Sunday, May 24, 2015

Memorial Day Sunday





We won't be at church today.  Instead, we'll be with our family celebrating the beauty of the weekend and the joy of the impending 3 months.

Sitting here thinking about this weekend - that kicks off summer each year for so many of us - I'm also thinking about the Book of John and the many soldiers who have sacrificed their lives for this country.

See there's a correlation between John's books and those that wear fatigues for this country.

John was an avid lover.  He loved so deeply because Jesus taught him how vital love is in this life.  John knew that love was the super power that would conquer all things evil.

John preached about the light and the darkness.  Darkness will not go away but if we have that light (love) that Jesus told us about over and over.....then the darkness would be conquered.

John spoke of perseverance.  He knew that the road wasn't easy and it was filled with broken bridges to figure out how to cross and potholes that would shake your core.  We just had to keep on believing and keep the joy of Christ and focus of love in ourselves.  We will make it.



All those themes seem to fit more than ever on the weekend set aside to remember the fallen soldiers.

They love this country.  That love is so incredibly deep that they realize they may have to die for the red, white, and blue.  They may have to perish for a country that supports them and at the same time puts down their name because of their orders.

They carry the light.  The military isn't just about bad guys and good guys.  So many of those men and women are working as peace keepers around this world.  They form bonds with children in war torn countries.  They play hopscotch and bring treats to the littlest ones; all too often realizing the next day that child could be gone.  They have hope for the women who are afraid of what the next second could bring.  They have food, medicine, and reassurance to families who are living their lives in total fear over when the rebels will arrive.

The men and women of the US Armed Forces persevere.  In the times of blasting artillery, firing ammunition, and praying to make it out alive they still remain strong.  When they look around them and see devastation they move forward.  When they lose their brother or sister on the field they march forward, with tears in their eyes and sometimes even by breaking down, they continue.  These people persevere like none other.



I could never be that strong.  I wasn't made that way.  But oh man am I thankful that the Lord saw fit to make so many brave men and women in this country.

Today and tomorrow I tell you my appreciation level of those lost in battle, war, or while keeping the peace have a huge part of my heart and special place in my prayers.

I long for the day when our soldiers are home and peace is the world.

Thank you for your perseverance, light in the darkness, and most of all your incredible love for this country and world.







Friday, May 22, 2015

Its a FRIDAY thing!

Yes!  I love Fridays that begin a long weekend with my family :)

This weekend is a GOOD thing because it unofficially kicks off my most favorite season...Memorial Day Weekend.  I know many of you are starting summer this weekend with lovely beach trips and I envy you so much.  My weekend consists of no vacationing...ok maybe some in my mind.

Not my deck but maybe ours will look this fab soon!














1.  Its a DECK thing

We have a fairly large deck on our home and this is prime time to seal and stain it.  We had been talking about it for a while (awaiting good weather and time).  I just didn't think about the kids being around when we do it!!!  Oops.  Oh well should be fine, right?



2.  Its a BEACH thing

Like I said above, I'm not beach bound.  However, I can easily be lake bound and play on the beaches by any of the lovely lakes around my area.  Last year we so enjoyed spending time in Wilkes County at W. Kerr Scott for Memorial Day.  I think we may need to do that again!!!

Flag Cookie Cake
Via Pillsbury













3.  Its a BERRY thing

I love to cook with my kids.  Its one of my favorite hobbies that I can pass along to them so why not get them in the kitchen more with me?  We're going to bake up big strawberry, blueberry sugar cookie flag this weekend in honor of the USA and the soldiers who cover us 24/7.



4.  Its a DATE thing

Our favorite high school senior is coming to give us a parental break this weekend.  I am so going to miss her next year when she's away at college.  I may start crying right now just thinking about it.  It is so hard to find good, reliable, trustworthy teenagers who will do a great job caring for your kids.  We have been totally blessed by having Ms. Taylor in our lives.  I haven't figured what we will get into at this point while we have some kid-free time.  Maybe dinner on the Lake or head over to the Wine Festival...hmmmm?  A baseball game would be fun too.  I LOVE THIS TIME OF YEAR!



5.  Its a RESPECT thing

This weekend's holiday isn't about starting summer or grilling or beach trips.  It is about what allows us to do all those wonderful things.  This weekend I'll talk to my kids about the vital role the soldiers of this country play every single day to keep us safe and keep us as free as we can possibly be.  I have had this talk with my daughter numerous times but you can never discuss too much.  We honor those men and women who placed their lives in front of all of our own so that we could be free.



 & 



Thursday, May 21, 2015

I Think

All linked up with M-Girl & Joey!

I think....


*It is so weird how my son can wake me up 12x a night and yet when I have finally given up on sleeping I refuse to make coffee because, "it may wake him up"  WHAT?

*FYI I may be a bit more abrasive than usual due to my lack of sleep.  I don't get why this kid cannot understand that for at least 8 hours he needs to stay in his bed, with eyes shut, and not get up.  It is ok to be unconscious for a few more hours than two every night.  Seriously, I prefer it myself!

Don't buy it.

*I totally got HAD at the toy store.  The toy (pool) was too much money and probably won't last another 5 mintues.  UGHHH!

*Old Navy had a couple things I wanted.  I was excited and stepped in line.  Then realized it was one cashier and 127 people ahead of me.  I put it all back.

*The strawberry shortcake my friend Amy made is the most incredible cake I have ever tasted.  Let's talk about her lemonade too.  It was perfect for an additive of vodka.  Then the two year old came up trying to drink it.  Whoa baby, get back this ain't your drinkin' hole.

Not her pool but kinda close if it were smaller

*My mom's pool should be open by now.  Of course it isn't.  This could send me into a depression.

*Are you excited for a long weekend?  I am.  Bring on summer!

*We need to take time to thank the soldiers still with us.

*I'm on an organizational binge this week and next.  FYI ok?



*I don't think I'll paint my nails yellow again.  I look down and think "damn fungus" and remember its just the polish choice I made.

*I swear the guy that lives across the street (somewhere) goes in and out his street like 67 times a day.  I really don't get it.  Someone needs a hobby.

*Why are gas prices going up?

*Old people and the tags office....they get there two hours before the place opens.  What are they really in a rush to do?  I'm baffled.

yeah like that, kid, only with grey or white hair and glasses

*Elderly stink eyes.  Can I tell you I am over it.  Is it jealousy?  C'mon now you're too old for that game.

*You're so cool.









  

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

What To Buy This Weekend & Money Saving Apps


In lieu of Memorial Day Weekend and all they sales that come with it I thought I'd do some research to help you make better decisions as to what to purchase if you're in the shopping mode this weekend.

If I had the extra loot I'd be right there with you but alas....I do not!

Image result for spring apparel

Clothes considered "spring attire"

Anything that was put out in late January thru March needs to be sold.  It is considered "spring apparel" and not summer.  This includes short sleeved shirts, capris, bermuda shorts, light colored button ups and polos, sandals....yes very similar to what you wear in the summer!  You may actually find buys up to 90% off!


Refrigerators

As the temps start to rise the ice box prices fall.  Yes, this is the weekend to buy a fridge.  Yay!!!  Now you can have frozen popscicles instead of semi melted.


Bedding

Just like clothing the bedding is getting updated for summer too.  Out with the springy look and in with the bold summery look.  Now is the time to get that bedding set you were looking at three weeks ago!

Image result for mattress

Mattresses

Memorial Day Weekend is traditionally the BEST time to purchase a new mattress.  Remember if its over 8 you need to replace!

use this code at ruggedoutdoors.com

Anything Outdoors

Get your home summer ready on the outside!  Outdoor furniture is priced the best it will be until the end of the season.  Grills will be on sale this weekend HOWEVER they may be cheaper at Father's Day.  Outdoor toys are also on sale this weekend to help you get in the spirit of summer.  Take advantage of sales on these great items and get outdoors!

This weekend is also a prime time to buy some food items....


All things grilling!

Stock up on the condiments (ketchup, mustard, mayo, etc) this weekend.  Don't forget the marinades!  They will be on sale too and probably won't be at such a bottom dollar price until July 4th.  Buns will also be on sale at most stores.  You can stock up on these because they are freezer friendly.  Charcoal is also bottom dollar this weekend and you can rack up coupons on the charcoal before you go to the store.  I really love visiting Southern Savers to get my coupons on items like charcoal!


Sunscreen

This is the kick off to summer so get in the boat!  The Banana Boat, Coppertone, Hawaiian Tropic....whatever you prefer!  This is the weekend to stock up.  There are lots of coupons online (Coupons.com) to print off at home!  (Oh and Consumer Reports tested sunscreens and the best buy?  NO AD Sunscreen which retails for about $10 is on target for its SPF level.  Coming in second?  Walmart's Equate Sport Sprays between $8 and $9!)

 

Saving $$$

Lastly, saving some scrilla is about being smart.  There are lots of apps available now to make sure you're getting the best buys for your buck.  If you haven't already download these apps to your phone:

Ibotta - this is a fabulous money saving/earning app that will reward you for buying certain products.  Download the app and check the stores you normally shop via the app.  Simple little tasks like a one question survey or quick video will allow you to earn twenty-five cents to two dollars after you buy the items and follow the instructions to redeem.  Once you hit $10 you will receive a gift card!

Walmart Savings Catcher - Walmart is all about keeping their place as number one at saving their customers money.  The Savings Catcher allows you to scan your Walmart receipts after a purchase.  They then do a 50 mile radius of price checking to make sure they had the lowest price on the items you bought.  If someone else beats their price, they give you the difference.  You can let your balance add up and then redeem it in store when you're ready.

Target Cartwheel - I think we all know about the Cartwheel app.  I love this app as it has saved me as much at $100 on a purchase before!  Instead of checking the prices, Cartwheel gives you extra discounts on items you may be looking to purchase.  If you have a Target card you'll get extra savings (5% every swipe).

Retail Me Not - This app will alert you when you are in an area where there is a store with a coupon.  The coupon will be loaded to the app so you can use it in the store.


Happy shopping!  And saving :)






What's Up Wednesday!

What I'm reading...


What Love Is by Kelly Minter.
So I signed up for the women's Bible study at my church and wouldn't you know my calendar got bamboozled and I've only made it to ONE group session.  I'm still reading though!  I'm very used to Lysa Terkeurst stuff so this is a major change of gears.  Minter writes differently and though I'm learning so much from the books of  1 John, 2 John, and 3 John its been tough adjusting to the change of style.  I do get John's important message:  Love one another. As I read I find my spirit opening more to love and less to judgement and criticism.

What I'm reminiscing about...

goober


Meeting my husband.  We met on May 19th, 2006.  I skipped a very close childhood friend's wedding.  It was crazy.  I basically skipped that and went to my first NASCAR race, not fitting in at all with the majority (not a race girl) and ended up meeting a guy who I was like "eww gross" over and ended up thinking "aww sweet" over.  Look at us now....married with two kids, a dog, a house, and a couple cars in the drive.

What I'm loving....



Life.  Seriously, in a day and age when we are bombarded by the sadness of the world I sit in my yard and watch my kids play and listen to my husband chat away about work and I'm realizing how immensely blessed I am.  There is a lot of crazy going on in the world but my life in my little world is going just fine and dandy right now and boy is that a blessing.  Twenties were crazy but my thirties are amazing.

What we've been up to...



Planning the back yard, planning some camping adventures, enjoying these longer days.  I love summer.  (Yes, I know its still spring!)

What I'm dreading...

Three months of no pay.  Let's be real, ya'll.

What I'm working on...

Projects for summer!!!  Stuff for the kids to enjoy and stuff for this chick to enjoy.  I want to paint and refinish some furniture and add in lazy Sundays with friends.

What I'm looking forward to....



Summer break (yes I know I said I'm dreading no pay).  I cannot wait to spend days in the water and have some mornings to possibly sleep past 4:30 or 5.

What I'm excited about...

An upcoming junk sale (old stuff, think flea market) in June.  I'm going to go and I'm going to spend too much money and I'm going to have a blast creating!

What I'm watching...














Fixer Upper, new addict here.  Chip is hilarious and Joanna is fabulous.  Love it.

What I'm listening to...

I just hit the scan button right now.  Nothing has tickled my fancy lately.

What I'm annoyed about...

My kid is pottying for Aunt Teen but not at home.  What?  She is such the baby whisperer.  Honestly, I'd love to know her secrets!

What I'm hoping for...



My daughter to have a blast these last few weeks of school.  It's the end of her first grade year and my heart breaks a little over that.  Get this, they are having a camping theme for the last two weeks of school...isn't that fabulous?!?!?!




What's up with you, darling?





While I'm Waiting...Waiting on...Wednesday link-up

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Book Review: One Mississippi




Meet Daniel Musgrove.

It is the early 1970's and Daniel's dad is uprooted from Indiana to Mississippi with his job.  He's an ag chemical salesman.  Daniel leaves a pretty vanilla world for the South in an age of change - desegregation, the end of the 60's, and the end of his childhood.

Disaster hits on the drive to his new home in Minor, Mississippi and from there the story is a whirlwind.  His new best friend hold a secret together that is unimaginable.  More secrets come out after a church drama troop trip to perform a blasphemous play about Jesus.  His brother joins the military to get away from this new town when Vietnam is still going on.  He falls in love with the prom queen who also happens to be black.  His mother gets her fill after his father does the unthinkable after a shake up at his job.

Look I could go on and on about this book, its full of twists and turns.  It was a good read and a read that I would suggest you check out if you like a story line that is constantly throwing some curve balls.

You won't believe the ending.

I hope this insane book review gets your interest peeked.

Oh and I failed to mention the uncle....oh my the uncle.








Sweet Little Ones

Monday, May 18, 2015

Around The Home




Our house was originally constructed in the late 1930's.  If we compare and contrast the 1930's to the 2000's we see some slight differences in architecture and what was necessary and what was not when a house was being built.

It is no surprise that houses built prior to the 1950's didn't really consider closet space necessary.

Less was truly more back then!  We can debate all day on why that was but I have a feeling the economic strife of the early 1900's had a little something to do with it.  And probably the fact that shopping wasn't quite the norm like it is today!

Our home originally had six incredibly tiny closets; which served as storage areas for things like linens, coats, and items that had to be hung up (think dresses).

After the events of last fall and deciding to create a master bedroom we decided it would be necessary to create a new closet for the spouse and I.

In our hallway what was once an entry way to the original bath and lower level bedroom was morphed into a walk in closet.  We closed that entry way by extending the wall.  We added in a closet system (made by Rubbermaid and available at Lowes Home Improvement and other mass retailers).  The original closet that was in this area was kept for clothing and accessories.



I spent $10 at my local Dollar Tree store and bought cube organizing boxes.  In these I placed t-shirts, shorts, jeans, and work out clothes.



On hand I had a Thirty-One tote that serves as a bin for my husband's work clothing.  I also had a Sterilite storage bin that was missing a lid.  I repurposed it to hold overstock from my bathroom.



Viola!  I organized my "new" closet for roughly $80 total (including the closet system).

So if you reside in an older home I hope this post helped you gain some ideas on how to make more room for storage.  I'll be doing a few more of these based around inexpensive ways to eliminate clutter and get organized over the next few months!

Thanks for coming by and share your organizing tips and tricks in the comments!