .50 each = 1.00
1- box Electrasol Powerball - 2.85 - Coupon for 1.50 = 1.35
1- 10oz Soy Sauce - 1.35
2- Nivea Body Wash - 2.75each - coupon 3.00 off 2 = 1.25 each
1- White Rain Citrus Shampoo - 1.00
1- White Rain Citrus Conditioner - 1.00
1- Bic Comfort 3pk razors - 3.25 - Coupon 2.00 = 1.25
2- Dollar General Toilet Tissue - 1.00 each = 2.00
1- 5lb Bag Gold Medal All Purpose Flour - 2.35 - Sale - 1.50
1 - 16lb bag Pedigree Dry Dog Food - 10.00 - Coupon 2.00 off = 8.00
3- 3.5lb 9lives complete Cat Food - 3.75 each Coupon 1.00 off each - 2.75/bag
1- 20oz Dr Pepper - 1.35 (20oz drinks are such a rip-off!)
1- 3pk Dollar General paper towels 1.75

Next Store was Aldi. Can't use coupons there but they have the best prices on milk, chicken breast, and tilapia as well as other products. Here's what I got.
24pk - Cola - 3.89
12pk- RootBeer - 1.99
2 loaves Bread - .79 each
2 boxes Chicken flavored Rice - .69 each
4 cans Italian Diced Tomatoes - .49 each
2 Boxes Penne Rigate Pasta - .89 each
1-8 individually wrapped pks of 4 - Peanut Butter and Cheese Crackers - .99
1-box Graham Crackers - 1.25
2- bags of Wavy Potato Chips - 1.29 each
1- Large jar of Lemon Juice - 1.89
1- Bag 11qty Tilapia Filets - 5.99
1- Bag Boneless Chicken Breast - 5.99
5- Cheese Pizzas - .99 each
2- Gal 2% milk - 2.59 each
2- Jars Pasta Sauce (1meat and 1 Traditional) - 1.19 each
1- Bananas - 1.40
1- Bag Sweet Onions - 1.99
1- 3pk Green Bell Peppers - 1.49
1- Bag Granny Smith Apples - 2.49
2- Doz large Eggs - 1.09 each
4- Paper Bags- .24
TOTAL 60.45

Trip to Publix was the most rewarding. I had my list, coupons, and everything all ready to go so I knew for the most part what I was going to buy and how many of each to get. So here's my list for Publix.

4- 64oz V8 Splash (2 Tropical - 2 Fruit Medley) - Reg. 3.39, Sale BOGO, Coupon $1/2 = .92c each
4- Green Giant Cut Green Beans - Reg. 1.29, Sale BOGO, Coupons .50/2 = .14c each
4- 4pk of Yoplait Fiber One Yogurt - Reg. 2.50, Sale BOGO, Coupons .50/1 = .25 each
6- 64oz Welch's Essential Juice (assorted flavors) - Reg.3.25, Sale BOGO, Coupons 1.00/1 = .63 each
2- cans Bush's Grillin' Beans (Ranchero) - Sale 3 for 5.00 or 1.67 each, Coupons $1/1 = .67 each
4- 15oz Tubs Country Crock Butter - Reg. 1.99, Sale BOGO, Coupons .50/1 = ALL FREE!
2- 44ct Solo Paper Plates - Reg. 2.89, Sale 2.19, Coupons 2 - .75/1 and 1 Target for $1/2 = .94 each
2 - NewYork Texas Toast Breadsticks - Reg. 2.39, Sale 50% off (1.19) , Coupons .50/1 = 19c each
3- New York DipNStick with sauce - Reg 3.29, Sale 50%off (1.64), Coupons .40/1 = 84c each
2- New York Texas Toast (cheese) - Reg. 3.29, Sale 50% off (1.64), Coupons .50/1 = .64c each
4- Quaker Rice Cakes (2 Caramel Corn, 1 Cheddar, 1 Ranch) Reg. 2.99, Sale BOGO, Coupons 1.00/2=  $1 each
4- Kraft Homestyle Deluxe - 1.99 each, Coupons BOGO and $2/2 from Target - .50each
4- Athenos Crumbled Feta Cheese (3 dif kinds) 4.59, Coupons BOGO =  2.29 each
2- Kraft Marshmallows - 2.39 each - coupons .50/2 = 1.89 each
2- 44ct Glad Drawstring Tall Kitchen Bags - Reg 4.89, Sale 3.99, Coupons - 2 Target- $1/1 and 2 Manuf. - .75/1 = 2.24 each
2- TGI Friday Skillet Meals 5.99 each, Coupons - $2/1 and Target $4/2 =  3.00 each
1- Kraft Honey Hickory BBQ - Reg 1.65, Sale BOGO - Coupons  (worked with product below) = 71c
1- Kraft Ranch - Reg 3.19, Sale BOGO, Coupon  $1/2 and .50/1 = 71c
1- 32 Load Wisk Liquid Laundry - Reg 6.49, Sale 4.49, Coupon Manuf $2/1 (thought I had a Target coupon, but it only had the symbol for target on it, will know next time! still a good deal though! ) = 2.49
6- Boxes Pillsbury Strawberry Toaster Strudel - Reg 2.45, Sale BOGO, Coupon .50.2 = .75 each
8- Bags Green Giant Valley Fresh Steamers - Reg. 2.39, Sale BOGO, Coupon .50/2 = .70 each
2- Argo Baking Powder 12oz - Reg. 1.49, sale 1.33 - Coupons 50/1 = 33c Each
1- Argo Corn Starch - Reg 1.49, sale 1.33 - coupons .30/1 = .73 c
2- New York Seasoned Croutons - Reg. 1.59, Sale 10 for 10, = 1.00 each
2- Bags Publix Shredded Cheese (cheddar and Colby/Jack) Reg. 2.89, sale, 2/4.00 =  2.00 each
1- 4pk Colgate Wisp - 2.39 (thought these were 1.39,  or either I had a 2.00 off coupon, not sure - either 1.39 or (last minute decision lol)
1- Large bag Publix Scented Cat litter - Reg. 2.79 - Sale 2.49
4- Shick Quattro Electric Trimmers - Reg. 8.99, sale BOGO - Coupons $3/1 = 1.50 EACH!
1- Publix Sandwich Bags - 1.59
1- Jar Sauer's Mayo (wouldn't buy it for sandwich's but using it for a meal next week) 2.69
1- Bag Hertz Hamster Food - this just kills me but oh well, 6.99
2 - Large Boxes of Ronzoni Manicotti shells - 1.99 each
1 - head of lettuce - 1.69, coupon Target $1 off any produce = .69c
1 lb of tomatoes (2 2.19 a lb (should have gotten these at aldi, but forgot) = 2.19

OK I THINK that's all!
TOTAL -------------------293.55
Special Price Savings ------ 91.40
Store Coupons------------  29.80
Vendor Coupons---------- 56.96
TOTAL SAVINGS -------178.16
TOTAL PAID ------------115.39!!!  
So that's my grocery shopping for today. Stockpiled quite a bit this week and got great deals. What more could a girl want? lol OH yeah, I know the answer to that... S'MORES!  Had Hershey's candy bars, so with those marshmallows and graham crackers, we're gonna use the S'MORES Maker and have those for desert later! Have a good day!
1- Publix Heavy Duty Foil - 2.99

Monday, October 25, 2010

Coupon Shopping is becoming addictive!

Well today I went back to Publix for the second time doing a quick coupon run. If I tally up my before sales/coupons totals for 2 trips it comes to 322.76. After sales/coupons I only paid 164.80! That's a total of 51% savings! Still not the greatest of the coupon world, but it's only my 3rd trip! If I add my one Winn Dixie trip in the total before sales and coupons was 157.43 and I paid only 82.57. So the three trips combined before sales/coupons would have been 480.19! Saying that I only paid 247.37 makes me feel a pretty doggone good! I'm still learning the ropes, today was the first day I actually stacked any coupons and roughly half of what I bought today I didn't have a coupon for but needed the items. Things like milk, hamburger meat, gatorade (necessity!), etc. Plus some of the items I bought today, I didn't have great coupons for like my dog food, but still was a necessity. But I think I'm doing great so far. Eric is really loving watching the totals drop as each coupon is deducted! I'm finally getting our pantry looking good since the move-in to our new place. And I'm not stuck settling for generic this or that. In fact I think the only few things that have been generic were 2 bags of rice (winn dixie), 2 bottles of salad dressing (publix), kitty litter (publix), and the milk we've bought (publix). I might be wrong but I do think those are the only generic brands I've bought. I'm even getting lower prices on some of the name brand stuff than I'd ever find on the generics! I'm not stuck buying just the bare necessities, but we're able to splurge on things we ordinarily wouldn't buy, but since the deal with coupons is free or close to it, we go ahead and get them! It's really great to know that I've been able to save my family 232.82 in the last 2 weeks of groceries! I'm looking at it as a "job". I'm not able to work and bring in money, but I can save money on groceries and household items that we can put to good use elsewhere. So yeah, I call it my job :D It takes time to get organized, clip the coupons, search for coupons to stack with, and to find the best deals around. Eric has definitely begun to appreciate the art of clipping coupons after only 3 times shopping with them. He stands by quietly and watches the totals drop dollar by dollar and I watch as his mouth drops more and more in amazement as the totals go Anyway, that's pretty much what I've been doing in my spare time lately. So if you live around here and see a woman on a mission with a giant binder containing baseball card sleeves of coupons followed by a man dragging his feet really hating the time it takes to look and be sure they are getting the best deal possible, then that might be And if you see me in line, but you're in a hurry, it might be best if you don't get behind me. I usually have at a minimum of 20-25 coupons! I think I've had right at 60 coupons on one shopping trip and I'm just getting started!  Maybe my next trip I'll remember to tell Eric not to shelve the groceries and I'll get everything together on my table and take a photo! See ya soon!


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Songs of encouragement! Scriptures of encouragement!

Ok, just thought that sometimes we could use a place that has several uplifting songs (hey, I'm a music chick!) that we could go to and listen to. Tonight as I was scanning facebook I see a post from a great girl who fights this battle so bravely and encourages everyone along the way, but tonight she just needed someone to encourage her. So I got some scriptures together and found a video on youtube that has helped me so many times. I posted them, and then I did something I rarely do... I went back and reread those scriptures and to my amazement they read like a letter of encouragement from God! Not sure why this amazed me, after all the entire Bible is the words of God put there for us to learn from, find encouragement, and to follow. But anyway, I decided that I'm going to print these scriptures in this order and place them in several places in my home, so that I can see them daily and get my reminder from God that it is going to be WORTH IT!!! So here are those scriptures that I posted to my friend.

Isaiah 43:2
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you.

2 Corinthians 4:17
For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory,

Romans 5:3-4
And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope.

John 16:33
These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.

Isn't that just amazing! When we actually take the time to stop and read what God is showing us, then wow! I know I need to be reminded to stop and pay attention to what God's trying to say. Sometimes I just need to shut up long enough to see it! We often get so busy just right out starting with our "prayer lists/requests" and our "Thank you Lord for (fill in the blank)" that we don't take the time to LISTEN! I'm glad I went back and listened tonight!

So starting today, on (if everything goes well, you all know this disease and how things change day to day) every Tuesday night I'll try and post at least one scripture of encouragement and/or one song. Tonight you get both :) So here is the song, It's Gonna Be Worth It sung by Rita Springer. Remember, IT'S GONNA BE WORTH EVERY PAIN, TRIAL, and CONFUSING ! Love and Prayers, Miranda

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

My how things have changed!

Well it's October 19th and we've been living in our new place for like 2 weeks now, and there is ALWAYS something to be done! Other than just regular chores keeping things clean, I'm still trying to get some of this stuff unpacked or put away in a more convenient place. Slowly adding homey touches here and there and very slowly getting the remaining repairs finished. I'm thinking that MAYBE by the end of the year we'll hopefully have at least half of what needs to be finished completed. But who knows... lol

I need to post some photos of Kiah, she's grown SO MUCH! But for now, here are 2 photos from September 3rd.  She was 7 1/2 weeks here!

She was so small then!  The next photo was the day we went and got her down in Auburn on July 28th!  I like how she's looking up at Aleah, Aleah is looking at me, and Serena was looking down at Kiah but

These are some photos of my husband Eric and Kiah on Sept. 7. This was back when she was small enough not to annoy him! LOL He now has an avid dislike for her, well mostly for her behavior and hyper personality. I remind him all the time that she's just a puppy in a large Plus it doesn't help that she really only listens to me most of the time! But I'm glad I have these photos, because I seriously doubt that I'll get these 2 together like this ever again!

Well that's our puppy, who's not such a little puppy anymore. Maybe tomorrow I can have a minute to get outside with my camera and get some update photos of her! She's so much bigger now!

Today we also found a home for one of the rescue kittens we have! I'm so glad that Sonny Boy went to a great home! Although his new name might be Chizzik (after Gene Chizzik of This is the last picture I have of him.
This is Toddy Boy. He still needs a home.
This little girl here is Miracle (named this because she was born 48 hours after her 2 brothers and 2 sisters!) and although I hate to see her go, she needs a great home also.
And the last to need a home is Miss. Two Face (named after the batman villain harvey two-face) but not because she's a villainous cat, she's really sweet, but just because her face is half orange and half black split right down the middle. She has one foot that is split like this as well!

We are actually keeping one of the kittens and the mama cat. I don't have a recent photo of Lovey, or Gray/Cute Ear as the kids have dubbed her, but I'll try and get one tomorrow. Zelda will also stay with us (she's the mama cat) and we have our girl Daisy (got her like 7 months ago before we knew we'd have all these kittens! lol). I'll also try and get a more recent photo of her too. She has hurt her front right paw, so we're not bothering her too much until it gets better. She seems to feel better if she gets lots of rest. But it looks as if its on the mend, so that's great. And lastly, we still have those 2 little white teddy bear hamsters that I am DESPERATE to find homes for also! Made a deal with the girls that if we can find the hamsters and the 4 kittens a home, they could put their aquarium up in their bedroom. So we've got one kitten down, 3 more to go and 2 Anyway, this is pretty much the new additions the family :) And hopefully we'll be back down to just us 4 and 3 cats and 1 puppy soon. It's a lot of work keeping up with so many pets! Also, hope to have before and after photos of our new place, well before and now photos... nowhere near finished yet! So check back if you're interested in this crazy thing we call It's a ride that is forever changing due to my Dysautonomia, 2 kids, husband, puppy, 7 cats/kittens, and 2 hamsters! lol We never know what the next day holds! So until next time, stay strong, keep fighting!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Broken Hallelujahs

***Note : Stop the music player to the right in order to hear the song to go with this blog.

It's came to me again today that sometimes all we have to give feels like it is not enough. We feel that our praises to God are so broken and meaningless. We feel that we are so torn and shattered that nothing we can say or do could have meaning, worth, and value. Maybe someone out there today is dealing with this very issue.  I have went through many trials, especially during the last 18 months or so, and dealt with a body that was so broken, torn, and broken that I literally couldn't even utter a spoken word, stand to lift my hands in worship to my King and Savior Jesus.  It's so very frustrating to be stuck in a body that keeps you imprisoned during everyday life, especially when all you desire to do is stand with your arms stretched towards the heavens in complete and utter praise and thanks to God. But you can't. You can't stand with your arms above your head due to a disease that will land you on the floor once the blood drains from your arms down into your legs causing you to collapse and faint. When the disease steals from you your voice to sing out in praise, steals from you the clarity of thought making it hard to pray, steals from you the strength to do all that your heart desires to do in worship and praise. It's the times like this that we must remember this one very important thing. God SEES and HEARS our thoughts and desires!!!  If we truly desire to be standing before Him completely oblivious to this world in praise and adoration to Him, then he sees that desire! God loves us even when our bodies are of absolutely no use to ourselves. But we must remember this also. Not only does God see and love our desires to worship Him with complete abandonment, people around us can read it on our faces, from our actions, hear it from our mouths.  What a better testimony could we be than someone physically incapable to worship as others, but so desiring to be near to God that we push the boundaries? We push in anyway possible, regardless of the fatigue and consequences of our disease, and we push until we find ourselves in the very presence of the One we've longed to be in the presence of... the Savior! Sometimes all we have to offer is a Broken Hallelujah and shattered praise.  But if we offer this, give all that our broken bodies will allow, then we MUST know that God is faithful! He'll never desert us, leave us to be in that place pushing to reach Him alone with our brokeness.  He'll ALWAYS reach out, come to us, and meet us with a warm embrace of love that only the Father can offer His child!  Next time when you are having a knock down, drug down, and awful kind of day that no one around you can possibly understand, when you find yourself feeling alone and unworthy of the very air you breathe, take the breath God's given you and utter forth a broken Hallelujah. Give Him your shattered praise.  God inhabits the praises of His people! Check this out!
PRAISE comes from the Latin word "pretium", meaning price. Prize is a variation of this word. Originally it meant "to set a great price on". So when we praise God, we are placing a great value on Him and His acts. God sees us as His "treasured possession" (Duet. 7:6, Exodus 19:5), and He wants to be our Treasure and our First Love.
1. PRAISE HONORS GOD - In Luke 11 Jesus taught us to begin prayer with praise in order to honor and glorify God. Psalm 29:2 tells us to give God the glory that is due Him. Praise helps us to focus on God, and who He is, and His greatness.

PRAISE HELPS US FOCUS ON GOD - Psalm 22:3 says that God inhabits the praises of His people. As we praise Him we raise up a throne or structure for Him to fill (2 Chron. 5:13). Praise sensitizes us to God's presence, and helps us take our focus off of ourselves and onto Him.

PRAISE HELPS US TO KNOW GOD - It helps us to focus on His character and His attributes. As we praise Him we rehearse our knowledge of Him, and we come to know Him as what we praise Him to be.

PRAISE BREAKS THE ENEMY'S OPPRESSION - In Acts 16:25,26 Paul and Silas praised God and the doors in the prison they were in were opened and they escaped. Praise lifts us out of oppression, and also helps us out of our self-centered ways.

PRAISE CONFUSES THE FORCES OF EVIL - The power of praise in battles is shown in 2 Chronicles 20, Psalm 8:2, and Psalm 149:5-9. Praise helps us to focus on God and realize our need for Him, and thus turn the battle over to Him. When we do this, God will then bring Victory. This makes Praise and Prayer and Dependence on God great weapons in Spiritual Battles. 
(link to where I got this section is HERE)

Use your broken praises to fight the turmoils this life and body have placed on you! Praising God brings us closer to Him and the closer we get and the more we allow Him a place in our lives, the more that we are not alone in all this. Let God be your shoulder, your friend, your healer, your savior. Much love and prayers to all who find and read this. Sincerely, Miranda